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Monday, May 30, 2016

Cover Reveal: Dancing with Flames (Dragon’s Breath Series Book Two) by Susan Illene+ giveaway

Dancing with Flames (Dragon’s Breath Series Book Two)
by Susan Illene
Genre: Dark Fantasy/New Adult/
Post-apocalyptic
June 24th, 2016
Cover Artist: Jeff Brown and Claudia McKinney
Four months ago, fire breathing dragons invaded Earth from an alternate dimension, wreaking havoc on modern civilization. Bailey Monzac has been training to kill them ever since discovering she was impervious to their flames, but when some of the beasts begin targeting children, she can’t hold back any longer and must hunt them down.

Her ally, Aidan, would help, except the shape-shifter has his own troubles. His clan is battling for territory against the pure dragons and his father—their leader—is dying. As the shifters fight for the pendragon position, fierce rivalry takes over. Aidan’s own brothers aren’t above blackmail and murder if it will get them to the top. He must stay one step ahead if he is to survive and keep his clan safe from the pure dragons who threaten them all.

Bailey and Aidan may be natural-born enemies, but working together might be the only thing that saves them from the danger that lies ahead.


Book one


About the Author:
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Susan Illene served in the US Army for eleven years and worked as a human resources specialist and an Arabic linguist. She served two deployments to Iraq, and after leaving the army, she studied history at the University of Oklahoma. She and her husband currently live in Oklahoma with two high-maintenance cats doing their best to help her write her books.

Tour giveaway 
1 winner will get the following prize pack-
*Pewter figurine of a dragon reading a book
*1 signed copy of the first novel in the series, Stalked by Flames
*Coffee Mug
*Bookmarks
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jane Godman guest post: Fae princess travel tips when visiting the mortal world (Otherworld Renegade book tour) + giveaway

What would a Fae princess pack for a trip to the mortal world?

Hello, I’m Jane Godman, author of the Otherworld Series. Otherworld is a magical realm existing just beyond mortal sight. The Otherworld Series tells the stories of the compelling heroes who fight to protect this beautiful place from the battles threatening to tear it apart.

In my latest release, Otherworld Renegade, Tanzi, a Fae princess, is forced to flee her Otherworld home and travel to the mortal realm. In hindsight, there are a few things she could have done to prepare for the journey. This is her advice for all any other Fae princesses out there who might be planning a similar trip in the near future.

1. Take flat shoes. I didn’t, and it was the biggest mistake I could have made! I had to leave Otherworld in a desperate hurry, of course, which didn’t help. In fact, I was dressed for a state dinner with the heads of all the Otherworld dynasties. The designer heels I was wearing when I left the palace that had been my home for my entire life might have been pretty, but, believe me, they were not the sort of thing you want to wear when you are fleeing for your life. My advice? Comfortable flats or sneakers. The sort of thing you can run in.

2. Take your favorite products with you. Mortals know nothing about getting zombie entrails out of your hair. You’d think they’d never been in that situation. My hairdresser would die if he knew what I had to do. I ended up washing all the zombie gunk out in a lake! The situation did have its compensations. I had to ask Lorcan Malone for help and he is very easy on the eye.

3. Find out something about the geography of the mortal realm before you go. Who knew it was such a big place? I used the portal that took me direct to a city called Barcelona. I was looking for a man called Lorcan Malone because he said he’d help me if ever I needed him. When I started asking people if they knew him, they all looked at me as if I was mad. Turns out there are about one and a half million people living there! Plus any number of tourists. And I was looking for one man in that vast crowd. No wonder I struggled to find him.

4. Do your research into mortal etiquette. They have these things called “manners” and they really like them. They like waiting in lines. They call it a “queue” and they get really mad if you go in front of them. They start talking about “taking turns” and stuff like that.

5. Mortals don’t always mean what they say. Swing a cat? If they say that, take my advice and don’t do it. It doesn’t go down well. Turns out they’re actually quite fond of felines.

6. Mortal food is okay. But remember the fae rule… if you share food with a mortal, they belong to you. They have a lot of food that is designed for sharing. Pizza, fries, chips. You really don’t want to claim most of these people, so just be careful about the food sharing rule. It could land you in a lot of trouble! Of course, it can be useful as well. If you see someone you want, you can make them yours without them knowing! Proceed with caution, that’s my advice about all things mortal.


I hope that was a useful introduction to the mortal realm for anyone considering a visit. The key is to plan in advance and be prepared (unlike me!). Mortals are a strange lot, but a visit to their world can be rewarding. Have fun!

Otherworld Renegade (Otherworld Series Book Two) 
by Jane Godman
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne
May 1st 2016
ISBN: 9780373009695
ASIN: B015CJXYMO
Number of pages: 304
Word Count: 80 000
Cover Artist: Harlequin
Claiming her felt like his destiny…but could prove to be his ultimate undoing.

Desperate to flee a horrific arranged marriage, Princess Tanzi turned to the only man who could help. Lorcan Malone, infamous necromancer, had vowed to come to her aid whenever she needed him. And even as they traveled from the mortal world into the fantastical Otherworld, Tanzi knew her true need ran deeper than just a rescue.

She was his enemy's daughter. A renegade like Lorcan had no business craving a Fae princess, one intended for a greater calling. Yet he was powerless to resist the pull to do more than protect Tanzi…


Excerpt:

“Trust me, Tanzi. If you need me, I will know.”

Those words, spoken by Lorcan Malone in the heat of battle, must have been a bit of Irish blarney. He probably didn’t even remember who she was, let alone recall their strange encounter on that fateful day. So why, in this moment—when she was in more trouble than she could ever have imagined possible—was she suddenly experiencing a fierce longing for the bad-boy necromancer with the twinkling blue eyes?

It’s called clutching at straws, she told herself. It’s what you’re doing right now instead of facing reality and finding your own way out of this madness.

“What are you thinking, my daughter?” Moncoya, exiled King of the Faeries, watched her face.

“I’m thinking that defeat has unhinged you. That you have finally done what others have whispered of for years and taken leave of your senses.” Never before had Tanzi spoken so boldly to him. Defiance was the trait her twin sister, Vashti, proudly exhibited. Tanzi had always been the acquiescent one. Until now. There were some things she could not bow down and agree to. This was one of them.

Moncoya’s perfect features hardened with fury. His blue eyes, so like her own with their sidhe ring of fire encircling the iris, lit with a brighter inner blaze. His fingers tightened on the arm of his chair so that his knuckles gleamed white in stark contrast to the black polish that decorated his perfectly manicured nails. Tanzi braced herself. His retribution would be swift and merciless. She couldn’t hope to match him in strength, but she might be able to outrun him.

The outcome hung in the balance for seconds that stretched into minutes. Then Moncoya laughed. It was a brittle, mirthless sound that set Tanzi’s teeth buzzing. She knew that laugh well. It had never boded well in her childhood. She didn’t imagine things had changed. Unexpectedly, he relaxed back into his seat.

“My child, you are overwhelmed by the honor I have arranged for you. I should have foreseen this.” He rose, draping a deceptively casual arm about her shoulders. “Walk with me a while.”

They stepped through a set of double doors straight onto a sand-and-shingle beach. The entire island, known locally as the Silver Isle, seemed to be made up of sand. Even the ocher-hued cliffs looked ready to crumble into grit at the touch of a fingertip. Ferns, wild fennel and coarse bamboo grasses clung determinedly to soil that was a combination of granule and dust. Tanzi thought of her father’s palace, of the precisely laid-out gardens leading down to the elegant lake. She glanced back over her shoulder at the beachside villa they had just left. Sea breezes and salt water had taken their toll on its elegance so that it had a faded charm she doubted her father would acknowledge. In comparison with the soaring, white marble palace she had called “home” for all her life, it was a shack. Moncoya was as out of place here as a diamond in a dung heap.

“You made sure no one followed you?” Moncoya withdrew his arm from about her shoulders as they walked along the water’s edge. Secrecy surrounded this hiding place. If he was discovered, he faced trial and inevitable execution.

“Of course.” Tanzi was offended at the question. Would he have asked Vashti the same thing? She doubted it. Yet we both trained with the Valkyrie. We are equally astute when it comes to warfare and subterfuge. It came back to the same weary argument. The same reason Tanzi had been summoned to be the recipient of his latest piece of “good news” instead of her twin. Moncoya viewed Vashti as the son he had never had. Tanzi’s only value to her father was as a pawn in the marriage stakes. Not this marriage, father. The sacrifice you are asking of me is too great.

“Tell me what has been happening at the palace in my absence.” Three months had passed since the cataclysmic battle that had forced Moncoya into hiding. It felt like three years.

“There is a peacekeeping council known as the Alliance in place. Each of the Otherworld dynasties has representation on it. The Alliance itself is led by Merlin Caledonius.”

Moncoya’s expression hardened further at the name. “That half-blood cur will pay dearly for his part in this.”

Merlin, the greatest sorcerer the world had ever known, was Moncoya’s half brother and the man who had brought about his exile. Cal, as he preferred to be called these days, had widened the existing gulf of hatred between the two men further by falling in love with and marrying the woman Moncoya had hoped to make his queen.

Tanzi paused, looking out across the turquoise waters toward the horizon. She drew a deep breath. “My father, you wrong him. He is man of conscience who is doing a fine job of uniting the dynasties…” Moncoya’s growl of rage told her she had gone too far.

“Am I, the greatest leader Otherworld has ever known, to be forced into hiding while he lives in luxury in my royal palace? Am I to endure the knowledge that he has stolen the necromancer star, the woman I chose as my own, from under my nose? Must I kick my heels in this backwater while you, my own daughter, take the seat that should be mine at this pathetic council table—” He broke off, his voice ragged. When he spoke again, his tone was softer, the words a caress. “But you know nothing of these things, my child. It is wrong of these men to ask you to involve yourself in their political machinations. They seek to trick you.”

Tanzi bit her lip. How could she explain it to him when he insisted on viewing her as a helpless dupe? Being part of the Alliance had brought her new life. Oh, she had been regarded with suspicion initially by many of the council members. She was Moncoya’s daughter, after all. They saw her as the spoiled brat sidhe princess who had been his consort—his puppet—in the past. Together with Vashti, she had blindly carried out his wishes. But things had changed three months ago on that battlefield. She had changed.

A pair of laughing Irish eyes came into her mind once more and she determinedly dismissed them. Cal and his wife, Stella, treated her as their equal, and with their help she was learning how to be the voice and conscience of her people. She was developing an understanding of compassion and democracy. Tanzi cast a sidelong glance at her father. She was learning that there was a way to rule other than Moncoya’s iron-fisted style.

“Let us leave this talk of the mongrel sorcerer for another day. I look forward to dealing with him when the time comes. This marriage I have arranged for you is the highest distinction ever to be bestowed upon a woman. Through this union, I will not only be able to come out of this undignified hiding and return to my palace, I will be the undisputed ruler of all Otherworld.” Moncoya’s lips thinned into a smile. “There will be no need for their puny Alliance when that day dawns.”

“And what of me, Father? While you become all powerful, what will I become?”

He paused then, perhaps considering for the first time the true implications of what he was asking of her. Such was his arrogance, she might have known he would not allow her feelings to influence him for long. “You will be revered above all others.”

She shook her head. “I will not do it.”

His face was set. The silken note in his voice made the threat even more menacing. “You have no choice.”

“By all the angels, Father, you cannot intend to force me into this!”

Moncoya’s lips smiled but Tanzi’s heart quailed at the look in his eyes. “Given the bridegroom I have chosen for you, might I suggest you refrain from speaking of angels in the future?”

About the Author:
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Jane Godman writes in a variety of romance genres including paranormal, gothic and romantic suspense. Her Otherworld series is published by Harlequin Nocturne and she has a new series coming out soon with Harlequin Romantic Suspense. 2017 will see the publication of a new paranormal series for SMP Swerve.

Jane lives in England and loves to travel to European cities, which are steeped in history and romance—Venice, Dubrovnik and Vienna are among her favorites. Jane is married to a lovely man and is mom to two grown-up children.

Tour giveaway 
10 signed print copies


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Movie Review: Gods of Egypt (2016)

Gods of Egypt (2016)
Directed By: Alex Proyas
Written By: Burk SharplessMatt Sazama

Cast: Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Walda, Brenton Thwaites, Geoffrey Rush, Chadwick Boseman, Elodie Yung 
In Theaters: Feb 26, 2016
On DVD: May 31, 2016
Rating: PG-13 (for fantasy violence and action, and some sexuality)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Runtime: 2 hr. 7 min.
Lionsgate - Official Site
In this spectacular action-adventure inspired by the classic mythology of Egypt, the survival of mankind hangs in the balance as an unexpected mortal hero Bek [Brenton Thwaites] undertakes a thrilling journey to save the world and rescue his true love. In order to succeed, he must enlist the help of the powerful god Horus [Nikolaj Coster-Waldau] in an unlikely alliance against Set [Gerard Butler], the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt's throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. As their breathtaking battle against Set and his henchmen takes them into the afterlife and across the heavens, both god and mortal must pass tests of courage and sacrifice if they hope to prevail in the epic final confrontation.

We missed this when it came out in the theaters, but it go panned pretty bad. My husband, 15 year old daughter and I watched it On Demand. While I'm glad we didn't pay movie ticket prices, it wasn't that bad—as in so bad it was good. It was campy and reminded me of the original Clash of the Titans movie. It was a CGI mess, but entertaining as a whole. You pretty much get what you see in the trailer, but with cheesy dialogue.

All three of us enjoyed it. Worth watching with a bunch of friends/family you can laugh with.

3.5 "becoming unacceptable" sheep




SharonS

Book Review: Welcome to Sortilege Falls by Libby Heily


Welcome To Sortilege Falls
by Libby Heily
May 31st 2016
by Fire & Ice Young Adult Books
Paperback, 250 pages
Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn't right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape's life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape's life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy's friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models' parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.

The author's statement at the beginning of the book about being written "For all those who have ever been made to feel less than" gives you the flavor of this read. A "normal" in this case is someone who is NOT "georgeous, magnetic and rich". I assume the lesson in this book is to show that everyone has problems. That the grass is not always greener for those who seem to have it all. That definitely seems to be the case in the town of Sortilege falls.

The first few chapters had me looking forward to the play out in the life of Grape Merriweather (cool name but it sounded familiar to me?). Her mother, brother and she moved to Sortilege Falls after the death of her father. Hoping to fit in with other teens she finds making friends and being noticed is a lot harder than she thought it would be. And when she does make a friend she finds herself trying to solve the problem of a mysterious health issue that is claiming the lives of other teens in the community.

After the initial interest I thought there was a whole lot of time spent on the "beautiful" students and little time spent on getting to a recognizable point of the story. The last few chapters brought a little more clarity but for me it was too little too late. Trying to give no spoilers, I was a little depressed with the ending and thought the twist came out of left field.

This story didn't really need any magical theme to get the point across and in fact the "magical" parts seemed to muddy the waters. I was left with many questions such as: "What was with constant twisting of her ring?", "How did her brother obtain his ability to enter the 'tree'?", "What was the background and involvement with the "magic" of the parents of the 'models'"? The ending left me thinking this may become a series and perhaps some of the introductory background will be covered there.

This may be the author's first journey into the world of YA and urban fantasy so I will give her a little leeway because I thought her writing was well done. I just felt the story needed a little more development and redistribution of character emphasis.

Giving this 2 3/4 "reeling" sheep.


Jeanie G

About the Author:
I was born during a blizzard. I’m told it was pretty cool but I have no memory of that time. I grew up in two tiny towns in Virginia and spent most of my twenties moving around the US. I’ve lived in Virginia, Florida, Missouri, and Washington. I’ve settled down, for now, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I’m a writer and improviser. I studied acting in college but spent more time rewriting lines than memorizing them. My first play, Fourth Wall, was produced my junior year. Since then, I’ve written several full length plays, one acts, and screenplays. I started writing fiction in my late twenties. Now, I focus mainly on novels but still dabble in theater.

Fun facts about me: There are none. I’m sorry to disappoint you so soon. But, I do love to read, write, and run. My hubby is my favorite person on earth. Dogs are my second favorite. All dogs. Know that. I love orange juice, especially when it’s mixed with club soda. Carbonation is better than alcohol. Jaws is my favorite movie. Everything I’ve said so far is true.

Winning the Internet this week...vacation pictures and dog lips

This couple is winning at life!

http://toughtink.tumblr.com/post/144785031598/demho3zhatinq-boredpanda-taiwanese-couple


cause...dog lips

http://ismellsheep.tumblr.com/post/144969824667/georgetakei-dont-give-me-any-lip-source