Monday, December 31, 2018

Book #Review: The Game (Hunters' Watch Brigade #2) by Paula Millhouse @pmillhouse


About the Book:

A demigod’s work is never done . . .

All monster hunter Samantha Silverton wants is a little R&R. She and her sexy partner/cat shifter Max have a week off in the city that never sleeps, and she intends to enjoy it. But before she can pack her suitcase, she’s caught up in the middle of a wicked game—a smartphone app driven scavenger hunt that’s bringing all the big, bad supernaturals to NYC to play. The bad part? The game was the brainchild of Alex Van Dam—Sam’s first love. What’s worse? Sam will have to play the game alone.

Maximillion Ra hasn’t quite got a handle on his unique shifter magic yet. He’s in love with Sam, but if he’s ever going to be any good to her, he has to face his family’s curse. But how can he leave Sam now, especially with her old flame in the picture?

Alex Van Dam isn’t interested in who wins his game. He just wants to find the final prize—an ancient Greek relic. Once he has it, he’ll use the artifact’s magic to control all the supernaturals in Manhattan, starting with the Hunters’ Watch Brigade.

Only Sam stands in his way. And without Max by her side, even the monster hunting daughter of Poseidon has to wonder if she stands a chance . . .

Book Details:

Print Length: 224 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1611948819
Publisher: ImaJinn Books (June 15, 2018)
Publication Date: June 15, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07D5MFPC


My Review:

The Game (Hunters' Watch Brigade, #2)The Game by Paula Millhouse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just like Initiation, book 1, The Game is a fun book filled with mythological creatures, action, and a bit of romance. I enjoyed all of the elements that the author wove together. Part witch and the daughter of Poseidon, Samantha is part of the Hunters’ Watch Brigade, a group of monster hunters who protect humans from the supernatural creatures who go rogue. Sam is sassy, independent, strong, and maybe a touch too stubborn. Sam has a penchant for killing first and then trying to ask questions, much to the dissatisfaction of Shade, her boss.

Max is her Main Coon familiar with a toolbox of skills. Since his shift from familiar to guardian, Max and Sam’s relationship has switched from one of witch and familiar to one of heat and romance. Off to get a week’s work of rest and recreation, Sam and Max are disrupted, however, when evil bombards the city in the manor of a scavenger hunt app.

The app brings a lot of monsters into town, including Alex, Sam’s ex. His desire? To find an ancient Greek relic that will afford him control over all the witches. In order to keep the city safe, the vacation is cancelled as Sam hunts Alex and the all-to-powerful relic alone, after Max is sent to deal with is family’s curse before it’s too late.

Danger abounds as tries to get ahead of Alex and retrieve the relic herself. Having it get into Alex’s hands will put the entire world in danger, not just the witches he will be able to control. It’s a good thing Sam has a shifter protector, a vampire, and Poseidon in her back pocket. She’s going to need them.

The author is very creative with the contents in The Game. The characters are interesting and well-developed. There is continued world building and I was able to visualize the story. The magical trident Sam carries with her at all times is wicked awesome. The story is fast-paced, flows well, and kept me engaged. The Game is an excellent book.

I was provided a copy of this book to read.

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Read an Excerpt from Upcoming New Release ~ Cowboy Wolf Trouble (Seven Range Shifters Book 1) by Kait Ballenger ~ #Giveaway ~ #Cowboy #Shifter @kait_ballenger @SourcebooksCasa


Cowboy Wolf Trouble
by Kait Ballenger

Publication date: 1/1/19

"Kait Ballenger is a treasure you don't want to miss." —GENA SHOWALTER, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.


About the Book:

Seven shifter clans call the Montana mountains home.
But a new evil will stop at nothing to tear their world apart.

For centuries, the shifters that roam Big Sky country have honored a pact to keep the peace. Even bad-boy rancher Wes Calhoun, former leader of a renegade pack, has given up his violent ways and sworn loyalty to the Grey Wolves. But his dark past keeps catching up with him...

Human rancher Naomi Evans cares only about saving the ranch that was her father's legacy. Until a clash with Wes opens up a whole new world—a supernatural world on the verge of war—and Naomi, her ranch, and the sexy cowboy wolf stealing her heart are smack dab in the middle of it.

Read an Excerpt:

            Naomi came to on a jolt of energy and fear. Dreaming. She had been dreaming. Closing her eyes again, she slowed her breathing. A gentle sway moved beneath her as she lay on her stomach, her spine curved in an upside-down U. Where the hell was she? Her head throbbed and her thoughts somehow felt fuzzy. Was she on a horse? The oily scent of coat polish permeated her nose, and from the gentle sway it certainly felt like it. But she didn’t trust her disoriented head. Hadn’t she been at home just moments ago? As she attempted to push herself up, a soft tug pulled at her wrists. She shifted until her wrists were in front of her face. Loosely tied rope wrapped around her wrists. Panic flooded her. She scrambled in an attempt to sit up. Immediately, she slipped from where she’d been perched and her back hit the cold mountain ground with a hard thud.
            A nearby male voice cursed.
            The moon above bathed the normally pitch-black forest in pale moonlight. A horse’s hooves leading up into thick muscled legs stood less than a foot away from her; its coat was as dark as the night sky. Equus ferus caballus. A black American mustang, a typically free-roaming species. She scrambled to sitting despite the ache in her shoulders from the fall. It took her all of two seconds to ascertain she’d been riding passed out on the back of the horse. And this horse was decidedly not free-roaming.
            She didn’t think. Jumping to her feet, Naomi darted into the trees. She had to escape. Had to get back to her ranch. Her feet flew over the hard mountain terrain as she ran downhill. Ten yards in a rock caught the toe of her boot and she toppled into the dried autumn leaves. She started to scramble to her feet again.
            And that’s when she saw him, looming in front of her. Her captor.
            He sat on the back of the dark horse, hands clutched in the beast’s mane, those same yellow wolf eyes narrowed in her direction. Thankfully, he was clothed now.
            He rode before her as a man. But his eyes told the true story.
            “Werewolf,” the word fell from her lips.
            “Glad we’ve gotten that out of the way,” he said.
            She jumped at the deep rumble of his voice. His voice was human, but those dangerous yellow eyes...
            He dismounted the horse, and her eyes widened as she took in the full sight of him. Mangy blond hair brushed beneath his chin, wild and unkempt. He stood unnaturally still, wolf eyes ablaze through the darkness. Harsh, brutal features comprised his face. Jagged cheekbones, a bladed nose, an angry slash of a mouth, and a strong jaw lined with a thin layer of coarse blond stubble clenched tight. He watched her with relentless intent. Violent battle scars marred the skin of his chest, highlighting the bloody wound at his shoulder from where her shot grazed him, and the deep slashes of the now removed wolf trap in his forearm only served to make him appear all the deadlier.
            Wild, fierce, virile.
            Dangerous.
            In her work as a biologist, she had developed a brief, flirting fascination with large apex predators. After she’d finished her degree, she’d accepted a brief summer internship at a large cat rescue in northern Florida, where she’d worked with the rehabilitated predators up close. She’d been captivated with the languid way they moved, their ability to become so still in anticipation before they struck or lunged at lesser prey, a trait common among predators across varying species. Being so close to such strength and power had filled her with both excitement and fear. She remembered once observing a cougar crouch in anticipation of a live rabbit that had been released into its cage. The intense, deadly look in its eyes had both thrilled her and terrified her. Making her want to draw closer while also being thankful a cage had stood between them.
            She had no such protection now.
            It was the cold, ferocious intent in his golden wolf eyes that paralyzed her, that held her captive. Even in this form, he was lethal, standing well-over six feet, his body unforgiving muscle and sinew that moved with predatory fluidness.
            Few would have called him handsome. Terrifying seemed more accurate, yet she couldn’t pull her gaze away. She didn’t want to.
            He wore nothing but a pair of loose jeans covered with riding chaps. The combination hung low enough on his hips to serve as a reminder there was nothing underneath. Her eyes followed the trail of blond hair on his muscled abdomen. The material covering him seemed so precariously perched there, that it sent a wave of embarrassed heat straight to her cheeks.
            Slowly, she shifted her legs underneath herself until she crouched over the tree roots. Though she naturally loved the outdoors, having grown up on a ranch, she’d never been a very fast runner. But she had to fight, had to try. She knew these mountains. She could find her way to her ranch, even in the dark. Right? He took one step toward her, and even that small movement was predatory, not fully human.
            And she was his prey.

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Friday, December 28, 2018

Sign Up to Host Sharon Ledwith's Birthday Book Bash Virtual Tour (February 4-8, 2019) #LookingforBloggers


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Book Spotlight & #Giveaway ~ Meridian Chronicles: Black Widow Curse and The Coven, Meridian Chronicles, Book Two by MD Fryson ~ @madelyn_fryson ~ Dark Paranormal Fantasy



Meridian Chronicles: Black Widow Curse and The Coven
Meridian Chronicles 
Book Two
MD Fryson

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy

Publisher: AMF Publishing

Date of Publication: Sept. 29th, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-692-12117-7
ASIN:  B07FDB677Q

Number of pages: 408
Word Count: 91,410

Cover Artist: Todd Engle

Tagline: Dark Paranormal Fantasy

About the Book: 

Exiled from her realm, living with the Black Widow Curse, Spirit Guide is at the whims of the dark one and a dark witch.  Fairy Nymphs may help and a high demon has grown tired of the politics. 

Will she break her curse with her twin soul?

Watch the Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/-JBhIUwdXgo
  
Purchase Links:

Amazon
Books2Read

Read an Excerpt:

In the empty space above the center of the table a heat emerged and with it a face that appeared through the smoke and flames that engulfed the space above the table.  The demon did not make a total appearance but almost appeared as though he was checking a part of himself through from his own realm.  “Oh, dark sister, you call upon me. What do you wish to know from the dark places I only know?”  the demon asked.
“Oh, dark one, hear my plea. I beg of you to unveil the workings of the curse on Meridian!” Raina shouted out.
The demon answered Raina, with ease. “The curse bestowed on the once-spirit guide is The Black Widow curse, and one that only a dark one can cast.  A dark one born of a demon with powers for only the dark with a heart of black.”
“Dark one, I am in your debt. We understand, on the surface, who has cast this curse on Meridian.  We now need to understand how we may find a way to break this curse,” Raina spoke to the demon.
The demon gave his answer in riddle form.
The being whose work is dark can only be stopped with the twin soul.
 The being you seek is hard to hold.
 Spirit guides who engage with a mortal are not pure of heart in that act, but in the face of true love all remains intact.  
Meridian does not trust herself in her choice.
She will not listen to her inner voice.
So many can enter her mind, her greatest challenge in the true find.
The demon disappeared and was gone from sight.


Meet the Author:

MD Fryson is a wife and mom to three boys.  When not writing, she likes to read, hike, jog, garden and she loves to travel.  Favorite place aside from the U.S.A. is London England where she has some family. 

One of her favorite authors is Cassandra Clare.  She also likes to read inspirational and anything on astrology.  Lover of all music, she is an equal-genre-tunity.
Apart from her family she can’t live without, is the ocean and beach vacations,  chocolate, coffee and tons of creamer where her husband asks if she would like some coffee to go with her creamer. 

An animal lover of all sorts, horses hold a special place in her heart from when she used to ride, train and show.  




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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Murder, Curlers (Valentine Beaumont) Series Spotlight by Arlene McFarlane @mcfa_arlene #CozyMystery


Murder, Curlers Series
Arlene McFarlane

Genre: Cozy Mystery 


Murder, Curlers and Cream
Murder, Curlers Series Book 1


“Smart, entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny!”—Liliana Hart, New York Times Bestselling Author

Valentine Beaumont is a beautician with a problem. Not only has she got a meddling mother, a wacky staff, and a dying business, but now she’s got a dead client who was strangled while awaiting her facial. 

With business the way it is, combing through this mystery may be the only way to save her salon. Until a second murder, an explosion, a kidnapping, death threats, and the hard-nosed Detective Romero complicate things. But Valentine will do anything to untangle the crime. That’s if she can keep her tools of the trade in her bag, keep herself alive, and avoid falling for the tough detective. 

In the end, how hard can that be? 

**Get it FREE!!**

Grab Your Copy:


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Murder, Curlers and Canes
Murder, Curlers Series Book 2


Valentine Beaumont is back in her second hair-raising mystery, this time, trying to find out who had it in for an elderly nun. Only trouble is there are others standing in her way: hot but tough Detective Romero, sexy new stylist Jock de Marco, and some zany locals who all have a theory on the nun’s death.

Making things worse: the dead nun’s secret that haunts Valentine, another murder, car chases, death threats, mysterious clues, an interfering mother, and a crazy staff. 

Between brushing off Jock’s advances and splitting hairs with handsome Detective Romero, Valentine struggles to comb through the crime, utilizing her tools of the trade in some outrageous situations. Question is, will she succeed? 

Grab Your Copy:


Add to Your Shelf on Goodreads


Murder, Curlers and Cruises
Murder, Curlers Series Book 3


“Sharp, sexy, and side-splitting. Everything I love in a good mystery!” – Darynda Jones, New York Times/USA Today Bestselling Author of the Charley Davidson Series

“A fun-filled ride. A zany cast of characters. And a quest to find a killer. Another great book in a wonderful series!” – Wendy Byrne, USA Today Bestselling Author of the Izzy Lewis Mysteries 

In her third fast-paced mystery, beautician Valentine Beaumont and her madcap crew sail the high seas on a Caribbean “Beauty Cruise.” When a bizarre murder takes place onboard, Valentine finds herself swept into the middle of the investigation. 

If things aren’t bad enough, her mother is playing matchmaker, a loved one is kidnapped, drug smuggling is afoot, a hair contest proves disastrous, and a strange alliance between tough Detective Romero and sexy stylist Jock de Marco rubs Valentine the wrong way. 

Will this impulsive beauty sleuth comb through the catastrophes and untangle the mystery, or will this voyage turn into another fatal Titanic? With Jock and Romero onboard, it’s destined to be a hot cruise! 

Grab Your Copy:


Add to Your Shelf on Goodreads



Arlene McFarlane is the author of the Murder, Curlers series. Previously an aesthetician, hairstylist, and owner of a full-service salon, Arlene now writes full time. When she’s not making up stories, or being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, cat-mom, or makeover artist, you’ll find her making music on the piano.

Arlene is a member of Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Toronto Romance Writers, SOWG, and the Golden Network. She’s won and placed in over 30 contests, including twice in the Golden Heart and twice in the Daphne du Maurier. 

Arlene lives with her family in Canada.



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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Book #Review ~ Fling Club (Serendipity, Book #1) by Tara Brown


About the Book:

It’s revenge—sweet and hot—in the first book of this sexy and wickedly funny series by international bestselling author Tara Brown.

For the young, rich, and beautiful, summertime in the Hamptons means one thing: Fling Club. Only this time, Cherry Kennedy won’t be selecting a boy for a fleeting romance. Nope, this season, Cherry is out for revenge. Her target? The Fling Club founder and society darling who slept with Cherry’s now-very-ex-boyfriend. And all Cherry needs is the perfect guy for her plan…

Ashley Jardine can’t afford to refuse. He scored almost a full ride to MIT. But that almost still costs a lot. And this is so much money for a little game of revenge and a chance—albeit short—to live the high life. Here, rich girls rule the shore, and everyone has a role to play. Only nothing in the job description warned Ashley that the redhead who’s running the scheme would be so crazy. And cute. Or that he wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about her.

Now, everything is going according to plan—until an unexpected attraction raises the stakes. It’s enough to turn the perfect payback into absolute heartbreak.
Book Details:

Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
ASIN: B078S8KDZH
Amazon

My Review:

Fling Club (Serendipity, #1)Fling Club by Tara Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fling Club is an interesting read about the lifestyles of the children of the rich. The story reminded me of the movie She’s All That with Freddy Prinze Jr. Rachael Leigh Cook. Of course, how the story and the movie develop are different, but the “let’s find someone poor and not hip and transform them into something they clearly aren’t all for the sake of popularity or revenge” is similar. So is what happens at the end of both media types. This is not a criticism, it’s an observation. I love She’s All That and I enjoyed Fling Club, even though both are pretty predicable.

Cherry Kennedy wants to get back at Cait, her rival and current ruler of the Hamptons, by setting her up to break the rules of Fling Club. Then Cherry will be able to call her out in front of everyone for all the nasty things she’s done. Enter one college guy named Ashely who’s good looking and in need of money to help pay tuition to ease the burden on his parents. Cherry isn’t supposed to really want Ashley or vice versa but that’s what happens, with the potential to sideline the plan and completely destroy everyone involved.

The story is well-paced; not too fast, not too slow, and the author’s writing style was easy and conversational. There’s not much character development as I found most of the rich kids didn’t really have a personality and they all pretty much acted the same immature way throughout the book. I trusted none of the secondary rich friends of Cherry. They were written in a way that the reader assumes they will do whatever needs to be done to get their way or to be friends with whomever is popular at the time. There is a bit of back story though, which explains the rivalry and the emotional upheaval provided near the end of the book. World-building was acceptable but not stellar. I could visualize some of the story but other times I only saw words as I read.

If you are reading this review, please take the lower starred reviews with a grain of salt and the five stars with a bit of ambition. The book isn’t perfect and has some pretty silly things happen, but I found Fling Club to be an enjoyable, fast read that kept me entertained. I value other people’s opinions about books, but I also like to make my own decisions. I’m glad I took a chance on Fling Club.

I was given a copy of this book to read.

View all my reviews

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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Book #Review ~ A Scandal in Scarlet (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, Book #4) by Vicki Delany ~ #CozyMystery


About the Book:

Sherlockians will delight at the latest charming installment of national bestselling author Vicki Delany’s fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Gemma and Jayne donate their time to raise money for the rebuilding of a burned out museum—but a killer wants a piece of the auction.

Walking her dog Violet late one night, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop, acts quickly when she smells smoke outside the West London Museum. Fortunately no one is inside, but it’s too late to save the museum’s priceless collection of furniture, and damage to the historic house is extensive. Baker Street’s shop owners come together to hold an afternoon auction tea to raise funds to rebuild, and Great Uncle Arthur Doyle offers a signed first edition of The Valley of Fear.

Cape Cod’s cognoscenti files into Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room, owned by Gemma’s best friend, Jayne Wilson. Excitement fills the air (along with the aromas of Jayne’s delightful scones, of course). But the auction never happens. Before the gavel can fall, museum board chair Kathy Lamb is found dead in the back room. Wrapped tightly around her neck is a long rope of decorative knotted tea cups—a gift item that Jayne sells at Mrs. Hudson’s. Gemma’s boyfriend in blue, Ryan Ashburton, arrives on the scene with Detective Louise Estrada. But the suspect list is long, and the case far from elementary. Does Kathy’s killing have any relation to a mysterious death of seven years ago?

Gemma has no intention of getting involved in the investigation, but when fellow shopkeeper Maureen finds herself the prime suspect she begs Gemma for her help. Ryan knows Gemma’s methods and he isn’t happy when she gets entangled in another mystery. But with so many suspects and so few clues, her deductive prowess will prove invaluable in A Scandal in Scarlet, Vicki Delany’s shrewdly plotted fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Book Details:

Print Length: 296 pages
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
ASIN: B079DWNBV7

Amazon

My Review:

A Scandal in Scarlet (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, #4)A Scandal in Scarlet by Vicki Delany
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Scandal in Scarlet is book 4 in Vicki Delany’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series. Gemma Doyle discovers the local museum on fire while walking her dog at night. Many objects were destroyed and much of historic house is damaged. Fortunately, no one was injured since the museum was empty. In an effort to restore the building, the local shop owners come together to hold an auction at Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. Everyone donates toward the event but just prior to the start of the auction, Kathy Lamb, the chair of the museum board is found dead. The murder weapon? - a decoration sold in the Tea Room.

Gemma plans to stay far away from the investigation. She doesn’t even want to get involved to help Maureen Middleton, the shopkeeper from across the street, when she asks Gemma for help. Contrary to her plans, Gemma finds herself neck-deep in what is another murder mystery much to the annoyance of her boyfriend, Ryan Ashburton, and Detective Louise Estrada.

The character development continues in A Scandal in Scarlet. Gemma is painfully observant, and she tends to alienate herself and the people around her. She does so without malice and that's what makes her character quirky and lovable. The supporting characters round out this great cozy mystery. Gemma's best friend Jayne is her partner-in-crime and she has Gemma's back. Ryan is one of the police officers assigned to the cases in all four books in the series. Their relationship history sometimes gets in the way of the investigation. The chemistry between them is strong, undeniable, and believable. I enjoy their dynamics and love romances that don't take over the book but are there in the background. It makes the characters more realistic to me.

The plot for A Scandal in Scarlet was laid out well and the world building was as great in this book as it was in the previous three. I was able to visualize everything that was described, and I felt like I was there at the bookshop, tea room, and auction. The author did a great job masking who committed the murder and bringing in other contenders who had motive. I really enjoyed A Scandal in Scarlet and highly recommend the entire series to lovers of cozy mysteries.

I was given a copy of the book to read.

View all my reviews

Babs BookMark Magazine - The 2018 Holiday Edition

Enjoy!!


Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!!

Book Review: The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall: A Modern Gothic Romance (Dark Seductions, Book #1) by Lauren Smith


About the Book:

Haunted, schmaunted.

Bastian, infamous playboy and the current Earl of Weymouth doesn't believe his English castle is haunted. So what if a few windows and lightbulbs shatter? That happens. OK, bleeding portraits are hard to explain… But he is not going to be deterred. Not even by Jane, a seductive-as-sin grad student who has assigned herself the task of ghost hunting at Stormclyffe Hall. All Bastian wants is to restore his ancestral home, not be distracted by her curvy hips, bedroom eyes and gorgeous smile-

Fine, maybe he does want to get naked with Ms. GhostBuster, but that's only because she practically follows him around, nosing into his daily life. And yes, because she looks so damnably sexy, however, he refuses to give into lust. No matter how much she tempts him. 

But when the ghosts up the ante and try to kill them, Bastian realizes he will have to keep Jane close. Very, very close. Purely to protect her, of course.

At least that's what he tells himself. All bets-and some clothes-are off, as he shows her what a real earl is made of.

*This book was previously published in 2014 by Entangled Publishing and has been re-released.

Book Details:

Print Length: 268 pages
Publication Date: February 28, 2018
ASIN: B07B4QYZBN

My Review:

The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall (Dark Seductions, #1)The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall by Lauren Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall is a paranormal gothic romance set in England. The 1811 prologue provides insight into the tragic past of Stormclyffe Hall. The Earl married a local without any pedigree and shortly after the birth of their son, Edward, she plummets to her death on the cliffs. In present day, Jane Seyton is doing her dissertation on tragedies that occurred in some Britain’s oldest castles. Her current destination is Stormclyffe Hall. Jane is certain something else happened at Stormclyffe Hall all those years ago that goes beyond a new mother tossing herself off of the cliffs. She needs to get into Stormclyffe Hall but the current Earl, Bastian, intends to make things difficult.

As Jane continues to research the castle and investigate the former occupants, both she and Bastian soon realize there is something otherworldly in play. There is evil threaded through the castle and has its sights set on Jane and Bastian. Now, the annoying American and arrogant Earl must come together to battle supernatural entities before more people die.

The story is dark, romantic, and mysterious. Throughout the book, the chemistry between Jane and Bastian intensifies, realistically and believable. The author did a great job with the development of each character. The unfolding of the story is perfectly paced and well-developed. The world-building is done is done so well that the reader will feel like they are actually in the story. Descriptive and exciting, The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall is engaging, rich in detail, and highly recommended.

I was given a copy of this book to review (both the original publication in 2014 and the re-release in 2018).

View all my reviews

Monday, December 24, 2018

Book Spotlight ~ Alpaca My Bags: Dying to Leave the Oasis (A Desert Oasis Cozy Mystery, Book 1) by Violet Patton


Alpaca My Bags: Dying to Leave the Oasis (A Desert Oasis Cozy Mystery Book 1) by Violet Patton

Cozy Mystery 
First in Series 
December 1st, 2018
231 pages 
Digital ASIN: B07JX5WHB5


About the Book:

  Murder? Romance? Intrigue? The Desert Oasis runs rampant with gossip and secrets. 

Sweetie Bastard told Hunny Bunny—pack your bags we’re moving to lovely Tucson, Arizona. She didn’t have a choice. He sold her house and bought a park model online sight unseen in the Desert Oasis 55 plus community. The park was more asphalt than oasis—hot—dry—terrible. The trailer was a wreck. No air-conditioning. No beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay. There’s an Arizona room to build. A golf cart to buy. Dances, crafts and funerals to attend. Bunny agrees to take water aerobics. She hates water. First lesson—the park’s ladies’ man athletic director was found weighed down and dead at the bottom of the swimming pool. Who killed philandering Dan? And why? The last tenant in their new home, Wanda, left behind her clothes, knickknacks and dishes. The place gives her the willies. Bunny can’t stand an unsolved mystery, and she’ll dig deep and wide to solve Wanda’s case.

Will Bunny agree to live happily ever after in the Oasis, or will she make Sweetie Bastard move to posh Scottsdale?

Download Alpaca My Bags today for 99 cents:

Amazon

The Desert Oasis series: Alpaca My Bags Wool Over Your Eyes.

February 4, 2019 Pre-order now

Amazon

About the Author:



I grew up in Arkansas, just a few miles from Louisiana. Violet Patton was a grandmother. I took her name as a pen name in her honor. She didn't read much and when she did it was True Confessions magazine. She married a man twice her age at 18 and she did not have romance in her life, but she longed for it. She was tough, picking cotton, milking cows and tending a garden to keep her family alive. Behind her toughness was a sweet tenderness which showed through her beautiful blue eyes.

Now as I age, I miss her more and more. Her photograph graces my desk, and I often ask for her advice or read my stories aloud to her. I can hear her laugh as I read my stories and I remember that spirit she never lost despite her adversities. Thank you for giving me everything you had.

Catch Violet at the following places:

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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Book Review: Sin City Salvation: Holidays Are Hell (A Hell’s Belle Prequel Novella) by Karen Greco ~ #UF ~ @karenThegreco


Book Details:

Print Length: 142 pages
Publisher: 56West, LLC
Publication Date: November 24, 2018
ASIN: B07KNCQPL1

Goodreads
Amazon

About the Book:

There are thousands of bodies buried in the Las Vegas desert. Nina Martinez does not want to be one of them.

Blood Ops agents Nina and Frankie came to Las Vegas for a little R&R. But their holiday takes a detour when there is a mass suicide on the Vegas strip. With the sigil of Satan burning on the bodies, what looks like a human problem quickly turns supernatural. Satan is in Sin City, and he’s been reinvented as the self-help guru behind the multi-billion-dollar organization BestLife Ministries.

With an offer to attend the BestLife’s Yule Ball, Nina accepts her invitation to dance with the devil. But what happens in Vegas needs to stay in Vegas. For all of humanity’s sake…

This action-packed prequel novella to the acclaimed Hell’s Belle series gives fans of the series a glimpse at Nina’s origin story while new readers can sample the unique Hell’s Belle world.

My Review:

Sin City Salvation: Holidays Are Hell: A Hell's Belle Prequel NovellaSin City Salvation: Holidays Are Hell: A Hell's Belle Prequel Novella by Karen Greco

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sin City Salvation has Nina and Frankie on a mini vacation. As Blood Ops enforcers, they are in desperate need of a break from killing rogue vamps and other things that go bump in the night. When they are walking the Strip in Vegas, they witness a jumper plummet to his death; one of many suicides that have been happening all over the city. To add to the problem, this body also carries the sigil of Satan, meaning this epidemic of suicides has not just gone from a human problem to a Blood Ops problem.

Nina and Frankie are outed as Blood Ops by Satan’s son, Gabe, who seeks Nina out. It would appear that Daddy Dearest is on earth under the guise of a self-help master of BestLife Ministries. His followers are devoted and react to powers of suggestion – even if it gets them killed. When Gage invites Nina to the BestLife Yule Ball, she, Frankie and the leader of Black Ops develop a plan to send Satan back where he belongs. Only, Nina and Frankie are demonologists, so Satan’s banishment won’t be easy or long-term.

Sin City Salvation is an action-packed prequel to the Hell’s Belle series. Nina is a strong heroine who just happens to be half-vamp/half-human. The author does a good job reminding the readers that Nina is human. She’s not a full vampire and she has reactions to situations that show her humanity. I really like Frankie’s character. He’s protective but knows Nina can handle herself. Frankie exhibits some human-like qualities that make it easy relate to him even though he’s undead. The snark and banter between Nina and Frankie is laugh out loud worthy and lightens the intense nature of the story.

The path the story takes had me totally on board then the author put in a plot twist. The twist was something I had tossed around as being possible but disregarded it as I continued reading. The author did a wonderful job with misdirection and pulling out the plot twist at the perfect time. I enjoyed the story, the pacing, the characters, and the world building. I own all of the other full-length novels in the series but haven’t had time to read them. This prequel was exactly what I needed to pull me into the world of Hell’s Belle.

I was given a copy of this book to read.

View all my reviews

Friday, December 21, 2018

DIY #Holiday Sugar Scrub Cubes with Jena Baxter ~ #Giveaway ~ Book Feature ~ Enchanting Yuletide: A Multi-Author Anthology ~ Jena Baxter, Raven Williams, Ellie Lieberman, Barb Lieberman, Guy Donovan, CK Brewer #BewitchingBookTours


Please welcome Jena Baxter to the blog today!!

I love special soaps and toiletries and sugar scrubs are on the top of my list. There are all kinds. Some require special attention, and others are downright easy. I don’t recommend the traditional oil and sugar, unless you want to slip and slide, then spend the day cleaning your tub. I think this one is much better, and the ingredients are easy to find. They make great gifts too.

Homemade Glycerin Soap Sugar Scrub Cubes

Once you have all your ingredients together prepare to work fast.

The first thing you need is a glycerin melt and pour soap base. Most craft stores carry it. Michael’s now carries some great detergent-free bases

You’ll also need a skin friendly oil. Fractionated coconut oil is a great choice and can be found in your supermarket. Sweet almond oil, avocado or olive oil will work well too. Macadamia is wonderful, but not as easy to find.

A SKIN SAFE scent and colorant if you want them. They will be available in the area you find the glycerin soap. Read the label, they MUST be skin safe. Don’t use candle colorant. Choose a nice fragrance for the season. Peppermint, pumpkin, cookies, or gingerbread.

Sugar – Sugar can have large or small grains. For this recipe, I use regular white granulated sugar. For a face soap, I would probably use brown sugar. For a foot soap, I’d use demerara sugar, because the granules are larger.

You will also need a mold. No need to run out and buy one for this recipe however. You can use a silicon mold or ice tray, or a sanitized milk carton cut to size; the box quarts are pretty perfect. Line it with saran wrap. You want the mold to give, so you can push the scrub out once it’s set. If you use the milk carton, you can carefully rip the paper off.


To make your Sugar Scrub

½ Cup Oil

1 Cup Melt and Pour base

2 Cups plus Sugar

Use drops or a half teaspoon to get the fragrance you want. Be cautious not to use more than necessary because even skin safe fragrance can be harsh on your skin. 1 teaspoon per pound of soap base is the limit.



Instructions: Have your mold ready before you start and remember to work fast.

Melt your soap base on very low heat. A double boiler is good, or you can microwave it in 30 second pulses. I use 30 seconds to start and stir. If I need more time, I do 15 second pulses. You don’t want it to get too hot, because soap can burn.

When the base is completely melted, pour into a large bowl, add your oil. Mix well.

Add your colorant one drop at a time until you get the shade you want but use as little as possible; too much colorant can stain washcloths. Mix well

Add up to a half teaspoon of fragrance. Mix well.

Add your sugar and mix fast; You don’t want it to harden on you.  You want to pour it as soon as possible. When it’s incorporated pour it into your mold. If it’s too thick, spoon it in and press it down.
Once the soap is set. (I’d give it at least a couple of hours. I leave mine overnight). Carefully remove it from the mold, placing it onto a plate, or anything oil can’t seep through, because there is always some oil that seeps out of the soap. Work gently because the scrub will be crumbly.

Carefully cut it into 1-1 ½ inch squares.

If there is a lot of leftover oil, I cover and leave it, so it can soak some of that up. There will usually be seeping oil.

Your sugar scrub soap is finished and ready to package. You can use cellophane wraps or jars, label it, and add trinkets or bows to the top. Be creative. Just remember to use something the oil can’t seep through. I also place a note on the label telling people to be careful in the shower or tub, because oils can make it slippery.

Instructions: Break off a piece from the cube. Scrub an area until the sugar is gone. Rinse well, and pat dry. It usually takes one or two cubes per shower.

Have fun with it. Once you’ve tried these, I think you’ll be addicted.

WARNING: If someone is allergic to a food product, (Like nuts, avocados, etc.) they will be allergic to the oils produced by that item as well.


Enchanting Yuletide: A Multi-Author Anthology
Jena Baxter, Raven Williams, Ellie Lieberman, Barb Lieberman, Guy Donovan, CK Brewer

Genre: Holiday / Fantasy

Publisher: Pipe and Thimble

Date of Publication: November 15th, 2017

ASIN: B076LLT6JD

Number of pages: 184

Word Count:

Cover Artist: Raven Williams

Tagline: Tis the Season for Magic

About the Anthology:

Six stories of the holiday season, guaranteed to put you in a festive mood. So, grab your hot chocolate and snuggle up to experience the season as you've never done before. After all, tis the Season for Magic!


Watch the Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/wXp54hQMP90




About the Author:
Raven Williams

A prolific writer, Raven began her career in 2010 with a blog and non-fiction, then moving to fiction in 2014, when she began Elven-Jumper, the first book in the Realm.

Jumper Chronicles. She now has 30 books to her name, spanning the Realm Jumper Chronicles, Raven’s Twisted Classics, and the Demon Stones Saga, as well as her non-fiction, with more planned.

When Raven is not writing, she is creating art in the form of abstract paintings, fractal designs, and jewelry pieces that tie into her stories. She is also a caregiver for a disabled family member and two cats. She physically resides in the Northwest Florida Panhandle, but spends most of her time mentally in her Mystic Realms.

Will you join her?

Sign-up for Raven’s Newsletter here: https://mysticrealmscurioshop.com/newsletter-sign-up


Raven’s Mystic Realms FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/mysticrealmscurioshop/






About the Author:

Jena Baxter

A prolific writer, Jena Baxter creates characters with depth and stories filled with action, emotion, and a little bit of romance. She loves building fantastical worlds and cultures.

Living in Northern California with her husband, Jena enjoys soapmaking, her pets, and writer's conferences. She also reads for a screenwriting contest on an annual basis.










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