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Crimson Romance

Crimson Romance
For the best in romance, from sweet to naughty!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Explosive by Beth Kery

Publisher: Berkley Heat
Pages: 336

From the Cover:

His touch would consume her—if it didn’t kill her first…

Dr. Sophie Gable wasn’t expecting her peaceful getaway to be shattered by the arrival of a half-dazed, dead-sexy guest. Thomas Nicasio has obviously been traumatized, and Sophie thinks she knows by what. There’s something about Thomas’s father that he can’t—or won’t—remember. Something that could get them both killed. Still she can’t resist Thomas’s electrifying seduction—or her instincts to help him…

An ex-Navy explosives specialist, Thomas has never felt this type of volatile need for a woman. Even while he’s grieving the deaths of his brother and nephew, something in Sophie makes Thomas want to overtake her, and each time he does, her willing submission makes him want her all the more. But danger is lurking close by, and if he can’t face the demons of his past, he and Sophie could be the next victims in a pattern of meaningless violence…

Dr. Sophie Gable has watched Thomas Nicasio from a distance, though the sexual tension between the two is palpable. He is a temptation she is willing to investigate, existing in her world through friend and colleague, Andy Lancaster, who is treating his brother, Rick. But when tragic strikes, it's the last thing she excepts to find, Thomas on her doorstep.

Thomas has also kept Sophie on his radar. As an ex-Navy explosive specialist, he's always hyperaware of his surroundings, including the pristine doctor whose visage has entrapped him. Her conservative business dress and creamy pale skin capture his attention, but is she as staid as she appears to be? Or is there more to this doctor than meets the eye?

When Thomas's world is thrown into disarray, he seeks out the one person he feels will understand his pain, Sophie. His adoptive father, Joseph Carlisle, is being investigated for mob connections. Rick, an investigative journalist, has stumbled upon this story involving his own father, and all his sources indicate his guilt. Suddenly, Rick and his ten year old son, Abel, are killed sending Thomas's world crashing down. Suspicion surrounds his adoptive father, but surely he isn't cruel enough to kill his own son? Then, Thomas listens to a tape that Rick left him, and he wonders... is his whole world a lie? As he careens out of control, Sophie becomes his lifeline, connecting his past and his present, the one thing left untouched by doubt in his life. But, will it be enough to save him?

Explosive by Beth Kery is a tale of love and hope when a life spins out of control. Thomas Nicasio's life becomes that of a haunted and hunted man. Haunted by undeniable facts he can no longer face, hunted by the past and the present, one destroyed his childhood life, the other wants to take his adult life. Is the man Thomas has called father for the past twenty years who he seems to be? Or is he the animal the FBI has painted him to be? Into his life walks Sophie Gable, someone untouched by the trouble and doubt in his life, and he wants that cleanliness, he needs it, craves it. When he comes to her Lake Haven home, lost and dazed, she can't deny the help or love he needs. He vanishes the next day, and Sophie sets off in her own dazed condition to figure out what is going on...what has happening in his life. She discovers a man lost to himself, amnesia has taken his short-term memories...even those involving Sophie.

Explosive is exactly as the name describes, explosive as dynamite. It's an intricate tale of suspicion, with twists and turns, confusion and denial. Beth Kery has a way with a tortured hero, alpha males used to demanding and getting their way who find themselves in need of another, like they've never been before. Thomas Nicasio is magnetic, unrelenting. Sophie Gable is his perfect match, ready to heal and soothe, in anyway she can. She can save him, if he'll let her, but first he has to learn to trust all over again. This is a sensual story, with scorching hot love scenes, lite bondage, submission, and sex play. If sensually told erotica isn't your cup of tea, you'll be missing out on a great love story. Excellently told contemporary romantic suspense. Highly recommended for the romance connoisseur. 5 out of 5 fairy kisses for this reader.

I received my copy of Explosive as a contest prize from the lovely Ms. Kery. All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 51, The Friday Post

I haven't had time to really write for most of the prompts, but I did give this one a try, not sure I like it, or if I'll continue it.... but anyway, here's my response to this week's prompt...

The Siren's Dance
By: Dottie Taylor
Word Count: 425

Daiki stumbles, catching himself. “What manner of madness is this?!?” He screams into the silence. All around him, bodies lay, draped in the cloud of death. Destruction as far as the eye can see. He falls to his knees, bathing in the blood of his friends, neighbors... family. His mind searches for a way out, it can't be. But as he rubs his sickened eyes, the world doesn't change, his home is gone.

“Kimi!” He cries, face tipped up into the wind. “Kimi!” But his calls go unanswered. Slowly, he makes his way to where his home once stood. As he sifts through the debris, his worst fear is realized.

“Kimi!” He clutches her cold hand, “Kimi...” and he sinks to the ground, tears falling, despair folding around him like a shroud. He brings her hand to his lips. Through the desperation, he feels the touch of her mind, and he lingers, afraid to let go.

Hours later, he comes back to himself, still grasping the dead hand of his lover. Darkness has fallen, leaving the village bathed in midnight.

He tries to gather himself, to push himself away from his horrific find. He glances into the night sky and sees an ethereal ball of pure white light. Shielding his eyes against the brightness, he hears the song of the siren meant only for the dead, but really, he is dead himself. His heart no longer beats for life.

“Come to me, my lovelies, join me in the light. I sing for the lost, one with the night. Let your souls give rise, seek me in the light.” The siren dances and twirls, and as Daiki watches, small balls of pure light begin to lift from the broken bodies. He gazes down at Kimi, and the purest of lights rises to hover around him, caressing his body lovingly, renewing his existence, healing his mind. Almost with regret, it leaves him, even as his fingertips stretch into the night, seeking the last of her touch.

“You have not died in vain, my friends.” Daiki says, head down, but his eyes raise, taking in his village one last time. “I will seek your vengeance.” He growls out, turning in a full circle, remembering each and every life taken, the youngest to the eldest. “You will have your due.” Then he looks off in the distance, toward his nemesis, the White Witch. When next the siren sings, it will be for her spirit, though the song will be different. Darkness and evil aren't welcome in the light.

Soooo, I hope somebody has an uplift take on the prompt. Like I said, not sure I like this at all, but it is what the prompt evoked in me.

Remember to come back Monday for the next prompt, another chance for fresh fiction.

See you lovelies...

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 51

Good Morning Blogoverse!

After two weeks of intense temperature and little rain, yesterday we had normal summertime temps and a thunderstorm, yay! I was so hot, I felt ill all the time! I know, the temps are supposed to be back, but I going to enjoy the respite (even if it's only at night) for as long as possible, and I hope we're finished with heat indices of 105-120 degrees...

So, for this's time for our flash fiction challenge!

Today's image is kind of fun! Next week I'm going to add the female version similar to this one, so maybe a new storyline here? Anyway, I hope everyone has fun with's another Luis Royo.

So, the rules remain the same, somewhere around 350 words, and come back Friday to post your response.

And as always, have fun and have a great week!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Thief of Hope by Cindy Young-Turner

Publisher:  Crescent Moon Press
Pages:  318

(Released:  May 16, 2011)

From the Cover:

Sydney, a street urchin and pickpocket in the town of Last Hope, has managed to evade the oppressive Guild for years, but there is no escaping fate when she's sentenced to death for associating with the resistance.

After she's rescued by a wizard, Sydney is forced to accept that magic-long outlawed throughout the Kingdom of Thanumor-still exists, and the Tuatha, a powerful faery folk, are much more than ancient myth and legend. When the wizard offers a chance to fight the Guild and bring Willem, bastard prince and champion of the Tuatha, to the throne, Sydney embraces the cause as a way to find her own redemption.

But Sydney's fear of the Guild, distrust of authority, and surprising connection to the Tuatha threaten Willem's success. Can she untangle the strange threads that entwine her life not only to the fate of the kingdom, but also to Willem himself?

Sydney has lost everyone who was important in her life. She never knew her mother, and the only father she has ever known, Edgar, was taken by the Guild and hung for his actions against the authority. She's grown up in a world where she can't depend on anyone but herself.

When the Guild comes looking for her, she knows she'll be put to death. She's a pickpocket who has the misfortune of nixing a few coins from a Guild official, and they're merciless. Sydney feels almost without worth, no one has valued her since Edgar's death. Love has been almost nonexistent in her young life, a life full of strife.

Oryn finds Sydney left to die in the forest outside Last Hope, and brings her across the magical boundary. He brings a little hope back into her life, and though she doesn't know it yet, she's one of the keys for the hope of the realm. At Oryn's home, she meets other exiles, in preparation for a revolt against the Guild. The bastard son of the King is ready to take his place on the throne, all Willem needs is the help of the people of Last Hope. For Sydney, it means learning to trust someone other than herself. For Willem, it means trusting Sydney's senses, her ability to see what others cannot, to know what has been forgotten.

Thief of Hope by Cindy Young-Turner is a tale told through the twists and turns of a place where the Guild controls lives, brings death, and most of society under it's boot heel. The Guild has taken over this realm, outlawed magic, and forgotten that the fae ever existed, nothing more than myths and fairytales. Willem offers a chance to bring change, to give freedoms and safety, to crawl out of the shadow of the oppressive Guild. Sydney hasn't trusted anyone in a long time, but in Willem she sees a possible future, the possibility of a free life. Willem sees in her the possibility of hope, if she can change, have faith, then others can as well. It brings new meaning to the tireless battle before him. Each is drawn to the other like moths to a flame, Willem to the hope that Sydney can give, and as well as the hope he can give. Each is what the other needs, but it is a love that can't exist. Or can it? The bastard King and the one-time pickpocket have to learn if love can exist where you want it, where you need it.

Thief of Hope exists in a place where magic has been bled out of the land, and the people are suffering for it. Not all magic comes in the form of wands or spells (though that can be found in this story as well), but in the ability of the land to renew itself, heal, for the people to have hope, and for the oppression to be alleviated. Willem and Sydney can help make this happen, but through their time together, love and need blossom. But, will it survive? Is it meant to be? I wish I had the answer to these questions, and it's my hope to find them in the next book in the series. I would like to see Willem and Sydney together, but can the bastard King take a former pickpocket as his bride and queen? Can Sydney accept something else? I'll be waiting to see what's in store for this pair. There are excellent secondary characters in this book as well, so I'll also be looking for some of their continuing story. Lovers of paranormal romance will find a sweet romance at the core of this book, and magic lovers will want to take a peek as well. There's a mysterious world waiting to be discovered. 5 out of 5 fairy kisses for this reader. Most excellent tale, and I'll be looking for more from this author.

I received my ebook from the author for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Body of Sin by Eve Silver

Publisher:  HQN, Harlequin Enterprises
Pages:  384

(Release Date:  August 23, 2011)

From the Cover:

The ultimate fall from grace…

Once the favorite son of the Lord of the Underworld, Lokan Krayl held enviable privileges and powers. Powers that led to a devastating betrayal—murder.

Resurrected by his immortal brothers, Lokan is still trapped in purgatory. He has no way to contact his family. He has no answers. In order to find the truth about his death, and who killed him, he must escape his prison. And there’s only one way out: through the twelve gates of his eternal enemy, Osiris.

But Lokan has help. Bryn Carr, the woman who duped him once before, is his beautiful yet unwanted guide. She’s been sent by his brothers to aid him. She’s his last hope. Lokan must place his fate—and that of the mortal and immortal worlds—in the hands of the one woman he can never trust.

Lokan Krayl was thought to be lost, the one-time favorite son then killed by an unholy father, sacrificed to allow the Lord of Chaos a chance to walk in the mortal realm once again. His brothers, Dagan, Malthus, Alastor with their mates have found a way to bring Lokan back, maybe, if Bryn Carr, his enchantress, can guide him back to the mortal realm. But, is Lokan willing to give up what will be necessary to make their plan work? If he can't, his father, Lord of the Underworld, the Chaos Lord, will find a way to use his granddaughter in the same way he attempted to use Lokan.

Lokan will be forever changed by what has transpired since his cruel death. As a God of the Underworld, it was thought impossible to kill him, now he knows different. Sacrificing himself to save the one person he can't live without, his daughter, Dana.

Body of Sin by Eve Silver is an excellent finish to this mythos based series, the Otherkin series. If you haven't read this series before the books in order are: Sins of the Heart, Sins of the Soul, and Sins of the Flesh, with Daughter of Sin (novella in the same world). Lokan is the son most trusted by the Lord of the Underworld, his right hand man. But, when it is discovered that Lokan has produced a child, his father sees his chance to rule the mortal world, to take as only he can. He is incapable of real love, his sons are mere instruments for his use. It is the love of his brother's that saves Lokan, as well as the love of the only woman who can love help him return, and the need to save his daughter that makes him want to return to what has been left behind. It will take everything he and his brothers have to bring him home.

Body of Sin finishes the story started in Sins of Heart, and I recommend reading the books in order. There's great world building, a hot romances, and an excellent tale that unfolds and grows with each book. I found myself hoping Lokan would find his way, laughing at the insanity, crying at the inevitable. Eve Silver weaves a magical story that all lovers of mythos will want to read. Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance lovers will find a satisfying tale of love lost and found, hope revived. I highly recommend the entire series. 5 out of 5 fairy kisses, I'd give it more, but I ran out of kisses! Put this series on your reading list.

I received this ebook for review from NetGalley and Harlequin. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Forever Vampire by Michele Hauf

Publisher: HQN, Harlequin Enterprises
Pages: 384

(Released: April 19, 2011)

From the Cover:

Vail the Unwanted is a pureblood vampire. But raised in Faery, he has neither home nor peace, and when his aid is sought in the recovery of a priceless diamond gown, his price is information.

Specifically the whereabouts of his accursed father. His goal is revenge, and the supernaturally sexy Lyric, the icy blond vampiress with whom he must work, is a distraction he can't afford.

Outwardly as cold as the diamond dress in which she was kidnapped, Lyric has her own secrets. Desperate to break free from her criminal family, she aligns herself with the brooding Vail.

Together they seek justice while each secretly works for freedom and a fresh start. For Lyric that means holding herself apart, even from the smoldering blue-eyed Vail. For Vail, it means a battle to the death for revenge—and for a temptress he can't deny.

Lyric can't stand her life the way it is, the pressure of her family, her mother, and her mother's fiancee. She sees an escape, if she can make it happen. If she can find a happy medium between the light and the dark. If she can survive. What the ice princess needs is the hope only love can provide.

Into her life comes the Vail, the Unwanted, an ickor addicted vampire who grew up in the Unseelie Court, and exiled when he takes what it's leader, the Lord of Midsummer Dark and his biggest enemy, wanted. He's the tracker sent to find Lyric and what has been stolen. Now, he has something else that the leader of the Unseelie wants, and it may lead to a battle between the Seelie and Unseelie, or it could mean his death.

Forever Vampire by Michele Hauf is the continuing story from Seducing the Vampire. Vail is the son of Vivianne and Constantine who imprisoned her after discovering he could never have what she had already given to his half-brother, Rhys. After raping her, he leaves her buried and aware, beneath Paris for 200 years. If is only by accident that she is released, and only Rhys can keep her sane. Vail, the dark prince, is the son born of that one-time union and taken in payment of a boon owned by Rhys to contain his duel nature. In this story, Vail as become the unwanted, turned against his nature and kind by faery. From his lifetime spent there, he has become addicted to ickor, fae blood. Lyric has grown up in a crime empire, her family is one of thieves and criminals. She wants to find a place without family pressures, and away from the Lord of Midsummer Dark who at first wants her, then only wants to kill her. When she is kidnapped, it is the perfect escape, until Vail finds her. Then she discovers the escape is the last thing she wants.

Forever Vampire is a sexy, exciting addition to Michele Hauf's vampire stories. If you haven't read Seducing the Vampire, I would start there to find out more about Vivianne and Rhys, and Constantine who wants to create his own empire. Vail and Lyric are a perfect match for each other, she's an icy white princess untouched by love, and he's the dark prince with forbidden desires. They are the hope for each other, without ever realizing it. Though compatible in many ways, the reader is left wondering what these two will do, and it's not revealed until the end of the story. Paranormal romance lovers will find a hard and fast love story, very nicely done and told only as Michele Hauf can. 4.5 out 5 fairy kisses, and as always, anything that Michele Hauf releases goes on my reading list. Can't wait for the next book!

Book Trailer:

I received my copy from NetGalley and the publisher, Harlequin, for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day

Publisher: Signet, The Penguin Group
Pages: 368

(Release Date:  October 4, 2011)

From the Cover:


An angel with immense power and insatiable desire, Adrian Mitchell leads an elite Special Ops unit of the seraphim. His task is to punish the Fallen–angels who have become vampires–and command a restless pack of indentured lycans.

But Adrian has suffered his own punishment for becoming involved with mortals–losing the woman he loves again and again. Now, after nearly two hundred years, he has found her: Shadoe, her soul once more inhabiting a new body that doesn’t remember him. This time he won’t let her go.

With no memory of her past as Shadoe, Lindsay Gibson knows only that she can’t help being fiercely attracted to the smoldering, seductive male who crosses her path. Swept into a dangerous world of tumultuous passion and preternatural conflict, Lindsay is soon caught between her angel lover, her vampire father, and a full-blown lycan revolt. There’s more at stake than her love and her life–she could lose her very soul…

Adrian Mitchell wants nothing more than to exist, to complete his mission... until Shadeo newest incarnation is revealed. She is his life, the only reason he would fall from grace. It has been so very long since he recognized her soul. But when events lead him to forgo his usual transportation, he's forced to fly commercially, and he finds what he's been seeking, what he's been denied.

Lindsay Grant is instantly attracted to the angel in disguise, Adrian Mitchell. But, she's not used to the attention of one so attracted in return. It frightens her that he gets so quickly under her skin. She's never been the commitment type, and what she thinks will be a brief affair, suddenly blooms into much more, more than she can even realize.

Lindsay Grant holds within her what Adrian Mitchell has been waiting for, and he will have her, at all costs. The question is: who will be desire more? Lindsay or Shadeo?

A Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day is the first book in a new series, Renegade Angels. It tells the story of what happens when angels come to covet what they were sent to guard. And those unable or unwilling to forgo their desires, become the Fallen. The Watchers with their lycan guards, police the Fallen and guard the mortals. Wings removed, the Fallen have little choice but to gain sustenance by taking the blood of those they love, sent to protect, cursed as vampires. The leader of the Fallen, Syre tried to forbid his daughter, Shadeo, from loving one of the Watchers, Adrian. But, in his unsuccessful bid to turn her, she dies. The curse of Adrian loving her is that her soul is reborn again and again, always seeking him. Lindsay Grant has always been different from the others around her. She's quicker than is supposed to be possible, sees what shouldn't be seen, senses what others cannot. She doesn't fit in until she finds Adrian. Then, her life starts to make sense. With lycan Elijah protecting her under Adrian's watchful eye, no harm will befall her. Unless or until Shadeo's father tries to claim her.

A Touch of Crimson is an excellent start to a wonderful series that I can't wait to read more of. I was left hanging, hoping to turn more pages as the story mysteriously vanished before my eyes. I couldn't believe I had come to the end. The romance between Adrian and Lindsay is scorching hot, the bad boy angel indulging in the forbidden desire, and the woman who wants to deny him, save him from himself and the curse of the Fallen, if only she could help herself, if only she didn't desire him more than anything else she's ever had before. If you're in the mood for a steaming hot romance of undeniable love, pick this book up, you won't be disappointed. If you love Alpha males and strong heroines, this is the book for you. Paranormal Romance lovers and Urban Fantasy lovers need to add this one to their lists, it is a must read, can't put down. For myself, I devoured this book in a single sitting, and I'll be eagerly waiting for the next in the series, A Hunger So Wild (Elijah's story) coming summer 2012, and book 3, yet to be named or announced. I need more angels and lycans in my life! This reader gives 5 out of 5 fairy kisses to A Touch of Crimson, wonderfully told, climatically exciting!

Because I can't resist, here is an excerpt from Sylvia Day's website:

Lindsay woke in a shadowed room. She blinked the sleep out of her eyes, her head turning to figure out where she was.

Her cheek touched the cool cotton of the pillowcase and she saw Adrian. He sat to the left of her in a round low-backed chair covered in silver damask. He was bare except for a pair of loose-fitting white pajama bottoms and whatever he might be wearing underneath them. He watched her with a searing intensity, his mouth straightened into a dangerous line. Although he didn’t move a muscle aside from blinking, she felt a tornado churning inside him.

“Hi,” she croaked past a dry throat. She must have pushed her body too far; she always felt like hammered shit when she exerted herself beyond her limits.

He reached for the clear glass pitcher of water on the bedside table and poured a large ration into a waiting tumbler. Then he stood and helped her sit up, propping her back with some pillows before handing her the drink.

She accepted with a grateful smile. There was a thick cushion of white gauze bandages on her left forearm. Beneath them, pain throbbed dully. She downed the entire contents of her glass and passed it back.

He picked up the phone beside her and punched a button, ordering room service. They were in a hotel, she realized. The windows to the right of the bed she lay in were at least two stories tall and had Tiffany Blue drapes drawn across them. There was a large sitting area beside her and a massive entertainment center at the foot of the bed. Considering the size and opulence of the room and the grand piano she saw through the open living room doorway, they were in…

“Las Vegas?” she queried.

Setting the phone down, he nodded. He poured her a refill and returned the tumbler to her.

She blew out her breath. “How long have I been out?”

“We were in Hurricane the day before yesterday.”

Yikes. “Is everyone okay?”

His gaze bored into her. “You were the only one seriously hurt.”

“That’s good.”

“The hell it is,” he growled, his voice rumbling through the room like thunder, rattling every loose object. “I told you to stay put.”

Here we go. “That was my plan, too. Until the vampire on the porch aimed a shotgun at you. Then I couldn’t stand still.”

“Why the fuck not?”

God, he was sexy when riled. She’d never seen him show anything besides total self-possession, but he was visibly seething now. “Because you needed someone at your back. Everyone else had their hands full. I couldn’t take the risk that you’d be spread too thin and leave an opening.”

“I could survive it.”

“You don’t know that! You told me yourself that you’ve had casualties. You’re not indestructible. I wasn’t going to stand around and watch you die.”

If there was any mercy in the world, she’d never have to watch another person she cared about die.

“So you decided to make me watch you die?” Again…

The unspoken word slid insidiously and inexplicably through Lindsay’s mind. She winced and pressed her palm against a suddenly throbbing temple. Adrian took the glass from her other hand—the hand that should have been too weak to hold it—and bent to press his lips to her forehead. The pain left her like a receding tide.

“If only you could bottle that talent,” she murmured.

Remembering the ninja/Matrix vault she’d done over the vampire, she freaked herself out with her own coolness. How the hell had she known how to do that?

“You’re going to drive me insane.” Although his voice was once again smooth as silk, the turbulence inside him hadn’t abated. He straightened.

“Can you open the curtains?”

Adrian hit a button on the nightstand and the drapes parted, revealing an overcast sky and drizzle. In Las Vegas. Not that it never rained in the desert city, but at this time of year…?

She looked at him, knowing his mood was once again affecting the weather, which affected her in turn. “You were really worried.”

His hands went to his lean hips, exposing the entirety of his perfect torso and delicious biceps. His wings materialized, extending with a sinuous grace. He was so damn beautiful. So fierce and proud. He was like catnip to her. She wanted to roll around with him in a blissful stupor, breathing in that scent of his that drove her wild.

“When you fell to the ground—” He exhaled harshly, his lashes lowering to hide the sudden flaring of his brilliant eyes. His arms crossed his chest and his feathers ruffled, giving so much away with his restless movements. “Yes, I was worried.”

*Sigh* worthy of more than 5 fairy kisses....

I received my copy for review from NetGalley and Signet. All opinion expressed are my own.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 50 (actually evening....)

Good Evening Blogosphere Buddies!

I've been running all day...though, I have to say, I love being able to check facebook and my email from my phone, lol, it feels like I've stayed connected today. Unfortunately, I couldn't post on my blog from my phone or! So, it's evening and I'm posting the challenge....

This week's image is another of Luis Royo's amazing images... use any or all of the pictures. I'm loving it!

So, the rules remain the same, somewhere around 350 words and come back on Friday to post a response.

See you then!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Interview with author: Jean Murray, Soul Reborn, Keys to the Cursed, Book 1 + Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Today on Tink's Place, I'd like to welcome author, Jean Murray. Her debut novel, Soul Reborn, Key to the Cursed, Book 1, was released in April with Crescent Moon Press.

Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 978-0-9828200-6-3
Cover art by Ash Arceneaux

From the Cover:

Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls. Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore.

Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only thing standing in the way of the goddess' undead army unleashing hell on earth. But Lilly has a secret—one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart.

“Only the strongest love can unlock the souls of the Underworld.”

Welcome Jean!

Bio: Jean Murray was born and raised in a small town on the east coast. In her pursuit of a nursing degree, she aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. One of the benefits of her membership in the Armed Forces, she has had the opportunity to travel and live in different parts of the world and the United States. Her travels abroad have given her the opportunity to experience different cultures. It inspired her to delve into Ancient Egyptian myths and legends for her debut novel, Soul Reborn, book 1 in the Key to the Cursed series from Crescent Moon Press, now available.

Since I won Ms. Murray's most excellent book during the Crescent Moon Press's Memorial Day Blog Bash (which was a blast by the way with some very nifty prizes), I decided I would love to interview Ms. Murray... see if I could figure out there these great stories were coming from.

Me: Why don't you start by telling my readers a little bit about yourself?

JM: I’ve been a Navy nurse for the last 20 years and I’m finally going to retire this fall. My family is looking forward to settling down after moving every three years. To stay in one place longer than that, I’m not sure what I will do with myself. Maybe actually unpack the boxes I’ve been dragging around for the last few moves. LOL. My military friends ask what I want to do when I grow up (ie retire). I want to focus on my family and my writing career. Yes, I will still need a day job to keep my sanity, but I really want to take that next step to foster my authorship. This fall will be my first conference (Authors After Dark) where I will be sitting on the other side of the table, signing books and participating in panel discussion. I can’t wait.

Me: How cool! Congrats on your first active member conference!

Me: What drew you to the craft of writing?

JM: I’m still in a bit of shock and disbelief that I am an author. I was drawn to writing just three years ago and it was so unexpected. An internal calling of sorts. It started with a story bouncing around in my head that demanded to be written and continued with the encouragement of my husband. He made me realize my stories were good enough to share with others. I’m drawn to it because it allows me an outlet to express emotion, both positive and negative. No matter how bad the world or life events become, love and family are our constants. And as my stories reflect, it doesn’t come without hard work and sacrifice.

Me: Are you a pantser or plotter?

JM: Definitely a pantser. My subconscious rules when I write. Strange, because as a nurse I am very type-A. But when it comes to writing, the stories just play out in my head. I solve all my plot issues daydreaming. I never write them down. I tried to plot. Once! I tried to stick with it, but my characters had a mind of their own and took the storyline down a very different path. I’m thankful for my characters’ revolt, as the story came out much better than I had planned. I’ve learned to trust my instincts and my characters. In the end it is they who tell the story and touch the reader.

Me: When do you like to write? Mornings, Afternoons, Middle of the Night, or somewhere in between?

JM: There is a category “Any chance I get” that you forgot to add to your list  In reality I grab a second here, 30 minutes there. Whatever I can get between working full-time, raising 3 young boys, and a husband who deserves some attention. It’s craziness, I tell you. It is why the clean laundry from last week is still sitting in the basket. But, we are women and it’s just another facet of our lives that we multi-task. Writing is my outlet and I greedily take my rations.

Me: I should have included an "Any chance I get" category...I seem to hear this more and more...We all have such busy schedules.

Me: Do you have some favorite music that inspires your writing?

JM: The Key to the Curse series is a dark paranormal line. So when I sat down to write Soul Reborn and even now writing Soul Awakened, I listen to some dark gritty music. There is one album that I swear was written for my characters. Skillet- Awaken. There are three songs that I repeat over and over. Hero, Beast and Awake & Alive. These three songs reflect the journey my Egyptian gods have to wade to their salvation. If I could sum up the Key to the Cursed series it would be exactly this: We all have a Beast hidden in that deep dark place. There is a point in our lives that we decide to take control of our destiny (Awake & Alive) and release the hold that sin has on our soul and become the Hero that we need to be.

Me: When you're not writing, do you have a favorite author or genre you enjoy?

JM: Anything dark. I really enjoy JR Ward and Lara Adrian. I’m always looking for that next great “dark” series. I would love suggestions.

Me: One of my favorite series is Jocelynn Drake's Dark Days Series... vampire hunter meets his prey... and it's all good!

Me: What advice would you give to others in the journey to becoming published?

JM: Know the craft. I initially wrote as a hobbie, so the “rules” did not apply to me, but when I decided to pursue publication I crossed that line. Being new, I needed to know what the rules were, so I went to conferences, attended workshops, and joined professional writing organizations. I kept writing and editing. Reading published authors I wanted to emulate in my writing. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know it all, so the learning never stops. Find a critique partner that understands your writing. Heck, I’m still looking for one. I think I would be a lot farther if I had someone to provide constructive criticism. Give yourself time to grow. Send out your manuscript to a few contests that have published authors. Practice pitching and pitch to a real editor to test the waters.

Especially as a new author with a debut novel, I can’t stress enough— listen and learn. I was so lucky to have an editor that was willing to teach and mentor me along the way. She taught me so much in the first 60 days that made conferences and workshops pale in comparison. Don’t take the recommendations personally, they are there to help and hone your novel to perfection. I don’t think you ever stop learning.

Me: Excellent advice! Writing is give and take as is being published. No one wants to hear their baby isn't perfect, but without criticism, how can you grow?

Me: Did you have a long line of submissions before you “got the call”?

JM: I have been very fortunate in my writing career. I started to write in the fall of 2008. Went to my first National Conference in 2009. I volunteered at the conference and signed up for a pitch session. I followed that experience with joining the FF&P chapter of RWA and started taking workshops. I received two full manuscript requests in the fall of 2010. My current publisher was one of those. Twenty-four hours after I submitted my manuscript I got “the call” from Crescent Moon Press with an offer of a contract. Ironically, the same week I got my first rejection letter for Soul Reborn. I have both letters framed side by side as a reminder—never lose sight of your goal.

Me: Is there any other advice/recommendations you'd like to share?

JM: The work doesn’t stop when your book is released. Promotion takes a lot of hard work and time, but will open more opportunities. Develop a social network of friends. I say friends, as it could be a fellow writer, reader, or reviewer. I’ve meet some fabulous people along the way. Don’t just think about yourself and your book, promote others as well. Pay it forward. This is a great community of people.

Me: Where can we find you and your books?

"LIKE" me on facebook here
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Marketing Director: Marlene Castricato ;
Amazon Purchase Links:
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Barnes & Noble Purchase Links: Print & Nook:

Me: What are your future plans for your series? Are you cooking up a new one?

JM: I’m working on the next books in the Key to the Cursed series:
Soul Awakened. Kendra must awaken Bakari from his death-like sleep. Only he can kill the goddess who has plotted war against the Pantheon. The god that awakens after five years of torture is not the man she envisioned. Friend, lover or enemy? Only Bomani stands in Bakari’s way, preventing him from taking what they both want~ Kendra innocence.

Soul Unleashed. Kit wants nothing to do with her demi-god powers nor the god that has been commissioned to protect her from their enemies. She does everything to ditch her unwanted babysitter, but Kamen has had enough of Kit’s antics and takes matters into his own hands. There is a war to be won and a woman to conquer, whether she is ready or not.

I have another complete series that I’m waiting to release. Everyone knows of the Book of Revelations, heralding the end of the world at God’s hands. But, there is another written. One for the other side to wage war at the end of days. The Devil has a plan, and her name is Alexa.

Some fun stuff:

Me: Coffee, Tea, or Something Harder?

JM: In my 20’s it would have been something harder, but now? That would be coffee and anything else with caffeine. Did I mention I write when my boys are in bed? Needless to say they get up very early in the morning. Yawn. More coffee please.

Me: If you were stranded on a desert island... would you hope that Johnny Depp, Hugh Jackman, or Gerard Butler was stranded with you (if hubby/boyfriend decided to stay home while you cruised)?

JM: Oh, Gerard Butler hands down, especially after the making of the movie, 300. He has the ruff rugged look and who doesn’t love that accent. He just needs to make sure to bring enough sunscreen and maybe a nice ice cold margarita. 

Me: Cake or Ice Cream (or both)? JM: I don’t mind dabbling in both. I prefer chocolate most of all.

Me: Favorite all-time read? Movie?

JM: My all-time favorite read would be Jacquelyn Frank’s Noah from Night Walker series. It was my first paranormal romance novel. I was so taken by the genre, I never looked back. Movies? The original Star Wars trilogy is top on my list followed by the Lord of the Rings.

Me: Favorite paranormal creature.....mine are vampires, lol, yum..!

JM: I will forever love vampires, but I’m leaning toward demons these days. There is something about a man that has made mistakes, paid for them with his soul, and is finding his way back to salvation. Okay, that just sounds like my Egyptian gods. LOL.

Me: If you were going to pick a book/movie character to become...who would it be?

JM: I would love to be my heroine, Lilly. Yes, I’m biased. Lilly has strength, beauty and a vulnerability that makes her so real to me. She puts her family first above all else. I would love to have her supernatural abilities to heal. As a nurse those would come in real handy. Not to mention her sexy and dark hero, Asar. I love complicated men.

Me: Secret desires??? (We'll never tell...)

JM: This question gave me pause. I’ve gotten so caught up in life I’ve forgotten to keep a list of my secret desires. Or maybe I just haven’t had time to even think about it. I guess I would want to jump on an airplane to a private island resort with good-looking man servants. No cooking, cleaning or doing laundry. A day of sun, sand, food and spa luxuries. I’d be in heaven.

Thanks for being here today Jean!!

And here's an excerpt from Soul Reborn, Keys to the Cursed, Book 1:

Lilly walked slowly across the great expanse of the front entrance to the stairs. The smallest sound of her metal weapons hitting the curve of her hips resonated in the large room like the distant sound of wind chimes. Her eyes locked immediately on the dark shape as he watched her ascend the steps to the Egyptian exhibit where Kendra conducted her work. He never moved, even as she lost sight of him around the corner. Only then did she turn and join her sisters.

With books strewn everywhere, Lilly had to step carefully to avoid tripping or falling. Kendra, lying on her stomach in the middle floor, looked like she was reading a book at the beach. Lilly shook her head at the complete vulnerability of her sister‘s position. Kendra couldn‘t defend herself from that pose.

Another chill rippled down her back. The other hulking deity stood like a statue in one of the darker corners of the exhibit. Larger than Asar, the god had thick black hair that fell past his shoulders and a perpetual five o‘clock shadow. Asar addressed him as Kamen. With his arms clasped in front of his chest, he looked as if he belonged here among all the antiquities. His stoicism did not match the wildness in his eyes. His stare would wilt even the strongest resolve.

“Where do you need us, Kend?” Lilly asked, looking around.

Kendra bounced up to hand Kit a book and brought her notes over to Lilly. “I need you to go into the archive and find a picture of the goddess marked with these symbols. I think I know who our key thief is and where she might be heading to next, but I need a picture to see the writings inscribed on her sarcophagus.”

Lilly headed down to the basement.

When she pulled out a drawer of the cataloging system, a plume of dust exploded into the air. Apparently, the drawers hadn‘t been opened in a very long time. She waved her hand in front of her face, but it didn‘t stop her from sneezing. Memories of climbing through old dig sites with her father surfaced in her mind, followed by another series of sneezes. “God, I hate this stuff,” she mumbled to herself, rubbing her nose with the back of her hand. She shivered and immediately looked to her left.

“Your sister seems to enjoy it.”

“Well, it’s her thing.”

Asar stepped closer. “What is your thing, Lilly?”

His question actually made her laugh. “My thing? Yeah, well. I guess that would be killing revens.” She scratched the back of her neck, where it burned just under the skin. “Seems I‘ve run into a cold spell.”

“I cannot very well let you die. And you made me vow to keep your sisters from harm. Letting you fight revens would seem a contradiction to our agreement.”

With her choice of expletives threatening to break free, she bit and held her tongue tightly. How was she going to explain this to Mother? All of a sudden her best hunters had no kills. She rubbed her neck again and twisted her head a few times to stretch the muscles. Finally, she turned back to what she had been doing and tried to ignore the fact a deity loomed over her shoulder. Not to mention her neck hurt like hell where the snake‘s fangs leaked venom into her muscles.

An occupational hazard for the Nehebkau.

Lilly leafed through the parchments carefully laid on top of one another. She finally found the one she was looking for and carefully pulled it out of the stack. Rolling it up, she turned to leave, but his black body blocked her egress.

“Excuse me.” She didn’t bother hiding the annoyance in her voice.

He turned to the side. She tried to pass without touching him. She needed to stay focused on the task and not his body, but he didn’t budge an inch to accommodate her. The burning in her neck only added to her acrid mood. Finally, she pushed past, but not before her breasts brushed against his cold broad chest. Her nipples instantly tightened into small peaks underneath her vest. Of all things she didn‘t want to happen.

Why the hell did he have to be so cold?

Over the table, she spread the parchment containing sketches of the hieroglyphics matching Kendra‘s picture. Her stalker stood in the corner watching her. His ass could stay there for all she cared. She leaned over the small table and rested on her elbows, which brought her sleek blonde hair forward over her shoulders to block her view of him.

“When was your conversion?”

She stiffened as the serpent shifted under her skin. He moved just behind her, never making a sound. She glanced over her shoulder. He was nearly five feet away, yet her skin rose up in goose bumps. She rubbed the big knot of muscle running from her neck to her shoulder. “Five years ago.”

He stepped closer. “It is a very painful transformation, relative to the species of snake.”

She caught his gratuitous glance down her back to her ass. No doubt a hint of her pink lace panties peeked out from beneath the waist band.

As if she didn‘t already know it was painful. She lived through the damn thing. Her current level of discomfort was a constant reminder of that moment. If she had known how agonizing it would be in the beginning, she‘d have never agreed to it. Straightening up off the table, she refocused her attention back to the parchment.

“Hold still.”

Every muscle in her body tightened to fight when his ice cold fingers pressed against the base of her neck across the snake‘s head. She didn‘t like having her back turned to a potential enemy. Well, not so much an enemy, as an unwanted business partner.

A partner with hands of magic.

“An Egyptian asp is a very deadly snake. Used for the execution of criminals, it signifies the power over life and death.”

Her shoulders melted as the pain dissolved under his touch. The cold chill against her skin ceased when he pulled his hand away. She turned around to face him. With her arms crossed over her chest, she leaned her bottom against the table.

“Appropriate, seeing as I kill revens for a living, and we just added a convicted goddess to the list.”

“Fate, perhaps.” Asar touched his pectoral necklaces hidden under his tunic.

Lilly followed the motion to his chest.

“May I see them?” she asked. Surprise fluctuated in his eyes, but then he untied the tunic in the front and pulled back the edges. Honed out of well chiseled muscle his chest spanned above a six pack abdomen. His dark skin entirely smooth and devoid of hair held tautly against the bulk of muscle. The locations she had come in contact were lighter in color. His linen pants hung dangerously low against his hips, just above his pubic bone. Lilly glanced away when heat flushed her face. It took all her strength to refocus on the necklaces.

The three gold ropes lay at the broadest part of his chest. She recognized the lion and the moon pendent. The second, a ram‘s head. The third, a crown with a crook and flail. With her lower lip pulled between her teeth she slowly extended her fingertips to touch the three medallions.

She searched his expression for any displeasure, but it remained placid. He at least wasn’t offended by her curiosity and touch. She withdrew her hand, and saw a cast of disappointment in his eyes despite his emotionless face.

“You left it there for me to find,” she said, astounded. “Did you know it would bring you here?”

“Your youngest sister has not been initiated into the Nehebkau. Why?”

His blatant disregard of her question, only confirmed her suspicions. Damn if she didn‘t walk right into his plans. “I wouldn’t let her. It’s much too dangerous.”

“But you let your other sister.”

“Kit can handle herself,” she quipped.

“Do you know what they say about Nehebkau?” Asar asked, as he walked around the table.

“He was the God of Protection,” Lilly said, tracking him with her eyes. He circled her like a predator testing his prey.

“He is the God of Protection, both in life and in the afterlife. The ancient Egyptians depicted him in the form of a snake with a human body. He joins the Ka, the soul, to the body.”

“Well, then Mother picked the right god to represent us. I just hope the revens we kill eventually find peace.”

Asar narrowed his eyes on her. “Mother? Your mother?”

“No. It’s a term we, Nehebkau, use for our leader. She believed in the curse, and used Nehebkau’s spell to create hunters to combat the revens. Mother believes we can find a talisman to cure those afflicted.”
Lilly looked directly at the pectoral necklace, the very one she placed around his neck.

“What of your natural mother?”

Lilly glanced away and shrugged. “It‘s always been our father and us. She left when we were very young.”

Despite her efforts, she couldn’t keep the pain out of her voice, which made her feel even more vulnerable—a sensation that never sat well with her. Her pain turned to bitterness. “I don’t see the relevance to this discussion. Does it really matter what kind of snake I have implanted in my body? It gives me the strength to protect what I love. Why are you even interested in my family?”

He moved closer, and placed his hands on the table on either side of her hips. With no means of escape, she leaned back, but he closed the space.

“Your reasons for joining the Nehebkau reveal the character of your soul. It is no coincidence the asp was chosen for you. It was chosen for you by the gods. As you said, we want the same thing. To protect what we love. The gods have decided to cross our paths, our fates. It is important we succeed. You are not the only one that has family at stake.”

She straightened closing the distance between them as far as she dared without touching him. “Yes, this is personal for me. The curse destroyed my family‘s life. I’ll do everything in my power to stop it. And, if you are asking whether I‘d betray your trust? No. No, I wouldn’t.”

He narrowed his eyes slightly before he pulled away, though his hands remained on the table close to her hips. She let out a heavy breath.

Lilly saw the hunger in his eyes. Hunger she had seen several times before when he stared at her. She squirmed under his gaze. With very little room to move, her hip brushed his arm. The fire in his eyes intensified with the slight contact. A stark contrast to the coldness of his skin.

Finally, she couldn’t take it. “Do you have to look at me that way?”

“What look would that be, Lilly?”

Another chill ran down her spine when he said her name. She lifted her chin. “The one that looks as if you are going to take a bite out of me. It’s very disconcerting. I’ve enough problems with revens trying to make me a meal.”

He blinked, then suddenly his eyes darkened. He leaned in closer so that his lips almost touched hers. “You mean this look.”

She inhaled sharply. Her heart clashed against her chest. “Yes.”

“And what if I wanted to take a little nibble?”

The words sent an instant rush of heat through her body, tingling in all the right places. She closed her eyes, and gripped the table. The wood creaked under the stress.

“Open your eyes,” he commanded.

She complied and found him staring into her soul. Her connection to him was so strong. Everything about him pulled her in. The more she struggled to stop it, the stronger it became. Her body trembled, feeling the cold press of his lips against hers. Coldness spread over her face, cool and delicious. Like, an ice cold drink on a sweltering day, quenching an unknown thirst. His strong cold hands grasped tightly around her biceps and pulled her in tighter to his mouth. Her reluctance got lost somewhere in the taste of him. Desperation overcame her as he aggressively sought out her tongue with his own. A moan escaped her lips with the onslaught of pleasure. He answered her with a growl which resonated in his chest, spurring her to slip her hands under his tunic and up his tight muscular back.

The deep growl of arousal propelled to a deafening roar. He reared back and retreated several feet into the darkness.

She gasped. To stabilize herself, she gripped the table and leaned over to catch her breath. Her warm fingertips pressed against her burning lips.

“Whoa,” she muttered under her breath. She didn’t know what to do with herself. Stay? Go? Run? She just kissed an Egyptian god—the God of the Underworld, no less. Her body throbbed from a simple kiss.

Who was she kidding? There was nothing simple about it.

Now, that's one hawt excerpt!! I hope everyone will give Soul Reborn a chance. You won't be sorry, it was a great read!!

So, to top off a great interview and a great read, I'm giving a way a $10.00 Amazon gift card. If you'd like to enter, leave a comment for Jean or myself. Sign up for Jean's newsletter @ Wicked Romance, that's another entry. Follow here on my blog or facebook, that's another entry. And if by some chance, you've already purchased Soul Reborn, email me a copy of the receipt (, and that's an extra entry too. For all extra entries, make sure you let me know in the comment section, and if an email isn't associated with your name, please leave an email address so I can contact the winner. This contest will run for one week, Thursday morning on 21st, I'll draw a winner.

Thanks everyone for stopping by!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Soul Reborn by Jean Murray

Publisher:  Crescent Moon Press
Pages:  282

(Released:  April 6, 2011)

From the Cover:


Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls.  Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore.


Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only things standing in the way of the goddess' undead army unleashing hell on earth. But Lilly has a secret--one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart. 

Lilly has had her hands full since the death of her father, and Mother holds his life and death over her head. Lilly holds herself responsible for a lot of things, including the well being of her two younger sisters, Kit and Kendra. Lilly is the leader of the Nehebkau huntresses, only occasionally challenged by Rebecca, the commander of the para-fighters. With Kit at her back, Lilly lets the power of Nehebkau flow through her body, to destroy the hordes of undead plaguing their world, their home. This undead plague seems to be infecting more and more of humanity, until the city officials have to depend on the huntresses to keep the hordes in check. Kendra, museum mistress and the brains behind their efforts as well as being the youngest sister, keeps them on track, searching to discover the answer to the undead plague... one Lilly feels has been unleashed by her own hand.

Asar first sees Lilly as he seeks out the human souls he needs to nourish his depleted soulless body. She appears as the beautiful blonde unwilling to bow to his demands or desires. His body has been left soulless by a jilted goddess, one he found lacking, one he couldn't allow to have entrance to the Underworld, and entombed. As revenge, when she was accidentally released, she strips away his heart, and with it, his soul, as well as any of the human souls she can enslave. He and his brother, Kamen, are unaffected by the soulless undead, even to the point of having control over them if only temporarily. 

When Lilly and Asar finally meet on equal terms, sparks ignite, and what Asar thought was lost forever is returned with Lilly's every touch. It's an addiction only she can cure, and he must endure, if his soul is to be reborn.

Soul Reborn by Jean Murray is a sweet ride into Ms. Murray interpretation of Egyptian mythos. She builds her world to include a different existence on the Earthbound plane, one where Egyptian myths are brought into reality. And with that reality, comes the existences of Gods and Goddess, some good, and some, not so much. A great battle is building between the forces of good and evil, the only question is will Lilly and Asar be able to withstand the coming conflict? Will this new love they've discovered by strong enough to fight the evil that has been brought into reality? Are Asar and Lilly willing to forgive each other for what they see as their crimes against humanity?

Soul Reborn is an excellent addition to the growing genre of stories revolving around the mythology of Egyptian, Roman, and Greek Gods. The heroine of the story, Lilly, provides the strong resilient, but at the same time, very feminine leader. Asar, our hero, is the alpha male I've come to love, strong yet needy, a soft core only Lilly fill to complete his existence. Because, with the loss of his heart and soul, he'll need to learn to love, if he's going to live to fight another day. Each will have to see how far they're willing to go to be together. I highly recommend this book to lovers of stories revolving around mythos, as well as paranormal romance lovers. Urban fantasy lovers will also fall in love with this story because at it's core, there is the creation of the world filled with scores of the undead, willing to dine on humanity. 

Soul Reborn, Key to the Cursed, Book 1 is Lilly and Asar's story, with Kit and Kendra's stories yet to come. I'll be eagerly waiting to see where this story leads next. Five out of five fairy kisses.

Book Trailer:

Stop back tomorrow for an interview with Jean Murray, author of Soul Reborn! 

I won my copy of Ms. Murray's Soul Reborn in Crescent Moon Press's Memorial Day blog hop. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 49

Good Morning Flash Fictioners!

It's fast approaching a year of flashing each other, only three weeks left until week I'm wondering....what do I call it after 52? Just keep going numerically or do I say something like Year 2, Week 1? Hmmmm..... I have no clue!! lol... Any input from the interwebs would be great!

Well, anyway... it's time for another edition of...

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!

This weeks image in another of Luis Royo's images, but with Blodeuedd in mind. The minute I saw it, I thought of her. I hope everyone enjoys it!

Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with, so many possibilities!

The rules remain the same, 350 words (which I stayed inside of this week) and come back on Friday to post your response. See everyone then!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 48, The Friday Post (on Saturday)

Well, I'm late again, but here's my flash fiction entry. Really struggled trying to come up with something, but on a side note, the YA MS I'm working on is coming right along. Almost to 13,000 words after a long dry period when I could figure out how to move the story. Then, it came to me out of the blue, and I wonder...what the ..., why were you struggling, lol. Doh!

Destiny Revealed
By: Dottie Taylor
Word Count: 350

Lightning flashed through the smoke filled sky, striking indiscriminately. It was burning, all of it. Astral gazed over her city, her place in the clouds. The demon angels filled the air, all grieving the loss of their home.

This was her punishment for escaping the Dark Prince. He was magnetic, impossible to refuse, seductive in his need to possess her. He'd become her life, her breath, her every need, killing her a little more with every fiery stroke along her pale flesh. But, he couldn't force her to love him, and that was the one thing he desired.

Now, the screams could be heard rebounding from the cliff sides, echoing her pain.

When she would not love his Darkness, the Prince's wrath for her disregard brought pain to those around her. Baiting her to return to him, to give him what he desired, even if it was a lie.

“Why?” She demanded aloud, “Why do you demand what I cannot give?”

A boom resounded in her ears. “You are mine, I will have you!”

“No person can be owned.” She called back.

“I have no desire to own, merely possess.” He seductively called. “I will return what has been taken,” he purred, “give in to my demands.”

“For my life, you will return our homes?”

“Yes,” he answered enticingly.

“Then, I demure, take what you desire.”

“Freely given?”

Defeat filled her voice. “Freely given.”

“You will come to love me.”

She hung her head, whispering. “No, I will not.”

Thunder rumbled, the lightning came closer.

Astral lifted her face, “but you may have my body.”

With a crack of lightning, Astral vanished from the cliffs. Laughter thundered, pleasure at her supposed defeat.

The Dark Prince possessed Astral for many years, finally tiring of her refusal. Another, more amendable, soul would be found.

Though ravaged by the Darkness's caresses, Astral smiled. With all his ungodly power, she was victorious. Though he had possessed her body, he was unable to steal the one thing he coveted, love.

I hope everyone else had fun with this!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Shimmerspell by Kimberly Spencer

Publisher:  Kimberly Spencer / Smashwords
Pages:  50

From the Cover:

When sixteen-year-old Jensen Meadows is cut off from her sister and finds herself caught in the middle of an ancient faerie war, she quickly learns that faeries aren't made of sparkly goodness. They're vicious. And worse, they're after her.

With the help of Liam Casey, she searches for her sister and begins to suspect that her whole life has been nothing more than a faerie tale.

But what if the truth turns out to be more than she can handle? 


She reared back and slammed the locker shut, backing away with her hand braced against the wall of metal for balance. She blinked and everything became more pronounced--the green of the lockers extra bright, the classroom doors an almost blinking white, like the world had suddenly gone HD and her eyes couldn't catch up.

Something was wrong with her, but she couldn't ponder that something for long. The sound of feet shuffling had her heart back-flipping in her chest. Unnerved, she turned to run, or more honestly, hobble to class, and slammed into a brick wall.

Liam. Except--not. The boy in front of her had pale pearlescent skin that shimmered underneath the overhead lights, his eyes no longer the cerulean she had come to adore, but a deeper, more vibrant blue that reminded her of giant sapphires. Tension lines bracketed his mouth, and his gaze darted up and down the hall as if he expected someone to show up.

Jensen found her eyes riveted to his face. She tried to count the number of hairs that made up his golden stubble, looking for something, anything to avoid dealing with the two things that had caused her breaths to come way too fast, and her palms to feel like she had dipped them in the ocean.

"What are you doing out here?" he asked, voice just as strained as the cords bunching in his neck.

She shut her eyes. They weren't working anyway. But the darkness that followed only made her pulse speed up more, her heartbeat pounding in her ears. When she peeled her lids apart, she knew her sight wasn't the problem because they were still there, still peeking over his shoulders at her. Still fluttering. Wings. Liam had wings.

Jensen has had a strange life. She's never known her mother or her father, both gone soon after her birth. She's been raised by her con-artist sister, Lauren, constantly on the move, going from one to another when it gets too hot to stay. But, this time something is different. Even when Lauren tells her it's time to move on, Jensen stops to think, why now?

Then, a strange thing happens. Jensen has been the burnt of the A-listers jokes, maybe because Liam, hot and magnetic, notices her. When she decides to even the scales, Liam intercepts her activity, catching her in the act. But, the weird thing isn't being caught, it's the wings that suddenly sprout from his back. And he's not the only thing that's different.

Shimmerspell by Kimberly Spencer is a fun ride into the world we didn't know existed and neither does Jensen. Everything isn't how it appears to be, and not everyone is who they claim to be. And Jensen's world gets more interesting and more complicated with every glance. But, it might also lead to her imprisonment in a world that can't exist, Jensen's never has known existed. Only her father can save her, and she doesn't even know him.

Shimmerspell was fast paced fun trip into the land of faery, and it gets better. There's a struggle going on and Jensen is stuck in the middle. If you want a quick little read that's just the tip of the iceberg, pick up Shimmerspell, you won't be disappointed, and there's more stories to come. Paranatural story lovers will want to read this one, interesting and fun take on the land of faery. Great for an afternoon pick me up!!  Kimberly is blessed by the cover goddess as well, lovely cover!  4.5 out of 5 fairy kisses. Excellent read and I'm looking forward to the next novella is the series.


Book Trailer:

I received my ebook novella from the author for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

Publisher:  Candlewick Press
Pages:  352

(August 9, 2011)

From the Cover:

Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for sixty-two years when she is woken by a kiss. 

Locked away in the chemically-induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten sub-basement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew. Now, her parents and her first love are long dead, and Rose – hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire – is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat. 

Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh. But when a deadly danger jeopardizes her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes – or be left without any future at all.

Rose was been asleep for a very long time, much longer than her mother promised, much longer than anyone thought possible. Sixty-two years is a long time to be asleep. She missed so much, and from what she understands, no all of it was good. When she went to sleep, her father's company was working on genetic altered foods, and when she woke up, everything has changed. The Dark Times brought death, infertility, instability. Her parents and first love, Xavier, are all gone. Her parents died after putting her in stasis, never telling others of her existence. She was left to languish in the stasis tube found in the sub-basement of their apartment building all those long years. And if it hadn't been for the accidental discovery of her tube by her mysterious savior, Bren, she would have remain, asleep within her dreams, eternally.

When she wakes, it's to a new world, new vernacular, nothing is the same. And someone, something, has been programmed to seek her out, and retrieve her... and ultimately killer her.

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan tells the story of a young girl, who has been sheltered and shielded all of her life, to the point of obsession and abuse. Her parents seldom let her explore her world, even before stasis. They were world famous scientist and corporate engineers, holding the rights to an interplanetary empire. Every time they opened a new station, launched new product, wanted to take a vacation, they put Rose into stasis.... every time. Rose doesn't know any better, she's never been treated any differently. Her controlling father demanded obedience, her dependent mother easily and willingly bent to his will. If she questions their decisions or requests, she's put into stasis, until she "calms down....becomes reasonable". It happens many times throughout her life. Rose first meets Xavier when he is only a toddler, and while he continues to grow, to mature and grow older, Rose exists in that place without reality. She's always been older than Xavier, until one day, when she's released from her stasis tube, she's not. Xavier, though chronologically younger, has gained more birthdays than Rose. He's always been fascinated by the girl who goes away, but always comes back the same. Eventually, love grows and when Rose's parents place her in stasis, Xavier finds a way to help her escape. He becomes Rose's hero and savior... until her parents found out, and she's placed in stasis and forgotten. Sixty-two years later, Bren discovers an old tube, dusty and worn by time, used for home stasis, until it was outlawed. As he brushes away the dirt and grime, he discovers the sleeping beauty tucked away inside. Then, Rose's world changes, and nothing will ever be the same. Everything has been lost or changed. And not only that, something is hunting for her, something wants to find her, and wants her dead.

A Long, Long Sleep is one of the best YA distant reality novels I've read. It's not set in the far future, just one that hasn't happened yet, but could. It's the story of a young girl's abuse. She's not beaten or physically damaged in any way that anyone else can see. She's not mentally broken... that anyone would notice. She has accepted her fate, to be the girl in the stasis tube, never questioning, never resisting, compliant. She doesn't know any different, won't accept that her parents are doing is something wrong. When she does question why, when she wants to be her own person, to learn to live and have a life, she forced in stasis one last time and forgotten. It isn't until she's discovered in the sub-basement of her parent's old apartment building that she comes to life, real life. Her old life comes to her in the memories of her mother and father, and of Xavier... and they're all gone, long dead. She's never been allowed to attend school long or socialize with others her age. Now, she has to start over, if she can figure out how and learn to handle all the new strangeness. She latches onto Bren, her savior, but Bren is overwhelmed. But, Otto, the hybrid-alien engineered boy is fascinated by her, and he seems to be the only one who wants to be her friend. But, then again, they are both owned by the corporation, one and the same.

A Long, Long Sleep is a sleeping beauty retelling with a macabre twist. Rose's parents leave her in a stasis tube, repeatedly. Any time they need a break from being parents, a break from the reality of their lives, she's hidden away. No one questions, no one knows. Rose is almost the secret child, and there might be others. But, even from the grave her parents reach out and touch her one last time. If you like retellings of classic fairy tales, you'll enjoy A Long, Long Story with it's dark twists and turns. If you like young love, twice over, give this one a try. You won't believe the ending. Five out of five fairy kisses.

I absolutely LOVE the UK cover! Isn't it amazing!!

I received my ebook copy for review from NetGalley and Candlewick Press. All opinions are my own.

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