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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Book Review: Seven Years (Seven #1) by Dannika Dark

Seven Years (Seven #1)
by Dannika Dark

Kindle Edition, 332 pages
October 20th 2013
Seven years ago, my world ended.
Seven years later, my new life began.

It's been seven years since Lexi Knight lost her brother in a tragic accident. On the anniversary of his death, her brother's best friend shows up unexpectedly - a man she hasn't seen since the funeral. He is no longer the boy Lexi once knew, but a dangerous-looking man with tattoos and dark secrets. He broke her trust and abandoned her family, yet what he reveals makes it impossible to stay angry. Lexi has been secretly infatuated with Austin since childhood, so finding out he's a Shifter just makes him sexier. Dammit.

Austin Cole has returned to the city where he grew up, and just in time. He's lived a hard life these past seven years, and the shadows of his past are threatening to destroy Lexi's family. It's time that she learned the truth about her brother, but there is a shocking twist that Austin never saw coming. Now he must protect her family when her mother and sister wind up in mortal danger. Will Lexi learn to accept the truth about who he is, and can Austin salvage a relationship from the ruins of their past?

Destiny will find you.


What if Shifters really did exist, and lived in secret?

This is the first installment of the Seven Series saga by author Dannika Dark. This story is on sale now for $.99 Kindle edition, which is how I found this author. A great deal on a PNR series that's totally worth the money! With seven other stories out since this started, I am looking forward to seeing what happens next. But, for now, let's get to the review!

Sometimes, a good cover and cheap price have me sold. Don't hate, I'm thrifty! So saying that, this author won me over with a sexy man titty cover and bargain price. I had no idea who Mrs Dark was. So I bought the book and what a good turnout that was for me! From the first chapter to the very last, I was hooked into this shiftier world of alpha males and their many diverse packs. So much delicious man candy to feast on, and our main gal works at a candy store to boot!

This one is filled with tons of nail biting action and mystery, plots and more twists on those plots all come into play. The progression of this PNR chess board is exciting and really grabbed hold of me. The romance sections were steamy! There's not really much I didn't like, except maybe no vampires. But that aside, this is a well written and easily enjoyable read.

If you're looking for a new fun series with snark, drama, action, fun characters, wolves and other shifters, then look no further!

Getting 4 and 1/2 Sheep


About the Author:
Dannika Dark was born on a military base in the U.S. and spent her youth traveling abroad. She developed an interest writing poetry and song lyrics early on, eventually gravitating toward a job that involved writing procedural training documentation. In her spare time, she wrote novels before she decided to pursue a career in publishing.

In addition to writing about supernatural worlds, Dannika is passionate about graphic design and creates all her own covers and series art. When not writing, she enjoys indie music, movies, reading, Tex-Mex, strawberry daiquiris, heaps of chocolate, and unleashing her dark side.

All of her published books to date are written in the same universe and contain material suitable for adults only.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Book Review: Nocturne Infernum (Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance) by Elizabeth Donald

Nocturne Infernum (Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance)
by Elizabeth Donald
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Seventh Star Press

Nocturne Infernum includes the original three chapters in the Nocturnal Urges series, an alternate version of present-day Memphis in which vampires walk among us, but are not treated as our equals. They work the night shift, the jobs no one else wants, and they’re not too happy about it. Meanwhile, humans take advantage of the pleasures vampires can provide, but call them friends? Lovers? The gap between human and vampire stretches wide as death rises in the streets of Memphis.

Nocturnal Urges. It’s the most popular club in the Memphis nightlife. Part legal bordello, part feeding ground for the city’s vampires, Nocturnal Urges offers pleasure and pain in one sweet kiss. It’s the ultimate addiction: both drug and sex at once. For the vampires, it’s the only way to survive in a world where the creatures of the night are a dark underclass, ignored until the humans need another fix.

Into this world comes Isabel Nelson, a young woman seeking only a night’s pleasure. But after Isabel’s lover takes her to try the bite, she cannot stop thinking about Ryan, the dark vampire with whom she shared her lifeblood – and who is now suspected of murder. Isabel falls into a world where passion and love are miles apart, where life and unlike have little meaning… and someone is hunting in the shadows.

A More Perfect Union. Samantha Crews has lived a long time in the shadows of Memphis, working at Nocturnal Urges and hiding from the vampires that darken her past.

Det. Anne Freitas is stuck with a new partner, a young woman with a chip on her shoulder. Now they’re assigned to investigate a series of threats against congressional candidate Robert Carton, for whom Samantha volunteers.

But Samantha is falling for Danny Carton, the candidate’s son – an idealist who wants to make life better for humans and vampires alike. But there’s a lot Danny doesn’t know about Samantha.

He doesn’t know she’s a vampire.

He doesn’t know she works at Nocturnal Urges.

He doesn’t know his own father is one of her clients.

And he doesn’t know what’s stalking her…

Abaddon. The Lady Zorathenne requests the honor of your presence at a celebration. A toast, if you will. Followed by a feast.

Beneath the dark Memphis streets, something is stirring. Filled with ancient fury. Seeking revenge on the ones who live above. A revenge born in fire.

The fires are ranging in Memphis and no one is safe. Ryan and Samantha must descend into darkness beyond their imagining to find answers to the mysteries of the past, as Detectives Freitas and Parker seek the truth about the present.

And the return of an old foe could make the future a dark place indeed… save for the flames of Abaddon.

especially enjoy the strong, sexy, rich, powerful variety. Elizabeth Donald’s Nocturnal Urges vamps are a different type altogether. These vampires perpetually suffer under human oppression as true second-class citizens in a modern age. When I read the publisher’s blurb for this collection, I was intrigued by the concept of a night club where humans enjoy (exploit) vampires. It put me in mind of Charlaine Harris’s Fangtasia and, as an Eric Northman devotee, I couldn’t resist. And so, I was plunged into this gritty world of alternate Mephis and its highly dysfunctional social construct. 

Donald’s take on vampires is original and interesting with many parallels to real-life disenfranchised groups. However, I felt I was being beaten over the head with the message of social inequality. Perhaps this is an attempt to rise above the typical vampire fare, and I get that; however, these stories simply did not stimulate my imagination. Each story has a murder-mystery within, however, I found each path to discovery lacking real suspense; each conclusion fairly predictable.

I find the social message interrupts authentic or interesting character development and interaction. The love stories contained within are flat. Characters profess their love quickly and seemingly out of nowhere. Perhaps I’m a skeptic, but I found myself muttering “whaaaaat?” on more than one occasion. Contributing to the social message within the text is the inclusion of several high-powered female characters including two detectives, and Fiona, the proprietor of bar/bordello Nocturnal Urges. It’s nice to encounter strong female characters, but aside from their burgeoning relationships, I didn’t feel these characters developed past types. And why do they all have red hair?

The collection has an excellent cover design. I enjoyed reading the historical note included at the end of the book as well as the Afterword, however, for me Nocturne Infernum was a fairly linear reading experience lacking bite.

2 ½ Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the Author:
About Elizabeth Donald: Elizabeth Donald is a writer fond of things that go chomp in the night. She is a three-time winner of the Darrell Award for speculative fiction and author of the Nocturnal Urges vampire mystery series and Blackfire zombie series, as well as other novels and short stories in the horror, science fiction and fantasy genres. She is the founder of the Literary Underworld author cooperative; an award-winning newspaper reporter and lecturer on journalism ethics; a nature and art photographer; freelance editor and writing coach. In her spare time, she… has no spare time.

Top Ten Questions Kids ask Authors at School Visits (and how to respond to them) by Derek Taylor Kent AKA Derek the Ghost

Top Ten Questions Kids ask Authors at School Visits 
(and how to respond to them)
by Derek Taylor Kent AKA Derek the Ghost 

When you’re a children’s book author, the best way to sell lots of books is to do as many school visits as you can, preferably when they’re connected with book fairs like Scholastic, Barnes and Noble, or other companies like Mrs. Nelson’s. During book fair season, I’m usually doing two or three school visits per week, September through November and then March through April. It’s great because it raises money for the schools, gets kids excited about reading, and also increases sales figures, which are essential for landing that next book deal.

Part of every school presentation is the inevitable question and answer session with the students. When you’ve done hundreds of shows like I have, patterns emerge. I hear the same questions over and over. This is a list of the ten most common questions kids will ask and my strategies for answering them, which have come in very handy.

10. How old are you?
I like to turn this potentially awkward question into a guessing game for the kids in the audience to play. Kids are notoriously horrible at estimating an adult’s age. I’m in my mid-30s and will hear guesses everywhere between 20 to 50. The first kid who guesses anything under thirty, I say: “I like your answer. Let’s go with that.” Then I give him or her a high-five.

9. How many gray hairs to do you have?
This is the far more insulting version of number ten. I like to spout out an oddly specific number like “17” and then quickly say, “next question!”

8. Are you famous?
In other words, should I brag that I met you or not? I mean, if you’re not on TV or in the movies or have five million Youtube followers, who are you really? I usually respond with an equally snarky retort, “I don’t know how famous I am, but I can promise you one thing, if we each google our names, I will get way more hits than you.” That usually shuts them up.

7. How much money do you make? / Are you rich?
This is a tricky question to answer. What the kid is really asking is: “Look, if you’re visiting schools in San Bernardino, how rich can you possibly be? I love books and am considering becoming an author when I grow up, but if I put years of time and effort into the process, is it going to pay off in the end?” Well, kid, the major reason I was invited to your school and am being allowed to directly market my books to you is because the faculty is hoping that that of the hundreds of kids in the crowd, one or two of you are going to become so inspired that you will actually take up writing as your career choice, become a celebrated author one day, and credit this elementary school for bringing the author in that inspired you. So, for those select few kids, do I dash your dreams and say that for 90% of published authors, the money you make will not nearly cover your yearly living expenses and a day job will remain a necessity? Or do I allow you to keep your innocence and say that authors are rolling in dough and you can start shopping for that mcmansion as soon as you sell your first 32-page picture book? The answer I now go with tends to blend a bit of truth and fiction. Something like: “Well, every time one of my books sell, I get paid a little bit of money, so if all of you buy books today, I’ll be filthy, stinking rich.” When kids grow up and learn to do the math, they’ll realize that either I was lying, or strangely I thought a couple hundred bucks would make me rich. I look forward to receiving confused fan mail about that in the near future.

6. I had a dog, but it died.
That’s a statement about your bummer of a life, not a question. There are a million variations on this, and most will come from kindergartners and first-graders who don’t yet understand what a question is, but are desperate to either impress or connect with the speaker on stage. No amount of explaining to them what a question means will get them to ask a question. Twenty kids in a row will make random statements and the worst part is they are contagious after the first one happens. Best to divert to an authority figure and say, “Do any of your teachers have a question for me?” Once a teacher asks a question (which is usually a good one like “How did you become an author?” or “How do you come up with your characters?”), make it a really long answer to eat up time. Then, instead of having them make more general declarations like, “I’m going to be a cat for Halloween” or “I like to draw dinosaurs” start asking them questions like: “How do you think you become a good writer?” or “Is anyone here thinking of becoming an author when you grow up?” Proceed to encourage them to go into computer science.

5. Ummm… I forgot.
“That’s okay, young lady, try to remember and I’ll come back to you.” She will eventually raise her hand again, and when you call on her, she will proceed to ask the same question the kid right before her asked. She’s not fooling anybody. She never had a question. She just wanted to raise her hand for the attention and wasn’t expecting to get called on. Don’t buy into the act and waste time trying to pry her to remember her first question because she never will. Just move on.

4. Can I have a free book?
“Absolutely. But only because you asked and didn’t bother to even say ‘please’. And only you can have a free book. Nobody else can. Well done.” There’s one of these kids in every audience. He’s usually wearing a Spider-Man t-shirt and has crooked teeth. Do not get suckered into feeling sorry for this kid. He’s not asking for a free book because he can’t afford it. His parents are probably better off than most of the others, which is why he’s so rude and disrespectful in the first place. He’s just trying to make you look like a jerk by denying a kid a book who wants to read it sooo bad, and now you feel like a jerk for not giving it to him. Here’s what you tell this kid, “No free book, but I’ll trade you for one of your video games.” “But I didn’t bring my video games.” “Then too bad. No deal.”

Also, watch this kid closely. He will probably try to steal one of your books while his friends are distracting you asking questions after the presentation.

When the teacher catches him red-handed and tells him to take it out of his backpack and give it back to the author, he will say, “Oh, I thought he said I could have one.” Don’t be too mean to this kid, though. He’s going to be a senator one day.

3. Are they making a movie of your books?
Unless you’ve already signed off on the film rights and the release date has been set, which is not the case for 99.99% of us, this question cuts right to the core and strips a bit of our soul each time it’s asked. What I want to say every time is, “Nope. And that’s because you kids aren’t doing your jobs by spreading the word on social media about how awesome the book is, thus making it a #1 best-selling cultural phenomenon like The Hunger Games, but I guess you’re only nine and aren’t allowed to even use Facebook and Twitter yet, so I am screwed.”

But, what I usually say is: “Is it going to be a movie? The answer is… maybe! We’re working on making it happen, but if you want it to come out soon, you can help by writing to studios like Nickelodeon and demanding a Scary School movie. Trust me, they listen to what kids want much more than they’ll listen to me!”

Teachers actually like this because it gives them a perfect opportunity to introduce their students to persuasive writing in English, and many classes have actually done this for me! No word yet from Nickelodeon.

2. How long did it take you to write your book?
This is my other favorite opportunity to commence a guessing game. I always have some giveaways that I bring to every show, like postcards or bookmarks. I’ll go around the room and let the kids guess how long it took to write a Scary School novel. The guesses will be hilariously all over the place. I’ll hear everything from two hours to ten years. The actual answer is a month, and it usually takes about fifty guesses to get to it, so I help by doing higher/lower. The first to guess it right wins the prize. Keeping the show interactive is essential. Any chance to make them part of the show and feel more connected to you and the books is a good thing.

It will also create INSANE jealousy for the postcard I just gave to the kid who got it right. I then tell them that everyone who buys a book will also get a free postcard included and this increases sales dramatically.

It’s also a good segway into talking about the months of editing and revising that are necessary and how important it is. Teachers LOVE this.

1. How do you like being an author?
Finally! A great question! Well, let me tell you, I LOVE being an author. Not just because I get to travel around meeting cool kids like you, but for one big reason… but first, let me ask you this… It’s tough being a kid, right? Are there a million rules to follow? Is everyone always telling you what to do? Well, when you’re a writer, YOU get to be the boss. You can have your characters do whatever you want them to do. You can have your story go wherever you want it to go. You get to be the boss of an entire world! So I love being an author because nobody can ever tell me what to do and the only limit is my own imagination. So I want all of you to start writing stories and don’t put any limit on your imaginations. This is your one chance to be the boss! Keep practicing writing and read as much as you can, and who knows, by they time you’re twelve, you could be a published author like me! And when you are, I can’t wait to attend your signing and ask you how many gray hairs you have.

For more info on Derek and his books, please visit and

Scary School #4: Zillions of Zombies
by Derek the Ghost (Author), Revo Yanson (Illustrator), Marcus Muller (Cover Design)September 1, 2015
Eleven-year-old Charles Nukid thought he was the luckiest kid on earth when he was crowned the new monster king. But when he's challenged by a gang of angry trolls who don't think a human should be the monster king, something goes horribly wrong that turns all of the zombies of the world to evil and ravenous for brains.

Charles's friend rush to Monster Kingdom to help him, include Lattie the Ninja Girl, Petunia the purple girl, his biggest crush Penny Possum, Dr. Dragonbreath, and Johnny the Sasquatch. Together they'll have to find the one unicorn left on earth whose magic is powerful enough to turn all the zombies back to good.
Thrills, chills, laughs, and a Zombie T-Rex will all be found in this fantastic final book. What more do you want??

About the author:
Derek is an eleven-year-old ghost who haunts the classrooms and hallways of Scary School, writing down all the spine-tingling often hilarious things that go on there. Despite his ghostly state, Derek still enjoys reading comic books and hopes to one day become a master ninja. If that doesn’t work out, he will continue to share the fun of this very special, very secret school, so all kids can experience the scariest school on earth. Derek the Ghost communicates through the first-time ghost whisperer Derek Taylor Kent, who is a writer and performer in Los Angeles, California.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Book Review: A Pirate’s Revenge (Legends of the Soaring Pheonix #2) M.L. Guida

A Pirate’s Revenge (Legends of the Soaring Pheonix #2)
by M.L. Guida
Caught in middle of a bloody bargain between a demon and underworld god, pirate William O’Brien is suddenly possessed by a dragon spirit, forcing the man opposed to all magic to trust the beautiful witch Mariah Fey. Mariah, with an agenda of her own, is faced with a dire assignment; rescue her brother Lark from demonic clutches with the help of pirate-dragon William. But when William is reluctant to embrace their fateful mission, Mariah must charge forward and convince William she is trustworthy and an innocent player in this supernatural game.

The Soaring Pheonix series chronicles the high sea adventures of a ship of pirate vampires. Yes, pirate vampires. The combination is beyond tantalizing for fans of the paranormal romance genre. The finest vampire aspects were covered in book one and were largely unexplored in this installment. Since William, Captain Kane O’Brien’s brother, is one of the few non-vampire ship mates, William’s human-dragon transformation is at the centre of A Pirate’s Revenge. I have not read book one and entered this series with this book. Although I was slightly disappointed by the lack of vampire action, I didn’t feel lost jumping in at book two. The characters, their circumstances, and relevant past proceedings were well explained by the author.

I enjoyed reading the developing romance between William and Mariah, which starts early and drips with tension. The interesting plot features non-stop action. The story follows a typical paranormal romance arc, however, and although the pirate-paranormal twist is interesting, the plot isn’t altogether original. The series has loads of potential though with lots of interesting loose threads. Though the story is nicely tied together at the end, there’s lots left unexplored. I am intrigued by the hint of an Undine (mermaid) storyline. As well, I liked the character of Zuto, a conflicted loveless demon. I would definitely be interested in an installment rooted in his character.

Overall, A Pirate’s Revenge was a super sexy wild ride worth the read.

3 ½ Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the Author:
I have a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Regis University and I studied both creative and creative non-fiction. My final Capstone was on A Pirate’s Curse, my paranormal historical manuscript, and I’ve decided to self-publish it in the fall of 2013. Creative non-fiction is actually subjective journalism and this helped me learn how to write columns, basically blogging.

I live in Colorful Colorado and enjoy the Rocky Mountains. Many of my other stories, such as Dark Promise, which will be coming out in March 2014, are based in the mountains, specifically Frisco, Colorado where my family owns a cabin.

My home backs up to open space and I enjoy taking my cocker spaniel, Sadie, on trails behind my house.

Spotlight: The Third Throne: Angel of Death by Tabitha Barret + excerpt

Angel of Death (The Third Throne Series #2)
by Tabitha Barret
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Heather Baker
Date of Publication: 7/31/2015
ISBN: 1514847507
Number of pages: 530
Cover Artist: Heather Baker
Anjali has embraced her destiny to end the world, but now she must find her ten Harbingers, known as the Predznak. She is determined to find Alazar, the Angel of Death, the former leader of the Predznak, before the other angels. She fears that he has lost hope and is close to becoming a Rogue Angel.

Alazar has spent too many centuries waiting for his Master Anjali to come and claim him. Deception and lies have kept them apart, but now it’s too late. He has vowed to the other Predznak that he will kill their Master so that they can be free.

During her search for Alazar, Anjali meets the Spirit Experts, paranormal investigators who are on a collision course with the Angel of Death. Anjali finds herself strangely attracted to one of the Spirit Experts and decides to become a part of their group in an effort to keep them safe from her dangerous angel.

Can Anjali stop Alazar from killing the Spirit Experts and destroying the surrounding town? Can she keep Lucifer in the dark about her affections for the mortal man? Will unseen enemies destroy all that Anjali holds dear?

The Third Throne: Angel of Death is the second book in the steamy Adult Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance series.

Anjali felt the temperature of the room drop until ice particles formed from her breath. The world around her fell away and went silent. The only sound she could hear was her heartbeat. At first, it was strong and steady, but the tempo slowly changed until it sounded like waves crashing on a beach. A brilliant blue filled her vision and she saw the ocean waves rippling and dancing in front of her. She could practically feel the sand between her toes. It was a peaceful sight. All of her worries were gone and she breathed a sigh of relief. She no longer had to worry about destroying the world and killing everyone. Staying here in this serene place would be wonderful. There would no longer be blood on her hands and the fate of the world would be someone else’s problem. She could just drift away with the tide and be free.

She knew this feeling. It was simple and easy to understand. If you let go of your worries, you will find happiness. She sighed, wanting to be happy.

Happy? The thought floated to the surface of her bewildered mind. There was no such thing in her life. She was a servant of Lucifer, of Hell. Angels were meant to bow to her command and do the will of God through her. Something was wrong. She wasn’t destined to be happy, nor was she at the beach. She was in a cold, dark place without oceans and sand. Romania. She was in Romania with Alazar, her Angel of Death, and he was tempting her with his power.

The storm that dwelled inside of her, just below the surface, welled up as it recognized the feeling of death. It yearned to reach out and touch Alazar’s power. It felt familiar, but not because she had experienced death before. It was familiar because it was a part of her, a missing piece. Her power reared up and clawed at her insides. It fought to reach Death and welcome him home. The only thing holding it back was her ring. She used her thumb and carefully wiggled the ring off her finger until she heard the small sound of metal hitting stone. Plink.

“Enough!” she screamed, letting her power rush to the surface.

Alazar was perplexed by her scream. He thought he was winning. She had seen the ocean and had become complacent in her thoughts. What was happening? No one ever broke free of his control, unless they resisted the temptation, which was rare. He never let them escape. He never backed down from his temptation of a person, until they were dead. Something felt dishonest about that as he watched Anjali break free of the vision.

It’s wrong to push people beyond their breaking point, he thought, just before he felt the air stir.

He tried to release her face, but couldn’t move. He knew he was in trouble when her blue eyes turned black and glowed with power.

About the Author:
FB Fan Page

Tabitha Barret graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in English. She married the guy from her Creative Writing class and together had two amazing children. They live in a quiet town in New Jersey with their three rambunctious dogs. She is currently working on her series, The Third Throne.