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The Wanted Lawman: Book Review

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The Wanted Lawman by A.C. Smith

Deputy Jesse Morgan has a dark past and will do almost anything to keep his secrets safe—especially from his fellow lawmen. After all, he’s a wanted man.

But when he’s tasked with helping the sheriff’s sister in law, Cecilia Drake, move to town, the simple task becomes more than he bargained for. The feisty reporter captivates his attention but leaves him feeling betrayed when he discovers his picture published in the local paper—with his name.

Jesse fears it will bring the wrath of the law, or worse, his old gang upon his head. For the last ten years, they have been looking for him and want to settle their score in blood. The safest bet is to get out of town and keep running, just like he’s always done. But he loves St. Elmo, and more than that, he’s fallen for Cecilia. Hard. When a bounty hunter comes sniffing around town, it kicks off a chain of events that could jeopardize the lives of everyone he loves.

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MU1SUQP/

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My Review:  Jesse is lawman with a secret in his past. It’s a secret that has shaped his present and prevents him from planning his future. He never knows when everything might come crashing down around him, so he lives his life always wondering when his good luck might run out. When he meets Cecilia, the feisty sister-in-law of his sheriff, it sets off a series of events that make it impossible for him to continue on the path he’s on. For the first time, he is thinking in terms of the future and the kind of life he could have if he were able to settle down. Unfortunately, his past is dangerously close, putting him and those he cares about in danger.

The Wanted Lawman is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It’s a historical romance, but so much more. Romance is at the heart of the story, but it’s also a novel about friendship, loyalty, and facing your inner demons. Because of Jesse’s past and the trauma that has shaped who he has become, there are times when he can be ruthless and even dishonest. Though he comes across as cocky to some, there is an underlying insecurity that comes from more than just his fear of being caught. He’s an extremely complex and endearing character who evolves tremendously throughout the story.

Cecilia is a determined, independent heroine who is strong-willed but still vulnerable. She isn’t afraid to show her emotions, nor is she afraid to fight for the people she loves. She drives Jesse crazy – in more ways than one. He finds her infuriating, but infatuating at the same time.

In addition to the two amazing main characters in this book, there are also many secondary characters I absolutely fell in love with, particularly Tracker. He provides much needed comic relief throughout the story, but he also gives us a unique glimpse into Jesse’s character that we otherwise would not see. Tracker and Jesse have a friendship that endures despite challenges that would normally destroy a relationship.

This is the type of story romance lovers will swoon over, but history buffs will love this book too. The story is very well-researched and full of rich descriptions that bring the past and the Colorado landscape to life. Filled with action, adventure, and passion, The Wanted Lawman is a book I can wholeheartedly recommend to book lovers of all kinds.

My Rating:

5 star

Categories: authors to watch, book feature, book review, books, historical fiction, historical romance, new release | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: One Woman’s Island

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One Woman’s Island (Bequia Perspectives Book 2) by Susan M. Toy

Running away from Canada, Mariana hopes to forget a failed marriage and the death of her husband by embarking on a whole new life. She moves lock, stock, and two cats to the small Caribbean island of Bequia. But the move brings more than she could have imagined. New friends ask her to help solve a recent murder in the expat community. And then there’s the problem of her neighbours, a young woman and her children. Seemingly abandoned by family and friends, Mariana believes they need her help! By becoming involved, Mariana is carried along from wanting to simply “live with the locals” to being overwhelmed by their culture, one so vastly different to what she had left behind in Canada that she doesn’t know who among her expat friends she can turn to for advice. So she carries on regardless and discovers that Bequia isn’t exactly the tropical paradise it had promised to be.

One Woman’s Island is the second novel in the Bequia Perspectives series that picks up again a few months in time after the first novel, Island in the Clouds.

Available on Amazon

My Review:

Recently widowed, Mariana escapes to Bequia for a much-needed retreat. Almost immediately, she is swept up into the lives and dramas of those around her—locals and expatriates. Mysteries abound, from the theft of her personal belongings to the unexplained, sudden deaths of expatriates. Fascinated by her neighbors, she vows to help them, but will this prove to be more of a challenge than she expected?

One Woman’s Island provides a candid look into the small island of Bequia. Mariana and the diverse cast of characters in this book provide a glimpse into a world where expats and locals interact in a very unique way. The hired help often call the shots and while there is interaction between the two groups, there is an unspoken set of rules in the way the locals and expats interact. Mariana, like many expats who have come before her, sets out to help her neighbors, but some of her more experienced friends warn her of the pitfalls of crossing that line. Her North American perspective of right and wrong isn’t necessarily an appropriate guide on Bequia. Western standards and moral codes don’t always apply.

I don’t always agree with the steps Mariana takes on her journey toward self-discovery. She can be stubborn and headstrong, but this is what makes it a good story. The author allows her main character to make mistakes and to face some of her misconceptions head-on. It’s worth mentioning that some of the greatest insights in this book come from secondary characters, and from those whom you’d least expect to carry such wisdom.

This book is definitely worth reading. Thought-provoking and well-written, One Woman’s Island was a captivating and enjoyable read from beginning to end.

My Rating:

5 star

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Autumn Reads: Dragon’s Fall

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Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order

Three vampyrs. Three lives. Three intertwining stories.

Bearing the guilt of destroying the holiest of books after becoming a vampyr, the Dragon, Lord Desmond searches the world for lost knowledge, but instead, discovers truth in love.
Born a slave in Ancient Greece, Alexandra craves freedom above all else, until a vampyr sets her free, and then, she must pay the highest price of all … her human soul.

An assassin who lives in the shadows, Roquelaure is cloaked even from himself, until he discovers the power of friendship and loyalty.

Three vampyrs, traveling the world by moonlight—one woman and two men who forge a bond made in love and blood. Together they form a band of mercenaries called the Scarlet Order, and recruit others who are like them. Their mission is to protect kings and emperors against marauders, invaders, and rogue vampyrs. In the end, they must confront their ultimate nemesis, Vlad the Impaler.

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Excerpt from Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order

Soon after Draco is turned into a vampire, he confronts Wolf, the vampire who made him:

“You brought me into this life that’s not life?” My words were clipped and I took several short steps toward him.

Again, he shook his head. “No, I merely fed off you. My only intention was to slake my thirst. You chose to attack me.”

Slowly, I sat down on the rocky ground. Even more questions churned and roiled in my mind. Finally, I practically screamed the one that kept coming to the forefront. “Am I doomed to live this way forever?”

For the first time, I saw something like a smile spread across Wolf’s features. “Perhaps not and perhaps fortune has led you to me.” He bade me come closer to the fire and he told me the story of an encounter he had had almost four hundred years before. He met a man traveling to Britain called Joseph of Arimathea. “Are you familiar with the one they call Christ?”

I nodded, remembering what my father told me about the Christians of his youth and about the teacher called St. Patrick. I recalled my conversation with Arthur about his shield and the image of Christ’s mother emblazoned on its front. “Those who follow him consider him a god, do they not?”

“Those that follow him say he is an incarnation of the one and only God,” corrected Wolf. “They say he has the power to forgive even the most heinous sins.” He went on to tell me about a cup and a scroll that Joseph of Arimathea carried. “The cup was used during Jesus’ last Passover feast. Some say it holds the blood of Christ himself, even to this day. Others say that you pour wine into it and it transforms into His blood. You are but a fledgling, but could you imagine what it would mean for one such as us to drink of that cup. If that is the blood of a god – of the God – and it contained forgiveness of the magnitude that is claimed.”

“You said there was also a scroll?” I asked. My mother had taught me to read Latin and that knowledge served me well. No doubt it helped bring me to the attention of Ambrosius, his daughter, and the first Dragons who instructed me. I loved to read but there was little of value to read.

“Joseph said that it contained the writings of Jesus himself.”

I let out a breath. Through my father, Arthur and others, I knew a little of the writings about Jesus. However, I’d never once heard that Jesus himself had left behind any writings. That would, indeed, be a treasure. “Why didn’t you simply take the cup when you had the chance?”

“It was guarded,” he said bitterly. He went on to describe the eagle-like creature that attacked him, preventing him from taking the chest that contained the scroll and the cup. “Over the centuries, I have encountered and heard many stories of creatures like that. Many take elemental forms, such as flames or water. Others take animal forms like this creature. Some people worship them as gods. I believe the Christians call these creatures, angels.”

“What can one do against such a creature?” I asked.

“They say these angels are immortal,” said Wolf, barring his fangs, “but I believe they can be wounded or even killed. I have been studying them over the centuries and I think I know a way. That’s why your becoming a Neuntoter may be particularly fortuitous.”

“So, where do we find this cup? This scroll?”

“All I know is that it’s here on the islands of Britain. I don’t know where to begin the search.”

“I may know someone that can help,” I said. Even as I thought of enlisting Bran and Arthur’s aid and seeing Guinevere again, I worried what she would think of my new sharp-toothed countenance along with my need to drink blood in order to survive.

Purchase links for Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order:

 

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About David Lee Summers:

David Lee Summers is the author of nine novels and over sixty published short stories. His writing spans a wide range of the imaginative from science fiction to fantasy to horror. David’s novels include Vampires of the Scarlet Order, which tells the story of a band of vampire mercenaries who fight evil and The Solar Sea, which imagines humanity’s first voyage to the outer planets aboard a solar sail spacecraft. His short stories and poems have appeared in such magazines and anthologies as Cemetery Dance, Realms of Fantasy, Human Tales and Gaslight and Grimm. He’s been twice nominated for the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Rhysling Award. When not working with the written word, David is a creature of the night who operates telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory.

Connect with the Author:

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Autumn Reads: Island of Lost Forevers

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When a mysterious island appears off the coast of San Francisco, two intrepid academics risk everything to discover its secrets. Literature professor Catilen Taylor has struggled all her life with the ability to sense others’ emotions. The only person comfortable with her eccentricities is Damian Cooke, who studies an ancient art he calls ‘magic.’

Beyond the military barricade they discover paradise unspoiled by modern advances, ruled by the enigmatic Sentomoru, who invites them to share the wonders of his bathhouse. But as the travelers strive to unravel the island’s secrets, danger stalks their every step. Is the island the paradise it promises? Or does a nightmare lurk beneath the surface?

Island of Lost Forevers Purchase Links:

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About Megan Cutler:

Megan grew up in a small town in central Pennsylvania where books offered an easy escape from the mundane life of a rural highway town. She started taking books to the playground with her and, later, started sneaking a second notebook into class to write stories. In 2003 she married the love of her life and moved to Canada, though she has yet to develop proper ice crystals in her blood. Megan started writing full-time in 2011 and has since published three novels and several short stories. Her characters keep her up late and wake her up early, but she loves them anyway.

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Autumn Reads: Till Death

 

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In a world where rogue necromancers control the dead and turn them against the living,
The Independent Necromancers’ Bureau works to keep law and order.

This first introductory short story in the Independent Necromancers’ Bureau series, plunges you in to the world of Cassie Dune, a world filled with ghosts, zombies, and necromancers.
When some uninvited guests show up at a wedding party, Cassie Dune— an agent with the INB— must fight to stop them. With the aid of Detective Inspector Luke Baron, Cassie must stop a rampaging horde of zombies before it’s too late— an act that causes her to learn more about her power and its origins.

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Excerpt from Till Death:

Working as an agent for the Independent Necromancers’ Bureau had its perks, but spending the night in a haunted house, miles away from civilisation, wasn’t my idea of one. Easy job, Thomas had said. Yeah, sounded great until you considered the angry shade screeching and snarling in my face. I’d rather face a horde of zombies.

At least, enclosed within my circle of protection, no harm could befall me. I might cook—I could swear the temperature in the room was so high, I started to smell like bacon— but the spirit couldn’t touch me.

My brow furrowed and my head pounded. The throbbing echoed through my bones, and I wanted nothing more than to call it a night, head home, and curl up in bed with the cat. I wanted to, but I didn’t. Instead, I set my shoulders and kept my focus on the link Jim Maybin’s spirit still had with his remains.

With the realisation that his tactics of fear and intimidation were failing, Jim attempted a new trick. Images of a young man and woman, too young to comprehend the future that awaited them, bombarded my mind. They stood on a balcony, as close as two people could be. The couple smiled and laughed underneath a purple dusk sky, wrapped up in the moment, storing every detail within their minds, and etching it into their souls. The memory was so complete, I felt the slight breeze that caressed their skin and brought with it the sweet scent of lavender. Crickets chirped, and the wind rustled through the leaves of a great oak, standing as a testament to the perseverance and resilience of life.

The man reached into his pocket and pulled out a box before dropping to one knee and presenting the ring. ‘Rachel,’ he said as her hand flew to her face in shock. ‘I have loved you from the second I laid my eyes on you. You are my whole life and I can’t imagine spending a second of it without you by my side. Will you marry me?’

Jim shared with me one of the happiest moments of his life. His memory burned with emotion and tears streamed down my face, a mirror of those that flowed from Rachel’s eyes. Sure, having your heart ripped out of your chest and fed to you on a platter along with some cheese and pineapple was emotionally draining, but this wasn’t my first day on the job. No way would I buckle. My determination strengthened. With each breath, I drew the shade closer to his cremated body. The thread that linked Jim’s spirit to his ashes grew stronger, drawing him in and containing him within his remains.

I opened my eyes and looked at the man before me. He wore the khaki brown battledress he had died in. A remnant of the war that robbed him of his life.

‘This is the way it needs to be,’ I said to Jim. ‘You can’t stay here any longer. Rachel needs to know you are gone, so she can follow.’ With those final words, I allowed the intricacies of his existence to flow through my mind, and then severed the thread connecting Jim to his mortal body and the world of the living. His spirit left instantly, free to go to whatever afterlife awaited him.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I8IB7KC

 

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Discover other books in series:

A Matter of Death: A second stand-alone short story in the Independent Necromancers’ Bureau Series. Available for FREE through newsletter signup.

When Dylan turns up at agent Cassie Dune’s house just before sunrise, she knows something is up, and anything that bothers a two-hundred year old ghost, is sure to be bad news for Cassie. A necromancer has imprisoned the spirit of Dylan’s friend Elizabeth. Can Cassie find her and save her soul?

The Death of a Friendship: The first full-length novel in in The Independent Necromancer’s Bureau series will be available November 2016.

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About Victoria DeLuis:

Victoria DeLuis has been writing since a young age, but never had the courage to pursue writing as a career. When her daughter was born in 2010, Victoria decided that she wanted her daughter to grow up and follow her dreams, and the best way to ensure this was to have parent who followed theirs. Victoria, therefore, returned to University part-time, to study creative writing. After graduating in June, it was time to put all her study and hard work into practise, and the Independent Necromancers Bureau was born.

Victoria lives in Wales with her husband, daughter, three cats, and one dog.

Connect with Victoria: 

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Need a New Read for Autumn?

There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book, especially when the days are short and the nights are longer. When there’s a chill in the air. When that first early snow begins to fall… Oh, who am I kidding? It’s always a good time to read a good book! This week, I’ll be featuring some excellent Autumn Reads. If you’re looking for fantasy or science fiction to fill your lonely bookshelf or e-reader, here’s a sneak peek at the books we’ll be featuring this week:

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New Release: Secret Places Revealed

KINDLE SECRET PLACES

#SecretPlacesRevealed

By Paulette Harper

Genre: Inspirational Fiction Romance

Single and content, Real Estate Developer, Aaron Blackman is determined not to be in another relationship. His ex Macy, gave him enough heartache to last a life time. The only thing that has his attention right now is his growing business, that’s until Simone Herron comes along. Fighting to keep his promise to himself, he soon learns that when it comes to love some rules are meant to be broken.

After losing her fiancé to an untimely death, Simone Herron is relocating and trying to put the past behind her. A new chapter in her life is what she is hoping for but what happens when her past and her present collide? Will she let the walls she has built come down?

Simone must learn that in order to love again, she must conquer her past fears and allow God to put all the broken pieces together.

Available August 9th! Pre-order on Amazon https://amzn.com/B01G1CP1OA

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About The Author

Paulette is a multi-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, who writes Christian fiction, nonfiction and children’s books. She has been writing since 2008. Paulette is also the owner of Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tours and as a book writing coach she enjoys assisting aspiring authors navigate through the process of publishing books, marketing and creating an online presence.

Paulette lives in Northern California.

Buy Link

Amazon e-book: https://amzn.com/B01G1CP1OA

Social Links

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/authorpauletteharper

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pauletteharper

Amazon author page: http://amzn.com/e/B004FEJKCQ

Website: www.pauletteharper.com

 

 

Categories: authors to watch, book feature, book launch, book of the day, book release, books, new release, romance, women's fiction | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

New Release: The Encore

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The Encore by Christine S. Feldman

When Jane married her college sweetheart and the love of her life, she never dreamed she would lose him to leukemia before either of them reached forty. A year later, she’s struggling to move on and create a new life for herself, a second act that she never expected to have to follow the first. Picking up the pieces is hard enough—it’s even harder when those closest to her don’t understand or support the way she’s trying to put them back together again.

But while the curtain may have come down on the life she originally had planned, life itself certainly isn’t finished with her yet.

And neither, as it turns out, is her heart.

Buy now for only $0.99 at the following links:

Amazon   |  iTunes  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords  |  Barnes & Noble

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Excerpt from The Encore:

Mother Nature cut them a break: no humidity today.  Instead the air was clear and balmy, complete with a mild breeze that was enough to feel good on Jane’s skin without blowing her hair into her eyes.  She breathed it in with a sense of relief.  Strange how even a house that had no memories of Noel could somehow remind her of him, or at least remind her of the plans they’d never had the chance to bring to fruition.  Family kinds of plans in particular.

But maybe it only hit her hard today because of Bobby and Anna being there.  Maybe the silence of the house would seem peaceful again rather than empty when she got home, and things would be fine.  Soothing, even.  Comfortable.

Maybe.

She turned her attention to the sidewalk on which they ambled, and to the dog trotting obediently if disinterestedly next to her.  It was a quiet street with no traffic at the moment, so she was more than willing to let him lead her wherever his nose and his curiosity took them, but he only kept to the straight line of the cement in front of them instead of sniffing at shrubs or grass or even—surely the dog equivalent of catnip or a ball of yarn?—the lone fire hydrant that they passed.

Nothing.  His ears twitched once at the sound of a car horn that blared for a moment in the distance, but once all was quiet again, Otto’s only movements were those of his legs, keeping a slow and steady rhythm that Jane didn’t have the heart to push any faster.

Her mind was less on their path as they rounded a corner and more on what might be the least ridiculous way to ask a veterinarian about therapy for her dog when she finally realized just how far they’d already walked.  They were only a stone’s throw away from the good doctor’s driveway.  A small voice in the back of her head—the same one that often tried to get her to rein in some of her more impulsive decisions—suggested that this might be a mighty fine time to turn back.  She would have sworn that voice sounded an awful lot like Lizzie’s at the moment.

And Jane might have considered listening to it if it wasn’t for a damnable and familiar spark of curiosity that often overshadowed that cautionary voice and that flared up now at a glimpse of movement in the doctor’s driveway.  A dark grey car that was parked there—his car, presumably—had its hood up, and someone who was half-hidden by that hood was working on something beneath it.  Home on his day off, or had he perhaps been sent home by a superior after his actions the other day?

None of your business, Jane…

No, of course it wasn’t, and yet any alternative must have seemed better than facing the loudness of the silence waiting for her at home, because her feet were still headed in the doctor’s general direction as if they had a mind of their own.  And then they stopped, just as autonomously, in front of the rear bumper of the parked car.

She studied it while the clinking sound of metal against metal marked the activity of the as of yet oblivious would-be mechanic at work at the other end of the car.  Some kind of sedan.  It wasn’t exactly old or beat up, but neither was it the kind of vehicle one might expect to see a physician driving.  Maybe she was unjustly pigeonholing doctors in thinking that way, but she would have thought he’d have something more like a shiny BMW or Mercedes with a vanity plate that read something like #1 DOC or HLN HNDZ.

Well, no, maybe not this doctor, she thought, remembering the coolness of his eyes and rigidness of his posture.

And then before her mind could stray too far after the sudden thought that PP DOC would be a great license plate for a urologist, Jane cleared her throat and said, “Hi.”

The clinking of metal stopped.

Jane put her free hand up to shield her eyes from the sun and peered around at the quiet street.  “Nice day for a tune-up.  Or are you just checking its vitals, Doc?”

Nothing but silence answered her, but after a moment, the face of Dr. Cullen Douglass appeared at one side of the car’s hood to look at her.

Jane offered him a flick of a wave not unlike the one she’d offered him on Moving Day.  She got pretty much the same response this time as she had then, which was to say, none at all.  Undeterred, she countered with a blithe smile.  “I’m Jane Freeley, your new neighbor—”  She nodded her head toward the far side of his house.  “Thataway.  And unless you have an evil twin running around out there, you’re Dr. Cullen Douglas, right?  We kind of sort of didn’t meet at all at the hospital the other day.”  Refusing to let her smile falter, she waited patiently for a reaction, any reaction.  And she was prepared to wait as long as it took to get one.

Maybe he sensed that, because finally she got a curt nod that could actually have just been an involuntary twitch of some kind, but she preferred to be optimistic.

Instinct told her not to stick out her hand, because he was not likely to take it.  Snap it off maybe, but not take it.  Fair enough.  “So you work with my sister-in-law, Lizzie Berkoff.  Well—work, butt heads with… one or the other.”

Nothing.  No reaction at all.  Really?  But she found it less off-putting than intriguing.  He stood there and stared back at her as if waiting for her to come to her point.  Deliberately turning up the wattage on her smile, she waited him out again instead.

Finally, he gestured at his car’s exposed engine.  “Look, Miss Freeley…”

Mrs., she nearly corrected him out of habit, and even after a year it still felt strange somehow to swallow the word back.  “Jane,” she corrected him instead.

He continued as if she hadn’t spoken.  “I have an engine to fix, and I’m really not interested in whatever it is you’re trying to do here.  Scout out prospects somewhere else, please.”

Prospects?  She blinked.  It was a cutting remark, the kind designed both to leave the recipient with no doubts that the conversation was over and to discourage any future attempts at one.  Any normal woman would huff with indignation and perhaps hurl an insult before spinning on her heels and marching off to fume.

But no one had ever accused Jane of being normal.  Instead of taking offense, she started to laugh, and it wasn’t a laugh that was intended to put him in his place and show him just how insignificant he was to her; it was one hundred percent pure, genuine amusement.  “Scout out prospects—You think I’m hitting on you?”  And as she said the words aloud, they seemed even funnier to her.  Although maybe the good doctor did have his share of admirers, because some women really went for the whole dark and broody kind of thing, not to mention the medical degree.  Some women.  But that he had cast her in that role…  “Really?  Because I’ve gone around to introduce myself to at least half a dozen other neighbors this week, and I’ve got to say, none of them seemed to interpret it as sexual harassment—unless I’m really doing it wrong.  I only tore the clothes off the one, after all.”

His expression was guarded, but not quite guarded enough to mask his initial startle at her cheerfulness, and her teasing.

“Oh, don’t look so worried, Doc.”  Unable to help herself, Jane patted one of his grease-stained hands.  “Your virtue is safe with me, I promise.”

The look he gave her was wary, and it tempted her to be playful.  Prickly people often did.  Be good, Jane.  And she tried, she really did.  But when Otto sniffed the toe of Dr. Douglas’s shoe and gave it a quick lick, she couldn’t help but add, “Just so we’re clear, he’s not hitting on you either.  But if it would make you feel better, I’ll be sure to have a long talk with him about boundaries when we get home.  Which should probably be sooner rather than later, I suppose—”  She glanced at her watch and spoke more to herself than to him.  “—since I’ve got stacks of work waiting for me.”  Figuratively, at least.  The stacks were all in the form of computer files.  “But… A chi vuole, non mancano modi.”  —Where there is a will, there is a way—  “Come on, Otto.  Good luck with your car, Doc.  Thanks so much for the warm welcome to the neighborhood.”

Tugging a surprisingly reluctant Otto away from both the man and the car, Jane led him back the way they’d come, still fighting back mirth and with the odd thought that if anyone else would have appreciated the humor in the situation, it would have been Noel.

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Now available!

Amazon   |  iTunes  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords  |  Barnes & Noble

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Abomination: Book Review

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Abomination

(Pathfinders Book 1)

By Jane Dougherty

As the end of the world begins, Carla and Tully hurtle through a wormhole five years forward in time, only to find they haven’t missed the Apocalypse after all.

Carla and Tully are picnicking in the quad of their international high school in central Paris when the end of the world begins. They are sucked into a wormhole that spits them out five years later to find that the world is a freezing desolation but still hanging on, waiting for something even worse to finish it off. The something worse turns out to be the Burnt Man and his horsemen. Taken prisoner by the Flay Tribe to their lair in the ruins of a shopping mall, Tully is forced to become a warrior, while Carla joins the other girls as a kitchen slave and comfort woman.

Tully might like the idea of playing soldiers, but Carla knows what is waiting for the girls when the food runs out, and it isn’t pleasant. The supermarket holy man’s vision of the return of the Burnt Man and his demon friends drags Tully back to reality. When the four fiends are reunited, the Apocalypse will really begin. Carla and Tully don’t plan on being there when that happens.

But in this post-Abomination world where only the young and brutal have survived, where food and fuel are running out and the climate is plunging into another final ice age, there is nowhere to run—except down another wormhole, with no idea of what might be waiting for them at the other end.

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My Review:

Carla and Tully are there to witness the beginning of the world’s end. When they are sucked into a wormhole that transports them five years into the future, they are stunned to discover a new and horrible version of the world they once knew. A world where violence is a way of life, where strange and terrifying creatures stalk the surviving humans, and where women are treated as lesser beings. They are forced to join a brutal tribe and shoved into the roles befitting their genders. As the story progresses, we learn more about the last five years and how the world they now inhabit came to be. We also learn the worst is yet to come.

Fast-paced and well-written, Abomination is a very strong start to the Pathfinders series. Jane Dougherty has created a desolate, post-apocalyptic world where the worst of human behavior thrives. We meet characters who are courageous, who love and care for others in spite of starvation, fear, and the daily threat of violence. These characters are beautifully drawn and complex. The story also has its share of twists and surprises.

I would recommend this book to teens age 13 and up. Adults will also enjoy the story. I sure did! Fans of dystopian tales and those who enjoy a thought-provoking adventure will love this book. I’m looking forward to book 2.

My Rating:

5 stars

Buy the book:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Finch Books

Watch for book 2 in the series coming soon!!!!

Devastation

 

 

Categories: authors to watch, book feature, book of the day, book review, books, dystopian, dystopian fantasy, young adult, young adult adventure | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Masque of the Vampire: A Review

Masque of the Vampire

Amaranthine Book 8

By Joleene Naylor

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The eighth book in the Amaranthine series plunges back into darkness, steeped in superstitions and death, where vampires are once again vicious creatures of the night.

After three months away, Katelina and Jorick return home. But, so does Sarah, Katelina’s best friend everyone thought was dead. How did she survive being tortured – and killed – by vampires?

Though Sarah’s not eager to share the details, Katelina knows it’s the kind of story that leaves scars. She almost welcomes the distraction when they’re sent to guard an exclusive vampire party – until Sarah claims she’s being stalked. Who among the ancient guests would be interested in them?

Then they find a dead child with a missing heart, just like the murders in the Heartless killings. Is the serial killer a vampire – and a guest at the party? Could it have anything to do with their stalker, or is it simply too much evil in one place? When everyone seems suspicious, it’s hard to tell who the culprit is.

My Review:

Holy crap! Joleene Naylor is a genius. An evil genius who wrote an amazing, gripping, fabulous book, but isn’t releasing the next book until 2017. No!!! I have to know what happens next.

Masque of the Vampire takes us on a journey to Canada where Jorick (who is once again working as an Executioner, much to Katelina’s annoyance) has been assigned as security detail to a massive vampire party. A mass congregation of vampires, some of whom are at odds with one another, and all of whom have their own agendas… What could possibly go wrong? From dead bodies, to bizarre ancient rituals, to creepy twins, to daytime stalkers, this book is incredible.

Katelina has certainly evolved in this book. She’s more confident. She’s a fighter. And Jorick respects this. Yes, he’s still the protective Jorick we all know and love, but he has come to realize that Katelina wants equality in their relationship, and he is making a real effort to respect her independence. There are some new characters in this book as well.. Some creepy. Some secretive. All are complex. And worth the read.

I love the Amaranthine world this author has created. And, trust me. It’s an entire WORLD. The author has taken us all around the globe and with every journey, our knowledge of vampire culture expands. Ancient myths and folklore. Complex rules and laws. Vampire organizations. Old vendettas and grudges. It’s all here, right within the pages of these books. I can’t recommend this series enough. It is absolutely phenomenal in every way possible.

My Rating:

5 stars

Buy the Book:

Amazon  |  Smashwords  |  Barnes & Noble

Categories: authors to watch, book review, books, paranormal, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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