Wednesday, August 16, 2017

#BookReview - God's Covenant by Debbie N. Goldberg

Title:  God's Covenant (A Divinely Ordered Life Series - Volume 2)
Author:  Debbie N. Goldberg
Genre:  Spiritual Healing, Inspirational
Release Date:  July 19, 2017

About the Book:

If you knew your life was just your story, a dream, and that each person is just acting out his/her storyline as a character in a book or play, how would that change the way you witness behavior in this world? If you understood that everyone is reacting to their own perceived suffering and their behavior is an attempt to take away or hide their pain, do you think you might look at yourself and others differently? Would you, could you, develop compassion for everyone's ignorance of the fact that they are asleep and unconscious? Could you develop compassion for your own unconsciousness?The answers to these questions could be what lies between you and finally knowing what your true life's calling is; what God truly wants for your life. Perfect synchronization with the Universe begins in understanding the Creator's purpose for you. Perfect alignment happens when you begin to co-create a life of Divine purpose alongside your Maker. There is no freer feeling than to know that each decision, no matter how difficult or daunting, if made from love, is guided by the Divine and cannot lead you astray -- this is a life that is co-created with God.In this volume of A Divinely Ordered Life Series, we dive deeper into the meaning of our lives, move forward in our journey toward lasting, transformative love, eternal joy and illuminate the path to our soul's purpose.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

Debbie N. Goldberg practiced as a clinical therapist for eighteen years before going into private practice as a Spiritual Mentor.  This series of books brings the spiritual knowledge of her own awakening to inspire healing, love, joy, purpose and creativity to each of us as we work through our own spiritual journey.  This author opens her heart to allow us to see the pain and heartache she personally endured for many years and how she learned to forgive and move on with her life with a new sense of freedom, love and spiritual growth.

This is the second volume in her series A Divinely Ordered Life.  I recommend that you read the first volume "Are You Listening? - God" before reading this one.

In this volume, Debbie discusses how your ego projects negativity and deceives you by creating all the misconceptions that create so much of the energy draining drama that wastes your time.  I think we all get sucked into that from time to time!  She also discusses how your soul projects all of the beauty around you.  If I understand this correctly, both the ego and the soul are essential if we are to learn all of our spiritual life-lessons and grow our hearts with love and compassion.

The author also explains how to connect with your higher self using meditation, deep breathing and your imagination to set the imagery in motion, seeing yourself in a beautiful place where you feel loved and safe.  She suggests that you not have any expectations, but to just welcome whatever form comes to you.  In her words, "If you invite God to work in your heart He will weave your soul like a fine tapestry connecting all the imperfect threads to create a beautiful Piece of Art..."  Another quote I found particularly helpful was "We don't need to be fixed.  We need to be healed from the belief that we are broken and flawed in the first place, or that others are broken as well."

I read this book chapter by chapter, pausing after each one to think about what I had read.  I highly recommend this series for anyone struggling with any form of conflict in their life.  Thank you Debbie Goldberg, for bringing some peace and love to my life.

My Rating:


About the Author:

Author and therapist Debbie N. Goldberg was raised in a Jewish family on Long Island where most of her childhood and young adult life was laced with shame, guilt, abuse and rebellion. It was these turbulent years that set the course toward spirituality that she thrives in today.

As an adult, Debbie became a therapist specializing in depression, anxiety and relationships. Through nearly two decades in a thriving career and ultimately private practice, Debbie sought a path to a deeper more meaningful life.

Through a spiritual collision of meditation and suffering, Debbie heard Jesus speak. What unfolded next was a daily dialogue with Source, much like the conversations she had read in Neale Donald Walsh’s “Conversations with God” many years prior.

Vowing to do as God asked, she penned three volumes; Create a Life Worth Living, direct messages from Source and her insights on how they play a part in our lives and now has a second edition of this series called A Divinely Order Life. Volume 1 of this series is Are you ready to listen?-God, Volume 2 is God's Covenant.

Debbie lives and writes in Islamorada, Florida where she teaches others the path to Spirit.



You can also catch Debbie on Angel Heart Radio where she teaches, inspires, supports and mentors people all over the world to live the lives they truly dream of living. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

#BookBlitz & #Giveaway - Beautiful Mess by John Herrick



Beautiful Mess
John Herrick
Publication date: July 30th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance
A fallen star. Four Los Angeles misfits. And the Marilyn Monroe you only thought you knew.
Del Corwyn is an aging relic. An actor who advanced from errand boy to Academy Award nominee, Del kept company with the elite of Hollywood’s golden era and shared a close friendship with Marilyn Monroe. Today, however, he faces bankruptcy.
Humiliated, Del is forced to downgrade his lifestyle, sell the home he’s long cherished, and fade into a history of forgotten legends—unless he can revive his career. All he needs is one last chance. While searching through memorabilia from his beloved past, Del rediscovers a mysterious envelope, dated 1962, containing an original screenplay by Marilyn Monroe—and proof that she named him its legal guardian.
Del surges to the top of Hollywood’s A-list overnight. But the opportunity to reclaim his fame and fortune brings a choice: Is Del willing to sacrifice newfound love, self-respect and his most cherished friendship to achieve his greatest dream?
A story of warmth, humor and honesty, Beautiful Mess follows one man’s journey toward love and relevance where he least expects it—and proves coming-of-age isn’t just for the young.
On sale for $1.99 for a limited time only!
EXCERPT:
“You wrote a screenplay?”
Wide-eyed, Del ran his fingers across the crisp, white paper, a stack of sheets bound together by brass fasteners along its left margin. He was in his early twenties.
“Don’t look so surprised,” Marilyn Monroe replied with a staccato laugh. “I’m a woman of many wonderful traits.” Though thirty-six years old, she took childlike pleasure in his reaction. Innocent. She had exquisite diction, a byproduct of training with Natasha Lytess, her first acting coach.
“When did you write this?”
“During my hiatus, the one I took after we wrapped up production on The Prince and the Showgirl. Arthur and I split our time between New York and Connecticut, and he helped me as I wrote,” she replied, her countenance now matter-of-fact, her voice sultry yet airy. “I believe it was an outlet for him, too. He was so frustrated by that time, wondering about his own future. He believed in me, and I think it helped him believe in himself. So as I wrote the scenes, he gave me advice on how to make the characters richer, more alive.”
They sat together in the living room of her home in Brentwood. “Johnny Angel” played on her phonograph. They were alone in the house.
“This must have taken a long time to write.”
“I had eighteen months before I returned to Hollywood to shoot Some Like It Hot,” she replied. Her gaze fell to the floor, and her voice grew softer. “I’d been through so much by that point. Trying to make my second marriage work. The pain of losing a child…”
As her words drifted, young Del noticed she had waded into the territory of the forlorn. For the past year, she had seemed more prone toward that tendency, and pain filled Del’s heart whenever he watched it emerge. He tried to return her attention to the script, which seemed to make her happy. It was an obvious source of pride for her.
“You never mentioned you’re a writer. Why doesn’t anybody know?”
Her countenance brightened again, and Del felt relieved. She shot him a cunning glare.
“There’s more to me than the reporters know about,” she replied with a wink, wagging a red-polished fingernail at him, ever the mentor. “Here’s an important tip for you: Never tell them everything. Always keep a little secret or two for yourself, something to hold in your heart. Something you can control in this crazy world.”
Del fanned the pages, opening the document at random points to scan snippets of dialogue. What a sense of accomplishment she must have felt! He admired its professional layout, which looked identical to the scripts he’d used on the sets. Del wondered it Marilyn had typed this on the manual typewriter he’d seen Arthur Miller use in their home.
“Is this any good?” Del asked. “I mean, have you shown it to anyone?”
“Only to Arthur, back when we were married.” She giggled in her typical Marilyn manner. “Can you imagine? The great Arthur Miller coaches Marilyn Monroe in literature,” she punctuated with a male reporter’s voice, underscoring it with faux solemnity. “You do know he rewrote the script for Let’s Make Love, don’t you? He said the original was a catastrophe and he wanted to protect me. Wasn’t that sweet? Many people don’t know that. He wrote the script for The Misfits, too. The man certainly knows what he’s doing, if you ask me. Look at Death of a Salesman. Pure genius! Regardless of how our marriage worked out, the man was a brilliant writer.”
Young Del ran his hand across Marilyn’s screenplay again, eager to read it from beginning to end. Maybe they could perform in it together!
Yet he couldn’t ignore a chill that raced up his spine. Why here? Why now?


Author Bio:
John Herrick is the author of From the Dead and 8 Reasons Your Life Matters. A graduate of the University of Missouri—Columbia, readers turn to him as a chronicler of spiritual journey and the human heart. Herrick lives in St. Louis.




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Monday, August 14, 2017

#BookRelease - Taming the Lion (Shifter Wars #3) by Kerry Adrienne

Happy Release Day!               Kerry Adrienne's latest novel, TAMING THE LION, is available today!

Pack bonds are tested in the Shifter Wars as the lion heir must choose between his legacy and his mate

For Marco, heir to the lions’ throne, seizing control of the Cave of Whispers from the bear clan is more than just a quest—it’s fulfilling the legacy of his breed. But the latest crusade has left Marco gravely wounded in enemy territory and in the hands of Alicia, healer for the bears. An irresistibly sensuous adversary, Alicia presents a serious problem. She carries the scent of a mate.

Drawn to this dominant master of his den, Alicia knows her allegiance has been compromised. His brooding sexuality is testing her defenses, but falling in love with Marco means falling in league with a rival shifter. And turning her back on the bears in a time of war is a lethal move.
Two breeds united by destiny could inspire a peaceful new future for their opposing clans—or ignite the fiercest battle yet and destroy all of Deep Creek forever.

About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Kerry Adrienne loves history, science, music and art. She’s a mom to three daughters, many cats, and a panther chameleon named Yoda. She loves live music and traveling most anywhere. 

In addition to being an author, she’s a college instructor, artist, costumer, editor, and bad guitar player. Recently, she adopted the sweetest tiger named Rajah at a local tiger sanctuary and is training to educate people about conservation of the species, feed the animals at the sanctuary, and make enrichment items for wild cats big and small. 

For a free book, and the latest news (and contests) be sure to sign up for Kerry's newsletter at http://kerryadrienne.com/newsletter/. 

Follow her on Twitter (@kerryadrienne) and Instagram (KerryAdrienne) for lots of cat pics and (hopefully) funny stuff!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

#BookReview - You Say it First by Susan Mallery

Title:  You Say It First (Book #1 - Happily Inc.)
Author:  Susan Mallery
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Release Date:  August 22, 2017


About the Book:

“Romance novels don't get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling.” —Booklist
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fool's Gold romances invites you to visit Happily Inc., a wedding destination founded on a fairy tale!
Sculptor Nick Mitchell grew up in a family of artists and learned from his volatile father that passion only leads to pain. As he waits on a new commission, he takes a day job as a humble carpenter at a theme wedding venue. The job has its perks—mainly the venue's captivating owner, Pallas Saunders.
Pallas adores Weddings in a Box. But if she can't turn the floundering business around, she'll have no choice but to cave to her domineering mother and work at the family's bank. Then when a desperate bride begs Pallas for something completely out of the box, her irresistible new hire inspires her. Nick knows she doesn't belong behind a desk, and she knows in her heart that he's right—where she really belongs is in his arms.

Don't miss the next book in the Happily Inc. series, Second Chance Girl!

Buy Links: Amazon
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER - RELEASE DATE IS AUGUST 22, 2017 

My Review:

Susan Mallery is masterful at creating characters with depth and who are totally lovable.  She certainly did not disappoint with the characters in You Say It First, the first book in the Happily Inc. series.

From the very first page, I was all smiles.  While waiting to hear about a possible commission to create a work of art in Dubai, Nick goes for a job interview as a carpenter and is immediately asked to remove his shirt.  Hmmm.... is that how Pallas interviews all her carpenters?  Actually, Pallas has inherited Weddings in a Box, where unique wedding ceremonies are created and she is short one toga-wearing Roman soldier to carry the bride in on a palanquin. . Although he certainly doesn't need the job, Nick wants to stay busy with projects that interest him and as time goes on he finds himself interested in more than just the wooden panels he plans to restore.  He finds himself quite interested in Pallas.

There were so many interesting characters in this book and life in this small town is warm and friendly, except for the relationship between Pallas and her mother, Libby.  That needs some work.  There is also a strain between Nick and one of his brothers.  But as friends come together to create some amazing weddings, an understanding of love and not taking the future for granted comes into play.

I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series, hoping to follow more of these fabulous characters in their life journeys.

Disclosure:  A complimentary ARC was provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.

My Rating:


About the Author:
Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books about the relationships that define women's lives—romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey. Sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, and always uplifting, Susan's books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list, thanks to her ever growing legions of fans.

Critics, too, have heaped praise on "the new queen of romantic fiction." (Walmart) Booklist says, "Romance novels don't get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling," and RT Book Reviews puts her "in a class by herself!"

Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month, January of 1992. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her most popular series, the Fool's Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.

Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a tattletale toy poodle. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Animals play a big role in her books, as well, as she believes they're an integral component to a happy life. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

 

Friday, August 11, 2017

#BookBlitz & #Giveaway - The Last Dragon Rider by Errin Krystal


The Last Dragon Rider
Errin Krystal
(The Wild Realms of Véneanár, #1)
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: August 9th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Trained as an elite warrior from childhood, the elven crown prince Flintathriël fights to bring a stop to a war that began before he was born. With the aid of his betrothed Sairalindë, a skilled mage and dragon rider in her own right, they must find the Book of Souls – an ancient and mysterious tome rumored to have belonged to the god Hath’Raal.
When the missing book turns up in the hands of Mnuvae, the bastard child of the dead king, Flintathriël finds himself fighting to not only save his people from this new threat but also trying to keep Sairalindë safe when Mnuvae takes over the dragons in her attempt to win back the kingdom she believes is rightfully hers.
The love Flintathriël and Sairalindë share shines pure and true, but when the smoke of the battle clears, will their hearts survive the aftermath of war or will their love become a casualty that cannot be revived?
EXCERPT:
She began wrapping the cloth tightly about her, binding her breasts firmly, criss-crossing the gauzy fabric around her torso and across her stomach, tying it off at her hip. She shimmied into a pair of leather leggings and reached for her foot wraps. To other races—like the dwarves and humans—the elves lack of footwear was strange. The elven people had strong ties to the lands, their magic and mystique were inexplicably linked. Even those who did not practice magic felt the connection to nature, and the elven people had maintained the practice throughout their long history.
After binding her feet and leaving only her toes exposed, she tossed an olive green tunic over her head before quickly weaving her tresses into a thick braid.
Sivath was waiting, and Flintathriël was late. Again.
She was reaching for her leather jerkin when he finally appeared in her doorway.
Arms akimbo, he slouched against the frame, all lean muscle and sharp angles beneath his leathers. Silver-white hair fell across his forehead, hiding the dark arches of his brows as he gazed at her with silvery blue eyes. The mop of hair barely touching his shoulders. His coloring typical of the royal family.
Her gaze traced his tattoos. Sweeping vines encompassed runic symbols, curling downward from his bottom lip, winding and weaving their way down his chin and neck. She knew every line that twisted and spread across his shoulders, and across his back. Etchings that disappeared beneath his tunic and reappeared along his arms. She still remembered the day he received the markings, branding him Nuvian. The day she first gave herself to him, the day she truly became his.


Author Bio:
Errin Krystal is a fantasy romance writer who has been writing since she was a small child. Her head has always been full of stories. She began work on her first novel when she was sixteen.
She lives with her family in regional Victoria, Australia, and works as a chef. In her quieter moments, she loves to indulge her passion for storytelling, basking in the joy that comes from creating vibrant characters, fantastical worlds and all manner of magical creatures. Dragons and elves, mages and warriors, troubled princes and beautiful princesses, romance, magic, and adventure can all be found in her writing.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

#BookBlitz & #Giveaway - Crescent Calling by Axelle Chandler


Crescent Calling
Axelle Chandler
(The Crescent Witch Chronicles #1)
Publication date: August 9th 2017
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Skye Williams is an ordinary woman, living an ordinary life.
Or so she thought.
When she receives news of her estranged mother’s death, she must go to Ireland to claim her inheritance, but when she arrives in the tiny village of Derrydun, she isn’t prepared for what she finds nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Emerald Isle.
Lumped with a funeral, her mother’s crystal shop, a moody goth girl for an employee, and a crumbling cottage with horrible floral curtains, selling up and getting out sounds like a great plan, but everything and everyone seems determined to keep her from going home.
Skye doesn’t want any part of her mother’s life or the people of Derrydun until she sees the hot Irishman she’s been crushing on turn into a fox.
More absurdly, he tells her her dead mother was a witch who battled evil fairies, there’s magical trees growing in the centre of the village, there’s a parallel universe where the fair folk live, and she’s meant to be the last defense of the magical peoples of Ireland.
Turns out Skye Williams was never an ordinary woman. Not by a long shot.
She’s the last Crescent Witch and has a destiny to fulfil.
Whether she likes it or not.
The Crescent Witch Chronicles is a series stuffed full of Irish charm, myth and mayhem. Come on an adventure fraught with danger and forbidden romance…and the ultimate battle to save magic before it’s gone forever.
EXCERPT:
That night, as Buddy kept me company, I fell asleep to the sound of wind howling through the trees outside. Plagued with dreams of wolves, I tossed and turned until I slipped into a deep slumber.
When dawn finally broke, I was covered in a thin sheen of sweat, and my head was stuffed with cotton wool. I’d slept but not really. A heavy burden was over my heart, and my body had become twisted in the quilt, my feet trapped.
Ugh, I was all hot and sticky. I kicked, trying to shift the uncomfortable weight and turned over, but it didn’t budge. Lifting my head, my eyes cracked open, sleep still clogging my head. That was when I saw a lump at the end of the bed. A very large, man-shaped lump.
Now completely awake, I screamed, scrambling up the bed. It was Boone. A very naked Boone.
He started, his head shooting up, and when he saw me, he rolled and fell off the end of the bed, hitting the floor with a thud. Scrambling to his feet, his face turned a deep shade of crimson.
“Oh, shit,” he cursed, covering his junk with his hands. “Oh, cac.”
Cac?” I yelled. “I’ll give you bloody Irish cac!
Grabbing the lamp on the bedside table, I pushed up onto my knees and swung it with all my might. The plug popped out of the wall, and the shade barely missed Boone’s face, but the cord came around and whipped him directly on his bare ass.
He howled in pain and retreated across the room.
Pervert!” I shrieked.
“Let me explain,” he said, holding up his hands and leaving nothing to the imagination.
“Explain? What’s there to explain?” I shouted, trying not to look at his you-know-what. “You were asleep on the end of my bed…naked!” I swung the lamp at him again, barely missing his head. “You’re still standing there. I can see your meat and two veg!
“Oh, cac,” he said again. “I didn’t mean for you to find out this way…”
“Find out what? That you’re a pervert, who sneaks into women’s homes butt naked?”


Author Bio:
Axelle Chandler is an Australian Urban Fantasy author. She lives in the western suburbs of Melbourne dreaming up nail biting stories featuring bad-ass witches, hunky shape shifters and devious monsters. She likes chocolate, cat memes and video games. When she’s not writing, she likes to think of what she’s writing next.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

#BookReview - Breath of Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles - Book 2) by Amanda Bouchet

Title:  Breath of Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles - Book 2)
Author:  Amanda Bouchet
Genre:  Fantasy, Romance, Myths & Legends
Release Date:  January 3, 2017


About the Book:

USA Today Bestseller!
An Amazon Best Book of the Month!
"Breath of Fire is a heart-pounding and joyous romantic adventure. Amanda Bouchet's talent is striking."—NALINI SINGH, New York Times bestselling author
SHE'S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD... 
BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
"Cat" Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat's tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what's a warrior queen to do when she knows it's her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.
Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world—for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin risk sacrificing everything they've fought for. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom...or die trying.
Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

And the saga continues!  "Breath of Fire" is Book #2 in The Kingmaker Chronicles, and the action keeps you on the edge of your seat, just like in the first book.  Although I admit that I enjoyed the first book more than this one, I could see the flow that was needed to get to this next phase... and I'm looking forward to the third and final book in this trilogy.

Amanda Bouchet is masterful in creating worlds and action-packed battles with monsters, myths and magic.  I had a movie running through my brain the entire time I was reading.  And I love her characters!  All of them!

I was not fond of the first four chapters, but that's just my own personal opinion.  Not a fan of domestic violence with the rage that poured out of Griffin as he smashed and destroyed everything in the bedroom.  And I'm not a fan of... um... rough sex.  I could have totally done without the spanking and such.  But once I got beyond that part at the beginning of the book, the action and adventure took over and I was once again loving what I was reading. 

Some spoilers here, so don't read more if you don't want to.  Cat and Griffin get married and their quest to bring the different realms together begins, bringing along their group of Beta warriors who become Alpha warriors, fending off snakes and monsters and dealing with labrynths and archers.  They fight in the arena, dealing with more magic and spiders and Cyclops and more.  I don't want to give away any more spoilers, but the outcome you may suspect is actually achieved in a way that may surprise you.

Looking forward to the release of Book #3.

My Rating:


About the Author:
Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England where she spent much of her time tromping around in the woods and making up grand adventures in her head. It was inevitable that one day she would start writing them down. Drawing on her Greek heritage for the setting and on her love of all things daring and romantic for the rest, her debut trilogy, The Kingmaker Chronicles, took form. She writes what she loves to read: epic exploits, steamy romance, and characters that make you laugh and cry.

A French master's graduate and former English teacher, Amanda lives in Paris, France. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children who will soon be correcting her French.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmandaBouchetAuthor/
Twitter: @AuthorABouchet
http://www.amandabouchet.com/

If you would like to meet Amanda Bouchet in person, she will be a featured author at  #CMCon18 Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona Beach in February 2018!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

#BookBlitz & #Giveaway - Symphony of Ruin by Christina Lay


Symphony of Ruin
Christina Lay
Publication date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy
Death is stalking The City. From out of the catacombs, a deadly monster has arisen. Unfortunately for alchemist’s apprentice Remy the Rat Boy, his master is away and it’s up to Remy to discover the nature of the monster and put an end to its killing rampage. His search for answers takes him high into the elegant chambers of the city’s elite, and down into long forgotten ruins, into depths untraveled and unimagined for centuries. Lost in the ancient ruins with only ghosts and creatures of the darkness for companionship, Remy must use every ounce of wit and conjure every scrap of magic at his disposal in order to survive the labyrinth and save The City from its shadow self.

A magical and thrilling journey by award-winning author Christina Lay, inspired by the game and artwork of Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls. For more information on the Labyrinth of Souls fiction project, visit shadowspinnerspress.com
EXCERPT:
Death made its nightly rounds of the old quarter. Skeletal toes scraped the cobblestones and bones rattled in the keening wind blowing down from the steppes. The scythe of oblivion spared no one; man, woman or child might be snatched. This alone was reason enough to raid Master Marek’s pantry and Remy could think of several others as he cleared a space on the long table against the wall. He placed one knee on the well-worn surface and tested its strength. The table wobbled only slightly on uneven legs.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” his friend Glyn asked from behind him.
“Not only is it good, it is excellent. Top notch. One of the best I’ve ever had.” Remy grabbed at the row of shelves to steady himself as he climbed up. The collection of bottles and jars rattled alarmingly. He paused as they settled. Nothing fell except a tuft of what looked like dried moss.
When he’d first moved in, Remy would have needed to use a footstool to reach the tabletop and he’d have to stand on the rickety table to reach Marek’s stash of quality liquor. Now if he stretched full length, he could finger the row of colored glass bottles on the top shelf while still on his knees.
Some of the bottles were filled with dyed water. He knew this because he was the one who’d drained and refilled them. His master never noticed because Marek rarely partook of the odd offerings of beet brandy, moss wine, crabapple cider and so on that his clients sometimes paid him with. No, Marek reserved his imbibing for the good stuff in the cut crystal decanter, an amber brandy he shared with Remy on Winter’s solstice, and then only by the wee thimble full.
Remy remembered its heat coating his throat, the flavors of caramel, loam and wealth, and the comforting affect a mere sip had on his state of mind. That was what he needed now—comfort. Glyn had just brought him the news of their mate Abernath’s death. Abernath, a robust young man of seventeen years—the same age as Remy and Glyn—had been found dead in an alley the night before without a fresh mark on him.
Remy’s long fingers tweezed the decanter toward the edge of the shelf. Glyn took an audible breath, sucking air out of the room in the process, braced to flee at the first hint of disaster. Glyn would rather face death than Master Marek in a rage.
“Marek is in the Giant Mountains,” Remy assured him, voice a little pinched from the effort of stretching to his full length and a tiny bit beyond. “I’ve had no word from him for weeks. He’s not about to pop up in the middle of the night with no notice. He likes his fire to be lit and his supper warm when he returns from a long trip.” The decanter tipped forward and Remy caught it with his other hand. As he eased back his sleeve caught on a jutting handle and brought a little pot thudding to the tabletop. The pottery cracked. Something black and viscous oozed out.
“Ox balls,” Remy muttered, and clambered down from the table.
“What is that?” Glyn backed up as if a jinn might spring forth from the ooze.
“Nothing to worry about,” Remy said. He gave the scratch marks on the lid a closer look. Ox balls and a pig’s poker to boot. “Nothing to worry about immediately anyway. Come on. Where’s your cup?”


Author Bio:
Christina Lay is primarily a writer of fantastical fiction, with frequent forays into mystery and mainstream. Many of her short stories have been published in anthologies, magazines and online. She's won five awards for her short fiction, including second place in the Writers' Digest Short Fiction competition in 2003. Her novels have also won awards, including first place in the Rupert Hughes Writing Competition at the Maui Writers Conference, First Place in the Journey Conference Novel competition, and she was a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association competition. Death is a Star, her first novel to be published, was released in February 2013.
Christina was born in Eugene, Oregon and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1988 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Political Science. She's worked a wide variety of jobs, from pastry shop clerk to computer software support to cost accounting and bookkeeping for nonprofits. Her favorite job so far has been administrative assistant in a Victorian House Museum. The goal is always to spend as much time as possible writing. For fun she likes to study languages through poetry, take way too many pictures with digital cameras, and be herded by her border collie, Lazlo.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

#BookReview - 12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

Title:  12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Once Upon a Dickens Christmas, Book #1)
Author:  Michelle Griep
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Mystery, Holiday, Romance, Inspirational
Release Date:  September 1, 2017

About the Book:

A mysterious invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home may bring danger...and love?

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of one thousand pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Pour a cup of tea and settle in for Book 1 of the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series--a page-turning Victorian-era holiday tale--by Michelle Griep, a reader and critic favorite.


Buy Links: Amazon 
AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER - Release Date September 1, 2017

My Review:

My craving for all things Victorian has been indulged!  This book had so much of what I love within its pages… Mystery, History, Holiday, Drama, Twists and Turns and Sweet Romance… all with a hint of Christianity.  And that history was right on target with a bonus of some historical clarifications toward the back of the book.  Thank you Michelle Griep for that too! 

Once I started reading, I could not put this book down.  Not extremely lengthy, but just enough to be thorough with the story.  Charles Dickens would be proud!

Set in London in 1850, Clara Chapman's life had taken a downward turn having lost her fortune and being left at the alter, abandoned by the man she loved.  Then she received an invitation.  If she can stay at Bleakly Manor for twelve nights she will be given a large sum of money.  Clara's ailing aunt encourages her to accept.

Upon arriving at Bleakly Manor, Clara realizes she is not the only person to receive such an invitation, each with a reward geared just for them.  One of those invitee's is none other than Ben Lane, the man accused of embezzlement and destroying Clara's father's business... and the man who had left her standing at the alter.  Unbeknownst to Clara, Ben had actually been imprisoned unjustly all these months.

Michelle Griep created a wonderful assortment of characters, and a mystery with lots of twists and turns.  Who is their host?  Which of the houseguests will remain to win their prize? 

I would love to see a Christmastime movie made from this novel.  And this is just Book #1 of the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series.  I can't wait to read the next one!

Disclosure:  A complimentary ARC was provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own. 


My Rating:


About the Author:
I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write...except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

Sunday, August 6, 2017

#BookBlitz & #Giveaway - Sink (Mermaid Royalty, Book 1) by M.E. Rhines


Sink
M.E. Rhines
(Mermaid Royalty #1)
Publication date: July 31st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Obedience has always been a matter of survival for sixteen-year-old mermaid princess Pauline. Her mother is the tyrannical Queen Calypso, who rules the kingdom of Atargatis with an iron trident. To utter one word against her would mean banishment—or worse—so Pauline bites her tongue and minds her manners. But on the eve of her sister’s merling-shower, all of that is about to change. Confronted with the truth about what happens to the human men who are betrothed to the mermaids of Atargatis, Pauline realizes she can stay silent no more.
Determined to end the queen’s dark tradition, Pauline goes along on a search for shipwreck survivors, secretly planning to free them. But things get complicated when she finds herself inexplicably drawn to one of the men. Before she realizes what’s happening, she has kissed him—and a kiss from a mermaid is not without consequences. Now Pauline will have to risk everything if she is to save the young man and thwart the queen’s dark plans…
EXCERPT:
My eyes widened, my heart hammering against my rib cage. A fear I didn’t understand tugged at my tailfin, like an anchor had been tied to its end. I sank against the wall of our pirated vessel and watched the chaos as it unfolded in slow motion.
Gene laughed at something my sister said just before it hit him. His smile fell in an instant as soon as the sudden deadening feeling pummeled into his chest. He dropped the plate and held out his hand. From my experience with Beaked Sea Snake, he was seeing double the fingers.
A fogginess washed over his eyes. He reached out for Fawna for just a second before his arms fell to his sides, limp and useless. Then, his human legs gave out from under him. A loud crack sounded as his knees made impact with the hard floor of the ship.
When he finally fell backward, my sister stood over his paralyzed body with a shameless, cruel smirk that gave me the chills. My mother, hovering well above me, nodded her approval with a warm, glowing pride showing on her face.
I looked around, expecting to see the same shocked expression I wore among my clan. But not one jaw was dropped. Every one of them watched with tense, excited eyes. They looked like bloodthirsty demons from where I was sitting.
“Mother,” I whispered. “What’s going on?”
She didn’t hear me.
“My Queen,” someone shouted from below. “What are your orders?”
Mother took in a long, powerful breath and shouted, “Air him out.”
I gasped, disbelief shuddering through me. “Mother,” I screamed. “Mother, you can’t!”
My protests were drowned out by the unified battle cry that erupted from every member of our clan. Angelique dropped her guitar, dashing for Gene with two other mermaids close behind.
I rushed for him, but Mother grabbed my arm with bruising fingers.
“Let me go,” I demanded.
Even through the screeching cheers below, I could hear Mother’s teeth grinding. “Don’t make a scene.”
I stilled, having every intention to stay put and comply, as usual. But then, I caught a glimpse of Gene’s face. While his muscles were tight and immobile, his eyes were filled with a conscious terror. They pleaded with me from across the ship, begging me to save him.
Before I could stop myself, I twisted my arm out of Mother’s grasp and swam to him, hoping to talk some sense into my sister before she did something terrible.
It was no use. I couldn’t reach them. They had too much of a head start. All I could do was watch as they snatched the helpless human and dragged his lifeless body up, up, and up until…
Bubbles sprayed all around them as they held Gene’s head and neck above water, but kept their own gills safely submerged. Even if he had working legs to thrash and fight with, he would be outmatched. Our tails treaded water in a way a human’s boney appendages couldn’t come close to.
He was in our world, by no choice of his own. We brought him down here against his will, and now that he was a part of it, my mother was sending him back home to die.
The gills would not disappear. They would only struggle for a short while before giving up to the heat of the land above. Gene’s chest moved in and out, in faster but shallower spurts.
I kicked my tail harder. Just as he came into my reach, he took one final gulp of air from his own world, and the movement stopped.
Mother had killed him.


Author Bio:
ME Rhines a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband.
She writes young adult paranormal romance to feed her belief that fairy tales are real and
nonsense is necessary.
She also writes adult romances under her edgier alter-ego, Mary Bernsen.

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

#BookReview - A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Title:  A Promise of Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles - Book 1)
Author:  Amanda Bouchet
Genre:  Fantasy, Myths & Legends
Release Date:  August 2, 2016


About the Book:

An Amazon Best Book of 2016! Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016!An NPR Best Book of 2016!
An Amazon Best Book of the Month!

"I can say, without a doubt, that A Promise of Fire is going on my keeper shelf...I cannot remember the last time I wanted to both savor and devour a book." — Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
KINGDOMS WILL RISE AND FALL FOR HER...
BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
Catalia "Cat" Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods-and her homicidal mother-have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.
Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm-until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin's fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.
Buy Links: Amazon 

Every now and then, Janna and I read the same book.  We don't always agree.  As a matter of fact, we quite often disagree... mainly because we prefer different genre's.  

Several month's ago, Janna read A PROMISE OF FIRE and gave it a fabulous review.  I recently acquired a copy of this novel and decided to try it myself.  And... well... this is one of those times when Janna and I totally agree.  This book was fabulous!

Scherry's Review:

Oh wow!  I now know why this author and this series is so popular!  I loved it!

Cat, the heroine in A PROMISE OF FIRE, is a kick-ass, snarky, bundle of fire who has caught the eye of be-still-my-heart-Griffin, a warlord who abducts Cat and carries her off to his realm by tying her to him with a magic rope.  Cat has beauty, boldness, intelligence, magic... and a secret.  She's snarky and brave and true to her word.  I just love that type of character!  Even the minor characters were wonderfully created, fully developed and lovable.

There was a ton of fast paced action in this book and the descriptions and world building were amazing. The battles had my heart racing!  I listened to the audio version of this book and when it ended I wanted to scream!  I wanted more!  So much more.  I can't wait to read the next book in this series.

Oh!  And the romance!  OMG!  The romance started out slow and smoldering and built up to some amazing heat!  I loved the tingles and anticipation!  I was hooked from the first page!

Yup!  I definitely recommend this book with 5 wine glasses!   

Janna's Review:

Holy cow!

I think I just found one of my new favorite series. This is, by far, one of the best books I've read this year. The world building was phenomenal! The depth and details of the culture, the inclusion of the Olympian gods -- it all bundled together in an awesome and captivating story with non-stop action!

I loved the strength, snarkiness, and humor of the main character. Strong female leads are a huge plus for me and I absolutely loved Cat! The chemistry between the hero and heroine -- holy smokes! Hot! (*fans self*) Even the supporting characters were memorable with their own stories and quirks.

All in all -- I absolutely loved this book!!! It completely sucked me in and I finished it in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. At the same time, I kept glancing at the percentage on the bottom of my Kindle and wishing that the story wouldn't end. 

I **highly** recommend this book if you're looking for a well-crafted fantasy romance. Without a doubt, I give this a very strong 5/5.

My Rating:

About the Author:
Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England where she spent much of her time tromping around in the woods and making up grand adventures in her head. It was inevitable that one day she would start writing them down. Drawing on her Greek heritage for the setting and on her love of all things daring and romantic for the rest, her debut trilogy, The Kingmaker Chronicles, took form. She writes what she loves to read: epic exploits, steamy romance, and characters that make you laugh and cry.

A French master's graduate and former English teacher, Amanda lives in Paris, France. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children who will soon be correcting her French.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmandaBouchetAuthor/
Twitter: @AuthorABouchet
http://www.amandabouchet.com/

If you would like to meet Amanda Bouchet in person, she will be a featured author at  #CMCon18 Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona Beach in February 2018!

 

The Novel Lady Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon