Thursday, April 23, 2015

Blog Tour: Occult .45 by @carcanobooks #review


Horror
Date Published: June 1, 2014

Preston Cobb is always looking to make a quick buck selling any kind of gun he can get his hands on, but when the denizens of the weird west get in the way, Preston's his own best customer. Now collected in one omnibus, join Preston as he faces an ancient evil in the snowy Sierra Nevadas in ABOMINABLE, finds romance and bloody mystery in Nevada mining country in SILVER MOON, and squares off with the undead south of the border in DEAD TO RITES. Finally, Cobb finds retirement more exciting than he'd like in an exclusive bonus short story: GUNRUNNER TO THE STARS.


Purchase Link

Amazon (Available on Kindle, paperback, and as an audiobook)

Review

This is great for someone who is looking for short stories to wet their appetite. Nick Carcano has compiled a collection of stories about Preston Cobb that are both Paranormal and a little darker. Great for someone looking for quick little reads and any fan of Horror and the Wild West.

Nick Carcano spent his childhood pulling cactus out of his feet and listening to coyotes howl in the California high desert. He speaks rusty Mandarin and Spanish. When he's not writing his day job involves literally saving the world, which sometimes involves shooting zombies, but usually involves a lot of e-mail.  If you like dim sum, RPGs, sci-fi, or corgis, you should be his friend.  He’s currently working on The Big Weird One a series of sci-fi/horror short stories set during WWII and will release his first novel, Boom: A Wild West Heist, in fall 2015. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Blog Tour: The Dead Room by @sm_erickson #excerpt


Post Apocalyptic 
Date Published: March 11, 2015

322 years after the apocalypse, the world has changed, but her people have not. Secrets, lies, and manipulations endure among a small group of survivors taking refuge on an island in the Northern Pacific.   

 No one knows what claimed so many lives over three centuries ago, and no one asks, except Ashley Wortham. She can feel the secrets all around her, begging to be uncovered.   

But the nine elders who govern the island guard their secrets jealously. They believe the islanders know what they need to, and they hide their secrets behind a ruse of peace. But when Ashley, and her best friend Mason, go down the rabbit hole, no one is prepared for truths they uncover. What will they do when they discover the downfall of humanity lies within their own island, deep inside the dead room?





Buy Links



Excerpt



The body lay on a two-piece metal pyre in the center of the clearing.
Nothing more
than the skeleton of a table, the pyre was simply used for the display and
transport of the bodies. Burning the dead was a custom from the time before.

The corpse’s blue cotton, long-sleeved shirt was buttoned all the way to
the top to
hide his injuries, and the matching navy slacks had recently been pressed.
With his
hands folded over his abdomen, Wesley looked rather dashing. Ashley wished
her match
had actually been dashing in life.

She wondered who would wear that outfit next. Nothing was ever wasted on
the island.
Not even the clothes of a dead man. She herself had worn the clothes off a
dead
woman’s back. Squeamishness was a luxury no one could afford.

Although “new” clothes were made on the island, from animal skins and the
cotton
grown in the farmlands, they were typically reserved for the higher
ups—elders,
doctors, and the like. Cotton was difficult to grow in the cold climate,
and the
clothes were made entirely by hand. Once it had been worn and patched a
few times by
those with power, new clothing was eventually passed down to the lower
branches of
society,

But, it wasn’t just clothing that moved on after an islander died. All of
their
belongings were redistributed among those in need. The dead’s family
wasn’t allowed
to keep anything they didn’ tneed. Sentimentality was a lost emotion to the
islanders. Reusing everything was essential, even if the previous owner
was a dead
man.

It had only bothered her once—the first time she’d seen one of her
father’s outfits
on another man. Even then, at the tender age of ten, she’d understood it
was bound to
happen eventually. She just hadn’t expected it to happen so quickly. Only
a week
after his funeral, she’d spotted one of her neighbors walking down the
road in her
father’s clothes. She ran to him, hoping her father’s scent might still
linger on his
shirt. But the man neither embraced her nor offered her any sympathy. He
only looked
at her with wide eyes,the horror and disgust plain on his face.

Death on the island was such a strange thing. She’d lost track of how many
funerals
she’d been to in her lifetime—at least one a month. Unexpected deaths,
like that of
her match, added to the average.

Only three of the losses had actually meant something to her—her mother,
her father,
and now Wesley. Her father’s funeral was, of course, devastating, made
more so by the
fact that they’d shared the same first name. Everything the elders said
about him
could have also been applied to her. How they were thankful for “Ashley’s
life,” how
they wished “Ashley peace.”It sent shivers down her spine.

Once, she’d asked him why they shared a name. His mother’s name had been
Ashley, he’d
explained, as had her mother, and her father before that. On and on, down
the line,
the name had traveled, until it had reached Ashley. And one day, as was their
tradition, it would go to her own child.

The funeral for her mother, who had been taken by a simple cold that
escalated into
something much worse, was nothing more than a hazy memory. Still, Ashley
missed her
mother terribly and felt incomplete without her. She searched for her
whenever the
jasmine got caught on the wind, because her mother had loved to wear the
flower
behind her ear.

Wesley’s funeral was a problem. She wasn’t entirely sure how she felt
about it. The
loss of her parents had left her feeling completely alone. She’d hoped to
find love
again with her match, but he’d left her terribly disappointed.

Now that he was gone, her emotions warred with themselves. Relief was the
biggest
player fighting for space in her mind. Relief to have escaped the abuse
and the
pressures of being the next elder’s wife. Guilt came in at a close second,
but not
because she regretted killing her match.

It was because her best friend was being blamed for it.



Stephanie Erickson has always had a passion for the written word. She pursued her love of literature at Flagler College, in St. AugustineFL, where she graduated with a BA in English. She has received several honors in her writing career, including recognition in the 72nd Annual Writer's Digest Competition. 


After graduation, she married and followed her husband in pursuit of his dream. The Cure and The Blackout were written to reignite Stephanie's passion, when she found the time. Now that he is settled in his career, it's her turn to devote more time and energy into writing.

Stephanie currently has 4 projects planned for 2015. Her latest release, The Dead Room, is a post apocalyptic set on a lonely island 300 years in the future. 

Stephanie, of course, loves to read and write. She also enjoys living on the beach on the Florida's Treasure Coast. Most of all, she and her husband are in love with their baby girl.

Friday, April 17, 2015

PROMO: A New Dawn by J.A. Pierre #giveaway



Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 3/29/15


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Endings always lead to new beginnings.

Dawn Delaney must forge ahead when her marriage crumbles. But for this formerly rich Mrs., entering the working world, and possibly dating again, makes her feel like a fish out of water.

Bradford Shaw has a soft spot for curvaceous Dawn from the moment he sees her. Brad senses she’s scared of a romantic relationship after all she’s been through. But he’s going to show her that after a dark period in one’s life, there’s always a new dawn.




EXCERPT

Chapter One


Two Years Earlier


“You’re wearing my favorite lingerie.”

Dawn Delaney cringed at her husband’s words. There was no awe in Gary’s voice. The words fled his lips as if he were reading the weather report.

She tried to fight the panic demanding to take over. She had to contain her emotions if she wanted to seduce her husband of over eighteen years. She wore an expensive white La Perla bra and panty set that framed her curvy shape nicely. Her skin glowed from a generous rubdown of mango and papaya body butter. Dawn could smell the vanilla fragrance she’d spritzed at key spots on her body. If Gary walked a bit closer, he’d be able to smell it too. But so far, Dawn’s efforts had no effect.

She wasn’t a size six, seven, or eight for that matter. And after years of marriage, Dawn wasn’t too keen on wearing the revealing lingerie when one of her regular nightshirts was more comfortable. Still, she made the effort.

Gary strolled over to the La-Z-Boy recliner in their bedroom and picked up the Clarks shoebox. He’d asked Dawn to buy the black leather shoes for him earlier that day. She’d called him while shopping at Pentagon City Mall. It’d save him the trouble of driving there later in the week. As usual, Dawn obliged his request.

She watched as he examined the Clarks, turning them upside down to take a look at the soles. New shoes held Gary’s interest more than their marriage—their old marriage.

Dawn stood waiting. She recoiled further because she knew she deserved better treatment from Gary despite being a stay-at-home mother and a housewife. But what was she to do? She wanted for nothing because of him.

She sighed and rested both hands on full hips. Another man would devour me right now, she thought. Dawn tried to squelch the desire she still had for Reginald. The fling with the contractor, though physically satisfying, only made her more confused about her marriage.

Dawn thought about the good times she and Gary’d had in the past. How he used to make love to her two and three times a day. She thought of the grand way he’d proposed to her and the utter feeling of bliss that had consumed her when she’d said yes. She thought of their daughter, Sherine, whose simple existence comforted Dawn. Gary and Dawn had raised a great kid together, who’d soon be off to college when summer ended.

They had to get their marriage back on track. It was one thing to miss Gary, who often travelled, while Sherine had lived at home. But Dawn couldn’t imagine being alone in the family’s spacious house with no one to talk to.

It was the memories of the good times that made her hang on.

She cleared her throat. Gary finally put down the shoes. He sighed and put his hands in the pockets of his Armani pants. His jacket wasn’t on. Dawn knew that it was downstairs, hanging on the back of a kitchen chair. Gary always took off his jacket and placed it on a chair as soon as he got home. It was a constant in an otherwise impulsive man.

“Why don’t you go take a quick shower and then let’s have some fun?” Dawn rested most of her weight on her right foot, tilted her head, and smiled seductively.

Gary exhaled and adjusted his tie. “I don’t think this is working for me anymore.”

“Excuse me?” Dawn straightened her posture. She couldn’t have heard Gary correctly.

“Us.” Gary moved his hands back and forth in the air. “I want a divorce.”

Gary, please. But the words didn’t come out. Anger temporarily muzzled Dawn. She felt it surge. “You’ve chosen your mistress over me,” she spat.

Gary shook his head. “It’s not that.”

“That WASN’T a question.” Dawn’s chest heaved up and down. She felt like she couldn’t breathe under the pain pounding down on her. “You told me…promised me, that you’d end things with her.”

“We’re different people now, Dawn.”


She shook her head. “You’re the one who changed.”

Gary shrugged. “I guess money can do that to you.”




Author Link


Purchase Link


Giveaway

$10 Amazon Gift Card

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Blog Tour: Odin's Shadow by @erinsriley1 #interview



Historical Romance
Date Published: April 2, 2015

Obsession. Treachery. Revenge. Redemption. Certain themes resonate across the centuries.
Selia is a girl on the verge of womanhood, frustrated by the confines of her gender and resentful of the freedom her brother boasts of. Intelligent and resourceful in a time when neither is valued in a female, she longs for an escape from her sheltered existence. Fascinated by the tales of Viking raids told by her maidservant, her hunger for independence is fed through the stories of heathen ferocity she hears at the woman’s knee.
A decision to sneak to the city’s harbor to view the Viking longships leads to an encounter with Alrik Ragnarson, a charismatic Viking warlord whose outward beauty masks a dark and tortured mind. With the knowledge that her father is about to announce her betrothal to a man she doesn’t love, Selia marries Alrik and within a day is on the longship bound for Norway and a new life.
While Selia’s relationship with her new husband grows, her friendship with his brother Ulfrik grows as well. And as Alrik’s character flaws come to light and tension mounts between the two brothers, Selia begins to have misgivings about her hasty marriage . . . especially when a secret from the past is revealed, one that threatens to destroy them all.



Purchase Link


Interview

Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?
Oh, I like this question! I love depth and symbolism, but I don’t want to insult my readers’ intelligence by putting it all out there at the beginning. I think a lot of readers enjoy the process of discovering the heart of a character the way I do. The ultimate message in my novel, and in the Sons of Odin series, is one of redemption, forgiveness, and being willing to risk everything for love.



Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The hardest part of writing has always been finding the time to write. I have a full time job and a busy family, so I had to get creative to carve out writing time. I’ve learned the best time for me is early in the morning while everyone else is still asleep! I set my alarm two hours before I need to get up for work to get some serious writing time in.





How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
There are three books in the Sons of Odin series: Odin’s Shadow, A Flame Put Out, and Oath Breaker. They’re all the continuation of the same story line so I’d like to say they are all my favorite!




If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?
There are three main characters in the series: Selia, Alrik and Ulfrik. I think Ariane Grande would do a good job as Selia. She’s tiny, feisty, and she can sing. I would want Alexander Skarsgard as Alrik and Charlie Hunnam as Ulfrik. They would be fantastic as my rival Viking brothers!



When did you begin writing?
I’ve written books in my head for years but never had the time to sit down to put the words on paper. In 2010, I was recovering from a significant surgery. After I accidently ripped some stitches out from running the vacuum cleaner, I received a stern warning from my surgeon: rest means rest. So I used those remaining weeks to write what would become the first draft of Odin’s Shadow.




How long did it take to complete your first book?
The first draft took eight weeks. But it was terrible! I continued to edit it for a year before I thought it was good enough to publish.



Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?
No, not a specific author, although I have many favorites. I’ve always been a voracious reader and I have a very eclectic taste in books. I love a well-written story of any genre, so I think that helped inspire me to write books that cross genres.



What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Reading the completed book. It’s an amazing experience to read a book you wrote yourself and actually liking it!



Describe your latest book in 4 words.
Intense. Passionate. Multi-layered. Thrilling.



Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?
 There are three books in the Sons of Odin Series: Odin’s Shadow, A Flame Put Out, and Oath Breaker. A Flame Put Out will be released this summer and Oath Breaker before the end of the year. I’m currently a third of the way through my first draft of Oath Breaker.







Erin S. Riley has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a graduate degree in clinical counseling. She is also a board certified lactation consultant and has had extensive training in maternal-child health. Since Erin was a child, she has been fascinated with human nature and what motivates behavior. She enjoys writing stories that reflect real life: Erin's books feature complicated, imperfect characters who love deeply, make reckless decisions, and try again until they get it right.

A lifelong lover of books, Erin taught herself to read at the age of four and hasn’t been without a book since. She is an equal-opportunity reader of fiction and non-fiction, and her shelves are filled with books on psychology, archaeology, anthropology, and general history. The social history of women and their place in society across the ages is a favorite reading topic of Erin’s. 
Erin is drawn to any creative pursuit, from making hand-stitched quilts to producing mini-movies for family and friends from home videos. But writing has always been her passion. When Erin isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her two wonderful children, reading anything she can get her hands on, watching football, and renovating her house with her husband of 17 years who just happens to look like a Viking!

Twitter:@erinsriley1



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Blog Tour: Melanie's Evanescent Journey by B. Truly #review & #excerpt


Journey (The Sonar Series #1.5)
New Adult Paranormal Romance
Date Published: April 25, 2014


True Love may cost a price, if the greater good preordains that you are the sacrifice.

There are always two sides to a story. Melanie Wilhelm's begins after she moves from Australia and starts her senior year at Cashmere High. On her first day, she bumps into a mysterious guy, and they form an instant connection. They become friends and he shares his deepest secret with her. As they grow closer, their relationship amplifies and becomes binding. Strange things occur, but instead of worrying, Melanie's feelings intensify.

The excitement of New Year's Eve approaches, and so does Jason's most devastating revelation of all. She learns his ultimate truth and is now spun into his chaotic web. The danger rises and hard choices must be made. By being with Jason, Melanie may have to sacrifice more than her heart. It may cost her life.

Melanie's Evanescent Journey ties into books one and two of The Sonar Trilogy. From spiraling twists to devastating plots, her journey will make you question fate and true love. 

Is fate something you can control? Some believe it's in the hands of what you behold.




Review

It is definitely important to read the first novel before this in my opinion. The fact that B. Truly was able to shine so much light on Melanie and the difference in the world from her point of view was amazing. I really liked reading her perspective and having motivation for her actions in the first novel. 

There was a nice balance between the love story aspect and the Paranormal. This novel is not short in length, I think just because it is more of in between story, it is classified as a 1.5.

I like the fact that I have understanding of Melanie now and look forward to reading about her in the next book, whereas from the first novel I could have taken or left her. 


EXCERPT

The following Friday night Jason and I were in the family room eating pizza. After we finished eating we decided to watch a movie. I had never seen the Underworld series before, and now he had me hooked. We were on the sofa, watching the fourth movie. He had me lying across his chest. Jaden came into the room and seemed surprised to see us.
“Hey, Jaden.”
“What’s up?” Jason said to him. Jaden rolled his eyes, didn’t reply, and walked away. Jason lifted us up on the sofa. “I will be back in a second.”

“Okay.”
He followed Jaden. I was going to stay put until I heard Jason’s voice rise. I bolted up and went into the kitchen. Harmony was in there also. Jason was in his face and looked pissed. Jaden appeared concerned, like he was trying to convince him to do something. None of them saw me.
“What’s your problem?” Jason asked, gritting his teeth.
“I don’t think you should have her around with everything that’s going on,” Jaden replied.
Were they talking about me?
“She doesn’t have anything to do with this,” Jason said.
“I think you are taking it too personal. He doesn’t mean any harm,” Harmony said to Jason.
“It’s not right to involve her further, and you know it,” Jaden interrupted.
“We don’t even have all of the facts,” Jason countered.
“We know enough. You are just too blind to see it.” Jaden threw in his face.
They were talking about me, but why? None of it made sense. The last statement Jaden said pushed Jason over the edge. He shoved Jaden in his chest so hard he flew back into the refrigerator and slipped to the ground. He got up fast and pushed Jason back.
“Guys, stop!” I yelled, frantic. Jason pushed him again and tried to get him in a wrestler hold. Thank goodness Harmony rushed into the crossfire and somehow managed to separate them. She had both of her arms extended, one hand on each of their chests.
“You guys better cut it out right now! Don’t make me tell you twice!” She commanded.
They stopped struggling against her. Did she have a black belt in karate that they obeyed her so readily? Jason looked at me, frowned, and bit his lip. He seemed embarrassed by his actions. He walked toward me and pulled me from the kitchen quickly. In the hallway he said, “I’m sorry about that. Do you mind if we go back to your place?”
“Sure, but what’s going on?”
“Let’s talk about it in the car.”
Jason gathered my things and had me out of the house before I could blink. He didn’t want me around his siblings; that was clear. He had picked me up from my house so we were in his car. He blew out his breath, and his forehead was furrowed. He was deep in thought and didn’t seem like he wanted to talk.
“Are you going to tell me what that was about?”
“We are having some family problems.”
“Yeah, that’s obvious. What does it have to do with me?”
“Nothing.”
“That’s not what your brother thinks.”
“My brother doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
“Well, your sister seemed to agree.” He didn’t answer. “Why does your brother dislike me?”
He looked at me apologetically. “Mel, my brother and sister like you just fine.”
“Why did you push your brother then?”
“We have been bumping heads for a while. Things just added up.”
“I don’t buy it.”
“Mel, you’re being paranoid. You are reading too much into this. My brother and I have argued before. We are both hotheaded, so sometimes things get heated.”
“I think there’s more going on than you are telling me. It’s clear you don’t want to share. Just drop me off. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.” I crossed my arms against my chest and looked out the window.
“Mel,” he said, pouting. I ignored him, and he sighed.
At the next stoplight, he put the car in park. What was he doing? He undid his seatbelt and lunged at me. I was shocked at his aggressiveness. I was worried, irritated, and scared, but all of my emotions unraveled in the kiss. It was explosive. He pushed his tongue into my mouth and the watermelon substance expelled. He kissed me like his mouth was made for mine. Within seconds desire pulsed inside every vein in my body. I kissed him back fiercely and pulled his hair. He moaned, and then several people started to blow their horns. The light was green. He pulled back, breathing heavily, and drove on through the intersection.
“Are you talking to me now?” he asked.
I still felt high from his tongue of ecstasy. Why was I mad again? “I’m talking, but I don’t like you keeping me in the dark.”
“My family and I will get it sorted out, okay. But I don’t want you to think you are the cause of the problem. That’s not the case. Are you really not going to let me come in?” he asked, pulling into my driveway. A few minutes ago I would have said no, but after the way he kissed me, I couldn’t. He kissed me that way on purpose just so he could have his way with me.


I have wanted to be an author since I was fifteen years old and grateful to have accomplished this dream. I have three wonderful children and a husband who defines the person I am today. I work full-time as an Ultrasound technologist in Sugarland, Texas.
I have very vivid dreams and a wild imagination. I like to read, watch tons of TV shows, and movies. I’m addicted to romance and get a thrill out of action and suspense. I write New Adult Fantasy, Sci-fi, and Paranormal-Romance. 
In the Sonar series it was fun to explore different elements of Sci-fi romance and create various realms of powers for my characters. I want to show my readers that Sci-fi can be fun, but also traumatic. I hope you guys enjoy the Sonar Series.