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Friday, August 31, 2018

Book Review: Scales (Book One of the Fate and Fire Series) By Amity Green

Scales (Book One of the Fate and Fire Series)
By Amity Green
September 1, 2018

260 pages
Publisher: Petrichor Press
How does Tessa, an orphan from Austin, Texas, cope with being transformed into a living, breathing gargoyle? By rolling with change, learning to control new abilities, and using super powers to help the less-fortunate and vanquish evil. A sickly childhood under the care of a rotten gaggle of nuns is all Tessa knows, until studying in London confirms the gut feeling that there is more to her beneath the skin, and ultimately, beneath the scales. A Celtic demigoddess has fused her existence with Tessa, and much to Fate’s delight, mayhem ensues as Tessa struggles to embrace her new existence as a gargoyle with strong goddess tendencies.

Tessa has lived her life in an orphanage in Austin, Texas, until she has a chance to study one life-changing summer in London, England. As she prepares to return home, Tessa visits a bookstore. A man changes her into a gargoyle and she finds her path changed forever. Not only set in London, this fantasy novel is set in Scotland, too. There is romance with a fellow bookseller who is also a gargoyle, a bad guy named Kia, and others, including her American human girlfriend from Austin, Bree. It’s an origin story for the heroine.

If you enjoy paranormal romances and urban fantasies, Scales is a fun read styled just for you!

I gave Scales 4 sheep.

Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
Amity Green was born in a small town in Colorado in the spring of 1971. She graduated high school in Kingman, Arizona in 1989. She started taking college courses in the fall of 1992 while working as a raft guide on the Arkansas River. Amity won her first writing award as an essayist in the fall of 1998 and continued college part time while raising her children and working as a haul truck driver in the mining industry. In the summer of 2006, she went to Austin, Texas to continue her education. She has studied Creative Writing and British Literature, including a stint in London during the summer of 2010, where she toured and studied theater and the history of English Literature. Amity returned to Colorado in late 2010, where she began her first novel, "Scales" which she outlined in Stratford Upon Avon while touring bookstores and playhouses. Since then, many of her short stories have appeared in numerous published anthologies and continue to appear in new publications. In 2014 she moved to Manitou Springs, Colorado, where she currently resides and continues to produce works of Urban Fantasy and Horror. Amity is a proud member of the Horror Writers Association and keeps steady attendance at local writers groups. A lover of animals, Amity is an advocate against animal abuse and assists with lost pets in her community.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Spotlight: Her Dragon To Slay (Dragon Guard Series Book 1) by Julia Mills

by Julia Mills
November 20, 2013
204 pages
The books in this epic saga can be read as stand-alone stories, or you can experience all the love, thrills, and exploits of the whole series from beginning to end. It's up to you. ENJOY!

Sassy and stubborn have gotten Kyndel through everything life had to throw at her. Will her moxie help when destiny falls at her feet? 

Hundreds of years of loyalty to Dragon Guard have made Rayne a fearless leader. When the long foretold pull of his mate rocks the Commander’s world to its core will he be able to save her from his enemies in time? 

The chemistry between this strong-willed curvy girl and fierce warrior makes all the difference in the world where nothing is as it seems. The existence of an ancient race of honor-clad, tradition-bound protectors might be hard to accept but now the dead are coming back to life and holding a knife to her neck. 

Can these fated mates defeat their greatest enemies and get their happily ever after? 

Fate Will Not Be Denied!!

Warning: This book contains several love scenes and is intended for mature readers 18+.

About the Author: 
Hey, Y'all! Julia Mills, the Sassy Southern Storyteller here. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Just a little bit about me - I'm Southern to the bone, love my children more than life itself, and adopt animals like most people collect dust bunnies. (Oh come on, we've all got them under one bed or another.) I came by the tagline Sassy, Southern Storyteller honestly and many years before I ever started writing. (My dad thought it was a hilarious nickname for his kindergarten teaching daughter.)

I live by three simple rules - (1) Treat people how you want to be treated. (2) Smile lots. (3) Try everything, 'cause hearses don't have luggage racks.

Now, go out there and create your own story!!! Dare to Dream! Have the Strength to Try EVERYTHING! Never Look Back!

I ABSOLUTELY adore talking to readers!

Second Look Book Review: Captured by her Cougar (Cougar Creek Mates Shifter Romance Series Book 2) by Felicity Heaton

Captured by her Cougar (Cougar Creek Mates Shifter Romance Series Book 2)
by Felicity Heaton
August 18, 2018
Pages: 139
In the wake of an Archangel attack on Cougar Creek, Storm is seething with a need for revenge against the hunter organisation and the key to it might be the petite blonde mortal he’s locked in his cabin, one he’s determined to make sing for him. Only the beauty has a fiery temperament to match his own, and the more time he spends with her, the more she stokes a fire inside him. One that fills him with a startling and undeniable need to make her sing in another way—in his arms.

Gabriella isn’t going to take her captivity lying down. She’s going to give the pig-headed brute holding her against her will hell until he finally believes she’s innocent. He might be a cougar shifter, but she isn’t afraid of him. Or at least she isn’t afraid of what he is. The way he affects her, the flames that lick through her whenever they’re close, terrifies her though, because the longer she’s around the towering sexy-as-sin shifter, the hotter that fire blazes, and it’s only a matter of time before it burns away all her restraint.

With the mating heat and the attack bringing cougars back to the creek, Gabriella is a complication Storm doesn’t need, but she’s one that he wants… because she might just be his one true mate.

Discover four sexy cougar shifter brothers guaranteed to become your next book boyfriends in this hot new shapeshifter romance series from New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author Felicity Heaton, set in the same rich and addictive world as her Eternal Mates paranormal romance series.

Books in the series
Book 4: Craved by her Cougar (coming 9-29-18)

Read it with your Kindle Unlimited Subscription or buy now from…

Captured by Her Cougar is the second installment in Felicity Heaton’s new Cougar Creek Mates series. The series centres on a cougar shifter clan with a lodging settlement in the Canadian Wilderness. Cougars regularly convene on the remote property during a mating season of sorts. This serves at the perfect time and setting for burgeoning cougar romance.

The captor in the book is Storm, brother to the property’s caretaker Rath. He has imprisoned British heiress Gabriella for her suspected role in an attack on the encampment days previous. Infuriated by her unlawful commitment, Gabriella isn’t talking. And so captor and captee forge a highly acrimonious union. Predictably, suspicion and detest turn to sweltering lust.

Captured by Her Cougar is a quick read. It’s entertaining and sexually charged. I didn’t find it as riveting as the first installment, however. The isn’t an abundance of action or even a major conflict other than relationship angst. I’m a big Felicity Heaton fan and follow her Eternal Mates and Guardians of Hades series. Cougar Creek Mates intersects with Eternal Mates.

DeniseB's review of Captured by her Cougar (Cougar Creek Mates Book 2)

Three Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the Author:
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Book Review: When Darkness Follows (Beyond the Grave Series Book Four) by Athena Daniels

When Darkness Follows (Beyond the Grave Series Book Four)
by Athena Daniels
May 29, 2018
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Sunset Coast Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9944029-7-4
Number of pages: 303
Word Count: 115K
Cover Artist: Damonza
The only man who can save her, is the one she swore she’d never see again…

Rachel Sommers and her two best friends don’t believe anything will happen when they sneak onto a haunted shipwreck in the middle of the night. Why would they? Ghosts don’t actually exist… right?

But Rachel and her friends disturb something that night. Something demonic.

Something that lured Rachel to the ship. And now one of her friends is dead, the other is missing, and Rachel’s memory of the night is gone. There’s only one thing she knows for sure: whatever killed her friend has followed her home.

Over a century ago, an act of bitter jealousy and revenge tainted a crystal ball with an unstoppable evil. And when the deadly object eerily turns up in her bedroom, Rachel’s nightmare really begins.

Ex-Special Forces detective Daniel Smith takes the case the moment Rachel’s name appears on his screen. Rachel is the only woman he’s ever loved, but despite their explosive chemistry, she’s determined to keep him at a distance.

With Rachel’s life on the line, the disturbing truth about her ancestry and the cursed object she has inherited must be uncovered. But is it already too late? Daniel will risk everything to save the woman he loves, but how can he win this lethal game of cat and mouse against a killer that is not flesh and blood?

Rock band Trinity Beat are a tight trio of friends seeking fun and adventure. When their interest in the macabre takes them to a fabled ghost ship abandoned on the Australian coast, their lives are forever altered by a demonic force tied to the ship. Following their ill-fated adventure lead singer Rachel Sommers is thrust in the middle of a murder investigation when one of her bandmates is found dead and the other is on the run. Rachel’s inability to recall what unfolded on the haunted ship adds another layer of mystery, and suspicion, to the case. Rachel seeks the assistance of the paranormal reality show Debunking Reality and the group launches an investigation of their own to uncover the truth. Aiding in the investigation is special forces detective Daniel Smith. Rachel and Daniel have a romantic past and unfinished business between them, increasing the already volatile nature of the investigation. 

I had not read earlier installments in this series when I started When Darkness Follows. While I think this would’ve enhanced my reading experience, I don’t think it was required. I felt fully immersed in the series and had a good handle on character dynamics. Daniels effectively develops her characters and settings. I like the regional feel of the book as it reveals Australian cultural characteristics throughout. The plotline is imaginative and the horror elements are well-crafted.

I found the book over-long, however. I had a difficult time staying engaged and connected to the story. I didn’t quite connect with Rachel as a main character. She makes questionable choices that made her difficult to root for. I would consider reading future installments in the series. Perhaps having read When Darkness Follows would increase engagement.

3 ½ sheep

Bianca Greenwood

Rachel wrapped her arms around Daniel’s neck and kissed him back with a ferocity that surprised her. All the emotion, the turmoil, of the last two weeks, the last year, moved through her. She couldn’t remember why keeping away from him was so important. Something about self-respect and needing to be more than just an occasional fuck to someone.

Daniel crushed her to his body, his tongue delving inside her mouth, tracing across her teeth. He took control of the kiss, like the man controlled everything else in his life. The heat of his mouth set her blood on fire, and her body submitted to his natural dominance.

He groaned, holding her to him so tightly she couldn’t breathe. But she didn’t need her own oxygen when she could breathe his.

Daniel walked her away from the water to where the sand was dry and still warm from the sun. He fell to the sand, pulling her down on top of him. She laughed in surprise.

His sunglasses fell off his head as he looked up at her. He cupped the back of her neck, guided her head down and kissed her hard. She couldn’t think, couldn’t feel anything but him.

Her soft, white denim skirt slid up her thighs as she spread her legs and sat on his hips. His erection, firmly encased in his jeans, pressed against her lacy white panties. She rubbed against him, needed to, and his eyes flickered closed. He groaned, the sound sending fire racing through her veins.

“I want you so bad.” Daniel’s grip tightened on her hips, the roughness in his tone thrilling her.

This was what was familiar between them. This rawness and this uncontrollable desire.

“Tell me you still want this.”

Rachel nodded.

“I said tell me.”

The bite of authority in the command made her blood race. Her mouth dried, and she swallowed twice before she could speak.

“I want this.”

Daniel squeezed his eyes shut, and when he opened them, emotion swirled heavily in his gaze.

“Tell me you still want me.” His body went rigid as he waited for her answer, and her heart stuttered to a stop.

“I want you,” she said, the truth and a lie all at once. God she wanted him! Right now, in this moment, she wanted him more than her next breath.

Daniel sat up, cradling her in his lap, her legs wrapped around his hips as he kissed her again, long and deep. She thrust her hands in his thick hair, holding him hard as his hands ran up her thighs, his thumbs tracing along the seams of her panties and making her core clench with anticipation.

He lifted the hem of her top, his palm scorching the soft skin on her stomach as he moved to cup her breast. His expression looked pained, his chest rising and falling as his breathing grew labored.

As much pleasure as he gave her, she loved watching how much simply touching her aroused him.

“A year,” Daniel growled. “A whole fucking year.”

She cried out as his fingers found a hardened nipple and squeezed. Pleasure, white-hot and overwhelming, filled her, stole her breath.

His other hand slid the thin fabric of her panties aside, his thumb gently tracing along her slick entrance. Her heart skittered in her chest, her pulse roaring past her ears.

“You need this too,” he said, his voice a low rasp. “Don’t tell me you don’t.”

Tears burned her eyes, and she squeezed her lids closed to hide her reaction to his words. She needed him? Dear God! She fucking craved him.

And then he’d leave…

And she’d be left empty, wanting him. Frustration caused her to cry out at the same time his thumb slipped inside her, and the sound was disguised as pleasure.

Frustration and pleasure: those two extremes described what she had with Daniel perfectly.

Max barked, and they both looked up to see him bounding through the thick sand toward them. He barked again, and Rachel followed his gaze and noticed two people at the top of the sand dunes, making their way to the water.

“Fuck,” Daniel growled.

How like Daniel to always make her feel as though they were the only two people in the world. She pressed her forehead against his, his ragged breath warm across her skin. Before the couple could see them clearly, she rolled off Daniel and tugged her skirt back into place, her body still tingling with the feel of his touch.

About the Author: 
Amazon Author
Newsletter -BookBub
Athena Daniels is the #1 international bestselling author of the award-winning Beyond the Grave paranormal romance series and the romantic thriller Desperate.

In 2016, Athena was nominated for Author of the Year and Best New Author in AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

Her novel Girl Unseen won the Silver Medal in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite® International Book Awards and was awarded a Silver Medal in the 2017 Literary Titan Book Awards. Girl Unseen was an “Official Selection” in the New Apple Literary Awards, and was also nominated for 2017 Book of the Year in AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

The Seer’s Daughter was the solo Medalist Winner in the Suspense/Thriller category of the 2016 New Apple Annual Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing.

The Seer’s Daughter was also a finalist in the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards in Suspense and in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite® International Book Awards. Additionally, The Seer’s Daughter was nominated for 2016 Book of the Year and 2016 Cover of the Year in AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

Girl Unseen and The Seer’s Daughter are both 5-star Top Picks at The Romance Reviews.

Athena has a natural curiosity about the “more” there is in life and holds several qualifications in metaphysics and natural therapies. She is a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, life coach, and feng shui specialist.

Athena lives on the northern beaches of sunny Western Australia.

Excerpt Spotlight: Piper's Quest (Finding Magic Book #7) by Blair Drake + giveaway

Piper's Quest (Finding Magic Book #7)
by Blair Drake
August 30, 2018
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Magic Quest Books
Number of pages: 225
Word Count: 78,750
Cover Artist: Jennifer Zemanek/Seedlings LLC
What would you do to find your magic?

The only thing Piper is worried about, until that fateful morning, finals. She wants to graduate with good grades, and go to an Ivy League university. After being summoned to the headmaster’s office, Piper’s life changes forever.

Reunited with her long-lost aunt, Piper learns things about herself she should have known for years. Aunt Winnie lives in a dimension parallel to Piper’s, where magic is a way of life. Now in Rowan’s Landing, Piper learns about her own abilities, and who to trust. When she trusts the wrong person, she may never return to Gray Cliffs Academy and graduate.

The woman standing before her looked close to her mom’s age, and had wild, curly black hair sticking out in ringlets around her head. Her pale skin made the dark circles around her eyes look even darker. Piper would have looked closer at the woman’s eyes, but they looked black and scared the crap out of her.

This was Hell, she just knew it. She’d been a terrible brat all her life, but she didn’t think she deserved to go to Hell when she died. This has to be a mistake. But Hell sure had a nice bathroom, even with the stinking liquid on the floor. She’d be a good girl if only she could get out of Hell.

Looking the woman up and down, as the woman did the same to her, Piper marveled at her tiny waist, cinched in with a corset. She wore a black dress of a fine fabric Piper couldn’t name, with red satin at her bust. And what a bust it was, with the flesh pushing out the top of the dress.

Piper watched the lady’s red lips as she repeated, “Piper? Is that you?”

Afraid to speak, Piper nodded.

The woman grabbed her by the shoulders and turned her around. “Look at you. What a fine girl you’ve grown into.”

Piper’s expression would be one of confusion, but she couldn’t manage anything more than a blank stare.

“Are you okay? You look dazed.” The woman looked around Piper, toward the bathroom. “What were you doing in there? Your bum is wet.”

Piper finally found her tongue. “Who are you?”

The woman’s lips curled up at the corners. “You are Piper Cavanaugh, aren’t you? Cuz you sure look like her.”

“I thought we already established that.” Piper mentally slapped herself. She was supposed to start being good, so she’d be moved up.

The woman opened her arms wide and Piper thought her boobs might spill out from the fabric. “I’m Aunt Winnie, sweetheart. Don’t you remember me?”

Aunt Winnie? How would she remember her? It had been too many years since she last saw her, and that was only for a moment. They hadn’t even talked.

“Aunt Winnie? Where am I? And what’s happened?” Piper looked around.

Winnie wrapped her arms around Piper and drew her in for a hug. “I’m so thrilled. I can’t believe you finally came to visit. I thought for sure your mom was hiding the letters. And then when I tried to find you online, nothing. Honey, don’t you even have a Facebook account?”

Piper shook her head. Winnie was happy to see her, and she knew she should be happy too, but she was too confused to be happy at the moment. “I’m…uh…”

“Come. Sit.” Winnie led her to the upholstered booth of a restaurant table. “I’ll explain what I can, or at least what I think happened.”

Piper sat on the
aqua vinyl seat and scooted across to the middle of the booth. The wetness of her pants felt cold and made sliding across the vinyl feel sticky. She looked around and noticed she was in some kind of café with a beach theme.

“Where am I?” She continued to look around without looking at Winnie, who slid into the seat across from her.

The place had fifteen booths, and a dozen stools at the counter. It looked like the ‘50s cafés she’d seen in movies, except this one had deep sea fishing items on the walls, along with starfish, sand dollars, and hanging nets she assumed were for fishing, too.

“You’re in my café.” Winnie’s chest raised as she said it.

“You still have the café?” Piper remembered her mom talking about it.

From her mom’s description, it was a rundown money pit not fit to eat in. Her mom couldn’t be more wrong. The café felt like a breath of fresh air. Ocean air.

The aqua vinyl booth she sat in looked new. She could smell the fabric, almost like new car smell. The tables were covered in pristine white linen clothes with matching white linen napkins she assumed were wrapped around silverware. She reached forward to touch the violet flower in the lead crystal vase.
“That’s a blue violet. It brings love and inspiration. But I keep them on the tables to protect my guests from all evil.” She plucked a flower and handed it to Piper. “Carry this for protection and good fortune.”

Piper accepted the flower. “Thank you, it’s lovely.” She held it between her fingers, taking in the graduated colors of the five petals. She didn’t want to put it down, but she tucked it in the breast pocket of her shirt.

“Press it between the pages of a large book when you get a chance. Then you’ll be able to keep it forever. But do it soon, before it wilts.” A bell chimed behind her, and Winnie’s gaze moved to the door of the café.

Piper looked over her shoulder. When she did, she almost forgot she had a crazy morning.

The guy who just walked in the door looked like he was her age. His athletic build made her body warm, but it was his dark, brooding eyes she locked onto. And he looked back. The smell of salt air flowed in with the guy, and Piper breathed deeply.

“Aaron,” Winnie said in a tight voice. “What can I do for you?”

Aaron, Piper thought. Yes, he looked like an Aaron. He looked like he could be anyone he wanted to be, and the girls probably hung on his every word, drooling over his strong facial features and muscular arms. She wondered what his tanned skin looked like under the knit sweater and canvas vest he wore.

“Hank said he called in an order and asked me to pick it up.” Aaron shoved his hands in his pockets and smiled at Piper.

“I’ll be right back, honey. Hang tight, and I’ll explain everything.” Winnie jumped up from the booth like she’d been stung. Her stride looked broken, like she was fighting something as she disappeared into the kitchen of her café.

Not wanting to be obvious with her interest, Piper turned away from Aaron and looked out the window.

From her vantage point, she saw the café sat at the end of a wharf of some sort. Aunt Winnie lived near the water? Did she live on the island, and somehow the winds blew Piper to her café? No, wait, she’d landed in the bathroom. She cringed at the thought of what was on her pants, and what might have been on her hands. She really hoped it was just water.

She felt the air move behind her, and when she turned around, Aaron stood so close she could reach out and touch him. He smelled sweet and salty, with a hint of ash.

“I thought I knew every pretty girl in town. I haven’t seen you before.” His wide smile was infectious.

It took Piper a second to break her gaze from his eyes and find her manners. “Oh, hi, I’m not from here. And I just got here. I’m Piper Cavanaugh.” She reached out to shake his hand.

Her entire body felt the jolt as he took her hand in his. It wasn’t the “love at first sight” kind of jolt like she read about in romance novels. This was an overpowering energy disappearing as soon as he let go of her hand.

“Aaron Payne. I’ve lived here forever, so if you need to know anything, I’m your guy.”

Winnie reappeared with a white bag. “You’re not anyone’s guy for anything here.” She shoved the bag of food at him. “Now run along before the food gets cold.”

Aaron didn’t even look back at Piper as Winnie practically shoved him out the door.

When she came back to the table, she sat again. “There are much better people to get your information from. Aaron is trouble.”

Check out an excerpt from book one

About the Author:
Blair Drake believes in magic, especially the magic of stories with fantasy, adventures, romance, action, and surprises. She has loved writing and living in the stories of the Finding Magic series and is so excited to share the quests of the Gray Cliffs Academy students with her readers.

When she’s not writing about magic, she’s reading about it. Her influences are Cassandra Claire, Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan, Garth Nix, and many more.

In the mortal plane, following the lure of magic has drawn Blair into strange and wonderful adventures from Australia to New York City, with many stops in between. She currently lives near Denver. Her very favorite spot is a red loveseat in her office, frequently shared with two cats, an outnumbered Dalmation, and occasionally her bewitched husband.

She might have gone to a school similar to Gray Cliffs Academy and would love to go through a magic portal. In the meantime, she’s creating her own in more books of magic.

Kindle Fire Giveaway

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Book Review: Spun by Sorcery (The Sugar Maple Chronicles Book 3) by Barbara Bretton

Spun by Sorcery (The Sugar Maple Chronicles Book 3)
by Barbara Bretton
December 15, 2017
Pages: 339
Welcome back to Sugar Maple!

Sugar Maple may look like your postcard-perfect Vermont town but that’s where the similarity ends. Our librarian is a beautiful Norwegian troll. The funeral parlor is run by a family of vampires. The Sugar Maple Inn is owned by Fae while the werewolves keep our hardware store well-stocked. For centuries we have been home to house sprites, witches, selkies, spirits, shapeshifters, and elves. And who could forget Forbes, our lovable Mountain Giant?

I’m Chloe Hobbs, the half-human/half-magick owner of Sticks & String, the most popular knit shop in New England, where your yarn never tangles, you always, get gauge, and the knitter sitting next to you only comes out after dark.

Now that I'd found my soulmate in 100% human police chief Luke MacKenzie and come into my magick, I thought my life would get easier but I was wrong.

The last thing I expected was to lose an entire town! Sugar Maple was gone, taken beyond the mist by my Fae enemies and it's up to me to rescue it or lose my birthright forever.

Even the Book of Spells, my lifeline to magick, can't help me now. If I'm going to bring Sugar Maple back, I must return to Salem where my family's story began and face the secrets and centuries-old feuds that threaten the life of the man I love and the town where I belong.

Chloe has found her soulmate in Luke MacKenzie and she is hoping that he will stay on as chief of police and live in Sugar Maple with her and a town full of magick. What she did not expect is to lose the entire town. Sugar Maple has disappeared, and Chloe is at a complete loss of how to bring it back. She may be half-human/half-magick and still trying to come into her magick but she is sure that there has to be some way to rescue the town and return things to normal.

Sugar Maple is the perfect town, filled with all different types of supernatural beings which make this book series one you don’t want to miss. There’s love, fighting, feuds, knitting and more! This series will bring a smile to your face and happiness in your heart.

Review: Casting Spells (The Sugar Maple Chronicles Book 1)

Review: Laced with Magic (The Sugar Maple Chronicles Book 2)

Getting 5 sheep


About the Author:
In the month of February 1982 I wrote and sold my first novel. And no, I wouldn't believe it either if it hadn't happened to me. I sent in my manuscript on Thursday February 21, 1982 and four days later the telephone rang and I heard the amazing words, "We want to buy your book." How I wish you could have seen me. I was standing by the kitchen door of our North Babylon house, the picture of cool sophistication, as I listened to Vivian Stephens explain the terms of the deal to me. You would have thought I'd sold a first book every single day of my life. Yes, I said. Sounds wonderful. Thank you so much for calling. I look forward to our association. That cool sophistication hung on until I hung up the phone, took a deep breath, then promptly threw up on my shoes. 

I was thirty-one years old, unagented, unschooled, unfamiliar with anything to do with the business of publishing. To put it mildly, I was in shock. My husband was working in Manhattan at the time (and finishing up his degree at night) so it would be hours until I could break the news to him. This was too exciting to waste on a phone call. I wanted to see his face when I told him that my dream had finally come true -- and came with a $6000 advance! 

He pulled into the driveway at midnight. I was waiting in the doorway, holding a bottle of champagne and two glasses. I didn't have to say a word. He knew right away and the look of joy and pride in his eyes warms me now, years later, long after the advance faded into memory.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Sheep Movie Review: Mile 22 (2018)

Mile 22 (2018)
Aug 17, 2018
Directed By: Peter Berg
Written By: Lea Carpenter
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais, Ronda Rousey, Terry Kinney, John Malkovich
Rating: R (strong violence and language throughout)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Runtime: 90 minutes
Studio: STXfilms
In a visceral modern thriller from the director of Lone Survivor, Mark Wahlberg stars as James Silva, an operative of the CIA's most highly-prized and least understood unit. Aided by a top-secret tactical command team, Silva must retrieve and transport an asset who holds life-threatening information to Mile 22 for extraction before the enemy closes in.
Went to see Mile 22 with my husband and 17-year-old daughter.

Aw, geez...the trailer to this one screams badass action movie, and the movie delivers crazy action and fighting scenes. Not for the faint of heart though, lots of bloody violence. It also delivers on the suspense. And the twist at the end? Oh, snap! And I adore Mark Wahlberg.

This movie has all the pieces, but... there were a few things that didn't work for me. Unfortunately, important things. The biggest issue, I didn't like the main character James Silva played by Mark Wahlberg. And it wasn't that the character was an a$$hole, because he was supposed to be. But Wahlberg, the director, and the writer didn't pull the character off as well as they could have. James Silva has some emotional issues which make him good at his job. His mind is hyperactive and his mom taught him to snap a rubber band on his wrist whenever he needed to slow his brain down and focus. But they kept hitting us over the head with it. Subtle references would have been better.

Then there was James Silva's dialogue. Yeah, I get it, his brain is going 100 mph and he talks fast, confusing everyone around him. That works great in a written medium, not so much on the screen. It was distracting and annoying.

Lauren Cohan and Iko Uwais characters helped save Mile 22 for me. Iko Uwais...I can watch him all day ;)

The story was told in one of my least favorite ways. Flipping between James Silva briefing his superiors on how their mission went FUBAR and then flashbacks of the mission. Add in James Silva's linguistic gymnastics and I got tired of it pretty quick.

After the awesome big twist, the movie ended with two important characters on a major cliffhanger. Do they plan on having a sequel? Cause if they don't, WT actual F?

Okay, I sound like you shouldn't see the movie...but if you like action movies there is still a lot to enjoy about Mile 22. But catch it on DVD.

My husband and daughter gave it 3.5 sheep. My husband would have given it 4 if it hadn't had that ending.

3 "snap" Sheep


W.I.P. it Real Good: UF Author A.R. Braun + giveaway

Liam’s shoulders relaxed. He sighed and slumped in his seat. “I’m going to get premature gray hairs because of you,” he grumbled.

I smiled. “I hear silver hair is in style.”

Liam snickered. “Silver clashes with my dark and broody image.” His smile was half its normal wattage. Tension balled like a fist in my chest.

“It’s going to be okay, ace. I—”

“Dude, do not say ‘I promise.’ That’s too corny, and…”

And I won’t trust it went unsaid.

“Okay. Then I’ll wait until I can say, “ ‘I told you so.’”

Liam rolled his eyes. He was nervous, but he wasn’t turning away from me. That was the most I could ask for.

One of my favorite parts of writing Storm of the Gods was the banter between main character Derek and his younger brother Liam. They always jump to snark at each other, and while Liam will never admit it, Derek is always quicker on the draw and usually gets the final word in.

Unfortunately, more often than not, the banter ends with a dark undertone: either they remember the years of abuse and pain inflicted on them from their past and the road it led to, or Liam’s stress and concern about Derek’s absent concern for his own safety clings to their words.

Five years before the events of Storm of the Gods, Derek and Liam suffered a traumatic battle which nearly killed Liam and irrevocably scarred Derek’s mental state. Since neither brother has wanted to truly confront or return to those memories to get past them, it often leads to arguments and even some resentment. Derek will do anything to keep his little brother alive, and Liam will do anything to stop Derek from throwing himself into situations that will get him killed. This gets further exacerbated because Derek’s powers are almost double that of any war scion (a descendant of the re-awakened Greek God Ares), and that much power often leads Derek to push his limits until he sees nothing but an enemy to attack and a challenge to overcome. When he recovers, Liam is quick to jump at him and beg for him not to do it again, a promise that is becoming increasingly difficult for Derek to keep.

Their brotherly love is intense and complicated, and they both have a long way to go to find their inner peace. But like all good brothers, they will never quit on or abandon each other, and they will always jump at the chance to tease one another.

Storm of the Gods (An Areios Brothers Novel)
by Amy Braun
August 27th, 2018
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
The first in a brand new urban fantasy series where gods roam and mortals fight, STORM OF THE GODS follows two brothers who are caught in a conspiracy revolving around ancient artifacts, and find themselves siding with their supposed enemies rather than the Olympian who demands their loyalty…

Thirty years ago, the gods of Greek legend returned to the world. Their return restored their powers, which had been spent in a cataclysmic battle with the Titans. With the ancient deities imprisoned in Tartarus, the Olympians now reside in Néo Vasíleio, formerly known as California.

Twenty-four-year-old Derek Aerios is a war scion, a descendent of Ares, the God of War. He and his brother, eighteen-year-old Liam, capture mythological creatures and rogue scions as part of Ares’s elite military force. As he struggles to cope with his violent powers and the scars of a traumatic childhood, Derek tries to keep the two vows he has made: protect his brother, and never kill a human again.

But when Ares forces him to hunt and kill four rogue scions under Athena’s control—by threatening Liam’s life—Derek chooses to go after the scions in order to save his brother and keep his promise to himself.

Yet the closer Derek gets to the scions, the more he realizes that his orders are part of a deeper conspiracy that put him at odds with his mission and his conscience. Athena may not be the enemy, a traitor could be in their midst, and the Titans could be closer to freedom than ever before.

About the Author:
Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action.

When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction, and diving headfirst into danger in Dungeons & Dragons campaigns.

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)

A signed copy of Storm of the Gods, a printed color map + swag
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Fantasy author A.M. Bochnak: Magic is alive and well. (The Magical Bond Series)

I’m actually a unicorn!

Well not really, but it’s a game I play often with my children in an attempt to convince them that magic is real. Somehow, and it definitely was not my doing, my young children (ages 6 and 9) got it in their heads that magic wasn’t real. Can you believe that craziness?

Of course, magic is real. Magic is in all of us. We’re born with it and the only way we can lose our magic is if we lose our imagination. Our ability to let our imagination run wild and form new ideas and concepts to heighten our senses is closely tied to magic. The two really do go hand in hand.

Now, I know what your thinking. You’re sitting there reading this, maybe even rolling your eyes at me, doubting every word I’ve written so far. That’s what my children do every time we play this game. Doubt me all you want, but I stand behind my beliefs and hold onto the reality that I’m actually a unicorn!

Let’s talk a moment about what it means to be ‘real.’ Are you like my children? The only things they think are real are the objects they can see and touch. I’ll agree, its much easier to think of something as real if you can pick it up and hold it. Our instincts to believe in the things we cannot see is much stronger when we’re small children. Remember Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy? I remember fighting sleep every night I lost a tooth hoping to catch a glimpse of that tiny fairy coming to exchange my tooth for a quarter. I knew it had to take some really special magic in order for something so tiny to bring me a quarter. Sadly, I was never able to stay awake long to see her, but even after all these years, I’ve never lost faith in the belief of such an amazing creature.

Why is that? Why do I hang onto my belief in something I’ve never seen and yet so many others long ago let go of such ideas? In part, the older we get, the more cynical become and believing in such things just seems stupid. I get it, I really do. But I refuse to let time, age, and societal pressures rob me of the greatest ability we’ve ever been given. Our ability of imagination!

With a little imagination, anything is possible. Even magic. If you’re still rolling your eyes at me, take a step back and ask yourself, why is it so bad to believe in magic? I’ll give you three great reasons why you should consider my argument for magic and start believing again!

1. It’s great to feel like a kid again. Let’s face it, being a kid is fun. Why not let your hair down, enjoy yourself for a bit, and act like a kid? Let the magic flow through you. It’ll make you feel younger and more alive that you have in years!

2. It’ll make you feel happier and healthier. Letting your imagination draw you into an abstract concept like magic will make you feel good. The better you feel, the happier you are. Happiness, true happiness, will improve your overall health.

3. You’ll relax and stop taking everything so seriously. This is a really important point and largely why I love to read so much. I lose myself and all my worries when I open up a great story full of magic.

Trust me, magic is alive and well. Just go to your local library or bookstore and pe
ruse the pages of books. Let your imagination take you onto the pages and let go of all inhibition. I promise you, if you do, you’ll find that magic and once again believe. I am actually a unicorn.

June 5, 2018

394 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1948169002
Publisher: Mad Goat Press
Ebony Hunter has spent her entire life isolated on an island institution run by her father, Dr. Daniel Hunter. When Connor Vance and his group of outsiders are brought to the institution, they cause her to question everything her father has ever told her about the world. But who’s telling her the truth? Her father or the outsiders?

Just when she starts to open up to Connor Vance, he admits that he and his companions are on a mission to kill her and her life-long friends. Connor’s mission to kill her is halted when he realizes Ebony is a pawn, albeit a powerful pawn, in her father’s game. They must join forces and work together if they ever hope to escape the clutches of the true enemy, Dr. Hunter and Vivian Way, a political reformist. 

To find the truth, and hopefully earn her freedom, Ebony must overcome her fears and embrace her magical powers. Her life depends on the trust of people she hardly knows as the battle for control of her powerful magic escalates between her and her father. 

Through her journey of self-discovery, she finds friendship, love, and a strength she never knew she possessed. Everyone around her is taking sides in the struggle for power, and the lives of everyone she cares about are on the line as the tension rises in this sci-fi dystopian fantasy.

Fortitude Rising is the complete volume one of the Magical Bond Series. The following episodes are included in this book bundle. 

About the Author:
A.M. Bochnak is a dreamer. With her head in the clouds or her eyes turned to the stars, she spends countless hours imagining new adventures and far off worlds for which to travel. When she isn’t dreaming, she writes science fiction and fantasy with her focus on epic fantasies, apocalyptic and dystopian fiction. Fortitude Rising, a sci-fi dystopian fantasy, is her first published novel. She is an American author, born and raised in southern Ohio and now lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Debut Novel: Fortitude Rising, Volume One of the Magical Bond Series

The Magical Bond Series is Bochnak's first Sci-fi/Dystopian/Fantasy
Fortitude Rising: Volume One (Published June 2018)-Infraction of the Mind Episode One
-Incite the Power Within Episode Two
-Embodiment of Magic Episode Three
In the Wake of Rebellion: Volume Two (Anticipated Winter 2018) -Episode Four
-Episode Five
-Episode Six
-Episode Seven
-Episode Eight
Beyond the Bond: Volume Three (Anticipated Spring 2019) -Episode Nine
-Episode Ten
-Episode Eleven