GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ I Smell Sheep: October 2015

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Comic Review: Paper Girls #1 by Brian K. Vaughn Image Comics

Story By: Brian K. Vaughan
Art By: Cliff Chiang
Art By: Matt Wilson
Cover By: Cliff Chiang
Published: October 7, 2015
Image Comics

Diamond ID: AUG150476
SAGA writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN launches a brand-new ONGOING SERIES with superstar Wonder Woman artist CLIFF CHIANG! In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Stand By Me meets War of the Worlds in this mysterious young adult adventure, starting with a spectacular DOUBLE-SIZED FIRST ISSUE for the regular price of just $2.99!

If you grew up during the 80s and you're a genre mutt like me, this comic book is going to press all your buttons.

Set during the Reagan era, replete with Cold War paranoia splashed across the front page, Erin begins her new paper route the morning after Halloween. The foreboding is immediate with this book as it begins with Erin having a macabre nightmare that includes a member of the doomed Voyager space shuttle crew and a demon holding her little sister hostage in Hell. Jolted from sleep and assured her sister and everyone else is very much alive, she begins her day in the eery hours before dawn.

But things take a turn when she meets three other paper girls, Tiffany, KJ, and the ring leader and first paper girl in the town, Mac. Immediately I was struck by a Stand By Me vibe as this friendship was forged. A quartet of girls, with Erin in the Gordie LeChance role and Mac in the Teddy DuChamp role. The girls help Erin fend off a creepy trio of trick-or-treaters, they join forces to finish their routes. Erin winds up with Mac, kind of enamored by her alpha girl attitude and rulebreaker ways, as evidenced by a chance encounter with one of the local cops who knows her and her ne'er-do-well family.

All that is just setting the stage, clearly marking out the traits of each girl. Erin the button-down responsible one, Mac the take-no-s**t tomboy, Tiffany the tech geek, and KJ the protective athlete. The development is pretty seamless and then thrown for a loop when the girls go on the hunt for another trio of masked hoodlums, only these baddies are tougher and stole one of Tiffany's walkie-talkies for some reason. And when the girls find out what the creeps have been up to, all bets are off.

I gotta say that this was the best debut issue I've read in quite some time, and if you are into 80s-tinged YA action with a hint of scifi, then you will absolutely fall in love with this series. The artwork of Cliff Chiang is bold and yet warm enough to draw out the humanity of these characters almost from page one, and the coloring by Matt Wilson makes each page a beautiful interplay of blues and reds as the story plays out in the wee early hours of the morning.

How the team follows this up with the second issue, I have no idea, but if they can keep this up through the whole series, it will be an absolute delight to follow along.

5 Sheep

Where Do Characters Come From? Guest Post by L. S. O’Dea (The Rise of the River Man tour) + giveaway

Where do characters come from:

First let me say that I believe the characters already exist in my head. Some are eager to come forward and tell their story. Others are more reticent. Either way, I have to choose who fits in the story I am unveiling at the time. Some of the characters want to be in every story and that does not work. So, how do I pick who gets into a story? Most are chosen out of necessity to the story.

Let me explain how a story takes shape for me. I usually start with an idea of either the beginning and/or the end. I have a general idea of the main character although that can change. Like I said, a lot of the characters think that they would be perfect for every tale. Sometimes, I give them a shot but if it doesn’t work, then I move on to the next. An example is the main character in my first book, Lake of Sins: Escape. Trinity was a shy character and hard for me to get to know. She started as a young boy with a sister but as I unearthed more and more about her, I realized that all her siblings were dead and she was all alone.

The creation of my latest book was different. I knew exactly what had to happen to the main character of Conguise Chronicles: Rise of the River Man because we had already met him in the Lake of Sins series. I could not deviate from his written fate. I knew who he was, but I did need to discover what type of person he had been before he was genetically mutated. He was a killer but he could be kind. How did one become like that? Life had to be hard…and so the questions started. Luckily for me, Mutter was a very vocal character. It didn’t take me long to learn his story.

The Rise of the River Man, cover, fantasy mosters
The Rise of the River Man
Conguise Chronicles
Book 1
L. S. O’Dea
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: LSODea
Date of Publication: 10/30/2015
ISBN: 978-1-942706-04-5
ASIN: B014I7M82I
Number of pages: 108 pages
Word Count: approx. 27,700
Cover Artist: Vincent OCampo
Obedient monsters are hard to create.

Mutter was sure that his pending execution at the Guards’ Shelter was the worst thing that could happen to him, but that was before he met Professor Conguise.

Now, he is living in a laboratory and the Almightys are giving him shots. He fears that they are attempting to mutate him into some kind of monster like those in the other cages. The creatures in the other cages are unnatural. Things that he can’t believe exist. Things that shouldn’t exist and if he doesn’t escape, soon he will become one of them.
Available at Amazon


MUTTER WAS IN TROUBLE. No one wanted a Guard like him. He was too big and too strong and too ugly. He stretched out on the concrete floor and winced. He definitely had some broken ribs, but he’d fought and won with broken bones in the past. He started coughing. It was this sickness that had cost him the match. He sat up; the coughing subsided. He’d pleaded with Vickers, his Almighty master, not to make him fight but the money had already switched hands. He leaned his head against the bars of the cage.  He’d lost the fight and now he’d lose his life. Vickers did not give second chances.

The door opened and a male Almighty around thirty years old with blond hair entered the room followed by Satcha, the House Servant who ran this establishment. The Guards’ Shelter didn’t allow visiting at this hour but Almightys did whatever they wanted. He didn’t even bother to stand up. No one wanted him. It was a bit embarrassing, but he’d tried to find a new home his first few days here. He’d even trimmed his beard, but it had done no good. Every time that he’d run to the front of the cage and had smiled at the Almightys, he’d smelled the fear on them as they’d passed. Most tried not to look at him, but he was big and scarred and hard to ignore.

They stopped in front of his cage.

“Ableson, this is the one I told you about,” said Satcha. “Looks like he was a fighter, so he should be used to obeying. He does have a bad cough, but I thought he might work for you.”

The Almighty remained quiet, his blue eyes sizing Mutter up.

“Come here,” said Satcha.

Mutter wanted to stay where he was to annoy the Servant but Guards like him didn’t get many chances for a home. He slowly stood, letting the Almighty get used to his size and appearance.

“How old are you?” asked Ableson.

“Not sure. Been around for a while but not too old.” That was the safe answer. He had counted nineteen winters but that might be too old or too young. He never could tell what an Almighty wanted.

“By his teeth and body we estimate around twenty-five to thirty years,” said Satcha.

Ableson twirled his finger. Mutter understood that signal. Before the fights started, when the betting happened, he was often sized up by the gamblers. He turned in a circle, slowly, giving the Almighty time to study him.

“I’m strong and healthy.” That was a lie but he would be healthy again. He just needed a little time and food.

“Does have that cough, that I mentioned.” Satcha sent him a glare.

“Just a little. From this damp, rotten place.” He hated Servants. They didn’t know when to keep their big mouths shut.

“I need an obedient Guard.” The Almighty’s eyes roamed up and down his frame.

“Won’t find one more obedient than me.”

“Let’s see if that’s true.” Ableson walked down the aisle. “Is there another Guard who he’s close to?”

“Him?” Satcha laughed, following the Almighty. “He’s so big and ugly even the other Guards stay away from him.”

Ableson stopped in the hallway. “Take this one out.”

The Servant opened the cage and slipped a rope over a young Guard’s neck. Mutter’s chest pinched. Typical. The Almighty’s always chose the young ones. His only chance was gone. They would walk out and soon he’d be executed. He started to sit back down, when the three of them stopped in front of his cage.

“Put her in with him,” said Ableson.

“Ah, we keep the younger ones separate from the older ones, especially the older males,” said Satcha.

The Almighty didn’t say a word, but his look was enough. The Servant muttered an apology and opened the door shoving the young Guard into Mutter’s cage.

He glanced at the little Guard who stood as far away from him as possible. She couldn’t have been older than nine. She had russet hair and large, frightened, brown eyes.

“Hit her,” said Ableson, his tone conversational.

“Wait,” said Satcha. “That one’s young and attractive. I can find a home for her. Let me get—”

“I’ll pay for both.” The Almighty’s eyes never left Mutter.

Mutter kept his face a mask but his stomach clenched. He didn’t want to do this. He’d fought females before but they were all older, experienced fighters. This wouldn’t even be a fight.

“I need an obedient Guard,” reminded Ableson.

The girl trembled in the corner, tears streaming down her soft, round cheeks. “Please, don’t hurt me.”

Pleading didn’t do any good. It didn’t change anyone’s mind. He knew the game and it would be her or him. He stared into the girl’s scared brown eyes. “Bruised, broken or dead?”

“Just hit her. I’ll tell you when to stop.”

Mutter stepped forward. The girl curled in a ball on the floor, pleading and crying. He grabbed her by the shirt. She weighed next to nothing, all skin and bones. He punched her in the gut, making the blow look harder than it was, but the girl was so small she gasped and coughed. He hesitated, waiting for the Almighty to stop this, but no words came. He hit her again. She yelped in pain. He shifted his stance, stalling again and praying for the words that would allow him to quit, but the only sounds were the yells of the other Guards in the nearby cages. Most screamed for him to stop but some cheered him on. If the Almighty wouldn’t end this, he would. His next punch caught her upside the head, knocking her out. He let her slide to the floor.

He walked toward the Almighty.

“I didn’t say stop.” Ableson’s blue eyes challenged him.

He stared at the girl on the floor. Only in the roughest fights, those to the end, did they hit opponents when they were down.

“Forget it. He won’t work.” Ableson turned and headed for the door.

His only chance was leaving. He’d be dead tomorrow if that Almighty walked out the door. The girl’s tiny frame was about the size of his arm. She was still breathing. “Wait.”

Ableson walked back to the cage, a smug smile on his face. “Obey or I leave. This is your one warning.”

He nodded. His heart thudded as each footstep moved him closer to the little female. The other Guards had fallen silent. He grasped her by the back of the shirt. Her head lolled to the side, her eyes closed. His supper churned in his stomach. He stared at the tears on her cheeks as he punched her over and over, trying to hit non-vital parts but it was difficult. She was tiny and his fits were big.

“Enough,” called the Almighty.

He lowered her to the floor. Her breath was ragged as blood trickled from her lips. His eyes burned, but no wetness came. He hadn’t cried since he’d lost his mother. It didn’t do any good. He wiped the girl’s blood on his shirt as he faced the Almighty.

Ableson smiled at him and handed an envelope to the Servant. “I’ll take him.”

Satcha looked in the envelope. “Ah, the price for the girl…”

Ableson frowned at the Servant but dug in his pocket and handed Satcha a few more bills. The Servant stuck them in his pocket and opened the cage door, putting a rope around Mutter’s neck. He fisted his hands, fighting the urge to kill both of them, but he’d never make it out of the shelter if he did that.

“Come.” Ableson yanked on the rope.

“What about her?” asked Satcha.

“Do what you want with her.”

“But…you already paid….”

“If she lives, sell her again, or kill her. I don’t care.” Ableson walked toward the door.

Mutter refused to look back at the girl, the sacrifice for his freedom.

About the Author:

L. S. O’Dea sees things a bit differently than most people. This is probably a bi-product of being the youngest of seven children in a time when TV was only worth watching in the evenings or Saturday mornings and there were no computers. Back then, kids had to amuse themselves and being five years younger than her closest sibling she was often the unwilling entertainment.
Since she was so much younger than her siblings, it was only reasonable that they knew how to do many things that she could not, such as read and write. One day, before she started kindergarten, she really wanted to learn how to spell her name. Her mother was busy cooking or cleaning (she had seven children to care for), so her brothers were instructed to help their baby sister.

After she learned how to spell her first and middle name (Linda Sue), she raced into the kitchen to share this new knowledge with her mother. She was so proud, standing tall and reciting the letters of her name. L-E-M-O-N H-E-A-D.

Her mother was not happy with her brothers and stopped what she was doing to teach Linda the correct way to spell her name. L. S. still receives a box of Lemonhead candy every year for Christmas.


$20 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On your mark...get set...NaNoWriMo! A Survival Check List.

I Smell Sheep wants to say good luck to everyone who is participating in NaNoWriMo 2015. It's time to buckle down and write...only stopping once a day to check our site, of course <G>

Here is a checklist to make sure you survive:
Coffee/tea or other caffeine source.
 Pain reliever of some sort (could substitute alcohol, but don't forget what Peter De Vries said, "Write drunk, edit sober." or send it to me for editing (shameless plug).
 Pillow to put between your head and whatever you might want to bang it on or you will have to add an ice pack to this list. Also can be used to muffle your screams.
 Soft plushie to hug for emergencies like forgetting to save those last 5K words.
 Kleenex so plushie doesn't get nasty.
 Timer. You need to take a stretch break every so often.
 Notebook, so when you wake up in the middle of the night you can write down that genius plot twist. Do not get out of bed to write at this point. You need your sleep or you might make bad decisions, like tell your 13 year old child to take the car and go get mommy/daddy some more coffee and hand them the keys.
 Download an app that will block social media for set amounts of time (but not our site cause sheep are soothing.)
 Snacks. You know yourself best, pick what works for you.
 This sign Dani Harper created:


National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. 

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Book Review: The Guardian of Blackbird Inn by Kerry Adrienne

The Guardian of Blackbird Inn (Wicked Tales)
by Kerry Adrienne

October 1st 2015 by ARe Books
Saving the inn might mean losing her life.

Sophia Yates travels to the famed and haunted Blackbird Inn to help its mysterious owner, Garren Amsel, research its history. The state wants to claim eminent domain and take the property, but the historical inn has been in Garren’s family for generations and he can’t bear to lose it.

After learning the truth behind the inn’s biggest mystery, and why Garren stays, saving Blackbird Inn may cost Sophia her life. How far will she go to protect him?

Days before Halloween, attorney Sophia Yates journeys to historic Blackbird Inn to help owner Garren Amsel save his inn from pending state seizure. Perched on a New England mountainside, the inn is beautiful yet unsettling and Sophia isn’t long into her stay when she realizes the inn is steeped in paranormal activity. By the time Sophia realizes all is not as it seems, she’s deeply invested in the inn and its dark and mysterious inn keeper.

This story is entertainingly charming. I enjoyed the setting of an historic inn and the vivid imagery associated with fall. Cozy fireside teatime contrasts nicely with ghostly visions and whispers. The romance between Garren and Sophia is nicely developed, given the length of the text, and tastefully described. Expect a typical paranormal romance story arc, though. Guardian of Blackbird Inn is entertaining but not innovative.

I’m going to make a humble suggestion. Halloween night, siphon some candy from the supply, pair it with a nice glass of wine (see this invaluable infographic and, in between trick or treaters, take in this sexy ghost story. A slight 75 pages, it’s an easy investment and the setting is perfect for a Halloween read.

Four Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the Author:
Repped by the fabulous Marisa Corvisiero with the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Kerry loves history and spends large amounts of time wondering about people who lived and walked on Earth in the past. She’s a mom to three daughters, six cats, and various small animals. Her husband says she’s a marketer’s dream, as she often believes everything she hears—at least initially. Her shoe horde will attest to her fine shopping skills.

In addition to writing, Kerry loves to sew (costumes and cosplay, especially), draw, paint, make chainmail, and play guitar.

Her new love is her Mini Cooper Convertible, Sheldon, and they have already gone on many adventures. They travel to as many concerts as they can–especially Green Day and Marilyn Manson.

You can visit her much-neglected costuming blog here: Maybe she’ll have time to update it soon.

Promoting Your Book is as Important as Writing It -Days of the Dead blog tour Gail Z. Martin

Promoting Your Book is as Important as Writing It

By Gail Z. Martin

Congratulations! You’ve finished your book. Maybe your work will be released by a big publisher or a small press, or maybe you’ve decided to publish. The harsh truth is that regardless of how you publish your book, without ongoing, effective marketing, few people are likely to find and read it.

Around one million books are published in the US each year—counting big publisher, small press, micro press and self-publishing. That’s a whole lot to choose from, and it all shows up in Amazon. How do you make your book stand out? How do you convince readers to go looking for your book and part with their hard-earned cash?

The first step is quality writing. The best marketing in the world can’t make up for bad quality, and while promotion might win you one sale, a shoddy product will kill future sales no matter how many ads someone sees. Before you think about marketing, be sure your manuscript is error-free, edited professionally (by someone other than you), and formatted to look exactly like the ebooks or print books readers buy from the big publishers.

Second--People do choose a book by its cover, so be sure your cover is as good as you can afford to make it. If your publisher sends you a terrible cover, push back and give specific recommendations on how to fix it. Remember—creating a book that sells well is a win for you and your publisher. If you’re not much of an artist or don’t know how to use programs like Photoshop, get someone to do it for you. A bad cover will kill your sales.

What makes a bad cover? That’s a whole conversation in itself, but a few big red flags are: 1) typography, layout and spacing that does not look like anything put out by one of the big major publishers; 2) Muddy colors and unoriginal graphics that don’t grab the eye or draw readers’ attention; 3) Too much type, type that’s too crowded or hard to read or too small. Spend an hour in a bookstore or library. Get fifty books in your genre by top authors from big publishers. Lay them all out on a table and compare them. Make notes, take measurements, look up type fonts. Now put the same rules to work on your cover.

Now for the third point: Use your cover everywhere and on everything. See why I emphasize making your cover as good as it can be? It’s the foundation of most of your marketing. Most authors I know use a discount online printer like Vistaprint or GotPrint to create bookmarks, postcards, posters and signs, banners and other promotional items. Watch for sales—the discounts are plentiful and deep. Use the front of the card for the photo of your book cover, and put your website, your social media links and perhaps a QR code to a ‘buy’ link on the back. These sites make layout pretty easy even for a layperson, but if it’s just not your skillset, you can easily find a good (and likely inexpensive) basic graphic design skills to help you out.

Remember, people will judge the quality of the book itself by the quality of your materials, so make sure those bookmarks, business cards, etc. look professional.

Four—Now that you’ve got materials, take them everywhere you go and give them to everyone. If you’re going to a convention—even if you’re not on programming—take your business cards and bookmarks. Put them on the swag table, give them to people you meet, hand them out if you have a reading or a signing. If you’re on a panel, have the cards on the table in front of you and hand them out if people come up to ask a question afterwards. People have short memories, and cons are busy places. If they liked your panel and they want to find your book, make it easy by giving them a business card or bookmark reminder.

Five—Have a consistent, ongoing social media presence and don’t always talk about your own books. It’s essential to be present on social media. Readers want to connect with you and feel they have gotten to know you. Facebook, Twittter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and your blog are all key ways to keep readers updated on what you’re doing, and to share funny pictures, pretty photographs, snapshots of conventions and other bits and pieces of your life. Be polite to everyone. What do I mean by ‘consistent’? You need to be updating your sites at least a couple times a week, and sites like Twitter reward daily (multiple) posts.

These are the five key elements to a successful book marketing outreach that every author must have to rise about the clutter. Once you have your foundation built, watch what other authors are doing and borrow great ideas that work for them. Be willing to share what’s worked—and not worked—with other authors. Building great supportive relationships with other authors is really the sixth tip—and one that will not only make your writing life more enjoyable, but much more successful in every way.

My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with never-before-seen cover art, brand new excerpts from upcoming books and recent short stories, interviews, guest blog posts, giveaways and more! Plus, I’ll be including extra excerpt links for my stories and for books by author friends of mine. You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Details here:

Book swag is the new Trick-or-Treat! Grab your envelope of book swag awesomeness from me & 10 authors before 11/1!

Trick or Treat! Excerpt from my new urban fantasy novel Vendetta set in my Deadly Curiosities world here Launches Dec. 29
Trick Or Treat w excerpt from The Truth Of Betrayal

Trick Or Treat w excerpt from The Big Bad II anthology

Trick Or Treat Double-Dragon Publishing sampler #6

Gail Z. Martin is the author of the upcoming novel Vendetta: A Deadly Curiosities Novel in her urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC (Dec. 2015, Solaris Books) as well as the epic fantasy novel Shadow and Flame (March, 2016 Orbit Books) which is the fourth and final book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga. Shadowed Path, an anthology of Jonmarc Vahanian short stories set in the world of The Summoner, debuts from Solaris books in June, 2016.

Other books include The Jake Desmet Adventures a new Steampunk series (Solaris Books) co-authored with Larry N. Martin as well as Ice Forged, Reign of Ash and War of Shadows in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen) from Solaris Books and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn, The Dread) from Orbit Books and the urban fantasy novel Deadly Curiosities from Solaris Books.

Gail writes four series of ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures, The Deadly Curiosities Adventures, The King’s Convicts series, and together with Larry N. Martin, The Storm and Fury Adventures. Her work has appeared in over 20 US/UK anthologies. Newest anthologies include: The Big Bad 2, Athena’s Daughters, Realms of Imagination, Heroes, With Great Power, and (co-authored with Larry N. Martin) Space, Contact Light, The Weird Wild West, The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, Alien Artifacts, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

New Movie Releases for November 2015

What will you be seeing this month!?

Nov 6

Nov 13

Nov 20

Nov 25

Top 10 Reasons to Try the Unbreakable Bonds Series by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott

Top 10 Reasons to Try the Unbreakable Bonds Series

It’s release week! Shiver, the first book in the Unbreakable Bonds Series, is now out and Rinda Elliott and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. But with so many awesome books out there, you’ve got to be wondering why you absolutely MUST pick up this book now. Well, to help you, I’ve come up with the Top 10 Reasons to Try the Unbreakable Bonds Series.

10. The Alpha Male – Lucas Vallois is the alpha. He’s the controlling millionaire who is determined to make the world bend to his will so he can protect his friends. He’s the glue that holds them together. One person even thinks of him as Jupiter (the planet, not the Roman god) because he has this massive gravitational force that simply holds people in his orbit. And there’s something so heartwarming to see man like that bend just a little bit for love.

9. The Broken Soul – Dr. “Snow” Frost breaks my heart. He’s the wounded figure, the emotional train wreck that somehow manages to hold it all together by sheer will so that he can save the lives of others, even if it means sacrificing bits of his own soul. He’s the one you’re dying to see healed and happy… but it’s a long road to get there.

8. The Chef – Ian Pierce is the bit of sweetness in this mix of alpha dogs. He’s the one who’s there with a cup of soup and smile when you’ve had a rough day. He’s got the easy laugh and the sweet smile that steals your heart even before you knew it was vulnerable. But don’t be fooled. There are shadows behind his eyes and deep scars that are too easily overlooked.

7. The Smart Ass – Rowe Ward is the man with a snarky quip on the tip of his sharp tongue at all times. He’s always got the quick comeback that will make you laugh even as it cuts. But there was never a more loyal friend. He’s not the type to ask questions when he’s called. He just prepared with duct tape, tarp, bungee cord, and an alibi.

6. The Straight and Narrow – Hollis Banner is the detective who is determined to protect the little guy and see that the law is obeyed. He sticks to the straight and narrow, but he’s also familiar with shadows. He might even be willing to stray more to the shadows to protect someone who captures his heart. If only he knew what he was getting into by taking on this crew….

5. The “Let’s Try Something New” – Andrei Hadeon thought this was just a job. He’d protect his boss’s best friend and that would be it. But when he saw that lazy grin, it was like all the air had been sucked out of the room. Now with every passing day, he finds himself craving more… more of something he never thought he would and he’s loving every second of it.

4. The Mystery – Fires, car chases, gun shots, murder conspiracy, and property stealing – it’s just an average day when you’re a millionaire property mogul. Okay, maybe not. But Lucas isn’t about to just roll over when he’s attacked. He’s going to uncover the threat personally.

3. Location, Location, Location – Cincinnati might not be the first city you think of when it comes to a vibrant nightlife, rich culture, or gorgeous scenery, but then you’ve never had a local showing you around. I lived in this interesting river valley for the first three decades of my life and I’ve got the inside scoop on all the scintillating places you need to know about. I can give you the sights, sounds and feel of a place as if you’re standing there with the boys.

2. The Sex – Hot. Really… just … wow. When an author brags about devoting more than 5,000 words to a particular scene … well, you can trust that she’s being thorough.

1. All this loveliness is mixed up in a single book – And all of this fun and excitement is jam-packed into the first book, Shiver. Meet all the boys, run along on this adventure through the dark, twisting streets of Cincinnati and take a chance on something new.

by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott
Print Length: 295 pages
October 27, 2015
Lucas Vallois is always in control. He’s building an empire in the glittering city of Cincinnati and created his own family from his three close friends. The self-made millionaire has everything he wants within his tight grasp. But his world starts to crumble after he’s jumped by a trio of thugs late one night after leaving a club. The warning is clear—give up his new property venture or end up dead.

Caving to the demands of his friends, Lucas accepts the help of bodyguard, Andrei Hadeon, as he hunts for the source of this new threat. But as Lucas gets closer to uncovering the danger, he realizes the sexy Romanian bodyguard poses an even bigger risk to his carefully constructed world. Trapped by a need he never expected, Lucas must find a way to deny the shiver of longing he cannot control.

His brother. His warrior. His heart. Four friends. Unbreakable bonds.


Rinda Elliott
I’m an author who loves unusual stories and I credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children.

She is the author of the Beri O’Dell urban fantasy series, the YA Sister of Fate Trilogy, and the paranormal romance Brothers Bernaux Trilogy. She also writes erotic fiction as Dani Worth. She can be found at She’s represented by Miriam Kriss at the Irene Goodman Agency.

Jocelynn Drake
Love comes in many varied forms. There is the love of family, love of country, and love of chocolate. But for Jocelynn Drake, one truly treasured love is the love of a good story. This former Kentucky girl spends the majority of her time lost in the strong embrace of a good book. When she’s not hammering away at her keyboard, frowning at her monitor, or curled up with a book, she can usually be found cuddling with her cat Demona, walking her dog Max, or flinging curses at the TV while playing a video game. Outside of books, cats, and video games, she is completely enamored of Bruce Wayne, Ezio Auditore, travel, tattoos, explosions, fast cars, and Anthony Bourdain (but only when he’s feeling really cranky).

She is the author of the urban fantasy series: The Dark Days series and the Asylum Tales. She also occasionally writes as Joy Douglass when she’s in the mood for a little historical romance. She can be found at

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Movie Review: Goosebumps (2015)

Goosebumps (2015)
Rating: PG (for scary and intense creature action and images, and for some rude humor)
Genre: Horror, Kids & Family, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: Rob Letterman
Written By: Mike White, Darren Lemke,Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski, R.L. Stine
Oct 16, 2015
Runtime: 1 hr. 43 min.
Sony Pictures - Official Site
Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach's comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange... he is a prisoner of his own imagination - themonsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it's suddenly up to Stine, Zach, and Hannah to get all of them back in the books where they belong. Note: Scholastic has sold over 400 million Goosebumps books worldwide in 32 languages since the series introduction in 1992, earning critical acclaim and dominating global best seller lists. R.L. Stine has been recognized as one of the bestselling children's authors in history. (c) Sony

I will start this by saying I've never read a Goosebumps book, but I'm guessing this would be a fun trip down memory lane for those who have. It was a cute movie, but very predictable (there was one twist I didn't see coming). It was one big cliche, including the dialogue, but I am not their target audience. The CGI was good and the movie was action packed. While I wasn't blow away by it and would have been just as happy to have seen it on DVD, my husband and 14 year old daughter loved it. They gave it 4 sheep. 

If you are looking for something entertaining for your young teens to do on a weekend or rainy day, this will fit the bill and worth a matinee price. Be sure to check out the cute cameo by R.L. Stine at the end of the movie.

3 1/2 "Slappy" Sheep


Spotlight: The Cure by Sam Crescent + giveaway

The Cure
by Sam Crescent
A Wicked Tale
ARe Books
Genre: M/F, Vampires, Werewolves, PNR
What will they decide when the two choices are the coward’s way out or certain death?

When Sandra looks into the eyes of a killer, she believes her life is over. The Cure is chasing down wolves, witches, warlocks, and anyone who threatens their control of the world.

Lucas has been watching Sandra for a year. She’s his mate, even though he’s a vampire and she is a wolf. He will do whatever it takes to protect her.

With no choice but to accept Lucas as her mate, Sandra will do everything to fight The Cure that is destroying them. Can a mated vampire and wolf save the day? Or are their days of being mated numbered?

Available at ARe-amazon


Sandra King ran through the forest terrified for her life. Her pack had just been ransacked by a scourge of vampires. She’d witnessed the murder of so many, along with several of her family.

I shouldn’t be alive.

She had run while listening to most of her pack being destroyed. They had been killed, but who had been responsible for giving away their location? For as long as she could remember, and even according to all the history books, wolves and vampires had been at war with each other. She didn’t even know why, only that she had to hate them. During her twenty-five years she’d never once met a vampire, or even touched one.

Tonight, that was all about to change. She kept on running, and when her lungs were about to burst, she had no choice but to lean against the nearest tree trunk trying to gather her senses. 

Her heart was pounding, and she couldn’t hear anything other than the howling of the wind. This is what made vampires so deadly. They didn’t have a heartbeat, or a scent to them, and this made them impossible to track.

Some romance fiction talks of vampires and wolves having repulsive smells; it was a complete lie. Vampires didn’t have anything. They were evil to the core, disgusting in every single way. She’d just witnessed so many of them taking out her pack.

A twig snapped in the distance, and Sandra turned toward the sound. Out of her whole pack she’d always been the slowest. Where a lot of wolves had naturally slender bodies, she didn’t. She’d always been plagued to be bigger than most of her pack. Her own mother had put her on a diet to try and get her to slim down so she could attract the right kind of man.

There was no man for her, though. All of the guys had placed her in the friend column, or they had not cared for her. One day she hoped to find a man who would love her for her, and to start a family with him. She loved kids, and one day she would love to have many children call her mother, and love them.

Staring up at the sky, Sandra closed her eyes in the hope that whoever was out there didn’t find her.

When she opened her eyes again, she knew it was the biggest mistake she’d ever make. She’d let her guard down, and now she was staring into the scariest eyes she’d ever seen. His eyes were black, and reminded her a little of a shark just before it struck its prey. Her heart pounded and for several seconds neither of them did anything.

Suddenly, he closed his eyes, and when she looked at him again his black eyes had changed to brown, and he looked almost human. She opened her mouth about to scream, and he sprung into action. He pressed his hand against her mouth, wrapping an arm around her waist, and tugged her close so that her back was to him. At first, she tried to fight but he was just too strong, keeping her locked into place.

“Don’t scream, baby. You scream, they all come running, and I won’t be able to protect you.”

She was confused. He was the one who was trying to kill her.

The man, whoever he was, wrapped his entire body around her, placing his hand over her heart. What the fuck was he doing?

“Be still, be quiet, don’t make a sound,” he said, whispering the words against her ear.

Sandra couldn’t believe the response he gained from her body. Heat spilled between her thighs, and she had to fight her own need to reach out and touch him.

The vampire behind her didn’t say anything. He didn’t respond even though he must have scented her arousal to their closeness.

Couldn’t the ground just open up and swallow her?

About the Author:
Sam Crescent is a USA Today Bestselling author who is passionate about romance. She resides in the UK, and loves creating new exciting characters that take her on a journey she never expected.

When she’s not panicking about a story or arguing with a character, she can be found in her kitchen creating all kinds of havoc.

2 ARe Imprint ebooks

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Book Review: Darkest Before Dawn (KGI #10) by Maya Banks

Darkest Before Dawn (KGI #10)
by Maya Banks
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
October 27th 2015
by Penguin Publishing Group
THE ALL-NEW KGI NOVEL from the “incredibly awesome" (Jaci Burton) #1 New York Times bestselling author of When Day Breaks.

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t...

The enigmatic Hancock has been both opponent and ally to the KGI teams for as long as they've known him. Always working a deep game, Hancock's true allegiance has never been apparent, but one thing is for certain—he never lets anything get in the way of duty.

But now, his absolute belief in the primacy of his ultimate goal is challenged by a captive he's been ordered to guard, no matter how much she suffers in her prison. She's the only woman who's ever managed to penetrate the rigid walls surrounding his icy heart, but will he allow his perplexing feelings for the beautiful victim to destroy a mission he's spent years working to complete or will he be forced to sacrifice her for “the greater good.”

Honor a relief worker in the Middle East was running for her life from the same people who bombed her village where no one survived but her. They knew she survived and will stop at nothing until they found her and tortured her to death just for the simple facts that one she survived but worse because she helps people in need. Honor is injured, out of food and water and in the middle of nowhere but her survival instincts have kicked in and she will not give up. She just needs to get across the border without getting caught.

Hancock ordered by his employer to fly out to the war zone to find Honor and guard her until his employer was ready for her. Finding her was easy. Luring her in to believe he was trying to save her piece of cake, but can he stand by and watch her suffer in her little prison of a room all for what he believed was for the greater good is another story. Something about her is getting through his walls.

This is my first KGI novel, I have not read any other books in the series. I was able to read it as a standalone which I liked because I did not feel like I was missing something. It was an interesting story, sad though because there is a bit of truth as we all know what goes on in the Middle East. Maya did a great job of mixing some of that truth into this story where two people are fighting for the greater good in their own ways and thoughts of what that actually is. Along the way they spark off a romance that has no chance of survival. But whose survival is the real question.

Now that I have been introduced to the series I definitely will be picking up the rest.

4 Captive Sheep

Tammy K

About the Author:
I live in Texas with my husband and three children and our assortment of pets. I’m more of a cat person, but my daughter became convinced she NEEDED a dog.

When I’m not writing, I love to hunt and fish with my family. We all love the outdoors and go on family hunting trips every year. We also love to travel.

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of a writing career is getting to meet so many wonderful readers. There’s nothing better than dishing books with someone who loves the romance genre as much as I do. Romance readers are passionate and vocal. We love our books, love our happily ever afters, and we love to spend time talking to others about our favorites. THIS is why I love my job so much, and I’m so grateful to readers who gave ME a chance when I began my career. So thank you.

60 New Book Releases in Speculative Fiction for October 27

Time to feed the need and there is a lot of need this week!! Since I missed last week I included some of those releases at the bottom.

WTF-ery of the week...*shakes head*

Oct 27 releases

October 20 releases