Saturday, September 22, 2018

Book #Review ~ Soulfire (Nightwing, Book #1) by Juliette Cross ~ #Dragons #Romance

Soulfire by Juliette Cross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

About the Book:

Revised & updated with multiple new scenes.

In a world divided by prejudice and hatred, only love can bridge the chasm.

Tensions are rising in the Gladium Province. The boundary between humans and Morgons has begun to blur. While the human aristocracy strives to maintain distance between their daughters and the dragon-hybrid race, fate has other plans.

As the daughter of the corporate king, Jessen Cade is duty-bound to honor her arranged marriage to a man she detests. Feeling trapped by family duty and a loveless future, she longs for more, straying to the Morgon side of the city.

Lucius Nightwing is the eldest son of the powerful Morgon clan, and the greatest enemy of Jessen’s father. When a bar-room brawl thrusts Jessen into his arms, his dragon roars to the surface, craving to sate his carnal hunger in the brown-eyed beauty. The beast in Lucius recognizes her as his own, even if the man refuses to admit the truth.
My Review:

Jessen (Jess) Cade and Lucius Nightwing are on opposing sides of the conflict between humans and Morgons. Jess is part of the human aristocracy with a controlling, manipulative father, a brother walking in his footsteps, and a mouse of a mother. She only hopes her young sister gets through unscathed. Forbidden from any communication, Jess rebels and ends up in a nightclub filled with Morgons to watch a friend’s band. When all hell breaks loose, at the hands of Jess’s brother and his best friend, Jess finds herself in the protective, and sexy, arms of Lucius Nightwing.

What blooms is a romance that neither expected and Lucius tries to deny. Only – his dragon will have none of that denial. Jess belongs to him! Loyalty is tested, decisions are forced upon Jess, and those that claim to love her do some horrible things. Jess truly learns who the real monsters are, and it’s not the dragons.

Once I began this book I was hooked. I devoured it in one sitting. The story is engaging, and the characters are wonderful. I enjoyed the interactions between Jess and Lucius and loved Ella and Sorcha. Soulfire is a riveting, fast paced story told with passion. I love Juliette Cross’s writing style and the way she tells stories. Soulfire is not my first experience with this author, nor will it be the last. Her ability to create paranormal stories with romance, action and a solid plot is what keeps me coming back.

To me, this story is a lesson in judgement. Humans are wary of the Morgons and vice versa but Jess’s father and his associates take it to a whole new level. They don’t mind taking from the Morgons, but all the race is to them is a way to get richer. They don’t have any use for them. Jess, after meeting Lucius, see a side to the Morgons that the human aristocracy refused to see. For that, Jess becomes more open minded, infuriating her father. Then he does the unthinkable (you’ll have to read the book to find out what that is). Humans tend to judge others either because of upbringing, one bad situation, peer pressure, or whatever reason/excuse. We refuse to see that everyone is worthy of love, attention, and the right to live happily, regardless of who they are or where they came from. I may be reading into this book too much, but I see this book as one of hope. Jess and others have the ability to change the way humans think about Morgons and sometimes that goodness is infectious – making their world a much better place, one couple at a time.

**I did not have a chance to read the first edition of this book.

I was provided a copy to read. My review and opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

Release Blitz & #Giveaway ~ Finding Family (Salty Key Inn Series, Book 4) by Judith Keim ~ Women’s Fiction ~ @judithkeim @RABTBookTours

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Finding Family
Salty Key Inn Series, Book 4
Judith Keim
Women’s Fiction
Date Published: September 22, 2018
Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing

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About the Book:

Sheena Sullivan Morelli and her sisters, Darcy and Regan, work to complete their Uncle Gavin’s challenge of turning his rundown hotel into a profitable operation within one year. Winning means earning a share in their uncle’s sizable estate. More than that, it determines how they’ll spend the rest of their lives. Sheena wants to stay on at the hotel, overseeing the hotel operation. But Darcy and Regan want to move on with their lives—Darcy writing a novel and Regan going into the interior decorating business with Mo. But life has other plans for them. And in the end, all three realize that the only thing that really matters is finding—and keeping—family.

Read an Excerpt:



Sheena Sullivan Morelli stood outside Gavin’s, the new restaurant at the Salty Key Inn on the Gulf Coast of Florida, feeling as festive as the mini-lights wound around the trunks of the palm trees that softened the outline of the building. She was dressed in her finest on this unusually warm, mid-December night, and the tropical Gulf breezes felt good as they caressed her skin.

From among the hibiscus planted around the perimeter of the restaurant, lights twinkled like the stars in the inky sky above and lent a sense of peace to the area. That, and the fact that Petey, the pesky peacock Rocky Gatto had rescued and brought to the hotel, had decided not to bother with this celebration and was hanging out down by the bay.

“Let’s make this an evening to remember!” said Sheena, giving her younger sisters, Darcy and Regan, an encouraging smile.

Named after their uncle, the restaurant would, they hoped, bring in enough revenue for them to be considered successful in meeting the terms of his will. With less than a month before their final meeting with Gavin’s estate lawyer in Boston, they were trying their best to prove to him that they had succeeded in beating the challenge of turning his rundown hotel into a profitable operation within one year. Winning meant they would inherit Gavin’s sizable estate along with the hotel. More than that, it would determine how they’d spend the rest of their lives.

Sheena brushed an imaginary crumb off her blue linen dress and studied her sisters. Darcy was wearing a green sheath that offset her red curls nicely. And Regan, beautiful as ever, even with the scar on her face she couldn’t quite hide, had chosen a violet, flowy dress that matched her striking eyes. Funny, Sheena thought, how she hadn’t really known her sisters until the three of them had been forced to live and work together at the hotel. And when Regan and Brian Harwood, now her fiancé, were in a serious motorcycle accident a few months ago, frightening everyone, they’d become even closer.

“I hope everyone likes what they see,” Regan said. “Mo and I did our best decorating the interior with the budget we had.”

“Don’t worry. It’s gorgeous,” said Darcy, giving Regan an impish nudge with her elbow.

“The restaurant is stunning,” said Sheena, “and the food is great. We were lucky to get Graham Howard as our chef.” She turned as a stream of people headed their way from the parking lot, which was filling up fast.

“Here we go! Make it good,” said Sheena softly, prompting Darcy and Regan to roll their eyes at the big-sister moment Sheena couldn’t help.

They’d invited county commissioners, members of nearby city and town councils, other government officials, news people, owners and managers of other hotels in the area, and even the governor of Florida to join them for this grand opening. It had been a bold move on their part, but it had already paid off in publicity, even though the governor and some county commissioners had politely declined. The fact that Darcy had been writing a column for a local newspaper helped them. She was acquainted with the ins and outs of generating publicity and had invited several writers of local social columns, travel bloggers, and magazines.

 Sheena was soon swept up greeting people and ushering them inside to enjoy drinks and to taste the delicious-looking food displayed in the bar and on a long buffet in the dining room.

The dark wood paneling on the walls of the main dining room supplied a rich background for the brass and crystal wall sconces that spread a soft glow along the room’s edges. Crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling, casting their own warm light. White linen cloths covered the tabletops, which were set with sparkling wine goblets and silverware that reflected the light from the chandeliers and sconces. Flickering battery candles sat among tasteful, holiday greenery, adding a pine perfume to the mouth-watering aroma of the hors d’oeuvres being passed by staff.

Upstairs, the large function room held another bar and more food to sample, drawing people through the entire restaurant. A buzz of conversation enhanced the sense of excitement. The crowd was a pleasing mixture of people who, hopefully, would be a source of future business.

Kenneth Cochran, better known as Casey, was a Cornell Hotel School grad and manager of the restaurant. Tall and thin, he was a natural at his job with his ever-present smile and alert blue eyes. Tonight, he seemed to be everywhere, overseeing staff, and greeting people. Sheena observed him with satisfaction as guests responded to his attention. If she and her sisters won the challenge, they hoped to hire Casey as the hotel manager to help Sheena, who would remain an active overseer of the property.

Sheena looked up as her husband, Tony, appeared with their two children. Tears stung her eyes when she noticed the effort Michael, at eighteen, and Meaghan, at fifteen, had put into their appearance. After initially being against her plan to come to Florida, they now embraced their new lives and were proud of all she was doing.

“Hi, Mom,” said Michael. His brown eyes, so like Tony’s, sparkled. “Okay if I help myself to some of the food?”

She laughed at the typical, teenage hunger of a still-growing, young man. “Of course.   Enjoy.”

“You look pretty, Mom,” Meaghan said. “Thanks for letting me wear your necklace. It’s great with my new holiday dress.” She twirled in front of Sheena. Her auburn hair, like Sheena’s, swung above her shoulders and brought out the hazel in her eyes.

“You look pretty, too, sweetheart,” Sheena said. Her little girl was growing into a beautiful young woman.

Tony gave her a smile that warmed her heart. His smile had been one of the reasons their marriage had been prompted by the unexpected creation of Michael all those years ago. And though they’d always loved each other, their relationship had grown even stronger during their time in Florida.

He kissed her. “See you later. I’m going to mix with the crowd a little. Brian and I are hoping to pick up some new business.”

She gave him a heartfelt smile. Following Brian Harwood’s motorcycle accident with Regan, Tony had agreed to become a partner in Brian’s construction company and was now settled into his new life in Florida. As Tony walked away, Sheena noticed Blackie Gatto headed in her direction.

Blackie was Uncle Gavin’s financial advisor and a great supporter of her and her sisters as they attempted to do as their uncle wished by transforming what had been a small, run-down, family hotel into the upscale, full-service resort property he’d envisioned.

“Welcome to Gavin’s,” Sheena said to him, giving him a quick hug. “I’m so glad you could make it.”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” he replied, lifting her hand, and kissing it in a gallant gesture. He indicated their surroundings with a sweep of his arm. “I think Gavin would be very pleased with this.”

“We hope it brings in enough new business and revenue for us to complete our challenge here the Salty Key Inn.”

He nodded and settled his gaze on her. “I hope so, too. The downside of borrowing the money from Gavin’s estate to complete the restaurant could be difficult for you and your sisters if you fail.”

Sheena’s stomach curled inside her, but she didn’t want Blackie to see how worried she was. For the sake of her sisters and her family, she had to remain upbeat. With only a few weeks remaining to accomplish everything they had left to do, self-doubt could ruin them.

Purchase Links:

Other Books in the Salty Key Inn Series:

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Finding Me
Salty Key Inn Series, Book 1

Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing

Published: February 2017

About the Book:

Sheena Sullivan Morelli and her sisters, Darcy and Regan, receive the unexpected news that their Uncle Gavin Sullivan, the black sheep of the family, has left them a hotel on the Gulf coast of Florida. The gift comes with a twist. They must live together for one year at the hotel and prepare the hotel to receive guests within a year. Sheena, eager to escape her role of unappreciated wife and mother, can’t wait for the opportunity to find herself. Dreams of sitting on the beach sipping margaritas are shattered when they see the property in need of renovation. But they begin their work of meeting the challenge. If they succeed, the bulk of Gavin’s estate will be theirs. Facing the unexpected, working together, the three sisters learn a lot about each other and the gift of family love.

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Finding My Way book twoFinding My Way
Salty Key Inn Series, Book 2

Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing

Published: June 2017

About the Book:

Darcy Sullivan and her two sisters continue to work hard at the Salty Key Inn, the small, Florida hotel they unexpectedly inherited. In order to inherit the rest of Uncle Gavin’s sizeable estate, they must meet his challenge to open the neglected hotel by the end of the year. Darcy figures once they meet the challenge, she’ll take off, travel the world, and maybe, just maybe, begin writing the world’s best novel. When she meets Nick Howard, an older man who is a reporter for the local newspaper and takes over his weekly column, her life changes. Under his tutelage, she writes about local residents, learning to see people in a different way—especially after meeting a cousin no one knew about. Her joy at having the part-time job that’s always been her dream is shattered when she learns Nick is dying. For support, she turns to Austin Blakely, whose grandmother is terminally ill, and through their growing relationship, comes to understand what true love is.

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Finding Love
Salty Key Inn Series, Book 3

Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing

Published: February 2018

About the Book:

As Regan Sullivan continues to work with her sisters, Sheena and Darcy, to meet their Uncle Gavin’s challenge to make the Salty Key Inn a success, she wonders why she can never find the man of her dreams. Her sisters are happily settled with men they love. Why can’t she do the same? When she’s involved in a motorcycle accident with Brian Harwood, Regan learns to think differently about both her appearance and herself. And as she deals with her injuries and helps Brian recover from the accident she feels guilty about causing, Regan discovers that the love she’s always sought has been there all along.

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About the Author:

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Judith Keim was born and raised in Elmira, New York, and now makes her home in Idaho with her husband and their two dachshunds, Winston and Wally, and other members of her family.

Growing up, books were always present being read, ready to go back to the library, or about to be discovered. Information from the books was shared in general conversation, giving all of us in the family a wealth of knowledge and a lot of imagination. Perhaps that is why I was drawn to the idea of writing stories early on. I particularly love to write novels about women who face unexpected challenges and meet them with strength.

A hybrid author who both has a publisher and who self-publishes, Ms. Keim writes heart-warming stories of strong women who face challenges and find love and happiness along the way. Her books are based, in part, on many of the places she's lived or visited and on the interesting people she's met, creating believable characters and realistic settings her many, loyal readers love.

Contact Links:

Enter the Giveaway:

RABT Book Tours & PR

Friday, September 21, 2018

Series Spotlight & #Giveaway ~ The Black Ridge Wolf Pack by Lilli Carlisle ~ Paranormal Romance #PNR ~ @LilliCarlisle

The Black Ridge Wolf Pack Series
Lilli Carlisle

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Omega's Choice

The Black Ridge Wolf Pack, Book 1

About the Book:

In a realm of elves, ogres and white witches, where danger is ever-present, Princess Helena Lichtenberg lost her parents at a young age. Raised by her uncle and aunt, Helena values family above all else. Now, as decreed by tradition, it is time to select a mate.


Enormous, scarred and scary, Black Ridge Wolf Pack leader Aldric Forst has never drawn the eye of any Omega. Why would he? But, on this, the night of what he swears is his last selection celebration, everything is different. One of those most beautiful, magical and powerful women, the niece of the king and queen themselves, wants him. And Aldric has never wanted anything more in return. No force—no matter how dark, no matter how powerful—will take Helena from him. 

Ceva's Chance

The Black Ridge Wolf Pack, Book 2

About the Book:


If it hadn't been for King Leonidas, white witch Ceva would have roamed the earth alone and ostracized. She was a biological accident, and her heritage was a curse she'd carry around for all her days. Now she fights for her king and kingdom, a fierce warrior on a mission to prove she is worthy of the trust and friendship the king has afforded. When she meets Lothar, captain of the Black Ridge Wolf Pack guard, she glimpses a future she never thought possible. But once he knows her truths, he will surely reject her. 


Lothar had never met anyone like Ceva. Beautiful, fierce, protective and loyal, she would make the perfect mate for any man. Lothar wants to be that man, but Ceva remains elusive. Sure, she flirts, and they dance around each other, but Lothar wants more. When his team joins hers on a dangerous mission, he learns her secrets, which makes her more extraordinary, not the pariah she believes she is. But her past is about to catch up with her, and only his love can save them from certain death. 

Karli's Resolve

The Black Ridge Wolf Pack, Book 3


The Power of Unity 

Twenty-five years ago Karli's parents ripped her away from her home and the men she loved. An omega with gifts worthy of only the most special man, her parents refused to allow her to mate with anyone less than a powerful, wealthy alpha. But at a young age Karli had found her forever in Joseph and Rowl's arms, and she knew she could never love anyone else. After a vicious ogre attack decimated the village where her parent's had hidden her, warriors came to save the wounded pack members. Warriors led by Joseph and Rowl. 

Although she had seemed to disappear into thin air, Joseph and Rowl never stopped searching for the woman they loved. When Karli was discovered among the ruins of a small village, the fierce warrior captains couldn't believe their eyes. And once they had found her, they were never going to let her go. But dark forces were at work to separate the triad once again, and this time all their lives were on the line. 

Laura's Legacy

The Black Ridge Wolf Pack, Book 4


While Laura was attending the annual omega celebration, a ruthless ogre attack destroyed her village and wiped out her family. Heartbroken, lonely, and adrift, she was forced to rely on the kindness of the Black Ridge wolf pack alpha for a home. And so were many others, including members of the small Newton pack, and their handsome, strong alpha, Dedric. One brief interlude was all it took for Laura to know she would choose him as her mate. 

Alpha Dedric Newton couldn’t believe his good fortune. Beautiful and powerful, Laura was the omega of his dreams. Worried he had so little to offer, he insists she spend time with his small pack as they rebuild their village and homes. Laura and Dedric’s time in Newton strengthens their bond while evil works to undo all of Laura’s gifts, especially her legacy. After finding the greatest love an alpha could dream of, Dedric will do anything and everything to keep Laura safe from harm. 

Meet the Author:

Lilli Carlisle is a paralegal and author who lives in Ontario, Canada. she is a proud member of the Romance Writers of America and its chapter; the Toronto Romance Writers. More than just an author, Lilli is a dedicated people watcher, lover of romance novels and 80’s rock, who grew up with a love of reading. Lilli is a firm believer in happy endings and that love is meant to be celebrated and shared. 

These paranormal romance novels will raise your heart rate and make you believe in love. Enter this fantasy utopia and let yourself experience the anticipation of new love and endless thrills. After all, everybody needs a little romance, excitement, intrigue and passion in their lives. 

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

Book Spotlight ~ Pawned by Laura Bickle ~ YA Dark Fantasy ~ @Laura_Bickle


Laura Bickle

Genre: YA Dark Fantasy

Print Length: 345 pages

Publisher: Syrenka Publishing LLC

Publication Date: September 13, 2018


For fans of Stranger Things and the works of Neil Gaiman, Pawned is a Young Adult novel that blends dark fantasy adventure and noir — on the New Jersey boardwalk.

About the Book:

You can hock almost anything at my family’s pawn shop…even your own soul.

You think running a pawn shop full of cursed objects with your dad and grandpops is cool? Try it for a week and get back to me. Now try picking up any random object and seeing its creeptastic history play out right before your eyes — yup, that’s my little “gift.” It’s my job to sort out what’s haunted and hexed from what’s not, and do my best to keep all of us — including Bert, our ice-cream-truck-driving-lizard demon — employed.

So it wasn’t all sunshine, roses, and possessed samurai swords even before grandpops’ heart attack — but now things are garden-gnome levels of bad. Dad made a deal with the wrong end of the dark side to save grandpops’ life, putting my whole family smack dab between the forces of evil and our friendly local blow-your-pawn-shop-to-smithereens mobsters. And Lily next door…I shouldn’t even be thinking about Lily.

All I ever wanted was to get out of this crap town and away from my messed-up family, and instead it looks like I’m gonna have to use every scrap of magic in this joint or there won’t be any family left to leave behind…

Amazon    BN    Kobo    iTunes

About the Author:

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.

Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.

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Promo Blitz ~ Ezrah's Plateau: Legend of the Cemetery Witch by Jacqueline Mahan ~ #Horror #Suspense @RABTBookTours

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Ezrah's Plateau
Legend of the Cemetery Witch
Jacqueline Mahan

Horror, Suspense

Publisher: AuthorHouse

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About the Book:

One hundred thirty-nine years ago, Maggie Morton found herself at the opposing end of a campaign to have her humiliated, ostracized and eventually hanged for practicing witchcraft. She was buried in a shallow grave in the back of the local cemetery. Maggie's lonely spirit walks restless in the cemetery as she continues to search for someone to believe her story and expose the truth behind her death.

Angela Horne is coming back to Ezrah's Plateau for the first time in over a decade. The town is throwing a weekend long celebration for her great grandfather Caleb, who rid the town of evil back in 1870 and offered it a direction of hope and righteousness. During her stay, she discovers a dust covered diary, over a century old, in the attic of her grandmothers house. As Angela reads, she learns that Maggie was not a witch. She was a scapegoat. Whats worse, someone else knows she has that diary and wants it, and her, put away for good.

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About the Author:

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Jacqueline Mahan is an artist, born and raised in New York. She produces work in oil, watercolor, acrylic, and colored pencil, which are often shown and sold in exhibitions. Her artwork tends toward the beautiful and structured, specializing in portraits and still lifes, some illustrative, some painterly. As a visual arts educator, she served for more than twenty years in Nyack, NY.

Jacqueline is a writer. She grew up with an old cemetery in back of her childhood home, which may explain a few things... she loves old cemeteries! Her stories tend toward darkness and uncertainty in both the supernatural and human conditions. Good creepy stuff to keep readers turning pages and maybe...maybe allows them to see something of themselves in the stories.

Contact Links:

Purchase Links:

RABT Book Tours & PR

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Book #Review ~ It's All About the Duke (The Rakes of St. James, Book #3) by Amelia Grey #Historical

It's All About the Duke by Amelia Grey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Book:

Nearing thirty, the Duke of Rathburne is finally ready to make amends for the wager that caused him and his best friends such scandal―but taking on a ward who needs a husband is a feat he’s not sure he can manage. The last he saw of Miss Marlena Fast, she was a spirited little ruffian, not the sort of bride most bachelors on the marriage mart sought. But one glance at the lovely lady she has become is enough to convince him otherwise…

Orphaned young and shuffled from family to family, Marlena counts on her fierce independence and quick wits to keep herself content. Being the responsibility of a notoriously wicked duke who upended so many lives is an unexpected challenge when she realizes he arouses her decidedly feminine desires. Marlena must be careful. She has her own scandalous secret to protect. If he finds out, will it shatter her chances of a happily-ever-after with the notorious rake?

My Review:

The story of the Rakes of St. James wraps up nicely in this book. Secrets are divulged that tie up loose ends concerning the scandal sheet that is woven through all the books in the series. The possible exposure and the actual exposing the truth of the scandal sheet and the person behind it cause many problems with the hero and heroine of the story.

Rath is the last of the rakes to be single. Looking to undo the effects of the scandalous events of his past, he agrees to take on the ward of a friend of his father’s. Their attraction is almost instantaneous and the chemistry they have sizzles. One weird thing to me about the book is that the author paired a ward and her keeper. I would have preferred they not be in that type of situation. Marlena is a strong character and doesn’t automatically yield to Rath, though. She’s independent and has a loving heart. Anxiety abounds with Marlena, however, when she learns that she has become the ward of one of the Rakes of St. James. As the story moves along, secrets become harder to keep and threaten to destroy relationships if they are revealed.

I enjoy Amelia Grey's writing style and her historical romances are some of my favorites. Her characters in It’s All About the Duke are well written and her world building is realistic. The book is descriptive, and I was able to visualize the characters, scenery, and events as they played out. The dialogue between all characters was smooth, interesting, and enjoyable. The banter between Rath and Marlena is entertaining, and I loved every scene.

I love the way Ms. Grey can write the emotions of the characters in such a way that the reader feels them. I want to be able to feel the anguish as if I'm the person upset; I want to cry if that's what the scene calls for; I want to laugh at the silliness of the antics that are written on the page. All the books I’ve read by Amelia Grey fulfill the emotional content. This novel has a fantastic plot, excellent characters, a great story, and is full of superbly written scenes with emotional content, and believability.

I was given a paperback book to read.

View all my reviews

Read an Excerpt from A Billionaire Wolf for Christmas by Terry Spear ~ Enter the #Giveaway ~ @SourcebooksCasa @TerrySpear

About the Book:

When the wolves’ own blood betrays them, they risk their lives to find a miracle.

Wolf shifter Dr. Aidan Denali has been working day and night to find a cure for werewolves’ alarmingly sudden decline in lifespan. The key to the problem eludes him. But when Aidan grudgingly leaves his work to do some holiday shopping, he meets a remarkable she-wolf whose mysterious pack could bring him one step closer to the answer.

Dr. Holly Gray is thrilled to meet the wolf who’s been working so hard to help others. Now, it’s her turn to help him. But while their attraction is sizzling, the packs are at odds, and the danger is increasing. It’s going to take a holiday miracle for Holly and Aidan to get themselves—and their loved ones—out of this alive…

Read an Excerpt:

Holly walked out to speak to her family, and saw Jared standing at the front door, her sister still holding onto the doorknob. Holly’s heart plummeted. With their sensitive hearing, she hoped he hadn’t overheard what they’d been discussing in her bedroom. Then again, they’d been keeping their voices low so that the rest of her family couldn’t hear what she was up to and Greg had closed the bedroom door.

“I thought we could go on a wolf run together, Holly.” Jared didn’t look like the prospect thrilled him.

“Thanks, but—”

“We’re going to make snowmen.” Greg smiled as if he were a kid again and was thrilled to build one. “That’s where we were headed. Now.”

“Me too,” Marianne quickly said, casting a glance at Holly, looking to see if she would go along with it.

“Snowmen.” Jared sounded like he didn’t believe them.

Holly hoped he didn’t offer to make one with them, but she loved her younger brother and sister for playing the game.

“I’ll clean up the dishes so you can go play,” their mom said, sounding amused.

Holly grabbed her parka, gloves, hat, and scarf and set them on the back of the couch so she could put them on. She hated getting her sister involved in this too.

Marianne grabbed her tasseled hat and pulled it on her head. Then she seized her jacket and put it on. “You can make your own, Jared.”

No, no, no, he couldn’t.

“Thanks, but I’ll pass,” Jared said, his gaze shifting from Marianne to Holly. “I’ll run with you later tonight then.”

She gave him a nod, then jerked on her parka. Greg was all ready to go and moved toward the door, showing his alpha nature by trying to force Jared out of the way. Jared smiled darkly at Greg.

“Last one to make a snowman is a rotten egg,” Greg called out, racing off.

“Best one wins, not the fastest one made,” his sister said, still tying her scarf round her neck and tore off after him.

Now what? They’d take forever making three snowmen. And she’d miss meeting Aidan and his men. He’d worry, and she wouldn’t be able to call him. No doubt he’d already be on his way to the meeting place in his wolf coat.

Jared stepped out of Holly’s way, and she hurried outside.

“Later,” Jared said to Holly, and left.

He wasn’t even interested in dating her, so why the change of heart? The business with Aidan at the mall yesterday? Maybe he’d like a hug too? Never!

Holly raced after her sister and brother and found them about a quarter of a mile away, starting to build the bases of their snowmen.

“What is going on with you?” Marianne asked, shoving another handful of snow onto the base.

“We’re on a mission that you shouldn’t know about,” Greg said, slapping a snowball against his snowman.

“A mission,” Marianne said, glancing at Holly.

“To look for Nick,” Holly said.

“Well, you said that already.” Marianne tilted her chin down. “There’s more to it than that. And I want to help.”

“No.” Greg grabbed another two handfuls of snow. “It’s too dangerous.”

“If it’s too dangerous, the two of you shouldn’t be going. You know Jared will check later to see if you built your snowmen or not,” Marianne said.

Holly saw her parents headed their way. Great.

“Looks like it’s about time to tell the family what you’re up to,” Greg said.

“So, there’s more to this business of you looking for…ohmigod, you’re going to meet up with Aidan Denali, aren’t you! I want to go too,” Marianne said.

Holly thought her sister had a crush on Aidan, or maybe one of his bodyguards. “No. I didn’t want any of you to know about it.”

“Know about what?” their mother asked. To Holly’s surprise her mom and dad began to build a snowman.

“I’m meeting with Aidan and his bodyguards to search for Nick.”

Her parents stopped working on the snowman and straightened.

“I didn’t want to have to tell you because I didn’t want you to get into any trouble with the pack over it.”

“I’m going with her. I have to see this guy she’s got the hots for.” Greg smiled at her and she grabbed a wad of snow, made a snowball, and threw it at him. He dodged it, but it splatted on his shoulder.

“I’m just doing what I always do, except I’m running with them for protection,” Holly said.

“We’ll finish your snowmen. Go, take off.” Her dad smiled a little.

Her mom worked faster. “Eddie, keep adding snow.”

Holly couldn’t believe her parents would cover for her like this.

“Me too?” Marianne asked, looking hopeful.

“No, not you,” their mother quickly said. “You’re supposed to run with Joey’s family tonight. And you have to make your own snowman. No telling how long Holly’s little adventure is going to last.”

Marianne sighed, but hurried over to give Holly a hug. “Give him a kiss for me?”

“We’ll be wolves.” Holly hugged her back. Then she started heading in the direction where she would be meeting Aidan and the others.

“Just strip and shift, and we’ll take your things with us so no one finds your clothes out here,” her mother said.

Just in case anyone happened to be watching them from a long distance off, both Holly and Greg went into the woods and stripped, and then shifted.

“Be careful, the both of you,” their dad said.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Book Review ~ Wolves and Roses (Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, Book #1) by Christina Bauer

Wolves and Roses by Christina Bauer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Book:

All Bryar wants is to attend a regular high school with normal humans and forget all about shifters, fairies, witches, and the curse that Colonel Mallory the Magnificent placed on her. And she might be able to do just that--if only she can just keep her head down until her eighteenth birthday when the spell that’s ruined her life goes buh-bye.

But that plan gets turned upside down when Bryar Rose meets Knox, the bad boy who’s literally from her dreams. Knox is a powerful werewolf, and his presence in her life changes everything, and not just because he makes her knees turn into Jell-O. If Bryar can’t figure out who—or what—she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives… as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.

My Review:

Wolves and Roses is a unique young adult series based loosely on fairytales. Bryar Rose is a member of the Magicorum because of her heritage as either a shifter, fairy, or witch. The Magicorum follow templates of certain fairytales. Bryar’s just happens to be Sleeping Beauty, except she’s not the Sleeping Beauty type nor is she one to follow status quo. She just wants to be a normal human – one that doesn’t fall asleep all the time unless she uses her “special” inhaler. As she gets closer to the age of 18, though, her life becomes all topsy-turvy, she meets Knox, the hot guy from her dreams, and learns that not everything or everyone is as it seems.

I enjoyed Wolves and Roses as a book with somewhat complex themes but nothing so complicated that it became too intense. The book features twists and turns that shake things up but that’s was really made the book stand out to me. There is character development and Bryar and Knox are developed well as the story moves along. There world building was well done and I not only was able to picture the story in my head but I also felt like I was part of what was going on. I’m glad I had a chance to read this unusual paranormal novel.

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Book Spotlight & #Giveaway ~ Rebecca's Quest (Finding Magic, Book Eight) by Blair Drake ~ Paranormal Romance #PNR

Rebecca's Quest
Finding Magic
Book Eight
Blair Drake

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Magic Quest Books


Number of pages: 193
Word Count: 67,550

Cover Artist: Jennifer Zemanek/Seedlings LLC

Tagline: What would you do to find your magic?

About the Book:

Rebecca is in a nightmare. Can magic save her and those she loves?

10 quests. If one fails, all fail. And one will never return. ... Now it's Rebecca's turn.

On the eve of Rebecca Martin's eighteenth birthday, fate throws her into a mysterious and thrilling adventure. Bounced around like a pinball in a machine, where time is fluid and death does not exist, Rebecca must survive to discover her magical destiny to save her entire family and the boy she loves.

Purchase from Amazon
Read an Excerpt:

Transforming himself into Simon the cat so that he could manipulate Rebecca often exhausted his patience. Through icy blue eyes, from his position on the cold stone floor, James Simon Russell watched his granddaughter hurry down the corridor toward Professor Kell’s classroom until she was safely inside and on time. She would have been late had he not intervened.
Keeping her on the right path these past four years had been more difficult than he’d expected. So many ways a young girl could go wrong when she was away from home, as he well knew. He’d had very little sleep last night, curled up in the corner by the door just outside her room, ensuring she did not escape for any reason.
For his granddaughter, and only for her, Gray Cliffs Academy resembled a nineteenth century boarding school more than a twenty-first century one.
Using his magic, he had cloaked this world. Her experience at Gray Cliffs was different from the other students from the very first day. Nothing incongruent that actually happened here caused Rebecca to question her own experiences. She believed her Gray Cliffs experience was the same as all the others.
He’d also totally isolated her with no connection to the outside world at all. She wasn’t here to mess around online with her friends or call to chat or watch hours of television or anything else. None of that nonsense. None at all.
The purpose of Gray Cliffs was similar to all boarding schools everywhere: to prepare the students for adult life. With one important difference. Not all of the students were aware that Mortal and Magic coexisted here, as they did everywhere in the world.
Mortals were, of course, were unaware of Magic at Gray Cliffs, but the opposite was not true. Magic always knew Mortal well, and Magic students were forbidden from exposing mere mortals to any Magic activities. Penalties for violating the Laws of Magic were severe, and the Counsel of Elders rarely needed to invoke them.
Magic students entered Gray Cliffs unaware of their Magic orientation. Most students learned their true natures during their four years at the school. A few were particularly stubborn though, and refused to see themselves as they were. Those students would not graduate from Gray Cliffs’ Magic stream. They were condemned to a Mortal life.
Russell was desperate to avoid that fate for his granddaughter. Magic was strong within her. He would not allow her to throw her destiny away.
He’d conjured a daunting environment only Rebecca experienced. He’d placed the school on an isolated mountain peak surrounded by deep ravines, instead of the lovely island where Gray Cliffs was actually located. Using such Magic, he’d kept his granddaughter a virtual prisoner, under his constant surveillance since she’d arrived at Gray Cliffs. It hadn’t been easy.
Early on, she seemed to be making friends and fitting in too well. He’d handled the problem swiftly and permanently. At this point, she was miserable and afraid of her own shadow, desperate to escape. Which was exactly what he wanted.
She needed no distractions. She hadn’t been brought there to make friends. She was there to learn what she needed to know and then to leave. Nothing more and nothing less. She went nowhere and did nothing unless he allowed it.
He had made mistakes with Rebecca’s mother and her aunt all those years ago. He knew that now. He’d relied on Headmaster Auster. Auster had failed. He wouldn’t be allowed another chance to screw up with another member of his family.
Russell could not lose this time. There was too much at stake. If Rebecca chose Magic, Russell’s family could be saved. If she chose Mortal, everyone he loved would be doomed for all eternity.
He was satisfied that Rebecca’s last days at Gray Cliffs were unfolding according to the rules the elders had established before she was born.
He shook his head. His lip curled. Rebecca should have discovered her Magic long before now, of course. She should have realized and embraced her Magic powers before the rooftop. She was born with Magic DNA, like all of his family. As her life had developed, no matter how many Magic opportunities and experiences she’d encountered, she’d never allowed herself to make the leap away from the mortal reality her parents had instilled in her. Russell blamed Olivia and Jake Martin for the entire catastrophe. The blame was well placed.
He glanced around to be sure none of the students were watching him before he transported to the roof for one last check on conditions before her final test began. Once there, he transformed to a normal man. He needed to stretch.
Russell ran through his plans for Rebecca’s test once more. She would face a series of bewildering challenges: Situations and events that defied logic or reason would be presented to her in fluid time without warning or explanation. Each challenge was based on her prior experiences remixed by the magic he used to change them.
Rebecca would feel like a ball in a pin-ball machine, bouncing from one strange experience to the next, until she recognized the origin of a particular memory.
She must understand the memory, recognize the Magic applied to it, adapt to the situation, and survive each challenge in succession. Or she could simply complete the test successfully at any time by applying her own vast Magic powers.
If she learned to control her Magic, she could use it to return to Gray Cliffs, safer and wiser. If she didn’t pass the test? Russell shook off that possibility. Failure was not an option. If she failed, she’d be as good as dead.
She simply had to graduate and turn eighteen, whether she knew it or not.
Then and only then, would Rebecca be allowed to make the choice upon which her family’s survival depended. Would she choose to live as Magic or Mortal? She could not be both.
One day, Rebecca could take the seat that had rightfully belonged to her mother on the Council of Elders. His daughter, Olivia had thrown their family’s future away. His granddaughter, Rebecca had the power to redeem them all.
Elders had decreed the terms of Rebecca’s quest, and Russell had given his word. The First Law of Magic still had to be honored: Rebecca must exercise her own free will to make her choice.
Satisfied that preparations were in order, Russell became Simon the cat once again. He transported back to wait patiently in the corridor near Professor Kell’s classroom. When the class ended, Rebecca would answer the headmaster’s summons.
When she entered Auster’s office, she’d begin the most important test of her life.
She was as prepared as she would ever be for the challenge.
All Russell could do now was trust the Laws of Magic.

About the Author:

Blair Drake believes in magic, especially the magic of stories with fantasy, adventures, romance, action, and surprises. She has loved writing and living in the stories of the Finding Magic series and is so excited to share the quests of the Gray Cliffs Academy students with her readers.

When she’s not writing about magic, she’s reading about it. Her influences are Cassandra Claire, Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan, Garth Nix, and many more.

In the mortal plane, following the lure of magic has drawn Blair into strange and wonderful adventures from Australia to New York City, with many stops in between. She currently lives near Denver. Her very favorite spot is a red loveseat in her office, frequently shared with two cats, an outnumbered Dalmation, and occasionally her bewitched husband.

She might have gone to a school similar to Gray Cliffs Academy and would love to go through a magic portal. In the meantime, she’s creating her own in more books of magic.