GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ I Smell Sheep: February 2023

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Excerpt: Vagabonder by R.T. Coleman + giveaway

by R.T. Coleman
Science Fiction/Fantasy
Publisher: Aurelia Leo
Humans have always feared Caen’s kind.

Survivors of a mysterious virus, Ruĝa Morto, that killed 80% of Earth’s population two centuries ago, they have endured enslavement as Neurologically Compromised Individuals, or NiCIes, owned by OnyxCorp. Now, in 2261, Caen begins a perilous journey to seek the Vagabonders, the original moon colonists, whom many believe hold the key to freeing his people.

He knows he is hunted. He expects death at every turn.

But he doesn’t anticipate meeting Dr. Ligeia Obumbwe, a human biogeneticist desperate to protect her brother Finn, yet another victim of the endemic virus. When OnyxCorp promises to keep Finn safe in exchange for her work in their lunar lab, she accepts despite her increasing unease regarding the Corporation’s motives.

Ligeia and Caen become unlikely partners in a dangerous quest to reach the Vine, the space elevator that is the first step in their journey to the moon.

What they find along the way could help them bring OnyxCorp to its knees…or destroy everything they love.

Chapter 3
I wander through Montevideo’s broken industrial district for an hour before I find the next station, a warehouse several blocks from the canal’s edge. Headquarters for Lee Chou. Montevideo was once a thriving metropolis, even after Ruĝa Morto, but now, ruined by rising sea levels and neglect, it’s practically abandoned. Every building looks the same: Corrugated siding, graffiti, warnings against trespassing, Closed by OnyxCorp Authority in a variety of languages and symbols. As I pick my way through the crumbling streets and refuse, I notice a few stubborn residents peeking from makeshift doors and windows in rusting cargo containers. I give one or two a nod, prompting them to disappear without a word.

Every Dua child knows the name Lee Chou. Tales about unfortunate Dua children have the same moral: Always obey Authority, or Chou will take you. Follow the curfew, or Chou will get you. Never upset a human, or Chou will snatch you up. Chou’s reputation as a smuggler and ruthless killer is fueled by his association with OnyxCorp, which has relied for decades on his services. The remnants of outdoor enclosures surrounded by chain-link fencing are scattered throughout the district. Those enclosures are empty now, but over the decades they’ve confined thousands of Dua, bound for workstations across the globe, on the Vine, on the moon.

Why would Mama send me here, straight to the boogeyman’s lair? I can’t begin to guess. You will find Lee Chou in Montevideo. Then you will know what to do next. Typically cryptic, but it’s the only thing I have to go on if I’m to make my way to the Vine.

This building is much like the others, save for a bright green door and the human male perched on a metal chair to the door’s left. The back of his bald head rests against the building’s metal siding, and his arms hang loosely at his sides. A weapon of some kind lies across his lap. His face is leathered by UV exposure. He lets out a rumbling snore as I approach.

Unimpressive so far, but I’m not keen on startling him and getting blasted with whatever weapon he has. I stop several meters away and clear my throat. Nothing. I take a few more steps forward and kick a piece of metal siding lying on the ground as hard as I can, sending it sailing into a pile of similar metal debris.

The man leaps, knocks the chair over, and sends the weapon flying to land at my feet. I bend, retrieve the weapon, and rise.

“I’m here to see Chou.”

The man shifts from his left foot to his right. “Now, listen, man. I don’t want any trouble.” His voice is a whisper, and when he glances nervously back toward the green door for a third time, I realize why.

“You were asleep on the job.” I switch the weight of the weapon to my left hand and let it hang, barrel down.

“Frank?” A voice comes from a speaker hanging above the green door. I glance up, noticing the imager. I wave at it with my right hand.

The man, the Frank in question, takes a step toward me. “Look here, NiCIe—” He cuts off when he sees my expression. “No offense, man, just…give me back the gun.”

“Frank!” The voice is loud and sharp enough this time to echo through the alley. “Get your ass to the comm!”

Frank gives me a grave look and backs away toward the door. Without taking his eyes from me, he reaches out, fumbles for several seconds, and finally manages to locate the comm panel next to the green door. “Uh, hi. Everything’s ok—”

“Like hell.”

“Well, uh, there’s a, a NiCIe out here—”

“I can see that. Goddamit, Frank. One job.” Frank glares at me reproachfully, and I shrug as I adjust the gun in both hands. “Bring him in.”

There’s a soft ping, and the bright green door swings open. Frank motions for me to follow him, stops just at the threshold. “Can I at least have my gun back?”

“Let’s see how this goes.”

Grumbling, he shuffles into the building. I follow him, ducking slightly to miss the lintel, and am plunged into sudden darkness.

A hand grabs my left arm and grapples with the weapon as I am pulled through the gloom. I can make out darkened figures, and as my eyes adjust, I see a narrow hallway ahead with a long series of closed doors on either side, a soft glow pooling beneath them. Ceiling lights blink and buzz, casting eerie shadows across the walls and floor. Frank gives a final jerk and lets out a frustrated grunt when he fails to dislodge the weapon.

“He has my gun, Raj,” he says.

“We know.” Another figure emerges from the gloom, a large human male, his face covered in a grizzly beard. He’s holding a weapon as well, leveling it steadily at my chest. “What you want, NiCIe?”

I hold my arms out at my sides, the shotgun firmly in my grip. “Here to see Chou.”

“He’s wacked out, Raj. Just walked right up, like the place belongs to him.”

“You wacked out, NiCIe?” Raj’s face glistens. He’s missing a front tooth.

“I don’t think so.” I nod to the gun in Raj’s beefy hands. “Why don’t we let Chou decide?”

Raj blinks, narrows his eyes. He lowers the gun slightly. “You’re different, that’s for sure.” He jerks his head toward the corridor. “Follow me. Don’t touch anything.”

“He has my gun, Raj.” Frank trots behind us as Raj escorts me down the corridor to a door at the far end.

“We know, Frank.” Raj clears his throat. “Stand there,” he says, indicating the wall across from the door. I back up as he puts his hand against a wall scanner. The door clicks open.

Sudden light tears through my eyes.

Frank, or maybe it was Raj, shoves me into the blinding room.

“Identify yourself!”

I blink rapidly as a human female comes into focus, short, not much taller than a Dua child. Her right hand holds a stunstic, pointed straight up at my head. On her left thigh is a holstered electristic; her hand hovers over its stock expectantly.

“Who are you?” The woman’s grey hair is pulled back in a sleek ponytail, and she pushes her lips together in a small, thin line. She runs her eyes up and down the length of my body, and their implants flash briefly as they catch the light.

“My name is Caen.”

“And just what the hell are you doing here, Caen?”

“I’m looking for Lee Chou.” She narrows her eyes and presses her wrinkled lips together in a frown. “Word is Chou can get me to Buenos Aires.”

She takes more careful aim with the stunstic. “The maglev can get you to Buenos Aires. The tunnel can get you to Buenos Aires. You don’t need Lee Chou to get to Buenos Aires.”

“Not without attracting Authority attention.”

Her hand moves to the electristic. “Who sent you here?”

I take a deep breath. “Lenore.”

A wave of confusion moves over her brown-skinned face. “Lenore?”

“My mother.” I swallow down the lump that’s suddenly formed in the back of my throat. “She says Lee Chou is the best forger in SoAm.” The room behind the woman comes into focus now. It is bright, airy even. Not at all what I would expect in this desolate place, in this crumbling building. “Is he here?”

The two henchmen behind me chuckle. The corners of the woman’s mouth turn up slightly, but she doesn’t lower the weapon. “Ah, yes, the infamous smuggler Chou, responsible for millions of NiCIe children disappearing from their beds and forced into slave labor. That Lee Chou? Why would your mother send you to O Diabo?”

“I’m wondering the same thing myself.” I try to smile.

The woman regards me for a few seconds more over the stunstic’s barrel. Slowly, she lowers her arm. “How is your mother, Lenore?”

“She’s dead.” I’m surprised to see shock and dismay pass over her face.

“So that’s why we haven’t heard from the Paysandú station,” Raj says quietly behind me.

The woman shakes her head as she cuts him a glance. “You’re Lenore’s Earth child?”

“I have a sister—” Then I realize what she’s just said. “Earth child?”

The woman closes the distance between us in a few steps. Her eye implants engage in soft flashes of light as she scans me up close. “Hm. Perhaps.” She steps back, holsters the stunstic on her right thigh. “It took my father years to develop his reputation for ruthless NiCIe hunting. A reputation that is supposed to keep nosy people from poking around here. Lee Chou is dead. I am now Lee Chou.” She waves at the two men. “I’ll take it from here.”

“He has my gun,” Frank says.

“So he does. You gonna take it from him?”

Frank gives me a seething glance.

“He’s bigger than I am,” he says sullenly.

“Raj, take Frank out to the yard and show him how to do his job. Again. You can have your gun back,” she says, “when Raj says you can. Out.”

“Come on, kid,” Raj says, tugging at Frank’s arm. Frank casts one more angry look my way before he disappears into the corridor outside.

“I’d appreciate your putting that away,” Chou says, indicating the weapon I’m still gripping in my left hand. “I doubt you’d need it anyway, right?”

I sling the weapon over my shoulder. Turning to face Chou, I clear my throat. “So, can you get me to the coast, undetected?”

She narrows her eyes. “I offer my services for the right price, and to the right people.”

“What’s your price?”

“I don’t think you’re the right people.”

“What’s your price?”

She places her hands on her hips. “Six thousand credits.”

“I’ll give you four.”

“For four, I can get you within five miles of the coast. I trust you can swim.”

“My mother implied there was a debt owed her.”

Chou reacts as if she’s been struck across the face. “There is,” she says slowly. “Why would you want to go to Buenos Aires? If you aren’t registered, you won’t be able to get work, or food, or shelter—”

“I need to get to the Vine.”

Chou scoffs. “I can’t get you to the space elevator. It’s out of the question.”

“But you know someone in Buenos Aires who can.”

She frowns. “I haven’t spoken to that asshole in four years.”

“But you do know the Captain.”

“Captain my ass,” she mumbles. “You’re better swimming to the Vine. His isn’t the most reliable station, you know.” She sighs, then motions for me to follow her to a small circular table piled with flexscreens. The room is spacious and neat, with wallscreens covering the room floor to ceiling, projecting scenes of old Earth. An old NutriPrint model stands in a corner next to a modified Re-Claimer, obviously a knock-off from a now-defunct OnyxCorp competitor. Chou picks up a flexscreen. As it comes to life, she clears a space on the table, puts it down, and stretches it by the corners until it is about a meter square.

“Captain Abebe was here last time I checked.” There’s a trace of bitter sarcasm in her voice. She points to an area southeast of the city labeled Ensenada. “Here isn’t anywhere anymore...Ensenada, La Plata, the’s all abandoned.” She pushes out with her fingers to zoom in. “I can get you here, the mouth of the Canal, but I won’t go further. You’ll have to make your way to this location on foot.” She touches a square on the grid that features dilapidated warehouses and housing units next to the Arroyo del Saladero; the location glows a soft orange. She touches the corner of the flexscreen, and it snaps into its original size. She hands it to me, and I roll it into a small cylinder, fitting it neatly inside an inner pocket of my tattered jacket. “The Corporation is everywhere over there, even in the abandoned sections. There are bound to be drones and maybe even an old Authority model for good measure. If you get past them, you must deal with Abebe, who trusts absolutely no one. Especially me.”

“Should I mention you at all?”

“I’d like to see the look on his face when he hears my name. That would be worth losing 6000 credits alone.”

About the Author

R. T. Coleman grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she nurtured a passion for reading and writing while nestled among blankets and pillows in her bedroom closet. Her love of science fiction was born when she saw Star Wars in the theater in 1977. Imagine her disappointment when she realized she could never actually be Princess Leia.

She lives in Springfield, Arkansas, with her partner Joe on their 25-acre farm, where she works as an instructional designer by day and a writer and editor by night. Vagabonder is her debut novel.

Virtual Book Tour - February 13 - March 10
February 13 - RABT Book Tours - Kick Off
February 14 - Book Junkiez - Excerpt
February 15 - Book Reviews by Virginia Lee - Spotlight
February 16 - Writers N Authors - Excerpt
February 17 - Susan's Book World - Spotlight
February 18 - The Faerie Review - Spotlight
February 20 - Momma and Her Stories - Excerpt
February 21 - Books Blog - Spotlight
February 22 - Chapter Break - Guest Post
February 23 - Kim's Book Reviews and Writing Aha's! - spotlight
February 24 - Matters That Count - Excerpt
February 25 - The Avid Reader - Interview
February 27 - Texas Book Nook - Review
February 28 - I Smell Sheep - Excerpt
March 1 - Joss's Corner - Spotlight
March 2 - On a Reading Bender - Review
March 3 - A Life Through Books - Interview
March 4 - Liliyana Shadowlyn - Spotlight
March 6 - Buffy Kennedy - Guest Post
March 7 - The Indie Express - Review
March 8 - Novel News Network - Review
March 9 - Valerie Ullmer - Excerpt
March 10 - RABT Reviews - Wrap Up

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Monday, February 27, 2023

The Divine Oblivion (The Secrets of the Sun #1) by Clare Archer + giveaway

Welcome to the tour for Clare Archer's upcoming new novel, The Divine Oblivion. Read on for more details and visit one of our bookstagrammers to enter a fantastic giveaway - A hardcover edition, 3 character prints, bookmark, and stickers!

The Divine Oblivion (The Secrets of the Sun #1)
by Clare Archer
March 7, 2023
Genre: Romantic Fantasy/ Sci-Fi Fantasy
In the wake of certain death is when one feels the most alive, and will do anything to remain so…

Being kidnapped to a galaxy one hundred million lightyears away from Earth is not how Cyra pictured her twenty-first birthday.

And her abductor is a sarcastic, drunken wretch that tells her that her life on Earth was ploy to keep her safe for sixteen years until it was time to bring her home.

Cyra is skeptical when she learns she is a part of a long foretold prophecy that she along with a king will save Eredet galaxy from mass extinction.

As she navigates the secrets of her birth planet, Solis, she uncovers an invincible enemy and devastating curses that steal the energetic life force from her people, sending them to a painful, early grave.

But when Cyra’s eye wanders to a man who she is not destined to be with, she must come to terms that love might not be in the cards for her if she has any hope of fulfilling her divine fate. And that is not something to be taken lightly.

Because The Creator of the universe has died, and there is no one to hear their cries for help.

THE DIVINE OBLIVION is the gripping first installment of The Secrets of the Sun series. Those looking for an out-of-this-world adventure with fated mates, found family and heart-wrenching drama will devour this book!

About the Author
Clare’s goal in life is to make you laugh, cry, scream and squirm (hopefully leaving you begging for more). She enjoys writing about fantastical journeys with characters you love, or love to hate, with a plethora of spice mixed in. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her husband, daughter and floofy cats.

@Clare_Archer_ @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #TheDivineOblivion
Insta: @rrbooktours #rrbtthedivineoblivion #thedivineoblivion #thesecretsofthesunseries #scififantasy #fantasybooks
TikTok: @shannon_of_rrbooktours #thedivineoblivion #rrbooktours

Book Tour Schedule
February 27th
R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off)
Rambling Mads (Review)
February 28th
@fathomsamidstthelines (Review)
Breakeven Books (Spotlight)
I Smell Sheep (Spotlight)
@abookworld___ (Spotlight)
March 1st
Cheryl’s Book Nook (Review)
Read Write Run (Review)
@betweenhogwartsandvelaris (Review)
@books_and_draws_eclectic (Review)
Books + Coffee = Happiness (Spotlight)
March 2nd
Not a Bunny Blog (Review)
I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight)
Book Reviews by Taylor (Spotlight)
March 3rd
@balancing_books_and_beauties (Review)
@thelibrocubicularista (Review)
@bookwitch.blackcoffee (Review)
@mitinylibrary (Spotlight)
@leighs_little_library (Review)
@lillian_reads_and_writes (Review)
@obsessive_bibliomaniac (Review)

A hardcover edition, 3 character prints, bookmark, and stickers (US only)
Go to this Instagram post to enter

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Sunday, February 26, 2023

Comic Review: The Dog Knight (The Dog Knight, 1) by Jeremy Whitley (Author), Bre Indigo (Illustrator)

The Dog Knight (The Dog Knight, 1)
by Jeremy Whitley (Author), Bre Indigo (Illustrator), Melissa Capriglione (colorist)
May 16, 2023
Genre: graphic novel, middle-grade, fantasy, superhero, Children's Animal Comics , Children's Fantasy Comics, comics
Publisher: Macmillian
A nonbinary middle schooler saves a dog from bullies and is offered the chance to become the Dog Knight, protector of a magical pact between humans and dogs, in the first book of this humorous and heartwarming middle-grade graphic novel series from Jeremy Whitely, author of Princeless, and Bre Indigo, illustrator of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel.

Frankie knows who they are. They’re a drummer, they’re nonbinary, and they’re… the Dog Knight?

One day Frankie is a relatively normal middle schooler, with relatively normal challenges, like finding the perfect outfit to wear during their drum solo during the upcoming band concert. The next, they save a friendly golden retriever from bullies and suddenly find themselves in a giant magical doghouse, with a funny looking helmet, talking to a group of dog superheroes called the Pawtheon about a job offer.

If Frankie can prove that they possess the six dog virtues of loyalty, kindness, honesty, justice, stubbornness, and smell, they will be named the Dog Knight and be given the power to fight alongside the Pawtheon and save the world from the forces of chaos.

Maybe there is more to Frankie than they thought?

The Dog Knight is charming, meaningful and fun! Jeremy Whitley's young adult comics can be appreciated by
 kids and adults. He writes about wonderfully diverse characters and their journeys of self-discovery, standing up for what is right, and having compassion for others. The Dog Knight is all of this and more.

I'll first talk about what I thought while reading The Dog Knight.  This is a feel-good action/adventure story that had me rooting for Frankie to complete the trials and become the Dog Knight and the best version of Frankie they could be! As a mom, it was nice to see a story with a parent that supports and respects their kid's choices. 

Next, I will talk about why this story is important. In today's climate...where people are trying to erase the LGBTQ+ community from schools, we need more stories like this.

Frankie is a middle-school non-binary character. Just like every middle schooler, they are trying to figure out how to fit into a world where adults want to divide everyone into "this" or "that." But for Frankie, it is a little more complicated. For example, they don't feel comfortable in traditional "boy" clothes or "girl" clothes but those seem to be the only choices. Until they find out who they are, how can they begin to explain to others around them what being non-binary means? Whitley shows how important a supportive parent and a good friend are for any kid that doesn't fit in yet.

The use of dogs is the perfect symbol of how to be a good person. A group of superhero dogs protects mankind from the minions of chaos by using traits that dogkind values most: Loyalty, Kindness, Honesty, Stubbornness, Justice, and Smell (this one is explained in the story). Frankie must pass a trial for each trait to become the Dog Knight (without their mom, who has a dog allergy, finding out!) But it isn't easy. Could you show kindness or justice to people who have bullied you?

The artist Bre Indigo has a style that is a natural match for this story and its target audience. I've been following Bre's young adult LGBTQ+ webcomic, Jamie, for a long time. She has a wonderful ability to tell a story in comic form. Her art is comfortable and cheerful. As a black queer person, like Frankie, I think Bre was able to bring a lot to The Dog Knight. 

The Dog Knight is a must for any library. It is the type of representation that can help queer kids and their non-queer peers understand what being non-binary is about in a humorous and genuine way that can open the door for some positive discussion.

5 "doggie hat" Sheep


About the Authors
Jeremy Whitley
A writer of comic books, books, podcasts, and more living in Durham, North Carolina. He is the creator of the Eisner Nominated and Glyph award winning series "Princeless" as well as it spin-off "Raven the Pirate Princess" and "The School for Extraterrestrial Girls." He has also written several books and comics for Marvel Comics including the critically-acclaimed "The Unstoppable Wasp", "The Future Foundation", "Champions", and "Avengers". He has also written over fifty issues of the "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" comic book series.

Bre Indigo
An illustrator of the graphic novel Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy and the online web-comic Jamie, is a black, queer, freelance artist and illustrator based in Orange County, California.

Movie Reviews: Shotgun Wedding (Prime Video)

Shotgun Wedding (2023)
Release Date (Streaming): Jan 27, 2023
Director: Jason Moore
Writer: Mark Hammer
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Coolidge, Sonia Braga, Cheech Marin, Selena Tan, D'Arcy Carden
Rating: R (Language|Some Violence/Bloody Images)
Genre: Action, Romance, Comedy
Runtime: 1h 40m
Prime Video
In Shotgun Wedding, Darcy (Jennifer Lopez) and Tom (Josh Duhamel) gather their lovable but very opinionated families for the ultimate destination wedding, just as the couple begin to get cold feet. And if that wasn't enough of a threat to the celebration, suddenly everyone's lives are in danger when the entire party is taken hostage. "'Til Death Do Us Part" takes on a whole new meaning in this hilarious, adrenaline-fueled adventure as Darcy and Tom must save their loved ones--if they don't kill each other first.

I love ensemble casts. And Shotgun Wedding had a fun one!
I don't understand why Shotgun Wedding got dissed by the critics. It was exactly what you expect from a romantic comedy. The trailer is true to the movie. I'm not a big fan of romcoms but this one had a lot of action. What does every action movie have? You guessed it...a helicopter explosion. So technically Shotgun Wedding is an action movie.

My husband and I had a great time watching it. It is kind of predictable, but most movies are. But it made up for it with some funny moments and leaning heavily toward the action element. Not many romcoms have people getting blown up (only the bad guys get blown up). 

If you aren't really into romcoms but you know someone who is, this is a movie both of you can enjoy. Light-hearted and silly, just sit back and enjoy this popcorn entertainment and don't think to hard about it.

My husband and I give it 4 "" Sheep


Movie Review: We Have A Ghost (Netflix 2023)

We Have a Ghost
Release Date (Streaming): Feb 24, 2023
Genre: Comedy, Adventure
Director: Christopher Landon
Writer: Christopher Landon
Cast: David Harbour, Jahi Di'Allo Winston, Anthony Mackie, Erica Ash, Niles Fitch, Jennifer Coolidge
Rating: PG-13 (Language|Violence|Sexual/Suggestive References)
Runtime: 2h 6m
Distributor: Netflix
Finding a ghost named Ernest haunting their new home turns Kevin's family into overnight social media sensations. But when Kevin and Ernest go rogue to investigate the mystery of Ernest's past, they become a target of the CIA.

What a pleasant surprise! My husband and I watched We Have A Ghost last night. It has its downfalls, like a predictable plot, but it was heartwarming and funny. The cast was fabulous, especially Jahi Di'Allo Winston (Kevin). He is such a natural actor. Look forward to seeing him in more movies. Even though it was a little over 2 hours, it didn't feel like it.

Worth giving it a watch.

Husband give it 4 1/2 Sheep

I give it 4 "haunting" Sheep


Thursday, February 23, 2023

Excerpt: Shadow Wolf (Protector Wolf Shifter Series Book 1) by Lilliana Rose + giveaway

Shadow Wolf (Protector Wolf Shifter Series Book 1)
by Lilliana Rose
Feb 24, 2023
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Kodiak must protect Tamaska against vampires who want her dead.

The leader of the vampires wants to capture Tamaska. She needs someone to protector her against a world she has no idea about. That someone is Kodiak, but she doesn’t trust him.

If Kodiak fails at protecting Tamaska and the vampires kill her, they will cause death and destruction on earth. His alpha disagrees, and forbids him from protecting Tamaska. The pack must be committed to each other against the vampires and not be distracted by a human.

There's a bond forming between Kodiak and Tamaska and he is compelled to protect her.

Who will he choose, his pack or Tamaska? Or will Tamaska break his heart and risk everything he is trying to protect?

Fans of Twilight, Shadow Hunters, and The Winx Saga will devour Lilliana Rose’s world of unexpected adventure and dark imagination.

Scroll up and click to begin the journey in this opposites attract series set in a dark, urban fantasy world.

**On Sale for Only .99cents Feb 25th-28th!!**

That lust had been there since the moment their eyes had met last night.

Tamaska took another step towards him and splayed her hand on his chest. Kodiak could barely think. Releasing her had taken most of his self-restraint and he wasn’t a man built for such things.

When he wanted, he took.

But she was human and…

Hell. She looked at him like she wanted to rip off his clothes and take him here and now.

Her eyes glittered with carnal lust, like she wanted to strip back all humanity’s constructs and get down to the bare boned honest business of sex.

As the music’s beat built, thrumming with the desire in his veins, the last of his control snapped.

He caught her hand and lifted it, without breaking eye contact. He took two of her fingers into his mouth and sucked on them, letting his tongue slide over them, before biting down. She moaned, that low-throated sound that set him ablaze and made the desire within him combust.

This was inevitable. It was fate.

He released her fingers and drew her in. She sighed and wrapped her arms around his neck, rising on her toes so her mouth was a whisper from him.

His breath caught and he lowered his lips, catching hers. It was a taste, a nibble. She was hot and soft.

A groan broke free from his lips before he kissed her again. This time, she met him, her mouth as needy as his, as savage.

It was like an eternity of lust burst from them. The kiss was a carnal, dark exploration and he couldn’t get enough.

He wanted it all.


He didn’t give a fuck they were in the vampire club. He didn’t give a damn about the opal.

Right then, the only dangerous thing was not to continue.

He pulled her in hard against him and kissed her once more.

This could cost him his life, and hers.

And he didn’t give a damn.

About the Author
Lilliana Rose is an Amazon Bestselling author, who writes romance in the subgenres of contemporary and paranormal romance. She enjoys helping characters overcome problems or issues, and the misunderstandings that often plague relationships, to help them fall in love. Whether it’s city heels being replaced with country work boots, or some magic beyond this world, each story shows how love can prevail. She has poetry, middle grade, picture book, novellas, and novels published under various pen names.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Spellbound (Joe Mack Shadow Council Files Book 4) by Gail Z. Martin & Larry N. Martin + giveaway

Spellbound (Joe Mack Shadow Council Files Book 4)
by Gail Z. Martin & Larry N. Martin
Dev 29, 2022
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Werewolves, Vamps, and Thieves!

Joe Mack and his friends head to Pittsburgh to deal with a surge of disappearances, all people with psychic abilities going missing under highly questionable supernatural circumstances. That’s enough to keep anyone hopping, but Joe can’t ignore the feeling that there’s something even bigger going on behind the scenes.

Joe, West, and Sarah Grace team up with new allies to fight a whole new level of danger—and uncover the secrets behind why people with special abilities are vanishing and who’s taking them. What they learn could change the paranormal balance of power—permanently. It’s their job to keep the worst from happening, whatever it takes.

From the steel mills to the coal mines, Joe Magarac is the man to call for supernatural problems. After all, he does have a little help from Krukis, the god of blacksmiths, but immortality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Magarac left his old life behind him and now lives as Joe Mack, a literal man of steel and magic.

Spellbound is full of paranormal adventure, murdering mediums, creepy circuses, a theater full of vampires, malicious mesmerists, found family, secret supernatural agencies, dark magic, and loyal friends.

It’s the fourth in the Joe Mack series of Shadow Council Archives from Gail Z. Martin & Larry N. Martin, the duo that brought you Spells, Salt, & Steel. The Shadow Council Archives are urban fantasy novellas set in the universe of Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter and featuring folk heroes throughout history.

Chicagoland (Joe Mack Shadow Council Files Book 3)

Black Sun (Joe Mack Shadow Council Files Book 2)

Cauldron (Joe Mack Shadow Council Files Book 1)

About the Authors
Gail Z. Martin discovered her passion for science fiction, fantasy and ghost stories in elementary school. The first story she wrote at age five was about a vampire. Her favorite TV show as a preschooler was Dark Shadows. At age 14, she decided to become a writer. She enjoys attending science fiction/fantasy conventions, Renaissance fairs and living history sites.

Larry N. Martin is the author of the new sci-fi adventure novel Salvage Rat. He is the co-author (with Gail Z. Martin) of the Spells, Salt, and Steel/New Templars series; the Steampunk series Iron & Blood; and a collection of short stories and novellas: The Storm & Fury Adventures set in the Iron & Blood universe. He is also the co-author of the upcoming Wasteland Marshals series and the Joe Mack Cauldron/Secret Council series.

The Martins have three children, a Maltese, and a Golden Retriever.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Excerpt: Hacienda Moon Expanded Edition by KaSonndra Leigh + giveaway

Hacienda Moon Expanded Edition
by KaSonndra Leigh
February 21st 2023
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Suspense
Tandie Harrison is a police medium struggling to pick up the pieces of her life after a devastating divorce that left her without her precious daughter and her psychic visions. With a heavy heart, she escapes the hustle and bustle of New York City and moves into the alluring plantation house, Chelby Rose. Here, she meets Eric, the home’s charismatic caretaker. Despite the ghostly warnings, Tandie finds herself drawn to him, and as their affair intensifies, so does the centuries-old curse haunting them both.

Suddenly, Tandie finds herself at the center of a dark and dangerous web full of deceit and intrigue. As fear begins to consume her, she must find the courage to face the demons of her past if she is to have any chance at a future. Hacienda Moon is a captivating story full of suspense and romance that will ensnare you from start to finish.

Note to readers and bookclubs:

This is the expanded and revamped edition of the Hacienda Moon that was originally published in 2012. Please be sure to add this version to your to-read list as this edition contains more gothic suspense, intrigue, and of course romance.

The results of Eric’s handyman skills were beautiful. The final perk was the light rose-colored exterior paint, a shade considered original to the house. Eric didn’t say a word about my upgraded paintbrushes. He was too busy making sure I didn’t catch him watching me as I bent over to paint the lowest boards on the house. However, I turned around at the perfect moment on paint day and caught him staring. His face flushed so badly, I couldn’t resist doing something to celebrate my small victory.

“Wow, it’s so hot out here today.” I stretched my arms, lifting my tee-shirt up until my belly button was exposed, basking in the warmth of the late summer sun. Eric’s mouth fell open. Success! That move totally stole Mr. Intense's attention. Tucking my lips, I made a move toward an even more creative tease, bending over to pick up one of the three paint brushes I’d dropped.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“What does it look like? I dropped my paintbrushes.” I shrugged and waved the brush between us. “Did I not use the proper technique for bending over and picking it up?”

He gave me a dimpled grin and moved closer to where I stood beside the house. Glancing down at the brushes beside my feet, he said, “They do look somewhat dirty. You sure you can handle that task? You strike me as somewhat of a nice girl. With that much paint and dirt all in the heads, you have to get a little rough with cleaning them.” His gaze bore into mine, smoldering me under a hazel brown sugary-colored look this time.

I held his gaze. “Oh, believe me. I have plenty of ways to clean dirty things.”

There was about a foot of space between us now. “Is that right?”

“Oh yeah,” I answered, hoping that the pulse line on my neck didn’t show the way my heart thumped inside my chest.

His gaze drifted from my eyes down to my lips and finally ended at my left shoulder. “Then why don’t you start by cleaning that big red spider off your shoulder?” An amused smile spread across his lips, but a scream shrilled out of mine.

Eric slammed his hands over his ears. “Damn it, Tandie.”

Adrenaline spiked through me. He might as well have said my breasts were hanging out. He would’ve gotten less of a response than he did with the spider statement. “Get it off me! Do you see it? Is it still there? Get it!” I shrieked, jumping around and spinning in half circles.

“I won’t help you until you stop trying to burst my eardrums,” he said, still half-way smiling. He came over and put his arms around me, pulling me into his embrace. “Calm down, Tandie. It’s gone, all right?”

Vowing to never tease Eric ever again, I waited for my breathing to normalize and for my trembling limbs to steady as I was pressed against Eric’s chest.

About the Author:
Meet your word sculptress...

Author of the International bestselling novels, the Prelude and the Lost Immortals Saga, KaSonndra is also a mother, designer, reader, gardener, home renovator, and a slayer of undead Egyptian mummies in Tomb Raider. She believes in karma, coffee, and seriously wishes that the producers of Xena would bring her favorite show back.

KaSonndra was born in the race-car city of Charlotte, NC, and now lives in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, NC, when she's not hanging out in Bardonia (Lost Immortals Saga setting). Most of her characters are based on people that she has met throughout her travels and adventures.

People tend to stop and start conversations with KaSonndra as if she has known them her entire life. Does this freak her out? Not really. Her mom says that one day she’ll get kidnapped by one of these folks. KaSonndra's response? She told her mom that if it weren’t for these lovely people, then she wouldn’t be able to create such fabulously romantic stories!

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Book Review: Where Darkness Blooms by Andrea Hannah

Where Darkness Blooms
by Andrea Hannah
February 21, 2023
Genre: young adult, teen, coming of age, horror
Publisher: Wednesday Books
ASIN: B09Y476Y55 
ISBN: 9781250842626
The town of Bishop is known for exactly two things: recurring windstorms and an endless field of sunflowers that stretches farther than the eye can see. And women―missing women. So, when three more women disappear one stormy night, no one in Bishop is surprised. The case is closed, and their daughters are left in their dusty shared house with the shattered pieces of their lives. Until the wind kicks up a terrible secret at their mothers’ much-delayed memorial.

With secrets come the lies each of the girls is forced to confront. After caring for the other girls, Delilah would like to move on with her boyfriend, Bennett, but she can’t bear his touch. Whitney has already lost both her mother and her girlfriend, Eleanor, and now her only solace is an old weathervane that seems to whisper to her. Jude, Whitney's twin sister, would rather ignore it all, but the wind kicks up her secret too: the summer fling she had with Delilah's boyfriend. And more than anything, Bo wants answers, and she wants them now. Something happened to their mothers and the townsfolk know what it was. She’s sure of it.

Bishop has always been a strange town. But what the girls don’t know is that Bishop was founded on blood―and now it craves theirs.

Delilah, Whitney and Jude (twins), plus Bo, had their mothers disappear one stormy night. A year later, the town of Bishop holds a memorial for them. Had their mothers vanished like many women have in the past? Why does the wind get violent only here? What is up with those sunflowers that the girls think are watching them? 

The book starts off slow and keeps that pace until close to the end. The creep factor begins to slip in, but the pacing could have been a little faster. It starts off with a man and his wife settling there; something in the earth makes a bargain with him so he kills his wife and founds a town. Then it goes to the present, where we meet Delilah, Bo, and the twins, Whitney and Jude, all living in the same house as their three mothers. But their mothers all vanished one night and all the girls wondered if they had died or just left them. This novel has both horror and romance (But does the guy care or just want a sacrifice?). The storyline is good, but the pacing could have been faster, instead, the reader gets a slow burn, making one anxious to get to the meat of the story.

I gave Where Darkness Blooms 3 ½ sheep.

Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
Andrea Hannah is an award-winning author, essayist, and workshop leader. She teaches on living a healthy creative life at her Wild Heart retreats and writes about making art on Twitter and Instagram (@andeehannah). You can also find her at