Friday, April 29, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: "Beautiful Monster: The Hunt Book 2" by Jeanne Bannon

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Book Description: 

Book Two in the Beautiful Monster series.

It takes one Beautiful Monster to hunt down another. Alina, the best of the trained assassins is called to duty to find and kill the rampaging Boris.


If her heart hadn’t stopped beating over two hundred years ago, Alina would have felt something akin to love for this place. It was the most famous city in the world—New York, New York! Though she did prefer her native Romania, and the rest of Europe to trounce around in, this city was perfect for her and ZoZo. The impish girl was an eye catcher for sure, with her wild red locks and crooked legs, but in Manhattan, the two of them walked down Fifth Avenue hardly drawing a glance. Alina wondered why she hadn’t visited before.

As they made their way past the gated and locked stores, she was pleased to see there were still people milling about on the streets so late into the night. Her nostrils flared as she passed a gaggle of young women, all spiky heeled and short skirted, despite the late fall chill. She turned to watch as they passed, cocking her head to enjoy the pattering of their heartbeats, a growl escaping her. A tug at Alina’s sleeve made her look down.

ZoZo stared up at her caretaker, shook her head, and whispered, “Nooooo.” Her eyes were large and filled with warning.

Alina smiled warmly. “Of course not, child. Don’t I always behave myself?”

ZoZo’s expression brightened, and she returned the smile revealing a mouth of crowded teeth. The girl reached for Alina’s long, slender hand and took it.

They walked for hours, Alina slowing her pace to ZoZo’s. The girl’s legs were short and uneven, giving her the waddle of a penguin. When she complained, Alina picked her up and cradled her charge in her arms, ZoZo’s large head rested on Alina’s shoulder. But as they neared their destination, a hotel in Chelsea, she insisted Zo walk the rest of the way. Soon the child could get some sleep, and she could plan.

Once in their tiny hotel room, ZoZo sat on the end of her bed. “Where?” she said, her voice gravely, too deep and unnatural for a child.

Alina knew what the imp was referring to and tapped the side of her neck. ZoZo promptly tilted her head to allow Alina access. With fangs at the ready, she expertly sunk into the girl’s jugular. Once sated, Alina pulled away and ZoZo, now exhausted, barely made it to the head of the bed and the waiting pillow before falling asleep.

Alina removed Zo’s tiny pink running shoes and pulled the sheets over the child’s crooked body. She kissed her on the forehead before taking a seat at a small desk beside the girl’s bed. On it was a newspaper and above the fold, a headline—Vampire-Style Serial Killings. Fifty-One Dead.

She didn’t need to read the article. She knew more than the reporters did; more than the cops even. However, Alina did look at the pictures all lined up, row after row. The victims were men, women and yes, even children. A grainy photo of a “person of interest” stared back at her. Her eyesight was better than even the keenest bird of prey. She knew that face and that long slender body, but couldn’t believe Alexei Baranovsky was capable of such viciousness. Was he a bastard, yes! Had he used her, played her, fooled her, yes! But she knew him well. That was why she’d been sent by Those on High to stop him.


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Jeanne Bannon has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years, first as a freelance journalist, then as an in-house editor for LexisNexis Canada. She currently works as a freelance editor and writer.

When not reading or writing, Jeanne enjoys spending time with her daughters, Nina and Sara and her husband, David. She’s also the proud mother of two fur babies, a cuddly and affectionate Boston Terrier named Lila and Spencer, a rambunctious tabby, who can be a very bad boy.

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Having read and loved the first Beautiful Monster book, I was excited to read book two. Still painfully short, but with much more action, The Hunt takes the reader on a wild and dangerous ride through the streets of New York City. Dark, beautiful, and well-plotted, Ms. Bannon did not fail to disappoint.
I like the idea of vampire hunting vampire, instead of it being vamp vs mortal. Alina is a strong female character without having to be overstated or sexualized. From the beginning of her introduction, I liked her. Other female leads can overdo it in the author's haste to be "strong", but Alina is what she is, nothing need be said about it. I really liked that.
All in all, this was a fantastic follow-up. If you haven't read this series yet, I highly recommend you do so!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

COVER REVEAL: "Lurking In The Shadows" Anthology from CHBB Publishing

Title:  Lurking in the Shadows
Edited by: Jaidis Shaw
To Be Published:  June 28th, 2016
Publisher:  CHBB Publishing
Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Paranormal

Embrace the darkness.
Murderous entities, haunted houses, screaming banshees, and sympathetic necromancers are just a few of the chilling things you’ll encounter in this anthology. Follow our authors into the shadows … if you dare.
Stories featured in this anthology include the following:
“An Empty Building” by Jacqueline E. Smith
“Bump in the Night, Inc” by Melody Black
“Dorcha Scath” by Liz Butcher
“Living Nightmare” by Savannah Rohleder
“Lizzie” by Tania Hagan
“On Two Lane Roads” by Shelly Schulz
“Release” by E.M. Fitch
“Revenant” by Stacey Jaine McIntosh
“Scream for the Night” by Gina A. Watson
“Too Young To Kill” by Lily Luchesi

Add Lurking in the Shadows to your GoodReads TBR!

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
Kindle copy of Death Love Lust by Various
Kindle copy of Destiny Awaits by Jaidis Shaw
Ebook copy of The Cure by Tania Hagan
$5 Amazon Gift Card
Giveaway is International.
Ends May 1st at 11:59PM (EDT)

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BOOK REVIEW: "The Damned" by October Weeks

Eight years ago, slayer Tuck Houston lost two close friends to the same Damned vampire. She’s been hunting that vampire since the day she walked into the carnage he created. But Josef Dragos has hidden himself well in the underground, from both slayers and other vampires. 
Tuck, however, never gives up. When slayers around the globe start disappearing, she’s put on the hunt—because the pattern matches that of Josef. When she finds him, she’s suddenly faced with memories she would rather keep buried, a powerful vampire who’s been hunting her since she was sixteen, and a dangerous strigoi guardian. 
Welcome to the dark and blood-stained world of slayers and vampires. A world where enemies become allies, and the night proves just how deadly and heartbreaking it can be. 

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

When a synopsis says nothing about romance in a vampire novel, Hell yes I want to read and review! Ms. Weeks presents us with, if not entirely new content, definitely enjoyable work, with a story led by a strong, hurt hunter named Tuck. She hunts vampires out of loss and heartache, bringing a vulnerability to the story.
Some of the characters might be a bit Buffy-esque, which is why I said above that it is not a totally original story. Names and abilities seem to be taken from the Whedonverse, but the plot is by far one of the most original I have read.
There are three different strains of vampire, encompassing many different stereotypes and leaving very little out. There is a connection between one strain and hunters, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the story.
It was fun, fast, and violent. I will definitely be reading more!

4/5--bloody fun!

Purchase The Damned from Amazon!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

COVER REVEAL: "The Grind: by Kristen Kehoe


The Grind (Book #2 in the Vert series)
By Kristen Kehoe
Book Two - High Resolution

Hunter Jackson was on top of the world when that phone call came.
His third X Games title still fresh, a female in his lap, and sponsors ready to offer him any deal he wanted--the kid from California had made it big. And then his phone rang. And it kept ringing. And that news that no one wants was waiting for him on the other line. "It's Mom," his sister said. And like that, his world changed. Months later, Hunter isn't skating--he's at home, taking care of his mom, and keeping the rest of his family together, flipping houses to pay for the medical bills that just keep piling up. In need of a new foreman, Hunter gets a shock when Isabel Rojas shows up to his job site, more gorgeous than any woman he can ever remember, and a mouth that whips of Spanish insults with deadly precision.

Isa comes from a house full of dominant men ready to tell her what to do—she loves them, but she refuses to be the woman who takes orders from a man for the rest of her life. She’s determined to be independent: her own apartment, her own job, her own person. In a family as large and committed to each other as hers, this is not an easy task. Two years of community college, an AA in construction management, and halfway through her apprenticeship as an electrician, Isa knows what she wants, and she’s on a mission to claim it.

When she shows up on Hunter Jackson’s job site, she has a chip on her shoulder, and an already formed opinion about the kind of man he is: rich, entitled, careless. The kind who broke her sister’s heart years ago—the kind Isa swore she would never let into her own life.

But plans don’t always work the way we want.

Assumptions can be wrong, people can change, and hearts don’t always listen to logic.



I am the youngest of three daughters and I think this is the reason I enjoy writing about love so much.
I come from a family of high school sweethearts, save myself (thank God), and I have watched how finding love, the real kind, can make a person stronger. My parents have inspired me every day because they found each other at eighteen, got married at nineteen, and never looked back. Now, 35 years later they are still going strong and it makes me realize that love really does aide us in all things.
I write young and new adult books because I think it's the time period in our lives that is the most difficult and I enjoy love stories because we all need hope. Reading about love gives me hope, so I hope my writings about love do the same for any reader who happens to glance at the pages.
I have a daughter, a Great Dane, and a beautiful husband. I love books, coffee, and my family...and shoes. Just saying.

ARC BOOK REVIEW: "The Blood Between Us" by Zac Brewer

Family secrets turn deadly in this edgy page-turner about the insidious limits of labels and the ties that bind just a little too tightly, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod.
Growing up, Adrien and his sister, Grace, competed viciously for everything. It wasn’t easy being the adopted sibling, but Adrien tried to get along; it was Grace who didn’t want anything to do with him. When their scientist parents died in a terrible lab fire, there was nothing left to hold them together.
Now, after years apart, Adrien and Grace are forced to reunite at the elite boarding school where their parents were teachers. Being back around everyone he used to know makes Adrien question the person he’s become, while being back around Grace makes him feel like someone he doesn’t want to be.
For as much as Adrien wants to move on, someone seems determined to reopen old wounds. And when Adrien starts to suspect that Grace knows more about their parents’ deaths than she let on, he realizes there are some wounds no amount of time can heal. If Adrien isn’t careful, they may even kill him.

I received an advance copy of this book from the author and publisher at the LA Times Festival Of Books. This in no way influenced my review.

I've read Zac Brewer since I was twelve. I continued to read his work as I grew up because, like the best YA books out there, his work is not just for teens. In fact, I find I enjoy the books more as an adult than I would if I were fourteen.
I am a big fan of stories that have a strong level of emotion to them, something for the reader to grab on to, something for them to relate to. In The Blood Between Us, we get more emotion than I had bargained for. This is a heart-wrenching tale of sibling rivalry, life, death, murder, revenge, and love. And more. All in a book meant for eighth graders and up. Brewer doesn't dumb his work down just because the majority of his readers are teens, and I love that.
Adrien is a wonderful main character because he is so far from perfect, he can't even see it in the rear view mirror of Maggie, his beloved car. Adopted, despised by his sister, he lost his parents at thirteen, and now is losing his beloved guardian. To top it off, he has to deal with his own emotions and sexuality, which confuse him more than anything. He is so flawed, it is hard not to love and relate to him.
This book kept me on my toes because of the reality of it, the emotional value that made me love the characters (especially Adrien and Grace's guardian, Viktor, and his husband Julian; I thought they were perfect compliments to the story) and care about their fate.
I can honestly go on about this story, especially the psychological elements, but I want to stop here and just say that I really loved this book. It is honestly one of the best I have read lately, and might be my favorite book of 2016.
Once again, Zac Brewer knocked one out of the park!

5/5--perfect: dark, intriguing, emotional, and very real.

Pre-order The Blood Between Us on Amazon as an e-book, physical book, or audiobook!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

RELEASE DAY + BOOK REVIEW: "The Long Ride To Hell" by Rue Volley

young vampire whith blood flowing lips on a black background The Long Ride to Hell
Cover Artist: Rue Volley Release date: 4/16/16 Publisher: Encompass Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance
Half-naked man on a throne with a sword in his hand sits deep in thought
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Muscular Sexy Man with tattoo over a white background
Love is the one true King. Love.
The worst of all four-letter words. Nothing trumps it, but loyalty. Just as treacherous. Just as devastating. Both have ruled over me for as long as I can remember.
I stared down at my hands and spotted the slight tremor. He always does this to me. Always. My name is Dorin. I’m a vampire. I’m a slayer of the king of all vampires. Dracula or as I knew him, Vlad the Impaler. But before I killed him, I loved him. More than anything. More than salvation. For that, I traded my soul…
young vampire whith blood flowing lips on a black background
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Rue Volley
Rue Volley is the author of The Devil's Gate Trilogy, Hellhound, The Blood & Light Vampire Series, a witch's tale, and various novella's released both independently and within anthologies. Rue is an award-winning author, graphic artist, and screenwriter. She is credited with two films. Hellhound (original script, 2014) Awakening (contributing screenwriter, 2015) IMDB: Miss. Volley began her writing career in 2008 as she penned her freshman effort, The Blood & Light Vampire Series. She self-published the first novel in 2010 and within six months she was courted and signed by Vamptasy Publishing (UK).
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Having only read the first Hellhound book, I was not as familiar as I'd have liked to be with Dorin, this story's main character. Reading his backstory before the books are re-released this summer was a great experience.
I've read almost all of Rue Volley's work, and I am never disappointed. Yes, she can write a steamy sex scene, but her books are so much more than that. She creates characters you know, love, sympathize, empathize, and wish so badly were real. You feel their emotions as if they are your own, and they stay with you long after you close the book/shut off the Kindle.
This story is one of the best vampire romances I have ever read, and I have read more of those than any other genre. It is darkly beautiful, tragic, touching. Dorin's emotions are so deep, so pure, that I had to stop reading and sigh at certain times. His love is something that you really can only witness in a novel, and the ending...I was enraptured.
If you want adult fiction laden with strong emotion and great characters, look no further. This is a fast read that ends far too soon.

5/5--I'd give it ten stars if I could!

RELEASE DAY: "Fated Binds" by S.I. Hayes

Fated Binds
by S.I. Hayes
Release Blitz
Erotic Paranormal Romance 

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Vampire Prince falls in love with raven haired beauty from afar…

Scratch that, this is not your mamma’s paranormal romance.

At Grigori University there is a different kind of student body. The Deviant Class. They are the things that kept you awake in the night; the dreams that held you close. From the Vampires to Dragon born, Purebloods and half, there is tension as they are pushed into the laps of human society.

Keegan Teague is a vampire Lord, a prince amongst his kind and the integration is his project, all was going well, until he is blindsided by a woman.

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           I watched her as she stared off into the space between the blackboard and the clock. This raven haired beauty that had chewed through more than a dozen pens in class in just a couple of weeks. I have been wondering just what has the girl so frustrated. I have also wondered what it would be like if she wrapped those well glossed lips around my cock rather than that plastic pen cap. Sitting in the back of the lecture hall with the rest of the deviant class I can watch her, but she’s not ready. Not yet. But soon… Ahh... the opening spring lecture.

         “Grigori University is a special kind of school. After the Great Unveiling in the early 21st century we Otherkind have lived in relative peace with the humans. Sharing our technology, and of course donating our dead to the sciences has kept governments at bay, and Grigori is one of North Eastern America’s leading mixed schools. It took some rallying to get us here. But it’s been two years and so far we haven’t had any riots so there’s always that to write home to mom and dad about.”

              A scattering of laughter filled the room and the raven haired girl looked back over her shoulder, her eyes scanning the darkness of the high seats, until I felt them settle for an instant on me. My heart raced at the thought that she may have finally noticed me as I’ve noticed her. Hunger filled the pit of my stomach; I had to close my eyes to hide the glow that would have startled the room. When I opened them again her glance had moved on and I was left feeling lonely.


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Shannon (S. I.) Hayes has been telling tales for so long as she has been able to talk, and began writing them down shortly thereafter. The In Dreams... Series, The Roads trilogy, began in 2006 after a D&D campaign ended, Hayes took the world and a series was created. It took five years as she spent many months at a time in an undiagnosed Bi-Polar fog. In 2010, she finally found the help she needed and she has been writing feverishly ever since. Shannon is the Co-Author of  Awakenings: The Wrath Saga. She has several blogs and maintains her own website.
In her own words... I have a mind that is easily distracted and prone to wandering. Tangents are my forte, and if you think my characters are going to fit a cookie cutter shape of any kind, think again. They live, they love, they eat, sleep, and fuck. I believe that people are inherently sexual creatures and my characters, be they human or something altogether else, are no exception.
I don't adhere to a single genera, I toe the line on several and wouldn't presume to be a master of any. So I suppose you could call me jack-of-all-trade-paperbacks.
I am a truth seeker, in my life, in my work. I’d apologize for it, but I kinda can't help m’self. It's my best and worse personality trait, well mostly. Being Bi-Polar I guess you could say that is the worst. But I believe that the disorder has made me, well... Me.
I have taken this life and twisted, carved, shaped, and molded it into the worlds of my characters. Albeit with a chainsaw, and it has made all the difference.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

GUEST BLOG: "Ten Most Delicious Desserts Inspired By Novels" by Andrea Lochen

Ten Most Delicious Desserts Inspired by Novels
by Andrea Lochen

As an avid reader with a major sweet tooth, I love when authors include the recipes for the yummy desserts they’ve made me drool over throughout their book.  It’s a marriage of two of my favorite activities—reading and baking!  And if you’re a book club member, what better treat to bring to your meeting than a dessert straight out of the novel?  Here are ten of my favorite book-inspired desserts!

1) Southern Caramel Cake from The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Who hasn’t wanted to try a bite of the scrumptious-sounding caramel cake that Minny makes in The Help?  (Maybe not so much her chocolate pie, however!)  Though Stockett didn’t include the recipe in the back of her book, this food blog has the The Junior League of Memphis Cookbook recipe that supposedly inspired her.

2) Coconut Cake from Amy E. Reichert’s The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

The titular coconut cake in Reichert’s The Coincidence of Coconut Cake earned its place on the cover of this heartwarming book. To the main character, Lou, baking her grandmother’s cake is the ultimate expression of love. In the book, those who get to eat it earned their slice, which certainly made me crave a piece all the more!

3) Crème Caramel Flan from Anita Hughes’ Island in the Sea: A Majorca Love Story

In Hughes’ newest novel set in Spain, she describes how Majorca's restaurants serve a mouthwatering variety of delicious fresh fish and locally grown vegetables and how many diners like to end the meal with a dessert that satisfies any sweet tooth while not being heavy or cloying.  This creme caramel flan recipe certainly does the trick!

4) Lemon Cream Cake from Juliette Fay’s Shelter Me

Fay introduces the concept of “pology cake” in her first novel, Shelter Me, as something you bake for someone you’ve wronged in the hopes of that person forgiving you.  Though according to Fay, it doesn’t need to be a particular kind of cake, her recipe for lemon cream cake in the back of the book and on her author website sounds fabulous! 

5) Peanut butter bars from Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Though there are several delicious dishes described in Stradal’s debut novel about Midwestern foodie culture, it was the blue-prize winning peanut butter bars recipe from Lutheran church lady, Pat, that caught my eye.  I made this for my book club and these chocolate-frosted bars are just as decadent as they sound!   

6) Thumbprint Cookies with Jam from Kelly Simmons’ One More Day

Baking figures prominently in Kelly Simmons’ book because in One More Day, the main character, Carrie Morgan, bakes with her grandmother, as she did when she was a little girl. However, it's not clear whether her grandmother is dead or alive!  These thumbprint jam cookies look like just the thing to bake when you’re in a nostalgic mood (or simply in the mood for something buttery and sweet)!

7) Mantecadas from Tina Ann Forkner’s Ruby Among Us

In Ruby Among Us by Tina Ann Forkner, Kitty and her granddaughter Lucy spend a lot of time together talking over cookies and tea. Lucy even has a special tea cup that she drinks out of with her grandmother Kitty who is keeping a lot of secrets about Lucy’s past.  Below is a link to Kitty’s secret recipe for Lucy’s favorite cookie, Mantecadas.  Yum!

8) Nanaimo Bars from Miracle Beach by Erin Celello

Nanaimo Bars are served in the cafeterias of the ferry boats between Vancouver Island and mainland Canada.  In Miracle Beach, when main characters Magda and Jack come to the Island, they fall in love with the sinfully sweet bars.  Author Erin Celello testifies that they’re amazing!

 9) Damascus' Pumpkin Spice Pound Cake from The River Witch by Kimberly Brock


In The River Witch, a family feast brings an estranged southern family together. When ten-year-old Damascus Trezevant’s summer ends with a bounty of pumpkins, she sets out to heal deep wounds with a sweet, old recipe for Pumpkin Spice Pound Cake and faith in the magic of a mother’s love.  You won’t be sorry you tried this recipe! 

10) The Best Chocolate Cake Ever from The Repeat Year by Andrea Lochen

What dessert list is complete without a delectable chocolate cake?  In The Repeat Year, main character Olive is named after her maternal grandmother who passed away the week before she was born.  In addition to her grandma’s name, Olive also inherited her recipe for the “best chocolate cake ever” which her mom bakes as a peace offering for their family in a time of major transition.

What are your favorite recipes inspired by novels?  Comment below! 

Andrea Lochen is the author of two novels, Imaginary Things and The Repeat Year.  She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and her BA in English at the University of Wisconsin.  Since 2008, she has taught undergraduate writing at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha.  When she isn’t teaching, reading, or baking, she is hard at work on her third novel.  To learn more about her, visit her website:

RELEASE BLITZ: "Rendered Speechless" by Marilyn Faith


Rendered Speechless
Marilyn Faith 

 He loves sex.
She is trying to avoid the male species.

He never cares who he sleeps with.
She is cautious.

Monogamy is a bad word to him.
Monogamy is what she wants.

With her mind saying one thing, and her body saying another, she finds herself wanting to know just what makes this sexy male the attraction women can’t resist.

Just when they thought they reached a common ground, both their pasts resurface, adding complication to the mix of confusion.
Will they have what it takes to survive the storm brewing? 



I grasp her face with my hands, and I kiss her. I kiss her with all the pent up frustration I can muster, shutting up her bullshit. A moan escapes her lips, and I do all I can to steal all of it. That sound was for me, and me alone.

I feel a breeze as the door opens, reminding me that we are not alone. Reluctantly, I let her go, staring down into her dark eyes.

"I would never do anything to jeopardize your job," I say emphatically.

Dazed, confused eyes stare back into mine before I make my leave. If I stayed any longer, I'd make a spectacle out of the both of us, and though I couldn't really give a shit about myself, I wouldn't want that for her.

But, one thing is certain ... she will be mine.



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