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Friday, March 31, 2023

Happy 13th Birthday to I Smell Sheep

It's been 13 years of Smelling Sheep!

Katie published the first I Smell Sheep post on April 4, 2010. It was a review of a concert she attended with her mom.

This is our 6,687th post.

13 years and still, no one knows why the site is called I Smell Sheep... except Katie, her brother and me. 
One day we will tell...but today is not that day! LOL

Thank you to the flock for sticking with us. Sheep kisses for everyone!

We are always looking for more reviewers, so if you have time to do only one a year or more, contact us :)

Stay tuned for a birthday giveaway...I've got to check the dungeon to see what books I have laying around. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

5 Sheep Book Review: The Fifth Horseman by Jon Smith + giveaway

by Jon Smith
Comedy/Fantasy/Mythical Realism/Fiction
Publisher: Balkon Media
Internationally published bestselling author Jon Smith makes his adult debut with The Fifth Horseman, a modern comic fantasy that rides roughshod over established mythology and the rules of life… and death.

The Fifth Horseman is a darkly comic tale of two thirty-somethings caught between our world and the afterlife, who must embrace their role as reapers to prevent the End Times. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy meets Father Ted, perfect for fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Terry Pratchett, and Neil Gaiman.

Death is just a day job you can’t quit…

Emma and Mark had a bad day. The worst part of it was dying. But, according to Death, the Rider on the Pale Horse and first horseman of the apocalypse, things aren’t that simple. Turns out the sand in their hourglass is stuck in place. Somewhere between life and death, they’re put to work as Death’s assistants, reaping the souls of the living until it’s time for their final clock out…

To compound matters, despite their omnipotence, the four horsemen are facing an existential threat – one they’re ill-equipped and ill-prepared to combat.

Emma and Mark must reap like their afterlives depend on it, to help prevent the End Times – even if it means scuppering the one opportunity they have at being granted a second chance at life.

Filled with humour, romantic tension, and suspense, Jon Smith utilises a witty, lightly sarcastic ensemble of flawed but loveable characters. It will appeal to mainstream fantasy readers and hopeless romantics, as well as those who enjoy a good story and a good laugh.

What happens when you are caught between life and death because of a “glitch” in your own hourglass of time? Tale of a suicidal Emma and her flatmate (wannabe boyfriend) who struggle with differences in opinion of the value of her life. The unthinkable happens when a struggle culminates in both of them descending to their deaths.

An amazing synopsis of life as we all know it but don’t recognize because it has taken centuries to culminate. One man’s perspective on “what if.” Riveting and insightful as the author puts his spin on what comes after or in between.

Loved the characters, descriptions and world-building. Loved the manipulation of time and the integration of many views on mankind’s journey. Writing was superb and kept my attention the entire read! The interplay between Death, War, Famine, Pestilence and Charon at the River Stix was quite an interesting and insightful interpretation.

Perhaps Love and hard work are the only things that matter when trying to find Peace in your own existence. Take this ride with Emma and Mark…I promise you won’t regret it!

Getting 5 sheep!

Jeanie G

Emma reached out to steady herself on the copper base of Bella, the magnificent Liver Bird that stands sentinel atop a white dome, looking out over the River Mersey and across to the Wirral and North Wales.

Her legs shaking from both effort and fear, she stopped for a moment to try and catch her breath. She ran a hand through her long auburn hair, gulping in oxygen and regretting cancelling her gym membership earlier in the year. A strong and sudden gust of wind hurtled in from the Irish Sea, its elemental tendrils clawing at the exposed skin of her hands as the cold sting brought tears to her eyes. Whilst she rued her choice of the landmark building, realising that not for the first time she’d let form take precedence over function, she paused to appreciate the stunning waterfront vista forged in blood, sweat, and tears by the city’s maritime and cultural history, both old and new, good and bad.

Why the clowns at UNESCO had stripped the city of its World Heritage Site status would forever remain a mystery.

However, with typical scouse nonchalance, she parked that train of thought and tried to focus on the task at hand.

Everyone was out and about – on Pier Head, on the Strand, on their phones – busy with their day. Busy with their lives. Not many people looking up, which suited Emma just !ne. She was used to being ignored. Used to just blending in. It was a learned behaviour that had started when she was a child, living under the strict rules of her parents, who firmly believed that children should be seen and not heard. She had trained herself to remain quiet, remain small, and remain in the background. It made for a lonely childhood but a peaceful one.

But much to Emma’s chagrin, once she’d left for university, she found it difficult to unlearn, and thus difficult to make and maintain friendships. Or to be noticed by lecturers, even if she had her hand in the air. Or to be noticed by boys, despite being single and very much ready to mingle.

However, what wound Emma up most was not being noticed at work, no matter how diligent she was or how many new accounts she brought in. It was never Emma who was celebrated in the company newsletter, and it was never Emma who was put forward for promotion. Emma was just… there. A safe pair of hands at the back of the room. Reliable Emma. Wouldn’t say boo to a goose Emma. The same Emma who’d just been handed a P45 and a beautifully written termination letter with her last and middle names mixed up. That’s how well management and colleagues had got to know her in eighteen months.

For once, standing next to the symbol of Liverpool, over three hundred feet above the city, she was grateful that no one noticed her. She didn’t really feel like looking back at them. She wasn’t there to be gawked at or be made into some kind of sideshow on the street.

Not until after she jumped, of course.

At thirty-one years old, online articles all tried to convince her she was in the prime of her life. In reality, her happiness scale was registering an error; the reading was so low. She was neither playing the !eld nor settled with a significant other. She couldn’t afford to rent her own apartment, never mind become a home-owner, so she was $at-sharing. She worked long hours at a thank-less insurance company full of dull, grey people. She made enough money to get by but not enough to actually live. She never broke through that ceiling to join those who are ‘doing well enough to plan for a future’. Thus, she never thought she had a future – just a series of past mistakes and present dreads.

Someone Finally looked up and saw her, squinted to make sure they were right, shook their head in disapproval, and walked o".

She sighed. Was she really that unremarkable? She thought she was pretty in an understated way. A heart-shaped face, button nose, and two little dimples when she smiled – which, to be fair, hadn’t been all that often recently. Her breath got caught on a shift in the breeze and blew back in her face. She smelled coffee and a bit of sick. All she’d had for her final meal was lukewarm coffee earlier in the morning. It wasn’t fair to go out with such an unpleasant smell lingering in her nose. Nothing was fair.


Someone called her name as a hand slammed onto the dome, trying to find purchase. An arm and then a head of shaggy black hair soon followed. Mark, her tall lanky $at-mate, looked up at her. His puppy-dog eyes were wide with fear, both for himself and for her.

“Shit.” Emma sighed. He’d found the letter and clearly ignored the instructions to open only after seven p.m. She should have known he would; his childlike curiosity was both endearing and infuriating – and predictable. Now she had to do what she had to do with an audience.

She took a step towards the edge.

“Don’t come any closer, Mark.”

He pulled himself up onto the dome, gauging how far it was to Bella’s leg. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. His best friend and flat-mate with nothing behind her but a grey sky to catch her fall.

Another strong gust rattled the metal struts supporting the Liver Bird statue, blowing Emma’s hair into her eyes. She angled her face away, as much to avoid Mark’s judgemental frown as the wind.

“Don’t turn around,” he pleaded, and she remained steadfast where she was. “There’s a… nothing behind you.”

She turned slowly to see what he meant.

He winced. “No, don’t look!”

“I know there’s nothing,” she said.

“Well, don’t fall into it!” he exclaimed. “This high up – you’ll die.”

She put her arms down and sighed.

Mark looked at her critically. “Really?”

“I’m done, Mark,” she said. “You know how long it’ll take me to pay o" everything? Years from now, I’ll still be stuck in this same rut. I’ll be old, incontinent, and already dying, and I still won’t have saved enough to put down a deposit on a small one-bed flat in need of major renovation. I may as well…” She turned, and Mark gasped again. “I may as well not bother.”

She lowered herself calmly and sat on the dome, legs kicked out casually in front of her, and immediately regretted it, as the frigid metal sucked away what little warmth she had left in her body through her thin cotton skirt and tights. She had to keep her balance as she swayed. Too relaxed, and she’d fall or slide down, and she didn’t want…well, she didn’t want to do that yet. Mark couldn’t be there to see it. She had to make him go. Her teeth started to chatter as a trio of seagulls circled them, clearly wanting to set down, cawing their frustration at the presence of humans on their favourite perch.

Mark fought o! every primal instinct to lower himself down to safety and instead cat-crawled up the dome, wrapping his arms around the Liver Bird’s legs and hanging on for dear life. He peeked with one eye over the edge, just until he could see the ground below and no further. Staring down at the pavement from this height… he was shivering too, but not from the cold.

“Come on. Let’s get down, have a drink at the Albert Dock, and talk about it.”

“I haven’t done my hair.”

“You look great.”


“We can work through this,” he persisted.

“Work,” she scoffed. “We can’t, actually, because I got laid off.


“That’s constructive dismissal. You’ll have a case,” he guessed, floundering for options to keep her talking.

She shook her head. “I’m out, case closed. Less than two years, so they can do what they like. They wouldn’t even let me say goodbye. Or take my stuff out of my drawers. Just confiscated my key card and marched me out of the building.”

“Oh,” he said in shocked disappointment. “Then that means

— What’d you leave behind?”

“Nothing important, it’s just the principle,” she said.

“No, wait, what’d you leave?”

“Nothing!” she insisted.

“I know you left something,” he said, snippier, “because it’s still not back yet.”

“What’s not back yet?”

“My two-compartment container. With the red lid.”

She groaned dramatically.

“Long enough for a banana, remember?” he asked.

“Yes, I remember.”

“With the clip top?”


“It’s part of a set of four I’ve been using—”

“Mark, I got fired! Now I’m here. The plastic tubs don’t matter!”

“That’s fair,” he said, hands up in surrender. And then he quickly grabbed Bella again. “I just— I’ve just been wondering where it is… Was it empty?”

“Oh, God.” She shook her arm in frustration. “I’m here to end it all, and you want to know if I ate your Thai green curry?”

“Well… yeah,” he said. “It was a new recipe. If I do it again, I want to get it right.”

Emma gestured to her predicament, being one wave of her hand away from teetering over the edge to her death. “Again?”

Mark was in denial. He smirked at her. “Well, I mean… y–you’re not gonna, right?”

“What other option do I have?” she asked. “No, really.” She turned around and sat with her back to the Mersey, which was somehow worse for Mark to watch. “You tell me what I should do, aside from killing myself? No job, no savings, I’m over sixty grand in debt and—”

“We can get through this. I’m working. My mum and dad could help, maybe enough to cover your rent for a few months.”

Emma got increasingly tired of his delay tactics and slowly turned towards the river. The ferry had just docked at Pier Head, bobbing up and down on the swell. She watched as the commuters and tourists poured across the gangplank, glad to be back on firm ground.

“It’s not impossible!” Mark continued. “Nothing is!”

“You sure about that?”


She turned and gave him a cold, teary stare. “You think I might survive then? If I drop? Is that not impossible?”

“No, that’s unlikely and not worth the risk. Please don’t.”

Mark dropped to his knees and tried to reach her. He couldn’t stand – at such a height, it’d be so easy to waver o! and die in a silly way – but he could shuffle over to her on his knees, and he did. “Please.”

“At least you’ll get the insurance money. I put you as my beneficiary.”

“Actually, they don’t pay out if you take your own life.”

“You serious?”

“Deadly. Deadly serious… How do you not know that? You sell insurance for a living.”

“Not anymore,” she scoffed. “Sorry.” And she really, honestly, bottom-of-her-heart meant it.

She bit her lips together, making them %ush red, then she reached over and hugged him around his neck, a big strong hug.

She made sure to use up all her strength, every ounce she had left, because she didn’t need it anymore.

“You can live without me. There must be loads of cool %at-mates out there. Cooler than me at least. And able to pay their half of the rent,” she said.


“It’s not impossible.”

“It’s… unlikely.”

Emma smiled, chewing the inside of her cheek as she tensed her arms, ready to push herself up. Mark reached out, grabbing her wrist.

“Wait. There’s something I need to say,” he pleaded.

“Don’t, Mark. No more talk. You’re not going to change my mind. I’m angry you came, but honoured at the same—”

“I love you.”

Mark really hadn’t meant to say it. Not now, not ever. But the words climbed up his throat like a lump and forced themselves out with brute force.

“You what?” Emma scrunched up her face, not sure she’d heard him right.

Here was his chance to apologise and laugh it off. A pressure-induced faux pas. She’d understand; he was always saying daft things.

“I love you, Emma. I have done since the day we met. I love you and I’ve loved every minute you’ve been in my life. Please don’t do this.”

“What the fuck?” Emma was incredulous.

Not quite the reaction Mark had been hoping for.

“Don’t do this,” she said. “Not now. Not here.”

“Then when? There is no tomorrow, not if you go ahead with this. There is no perfect moment. All you’ve left me with is now.”

“What do you want me to do with that information?”

“Changing your mind would be a good start.”

“That I can’t do. You’re a good friend, Mark. Thanks for trying. I’m sorry.”

“Best friend?”

She smiled. “The bestest.”

She kissed him on the cheek before they parted. She stood up while Mark stayed kneeling on the dome, unable to get onto his feet. He was frozen to the spot with cramp and despair.

“Okay,” she said. She took in a deep breath, let go of Mark, and put her arms out.

The people on Pier Head looked up with a bit more alarm.

Apparently, putting her arms out was the signal that she was about to jump, rather than just standing limp-shouldered in a morose state as before. Her street-side audience had real y noticed her now, and some of them actual y rushed to do something.

One man ran into the Liver Building, but he’d be a fair while traipsing up all those stairs, so there was no way to stop her. A few mobiles came out. Some were filming, some were taking selfies with Emma as the background, and others actual y used the phone function for the first time in many, many months to make a call.

“Emma, wait,” Mark insisted. He fought through the pain, pushed himself up with his hands, and stood behind her. He was just one slip away from certain death, and knowing that made him woozy. His legs shook, and he wavered a bit as he reached out to hold her back.

“Let me go, Mark,” she demanded.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “I won’t—”

She cranked an arm back and slapped him across the cheek.

She immediately felt bad.

“Oh God, I’m so sorry!”


He lifted her just enough to get her away from the very edge.

She turned and tried to nurse him while he held his face.

“You’re not supposed to stand behind a suicidal person. You might get hurt,” she said.

“That’s an old wives’ tale,” he replied, still stroking his sore cheek. “Also, it’s about horses. Though, it is true.” He tried to grin, but his face muscles were so tight, it was more of a grimace.

“This is why you need to leave. You’ll just complicate things if you stay.”

“Well, good! I’d rather you be alive in a complicated way than complicating yourself all over the ground down there!”

“Oh, you’re really helping.”

“I’m helping you stay alive! That’s as helpful as an unrequited lover can be!”

She managed a smile. “It’d be more helpful if you somehow summoned gold to rain down on our heads from above. About sixty grand’s worth. Or, cash preferably, it’s less likely to pummel us.”

An impasse. Their situation was unchanged. Mark realized that saving her wasn’t what she wanted, no matter what he said or did. He didn’t like her situation any more than she did. It wasn’t fair. And she was right, her misfortune had no easy exit. But he was sure they could work it out together. Share, and thus halve, the burden.

“I’m going now,” she said adamantly, and stepped forward again, arms rising. Mark lunged to stop her and wrapped his arms around her waist. She resisted him and was sent into a bit of a twirl as Mark twisted himself to pull her back up the side of the dome.

“STOP!” a voice cried out.

The man on a rescue mission bounded up onto the roof. His abrupt appearance was so shocking that it made Mark jump back.

For a moment, he teetered on the edge, Emma still in his arms.

Then he fell off the dome.

About the Author
Jon Smith is the bestselling author of 14 books for children, teens, and adults. His books have sold more than 500,000 copies and are published in seven languages.

In addition to writing books, Jon is an award-winning screenwriter and musical theatre lyricist and librettist with productions at the Birmingham Hippodrome, Belfast Waterfront and London’s Park & Waterloo East theatres.

Jon enjoyed a happy childhood—making daisy chains, holidays in the sun and an obsessive interest in all things fantasy. No brace, few spots and only one broken bone and one broken heart (not his). It all went swimmingly.

Father of four, he lives near Liverpool with his wife, Mrs. Smith, and their two school-age children. When he grows up he’d like to be a librarian.


Monday, March 27, 2023

Cover Reveal: Renley (Somnolence, #4) by Ali Lucia Sky + excerpt

(Somnolence, #4)
by Ali Lucia Sky
April 11th 2023
Genres: Adult, New Adult, Paranormal
In her darkest moment, he came willing to burn the world down for her.

During one night of weakness, Adder Rowe gave in to some sweet words, and has a lot of complications in her life to show for it. Now pregnant, she is eking by. But even before that, her ties to CypherSphere Records and Of Ashes To Eternity had left a bad taste in her mouth and an uneasy feeling in her heart.

Renley Titan isn’t anyone’s hero. A chance meeting with his Tether, when she reaches out to his former band, leaves him in a dicey position. Play the game and keep winning the hearts of millions, or break the rules and make the world a better place for everyone by blowing it all up. The volatile keyboardist could go either way.

But when someone comes out of the woodwork looking for a story only Adder can tell, how far will they go to get it?

Please be advised by the content warning inside the book.

It’s recommended that you read the series in order beginning with RAIDEN.

“Yeah, I want to be safe and by his side.” I sigh. “Don’t know if it makes me a basket case, but the co-dependency portion of our relationship has begun.”

Crux lips flatten. “You need a guard.”

“What’s with the guards?” I ask.

“When your mate can’t be with you, at least you have protection,” he clarifies. “They can soothe and care for you, so you aren’t alone.”

Becca snorts. “They can irritate the shit out of you. They can insist they shower with you, so you’re protected.”

I try to hide my smile when Crux licks his lips. I get the impression that he’s got it bad for her. It’s Tobin who responds to her outburst. “You don’t need to be alone.”

She growls in frustration. “You two are tools.” Her head whips my way, “You still want to go down?”

Crux smirks. “That’s literally what she said.”

I nod and stand, but a woozy feeling takes over my sluggish body. It takes a moment to get my head together and nod. Becca, seeing how unsteady I am, addresses the twins. “One of you needs to make yourself useful. If she passes out on the way down to the living room, Renley will fuck you both in the ass with a chair leg.”

Tobin nods. “Probably the whole chair.”

He picks me up in a bridal lift, carrying me down the hall. When we get to the top of the stairs, everyone looks up our way.

Renley is the first to speak. “Why are you carrying Adder?”

Becca sighs. “She was lightheaded but wants to be with you.”

Tobin makes it down the stairs, but Renley’s on his feet waiting there to grab me. His eyes skim across my features before ghosting across my throat and heating. He carries us to a recliner closest to Jazzie, who holds out a bowl of popcorn. I cringe at the smell and shake my head, placing a hand over my stomach.

About the Author:
Ali Lucia Sky is the author of The Powers That Be and Somnolence series. She lives in Southern California with her husband and a house full of kitty cats, a yard full of crows, a backyard of ferals and a possum affectionately named Garcia.

She loves laughing, drinking good coffee, vegan food, and supporting animal rescues.

When she isn’t writing or dreaming of new stories, she can be found planning her next vacation because traveling is life.

If you encounter her in the wild, don’t be offended if she should run away. She’s timid with strangers, but can be plied with shiny things and pictures of your cat or dog.

She’s a weirdo like that.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Dystopian Romance Author Remy Marie: 3 Things about Remy Marie! + giveaway

3 Things About Remy Marie

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Passionate, Stubborn, Loving, Curious and Patient.

What is your favorite food?
I have several favorites and they are all unhealthy. I like hamburgers, pizza and fries.

Why do I write?
I like writing because I like telling the story that wouldn’t necessarily be focused on by the mainstream media. Let’s face it, an interracial romance featuring zombies isn’t going to be a bestseller, but I know there’s a few people out there, who are like me, who likes romance and zombies, and knowing that I made them happy with a story like this, makes me happy.

Till the End
by Remy Marie
March 28, 2023
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Interracial Romance
Zombies, cults, and a desperate search for a cure...two friends must test the limits of their relationship in this action-packed apocalyptic romance where secrets are the key to survival.

The US government has been keeping a secret…

During the Vietnam War, they created zombies, and if the undead ever escaped, they created a backup plan.

Code Z.

A last-ditch contingency for if their ill-advised creation should ever cause an outbreak.

Unfortunately, the day has come for that plan to be enacted.
Navy SEALs Malcolm White and Zack Morris are on a mission to rescue the Governor of Virginia from the spreading zombie invasion when they learn that Malcolm’s friend Anne Yamaguchi, and Zack’s wife Kelsey, are stuck in a mall in the midst of a zombie attack.

Abandoning the mission, Malcolm and Zack rush to save them and bring them to the safety of the Little Creek Naval Base. However, they discover that only those who are married to a member of the military are allowed to find sanctuary on the base. That is when a plan is devised, Anne and Malcolm pretend to be married, to protect her from the worst of the plague.

Soon Anne and Malcolm discover this plan creates more problems than it solves. Not only will the couple find themselves struggling to uphold the ruse, while also evading zombies and vengeful demonic cults, they will find that living a lie changes their growing feelings for each other. Feelings that could have the potential to ruin their friendship forever.
This fast-paced apocalyptic romance will leave you turning pages late into the night as stakes rise and friendships are tested. Will a cure be found? Or will the world fall to a monster of its own making?

TW: This book contains mature scenes, gore, sexual assault, and elements of horror

“A modern-day Zombie novel is only the beginning of this unique take on an old favorite. Following the characters as they try to survive, not only against the undead but against man's brutality. I enjoyed this story from start to finish and was rooting for the characters throughout. Some heart-stopping moments, which meant I struggled to put the book down.”

They both ran to the nearest exit. As they ran, Kelsey pushed open the door to the stairwell and was shocked as there was a man in front of her. His mouth was covered in blood, and his stomach was open, with his guts dripping on the floor.

“What the fuck…” Kelsey exclaimed, and before she could say anything else the man was on top of her, attempting to chomp at her. Kelsey evaded his bites, screaming as she held his face away. Struggling, the man inched closer and closer to her neck until Anne pulled the man off her.

“Get off her!” Anne screamed, shoving the man away.

He growled as he was tossed aside, falling down the stairwell.

“Are you okay?” Anne asked, assisting Kelsey to her feet.

“I’m fine. Thanks for saving my ass. I owe you one. What was up with that man? He was obsessed with trying to take a bite out of me.“

“Call me crazy but I think that was a zombie.”

“A zombie? Those don’t exist, right? I mean that stuff is all fiction.”

“Then explain to me why that fucker with no guts was trying to take a bite out of you. Or what about those bodies in the mall. They all had bite marks like they’ve been eaten. Either they’re crazy cannibals attacking the mall or these are zombies. Take your pick.”

Kelsey didn’t need to reply as her answer was solved for her. There was another loud groan, and the man that attacked her stood off the ground. His leg was clearly broken as he paid little attention to the crooked appendage. He crawled up the stairs attempting to get to the women.

“Well…fuck me. I guess he’s a zombie. No normal man would be able to shrug off an injury like that.” Kelsey observed.

“So we solved that question. The next question is how. Like you said, zombies don’t exist.”

“While I would love to have this debate with you, we need to get to my car.” Kelsey said, backing up.

Anne followed her climbing up another row of stairs as the zombie crawled after them. They reached the top level and watched as the zombie continued to follow them up the stairwell.

“Well, I got bad news for you. Your car is parked on a level below Mr. Zombie. We got two options. We go back through the mall, dealing with the carnage out there…”

“I’m not going back out there,” Kelsey dismissed.

“Or we go through Mr. Zombie.”

“I’ll take door number two,” Kelsey mocked.

“Good, I was thinking the same thing. We can take him.”

“But how?”

“Well, if he is a zombie it’s safe to assume that a head shot could take him out.”

“How are we going to do that? We don’t have any weapons.”

“What does Master Sato always say? We are the weapon, the swords we use are only tools. We know hand to hand combat. If we can get the zombie closer, we can kick its ass.”

“The last thing I want is to have that thing be closer to me.” Kelsey replied, disgusted out by the grotesque figure.

“Focus. Breathe. We got this,” Anne commanded, as she stood in a fighting pose.

“You’re right. We got this. Remember to go for the head.”

“Took the words right out of my mouth.”

The man approached the duo at the top of the stairs and Anne let out a loud yell, as she struck first. She swept the leg, undercutting the zombie to fall on the ground. In a split second, Kelsey followed with a high leg kick, burying her heel through the skull.

“Ugh, I think I’m going to be sick.” Kelsey gagged and held her mouth as her shoe was covered with brain matter.

“Don’t say it.” Anne coughed and then looked at the downed man. “Well, at least our theory is correct. Zombies are confirmed. Head shots are confirmed too.”

“Yeah, let’s get out of here.”

Anne nodded and the two ran down the stairs towards the parking garage. There were multiple people running and attempting to drive out of the parking deck. Zombies attacked random strangers, as they begged for their own lives. It was violent, brutal, and horrifying.

As Kelsey ran, she spotted a young girl crying for her mother, that laid dead beside her. Kelsey paused and stared at the young girl.

Anne stopped, her eyes opened wide as she looked at her best friend.

“Kelsey, what are you doing? We need to get to the car.”

“We can’t leave that little girl. Her mother, she’s dead.”

“We’re going to be dead if we don’t move. Come on!” Anne commanded as she grabbed her friend’s hand. Before she could pull her away, the young girl shrieked as her mother had awakened. However, her eyes weren’t filled with life. Instead they were black and soulless like the rest of the undead.

“Kes! Let’s go!” Anne yelled.

“No, we have to save her.” Kelsey took a step towards the little girl, but by then it was too late as the mother stood up and ripped into her daughter, biting off large chunks of flesh. The child’s wails echoed in Kelsey’s ears as she stood frozen in fear. As the mother dug into the kid, she looked up from the child’s corpse, blood dripping from her mouth, and stared into Kelsey’s blue eyes. She stood up from the child and began her charge towards Anne and Kelsey.

About the Author

Remy Marie is a romance author who loves to write about charming heroes and brave heroines. While writing never came naturally for Remy, he continued to strengthen his craft, by constantly reading and writing. If he is not writing or reading, he is usually watching TV with his supportive wife, aggressively cheering for his college and professional sports teams, playing video games, or crunching numbers at his daytime job.

$10 Amazon giftcard – 1 winner, WW,
Signed paperback of Till the End – 5 winners, US only
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Friday, March 24, 2023

Excerpt: The Shifted Series Book One by Roxanna Mason

The Shifted Series Book One
by Roxanna Mason
Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 979-8-218-12243-0
Number of pages: 516
Word Count: 109,379
Cover Artist: Benjamin Richard
Jacey Lange has everything she has ever wanted. She is newly engaged, and her menswear line is one of the fastest-growing in the country. Beautiful, successful, and deeply in love, Jacey feels like she's on top of the world.

That is, until she catches her fiance in bed with her assistant.

Everything around her comes crashing down.

Thankfully, her best friend, Leon, welcomes her back to her old apartment with open arms. The people in Jacey’s life watch for months as she wallows in her misery, until Leon hatches a plan: if Jacey agrees to get herself back out there and promises to go out with the next five guys that ask her, no matter who they are, then not only will he give her the master bedroom in the apartment, but both Leon and Jacey’s sister, Elise, will agree to stop meddling in her love life.

In rapid succession, Jacey finds herself falling for five completely different men. Yet despite all their differences, there is something oddly familiar about each one. When she finds out why, it won't just change the way she feels about love, it will make her question everything she once thought was real.

I didn't know what Owen had in mind, but it was already obvious to me that I would go anywhere this man was leading. He kept his hand in mine as he guided me through the crowded bar and toward the pool tables. Thankfully, because the band was still playing, the back of the bar was far less populated.

"Is playing pool normally part of a first date with you, or are you just trying to get me alone?" I teased.

Owen took a step towards me, pinning me between him and the pool table.

"Both," he said with a smile on his face that I could only describe as wicked.

I tilted my head to the side as I looked up at him. "Let's make it interesting, then."


I took a step to the side, sliding out from between him and the ancient wooden table. I grabbed a pool cue off of the rack and tossed it to him before grabbing a decidedly smaller one for myself. "We're going to need more shots," I said to him.

A smile crept over his dark features. "My kind of girl..." he murmured as he lowered his head towards mine.

"Nope, if you want to kiss me, you better plan on winning."

Owen shook his head and left me at the table while I started to rack the balls. A few minutes later, he returned with four shots; two of whiskey, two of tequila. I took one of the shot glasses filled with dark brown liquor straight out of his hand and threw it back. I winced as the alcohol made my throat close in on itself. The truth was, I might have been putting on a show. I enjoyed the way I felt around Owen, but I didn't know if I was as wild as I wanted him to believe.

"So what are the stakes here?" he asked me as he set the remaining shots on a nearby hightop.

"If you win, you get to take me home..." I said in a voice I barely recognized as my own. It was breathy and seductive. Those two shots apparently went to my head faster than I thought.

"And if you win?" Owen asked with a raised brow.

"If I win, I get a second date."

"Who said we can't do both?" he said with a chuckle.

I rolled my eyes. I didn't have this whole impulsive, whiskey-drinking, short skirt-wearing Jacey completely figured out yet.

Owen took a step towards me. He reached for my hips and pulled me toward him. "What do you really want?"

I could feel my pulse banging in my ears, and the loud, crowded bar faded into the background. He reached around my head, threading his fingers into my hair and tugging me towards him. I leaned forward, expecting him to kiss me, but his mouth hovered over mine.

"What do you want?" he asked again.

"You," I said, my voice caught in my throat.

"What was that?" he asked teasingly. His deep voice, vibrating through me.

"I want you."

Finally, he brought his lips to mine and kissed me deeply. Kissing Owen wasn't new to me; we couldn't stop kissing the night he drove me over the Brooklyn Bridge. But this was something else. I wasn't sure I even knew my own name anymore.

"When I take you home, it's going to be because you're begging me to...not because I won at pool."

About the Author:

Website-Instagram-Tiktok Roxanna Mason is a debut paranormal romance author and formally trained actor from Los Angeles, California. It was her deep love of storytelling that led her to study theatre and that same love of storytelling that drove her to write her first novel. When not writing, Roxanna is binge watching horror films, creating vegan recipes, and dancing around her living room to Fleetwood Mac.

Shifted is a contemporary, paranormal, shapeshifter romance where the protagonist finds herself dating 5 different men over a year only to find they may not actually be 6 different men.
#paranormalromance #shifterromance #contemporaryromance #romancenovels #romancebooks #supernaturalromance

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Graphic Novel Review: Scurry - A post-apocalyptic mouse tale by Mac Smith from Skybound Comet

by Mac Smith (Author, Artist)
February 21, 2023
328 pages
Genre: action-adventure, graphic novel, animals, middle school
Publisher: Skybound Comet
A group of house mice struggle to survive a long and strange winter. The humans are gone, the sun is rarely seen, and a cold, dark rain befouls everything it touches.

The mice, long dependent on humans for food, stubbornly cling to their old ways, looting the nearby abandoned houses for any scraps they can find. Once, there was plenty to eat, but now the scavengers return empty-handed, or not at all.

Food is scarce, but danger is everywhere. Poison and traps wait for the unwary in dark cupboards, and a gang of feral cats relentlessly chase the mice whenever the rodents leave the safety of their nest. Now there are even rumors a hawk has come to join the hunt.

As supplies run low and many mice fall ill, desperation creeps in. With the colony at a breaking point, rumors of a wrecked truck filled with food give them hope, but it lies far beyond the forest, where even the cats won’t go.

Included in Scurry, is a two-page READER'S GUIDE. The full TEACHER'S GUIDE can be found on

I was blown away by Scurry! It's a visual feast from the cover to the last page. After reading comics for any amount of time you learn that the cover can be an amazing illustration but the actual comic is more simplistic. But every page--every panel--is an illustration in Scurry. Absolutely beautiful.

Scurry is as a middle-grade trilogy fantasy adventure webcomic by Mac Smith. It took him five years to complete. You can check out his website (an experience of its own)! And read the tale of Wix and his mouse colony. It is also on the webcomic platform Tapas for free. And now you can buy all three parts in one collection from Skybound Comet (a new graphic novel imprint from Image Comics aimed at young adults and middle-grade audiences.)
Three original volumes

Scurry is a dark epic fantasy adventure about a colony of mice. It follows the classic epic fantasy tropes. A richly told tale of betrayals, loyal friends, battles for their lives, and a little mystical help in the form of three foxes called the Witches. It is never stated why the humans are gone but the clues are there.
This story can be enjoyed by all ages...but be careful with kids under six...some of the images and situation could be scary. You can read it for free, but you will want to own copy to share the reading experience with your kids or classroom (there is a teachers guide on his website)...or just to admire.

5 "Don't go there!" Sheep

About the Author:
Spawned from the radioactive swamps of the American South, the hideous beast known as Mac Smith has lumbered west across the desert wastes and north through the desolate mountains to lair in the heart of the Pacific Northwest. His only weapons are confidence born out of ignorance and militant contrarianism.

He enjoys bad movies, playing with his extremely dumb dog and drawing muppets.

It is said that he has beautiful feet for a man.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Book Review: Lone Women By Victor LaSalle

Lone Women
By Victor LaSalle
March 21, 2023
Publisher: One World
ISBN: 9780525512080
Blue skies, empty land—and enough room to hide away a horrifying secret. Or is there? Discover a haunting new vision of the American West from the award-winning author of The Changeling.

Adelaide Henry carries an enormous steamer trunk with her wherever she goes. It’s locked at all times. Because when the trunk is opened, people around her start to disappear...

The year is 1915, and Adelaide is in trouble. Her secret sin killed her parents, and forced her to flee her hometown of Redondo, California, in a hellfire rush, ready to make her way to Montana as a homesteader. Dragging the trunk with her at every stop, she will be one of the "lone women" taking advantage of the government's offer of free land for those who can cultivate it—except that Adelaide isn't alone. And the secret she's tried so desperately to lock away might be the only thing keeping her alive.

Told in Victor LaValle's signature style, blending historical fiction, shimmering prose, and inventive horror, Lone Women is the gripping story of a woman desperate to bury her past—and a portrait of early twentieth-century America like you've never seen.

Adelaide Henry is a Black woman who escapes after her parents’ murders, taking an enormous steamer trunk with her to Washington. She ends up in Montana after taking advantage of some free land with a cabin, sight unseen. Funny thing, she is not alone and has a big secret and the reason why she fled after her parents were killed.

This historical horror tells about wide-open space when the West was still being settled where one could hide a horrifying secret. A secret that maybe too monstrous. If you love historical horror, this book hits all the dark spots. And yet, lovers of American history fiction will love it too.

I gave Lone Women 4 1/2 sheep

Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
Victor LaValle is the author of a short-story collection, Slapboxing with Jesus, four novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, The Devil in Silver & The Changeling, and two novellas, Lucretia and the Kroons and The Ballad of Black Tom.

His most recent novel, THE CHANGELING, is an old school fairy tale. It's made to keep you up at night. It's meant to make you scared.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Double Book Review: Smolder (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Book 29) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Smolder (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Book 29)
by Laurell K. Hamilton
March 21, 2023
Vampire hunter Anita Blake is no stranger to killing monsters. It's part of her job as a Preternatural U.S. Marshal, after all. But even her experience isn't enough to stop something that is bent on destroying everything—and everyone—she loves.

Anita Blake is engaged to Jean-Claude, the new vampire king of America. Humans think she's gone over to the side of the monsters. The vampires fear that their new king has fallen under the spell of the most powerful necromancer in a thousand years.

In the midst of wedding preparations—including getting Edward, aka U.S. Marshal Ted Forrester, fitted as best man—Anita gets a call that the local police need her expertise at a brutal murder scene linked to a nationwide slaughter of vampires and humans, dubbed the Sunshine Murders.

But there is more than just a murderer to catch: an ancient evil has arrived in St. Louis to challenge Jean-Claude for his crown, his life, Anita, and all they hold dear. Even with Jean-Claude's new powers as king and Anita's necromancy, it isn't enough; they must embrace their triumvirate or allow primeval darkness to spread across the country, possessing first the vampires and then the humans. Evil will triumph unless Jean-Claude and Anita can prove that love conquers all.


Denise B
Getting 5 sheep
Anita is preparing for her wedding to Jean-Claude while trying to balance her work and love life as well. The humans of the world believe she has gone over to the other side with the monsters while the vampires worry that their new king is under her spell as the most powerful necromancer in a thousand years.

Anita receives a call to assist the local police with the Sunshine Murders and even though she doesn’t want to leave Ted, Peter, or any of her bridal party alone, she does what she does best and goes to work. Things start going sideways at the murder scene and only seem to get worse as the night goes on.

I struggled with rating this book between a 4 and a 5. I loved the story, but I did not like that the story did not get resolved and that is the only reason I considered the 4. Hamilton is a master writer that gives you more than you even realize and makes you think about some of the underlying themes of the story as you read it.

Mary Kirkland
I give this book 3 out of 5 sheep.

Anita and Jean-Claude are finally getting married...or are they?

Anita is preparing to marry the new vampire King of America, when a new, very old vampire comes to claim Jean-Claude's place as king. They find that this new nemesis is very powerful and have trouble fighting him when he first appears. Only Richard's appearance back in their lives helps strengthen their hold so they can best him.

So not only does Anita need to worry about wedding plans, her family who hates vampires wanting to come to the ceremony, but now a new vampire threat, Richard coming back and Asher coming back with a new problem named Kane, as well. It was nice to see Richard and Asher back, though.

When Anita is called to a murder scene, things start to go wrong because the government is working on a way to control vampires, but it totally works the opposite way from what they wanted. Anita is mad, and rightly so.

I was waiting for a storyline that I'm used to with lots of action and ended up with lots of therapy talk and talking about problems. I can kind of understand that since Asher and Richard are back and they needed to show Anita, Jean-Claude and the rest of the poly group that they have or are trying to work through their problems in order to come back to the group for good. But this felt more like a book setting up the next book, so there aren't these emotional messes to deal with. I just hope the next book is high on action and has less talking about the emotional problems they have.

Although they figured out who the big bad was in this book, they didn't take him down. They figured out how to fight him and plan to do just that, but it doesn't happen in this book. This was more a setup for that to happen in the next book. This book dealt more with the jealousy, emotional baggage, and problems they have being a poly group with so many people in Anita's life. Some of the issues are being resolved, but not all and Asher's big problem, Kane, is still a big problem he can't control. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with that.

I will say that there are a lot of characters in this series and a lot of them are in this book so I would say not to start with this book if you want it to make sense. I would definitely start this series with the first book and work your way through since there seem to be new characters popping up in each new book and old characters coming back from previous books.

About the Author:
Laurell K. Hamilton is one of the leading writers of paranormal fiction. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Hamilton writes the popular Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels and the Meredith Gentry series. She is also the creator of a bestselling comic book series based on her Anita Blake novels and published by Marvel Comics. Hamilton is a full-time writer and lives in the suburbs of St. Louis with her family.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Excerpt: Smoke (The Ardelean Bloodlines) by Sarah Jaeger

Smoke (The Ardelean Bloodlines)
by Sarah Jaeger
March 23rd, 2023
Genre: Shifter Romance/ Paranormal Romance
Apparently ignoring my parents’ politics wasn’t the right move. Shifters were outed to the public, and months later, I’m still unsure what the big deal is about.

Now my life is in danger and the only one who can protect me is the true king of the wolves.

Cade is nothing like what my mom and the press show shifters to be. He’s thoughtful, reserved… and have you seen his butt in those jeans?

Having abdicated the throne, I’ve vowed to stay out of shifter politics.

Now, my sole responsibility, for the next six weeks, is to make sure no idiots can completely derail the deal I’ve cut with the one woman holding all the cards.

The problem is… the threats against Thalia Clark are nothing compared to the danger of my wolf, now that he’s claimed this human as his.

I’ll kill to protect my mate, but is keeping up my end of the deal enough to save her?

Smoke is the first book in the Ardelean Bloodline series. While this story does contain an HEA for Cade and Thalia, there is an ongoing plot connecting each book in the series. Each book will need to be read in order. There are open door, explicit scenes as well as colorful language not intended for young readers.
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What is she thinking about? Is it what we talked about with Ansel or something more? I step closer, testing her guarded nature. “Country life is dull. I don’t exactly work here, which means I’m pretty much stuck to whatever chores Ansel’s left around the house, and you’re left to whatever sanity-keeping activities you can find. I guess if you’re feeling adventurous . . .” I shrug. “Have you ever been to Arches?”

“No, I’ve heard it’s beautiful, but this is my first time in Utah.”

Thalia’s eyes light up, and I know the answer.

“Would you like to go today?” I ask slowly.

Thalia starts nodding. I smile, seeing her excitement. “Ansel’s right, it’s been too long since I’ve given The Leviathan a little bit of time to run. Plus, I think it would be beneficial for you to meet a wolf, in a positive environment, with someone who’s in control before someone else can further taint the experience. I know Sherman was a little upsetting for you. I can ask Ansel or Ezra, but their wolves are pretty scary looking if you’re not used to looking at wolves.” I pause and give her a smirk licking my bottom lip before sighing. “They’re also not really fucking fluffy.”

“Did you just ask me to take your wolf on a walk?” she returns with a sly smile, raising an eyebrow.

Her comment catches me off guard, and my face heats. There are so many different ways I could answer. But she started it. Thalia was comfortable enough with me to crack a joke. I shrug and release my bottom lip from between my teeth.

Tell our mate. The Leviathan encourages with the image of a ceremonial collar wrapping around Thalia’s neck. I feel him brush and know my eyes just went gold.

My version is dirtier. “Not quite. I’m not following any of the leash laws. And if anyone will be doing any collaring, it’ll be me clasping one around your neck. If there’s going to be any tying, it’ll be you to the bed, while I show you all the ways I can make you scream my name.”

A chill rips through Thalia’s body, and she shudders, her whole body standing taller. I step into her personal space. Thalia wobbles, looking up at me. I watch her wet her bottom lip with her tongue. Drawing a deep breath, I catch the scent of her arousal.

The Leviathan paces. Give mate wolf, we run together.

“Easy, Draga Mea.” I kiss her forehead. When I step back, I see her trying to figure out the cute nickname The Leviathan’s given her. Only having the briefest memory of Romanian spoken in the home growing up, even I had to look it up. My Darling. I could tell her, but I’m not sure she’s ready.

A backpack, snacks, water, and a trip to the restroom later, I walk Thalia out of the house and to the garage. The classic pickup truck Ansel loves so much is right where it always is. Thalia seems impressed when the old Ford roars to life. I just smile. Ansel’s love for this truck runs deep, and I’d be surprised if it didn’t turn over.

We’re somewhere farther onto Ansel’s property and close to the border with the national park. It’s a gamble that we may come across someone. It’s not common for tourists to make it out this far, but we’ll have to be in the national park to see some cool rock formations. It’s selfish and maybe a bit cocky to risk bringing her into public like this, but I want her to have a positive experience. I know The Leviathan is set on wanting to give her a wolf, but not so badly that he would sabotage all the progress we’re making in having her accept wolves and what this life looks like.

We find Ansel’s secret entrance to Arches National Park. It’s denoted by an old wooden trunk tucked off the side of the gravel trail behind some scrub brush.

Putting the old Ford in park, I turn in my seat to look at her. “Two rules.”

Thalia’s eyes go wide, and there’s the smallest hint of fear.

“Okay . . .” She draws out the last syllable.

“Don’t run. The Leviathan will chase. I’m worried he’ll push you down and you’ll get hurt. Humans are breakable compared to wolves, and even a friendly little shove could hurt you,” I caution.

Thalia nods. “The second one?”

“Breathe.” I lock eyes with her. “Enjoy this and know I’m here.”

About the Author

Linktree - Playlists, Pinterest Boards and More!
Apparently, to be an author one must have a bio. Well, I'm human despite the fact that I wish to be a shifter. I have an issue with the way some words are shaped. And that means sometimes, they must be spelled incorrectly to be right. This is something I'm passionate about. So, we'll get along fine! Oh, yeah: Midwest USA, married, all fur babies.

​The Ardelean Bloodline is Sarah Jaeger’s debut series

Twitter: @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Smoke

Insta: @author.sarahjaeger @rrbooktours #rrbtsmoke #rrbooktours #smoke #theardeleanbloodlines #bookcoverreveal #pnrbooks #paranormalromance #shifterromance #newbookalert

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March 22nd
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March 23rd
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