Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Feature: Excerpt from THE DARK DREAMER by Heather Topham Wood and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book:
For as long as she can remember, Rebekah Clayton’s life has been dictated by her dreams. As a dream interpreter, she has become privy to her clients’ deepest and darkest secrets. Affairs, financial ruin, even murder—nothing shocks her anymore. But Grant Raskin’s dreams are unlike any she has heard before. If Rebekah’s interpretation is right, Grant has foreseen the end of the world. A plague is coming and everyone Rebekah cares about will succumb to the illness. And Grant can trace the origin of the disease back to two men: Dr. Mark Holman and his son Drew. Grant enlists Rebekah to track down the Holmans and determine their connection to the viral outbreak. But uncovering Drew Holman’s secrets will lead her down a dangerous path—unearthing a deadly conspiracy she never could have predicted. The first book in a two-part series from bestselling romance author Heather Topham Wood.

Excerpt:

I was in the middle of a cyclone, in the dead center of the eye of the deadliest storm I'd ever witnessed. The world was a blur as the wind picked up pieces of the earth and flung them in the air around me.
I felt claustrophobic as the tunnel of wind closed in around me, tightening the eye and whipping chunks of earth ever-closer to my face. I couldn’t see out and I imagined no one could see in. The storm trapped me and I doubted it would ever let me go.
“Ezekiel.” The name was a whisper—a soft breath into my ear, but loud enough to make out clearly despite the raging storm.
My body swung to the sound and I stood before a powerfully built man. I took him in in one full look—dark eyes, dark hair and dark stubble surrounding his full lips. He towered over me, hunching down to reach my ears and whisper his secrets. He was the younger man from Grant’s illustration brought to life.
“Is that your name?” The storm faded in importance. The earth trembled below our feet, but my full focus stayed on the man next to me.
He laughed. “No, but Ezekiel has my secrets.”
“The prophet from the Bible? The one who had to teach the world a lesson because of false shepherds?”
He didn’t answer, but instead took a step closer to me. I stared farther up at him and found myself caught in his intense gaze. His eyes were full of too many emotions I recognized from my own life: drowning pain coupled with a desperation to be understood.
Would the root of his evil be borne from his need for understanding? Did I empathize with a man who possibly viewed annihilation as a freedom from unbearable pain?
His fingertips grazed over my lips in a leisurely way. Exploring the dip, circling over the creases. He leaned down and I found myself trapped in place. I couldn’t look away. I couldn’t move. I only could wait for him to kiss me.
Instead, he pressed his forehead against mine and squeezed his eyes shut tightly. I let go of the breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding in. He inhaled shakily, taking in the breath I released.
The familiar way he held me wasn’t alarming. I felt like I belonged there, as if he and I was one and the same. I didn’t feel fear or revulsion, only the strangest sensation of two magnets being pulled together by forces unseen.
I’d been so enthralled in the moment, captivated by his nearness, I didn’t notice the way his shirt had begun to change color. The burgundy color deepened and the fabric clung to his chest. My hands reached out and touched the spot over his heart. Pulling back, my fingers were dripping with fresh blood.
He looked down at his chest and frowned as if the stream of blood were merely an inconvenience. “It’s happening,” he murmured. Without warning, he began to claw at his chest. Ripping through the blood-drenched cotton, digging his nails into the flesh.
I scrambled away from him—screaming in horror as he ripped himself open. He didn’t flinch as his flesh fell in clumps to the dirt floor in front of him. He just kept at the self-mutilation—tossing aside muscle and tendons as if he were a corpse who felt nothing.
His hand disappeared inside his chest cavity and I wrenched my head away. I dry-heaved and fell onto my hands and knees. The storm intensified once again as if its destruction were somehow equal to the obliteration I just witnessed. I wished for the moment to end, for the storm to finally come and tear me to pieces so I no longer had to stay trapped with the nameless man.
A thud in front of me forced my head up again. A silent gasp escaped my lips as I gaped at the bloody object the man had thrown before me. I tried to process what I was seeing, but my brain couldn’t seem to keep up with what was happening around me. After my shock wore off, I realized beneath the blood and gore wasn’t a heart constructed from human flesh. Beneath the surface stained with crimson slashes was a heart made out of stone.
“You can have this now.” His voice, deep and rich, drew my sight away from the horror and back to his beautiful, unblemished face. Despite his chest being dissected by his own hand, he still was standing and seemingly unaffected. “I won’t be needing it anymore.”      “Who are you?” I asked again, but this time with more urgency. He shook his head in reply and I pounded the ground in frustration. I had to know him. I had to find a man who could display so much raw emotion, but hid a heart of stone. Although the vision receded and I could feel him slipping away, I still refused to accept he would be a mystery I’d never solve.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

NEW RELEASE: Speak of the Devil, by Shawna Romkey #YA #paranormal #amreading




I'm truly excited to help my friend and fellow author Shawna Romkey celebrate the re-release of her wonderful YA paranormal - SPEAK OF THE DEVIL. It's the first book in her series and an engrossing read. Shawna is another of the former Crescent Moon Press authors who regained her book rights in March. I love, love love her new cover - and the quote from Terry Brooks is just wonderful!

If you're not familiar with this engaging angel story, here's the official blurb:

After dying with her two best friends in a tragic car accident, Lily comes back to life only to wind up in the middle of a war between good and evil at a time when God has disappeared.

What happens when falling in love and falling from grace collide?

After dying in a car accident with her two best friends, Lily miraculously awakens to grief and guilt. She escapes to her dad’s to come to terms with the crash and meets some people at her new school who seem all too eager to help her heal. Sliding deeper into sorrow and trying to fight her feelings for two of them, she finds out who…what they really are and learns they are falling too.

Can she find the strength to move on from the past, reconcile her feelings for Luc, figure out a way to stop a divine war with fallen angels, and still pass the eleventh grade?

Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/L0mHh

About Shawna Romkey:
Shawna grew up around farms in the heart of Missouri but went to the University of Kansas, was raised in the US but now lives on the ocean in Nova Scotia with her husband, two sons, one rescue dog and one overgrown puppy from hell. She’s a non-conformist who follows her heart.


She’s taught English at the university and secondary levels for close to twenty years and can’t quite fathom how all of her students have grown up, yet she’s managed to stay the same.  She’s a huge geek and fan of Xena, Buffy and all kick ass women, and loves to write stories that have strong female characters.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  | Pinterest  |  Goodreads

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

NEW RELEASE: ENTWINED, by Cherie Colyer #YA #paranormal #amreading



ENTWINED
 an Embrace Series Novel by Cherie Colyer
I'm so very very excited to read this new book in Cherie Colyer's EMBRACE series! I read and reviewed the first two and have been waiting for a third for a while now (feels like forever sometimes, but not as long as the next George RR Martin novel, lol!)

And I love the new cover!! At the end of the second book I was definitely "Team Isaac" (as they say) But love the book description, and think it sounds like Madison might be falling a little for the bad boy demon... Will definitely be reading this very soon and posting a review!


About the Book:

Only a few months after embracing her magical powers, defeating a dark witch, and banishing a faerie prince back to his realm, sixteen-year-old Madison Riley is back in book three of the Embrace series—and doing the bidding of a demon. She has no choice but to do so if she wants him to honor the deal they made to save the life of someone she loves. Twenty years of service to a creature of hell is a big price, but one she’s willing to pay. And it sure beats the alternative: selling her soul.

But life gets complicated when you’re the beck-and-call witch of a crossroad demon. Caden, the demon she serves, wants to become master of Death Himself, and with Madison at his side he has the means to do it.

It’s up to Madison and her coven to foil his plans, but Caden’s intentions aren't entirely evil—and the kisses he seals his deals with aren’t too bad either. As Caden's motives test Madison’s trust, his shameful flirting tries her boyfriend Isaac’s patience. But being caught between two supernatural hotties is perhaps the least of her concerns when the coven’s interference in Caden’s plot might just cost Madison her life and unleash hell on earth.


Author: Cherie Colyer
Title: Entwined (Embrace #3)
Genre: Young Adult Supernatural Romance
ISBN: 9781623421977
Release Date: April 14th, 2015
Available in Ebook and Paperback
Twitter: @CherieColyer
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25092851-entwined

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Book Review: HOT PURSUIT by Lynn Raye Harris

HOT Pursuit (a Hostile Operations Team novel)
by Lynne Raye Harris
Published by H.O.T. Publishing, July 2013

About the Book:
He was the last man in the world she wanted to see…but he might be the only one who could save her…

Ten years ago, Matt Girard did something he shouldn’t. When sweet Evangeline Baker offered him her virginity, he took it. Then he left town and he’s never looked back.

Until now. His future as a black ops soldier with the Hostile Operations Team is in jeopardy, and he’s come home for a few days before going back to face the consequences of a mission gone wrong.

Matt still makes Evie’s heart pound, but she wants nothing to do with him. She’s had enough of men who lie and promise things they don’t deliver. But when her sister goes missing and her ex-boyfriend turns up dead, she’s in need of Matt’s special military skills.

With time running out, Matt will put everything on the line to protect Evie and find her sister. Even if it means sacrificing all he’s worked for with HOT. Sometimes, the reward is worth the price. Especially when it’s the one woman he can’t forget…

MY TAKE:

Sexy, vulnerable, sarcastic and oh so hot, Matt Girard had me swooning from the first chapter. While the book's title may seem a little contrived, even slightly cheesy, the special forces unit itself is hardcore serious. The opening scene leaves no doubt that Matt and his team are deadly serious about saving lives and kicking ass.

Back in his home town while awaiting a disciplinary trial on a mission gone wrong, he runs into a childhood friend. She's also back home in limbo, having lost her restaurant when employees embezzled all the money from her business and left her holding the bag. Turns out those employees also had ties to organized crime, and they need something they left behind. Fortunately Matt has tons of covert op experience dealing with deadly scumbags, and steps in to save the day.

The scenes between the main characters sizzle off the page, and the action is all well written and totally believable, if slightly over the top. The bayou setting immerses you completely in Low Country sights and feels. I totally enjoyed every minute of this book and would recommend this series and author.

This story is the first in a series, the next novels following the other guys on Matt's team as they also find love. In this first book we get introduced to some of his team as they help him get to the bottom of the intrigue, and I'm looking forward to reading their tales now too. 4.5 out of 5