Archive for April, 2013

Review: NIGHT WALKER (Night Series, #1) by Lisa Kessler

Posted April 18, 2013 By kellysmithreviews

NightWalkerTitle: Night Walker (Night Series, #1)
Author: Lisa Kessler
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Pages: 266
ISBN #: 978-1-62061-231-6
Disclaimer: Received book as contest prize.

From EntangledPublishing.com

He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her…

Two and a half centuries ago, Calisto Terana lost everything when a zealous priest murdered the woman he loved. Now, desperate for another chance to love her, he wants redemption for the mistake that cost her life.

She’s haunted by dreams of her own death…

After catching her fiance with another woman, Kate Bradley returns to San Diego to clear her head. The last thing she needs is romance, but after meeting Calisto she’s drawn to him in ways she doesn’t understand.

They’ve waited in the shadows for centuries…

Calisto has no doubt Kate is the reincarnation of his lost love, but the Fraternidad Del Fuego Santo has a new watcher with dark ambitions of his own. As old enemies re-emerge and a new threat arises, the betrayal that enslaved Calisto to the night might destroy the only woman he’s ever loved again.

Reincarnation. Blood. Sex. Murder. Those are all the main ingredients to Lisa Kessler’s “Night Walker”, the first book in the Night series, and they make for one amazing vampire story.

The story is about one thing, once you get straight to the heart: true love. Father Gregorio Salvador, in 1775, gives up the priesthood to be with his one true love, a native heathen named Tala, a lovely girl with “the moon in her eyes”; a phrase Gregorio uses to describe the crescent moon in one of Tala’s eyes.

Tala is brutally raped & murdered by one of Gregorio’s fellow priests, and he then chooses to give up the sunlight and his mortality to see her again in another life. Thus, he becomes not a vampire, but a Night Walker, doomed to walk at night and drink the blood of the living to stay alive.

Travel to today. Kate Bradley has just broken up with her cheating finance, and returns home to San Diego to straighten out her life. While at a local church, Mission de Alcala, she meets a sexy, mysterious man named Calisto Terana in the cemetery, to whom she is extremely & unusually attracted to.

When Calisto (Gregorio) sees the moon in Kate’s eyes, he knows that the moment he has waited over two ventures for had come: his Tala lives again.

They could live happily ever after, if not for a few obstacles: Calisto’s overbearing assistant Betty, the disturbing dreams Kate has always had, depicting her death back in 1775, Calisto’s Night Wallet status, and, oh, right, the Fraternidad Del Fuego Santo is still looking for Calisto, and well stop at nothing to keep him from turning Kate into a Night Walker herself. And, just who is this Jose that Betty is suddenly infatuated with?

Lisa Kessler penned not just a vampire novel, but one that merges religion, love, un-death, hate, and all the goods and evils of the human soul. If you love dark, sexual, fast-paced vampiric love stories, I highly suggest you pick up this book, and also its sequel “Night Thief”, from the amazingly talented Kessler.

KellyGraphicEmoRating5_Love_2

You can find her on her website and on Twitter at @LdyDisney

You can purchase “Night Walker” at Barnes & NobleAmazon, Books-A-Million

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Cowboys & Vampires CoverTitle: Cowboys & Vampires (Venom Valley, #1)
Author: Hank Edwards
Release Date: April 16, 2013
Pages: 107
ISBN #: 978-1-925031-04-1

Disclaimer: ARC received from Wilde City Press for the purpose of an honest review.

From WildeCity.com

In the frontier town of Belkin’s Pass, as a vampire quietly feeds on the local saloon girls and their customers, a tragedy teaches resident Josh Stanton he has the ability to raise the dead. Knowing he is now a wanted man, Josh flees into the arid plains of Venom Valley. Pursued by Dex, the town deputy and Josh’s best friend, the two realize their friendship is truly something deeper, and Dex has to decide if he’s a man of the law, or a man in love. The vampire, drawn by Josh’s power, circles ever closer, gathering his forces against them.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! UUUGGGHHHHH!!! *stomps* *grumbles* *stomps again*

Ok… so… let’s just say that this story ends on a cliffhanger!!!!

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we??

The title and the description of this got me. It sounded right up my alley. Cowboys AND Vampires??? Yes, please, and thank you! It ended up being much darker than I usually care for, but the storylines were good, and I made it past the “unappealing” parts by skimming through the sentences with the words ‘maggots’ and ‘open holes’ in them. This is NOT a romanticized tale of redeemable vamps and the cowboys who love them. No… these creatures rip out throats and take over towns.

Josh is a relative outsider in Belkin’s Pass, abandoned as a child under questionable circumstances and raised by one of their own. Dex is one of the local deputies, and has been harboring a secret love for Josh for years. The story picks up from Josh’s POV after finding his beloved caretaker in an “undead” state. (And she wasn’t the first he had an encounter with.) The history that Josh has with supernatural elements is discovered in bits throughout the story, and is fascinating.

Unfortunately, the story is broken up a little more than I would have liked. While the two storylines are related, and everything comes together towards the end, I didn’t feel the plotline progressed at the same speed. It left me definitely more interested in one side than the other for much of the book. I was actually more interested in what was (I think) intended to be the side story.

In the town, as in many stereotypical western towns, the local saloon/brothel was situated right down the street from the Sheriff’s place. I was definitely more wrapped up in the appearance of Balthazar, the vampire intent on taking over the town, and the girls at the saloon. Glory, one of the working girls, has a brilliant tie to the supernatural world, herself. Her partial Apache ancestry, and the gift I’m supposing has some history there, is her saving grace time and time again. I would have LOVED to know more about Ohanzee, her spirit protector.

While Josh was on the run for apparent murders, and trying to find out exactly what was happening, and Dex was collecting evidence and trying to find Josh, the Glory was up to her petticoats in vampires. As interesting as the storylines both were, Josh and Dex’s part of things seemed to be, while more gruesome, slower to come together. Having said that, towards the end, things meet up and the pacing is much more consistant. The two men finally have the courage and the freedom to start their relationship, we learn more about Josh’s abilities, and Glory seems to come into her own a bit.

Then… right at the end… right when STUFF HAPPENS THAT MAKES YOU GASP AND ANXIOUSLY TURN THE NEXT PAGE (or scroll, in my case)… BOOM!!!! End of book. WHAT????? Yeah, I was NOT a happy camper. Obviously this is book one, there are two more books scheduled to be released in this series later this year. It’s short, and I should have been prepared, but I wasn’t. And now ______________ is with _____________, and how does _____________ do ______________, and how did _______________ end up with _____________??? I have SO MANY QUESTIONS!!! Another quick pet peeve of mine, unnecessary repetition of information, caused more than one pause in the reading. Hopefully this gets streamlined in future installments.

This story took a while for me to really get into, but I’m glad I gave it a shot. Not my usual fare, but the elements are definitely there to build a strong series.

JenniferGraphic

EmoRating3_Smile_2

This is the first in the Venom Valley series. The second book in the series, STAKES & SPURS is due out in mid 2013, while the finale of the Venom Valley trilogy, BLOOD & STONE, is due out late 2013.

AUTHOR BIO & LINKS:

Hank Edwards is a curious mix of practical realist and feral dreamer. He is a fan of absurd comedy, cases in point, the sizzling and hilarious Charlie Heggensford Fluffers, Inc. Series, and Plus Ones, his rom-com, as well as mystery and suspense such as his Up to Trouble series. His love of chills and thrills prompted him to create the Venom Valley series, now available from Wilde City Press. No matter what genre he is dabbling in, however, Hank tries to keep things steamy and heartfelt. He was born and still lives in a northwest suburb of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan, where he shares a home with his partner of over 17 years and their two cats, who hope you buy lots of his books so they can upgrade their kitty condo. Like him on Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/hankedwardsbooks> or <http://www.facebook.com/venomvalleyseries> ) and follow him on Twitter (@hanksbooks) to become a true “Hankie.”

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Words & Music Monday with Jackie Morse Kessler

Posted April 15, 2013 By Jennifer

WordsAndMusicMonday

Good Monday, my lovelies!!! I’m SO happy to be bringing you this post today, because it means that BREATH, by Jackie Morse Kessler, will be out TOMORROW!!!! Those of you who’ve been with me for a while will KNOW how much I love this series. The Riders of the Apocalypse quartet is full of amazing mythology, beautiful storytelling, and will carve out a place in your heart. They’re DEFINITELY on my MUST READ list. (Check out below how you can win a FULL SET of the quartet, and the gorgeous cover art posters!!)

Today, Jackie gives us a little musical insight into the series narrator, and fourth member of our Riders… Death.

jackiemorsekesslerOn BREATH, Death And Music

 By Jackie Morse Kessler
One thing about having a main character who looks, sounds and sings like Kurt Cobain: You know that Nirvana will be on the book’s official soundtrack. In the case of BREATH, I specifically name or reference these Nirvana songs (and yeah, okay, some of them are covers, but they’re all on the Unplugged In New York album — which, if you haven’t listened to it or seen the video of the concert, please go do that; it’s cool, I’ll wait).
Oh Me” – This sums up who Death is. Well, sort of. If you squint.
Something In The Way” – With this one, it’s less about the lyrics and more about the moody, foreboding feeling of the music.
Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam” – This is sort of the theme playing when Death and Xander are on the balcony.
All Apologies” – Self-explanatory, I think.
breathe_250But even though Nirvana plays a big role, there are two other songs that hugely influenced me when writing BREATH. The more important of the two is “Snuff” by Slipknot. There’s one line specifically that acted as a springboard for me when coming up with Death’s origin: “Angels lie to keep control.” I heard that, and I was like, YES OMG YES THAT IS SO ABOUT DEATH. I had no idea **how** it was about Death, but it knew that somehow, it was.
The other song is “I Will Not Bow” by Breaking Benjamin. The entire song speaks to me about Death. Hey, one of the lines is “Leave the lost and dead behind” — how could this not speak to me?
One thing I don’t have is a theme song for Xander. If, after you read BREATH, you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.
And one last plug for the Unplugged in New York album – really, listen to it. Chills. 🙂
************************************************************************************************
coverposterartSo… Thanks to the awesome people behind Jackie’s Rider’s of the Apocalypse series, we have a FULL SET of all 4 books to give away, along with the gorgeous cover art mini posters!! (WOW!!!)
To enter, simply share the link to this post, and comment below that you’ve done it. You can post to twitter, facebook, pinterest, tumblr, goodreads, or your own blog (with credit back to this blog). Any sharing you do is fair game. Comment below (we’re working on the honor system here, folks… so please be sincere) after you’ve shared, and POOF, you’re entered 🙂 And trust me… YOU WANT THIS PRIZE!!!
Winner will be chosen and announced after midnight, pacific, on Tuesday night, April 16th.
And don’t forget to check out the other sites helping celebrate BREATH’s release. The next stop on the release tour is StoryMen.us . You can find all the stops HERE.
Good luck, everyone!!
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Birthday Surprise From Sarah M Ross

Posted April 10, 2013 By Jennifer

Inhale Exhale, a New Adult Contemporary romance from author Sarah M. Ross, releases May 7th. Today is Sarah’s birthday, so not only is she giving us an excerpt from the book, but she’s also offering a signed paperback for one lucky winner!

Inhale-Exhale-final-smaller Check out the BLURB:

Jillian had a plan: celebrate the end of her first year of college with an amazing summer full of beaches, barbeques, and bonfires. When her mom insists she needs a summer job, and her boyfriend spends more time with his band than with her, Jillian’s plans go down the drain.

Grant had a plan: finish his Masters, get a great job at Google, and get the hell out of Georgia. He might be giving up some of the fun of his youth, but he knows his all work and no play method would be worth it when his dreams came true.

But things never go according to plan.

When temptation brings them together and tragedy tears them apart, Jillian and Grant will be forced to choose: fight for their dreams, or fight for each other.

Here’s the excerpt:

The laughter, clinking of glasses, and music from the juke box faded away. I could only hear the whooshing of my own heartbeat. I swallowed hard. Grant’s eyes lowered to watch the movement of my neck, and I imagined what it would be like for him to kiss me there like in my dream. To trace the line from my jaw with his finger or tongue down to my clavicle, dipping into that tiny hollow.

I forgot to breathe.

My leg grazed his, with just the tiniest amount of friction. I didn’t take my eyes off him, and I could see his own widen almost imperceptibly. His hand slipped under the table next to mine, hovering. He never touched me. I could feel the heat from his hand like a furnace. He was waiting for permission, a sign that I wanted and accepted his touch. My hands stayed glued to the seat beside me, but I lifted up onto the balls of my feet, causing my knee to bump into his awaiting hand.

It took but seconds for his large, strong hand to clasp the top of my leg, the pad of his thumb brushing along the soft skin inside my thigh. I looked around the table, but everyone was deep in their own conversations, and no one was paying us any attention.

Neither his hand nor my leg moved for a long time. Just the tiny swipes of his thumb, causing my breath to hitch. We didn’t look at each other as to not draw attention. He chatted casually with people at the table, while I was drawn tighter than a bow.

Finally, after an excruciatingly long time, he began to move his fingers. He ran his thumb in tiny circles on the inside of my thigh as his fingers brushed behind my knee, making a painstakingly slow ascent upward. One millimeter at a time.

Time stood still and the room around me blurred. He was still an inch or two below the hem of my shorts, but I felt like he was touching me at my core. Goosebumps rose along my skin, and I shivered.

Grant must have taken that as a good sign, because he began to very slowly—agonizingly slowly—inch his fingers further up my thigh. My muscles tightened in anticipation, knowing this was wrong but wanting nothing but his touch. He made his way to the hem of my tiny shorts, sliding his fingers back and forth against it. Inside my thigh. Outside my thigh. Inside. Outside. In. Out.

My vision blurred, and my eyes slid shut with pleasure. I bit my bottom lip to contain the groan that threatened to escape my lips.

And be sure to check out the giveaway to get one of the very first print copies of the book!!

Enter HERE For A Chance To Win Inhale Exhale

Be sure to add this to your Goodreads page:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17348805-inhale-exhale

To find out more about Sarah and her books, stalk her here:

Website: www.sarahmross.com

Email- sarah@sarahmross.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/SarahtheAuthor

FB- http://www.facebook.com/SarahtheAuthor

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Cover Reveal: HUNTER BY NIGHT by Elisabeth Staab

Posted April 1, 2013 By Jennifer

It seems like there are awesome new covers popping up left and right these days!!! I LOVE it!!!

blog tour header

Today we get the first look at the newest installment to Elisabeth Staab’s Chronicles of Yavn series, HUNTER BY NIGHT!!

As a recap… here are the covers for the first two books in the series…

kod_web-181x300 princeofpower-300 (1)

And now… for book three…

HunterByNight

Elisabeth (and her publisher) has been kind enough to share the cover blurb, and a teaser from HUNTER BY NIGHT!!!! I really can’t wait to get my hands on this one!!!

Blurb:

Lee protects his vampire race, and hates humans as much as the wizard enemies he kills. Just as he’s assessing new recruits to join the vampire king’s army, all hell breaks loose. The estate’s security system fails, wizards are heading their way, and human-hating Lee is stuck protecting Alexia, the queen’s human best friend. But as dangerous obstacles force Alexia and Lee closer, an undeniable attraction is revealed, and the two must find a way to compromise.

Teaser:

Alexia ignored the tremor that traveled from the place where their hands touched, along her arm and down her body, landing a quiver of want deep in her core. Any time now, it would be fan-fricking-tastic if her body could stop reacting to him like he’d been double-dipped in her favorite brand of pheromones.

She reached for her blue Jansport backpack, just next to the bedroom door. He made no move to let go or get out of her way, and she was forced to squeeze past his tree-trunk thigh in the process. She failed horribly at ignoring how frigging huge those legs of his were. How the V of her thighs brushed his leg when she passed, and how her body temperature climbed. Stop staring at his ass. “Right. Got everything ready to go, right here.” She cleared her throat.

“Great. I’ll drive,” he grumbled.

Did he realize, as he tugged her down the hall, that his fingers were still wrapped around her hand?

AHHHHH… I can’t wait!!!!! HUNTER BY NIGHT is available for pre-order, and the other two books in the series are available now.

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