GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ I Smell Sheep: November 2019

Friday, November 22, 2019

Selah's Manga Mania: Dragon Goes House-Hunting Vol. 1 by Kawo Tanuki (author), Choco Aya (Illustrator)

Dragon Goes House-Hunting Vol. 1
Author: Kawo Tanuki
Illustrator: Choco Aya
September 11, 2018
182 pages
Volumes: 3
Publisher: Seven Seas
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, scifi, manga, humorous, 
Letty is not very good at being a dragon. Actually, he's so terrible at it that his dad went and kicked him out of the house! What's a skittish monster of myth to do in a world where everyone sees him as material for their next suit of armor? Why, find a safe place to call home, of course. With the help of a slightly evil elvish architect, Letty's quest for the ultimate draconic domicile begins!

We all have needs. Food, companionship, and a place to lay your head at night. But what about that age-old dilemma of being a dragon and getting kicked out of the house? What to do then?

Go house hunting!

Okay, that could have been a better segue, but this title is hilarious.

Letty is a dragon and not good at it. He isn't on his guard when eggs are stolen right under his nose, so his dad kicks him out. Like anyone, all he really wants is a quiet place of his own. After trusting the wrong beings and nearly getting himself killed a few times, he meets Dearia, elf lord and realtor. While Letty is a bit of a downer on his own, Dearia sets him up for all sorts of situations in the name of house-hunting. They explore haunted territory, build him a house that ends up being overrun by tenants who worship Letty as the Flame Dragon King, shop for furniture with some questionable crimes, and inadvertently get Letty involved in a gladiator fighting operation.

The good: it's hilarious. Dearia can be either hands-off or diabolical, but his antics push Letty out of his comfort zone. The different types of houses they check out and the drama they cause keeps things fun and interesting. Letty is a bit much at first, but over 2 volumes he grew on me.

He's kind and tries hard, but isn't the sharpest crayon in the box and is a bit too trusting. At times this made me feel protective or could be downright exasperating. It's a nice twist for a dragon story, though, and the pacing and plot are handled well. The gags are funny without being too out there, and plenty of fantasy tropes are subverted. There are hints of past history between Dearia and another dragon, so that's nice nuance, too.

The bad: Nothing, per say, it just depends on what your sense of humor is and if you want lots of plot or joke setups.

The ick: Not really much. There are a couple of buried innuendos and I caught a threesome joke when talking about bed size, but that's all I really remember. I was fine with it, ymmv.

Overall, this is a fun, light fantasy title that's a little something different.

4 house-hunting sheep







About the Reviewer
website-FB-twitter
Selah Janel is a writer who is trying to start doing that again instead of reading manga all the time.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Star Wars gift ideas

The Star Wars saga is coming to an end... but look at all this stuff you can give/get this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Excerpt: Veiled by Desire: A Laith Novel by Candace Robinson + giveaway

Congratulations to Candace Robinson on the release of this beauty! Veiled by Desire is the second installment of the Laith series and will be available on November 19th! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, AND a digital copy of book #1, Clouded by Envy! 

by Candace Robinson
November 19, 2019
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: The Parliament House Press
In Laith, when the moons are high, Tavarra is allowed to walk the land as a human for one day, losing her seahorse-like tail. But should she remain out of the water, a curse will overtake her, turning her into a beast with. A creature that, on some nights, takes the shape of a rampaging, uncontrollable monster.

Rhona, along with her village, is under a sinister leader’s control. He took Rhona from the boy she loves, stripped away her abilities, and forces her on a dangerous task to retrieve a dark prism that will increase his already massive powers.

When Tavarra and Rhona cross paths, they discover they need each other. Rhona knows how to help the cursed sea creature, Tavarra knows where to find the dark prism. They embark on a mission that could help them break Tavarra’s spell and save Rhona’s family and village. But with an untamable beast inside Tavarra, nothing is certain...

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt
Seven years of this. Tavarra closed her eyes and gripped the chains around the tree that bound her wrists together. She howled with urgency, screamed, and bared her fangs. As she stared up at the twin moons in the darkening sky, she knew her fate was coming. A fire spread throughout her entire body with a wicked touch, and she shook violently. “The chains will hold this time,” her friend Eza said, landing on Tavarra’s shoulder. If Tavarra killed the pesky bat, there would be nothing, no one, and she had grown to love Eza after all these years. “Get out of here, Eza! Now!” Tavarra screamed. “I’ll be right here,” the bat murmured and flew up into the tree above. Eza looked incredibly similar to a fairy except for the thin blackened wings, fangs, and sharper-pointed ears. She was a little taller than the size of Tavarra’s hand from wrist to the tip of the claw on her middle finger. Tavarra was trying to fight the change. She would win this time. As she breathed in the scents of Laith, Tavarra knew it was a lie, and indeed, she knew she’d failed when her skin began to stretch. She could feel her face taking on a new shape, and that was when the terror came because the night would be unknown to her. That was what haunted her the most. Tavarra held back the tears, unwilling to break, unwilling to bend and show weakness. All that remained in her soul, heart, and existence, was hunger. She yearned and thirsted for blood, meat, and bones.

by Candace Robinson
February 19, 2019
215 pages 
Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.

Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.

When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes.


About the Author:
website-FB-Twitter
Literary Dust-Instagram
Goodreads
Candace Robinson spends her days consumed by words and hoping to one day find her own DeLorean time machine. Her life consists of avoiding migraines, admiring Bonsai trees, watching classic movies, and living with her husband and daughter in Texas—where it can be forty degrees one day and eighty the next.

Giveaway
Click the link below to enter for a chance to win a digital copy of book #1, Clouded by Envy, and a $10 Amazon gift card (North America Only)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Book Blitz Organized By: 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Excerpt: Twisted Surprise (A Twisted Fate Christmas Novella) by Emery Jacobs + giveaway



Twisted Surprise (A Twisted Fate Christmas Novella)
by Emery Jacobs
November 15th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Or at least it’s supposed to be. With the holidays quickly approaching, Jovie is looking forward to spending some quality time with her boyfriend Jack.

First a family Thanksgiving in Brownsboro, Georgia with her parents, followed by a magical Christmas with their friends back in Houston.

But Jack’s disappearing act leaves Jovie wondering if their relationship will even survive the holidays.

Ready f
or a Twisted Surprise? Unwrap this romantic Christmas tale to find out what Jack’s been hiding!


EXCERPT:
“Merry Christmas, baby,” Jack whispers, his warm breath dancing across the skin below my ear.

I rub my eyes, turn my head to face him, and smile. “Merry Christmas.”

His fingers skim across my bare arm then slide in between mine, squeezing my hand gently.

“Did you sleep good?”

I nod. “Yeah, actually I did.” I don’t remember much after drifting off to sleep last night, which I usually equate to a good night’s sleep.

“How about you? Was the couch good to you?” I motion toward the small sofa beside the bed and cringe. There is no way anyone could sleep well on that tiny thing, but knowing Jack, he’ll lie and say he did just so I won’t feel bad that he stayed the night.

He barks out a laugh before rubbing his neck. “I slept better than I have in years.”

“I doubt that.” I hesitate for a second. “But thank you… for staying.”

“You couldn’t have made me leave even if you wanted to.”




About the Author:
Emery grew up in Southern Arkansas and has lived most of her adult life in Northern Louisiana.

She spends her days working as a Nurse Practitioner in rural health and her nights reading, writing, and occasionally sleeping.

She loves real life romance…lots of angst and heartbreak, but always a happy ending.

GIVEAWAY
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
2x $25 Amazon gift cards 

Monday, November 18, 2019

W.I.P. it Real Good: LGBTQ+ Romantic Fantasy Author Sophia Menesini

LGBT Fantasy Author Sophia Menesini shares an excerpt from book 2 of her The Veiled Duchess Series.

- “I’ll give you to the count of three,” Poseidon proposes.

Shea closes her eyes, searching for whatever power she supposedly holds inside. She thinks about Jo, Aster, Caen, and even Beck though her mind starts to wander slightly at how much she’s come to care for him. She inwardly yells at herself to focus.

“One.”

Shea starts to panic, it’s like she can see herself standing in a room in her mind. A door is in the center of the darkness, and she can feel the power radiating off of it. She takes a step towards the door; she instinctively knows that behind that door is everything she needs but screams fill her head. Aster’s cries the night Mariner cut his ears, Mariner’s taunts during the duel, Paetre’s gasping breaths as he died, Jo’s tears as she held Shea’s dying body. All of it fills her head, and she can feel the water encasing her physical hands falter.

“Two.”

She doesn’t have enough time. She’s going to lose, Perses is going to take it all. She’s not strong enough. She’s not. But suddenly the door rumbles, something from behind it is calling out to her louder then all the screams and pain filling the darkness. Light bursts from the cracks, and Shea can hear voices coming from the door. Jo telling her how much she loves her, Aster telling her he’s proud to be her son, Beck calling her brave, Caen reminding her he’ll always be there for her, and then she hears Paetre. A conversation from so long ago.

A small child’s voice filters from the door, “Why did you choose me? I’m just a girl, just an elf. I’m not anything.”

Paetre’s voice rings through clear as the day he replied, “You’re something to me. You saved me, Shea, I was lost until I found you, and you were lost until you found me. And together, I know you’re going to grow and do great things. You’re a leader, Shea. Like me, but you have to believe, even if you don’t. Fake it. Make them believe you’re better, and someday, you just might be.”

Shea strides towards the door confidently; she places her hand on the knob.

“Three.”

Shea opens the door. It feels like a blazing hot knife pierces her chest as the power from the door pours into her. She chokes, her lungs burning from the pain, but she can feel it, everything. The magic filling her feet, legs, arms, torso. There’s pressure behind her eyes. A strange sensation on the back of her neck. She knows right now that a water blast is racing towards her.

She lifts her left hand and then opens her eyes. Poseidon is stronger, for now, but with enough concentration, she freezes the blast in mid-air.

Her eyes meet Poseidon’s gaze, and he’s smiling at her with great triumph. Using his distraction, she summons water from over the starboard side and jumps out of the way.

She releases the blast, and before Poseidon can recognize what she’s done, she forces a substantial column of water in his direction, throwing him over the port side of the ship.

by Sophia Menesini
June 30th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, LGBTQ+, New Adult, Romance
Captain Shea Lara is the current leader of The Veiled Duchess. The most feared pirate ship in all of Neried. And now, after completing her former mentor’s final score, she’s retiring. Everything seems to be coming to an end… Until a mysterious stranger drags her back into the fold with an offer for a score she can’t refuse. All she has to do is kidnap the crowned princess of the northern Queendom, Princess Joana of Arethusa. The prize is just within reach. But sparks fly as the two women collide. And an obscured threat that could upturn Shea’s entire world storms on the horizon. She’ll face it alone unless she can allow herself the support she needs from old and new allies alike. Something’s coming and Shea is at the center of it.

About the Author:
website-FB-twitter
Goodreads
Sophia Menesini lives in Martinez, CA with her husband, and their two small Chihuahuas, Ziggy and Zeppelin. The Veiled Threat is her first novel and the first book in The Veiled Duchess Series. Sophia is an avid tea connoisseur and lover of Scotland with an unconventional memory for obscure Disney and Broadway song lyrics.

You can find my blog, updates, and other entertainment at my website: www.sophiamenesini.com

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Double Book Review: Gut Deep (Torn Worlds Book 1) by Donna Augustine

Gut Deep (Torn Worlds Book 1)
by Donna Augustine
November 1, 2019
Pages: 287
Penelope

They steal our world, destroy our lives and view us as worthless chattel. I never thought I’d be desperate enough to ask one of them for help, and worse, one of their leaders. But with a vampire stalking me, a werewolf might be my only salvation. I’m still not sure which is worse, him or death.

Donovan

She’s nothing to me but an inconvenience, a burden, another complaining human singing the song of the wronged. She strolls into danger as if she’s begging for death, taking risk after risk. I should let the monsters she tempts have her. I would if I didn’t want her for myself.

Author's Note: This is book one in a series of standalone romances, set within the same dystopian world
.



Reviewer: Jo Dawson

5 sheep

Penelope and Donovan are not star-crossed lovers in this new world, where humans are relegated to servant status among the ruling monsters, no, not star crossed lovers, casualties of a system that casts them in certain roles, each doing the best that they can to survive. When their paths cross, Donavan is forced to decide if he will help Pen or allow her to suffer from monsters who have it out for her. His choice sets the story in motion down a windy path.

I loved this book, Donna Augustine is at top form in this story of honor and hope. The novel was well written, she breaks out of some of her normal genre but stayed well within things that go bump in the night. Great book!



Reviewer: Denise B

Getting 5 sheep
The next series of Augustine is Torn Worlds starting with Book 1 Gut Deep. The supernatural decided they’d had enough of humans and took over America. The vampires, shifters, fairies, as well as many other supernatural beings, are now the upper class where humans have been demoted to the lowest class possible. Humans aren’t allowed to have smartphones or help each other to name a few of the rules of the new society. If caught with anything that is considered an infraction death is a real possibility. 

Penelope now works for a shifter family in this new world of terror. She makes just enough to barely feed her family and that’s if her dad doesn’t get ahold of it and use it to buy booze. When she’s asked to work an event at her shifter employer’s house, she’s ecstatic because this might be the chance, she needs to find the cure for her sick sister that one of the higher up vampires is rumored to possess.

Donovan is the Alpha of the DC pack and has been summoned to his mother’s house for a dinner between the shifters and the vampires. Donovan hates going to his mother’s get-togethers but this is his once a year stay at her house so he will suffer through it. What he finds is Penelope, a server who has found herself in more trouble than she could possibly imagine. Against his usual indifference for humans, he extends help to her and finds himself in over his head with this human.


About the Author:

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


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

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

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

Book Review: Stars and Nightmares (House of Dragons' Book 5) by H.M. Wolfe, and E.L. Nelson)



Stars and Nightmares: Dragons' House Book 5
by H. M Wolfe, E. L. Nelson
Genre: MM, suspense, PNR
November 1, 2019
A year after the previous events, with Alexander’s menacing shadow, no longer lingering over their heads, the members of the Stark and Bloom clans are gathered at the Connecticut mansion for a well-deserved vacation. New members are welcomed with open arms, but, unbeknown to the family, one of them has secrets locked behind tightly sealed doors, and a deadly enemy hellbent to destroy everyone.

In their game of greed and power, Julianna and Antonia, helped by the shabby duo of lawyers, Weldon and Williamson, are capable of anything to achieve their supreme goal: the world domination. Conroy does everything to help them, even if this means to change the rules of the game, mixing black magic elements in his experiments.

Supernatural creatures cross the border between the Otherworld and the human realm, taking sides in the ultimate confrontation between the Dragons” House and those sworn to take it down. Decisions, magic, love, destiny...Who will fall and who will still standing? Will the stars of the future shine brightly on the sky, or will they be swallowed by the nightmares of the past?

*This novel is the fifth installment in the Dragons' House series, and cannot be read as a standalone.




This is an EXTRAORDINARY Series, written by Two very talented writers. H.M. Wolfe and EL Nelson, this dynamic duo has taken us from the depths of depravity to the highest highs of love. - Amazon reviewer, 5 STARS
This book gave me so many feels that I couldn't put it down. I loved everything about this book. - Amazon reviewer, 5 STARS
I can't say enough this book. I love this whole series! I waited up for this book and stayed up all night reading. I could not put it down! - Amazon reviewer, 5 STAR

Available in KU 




I was originally given book five of this series to read for a review, but I had a hard time following the storyline consisting of many past events and numerous characters.

The author was kind enough to give me the other books so I could give the entire series a fair review rather than an incomplete one based on the last book.

I have tried to do just that, but in complete disclosure I did not finish either book one or book five, abandoning both around 50%.

Story Concept:
I normally start here with an overall view of the book or series I’m reviewing. But in all honestly, I’m not sure what it was supposed to be. And I can’t really summarize what I couldn’t follow.

Disjointed events created continuous confusion as to the direction of the characters and the world they lived in, leaving me with no idea what the concept truly was.

I attribute most of my failing to the numerous accounts of head-hopping (POV changes from one sentence to the next or within the same paragraph, both characters, and narrative) and sheer number of characters.

World-Building: D
I’m fairly certain the story took place in an “earth” type world with our laws, but with the addition of speculative features (such as male pregnancy). But this is about all I can tell you other than many of the characters were rich, and they were apart of mob families as well as police (simultaneously). Details to things like a room, or a building, or appearance were given, but I never knew where the characters were in their interactions with the space around them. 

There were plenty of finite details such as how a person dried off, washed, or walked, but nothing that anchored their existence in reality.

Characters: C-
Much of this book reads very omniscient with the occasional dip into third-person POV. I’m fairly certain this was not done on purpose, but I could be wrong.

The omniscient style made it difficult to connect with any of the characters because it kept them at arm’s length, and the sheer number of characters without good development to distinguish main characters from background characters, caused all of the personalities to blur together.

The POV shifts to third person on occasion exacerbated my confusion.

In the end, the characters never fleshed out for me and remained two-dimensional descriptions with no personality.

Secondary Characters: C- 
See above.

Plot: NA
I can’t give this a grade because I don’t have anything to really base it on. I feel like I should have some idea what the story was about with a minimum of 50% read on two books, but I don’t. This is one of the reasons I gave up on the books. I had a lot of characters, dialog, and minor interactions but no clear direction — nothing driving the actual plot.

Plot Execution: F
I hate to give any attribute a D, let alone an F, but when it’s the only fair score I can give because of the lack of clarity to the plot.

I felt what hurt this the most was the mass amounts of dialog exposition (dialog info-dumping from characters rehashing information known between them to deliver information to the reader) buried it.

This kind of information delivery is very awkward to me as a reader. It bogs down the story with information that would work better as a narrative, character interaction with the world, and character and world-building. As a read these attributes are what drives a story to unfold rather than remain sedentary.

Romance: D
The attempt was there, but I didn’t have enough character to provide a source for emotion or attachment.

Resolution: NA
I didn’t finish the books.

Enthusiasm: A
I do think the author cared about what they were writing and probably enjoyed writing it. Some of this came through on a few good lines, but much was lost under the crisscross of story fragments.

From what I did read they dove in ready to take on a massive story with huge twists, and numerous subplots with the hope to give the reader a great ride.

Conclusion: 
I really hope this writer continues to write and develop their craft. I think they might benefit from outside opinions. Not people they know, but strangers such as a romance oriented critique group. With a different set of eyes to look at the manuscript, they might be able to help fine-tuning dialog to work with character action to convey emotion rather than using exclamation points at the end of multiple sentences or combining exclamation with question marks.

I also think outside eyes could help avoid unneeded information or incomplete information that cause dents and bumps in the storyline.

A good content editor could also help tighten things up and help them read cleaner by pointing out dangling plotlines, POV switches, and out of character dialog or actions and or inconsistencies.


Guest Reviewer: Valentine

From The Darkness: Dragons' House


On KU


Into The Light (Dragons' House Book 2)
On KU
US-UK-AU-CA 

Out of the Shadows (Dragons' House Book 3)
On KU

From Dusk til Dawn: Dragons' House Book 4
On KU

About the Authors: 


Goodreads: H.M. Wolfe-E.L. Nelson 
H.M. lives with the coolest Mom in the Universe and a fat, gay, submissive tomcat. She loves writing stories about boys and men who love, cherish, respect and protect, other boys and men.
**********
E.L. is an introverted, single mother and grandmother living with her furbaby Mortimer Mouse in the Rocket City USA. It’s where her love of all things space history and science is satisfied with the Space and Rocket Center and Marshall Space Flight Center. She hopes one day to see man travel to the stars like in her favorite TV shows of Dr. Who, Firefly and Star Trek. In the meantime, she loves to dive into the world of MM books, reading whatever she can get on her Kindle and interacting with her tribe of people on Facebook.


LIP SERVICES PR 
@LIPSERVICESPR