Thursday, April 26, 2018

Book Review ~ By Book or by Crook (Lighthouse Library Mystery, Book #1) by Eva Gates @evagatesauthor


Book Details:

Series: A Lighthouse Library Mystery (Book 1)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: February 3, 2015
ISBN-10: 0451470931
ISBN-13: 978-0451470935

Amazon

About the Book:

Get bound up in murder in the first Lighthouse Library mystery!

For ten years Lucy has enjoyed her job poring over rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library, but she has not enjoyed the demands of her family’s social whorl or her sort-of-engagement to the staid son of her father’s law partner. But when her ten-year relationship implodes, Lucy realizes that the plot of her life is in need of a serious rewrite.

Calling on her aunt Ellen, Lucy hopes that a little fun in the Outer Banks sun—and some confections from her cousin Josie’s bakery—will help clear her head. But her retreat quickly turns into an unexpected opportunity when Aunt Ellen gets her involved in the lighthouse library tucked away on Bodie Island.

Lucy is thrilled to land a librarian job in her favorite place in the world. But when a priceless first edition Jane Austen novel is stolen and the chair of the library board is murdered, Lucy suddenly finds herself ensnared in a real-life mystery—and she’s not so sure there’s going to be a happy ending.... 


Note: I was finally able to read the entire series in March 2018 (my TBR pile is pretty tall) and am just now able to write reviews for them. You'll see reviews for the rest of the series soon - including The Spook in the Stacks, book 4, releasing in June 2018. 

By Book or By Crook is a wonderful first book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series by Eva Gates. The premise of a library inside a historic lighthouse is what drew me to the series. I'm glad I found my way to North Carolina and into the Lighthouse Library Mysteries. The setting is wonderful and perfect for a cozy mystery series. The author does a great job with character development and world building throughout the series.

Lucy leaves her job at Harvard Library and her 10-year relationship with Ricky to spend some time in the Outer Banks with her Aunt Ellen and cousin Josie. Hoping to work through her relationship woes, Lucy instead finds that she fits in among most of the residents in the Outer Banks. Things being to look even brighter when she obtains a job in the local library - a library that just happens to be housed inside a historical lighthouse. Unfortunately, after clearly indicating at a library function that he plans to eliminate Lucy's position, the chair of the library is found dead on one of the upper floors of the lighthouse library. Lucy and her boss, Bertie, are now prime suspects in his death.

To make matters worse, there is a thief among them. The library has been authorized to house a genuine set of first edition Jane Austen novels. Someone is pilfering them one at a time, making not only the library look bad, but also the employees charged to care for the collection. Instead of just having to worry about a murderer, now Lucy, Bertie, the police, and library employees have to keep a look out for a thief. 

Lucy is a wonderful character. She may come from money but she doesn't act like it or flaunt her family's riches. She's pretty down-to-earth and likeable. I love Charlene's obsession of rap music and her passion for wanting to share. There is the potential for a love triangle but it doesn't overstep the mysterious death of Mr. Uppiton or the thefts of the Jane Austin books. All of the secondary characters are unique in their own way and believable. Oh, and how could I forget about Charles?! The library cat is a delightful addition to the cast.

The story is well paced, enjoyable, and full of suspense. The author did a wonderful job describing the characters and scenery within the book. I was able to visualize the story as it played out. An enjoyable start to the Lighthouse Library series, Book or by Crook is engaging, doesn't divulge the suspect right away, and keeps the reader guessing. I enjoyed the book a lot.

I purchased this book myself.

My Rating:


Promo Blitz ~ A Murder on Wall Street (A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book One) Owen Parr Crime Mystery



A Murder on Wall Street
Owen Parr

Crime Mystery

Date Published: January 2017

A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book One

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About the Book:

Can a priest, his brother, and the brother's girlfriend solve a murder case and see justice done—or will they be the murderer's latest victim?

A Murder on Wall Street takes us inside the world of Captain O'Brian's Irish Pub and Cigar Bar in Manhattan, a legendary hotspot in the Financial District. Investigating the death are pub owners Joey Mancuso, fired from the NYPD for his unorthodox methods, and his brother Father Dominic, who isn't your typical priest. Also investigating is Marcy Martinez, a Cuban bombshell and FBI agent who's Joey's girlfriend. When a customer kills himself after celebrating the night before, the three know something's wrong. Turns out, the customer's death coincides with people losing money, and lots of it—and some of those people are very, very dangerous.

The apparent suicide of a hedge fund executive and the hit and run accident of his assistant leads Mancuso, Father O'Brian, and FBI Special Agent Martinez into the underworld of Wall Street. Money laundering, insider trading, and a Ponzi scheme are but a few of the crimes they uncovered, as they try and piece together this crime-ridden puzzle.

Joey Mancuso spent sixteen years in the NYPD earning his First Grade Detective shield and becoming one of the most successful homicide detectives. His last case, the murder of a homeless person in an alley behind the famed 21 Club, went unsolved. Political pressure undermined the case, as Joey's efforts led him to a congressional candidate and a Wall Street major donor with political juice. His efforts to continue the investigation in spite of the pushback caused his forced retirement from the NYPD. The Internal Affairs Division has sealed his file warning him to cease or else.

Now a half-owner, with his half-brother, Catholic priest, Father Mancuso, of an Irish pub, he continues his quest to solve crimes. Both are private investigators and together with Joey's girlfriend, FBI agent Marcy, set out to bring to justice perpetrators of crimes, law enforcement is ignoring.

Fast-paced, suspenseful and thrilling, A Murder on Wall Street is one case you'll want to solve yourself. But the ending is unexpected, as the puzzle finally comes together in this page-turner you won't want to put down.

Amazon



Other books in the Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery Series:


A Murder on Long Island
A Joey Mancuso Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book Two


The Manhattan Red Ribbon Killer
A Joey Mancuso - Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book 3


The Case of the Antiquities Collector
A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book Four


Meet the Author:

Award winning author Owen Parr was born in Havana, Cuba, and later growing up in Miami. He enjoys reading fiction to transport himself to another world. And in his writing, he does that for his readers in a very successful way. His readers are fully wrapped in the plots and have fallen in love with his amazing characters. Published author of articles in trade magazines. Hobby painter of acrylics on canvas and middle of the road golfer, Owen spends his day still employed in the financial advice industry. Married at the age of nineteen he pursued a career in electrical engineering until boredom set in. From there he went to own and operate his own multi-branch real estate firm and licensing school. Since 1986 he has been employed in the financial advice industry. During this time, he has written articles for the local paper, blogs and screenplays that he is now converting into fictional novels.

Parr won the Solo Medalist Winner New Apple Literary Services for "Mystery" in 2017 for his A MURDER ON WALL STREET. This follows his 2016 Solo Medalist Award with “Operation Raven -The Dead Have Secrets" in the same category, and the IACM "Best Crime Author-Gold" also in 2016.

Readers have compared Owen's novels to classics from Robert Ludlum and Michaels Connelly. One reader wrote: "If Ludlum and Connelly wrote a novel together, it would be an Owen Parr novel."

Contact Links:


Purchase Links:

RABT Book Tours & PR

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Madonna Model by T.L. Ashton ~ Women’s Fiction ~ @Apocalipstick_ @RABTBookTours



The Madonna Model
T.L. Ashton

Women’s Fiction

Date Published: April 2018

Publisher: Dryads Green Associates, Inc.

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About the Book:

Jillian Warner journeys to the heart of today's art world, to learn how much true love is left in it. She soon discovers that there are as many fake people as forged paintings. Jillian lands a job as an American art specialist at Lyon's, a major New York City auction house. She wins a tough fight against sexism in the workplace, only to be defeated in her personal relationships by the doubtful provenance of the men she loves. She prefers Wyeth to Warhol, but is challenged by men who want to see her only as an abstract expression rather than the real woman she is. Then Tom Linde, a surgeon who worked with her mother at a voluntary medical mission in Afghanistan, returns having lost an arm to a land mine blast. Can they defeat a talented art forger with designs on Jillian?

Meet the Author:


TL Ashton writes books for smart sexy women. They know that smart is sexy because love lives in the brain, where we experience ultimate union. These women have been to college and now face the paramount challenge of the work place. They want their vision and talent to be recognized because the self-respect that comes with success leads to genuine love that wants to realize our fullest potential. They learn that they matter, and because they do, they can overcome male fear of just who they are. Ashton started in New York City and expects to end there, but has lived in Los Angeles, Manilla, Djakarta, Paris, London, and for long stretches in the Turks and Caicos. After attending four other schools, Ashton was granted a degree by Columbia University and spent several years telling people how good Keats and Shelley truly are. But Ashton left Lotus Land because the challenges needed for personal growth were missing, and took a publishing job in New York. That in turn led to an invitation from the CEO of a major Wall Street firm to head up strategic communications. That experience was captured in a superb debut novel, "Ms. Money," which women in finance have enjoyed. Having invested in American art, Ashton left Wall Street to head up an art gallery, leading to the very recent publication of a second novel, "The Madonna Model." Not chick lit or women’s fiction, these are books about female empowerment. Ashton is currently reading the auction catalogue for the estate of Zsa Zsa Gabor, who was married nine times and insisted, “I want to choose the man. I do not permit men to choose me.”

Contact Links:


Purchase Link:

RABT Book Tours & PR

Blurb Blitz & #Giveaway ~ Serial Wives: Introducing Zero Zimmerman by Yvonne Walus ~ @hotyve @GoddessFish


Welcome to the book tour for Serial Wives!

Yvonne Walus will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Follow the Tour by Clicking on the Tour Banner Above.
About the Book: 
Why would a rich girl become a prostitute?
Three years ago Joy refused to sleep with an ex boyfriend. When he committed suicide, her guilt was enormous. To punish herself she opted to serve as a prostitute for three years.

How far would you go to protect your child?
Cora loves her convict husband despite - or because of - his bad boy ways. But now that he's back in her life, she has their daughter to consider. Is a faulty father better than no father at all?

A serial killer…
A serial killer who murders women and displays their bodies dressed in a white sheet with a fencing mask covering the face. Who will be next?
Read an Excerpt:

Zero’s shared office at the police station looked bleaker than usual. Not even nine o’clock and the morning was already too full of coffee and too scant on breakfast. After three hours in bed, Zero had chosen an extra fifteen minutes of snoozing instead of muesli and shower. She was regretting the no-muesli decision.

“So,” Zero said. “I got that list of psycho reasons for wanting to kill prostitutes.”

Kath raised her eyebrows. “Thought you’d get too sucked into the TV to do any work.”

Of course she did.

“Didn’t even switch it on. Used the Internet. According to Dr Google, scenario one is we could be looking at a man who has issues with women as such. He hates women and wants to hurt them, and the prostitute is simply an easy option. We’ll call him Bitter Boy.”

“Right.”

“The second scenario is that he despises prostitutes specifically. The attacks could be his mission to rid the world of women who, in his eyes, are morally unacceptable.”

“The Missionary.” Kath got up, reached for a blue marker and printed the two nicknames on the whiteboard, right below the photos and names of the two victims. Rebecca Mahoney, also known as Raven. Stella Baxter, a.k.a. Sirocco.

Zero wondered if their department would ever get a Smart Board. Unless Smart Boards were so smart they helped the police solve crimes, the official line went, the department would stick to the status quo in technology, thank you very much.

Meet the Author:

You won't believe this, but when I'm not a novelist I'm actually a Doctor of Mathematics. A business and data analyst. A wife and a mother. Most of all though - I am a writer (in several languages) hoping to change the world one book at a time.

My heritage is inter-continental. I was born and raised in Poland. When I was twelve, my family and I emigrated to South Africa. Your teenage years are usually your formative years, so it’s no surprise I consider South Africa my second homeland. For the past twenty years, I’ve lived in New Zealand, and people ‘back home’ tell me I’ve become a real Kiwi.

Crime fiction is my passion. My childhood hero was, predictably, Hercule Poirot. I've changed my mind several times since, and for a time I was totally into Harlan Coben's super-rich super-able Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood), but my current favourite is Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch… I mean, Sherlock Holmes.

Find the Author Online:

https://www.yvonnewalus.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Yvonne-Walus-author-206745219335573
https://twitter.com/hotyve
http://yewalus.blogspot.co.nz/

Here’s a link to the promo video for my latest book: http://stairwaypress.com/book/serialwives/.

Purchase Your Copy from Amazon

Enter the Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Book Spotlight & #Giveway ~ Day Reaper (Night Blood, Book Four) by Melody Johnson @MelodyMJohnson #PNR #ParanormalRomance


Day Reaper

Night Blood, Book Four

Melody Johnson



Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Kensington/ Lyrical Press

Date of Publication: April, 2018

Number of pages: 414
Word Count: 116, 525

Tagline: A dangerous choice for the chance to live.

Book Description:

On the brink of death, Cassidy DiRocco demands that New York City’s master of the supernatural, Dominic Lysander, transform her—reporter, Night Blood, sister, human—into the very creature she’s feared and fought against for months: a vampire. The pain is brutal, she'll risk the career she’s worked so hard to achieve, and her world will never be the same. But surviving is worth any risk, especially when it means gaining the strength to fight against Jillian Allister, the sister who betrayed Dominic, attacked Cassidy, and is leading a vampire uprising that will destroy all of New York City. . .

When she awakens, however, Cassidy realizes the cost of being transformed might be more than she was willing to sacrifice. The overwhelming senses, the foreign appearance of her new body, and the lethal craving for blood are unrecognizable and unacceptable. But if Cassidy hopes to right the irrevocable wrongs that Jillian and her army of the Damned have wrought on New York City, she’ll need to not only accept her new senses, body and cravings, but wield them in her favor.

Irresistible and enigmatic as Dominic is, he no longer has command over the city or its vampires. Only Cassidy has the connections to convince the humans, Day Reapers, and the few vampires still loyal to Dominic to join forces, and maybe, if Dominic can accept her rising power over the coven he once commanded for the past several hundred years, the two of them together might forge a bond more potent than history has ever known. . .

Purchase Links:

Amazon Kobo Nook Apple Google Play

Read an Excerpt:

A bird was squawking, and after several minutes of attempting to ignore its repetitive, shrill, bleating, I came to grips with the fact that it didn’t seem inclined to stop on its own. I snapped open my eyes, prepared to reach out the window and stop it myself, with my bare hands if necessary—I’d never heard such an obnoxious bird in my life, not in the city, not on the west coast, not even on my one excursion to visit Walker upstate—and froze. There was no window. And if the vents Bex used to filter fresh air into her underground coven were any indication, there was no bird. Despite the similarity of the vents to Bex’s coven, however, I didn’t recognize the room as the inviting, well-decorated step-back in time that Bex had created, either: no extra furniture for lounging, no scented candles, no Gerbera daisies, and no kerosene lamps pulsing in a hypnotic, romantic beat.

This room contained only sparse necessities: vents for underground air filtration, a bare bulb for light, a door for privacy, and of course, a bed. I was in a strange room in a stranger’s bed, its dimensions and décor familiar only by its unfamiliarity, and suddenly, the last moments of my memory smashed into my brain like a semi.

Jillian tearing out my throat. Dominic healing me. The blood and burning. The transformation.

Someone was speaking in the room outside this bedroom’s door, and despite the distance, the scarred door, the cement wall, and my disorientation, I could hear every word being said, and I recognized the voice speaking: Ronnie Carmichael.

“Lysander said he would. There’s no reason to think he won’t, so I don’t think—”

And following Ronnie’s voice was the squawking of that damn bird.

“Exactly. You don’t think,” Jeremy snapped.

“Lysander said that he would try,” Keagan said patiently, his voice nearly drowned out by the bleat of that insufferable bird. “His priority is Cassidy and our safety. He won’t take unnecessary risks, like remaining above ground, away from Cassidy longer than absolutely necessary.”

“Yes, he said he would try,” Ronnie insisted, but her voice was faint now. “Lysander doesn’t say anything lightly.”

The bird squawked even louder, in time with Jeremy’s audible groan, triggering a memory of Ronnie’s little girl voice and something she had confided in me: I never even knew he thought of my voice as grating. I never knew someone’s annoyance had a sound let alone that it sounded like a squawking bird.

I was right about the bird not being underground, but unlike anything I’d ever heard, the sound wasn’t a bird at all. The squawking was the sound of Keagan’s annoyance at the grate of Ronnie’s whining voice. Unlike Jeremy, Keagan was too well-mannered to audibly express his frustration with Ronnie, but among other vampires, he could no longer hide his true feelings. His unspoken annoyance had a sound—as loud, obnoxious and obvious as Jeremy’s audible hostility—and Ronnie could no doubt hear it, too, despite the calm, reasonable tone of his words.

I could hear it.

I could hear the sound of Keagan’s annoyance.

The weight of the sheets covering my body was suddenly suffocating. I raised my hand to tear them from my body, but someone else’s hand whipped into the air. I gasped at the skeleton-skinny joints of each finger, the knobby protrusion of its wrist and the elongated talons sprouting from each fingertip instead of nails. I ducked under the hand, trying to avoid its attack and swallow the scream that tore up my throat, but the hand moved with me, moving with my intensions, attached to my body. I froze again, for the second time in as many seconds, and raised the hand in front of my face. It looked lethal. With one wrong move, it could eviscerate me. As I ticked each finger, the long talons swept the air as I counted—one, two, three, four, five—and each moved on my command. Like the inevitability of a pending dawn with the rising sun, I realized that the hand was mine. Fear of that hand turned to horror and then to a kind of giddy resignation. Hysteria, more likely.

I had ducked against the attack of my own hand.

A swift peal of laughter burst from my mouth.

I stopped laughing just as abruptly. Even my voice was different: guttural and sharp, like shards of glass scraping against asphalt.

The voices outside my door and the squawking bird had abruptly stopped, too, and in the sudden silence following my outburst, an uncomfortable, aching vise circled my chest. The pain wasn’t physical, but its presence triggered a dull burn in the back of my throat. I had the immediate urge to destroy everything, to pound the cement walls into crumbs with my fists and tear the sheets into ribbons with my nails—my talons—and fight my way free from this prison. I held myself motionless, resisting the urge, and I realized with a belated sort of curiosity that the aching vise was panic. Without a beating heart to pound and without a circulatory system to hyperventilate, I hadn’t recognized the emotion without its physical symptoms, but even so, it felt the same in one way. It felt horrible.

I took a deep breath to dispel the panic, purely from habit, but the action wasn’t calming. My heart that wasn’t pounding didn’t slow, and I couldn’t catch a breath that I hadn’t lost. The vise around my chest tightened. I squeezed my hands into fists, trembling from the force of my will to remain still and silent. Something sharp pierced my hands, and I gasped, the raging panic stuttering until I looked down at my bleeding fists. My talons were imbedded in my own palms.

A door slammed somewhere outside this room, further away than the voices directly behind the door, but I didn’t hear it slam with my ears. I felt it slam from its flat slap against my skin. Never mind that the door wasn’t near enough for me to see, nor in this room, nor the impossibility that I could feel its sound waves, my entire body felt its sting as if I’d been smacked from all sides.

“Why are you just staring?” Despite the impatience and aggravation in those words, hearing his voice made the aching around my chest both loosen and worsen.

The clip of his tread across the cement floor stung like the warning barbs of a wasp. I knew the physical pain on my skin was only the tactile manifestation of sounds— first, the door slam, and now, his walking—but that didn’t change the fact that the sounds really did hurt my skin. I tried to rub away the lingering sting and realized my hands were still fisted, my talons still imbedded in my palms, so I just sat on the bed, motionless and bleeding, like someone trapped without an EpiPen, waiting for the inevitable swelling, choking and death: trapped within a body that had betrayed me.

“Did you have time to—” Ronnie began, but her voice was too small and too fragile not to crumble under the weight of his will.

“You heard her waken,” he accused. “Don’t you smell the blood?”

I could actually taste the pungent, freshly sliced, onion musk of their silence.

The door swung open, and suddenly, inevitably, Dominic entered the room. He didn’t need permission to cross my threshold, not anymore, and he didn’t bother with the perfunctory acts of knocking or requesting my consent to enter. He simply strode inside and slammed the door behind him with a final, fatal bee sting.

He’d recently fed. I could tell, as I’d always been able to tell, by the bloom of health on his cheeks, his strong, sculpted figure, and the careful calm of his countenance, but my heightened senses could now also smell the lingering spice of blood on his breath and hear the crackle of it nourishing his muscles. From the top of his carefully tousled black hair to the soles of his wing-tipped, dress shoes, Dominic was insatiably sexy, but his physique was an illusion of his last meal. I knew his true form. Upon waking, before feeding, he appeared more monster than man. Although not many people look their best in the morning, Dominic by far looked his worst.

The way I looked now.

That thought made my fists tighten, embedding my talons deeper into my own flesh.

Despite his grievance with Ronnie, Keagan, and Jeremy for their inaction, he too just stared, immobile after entering the room, but his gaze absorbed everything. I felt the slash of his eyes slice across my face, down my body, and eventually, settle with dark finality on my fisted palms.

He didn’t move, and that I could tell by the stillness of his throat, he didn’t make a sound, but despite his still, silent stare, I heard the unmistakable rush of wind. There were no windows underground, and in the stagnant stillness of the room—the tension between our bodies like an electric current stretching to complete its circuit—no relief from the heat of his presence. The sound wasn’t wind, it only sounded like wind, but whatever it was the sound of, it was emanating from the only other person in the room.

I blinked and Dominic was suddenly, but no longer impossibly, beside the bed. His movements were just as inhumanly fast as ever, but with my enhanced vision, I could track his movement, see his grace and fluidity. I heard the slide of air molecules parting for him, felt the electric snap of his muscles flexing, and smelled an emotion he wouldn’t allow me to interpret on his carefully neutral expression. Whatever he was feeling was spiced, sweet, strong, and dangerous with overuse, like ginger.

He reached out and carefully wrapped his palms around mine to cup my fists. His voice was steady when he spoke, but I knew better. The rush of wind emanating from him heightened, the smell of ginger became chokingly poignant, and his heart that didn’t need to beat to keep him alive, contracted just once. I could both hear the swoosh of his blood being pumped through each chamber and taste the silky spice of that sound.

My hands were injured yet his trembled.

“Relax,” Dominic murmured. “I’m here. I should have been here when you first awakened, but I’m here now.”

I blinked at him. With him here, everything was somehow simultaneous better and horribly worse.

“Mirror,” I growled. I tried to form a complete sentence, to demand, Get me a mirror, so I can see the horror of a face that matches these hands! but my throat was too dry. Even that one word rattled from my vocal cords like flint scraping across steel, and the resulting sparks flamed the back of my throat. I sounded dangerous and angry and monstrous. If I had stumbled upon me in an alley, I would have run.

Then again, I’d stumbled upon Dominic in an alley, and look how that had played out.

Whether Dominic saw my anger or thought me a dangerous monster now wasn’t revealed by his carefully masked countenance. He stroked the back of my hand with the soft pad of his human-feeling thumb. “You need to calm down.”

Calm down? I thought. I jerked my hands free from his gentle hold and shook my fists between us, in front of his face. All things considered, this is calm!

Dominic sighed. “I can’t see your claws from inside your palms, but did you happen to notice their color before stabbing yourself with them?”

I frowned. I had claws, for Christ sake. Claws. No, I didn’t take note of their color.

“I’ll take that as a no,” he said, still gentle, still careful, and so fucking infuriating.

A comforting flood of hot anger blast-dried my shock and sorrow. I spread my fingers, tearing said claws from my palms and ripping wide my self inflicted wounds, but I didn’t take the time to note their color. I swiped at Dominic.

My movements were lightning. Dominic’s movements were just as fast; he leapt back, dodging my claws. I lunged off the bed after him. A familiar sound rattled from deep inside my chest, a sound I’d heard emanate from Ronnie, Jillian, Kaden, and Dominic, a sound that coming from them had raised the fine hairs on the back of my neck. Now, that sound came from my throat. I was growling.

Dominic summersaulted out of reach. I watched his movements, fascinated by the strength of his muscles as he leapt into the air, his coordination as his legs tucked and his arms caught his knees, and his athleticism as he stuck the landing and raised his hands to block my advance. He was the epitome of power and grace under pressure, and with the enhanced ability of my heightened senses, I could actually see it. He wasn’t just a blur of movement but a perfectly choreographed symphony of muscle, control, and honed skill. I watched, and unlike the jaw-dropping awe of impossibility that Dominic’s physical feats would normally inspire in me, I was just inspired.

I attempted to mimic Dominic’s movements with a matching forward summersault of my own, but instead of landing on my feet, like I’d intended, like Dominic had stuck so effortlessly, I landed in an awkward, bone-jarring, heap, flat on my back.

Dominic leaned over me, his mouth opened with concern, surely about to ask me if I was all right. My pride was more injured than my body, and the hot embarrassment fueled my anger, as every strong emotion could fuel my easily provoked temper. Taking advantage of his concern and close proximity, I raked my claws down the front of his shirt.

Buttons severed from their threads, but before the pops of their little plastic heads hit the floor, Dominic was airborne again, back flipping away from me before my claws could do any real damage. I lunged after his leaps and twists and rolls, milliseconds behind his acrobatics, but even without the advantage of his fancy gymnastics, my body’s newfound abilities were astonishing. Each muscle contraction burned beneath my skin, but not like human muscles burning with fatigue. Mine sparked to life, twitching with power and reveling in unleashed speed and strength.

I’d never been particularly athletic; my entire life, even before being shot in the hip, my skills were better served in an intellectual capacity—interviewing witnesses and writing articles. After being shot, my physical abilities had shriveled to the point where I could barely walk. Now, I could not only walk, I had the potential to fly. I was a force in both body and mind, and the limitlessness of those abilities after being physically limited for so long was intoxicating.

Time suspended. Our battle raged in the timespan of a blink, but within that blink, we fought and danced and completely trashed the little utilitarian room in what felt like years—a lifetime of limitations revealed and obliterated with every movement and newly discovered capability. Our movements were lighting, the evidence of our devastation scattered across the room—Dominic’s torn clothing, upended and smashed furniture, pillows gutted and their insides fluffed over the rumpled comforter and upended mattress—the cause unseen.

I made a move of my own instead of following Dominic, cutting him mid-leap and smashing him face-down into the box spring. He was vulnerable for the split of a millisecond, me at his back, my razor claws splayed across his shoulder blades, his neck bared as he craned to look over his shoulder at me, and I had him. If I chose to, with a swipe of my hand, I could sever his head from his body. My claws were sharp, his skin was soft, and unlike any other physical battle I’d waged in my life, I had the advantage.

My body’s speed and strength were new to me, but the feelings of rage and intoxicating addiction were not. I knew those emotions intimately; they had been the very core of my personality and shaped a person who, despite my former physical limitations, had unbeatable mental strength, evidenced by my winning battle against Percocet addition and an ability to entrance vampires as a night blood. Memories of addiction and the bone-deep reasons I’d fought to overcome it, kept me grounded when I would have taken advantage of Dominic’s weakness. I nearly let the strength and power overwhelm reason, but I knew when to stop. I knew when the need and heat felt too good to be good. The rage reminded me that despite the claws sprouting from each fingertip, despite the fact that I might look like the devil and have the strength of God, I was the same flawed person I’d always been.

I was still me, and despite his flaws, I loved Dominic.

I jerked my hand from his back, ripping fabric with my movement but not skin, and fell to my knees.

Dominic summersaulted over me. He landed at my back, but I didn’t turn to face him. He knew I’d resisted the opportunity to kill him. Our battle was over, but mine had just begun.

He fell to his knees behind me, wrapped his arms around me, holding my hands, cradling my body, and it was only then, with the steady press of his cheek against mine, that I realized by the solid stillness of his arms holding me that I was shaking.

I burst out weeping. The sobs wracked my body and bathed my cheeks.

Dominic’s arms tightened. He stroked my hands and murmured promises into my ear that I knew better than to believe, promises that no one could keep, but having him hold me, his lips moving against my ear and the familiar tone of his voice resonating like a blanket cocooned around my body, was comforting anyway. I sobbed harder at first, relieved that he was here, that I wasn’t alone, that he’d experienced this, too, and had survived and eventually thrived. Buoyed by the knowledge that I, too, could survive and eventually thrive, I calmed. My weeping slowed, the sobs wracking my body lessoned, and my tears eventually dried.

I relaxed into Dominic’s embrace—my back flush against his chest, his arms cradling my arms, our fingers entwined. His breath fluttering my hair wasn’t winded, and I noted with a detached sort of astonishment, that neither was mine. I was suddenly struck by a wary sort of certainty that my new, debatably improved physical form would continue to astonish for a very long time. I stared at our entwined fingers—his perfectly formed human hands still larger than my emaciated fingers but not nearly longer than my elongated claws—and I pulled into myself, embarrassed that he was touching them.

“Don’t,” he murmured, tightening his hold. “Some aspects of the transformation might take some getting used to. You’re already becoming accustomed to your heightened senses and increased strength, which is impressive. In a few days, you’ll land that summersault, I assure you. And eventually, you’ll look into a mirror and recognize yourself, but for tonight, let me be your mirror.” He raised his hand and urged my face to the side to meet his gaze. “Let me show you how beautiful you are.”

My physical appearance wasn’t the only aspect of the transformation that shook me, but when he cupped my cheek in his palm and ducked his head, pressing his lips to mine, I kissed him back. My lips felt foreign against the long protrusions of my fangs, but his lips were soft and the texture of his scar familiar. His Christmas pine scent enveloped us, and with my enhanced senses, I felt its chilled effervescence simultaneous heat and create goose bumps over my body. I turned in his arms, angling for more access, and a rush of blood filled my mouth.

Dominic stiffened.

I jerked back, startled by the blood coating my tongue, a taste which wasn’t entirely unpleasant, was in fact, not unpleasant at all. The blood was absolutely delicious, which was also startling, not to mention disturbing. Dominic had a gash across his lower lip, and I realized that I’d cut him.

I swallowed the blood in my haste to apologize and choked.

Dominic covered my lips with a finger and shook his head. His thumb swiped back and forth over my cheekbone as we stared at each other, and before my very acute eyes, I watched the intricacy of Dominic’s body heal. The split sides of his lip filled with blood, and that blood pooled in the crevice of his cut, coagulated, scabbed, and flaked to reveal new, shiny, pink skin. That skin darkened to a faint thread, and if he’d still been human, the healing might have stopped there, but his body healed the scar, too, until his lips bore not one sliver of evidence of my clumsy lust. What had once seemed to occur instantaneously and magically was now a simple bodily function, but I suppose, that in itself was a kind of magic.

I touched his lips, grazing my fingertips carefully over the perfection of his newly healed skin to the divots and pucker of the permanent scar gouging through the other side of his lower lip and chin, a reminder of his human lifetime, and for me, a reminder of the few things we had in common. Although looking at the skeletal, talon-tipped hand touching him—the hand that I controlled but didn’t resemble anything I recognized as mine—we had much more in common now than I’d ever anticipated having.

He touched my lips with his fingertips, mimicking my movements with the human-looking version of his hand, and I couldn’t help it. Despite the impossibility of this situation and the state of my hands and what I could only imagine was the state of my face, I smiled.

“Sorry,” I murmured. Dominic’s blood had moistened the scratch in my throat, so it didn’t feel like my vocal chords were raking my esophagus with razor blades anymore. “I’m not myself this morning.”

Dominic grinned—full and genuine and lopsided from the pull of his scar—and the warmth and affection in his expression widened my own smile. I let that warmth soak into me, filling my unfamiliar body with hope, reminding me that I could survive. That I wanted to survive.

“No one looks or acts their best upon waking, not even you when you were human.” Dominic reminded me. “Not even me.”

I sighed. “I will miss working on my tan though,” I said, only half-jokingly. The feel of the sun’s warmth on my skin had become a safe haven after discovering the existence of vampires. Having become one, I supposed the necessity was moot, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t miss it.

Dominic grunted. “Many things about you will never change despite the transformation, including your ability to enjoy the sun and your stubbornness it seems.”

I raised my eyebrows. “My stubbornness won’t cure a fatal sun allergy.”

“Look at the color of your claws,” Dominic said dryly.

Despite my said stubbornness and the urge to resist looking at my claws just to defy him, I looked. The skeletal appendages coming from my body were long and knobby and honestly grotesque, a monster’s hands with four-inch, lethal talons sprouting from their tips.

And those talons were silver.

Dominic was right, as per usual, and unfortunately, so was our dear friend, High Lord Henry. I was a vampire, but I wasn’t allergic to the sun.

I was a Day Reaper.

About the Author:



Melody Johnson is the author of the gritty, paranormal romance Night Blood series set in New York City. The first installment, The City Beneath, was a finalist in several Romance Writers of America contests, including the “Cleveland Rocks” and “Fool For Love” contests. Melody graduated magna cum laude from Lycoming College with her B.A. in creative writing and psychology, and after moving from her northeast Pennsylvania hometown for some much needed Southern sunshine, she now works as a digital media coordinator for Southeast Georgia Health System’s marketing department. When she isn’t working or writing, Melody can be found swimming at the beach, honing her newfound volleyball skills, and exploring her new home in southeast Georgia.

Website: http://authormelodyjohnson.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelodyMJohnson

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10707142.Melody_Johnson

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melody-johnson-20ab7334   




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Monday, April 23, 2018

Release Blitz & #Giveaway ~ A Different Kind of Reunion by Joanne Guidoccio #CozyMystery @JoanneGuidoccio @RABTBookTours



Cozy Mystery

Date Published: April 23, 2018

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

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About the Book:

While not usually a big deal, one overlooked email would haunt teacher Gilda Greco. Had she read it, former student Sarah McHenry might still be alive.

Suspecting foul play, Constable Leo Mulligan plays on Gilda’s guilt and persuades her to participate in a séance facilitated by one of Canada’s best-known psychics. Six former students also agree to participate. At first co-operative and willing, the camaraderie is short-lived as old grudges and rivalries emerge. The séance is a bust.

Determined to solve Sarah’s murder, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers shocking revelations that could put several lives—including her own—in danger. Can Gilda and the psychic solve this case before the killer strikes again?

About the Author:



In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio retired from a 31-year teaching career and launched a second act that tapped into her creative side. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Contact Links:


Purchase Links:  

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Dragoius Reborn: Fate and Whispers (The Bloods Passion Saga, Book Two) by Adom Sample ~ Fantasy Vampire / Paranormal Romance


Dragoius Reborn: Fate and Whispers
The Bloods Passion Saga
Book Two
Adom Sample



Genre: Fantasy Vampire / Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: March 31, 2018

ISBN-13: 978-1987401202
ISBN-10: 1987401204
ASIN: B078QSMDBG

Number of pages: 415
Word Count: 104,000

Cover Artist: Adom Sample

Tagline: How far will you go to be with the one you love?

About the Book:

We all have a choice in life. Sebastian and I made our choice—to be together.

The Shadow Lands became our sanctuary after everything we'd sacrificed. Our desire for one another only deepened as time passed. We'd broken Coven Laws, defied the human government, and put our families at risk to pursue our passion. The Courting Moon bonded us on that night, sealing our fate.

Nevertheless, our work is far from complete. With the Coven searching everywhere to find us it's only a matter of time before death befalls those we love. We are left with no other choice, but to finish what my father died trying to accomplish. To reestablish the Alliance Sanctuary, rebuild the Kingdom of Dragoius, and bring an end to the Coven of Vampyre's tyrannical rule.

The most powerful Vampyre in all the lands, Sebastian's father, the Count of Orias has vowed to stop at nothing until we are found, and our bond is broken. We're racing against time and it all hinges on discovering the Coven's one secret—

Why romantic love is forbidden…

Purchase Your Copy from Amazon

Read an Excerpt:

He stands there looking upon her radiant beauty, unable to form words. She’s so luxurious to him; he still can’t believe he’s found someone like her to love him unconditionally. She exits the shower, bright pink hair soaking wet. He becomes aroused yet fades into the background. He must fight off the temptation; otherwise, his plans will lie in ruins. He isn’t supposed to be here—not at this moment.

For months he tried and failed to express the passion burning within him in the form of words, but those words never came to fruition. Like a sly snake, he went into their room and placed a note on the bed. Now, only now, is he able to tell her the depths of his unending love for her.

Not just the sexual, but the emotional and spiritual as well—something no Vampyre or human could ever understand in a world built on emotional suppression. He exits the room just as she approaches. Slowly, he closes the door and goes back to fixing the steps that caused them to tumble into the bunker where they now dwell. They’ve been trapped in the bunker for three days, and while everything they need is provided for them, they still would like to have an exit readily available.

The door creaks.

“Sebastian, is that you?” she calls out.

She looks around, but seeing no one, she wraps one towel around her head and one over her body before closing the shower doors. As glaring as the sun beyond the Shadow Lands, the note is there when she nears the bed.

“I can’t believe this man,” she says with a bright smile. She tightens the towel around her body and sits on the bed, taking the note in her hands.

The words “From Me to You” are written across the front. She unfolds the note carefully so as not to tear any part of it. That’s when she notices the Courting Moon’s glow as it shimmers on her skin. A flush of emotion overcomes her heart. They are safe from the Coven, from Daven, from the Council, from anyone looking to do them harm. Now is the time to enjoy each other, to learn more about the emotions they’re experiencing. She finishes unfolding the note and reads the delicate words Sebastian has written for her.

Kyra, my love, my everything,

Space and time have no validity when we are together. The nights I have stayed awake wondering how I could be blessed with such an angel are innumerable. You, Kyra, are my heart . . . if that’s what you wish to call it. Love itself is a word that couldn’t possibly hold bearing on what I feel for you. What we have is so much more than that—I can’t explain it. All I do know is the connection we have will last longer than anything in this world. As bright as the moon shines in the night, I will love you, never fail you, always be there for you, give my life for you, and live for you. Whatever this journey may bring, just know that I, Sebastian of Orias, am within you every moment until my immortality gives way. I love you, Kyra—always.

Holding her hand to her face, she tries to keep tears from ruining the note.

“Kyra,” says Sebastian, holding a collection of pink roses. “Did you read it?”

She removes the towel on her head and places the note on the nightstand near their bed. “Yes, it’s beautiful.”

Sebastian takes a single rose from the bouquet he’s holding and places the bud of it in her hair.

“No, Kyra, you’re beautiful.”

She takes the bouquet from him and breathes its scent in deeply, then sets the roses on the nightstand near the note. She embraced him in a time-stopping kiss. With Sebastian by her side, Kyra is left with a decision. And the fates of both Vampyre and humankind hang in the balance. The choice is hers and hers alone.

Meet the Author:



Adom Sample was born in Kansas City, Missouri and currently lives in Fairfax, Virginia. He holds an MBA from GMU, an MHA from ATSU. He served in the United States Air Force from 2001 to 2008. He is an independent author who enjoys reading and writing romance, erotic, and paranormal stories. Writing is his passion and he lives to give others ideas and inspire stories to push the limits of creativity.

Socialize with the Author:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Adomwrites

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14234506.Adom_Sample

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adomwriting/

Website: http://www.adomsample.com/

Friday, April 20, 2018

Blurb Blitz & #Giveaway ~ Daemon Reckoning by Mariah Ankenman @GoddessFish @mariahankenman Paranormal Romance #PNR


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Mariah Ankenman will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
About the Book: 
Hidden in the shadows of our world, supernatural creatures wage war for the fate of humanity.

Euadaemons protect the innocent, Kakodaemons desire absolute power. Both have altered Krista Culver’s life. After spending the past ten years as a Drone for evil, she’s finally awake and doesn't want to waste another moment. No one will stand in the way of her kicking Kako butt. Not her sister, not her father, not even her incredibly tempting boss.

Racine is about to go mad trying to find his evil twin brother responsible for the Kako uprising, but Rysis is in the wind. Adding to his problems, Krista returned from Enforcer training. Gone is the sweet girl. In her place is a fierce woman who stirs something deep inside. Something he thought long dead and buried.

As their desires grow so does the danger surrounding them. The Kako threat is mounting and the time for a reckoning has come.
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Read an Excerpt:

“Dammit, Krista, do as I say.”

“Shut up and help me kill this thing,” she replied.

He cursed, saying something about stubborn women. She smiled, knowing she had won this small battle. Now they just needed to win the next one, the one currently walking toward them with pointy teeth and a look that promised death.

The Cer, as tall and large as Racine, stopped a few feet in front of them. It opened its massive jaws to let out another bloodcurdling shriek. Her Tira charged, sword up and swinging toward the massive beast’s head. The Cer ducked the blow with impressive speed.

Krista threw one of her knives. It landed with a satisfying thunk right in the Cer’s side. The beast howled in pain. Its red eyes narrowed on her. It pulled the blade from its side, hissing through massive fangs. She threw her other knife, landing it straight in the Cer’s chest. If she could distract the monster, maybe Racine could sneak up on it and cut off its head.

The Cer staggered with the new blow, but didn’t fall. In fact, it only looked angrier. Great, she just pissed off a minion of hell and now she only had one weapon left. She left her rods back at base, but still wore her whip belt. Pulling the weapon from her waist, she faced the Cer.

“Come on ugly, I don’t have all night.”

“Do you have to taunt the creature currently trying to kill us?” Racine asked beside her.

“Well, I’m not going to sing it love songs.”

Meet the Author:

RWA® Golden Heart® Nominated author Mariah Ankenman lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her two rambunctious daughters and loving husband who provides ample inspiration for her heart-stopping heroes.

Whether she’s writing hometown heroes or sexy supernaturals, Mariah loves to lose herself in a world of words. Her favorite thing about writing is when she can make someone’s day a little brighter with one of her books.

Website: http://www.mariahankenman.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mariahankenman
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mariahankenmanauthor
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mariah_ankenman/

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Book Review & #Giveaway: A Magical Match (Witchcraft Mystery, Book 9) by Juliet Blackwell #CozyMystery #Witch ~ @JulietBlackwell @BerkleyMystery @BerkleyPub


Book Information:

Title: A Magical Match
Author: Juliet Blackwell
Series: Witchcraft Mystery (Book 9)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley 
Publish Date: April 3, 2018
ISBN-10: 0399584188
ISBN-13: 978-0399584183

About the Book:

Witch and vintage store owner Lily Ivory faces her most difficult mystery to date with a case of mistaken identity that hits close to home...

Lily Ivory and her friends are planning a 1950s-themed brunch to benefit the local women's shelter. When a figure from her past shows up unannounced, threatening her unless she returns something that belonged to him, Lily's fiancé, Sailor, steps in to defend her. After the same man is found dead later that day, Sailor is the primary suspect. He swears he's innocent, but multiple witnesses ID him as the perpetrator of the assault. Lily vows to clear his name...only she's not sure where to start with the mounting evidence against him.

When she sees Sailor in the neighborhood despite knowing he's in jail, Lily starts to wonder if there could be a doppelganger in San Francisco. When she's not busy helping customers find matching outfits for the upcoming event, searching for a vintage wedding dress for her own nuptials, and dealing with an ill-timed magical cold, Lily begins to suspect one of her magical foes is targeting her loved ones in an attempt to weaken her.


In A Magical Match, Lily has a lot on her plate. She's helping organize a benefit for a local women's shelter while trying to plan her very own wedding to Sailor. All is going as well as can be until a man from Lily's past confronts her about something she allegedly stole from him many years ago. When this same man is found dead later in the day and the last time he was seen alive was with Sailor in his face defending Lily, Sailor becomes the number one suspect. Sailor's guilt is corroborated by several eyewitnesses, including a security camera, but Lily is convinced he didn't commit the crime. Her assumptions are validated when "Sailor" is seen out in public when he is still behind bars. Now Lily has to figure out who in the magical community is to blame, all while continuing on with the benefit, planning her wedding, and preparing to see her mother again after a long absence.

The Witchcraft Mystery series by Juliet Blackwell just keeps getting better and better. I love Lily's character and Oscar's companionship. Lily is simply an amazing and down-to-earth witch. I have enjoyed watching Lily's character grow so much from book 1 until now. She is embracing who she is finally and allowing others into her life without all of the doubt and suspicion, getting more comfortable with her surroundings in each book. She has friends that accept her for who she is and what she does, a very successful resale shop, and a familiar that sometimes just steals the show. 

Each story in this series has developed nicely.  The reader is taken on a brand new adventure in the world of the paranormal with each book; the content never duplicated or stagnant. The novels are suitable for anyone who wants to read them - teens, adults who don't like sex or swearing, and adults who do like those things but also like the cozy mystery scene, too (like me). 

If you're looking for your next cozy series then I highly recommend Juliet Blackwell's Witchcraft Mysteries. They are written well, have great storylines, solid plots, and easy-to-like characters. The dialogue between all characters is smooth and understandable and the novel is an easy, relaxing read. I am waiting patiently for the next book in the series.

I was given a copy of this book to read.

My Rating:


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