Thursday, October 31, 2013

@MatthewQMartin #Review & #Giveaway plus #Spotlight "Nightlife" by Matthew Quinn Martin (e-book/int)

Nightlife review
Author: Matthew Quinn Martin
4 out of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Horror
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of Horror, those who like their vampires mean
Trigger Warnings: killing

My Thoughts: Have you been wanting vampires that are mean, nasty, eating machines? Tired of the glitter and sparkle and angst? Well, check this book out. These vampires are not at all pleasant, even if they occasionally appear to be, and are spine-chilling in their focus.

While this is a high-action book, there is plenty of plot and character development as well, which is a difficult balance to keep. This author does it well, making this book a perfect blend of action and pathos that most readers of horror should enjoy.

Another book, at least, is planned for this series, called Nightlife: As the Worm Turns, although no word on specifically when to expect it. I know I'll be watching for it. If you like horror, and like your vampires mean, check this one out.

Disclosure: I received this book from NetGalley in conjunction with a blog tour, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: For centuries an ancient evil has slept beneath the streets of New Harbor. This Halloween, it wakes up.

Nightclub bartender and serial heartbreaker Beth Becker might be a cynic. But when her best friend goes missing Halloween night, Beth knows it's up to her to find out what happened.

Her quest will take her on an odyssey through the crumbling city of New Harbor, Connecticut. Along the way she meets a homeless prophet warning of something he calls the "Night Angel"—a bloodthirsty creature that feeds on the forgotten. And she will form an unlikely bond with a hunted stranger who knows all too well what stalks the streets at night.


by Matthew Quinn Martin

on Tour October 14 - December 14, 2013

Book Details:

Genre: Horror/Thriller
Published by: PocketStar / Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: Oct 21, 2013
Number of Pages: 332
ISBN: 1476746893
ISBN13: 9781476746890
Purchase Links:

NOTE: Excessive strong language, Graphic violence


For centuries an ancient evil has slept beneath the streets of New Harbor. This Halloween, it wakes up.

An action-packed debut horror novel from talented new writer Matthew Quinn Martin, NIGHTLIFE pits a feisty bartender and a mysterious loner against bloodthirsty terrors as alluring as they are deadly.

Nightclub bartender and serial heartbreaker Beth Becker might be a cynic. But when her best friend goes missing Halloween night, Beth knows it’s up to her to find out what happened.

Her quest will take her on an odyssey through the crumbling city of New Harbor, Connecticut. Along the way she meets a homeless prophet warning of something he calls the “Night Angel”…a bloodthirsty creature that has been feeding on the forgotten. And she will form an unlikely bond with a hunted stranger who knows all too well what is stalking the streets at night.

He reveals to her to the hideous truth about the nightmare creatures that have haunted mankind’s imagination for eons––creatures the world calls vampires. Together they are the only hope for New Harbor, but to defeat what lurks in the shadows they are going to have to conquer something far stronger than fear––their own desires.

Read an excerpt:

Beth was alone. She looked down at the wallet still in her hands. Behind a scratched plastic window was a picture of her and Ryan, both of them smiling at her from happier times.

Had he gone missing the same as Zoë? What was happening? She shook her head. Maybe she’d finally gone around the bend. Could she really have just seen a man get shot, bleed white, and then liquefy into nothingness—and all because of a box of salt?

“Get a grip, Becker.” She reached for the nearest bottle, not even sure what was in it, and poured herself a full glass. “You’re seeing things.” She was about to take a sip when she heard the sound of footsteps from the shadows. She turned to spot a faint outline form in the blackness, almost as if it was born from it. It was a man, and the slightest flicker gleamed from his eyes as he moved into the light. Beth’s glass slipped from her grasp, shattering on the floor as she saw just who it was. “Ryan!” she called out, rushing over. “Oh, my God, Ryan!”

But something about him made her stop just shy of the slick spreading out on the floor where the corpse had been lying only minutes before. She looked at Ryan. Something wasn’t right. His hair was different, longer, the way he wore it back when they’d first started dating. He was dressed in clothing he’d thrown out years ago. The same clothing he’d had on in the photo in her wallet. His gaze landed on her, and in that moment, Beth had never wanted him more. Those eyes—so inviting, so mesmerizing, so . . . hungry. He shifted closer. He had yet to speak a single word.

“Ryan,” she said. “I was so worried.” But even as she spoke the words—even as she felt that if she’d just let him take her in his arms, all her troubles would disappear—she knew something was terribly wrong. She started to inch backward. “Ryan, why don’t you say something? You’re scaring me.”

He sniffed the air, almost gulping at it. Then he cocked his head at an angle that didn’t seem natural—or even human. Suddenly, he leaped for her, covering the three yards between them in a single bound.

She dodged. He missed her by inches. But he now stood between her and the door, cutting off any possible escape. He moved closer, hands grasping for her. Beth ducked around a table and shoved forward with all her strength, crushing him against the wall. Ryan screamed. It was that same high-pitched wail she had heard coming from the man who’d been shot. The one Jack said was “hardly a man.”

Ryan pawed at the table, sending it flying end over end as if it was made of papier-mâché. Planks splintered against the brick wall. Beth swept up a board. She hit him hard, right across the face. The board cracked in half, and her hand sang with a dull thwack. It did nothing. He simply shook it off and stepped forward, closing the gap between them as he pegged her against the bar. His hands clamped down on her. His grip was like quick-drying cement. She couldn’t move.

Beth’s knees began to give out as a heady brew of terror and desire overtook her. She felt the hard press of his hand pushing back her head, exposing her throat. She felt herself giving in. She wanted to go where Ryan had gone, to see what he’d seen, to become whatever it was he’d become.

Author Bio:

Matthew Quinn Martin was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and raised in New Haven, Connecticut. However, it wasn’t until he moved to Manhattan that he realized he was a writer. These days, he lives on a small island off the North Atlantic coast of the United States where it gets quiet in the winter…perhaps too quiet.

Catch Up With the Author:

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review: Orbiting Sins

Orbiting Sins
Orbiting Sins by Steve S. Grant

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclosure and Series Information: I edited this book for the author, which is now available to purchase from Smashwords. It is the sequel to The Dreamer Genome (my review here) and should be read after reading that one. The author recommends downloading and reading some of his free shorts first to make sure you like his writing style.

My Thoughts: I liked this book a great deal. It's not as complex as the first book, with the action more maintained between characters, and a shorter time frame than the first book. This should satisfy sci-fi fans who also like strong character development and still want some 'splodies.

Synopsis: In this thrilling sequel to The Dreamer Genome, a fantastic and symbolic space odyssey ruthlessly exploits biotechnology and leads to foul play at the very limit of known space.

The surviving test subjects of a secret experiment are humanity’s first, true space travelers. One mission uses refurbished space shuttles and outdated technology while the competition is funded by STAM, a corporate giant with insatiable ambition and deep pockets. When the astronauts’ cloudy past finally catches up with them, elaborated plans are jettisoned in order to survive. How much are each team willing to sacrifice to get there first? Will there be a return trip?

View all my reviews

Review: Mayhem

Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Historical fiction with supernatural elements/Horror
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Those interested in Victorian times, Jack the Ripper, unsolved serial killings, Slavic myths and legends
Book Available: January 14, 2014 in hardcover and Kindle formats
Trigger Warnings: murder, mutilation, kidnapping, rape

My Thoughts: Several years ago I read Sarah Pinborough's debut novel The Hidden and was completely blown away. Unfortunately, this UK author doesn't always release her books in the US, so I've had a little trouble picking up some of her newer stuff over the years. I was very excited to find this book in my Amazon Vine newsletter.

This is a really interesting book. The author has based it upon a series of unsolved murders that took place during the same time period as the Jack the Ripper murders, but were completely overshadowed by the flashier Ripper killings. Many of the characters and events in the books are real, although many others are completely fabricated. I don't want to reveal the monster to you, as that is not revealed for a good bit of the early part of the book and I want to avoid spoilers, but it was quite neat and some well-researched information is given.

Lest you be too comforted by the ending of this book, I should warn you another one is scheduled for release, called Murder. I have a feeling our monster will be back. Folks who are interested in reading books set during the Victorian era, interested in the Jack the Ripper killings and/or other unsolved serial killings of the time should find this a fascinating read. I enjoyed this book a great deal, and will definitely be looking forward to the follow-up, whenever it comes out.

Disclosure: I received an ARC copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: This book speculates about one of the most baffling and notorious crime sprees in Victorian times. A new killer that newspapers have dubbed “The Torso Killer” is terrorizing the streets of London’s East End, his crimes obscured and overshadowed by the hysteria surrounding Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel crimes. The victims are women too, but their dismembered bodies, wrapped in rags and tied up with string, are pulled out of the Thames–and the heads are missing. The murderer likes to keep them.  Mayhem is a masterwork of narrative suspense: a supernatural thriller set in a shadowy, gaslit London, where killers stalk the cobbled streets and hide in plain sight.

View all my reviews

Review: Spinning Diamonds

Spinning Diamonds
Spinning Diamonds by Steve S. Grant

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I edited this novella for the author. It is currently available on Smashwords for free here. While not long, it is a very intense story with plenty of action, character development, and plot to keep sci-fi fans interested. Check it out if you like sci-fi.

View all my reviews

@TMarguerite & @LadyReaderStuff "Rowena's Revenge" Book Blast (#Giveaway GC)

Title: ROWENA'S REVENGE (The Broadus Supernatural Society Series, #5)
Author: Theresa Marguerite Hewitt
Genre: Fiction | YA | Paranormal
Expected Release Date: 10/31/13
Rowena's life has never been easy.  
Being part Were and part Fae fire-starter she has learned to live a solitary life, depending only on her own instincts until one mistake throws her into danger. Now being chased by a psychopathic Warlock who is bound and determined to "own" her, Rowena must rely on her newly found mates and family. But is she ready to trust? Or will her damaged heart plunge her into darkness? 
Blaine is a strong wolf, wanting to protect his new mate with his life. When a new man comes into her life, he can't help but be jealous. Will it drive him into betrayal? Or will he accept their new life too late? 
Penton has lived hundreds of years looking for his mate. Now he's found her, but can he keep her safe long enough to get her back to Montana? 
Cearbhall is one of the last Dark Warlocks known in the world. He has been searching for centuries for the 'fire-heart' that will complete his prophecy, bringing the world to his feet. In Rowena, his dark, twisted mind finds it with just the hint of her blood left behind as she runs from federal forces. 
He will stop at nothing, killing everyone and everything in his path to have her for his own. He thinks nothing of leaving a path of destruction across the country in his wake to claim her. 
Will one of these three mates pay the ultimate price for love? Or will evil finally descend upon Broadus, Montana and The Big Sky Pack?


  <Insert typical nightly news intro jingle>
“Hello and thank you for joining me for this special news cast on this 24th day of December, my name is John Kinglander. 

Tonight we discuss the ever changing world of supernaturals in today’s society, and mainly the small, quiet town of Broadus, Montana; where lately a lot of activity has been centered.
This little town, just off of Route 212, is home of the Big Sky Pack. This Pack is unlike most you and I are used to. They have members of all shifter types; wolves, mountain lions, tigers, bears, and even razorback boars. They’ve come to accept all supernatural types when a special woman stepped into their lives almost five years ago. 

Ask any of the locals, as I spent most of last week doing, and they will tell you that their lives changed the day Siofra O’Hana, now Siofra Johnson, stepped into their towns, and they all told me it was for the better. The consensus was that this fiery mother of six has strengthened their Pack more than any of them could fathom possible.

It started when she was kidnapped from a wedding dress shop by a former lover, thought to be dead by her and all those that knew him. She was held in an abandoned barn, beaten and almost rapped, but as I got from my interview with her, she never once worried about herself. She only wanted her Pack, her fiancée, and her son to be safe; she could’ve cared less what her ex-boyfriend, his brother and their rag-tag bunch of wolves did to her.
Her husband, Conall, and her mates, Abe and Dyson, gladly stepped in, saying that Siofra is much stronger than she gives herself credit for. I can’t disagree.
After surviving the kidnapping, Siofra was confronted with her relation to creatures of the Fae and her father, Ancient Druid and advisor to the Fae royals, Shamus. Siofra embraced her white wolf and learned that she also carried magical powers; all while being hounded by the evil Prince of Elves, Bronton. The malicious Bronton brought war to Broadus’ backyard and the Pack fought as one.
They drove the prince’s army of Trolls off, but not without great sacrifice. Siofra was driven into a coma, leaving her husband and Pack mates to worry about her for weeks on end. As we can all see, she returned and the Pack moved on, stronger than before.
We all know that life is not without its tragedies, and in my opinion Siofra and her family have suffered more than their fair share. A Christmas Eve car accident drove Siofra into a deep depression, and the Pack into a funk.

“We didn’t function like normal wolves. We were more like zombies without her laughing and smiles,” her brother-in-law, Pack Alpha Mike Johnson, said when I interviewed him.
Finally bowing to the need for help, Siofra traveled to a nearby town, seeking group therapy. There she met a friend, Nikki, and ran into her unknown mate Dyson Killian for the first time. All was not well in Broadus as everyone suspected and there were dark things on the horizon.
Siofra couldn’t know that a vengeful soul would bring an ancient demon into her life. Possessed and wanted, Siofra was kidnapped again and held hostage in the dark Pryor Mountains; the home of the Elves. Tortured and rapped, Siofra thought all was lost, but that at least her family would be safe. Learning she would bring the end of the known world, and reuniting with a loved one, though deceased, she vows to get her revenge.
Penton, former Prince of Elves and now reformed advisor to the Fae, travelled to his home land to rescue Siofra, bringing her through the portal that lies at the back of her property. They weren’t alone though, and as Siofra struggled with a heartbreaking decision, her Pack fought off Trolls and other dark magic creatures around her.

In my opinion, Siofra is one of the most self-less people I know. That night as war raged around her, she sacrificed a piece of herself to bring an end to evil. The decision hung heavy on her heart and she decided to run, to transport herself using her magic to a place she thought safe and away from danger.
Turning to a friend of the family, Madame Petit, a former Pack leader and acclaimed Witch living in New Orleans, Siofra was handed another surprise. She once again found that fate handed her another mate in the form of Were-tiger, Abe. With his help, and that of new vampire friends, Siofra began to heal and accept that she needed to go back to her family and Pack.
A powerful, magic wielding, and mind reading Werewolf such as Siofra can’t go unnoticed, and the former Master Vampire from Las Vegas took a special interest in her, chasing her from New Orleans back to Broadus, evading the scope of even the F.S.C.C.A.. He used an army of Ghouls, a force of decoys, and finally kidnapping her oldest son as tactics to draw Siofra out.
“It really wasn’t that big of a decision. He had my son, I needed to get him back, and I knew that my father and my mates were there if I needed them,” Siofra said about her following the Master Vampire to his lair in Las Vegas. The demise of the vampire was caught on amateur video and became the YouTube hit that we all know.

When asked whether or not she thought the camera phone video hurt the image of supernatural creatures, Siofra replied, “No, I don’t think it hurts our image. Human take retribution too, but you send those people to jail. We have our own laws, and humans happily let us abide by them. I only wish that I didn’t look so fat in the video. I know I was pregnant at the time, but dang. I look like a hippo.”
All lightheartedness aside, Siofra and her Pack have encountered many obstacles and overcome them all, coming out stronger and wiser in the end. Now, well now we turn our attention to the wilderness of Maine and the plight of Siofra’s half-sister, Rowena.
She burnt down a nightclub owned by a prominent vampire in New York City, but was broken out of jail by a rogue Berserker wolf. Can she find her way to Broadus to be safe?
We’ll find out next time. Thank you for tuning in, and have a wonderful night.
For Channel 12 News, I’m John Kinglander. Goodnight.” 
<Insert typical outro News jingle> 

Now, please enjoy Chapter One of Book 5 in the Broadus Supernatural Society Series
December 24, 2016
Rural Maine
The snow is falling in large clumps around me as I huddle up to a large pine trunk, the burning and stinging in my calf radiating up through my leg. Damn silver, I curse in my head as my breath steams around my face. I never asked for this.

All I ever wanted out of life was to be left alone. To be left alone so that the fire inside would slowly burn out without hurting anyone.
But no, it couldn’t happen that way. That dirty, sadistic, son of a bitch Master Vampire Livius had to ruin everything in the one night I spent in New York City. He was a creature of power, not used to hearing no, and when I had told him that I wasn't interested in him he had tried to rape me. I burned his ass alive, along with most of his hoard, earning me a cell in an F.S.C.C.A. holding center.
My saving grace was a bouncer from the club Livius had owned. I had only shared a fleeting moment with him that night, but catching his scent had been the best thing to happen to me in years. Blaine D’Oro broke me out of that dank cell in NYC, and we've been on the run since.
We were doing fine up until about two hours ago, and the gunshot in my leg is a testament to that. The Berserker wolves chasing me aren't far behind, but they are up wind from me and I can hear their shouts in anger because they've lost my scent.
“Where the fuck is she?” one growls, the sound echoing through the quiet woods.

I don’t want to be standing here when they come around, so taking a deep breath, feeling the cold hit my lungs and the pain in my leg, I slink along the tree trunk and head deeper into the trees. Trying not to brush too many branches and leave a trail, I can feel the blood running down into my boot as I limp along, succumbing to the metallic bite of the silver bullet and falling to my knees beside an old Birch.
If you can hear me, please listen,” the whisper of a voice meets my ears and I search the darkness around me; my eyes shifting into their feline counterpart to reflect the moonlight. Seeing nothing, I just focus in on the sounds of the men coming after me.
Rowena,” the whisper comes again, this time stronger, freezing me in my tracks. My fingers dig into the tree bark at my back and I look up to the moon, searching it for an answer as to this strange voice. I brush back the silver strands of my hair and close my white-blue eyes to focus.
“You’ll be safe here. I’m your sister; your family,” I hear it again, coming to me on the slight breeze, and I have to stifle a laugh. I have no family, at least not since my mother’s death when I was twelve years old. There has been no one for me, except the black and silver haired man in my dreams, claiming to be my father, but that’s all that they have been—just dreams.
The day my mother killed herself I was cast out of the small shifter town we had been living in; twelve years old with only a change of clothes, a bottle of water, and a bag of venison jerky to help me on my journey. They didn’t like the idea of the cursed, silver haired, freak eyed girl hanging around their pure blood children, so I was sent on my way.
So how is this voice on the breeze getting to me? How does it know my name? I think to myself as the footfalls of the two wolves tracking me catch my attention again, this time being dangerously close. I squeeze myself tighter to the trunk, the fear building within me as I frantically look for a better hiding place.
“Where the fuck did she go? We shot the bitch; she couldn’t have gotten too far.” The raspy voice fills the bone chilling air, and I know it’s now or never to hide.
Taking a deep breath, I push off from the tree and start the shift from human to my were-snow leopard form. The crack of my bones and the shifting of skin is a fairly silent process when you have it under control, but being chased by Weres, they’ll sense the magic in the air in an instant, so I find the biggest, lowest lying pine and slink underneath it, tucking my long tail up along my body and positioning myself so that I’ll see their approaching legs and feet.
I can hear them sniffing wildly, and a low growl rips through the one I’ll call ‘Rubber Boots’, due to the thigh high waders he’s wearing right now. Their quick footsteps bring them to the edge of the tree I’m hiding under, and I’m thankful for the still breeze right this instant, because if it kicks up they’ll know where I am right away and I’ll be in for a good fight.
“She’s got too big of a bounty on her head for us to lose her. That honcho down in NYC says she burnt up his kid or somethin’. We’ll be set for a lifetime when we find her, so put your damn nose down and search!” The one in the camo pants growls at Rubber Boots and they circle a tree nearby.
I can see Camo Pants’ hand on the trunk of the tree, and it quickly shifts into the Berserker state as he catches a scent; the fingers elongating and sprouting hair, the nails razor sharp and digging into the bark. I can hear both of their breaths coming heavy and quick, and then they stop, the stillness of the night taking over, and a dark feeling settles in my bones.
The hair stands up on the back of my neck and I slouch closer to the truck, my claws instinctively flexing from my paws as their legs turn in my direction. They quickly move to the branches at the edge of my hiding spot just as a breeze kicks up, bringing the stale scent of beer and a hint of something else my way, perking my senses.
Camo Pants’ hand comes down onto the bottom branch and my muscles tense, my ears pressing into my head as I’m ready to issue a warning hiss. No doubt they’ll only laugh at me—damn cocky wolves—but my bite is a hell of a lot worse than my hiss, so they should be ready.

Just as the branch starts to lift, the breeze kicks up again with a ferocious hiss, whipping the snow into my face and causing the two wolves to stumble back, swearing. Shaking the snow from my face, I hear a thud and the wolves growling. Turning my attention back to their feet, I see a third pair of legs joining them now as their voices rise, snarls and growls filling the air for only a second before the distinct sound of steel leaving leather, and a bright streak of silver flashes before my eyes.
I hiss in a breath as Camo Pants and Rubber Boots’ heads hit the snow and roll away. Their bodies fall like chopped trees, the blood spurting from their necks, and I’m slightly frozen in fear. It happened so fast. The glinting silver of a sword catches my attention, and I gulp at the blood dripping from the very sharp looking blade; the crimson tainting the pure white snow around the legs of the wielder.
There is nowhere for me to go, and as I see the long fingers wrap around the branch, I let out a hiss that vibrates through my entire body. I can feel it all the way down into my feet. His crouching slows as my warning turns into a low rumble, my throat raw and heated from the exertion.
“Now, now,” a smooth, deep voice washes over me, followed by a low chuckle, and I feel calm immediately, confusing the hell out of me.
The branch lifts up, showering me with needles, and through the dark I can see his eyes. Eyes just like mine; the white-blue color seeming to glow in the moonlight, and they lock onto mine. A slow wind brings a whiff of sun ripened apricots to my nose, and I can’t keep my eyes from closing, a low moan rumbling through me.
What the hell? I shake myself, causing more needles to rain down on my coat, and I turn my attention back to this man crouched before me.
He is lean and muscular, his Peacoat hanging open to reveal a form fitting shirt giving away his muscle tone. I’m guessing he notices me checking him out, because a smirk tugs at one corner of his mouth, the simple action setting a fire deep within me, and I shift back into human form to keep it at bay.
On my hands and knees before him, I see his eyes roam my body and his nostrils flare, taking in my scent. I’m breathing hard, the steam forming around me in rapid clouds as I try to slow the fire of desire building within me. His scent is doing something to me and my leopard is pacing within me, stoking the flames even more.
“Come on, Rowena, there is no need to fear me.” His voice is soft this time, and I can see the sincerity in his eyes. Those damn eyes, so much like mine. My stare moves to the sword in his other hand, the blood still dripping, and he drops it in the snow, reaching the hand out to me.
“How do you know my name?” I breathe out, brushing the hair from my eyes as I try to shuffle out without taking his hand. I mean, really? I just witnessed him behead two men in the blink of an eye, and he wants me to trust him? I don’t think so; not even with this inferno of lust burning within me for him.

The pain from my gunshot wound returns and I fall to my elbows, wincing and hissing through my teeth as I feel the silver bite further into my flesh. Pushing back the waves of nausea, I look back up and see that his hand is still outstretched; a concerned look on this stranger’s face.
Oh, what the hell? I think to myself as I reach out and grasp it. My breath catches in my throat as his fingers link around mine, lightning bolts flowing out and over my skin, gathering in my core, and I can feel the familiar tingle of my fire roll over my body. If I’m not careful, I’ll burn down this entire forest in a second, so I let him pull me from my hiding spot.
Trying to keep my weight on my uninjured leg, I stumble and fall into his chest. Oh God, it’s rock hard. I try not to let his body heat get to me as his arms go around me to keep me on my feet, but damn does he feel good. He even smells good.
As he holds me to him, I spare a look up into his eyes and see that he has a small smile on his lips. Perfect lips; luscious even, begging me to bite them, and I have to look to the snow and suck in a breath to reign in my raging desire.
“I know an awful lot about you,” he whispers, his eyes roaming my face as I look back up at him. I need to step back before my flames burst out and hurt him, so I jerk from his hold, wincing as my injury burns through my calf muscle. He keeps his hand wrapped around mine, and I see his attention float to my leg.

“What?” I have to pause and take a second as my head spins, and I’m cursing those wolves for shooting me again. The man’s arm wraps around my waist, tugging me into his side. “What’s your name?”
He smiles sweetly, and my heart feels like it might burst at the sight. His face is so handsome; strong jaw and nose, no facial hair, and close cut midnight black hair wet with the falling snow. He almost seems too perfect to be real. I cock my head in an almost awe like state and notice that his ears have a slight point to them, spiking my curiosity.
“My name is Penton,” he says as I reach my right hand up slowly and hesitantly brush my fingertips along his ear. His eyes flutter shut as I run my fingers over his skin and through his hair, the smell of apricots filling the air around him as his eyes fall on me again, bathing me in un-restrained lust and desire. The degree of it almost frightens me as I move my hand to his cheek and feel him lean into my touch.
As I see a naughty little grin play across his face, I feel the dizziness and weight of my blood loss and I teeter in his arms, almost falling, but he catches me by shooting his hands into my armpits. I can hear myself let out a strangled laugh, but my mind is floating, the darkness filling my vision.
“Were you the voice? The voice I heard?”
“No,” he chuckles, his smile seeming brighter than the mid-day sun, and I can’t take my eyes from it, the sway deepening in my stance and the blurriness in my vision fading in and out. So he wasn’t the voice I heard on the wind, but who was?
“Take me back to Blaine,” I manage to get out as I feel him lift me into his arms, holding me tight to his chest. “Take me to Blaine. He’ll help us.”
Then I’m out, the only feelings rolling through my body is the heat from his closeness and the inferno threatening to burst from my core. My libido wars with my mind for the split second before I’m out, this stranger pulling at every fiber of carnal need within me.
What have I gotten myself into?

Theresa Marguerite Hewitt is a very laid back person; enjoying the simpler things in life more than most sometimes. She grew up in a very, VERY small town in Central New York and she will always be a Redneck Woman. 
She loves reading, writing, taking long pointless drives and long dusk time walks. Fall and winter are her favorite times of year and she spends more time outside then than in the summer. She loves hearing from fans and is not above fan-girling on those that show her tons of support. 
She donates the profits from the Amazon sales of her military series, The Wakefield Romance Series, to various military charities including; Wounded Warrior Project, Red Circle Foundation, Boot Campaign and others. 
She is addicted to the cheap-Harlequin romances you can pick up in most drug stores and cannot go in and out of a store without picking up at least one. She resides in Buffalo, NY with her boyfriend, two dogs and two cats.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Review: The One We Feed

The One We Feed
The One We Feed by Kristina Meister

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy/Metaphysical Thriller
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Those to whom it calls, those interested in something more, deeper
Trigger Warnings: fighting, violence, killing, suicide

My Thoughts: The books in the Apocalyptic Series are a strange beast. Mixing action with metaphysics, Buddhism, and a completely open way of looking at the world, we experience the evolution of Lilith from what she was toward what she could be. She's a great character, but I liked all the characters in this book. Jinx is, as in the first book, a complete delight; Arthur is cryptic, and Ananda is... Ananda. We meet Devlin (and I was so psyched when I found out who he originally was! I figured it out before Lilith, but in her defense it was one of my favorite topics so I caught the hints she did not) and Mara, and find out that everything is not always as it seems.

There is still so much to explore in this universe. I do not know when/if there will be another book in this series, but I know I'll be watching for it, because this is just the sort of mind-twisting that I find most irresistible. If you're looking for deeper meaning, if you enjoy reading things that will twist your brain and make you think, if you are interested in metaphysical ideas of time and space, definitely check out this amazing series.

Series Information: The Apocalyptic Series
Book 1: Craving, review linked here
Book 2: The One We Feed

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from JournalStone through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: After the bizarre suicide of her sister, Lilith Pierce discovered that the world was full of dangers and villains she could not have imagined, and that the history of human civilization was far from complete. Now, gifted with tremendous powers she barely understands, Lilith is determined to stop whatever plots and schemes her immortal cousins, the Sangha, can hatch. When a simple reconnaissance mission ends in tragedy; however, Lilith’s entire focus changes.

Attempting to save a child she's never met from a fate worse than death will require every ounce of Lilith’s strength, forge new and treacherous alliances, and possibly change the world forever. Suddenly all eyes are on her, and the destiny of the human race is on her shoulders. 

A thrill ride with soul for a new generation of thinkers!

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Friday, October 25, 2013

@WheatonKathleen & @JKSLitPublicity #KathleenWheaton QA

Yesterday I posted my review of Aliens & Other Stories and today I have a Q&A with the author, Kathleen Wheaton.

Q&A with “Aliens & Other Stories
Author Kathleen Wheaton

What inspired you to work on this book?
When I went to Buenos Aires to write a guidebook to the city, Argentina was recovering from the trauma of a brutal military dictatorship in which 30,000 people disappeared. It was a strange time to be writing a travel book. Often I’d be in a cafe discussing maps or photos with a contributor and the person would casually mention having been arrested during the “dirty war”, or having gone into hiding, or that someone close to them had disappeared. These abrupt revelations haunted me, and later I wrote a couple of short stories based on them. When I moved to the D.C. suburbs, after years of living abroad, I identified more with people who had come from other places and were struggling to adjust than with fellow Americans who’d always lived here.  These experiences have informed the stories in “Aliens.”

Have you visited Buenos Aires since you were there to write the guidebook? If so, what had changed? What was the same?  
My husband and I returned together in 2007 and then with our teenage sons in 2009. There were some shiny new shops and condos built along what had been a smelly and derelict wharf, but in 20 years the city had changed less than I’d expected—some of my favorite cafes had the same waiters, 20 years older. But the dirty war was farther in the past, so it wasn’t the subtext of every conversation. The internet has connected Argentina more to the rest of the world, and yet there remains this sense of remoteness. Most Argentines have roots somewhere far away, and so Buenos Aires has an air of melancholy and nostalgia that is very enticing to a writer, since we traffic heavily in those two emotions.

Do you consider yourself more of a journalist or a fiction writer?
I began as a fiction writer and fell into journalism when I went to South America and fell in love with a journalist. It seemed like such an interesting life, though I felt I wasn’t aggressive enough to be a real reporter. But I was encouraged by something Joan Didion said to the effect that a harmless appearance can be an advantage. If you are just quiet and willing to listen, you hear the most extraordinary things. In DC, where people are practical and career-oriented, I’ve noticed that a lot of fiction writers use their day jobs as cover. Then they’re outed when they publish a novel or story collection. But I continue to enjoy doing journalism—connecting with real people, not having to struggle to make an unbelievable story sound plausible.

How do you juggle your two writing careers?
            When we moved to Bethesda I had the good luck to begin writing for a bimonthly magazine that was just starting up, and which has continued to give me assignments. This meant that if I was diligent I could spend a month reporting and writing a nonfiction piece and then have a month free to write a short story.  This has made both kinds of writing feel like a “vacation” from the other—at least for the first few minutes, until I actually sit down and start working.  Because then you come up against the reality that all writing is really, really hard.

Have you used stories you’ve reported as a journalist in your fiction?

Journalism would seem to be a rich source of plots and characters, but the truth is that once I finish a nonfiction story to my and my editor’s satisfaction, I’m done with it. I might claim some high-minded refusal to use the people I’ve interviewed as fictional fodder, except that I do steal things from them—their home furnishings, their mannerisms, something they mentioned in passing about their grandparents. Fiction writers are magpies.

You lived in Spain and Latin America for 12 years before moving back to the United States in ‘97. Why do you think these stories stuck with you for so long?
            Maybe even more than childhood, a person’s twenties are a really formative period. So many great (and not-so-great) works of art seem to center around the themes and preoccupations of that time of life. And it takes a while to figure out what it all means. At least it has taken me a while. Because the minute I say this I think of writers from Fitzgerald to the Spanish novelist Carmen Laforet, who wrote so beautifully and profoundly about youth while they were young, as it was happening.

What do you hope readers take away from “Aliens and Other Stories?”
            For me the experience of going to live in another country and learning another language was a revelation—my sense of the strangeness of life was suddenly, objectively, true. Being an actual foreigner struggling to understand was both freeing and reassuring. So I hope that readers who literally have been aliens as well as those who simply have felt that way will find they have something in common with my characters.

What countries would you like to visit next?

            About a year and a half ago I wrote a magazine piece about an Iranian family and decided to study Persian, which sounded to my uncomprehending ear beautiful and poetic. I don’t have much hope of visiting Iran or even of mastering the language enough to read the Persian poets in the original, and yet I keep at it.  It’s opened up another world.

Stalk the author here:
Twitter @WheatonKathleen

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Review: Steel Breeze

Steel BreezeSteel Breeze by Douglas Wynne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Everyone
Trigger Warnings: murder, kidnapping, themes relating to Japanese interment during WWII and the bombing of Hiroshima, revenge

My Thoughts: This is Douglas Wynne's second novel, following the “rock'n'roll horror” novel “The Devil of Echo Lake” (review linked here). I'm astonished by this author's versatility. His first novel has fantastical themes, while this one is limited to reality; his first novel is defined as horror (although I felt it was more dark fantasy), while this one is suspense/thriller. In both cases, the characters, the descriptions, the fast-paced action keep the reader flipping the pages as fast as possible. It's wonderful to see an author willing to experiment and try different things and succeed at it so well.

I felt Desmond was a really good character, nicely developed with realistic reactions and motivations. Fournier felt a bit less developed to me, but we still were aware of his motivations and why he was doing what he did. The ending was bittersweet and felt just right. Again, I highly recommend you read the books by this talented new(ish) writer. They're well worth the time.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this e-book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: It’s been a year since novelist Desmond Carmichael's wife Sandy was brutally murdered. Now, with someone stalking him and his four-year-old son, he fears that the wrong man has been imprisoned for the crime. Sandy’s parents and Detective Chuck Fournier have a different fear: that Desmond, despondent over Sandy’s death, has become too unstable to raise his own son.

To prove them wrong, Desmond must work outside the law to defeat a threat born in the dust of an American wasteland, baptized by fire, and hellbent on riding the winds of karma.

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@WheatonKathleen & @JKSLitPublicity #Review "Aliens & Other Stories" by Kathleen Wheaton

Aliens & Other Stories review
Author: Kathleen Wheaton
4 out of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Short story anthology/fiction
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: people who enjoy short fiction, interesting stories
Trigger Warnings: infidelity

My Thoughts: This is not the sort of book I would ordinarily read, and I'm not really certain why I agreed to review it, but I'm glad I did. It's not obvious how every single story links up, but several of them are quite easy to track due to shared characters.

Each story was well-written and fascinating, an insight into how it feels to not belong, literally. Not angsty, just honest. Each character is defined quickly yet thoroughly; it is obvious this writer is a master at creating characters efficiently. Short stories can be very challenging sometimes, but these are all wonderfully well done.

If you enjoy short stories that are interesting and well written, be sure to check out this book.

Disclosure: I received this book from JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: The characters in Kathleen Wheaton's linked stories are exiles-from their native countries, their families, their objects of desire. Political refugees from Argentina's "dirty war," survivors of a Cuban shipwreck and of Franco's Spain all navigate life as foreigners, whether in Madrid, Buenos Aires or suburban Washington, D.C. With wry, nuanced compassion, Wheaton follows these resilient people as they reconcile the absurdities of contemporary life with a legacy of dislocation, loss and longing.