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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Book Review: Keeper of Crows (The Keeper of Crows Duology Book 1) by Casey L. Bond

Keeper of Crows (The Keeper of Crows Duology Book 1)
by Casey L. Bond
293 pages
March 19, 2017
Carmen Kennedy is a spoiled brat from Beverly Hills with a chip on her shoulder and a cocaine addiction to match. Using drugs to suppress reality, her life is more than she can stomach most days. All she wants is to disappear, and on one fateful night, her wish is granted.

There is a world that exists just beyond the fabric of our own. When Carmen is dragged there against her will, her hopelessness seems to disappear, replaced by a determination to survive. The Keeper of Crows is charged with guarding Carmen, but is safety a possibility in a world so desolate? Can love blossom when danger lies in wait? Together, they fight like hell, seeming to lose more ground than they gain with each battle against the dark enemy threatening to tear them apart. Can love keep her safe? Can it give her the strength she needs?

When the lines between life and death, reality and dream become blurred, who will save the souls trapped in the spaces between Heaven and Hell? Who will save Carmen's only love, The Keeper of Crows?

Keeper of Crows is a new paranormal romance duology from the author of The Frenzy Series. The book does contain adult material such as profanity, illicit drug use and sexual situations.

Carmen Kennedy is a sour, vacuous young woman flirting with death and danger. The daughter of a successful businessman turned politician, Carmen is a typical ‘sad little rich girl.’ She feels unwanted and unloved and, as such, becomes most unlovable. When Carmen’s reckless behaviour lands her in intensive care, she is sucked into purgatory and forced to fight for her very tenuous existence in the ‘real’ world and beyond. At her side is the dark and powerful Keeper of Crows, a majestic and terrifying warrior placed in purgatory to maintain order.

Bond’s fantastic purgatory is wildly imaginative. Her creativity is seemingly boundless and her imagery highly evocative. I loved the image this passage conjured: “The demon gave a slight bow to Keeper and slowly sank into the earth, inch by inch, until he was gone and all that remained was a pile of bubbling tar on the ground.”

At its heart, Keeper of Crows is a transformation story. Initially Carmen is insufferable, almost comically so: “I hated dogs. And kids. And old people. And men.” I found the start of this book a little difficult to read because Carmen, as a walking stereotype, has few redeeming qualities. But once she fully realizes her capacity for love and strength, she becomes a truly fearsome force. While a transformation story isn’t at all unique, Bond does an excellent job leading to the formidable crescendo of Carmen’s becoming.

I was also taken with Bond’s not so subtle political leanings peppered throughout the narrative. Carmen’s nefarious father is characterized by “his fake smile, caked-on orange make-up, and his jubilant face as it waved to hungry crowds, starving for his lies.” Sound like anyone you know?

The conclusion of this book, however, is less than satisfactory. It takes on the qualities of a confused psychological thriller with a few inconsistencies. I expected something more from an author with such imagination. Without revealing too much, the archetype Bond uses to wrap up the narrative is rather unsatisfying. I look forward to book two in this duology, nonetheless. Perhaps what I’m interpreting as inconsistencies and confusion will be clarified when the story continues.

Bond initially caught my attention as an attending author for this year’s Once Upon a Book convention being held in Frankenmuth Michigan. As an attending blogger, I plan to check out several authors prior to the August 2017 event. Keeper of Crows stood out for its stellar cover design. I like pretty things and the artwork for this book definitely sets in apart. And for the most part, this book is as cool inside as it is on the outside.

Four Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the Author:
Award-winning author Casey Bond resides in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. Casey loves to read almost as much as she enjoys writing romance.

Her young adult books include: the Amazon best selling Frenzy series (Frenzy, Frantic, Frequency, Friction, Fraud and novella Forever Frenzy), the award-winning Harvest Saga (Reap/ Best World Building award in 2014 from IABB, Best Dystopian Series from 2015 Pour Over Parchment awards), Resist & Reclaim, Catalyst, Prisoner of Prophecy (CHBB Publishing), Liquid and Winter Shadows. 

Her new adult books include: Insta-Hate, Mayday, The Sin Series, winner of the 2015 Utopia Award for Best Serial Series, The Temptation Serial Series, Devil Creek, Shady Bay, Crazy Love and co-author of Dark Bishop. 

Anthology works include: Seven, Fractured Glass (YA Sci-Fi), Prep For Doom, and Light in the Darkness. 

Children's book: Chasing Wishes (Juliet and Casey Bond)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Excerpt Spotlight:Saving His Wolf (Mated Anthology) by Kerry Adrienne

Saving His Wolf (Mated Anthology)
by Kerry Adrienne
May 22, 2017
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: Shifter Wars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 30,000
Format: Digital
ISBN: 9781488024399
Olivia, born blind and without the ability to shift, yearns to seek her own fate away from her watchful and devoted wolf pack. Vulnerable and stuck in human form, she's alone and at risk in the forest's brutal winter when she's rescued by a park ranger and taken to his cabin in Deep Creek. By the warmth of a crackling fire, she's comforted by his presence. But it's his rugged scent that stirs something in her she's never felt before.

Bear shifter Powell sensed the instant he held her that Olivia was his mate. He also knew she had the untapped powers to discover her true shifting nature—if only he could convince her to trust in him, and to believe in herself. Now the one thing that stands to threaten their healing mating hunger is Olivia's distrusting and vigilant pack. A pack prepared to do anything to get her back.

But there is no danger as strong, no desire so liberating as what Powell is bringing out in her—because Olivia can finally see where her destiny lies.

Carina Press-Amazon-Google Play-Kobo-iTunes-B&N

Read an excerpt from SAVING HIS WOLF:
The snow had picked up, and it bit into her face as it fell faster and the wind whipped it against her. She imagined the flakes as little spears swirling in puffs of air then attacking her bare skin. She had to move before she froze. Willing her legs to move, she lifted them one by one, her injured ankle sending aftershocks of pain up her leg to her thigh.

She sat up, feeling the ground around her body with her hands. Her wet gloves stuck to her palms, and she mashed her fingertips against the ground, trying to figure out where the ground ended and a cliff began.

One wrong move and she could fall to her death. She pulled her hood around her face, the faux fur trim tickling her cheek. The flush of adrenaline was wearing off and the shakes set in.

Do or die moment.

She slid to the right, dragging her bum ankle, which had numbed to a hard block of flesh. Feeling the solid ground again, she inched a bit more. A few more times, and sweat had formed on her back, though she still shook from the chill of wet clothes and falling snow. She tugged her scarf tighter, trying to keep her neck protected from the elements.

Hope I’m going in the right direction. If she could get to the embankment she had tumbled down, she could figure out how to climb it. Moving incrementally, she continued to slide toward what she hoped was the hill. The wind whistled as it swept around the cliffs and through the trees.

The wolves had gone silent.

Her wet pants, soaked through from sitting in the snow, began to stiffen. Warmth filled her legs and she closed her eyes.

The darkness was blacker than usual. She yawned.

She breathed deeply, scenting the pine amongst the snow. Always a peaceful scent, and one that reminded her of her mother. If she were alive, she’d never have allowed Alfred to lay claim on Olivia. She’d have fought him herself if she had to.

So tired.

The shivers and shakes were continuous but she ignored them. The embankment had to be close.


She touched the incline. Steep at the bottom, it would take a lot of energy to haul herself up. And she was exhausted.

It’s not so cold any more.

Was that a wolf howl? Or a bird call? She leaned against the bank and listened to the muted sounds in the snowy forest. The air had warmed. When had it gotten so warm? She could take a little nap before trying to climb the embankment.

Yes, a short nap. A few minutes.

The crunch of heavy footsteps sounded, and Olivia struggled to stay awake, her heart picking up speed at the thought of Alfred.

“You there. What are you doing out here in this blizzard? And all alone at that?”

The voice, a man’s, was commanding and firm.

And not Alfred’s.

“My ankle,” she whispered.

“What?” More footsteps. “You’re injured.”

His voice melted over her like warm honey, and she waited to hear him speak again. She could listen to him forever…she took a long deep breath and the world silenced.

“Oh no you don’t.”

The voice jerked her back into wakefulness. No longer cold, she couldn’t remember why she’d even worried.

“I need to rest for a few minutes.” She curled on her side. “I’m so sleepy.”

Other Books in the Shifter Wars By Kerry Adrienne:

Waking the Bear (Shifter Wars)
August 1, 2016
212 pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Sexy shifter passion is awakened when two unlikely lovers are challenged by secrets, danger and an unstoppable need to claim one's mate…

For human Amy Francis, the secluded cabin in Deep Creek is the haven she needs to map out a fresh new start. She never expected her heart to be reawakened by a distraction like Griff Martin, commanding yet gentle, too ferociously sensual to ignore. It's clear that patrolling the forest is more than a job to Griff—it's a means of survival. But what Amy doesn't realize is she's reawakened the beast within him.

Griff's dormant hunger is stirred by this intoxicating woman…and threatened by the secret she must never learn. Duty-bound to defend his bear clan against an avenging pride of lion shifters, Griff's entire world is upended when he meets Amy. His animal need to claim his mate has taken hold, but that very desire could seal her fate as an unwitting pawn in battle.

Now, as a shifter war looms, Griff must decide between letting Amy go or following his most carnal instincts. To have her would change his life…but risk everything he knows and was born to protect.

Pursuing the Bear (Shifter Wars)
November 1, 2016
336 pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Bear shifters exist.

Professor Bria Lane has known this since she was a child. Now she’s returned to he forests of Deep Creek to prove it to the worlds. She has no idea how close she is to that proof in ruggedly sexy park ranger Derek Poole. Intimately close. But uncovering Derek’s wild side comes with a shattering price.

Like a magnet meeting metal, Derek is drawn to Bria. His destiny. His mate. So beautiful and so vulnerable. So dangerous, too: an encroachment of lions, vengeful and vicious, is closing in and they’re ready for war. Now is not the time to be distracted like a lovesick cub.

If Bria reveals the truth of the Deep Creek shifters to the world, she’ll bring out the worst of both sides. But Derek can’t hide his secrets from the love of his life forever. He knows they’re playing with fire – and that when passion runs this hot, this reckless, someone’s bound to get burned.

*Previously published, newly revised and expanded by author

Check out the Mated Anthology!
Authors: Kerry Adrienne, Sionna Fox & Shari Mikels
May 22, 2017

Publisher: Carina Press
ISBN: 9781488078552

One anthology. Three wolf shifter romances. Don't miss this collection of stories from USA TODAY bestselling author Kerry Adrienne, Sionna Fox and Shari Mikels  

A woman born blind and without the ability to shift yearns to seek her own fate away from her watchful, devoted wolf pack. Vulnerable and stuck in human form, she's alone and at risk when she's rescued by the bear shifter who is her destiny. 

An accident forces a man to change the best friend he's loved for years…or leave her for dead. There's no reason to hide his true self anymore—but can she ever forgive him? 

And a pack alpha finds that rescuing his fated mate from a violent confrontation with two wolf shifters is easy. Helping her move from fear to acceptance of the animals—and him—is a challenge. 

This anthology includes: 
Saving His Wolf by Kerry Adrienne 
Wolf Summer by Sionna Fox 
Drawn to the Wolves by Shari Mikels 

Stories also available for purchase separately.  

This book is approximately 86,000 words

About the Author:
Blog -Amazon
USA Today bestselling author Kerry Adrienne is repped by Marisa Corvisiero at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Kerry writes in many sub-genres of romance including paranormal, science fiction, erotic, m/m, time travel, and many more. She loves history, science, music, and art and is the mom to three daughters, many cats, and various other small animals. She loves live music and traveling most anywhere.

In addition to being an author, she’s a college instructor, artist, costumer, editor, and bad guitar player.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sheep Movie Review: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
May 12, 2017
Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of violence and action, some suggestive content and brief strong language)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Drama
Directed By: Guy Ritchie
Written By: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Berg├Ęs-Frisbey, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana
Acclaimed filmmaker Guy Ritchie brings his dynamic style to the epic fantasy action adventure "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword." Starring Charlie Hunnam in the title role, the film is an iconoclastic take on the classic Excalibur myth, tracing Arthur's journey from the streets to the throne. When the child Arthur's father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur's uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy...whether he likes it or not.

Went to see King Arthur: Legend of the Sword with my husband and 16-year-old daughter. We all enjoyed it. They put a new spin on the King Arthur legend. So you had swords, magic, Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law...kind of hard to go wrong.

It would be easy to pick it a part, like the "critics" must have, but it was an entertaining action movie. I liked the way they used quick flashbacks to add humor. The magic special effects were top quality and there was a lot of fighting action. I was a little confused by the directors choice to put a Camera Go Pro pointed at a bunch of the actors during a chase scene...

Holly felt the story-telling was a little confusing, but still enjoyed it. I thought it was longer than it needed to be. If you love fantasy movies and a shirtless Charlie Hunnam breathing loudly, this is worth a matinee price. 

Don 4 sheep
Holly 3 1/2 sheep

SharonS 3 1/2"heavy breathing" Sheep

Special Pre-order Deal: Five Horror Anthologies from Crystal Lake Publishing for $11

You can now pre-order all five upcoming Crystal Lake anthologies (eBook format) for only $11 (including Twice Upon an Apocalypse). Check out our new Special Offers page for more info and a link.

Save at least $10 by ordering all of these great anthologies together:

Twice Upon An Apocalypse: Lovecraftian Fairy Tales (more details on this below)
Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders
Where Nightmares Come From
Covers coming for:
Tales from the Lake Vol. 4
C.H.U.D. Lives! tribute anthology

These anthologies include the best of the best,
from Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Maberry, and Joe R. Lansdale, to Ramsey Campbell, Kristi DeMeester, Damien Angelica Walters, Maria Alexander, Gene O’Neill, Kealan Patrick Burke, JG Faherty, Mort Castle, Tim Waggoner, Lisa Morton, and dozens more.

*And, if you order before the end of this June, you’ll be entered into an exclusive draw to win a signed (by the editor) paperback copy of BEHOLD. So order now!

So what will you get for your $11 contribution?
-Five Crystal Lake anthologies
-The opportunity to read these books a week or two before everyone else
-Hours of entertainment
-A chance to win a paperback copy of BEHOLD signed by editor Doug Murano

Twice Upon an Apocalypse, edited by Rachel Kenley and Scott T. Goudsward
Out May 30th, 2017
These aren't your mother's fairy tales.

“You’ll find re-imaginings of “The Snow Queen,” “Jack the Giant Slayer,” “The Little Mermaid,” and several other well-known tales herein, all of them dropped without warning or apology into Lovecraft’s cold and merciless universe.” – Gary A. Braunbeck

Throughout history parents have told their children stories to help them sleep, to keep them entertained. But we're pretty sure none of those parents had this in mind. These are the fairy tales that will give you and your children nightmares. From the darkest depths of Grimm and Anderson come the immortal mash-ups with the creations of HP Lovecraft.

The stories in Twice Upon an Apocalypse will scare and delight “Children” of all ages!

Introduction by Gary A. Braunbeck
“The Pied Piper of Providence” by William Meikle
“The Three Billy Goats Sothoth” by Peter N. Dudar
“Little Maiden of the Sea” by David Bernard
“The Great Old One and the Beanstalk” by Armand Rosamilia
“In the Shade of the Juniper Tree” by J .P. Hutsell
“The Horror at Hatchet Point” by Zach Shephard
“The Most Incredible Thing” by Bracken MacLeod
“Let Me Come In!” by Simon Yee
“The Fishman and His Wife” by Inanna Arthen
“Little Match Mi-Go” by Michael Kamp
“Follow the Yellow Glyph Road” by Scott T. Goudsward
“Gumdrop Apocalypse” by Pete Rawlik
“Curiosity” by Winifred Burniston
“The Ice Queen” by Mae Empson
“Once Upon a Dream” by Matthew Baugh
“Cinderella and Her Outer Godfather” by C.T. Phipps
“Donkeyskin” by KH Vaughan
“Sweet Dreams in the Witch-House” by Sean Logan
“Fee Fi Old One” by Thom Brannan
“The King on the Golden Mountain” by Morgan Sylvia
“The Legend of Creepy Hollow” by Don D’Ammassa

Check out the dedicated webpage to download a sample.

Winning the Internet this Week...Ruh-roh, Sam and Dean Winchester! Best Face Swap EVER!

Supernatural season 13 to feature animated Scooby-Doo crossover episode

Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki took the stage at The CW’s 2017 Upfronts Presentation on Thursday (5/18/2017) and announced Supernatural will do an animated crossover episode next season! No other information was released excerpt the image above.

You probably heard me "squee" across the internet. I adore the creators/writers of Supernatural. They have a great sense of humor.

So much fun!