Monday, July 30, 2018

Book Review - A Berry Merry Christmas by Deborah Cooke

Title: A Berry Merry Christmas
Author: Deborah Cooke writing as Claire Cross
Genre: Romance, Holidays 
Publisher: Deborah A. Cooke (second edition)
Release Date: September 27, 2017

About the Book:
A mysterious nanny has a special message to deliver to a young orphan and her uncle who long to feel the joy of Christmas in their hearts again—but it's Drew and Natalie who make the secret dream of Mr. C's favorite elf Holly come true.

A Berry Merry Christmas is a holiday novella, a paranormal romance and a romantic comedy which was originally published under the pseudonym Claire Cross.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:
As the end of July rapidly approached I realized I had not reviewed one single Christmas-in-July book. That's when Author Deborah Cooke graciously offered a copy of this adorable little Christmas novella to me.  And what a delight this book turned out to be!

A Berry Merry Christmas is all Christmas!  From the start in Santa's village to the sweet, naive little elf named Holly, to the letter to Santa from little Natalie, to the home baked Christmas cookies, to the kiss from Drew under the mistletoe, this little novella packed a whole lot of Christmas into these pages!  Deborah Cooke, writing as Claire Cross, created such loveable characters that I wanted to reach right into the pages and hug them.

This was a quick read of a little over a hundred pages, but I could easily see this being turned into a Hallmark Christmas movie.  Delightful!

My Rating:

About the Author:
Deborah Cooke sold her first book, a medieval romance which was published under the pseudonym Claire Delacroix, in 1992. Since then, she has published over fifty romance novels in a wide variety of subgenres, including historical romance, paranormal romance, time travel romance, fantasy romance, contemporary romance, fantasy with romantic elements and paranormal young adult with paranormal elements. She makes her home in Canada with her husband. When she isn't writing or reading, she can be found knitting, sewing or hunting for vintage patterns.

Visit Deborah's websites at

If you would like to meet Deborah Cooke in person, you can see her at Coastal Magic in Daytona Beach in February 2019 where she will be signing books as a Featured Author.  For more information about Coastal Magic, go to  #CMCon19

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Book Review - Eight Goodbyes by Christine Brae

Title: Eight Goodbyes
Author: Christine Brae
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Womens Fiction 
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Release Date: August 28, 2018

About the Book:
One universe, nine planets, 204 countries, 809 islands and 7 seas, and I had the privilege of meeting you.” –Unknown

When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.

Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.

Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined.

To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.
Buy Links: Amazon 
Available for Pre-Order - Release Date August 28, 2018

My Review:
This is the first time I’ve read any writing by author Christine Brae, but I’m sure it won’t be my last.  When Ms. Brae’s publicist contacted me and asked for my honest opinion of her client’s latest novel, Eight Goodbyes, I agreed based on the description of the book.

I found the first half of the book interesting, but I wasn’t overwhelmed.  The travel and romance was intriguing and I absolutely adored Simon who was so open and decent and intelligent and just plain HOT.  Tessa was an interesting character, but a bit aloof at times and it drove me crazy for what she put poor Simon through when she couldn’t admit her feelings for him.

Then I got to somewhere around the middle of the book and I couldn’t put it down.  My emotions ran high and then dropped to where I wasn’t just crying, I was actually sobbing!  Wow!  Any author who can create that kind of emotion in the reader definitely deserves five stars.

Tessa and Simon first meet on an airplane with her sitting in seat 7C and him sitting two seats over in 7A.  There is an immediate attraction, of which neither would admit.  When they see each other again later at the hotel, the sparks of chemistry start to unfurl.  Tessa is a bestselling author on a book tour, traveling to several different countries.  Simon, a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry, begins meeting her at these various locations and each time they part there is another goodbye.  Just when their relationship moves to the next level, tragedy strikes.  No spoilers here, but I was definitely not expecting something like this to happen.  And that’s when the story takes a whole new turn and my tissue box started emptying.

Christine Brae created a story that goes straight to your heart, digs in and does a little twist.  I’ll be looking for more of her books in the future.

My Rating:

About the Author:
Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Christine is the author of The Light in the Wound, His Wounded Light (2013), Insipid (2014). Her latest book, In This Life, released in 2016 and is currently under option for TV and Film.

Two more books, Eight Goodbyes and The Year I Left are scheduled to be released in 2018 & 2019.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.

Christine is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin Literary Management.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Road Trip!

I remember so vividly taking road trips with my family when I was a young child in the family station wagon.  My two brothers and my sister would sit in the back seat and I, being the baby of the family, would sit in the front seat between my mom and my dad.  This, of course, was back in the day of bench seats and no center console.  How my parents endured such an adventure I will never understand.  There was pushing and shoving and "Mom! She touched me!" and countless times of hearing "I'm hungry" or "I'm thirsty" or "I need to go the bathroom".  There were no cell phones or iPads or entertainment systems in the car.  Just a radio that crackled a lot.  We played countless games of I Spy or License Plate Alphabet. 

A few weeks ago, however, my sister phoned from Tombstone, Arizona to say she wanted to fly to Miami.  After visiting my house in the Florida Keys for a couple of days, she then wanted the two of us to take a road trip around central Florida, ending up in Bradenton to surprise my oldest brother on his 75th birthday.  **Make a note here that "surprises" on elderly people is not always a good thing**

On my way to the airport I picked up my grandson, who was visiting his dad for the summer before classes started again at the University.  He was excited to see his somewhat crazy "Aunt Penny". Let me tell you a bit about crazy Aunt Penny.  After selling everything she owned and buying an RV and a couple of Harley's, she and her hubby Victor spent a few years traveling around the country before settling in Tombstone where she now spends her days making Victorian era dresses and playing dress-up carrying "Liquor is the Devil's Brew" signs on the street of this old west town.  This is particularly funny for her because she soon ditches the sign and meets up with her friends at the local saloon.  

As a matter of fact, our few days in the Florida Keys included touring Islamorada Beer Company Brewery & Tasting Room and their new Distillery.  

No, we didn't carry signs.

We spent a day in Miami Beach, playing in the sand and enjoying crab cake sandwiches at the Front Porch Cafe, walking along Lincoln Road Mall and sticking our toes in the water at Lummis Park.

If you look in the background of this picture you can see Miami Beach, Beach Patrol.  Hmmm.  Perhaps they knew Penny was in town?

Of course Penny was constantly getting into trouble and I had to keep a sharp eye on her.  

You'd think that I was the older sister.  

Naughty, naughty, naughty!

We then dropped Jim back off at his dad's.  We had so much fun with him and he was such a good sport about putting up with our shenanigans.

I think we wore him out because he fell asleep in the car.

After that, Penny and I headed north along the Florida turnpike to I95. Our next stop was Oviedo, Florida at my daughter's new house and then to visit with my son Mike and his family. We ate sushi and played with my granddaughter's Zoey and Addie.  I guess you're never too old to play in a box.  Best toy ever!   

Jamie is a writer and was in the midst of researching Russian customs for an upcoming novel.  One of those customs included how to drink vodka shots.  The Russian way.  Did you know the vodka shot is followed up by eating a pickle or pickled vegetables?  Just like you'd follow up a tequilla shot with lime and salt!  Hmmm.   They went down smoothly until I stood up.  

My daughter-in-law, Starla, stopped by and asked if we wanted to go to Target with her.  She was looking for yellow towels.  **Note to self - Don't go to Target while you are tipsy, even if you have a designated driver.  You'll end up buying strange items and wonder the next day why it was so dang important that you each simply HAD to have a plastic light up blaster gun that shoots bubbles.**  

The next day we hit the road again, taking I-4 west toward Tampa and then I-75 south toward Sarasota.  That's where we met up with Penny's step-daughter and granddaughter.  Lovely people.  Penny did her best to behave like a grandma.  I was proud of her.

Heading back a wee bit north we ended up in Bradenton where we checked into our hotel, the Hampton Inn in Downtown Bradenton.  We then headed over to the Outback Steakhouse where my younger brother, Roy, was taking my older brother, Bill, and his wife Faye out to lunch for Bill's birthday. Bill had no idea that Penny and I were waiting there at the restaurant with balloons, streamers, posters and us! Nice surprise!  

He had no clue we would be there, along with his grandson Michael and his girlfriend and Michael's other grandparents.

After lunch, we headed to DeSota Towers where our brothers live and Bill was once again surprised by the residents in the building gathering for cake in his honor.  Yes, the cake says "Happy Birthday Little Buckaroo!"  

It isn't often that the four of us can get together.  With me living in the Florida Keys and Penny living in Arizona and our brothers not being able to travel like they used to, our visits together are few and far between I am sorry to say.  But when we do get together, we have such a good time!

Unfortunately, we had to head back south the next day, traveling back to Islamorada.  Penny had a plane to catch.

I just want to mention a couple of things.  Never pass up the chance to spend time with your parents, siblings, children and grandchildren.  They won't always be there.  It is better to have memories than regrets.

And as for my crazy sister, Penny... maybe she isn't so crazy after all.  She learned a long time ago that life is too short to not have fun.

Keep on keepin' on Sister!  Love you!

#RoadTrip,#NeverTooOldToHaveFun, #NeverMixVodkaShotsAndMargaritas

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

#BookBlitz & #Giveaway - Veiled Waters by H.G. Lynch

Veiled Waters
H.G. Lynch
(Unfortunate Blood, #5)
Publication date: July 24th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
They’ve faced ghosts, fought witches, and escaped the clutches of a lunatic cult…but this may be their most difficult enemy yet.
The new girl. One girl with the power to take Reid’s eye away from Ember, the power to break friendships, the power to destroy relationships.
And to top it off? Something is drowning students in the local lake.
Previous books in the series:
A sudden, familiar voice yelling his name from some great distance jerked him awake and he gasped. All he saw at first was endless, impenetrable blackness, but only for a second before his eyes adjusted and he was staring at the ceiling past Ricky’s concerned face. The younger boy’s eyes glowed blue-green in the darkness.
Slowly, Reid realized his heart was pounding on his ribs, he was gasping, and his hand was clenched tightly around Ricky’s wrist, so tightly he could feel it as a tiny bone snapped under his fingers. Ricky hissed in pain, but didn’t try to pull away, his mouth tight but his eyes gentle. With a shudder, Reid pulled his hand back to himself, and stared at Ricky with ghosts behind his eyes.
“Sorry,” he muttered apologetically, his voice hoarse. Had he been screaming in his sleep again? Most likely. No wonder Ricky had woken him. This was getting beyond ridiculous.
Ricky just nodded, rubbing his wrist as it healed swiftly and neatly. He was examining Reid carefully, kneeling on the floor by his bed. There was deep, serious worry in his face that Reid could read effortlessly in the dark. Not wanting to see it, Reid turned and glared at the useless dream-catcher on his wall. It hung there innocuously, the glass beads shining and the feathers still and pale against the dark wall.
“I guess I was right the first time; Feathers and beads do jack all to help nightmares,” he said shakily.
With a sigh, Ricky retreated back to his own bed and sat there, gazing evenly at Reid, who shifted uncomfortably. He noticed then that he was drenched in sweat and it was sending chills down his spine. His light hair clung to his forehead and ears, and his hands trembled on the mattress. He clutched the bed sheets to hide the shaking.
“They’re getting worse, aren’t they?” Ricky asked plainly, leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees.
Not meeting his gaze, Reid nodded, running a hand through his messy, damp hair.
“There has to be something that would help. We could get you drugs, or Ember could make a potion I’m sure. We must have a recipe in one of the grimoires.Ember would have the power—”
“No,” Reid protested bluntly. The thought of Ricky going to Ember and asking her to make a sleeping potion or elixir to banish nightmares…her surprise and confusion, her hurt when Ricky explained what it was for…No.
Ricky started, frowning. “But why? It’s not like it’d put her out to do it. I’m sure she’d do anything to help you.” he insisted.
Reid just turned away, looked out the window as he got to his feet. He put his back to Ricky as he yanked his damp t-shirt over his head and tossed it onto his bed.
“Unless…” Ricky said slowly, and Reid could practically hear the gears turning in the boy’s head. “Unless she doesn’t know about this yet…”

Author Bio:
H.G. Lynch is a Paranormal Romance author from Scotland. She is an avid reader, and cat-lover. She spends most of her days writing, while wrestling her cat off her laptop. She loves horse-riding, Star Trek, and snow.
Her books are dark paranormal romances.


Monday, July 23, 2018

Book Review - Wanted & Wired by Vivien Jackson

Title: Wanted & Wired 
Author: Vivien Jackson
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance 
Publisher: Sourcebook Casablanca
Release Date: April 4, 2017

About the Book:
An Amazon Best Book of 2017 and Romance Writers of America® RITA® Finalist! "Raw. Smart. Quick-witted. Mouthwatering. Just a few adjectives that describe this exquisite tale. Do not let this unforgettable story, or its incredible cast of characters, slip by you." --DARYNDA JONES, New York Times bestselling author

A rip-roarin', sexy new sci-fi romance series with the perfect balance of humor, heat, and heart. Now that Texas has seceded and the world is spiraling into chaos, good guys come in unlikely packages and love grows in the most inconvenient places...

Rogue scientist * technologically enhanced * deliciously attractive
Heron Farad should be dead. But technology has made him the man he is today. Now he heads a crew of uniquely skilled outsiders who fight to salvage what's left of humanity: art, artifacts, books, ideas -- sometimes even people. People like Mari Vallejo. 

Gun for hire * Texan rebel * always hits her mark
Mari has been lusting after her mysterious handler for months. But when a by-the-book hit goes horribly sideways, she and Heron land on the universal most wanted list. Someone set them up. Desperate and on the run, they must trust each other to survive, while hiding devastating secrets. As their explosive chemistry heats up, it's the perfect storm...

Wanted and Wired Series:
Wanted and Wired (Book 1)
Perfect Gravity (Book 2)

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:
I'm not generally much of a Sci-Fi fan, but the fact that WANTED & WIRED was a Romance Writers of America RITA finalist had me intrigued enough to want to read it.  So glad I did!

Such well-developed and fabulous characters!  Although they are partners, Mari and Heron, are an unlikely pair.  The heat between these two, however, simply had to come to light!  I mean, this was sizzling heat.  The knock-your-socks-off intense lust that leaves you breathless!  And a very creative and interesting story line to boot!

Vivien Jackson created a technologically advanced world with mech-clones, nanocritters and a whole lot of cyber awesomeness!  And action.  Lots and lots of action!  (Gosh, I just realized that I've used an awful lot of exclamation marks in this review.  Can't help it though.  The book is just too exciting!)

Highly recommend this one to anyone into Science Fiction... and even to people like me who are not into it.

My Rating:

About the Author:
Vivien Jackson writes fantastical, futuristic, down-home salacious kissery. A devoted Whovian Browncoat Sindarin Jedi gamer, she has a degree in English, which just means she's read gobs of stuff in that language. With her similarly geeky partner, children, and hairy little pets, she lives in Austin, Texas, and watches a lot of football. 

Her debut science fiction romance, WANTED AND WIRED, was a Romance Writers of America® RITA® Finalist and an Amazon Best Romance of 2017.

You can find her @Vivien_Jackson or on the web at

If you would like to meet Vivien Jackson in person, she will be at the book signing at Coastal Magic 2019 in Daytona Beach.  For more information go to  #CMCon19

#VivienJackson, #Wanted&Wired

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Book Review on Audible - The Power of Body Language by Joe Navarro

Title: The Power of Body Language
Author: Joe Navarro
Genre: Self Help
Publisher: Nightengale-Conant
Release Date: October 14, 2014

About the Book:
Instantly discover what's really going on around you!
Know the truth before you ever hear a word!
Approximately 80% of communication is expressed nonverbally. When you know how to unlock the secrets of people's nonverbal cues, you'll always have the upper hand in any situation.
In The Power of Body Language, former FBI counterintelligence officer and recognized global expert on nonverbal behavior Joe Navarro teaches you how to "speed-read" people: decode sentiments and behaviors, avoid hidden pitfalls, and look for revealing behaviors. You will discover:
  • How the subconscious limbic system drives all body language.
  • Why the face is the least likely place to gauge a person's true feelings.
  • What thumbs, feet, and a simple handshake reveal about moods and motives.
  • The most powerful behaviors that reveal our confidence and true sentiments.
  • Simple nonverbals that instantly establish trust and communicate authority.
  • Why things taught about nonverbals in the '70s and '80s are incorrect.
  • And more!
Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:
The Power of Body Language is written and narrated by Joe Navarro, a former FBI counter-intelligence officer and expert on non-verbal communication.  Sounds fascinating, doesn't it?  Actually, this audible book was somewhat interesting but quite drawn out.  I imagine it would be much more interesting to attend a lecture by Mr. Navarro and listen to him in person.  I did pick up a few interesting facts about reading body language, but this seems to be very basic information starting with an explanation of how the brain works and then he proceeds to discuss body language starting with the feet and working our way up the human body.  Many bits of information are repeated and not much seems to be conclusive.  

When Joe Navarro stated that couples whose feet didn't touch at night were not content with each other (anyway I think that's what he said), it kind of got to me.  I love my husband but he has poor circulation and his feet are icy cold.  No way will I allow his feet to touch me at night!

I did find the foreign customs interesting.  Not everyone worldwide greets people the same way and what may be considered normal here in the U.S. may be rude behavior elsewhere.  Like I said, there were some interesting facts and I'm glad I listened to this Audible book, but I doubt I would recommend it unless someone wants a good basic start to reading body language and plans to study this subject further.

#BookReview, #ThePowerOfBodyLanguage, #WatchingYouClosely

My Rating:

About the Author:

For 25 years, Joe Navarro worked as an FBI special agent in the area of counterintelligence and behavioral assessment. Today he is one of the world’s leading experts on nonverbal communications and lectures and consults with major corporations worldwide. He is an adjunct professor at Saint Leo University and frequently lectures at the Harvard Business School.

He has appeared on major U.S. and International media outlets including CNN International, Fox News, BBC, The Times (UK), Crossfire with Chris Matthews, CBS, NBC, NPR Radio, The Washington Post, and The Times (UK), on topics as varied as body language and management practices. 

Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul called him “a world class observer” and David Givens praised him as “a master of reading nonverbals.” Joe is a frequent presenter and Keynote speaker as well as writer; his articles have been featured in Psychology Today and The Washington Post.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Book Blitz & Giveaway - A Pilgrimage to Death by Alexa Padgett

A Pilgrimage to Death
Alexa Padgett
Publication date: August 14th 2018
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
They murdered her sister. They threatened her church. But their day of reckoning will cost her everything…
When Cici Gurule finds the dead body of a parishioner in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, she’s horrified to realize the victim bears the same stab wounds that ended her twin sister’s life one year earlier.
Now, as a freewheeling, progressive reverend who’ll stop at nothing to protect her flock, she’ll need to join forces with her detective friend and loyal pair of Great Pyrenees to hunt down the killer before she’s forced to officiate another funeral.
Soon, however, Cici discovers her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation, and her death was no random act of violence. With the criminals out for Cici’s blood, she needs to catch the wolf by the tail…before it goes in for the kill.
Fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Stacy Claflin will love Alexa’s Padgett’s new edge-of-your-seat novel! Scroll up and click to start this fast-paced, high-octane mystery thriller!
Are you a book bloggers?
Request a review copy here!
Sam brought his chair down with a soft thump as it hit the patio paver but he didn’t say anything for another long moment.
“Anna Carmen was my best friend. She helped me through a hard time—she helped me see what I couldn’t then.”
Cici’s lip trembled as she lifted her teacup. “I miss her, too. So much. Yesterday . . . it all came bubbling back up.”
Sam’s hand settled on Cici’s shoulder in that gesture of comfort she’d come to depend on.
“I know you do. And, yeah, I figured it would.”
Jaycee sidled up to their table and settled Sam’s large glass of iced tea on the table. Condensation formed on the glass, dripping down to wet the white napkin beneath it.
“I thought of something,” the girl said.
Both Cici and Sam turned their faces up to the teenager.
“Mr. Johnson told me one time he was meeting someone about a case.” Her brow wrinkled for a moment before she shrugged. “Does that help?”
Sam tugged at his short ponytail. “Maybe. Thanks, Jaycee.”
“Sure.” The girl skittered off to greet some new patrons.
“You think you know what the case is, don’t you?” Cici asked, pouring more tea into her cup.

Author Bio:
With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.
Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.
She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.


Friday, July 13, 2018

#BookBlitz & #Giveaway - The Dociles by Valerie Puri

The Dociles
Valerie Puri
Publication date: July 12th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Walls are meant to keep the monsters out…
Deep in the forest there is a wall where no wall should be. Behind it live the people of the Commune, the last remnant of human kind.
Jennie Caraway has lived behind the wall her entire life, certain that it protects her and her brother from the lemerons, ravenous undead monsters whose only desire is to kill – and feed.
Jennie’s peaceful existence is shattered when she uncovers a secret organization whose purpose threatens to destroy not only Jennie, but her entire world. The Order has a deadly mission, and they will stop at nothing to see it completed.
Jennie and those closest to her must expose the evil truth before they are killed – or worse.
The ranger had feared he might risk encountering a lemeron that night; anyone who came too close to one rarely lived to tell the tale. The torrential rains and the intense darkness had made it nearly impossible for him to see. As he ventured through the blackness, finding his way with his outstretched hands, he couldn’t shake the feeling something bad was about to happen.
That’s when the lightning began, giving him intermittent visibility. He saw the skeletal figure stagger forward becoming visible through the heavy rain. The blotchy-grey flesh of the lemeron sagged from its bones and hung like ill-fitting clothing. It released a guttural moan causing the ranger to go rigid.
When he saw the lemeron approaching him, the ranger turned and hurried in a new direction, one perpendicular to his previous course. After putting some distance between himself and the monster, the ranger took care to disguise himself in the underbrush growing beneath a tall tree. He gazed in the direction he had just come from to see if the lemeron followed him. The loud pounding of his heart in his ears made him aware of its rapid pace. He tried to slow his heart rate if only to hear better, but it was to no avail.
He was startled by a crack behind him, the sound of a stick breaking underfoot. His fear turned to terror as he felt a boney hand seize his left arm. As the ranger spun around, the firm grip tightened, and sharp fingernails pierced his skin. The blood drained from his face at the sight. He was staring into the grey, sagging face of a lemeron.
He struggled and tried to pull away from the monster, but the action only made it clench tighter, its fingernails digging deeper and deeper into his arm. The cloudy, yellow eyes of the lemeron were wide and hungry. Its green lips parted, exposing blackened teeth. It lunged at him with its fully bared teeth.
The ranger was certain he would die in that moment. He frantically grabbed for the dagger hanging from his belt, his trembling fingers wrapped around the cold handle. He drew the blade from its sheath and instinctively swung it upward. His attack cut diagonally through the lemeron’s chest, sending it stumbling backward, but it was not enough for the monster to release him. Brown, congealed blood oozed from the rotting flesh. The ranger raised his dagger high above his head, and with all his strength, brought the blade down. His aim was good, and the small blade sliced through the monster’s wrist, severing the hand, thus releasing the ranger from its grasp. A crackling groan escaped from its throat, not from pain – lemerons feel no pain – but from anger.
The ranger ran mindlessly through the darkness, stumbling over the tangle of slippery roots covering the forest floor. He had to put as much distance between himself and the lemeron as possible. He smashed into a tree, not noticing it was in his path. Searing pain exploded through his left shoulder, and a rush of warm liquid ran down his arm. It must be my blood, he thought. His arm felt like it was on fire, but he could not stop to tend to it. He could hear the beast crashing through the underbrush behind him.
His head pounded, his heart raced, adrenalin surged through his veins, and his muscles begged him to stop running. Suddenly he slammed into something massive. The force of the impact knocked him on his back and the air rushed from his lungs. Dazed, he lay on the soaked ground while the freezing raindrops battered his face. He remained horizontal and motionless until he was able to recover his breath and regain control of his limbs.
The ranger stood up and reached his hand out in front of him to feel what had stopped him. The oppressive night was growing ever darker as the storm raged; he could barely see his hand in front of his face. He touched something smooth and hard – it felt like stone. Lightning ripped across the sky in a spider web of brilliant streaks. In the prolonged flash, the ranger saw a stone wall extending as far as he could see in either direction.
He was trapped. His only options were to go backward or to go forward. Behind him was the lemeron, and in front of him was a wall four times the height of a man. Frantically, he felt the surface with his hands and discovered crevices large enough to use as footholds where the large stones met. Quickly making his decision, he climbed the wall not knowing what he would find on the other side.

Author Bio:
Valerie Puri has always had a lifelong interest in all forms of artistic expression. She has tried her hand at many things, yet she always found her way back to reading and writing. With inspiration everywhere, she finally put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard) with the intent of publishing her stories.
Writing has always come naturally to Valerie, and for a time she even worked as a technical writer. She continues to hone her skills by having at least one writing project in the works at any given time. Her true passion lies in the freedom that comes with writing the stories that pour from her imagination and real life inspiration.
Valerie believes that the experiences we have in life are just stories waiting to be written.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

#BookBlitz & #Giveaway - Blood & Magic by Danielle Annett

Blood & Magic Volume 1
Danielle Annett
(Blood & Magic #1 & 2)
Publication date: June 28th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
A pyrokinetic, a dangerous new enemy, an imminent war.
Mercenary Aria Naveed is going to have her hands full.
Throw in a shifter or two and sh** is about to get serious!
Grab Blood and Magic Volume One. Books one and two in the exciting new urban fantasy series by USA Today Bestselling author Danielle Annett
What’s inside
Blood is going to spill …
I just hope it won’t be mine.
After two weeks of searching, I found the seven-year-old I’d been hired to find too late. His body broken and discarded. Dead.
My boss doesn’t want me to hunt down his killers. It’s too dangerous.
But the Pacific Northwest Pack steps in, hiring me to bring the bastards to justice.
Turns out the kid was half shifter. And shifters don’t abandon their own.
In a search that takes me through the maze of shifter hierarchy and the depths of the paranormal underworld, these killers underestimate how determined I am to mete out their punishment. Vigilante justice is the only kind these people understand.
Yes, blood will spill. And I’m determined it will be theirs.
New Rule: If it has sharp teeth, don’t trust it.
Getting bit hurts like hell.
As Friend of the Pack, I should be untouchable, protected by the most influential group in the Pacific Northwest. But someone is unleashing rogue vampires to hunt me down, and I’m determined to find out why.
But on my hunt for answers, the unimaginable happens. Bound to one of the most influential power players, I must tread carefully.
Paranormal politics are at play.
And I refuse to be anyone’s puppet.
If you like C.N. Crawford, K.F. Breene, Dannika Dark, and Ilona Andrews, you will LOVE the Blood and Magic series. Click BUY NOW to jump into the Aria’s adventure TODAY!
“Breakneck pacing, a strong fierce heroine, and a twist at every corner.” — CHERRY ADAIR, New York Times Bestselling Author
“I personally am a Kate Daniels fan, and I loved this series.” — Amazon Reviewer
Mike noisily cleared his throat, “UH, hey, Ari…”
“God, I hope whoever they send isn’t a complete moron. If I’m going to be stuck with a Pack partner, the least they can do is give me someone competent.”
Mike noisily cleared his throat again.
“What?” I looked up from my desk and scowled at the tall man standing just inside the office, casually leaning against the doorframe. He had tousled brown hair and steely gray eyes. High cheekbones and a strong jaw formed his face and a hint of stubble dusted his jawline. It was not enough to appear unkempt, but just enough to give a roguish impression. Dressed in black jeans, a black tee, and a black leather jacket, he oozed tall, dark, and handsome with deadly intent.
I shoved my notebook into the top drawer of my desk. Shit.
“That would be this furball right here,” James said, an arrogant grin lifting the corner of his mouth.
I let my head fall to the surface of my desk, then for good measure, I none too gently knocked my forehead on its smooth surface, one, two, three times. Dammit, I couldn’t believe I’d just called him a freaking furball!
My cheeks warmed, and I heat crept up my neck.
On the upside, at least my partner was someone I actually knew and trusted to watch my back.
“You all done with the show?” he asked. I lifted my head and glared at him, then dropped my head to the desktop once more before sitting up and rubbing the sting away.
“Yeah, I’m done.” This wasn’t going to be as bad as I’d expected. James Shields was a wolf and having him as my partner was going to make this gig a lot more tolerable than I’d expected.
“So you’re my partner?”
James nodded. “Yeah, I’m your partner.” He sauntered into the room, his eyes scanning the articles pinned to the exposed brick walls. “Think you can play nice for once?”
“Hey!” I admonished. “I’m always nice to you.”
He snorted and wandered farther into the room, his gaze now locked on mine.
He moved with a confident and carefree grace.
If he weren’t the closest thing I had to a best friend, I’d be drooling like the rest of society when he walked into a room.
“Sure, you are. You ready to get reckless?” His lips curved to one side, and his eyes pulled me out of my seat.
I smiled. He knew me all too well.
I grabbed my messenger bag and followed James out of the office, aware of Mike’s disapproving gaze following my every step.

Author Bio:
Danielle Annett is an Author, Designer, Photographer, Mommy, Wife, and everything in between. She's often told she wears too many hats. But she wouldn't have it any other way.
You can learn more about Danielle on her website at or follow her on facebook at and on twitter @Danielle_Annett
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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Book Review - The Beauty Bride (The Jewels of Kinfairlie) Book 1 by Claire Delacroix

Title: The Beauty Bride (The Jewels of Kinfairlie) Book 1
Author: Claire Delacroix
Genre: Historical Romance 
Publisher: Deborah A. Cooke
Release Date: November 8, 2014

About the Book:
More cherished than gold are the Jewels of Kinfairlie, and only the worthiest may fight for their love...The Laird of Kinfairlie has unmarried sisters, each a gem in her own right. And he has no choice but to see them all wed in haste.

Lady Madeline’s heart is not for sale...especially not to a notorious outlaw like Rhys FitzHenry. Yet Madeline’s hand has been sold, to none other than this battle-weary warrior with a price on his head. A more dutiful maiden might cede to the Laird’s command and meekly accept her fate, but Madeline has never been obedient. She decides to run away, though she never dreams that Rhys will pursue her. She does not expect this taciturn man to woo her with fanciful stories, much less that each of his enthralling tales will reveal a scar upon his shielded soul. She never imagines that a man like Rhys could imperil her own heart while revealing so little of his own feelings. When Rhys’s past threatens his future, Madeline takes a leap of faith. She dares to believe him innocent
— and risks her own life to pursue a passion more priceless than the rarest gem.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

I switched back and forth between the ebook and the Audible version of this story. The narrator in the Audible version was so incredibly good, I must say that I did more listening than reading, finding myself totally absorbed in Scotland and Wales in the 1400's. 

When Alexander, the newly made Laird of Kinfairlie, realizes that the funds in his realm are so low that he soon may not be able to feed those in his keep, he tries to convince his sisters to marry. But alas, the younger sisters would not marry until Madeline, the oldest of the sisters, weds. Her heart, however, belongs to James who is believed to have died five years ago.  Alexander cannot convince her to take a husband, so he does the unthinkable.  He auctions off Madeline's hand in marriage to the highest bidder, much to the surprise of Madeline. Things go from bad to worse when Madeline is purchased by none other than the notorious Rhys Fitzhenry. This is when the action starts! From runaway bride to hot kisses!

These characters were great! Madeline is spirited and strong, and Rhys is determined to make her his wife. There is action, romance, more action and more romance.  Loved it!  I can't wait to read more in this series about the other sisters.    

#BookReview, #TheBeautyBride

My Rating:

About the Author:

NYT bestselling author Claire Delacroix always loved stories, both telling them and hearing them. She sold her first romance novel - ROMANCE OF THE ROSE - in 1992 and has published over fifty romance novels since. She writes in a variety of subgenres, including time travel romance, historical romance, medieval romance, fantasy romance and fantasy with romantic elements. She has also written under the names Claire Cross and Deborah Cooke. She makes her home with her family, a number of incomplete knitting projects and a lot of overgrown houseplants. Claire loves to travel, to cook, to ride her bike and to read.

Claire is currently writing The Brides of Inverfyre series of medieval Scottish romances. She loves writing linked books and here they are in order:

The Bride Quest series of medieval romances:
1. The Princess - her first USAT bestseller
2. The Damsel - a USAT bestseller
3. The Heiress - a USAT bestseller
4. The Countess - a USAT bestseller
5. The Beauty - a USAT and NYT bestseller
6. The Temptress

The Rogues of Ravensmuir trilogy of medieval Scottish romances:
1. The Rogue
2. The Scoundrel
3. The Warrior

The Jewels of Kinfairlie series of medieval Scottish romances tells the stories of the next generation after the Rogues of Ravensmuir:
1. The Beauty Bride
2. The Rose Red Bride
3. The Snow White Bride
4. The Ballad of Rosamunde

The True Love Brides series continues with the family introduced in the Jewels of Kinfairlie. There are eight siblings all together, and these are the next four:
1. The Renegade's Heart
2. The Highlander's Curse
3. The Frost Maiden's Kiss
4. The Warrior's Prize

The Brides of Inverfyre series will include the story of the last sibling from Kinfairlie (Ross) as well as those of the children of the Hawk and Aileen (from The Warrior):
1. The Mercenary's Bride
2. The Runaway Bride (October 2018)

The Champions of St. Euphemia is a medieval romance series that has no connection to Ravensmuir, Kinfairlie or Inverfyre. It follows a group of knights from Jerusalem to Scotland and should be read in order:
1. The Crusader's Bride
2. The Crusader's Heart
3. The Crusader's Kiss
4. The Crusader's Vow
5. The Crusader's Handfast

Claire also published four stand-alone time travel or paranormal romances under the name Claire Cross. These have been republished as Claire Delacroix titles:
1. Once Upon a Kiss
2. The Last Highlander
3. The Moonstone
4. Love Potion #9

Claire has a Regency romance series in progress called The Brides of North Barrows:
1. Something Wicked This Way Comes (in the anthology Spellbound and on its own)
2. A Duke by Any Other Name (in the anthology Charmed at Christmas)

Claire also writes paranormal and contemporary romance as Deborah Cooke.

Visit Claire's website at:

The Novel Lady Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon