Archive for June, 2013

Review: THE DARKEST GATE (Descent Series, #2) by S M Reine

Posted June 20, 2013 By kellysmithreviews
dg-webAuthor: S M Reine
Release Date: May 4, 2012
Pages: 322
ISBN #: 1230000118943
FTC Disclaimer: Book was purchased by the reviewer, with no publisher or author involvement.

After reading Death’s Hand by SM Reine, I knew I had to read the rest of The Descent series, so I downloaded the next novel depicting Elise Kavanagh’s adventures in being a kopis: The Darkest Gate.

During the last novel, we were told bits and pieces of how Elise and her aspis, James Faulkner, met–she had been lying unconscious in a cold, rural place in Russia, surrounded by twelve dead angels when she was sixteen–and she and James became reluctant allies.
We also heard about the strange tattoo-like symbols on both of Elise’s palms. She wore gloves 24/7/365 so as not to keep them exposed whatsoever for human, demon or angel eyes to see. In this novel, what those symbols represent, how she got them and why she was in a field with a dozen angels are all revealed to us.
The novel splits between 2009 and 1999, coalescing around another kopis and aspis duo–Mr. Black and his witch, Alain. In 1999 he pays Elise, the greatest kopis in the world, an unimaginable sum of money to retrieve a bowl for him from an underground chamber that very few but Elise herself can enter. James doesn’t want her to do it, but they need the money to survive, as being demon hunters and spell-casters doesn’t exactly pay the bills.
It was the biggest mistake of her life because, after Mr. Black tries opening a forbidden gate, He gets wind of Elise again for the first time since she was sixteen. Who is He? We learnt that He is Whom Elise has been hiding from (and the angels), but that is all we know outright. The novel leaves the reader to guess for quite a while, though I must admit the options are slim to decide who this mysterious being is.
In 1999, Elise and James stop Mr. Black from opening the gate, and believe they have killed him.
He and his witch lived, and now he wants to use Elise again, or kill everyone she knows and cares about–James, her roommate Betty and her boyfriend, Anthony, to start. Not to mention ruin her accounting business and make her life a living Hell.
So what does Elise do? Side with him…or an even greater enemy?
This novel takes things to a whole new level, revealing mysteries that Ms. Reine had given to us in Death’s Hand, and creates yet more intriguing plots and subplots in this novel. New characters are introduced and we get to meet the much-hyped about Night Hag face-to-face. New characters are introduced (like the gorgeous yet mysteriously dangerous Thom) and we learn so much about old characters, as well.
Relationships are tested–James and his girlfriend, Stephanie; James and Elise; Elise and Anthony; Elise and Betty–and secrets about why Elise won’t ever “settle down” into a “normal” life with Anthony or any other man are learned.
This novel, like the last, is about the never-ending battle between Good and Evil and, like the previous one as well, leaves us in a cliffhanger until the next installment in the series.
I wish I could go on and on, but I cannot permit myself to give any more spoilers than I already have!
For the official blurb, and an excerpt of THE DARKEST GATE… visit S M Reine’s site HERE!!
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Cover Reveal: BLOOD ENTANGLED by Amber Belldene

Posted June 19, 2013 By Jennifer

This is shaping up to be a FANTASTIC week for new covers!!! Some really great stuff showing up all around the interwebs, and awesome stories to go along with them. Today we get another to add to the list…

BLOOD VINE was Amber Belldene’s paranormal romance debut, and took the vampire mythology in a very different direction. The follow up to that, BLOOD ENTANGLED will be out on July 23rd, and I really can’t wait for it 🙂

Here’s the blurb, and below, the gorgeous new cover…

KOS MARAS’s orderly life is in shambles—he must distribute Blood Vine to a population of ailing vampires, but Hunters block him at every turn. To make matters worse, each night he watches over a temptingly beautiful woman sleeping in his bed. He is convinced love cannot last a vampire-long lifetime and an entanglement will only cause them grief, but he doesn’t have the heart to send her away.

From a long line of blood servants, LENA ISAAKSON is destined to serve a vampire, but a string of humiliating rejections thwarts her pleasure. When Kos shows her kindness, she hopes he will claim her. Instead he proves himself a coward in the face of love and sends her to serve another.

Will the dark seduction of a rakish new vampire finally bring Lena the pleasure she desires or deliver her into the hands of Hunters who want to destroy everything the Maras family has worked for?



Author: Amber Belldene

Title: Blood Entangled

Expected publication: July 23rd 2013 by Omnific Publishing

Series: Blood Vine #2



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I’m pretty excited about the weeklong spotlight on Wilde City Press that The Novel Approach is doing. Would love for everyone to check out the lineup for this week, and pop in to say “hi” when you enjoy a post. Lots of fun things going on over there this week!!

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Cover Reveal: PRINCE OF SHADOWS by Rachel Caine

Posted June 18, 2013 By Jennifer

OH MY WOW!!!! Rachel Caine just posted the coolest cover for her February 2014 release, PRINCE OF SHADOWS!!! Not only that… she posted a blog about how the book came to be (it’s a new interpretation of the “Romeo and Juliet” story, with Rachel Caine stylings). It’s a pretty neat story. Here’s a (used with permission) snippet about the book, and below, is the gorgeous cover.

He [Benvolio] intrigued me. And before too long, a book that became PRINCE OF SHADOWS began to form in my mind. Hmmm, I thought. What if I’m reading this play entirely wrong? What if there is one thing that happens off the stage that changes everything? The fun thing is, that one thing is still entirely consistent with Shakespeare’s plays. And since we’re in Benvolio’s point of view … he can know about it.

It changes everything. It shapes and shifts and colors all the decisions and tragedies, loves and hates.

ooooohhhhhhhhh!!!!! This is gonna be FUN!!!!! 🙂

And here’s the pretty…


So what do you think??? Did you read Rachel’s Tumblr post?? What do you think of the cool effects the cover artist incorporated?? I just love it 🙂 I sooooo cannot wait for this!!!

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Release Day Q&A with Colleen Gleason

Posted June 18, 2013 By Jennifer

Hello, my lovelies 🙂

Today we have a special treat!! It’s release day for Colleen Gleason, and she’s taken a few minutes to come introduce herself a bit. (I’m not sure “introductions” are necessarily in order, her regency paranormal romances are crazy popular. But it’s her first time here, so we’re going with it, lol.) Be sure to check out the cover and blurb below the Q&A, and look for a way you can WIN an ebook copy!!

cg-about1) When you write, do you prefer quiet, or do you listen to music? If you like music playing, what is your preferred genre? Do certain characters have their own personal “soundtrack”?

I generally listen to wordless sounds when I write. I put in earplugs (those foam kind that form to your ear), then a really good pair of headphones (noise-canceling if I have them) and put on either a soundtrack mix or my tropical thunderstorm CD. J Either way, I allow the sounds to surround me and I usually can slip into my world and go.

Since I write a lot of books set in historical time periods, I can’t usually do a “soundtrack” for my characters that makes sense—insofar as having songs they’d listen to. And I’m not all that crazy about listening to the type of music they would have. So I stick with my own tunes and just drown out the rest of the world.

2) Where do you write? In an office, at the dining room table, at a local coffeeshop? Do you prefer to write alone or with a group? If you write with a group, do you also read/critique each other’s work?

I used to write at Border’s Books almost every day, until they closed. In fact, I wrote ten books at the café in my local store. L Now, however, I write at home in my office most of the time. I have an ergonomic keyboard and the correct set-up for my neck, shoulders, hips, legs, etc—which writing on a laptop at a café doesn’t provide. After more than two dozen books, I’ve learned how important it is to keep my body ergonomically aligned.

And then there’s the insurmountable fact that Border’s isn’t even there anymore…so it’s not an option. L

3) How do you prepare for release day? Are you calm and focused, or do you get stressed? Do you like to make promotional appearances or stay at home to watch lists and numbers?

I actually try not to think about it too much. I usually have all my promo stuff done and ready to go by then, and usually I make my husband take me out for a nice dinner on Release Day. Other than that, and some extra social media work, I try to make it feel like every other day—because at this point, the book is done, and out there, and it will be what it will be!

4) What was your favorite Halloween costume (or other costume party costume)?

I loooove Maleficent from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (and as you can imagine, I can’t wait for the feature film starring Angelina Jolie that’s coming next year!). One year, I made my own Maleficent costume: I used empty paper towel rolls and paper mache, covered by black paint, to make the horns—and an old pair of black tights—to make the headdress. Everyone knew who I was immediately, and everyone loved the costume. I actually thought it looked better than the costumes sold by Disney, because those costumes have “horns” that are soft and stuffed. Mine were real!!!

5) If you could go anywhere on vacation (and not interfere with your deadlines), where would you go, and what 3 items (besides food and clothes) would you bring with you?

I would go to Paris. I would bring lots of money (because I wouldn’t bring food, I’d buy it everywhere!), an umbrella, and my husband. Because…why would you go to Paris without someone you loved?

6) What song best describes your life? If you can’t think of one, who would you want to write/perform a song just for you?

One song that describes my life…can’t think of one, really. And if he weren’t dead, I’d want Jeff Buckley to write and perform my life’s theme song. His music is so haunting and his lyrics beautifully poetic…and even though it has words, I often do listen to his album Grace while writing too.

7) If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would be it and what would you do all day?

I’d hang out with Macey Gardella—the character in my new release, Roaring Midnight—and go shopping! She’s from the Roaring Twenties, and the clothes! The hats! I’d even have her sneak me into a speakeasy, because she’s a vampire hunter and I’d feel safe with her.

8) What world record would you love to set for the Guinness Book of World Records? (Remember, they take ALL KINDS of interesting talents into account. Some world records include *fastest 100m sprint, barefoot, on ice = 17.35 secs… *fastest pumpkin carving of a face = 24.03 secs… *longest distance pogo stick jumping = 23.11 miles)

I’d love to be the person with the most books!

9) If you could have one word removed from the English language, from all dictionaries and out of everyone’s vocabulary, what would it be, and why? If you could ADD one word, what would it be?

Let’s toss the word “cunt.” I really don’t like it—and it’s not that I’m a prude. (Just ask my friend Colette Gale… wink, wink). It just sounds so grim and yucky to me.

But I’d love to add the word “drassy”—which means dim or dusky, like twilight. (Look for that word to make its debut in my upcoming steampunk novel The Clockwork Scarab: A Stoker & Holmes Book.)

10) What is one thing about you that your friends know and you would love your readers to know as well. Or… if you’re in a giving mood… what is one story that your friends LOVE to talk you into telling that you don’t generally volunteer?

My friends know that not only am I a foodie…but I love to cook. And that I’m an introvert at heart, even though most people think I’m a social butterfly!

Big thank you to Colleen for taking the time to answer these for us. And congrats on today’s ROARING MIDNIGHT release!! (It’s a spin-off from her Gardella Vampire Chronicles.) Speaking of… here’s a bit about the book, and a way for you to win an ecopy!!

9781931419215_p0_v1_s260x420Amid the glitzy Age of Jazz, when gangsters and bootleggers control the cities, there lies another, more insidious threat….the undead.

Macey Gardella is a typical young woman of the Roaring Twenties: she works a job, has her own flat, and loves to dance the Charleston. But when a mysterious man named Sebastian Vioget informs her she belongs to a family of vampire hunters, Macey is stunned and disbelieving.

Yet, strange and frightening things begin to happen, and when Macey comes face-to-face with one of the fanged creatures, she has no choice but to believe Sebastian. And when she learns his own soul depends on her willingness to carry forth the family legacy and hunt the undead, Macey capitulates and joins the fight.

As she learns more about her new life, Macey meets the handsome newspaper reporter known as Grady–who seems to know more about vampires than he should. And when he begins to ask too many questions, she has to juggle her strong attraction to him with the need for secrecy.

Slipping into speakeasies and sampling bootlegged whiskeys, dodging gangster gunfire and trying to keep her nosy landlady from finding the stakes in her flat, Macey Gardella must navigate through a world of stunning violence, passionate romance, and dark betrayal…

So… have YOU read the Gardella Vampire Chronicles?? Have you been waiting for this addition? Is this a “new to you” series?? Leave a comment about something in this post (the Q&A or the book blurb), and be entered to win an ebook copy of ROARING MIDNIGHT. Contest open today only. Winner will be selected and notified after midnight pacific, tonight. GOOD LUCK, everyone!

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