Rising from the Ashes by M.A. Abraham – Review & Giveaway

Rising from the Ashes by M.A. Abraham – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
Continuing from where the Elven Chronicles left off. We bring you the ONE EMPIRE SERIES.

The Drazon is dead, and the Demons have been eradicated from the Elven Empire. Now the Elves can begin anew, and this is exactly what they are about to do. Their lands are scarred by the war, their original Kingdoms fragmented and their people are in need of healing as much as the world around them. The boundary has been raised, to separate the Elven Empire from the rest of the world, and they settle down to work.

The new era starts with the Elven Kingdoms uniting as the One Empire, Life Mates are found, relationships cemented, and peace reigns. There is no better time to rebuild their world, and raise a family. First, the men who took advantage of Gabriel and Eden’s spell must convince their Life Mates that what they did was not such a bad thing. That could take a while, especially for any Male Elf who is bonded to a Light Elven Female

 

Review:

Rising from the Ashes by M.A. Abraham is a novella that introduces the start of her new One Empire series, which will begin with Hidden Kingdoms.

In Rising from the Ashes, the story picks up after the finale of the Elven Chronicles series.  Though they may have won the war with the Demons, the land in the Elven Empire was pretty much destroyed.  We get to see all of our favorites again as they do everything in their power to try to restore the land, which is currently like living in the dark ages.   In the midst of everyone working overtime in what looks like a hopeless situation, the people of the Elven Empire never give up and now with Eden and Gabriel’s fertility spell used again, most of the female elves are pregnant. 

This is a difficult review to write, as this is all about everyone helping one another, which will bring forth help from the other Kings of different lands that were not affected by the Demon war.  I really did enjoy this book, and loved seeing the characters we all have come to love; Eden, Gabriel, Marious, Lothariel, Daroth, Tamarek and so many more.  It was really a quick fast read, and nice to see the camaraderie between them as the amazing Elves work together to help rebuilt the lands.  Very well done.   I look forward to see what Abraham will bring in her new One Empire series.

 If you are a fan of the Elven Chronicles, you need to read this book, which the title says it all…Rising From the Ashes.  If you have not read the Elven Chronicles, I suggest you do so now.  Rising From the Ashes is a fun, heartwarming and emotional story that will lead the way to a new Empire. M.A. Abraham is a wonderful author, who has an amazing imagination and brings the characters and this world to life.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for review

 

 

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M.A. is offering an e-copy of RISING FROM THE ASHES to TWO (2) lucky commenterS at The Reading Cafe.

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Heart Sight by Robin D. Owens – Review & Giveaway

Heart Sight by Robin D. Owens – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
Journey back to the planet Celta with award-winning author Robin D. Owens in this novel about shadowed enemies and unimaginable psi power.

Muin “Vinni” T’Vine has been the prophet of Celta since he was six years old. A unique and lonely child, his strong psi power made most people wary of him. But now that he’s older, he’s ready to marry and protect the girl he’s known was his HeartMate for years.

Avellana isn’t as fragile as Vinni believes…nor as compliant. She fights to be considered Vinni’s equal and a strong member of her Family and community. Both of them have kept Avellana’s main power secret for over a decade.

But rumors of her strange psi talent are spreading, and Vinni is experiencing premonitions of danger to Avellana—even from the highest people of the land. When the whispers become threats, Vinni and Avellana must discover and defeat their secret enemies before they can finally claim happiness together.

 

 

Review:

Heart Sight by Robin D. Owens is the 15th book in her wonderful Celta series. The Celta series takes place in a futuristic world, filled with magic, animal familiars, telepathy and romance. 

We meet our hero, Vinni (Muin) T’Vine early on when, when he visits his heartmate, Avelanna (our heroine), whom he has sent away to protect her from possible danger.   Vinni is the prophet of Celta (since he was a child), and forsees attempts on Avellana’s life, as the big T’Vine family doesn’t want him to bond with his heartmate.  Seems Avellana has a power that people do not like, and they feel she isn’t worthy of the T’Vine family.  Vinni has waited years for Avellana to be old enough to for Avellana to be older, and to Heartbond with her;  but now he stills sees these visions, and wants to her stay away.  Avellana is now grown up, and misses her home, and being able to use her amazing mural creations.  She stands up to Vinni, and will not leave again; her home is where she belongs, and tells him she will work together with him to fight their enemies.

What follows is an exciting, and sweet romantic tale of two people who have known each other since childhood, and knew they were destined to be mates.  The threat is real though, but Vinni will do all he can to get help to protect Avellana, as they get closer to finalizing their bond.  Another nice element to the tense situation is Avellana’s partnership on a new project for specialized made to order homes, in another territory, which will help Avellana become more independent financially.  I loved the two of them together, but I loved their fams (Rhys, Avellana’s the cat & Flora, Vinni’s bunny), who talk telepathically, as well as help them.  So much fun.

Once again, Robin D. Owens gives us another wonderful addition to this series.  Heart Sight was a fun, romantic story with a tense and suspenseful mystery.  If you enjoy romances in a fun fantasy magic world, you should be reading this series..

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

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Ever The Brave by Erin Summerill – a Review

Ever The Brave by Erin Summerill – a Review

 

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Description:
Ever the Divided. Ever the Feared. Ever the Brave.
After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much she’d like to, and now he’s insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be lost.

The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.
 

 

Review:

Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill is the 2nd book in her Clash of Kingdoms series.  I enjoyed the first book in this series, but Ever the Brave was even better.   This is a fantasy novel in a world with two factions (Malem & Shaerdan ) that are at war with each other.  Malem, which is now fully ruled by King Aodren, who in the last book, was saved by Britta, our heroine and a Channeler .  A powerful Channeler & Spiriter is magically controlling other Channelers to help overtake Aodren.

Britta, our wonderful heroine, has a connection to Aodren, since she used her Channeler magic to save his life in the last book.  Cohen, is the man Britta loves since childhood, and who is now the Bounty Hunter for King Aodren.  Britta keeps the secret that her connection to Cohen has been replaced.   Before she saved Aodren, she did not like him, and with the connection, Britta will discover more about the man who is King.  The villians (Jamison and Pheia) are still around, and determined to kill the King.  With Cohen on assignment, Britta helps prevent another attack, and together with Aodren, they escape to find help, as the traitors have overtaken the castle.  They will develop a strong friendship that will test the bonds between Cohen and Britta.  Who will she eventually pick? 

Cohen and his team that are trying to find the dangerous powerful Channeler, who has kidnapped the girls, is also attacked, killing some of his men.  He will get help from a friend. Lirra is also a Channlier, and she needed Cohen’s help to find the missing girls.  When Cohen is injured, she will be the one to bring him to a safe place, and work with him to help the King and Britta. 

What follows is a very exciting adventure that will find them all on the run, badly injured and even some dead. Britta is a tough smart and great heroine. She will begin to learn from others how to use her abilities and try to stop the powerful enemies, at a cost that could take her own life.

There was so much going on; you had to keep reading to not miss a thing, and to say too much more would be spoilers.   Will Aodren survive the revolution by an evil enemy, and remain King?  Will Britta survive?  Who will Britta choose ….Cohen or Aodren?

I have said this before; the key to a successful series is to have good characters that you care about.   In Ever the Brave, we have some really good characters;  Britta, a wonderful heroine; Aodren, who I became crazy about as we got deeper and deeper into the story; Leif, Finn, Gillian & Lirra; I also liked Cohen a bit more closer to the end.  Summerill also gives us some evil villains that added to the story line.

Ever the Brave was a very exciting, tense, fast paced story line; well written by Summerrill, with great characters and many surprises along the way.  The ending did feel like the finale, however I understand there will be another book, which I will be reading.  So should you.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter – Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter – Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

 

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Flame in the Dark
Soulwood series – Book #3
by Faith Hunter
Release Date: December 5, 2017

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Description:
Nell Ingram has always known she was different. Since she was a child, she’s been able to feel and channel ancient powers from deep within the earth. When she met Jane Yellowrock, her entire life changed, and she was recruited into PsyLED—the Homeland Security division that polices paranormals. But now her newly formed unit is about to take on its toughest case yet.

A powerful senator barely survives an assassination attempt that leaves many others dead—and the house he was visiting burns to the ground. Invisible to security cameras, the assassin literally disappears, and Nell’s team is called in. As they track a killer they know is more—or less—than human, they unravel a web of dark intrigue and malevolent motives that tests them to their limits and beyond.

 

 

Description:

Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter is the 3rd book in her Urban Fantasy Soulwood series. Though this is a spinoff from Hunter’s wonderful Jane Yellowrock series, this is a totally different kind of storyline. 

Nell Ingram is our heroine, and in Flame in the Dark, we learn more about her powers.  Nell is now a member  (probie)of Psyled, a Homeland Security division that investigates paranormal cases.  Also on the PsyLED Eighteen team are two others we know from Jane Yellowrock, Rick LeFleur and Soul.  There are werewolves, witches, empaths, and even a dragon that work together.

Nell is now a more confident and stronger person, and knows she is not human, but does not know what she is.  Nell has an ability that allows her to feel and absorb the earth’s powers, to heal her or fight off enemies. By the end of Flame in the Dark, we will know exactly what Nell is. 

At the start of Flame in the Dark, the PsyLED team is called on a case where a Senator and his family have been attacked.  The team senses a paranormal element in the attacks, but cannot determine who the target is, which they originally thought was vampires.  As more attempts and murders happen, it becomes apparent that the villains are pyro’s, with the victims being burned.  Nell’s unusual ability allows her to put her hands into the earth to scent, vision or feel strange and dark vibes of something very dark and dangerous.

What follows is an intense, exciting, gripping and violent tale, where Nell will find herself in bad situations that threaten her own life.  With people dying, she will have to go above and beyond to discover who and what is causing these horrific deaths. I was so engrossed into this story, I was unable to put the book down.  Flame in the Dark was very well written by Faith Hunter.

What I also enjoyed was the team camaraderie between Nell and her team, especially as they learn more of what she is, and try to help her.   We also get to know about Nell’s younger sister, who is slowly developing the same kind of powers, which Nell wants to help her slowly learn to control.  But best of all, I loved the slow build budding romance between Occam and Nell, which we expect to become full blown in future books.

This is really a difficult review to do, as telling too much more would be spoilers.  I will say that besides being suspenseful and exciting, it was also amazing & wild to see what Nell can do.   There was so much more in this book (murder, strange fires, dark and horrific villains, and a fantastic cast of characters you enjoy the ride with), something you will need to read and find out. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

Guest post-White and RedI often get asked – when you write a novel, do you start with Characters or Plot? 

Every book is different, but with the Soulwood series it was character all the way! Well, that and the big question of all writers – What If?

Early on, I knew several things about Nell:
* that she would be a cult survivor
* a woman who loved a solitary existence, off the grid, in the hills near Knoxville.
* would become a member of a paranormal team of crime solvers
* that she would solve murders committed by paranormal means
After that it was a matter of deciding on each book what crime needs to be solved and what kind of paranormal creature committed the crime.

Nell—who she is, where she comes from, how she lives, who she loves—and a conflict idea for a story, or one of those unanswered “What If” questions, all have to come together for a book to work.

I always say (and please forgive the one “teachy” note in this post): Your main character has to have at least one great strength and at least one great weakness. The weaknesses make the conflict worse, the strengths and developing strengths save the main character and resolve the plot. This is called the marriage of character development and plot conflict. (End of teachy stuff.)

In Nell’s case, she is a polygamous cult survivor in a modern day alternate reality who starts out the series trusting no one and no thing, living off the grid and making a living as a farmer. She is in danger every day by the members of the cult who want her back inside so they can get her farm and who would then burn her at the stake as a witch because she is a paranormal being. Nell lives in danger. That danger and the fact that she knows so little about the modern world are her main weaknesses.

Her strengths are her individuality, her ability to adapt and survive, and her fearlessness when it comes to protecting other potential escapees from the cult. These women include her sisters, and half-sisters. Her adaptability means that when she is asked to join a law enforcement team to hunt down criminals, she is able to take her strengths and merge in to the team.

All memorable characters have these strengths and weaknesses , and if a reader analyzes the characters, each and every one will grow through the weaknesses, as well as rely on their strengths. The character becomes a friend as you read. I hope you’ll take a chance on Nell.

Faith Hunter
www.faithhunter.net
https://www.facebook.com/#!/official.faith.hunter
Twitter at @HunterFaith

About The Author
FaithHunter1Small

Faith Hunter is the New York Times bestselling author of the Jane Yellowrock series, including Cold Reign, Shadow Rites, Dark Heir, and Broken Soul; the Soulwood series,
set in the world of Jane Yellowrock, including Curse on the Land and Blood of the Earth; and the Rogue Mage series, including Host, Seraphs, and Bloodring.

 

 

 

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Faith’s publisher  is offering a paper copy of FLAME IN THE DARK to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

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8. Giveaway runs from December 6 – 10, 2017

 

 

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Year One by Nora Roberts – a Review

Year One by Nora Roberts – a Review

 

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Description:
It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river—or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

 

 

Review:

Year One by Nora Roberts is the 1st book in her new Chronicles of the One trilogy. I am a big fan of Nora Roberts/JD Robb, and I absolutely have love every one of her trilogies.  Year One is a post apocalyptic dystopian, with a bit of fantasy, and a totally different type of storyline book for Nora, but there are some similarities.  Year One begins with a family on vacation, a hunting that kills something more than a bird, and the start of a lethal virus (The Doom) that will destroy most of the world. In a short period, 80% of the world’s population will die, leaving the survivors that are immune to the virus.

We meet along the way, three sets of characters, who will travel to find others in a world that is deep in devastation, desperation and darkness.  In a new beginning, we will always find the dark (evil) and the light (good), that will divide and separate all. Magic (witches, elves, etc) will also arise, causing another division among those with newfound powers that are used for good, and those who are evil and want to hurt others, and the humans with no power at all, bent on destroying all magic, and those who have it.

Max and Lana is a married couple,  who have some magic ability that they continue to learn about, and they are good people.  Together they will leave New York to find a safe place to live and find others. Arlys and Fred (she is an elf) work at the radio station, and leave together, as word comes that they will be in danger.  Rachel and Jonah, both medical professionals, who also leave to find safety, along with Katie, who just gave birth to twins.  Along the way in this dark and doom, they will all eventually meet to start with about 300 others a land they call New Hope.  When Lana becomes pregnant, everyone is beginning to feel comfortable, with hope.

But just when the light shines beautifully, evil rears its ugly head; everything changes, and the last quarter of the book becomes centered on one person.  The ‘One’ who is destined to be the savior of this new world; who must stop the darkness that threatens to destroy them all.  This is where Roberts changes the game, and throws us for a loop, as she rarely ever does this in her other trilogies.  There are surprises, twists and deaths we never saw coming.  The only thing I worry about is that I want to know what happens to wonderful great characters we got to know during the majority of the book, but were not part of it in the last quarter. 

I am holding my breath to see where Nora will take us in the next book.  Bravo to Nora Roberts for giving us a fantastic start to a fabulous breathtaking, emotional, tense and exciting storyline.  I am hoping we do not have to wait too long for the next book, as I am already on pins and needles.  Year One proves that Nora Roberts can write anything at all, and give us a fantastic story. I strongly sugges that you  read Year One.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Wolf Hunger by Paige Tyler – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Wolf Hunger by Paige Tyler – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

 

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Wolf Hunger
SWAT series – Book #7
by Paige Tyler
Release Date: December 5, 2017

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Description:
SHE’S ALL THE WOLF HE’LL EVER NEED…

When SWAT Officer Max Lowry meets Lana Mason, he falls fast and hard. He’s positive she’s The One. And Max’s favorite part? Lana’s a wolf shifter too, so they can skip the awkward reveal and head straight to the happily ever after. There’s just one problem: Lana doesn’t know that she’s a werewolf.

To make matters worse, hunters with intent to kill have tracked Lana to Dallas. Max has to figure out how to keep Lana safe, show her who and what she really is—and just how much she means to him.

 

Review:

Wolf Hunger by Paige Tyler is the 7th book in her wonderful SWAT (Special Wolf Alpha Team) series. As always with Tyler, she continues to give us exciting, fun, pulse pounding action, hot alpha werewolves and a great sexy couple. 

Max Lowry, one of the younger members of the SWAT  team and our hero, is in a bar with his friends when he scents another wolf.  He sees a beautiful woman, and knows she could be the ‘one’ (his mate).  
Lana Mason, our heroine, is the daughter of Deputy Chief Hal Mason, who does not want her anywhere near the men of the SWAT team. Lana and Max hit it off immediately, as their chemistry is off the wall hot, but Max senses that Lana has no idea that she is a werewolf, since she has never shifted. 

When Lana is informed that  her friend has been murdered, she notices others following her.  Lana manages to escape, and feels strange vibes happening to her body, including her ability to run abnormally fast;  however she brushes it off.  When Max is worried about Lana, he tries to explain to her what she is, and she becomes scared and leaves.  But when she is forced into another dangerous situation, Lana will learn the truth.

In Wolf Hunger, the storyline changes, with the Hunters (those trying to kill werewolves) coming full force into the picture and a war is on the horizon.  The Hunters have developed a chemical weapon that poisons and kills werewolves, putting all of our hero’s lives in danger.

What follows is an intense and exciting story, where Gabe (SWAT team leader) pulls everyone (including Lana) together for safety, and helping to find a cure for the poison.  As everything escalates, Lana will find herself right in the center of the battle, with the Hunters determined to kill her, as well as the other werewolves.  She will play a major part in helping her new friends survive. 

There is also a side story, where Max is in the middle of helping a family with a abusive husband/father.  Max as a teenager lived in that same type of environment, have lost a sister.  It was nice added element watching Max try to help.

The Wolf hunters will now play a major part in future story lines, and the pack is also now getting bigger, with betas and omegas joining them.  As we raced to the exciting suspenseful climax, we held our breaths as to who will survive.  Another great addition to this series, especially with this game changer.

 I love this series. It is always fun, exciting, sexy, with a fantastic group of characters that make up the SWAT team, and their eventual mates.  Paige Tyler does it so well, giving us the excitement in every story, as well as a sexy romance.  If you have not read this series, you should start it now with the first book.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

excerpt

 

“Speaking of award ceremonies,” she said to Max, “I didn’t see you on the stage getting a commendation, so I’m guessing you must be here to support someone who did?”

He nodded. “Yeah. Some of the members of my team got recognized today. How about you? Your boyfriend getting a commendation?”

Max thought he was being pretty damn smooth, but the smile tugging at Lana’s lips told him she saw right through his deception.

“Nope, no boyfriend,” she said. “Actually, it was my dad. Brandy took forever getting dressed. Then we got stuck in traffic. We barely made it here in time to see him get the award. I had to watch from the back of the auditorium.”

That explained why Max hadn’t picked up Lana’s luscious scent earlier. And while he was relieved she didn’t have a boyfriend, it made him wonder which of his fellow cops getting a commendation this afternoon could possibly have a daughter this smokin’ hot.

Max opened his mouth to ask her who her father was when another DPD officer walked by with a plate filled with a collection of various hors d’oeuvres. While Max wasn’t impressed with the selection of food, Lana looked at the appetizers longingly, even though she still had the ones her friend had given her. Maybe she wasn’t big on squash blossoms. He didn’t blame her.

“Would you like me to get you something else to eat?” he asked.

She glanced down at her plate, then shook her head. “Thanks, but unfortunately, the spinach puffs were the only thing remotely edible, which is probably why they’re all gone. I can’t believe they’re trying to pass this stuff off as food.”

He grinned. “I was just thinking the same thing a little while ago. I’m planning to head out as soon as this thing is over so I can get some real food.”

She leaned in close and gave him a conspiratorial wink. “Maybe we can slip out now while no one is looking. I can drop my car keys off with Brandy and we can disappear into the night. I’d just about kill for a slice of pizza.”

Any other time, Max would have been stoked to hear that. In his opinion, there wasn’t anything sexier than a woman who loved pizza. But right then, all he could think about was how his body was reacting to Lana’s nearness. Not only was his pulse racing, but his claws and fangs were dangerously close to coming out. He only hoped his eyes weren’t turning gold.

On the upside, at least he now knew for sure she was a werewolf. He could smell it in her pheromones. That was probably why they hit it off so well. Well, there was another reason, but he wasn’t about to go there—even if a little wolf voice in the back of his head whispered maybe he should.

Lana was telling him about an awesome pizza place that wasn’t too far away, wondering if he’d be interested in checking it out, but instead of answering her, he went in a completely different direction.

“It’s so cool finding another of our kind here,” he said. “I totally didn’t expect it.”

She didn’t seem to mind that he’d changed the subject, but she looked a bit confused. “Another of our kind? Are you a pescatarian, too?”

Max chuckled. That body and those looks combined with a wicked sense of humor? It was like she was made for him. A werewolf who didn’t eat meat? Now, that was epically funny.

Unless it was true, in which case it was a little strange.

Before he could say anything, Lana leaned over to look at something behind him, her lips curving into a smile. Max turned to see who she was looking at and was a little surprised to find Deputy Chief Hal Mason. The deputy chief was in charge of the police department’s specialized Tactical Division, which included the mounted police, canine unit, helicopter support, EOD, and SWAT. As a high-ranking officer in the department, Mason had to attend every award ceremony, but this time he’d been recognized for his commitment to developing his entire division, especially SWAT.

“Hey, Dad.” Lana stepped around Max to give Mason a hug. “I was looking for you and Mom earlier, but you were deep in conversation with some people and I didn’t want to interrupt.”

Max picked his jaw up from the floor and shoved it back into place. Lana was the deputy chief’s daughter?


 

 

 

About The Author

Paige_Tyler_

 

Paige Tyler is the USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kickbutt heroines who fall in love with them.

 

Find Paige Online:

Website: http://www.paigetylertheauthorextras.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaigeTylerAuthor/
Twitter: @PaigeTyler
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2300692.Paige_Tyler

 

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Comment for your chance to  win a paper copy of WOLF HUNGER to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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Spartan Heart by Jennifer Estep – Review & Giveaway

Spartan Heart by Jennifer Estep – Review & Giveaway

 

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Spartan HeartAmazon / B&N / Kobo

Description:
New school year, same old problems . . .

At Mythos Academy, everyone knows exactly who I am: Rory Forseti, Spartan girl and the daughter of Reapers.

Even though I fought alongside my cousin Gwen Frost to save the mythological world from Loki and his evil Reapers of Chaos, I’m still the most hated girl at the academy because of all the horrible things my parents did. I had hoped that this school year would be different, but the other kids just won’t let me forget about my parents.

But something strange is going on at the Colorado academy. First, I run into a Viking guy who dislikes me more than most. Then I notice some odd artifacts in the Library of Antiquities. And worst of all, I start hearing rumors about a new group of Reapers who can summon mythological monsters.

I might be the most hated girl at Mythos Academy, but I’m also the only one who can save it . .

 

Review:

Spartan Heart by Jennifer Estep is the 1st book in her new Mythos Academy: Colorado series, which is a spinoff of her original Mythos Academy series.   I really did enjoy the Mythos Academy series and Gwen Frost.   I looked forward to reading Spartan Heart, and I am happy to say I enjoyed the start of this series.

Rory Forseti, whom we met in the original Mythos Academy series, is Gwen’s cousin and our heroine in this series.   Rory, who helped Gwen and her gang defeat Loki, and now is attending school at Mythos Academy, Colorado.  Rory dreads going back to school, especially since her deceased mother and father were discovered to be Reapers.  As we know, Reapers are bad and evil, bent on destroying humans, and the Protectorate (who protect humans and dangerous artifacts).  Rory is uncomfortable at school, as everyone looks down on her because of the sins of her parents.

Rory is a Spartan (warrior extraordinaire), and in a short time, she is using her skills to kill over creatures that the Reapers created using a stolen scepter artifact.  Rory is than asked to join the Midgard team (part of the Protectorate) and help find whoever is in charge of the Reapers now, and get back the artifact.  Some of her new teammates do not trust her, but once she helps save them, Rory will earn their respect and trust.  I really like her teammates, Ian, Zoe, Mateo, Takeda & Rachel. Most of all I absolutely loved the Gryphons (especially Brono the baby gryphon), whom Rory bonded with when she helped Gwen; and Babs, the talking sword.

What follows is an exciting, action filled adventure that also has some surprises for Rory.  There is also a slow built romance between Rory and Ian that I expect we will see more of in future books.  Besides some of the great characters in this book, there are also some good villains; such as Lance, Drake and the Reaper leader.  I loved being able to see Gwen Frost again, nearer to the end.  Nice touch by Estep.

If you like Urban Fantasy, with mythology, action, excitement, a number of twists and surprises, and a wonderful young heroine; look no further then Mythos Academy, Colorado.  Spartan Heart was a wonderful enjoyable read, and Jennifer Estep continues to write these books so well, keeping us thoroughly entertained. I cannot wait for the next book in this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for review

 

Giveaway

Jennifer is graciously offering an e-copy of SPARTAN HEART to TWO  (2) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe:

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE:  If you are having difficulty commenting after logging into the site, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Jennifer Estep on Facebook

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

5. FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Giveaway open to USA only.

8. Giveaway runs from December 3 to 7, 2017

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Dangerously Divine by Deborah Blake – Review, Interview & Giveaway

Dangerously Divine by Deborah Blake – Review, Interview & Giveaway

 

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Dangerously Divine
Broken Riders series – Book #2
by Deborah Blake
Release Date: November 28,2017

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Description:
The Riders: Three immortal brothers who kept the Baba Yagas safe, now stripped of their summons to protect. But fate is not finished with them—and their new callings are even more powerful…
 
Though his physical wounds have healed, Gregori Sun, the eldest of the Riders, remains in spiritual turmoil. His search for his mother, the one person able to heal his soul and save his life, is failing—until he crosses paths with a beautiful and fascinating librarian who might be the key to his salvation…
 
Ciera Evans’s bookish ways are just a guise. The product of a difficult past, she has dedicated her life to saving lost teens—by any means necessary. She works alone, but when a dark, brooding stranger proposes they team up to solve both their problems, she is tempted—in more ways than one…
 
After Ciera and Sun’s plans are derailed by dangerous enemies, they find themselves entangled in an ungodly affair—one that will force them to either find new strength together or be forever haunted by their pasts alone.

 

Review:

Dangerously Divine by Deborah Blake is the 2nd book in her Broken Riders spinoff (Baba Yaga) series.  Having enjoyed the first book in this series (Dangerously Charming), I looked forward to reading this book, and I am happy to say I enjoyed it as much or even better.

Gregori Sun, our hero, is a broken rider, who due his torture by the hands of insane Baba Yaga witch, has lost his immortality.  Gregori feels lost, unable to feel his spirit, and enters a monastery, where he feels he is now best suited to be.  Gregori, at the same time, spends his spare time at the local library, trying to research clues to finding his spiritual mother, who can help heal him; and teach him how to use his new found healing powers.

Ciera Evans, our heroine, is the librarian, who helps Gregori find the books he needs.  Ciera, leads a secret life outside of the library.  She is hiding from Victor, a dangerous man who imprisoned her and had her on drugs.  She was saved by a friend, who was murdered, and now Ciera is a vigilante, helping abused teens, fighting the dangerous men who hurt them, and revenging the man who murdered her friend.

Gregori is intrigued by Ciera, who he keeps running into, whether at the library, soup kitchen (where she works), or on the streets. He finds himself becoming attracted to her, as she is to him.  But both know there can be no future.   When Gregori starts getting closer to finding his mother, someone is out to stop him and a god of winter brings down havoc of ice and snow that threatens the town.  Bella (one of the Baba Yaga’s) and her dragon/cat Koshki , come to help Gregori.  Together they will ask Gregori’s father (God of Spring ) to help stop the horrific storm

At the same time, Ciera finds herself in terrible danger, as the person she has been hunting has found her, and now she is at his mercy.  Will Gregori be able to find her and save her? What follows is an exciting adventure, which kept us glued to the book during the last half.  I loved Gregori and Ciera together, as they were different, but similar in both being effected by tragedies; but I  rooted for them to find their way to each other.

To tell too much more would be spoilers, which I do not want to give, as you need to read both books in this series.  Dangerously Divine  was an enjoyable read that was exciting,  intense, a sweet romance, great couple, and fun spending time with a Baba Yaga and Koshki (very funny) .  Dangerously Divine was another fun story. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

Catching Up Purple

Hi Deborah.  Welcome back to The Reading Café.  

TRC:  Dangerously Divine was released yesterday, which is the 2nd book in your Broken Riders series. For those of who have not read this series, can you please tell us the premise of Broken Riders?
Deborah Blake

Deborah:  The Broken Riders is actually a spin-off from my Baba Yaga series. The Riders are three mysterious men who have aided the Baba Yaga witches for centuries. But something terrible happened to them in the third Baba Yaga book, Wickedly Powerful, and now they are broken men, trying to figure out who and what they are, since they can no longer be who they were. (Plus, there is romance, of course.)


TRC: 
Can you please give us a brief description of Dangerously Divine ?

Deborah:  Though his physical wounds have healed, Gregori Sun, the eldest of the Riders, remains in spiritual turmoil. His search for his mother, the one person able to heal his soul and save his life, is failing—until he crosses paths with a beautiful and fascinating librarian who might be the key to his salvation…
 
Ciera Evans’s bookish ways are just a guise. The product of a difficult past, she has dedicated her life to saving lost teens—by any means necessary. She works alone, but when a dark, brooding stranger proposes they team up to solve both their problems, she is tempted—in more ways than one…
 
After Ciera and Sun’s plans are derailed by dangerous enemies, they find themselves entangled in an ungodly affair—one that will force them to either find new strength together or be forever haunted by their pasts alone.

TRC:  How many books do you have planned for your Broken Riders series?

Deborah:  Three, one for each Rider.

TRC:  Broken Riders is a spin off from your Baba Yaga series.  For those of our members who have not read this series, can you please give us a description of the premise of the Baba Yaga series?

Deborah:  The Baba Yagas are an updated version of the Russian fairy tales about powerful witches who are tasked at maintaining the balance of nature, guarding the doorways to the mystical Otherworld, and occasionally, if they can’t avoid it, helping a worthy seeker. There are three very different women who are responsible for the United States: Barbara, Beka, and Bella. They each travel in their own moving house (the old tales say that the Baba Yaga lived in wooden huts that traveled through the forest on giant chicken legs, but Barbara prefers her Airstream trailer, which is less likely to be noticed) and travel with their companions, the Chudo-Yudo dragons, each of which is disguised as a normal, albeit huge, animal. Barbara’s Chudo-Yudo is a large white pit bull, for instance. Who doesn’t want a dragon-dog?

TRC:  You have a another series, Veiled Magic, which you have written two books. Can you please give us the premise of this series, and how many books are you planning?
Deborah:  These books are urban fantasy, set slightly in the future in a world much like ours, where Witches are one of six major Paranormal races, and the only ones to have revealed themselves to Humans. Donata Santori, the protagonist, works as a Witch Cop, using her ability to speak to the dead to talk to the victims of crimes. It’s a dreary job, but things get a lot more interesting when she stumbles across a dangerous secret from the depths of Paranormal history, and enlists the help of a half-dragon forger, a disgraced shapechanger, and (somewhat reluctantly) a mischievous Kobold.

The third and final book in the series will be out in March of 2018.

TRC:  Can you please tell us what you working on now, and what you have upcoming in 2018?

Deborah:  I’m working on a couple of things, including the third Broken Riders book, a Women’s Fiction novel, and a romantic comedy.
TRC:  What is your writing process?  Do you like to outline your story before you start? Do you have a specific place you like to write?  Is there a special time of day that works best for you?

Deborah:  I am definitely a plotter. I usually have an outline for the story that is anywhere from twelve to twenty pages, plus extensive notes on character, setting, plot, etc. I try and write up all of that before I start writing, although of course things sometimes change over the course of the writing process.

I usually sit on the recliner couch in my living room with my laptop to write (I need peace and quiet, and am always impressed by people who can write in coffee houses), most often with a cat to supervise me. I have a day job, so I usually write in the evening, pretty much seven days a week. On the days I don’t work, I often do a second stint earlier in the day. Mornings and evenings seem to be best for me, although I have had books where that oddly wasn’t true.

TRC:  Would you like to add anything else?

Deborah:  I’m so excited to have this book out in the world (it was delayed, so it has been thirteen months since the first one in the series came out). I hope everyone loves reading about Gregori’s adventures.

Thank you, Deborah for giving us an update on Dangerously Divine, as well as what we can look forward to 2018.   It was a pleasure having you visit us again. 

 

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Deborah’s publisher is offering a paper copy of DANGEROUSLY DIVINE to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page (at the top of your computer).

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please follow Deborah Blake Facebook.

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Please follow The Reading Cafe on Tumblr

8. Giveaway open to USA only

9. Giveaway runs from November 29 to December 3, 2017

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