Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book Review - Behind the Glass by Kristen Morgen

Behind the Glass
by Kristen Morgen
Published 2014
184 Pages

This story introduces us to Rebecca Jordan, who enjoys her secret Friday nights at a quirky little bookstore called 'Behind the Glass'. These evenings provide a regular break from her life as a struggling photographer, and also as a retreat from her almost perfect boyfriend, Brett. 

Michael is a local artist who has noticed Rebecca, and speculates what her life may be like. After their first unexpected meeting they find themselves thinking about their powerful connection. But Rebecca is a good girl, and will not treat her boyfriend, Brett's feelings lightly. However, through a series of gatherings and social events with friends she and Michael find themselves learning a bit more about each other, and a mutual intrigue builds.  

Michael, not wanting to be a typical college party boy, chose to live on his family's rural property in Wisconsin, which has now become his permanent home. And as Rebecca learns more about this incredibly handsome stranger, a friendship develops. But will her relationship with Brett get in the way? And what about the beautiful Claire, who has Michael firmly in her sights? With Rebecca's history, trusting a man is always an issue, even if that man is a friend. 

This is a story of a young woman with a lot of pain in her past that has become very wary of others. The details in the setting of Wisconsin made this a rich and vivid read. While some of the situations seemed a bit too perfect, it was thoroughly enjoyable! I especially liked the ending, which left no loose ends. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a sweet contemporary romance with a positive and inspiring message.

Available on Amazon 

Reviewed by Andrea

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Book Review - Vespertine by Cecily Flynn

Vespertine (The Sun Born, #1)
by Cecily Flynn
Published 2014
280 Pages

This will be a tough review to write, only because I can't really say anything that will do this book justice! I was swept away, mesmerized, and enthralled by the original and imaginative world the author created, which was reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson, and Mary Shelley. It can be considered an urban fantasy tale, where a paranormal world exists in a modern day Canadian town. But it was so much more than that! Dark, hypnotic, and so well thought out, this is definitely one of my new favorite books! 

Our journey begins with Ana Lanoway, a teenage girl who has just relocated with her father and stepmother to a small, Canadian town called Cold Water. Their home is on a lake, outside the main hub, and secluded by a dense forest. After leaving her hometown, and spending a summer visiting her mother in England, Ana's world has been turned upside down. And now she's doing her best to find her way in a new town and a new school. Luckily, she's approached by Holly, who is vibrant and energetic (if not a little quirky), and is pleasantly relieved to ease into her new environment alongside someone who seems to know her way around.

At the local cafe, Holly shares some frightening tales about the town's history that Ana finds a bit far-fetched. Still, she can't deny the strange sensations she's felt while walking through the woods near her home. Ana spies a group of boys in private school uniforms, and is intrigued. One boy in particular has caught her eye. She finds herself face-to-face with the boy, James Sulien, at a local event, and a budding infatuation appears inevitable. But as Ana begins to let down her guard, her parents' imposing curfew gets in the way. A generally quiet and easy going girl, it is clear that Ana still harbors some resentment toward her parents. All of this sets the foundation for what is to come. 

I thought this was going to be a straightforward paranormal story about a teenage girl. But oh, was I wrong! This is a very adult tale, with two main storylines that intersect and intertwine seamlessly. We travel from modern day Canada to the 1800s, where a journey through Switzerland, Poland, and France describes an intricate series of events leading back to the town of Cold Water. A perfect balance between old and new, there is a dark familiarity between these two worlds around every corner. And everything from the character dialects to the symbolism was spot on.

This is an enchanting, dreamy, and entirely unique tale that is like no other. I would love to share all the details about how amazing it truly was, but I can't give anything else away without including spoilers! Just know, if you love a story that will make you fall in love, question reason, and believe in the paranormal, this book is for you! The quality of writing is also some of the best out there. A second installment is on its way, and I'll be first in line! 

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Book Review - Mystical High by Lisette Brodey

Mystical High (The Desert Series, #1)
by Lisette Brodey
Published 2013
256 Pages

Jessie Dalworth and Jinxsy Patterson are best friends living in a small, California desert town called Mystekal. They attend the local high school, nicknamed Mystical High, and are both dealing with the usual teenage struggles surrounding boys, family, and self-identity.

Jessie lives with her father and brother, while her mother chases her dream of becoming an actress in Hollywood; and Jinxsy -- who appears to have the perfect parents -- is about to discover a deep, dark family secret. But when their crises are overshadowed by strange events and sightings at Mystekal High, it becomes clear how the school earned its nickname.

What is lurking in the hallways, and what does this strange presence really want with the students and faculty? The mystery extends beyond the walls of the high school, through the small desert town, and into the surrounding communities as the story unfolds.

Mystical High offers up a suspenseful and action-packed paranormal tale! The main and secondary characters are well developed, with plenty of angst. And although there are a lot of characters (and a lot going on from one page to the next) I never felt lost or confused. The high quality writing, and well-paced plot made it easy to follow. I thought I knew what was going to happen, but the twists and turns kept me guessing till the end! 

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie


Monday, September 22, 2014

Cover Reveal - Killer Queen by L.H. Cosway

Coming October 20th!

Killer Queen
A Painted Faces Novel
by L.H. Cosway

Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome… 

Come inside The Glamour Patch club to see the star of our show, Miss Vivica Blue. 

Do you want to read my diary you nosy little devils? Have a glass of champagne (you’ll need it) and get comfortable because you’re in for some crazy shenanigans brought to you straight from the horse’s mouth. 

I can be whatever you want me to be: boy, girl, a little bit of both. 

If you have a problem with a man in a dress then best be off with you. If males in make-up give you the willies, then I’ll say au revoir and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. 

So, who are we left with? Ah, a fine collection of curious souls. I want to tell you a tale of love, because those are the most glorious kind. I want to tell you about real love, a love that transcends labels and gender stereotypes. 

The moment I first laid eyes on my Freda I knew that we were kindred. Well okay, I also knew I wanted to get into her pants, but that’s beside the point. My world was a grey place. I was at my lowest ebb. Then she came along and patches of colour began to spring forth. One day the daffodils were yellow and before I knew it, colour was everywhere, lighting up my life. 

Love is not about how we appear on the outside, it’s about the soul contained within. 

Our story was not a conventional one, but it was ours, and that’s what made it shine. 

Killer Queen is a companion novel to L.H. Cosway’s contemporary romance, Painted Faces. It contains scenes that take place before, during and after the original story. It can also be read as a standalone.

Cover Designed by Letitia from Romantic Book Affairs
Read more about Killer Queen on Goodreads

I was immediately happy to be left alone with my most recent object of attraction, and tried to think of a way to endear myself to her. She seemed a little defensive, and I didn’t like it. She was focused intently on stirring a pot of simmering bolognaise, not paying me any notice. Deciding to take the bull by the horns, I walked across the room and stepped up right behind her, taking her by the hips and affectionately resting my head on her shoulder. 

Sometimes, forcing physical closeness with women worked for me. Not that kind, I’m not completely depraved. Often though, women liked it when I took them into my arms for a hug or pulled them onto my lap to sit. Unfortunately, Fred’s entire body went ramrod straight the moment I touched her. I instantly regretted the move, but at the same time I didn’t. Her supple hips felt good beneath my palms. 

“Smells delicious, Fred,” I told her, brazenly giving her a squeeze. It was ridiculously inappropriate, but I wanted a reaction out of her. Needed one. Still, she barely moved and instead gave me a one word reply, “Yep.” 

I leaned closer, allowing my breath to whisper across the back of her neck. She shivered and I think I saw her breath hitch, which made me grow a little hard. “The wine cost twenty Euros, and I got it from the off-licence down the road.” 

“Oh, very la di da, Viv. You must be a big spender.” 

I grinned, liking how she was subtly taunting me by continuing to call me by a woman’s name. “You like calling me Viv, do you?” 

“What can I say, feminine blokes really do it for me.” 

Enjoying this interaction, I decided to up the ante a level…or twenty. I spoke low and quick into her ear. “I can do that, if it's what you're into. In fact, I can be whatever you want me to be. I don't think it is, though. I think you're the kind of woman who likes a man to take the lead.” Then I pulled her hips back into mine... 
I was having visions of throwing her over my shoulder and carrying her into my apartment so that I could have my wicked way with her. Unfortunately, my forwardness was not taken in the manner I had intended. Pulling swiftly out of my hold, she lifted up her stirring spoon and pointed it at me, as though it were a weapon that would keep me at arm’s length. 

“Okay. Listen here, back the hell up or I'll knee you in the balls.”

About the Author

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

L.H. Cosway

Connect with the Author!

Click here to Enter to win a 
Signed copy of Painted Faces

Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Review - My Viking Vampire by Krystal Shannan

My Viking Vampire 
(Sanctuary, Texas #1)
by Krystal Shannan
Published 2014
298 Pages

I am so excited about this new series! Krystal Shannan has a way with paranormal romance, as demonstrated in her other series, including the shape-shifting world of The Vegas Mates. My Viking Vampire does not disappoint! It offers up an enticing new cast of supernatural creatures, including vampires, pixies, djinn, and more! 

The enchanting world imagined by the author is brought to life with colorful descriptives, and plenty of steamy romance! And as we've come to expect from the author, clever quips are interwoven throughout the dialogue, resulting in a fun and captivating tale that will keep you hooked till the end. This is definitely one of my new favorites!

Bailey Ross lives in a futuristic Earth, where supernatural creatures -- referred to as 'Others' -- are known and feared, and where governments have responded to the threat by locking down borders to control the flow of Others and humans alike. Black markets thrive, and woman are treated as a commodity. Books are banned, and what little information is known about the Others is carefully guarded by the government control agents.

Now on the run from her abusive ex-boyfriend, Bailey finds herself in a bus terminal in Dallas with no money, no place to run... and two supernatural creatures stalking her. One is a loathsome djinn, with the power to teleport; while the other is a vampire... a powerful, fearsome, and surprisingly handsome vampire. But as Bailey knows all too well, looks can be deceiving.

Erick Thorson, a centuries-old vampire, is drawn to Bailey. She reminds him of someone from his past. So, when he spies his sworn enemy, Darius -- a djinn, with whom he's been battling for centuries -- stalking Bailey, he takes matters into his own hands. He knows there are risks in taking her to the secretive town of Sanctuary, Texas, but he needs to get her away from Darius. And so, with the offer of a bus ticket, and a vow to keep her safe from the djinn, Bailey accepts Erick's offer to leave Dallas for Sanctuary. And soon they are on their way.

Bailey considers the very real possibility that Erick might have a hidden agenda. Alas, he has just saved her life, and her options are limited. So, pushing past her fears, she makes the trip, and is pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome she receives in Sanctuary. The town seems to have the potential to earn its name. But while she is drawn to her handsome rescuer and the allure of safety provided by the town, dangers are lurking. And soon she discovers there are secrets behind the castle walls... walls that are made to keep some out, and others in.

A very sexy tale, full of romance! This is a world that, once you enter, you won't want to leave. It wraps up nicely, but leaves plenty of room for more! This is a must read for fans of paranormal romance, who also enjoy a little kink. 
I'm looking forward to the next installment, and seeing where the author will take us. The only downside will be having to wait until it's released!

Available on Amazon

Read our reviews for other books by the author, by clicking here!

Reviewed by Stephanie


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Character Interview - Erick Thorson from My Viking Vampire by Krystal Shannan

Character Interview
Erick Thorson
from My Viking Vampire
by Krystal Shannan

Today we have the pleasure of talking to Erick Thorson, the hero from Krystal Shannan’s newest release, My Viking Vampire. Erick is a Norseman, a viking, originally from the 10th century and is presently living in Sanctuary, Texas with a large group of Others —the term for supernatural beings in the series. Krystal will be asking him several questions today. Can’t wait to hear his answers!

Krystal: Hi Erick. Thanks for coming by to talk today. 
Erick: Of course. Anything for the woman who brought me Bailey. 
Krystal: What traits do you find important in a friend?
Erick: Friends should be loyal above everything else. Trust is something I do not give lightly. For those who have mine, I would fight to the death. 
Krystal: What is your most meaningful possession?
Erick: Bailey’s love. My life had meaning before she came into it, but nothing I possess could compare to her loving me.
Krystal: What brings you the greatest happiness in life?
Erick: Loving the woman who shares my home and my heart, and protecting my friends.
Krystal: What is your greatest indulgence?
Erick: A 100 year old bottle of Scotch. *chuckling* There’s nothing quite like it.
Krystal: What do you fear?
Erick: The tenacity of Xerxes, Rose’s brother-in-law. He will never give up and he would see us all dead to achieve his goals.
Krystal: How would you define a perfect love?
Erick: There is no such thing as perfect love. Love is messy and consists of two people who work hard each day to build a life they can share together. Certainly there are perfect moments, but everything in life worth having requires effort and usually a fight or two.

Excerpt from My Viking Vampire
My survival instincts said he wasn’t the only unattached male in the town who might choose to pursue me. Better him than someone worse, but that wasn’t a reason to lead him on. He deserved better than to be used. He’d been a gentleman, so far … and he was kind. Plus, telling him I wasn’t interested in him sexually would be an outright lie. I was a woman, and he’d awakened something that I thought had long ago been beaten out of me. Desire.

“I …” I opened my mouth, but choked on my words. Rubbing my sweaty palms on my pants again, I looked up into his perfectly blue eyes and relaxed. There were no cages in Erick’s house. That I could see. No chains on the walls. He didn’t even have bars over the windows.

He wasn’t Kevin.

Even with all my doubts, something deep down said it was okay to give it a shot. “I want to try,” slipped from between my lips. “Trust has cost me a lot in the past, though. I’m afraid.”

“I’m glad you are giving me a chance.” Erick stepped closer. Each movement was calculated and confident. He reached out and touched my cheek, then followed the line of my face down until he was cupping my chin. His fingertips brushed over my ears and slipped into the wet hair at the base of my neck.

A shiver flitted across the surface of my skin. Energy charged between his hand and my cheek. Even though my first instinct was to pull away, I somehow found the courage to look up and meet his gaze instead.

My Viking Vampire
Sanctuary, Texas book #1

Now Available!

About the Author
Krystal Shannan goes to sleep every night dreaming of mythical realms with werewolves, vampires, fae, and dragons. Occasionally a fabulous, completely human story slips into the mix, but powers and abilities usually crop up without fail, twisting reality into whatever her mind can conceive. 
If you are looking for leisurely-paced sweet romance, her books are probably not for you. However, for those looking for a magickal ride, filled with adventure, passion, and just a hint of humor, welcome home.

Krystal Shannan
Website | Facebook Friend & Fan 

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Review - Wolfsbane by N.J. Layouni

Wolfsbane (Tales of a Traveler, #2)
by N.J. Layouni
Published 2014
395 Pages

While the first book in the series, Hemlock leaves readers gasping for more, this second installment delves deeper into the medieval period, and into the lives of Martha and Vadim. Turmoil surrounds their world, and a battle ensues over Edgeway. But who will prevail?

Vadim does his best to keep a low profile as he works toward overthrowing the king. But the distraction leaves Martha vulnerable. On her own, and left unprotected, she tries to make the most of her situation. But her feisty attitude, and habit of speaking her mind is gaining unwanted attention. The Evil Earl continues to plot against Vadim. And now, Martha is in his sights.

This highly anticipated next chapter in Martha and Vadims' story does not disappoint! The rich character development, and the detailed and realistic battle scenes, make this story one thrilling ride! The only issue I had was with some of the sex scenes, which were a bit ill-timed and gratuitous. 

Overall, this is a truly great story, that is well written and enchanting. I eagerly await the next book! 

Available on Amazon 

Read our review for the first book in the series:

Reviewed by Andrea 
4.75 STARS 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Event - The Seven Deadly Sins - Tag by S.R. McKade

I was tagged by S.R. McKade,
author of Holding out for Skye
~The Seven Deadly Sins~ 

1. What is your m
ost expensive book?

I have a few first and second edition classics, but have no idea if they are worth anything. I'm mor
e of a book hoarder than a collector, especially in the ebook department. Lol!

2. What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

No one comes to mind. On the other hand, I have many love/love relationships! If I love the writing style of an author, I'm usually hooked, and will read anything and everything they publish!

3. What book have you devoured
over and over again with no shame?

Oh, that's easy. I've read Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles several times over, as well as the first few books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward. There are many classics I've read several times, too. Basically, any book that I love I will revisit, whether it's to reread the entire book, or just to indulge in my favorite passages.

4. Which book have you neglected reading due 
to laziness?

My TBR list, and the numerous downloads on
my kindle often get pushed to the back, as new ones come in. I am pretty organized, but still, I have a long list of books that I do need to read... eventually.

5. What book do you most talk about in order to sound like an intellectual reader?

I studied comparative
 literature in college, and have had my fill of intellectual discussions. Today, I am shameless in my desire to indulge in paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance. So, if you want to have an intellectual discussion about a sexy alpha demon, I'm in!

6. What attributes do you find attractive in a male or female character?

Loyalty, a great smile, and a good sens
e of humor are all attractive qualities in a male character. Yeah, I'm a sucker for tall, handsome, and protective alpha males. That pretty much does it for me (and I'm sure I'm not alone here). ;-)

7. What book would you most like to receive as a gift?
Too many to list! Books always make the best gifts.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Book Review - R.E.birth by Thomas W. Everson

R.E.birth (Rain Experience, #1)
by Thomas W. Everson
Published 2014

393 Pages

Rain, having emerged from the forest, wounded and bleeding, is discovered by a woman and her daughter who take him inside their home, and tend to his wounds, in an effort to save his life. Several weeks pass, and slowly Rain begins to regain his strength. He awakens, disoriented, and without any memories from his past. He isn't even sure he's safe with his mysterious rescuers. 

The peculiar behavior exhibited by the mother, Agatha; and her daughter, Ami, combined with eerie shadows around every corner are perplexing. His concerns deepen, as strange dreams bring glimpses from his past. But it's Ami's words of warning that cause the greatest distress: He isn't safe in their home. And he must leave before it's too late.

Soon, Rain learns that a curse has befallen Agatha and Ami. And the home where Rain is being cared for is very much a part of it. With each passing day, Agatha and Ami are one step closer to an inevitable shift in time that will propel them through the ages, bringing new challenges to their doorstep. And if Rain stays, he will become part of it, too. 

More secrets are uncovered, but many questions remain. Someone from his own time wants him dead. So, with few options, Rain decides to leave the Dark Ages to embark on a journey through time with Agatha and Ami. The source of the curse begins to surface. But the most surprising revelation for Rain will be what he is about to discover... about himself.

This is a complex and well thought out story, full of adventure! Despite a few slow passages, I was eager to see what was next for our travelers. I would have liked to see more attention given to Rain's speech patterns, as they did not reflect the time period from which he came. But it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story!  

There is a cliffhanger, so if you aren't prepared to continue on with the series, you should probably pass. Otherwise, this is a great start to what could develop into a genuinely delightful series! Anyone who enjoys time travel and adventure will find this book entertaining. Definitely worth the read! 

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Release - Wolfsbane by N.J. Layouni

Coming soon...

Tales of a Traveler, book #2
by N.J. Layouni
Now Available!
About the Book
Losing the twenty-first century was bad enough, but Martha Bigalow's situation is about to become a whole lot worse.

Only days after her marriage to Vadim—a handsome outlaw stalked by grim shadows of the past—she is captured by his nemesis, the evil Earl of Edgeway.
While awaiting her fate in a dank dungeon beneath Edgeway's castle, Anselm—Vadim’s twisted foster brother—offers her a way out, an alternative to a tortuous and painful death.

Forced into a life of deceit, Martha discovers friendship where she least expects to find it, even within the stronghold of the enemy, and by the time war descends on Edgeway, the boundary between black and white—friend and foe—is less distinct.

As the castle braces itself for a bitter siege, Martha's loyalty is divided, her love for Vadim tested to its limit... and may even prove to be yet another casualty of war.

About the Author

N.J. Layouni has been weaving stories all of her life—even before she could actually write. For many years, she was a dedicated 'closet writer'. As a result, the attic space of her home is stuffed to the rafters with piles of aging manuscripts depicting fantastical romantic adventures, tales of daring sword-wielding heroes and strong, feisty damsels who aren't too tough to accept a helping hand sometimes. 

After joining an online critique group, and encouraged by the wonderful people she met there, N.J. finally found the courage to self-publish her work.

As well as being a mouthpiece for the various characters living inside her head, N.J. is a wife, and mother of two children. She lives in Lancashire, UK.

In April 2014, she published Hemlock, the first book in her Tales of a Traveler series.

Read our review for the first book in the series:
Hemlock (Tales of a Traveler, #1)

Connect with the Author

N.J. Layouni