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Friday, February 28, 2014

Book Review: The Witch Who Cried (Wolf Cry Wolf, #1) by Sarah Mäkelä' Cold Moon Rising Tour + Giveaway

The Witch Who Cried Wolf
Cry Wolf, #1

By: Sarah Mäkelä
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Kissa Press LLC
Date of Publication: December 2, 2013

Be careful what you wish for…
A potion gone wrong: Mia Brooks is a reluctant witch, with powers that she tries to hold in check. But when her magic gets mixed up, supernatural forces are unleashed and suddenly she’s being pursued by werewolves—that she didn’t even realize existed…

Hidden emotions: Ethan Parker, Mia’s brother’s best friend, is home from deployment for the holidays. Mia’s not only hiding from werewolves, she’s trying to keep her feelings for Ethan secret; it would be a disaster if he knew she’s been nursing a long-time crush…

The power of love: Things take a terrifying turn when Mia and Ethan are attacked by a werewolf. Ethan is amazed when Mia reveals her paranormal prowess as she tries to shield them from danger. But can she really protect them from the darkness that lurks? And how can he tell her that, for ages, he’s been denying what he really wants? Mia...

Buy for $.99

Mia Brooks is hired to make a healing salve but something goes wrong because she decided to make a love potion at the same time and things got mixed up. She doesn't use her magic often so things easily go wrong.

Ethan Parker is home for the holidays from the Army when he runs into Mia. He's had a thing for her for a long time and didn't know she had a long time crush on him, but before they can explore this romantic spark they find themselves running from werewolves.

Had Mia been told that the salve she was working on was for a werewolf, she probably wouldn't have used wolf's bane in it. But she did and now the werewolves are after her and Ethan gets caught in the middle. 

After getting attacked by a werewolf and watching Mia fight it off with supernatural powers, Ethan undoubtedly has some questions. The sweet girl he's known all his life has a whole side to her that he knows nothing about.

Changes happen fast in this story, the action doesn't stop which kept me engaged and ready to see what else would happen. I really liked the twists and turns and unexpected surprises.

For such a quick read this novella has a lot of story with characters we really get to know and care about. The author's writing style flows easily and the storyline is going to reel in anyone who loves books about shifters, werewolves or witches.

I give this book 4 sheep.

Mary Kirkland
My Published Articles
Dark Thoughts Blog

With Jacob this close, it took every ounce of focus to keep my thoughts on the impending exam. More than once, I caught myself staring at his lips wondering how soft they’d be as they kissed my skin. I only hoped he didn’t notice my glances that might make things highly embarrassing.

The fresh scent of my clean sheets ever so slightly mixed with his musky, warm aroma that fascinated me to no end. The way his hair moved when he turned his head in my direction caught my attention. His presence in the apartment made life seem more bearable, from the studying to the incredibly noisy neighbor who thought everyone wanted to hear his heavy metal albums all throughout the night.

“Think you’re up for a break, Kelly?” He shut his textbook with a loud clap and quirked his lips to one side. “We’ve been going at it for a while now.”

My notecards toppled from my hands, and I jerked back, caught off-guard by his words. “Uh, yeah...” If we’d really been ‘going at it,’ I would’ve refused to take a break. Stop thinking about him like that. “Yes, that sounds good. Want something else to drink? Maybe a coffee or Coke?”

The amused twinkle in his emerald green eyes melted my insides. Maybe studying on my bed hadn’t been the best idea. However, the dinette set would barely be enough room for one of our textbooks, let alone...

“Water.” Jacob leaned over me, brushing his palm over my exposed knee as he reached for the fallen study cards. “It’s kind of hot in here, isn’t it?”

He had to be kidding me. With him this close, it was like a sauna in here. I wanted to touch him, show him that all of this flirting was more than I could handle. My heart pounded in my ears. If I didn’t do something to him soon, I might explode.

As if on cue, he turned to face me. Our lips were barely inches apart, and I saw flecks of gold in his green eyes. Seconds ticked by. Was he going to make a move? I didn’t have the strength to sit by and not take this chance. Not if it meant this brief encounter would pass by forgotten.

I leaned into him. The moment our lips touched, a spark of lust... desire... chemistry burned its way inside me. One brush of lips wasn’t nearly enough. My body thirsted for more kisses.

Jacob froze in place, and I wondered for a split second if what I felt was only me. Maybe the flirting had been meaningless to him. He pulled me up so we stood beside my bed. His messy blond hair brushed across his forehead, and I ran my hand through his hair, savoring the softness.

He held me ever closer, his lips caressing mine. The kiss was gentle, careful as if afraid to take things too fast. This moment was heaven.

My arms circled his neck of their own volition, and I trailed my hands down Jacob’s back. The hard muscles flexing beneath my fingertips sent heat coursing through me. This so wasn’t a good use of our study time, especially now that final exams were on top of us, but I really didn’t care.

He’d been the only stable thing in my life since I’d come to college last September. We had three classes together that first semester, which was kind of crazy, but I didn’t mind. Ever since, we planned our courses together, as much as we could, at least.

Two of the three classes we had this semester were science and math, so I didn’t hesitate to take him up on study sessions. Fortunately, the last was English, my forte.

Jacob nibbled on my ear lobe, and tingles of pleasure blanketed my body. “Your skin is so soft, Kelly.” He slid his hands along the hem of my skirt stroking the backs of my thighs, the intensity of his touch growing less controlled by the second. His palm brushed against my backside.

If this kept up, we’d hit the point of no return. The simple kiss had gone far beyond what I’d anticipated. While I really enjoyed making out with Jacob, I wasn’t ready for sex with him. Intimacy shouldn’t be rushed. I wanted to wait for the right one, for a committed relationship. One-night stands weren’t in my vocabulary.

Besides, why give something away too fast? Most guys moved on after sex, right? Not that I suspected Jacob was that way. Besides, I counted on him studying with me. Without his help, my chances of doing well on finals for College Algebra and Physics were slim to none.

He slid his hands higher as his tongue slipped down the length of my neck, making my insides weak along with my self-restraint. A moan rasped from my throat, and for a moment, I wasn’t sure that had been my voice.

Could going to bed with him be that bad?

About the Author:
Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy...even a sweet contemporary romance!

A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night-light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies (and Ghost Adventures), and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book Review: Spirited (Tidewater #1) by Mary Behre

Spirited (Tidewater #1)
by Mary Behre

Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (March 4, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425268616

All Jules Scott wants is to live a normal, quiet life—preferably one that doesn’t include ghosts. Jules’s talent for communicating with the dead has brought her nothing but trouble. Despite her best efforts, needy spirits always find her and draw her into their otherworldly drama. When one implicates her in a series of deadly crimes, she may need to entrust her secrets to the person least likely to believe her 
He’ll do whatever it takes to catch her.

Detective Seth English can’t get distracted from the big case he’s working on, not even by his alluring new neighbor. He doesn’t believe that Jules had anything to do with the string of robberies-turned-murders that he’s investigating, but when she keeps showing up in all the wrong places, his gut tells him she knows more than she’s letting on. To solve his case, he’ll need to expose what the sexy redhead is hiding—no matter how impossible the truth may be.

was a fun little romp. Jules Scott is a wonderful character who has been hurt and damaged, but is resilient with a loving heart and strength of character. Oh and by the way she just happens to see dead people, that is, the ghosts of dead people who seem to pop up at the most inopportune times. This leads to drama and mayhem, a few tears, and definitely some giggles throughout the tale. While Spirited is a light read that is a bit formulaic, the writing and character development was very well executed. There is definitely some heartbreak and drama, as well as some surprises all of which make this a fine beginning for a fun series. I have to admit that while I was often certain about how various characters would evolve or events would unfold, as well as busy predicting the solution to the mystery - I ended up being fooled every time and it was wonderful to be completely surprised by who-done-it at the end. 

The one point that keeps this from a light reading five star for me is Seth. Of course this most certainly stems from personal bias, as he is all you want in a handsome smexy tortured hero; yes there is some smexy going on in the story that is sensual and sizzlingly well written. However, he tended to be a bit annoying in that from the beginning of the story, having known Jules for a day or less, he is calling her precious and continues to do so throughout the tale causing me to cringe. I was just unable to accept this from his character profile and found myself visualizing a certain character, a little gold ring, and a trip down into Mordor wanting to jump in every time he said it. In all fairness there is a time where there is a bit of light banter that deals with this and I was able to tune out his continuing transgression as the story progressed. 

Like many first books in a series or trilogy, Spirited sets the scene for more to come, the ending was very satisfying and left me wanting to read more. By the way there was a sneak peek of book two, which I have to say looks like a real hoot and I cannot wait to read it. I received this book via Netgalley.

4 Sheep

Guest Reviewer: Denise Z

About the Author:
Mary Behre is the lone female in a house full of males and the undisputed queen of her domain. She even has the glittery tiara to prove it. She loves stories with humor, ghosts, mysteries and above all else, a good romance. When not writing she enjoys reading, gluten-free baking, and spending time at the ocean with her family.

Her debut paranormal romance, SPIRITED (A Tidewater Novel) was an award-winning manuscript before it was sold to Berkley Sensation. The first in a new series, SPIRITED, follows the life of Jules Ward, a reluctant psychic who’d rather be a florist than a medium but is caught up in a murder mystery when her cell phone is found in the hands of a dead woman. The only person who can help her, Detective Seth English of the Tidewater Police Department, wants to help Jules. He senses she’s not part of his case but is hiding a secret. Can they ignore their burgeoning passion long enough to solve the mystery or will Jules be the next victim? SPIRITED (A Tidewater Novel) releases March 4, 2014.


Guest Post: Why I Love Urban Fantasy by Eric Garrison - Sinking Down (Road Ghosts #2) Book Tour

Sinking Down interior artwork
I was raised on a steady diet of Asimov, Heinlein, Niven, and Pohl. Hard science fiction gave way to fantasy, both epic and comedic favorites Tolkien, Robert Aspirin, and (dare I admit?) Piers Anthony. My Terry Pratchett obsession came later than many, and I had not yet encountered the dark beauty of Neil Gaiman's prose.

My uncle introduced urban fantasy to me by an older name, a more literary term, "magic realism". He loaned me book after book by Charles de Lint. I fell in love with his Newford books, from frizzy artist Jilly Coppercorn to the silly but dangerous Crow Girls. If you haven't read de Lint, I suggest you start where I did, with Dreams Underfoot. Here was a fantasy world set in modern times, in a fictional North American city, full of people I wanted to hang out with, monsters barely glimpsed or overt, and a sense of wonder as great as any I'd found in epic fantasy. And though I love the grand scale worldbuilding in most science fiction and fantasy, Newford is a more accessible fantasy world.

And then came Gaiman's dark, beautiful prose. Neverwhere and its London Below showed an unseen world right under the noses of everyday people. I had to read more, and fell head over heels for American Gods and then his collaboration with Pratchett, Good Omens.

Sinking Down interior artwork
In more recent years, I've been infatuated with Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books, each one more over the top than the last. Butcher mixes wizards, vampires, werewolves, deadly fairy folk, skinwalkers, and even mobsters in the familiar world of 21st century Chicago. I didn't tell you I was a Philip Marlowe fan, but that's one reason I love Harry Dresden so much. Butcher infuses a touch of noir and mystery into wondrous magic and supernatural danger that's impossible for me to refuse.

So when I set out to write my first urban fantasy novel, Four 'til Late, I meant to emulate that magical realism that charmed me into reading the subgenre in the first place. I wanted the reader to be drawn into the world of the Road Ghosts bit by bit, from normal to supernatural to paranormal. In Sinking Down, I let myself be a bit more overt, more tangible with the fantastical elements of the story. Me and the Devil (coming this spring) builds on the other two and moves further into fantasy, while remaining in our own world - or at least alongside it.

So why do I love urban fantasy? Because the author's armchair world is so like our own. The characters are often people we could meet downtown and never know their true nature. Are there punk elves out clubbing, or maybe gothic goblins taking up the sofas at Starbucks? Wouldn't it be cool if there were?

Sinking Down: Poor Little Ghoul Paranormal investigators Brett and Liz find themselves back in over their heads when a forest hunt for a roadkill-eating creature offers up a little surprise. Back home with their ghoulish house guest, it becomes clear there’s more to this investigation than either of them thought. Worse than that, Brett's own fate is linked to the little ghoul's.

So it's back out on the road, with plenty of time for pit stops with a greedy ex, a convention of ghost hunters, partying with fake vampires, and even drinking and fighting alongside good ole Uncle Gonzo. But as the investigation goes deeper, and unseen connections come to light, Brett finds there’s much more at stake than getting through a rough patch with Liz.

A rescue mission. A race for a cure. New friends and old adversaries. Unbreakable bonds and supernatural danger. It’s going to be a wild ride. Can the friends save the nearly undead tween? Can she and Brett stop themselves from ...Sinking Down?

Sinking Down is the 2nd Book in the Road Ghosts Trilogy!

Amazon Links for Sinking Down
Print Version

About the Author:
Eric Garrison is active in the writing community in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in the Circle City with his wife, step-daughter and four cats. He also enjoys gaming and homebrewing beer.

Seventh Star Press published the first of his Road Ghosts trilogy, Four 'til Late, in July of 2013. Sinking Down was released in December of 2013, with the final title to appear in 2014.

Eric's novel, Reality Check, is a science fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. This book reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon's Kindle store during a promotion in July 2013.

Eric's short story, "Drag Show" appeared in the Fall 2011 edition of Strange, Weird and Wonderful Magazine and Volume 2 of that magazine's anthology series. His flash piece, "Dark Reflection", appeared in the Indiana Horror 2011 anthology. He's competed twice in the Iron Writer Challenge with two 500-word flash pieces, "Killer Cure" and "Moby Me".

Tour Page URL: 

Contact for tour:
Tomorrow Comes Media Contact:
Stephen Zimmer

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MystiCon 2014 recap and photos + giveaway

It was another year of fun and nerd-ery at the MystiCon
SciFi/Horror/Fantasy Convention in Roanoke, VA. Special shout out to Barbara DeBary-Kesner and Carl Kesner. I see them at all the conventions in my area promoting MystiCon and then running all over the place at MystiCon making sure things are running smoothly.
it isn't a con till someone sets off a fire alarm

About MystiCon:
The original MystiCon, which took place over July 4th weekend in 1980 was considered a big party by most, but has recently been revived to take place in our favorite Roanoke, VA location, the Tanglewood Holiday Inn. The location and time of year that MystiCon takes place is one that fans, family and friends alike have come to rely on for an awesome weekend of SciFi, Fantasy and Pop Culture.

This convention was resurrected in 2010 by a collection of cool zany and passionatepeople that wanted to keep the family-friendly traditions of open gaming, enjoyment of different literature, arts, imaginations and camaraderie any Con-goer will surely enjoy!

be sure to click to see all the pics and people!

Oscar Picks 2014 + Giveaway

It is time to once again cast our votes for the 2014 Oscar nominees! To take part in the fun (and win some cool prizes) pick the person you think got the most right and fill out the Raffleman at the bottom of this post.

Don't worry about if you missed seeing any of the movies below, this is for fun! Make an educated guess or pick who your gut feels luckiest about.

Here's a guide for our initials:

Katie = KD
Sharon = SS
Gef = GF
Adriana = AR
Mary Kirkland = MK
Pamela Kenny = PKK
Denise = DZ

Let the voting begin!!! 

1. Best Picture: 
American Hustle KD SS AR
Captain Phillips MK
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity PKK
12 Years a Slave GF DZ
The Wolf of Wall Street

2. Actor: 
Christian Bale "American Hustle" 
Bruce Dern "Nebraska"
Leonardo DiCaprio The Wolf of Wall Street SS
Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 Years a Slave GF MK PKK AR DZ
Matthew McConaughey Dallas Buyers Club. KD

3. Actress:
Amy Adams, American Hustle PKK
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity KD GF MK 
Judi Dench, Philomena”  DZ
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County. SS AR

4. Supporting Actor: 
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips SS DZ
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle MK PKK 
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave KD GF 
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street 
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club.AR

5. Supporting Actress: 
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine”‘ DZ
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle"  SS GF MK AR 
Lupita Nyongo, 12 Years a Slave” KD

Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska. PKK

6. Directing: 
David O. Russell, American Hustle KD
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity GF
Alexander Payne, Nebraska MK
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave SS PKK AR DZ
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street.

7. Original Screenplay: 
Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, American Hustle SS GF AR
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine MK
Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack, Dallas Buyers Club KD
Spike Jonze, HerDZ
Bob Nelson, Nebraska. PKK

8. Animated Feature Film: 
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
The Wind Rises.
(Oh mama-jama, we all put our eggs in one basket on this one!!!)

9. Production Design: 
American Hustle, 
Gravity, KD SS MK PKK AR
The Great Gatsby, DZ
12 Years a Slave. GF

10. Cinematography: 
The Grandmaster,”  DZ
Gravity, KD GF MK PKK AR
Inside Llewyn Davis, 
Nebraska, SS

11. Sound Mixing: 
Captain Phillips, 
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, SS GF PKK AR
Inside Llewyn Davis, 
Lone Survivor. KD MK

12. Sound Editing: All Is Lost,
Captain Phillips, DZ
Gravity, MK
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, SS GF PKK AR
Lone Survivor. KD

13. Original Score: 
The Book Thief, John Williams GF PKK AR
Gravity, Steven Price MK
Her, William Butler and Owen Pallett KD SS
Philomena, Alexandre Desplat  DZ
Saving Mr. Banks, Thomas Newman

14. Original Song: 
Alone Yet Not Alone from Alone Yet Not Alone, Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel
Happy from Despicable Me 2, Pharrell Williams GF
Let It Go from Frozen, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez PKK AR
The Moon Song from Her, Karen O and Spike Jonze SS MK
Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen. KD DZ

15. Costume: 
American Hustle, KD GF PKK AR
The Grandmaster, 
The Great Gatsby, SS MK DZ
The Invisible Woman, 
12 Years a Slave.

16. Documentary Feature: 
The Act of Killing, DZ
Cutie and the Boxer, KD MK
Dirty Wars, GF
The Square, 
20 Feet from Stardom. SS PKK AR

17. Film Editing: 
American Hustle, 
Captain Phillips, GF MK DZ
Dallas Buyers Club, 
Gravity, KD PKK AR
12 Years a Slave. SS

18. Makeup and Hairstyling: 
Dallas Buyers Club,
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, KD GF MK
The Lone Ranger. SS PKK AR DZ

19. Visual Effects: 
Gravity,  GF
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, SS PKK AR
Iron Man 3, KD 
The Lone Ranger, 
Star Trek Into Darkness. MK DZ

Man of Steel- DVD
Burt's Bees kit 
Gold glitter nail polish 
Gold glitter hair bow 
Pedicure file 
Sleepy Eye Mask 
Vampire Glasses 
Red Rose (Fake and bendy)
Pill Box for your Hollywood medications 
Sheep Swag! 

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

19 New Releases in Speculative Fiction February 25

It is finally here!!! The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison. These characters are like family to me. Can't believe there is only one more book after this. Here is my spoiler free review if you want to check it out:

This has been your friendly Sheep kindle krack attack!

disclaimer: all these covers are links to our amazon affiliate pages. I Smell Sheep will get a small percentage of all sales through these links as an advertising fee. I Smell Sheep uses the money to pay for sheep s*** and shipping <G>