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Monday, August 3, 2020

Book Review: Pumpkins and Party Themes: 50 DIY Designs to Bring Your Halloween Extravaganza to Life by Roxanne Rhoads + giveaway


Pumpkins and Party Themes: 50 DIY Designs to Bring Your Halloween Extravaganza to Life
by Roxanne Rhoads
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse
August 11, 2020
ISBN-10: 1510751165
ISBN-13: 978-1510751163
Bring your Halloween party theme to life with these quick tips and tricks!

Pumpkins and Party Themes features ten unique party themes with five do-it-yourself pumpkin designs for each theme. The pumpkin projects have a variety of decorating ideas that include carving, painting, and mixed media craftiness and easy-to-follow steps on each creation. Author Roxanne Rhoads also includes quick ideas on how to bring the theme to life through d├ęcor, costumes, and activities. These fun party themes range from gothic elegance to Edgar Allan Poe, under the sea, let's get literary, and more!

With beautiful full-color images to illustrate the tools needed, steps to follow, and final products, this book makes for the perfect gift for Halloween enthusiasts and party hosts alike!


I consider myself a Halloween fanatic. I love Halloween anything and everything to do with Halloween. 

I enjoyed this book I think it offers so many ideas for somebody who is trying to figure out how to do a DIY Halloween party with some step by step guides to help. Gives you several Ideas on themed party ideas to decorate for, even game ideas for each theme with costumes down to the simple invitations ideas. Everything you need to know with DIY directions on how do some of the Decor yourself. I think it’s a great idea for someone that doesn’t know how to go about doing crafty things and always wanted to try themself it’s all right here done for you. Some ideas on where to get some of the supplies best ideas for individual projects depending on what you’re going to use them for and includes some stencils for the pumpkins all in one book.

Also enjoyed the story on The Legend Of Jack-O’-Lantern. “It’s dark how will I find my way. Jack asked while munching on a turnip. The devil threw him a glowing coal which Jack placed in the turnip he had been eating. He became Jack of the Lantern, Doomed to wander the earth alone for eternity.”

I would definitely recommend this book for someone who was thinking about doing a Halloween party and didn’t know where to get started easy fun and breaks it all down for you I think you’ll really enjoy yourself.

5 sheep





SusieR



About the Author:
Roxanne Rhoads is an author, book publicist, mixed media crafter, and lover of all things spooky.

Her books include the Amazon Bestseller Haunted Flint and Pumpkins and Party Themes : 50 DIY Designs to Bring Your Halloween Extravaganza to Life.

She is the owner of Bewitching Book Tours, a virtual book tour and social media marketing company. She operates a Halloween blog- A Bewitching Guide to Halloween and sells handcrafted jewelry, art, and home decor through her Etsy store- The Bewitching Cauldron.

When not reading or writing, Roxanne loves to craft, plan Halloween adventures, and search for unique vintage finds.

Amazon Author Page
A Bewitching Guide to Halloween
Etsy Store 
Author Website 
Book Blog 
Bewitching Book Tours 
Twitter 
Facebook 
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Tour Giveaway
1 signed copy of Pumpkins and Party Themes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Book Review: Eagle (Shifter Kings L.A. Book 1) by Holly Gunn + giveaway

Eagle (Shifter Kings L.A. Book 1)
by Holly Gunn
January 2, 2020
130 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
He’s prideful, rich, and next in line to be king of the eagles.

She’s an eensy bit prejudiced, and a lot rock and roll.

What these two City of Angels’ supernaturals are about to discover is that there is so much more to a person than what meets the eye.

Eagle Fitzwilliam Ambustus is controlled, precise, and direct. He doesn’t have the time nor the emotional wherewithal to be anything other than who he is. Others think him cold and unfeeling, but that’s just the surface. Beneath his suits, he is so much more.

Elizabeth Argueta is a free spirit. She’s a rock and roll, go-with-my-flow drummer on a mission to live life to the beat of her own drum. And most importantly, she’s got a view of the world that sets her firmly apart from the rich and the clingy of the L.A. scene.

When these two meet, it might be sparks-at-first-sight, but they’ll have to get over their pride and their prejudice to not only overcome those trying to keep them apart but also to understand and come to love each other ... just as they are.

Note: The first book in the Shifter Kings L.A. series is short, sassy, sexy, shift-tastic, and a whole lot of rock and roll … with a little Pride and Prejudice thrown in.


Told in first person, Eagle wasn't what I expected, nor were the hero and heroine.

Eagle is intense to say the least. He had a harsh upbringing and it shows in how he presents himself and how he sees the world around him. As short as the story is I felt that Eagle deserved a little bit more page time so that I could really get a read on him as a character. I feel like I just got the tip of the ice berg with this guy. He seemed to have multi-dimensional layers to him and it would have been great to have had more time to get into the different sides of him. He's a very "stiff upper lip" character.

Elizabeth "Izzy" Argueta is the total opposite. She lives her life openly and as uncomplicated as she can. She doesn't want to make time for anything that's going to get in the way of her way of doing things. She was certainly not who I was expecting Eagle to fall for. Izzy isn't perfect though, her free spirit attitude sometimes had her denying the reality of her situation and because she didn't stick to one type of magic very long, she didn't master any type of magic. At times it felt like she didn't take much seriously but she actually does. She has this magnetic kind of personality that draws people in and you can't help but like her.

The romance between Eagle and Izzy had this definite feel of I shouldn't like you, there are hundreds of reasons this is wrong but I can't help myself. I enjoyed the push and pull between them and because the book is short, there's not a lot of drama keeping these two apart. It's kind of on the quick side but still enjoyable.

Overall, Eagle does a solid job of introducing a new world to readers. My only real complaint was that the story is told in first person and for a world like the one the author is creating, I'd prefer to see things in third person to get a better picture of what's going on.

Sheep Rating: 3 Sheep







Adria Reyes

Grizz (Shifter Kings L.A. Book 2)
Note: The second book in the Shifter Kings L.A. series is not short, but it is sweet, sassy, sexy, shift-tastic, and a whole lot of Rock ‘n’ Roll … with a little Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester thrown in. 

Heavy (Shifter Kings L.A. Book 3)
Note: The third book in the Shifter Kings L.A. series is short, sweet, sexy, shift-tastic, and a whole lot of Rock ‘n’ Roll … with a giant beast and a sassy beauty for your reading pleasure. 


About the Author:
I'm the proud momma to a golden retriever named Charlie, two tortoises named Jake and John, a frog named Toad, and a gopher snake. The latter is my girl, Holly Jr. There's also the fact that I'm a thunderstorm-loving, front porch-sitting, hot cocoa-drinking, beauty product-hoarding, self-proclaimed environmentalist who just happens to write erotic romance. Saddle up, sweetheart. I've got a slew of shifters, bad boys, dirty men, and smart, sexy babes to get you started!


Giveaway

Amazon gift card - 2 for $5 each 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Calistos (Guardians of Hades Series Book 5) by Felicity Heaton + giveaway

Review coming Wed (8-5-2020)

Calistos (Guardians of Hades Paranormal Romance Series Book 5)
by Felicity Heaton
July 28, 2020
425 pages
Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Air, Calistos was banished from his home by his father, Hades, two centuries ago and given a new duty and purpose—to keep our world and his from colliding in a calamity foreseen by the Moirai. Together with his six brothers, he fights to defend the gates to the Underworld from daemons bent on breaching them and gaining entrance to that forbidden land, striving to protect his home from their dark influence. 

Tormented by the death of his twin sister, Calistos wants nothing more than to find a way to save her soul, but the pain of continuing without her, the constant feeling that he got her killed, is slowly pulling him down into the darkness and he knows it’s only a matter of time before he succumbs to the call of the abyss.

Until a battle sets him on a collision course with a kind-hearted and beautiful mortal, one who rouses softer emotions he had sworn he would never risk feeling again, threatening to peel away his mask of playfulness and shatter the barriers around his heart.

Marinda is a woman on a mission—to become a great cellist and repay her father for his faith in her. But her regimented and studious life is thrown into chaos when a handsome man is carted into the ER where she works and takes her hostage, pulling her into a dark and dangerous world… one where she discovers there’s more to her than meets the eye and her entire life has been a lie.

When the enemy makes a play for Marinda and the gates, will Calistos find the strength to let someone into his heart again and look to the future, or will the pain of his past lead him to unleash hell on this world?


EXCERPT
“What did you just say?” The soft female voice invaded Calistos’s foggy mind, stirring the shadows until a glimmer of light peeked through like a warming ray of sunshine.

He focused on it, attempting to bring his senses back online as his entire body throbbed, a deep ache that warned him he had been badly injured and was still recovering.

“I don’t think so!” Her French accent lent a hard edge to that refusal.

Who was she talking to? What didn’t she want to do?

“I helped him.” She sounded fearful now, but angry too. “You asked me to help him… and I didn’t ask to be brought here.”

Another voice rumbled in his ears, this one a black snarl, and he struggled to make out what they were saying.

A second female joined the conversation, her tone gentle, whisper-soft. “The waters of the Lethe will not hurt you, child.”

The Lethe?

Cal growled as he was hurled back through time, memories flittering past him at high speed until he landed on the banks of that turbulent river, faced with a choice.

Drink the waters and forget her, or live with the constant pain in his heart.

“I don’t want to forget.” The French woman’s voice dropped low, the pain that laced each trembling word cutting through him.

He hadn’t wanted to forget either. He never wanted to forget.

He wanted to remember everything. He wanted to remember his sister. He wanted to remember what had happened to her. To him. He wanted to remember the face of the one who had tormented, tortured and murdered her.

But he never could.

In the vision building around him in the darkness of his mind, the river bubbling before him shifted colour and changed course, the waters receding to form a single sphere that then rose up before him. It dropped into a silver goblet, cupped in a delicate pale hand.

Mnemosyne offered it to him.

The water of memory.

Great pain rolled through him and he eased away a step, stumbled and fell on his back before her cell in the towering prison of Tartarus. Because the water offered only misery, only more pain when it failed to work. Not again. He would never drink it again.

“Drink the water.” Hades’s voice boomed like thunder rolling across the land, shattering the memory to leave only darkness behind.

Fear washed through Calistos. Fear that didn’t feel as if it was his own.

“You can’t make me.” That sweet voice lacked conviction as it shook.

He growled as he realised what was happening, as it all came flooding back in a torrent of images. Waking in a bright room. Finding himself surrounded by mortals. The agony. The fiery pain. The sudden explosion of energy inside him.

And then her.

A beauty who had looked as if she had stepped right out of Ancient Greece with her spun gold hair twisted into a braid across the top of her head and her warm blue-green eyes as inviting as the Aegean waters.

A snarl tore from his lips as he recalled seizing her, threatening her to defend himself against the other mortals, as he remembered trying to speak to her and how fiercely he had needed to keep her with him.

So fiercely he had apparently brought her with him to the Underworld.

“No,” he bit out, voice a hoarse scrape in his ears as he tried to move. He needed to stop his father. She was right and she had done nothing wrong. Gentle hands grasped his shoulders to hold him down, her touch light and offering comfort that he stole, strength that he absorbed as he gathered all that he could, preparing for a fight he would never win in his current condition. “No.”

When those tender hands attempted to keep him pinned, he brushed them away, as gently as he could manage as rage slowly built in his veins, roused by the thought of his father forcing the waters of the Lethe upon the mortal female who had helped him.

“Leave her.” Cal manoeuvred onto his elbows and managed to find the strength to crack his eyes open. They were sore, gritty and dry, his vision blurred. The room was a mash of fuzzy colours dominated by black. He blinked rapidly to clear his eyes and bring everything into focus. “I’ll take her back.”

“You will.” Hades stared him down from the end of the bed, his red eyes bright in the low light, stark against the long black lashes that framed them and his pale complexion. Obsidian spikes rose from his raven hair, a crown that suited the god-king of the Underworld, one meant to intimidate his enemies. “Once she has tasted the waters.”

Hades revealed the slender violet glass vial with a flourish, cupping it in the black claws of his left gauntlet. His father had come dressed for war.

Cal glanced at the golden-haired beauty where she stood off to his left, close to his mother, her soiled white shirt and grey pencil skirt so out of place in this dark ancient realm.

She wasn’t a threat to his father, or this world. Hades was overreacting. She was mortal.

He could feel it in her, was deeply aware of it and what he had done, how he had placed the fragile female in danger.

“Just let me take her back.” He tried to sit up, but his strength failed him and he gritted his teeth as pain blazed through him. He sank back against his elbows.

For a heartbeat, concern surfaced in his father’s eyes.

And then they hardened again.

“She must drink the waters.”

“I don’t have to do anything,” the woman snapped, fire in her eyes that swiftly abated when Hades shifted his gaze to her. She shrank back and wrapped her arms around herself, her slender dirty fingers tugging at her soiled white shirt near her elbows.

She looked small like that. Vulnerable.

It roused a dark need inside him.

Cal wanted to fight in her corner and convince his father that she wouldn’t tell anyone what she had seen, that no one would believe her if she did, but deep inside he knew his father was only doing what was necessary to protect his realm and his people.

Persephone looked to Hades and then to him, concern softening her green eyes as they met his.

He pulled down a deep breath and then nodded, hating himself for consenting to this when every fibre of his being wanted him to fight his father on it. He didn’t want her to suffer as he did, forgetting things that happened to her, left to wonder what she couldn’t remember when she inevitably felt as if she had forgotten something.

He only felt worse when his father held the vial out to him. He shook his head. He couldn’t be the one to do it and his father had to see that. He had to see the guilt and shame that was building inside him, a swirling tempest that felt as if it was ripping him apart as he waited. Hades curled a lip at the woman and turned towards her, his crimson cloak swirling around his ankles as he came to face her.

Darkness reigned in his father’s eyes as they burned scarlet, rage that flowed into the room from him and drove Calistos to act, because he wasn’t sure his father wouldn’t hurt her if he had to do the deed himself.

Persephone moved before Cal could muster the strength to intervene, gliding towards Hades and gently lifting her hand as she reached him, closing it over the vial.

“Allow me, my love.” She carefully took the violet glass bottle from him, brushing her fingers along his as she did so, a soothing caress that worked its magic on his father and had the rage in his eyes ebbing away again.

Cal deserved his father’s fury for bringing this mortal into his world, and for returning when he had been banished to the human world to defend the gates to the Underworld, protecting them from a calamity the Moirai had foreseen centuries ago.

This woman was an innocent, caught up in this because of him, because he was as reckless as his family believed him to be.

More reckless in fact.

If they knew the things he did, they would lock him away in Esher’s cage to keep him safe.

Persephone tipped the vial upside down and back again, pulled the stopper from it and held it out to the woman. “Only a drop. It will not hurt you and you can return to your world, to where you belong.”

The blonde looked as if she wanted to say something as she gazed into Persephone’s eyes, and as those tranquil blue-green orbs shifted to him, but then she nodded.

Opened her mouth.

Accepted the drop his mother placed on her tongue.

She closed her rosy lips, shut her eyes and swayed, a frown flickering on her brow.

When she opened her eyes again, they were dull and unfocused. She stared straight ahead of her, at his mother, a blank expression on her face.

“You have a few minutes to return her to her world before the waters take full effect.” Persephone handed the vial back to Hades, who curled sharp claws around it and levelled a black look on him, one that warned Cal that he wanted to speak with him about what he had done, and it wouldn’t be a pleasant conversation. His mother eased towards Cal and touched his arm, offered a smile that shone with love, and mischief. “I suggest you go now. Time is of the essence.”

It was. She was giving him an out, a chance to run before his father could explode at him over what he had done, and he was going to take it.

He let her help him from the bed, his strength returning as he shuffled towards the woman with her assistance. When he reached the blonde, he seized her arm, focused and muttered the words to activate the favour mark that Hermes had bestowed upon him at his birth. Blue light shone from the ancient writing on his right forearm and he focused on where he wanted to be as he looked at the woman. A portal shimmered into being just behind her, rippling like water as it expanded to fill a space large enough for both of them to pass through.

“Calistos,” Hades started.

Cal shoved her through and followed her, grimaced as they landed in the damp parking lot of a hospital. His father was either going to summon him to chew him out, or send a Messenger to do it for him.

Either way he would deal with it. He was well aware of the massive cock up he had made, and he deserved the wrath his father was going to level at him.

He looked at the woman, taking in her dull eyes and how she stared off into the distance, completely unaware of the world around her. Vulnerable.

He released her arm and lifted his hand, brushed rogue honey strands back into the plait that curved over the top of her head, and feathered his fingers down her cheek. She didn’t react.

“Sorry,” he murmured, the apology tasting hollow on his tongue, not nearly enough to make up for what he had put her through. He couldn’t imagine how frightened she had been—of him, of the world he had taken her to, and of his father.

He should have stood up for her. He cursed low as he stroked her cheek, as she continued to stare straight ahead of her, across the busy car park. He was weak right now, still recovering from his injuries, but he should have defended her.

Protected her.

He looked down at himself, at the bandages and dressings that covered his healing wounds, and at the crimson and black that stained her clothing—his blood and daemon blood. She had helped him, and he should have helped her. She had been afraid, and he had allowed his father to go ahead and wipe her memory.

He should have fought.

Esher had fought their father, had gone against him and had gotten what he wanted.

Cal’s courage had failed him.

Or maybe he just wasn’t as insane as his older brother.

His phone vibrated in his pocket. He grimaced. No guesses needed to know who it would be and why they were messaging him.

He pulled his phone out, slowly, guilt fusing with anxiety inside him, a sickening sense of anticipation that set him on edge. He turned the screen towards him and grimaced again as he spotted his oldest brother’s name at the top of a very short message. Keras was pissed.

The message was three words.

Meeting. Tokyo. Now!

Apparently, his father had sent a Messenger as predicted, only he had sent it to his brothers.

The worst part about having six older brothers? Having seven mothers. It wasn’t as if there were centuries between them. Hell, there was less than forty years between him and Daimon, the second youngest. Cal was over seven hundred and sixty years old. Didn’t stop them from treating him like a kid though.

They were overprotective and overbearing.

Had been ever since they had lost his twin sister.

Pain struck across his skull like lightning and he flinched and rubbed his forehead, cursed low as that agony spread through him, condensing in his chest. He held himself together through sheer will alone, breathed through the pain and the fear, reaching for the other side. The pain slowly passed, the impending sense of doom lifting with it.

He hated that he couldn’t even think about Calindria without fear of blacking out. He wanted to remember her, needed to remember the good times, because right now he was on the verge of stepping off into the darkness and he knew he wouldn’t come back.

The abyss beckoned.

Offered oblivion and an end to his pain. His suffering.

The only hope he had left in this world was the hope that through death he might be able to see her again.

The woman beside him murmured something. He stared at her, silently apologising again for everything he had done, and how she was going to feel when she came around, her memories of him stolen from her.

Would she feel as lost as he did whenever he blacked out and couldn’t remember anything? Would she hate that feeling as much as he did?

He hated that he had inflicted it upon her.

“I’m sorry,” he muttered again, lingering now, unable to bring himself to part from her while she looked so lost, so vulnerable.

He forced himself to take a step back and break contact with her.

Her stunning eyes gradually gained awareness.

Calistos stepped, a term he and his brothers used for teleporting, leaving her before she noticed him. Darkness embraced him, a cool and comforting touch as he passed through his connection to the Underworld to emerge on the other side of the planet in Tokyo.

He had barely touched down in the elegant formal garden of the ancient Japanese mansion before Ares, his second eldest brother, was collaring him. His brother’s hand briefly closed around the back of his neck, the scalding heat of it warning him that Ares wasn’t happy. It worked in Cal’s favour.

Ares’s power over fire had manifested when they had been banished to the mortal world, meaning his brother couldn’t touch anything without risking setting it aflame, especially when he was in a bad mood.

Which was around ninety percent of the time.

The only one who was apparently immune to his power was Megan, his wife, a Carrier who had inherited the power to heal from her ancient Hellspawn ancestry.

“Move it. You’ve got some fucking explaining to do.” Ares moved up behind him, a wall of heat that had Cal moving towards the wooden porch of the Edo period single-storey building despite the fact he wanted to run in the opposite direction.

Mostly because in his current mood, Ares wouldn’t be allowed into it. Esher would see to that. Esher protected the mansion that was his home as fiercely as he protected his family.

“Shit, man, you royally fucked up.” Valen greeted him at the door, his violet-haired brother grinning like a fool. The puckered scar tissue that ran down his jaw and neck pulled taut as that grin widened. “Good luck.”

Valen slapped him on the back as Cal kicked his boots off and entered the building, stepping into the long rectangular room that made up the communal area of the mansion.

To his right, Esher sat with Aiko on one of the cream couches in the modern TV area, holding her tucked close to him on his lap, fussing over her. Aiko murmured sweet things to him in stilted English, soothing him, increasing the guilt Cal felt. Apparently, his little trip to the Underworld had reminded his brother of when Aiko had been killed, and how he had fought to bring her soul back to the mortal world.

Great.

Esher was on edge enough as it was these days, without Cal adding to his burden. All Esher could think about was hunting the wraith, Eli, one of the ranks of their enemy. It was taking all the power Aiko had over his brother to keep him from losing control and surrendering to that need.

To his other side.

Thankfully, it appeared two of his brothers had found reasons not to attend his trial.

Although he could have lived without Keras being present.

His judge, jury and possible executioner towered before him, his backdrop a beautiful manicured garden of topiary and gravel framed by the white paper panels that had been pushed open to reveal it, an immaculate vision that suited his oldest brother.

As always, Keras wore perfectly pressed black slacks, expensive polished black leather shoes, and a crisp black dress shirt. If his brother had been worried about him at all, it didn’t show in the hard lines of his sculpted features or the sharp edge to his green eyes.

“You want to explain what happened?” Keras said, deep voice as calm and smooth as an ocean on a still day. His brother was just as unpredictable too. He schooled his features well, hid his emotions from everyone, but sometimes, just sometimes, he reacted.

Like when Cal was rubbing him the wrong way, which was pretty much every day.

Cal shrugged. “I don’t remember.”

Keras’s green eyes narrowed. “You don’t remember. How convenient.”

Cal glared at him. That was a low blow. Forgetting things was never convenient for him. He despised that he couldn’t recall what had happened before he had come around on that hospital gurney surrounded by a few too many curious mortals.

“Easy,” Ares murmured from behind him, and Keras levelled a black look on him that warned him to stay out of this.

Cal knew his brothers well enough to know that wasn’t going to happen. Ares would have his own choice words to say to him about what he had done, but he wouldn’t let Keras go too far, or strike low blows meant to wound.

“Try to remember, because our father is… furious.” Keras managed to pick a word that perfectly conveyed what Cal had felt coming from their father.

Probably because Cal could feel it coming from him too.

Cal cocked his right hip, rubbed his jaw with his left hand, ignoring the dull, sore ache in his arm, and pursed his lips. “I met a really hot girl. Bee-u-tiful.”

“Calistos,” Ares said, the warning in his tone aimed at him now. “You know the rules. We all agreed to them. Hellspawn are involved with our enemy, so whenever we go to a gate or it calls us, we go together. Just admit you went to a gate, admit you messed up.”

Hellspawn was the name he and his brothers used for the breeds of daemons that Hades had allowed to remain in the Underworld after the last rebellion, when he had exiled all from the species who had been involved in the uprising and closed the gates to them. Hellspawn were allowed to come and go as they pleased with their father’s consent, travelling through the gates between the Underworld and this one.

Well, almost all the Hellspawn breeds were allowed to travel freely through the gates with Hades’s permission.

Since Keras had sent a Messenger to Hades about the possibility a necromancer was involved with their enemy, Hades had stopped giving permission to that breed, closing the gates to them and trapping them either in the Underworld or the mortal one.

Their father had also dispatched several of his legions to seek out the necromancers and bring them in for questioning, and every god and goddess allied with him was on the look out for them too.

So far, none had turned up.

“I have better things to do than this, so it would be appreciated if you would just fess up,” Valen put in. “I’m no saint, but even I agree that taking backup to the gates is the smart thing to do. The enemy knows we’re the keys to those gates now, and they know the only way to open one is to have us near it, so that means we work as a team. Safety in numbers and all that shit.”

Things had to be bad if Valen was going along with things rather than acting out and playing the rebel.

“Why didn’t you message for backup?” Keras moved a step towards Cal, a casual move but one that sent a cold chill shooting down Cal’s spine.

He preferred a little distance between him and his oldest brother when he was in a mood, and Keras was in a mood. He could see it now, building in his green eyes, a storm looming in the distance but rapidly growing stronger.

The sort Cal loved to unleash on the world.

He didn’t want to answer his brother’s question. To answer it, he would have to attempt to remember. Only pain lay that way.

“There must have been a powerful enemy involved.” Valen moved around him, casting golden eyes over Cal’s bare chest and ruined black combats. “Several of them. You were in bad shape. Father’s Messenger relayed that much.”

Valen placed a hand on Cal’s shoulder, and Cal shrugged it off, because seeing worry in his brother’s eyes was unnerving. He preferred the fuck-you-all brand of Valen. This new, softer version freaked him out.

“Try to remember.”

Cal looked at Keras as he spoke those words, catching in his eyes how much his brother needed him to explain, and therefore at least attempt to remember. Hades hadn’t just sent a Messenger to inform his brothers of what had happened in the Underworld. He had sent a request for information, one Keras needed to fulfil.

Hades wanted to know what had happened.

Their father had been on edge since Keras had sent the Messenger to inform him of their suspicions about a necromancer being involved. Keras had to send regular reports to him now, sometimes more than once a day depending on their father’s mood. Cal could understand why both Keras and their father were so insistent on getting every scrap of information available to them, because anything could be a clue as to who was involved or what the enemy planned to do next.

Cal sucked down a deep breath. He was doing this then. No question about it. His father wanted the details, and as much as it pained Cal, both physically and emotionally, he would do his best to provide them.

“Fine,” he grated and went to the couch that stood with its back to the main area of the room. “At least let me sit down in case I pass out. I’ve had enough knocks for a lifetime tonight.”

He slumped into the seat, leaned back against the soft cushions and closed his eyes, ignoring Esher’s muttered words about dirtying the cream material.

He focused inside of him instead, on the darkness of his mind, conjuring an image of the first thing he remembered on coming around. The white room. The humans. The beauty, staring at him from the doorway, fascination mixed with fear in her striking eyes. He remembered speaking to her.

Cal forced himself to go backwards, denying the need to roll forwards and replay everything that had happened with her. He remembered pain. Incredible pain. Jerky movements. Someone lifting him. The paramedics?

He pushed back further, and gritted his teeth as fire spiderwebbed across his skull, red veins of it that he could almost see as it burned his mind, bringing darkness in its wake. He struggled against it, stretching for the memory that felt just out of reach, hoping this time he would be able to recall it all without the abyss devouring him.

The darkness roared up on him, a towering black wave that threatened oblivion, but he pushed back against it and a faint image flickered in his mind, and a feeling went through him.

He popped his eyes open and let everything go, releasing it in a rush of breath as he sank deeper into the couch.

“Well?” Ares knelt beside him, concern in his dark eyes, his overlong tawny hair mussed and pulled from the leather thong he wore it tied back with. His brother dropped his hand to his black jeans-clad knee. “Did you remember anything?”

Cal nodded.

While he couldn’t recall what had happened to him between fighting a horde of daemons and waking in that hospital room, he could remember a few things.

Like where he had been.

“Seville. I was at the twin gate.” The one that had been bound to his twin sister before he had been forced to seal it shut and close it down, leaving him feeling as if he had lost her all over again. “A lot of daemons showed up. I think I ended up teleporting to get away from them.”

His brothers exchanged sympathetic glances. Would they be so sympathetic if he told them what else he had remembered?

He hadn’t fought back.

In that moment, he had felt so empty, so hollowed out, that he hadn’t been able to bring himself to fight the daemons.

He had wanted to die.

Death wasn’t the answer. Keras was right about that. Dying wouldn’t reunite him with Calindria. To see her again, he needed to find whoever had her soul and discover the location of it. He had to live.

But it was so hard to do that.

The daemons had caught him at a low point, when the pain of closing the gate linked to her had been too raw and too much for him, opening him to the thought of escaping it all by letting oblivion claim him.

Part of him hated that he had sunk this low, that he had craved death, because Keras was right about another thing too.

Calindria wouldn’t want it.

She would want him to live.

He just wasn’t sure he had the strength left in him to do that.

BOOKS IN THE SERIES 


About the Author:
I'm a NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY and International Best-Selling Author writing passionate paranormal romance books and series for adults.

I love to create 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! All of them alpha as you would expect in paranormal romance!

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, my best-selling Her Angel romance series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires, then try the Vampires Realm romance series or any of my stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate, and steamy, then try my Vampire Erotic Theatre romance series. Or if you like hot-blooded alpha heroes who will let nothing stand in the way of them claiming their destined woman, then try the Eternal Mates series. It’s packed with sexy heroes in a world populated by elves, vampires, fae, demons, shifters, and more. If sexy Greek gods with incredible powers battling to save our world and their home in the Underworld are more your thing, then be sure to step into the world of Guardians of Hades.
Author of:

GRAND GIVEAWAY

Enter the grand tour-wide giveaway to win one of a $75, $50 or $25 Amazon Gift Card at the Calistos book page. This giveaway is international and open to everyone, and ends at midnight on August 16th. Enter now: 

Friday, July 31, 2020

Excerpt: Crow: A dark romance (The Crow Series Book 1) by Amanda Mackey + giveaway

Crow: A dark romance (The Crow Series Book 1)
by Amanda Mackey
July 22, 2020
Genre: Dark Romance, romantic suspense
Death

I'm the Grim Reaper

My face is the last thing my victims see

I take life without blinking

Bred this way by the devil himself

The asshole who raised me

When the time comes, I'll bury him too

In the meantime, the little starling feeding the birds in the park has my full attention.

Raven colored hair

Disarming eyes that infuse my dead heart with oxygen

The broken pieces of me want her to put me back together

But the monster is calling to come out and play.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star....


Crow: I stand in darkness. I am the darkness. The maroon, velvet drapes are pulled tightly closed, shutting out the world as I attempt to quiet my mind. Visions stole time again last night, robbing me of sleep. The monster lurking. Always there. Voices like background noise never leave. Pain so deep, nightmares constantly speak to me.

My dedicated martial arts room failed to pacify me this morning after a grueling workout with knives and swords. I need more. A kick of pain greater than my bare limbs can provide.

Using the straight edge of my trusted friend, I slice the final letter into the skin on my torso, making sure it’s back to front
 so when read by another, it will make sense. The smell of sweet metal a hit to my senses. Heady. Intoxicating. I feel the upward and downward strokes, not needing to see. The sharp tip stops its journey and I let the knife drop to the floor, sated. I allow my fingers to brush across the wound, gathering the red nectar and placing it to my parched lips. The workout has left me dehydrated so when I swallow and allow the fine liquid to coat my throat, I let out a groan of relief.

My body is a work of art. Ink covering half of it. This new tattoo is another piece to the puzzle.

The bright lights shooting like laser beams through the cross-barred windows have me squinting. The ornate gold mirror to my right, allows me to view the masterpiece. With my chest bare and a pair of sweats hanging under my hip bones, I grin broadly.

It’s complete. I’m branded. I finally have a name. An identity even he can’t steal from me.

CROW.
Aria: My throat closes and I feel my entire face stretch in surprise as a dark figure steps from the shadows. A gray hoodie is pulled down over his face, revealing only a glimpse. It’s enough to discover a full mouth surrounded by scruff. His jeans and combat boots don’t tell me much about who he is. Snippets of tattoos peak out from under his clothing, imparting a thug-like appearance. If I were someone who judged, I’d have him summed up already, but I know all too well, appearances can be deceiving.

The air changes. His vibe is one of power. Rigid stance. Confident gait. I feel frazzled.

I stand and take a deep breath, attempting to pull my newfound anxiety back in. He stops. I’m not sure what to say or do as we both inspect each other, although I can’t be sure he’s watching me as his eyes are cloaked in the shade of his hoodie. It’s something I feel more than I know.

“Hi there,” I begin, attempting to be friendly.

He does a short, crisp whistle and my newest feathered friend retreats back to the stranger before the giant of a man, leans down and picks up the crow, placing him on his shoulder.

“Oh. It’s your bird. I didn’t know. I hope you don’t mind me feeding him.”

His body language is cold and standoffish. His hands are pressed against thick thighs. I feel vulnerable, him being able to see my face but me not being able to see his.

I wait for a response but receive nothing. He simply freezes.

Beginning to feel more uneasy, I turn and offer a small wave with, “Well, I’ll see you. I need to get to work.”

I hurry away, leaving the other birds on the grass as I turn back once to see him still facing me. Odd man.
About the Author: 
Amanda Mackey was born in New Zealand and moved to Australia when she was 12 years old with her family, where she has lived ever since. She has loved books since an early age and is an avid reader. This has helped lay the foundation for her writing. She's published 7 novels to date with plenty more on the way. An author with Limitless Publishing, she loves to spend time with family when she's not writing or reading.

Amanda hopes to make writing her full time career and travel in the near future. 
 giveaway! 

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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

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Thursday, July 30, 2020

LOL, sheep humor

This just killed me...thanks to BrendaR and ChristinaMc for sharing this in the I Smell Sheep Facebook group!

Whaaaa?! You didn't know we had a FB group... We share our website posts, free/cheap books, and members can post any pop culture info or funny memes that other members would enjoy...we don't allow promo unless it has been cleared through us first and then only if we think it is something members would like to see.
Come on...join us.

Cover Reveal: Awaken the Three (Highglade #2) by D. Jennings

If you haven't heard about the Highglade Series yet, check out the cover for Awaken the Three by D. L. Jennings, a must read for Fantasy lovers who love imaginative new worlds and epic adventures! 

Awaken the Three (Highglade #2)
by D. Jennings
August 11, 2020
546 pages
Genre: Fantasy 
Finalist: 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (Category: Fantasy)

Beyond the Wastes of Khulakorum, a storm is rising . . .

The Shaper of Ages is gone, and along with her, the Breaker -- yet gods are not the only threat to the peace of the living.

Aldis Tennech, the once-great general of the armies of Gal'dorok, finds himself in exile. His only hope of reclaiming glory lies in the hands of a self-proclaimed emperor, and the unearthly powers that put him there. Meanwhile, improbable alliances are forged in the north as unexpected enemies rear their heads and threaten ruin-with a single thread in common, connecting them all.

In the sequel to his award-winning novel Gift of the Shaper, D. L. Jennings once again brings to life an epic tale of war and chaos as earthly armies fight for otherworldly prizes. Ancient powers lying dormant must be called upon, bringing strength to those who need it and conquest to those who seek it; battles will rage and cities will fall, but only the most desperate or reckless would seek . . .

. . . to awaken the three.
Pre-Order!

 
by D. Jennings
December 7th 2018 
470 pages
Armies will clash, and even gods will die…

For thousands of years, the Breaker of the Dawn has been locked away in the ethereal plane of the Otherworld. Now, a young blacksmith’s apprentice finds himself trapped in a war between the noble Athrani, a subset of humanity gifted with the ability to transmute matter, and the malevolent and powerful Khyth, who seek to free the ancient god from his prison.

When his father, Olson, is kidnapped, Thornton Woods and his childhood friend, Miera, must leave their small village of Highglade to find him. On their way, they are joined by Ynara and Kethras, cat-like humanoids called Kienari, who use their skills as hunter/trackers to follow Olson’s trail. When it comes to light that one among them possesses the key to the Breaker’s release, Thornton and his friends must defy the might of the Khyth as armies on both sides collide in pursuit of the ultimate prize.

Gift of the Shaper chronicles the epic struggle between the existing forces of good and evil, with both sides vying for control of the key that unlocks the Otherworld. The very powers of creation and destruction hang in the balance, and only a heroic effort by Thornton and Miera, backed by the power of the Athrani, can possibly stop the Khyth from unleashing ruin — and the Breaker — upon their world.

  
About the Author:
Once again, D. L. Jennings, who won the “Beverly Hills Award for Fantasy” in 2018, brings life to an epic tale of war and chaos as earthly armies fight for otherworldly prizes. Reminiscent of Game of Thrones, AWAKEN THE THREE is a riveting page-turner, and a must-read for fantasy readers who want to escape to a different world, time and place ruled by other-worldly beings. It’s the perfect book to escape from the anxious times of our COVID-19 reality. 

D. L. Jennings is a fourteen-year active-duty veteran of the United States Air Force, serving under the Air Force Special Operations Command. In 2005, he earned his associate degree after graduating at the top of his Korean class at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California, and earning the Korean Consul General’s award for excellence. He is a graduate of Bellevue University in Nebraska, earning a bachelor of science degree in security management in 2008. He finished writing his debut novel, GIFT OF THE SHAPER, which won the Beverly Hills Book Award in 2018 for Fantasy, while serving on his ninth combat tour. 

He has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as several countries in Africa. When he is not reading or writing epic fantasy, he enjoys traveling, listening to ‘90s punk, and watching Ohio State football. Jennings lives in South Florida.

Cover Reveal Organized By:

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Cover Reveal: The Lost King by Frazier Alexander

The Lost King
by Frazier Alexander
November 10th 2020
FyreSyde Publishing
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
In an ancient place, in an ancient time…

King Athan vanishes at sea. His children, prince Thalos and princess Thara, drift apart with age, their kingdom falling into ruin. Thalos stubbornly clings to the past; Thara, resentful of her father, looks to the future. In the wake of this decline, a beautiful enchantress usurps the throne from the estranged siblings. She exiles Thalos to the edge of the world and slowly enslaves Thara’s mind.

In his exile, Thalos finds another castaway—an old comrade of his father. Together they begin a voyage in search of the lost king. Thara, meanwhile, resists the new queen’s coercive spells and finds a resistance of creatures still loyal to her father.

With a vast world of enchanted islands and beings between them, Thalos and Thara struggle to restore their family and rekindle the hope of the true king’s return.

About the Author:
Website-FB-Instagram
Along with creating his own mythological backdrop for his stories, Frazier is an amateur calligrapher, map-maker, and artist. He is currently working on his master’s in Medieval Literature at the University of North Texas.