New to Me Review: The Timeweaver’s Wager by Axel Blackwell

Since I’m doing my own blogging thing now, I’m going to have a monthly (or every other month, depending on my reading time) feature sharing a new-to-me author. Today’s my first – huzzah!

TWWWould you give your life for a second chance?

Glen McClay sits on a fallen log by the railroad trestle, watching for his girlfriend’s ghost. Eight years ago, Connie Salvatore was savagely murdered here. Glen has spent his life seeking redemption, haunted by the knowledge that he might have been able save her. The time has come to let go of his past and move on with his life. But as he prepares to do so, an old friend offers Glen the redemption he has always sought – a chance to relive that horrible night and change the past. All he has to do… is die.

 

 

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Review

I won The Timeweaver’s Wager in a blog giveaway, and the blurb included some of my favorite elements to drag me in. Haunted main character? Check. Ghost? Check. Redemption? Always love that. So I was super-excited to read.

Glen lost his girlfriend when he was just a teenager, and blames himself for her murder. He’s spent his years building community awareness of the need for women to protect themselves, to learn self-defense moves, and being a martial arts girl who also loves her guns, I absolutely loved that about him. While he remained steeped in his sorrows, he still devoted his life to help prevent others from being murdered like his childhood love. But he can’t let go of the past, he can’t forgive himself, and the first half of the story is mired in Glen and his despair. For me, that dragged on too long, and I almost set the story aside.

Right about the fifty-percent mark, the story got interesting. Glen is faced with the opportunity to travel back in time, to go back to a point before his girlfriend was murdered, and to try to change his own actions to prevent her death. The downfall? He has to sacrifice his life. That one moment really made me think. How many people would take that chance, not knowing if changing the future was even possible? Would you throw your current life away to try to help someone, not having any guarantees? From that point on, the story kicked into gear.

I liked Glen and his relationship with his sister. While the story question was thought-provoking and the writing excellent, just beware that the slow first half is hard to get through. I’m glad I didn’t give up on it, and the ending is definitely satisfying.

Three Stars

 

 

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Adventures in April

So I took a month off from blogging, and it was…nice. Really nice. I definitely needed a blog vacation, and while I still haven’t decided how often I’m going to blog, I wanted to assure you I didn’t spend April sitting around on my laurels. I had some adventures, both good and not so fun.

First, a good. I spent April writing a new story, and it was exactly what I needed.

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/dan

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/dan

I’d been editing and revising another story for so long, and while that story is near and dear to my heart (not to mention now finally DONE!), I’d forgotten the pure joy of writing. The characters coming to life. The thrill of writing a perfect paragraph. The satisfaction of evoking an emotion. The excitement of budding romance between characters. Writing makes me happy, and in the drudgery of all the other stuff that’s involved with publishing, I’d forgotten. I vow never to forget again! BTW, I’ll be posting a Pinterest board soon on this story (and my Dreamcaster series too), so feel free to follow me here. My muse for the newest story is amazing. Sure, he’s easy on the eyes, but his violin skills are beyond unbelievable. You must check him out. Must.

Since we have to balance the good with the bad…I also spent a fine 2+ weeks recovering from my annual bout of poison oak exposure.

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici

Every. Freakin’. Year. I was being so careful. As soon as I came in from gardening, I washed up with Tecnu (this stuff is made in Oregon, probably inspired by a fellow PO sensitive-sufferer), but alas. Later that day, I scooped up one of my indoor/outdoor kitties, smothered him with kisses, and BAM! Poison oak all over my lips and neck, and of course it spread to all sorts of interesting places. Bad kitty, kitty.

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The stuff is pure misery, people. Pure misery. I’ve never found anything that prevents the unbearable itchiness for very long, and believe me, I’ve tried everything. Tecnu comes the closest to easing the torment, with the exception of just sitting in cold water. I’m pretty sure I’m being punished for some misdeed.

But, the horrors of poison oak departed, and April ended with a bang. Bungee jumping is something I’ve always wanted to do, but no one I knew expressed an interest in doing it, so I never seriously pursued it…until I learned one of our friends wanted to do it too. His wife set up a surprise birthday group road trip for him. Score! I’m terrified of heights, but I love roller-coasters and amusement park rides, so I admit while I was excited, my palms were sweating. The guys at Bungee Masters in Amboy, Washington were awesome, so if you’re in the area and looking for something to do, look no more. They have a privately owned 20-story bungee bridge over a river, all enclosed by forestland. And lemme tell ya, that bridge is *gulp* high.

Bungee Bridge

And if you jump off twice (once forward and once backward), you get a Dangerous Sports Club T-shirt. Can’t beat that, huh? A couple of jumpers before our group got out onto the teeny-tiny ledge over the bridge railing and chickened out. Really, you can’t blame them. What sort of person climbs over the railing of a bridge nearly 200 feet high and doesn’t get the jitters? Don’t answer that. 🙂 But no way was I going to wimp out on this. The backward jump was scary-awesome. I’m smiling all the way down…

And yeah, I got the T-shirt too.

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So that’s my April doings. Have any adventures to share?

 

 

 

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Happy Pack Winner

Since it’s Monday, I figured I’d at least make one person’s day a little brighter by announcing the winner of C.J.’s Happy Pack.

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Lucky Lori H.! An email’s been sent, so check your inbox so I can send you stuff.

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Thanks to everyone who participated in The Little Things Blog Hop. It was so much fun to connect with new people and talk about a few things that add rays of sunshine into our worlds. Have a great week!

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Book Blast: Edge a YA/NA Paranormal Collection

Happy Wednesday! When there’s a great book deal with some paranormal stories by awesome authors, you know I’ve got to pass it along. Check it out: 20 tales for 99 pennies – can’t beat that! But if you want it, move fast because the pre-order deal is almost done. Cherry on top is a $50 giveaway. You’re welcome. 🙂

Edge cover

Limited Edition Paranormal Boxed Set

20 New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors.

20 of today’s most magical, sought-after titles.

Yours for only $0.99.

Twenty Edgy Young Adult & New Adult Paranormal Tales

Twenty of today’s favorite young adult and new adult authors have come together to bring you a collection packed with full-length, spellbinding reads sure to keep you keep you on the edge of your seat and up way past your bedtime!

But reader beware: These novels take everything to the edge–and not just the edge of your seat. With authors who aren’t afraid to push the boundaries, you get stories that take everything to limit, creating whimsical reads that teens can actually relate to and that adults can enjoy, too.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * iTunes

Pre-Order it today to save over fifty dollars from the cost of purchasing each book individually!

Last Chance to Pre-order!

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What’s Inside?

Edge Covers

New York Times Bestselling Author
Riley J Ford, INTO YOU – What if you could know exactly what your friends are thinking? High school student Winter Reynolds can, but there’s a catch… She can only read people’s thoughts when she’s kissing them.

USA Today Bestselling Authors

Rebecca Hamilton, THE FOREVER GIRL – When a spell Sophia casts goes wrong, her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous.
JC Andrijeski, THE CULLING – Jet grew up free, hiding out on Earth after it was conquered by an alien species, but now she might learn about her alien overlords the hard way.
Apryl Baker, THE PROMISE – Armed with kick-ass shoes, can CJ save the town from a maniacal coven leader, still get Mr. Melt In Your Mouth Gorgeous, and somehow survive the darkness?
Angela Fristoe, WAKEN – If Janie hopes to survive the people of Everod, she’ll need to confront who and what she really is.
April Aasheim, THE GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO BECOMING A DEMON – What’s a nice girl to do when she develops horns…and a hunger?
Angel Lawson, WRAITH – Classmates think Jane Watt’s is a freak, but she knows her best friend, Evan is real and needs her, even if he’s dead.
Katie Salidas, PRETTY LITTLE WEREWOLF – This little werewolf is looking for her fur-ever home.

International Bestselling Authors

Sarah Dalton, MARY HADES – Mary has a special relationship with the spirit world — a connection that brings her face to face with her worst nightmares…
Debbie Herbert, CHANGELING – A wannabe witch who sucks at spells must find her inner magic to nab a pixie serial killer.
Shalini Boland, HIDDEN – When Maddy inherits a mansion, she also inherits something sinister in the basement. Falling in love has never been so dangerous.
Eva Chase, CAUGHT IN THE GLOW – Assigned to protect a hot indie rocker from demons, the secret he’s keeping puts Avery’s heart and his soul on the line.
Rachel McClellan, FRACTURED LIGHT – Discovering the strength of her power may cost Llona her life.
Kimberly Loth, KISSED – Three Boys. Two Kisses. One Devastating Choice.
Shannon Eckrich, OTHER SIDE OF FOREVER – Forever is only a portal away.
H.D. Gordon, SHOOTING STARS – A tale of star-crossed lovers and magic.
Stacy Claflin, SAVED BY A VAMPIRE – A new vampire must face something more ancient, powerful, and deadly than she ever imagined…
Marissa Farrar, TWISTED DREAMS – Upon starting college, half-vampire Elizabeth hadn’t expected to happen upon a travelling carnival, or sexy, dare-devil biker.
Cindy Thomas, BECKON ME – Her heart…and her soul are on the line.

Award Winning Author
Laxmi Hariharan, THE MANY LIVES OF RUBY IYER – To become herself, Ruby must turn her back on everything she ever knew.

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Blog Tour Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/5/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Book Spotlight and Author Interview: Magnetic Shift by Lucy D. Briand

The ability to magnetize and manipulate metal with the flick of her wrist makes seventeen-year-old Lexi Adams a crack mechanic, but it’s a disaster in the making when her stepdad trades her skills to NASCAR team owner Dean Grant for an entire season’s worth of sponsorship ads.

Now Lexi has no other choice but to suck it up and hope she can keep her magnetic impulses under control—that is, until she runs into NASCAR’s hot new rookie, Colton Tayler.

When Carl Stacy, the ruthless team owner of the defending Cup Champion, discovers Lexi’s secret and plots to use it to ruin Dean’s race team for good, Lexi must either expose her ability to save Colton, risking Dean’s career and her own freedom in the process, or watch the only guy she’s ever fallen for race to his death.

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Happy Wednesday, everyone! I’m so excited to have my agency sister, Lucy Briand, here today, talking about comic book heroes, racing, and her new release, Magnetic Shift. Lucy was kind enough to answer some of my nosy questions, and since she’s a fellow geek all the way, she fits in just fine. And here we go!

CJ:  I love the concept of Magnetic Shift. Paranormal racing romance? Hello! Is it your fondness for NASCAR that inspired you to write this story, or something else?

Lucy:  Definitely my love of NASCAR mixed in with my fascination with paranormal abilities. I always love reading stories with paranormal elements in the real world. I’m a big X-MEN fan and anything Marvel related therefore why not mash up the two.

CJ:  I want the lowdown on Lexi – was she born with her super-power of magnetizing and manipulating metal, or was it some sort of garage grease accident gone bad?

Lucy: She was actually born with the ability to detect metals, sense them like you and I can sense a change in temperature or that something isn’t right. An unexplained abnormality with her blood iron levels just like her father before her. Only, when she was struck by lightning the day of her mother’s funeral her ability morphed into what it is now. The ability to move the objects she can sense which also wreaks havoc on her blood iron levels.

CJ:  What makes Colton Tayler so special?

Lucy: He’s hot…? Lol

Lexi struggled with controlling her ability for a few years, but managed to maintain her secret while secluded at the scrap yard where she lived and worked for her step dad. She was somewhat confident that she could keep it together when she was sent away to work with Colton’s team, but she completely underestimated her ability and its links to her emotions. And for a girl who’s never experienced the intense feelings of falling for someone or meeting anyone worthy of gushing over, well that was a disaster waiting to manifest. What makes Colton so special? He unleashes all those new emotions in her for the first time and all hell brakes lose…

CJ:  If Lexi was a comic book heroine, what name would you give her?

Lucy:  This is a tough one since Magneto, Magneta, and Polaris are already taken…lol

So maybe “Lodestone” That would be a cool name. Lodestone is one of only two minerals that is found naturally magnetized. Sounds accurate.

CJ:  Ooh, yeah. Lodestone. Perfect.

CJ:  What’s your next writing venture?

Lucy:  I am currently revising an untitled “Fast and the Furious” style paranormal story about a girl who is unbeatable on the quarter mile, but when an apparition starts appearing to her at the finish line all wheels break loose.

I’m also planning a MAGNETIC SHIFT spin off but haven’t worked out all the creative kinks yet.

Favorites flash round:

Walt Disney World ride: Epcot’s Test Track… duh!!

Board game: Shadow Hunters made by Z-Man Games. I like games that keep me guessing who is who and who to watch out for.

X-men hero(ine): Rogue for sure.

Drink: Vanilla Coke, more specifically American Vanilla Coke. The Canadian version they had here a few years ago was gross.

Book boyfriend: Other than Colton…? Lol I’d have to say Daniel from the Fallen Series. Yum! Can’t wait for the movie.

Food: The French Canadian thing to say would be Poutine (fries, cheese curds drenched in gravy), but I’ll have to say an OCCO Kitchen cheese burger with candied bacon. OCCO Kitchen is a local catering place where I live that makes the best gourmet burgers from scratch. They even make their own buns and sauces. And come on…Candied bacon!! SO GOOD!

CJ: How could candied bacon possibly be wrong?

Star Wars character: old school Star Wars – definitely Darth Vader. New School Force Awakens Star Wars – love me some BB8

Movie: Days of Thunder, no wait… Star Wars, no wait… Guardians of the Galaxy, no wait… The Sorcerer’s Apprentice… okay what are you trying to do to me here? lol

Comic book villain: Magneto and Mystique, also Darth Vader if you count the Star Wars Comics

TV show boyfriend: Oliver Queen from Arrow. Met this incredible Canadian Actor once. He’s just as yummy in person as he is on the show. And… he held my hand **Squee**.

CJ: He freakin’ touched you? *Swoon*

Costume you’ve worn to ComiCon: last one I did was a genderbend cosplay of Arrow.

CJ:  That’s one awesome costume, Lucy! Thanks so much for joining me today!

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Lucy D. Briand lives in Ottawa, Canada with her comic book fanatic husband and her nonchalant Siamese cat. By day she works full time as a public servant for the Government of Canada, but by night her creative mind takes over and conjures up young adult gear-head romance stories with supernatural twists.

When not working, reading, writing, or watching way too much TV, Lucy likes to cosplay, attend ComicCons, go on road trips to Walt Disney World, and play ridiculous amounts of board games. She’s a geek to the core but is also a huge NASCAR Cup fan.

Lucy is represented by Brittany Booker Carter of The Booker Albert Literary Agency.

Connect with Lucy! Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Instagram

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Little Things Blog Hop

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Hey, everyone – welcome to my stop on the Little Things Blog Hop! I’m C.J. Burright and I write NA paranormal and fantasy romance. Besides the fabulous goodies offered in the grand prize and fun stuff from the gaggles of other authors and bloggers (there’s over a hundred – whew!), I’ve got a little somethin’ somethin’ too. You’ll have to scroll to the end to see what it is…you guessed it. I like torturing people. 🙂 There’s also a Facebook party going on right here, and jump along to the next blog right here. In case you get lost along the way, here’s the link to all the stops. Winners will be randomly chosen by April 6, but I may choose my lucky winner earlier, ’cause that’s how I roll.

There are so many little things that make life rock, it’s impossible to focus on one. Right? My list includes the first few that popped to mind right away, and I bet at least one of these little nuggets of goodness affect you too.

Laughter

via GIPHY

Besides being fun, laughter has oodles of benefits. it boosts your immune system, triggers endorphins, lowers stress, and makes you more attractive. Plus, it’s totally free. So yuck it up, people!

Cats

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My cat herd minions bring me so much joy. And fur all over my black clothes, paws in my papers, and an occasional wet nose in the middle of the night. They make every day brighter. They look like a wild bunch, don’t they? 🙂

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Coffee

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Image courtesy of emptyglass at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hubby would undoubtedly agree that existence is much improved with coffee. Especially when married to an anti-morning zombie who can only speak in growls and grumbles until that first sip of life-giving elixir.

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You know I’m right. What’s great about book boyfriends is the opportunity to watch them, gush all over them, fantasize…all without worry of a stalking order. 🙂 I have too many to count, but some of my all-time faves are Jericho Barrons, Reyes Farrow, Eric Northman, and my newest crush–Rhysand from A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah Maas.

So that’s a few of my favorite little things that make life shiny. What are some of yours? Or give me the name of your number 1 book boyfriend – maybe I can find a new one to add to the list!

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Don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter contest exclusive to my blog for C.J.’s Happy Pack – a little bit of everything above…humor (no, that’s not really a porn book), a cat flash drive (useful AND cute), $5 Starbucks card (slurp), and a limited-edition cover copy of Wonderfully Wicked, so you can add sexy assassin (or dream vampire, depending on your viewpoint) Lydon to your book boyfriend list. Cat photobombing in background not included.

Good luck and stay happy, people!

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Review: Lions in the Garden by Chelsea Luna

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I’ve got some historical romance goodies for you…a quick excerpt, my review, and don’t miss out on the giveaway at the end – you can nab your own print copy of Lions in the Garden!

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Lions in the Garden
by Chelsea Luna
Release Date: March 1st 2016
Lyrical Press (Kensington)

Prague, 1610

Ludmila Novakova–Mila–has barely set foot outside Prague Castle in her seventeen years. But with the choice between braving the bandits and wolves of Bohemia’s uneasy roads or being married off to a disgusting old baron, she’s taken what she can carry and fled.

Escape won’t be easy. Even Mila has heard the rumors of a rebellion coming against the court. The peasants are hungry. The king hasn’t been seen in months. Mila’s father, the High Chancellor, is well known and well hated.

But Mila can’t sit behind a stone wall and let fear force her into a life of silk gowns and certain misery. Her mother’s death has taught her that much. She has one ally: Marc, the son of the blacksmith. A commoner, a Protestant–and perhaps a traitor, too. But the farther she gets from the castle, the more lies she uncovers, unraveling everything she thought she knew. And the harder it is to tell friend from enemy–and wrong from right . . .

Buy Links:

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EXCERPT

I helped Marc sneak out of the castle as the sky turned pink with the morning sunrise.  He lithely climbed over the towering fence.  When he landed on the other side, he reached for my hand through the bars and kissed it.  “I’ll see you at the ball, Mila.”

“Goodnight, Marc.”  Our secret encounter sent butterflies though my stomach, but as I watched him through the bars, I couldn’t help but think he looked like he was in a prison cell.

Review

One of my favorite aspects of Lions in the Garden was the setting. I’m no history buff, and I don’t know much about Prague and Budapest, so the historical tidbits Chelsea sprinkled in were really interesting, especially with the religious war brewing and the king’s precarious hold on the realm.

I love stories with castles, swords, and romance, so of course this book caught my eye…even without any magic. 🙂 Mila is a likeable character, and while she’s in the hopeless situation of being a noble forced into an undesirable, loveless marriage, she doesn’t just roll over and accept it. She tries to do something about it, which drives her right into Marc, a commoner. Forbidden romance, anyone? But while Marc may be a peasant and a *gasp* Protestant as well, he’s honorable and refuses to let Mila head into danger on her own. So, he takes her back to her prison, the castle. Not exactly what Mila had in mind when she snuck out in her quest for freedom.

Marc is not only honorable and likeable, he’s in a tight spot too. He sees every day the poverty of the people and how they’re oppressed by the nobility. Some members of his family feel the only way to force change is through less-than-noble methods, and he gets stuck between what’s right, what’s wrong, and what to do about it.

While the romance is slow moving, there’s tension and a definite attraction between Mila and Marc. They’re both respectable characters who are restrained by their circumstances, so that’s understandable. I love how Marc reveals to Mila the world outside the castle, the terrible problems citizens face, the danger and injustice.  And what I enjoyed best about them both together is how they don’t sit back and let others deal with it—they tackle the problems head on, no matter their station.

Lions in the Garden doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger, but the story is nowhere near complete and will leave you ready for the rest. Nice historical romance.

Four-Stars

About the Author 2

 

Chelsea

 

 

Chelsea Luna is the author of the bestselling NEW ENGLAND WITCH CHRONICLES, a young adult paranormal romance series comprising of four novels. Chelsea’s latest novel, LIONS IN THE GARDEN (Book 1, The Uprising Series) will be released on March 1, 2016. Chelsea received a Juris Doctorate from New York Law School in New York, New York in 2007, and a B.A. in Sociology, with a concentration in Criminal Justice, from the University of Tennessee in 2004. She lives in Tennessee.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

 

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Good-Bye Geeks in High School

In case you didn’t catch the memo, Geeks in High School shut down on that special extra day of February.

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Blogging takes time, and when you have a 9 to 5 on top of that, and a budding writer career on top of THAT…well, it’s tough. I’m not whining. We all have the same 24 hours as everyone else, and it’s hard to stuff in everything you want to do in those hours. Right? So the bloggers at Geeks, who are all in the same time-crunch boat, decided to shut down and donate those extra minutes to personal writing instead of blogging. *Sniff* On one hand, I’m sad to see GIHS go. It was fun, I love all my fellow bloggers, and I love promoting awesome books and connecting with other authors. But on the other hand, yeah, it takes an extra wedge from my tiny pie of free time that I could really use elsewhere.

So…will I keep up with my personal blog? I’m still mulling that one over. I have a couple obligations from GIHS that will show up here instead. I might try to have a short, weekly teaser post. I really enjoyed writing the Midnight Confessions episode with Georgia Hunter, and doing more Kat Krangle confessional booth interviews with characters from other authors would be fun. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll keep stalking the same blogs I stalk, and I’m still open to promoting other authors, so if you have a cover reveal or a new release you want me to share, don’t be shy!

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Midnight Confessions Episode #1 – with Guest Victim Georgia Lyn Hunter

Happy Wednesday, people! Today, I’m trying something different…as in an over-the-top way to introduce characters. This particular project has been on my mind for some time, and when I finally found the breathing time to figure it out, my buddy and fabulous author pal Georgia Lyn Hunter kindly agreed to be my first victim. All her books are listed below the confession–if you like dark heroes and kick-ass chicks, and lots of action, you’ll like ’em. Trust me.

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Here’s how it goes: I created a character named Kat Krangle, and she’s doing the interviewing. From a confessional booth (and she’s so not a priest). Characters are free to confess their sins, their deepest, darkest longings, whatever. I thought it would be a fun, interactive way to showcase an author’s writing style and introduce a character at the same time. If all goes well, I’m considering keeping up the midnight confessions episodes.

Got it? Good. No more messing around. Here we go…and beware. Sweet Ms. Hunter is not shy on the language or steam. You’ve been duly warned. 🙂

I slam the confessional booth door, plop on the narrow bench, and open my flowers-and-neon skulls notebook. Might as well scribble the first title that comes to mind.

Kat Krangle’s Midnight Confessions – Let the Filth Fly.

Sounds legit. So, I’m not a priest. Hey, I’m not even catholic, but I owe Father Ramon a huge favor. Actually, a few huge favors, but I’m not going there right now. Right now, I’m stuck in the midnight confessional booth, filling in for him while he’s off doing…whatever he does. It’s not like anyone can see me through the mesh barrier, right? And who sneaks into a church past midnight to purge their sins? I’ve got my Red Bull strawberry smoothie, a bag of black licorice, and the latest Cosmo. This few-week gig will be a piece of cake and then I can wipe the Ramon slate clean.

I scooch back and prop against the particle board wall. Priests should really work on making these seats comfier. They’re like plastic chairs with cardboard cushions. Hope Ramon doesn’t mind my combat boots on his bench. Snort. Who am I kidding? I hope the dirty print I leave puts his robe in a twist. Now, onto learning the best way to please the man I don’t have.

The door on the other side squeaks open, followed by a leather creak.

I toss Cosmo aside and gulp down my mouthful of licorice. What the hell? I hadn’t even got to the page telling me how to master his man bits. Useful info there, I’m sure. Crap. I should’ve asked Father Ramon how this works. Am I supposed to say something, or do I wait for whoever’s breathing over there to speak up?

I clear my throat and lower my voice to a raspy, smoked-too-much man growl. “Speak what weighs on your soul tonight, my son.” I cough. “Or daughter.”

A mutter emerges from the darkness on the other side, sounding an awful lot like “Oh, crap”, and quickly followed with a louder, “Forgive me, father, for I have sinned.”

No duh. Isn’t that why people come to confessional booths? I roll my eyes but keep my tone polite. Somehow. “Speak up, my child. Confessions can’t be forgiven if they’re not heard.” I have no idea if that’s true or not, but it sounds good.

“Something—something happened…”

I cock my head. While the voice is husky, almost as if the vocal chords are damaged or something, it’s definitely a woman on the other side of the mesh. Her voice wavers in a way that isn’t fear or shame. Oh, yeah. This something that happened is super-juicy. I tap my fingernail on my boot, running through the dirty possibilities. Too many to pick from. I definitely need more info. “Go on. Spill, er, disclose your troubles. Start at the beginning.” I grab my pen and notebook and get comfortable. This is bound to be good.

“I got caught.” The hiss of jeans sounds like she crosses and uncrosses her legs, definitely fidgeting. Because of guilt or something else? “I-I don’t remember how it happened. It’s all a haze. One minute I opened the door to a dimly lit room and the next, I’m tied to one of those tall bed posts for interrupting him.”

I pause in my documenting. Whoa, wait. Tied to a bed post? For interrupting him? I almost ask if his name is any shade of color, but she keeps talking, stronger and faster, as if she’s genuinely purging her soul by reliving the moment.

“My stomach hollows out…I feel helpless as he watches me from a few feet away. I don’t feel fear, but I’m so aware his jeans are still unzipped.” An audible swallow follows her pause, and she continues in a rush. “He asks why I had come there, but I don’t answer…because I don’t want to admit the truth. My body tenses as he approaches me, and without another word, he grasps the modest neckline of my sleepshirt and rips it right down the center. Shock ripples through me as he spreads my ruined shirt, exposing me. Worse, I have no bra on.”

My grip on the pen tightens as shock ripples through me too. Holy crap. This is like a real life bodice-ripping romance. Awesome. Father Ramon has the best job ever. What a perv.

The woman continues, breathless. “His eyes linger on my breasts and my nipples harden. I have no idea if it’s from the cool air there or the way his gaze heats up and goes all dark and intense. But I’m truly shocked. He’d never shown that kind of interest in me before. It excites me, and I feel myself getting damp. He steps back and his gaze sweeps over me. My body trembles. A deep ache starts to build in my lower parts.”

I squirm on the hard bench. Who needs Cosmo when you have midnight confessions?

“Then he says, ‘Very nice. Beneath that snippy attitude, there is a female lurking.’” A soft thump follows, as if she dropped her head back against the booth in surrender. But she forges on with her story without any prompting. “I scowl, I really try to, but then he crouches before me, and the spit dries out in my mouth. Maybe I’m panting, I don’t know. I’m only aware that he strokes my inner thigh with a long callused finger. My blood buzzes like a lit fuse. I glare at him, trying not to let show him how much his touch affects me. He shifts on his heels, removes a switchblade from his pocket and flicks it open.”

The pen drops from my fingers, forgotten. Not that I can write fast enough to keep up anyway, but dude. A knife anywhere near the V-zone is a big hell no. I take a swig of my smoothie. It’s cool on my dry throat, and I consider offering her a drink. Nah. I’m good with listening to secrets, but not sharing my treats.

“I’m wary of the weapon in his hand, but instinctively I know he won’t hurt me. I tell him to let me go and yank the ties restraining me. Feeling as if I swallowed a handful of grit, I say ‘I don’t want this or you.’ He merely cocks a brow. Deliberately, he slides that finger along the edges of my panties and slips beneath it. My heart literally stops. He parts my cleft and strokes me. Oh, God! I know he feels my moistness as he circles my clit.”

I scramble for my pen again. This definitely deserves to be in my journal of filth and other good stuff. I start scribbling, but she’s already way ahead of me, so I jot down the best parts.

“He removes his finger and I feel bereft, but my wetness gleams on it. I bit my lips, refusing to say a word. Slowly, he licks the moisture clean, and says, ‘You don’t want this, huh?’

When she pauses, I lean closer to the mesh separating us and catch a whiff of sweetness, like strawberries and cinnamon. Or maybe that’s just my smoothie. All I know is if she stops here, I’ll have to kick through the mesh and strangle her. No absolution for confessions unless they’re told in full. Kat Krangle’s fake priest rule number one.

Luckily, she escapes that fate by continuing. “A moan creeps to my throat. Would it be so wrong if I just told him to shut up and fuck me?”

I’d like to tell her that no, no that isn’t wrong at all. In fact, it’s so right, but she doesn’t give me the chance, talking all breathless and quick, as if she’s fully in the moment. I’m glad for the mesh between us. I really don’t want to know what she’s doing on her side of the booth.

“When I meet his knowing gaze, it irritates me that I would feel this way. Before I can say a word, he slices my panties on both sides and the silk falls away.” Her last words are nothing but a slow whisper. “His gaze is on me. There. I like it…and he knows.”

I sense she’s not going to finish this without encouragement, so I take another smoothie swig and dutifully speak up. “Keep going. No absolution without full disclosure.” I grin. My rule rocks.

She moves on with her story, her tone taut, filled with hunger. “He sets the blade aside and warns me not to make a sound…he-he spreads my feet with his splayed knees, and opens me to his gaze. He spreads me apart with his fingers and he leans in, then his warm tongue flicks my clit.”

I nearly fall off the poor excuse of a bench, my face ten degrees hotter. She did not just say that, did she? No wonder priests live such pious lives. They had audible porn on a daily basis.

“I jerk as impossible desire burns though my veins…my thoughts scatter. My shackled hands grab onto the post. All I’m aware of is what he’s doing to me. He picks up my leg and hooks it over his shoulder—opening me even farther. He runs his tongue down my cleft and back up again…he licks around my clit, he does this repeatedly. I’m almost out of my mind with no release in sight because he drags me to the edge and keeps me there for an excruciatingly long time.”

My eyebrows hit my bangs. Dang. When I agreed to this confessional booth gig, I expected petty theft and lies, not bow-chicka-wow-wow.

“Then he lightly brushes the tip of my clit with his tongue. At the intensity of it, I jerk and bite my lip to keep from crying out. He pulls back a little, eyes narrowing. He flicks my clit hard with his finger in reprisal. At the sharp, erotic little sting, my blood thunders through my veins and crashes in my ear. His lips grip my swollen bundle of nerves and his teeth graze me, he sucks. Hard. And I break, screaming as I fall …”

I release the breath I’m holding and fan myself with a now-uninteresting Cosmo. It’s a good thing she isn’t asking for forgiveness right now. I’m not sure I can talk.

“After another lingering lick on my super sensitive core—I’m a quivering mess—he slowly rises. His eyes stay on mine for a long moment. I see the glint of warning there, probably for breaking his decree of not leaving my room at night. Right then I don’t even care.”

For the second time, my eyebrows brush my bangs. Punished for sneaking out of her room? What is she, twelve? Or is this guy her bodyguard or something? I want to know, but she’s already babbling on, apparently basking in the post-coitus glow.

“He swipes his wet mouth then lowers his hand. My gaze follows it to his unfastened jeans. His sex pokes out from between the unzipped fly. It’s thick, rigid, and so mouth-wateringly tempting as he fists his hard length. ‘Do you want me?’ he asks in that deeply sexy voice. ‘After all, you like watching me…’”

She breaks off and when she speaks again, there’s definitely a hint of guilt there. “Truth is, Father, I went looking for him. I don’t like the dark, and came across him lying on his bed. His jeans were unfastened, and he was stroking his…his cock.”

I perform a chair dance with a silent squee. Two C words in one night!

“I should have walked away, but I couldn’t.” Defiance replaces the guilt in her tone. “It was the sexiest thing I’d ever seen. I was transfixed.  Maybe I’m going to the devil for this, but I don’t regret it. He was just so beautiful. And now all I want is for him to fuck me. I want his thick cock buried deep inside of me so that I will stop thinking about everything, about my shitty life and the people after me.”

My grin fades. Crap. She must have it rough.

She flips back to the boudoir scene and her object of lust. “He steps closer. ‘Do you want me?’ he asks again with that dark glint, languidly stroking himself. His cock is a whisper way from where I desperately want him…” She breaks off and her swallow is loud.

I sense she’s almost done, and I need more. I need to know who this guy is. I remember to disguise my voice just in time. “What happened next?”

“Then he tucks himself away, refastens his jeans, and tells me the next time I walk into his room without knocking, I will be truly fucked.”

That’s one way to keep girls in their rooms. Or not. The least I can do for her is give her a verbal high five. “Thank you for disclosing your troubles, my child. Although you have not sinned in my eyes, confession is good for the soul, soothing to the mind.” Hey, that sounds insightful. This priest thing is a snap, no penis or divine appointment required. “Go in peace.”

“Thank you, Father,” she whispers, but the earlier weight is gone, her tone lighter. “I came here with the intention of hiding, not confession. Sorry if I burned your ears.”

So she was hiding right now? From him? I can’t help but ask, even if it’s something a priest wouldn’t do. “Who is he?”

“My…damn conscientious Protector.” With a creak of leather, the door on the opposite side of the mesh clicks open. A slight scrape, another snick shut, and she’s gone.

Whew. I feel like I need a cigarette or something. So what if I don’t smoke. I settle for a smoothie swig and a bite of black licorice. I know I can’t go after her, can’t demand all the answers I want. Maybe that’s the penalty priests pay—they get all the gory details with none of the conclusion.

I stretch my legs out and sigh, ready for the next midnight confession. Almost.

END OF MIDNIGHT CONFESSIONS – EPISODE 1

AS

An immortal Guardian of the mortal realm, Aethan has walked alone for millennia, trapped in a hell of his own. Until a feisty mortal crosses his path. A female he shouldn’t even look at, one who shakes the precarious foundations of all that he is, and one who’s determined to walk the edge of danger.

All her life, Echo Carter wanted “normal”, an impossible feat given that she can see demons. Drawn back to the alleys of New York, she’s determined to hunt down the one responsible for the death of her friend. And no man, no matter how sexy, will stop her. Until she discovers a horrifying truth about herself, forcing her to turn to the one man she should avoid. Aethan.
But when two stubborn wills collide, a dangerous passion ignites…

As evil closes in, Aethan has to overcome his darkest fears and claim Echo as his. If he doesn’t, he just could lose her to a far more sinister fate…

 

AMAZON |B&N | KOBO | SMASHWORDS |IBOOKS | GOODREADS
EM

A Fallen Guardian Novella–companion book to Absolute Surrender

After a horrifying incident that left her in a coma for several long months, Echo now has to get used to a different life. As a descendant of a powerful angel, her days waver between training as the new Healer and convincing her mate she’s strong enough to match him in life and in bed.
A surprise date night gives her the perfect opportunity to do both. But plans have a way of coming unraveled. One disaster leads to another, and Echo accepts that nothing in their lives will ever be normal.

But the biggest revelation of the night comes after she kills a dangerous demonii. Sparks fly between her and her mate, proving that normal is most definitely overrated…

AMAZON | NOOK | iTUNES | KOBO |SMASHWORDS | GOODREADS

 

 

BF

An immortal without a soul is bad enough. But when his only tether to remaining honorable is his addiction to bone-crushing pain, it makes Blaéz a dangerously loose cannon.

A Guardian sworn to protect mortals from supernatural evil, Blaéz straddles the edge of darkness as his needs grow. When a good deed brings him to the doorstep of a female unlike any other, one whose touch ignites emotions long lost in the hellish pits of Tartarus, he’s determined not to lose her. She belongs to him. But she’s human. Forbidden. And bringing her into his life may just destroy them both.

Darci Callahan has given up on love.
When a lethally handsome stranger suddenly appears late one night, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the captivating man with the pale, empty eyes—a man who awakens in her a desire she never believed possible. Except Blaéz brings more than unexpected passion to her life, he brings danger.

In this treacherous new world of gods and demons, Darci soon discovers a heart-shattering truth and the twisted games the gods play. Caught in the crosshairs, she’s forced to accept that, sometimes, no matter how much you love someone, you have to love them enough to let them go…

AMAZON | NOOK | iBOOKS | SMASHWORDSKOBO | GOODREADS

 

DU

A fading realm, a warrior bound, and the woman who will save them both…

Bound to a vengeful goddess, immortal warrior, Reynner, has little time for the fairer sex. The last thing he wants is to be aligned with another female, even if she is the key to finding an artifact and saving his realm. But his stone-cold resistance is tested, his attraction undeniable for the feisty mortal, until she demands the one thing he cannot give her…his trust.

Eve Leighton keeps away from intimacy of any sort after an accident in her teens left her with a painful ability to see into another’s mind through physical contact. When an ice-cold warrior claims she is his world’s savior, she’s intrigued, until she dares a look into his soul and sees a man who’s been cruelly betrayed. She agrees to help him and loses her heart. But the man is an unassailable fortress. With quiet determination, she chips away his barriers and a passion darker than night pulls them under.

As his enemies close in on the hunt for the artifact, Reynner must overcome his own personal demons as battles are fought to claim the woman he loves or lose her forever. And Eve has to face her own mortality and fight for a love of a lifetime.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | KOBO | SMASH |NOOK |GOODREADS

 

About-the-Author-2

GeorgiaI’m a misplaced South African living abroad with a penchant for tea and ginger ale. I cannot function without my jar of jelly beans. I’m quite insane, really, when I write.

Lost to the outside world, I live in my jammies and forget to eat, until my stomach goes to war in protest. And my water bottle next to my laptop is miles too far to stop and take a drink… and yes, I’m ashamed to say, several times I was late (reads forgot) to pick up my 15-year-old from school, which the darling boy forgave me for.

Part Sagittarian and a free spirit, I can’t be chained to one spot and that aggravates my Capricorn half. Thankfully, we’ve come to an agreement and now co-exist. With Archer, my free spirit is unleashed and let’s me create while ‘ol Cappie help me stay put and write. Ta-da! Harmony!

I’ve always been an avid reader–and don’t care much for TV. My family has to abduct me to watch movies.  My love affair with books began as a young child. I inhaled everything and anything I could, but even then I always wanted something more. Then I read my first paranormal romance.

This dark, mystical genre seduced me right out of reading to create my own sensual love stories emerging from the darkest of times. Yeah, I’m an hopeless romantic.

My favorite heroes? Simple. Dark loners, who believe they don’t need anyone, until their ‘don’t take no crap’ heroines come along and knock them right off their gorgeous assess

I’m ecstatic  to finally be able to follow my dream and the extraordinary journey my imagination takes me to. When I’m not writing or plotting my next novel, I love trolling flea markets, buying things I’d never use (because they’re so pretty) travelling, and being with my family. 

Catch Georgia on these sites:

Website

Facebook Page

Twitter

Pinterest

Linkedin

Goodreads

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Book Review: Shift Work by J.C. McKenzie

Happy hump day, people! I’m at Geeks with a review of book number four in one of my favorite urban fantasy series. See you there. 🙂

SW

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