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Monday, August 31, 2015

Movie Review: American Ultra

American Ultra
Directed By: Nima Nourizadeh
Written By: Max Landis
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace, Tony Hale, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman 

Rating: R (for strong bloody violence, language throughout, drug use and some sexual content)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Comedy
In Theaters: Aug 21, 2015
Box Office: $10.5M
Runtime: 1 hr. 39 min.
Lionsgate Pictures - Official Site

American Ultra is a fast-paced action comedy about Mike (Eisenberg), a seemingly hapless and unmotivated stoner whose small-town life with his live-in girlfriend, Phoebe (Stewart), is suddenly turned upside down. Unbeknownst to him, Mike is actually a highly trained, lethal sleeper agent. In the blink of an eye, as his secret past comes back to haunt him, Mike is thrust into the middle of a deadly government operation and is forced to summon his inner action-hero in order to survive. (C) Lionsgate

This is a cable TV kind of movie, folks. It was one of the weirdest movies I've seen though. First off, it wasn't a comedy. It had some funny parts, and yes, most are in the trailer, but they tried to make it a drama too and it didn't work. I also couldn't buy what they were trying to feed me with the story because the characterizations didn't match the roles. The rouge CIA agent (Topher Grace) acted like one of the three stooges, when he should have been taken more seriously. Two stoner characters, especially two played by Eisenberg and Stewart, doing drama scenes didn't work. Then the action scenes were totally kick ass with a bit of snark.

But it is worth snagging for a Redbox price or wait for it to hit cable TV because the action scenes are bad ass. And Topher Grace is adorkable. 

2 1/2 "spoon killing" Sheep


Spotlight: SHADOWFIRE: Book Two of the Birthgrave Trilogy by Tanith Lee + giveaway

“After many years, jumping back into a Lee story—with this 40th anniversary edition of Shadowfire—is a bit like waking up several years younger. Lee’s incredibly visual prose is admirable in a way few authors can claim…Each scene is gripping and intense, and the intensity of the novel is unrelenting…the hope is that new generations of readers will pick up this trilogy, become enamored of the worlds of Lee and dive into her entire oeuvre.”

—RT Book Reviews, Top Pick!

SHADOWFIRE: Book Two of the Birthgrave Trilogy
Tanith Lee
DAW Mass Market
$7.99 | 304 pages
ISBN: 9780756411121
On sale: September 1, 2015
Turek was raised as an orphan nomad, until one grim night when he learns of his heritage. He discovers he is the son of the last woman of a superior race long thought dead—a woman who once dishonored his warrior king father. Intent on revenge, Turek takes his father’s name, Vazkor, and embarks on a journey to find his mother…and murder her.

Perfect for fans of sword-and-sorcery pulp fantasy, like the works of Andre Norton, Fritz Leiber, and Robert E. Howard,SHADOWFIRE will also appeal to fans of feminist speculative fiction, like Ursula K. LeGuin, Angela Carter, and Joana Russ. Tanith Lee’s Birthgrave Trilogy includes the best pulp tropes like decadent imperial civilization, mysterious lost races, and deeply dark magic.

amazon buy links:


“A big, rich, bloody swords-and-sorcery epic with a truly memorable heroine…A top bet for genre fans and a treat for feminists tired of writing Gothic leading ladies.”

—Publishers Weekly
“Tanith Lee is fantastika’s Joyce Carol Oates…Passionate characters whose deep emotions drive them to outstanding feats of folly and bravery, sacrifice and love. You can imagine these timeless stories whispered around an oasis campfire or in a starship’s engine room.”
“Lee has done a quite remarkable job of writing. This is an outstanding novel of strange adventure.”
“The Birthgrave is one of the most beautifully written pieces of fantasy I have ever read.”
—Fantastic Fantasy

About the Author:
Tanith Lee is a legend in science fiction and fantasy. She is incredibly prolific, with more than 90 novels and almost 300 short stories, including her debut novel The Birthgrave. She is the winner of multiple World Fantasy Awards, a British Fantasy Society Derleth Award, and a World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. 
Passed away 24 May 2015 (aged 67) East Sussex, England.

PenguinRandomHouse is offering one winner a print copy of books one and two in the Birthgrave Trilogy
Birthgrave and Shadowfire

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New Release: The Wilds (The Wilds Series Book One) by Donna Augustine (New Adult)

The WildsThe Wilds Series Book One
by Donna Augustine

August 31, 2015
I met a Plaguer today, one of the very few who survived the last outbreak of Bloody Death. She said horrible things about me and my companions. We all called her crazy afterward and claimed this was the reason they needed to be locked up. They spread lies that could hurt our fragile world, nearly brought to extinction 150 years ago.

But here's the catch: she was right about me. I have a niggling fear that she was right about my friends, as well. What if the Plaguers are right about the people in charge? What if they are right about everything?

*This book is for all the Plaguers, the truth sayers branded and marked as liars, often hunted and sometimes forgotten. This book is for the girl who was right. 

About the Author:
Donna Augustine was an odd child, had a brief moment of conformity in early adulthood and then decided to embrace her craziness as the years rolled by. It's her inner crazy that she credits with coming up with the ideas for her books. One part hypochondriac, a few dashes of paranoia, topped with a sliver of uptight and delivered with a relaxed flair, she kicked the proverbial box down the yellow brick road a couple years ago to embrace her true self.

She can be reached by a carrier pigeon, set free in a south by north direction, where she resides in Neverland with her two Siberian cats. Cats who, by the way, aren't as hypoallergenic as she believed they'd be.

For the conventional minded, and those of you without a pigeon on hand, she can be reached at She responds to most emails within three dusk periods.

P.S. For those of you looking for the discarded box, it was sitting beside the road for a while but has since disappeared completely.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Comic Review: Harrow County #4 Dark Horse

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Tyler Crook
Cover Artist: Tyler Crook
Genre: Fantasy, Horror
Publication Date: August 12, 2015
Format:FC, 32 pages; Ongoing
UPC:7 61568 26606 1 00411
“Genuinely creepy and engaging.”—Mark Millar
Kept prisoner by a monster of her own creation, Emmy is forced to confront the truth about the evil witch of Harrow County and the power she wields!
* Featuring two backup stories exclusive to the single issues!
* The chilling ongoing series from Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook (The Sixth Gun) continues!
Poor Emmy has been running all night from her father, the townsfolk who want to lynch her as a witch and even herself as she wondered if she deserved to be killed. She ran into a dark thing who said she, or the witch Hester, had commanded it. Upset that she forgot about it, too. When she runs away from it, out into the road and is almost hit by a truck driven by the town pharmacist, who kidnaps her and takes her to his home. It is there he makes her remember who she really is and even who many of the local folk are. But I won’t give any spoiler here. But go get it—there are surprises in store.

Harrow County becomes less and less a comic book and more and more a spooky folktale mountain folk told around the hearth on a cool autumn night in October, one about witches, demons, and ghosts. A creepy, graveyard of great animation that lures you in.
5 haunted sheep

Pamela Kinney

Sunday Swag: Jeffe Kennedy

Sunday Swag Team!
Riverina Romantics 
 I Smell Sheep 
Featured Author: Jeffe Kennedy

About the Author:
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with awriting career that spans decades. Her works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of theFacets of Passion, and an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, which released beginning January 2, 2014. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, will hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and a fifth, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, will release starting in July.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Three cover flats, wine glass charm

Be sure to visit Riverina for more swag

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This wins the internet this week!

Pretty much speaks for itself...

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Book Review: Mark of the Necromancer (A Sabrina Grayson Novel) by Tamsin L. Silver

We had two reviewers read Mark of the Necromancer. This is Denise B's review
Bianca Greenwood's review is here

Mark of the Necromancer (A Sabrina Grayson Novel)
by Tamsin L. Silver
Pages: 391
Sabrina Grayson is dead and it's the best thing that has ever happened to her.

As a child, Sabrina saw ghosts, but with age and parental influence, she forgot all about them. That is, until fate stepped in to bring her back where she belonged: with the dead.

Now she's a Necromancer; the only one who can travel the Death Highway and walk the Earth. As a new member of the supernatural world, Sabrina discovers the truth about her past and must learn who she really is. To do this, she will have to team up with Detective Alex Price, the one man she can't stand. Only together can they figure out who murdered her and why they are killing her friends off one by one.

Determined to save them and the city she loves from the evil plot they uncover, Sabrina will put her soul on the line...even if it means going to Hell and fighting Lucifer himself.

When I first started this book I was a little apprehensive. The letter to the reader stated the book was almost completely written on an iPhone because the writer wrote on the subway in New York because she had just gotten a puppy and didn’t have time to write at home. She also stated that she was just writing for fun and may never have finished and published the book if it hadn’t been for a friend of hers Carmen Baum. I must say thank you Carmen because I really am glad that I did read the book and did enjoy it immensely.

Vampires, witches, the fae, demons, Lucifer and a necromancer … need I say more? These are some of my favorites so anytime I see a book that is going to be full of them I am eager to read it. This did not disappoint.

Bree was a self-centered, rich girl who cared about no one but herself until her life was turned upside down and she became a vampire of sorts. Not only a vampire but a Necromancer as well. Her maker was Alex, her old next door neighbor who she thought was dead and seems to really hate her. She has no idea why he even saved her if he hated her so badly in life. Bree finds on her journey her life wasn’t as it seemed and she starts to become more Sabrina than Bree.

This book had some new turns on the supernatural that I haven’t read and it was great to see some new angles with some of the old ones. I really hope that Silver does continue with this series and soon because it was a book that I loved and would like to continue with.
Getting 4 1/2 sheep

Denise B

About the Author:
I am a Young Adult Urban Fantasy Author. The first four books of my "WINDFIRE" series are out and you can purchase an e-copy or a print version of them on Amazon and on Smashwords. I am the creator/writer/director for the online TV Show, "Skye Of The Damned," which you can see more on at: Currently I live in NYC where I not only work just at my craft as an author but in the theatre/film world as well, where I write, direct and design. I hold a degree in Theatre/Secondary Education from Winthrop University and have had my writings performed on stage in NYC and now on web TV.

Friday, August 28, 2015

When I’m Not Writing...Advice for Writers (Tantalizing Tidbits Anthology book tour)

When I’m Not Writing. . . Advice for Writers
by Kimberly K. Comeau

Early in my writer’s life, as a teen desperate to learn the craft, I heard two bits of wisdom that shaped my life. The first was, “Writer, know thyself.” This advice came with the explanation that to write believable characters, one must have an intimate understanding of one’s own motivations, reactions, needs, fears, desires, and passions. Implicit in that explanation, I understood, was the requirement of honesty, and honesty of vision. I needed to develop an ability to mentally step back from intimate interactions, study the dynamics and craziness, and understand everyone’s role and stake in any outcome. I spent hours laying in bed or on a couch reliving experiences, struggling to understand the dynamics from each person’s perspective. In other words, I became a writer without realizing it, and without committing words to paper. (Some writers spend more time thinking than they do writing. Those writers understand far more about their story worlds and characters than ever appear in-story. We say of those writers that their worlds arrive full-blown upon the page and we’re sucked into those worlds without fully understanding how we got there.)

The statement that “Interesting people make interesting writers” was the other concept I recognized as truth and immediately embraced. We all know someone who’s lived through remarkable experiences, who regales us with tales of adventure told with self-deprecating humor, who evoke envy in those of us who lead woefully mundane lives by comparison. We want to be that person, with their understandings of the world. But what I gradually came to realize was that being a natural storyteller rarely meant a person was also a naturally talented writer. Writing combines specific techniques with theory to achieve maximum impact. It didn’t matter how interesting I became as a person, I had to learn writing technique. And so I spent a lifetime learning technique . . . along with every science, craft, bit of folklore, myth, skill and elder wisdom I could possibly absorb. I wake each morning wondering, ‘What can I learn today?” And like a lioness on the prowl, I hunt out the morsels that feed my inner need to know, which in turn feeds the stories I write. I also don’t limit myself to knowledge gleaned from books and Internet articles. Neither comes close to the frustration and thrill of discovery evoked by original research and hands-on experiences. After all, writing from the perspective of personal experience stamps every story with a sense of authenticity and your unique perspective. And readers notice. So if I have one wish to give, it’s that you live life fully, and bring that experience and excitement to the blank page you’re about to fill.

About the Author:
Kimberly K. Comeau was twelve when she began writing, fifteen when she published her first story, and eighteen when she won her first literary contest. Since then, she’s published short fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and science fiction, served as director of an online writers workshop, and co-founded PC Quill, a critique group comprised of award-winning writers. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with a musician husband and two fiercely protective cats.

Tantalizing Tidbits
Ceci Giltenan, Tarah Scott, Sue-Ellen Welfonder, Victoria Barbour, Natasha Blackthorne, Ria Cantrell, Stephanie Joyce Cole, Kimberly K. Comeau, Kathryn Lynn Davis, Ted Grosch, Brenda Margriet, Mary McCall, Kate Robbins, John Robin, HD Smith, KyAnn Waters, and Victoria Zak
Genres: Romance, Paranormal, Contemporary, Literary, Fantasy, Time Travel, Historical, Women’s Fiction, Highland Romance, Humor, Erotica
Publisher: Cridhe Works LLC
Date of Publication: July 17, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-9909513-2-2
Number of pages: 411
Cover Artist: Zak James Design
A collection of short stories written by bestselling authors, representing an eclectic mix of styles and genres. In a word, this book is a smorgasbord; an opportunity to try a bit of everything.

In the spirit of the smorgasbord, the collection is presented as a menu and authors have shared recipes which accompany each story—some fitting, some funny, some simply old favorites.

Ranging from ultra-short but spine tingling, to meatier tales that are nearly novellas there is a little something for every appetite including comedy, tragedy, fantasy, werewolves, at least one ghost, life, death, and of course love.

Dig in. We hope you find at least one tidbit you enjoy.

Available at Amazon

For a list of all the more

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Supernatural VS The Walking Dead: guest post Tara Fox Hall + giveaway

Supernatural VS The Walking Dead

I’ve written a lot of blog posts over the years, but none so far about a TV show. So I thought, why not break the mold and write about two at once?

I’ve been a fan of Supernatural since the very first episode aired, revolving around a Woman in White, the very first “monster” introduced on the show. What’s not to like about two sexy brothers who’d die for each other driving around the country in a kick-ass black Impala hunting monsters and saving people? I’ve mentioned the TV show repeatedly in my Promise Me Series, ahhed over photos and videos of the luscious Dean, and went so far as to sing a duet to “Carry on my Wayward Son” with my fellow author Tori Ridgewood when she visited me this summer and we were driving about in my black car (sadly NOT an Impala). 

With Walking Dead, I’m the direct opposite, a latecomer to the series who only began watching during the “catch up” over last December leading up to the mid-season finale to its fifth season. After seeing the episode “No Sanctuary,” I was hooked and went back, watching through all the previous seasons, which aired during the New Year’s Eve Walking Dead marathon. Now rabidly waiting for season six to begin, I’ve got my official “Run like a Walker’s After You” T-shirt, oohed over photos of the rugged Daryl Dixon, and received a brand new machete last Christmas with a note from my husband “In case of zombie apocalypse.”

First off, what is so compelling about these shows? My personal view is the characters, hands down. Both shows are not afraid to show a really dark side to their “heroes” and a very human side to their “villains.” The theme for both series is often that the ends justifies the means, that in fighting a war for survival, you do whatever it takes to win, no matter what that might be. Rick Grimes, Daryl Dixon, Michonne, and Carol of Walking Dead have shown over and over that they have what it takes to survive, even if their choices are horrific. Similarly, Dean and Sam of Supernatural have also given their all for what they think is right, though ruthlessness came a bit late to Sam, who had to die and come back to gain his killing edge. Yet in all the gore and horror and death, both shows retain their heart; within Supernatural in the love between the brothers and their willingness to do anything to protect one another, and within Walking Dead in Rick’s group’s willingness to protect baby Judith and try to retain what small amount of their humanity is left to them in the wake of all the horror of their everyday lives.

Which show is more successful? It depends on how you measure success. Walking Dead has a far broader audience with a huge Twitter base (Talking Dead, a show decided to recapping the most recent episode of WD and airs directly after each new episode, holds a Twitter contest several times during the show, with winners to trivia questions winning points) and also a new spin-off series called Fear the Walking Dead. Supernatural has a much smaller fan base, but they are very devoted, and the show will shortly begin its eleventh season, with no signs of being put out to pasture. Yes, monster lovers, that’s two seasons more than even the now iconic Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

So what’s my final comparison? Supernatural wins hands down for humor and for sheer recklessness in episodes. Between the episode where Sam is locked in a sort of Groundhog Day and must watch Dean die in all kinds of inventive ways, and the several episodes where both brothers come face to face with their alternate universe characters (solving a murder at a Supernatural Convention, meeting the writer who penned the Supernatural series the brothers have been living, and then being stuck in the “real” world on the Supernatural film set as their characters and having to pretend they are actors), this TV show has literally gone further and stranger than any other that I know. The one-liners are priceless, particularly the lines of Crowley, the current king of Hell, when he interacts with the duo who he dubs “Moose” (Sam) and “Squirrel” (Dean) after Rocky and Bullwinkle. Entire websites are devoted to Supernatural slang and various terms and jokes in the series. As much as I love Walking Dead, there were and are times that series just too grim for me to watch.

Still, I will say when it comes to compelling episodes, Walking Dead wins hands down. Episodes like TS-19, where Rick Grimes and Co. visit the CDC to gain answers on what the hell caused zombification, always leave me tearful and hoping that I’m appreciating my life enough. It’s central message, that you always think there is going to be enough time to do everything you want in life and that one day the clock will run out before you’re ready is going to stay with me the rest of my days.

So what say you, fans? Tell me which show is your favorite, or why you love both! Random commenter will win a 25$ Amazon gift card!

More Supernatural VS Walking Dead is happily found below on YouTube:
Supernatural meets Walking Dead
Daryl Dixon and Dean Winchester
Supernatural, Walking Dead style
(Supernatural Opening Credit Pics with Walking Dead Opening Credit music)

Sundown & Serena (Promise Me Series Book #12)
by Tara Fox Hall
Neither human stripper Sundown nor virgin were-halfbreed Serena knew how their futures would change when catalyst vampire Devlin Dalcon walked into their lives. Sundown was just looking to party and forget her tragic past; Serena was hoping for excitement and love, to be swept away from the dull routine of her short-order cook job and solitary life. Will these very different women finally face their fears in time to seize their own dreams of happiness?
Excerpt: Chapter One

It felt like the day from hell. Everything had gone wrong for me. I’d gotten hit on by an overzealous, middle-aged buffoon who’d fondled me intimately on his second lap dance. That had put me off so much, I’d been a beat behind when I took my turn onstage. The men in the audience hadn’t cared, but I had. I liked to think I was the most sought after girl in Hotcakes, and how could I, feeling like some amateur her first night on the pole.

“Shit.” I drank my seven-and-seven down in a gulp, and decided to pay my tab. It was time to go home.

Leaving some money on the bar, I motioned to Bill, the head bouncer at Hotcakes. He came over grinning snidely, his tanned face sharp, yet still friendly. “Another, Sundown?”

“No,” I said tiredly, getting to my feet. “I should go home.”
He leaned in close. “Even though you’ve got a fan still here?”
I gave him a look that said he’d better not annoy me in the mood I

was in. “What are you talking about?”
“That guy in the corner,” he said, with a discreet hand gesture. “He

came in when you were on stage. He watched your set like he’d never seen a woman before.”

“Good for him,” I said dispassionately, though inside I was pleased to hear of the special attention. “It’s nice I can still give a man a lift, even as bad as I was.”

“You weren’t bad,” Bill replied seriously. “Just off by a few seconds.”

“Not good enough,” I replied stiffly. “I strive for perfection. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

As I went for my coat, a soft yet deep voice called out, “Please wait.”

I turned back to see my admirer coming toward me. As men went— especially compared to the type who came in here usually—he was a solid nine. He was handsome, tall, and his body was nicely muscular without being too bulky. He looked sort of young for some reason, yet I reasoned that he had to be at least twenty-one for Bill to have let him in the door. His straight dark hair was pulled sharply back in a short ponytail, which made me think he was older than the early twenties I pegged him for. That hairstyle wasn’t popular with the twenty-something crowd, and the clothes he was wearing also spoke to him being at least thirty-something.

“Can I take you for coffee?” he asked softly, his dark eyes staring at my breasts before looking up to my face.

At least he’s close to my age. It was nice to have a man come on to me who wasn’t old enough to be my father...wait. The stranger’s eyes had seemed red for a moment. Now they were dark again. It must have been a trick of the light. The bartender had just shut off the flashing neon signs in the front windows and announced last call. Maybe it had been the glare of the strobe lights that were still going strong? Maybe I’m drunker than I thought...Nah.

“Or something to eat,” the stranger added, when I didn’t reply. “You look like you could use a good meal.”

“Listen, buddy,” I replied sarcastically. “This isn’t Pretty Woman, got it? I’m not looking for a savior.”

“What woman is these days?” he stated bitterly. “I was just offering company, if you wanted some.”

I was surprised that someone so young could sound so bitter. Maybe he only looked young. Or maybe he’d had a childhood like mine. I reached out and ran my hands over his chest. His muscles bunched reflexively under my hands, making a shiver of desire snake its way through my body.

Maybe this is a good way to end the night. “What are you offering?” I said suggestively, giving him my best bedroom eyes.

About the Author:
Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, erotica, horror, suspense, action-adventure, children’s stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice. All of her published children’s stories to date are free reads on
Connect with Tara Fox Hall
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Characters’ Court: Miranda Stork (Conner: The Athol Trilogy #1 book tour) + giveaway

Author Miranda Stork takes her Muse to court...and they air some dirty laundry!
“Order in the court. Order in the court!”

The vast courtroom falls silent as the judge peers over her glasses towards the two parties glaring at one another before her. Drawing in a deep breath and pursing her thin lips, she nods over to the first one, a woman with dark hair and glasses lopsidedly arranged on her nose. 
“Now, you were saying, Miss Stork?” 

The author in the glasses sends a spiteful sneer in the direction of the mist-like woman standing on the podium to the right before replying, 
“Thank you, your Honour.” Jabbing a finger to the accused, she adds, “This…muse has plagued me long enough. She turns up when she feels like it, she takes long holidays without telling me, and to top it off…” A deep, dramatic breath. “She drinks all the milk from the fridge, leaving just that trickle so she never has to buy some more!” 

Horrified gasps fill the air from the crowd behind, and the judge scowls once more. “Order! My god, I’ll hold this whole court in contempt if I have to.” As the chatter simmered down to hushed whispers, the judge leaned in towards the two women before her, giving a conspiratorial wink. “I wouldn’t really. I just always wanted to say that.”

A look passes between the muse and the author, a shared arched eyebrow.

“Miss…er…Muse? You may speak.”

The mist-like woman draws another puff from her long cigarette, before dropping it to the podium and stamping on it with her stiletto, folding her arms over her chest. “It’s just Muse. And my author has no appreciation of what I do. I need to take long holidays and drink copious martinis. Wait—she didn’t mention the drinking. Er, forget that. Anyway, she’s a slave-driver! When we work together, she expects me to work from 6am until past midnight some days, with no breaks! And I give her some amazing storylines.” Twisting around and narrowing her eyes at the author, Muse spits, “I gave you the best storylines of your life. You’ll never get better than me, honey.”

The author gives a laugh, covering it with an awkward cough at a look from the judge. “Yeah, okay. ‘I’ll never get better’. Unless I get drunk, fall over, and spew out whatever crap comes into my head!” Waving her arms around frantically, the author continues in a mimicking voice, “Oh, oh, how about a girl who goes to a new school and finds out all the others are mutant-ghost-cannibals!? Remember that one? Or how about the ghost who lived off onion rings? Or the talking dog in the—”

“Your Honour, she is twisting this,” Muse interrupted, pouting over to the severe lady behind the judge’s pedestal, giving a casual shrug. “Yeah, so maybe some of my ideas weren’t that great. But I gave her, um…the reaper guy? On the motorbike? And, and the demon who’s plagued by evil shadows? Those were pretty good.”

“You know, that’s not the point,” the author fires back, pulling up the slipping waistband of her pajama bottoms, the typical uniform of her career. “You give me the idea, two sentences, and then fudge off! Then you come back for the last stages of editing, and expect me to give you all the credit!”

“What, not even a mention at the end?”
“Yeah, that would be appropriate. I’ll just put half a word on the last page. You’ll know what it means.”
“Yeah? Well let’s see what happens without your precious coffee. Your Honour, she’s a caffeine addict!”
“She’s a drunk!”
“She watches Friends while writing!”
“She makes me rewrite entire passages at 3 in the morning!”

“Enough!” The judge shouts over the two squabbling parties, rubbing tiredly at her temples. “I can’t believe this. I thought I was going to be presiding over murder cases and stuff. Maybe like ‘A Few Good Men’, but without the armed forces. Instead I’m helping a woman in her pajamas and a drunk ghost settle their differences.” Sighing loudly, the judge lays her hands on the desk and raises her head, glaring over her spectacles at Muse. “Look. You both make good points. Miss Stork is quite right—you should be around more. I cannot put a book in your care when the court does not know if you will be around to see it grow up!” Twisting back to the author, the judge adds, “And Muse also makes a point—that book is half hers, even if she is a lazy drunk SOB.”
The judge raises an eyebrow. “It’s true, honey, live with it.” Muse gives a shrug before nodding reluctantly. The judge leans forward and clasps her hands together. “Here’s my verdict. Muse, you will make an effort to visit the books more often, and to help out Miss Stork with their upbringing—er, their editing. Miss Stork, you will stop drinking so much coffee and listen to your muse when she comes at odd moments.”

The author and Muse glare at each other, mumbling under their breath, but they both nod before stepping down from the podiums and shaking hands. The judge stands up, rolling her eyes. “Finally.” Looking down at the clerk below, she asks, “So, what’s the next case?”

“Um…a character is suing his author for not giving him enough love scenes.”
“For crying out loud. I wish I was a judge in a James Patterson novel.”

Conner (The Athol Trilogy Book 1) 
by Miranda Stork 
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Isara Press
April 19th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1482795585
ASIN: B007VZO792
Number of pages: 297
Cover Artist: Miranda Stork
Erin is a young psychologist, with no time for anything but her work, and unable to remember anything about her past. She leads an uneventful life, but a lonely one, in which she secretly wishes for a soulmate...

Conner is an unusual patient who approaches her, thrusting her into a strange world of darkness that runs beneath our own. He believes himself to be a creature of legend-a werewolf. But he also draws Erin with a roguish charm, and an irresistible feeling that seems to bind them together...

Conner desperately tries to save her from an unknown evil that pursues her with a relentless passion that crosses centuries, an evil that once took her very soul away, somewhere in Erin's lost memories.

As she becomes more entwined in a series of events that will remind her of who she really is, will she make it away from the oncoming darkness unscathed...?

Reviewers Love Conner
"5 stars! One of the best novels I have read all year!" --Nicole Hill, Author of Legacy Forgotten, 5 Stars

"You are hooked whether you like it or not! A great read." --Maxi Shelton, Author of Sold Into Marriage, 5 Stars

"'Conner' took me on a wild, fantastic and exciting ride!" --Trish Marie Dawson, Author of 'The Station' Series, 5 Stars

"Conner is a must read for all werewolf fans. It has a fresh spin on wolves, and I thought it was great." --Fictional Candy, 4 Stars


Erin tossed and turned. Her bed sheets were tussled up, one pillow lying on the floor as she shifted her limbs in anguish. She was not sleeping well tonight. 

...Something raced towards her, crashing through the branches and leaves. She was sobbing and running as fast as she could, but she was cold and wet, and her feet were cut and bleeding. Her clothes hung off her, soaked until they became dead weights. 

A small clearing lit with brilliant sunshine danced in front of her, teasing her with the sight. She ran towards it, trying to scream for help, but her mouth was full of cotton wool, and no sound came out. 

Behind her, the breathing and snarling became louder and louder until it filled and echoed in her ears. Frantic, she looked around for somewhere to hide, but all she could see were trees—no, wait! There was a small hut! 

Crying with happiness, Erin sprinted towards it, but she was knocked flying by something large and dark. 

She turned to stare, and backed away in panic. An eight-foot black creature with burning amber eyes glared at her. 

“You must never go inside! NEVER!” 

Erin shot bolt upright, cold sweat dripping from her forehead and running into her eyes. She took a deep breath shakily, and snapped her bedside light on, the reassuring light flooding her bedroom. 

“Oh, Erin,” she murmured to herself, wiping the sweat from her brow with a shaking hand. Glancing around her warm, safe bedroom, she relaxed and breathed in deeply. She felt stupid for taking in Conner’s stories so much. She glanced over at the clock and groaned at the early hour. 

Still trembling, she slid out of bed and reached for her pink silk dressing gown. She pulled it on with a wide yawn, shaking her head to wake herself up before making her way downstairs. Her wool carpet felt rough and very real beneath her bare feet, the perfect antidote to help bring her back into the real world. Traipsing through the silent house, she pattered through into her kitchen. 

Snapping the fluorescent above on, Erin waited as its humming light came to life, allowing her to see the small kitchen, blinking at the brightness. Its tiled floors and white walls stung her sleep-deprived eyes for a moment, but Erin shuffled across the tiles to open one of her maple cupboard doors, feeling her way around the kitchen table in the centre. The door squeaked in protest on its hinges as she reached inside to take out a glass. Her eyelids heavy, she paced over to her kitchen sink, and ran water into the glass. The cool water filled up with a gurgle that only made her thirstier. 

A quick movement in the shadows outside of her kitchen window caught her eye, and she darted her head up for a look, scanning the blackness of her small garden. Her heart thudded into life, hammering against her ribs in a warning staccato. Squinting harder, she leaned against the glass, her breath steaming the reflective surface up. Nothing moved, not even a wind danced across the stalks of grass outside. 

“It must have been a cat or something,” Erin muttered to herself. She turned away from the window, scooping up her glass once more to take a sip, when she thought she heard a thump from outside again. It was quiet, so quiet she wondered if it had simply been the pipes all along. Her skin prickled as she listened intently, so intently that the next thump against her kitchen wall brought a sharp gasp from her. 

“Alright, what the hell is that?” Erin said aloud, more bravely than she felt. She slammed her glass down on her kitchen table, the clanging noise serving only to heighten the tension. Stories about women who lived alone and ended up as a victim raced through her brain. Shaking those thoughts from her head, she slowly made her way towards the back door. Her head ached with the pressure of her pulse against her temples as she took a deep breath and unlocked her back door, flinging it wide open. As she gazed out, her eyes adjusting to the meagre light from behind, her throat dried with panic. She didn’t expect to see anything. Maybe teenagers messing around. But not this. 

Standing less than six feet away from her door was a large, black wolf-like creature. It stood on four paws, but two glaring eyes focussed on Erin, very human and aware. It rose up slowly onto its back feet as it continued to stare at Erin, daring her to defy it standing there and dismiss it as shadows. 

Erin froze for a second, the blood draining from her body in an icy rush. The wind blew between her and the creature chillingly, echoing the dream-like state she felt. Her tongue was dry and swollen—even if she had tried to call for help, her throat would never have formed the words. The creature moved a fraction forwards, and her sense of self-preservation snapped back into life as she moved, swiftly slamming the door shut. She fumbled hurriedly with her lock, and stepped backwards towards the hallway, switching the fluorescent off by accident as her hand slid along the wall. She tripped over a chair leg, unable to see in the dark, and cried out as she hit the hard floor. 

Shaking and winded, she crawled backwards to the hallway, hitting the far kitchen wall instead. Sobbing noiselessly, she reached up onto the top next to her. She moved her fingers gingerly until she touched one of her kitchen knives, left on the top from when she had made her dinner. There is no way on Earth this is real. I’m still in my nightmare. I’m still in my nightmare. I’m going to wake up in a moment. Clutching the knife to her chest, she swallowed back a cry, glancing back towards the kitchen window. What if there are more of them? 

Outside, she heard the creature breathing heavily, snarling and snuffling at her doorstep. Erin yanked her knees up until she was in a foetal position, tirelessly glancing between the door and the uncovered window. Hours passed, until eventually she heard the creature padding off, her head swimming with fatigue. Erin stayed up for what felt like hours, listening for the creature coming back, eventually falling into an uneasy sleep. 

About the Author:
I'm Miranda Stork, and I'm addicted. Addicted to writing and reading books, anyway. And chocolate, but that's another issue - no interventions, please.

I live in the middle of a forest in North Yorkshire, spending my spare time as the wild woman of the woods, scaring small children and upsetting the sheep. On the days that I feel like being civilized, or I haven't got any unicorns to ride, I sit down and pour the tumbling thoughts in my head out onto digital paper. Mainly the thoughts and characters come out in paranormal form, with a good smattering of romance, because everyone likes a good cuddle. But you can also find strong elements of thrillers, myths, and even dystopia amongst the pages of all my novels. I've wanted to write books ever since I first realized that fairytales were not the newspapers of the fairy kingdom, but the imaginings of actual people who wanted to tell fancy made-up stories to other people. From that moment, I was hooked.

Why do I write? Good question. It might be easier to just keep the stories in my head, or even just to write them for myself. But I want to share them. There is no greater delight for a writer than when a reader devours your book, and declares, "Something in that novel resonated with me. And I want MORE." So grab your lucky clover and a baseball bat (there's some nasty paranormal creatures where we're going), eat the cookie with 'eat me' tagged on it, and enter through the tiny door into the world of Miranda Stork...

Tour giveaway 
5 audiobooks, to be downloaded from or (winner will be given a coupon with the necessary code for downloading a free copy).

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