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Paranormal reviews of books, movies, comics with author interviews and giveaways we love urban fantasy, romance, science fiction, horror, fantasy, mysteries

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Book Review: Worlds Collide (Warriors of Risnar #3) by Tracy St. John

by Tracy St. John
October 1, 2018
279 pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Engineer Velia Farrah always wanted to see an alien up close. Now that she’s assigned to study the top secret portal linking Earth to other worlds, she’ll get her chance. But when a fierce, gold-skinned alien from Risnar leaps from the portal and whisks her back to his home planet, “up close” takes on a whole new meaning.

Believing Earthlings had killed his fellow warriors, Jape Bolep is determined to destroy Earth’s access to Risnar once and for all. Grabbing a curvy handful of a human wasn’t part of the plan, but he has no intention of letting her distract him from his need for vengeance—no matter how much he aches to make her his.

Both are ready to do battle over right and wrong and good and evil, and their combustible relationship burns hotter than the sun’s surface. But distrust and treachery from all sides leave Velia and Jape in a fight against their own people to keep each other alive—and to ultimately save both Earth and Risnar from total destruction.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Worlds Collide doesn’t waste time, it immediately tosses earth engineer Velia into very unfamiliar territory. She’s finally assigned to study the top-secret portal that connects earth to other planets but before she can get used to her new assignment, she’s kidnapped by a gold-skinned, appendage growing, and very angry alien. Jape Bolep blames humans for the deaths of his fellow warriors and plans on destroying the portal connecting earth to his world but he didn’t plan on being forced to take a hostage. Now that he’s brought Velia back to Risnar, he doesn’t quite know what to do with her. As Velia reluctantly gets to know her captor she finds out that the program she’s a part of has more sinister motives and as she and Jape try to overcome enemies, both alien and human, they also have to decide what to do with their rather inconvenient attraction to one another.

This was my first time reading anything by Tracy St. John and honestly I felt like I was reading two separate books. The sci-fi element of the story was pretty well done. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of not only Jape’s people but of various other aliens. It was easy for me to picture exactly what Velia was seeing and experiencing. I felt I was part of Velia and Jape’s crazy ride across different planets and meeting different species of aliens. It was pretty neat and I enjoyed the eclectic mix of life forms and the complex dynamics between some of them.

What I had a difficult time with was the “romance” between Velia and Jape. At first Jape’s hatred of humans is taken out on Velia and he’s not a very likable character, but at the same time, I couldn’t see myself being on Team Velia because she wasn’t very likable either. Her reaction to Jape’s sometimes misogynistic attitude was to fight him in an almost childlike way. She didn’t react like an educated woman and fight him on an adult level. I felt all she had to do was start stomping her feet like a kid and sticking her tongue out at him to complete the image of a petulant woman/child. It felt that as the story progressed, that Velia and Jape simply fell into bed together because there was nothing else for them to do. There wasn’t any kind of progression from hate to something more just zero to sixty with no in between. So I wasn’t feeling the romance here.

Overall, Worlds Collide works better as a sci-fi story than a romance. I wasn’t too crazy about Velia or Jape so I found myself skimming through their steamier interactions and focusing on the bigger plot of how to stop a coming war where Earth was inadvertently helping the enemy. That plot isn’t completely resolved at the end, I’m assuming the fallout will continue in the next book which I will probably pick up just because I want to know what happens next.

Sheep Rating: 3

Adria Reyes

About the Author:
Tracy St. John is the author of science fiction romance, including the bestselling Clans of
Kalquor series and Shalia’s Diary serial. The author of over forty books, she also writes
paranormal romances, including the popular Netherworld series. She lives in Georgia with her
husband and son, fending off mosquitos and running from hurricanes.

Before settling in to write fulltime, she worked in video production, in front of and behind the
camera. She was often cast as the gun-toting bad gal, getting handcuffed in the end. She hopes that hot alien cops will intercept those videos and investigate her for crimes she’d be glad to commit. They can easily lure her into their spaceship with wine, coffee, chocolate, and promises she can sleep in.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

September 29th is National Ghost Hunting Day

It was created by Haunted Travel USA

The cool thing...we have an actual Ghost Hunter in the I Smell Sheep family. Reviewer and author Pamela Kinney is a paranormal investigator! I know, right?!

She has many non-fiction books about hunted locations. I've reviewed a couple here and here

Book Review: Craved by her Cougar (Cougar Creek Mates Book 4) by Felicity Heaton + giveaway

New York Times best-selling paranormal romance author Felicity Heaton is here today for the book tour of her new shifter romance release, Craved by her Cougar, the fourth and final book in her brand new Cougar Creek Mates Series. Set in her popular Eternal Mates world, Cougar Creek Mates takes you into the deep Canadian wilderness to a secret place that’s home to a cougar shifter pride led by four sexy brothers, each guaranteed to steal your heart and set it racing!

All four books in the series are out now, meaning it’s complete and ready for a good binge-read! Who doesn’t love a series binge-read? Every book has a happily forever after and there are no cliff-hangers because there’s nothing worse than a cliff-hanger!

Check out the book, download it with your Kindle Unlimited subscription if you have one, and be sure to enter the awesome grand giveaway happening at her website!

Craved by her Cougar (Cougar Creek Mates Shifter Romance Series Book 4)
by Felicity Heaton
September 29, 2018
170 pages
For the last twenty years, Cobalt has burned with a need of one female, a beautiful raven-haired cougar who captured his heart the moment he set eyes on her. His position as pride protector has been a blessing at past mating gatherings, keeping females away, but this time it feels like the worst of curses, because the female who has bewitched him so thoroughly is taking part for the first time and all he can do is watch as males battle for her.

As much as she hates the way her mother controls everything in her life, Ember is thankful for it as she constantly turns away suitors, unaware of the pain she’s sparing Ember from with every male she rejects. Every male who isn’t the gorgeous blond with darkness in his eyes and an easy smile she burns for with an intensity that scares her, awakens feelings in her that have her verging on doing something reckless. Damaged goods he might be, dangerous and unpredictable, but with every contest over her that pulls her closer to her doom, she grows more determined to follow her heart, no matter the consequences.

With every fight over the right to Ember, the tethers on Cobalt’s feelings twist and threaten to snap, a torment he cannot bear and one that has him willing to risk it all, because a single kiss would make even the harshest punishment worth it. He would die for one moment with her… his fated mate.

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

Cougar Creek Mates wraps with Craved by Her Cougar, the final book in the four-book series. This installment tells the story of Cobalt and Ember, members of the same cougar pack with a secluded seasonal settlement in the Canadian wilderness. The cougar gathering is winding down and Cobalt needs to make his move on Ember, the object of his decades-long desire. Ember’s mother is actively seeking a suitable mating match for her daughter while Cobalt feels helpless to intervene. For her part, Ember’s feelings for Cobalt are reciprocal, however, she lacks the confidence to break from expectation.

I’ve enjoyed this series. It’s sweet and simple. This book, like the others in this series, presents little action or monumental conflict. The central conflict centres on romantic tension, angst, and miscommunication. It’s sexy and fun. Heaton excels at creating smouldering visuals for the romance-minded reader. I’ve never been disappointed in a Heaton story. I am, however, satisfied with the conclusion of this series, fully ready to vacate Cougar Creek.

Four Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

Cobalt shoved his hands through his platinum-blond wild hair and growled as he clawed at it, pivoted and began pacing back along the clearing in front of his cabin, faster now as his emotions started to get the better of him again.

He needed to fight. His muscles felt too tight, clamped on his bones, his entire body pulled as taut as a bowstring and, fuck, he was in danger of snapping.

His claws lengthened, his fangs sharpening as frustration mounted, an explosive mix of anger, shame and bitter disappointment. He snarled, lips peeling back off his teeth, and wheeled to pace back the way he had come, his strides clipped as the need to fight merged with an ache to shift.

Gods, he wanted to surrender to that soul-deep ache.

He wanted to purge every damned feeling that was boiling inside him, twisting him and pulling him apart, and let instinct take over. Shifting into his cougar form would give him that release and the relief from it all he so desperately needed.

His animal form dampened his emotions because it couldn’t process them as easily as his human side so it suppressed them instead. His messy feelings would fade into the background if he remained as a cougar for long enough as his instincts rose to swamp him.

In that form, he obeyed a more basic and uncomplicated set of needs.

Fight. Feed. Fuck. Survive.

It was all that mattered when he was running as a cougar, and it was tempting to let it sweep over him, but it was dangerous too.

Those instincts were liable to send him straight to Ember.

He wanted to fight for her, as the other males could, and, sweet gods almighty, he needed to ease her needs, ached to give her the relief he could feel she desperately needed. Whenever he was close to her, it drummed in his blood and drove him to do something, whatever it took to ensure that she found the release from her instincts, from the mating heat that had brought her to Cougar Creek.

Cobalt tried to push her out of his head, but need flared inside him, made him want to claw his own damned skin off as he twitched restlessly, body primed for the delicate, beautiful female who had caught his eye two decades ago and had been on his mind ever since.

In his heart.

The sun crept higher, breaking the tops of the mountains as he turned away from the creek and paced back towards the other side of his small territory. It chased the crisp coolness from the morning air and from his arms, making him aware of how cold he had gotten in just his black t-shirt and jeans.

Cobalt slowed his step to bask in the light, letting it warm him and wash over him, wishing it would carry away all his troubles as it used to whenever he had bathed in it when he was a kid.

The mist swirled as the air heated, rippling over the surface of the shallow broad river to his right and snaking around his ankles.

He stared at the horizon and drew down a slow, deep breath of the cold air. Narrowed his focus to that distant point where jagged snow-capped mountains met the sky and let everything else fall away from his shoulders, until they felt lighter again.

He couldn’t let this go on any longer.

He would go mad if he did.

With Ember’s presence pushing at his restraint, cranking him tight with emotions that were tearing him apart and instincts that were making him volatile, he needed all of his focus to control himself around her and the other males. He didn’t need to be distracted by what had happened.

But Rath was always caught up in Ivy, his beautiful mate, and it pained Cobalt to see them together, so happy and swept up in each other. He couldn’t even talk to Storm because his younger brother was away in England looking into his mate’s half-brother’s background, trying to determine whether he really had been working alone and not with Archangel, a hunter organisation that had attacked his pride almost four decades ago.

An organisation that had taken their parents from them and had come close to taking Storm too.

Just thinking about that night had the need to fight rising again, a wild and feral urge to bloody his claws and fangs in order to protect his brothers.

Cobalt focused on the sunrise again, using it to calm that urge. It was slow to leave him, his fatigue and another night of worrying leaving him worn down and weak to it.

When it had finally flowed out of him, he looked down at his hands.

At his extended claws.

He stared at them, willing them to go away, but they refused.


He needed to speak with Rath.

It needed to be today.

Before he became a liability, a male not on the edge but firmly over it, one who was likely to fight over the slightest thing.

And he knew with a sickening sense of certainty that if he fought, it wouldn’t end there.

He would kill.

Cold went through him, his blood icy sludge in his veins, and his stomach churned.

He growled at himself. He had let this go on long enough, couldn’t put it off any longer or he would be a danger to the pride.

Cobalt twisted on his heel and marched along the riverbank, heading away from the sunrise and towards the area where most of the cabins at Cougar Creek were situated.

Ember’s family’s one included.

His pulse jacked up as he spotted it through the trees nearest the river. The lodgepole pines and spruces sheltered it, providing some cover for it where it stood just ten metres from the riverbank, facing onto the large swath of green that formed the main area of the creek.

Smoke curled lazily from the chimney, signalling someone was up.

His step slowed and he couldn’t stop himself from glancing across at the front of the L-shaped cabin as he entered the clearing and started up the two-hundred metre stretch of grass to where his brother’s cabin stood at the top of it, nestled beneath the trees.

The curtains were drawn across the small windows that flanked the door of her cabin, blocking him out. An ache started inside him, throbbed deep in his bones and had his step slowing further, until he almost stopped and surrendered to it.

He wanted to see her.

That yearning burned inside him, a need he found hard to deny. His instincts pushed him to step up onto her deck and knock on her door, to go to her. Fuck, they more than pushed him.

They demanded it.

She was his.

He knew that.

Gods, he knew it.

It blazed inside him like an eternal flame that was only growing fiercer, burned so hot he felt as if it was going to devour him sometimes, utterly destroy him unless he found a way to calm the raging flames.

There was only one way that was going to happen, and while his position as pride protector had been a blessing before, keeping the females away from him because his duty meant he couldn’t participate in the gathering, it was the worst of fucking curses now that Ember was taking part for the first time.

And he couldn’t.

He had never hated his duty before, but he hated it with a vengeance now.

When he and his brothers had taken it on in the wake of the Archangel attack over thirty years ago, a brutal assault that had left the pride shaken and had forced them to move to a new territory, he hadn’t cared. But then, shortly after they had settled at Cougar Creek, he had set eyes on Ember for the first time.

She had been a long way off maturity, a cherub-cheeked young female who would have looked like a teen nearing twenty to any passing humans.

He had watched over her whenever she had been at the creek, and had used his position as pride protector to keep the females away from him during every gathering, and damn, she had grown into a stunning female with supple curves that set him on fire every time he looked at her.

Idiot that he was, he had wanted to give her time to reach maturity before approaching her, figuring she would make an appearance at the creek at some point and he would be there when it happened since Rath kept him up to speed on who was visiting.

He just hadn’t thought her first appearance after maturing would be a damned spring gathering.

Now he was stuck on the side lines, acting as security for the pride while they were caught up in the mating heat and overseeing all the fights for dominance over females that were breaking out.

Females like Ember.

But she was his, and he needed her.

He needed to knock on that door that separated them. He needed her to open it and look at him with soft eyes, ones that told him he wasn’t alone, that she ached for him too, craved him with the same ferocity as he craved her.

And he needed her to open her arms to him, because what he really needed most right now was to rest his head on her shoulder, wrap his arms around her and just hold her until he felt he was back on solid ground, everything put back in place and right again.

Gods, he needed to hold her until this pain went away, just wanted one moment with her without anyone seeing them, or judging him.

He needed her to hold him together, to lend him her strength and give him courage and hope.

Hope that she would be his and hope that his life could only get better from this point.

He scrubbed his hand over his mussed blond hair, did it so much these days he was surprised he had any left, and huffed as he pushed away from her home and forced himself to head towards Rath’s one-and-a-half storey log cabin at the top of the sloping green.

He trudged up the gentle hill, the growing distance between him and Ember tearing at him, and wanted to growl when a dark-haired male emerged from the woods to his right and he caught the male looking towards the river.

Towards Ember’s cabin.

The hunger in the male’s pale golden eyes had Cobalt looking over his shoulder, seeking the one he was looking at.

Ember stood on the deck, dressed in dark blue jeans and a thick black sweater that hugged her curvy figure, her damp ebony hair blending into the wool as it tumbled around her shoulders. She nursed a steaming mug, gently blowing on it, her profile to him and the other male.

A male who was still staring at her.

Cobalt itched with a need to change course and close the distance between him and the male to drive him away and make it clear that Ember belonged to him. The gods only knew how he managed to stay his course, finding the strength to keep moving towards Rath’s cabin instead.

He glanced at the male again before taking the step up onto the deck that stretched the length of the gable end of the log cabin, finding him still watching Ember. Maybe he could just shoo the male away before rousing his brother. It probably wouldn’t take much. A flash of fangs and a growl might be enough.

If it wasn’t?

He was liable to take things further in order to make sure he left, and he wasn’t sure he had the strength to restrain himself and stop himself from going all out on the male. Hell, the state he was in right now, frayed and close to the end of his tether, there was a danger he would skip the flashing fangs and growling and go straight to beating the shit out of the male.

So he forced himself to rap his knuckles on Rath’s door instead.

Because if Ember saw that side of him, if she witnessed the darkness he held within him, she would never want him.

He eased back on the deck and glanced up at the triangular window that sat beneath the eaves of the roof as he waited. A shadow moved across them, and then the door in front of him creaked open to reveal his older brother dressed in only a loosely buttoned pair of faded blue jeans.

Rath rubbed sleep from his grey eyes and yawned.

“What’s up?” his brother murmured quietly and his eyes narrowed on him as he finally lowered his hand to press it against the doorframe. “You look like hell. You alright?”

Cobalt blew out his breath. “Can we talk?”

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.

Enter the grand tour-wide giveaway to win one of a $75, $50 or $25 Amazon Gift Card at the Craved by her Cougar book page. This giveaway is international and open to everyone and ends at midnight on October 14th. Enter now:

Friday, September 28, 2018

Book Review: A Season in Hell by Kenneth W. Cain

A Season in Hell
by Kenneth W. Cain
September 7, 2018
87 pages
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Just one season can change everything. When Dillon Peterson is honored for his baseball career, he must face a ghost that has long haunted him. He is transported back through his memories to a single season in the nineties that broke his heart.

A Season in Hell is a powerful story, and not at all what I thought it was going to be. This is fiction but it feels so real and given the history of misogyny in sports and the current struggles for women it is a different kind of horror story. Anyone who has been bullied or unfairly treated can relate to A Season in Hell. I think it would make a great teaching tool in high schools. 

The story well written and a quick read at 87 pages. No matter your gender it should make you sad and angry, but hopefully, it will make you speak up.

5 "doing what's right" Sheep


About the Author:

Writer/Editor/Graphic Designer

Kenneth W. Cain first got the itch for storytelling during his formative years in the suburbs of Chicago, where he got to listen to his grandfather spin tales by the glow of a barrel fire. But it was a reading of Baba Yaga that grew his desire for dark fiction. Shows like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and One Step Beyond furthered that sense of wonder for the unknown, and he’s been writing ever since.

Cain is the author of The Saga of I trilogy, United States of the Dead, the short story collections These Old Tales and Fresh Cut Tales, and the forthcoming Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction. Writing, reading, fine art, graphic design, and Cardinals baseball are but a few of his passions. Cain now resides in Chester County, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Comic Review: MAN-EATERS #1 from Image Comics

Writer: Chelsea Cain
Artist: Kate Niemczyk
Cover: Lia Miternique
Published: September 26, 2018

Image Comics
Diamond ID: JUL180103
Age Rating: T+
Digital : $3.99
Print: $3.99
Eisner-nominated and New York Times bestselling thriller writer CHELSEA CAIN returns to comics with a new ONGOING SERIES! A mutation in Toxoplasmosis causes menstruating women to turn into ferocious killer wildcats—easily provoked and extremely dangerous. As panic spreads and paranoia takes root, the fate of the world rides on the shoulders of one twelve-year-old girl. Part Cat People, part The Handmaid’s Tale, MAN-EATERS will have everyone talking. From the creative team behind the Eisner-nominated series Mockingbird: writer CHELSEA CAIN, artist KATE NIEMCZYK, colorist RACHELLE ROSENBERG, letterer JOE CARAMAGNA, and joined by LIA MITERNIQUE, KATIE LANE, and STELLA GREENVOSS. This September… the cat wants in.

Here is something different. What I first thought was going to be a humor/horror comic is actually a dark (still humorous) satire about society's view of women. In a press release from Image Comics, Cain said:
“Pop culture has a long tradition of manifesting our cultural anxieties as monsters. What scares us most right now? …Women.”
So she has run with that idea. The comic is told from a 12-year-old girl's POV. She lives in a society where women who are infected with a virus can turn man-eating wildcats during their periods. To control this menace the government taken measure to keep girls from keep girls from having their periods and locking up girls who might be a risk. There is a panel with a line of young girls wearing handcuffs. They are all wearing t-shirts with empowerment slogans like "Girls Can Do Anything" and "Fight Like a Girl" that really hits home.

In the first issue, we meet our young protag sitting on her bed pretending a tampon is a superhero. She introduces us to her dad who is a police investigator and gives us a look at what life is like since women started turning into dangerous killing machines. The blurb says the fate of the world rests on her shoulders but there are no hints at what that might mean yet.

Great artwork and varied and interesting panel placement and shapes along with a lot of details to check out in the backgrounds. Tons of work and time had to go into it.

I am looking forward to seeing where this story is going. Also check out the clever and awesome covers. An issue #1 variant will be sparkly and an issue #2 variant will have an iridescent cover. Brilliant!

4 "menstruating" Sheep


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Maria Hammarblad guest post: In the world of Operation Earth + excerpt

In the world of Operation Earth 

What if we woke up one day and all comforts of modern society were gone?

Could we cope without electronics and electricity? Could we live without computers, phones, refrigerators, water refineries, cars, and stores?

My mom grew up on a farm in the 1940s and knows many practical things, like how to get milk from a cow and what to do with it. I’d be, “Hey, that’s a cow. It’s really big.”

It’s not that long ago, but the rural world of her childhood held wood stoves, underground cellars to keep food cool even during summer, and hand-pumped wells. I grew up as a city kid. I live in the city, and without power and a grocery store conveniently close, I’m lost.

The closest we might get in western society is the aftermath of a natural disaster when people have to survive without power and get by on whatever supplies are available for a few days, maybe a week. If modern society screeched to a halt, I believe inhabitants of the countries us westerners might think of as underdeveloped would do the best.

In “Operation Earth” invading aliens use a global EMP to destroy the planet’s defenses and infrastructure. EMP means electromagnetic pulse. There are several different kinds, but theirs is intended to destroy electronic equipment.

In the wake of this devastation, the characters must do their best to survive without everything we take for granted. No one is coming for them, because the situation is the same everywhere. There will be no rescue, no Red Cross, charities handing out water, or helicopters bringing food.

Rachael, my heroine, worries about the neighbors. They’re running out of supplies and seem to take inventory of whatever she has in the cupboards. Should she attempt to gang up with them, or can she defend herself?

Luckily, the aliens are benevolent enough to make sure our basic infrastructure is up and running within days, but they put their own twist on it, and everything happens on their terms. This means no coffee, sugar, alcohol, or chocolate. Money is quickly phased out, no one is sick or homeless, and the streets are lined with armed guards.

They’re distantly related to us. Different enough to stick out, but close enough to be somewhat relatable. Similar enough to us to make Rachael wonder about them. Attempting contact is tempting, but dangerous. Getting to know one of them might be considered betrayal to mankind…

What would you do?

~ Maria Hammarblad ~

Operation Earth
by Maria Hammarblad
August 30, 2018
Genre: Space Opera Romance
Publisher: Sadowski Media
Originally published by Desert Breeze August 2013
ISBN: 1722281871
Number of pages: 192
Word Count: 49282
Cover Artist: Patty Jansen
They’re here. Are you ready?

Seven billion people on Earth go about their daily lives, and no one is prepared when a global EMP slows the world to a crawl. Within days alien soldiers line the streets, and life will never be the same. In the midst of chaos, Rachael Hill struggles to adapt to the new order, doing her best to keep herself and her cat alive.

On a ship far above the planet surface, Peter just got his new Earth name, and can’t even remember his identity from the last world he visited. It’s another day on the job, one more planet on a never-ending list. That is, until Rachael bumps into him, dropping exotic objects all around his feet. His culture taught him females should be obeyed and protected, but he never had an urge to leave himself at a woman’s mercy until now.

The neighbor’s house mocked her. Were they still watching her, or had they given up? Had they noticed Peter was no longer around, and if so, what did they make of it?

Rachael probably kept her eyes as much on them as they did on her, and in less dire circumstances the situation would have been comical.

Bonbon wanted to go outside, and she followed the cat into bright morning sunshine.

It’s a fine day. I wish I had coffee. This would be a good day for having morning coffee on the porch.

She glanced over toward Melissa’s house. They had a window open. Interesting. Before she knew what she was doing, she pulled her hairclip off and tossed it into their yard.

“Oops, I must have dropped it there that one day I went over to see them. I’d better go get it.”

Setting foot on the other side of the hedge seemed dangerous, but she had Peter’s gun tucked in a pocket, and the hairclip glittered in the grass, close to the open window.

How did she become so bold?

Walk casually. How the hell does one walk casually? Do I whistle? No, make as little sound as possible...

She strolled, doing her best to look normal. Just an ordinary woman going over to pick up something ordinary she dropped on an ordinary day.

Seconds later, she crouched under the window. At first, she couldn’t hear anything, then Melissa’s voice drifted out.

“I don’t think this is a good idea.”

“Of course it is. We need to show them what we’re made of.”

That was clearly Ryan. She didn’t know his voice all that well, but the feisty attitude gave him away.

A third voice followed. It must be Martin of the tobacco-stained teeth and bad breath.

“It doesn’t matter what you think, Hon. The missile is ready and will be launched.”

Missile? What the hell are these people up to? Do they know I’m out here? Did they leave the window open to see if I’d overhear and tattle, or do they feel safe now when Peter isn’t around?

Either way, overthinking wouldn’t do her any good. She strained her ears and heard Melissa speak again.

“I didn’t think missiles could go into space.”

“It’s complicated. I’m worried about the guidance system, we’ve scraped together bits and pieces, but nothing is as good as it should be,” Martin answered.

Another long silence followed, and Rachael dried her palms on her clothes, immediately scolding herself for doing so. Her mom would have had a field day with that behavior. Maybe they were coming out, and she should hurry to leave.

“You know, the guy next door, he doesn’t seem so bad.”

Something heavy fell to the floor and Rachael imagined Ryan’s chair toppling over. His voice was anything but patient.

“Don’t be such a goose. Rachael’s just as bad as them and should burn with them. If she chooses to stand with them, she will. With any luck, that guy is on the ship when we bomb it and we can talk her back to the right side. If not, well, we’ll just have to kill him anyway, won’t we?”

About the Author:

Maria Hammarblad is an author and bass player whose fascination with books started early. Before she could read or write, she made her mother staple papers together to resemble books. She drew suns in them and claimed they were "The Sun Book." They were all about the sun.

The four-year-old also claimed her existence on Earth was a mistake, the result of a horrible mix-up, and that her real family would come to bring her home to her own planet at any time. This didn't happen, but her fascination with books and other worlds stayed with her.

Besides novels, she also writes award-winning screenplays, enjoys photography, and works with animal rescue organizations.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Excerpt: Malevolent (A Kendra Spark Novel Book Two) by S. Peters-Davis + giveaway

I Smell Sheep will be hosting many stops on Bewitching Book Tours Hanuted Halloween Spooktacular.
Take a look at all the spooky books, read the excerpts and enjoy little surprises from the authors as well as a hauntingly good giveaway! 

Halloween Short Story:
Soren’s Calling 
By S. Peters-Davis
The tree, miles inside the dense Michigan forest, billowed with majestic energy, same as it did fifteen years ago. I’d sensed its power even then, at ten years old. Something marked in my memory like a reoccurring dream called me back to this place.

I touched the kaleidoscope of bark, reveling in its swirls of uneven texture, and swore it shivered. Or was I vibrating to its high frequency? Excitement and exhaustion sliced through me. “Hello, old friend,” I whispered.

A sudden heaviness settled into my body and eyelids. I dropped my backpack and leaned against the tree, bending until I rested on the ground. The sketch book. I pulled it from the pack and thumbed through the pages of my drawings. There he was. I want to see you again.

My eyes closed of their own volition, sending me into the darkness of deep sleep.

* * *

Breaking branches, rustling leaves, and a thud on the ground next to me startled my mind to consciousness. I jumped to my feet, the sketch book landing with Soren’s page open. I glanced at it for a second before scanning the area and seeing nothing. Then…he stood in front of me.


His violet-rimmed dark eyes studied me. He’d grown in stature, still long-limbed with clawed hands and feet. His shoulder-length silver hair was drawn away from his sculpted face by a couple slender braids. He sniffed the air and his mouth opened showing long incisors.

“It’s me, Becca.” I reached my hand toward him and he jerked back, snarling, the talons on his fingers displayed in full. The hair across the nape of my neck snapped to attention, reminding me of the graphic way he’d stopped a wolf from attacking us years ago.

Maybe this wasn’t Soren. I lowered my gaze to the drawing at my feet. He stepped closer backing me against the tree, his thin brows pinched together as he studied the drawing. He looked back at me, wide-eyed, and planted his hands on both sides of my head. Somehow, we fell inside the tree.

We plummeted into a wind tunnel. His arms locked around me as he spun my body around until our heads were up and our feet were down.

What the heck just happened? I didn’t recall this part.

Warm shimmering light surrounded us, making the violet color of his eyes opalescent as we free-fell in this make-shift elevator of air.

“Becca,” he whispered and nuzzled my neck. “You came back.”

My eyes moistened. “Soren, I’ve missed you.” His earthy cocoa-spice scent doused my olfactory in memories. The three days and nights we’d spent together, climbing the tree, finding mushrooms, swimming in an icy pond, enjoying campfires…until my parents found me wandering the forest alone.

We never went to that forest again for our spring mushroom hunts.

All this time I thought the tree and Soren were figments of a child’s wild imagination. I returned to the forest in hopes of finding the tree, where I’d first fallen asleep so long ago. I lifted my head away from Soren’s shoulder to study him closer. His face appeared more human. The fangs had receded. His ears lost their pointed tips and his nose wasn’t so snout-like.

The tunnel opened into a vast terrain of vegetation, thistle huts, pools, gardens; a whole underground civilization. Our descending slowed until our feet rested on solid ground.

“Where are we?” My focus went ballistic, attempting to take in everything at once.

Soren tapped my chin, closing my mouth.

I laughed. “We didn’t come here as kids. I would have remembered it, especially the trip down.”

“No. Our kind never brings humans here.” He grabbed my hand.

No humans? My stomach roiled and my knees shook then folded. The whole falling through a tree into another world of beings wasn’t connecting inside my brain. A living nightmare might work as not one human knew where I’d gone, too hard to explain a child’s quest.

“Becca, you must stand, now, or everyone will know.” He pulled me up and wrapped an arm around my waist. “We must hurry.”

I jerked to a stop. “I don’t understand. Why did you bring me here?”

“Shhh. No scene. Come now.” His nostrils flared and he eyed the gathering crowd. “Explain in a moment.”

A pack of wolves came to mind. My stomach flipped a couple more times at their red eyes, flaring nostrils, and growing fangs and claws.

Soren yanked me along a narrow grassy path, the others followed on our heels. Their snarls and growls closed in. Soren lifted me in his arms and ran toward a large round hut. He pushed through the fabric-like doorway into a cool dimly lit room. Not one of the creatures entered after us.

“They want to hurt me. Or eat me. Why did you bring me here?”

He set me on my feet and motioned for me to sit on the cot in the center of the room. Then he slid my sleeve above my wrist, his fingertips touched two small scars. “Those are what called you back. I marked you long ago, as you slept, with the intention of giving you another that bonds. It is why we were attacked. Spring is our season to bond, no matter what age, we bound our mate and when the age is ripe, like now, we mate for life.”

“Instinct brought me here? You told me humans aren’t allowed.” My heart beat into my ribs so hard my body moved to its pulse. A mix of emotions swept through me in a shiver.

“There are no humans here, only our mates and us.” His face morphed, fangs extended.

“No.” My voice a mere whisper as he pushed me back and his fangs sank into my neck.

Malevolent (A Kendra Spark Novel Book Two)
by S. Peters-Davis
August 10, 2018
Genre: Supernatural, Suspense-thriller, Romance
Publisher: BWL Publisher
E-book length: 150
Print length: 195
Word Count: 57,500
Cover Artist: Michelle Lee
Trafficked girls marked to lose their souls by a malevolent supernatural entity require someone with explicit abilities for their rescue. Will Kendra be able to save them?

Kendra Spark, suspense-mystery writer and communicator with the dead, signs on to the next FBI Special Task Force case, trafficked girls that are marked to lose their souls.

Jenna Powers, ghostified criminal analyst, sticks close to the case as she and Kendra are also marked by the same malevolent supernatural force.

Derek Knight, lead FBI Agent on this case, learns of the malevolent entity and the deeper paranormal realm of danger.

Kendra’s unfiltered feelings for Derek struggle to take a backseat, and as the menacing threat grows more intense, so does her passion for Derek.

Derek faces uncertainties he’s never dealt with in his past, like malicious entities and the loss of his heart to love. How can he protect Kendra against forces he can’t see?

As boundless supernatural danger intertwines with the future reality of the trafficked teens, Kendra and Jenna realize only they can shoulder the rescue by calling in a voodoo priestess…

Kendra Spark’s point of view:
We left in silence, and during the whole drive to Derek’s place, neither of us said a word.

As soon as we drove into his driveway and parked near his garage, outside lights popped on, streaming through the window and shining across Derek’s face. He turned to me and said, “So what did you not tell Jackson?”

“You gotta hand it to him, our Derek is a pretty receptive dude.” Jenna snickered from the backseat.

“I didn’t tell him about Buster, the malevolent spirit from the hotel. He’s also known as a soul-sucker.”

“What does that mean?” Derek’s back went rigid straight.

“It means those girls don’t know anything about their abuse because their souls are no longer inside their bodies. The soul-sucker absorbs them as his energy source.” There was no way I would tell him females were his favorite meal, or young girls were like a euphoric dessert. “Bertellia’s prostitutes’ souls have taken up residence inside the empty bodies of the teen girls. They are using them like a vessel.”

Derek’s eyes widened to the size of half-dollars. “Are you saying prostitutes live inside those kids?”


Derek climbed out of the SUV, and so did I. He went to the back and hauled out my luggage.

“I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around this, Kendra,” Derek stated. “It sounds like something only a fiction writer would come up with as an explanation.”

Wow, what a blow, as if he stabbed a sharp blade directly into my heart and twisted it a million ways at once. Heat blasted across my face and scurried down my neck. Maybe I shared too much, too soon. I didn’t need him doubting me, nor did I need the hurt and frustration sweeping through me right now.

“How does this guy take their souls?” He stared at me, his startling blues went stormy. “Are you telling me this thing we dealt with inside the hotel room could have taken your soul? Or Jenna’s?” He hissed an exaggerated breath, dropping his gaze to the ground and shaking his head.

“Wow, keep it coming, Derek.” Jenna stepped next to me, punching her fists at him like a boxer on steroids. “Now what are you going to tell him? Hopefully, the truth. That both of our souls are marked by that soul-stealing freak for his consumption.”

That wasn’t what I would share with Derek, considering his acknowledgment of what actually happened in the hotel room. He had some understanding of the danger.

“So, what can stop it?” Derek spoke through clenched teeth, bringing me back to his previous questions. He was already overprotective, but what could he possibly do to protect us from Buster?

How would I respond? Clueless as to the extent of Buster’s abilities, but I was sure about what Grandma Ellie said, he could steal Jenna’s and my soul. Plus, a strong intuitive feeling told me in order to destroy that beast we would have to get up-close and personal with it.

“I’m sure I’ll find answers in Grandma Ellie’s journal. It’s the research I told you I still needed to do. I’ll require specific supplies and chants, and maybe someone else’s help.” Someone that knew about malevolent spirits and what it took to destroy them because right now I hung totally out of my realm. I needed to find Buster’s vulnerability, his number one weakness, his achilleas heel.

“All this supply stuff and chanting, that sounds like pagan lore. Are you a witch, Kendra?” He rolled his shoulders and his furrowed gaze melded into mine.

“I like to think of myself as a spiritualist.”

About the Author: 
BWL Author Page
BWL Publishing Inc.
S. Peters-Davis writes multi-genre stories, but loves penning a good page-turning suspense-thriller, especially when it’s a ghost story and a romance. When she’s not writing, editing, or reading, she’s hiking, RV’ing, fishing, playing with grandchildren, or enjoying time with her favorite muse (her husband) in Southwest Michigan.

She also writes YA paranormal, supernatural novels as DK Davis.

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Book Review: Half-Blood Descendant by Natasha Brown + giveaway

Half-Blood Descendant (Half-Bloods: A Paranormal Series Book One)
by Natasha Brown
Sept 23rd, 2018
Genre: Paranormal/Supernatural Suspense
Publisher: Future Impressions
ISBN: 978-1722836917
Number of pages: estimated 250
Word Count: 76k
Cover Artist: Natasha Brown
Shifters live in secret. They’re not the only ones.

USA TODAY bestselling author Natasha Brown blends urban fantasy, paranormal romance and supernatural suspense in the Half-Bloods, an adventure for lovers of shifters, vampires... and more.

Jax never stays anywhere long enough to put down roots. He’s a shapeshifter—the only one of his kind, or so he thinks. While prowling on his landlady’s property, he is stunned to find a man feeding on her neck. Although he frightens away the blood-sucker, Jax leaves behind a paralyzed woman and a trail of blood in his wake.

Aerilyn teaches high school and doubles as a guardian for the Genus Society, an ancient underground shifter organization. After learning of a cougar attack in her own mountain neighborhood, she suspects a rogue shifter is to blame.

When the Society accuses Jax of the “animal attack,” he is ordered to stick around until he can clear his name. Desperate to regain his freedom, he must put his trust in his beautiful guardian. Their forbidden attraction leads Aerilyn to wonder if the blue-eyed drifter is innocent. And if he is, the Society has an even bigger problem on its hands—one that feeds on blood.

Jax is a loner. He never stays in one place long enough to call somewhere home. He’s always on the move. Jax is a man that takes his freedom to run to heart, literally. Not putting down roots meant he could get up and go whenever he wanted. That all ended when he found his landlady being feasted upon by some bloodsucking man. Although he saved her life it raised suspicion to a group called the Genus Society because the doctors ruled it a cougar attack. Cougar attack the operative problem. You see Jax is a shapeshifter. Can you guess what he shifts into? Jax thought he was the only shapeshifter in the world. He never met another until he ran into Aerilyn.

Aerilyn is a teacher at the local high school. She, however. is really a guardian for the Genus Society. When she learned of a cougar attack in her own neighborhood she went to investigate suspecting a unregistered shifter could be the culprit. Her suspicion was right when she found Jax on the property of the woman "supposedly” attacked by a cougar. She has no choice to turn him in. He could be dangerous.

Jax swears he did not do it. The Genus Society accused Jax and ordered him to not leave until a full investigation was done. While Jax was telling his story Aerilyn amped up her senses to get a read on him. She believes he is telling the truth. However, that was not enough to clear his name. It was not going to be that simple. If Jax did not do it, then that means someone else did, one that feeds on blood.

It was action packed from the beginning and maintained this pace though the end. Easy read with great characters. I loved the intertwining of the vampires and Shifters but with a different twist. One that no one knew the other even existed. Can one man such as Jax truly believe that he was the only kind in this world? Or the shifters not know of blood sucking men. Does that show we really don’t pay attention to our surroundings or people around us? Aerilyn certainly does and that’s why she is good at her job. She pays attention to people like Jax. Or it could have something to do with the fact that he is very good looking. While investigating a relationship starts to form. Can she separate the truth from her feelings for Jax. The story takes you on that journey with a lot of suspense on the way.

 4.5 Freedom Sheep

Tammy K

Aerilyn pulled off her jacket and set it on the ground. Next, she slipped off her shoes and unbuttoned her jeans. A cold breeze whistled through the valley, raising goosebumps on her arms as she pulled her V-neck off. She held the fabric to her chest and hunched away from the wind.

When it died down, she dropped her shirt onto her growing pile of clothes. She rested her hand against one of the aspens to brace herself while she took off her socks and happened to glance back at her companion. Jax was down to his underwear, standing in the moonlight. Dark lines adorned his back, forming what appeared to be an intricate tattoo, one she couldn’t see well enough from her vantage point. She could, however, see how muscular he was. As he tugged at the waistband of his boxers, she blushed and looked away, reminding herself he would be gone as soon as her father allowed him to leave town.

She didn’t waste any time removing the last of her clothing and stood among the pale aspen trunks, calling to the energy at her core. It surged through her pores, chasing away all visible marking of her humanity until none was left. Aerilyn took a deep breath and stepped out from behind the trees.

About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Natasha Brown's imagination has always been a distraction. The books she read in the dark past bedtime fed her excitement for fantasy worlds. Once she started writing, there was no stopping her. By day, Natasha’s an assistant teacher at an elementary school, and by night she’s a book cover designer. Her weekends are spent writing and spending time with family.

Tour Giveaway 
Giftbox of- A heat-reactive mug with excerpt of HBD and design on side, moon bookmark and paperback copy of HBD – value $36 value 
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