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Friday, November 15, 2019

Book Review: Hearthstone Cottage (Fiction Without Frontiers) By Frazer Lee

Hearthstone Cottage (Fiction Without Frontiers)
By Frazer Lee
October 24, 2019
Publisher: Flame Tree Press
ASIN: 9781787583276
ISBN: B07XP98CBD
"Lee creates an atmosphere of unease and foreboding that culminates in explosive violence and terror. Rife with frightening imagery, ghosts, and visceral horror, this tale will please the most ardent of horror fans." – Booklist

Mike Carter and his girlfriend Helen, along with their friends Alex and Kay, travel to a remote loch side cottage for a post-graduation holiday. But their celebrations are short-lived when they hit and kill a stag on the road. Alex s sister Meggie awaits them in the cottage, adding to the tension when her dog, Oscar, goes missing. Mike becomes haunted by a disturbing presence in the cottage, and is hunted by threatening figures in the highland fog. Reeling from a shock revelation, Mike begins to lose his grip on his sanity. As the dark secrets of the past conspire to destroy the bonds of friendship, Mike must uncover the terrifying truth dwelling within the walls of Hearthstone Cottage.

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices
.

Two couples, Alex and Kay and Mike and Helen, head off for a celebratory post-graduation stay at Alex's father's Hearthstone cottage in Scotland. They hit a stag near their destination, killing it. Mike picks up a bloodied tip of one of the deer’s antlers, wipes it with a tissue, and deposits it in his pocket. 


Alex’s sister, Meggie, is staying at the cottage with her border collie,  Oscar. Strange things begin happening, especially to Mike, who has terrifyingly realistic nightmares, visions of the dead, sleepwalking, and rampant paranoia, which the others blame on his alcoholism and marijuana. Even the village nearby has residents that appear strange. 

The novel starts with a bang, but slows down, until the end. I am not sure I connected well with the characters, especially Mike, who acted like a jerk, smoking his pot because he can and drinking even when it appeared even to him that it wasn’t a good idea when the weirdness happens. His about-face toward the end was a bit of shock because of his actions for most of the book. Still, I enjoyed the creepiness when the two men find the standing stones, a sort of smaller version of Stonehenge, and the villagers, plus the mention of witches and the scrying mirror. It would be a perfect book on a stormy night or during a snowstorm.

I gave Hearthstone Cottage 4 sheep.





Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
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Frazer Lee's debut novel, The Lamplighters was a Bram Stoker Award® Finalist for 'Superior Achievement in a First Novel'.

One of Frazer's early short stories received a Geoffrey Ashe Prize from the Library of Avalon, Glastonbury. His short fiction has since appeared in numerous anthologies including the acclaimed 'Read By Dawn' series.

Also a screenwriter and filmmaker, Frazer's movie credits include the award-winning short horror films 'On Edge', 'Red Lines', 'Simone', and the critically acclaimed horror/thriller feature (and movie novelization) 'Panic Button'.

Frazer lectures in Creative Writing and Screenwriting at Brunel University London and Birkbeck, University of London. He resides with his family in leafy Buckinghamshire, England where (when he's not getting lost in a forest) he is working on new fiction and film projects.

Book Review: Ghost (Dark Moon Falls Paranormal Box Set) by DJ Bryce

Today we are celebrating the release of DARK MOON FALLS, a boxed set featuring 15 steamy paranormal stories. 

Purchase Now for 99 cents for a limited time!


DARK MOON FALLS A Paranormal Boxed Set
November 12, 2019
Authors: by Melanie James, Bella Roccaforte, A.K. Michaels, Lia Davis, Robbie Cox, Justine Winter, Tami Lund, Elaine Barris, N.L. Hoffmann, S.J. Pierce, Heather Hildenbrand, DJ Bryce, Susan Griscom, Alyssa Rose Ivy, Nadirah Foxx
1698 pages

High in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, the sleepy town of Dark Moon Falls has secrets ... Hot wolf shifters pursue their one true mate, witches pursue their own agenda, and humans are caught in the middle. In Dark Moon Falls, danger, intrigue, and romance lurk around every corner. This boxed set includes 15 new steamy stories you’ll want to get your paws on! One-click now to book your getaway to Dark Moon Falls and soak in all the shifter romance!

Review of Ghost by DJ Bryce


This fun box set includes about 15 novellas that give the reader a chance to enter the world of new authors. I enjoy these types of sets but hate them at the same time. I like to different flavors each world brings BUT I hate it when they each end so suddenly! 

I read the short story called Ghost by DJ Bryce. It was a delightful sampling of this authors work. Enjoyed getting to know her writing style and shifter characters. There's a ton of passion jammed into a hot short read. Would love to get to know more about this world and the authors other works. 

It's hard to review a pack like this but I can say it's recommend for anyone looking to sink their fangs into some fresh PNR. 

KD



About the Author:
Author DJ Bryce loves her men tall, dark, and Alpha. She can often be found relaxing with a cup of coffee, a handful of RedVines, and a dirty book, with her three dogs snoozing happily at her feet. She's a lover of The Walking Dead, Romantic Comedies, and writing sexy shifters. For information on her new releases, promotions, and her favorite PNR reads, sign up for her newsletter: http://eepurl.com/clmyu5

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Excerpt: A Fallen Son (The Concilium Series: Book Two) by A.P. Watson + giveaway

A Fallen Son (The Concilium Series: Book Two)
by A.P. Watson
November 14, 2019
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Cover Designer: Regina Wamba
Editors: Tamara Beard
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
The deaths of her sworn protectors, the blood on her hands, and the evil around her haunt Evey at every turn. She thought she could outrun Aden, but escape now seems impossible. And the longer she’s around her former husband, the more she is forced to recognize the fine line between love and hate. As the reincarnations of the original man and woman from the Garden of Eden, Aden and Evey have been bound to one another from the beginning of time. If she can restore Aden’s humanity, his reign of terror will end once and for all. If she can’t, he’ll lead her down his path of death and devastation. Will Evey ever be able to rid herself of Aden, or are some bonds too deep to truly sever?

Meanwhile in New York, Conrad rises from the dead only to discover Evey has been taken by the very man who stole his life. In the aftermath of Aden's murderous rampage, Conrad teams up with Evey’s best friend and a rebellious consiliarius to save the woman he loves.

Although Conrad’s already paid for their forbidden romance with his life—twice—Aden still hungers for more vengeance. With his soul in constant turmoil, Aden plans to unleash the darkness he consumed in the Garden of Eden on the rest of the world. To stop him, Conrad must travel the world in a race against time to hunt down the only weapon capable of ending Aden’s immortal life. Sacrifices will be made, sins will be committed, and rules will be broken, but will it be enough? Will true love conquer all? And if he fails, will Evey and the rest of humanity fall prey to a lunatic?



Book 1





Prologue
Tears dripped from my chin as Aden dragged me away from the abandoned warehouse where Conrad’s body lay, growing colder by the second. Life as I knew it had come to an end. The last of my sworn protectors had fallen, and I was in the clutches of a man whose depravity had no bounds. What did fate have in store for me now?

Watching the man I love die for a second time shattered the remnants of my heart. Aden had murdered my entire family in cold blood, all for the sake of reclaiming his hold on me. The fleeting freedom I’d enjoyed for the last few centuries had been snuffed out as if it were no more than a flickering flame. As hard as I’ve tried to outrun my past, the task has proved impossible. I took my first breaths in the Garden of Eden, and as the original woman, perhaps my destiny will always be intertwined with the man I was created for.

Adam and Eve.

Aden and Evey.

No matter what names we use, the sins of our past remain. My hand in the Fall of Man gave birth to Aden’s vile nature. The Tree of Knowledge blessed us with the wisdom of both good and evil, and even though I have strived to live in the light, my former husband has descended into the depths of darkness.

Chapter One: Lost
Throwing off the covers, I scooted away from Aden until my hands found the edge of the mattress. There was nowhere else to go, but I yearned for escape. As I pulled myself farther away from him, I fell to the ground, my arm thrashing against a small table. Fear overwhelmed my senses, coursing through my veins like a jolt of electricity. How could I be here? Why were the eyes boring into mine darker than the deepest abyss? Aden rounded the bed and made his way toward me, his expression unreadable. Panic consumed my thoughts and my body trembled uncontrollably in response.

The last time I rejected this man, he sent me to an early grave. Now, he stood before me and claimed he needed me back, but in order to accomplish his goals, he had stolen away the ones I loved most. My instincts told me not to believe his lies as he was no doubt hungry for more carnage. I knew the depths of love and this twisted version wasn’t even close to the word.

As he advanced toward me, I scrambled across the cold wooden floor. I was nothing more than a caged animal. When Aden bent down in front of me, I fought the urge to scream. My eyes clasped shut. The thought of staring into his dark gaze sickened me. The moment he grabbed my wrist, a shudder slithered down my spine. His touch was like ice, stinging my skin with the pressure of his fingers.

“If you’re going to kill me, just get it over with,” I spat defiantly. Fighting against my instincts, I opened my eyes and watched as his hand jerked away.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” he whispered. Pain harshened the lines of his face. “You’re bleeding.” He pointed at my arm that had bashed against the table. A small drop of blood trickled over the inside of my wrist. Taking my hand in his, he delicately kissed the spot where I’d been cut, cleaning the blood away with the bottom of his shirt. He then picked me up in his arms and set me on the bed, handling me like I was a crystal vase and the slightest disturbance would cause me to burst into a million tiny shards of glass. As Aden sat at the end of the bed, all I could do was stare at him in bewilderment. “There’s no need for you to be afraid of me,” he reassured me in a soft voice.

His gentle answer fueled my anger. “Isn’t there?” I questioned, not even attempting to suppress the malice in my tone. “You murdered everyone I care for.” I knew my eyes were filled with all the venom I felt in my heart. I didn’t care if my salvation lay in his love for me. The life he offered wasn’t worth the price.

“I did what I had to do in order to have you in my life again.”

Confusion began to replace my anger. I was sure he wanted me to suffer. The only reason he’d been so eager to find me was to hurt me again. Why was he being so gentle, tender even? “I don’t understand. I thought you hated me.”

“I’ve tried to hate you so many times, and no matter what I do, I’m incapable of harboring even a minute shred of ill will toward you.”

“So, you aren’t going to kill me?” I understood the influence I had over people, how they were innately drawn to me, but his sincerity seemed unfathomable considering the depths of his cruelty I’d experienced firsthand.

“In this moment, all I want is to hold you and know that you’re mine, just like we were always meant to be since the beginning of time.”




About the Author:
A.P. Watson is a contemporary and paranormal romance author who discovered her love for reading at a very young age due to her rural upbringing. She enjoys a variety of genres and authors, from Jane Austen to Charlaine Harris. When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves to dance. A.P. has been an avid pole dancer for several years and thoroughly enjoys the challenging nature of the sport and the thrill of performing onstage. Professionally, she has worked as a registered nurse for several years, and she graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing in 2019. Her goal is to combine her love for aesthetics and skincare by utilizing her Family Nurse Practitioner certification in the field of dermatology. A.P. currently resides in Johnson City, Tennessee, with her adorable rescue pup, Elle.


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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Book Review: Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds (An 8th Dimension Novel Book 3) by Carissa Andrews + giveaway



Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds (An 8th Dimension Novel Book 3)
by Carissa Andrews
November 12th 2019
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
The final five angels have been located and averting the apocalypse means somehow recreating the birth of Christ.

Morgan never expected total annihilation would come down to the actions of five misfit angels. But as each one’s hidden angelic power unfolds, so does the sinister truth… the entire Jesus storyline has been wiped from the collective consciousness, leaving a tear in the fabric of reality.

The final five need to figure out how their gifts are meant to fit together in order to set things right. However, coming to terms with the responsibility resting on their shoulders doesn’t come easy. To make matters worse, the demons have found them and unless they get on the same page quickly, the darkness will consume them all. But how can they make things right when the thing that’s missing happened more than 2000 years ago?

One thing’s for sure. If they fail, existence ceases.

If you love books like Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s American Gods or Good Omens, Joe Hill’s Nos4A2, or Stephen King’s (Richard Bachman) Blaze, then you’ll love Awakening!


Five random humans, brought together through catastrophe, find they are actually angels saddled with the assignment of saving this universe from total destruction. Each have a specific skill set necessary to thwart the demons from another realm and it’s up to them to save the human race.

Coming to terms and accepting they are not really human is harder for some than others but all of them must buy in or the earth is doomed. And they must buy in “within” a few days! Whew, hmmm, talk about waiting until the last minute for them to get the notice.

I have mixed feeling about this book. I loved the concept but not necessarily the delivery. I just didn’t care for the rush, rush of becoming “Awake” and remembering their “purpose”. It felt a little clunky in the telling and I craved a little more background. It felt like a novella or short story that was wrapping up something I needed to read prior to this book. As I see, after some research, it is the 3rd book in a series but I can’t really connect which books come when.

All that aside, the content was good but I felt like I was missing a piece of the puzzle, reading flowed easily and there was a “twist” at the end that I didn’t see coming.

I saw where so many gave 5 stars to this read so perhaps I should dig through and find the previous episodes but reading this just left me a little wanting. Kinda like this review..haha...a little disjointed and not really sure how I want to get my point across! Perhaps I should try another of Ms. Andrews’ books to give her a fair shot.

Getting a 3 “still asleep” sheeple from me






Jeanie G

About the Author:
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Carissa Andrews is a freelance writer, award-winning graphic designer, indie author coach, and internationally bestselling author from Crosslake Minnesota. She is the President of the Lakes Area Writers Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit for writers in central Minnesota, as well as the owner of Author Revolution, LLC – an organization geared toward helping new authors navigate the waters of indie publishing. For 2020, Carissa has her sights set on becoming a NYT or USA Today Bestselling Author with her upcoming series, The Windhaven Witches. You can learn more about Carissa, her services, and her upcoming novels by visiting her websites: www.carissaandrews.com, www.authorrevolution.org, or authorrevolution.teachable.com

Giveaway
Tour-wide giveaway (US only)
A signed paperback set for the 3 released 8th Dimension novels (The Final Five, Oracle, and Awakening)

Monday, November 11, 2019

WIP it Real Good: Fantasy Author Nikki Jefford + giveaway

Working on something new, dabbling on the side? Share a snippet (one line to paragraphs) and tell the readers a bit about it. Chance to tease readers for upcoming books.

Lately, I see authors teasing readers with “secret projects” they’re super excited about and can’t wait to share more of . . . at a later date. So, being a black sheep (ha, ha), I want to come out and share the new project I’m working on to kick-off 2020.

The Royal Conquest Saga was so much fun to write that I’ve segued into The Royal Conquest Heirs (second-generation characters). These are shorter, 40,000-word, novellas each complete on their own.

It will kick off with The Golden Prince. Lark Elmray is a halfling prince (half-elf, half-Fae). He’s one of those high energy, dive in headfirst, doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit” kind of characters. He’s also very protective of his family and proud to a fault. His family is unconventional and travels frequently between realms (Faerie, elven, and mortal). Because of this, he’s had to endure a lot of insults in Faerie. Worst of all, from the cultured Crispin Maglen, Earl of Ashcraw. Lark tried to befriend the young earl when they were boys only to be belittled and spurned – not something he has forgotten.

I love how vocal characters become, and I’ve learned to listen to what they want rather than force my plans on them. I’d tried matchmaking for Lark but he stubbornly refused the childhood elf friend I had in mind. Nope. He told me he’s gay. I was like, “What am I supposed to do with that? This is uncharted territory for me, dude!”

Luckily, Rainbow Rowell had just released Wayward Son in her wildly fun and sexy Simon Snow series. I listened to both books in the series in audio (narrated by Euan Morton, amazing)! Those books inspired and showed me the kind of relationship I wanted to develop between Lark and Crispin. You’ve got these two characters with chemistry they’re fighting to resist, humor, adventure, danger, and romance.

Working on The Golden Prince has consumed me in ways I never expected. I love this couple and their journey. I’ve always loved complicated relationships between different species and cultures. (I’ve been married to a Frenchman for going on 20 years.) It adds an extra dash of spice. I’m also a sucker for underdogs, enemies to lovers, second chances, and “the forbidden.” I’ve written secondary gay characters and couples in past novels. Featuring them as a main couple has been rewarding new territory. I hope readers love Lark and Crispin as much as I do. This couple completely stole my heart.

Below is a snippet taken from a scene at a masquerade ball. Crispin sees Lark being friendly to his sister and assumes the worst.

My sister and Lark. It was my worst nightmare.

Bits of smooth blue scarf and tweed bunched in my fists. He was at least an inch shorter than me, and even though I had him backed against the wall, I knew he could push me easily away.

“Stay away from my sister,” I snarled into Lark’s face.

He lifted his chin, running his eyes through his black mask up my face and scoffed. He probably took this as a challenge. I should have shut up about Kenzie. But I wanted him to keep away from her—her and every other female in the kingdom.

From this close, I could smell the intoxicating scent surrounding him. It was warm and spicy, woody and aromatic. Unable to help myself, I inhaled him like a spring bouquet after winter.

Lark’s nostrils flared.

“Maybe you’re the one I want.”


Stolen Princess (Royal Conquest Saga #1)
by Nikki Jefford

November 11th 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, New Adult, Retelling
She sacrificed herself to save her family from poverty…

The ball was only the beginning.

It wasn’t enough to kill my mate, heir to the throne. My obsessive Fae brother-in-law wants the crown. And he wants me ruling by his side.

I thought I was done with romance until a certain pompous elf reappeared in my life at the illustrious Monster Ball. A little teasing led to bruised lips and captured hearts. No one wants Jhaeros and me to be together, not even my favorite sister, Melarue. But she’s a teenager just coming into her elemental powers and discovering boys—the wrong kind—the type I want to shoot arrows through.

My royal in-laws are playing a treacherous game, and my brother-in-law is determined to get what he wants. But this elf princess no longer has a master. I don’t want a crown. I want freedom, family, and the love of a lifetime. But love might be the one thing that destroys us all.

**This book will now include the prequel novella Enemies and Lovers.


About the Author:
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Nikki Jefford is an award-winning, bestselling author of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and quirky combinations in-between.

She is a third-generation Alaskan now living in the Pacific Northwest with her Westie, Cosmo, and her French husband, who she wouldn’t trade in for anyone–not even Spike or Mr. Darcy!

When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking, or out riding her motorcycle, a Honda CB500F, (so long as it’s sunny and warm)!

To get in on the fun and adventure, visit Nikki at her website for release alerts, updates, exclusive giveaways, and a free story when you subscribe to her newsletter: http://nikkijefford.com/

Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway (US only)
Wire Elf Ears in Silver and Aqua Crystals