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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Book Review: Demon Divine (A Novel of the Demon Accords #14) by John Conroe

Demon Divine (A Novel of the Demon Accords #14)
by John Conroe
January 2, 2019
Pages: 303
Something unholy is hunting the streets of Burlington, Vermont, stalking the campus of the local university. Chris Gordon and his contingent of demon hunters is drawn to the northern Vermont city by a brutal murder of hellish proportions, ready to banish it from Earth.

But this Hellion is direct from the Abyss, incarnate and fully possessed of all the powers of high Hell royalty – female royalty at that. It’s been said that the female of the species is deadlier than the male, and this one might be the deadliest of all.

How do you flush out such dangerous prey without recreating the chaos that befell Washington such a short time ago? The answer: bait. The bait: Declan O’Carroll, witch prodigy with powers so sweet it’s like candy for the Devil’s own. Can Chris and company catch this monster before any harm comes to their friend and colleague? Or will Hell have its way? Can they see all the angles or does this Abyss bitch have the edge?


An incarnate demoness is hunting in Burlington, Vermont, and Chris and his team head to the Arcane School and the local university to find and destroy this creature from the Abyss. Female demon royalty is considered the most dangerous of demons and their powers of deception rival the males of the species.

It appears that this deadly demoness is hunting Declan for unknown reasons and the team decides the best way to draw her out is to use Declan as bait. Stacia and Omega, who are both overprotective of Declan are keen on the idea but know it is the right way to go. Meanwhile, Tanya, Galia, and Lydia are summoned to Europe to represent Senka, who is facing a threat from the Coven. It is hard to know which character in this series is the most important or even favorite when all are well developed and likable. Conroe has been able to continue this series magnificently by continuing to create new avenues for readers to discover and love.

Review: College Arcane (A Novel from the Demon Accords #8)
Review: God Hammer (A Novel from the Demon Accords - Book 9)
Review: Rogues (A Novel from the Demon Accords - Book 10)
Review: Snake Eyes (A Novel from the Demon Accords - Book 11)
Review: Winterfall (A Novel from the Demon Accords - Book 12)
Review: Summer Reign (A Novel from the Demon Accords #13) 
Getting 5 sheep





Denise B

About the Author:
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Conroe wrote his first readable novel, God Touched, right after finishing his daughter's copy of Twilight and muttering: "Vampires don't farging sparkle!"

With seven more books in the series and a stand alone novel (Black Frost), he doesn't seem to be slowing down. He cut his reading teeth on the likes of Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, JRR Tolkien, Robert Heinlein, Andre Norton, and H. Beam Piper.

Financial professional by day and author by night (actually by morning), he bangs out his stories with fingers that are usually sore from forge burns or getting beat up at the dojo.

Excerpt Spotlight: Dragon Claimed: A Dark Kings by Donna Grant

We are beyond excited to be celebrating the release of Donna Grant's DRAGON CLAIMED with you today! DRAGON CLAIMED is part of the Dark Kings series and 1001 Dark Nights. You can purchase your copy now and read an excerpt from the book below. 


by Donna Grant
January 15, 2019
175 pages
New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant brings you another sizzling Dark Kings novella.

Born to rule the skies as a Dragon King with power and magic, Cináed hides his true identity in the mountains of Scotland with the rest of his brethren. But there is no respite for them as they protect the planet and the human occupants from threats. However, a new, more dangerous enemy has targeted the Kings. One that will stop at nothing until dragons are gone forever. But Cináed discovers a woman from a powerful, ancient Druid bloodline who might have a connection to this new foe.

Solitude is sanctuary for Gemma. Her young life was upended one stormy night when her family disappears, leaving her utterly alone. She learned to depend solely on herself from then on. But no matter where she goes she feels…lost. As if she missed the path she was supposed to take. Everything changes when she backs into the most dangerously seductive man she’s ever laid eyes. Gemma surrenders to the all-consuming attraction and the wild, impossible love that could destroy them both – and finds her path amid magic and dragons.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**
Add DRAGON CLAIMED to your Goodreads TBR here!

Excerpt:
“Gemma!”

She glanced in the direction that her dog had run. She hated storms. Her parents and Kyle knew that. Why hadn’t they helped her? Anger seethed within her. They hadn’t helped because they wanted to leave Daisy behind.

Well, Daisy was hers, and if she had to leave her friends and her home, she wasn’t leaving her dog.

“Gemma!”

She ignored both her parents, who were now shouting her name as she raced after Daisy. If she had to carry the forty-pound dog to the boat, then that’s what she’d do. Just as soon as she found Daisy.

Another flash of lightning bathed the land in light, giving her just a glimpse of the dog as she headed toward the house. Gemma ran as fast as her seven-year-old legs would carry her. She reached the house and Daisy.

“Hey, girl,” she said to the terrified dog. “It’s going to be all right.”

It took her four tries before she was able to lift the dog. She shook badly, but at least she wasn’t trying to get free. Gemma knew her parents were going to be furious with her. She didn’t know why they were sneaking away in the middle of the night in a storm, but the fear in her father’s voice and her mother’s face let her know that the questions would have to wait.

In less than two hours, they had packed up all they could and put it on the boat her father owned. She’d asked where they were headed, but her parents hadn’t answered and her brother had shot her an irritated look.

Once she got on the boat with Daisy, she hoped someone would tell her something. She hated not knowing what was going on. Kyle didn’t care. He always said that their parents would tell them when they needed to know.

Gemma stumbled and fell to her knees. She pitched forward so that she had to release Daisy in order to catch herself, but she managed to keep a tight hold of the leash and pull the dog back to her. Daisy seemed to like being held, so she didn’t put up a fight.

“I’m coming!” Gemma shouted, hoping her family could hear her.

She couldn’t see the dock through the driving rain and dark. Which was odd. There was supposed to be a light on the dock. She knew the way to the water, so she hadn’t gone the wrong way. But...why wasn’t the light on?



About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her "totally addictive" and "unique and sensual" stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Cover Reveal: Touch of Smoke by Karissa Laurel

Touch of Smoke
by Karissa Laurel
February 12, 2019 (Pre-Orders available soon)
Genre: Paranormal romance
Three years ago, Rikki Albemarle watched her best friend die at the hands of a supernatural evil. Certain she was slated to be the next victim, Rikki fled her small Smoky Mountain hometown, vowing to never come back. Plagued by nightmares and knowing she's the only one who believes Mina's death was no accident, Rikki returns with hopes of finding answers and holding the killer accountable.

Rikki is convinced the key to unlocking the secret of Mina's death lies with Owen Amir, the alluring young army vet who once claimed her heart. But the deeper Rikki digs into Owen's past, the more she's torn between the urgings of her heart and her memories of him on the night Mina died.

After falling further into the rabbit hole, Rikki lands at the feet of an ancient and powerful evil determined to finish what it started years before. To survive, she'll have to make a decision: believe Owen is the monster she always feared he might be or trust him enough to stay and fight for a second chance at love.


About the Author:
Karissa Laurel is a science fiction and fantasy author living in central North Carolina with her son, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Her favorite things are coffee, super heroes, and Star Wars. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. Karissa's latest project is Touch of Smoke, a paranormal romance novel coming soon from Red Adept Publishing. She's also the author of The Norse Chronicles, an urban fantasy series, and The Stormbourne Chronicles, a young adult, epic steampunk fantasy series.

Sara E. Tall's Playlist for her YA fantasy Misfit’s Rise + giveaway

First off, I would like to thank I Smell Sheep for hosting me! After wading through several guest post options, I decided to share the top ten songs that inspired Alpha: Misfit’s Rise. I’m a music addict, so it’s partially just an excuse to listen to my favorite jams again. But I also know these songs will give you a taste for my story unlike any other. Anyway, enjoy!

Walking on Air by Kerli

This is Billie’s, my MC’s, theme song. Though the music video makes this song seem like it’s about mind control, the line “She will go and set the world on fire, no one ever thought she could do that,” is the line I built Billie around.

Memories by Panic! At the Disco
This song, while about a struggling young couple, reminds me of any struggling relationship that finds itself looking back on the good old days when things were less complicated. This a trap and Billie and her mother constantly find themselves falling into.

Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
Like many YA fantasy stories, Billie is literally breaking away from the world she knew to enter a magical one. And while this step is essential for her to become the mage she longs to be, forgetting where she came from would leave her more lost than before.

Unwritten by Natasha Bettingfield
This is another one of Billie’s theme songs, and I love writing to this song. The story of these characters in my head is literally unwritten. I love the possibility that entails. I mean sure, I have an idea of what I want them to do, but they often end up rebelling and writing their own story. They are very independent people.

Seven Devils by Florence at the Machine
This song has inspired Alpha on many different levels, but as I was writing a visual, choreographed version of the history of the Magi—this song was my inspiration. Often times we are our own worst enemy.

Riverside by Agnes Obel
This is the theme song for Lucian, Billie’s mentor. I struggled for a long-time to find the right song for him. This song captures the refinement and composure Lucian portrays, while also hinting at the deep and ravaging pain he experiences. Though Lucian is, at times, Billie’s only ally —she sometimes forgets how little she truly knows about him.

Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
I choreographed a lot of the magic fight scenes to this song. It captures the essence of Billie’s magic. It is often too explosive and unpredictable for even her to control. Her power will leave an impression of some form or another in the Realm. Of that, there is no doubt.

Mystic Flute by Crystal Skull Meditation
In case you didn’t guess by how many times I used the word choreograph, I love to dance. So much so that I made dance a part of Misfit’s Rise. One dance performance that Billie witnesses, called, “Dance of Shadows,” was choreographed to this song. It portrays the dramatic extinction of shapeshifters, a former Mage species.

Sail by Awolnation
I’ve always loved this song because I think it captures a lot of what Billie’s feeling. She’s struggling to fit into a world that has no place for her, and while a part of her is desperately trying to fit anyway, another part of her just wants to sail away.

Fire meets Fate by Ruelle
I’ve come to associate fire with Billie because of its dual nature. Fire is both powerful, and gentle. Life-giving and destructive, and it can switch from one to the other in a heartbeat. And as Billie’s fate is so tied to her equally unpredictable and potentially dangerous power, this song is the perfect note to end on.


And that concludes my list. I would love to hear what you all think of my song choices, and what these songs make you think about Misfit’s Rise. Look forward to hearing from you!

-Sara


Misfit’s Rise (Alpha Book 1)
by Sara E. Tall
November 29, 2018 
Genre: YA Fantasy
ISBN: 9780359258277
Number of pages: 268
Word Count: 82, 527
Cover Artist: Sara Eatough
A Half-Fae misfit returns to the Magical Realm of her birth to discover it’s far from the fairy tale she imagined.

A century after the Mages of Earth found sanctuary in an underground Realm, those whose magic is sub-par or whose half-breed heritage leaves them powerless and forced into exile back on Earth. They can’t have them tainting the magic of the others, after all.

As a Fae/Human hybrid, Billie should fit right in. Except, she’s anything but powerless, making her a misfit among misfits. When her powers nearly destroy a human home, she's given a chance to return. Returning to the Realm has always been Billie’s dream, but the Realm is anything but a fairy tale.

Despite its claims of acceptance and equality, ancient rivalries between the Realm’s magical species are threatening to rip it apart. Billie somehow manages to land herself in the middle, a dangerous place for an outcast to be. What’s more, the powerful magic that brought her there suddenly vanishes, leaving her vulnerable to the attacks of those who think a misfit doesn’t belong in the Realm.

Staying in the Realm is her only chance to live life as a true Mage, but it could cost her life.


Excerpt:
“There’s the little fire freak.” My eyes shot open. Standing before me was Tanya with her usual wannabes. She was dressed in her predictable mixture of bad-girl-meets-prep, wearing the pigtails only she could pull off as chic and not goody-two-shoes.

“What’s the matter? Nothing to say to me?” She stepped forward. “Not even an apology for blowing up my house?”

“Not really.” People always said if you didn’t let bullies get to you, they’d get bored and move on. It was time to put that to the test.

“When did you become an arsonist, anyway?” she took another step. “Was it to deal with your dad leaving you in that ghetto with all the other freaks?”

“My father didn’t leave,” I snapped before I could stop myself. “He’s dead.”

“Oh, I’m sure that’s what your mom told you.” She was right in front of my face now. “But we all know if your daddy was dead, you would have gotten a nice life insurance check and you wouldn’t be so dirt poor.”

At a different time I might have laughed at that. I guess it didn’t occur to Tanya not everyone could afford a life insurance policy.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said as I leapt off the bench and shoved my way past her.

“I’m trying to help you, Billie,” she said from behind me. “You and your friends. I know it can be hard coming from nothing.”

Even though I knew I should just keep walking, I whirled around. “You don’t know a thing about us.”

“You know what the number one profession is for girls from low-income neighborhoods?”

The people around us gasped, though the ones trying to look cool laughed. I was almost impressed with Tanya for being that subtle.

I glanced at her Prada bag, my hand twitching. It would be so easy to just rip that thing open. And it would be a lot better than she deserved. But the Officials had told me not to use magic, and I had a feeling my ability to follow their order would affect whether they sent me to the Academy, or to a containment facility.

Slowly, I turned around again. “I’m not listening to you.”

“You and tall-chick might be able to make it, but the chubby one? What guy would pay for a night with that?”

There was more laughter, but I barely heard it as I whirled around and screamed, “Shut up!”

Everything happened too fast. All I knew was that one moment I was glaring at Tanya, breathing hard while she folded her arms and smirked; and the next second the tall, marble centerpiece from the fountain was hurtling toward Tanya’s head.

She screamed and ducked, and the marble spiral crashed down just behind her shoulder. Even though it missed her, it still drenched her and her bag with a splash of murky, icy water.

For a second nobody moved, as everyone’s eyes moved from Tanya, to the wrecked fountain, to me.

About the Author:
Sara's enjoyed creating fantastic stories since she was old enough to hold a play sword, around the time she learned how to walk. Gradually she learned to direct her creative energy into writing, and it’s been a downward spiral ever since then. When she's not writing she’s probably either dancing or reading random Wikipedia pages. She also enjoys spending time in her part-time home away from home, Yellowstone National Park, which is the most fantastical land she's ever been too.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Book Review: Hell’s Highway (The Devil’s Daughter Book 3) by G.A. Chase

Hell’s Highway (The Devil’s Daughter Book 3)
by G.A. Chase
January 15, 2019
Having put down the latest batch of escaped doppelgangers, Sere Mal-Laurette felt she’d earned a little time off from demon hunting. She was wrong.

Her inattention has allowed a new batch of hellions to rise from the swamp and abduct Rampart Thibodaux. With the hot ex-Navy SEAL’s blood and soul infecting her, Sere has no choice but to jump back on her motorcycle to rescue him. Her quest will cost her dearly but also bring her closer to being human than she could have imagined.

Sere’s emotional roller-coaster ride of human experiences, however, is overshadowed by the rise of a new devil – one who isn’t satisfied with simply claiming hell as his only domain.


Sere had hoped for a break after sending the last group of doppelgangers back to hell but when Bart is kidnapped she has no option but to rescue him. What she finds on this mission are real emotions for Bart and she is unsure what to make of them. This mission could be the costliest of them all.

The sizzle heats up between Sere and Bart in a way that Sere had only imagined. When Bart infected her with his blood the connection became something that no one on the team expected. The characters in book 3 of the Devil’s Daughter series have developed and become something that you can relate to. Power is the ultimate want of evil and one of the most powerful and old families of New Orleans is no exception.


Getting 5 sheep





Denise B

About the Author:
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G.A. Chase's first official foray into writing was the science fiction series Technopia under the name Greg Chase.

But his passion for New Orleans pulled him from the stars back down to Earth. He fell in love with Big Easy the moment he ate his first dish of crawfish etouffee in a French Quarter restaurant. Gazing at the neighboring two-hundred-year-old structures, he announced to his wife, fellow writer Deanna Chase, that he could easily live in this city. Her look of shock indicated she thought he had been possessed by one of the city's demons.



That was in 2003 and that spirit still hasn't turned him loose. By writing stories inspired and based in New Orleans he hopes to placate his personal demons and angels.