Book Blog Tour: Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama (Review)

Monstrous Beauty

Title: Monstrous Beauty
Author: Elizabeth Fama
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Date of Publication: September 4, 2012

Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.

My Review

I’m gonna drop the bomb now: I loved this book. I gave it five stars and a whole lot of hearts. I know it got mixed reviews and even some of my favorite bloggers did not like it but this time, I won’t be affected. I always question myself when I like a book when bloggers who like the same books as me don’t. Yes, I know, signs of a low self-esteem but they’re just more established and I feel like I don’t get the book because I loved it. But now, nope, I don’t care, I should be able to unapologetically like a book. Heehee.

I love mermaid books. I really do. The paranormal creatures I tolerate or love are the mermaids, angels and werewolves. But mermaids seem to really do it for me. What can I say, I love the great deep. So it might be my bias for mermaids which made me love this book as much as I do but it is certainly good.

Mermaids and ghosts. Sounds weird? I can’t believe it myself when I saw the back of the book (I read an ARC) because how can you mash two genres together? But Elizabeth Fama is supercalifreakinawesome as she has woven an intricate and wonderful story with a world so convincing I stopped listening to my lectures in school and just read this book. (Granted, the lectures were boring and it was a rehash. Bad, bad student.) I read it everywhere because I can’t stop. This book has adventure, mystery, romance, danger, myths and everything you’d possibly want. The secrets just kept on coming and I was not ready for any of them. One moment you’d think you got it all figured out but the next thing, boom, Elizabeth has dropped another bombshell and you’d have to form your theory again. Until the very end of the book, you don’t know (well at least I don’t know) what’s the actual deal. This makes for a great reading experience because I was always on edge. So it goes to say that the pacing was extremely well thought out and was gripping.

The book alternates every chapter or every few chapters from the present day (Hester) and 1872/1873 (Syrenka). This totally works because I am so invested in both timelines. Elizabeth Fama writes both time frames convincingly that it was not jarring to read. Even Pastor McKee’s scottish accent was just awesome! Admittedly, I was suffering from Pitying-the-Other-Guy syndrome as I was feeling so bad for Peter yet falling in love with Ezra. Another fictional man. What is happening to my life? Ezra is a naturalist and of course, being a scientist made me relate to him and his unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Syrenka’s life was so poignant, especially at the prologue with Pukanokick. It was heartbreaking and at the same time that you’re feeling pity for her, you know that she’s the one to blame. Actually, everyone’s life was bittersweet or, as Syrenka pointed out, sweet-bitter. Hester was relatable to me, even if I question her actions at times. Just not a fan of her sorta insta-love with Ezra though if you’ve read the book, it makes sense. Peter took a backseat and wasn’t fleshed out but I do understand as he’s not too integral to the story than say the other characters. Linnie seriously creeped the hell out of me. There’s a particular scene, or for me, two scenes (or maybe three or four, depending on your iffy meter), that might be icky or a dealbreaker with others. This is not some fluffy, light stuff guys. It dabbles with death, soul, life, power, revenge and everything in between.

Anyway, I don’t think I can write a review that will give this book justice as I was actually at a loss for words when I finished it. Just see for yourself how Elizabeth Fama went from I-don’t-know-her to will-definitely-read-all-of-her-books for me and how I just gained another mermaid novel I love. Or how YOU will gain a mermaid novel that you’ll love. Or how YOU will get lost in this world and with these characters. Read for yourself. :)

Thank you to Farrar, Straus and Giroux for giving Precious of Pinoy Book Tours an ARC which on the long run, came to me, that I was able to read this. Thank you, most of all, to Elizabeth Fama for writing a tale so exquisite. I love you all! <3

(Sorry if my thoughts are all over the place. That’s good, right? When you read a book and your mind can’t catch up with all that it’s thinking. Heehee.)

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Book Blog Tour: Last Wish of Summer by Phillip Overton (Review + Giveaway)

Today I have for you an excerpt, a review and a giveaway to Phillip Overton’s contemporary YA novel, Last Wish of Summer. Ain’t it apt because I think summer has ended for those on the Northern Hemisphere. Anyway, sit tight and enjoy!

Last Wish of Summer

Title: Last Wish of Summer
Author: Phillip Overton

Genre: contemporary YA
Date Published: January 18, 2012

As the sun prepares to rise on the last day of summer, three friends find themselves totally unprepared for the events that are about to take place around them. For Tanya it is a chance to find peace three years after losing her parents in an auto accident. Deciding she simply can’t continue blaming God for her loss, she places a heartfelt poem in a bottle and throws it into the sea on the eve of her birthday, granting her birthday wish to whoever finds it.

Early the next morning, her best friend Anton and his buddy Johnno find the bottle washed
up on the shore and set about putting it to the test. When Johnno falls for the new waitress at the café where Tanya works, it stirs up feelings of jealousy in Tanya. Surely Johnno couldn’t be the man that God had in mind for her? Suddenly, strange wishes are beginning to come true, but is it all a coincidence? Or is God about to change people’s lives for the better?

Welcome to Kings Beach, where the forecast for the last day of summer promises to be hot,
hot, hot, with a definite change in the air.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N

Excerpt

Johnno grabbed the bottle and turned it upside down. The letter caught in its neck. Then with a bit of prying using his car key, he was able to gently pull the letter from the bottle and let it fall onto the table. It lay there wrapped only with a small hair ribbon tied in the centre. Anton reached across to untie it as Johnno stood the now empty bottle back in the centre of the table.

“Well here goes.” Anton said as he uncurled the two pages and held them up for his friend to see.

The pages were cream in color, decorated with a border of flowers entwined along the edge of each page in black ink. At the top of the first page before the letter began, was a small turquoise colored love heart someone had painted, again in what appeared to be nail polish. It left a slightly oily stain around the edges which only added to the letter’s charm. Around them, the air filled with the scent of women’s perfume that wafted up from the page. With their curiosity now firmly aroused, Anton and Johnno huddled in closely and began to read.

To whoever finds this,
If I’ve washed up on your distant shore,
From a land far over the sea.
Please tread carefully on the morning sand,
And know you’ve set me free.
Wrapped in my mother’s ribbon,
This letter is but a token.
A plead to let her see the world,
From a young heart torn and broken.
A turquoise heart that was my Aunt,
Left footprints in the sand.
Her magic just a memory,
You now hold in your hand.
So I light a candle for my Dad,
But this gift I give to you.
He always told me to make a wish,
So today may all yours come true.
It’s time to live, to find true love.
Before the winter’s scorn.
Somewhere it’s always summer,
May my true love’s arms be warm.

P.S. Please return me to the sea at sunset.

My Review

This is not like your usual contemporary YA. It’s clean, no profanity or even sex scenes, and it is a Christian romance through and through. Well, it’s a pretty spiritual novel in my opinion as Tanya, the main character, is a Christian who prays. This novel tackles loss and faith and it is refreshing to read something like this, especially with the landscape full of hormonal, act-before-you-think teenagers. Okay, I’m not judging American culture but it’s just really different here in the Philippines. I think that’s why I related to Savannah in the show Hellcats because she’s a Christian and I am. I am not overly devoted and I don’t really like the Church or religion for that matter, but I do believe in God and I think that’s what’s important. And I’m getting preachy here so let’s get on with the review!

So the romance is kinda sappy but I like it. Maybe because I’m pretty saturated with all the jumping-on-your-bones love I’ve read lately so it’s kinda cute (even though it’s corny) right now. Any other day I might barf. Hahaha!

All of the characters here developed by the end of the novel and I am actually impressed by that. Usually, side characters just tend to be that, side characters, but here, everyone gets the resolution they need and grows up a bit. Like I said, how refreshing. I enjoyed reading this and I think it’s a quick read for a lazy afternoon by the sofa. So I suggest you try it out because I don’t think you’d get put off by the mini Christian themes here and there if you’re not a Christian. It’s still a feel-good book and that’s what’s important with this types, isn’t it?

Thank you to Reading Addiction Blog Tours and to Phillip Overton for the chance to be part of this book’s blog tour! :D

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

About Phillip Overton

Phillip Overton’s writing has been compared to none other than Nicholas Sparks, and his latest novel Last Wish of Summer offers readers the perfect book to spend a summer’s day reading at the beach. In a book that reminds us to be careful what we wish for, it manages to weave the wholesome, virginal qualities of the main character Tanya with her band of misfit friends in their pursuit of being able to reason why a washed up message in a bottle is somehow granting their every wish come true. Often in a manner that is both coincidental and strangely bizarre.

Just as a movie adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel will appeal to people of all ages, so too will this story that follows the adventures of a group of twenty-something’s on the last day of summer. The book not only manages to cut through any pre-conceived ideas we hold on morals, body-image and social status, but delights in helping us discover what may already be right under our nose to begin with.

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Book Blog Tour: Marching with Caesar: Conquest of Gaul by R.W. Peake

Today we have here a guest blog from R.W. Peake about Marketing and of course, I’m gonna promote his book, Marching with Caesar: Conquest of Gaul. Sit tight and enjoy!

Marching With Caesar: Conquest of Gaul

Marching With Caesar-Conquest of Gaul is a first-person narrative, written in the form of a memoir as dictated to a scribe of Titus Pullus, Legionary, Optio, First Spear Centurion of Caesar’s 6th and 10th Legion. The memoir is written three years after his retirement as Camp Prefect, when Titus is 61 years old.

Titus, along with his boyhood friend Vibius Domitius, joins the 10th Legion in the draft of 61 BC, when Gaius Julius Caesar is the governor of Spain. Titus and Vibius are assigned to a tent group, with seven other men who will become their closest friends during their times in the legion. Titus, Vibius and their comrades endure the harsh training regimen that made the legions the most feared military force in the ancient world. The 10th Legion is blooded in a series of actions in Spain, led by Caesar in a campaign that was the true beginning of one of the most brilliant military careers in history.

Three years after joining the legions, the 10th is called on again, this time to be part of the subjugation of Gaul, one of the greatest feats of arms in any period of history. During the subsequent campaigns, the 10th cements its reputation as Caesar’s most favored and trusted legion, and is involved in most of the major actions during this period.

This first book of a completed trilogy closes with Caesar crossing the Rubicon, and the 10th preparing to march to war, this time against fellow Romans.

Genre: historical fiction
Rating: PG

Purchase from Amazon

Guest Blog: Marketing As A Bind

Many authors see marketing as a bind. What are your thoughts?
by RW Peake

I don’t see it as a bind as much as I see it as a challenge, and a necessity for any author who wants to have any control over his own work. I am fortunate that I come from something of a marketing background; as a recruiter in the Marines, I got to intimately know how to market the most difficult product in the world, and to do it more successfully than any other competitor in the space. Whatever one’s politics or viewpoint, there is no arguing that the Marines and their “The Few, The Proud” are one of the iconic brands, not just in the country but in the world. From there I spent a few years in the software business, some of it in Product Marketing. So I understand the importance and need for getting your product out there in front of the public, with a message that resonates. All that said, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy, especially for those of us who are self-published.

About R.W. Peake

“I am a 53 year old retired Infantry Marine, born and raised in Texas and currently living on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. I have been writing since my first novel, written at the age of 10, when my friends and yours truly fought off the Soviet hordes, who just happened to pick my block to launch their invasion. That was their big mistake. But like a lot of dreams, it got sidetracked until recently, when I decided to focus my passion on an era and subject that interested me a great deal. Like my characters in Ancient Rome, I have served as the pointy tip of the spear of our nation’s policy, and it is with this perspective that I tell the story of Titus Pullus and his friends. This is my first published novel, and is the first in a completed trilogy that covers the career of Titus Pullus.”

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Book Blog Tour: The Color of Snow by Brenda Stanley (Review)

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This blog tour is brought to you by Tribute Books! I was so excited for this and I was afraid at the same time that my review won’t be able to show how amazing I think this book is. But I will try my best so let’s get to it!

About The Color of Snow

The Color of Snow

Can a troubled young girl reenter society after living in isolation?

When a beautiful 16-year-old girl named Sophie is found sequestered in a cage-like room in a rundown house in the desolate hills of Arbon Valley, Idaho, the entire community is shocked to learn she is the legendary Callidora–a baby girl who was kidnapped from her crib almost seventeen years ago and canonized in missing posters with portraits of what the fabled girl might resemble. Authorities soon learn that the cage was there to protect people from Sophie, because her biological father believes she is cursed.

Sophie is discovered after the man she knows as Papa, shoots and injures Damien, a young man who is trying to rescue her. Now, unsocialized and thrust into the world, and into a family she has never met, Sophie must decide whether she should accept her Papa’s claims that she is cursed and he was only trying to protect others, or trust the new people in her life who have their own agendas. Guided by a wise cousin, Sophie realizes that her most heartbreaking challenge is to decide if her love for Damien will destroy him like her Papa claims, or free her from past demons that haunt her mind.

Purchase at Amazon | B&N | iBookstore | Google Books | Smashwords | Payloadz

My Review

If you’re looking for a light, zippy read, this is not it. This is dark YA fiction. It’s categorized as contemporary romance YA but I’m telling you, it’s YA because of the age of the heroine and the romance part because there is SOME romance. The romance actually takes the backseat with all the issues this book dealt with. I delved into the book thinking it will tackle some issues but I was still surprised at how realistic and heartbreaking this novel got. I love me some surprises but I sure was not ready for the rollercoaster I went through.

So first things first, I really liked the book. So even if my review is not as happy and giddy as my other reviews, I do recommend this book. Do understand since this novel is more on the serious side of YA and not my usual fare. I pretty much deal with teenage angst in novels but not really with kidnapping, isolation, curses, religion and mental illness. So you must get why I am not spazzing here because it wasn’t a happy ride I went through. I felt a lot of things while reading this, sympathy, pity and hurt. Yeah, my heart muscles were severely exercised. So let’s get on with the review.

The plot. Ooohh, the plot. It was unique and that’s why I signed up for this tour. Little did I know that I will get plunged to a whirlwind of events. The story is told in different POVs, mostly by Sophie and her Papa. Sophie gives us what’s happening in the present while Luke tells us what happened in the past, which lead to this scenario. Brenda Stanley has done a wonderful job on teasing us with what actually happened in the past. She gives us tidbits every time which will make us yearn and crave for more, leading us to read faster to get to the good stuff. Yeap, mysteries always make for great pacing. However, some people might find it boring or slow but I guess to each his own.

Sophie, oh Sophie. How I wish no one will be in your position. Imagine having no human contact except for your Papa and then thrust into a world you don’t know, with people you don’t know. Every thought, every idea, every ideology you had before comes crashing down as walls crumble and new walls are established. Sophie is very naive and innocent but not in the annoying sense because it isn’t her fault that she’s like that. She never knew life outside her yard! She makes for a sympathetic character and you just root for her. I do not but, however, her love story with Damien but I guess a lot of people felt that way given the other reviews I’ve read.

Until the end, you wouldn’t know what is true and what is not and I commend Brenda Stanley for achieving that. Usually, you always had a stance or a side you support when you read a novel but here, I always second guess and think and think and think again. It was thought-provoking, to say the least.

So to all fans of dark YA or “realistic fiction” as they call it, grab yourselves a copy of The Color of Snow and dive into Sophie’s world (pun intended). Hope my review helped!

About Brenda Stanley

Brenda Stanley is the former news anchor at her NBC affiliate KPVI in Eastern Iadho. Her writing has been recognized by the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Hearst Journalism Awards, the Idaho Press Club and the Society for Professional Journalists. She is a graduate of Dixie College in St. George, Utah, and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Brenda lived for two years in Ballard, Utah, within the Fort Duchesne reservation where the novel is set. She and her husband live on a small ranch near the Snake River with their horses and dogs.

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Book Blog Tour: Midnight’s Cloak by Justin Geary (Guest Blog + Giveaway)

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Today, the Midnight’s Cloak blog tour is stopping by for a guest post by Justin Geary, the author, himself and an excerpt and an ebook giveaway. So come one and join in on the fun here at the Midnight’s Cloak blog tour. Commence!

About Midnight’s Cloak

Dark blood of the evil ten; drank by a son of the same brood. Possessed by the taint, he marches to different sections of the world, conquering and destroying everything in his path as a cloak of midnight pulls itself over all things. The great foretelling of LaStaudd the Wise, the age of the Rising Flame.

Genre – Epic Fantasy
Publisher – Outskirts Press
Release Date – May 30, 2012

Purchase at Outskirts Press or Amazon

Midnight’s Cloak is the first part of a ten book epic fantasy series. The series takes place within the timeframe of a decade. Midnight’s Cloak is world building Epic fantasy and contains maps an appendix and a glossary. As far as the type of fiction I write, i would say it’s similar to Robert Jordan, David Farland and Terry Goodkind. Midnight’s Cloak is 361 pages. There is a lot of charicter development early on in the story. Also there is romance and I write a lot of battle sequences. My map is rather small on the paperback so i always recommend a pdf ebook because you can zoom in on the map to see places. It is also cheaper and I earn a larger royalty for it. Midnight’s Cloak is edited and proofread. Outskirts Press E-book 5 dollars amazon search inside the book available soon.

Excerpt

After a half hour of travel Aramina woke up.

“You okay sweetheart?” Lot asked.

“I think so,” Aramina said. “I take it the Cael are dead.”

“Yes. Why didn’t you use your magic?” Lot asked.

“I started to, then one of them jumped me from behind. After that everything became hazy,” Aramina said.

“You’re not dizzy or anything?”

“I feel fine,” Aramina said softly. She looked to the right where Clophues rode the gelding and had Snowflake’s reins.

“His name is Clophues. I don’t think he would have shot you. He was just scared.”

“The Cael were chasing him?” Aramina asked.

“Yes.”

“Could you let me down so I can ride Snowflake. This saddle is a bit uncomfortable.” Lot stopped Tracker and Aramina climbed down. Clophues stopped his horse as well. She went to Clophues.

“May I have my horse back, please?” Aramina asked.

“Maybe I’ll give her back to you, but I’d like a kiss first,” Clophues said, simpering. Aramina stuck her hand out, expecting it to be filled with Snowflake’s reins. “I’d prefer a kiss on the lips,” the West woodsman said, perking up.

“I’d be careful with her?” Lot warned. Aramina dropped her hand and looked back at the samurai. Her look told him to shut up. Lot watched the two of them intently. She turned back to Clophues. “I can’t kiss you from up there,” Aramina said. Clophues bent sideways to get closer to her. When he got close Aramina grabbed his ear hard and yanked him from his gelding. The West woodsman hit the ground, grunting. Lot chuckled.

“Would you like another?” Aramina asked angrily.

Clophues stood up and brushed off his coat. “You’re mad,” he said.

Guest Blog

My Favorite Books and Why by Justin E. Geary

   This is a difficult topic for me to write about because I like a wide variety of genres, so I’ll only pick some of my favorites. Let’s start with Stephen King’s the Long Walk. This was an excellent novel about a competition held every year or so. The title gives you a good idea of what the book’s about. Every year a hundred children are drawn randomly to compete in a walk that does not stop until there is only one walker left. I will not give you any more information about this book because I think you should read it. It may be Stephen King’s very best and that’s saying a lot because he has written many good novels.

Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is another one of my favorite novels. I liked the two duel stories of Boo Radley and Tom Robinson and the subtle comparisons made about them. The characters were interesting and it gave you a feeling of what it was like when they were a kid.

Robert Jordan’s The Eye Of The World was the novel that had the most influence on me as a novelist.

Mainly because I write Epic Fantasy myself and I was totally enchanted by the world that he’d created, practically from scratch, which most Epic Fantasy authors are unable to do.

Ayn Rand’s The Fountain Head was another novel I enjoyed. Its focus was more on being unique or different and what makes a person beautiful. The fact that they are unique and different is beautiful.

The Princess Bride without a doubt is what epic fantasy is all about. Not only was the book outstanding having adventure, romance and battles, it had a child like sense of wonder to it. The Lord of the Flies was a very dark book about what happens when children are left without supervision. It also delves deep into the psychology of the human mind. This was a very dark book, one of the darkest I’ve ever read.

The only novel that made me laugh and cry in one book was John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. This  is a novel I read many times. This represents some of Steinbeck’s best work and he’s the best literary writer I’ve personally ever read. He was not hard to read and his characters were truly captivating.

James A. Michener’s Centennial is a very different book compared to the others I’ve read. It breaks a lot of the rules of what I was taught about writing, but I have to admit I loved it. It’s about the geographical location of Centennial Colorado and goes through many characters. This novel is not character based but based on what happened since the beginning of time in Centennial and there is a good message to it. To readers curious about Centennial: it’s a long novel but it’s a smooth read.

About Justin Geary

Justin E. Geary lives in western Maryland where he spends his time reading various authors and exploring different subjects. In addition to fiction he enjoys history and some science. He is the nephew of 1942 Pulitzer Prize winner Laurence Edmond Allen. Justin’s hobbies are chess, pool and writing epic fantasy. He started reading Edgar Allen Poe with interest at the age of sixteen and started writing screenplays at the age of nineteen. Screenplays were unfulfilling for Justin because they lacked depth. Later on he wrote his first novel at twenty-one and Midnight’s Cloak his second at twenty-four. After finishing the rough draft Justin decided that Fantasy was his escape from the world. Without a college education Justin decided to seek editorial help sinking twenty-one hundred dollars of his own money into the editing and proofing of his manuscript. Justin calls the expense a small price for something he loves so dearly.

Author Links: https://twitter.com/#!/JustinEGeary

Giveaway

You can win an ebook copy of Midnight’s Cloak here and it’s so easy!

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment! :)

Extra Entries: (Please include in your comment what extra tasks you did.)

+1 Follow @whoopeeyoo on Twitter
+1 Follow Justin E. Geary on Twitter
+1 Add or follow whoopeeyoo on Goodreads.
+1 Tweet about this giveaway.
+1 Follow or subscribe to my blog.

That’s it! You can win with just a comment! Do indicate your Twitter and Goodreads username if you did some extra tasks. Good luck!

Book Blog Tour: Devil’s Mountain by Bernadette Walsh (Review)

Today, we have here Bernadette Walsh’s Devil’s Mountain, the first book in The Devlin Legacy. I have for you a glowing review so you might want to read it and talk about it with me. Heehee. Let’s get this tour stop started!

Devil's Mountain -- Book One of The Devlin Legacy

Devil’s Mountain
by Bernadette Walsh

Book One of the Devlin Legacy

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Horror

Publisher: Lyrical Press
ISBN: 9781616503697
Number of pages: 122
Word Count: 39,000

You will hate Him for all that he’s taken, but you will love Him. God help you, you will love Him.

Mary Devlin accepted her fate years ago, to serve Slanaitheoir, the mountain spirit who saved her ancestors from the Irish Famine. The hauntingly beautiful woman submitted to His every caress, His every humiliation, but He’s gone too far by threatening her family.

Mary’s daughter-in-law is now an unwitting pawn in the fickle spirit’s game. Mary must challenge her fate and that of all future Devlin women, but Slanaitheoir is the most powerful being in the land. And when part of her still yearns for His touch and love, how can she fight him and win?

Excerpt

Marcie, one of the Wanna-Be Manhattan Moms who had also experienced success, lived a few blocks away on East 85th Street. A group of successful Wanna-Be Manhattan Moms had formed a little Upper East Side sorority. We would go to Mommy-and-Me classes, play dates and at times babysat for each other. I’m not sure exactly what happened to the not-so-successful Wanna-Be Manhattan Moms. None of us mentioned them.

Marcie agreed to babysit Aidan while I went to my acupuncture appointment at the Yorktown Natural Fertility Clinic. Bobby refused to go back to the New York Infertility Institute. In fact, it was all I could do to convince him not to use condoms. “I’ve got my beautiful wife and my beautiful son,” he said in a sing-song voice whenever I raised the topic of another child. “That’s all I want. That’s all I need.”

Why wasn’t that all I needed?

The first few months of Aidan’s life, I was completely satisfied. I’d never been so happy or imagined I could be so happy.

But then, the old familiar niggling started. I’d take Aidan in his stroller through CentralPark and see a woman pushing twins in a stroller. Or a mother holding the hands of a small boy and a girl. And I would get that sour taste in my mouth, the same one I had tasted for years whenever I saw a pregnant woman.

And so it began.

I              couldn’t very well steal a vial of Bobby’s sperm and take it with me back to Dr. Feinberg’s office. But we had, somehow, managed to conceive Aidan on our own. Perhaps with some Chinese herbs and acupuncture we could conceive again. Marcie swore by acupuncture, and after she had been thrown out of two Manhattan IVF clinics she tried traditional Chinese medicine and conceived her own miracle baby. Why couldn’t I too, conceive a little miracle baby with the help of magic teas and shiny needles?

Just one more, I thought to myself as I opened the heavy glass doors of the Yorktown Natural Fertility Clinic. “Just one more miracle. And then. Then I’ll be happy and content.”

I promise, I silently swore to God, the universe or whoever else might be listening to my thoughts.

*** *

A row of needles lined my bare stomach. They were in my ears, on my wrists and even

between my toes. The acupuncturist, a hippy-looking woman in her mid-fifties with frizzy red hair, twisted the needles between my toes once more before she lowered the lights and left the room.

The first five minutes were always the hardest. Inevitably at least one of the needles would burn. Dr. Hippy-Dippy said that meant it was working. It was all I could do not to rip the offending thing out.

I breathed in and out slowly, and tried to focus on my breathing, on anything rather than the needles. As I lay in the darkened room, with only the sound of a small fan to block out the traffic from Second Avenue, my shoulders, which had felt like they were jacked up below my ears, relaxed. I continued my purposeful breathing and closed my eyes.

Someone took my hand. I opened my eyes and was no longer on the table, but clothed in a long red robe and standing in a forest. And the most beautiful man held my hand.

“My love,” He said, His voice harsh and guttural. And somehow familiar.

A lone ray of sunlight made its way through the heavy woods and shone on His black hair. His pale skin glowed and His jade eyes glittered in the low light. They drew me in.

Without another word He led me to a roaring fire outside of a cave. The fire was hot, and a small bead of sweat formed on my upper lip. The man unbuttoned the red robe and took it from my shoulders. Underneath I wore only a thin sheath of white silk that hid nothing from His probing gaze.

I should have been embarrassed, but the hungry look in His hypnotic eyes stirred a fire within me. With a finger, he gently followed the lines of my plump, full breast.

“So ripe,” He whispered in a harsh rasp. “So fertile.”

That word hit me like a hard slap. I turned away. “No,” I choked out, “I’m not.”

He pulled me to Him, His lips mere inches from my own. His musky breath filled my

nose. “You could be.” His lips covered mine. At first soft, like the finest silk, but then more forceful, moreurgent. My passion soon met His and I couldn’t help but run my fingers through His magical hair as he devoured my lips.

He tore the sheath in two and it fell away from me, leaving me naked. His green gaze bore through me, and it was almost as if I could feel the very cells of my body change. My breasts felt heavier and skin softer, my lips fuller. It was as if He transferred His own beauty to me. I ran my hands across my face first, and then my breasts, my nipples, taut and tender. Instead of being embarrassed, I reveled in my newfound beauty.

My skin was hot but His hands were hotter and they almost burned my flesh as they explored every inch of me. Every touch brought both pleasure and pain.

I pulled at His golden shirt, eager to see all of Him and He seemed surprised by my daring, my need for Him. He smiled, like a wolf about to catch His prey, and ripped the silk from His body as well.

This nameless man pushed me onto the soft grass beside the fire. Starting at my toes, His scalding tongue sucked and bit me. As He traveled up my calf and along my thighs, I trembled, not with fear, but with a hunger I’d never felt before. A ravenous, ancient hunger.

He spread my legs and His rough, scalding tongue explored me, possessed me. Before I could climax, He stopped.

“Don’t,” I begged. “Don’t stop.” His animal gaze bored into me. “Are you mine?” I threw my head back and arched my back, inviting Him to enter me. “Yes, yes. Go on!”

“Are you mine? Will you give me what I want?”

My skin was on fire, dying for His touch. “Anything,” I moaned.

A terrible smile contorted His beautiful face. “Don’t you want to know what I want?”

I couldn’t take it anymore. I rubbed myself against Him. “Anything. You can have

anything.”

“I want you to have my child. I want to share the blood with you.”

I don’t know where I got the strength, but I pushed Him off me. He lay on his back, more

surprised than hurt. His eyes darkened, but before He could get up I pounced on him, lowering my swollen sex onto Him, allowing Him to fill me. I ground into Him and felt Him grow even larger within me. I rocked back and forth, overcome with ripples of orgasms as I fucked Him, as hard as I could. Like a woman possessed.

Like an animal.

My Review

When I saw that this book had only 122 pages, I thought that “whew, I can finish a book in a short time” because it only has 122 pages! You’d be done flipping in a while. But that was not the case with this book. Sure, I finished it fast but my mind was still reeling from what I’ve read. At sometimes confusing since it is told from both Caroline and Mary’s POV, each page had a lot of information and backstory I never expected. I was angling for a paranormal romance but with the creeps this novel gave me, I think it’s very much a horror story, thank you very much.

For a short novel, it sure had a lot of history and world building in it. Mary tells us of their family’s history and the curse while you just read Caroline doing just that thing that will put the curse into motion. Wanting her to get what she wants but not wanting her to trigger this curse was very emotionally taxing. Walsh’s storytelling was tight and her writing has an air of spooky. It also felt like I rode a rollercoaster of emotions when I read this. It makes you scared but in the end, it will make you sad. But mostly reeling and looking back at everything that happened.

Do read the excerpt if you have a see for yourself. See for yourself and you’ll like it as much as I do. I recommend this for paranormal romance/horror fans.

This still gives me the eeries: You will hate Him for all that he’s taken, but you will love Him. God help you, you will love Him.

About Bernadette Walsh

Bernadette Walsh has been writing contemporary and paranormal romance for four years. She has published three novels to date (The House on Prospect (Echelon Press) and Gold Coast Wives (Lyrical Press)) and the first book of her paranormal trilogy, Devil’s Mountain — Book One of the Devlin Legacy. While Bernadette has hopped around genres, all of her books to date have a common theme: strong women handling what life throws at them the best way they can.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Click on the tour banner at the top of this post to get to the tour schedule. Enjoy hopping!

Book Blog Tour: The Astrologer’s Daughter by Elyse Douglas (Guest Blog)

Today, we have Elyse Douglas with a guest post for us and her book, The Astrologer’s Daughter. Thank you to Orangeberry Virtual Book Tours for this wonderful chance. So without further ado, here is The Astrologer’s Daughter!

About The Astrologer’s Daughter

The Astrologer's Daughter

Joanna Halloran, a best selling writer and astrologer, lives in a beach house overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. After a violent storm, she roams the beach, glances seaward and spots a man clinging to a piece of wreckage, being tossed helplessly. She dives in and pulls him safely onto the beach.

Robert Zachary Harrison is from a wealthy, political family. As he slowly recovers from a private plane crash, he and Joanna fall in love and spend passionate and sequestered weeks together. But because of family duty, Robert makes the painful decision to leave her and return to his fiancée and political life. He departs, not knowing Joanna is pregnant.

Twenty five years later, Senator Robert Harrison is running for President of the United States. In the midst of a contentious presidential campaign, Joanna’s daughter, who has a passion to expose secrets, seeks revenge on her father. She is also falling in love with her father’s adopted son.

As secrets emerge, Joanna and Robert meet again and confront the past and present. Robert confesses a secret that Joanna had never known. Now, on the world stage, they struggle to keep their families and careers from destruction.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – PG

Guest Blog

Do you have any feelings in general that you are disturbed by?
by Elyse Douglas

I’m not disturbed by life so much now.  Most of the time I try to celebrate it for what it is.  As Joseph Campbell said, life is a wonderful, wonderful opera, except that it hurts.  I accept that it hurts and try to move on.  I’m more baffled by life now; but in an odd way I enjoy the mechanism of life and the insanity of it all: that is, the insanity within the apparent normalcy of every day living.  I mean, who do you know who is not insane in some way?  And yet most of us manage to live fairly “normal” lives.

In writing fiction, I try to show how insane “normal” really is and, at the same time, how beautifully human we all are, struggling with our emotions, desires and fears.  If I’m disturbed by anything, it is the lack of compassion we often have for each other and for ourselves as we stumble through this experience, on this little round rock of a planet that is spinning around out in the middle of nowhere.  We don’t know where we came from, who we really are or where we’re going when we “POOF” disappear.  We’re all in it and “out of it,” together.

Elyse:  I don’t think there is anyone who can honestly say that they’re not disturbed by feelings of inadequacy and fear.  In my opinion, these are the enemies of our lives; we must face them on the battlefield of our minds to prevent them from sapping our vital force, to stop them from taking over our emotional lives.  Because we have human consciousness, we can imagine what we think should be, as well as what could be, and so we regret the past, feel inadequate in the present, and worry about the future, especially the reality of death.

When you watch a cat or a dog dying, you realize that they have no fear.  There is physical pain, perhaps, but no fear.  A cat will just go off into the woods and hide, as if it knows to put its body in the proper place to decompose and continue the life cycle.  Because there is no imagination and no awareness of the future, animals just heed the dictates of the moment, follow instinct, respond to waning energy and allow themselves to go to sleep.  Humans, on the other hand, realize what they will miss when they die; they can anticipate the physical pain of losing energy and breath; can dread the loss of their independence; can wonder what happens to their individual consciousness; can hope they will be rewarded beyond death for their attempts to live in a moral or dharmic way.

I haven’t explored death in my fiction writing yet, but I can envision a time when I will.  I see octogenarians on the bus or on the street, and I imagine what goes through their minds:  will I have enough money to live out my life with dignity?  Will I have the physical mobility I need to live an independent life?  Will there be someone to help me through the last few months of my life if I become enfeebled and/or demented?  Will I accept death and be able to die without becoming bitter and angry?

As someone once said, the paradox of life is that we know we are going to die, but we have to live as if we are going to live forever.  Perhaps it was E.M. Forster who shared that thought; I do know he wrote this one, in a powerful essay entitled “What I Believe”, published in 1938:  “The people I respect most behave as if they were immortal and as if society was eternal.”

About Elyse Douglas

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse received a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Columbia University, and Douglas attended the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Their novel, The Astrologer’s Daughter, was published in 2011. They currently live in New York City. Wanting Rita is their second novel.

Connect with Elyse Douglas on Twitter & Facebook
Website http://www.elysedouglas.com/contact/
Check out where this author will be talking about her latest release!

Book Blog Tour: Dark Genesis by A.D. Koboah

Today, I’m promoting the first book to to A.D. Koboah’s The Darkling Trilogy, Dark Genesis. I have for you the WHOLE first chapter of the book. Amazeballs, isn’t it? Dark Genesis is a paranormal romance and I’m sure you’re all excited now. So hop on and enjoy the first chapter!

About Dark Genesis

Dark Genesis (The Darkling Trilogy, Book 1).

Life for a female slave is one of hardship and unspeakable sorrow, something Luna knows only too well. But not even she could have foreseen the terror that would befall her one sultry Mississippi evening in the summer of 1807.

On her way back from a visit to see the African woman, a witch who has the herbs Luna needs to rid her of her abusive master’s child, she attracts the attention of a deadly being that lusts for blood. Forcibly removed from everything she knows by this tormented otherworldly creature, she is sure she will be dead by sunrise.

Dark Genesis is a love story set against the savage world of slavery in which a young woman who has been dehumanised by its horrors finds the courage to love, and in doing so, reclaims her humanity.

Buy from: Amazon | Amazon.co.uk | Smashwords

Excerpt: Chapter One

My name is Luna and my tale begins on a dry summer evening in 1807.

I was walking quickly along a dusty country road, my shoes stirring up a small cloud of dust that turned the hem of my faded violet dress a muddy brown. The trail of dust I left in my wake soon settled. But the pressing need that had me make this two-hour journey in beaten shoes and a broken spirit, in the midst of a particularly merciless Mississippi summer, would not be settled as easily. Wiping the sweat from my brow and waving away the flying insects that droned lazily near my face, I wished for some respite from the relentless heat but found none. Although the sun hung low in the topaz blue sky, it felt as if I were walking through warm soup and it was likely to stay like this long after the sun went down.

I would have found some relief from the pitiless sun if I had chosen to walk through the woods that rose up on either side of the road like a green and brown wall. But green woody spaces such as those have been a deep source of fear for me since I was a child and I imagined that they would continue to be so long past what I guessed was my twenty-second or twenty-third year on this earth. So I clutched my lantern and small cloth bundle and walked on in the heat, listening to the birdcalls punctuate the otherwise still air.

I was lucky to be able to make this journey during the summer months as the previous two trips had been made in the dead of winter when night gathered up the day long before I could finish serving the family’s supper and slip away, leaving the other house slaves to do my share of work and conceal my absence. That small mercy meant that I didn’t have to walk alone in the dark, afraid to light my lamp in case the solitary glow brought unwanted attention my way, or have to dive into the trees every time the sound of a horse’s hooves disturbed the sweet melody of the crickets. It also meant that when I turned the corner and saw the woodland give way to cotton fields, marking the beginning of the Marshall plantation, there was still roughly two hours of daylight left, which meant I would be able to finish my business and be back before dark, hopefully before I was missed by my hawk-eyed mistress.

I stopped for a second to gaze at the rows of cotton up ahead. I have always thought that there was something heavenly about cotton fields, which looked like row upon row of fleecy white clouds caught up in brown nets. But I’m sure that the brown-skinned figures bent double between those rows would have disagreed. For them, there was nothing even remotely celestial about the cotton fields in which they had been toiling since sunrise. And they were likely to still be working in them when the sun set. Even from this distance I could see that most of them were wretchedly thin, their few flimsy items of clothing in tatters. And although I wasn’t close enough to see their faces, I was sure that they all wore uniform expressions of misery and fatigue.

I left that unhappy sight and ducked into the trees on my left, a necessary shortcut to the slave quarters. Although many slaves have used this shortcut on their way to see the African woman, I’m sure I’m the only one who ran all the way through the trees looking back over my shoulder even though I knew I wasn’t being followed. Only when I saw a flash of white through the trees did I slow down so my breathing could return to normal by the time I exited the screen of trees.

The slave quarters were little white cabins made of wood, which lay in two long rows some distance from the Master’s mansion. Only a few children were around at this hour, some of whom recognised me and stopped what they were doing to stare with a quiet reverence that made me uncomfortable. It was the same reverence I had received from the grownups the last two times I had come here under the cover of darkness and they had not only stopped what they were doing to watch me pass by, but nodded or offered some sort of greeting, which I returned before hurrying on by. I didn’t have to endure that kind of scrutiny today, but I still hurried down to the lone cabin at the back of the clearing, which was nestled under the shadow of the trees some distance away from the rest of the slave quarters.

Many slaves came to visit Mama Akosua for her medicines, and her skills were known far and wide. It was also rumoured that she dealt in more than just herbs and was actually a witch. Whether that was true or not, she was feared by many, even some of the whites, and few dared incur her wrath.

As I got nearer to the cabin, I saw that the door had been left open and a light was burning inside even though the sun had yet to go down. I approached gingerly. Already feeling the unease that always possessed me in the presence of the African woman, I walked up to the door, and stopped.

“Mama Akosua.”

There was a short spell of silence and then her voice floated out to me.

“I have been expecting you.” The voice was low and dry like the sound of rustling leaves.

She probably said that every time someone came to her door, no doubt to help foster the belief that she was a powerful all-seeing, all-knowing witch. But the words still sent icy fingers trailing down my spine and I swallowed before taking her words as permission to enter.

The cabin, which consisted of only one room, was rich with the slightly bitter, but not unpleasant, smell of dried herbs. Most of the room was taken up by a long wooden table, which held bottles, bowls and an assortment of other instruments that were used to prepare her concoctions. Every wall in the room was lined with shelves holding bottles, jars and baskets of fresh and dried herbs. The only evidence that someone lived in the cabin was the pallet in the corner. This was the most furniture I had seen in any slave cabin, but as her Master profited from the sale of her herbs, it was in his interest to make sure she had everything she needed. There was another smaller table in the centre of the room and that is where she sat, peering at me by the light of an oil lamp.

She was a small lithe woman with delicate features like mine. Her head was cleanly shaven and she would have been considered beautiful were it not for the scars, rows of lines about an inch long, marking her forehead and cheeks. It was rumoured that those scars had been self-inflicted when she was first brought to America as a slave. Some people whispered that she had done it to honour the customs of her people, others, that the journey, the horrors of the middle passage, had driven her to scar her face in madness and despair. Although I would never dare to ask her, I didn’t believe she had been driven insane. The shrewd dark eyes that met mine belonged to a strong, sharp mind and I doubted that anything could, or ever would, be able to break it.

“Evening, Mama Akosua,” I said as I walked into the circle of light.

There was still daylight outside but it didn’t seem to reach the small window in Mama Akosua’s cabin and so it was always dark in here no matter what the time of day.

She gestured to the chair opposite hers, her eyes never leaving my face. I moved to the chair and when I sat down, she pushed a small cup toward me.

“Drink,” she said.

I picked up the cup and sipped the cool concoction, which tasted vaguely of mint leaves. Whatever it was, it seemed to have an immediate effect because I no longer felt as hot and the fatigue, which had been pulling on me like lead weights, seemed to evaporate.

Feeling slightly better, I was able to meet the force of her gaze fully. She seemed to have aged a great deal since I last saw her, nearly four years ago. The lines around her eyes and the ones running from her nose to the corners of her mouth had deepened and although she was not yet forty years old, she looked much older.

She studied me for a few moments and a soft sigh escaped her when she finally shifted her gaze away from my face.

“It is as I feared,” she said and stood up, wincing from the small movement.

“You hurt?”

“It is a small price to pay,” she mumbled, more to herself it seemed.

She reached into a basket on one of the shelves and pulled out a small black cloth bundle. Moving back to the table she placed the bundle before her and when she sat down again she closed her eyes for a few seconds. She was clearly in a lot of pain.

“I have prepared what you need,” she said pulling open the cloth bundle to reveal six paper sachets of herbs.

There was no need for her to ask me why I was here. I would only risk making this dangerous journey for one reason.

“Take this tonight.” She pointed to the larger of the bundles. “The rest is to be taken for five nights after, to stop the bleeding.”

She tied up the bundle and pushed it across the table toward me.

“Thank you, Mama Akosua.”

“Is it the son this time?”

I looked up and met her intimidating gaze, but on this occasion, I couldn’t hold it. She knew how much these things shamed me yet it didn’t stop her from asking about them. When I answered, my voice was barely a whisper.

“Yes.”

“How long?”

“He… he be at my cabin near about three times a week now since Easter.”

“He is worse than his father, no?” It wasn’t a question; it was a statement.

“Yes.”

I fought back tears as an image came to me from a few weeks before. I was standing in my tiny cabin and Master John was behind me gazing at our reflections in a small handheld mirror. I don’t know if making me look at myself was one of the many ways he had of tormenting me or if he really was oblivious to the fact that I despised my face. Either way, he would make me stare at my piercing dark brown eyes framed by long sooty eyelashes, deep mahogany skin, small delicate features and large sensuous lips. My springy, unruly hair was pulled away from my face, something he insisted on, as my hair was the one thing a man like him could find no beauty in. It was always the same ordeal with the mirror whenever he came to my cabin. And I honestly don’t know which face I hated more, that of the blond-haired, blue-eyed man I had come to despise even more than his old, decrepit father, or my own. The face he was enamoured with. He eventually pulled the mirror out of my hand, and placing it on the bed, held his arms out.

“Dance with me,” he had said in a soft, silky voice.

I remained where I was, my face a blank mask but rage no doubt burning behind my eyes. I may not have had a say over his nocturnal visits, but I would not play these little games or pretend that I wanted him in my wretched little cabin.

Fast, so fast that I didn’t have time to protect myself, he raised his hand and slapped me, sending me crashing to the floor. Pain bloomed along my temple and the left side of my face. I had also bitten my lip when I hit my head. His foot came down on my neck and I felt the dirt on the sole of his boot rubbing into my skin as he pressed down, cutting off my air supply. I struggled in vain to breathe and was close to losing consciousness when he slowly removed his foot and hauled me back onto my feet as if he were picking up a sack of potatoes. Then he held out his arms again, that smile, which never seemed to leave his face, swimming before my eyes as I struggled to clear my vision.

I was bristling with anger and yet fear won out because he could do anything he wanted to me and there was nothing I would be able to do to stop him. No one I could go to for protection. I had been born and bred purely for men like him, not only to do with as they pleased, but to increase their riches by breeding more slaves for them to own.

“Dance with me,” he said again.

Tasting blood in my mouth, I did as I was ordered to do.

“Massa Henry used to please hisself and leave,” I told Mama Akosua. “But Massa John… he like to play.”

I sensed rather than saw her rage.

I had led a relatively painless existence, for a slave, up until around the age of eight or nine when Master Henry had sent me on an errand to one of the neighbouring farms, an errand which would take me through the woods. I had run eagerly out of the house, hardly believing the good fortune that meant I could spend most of the morning walking through the woods instead of working. And it was the perfect day for a long walk, a beautiful spring day. The air was crisp and cool and the sun filtering through the fresh green leaves created patches of golden haze for me to walk through. I skipped along carefree and untouched at that time by the burdens of a female slave, deviating from my path only once to chase a squirrel, losing it moments later when it darted up a tree and out of sight.

It wasn’t long before I came to a stream winding its way through the trees directly in my path and saw Master Henry on his horse. I froze straight away but wasn’t immediately frightened as it seemed his face lit up with the kind of excitement you would expect to see on the face of a man on a long quest for buried treasure at the moment he finally finds it.

“Massa Henry!” I cried, dropping the parcel he had given me to deliver. I stooped to pick it up and when I straightened, he had already dismounted and was walking quickly toward me.

Master Henry, who was in his fifties, was tall and thin, had brown hair that was peppered with grey, a beak of a nose and thin, pink lips. I felt immediately uneasy about being on my own with him so far from the house, especially since it seemed as if he had gone to the trouble of saddling up his horse and riding out of the plantation with the sole intention of overtaking me.

But I tried to allay my fears by telling myself that he had never actually given me reason to fear him. The only unnerving thing about him was that he had a habit of turning up wherever I was working and would watch me intently for far too long as if he were looking to find fault with my work. He had never actually reprimanded me for anything, but something about his manner, his long wrinkled neck, bony elbows and knees, reminded me of a vulture waiting patiently. Mary, the cook, seemed uneasy about his apparent interest in my work. Perhaps she was worried that if he found fault with anything I did it would be blamed on her. So whenever Master Henry was at home she was always beside me, helping me with my chores even though I was more than capable of doing them on my own, a light sheen of anger marking her every action, the quick furtive glances she cast in Master Henry’s direction always fearful. Sometimes she would find an excuse to call me away if Master Henry made his way into whatever room I was in. I noticed that the other house slaves did the same.

I was too young at that time to know why his greedy eyes had become my shadow or why he showed such an overt interest in everything I did. I was also too young to understand the acid rage I saw in his young wife Mistress Emily’s eyes whenever she saw him watching me, or why she had tried on more than one occasion to send me to work in the fields. And the other slaves obviously thought it was kinder not to explain it to me.

So when I saw him waiting for me that day, I knew I was in a lot of trouble but I didn’t know what I had done.

When he got to me I saw a feverish light in his eyes as they moved over my tiny body. It was as if he couldn’t see or hear anything but me. Then his hand shot out abruptly and he pushed me to the ground. When he began to wrestle with his belt I tried to crawl away, knowing now that something awful was about to happen. But he was already on top of me, ripping my dress off whilst he moaned and reached for my chest to paw at what had not yet begun to form there. The pain had been horrific and my screams seemed to heighten his pleasure as he rode me as if I were the stallion he had obviously ridden furiously in order to catch me here alone in the woods. I lost consciousness at some point, and when I came to it was to the sight of him pulling up his trousers. He had mounted his horse and then turned to look at me with what I now know to be lust and it was clear that he was considering getting off his horse to repeat what he had done. Thankfully he gently urged his horse on through the trees to make his way back to the road.

Once he was gone I rolled onto my side and sobbed. I didn’t fully understand what had happened, but I knew it was something to be ashamed of and that I couldn’t go back to the house and face Mary. There was a faintly metallic smell mingling with that of the cold dry earth and I realised that it was the smell of my own blood, which was seeping through my legs. I tried to cover myself but my dress was torn in two so I wrapped my arms around what was left of the garment and lay there crying.

After a while, when the sun had reached the highest point in the sky, the sound of a twig snapping under the weight of a person’s foot told me I was no longer alone.

I sat up with a start to see one of the slaves, Jupiter, standing about three metres away from me. He was a tall, handsome African of around eighteen years old and had coal black skin and big beautiful brown eyes.

About A.D. Koboah

A.D. Koboah was born in London and completed an English Literature degree in 2000. Her first novel, Dark Genesis, was inspired by the concept of dehumanisation and the impact it can have on the psyche. She is currently working on a screenplay and will begin the sequel to Dark Genesis shortly.

Website | Goodreads

Book Blog Tour: Phobia by C.A. Shives (Review + Giveaway)

Here it is! The Phobia blog tour stops by dear ol’ whoopeeyoo for a review and a little book excerpt to entice you guys. But I’m sure if you’re mystery/suspense/thriller buff, you’re gonna love this. So without further ado, here’s Phobia!

About Phobia

Phobia

Ex-cop Artemis Herne thought he left the grit and crime of the city in the past when he moved to a small town in Pennsylvania. But the discovery of a woman’s dead body, bound and covered with snakes, sends panic through his community and ignites his investigative instincts.

As the serial killer continues to target his prey, Herne must confront his haunted past to uncover the pattern in the deaths. He soon discovers that every victim suffers from a phobia. And every murder transforms the victim’s worst fear into reality.

Tormented by his personal demons, Herne is forced to face his own fears as he hunts for a murderer who uses terror for a weapon.

Purchase at Amazon

Excerpt

They stared at each other as memories flooded Herne’s mind like a scattering of photographs faded by sunlight. On summer break their freshmen year of college, they shared a bottle of illicit whiskey in Tucker’s basement. Best buddies having a little fun on a typical Saturday night. Walking a street in Hurricane, on their way to meet Tucker’s girlfriend—who would later become his wife—they saw the unmistakable glow of flames a few blocks away. The old brick bakery was on fire. They ran to it, knowing that the building was really a shelter for battered women. Once there they found a thin, long-haired man in the parking lot, holding a lit Molotov cocktail while screaming the name of his wife. Two more unlit homemade frags sat on the asphalt.

When the man saw them, he threw the bomb against the building and charged at Herne.

Herne pounded at the man’s face until his fist pulverized bone into tiny shards. Through a red haze of fury, Herne only saw the face of his sister—his sweet, young sister—beaten to death in her teenage years by a jealous boyfriend.

Tucker pulled him away into the night as sirens sounded in the distance. The man spent years in reconstructive surgery, and he never looked anything less than a monster. The brain damage he suffered made it impossible for him to identify his attackers.

My Review

By the number of mystery/thriller/suspense book blog tours I join, I guess you already know that I heart mystery and it’s actually my first love. Nancy Drew is a hero of mine. Haha! Moreover, I am in love with psychological thriller films so it was a sure thing that I’d sign up for this tour. And I was glad I did!

Surely, I figured out who’s the killer immediately but that’s my thing. Which is weird because how come I love mysteries when I always foresee who’s the killer? Whatever, still I love ’em mysteries.

The novel was told from multiple point of views but it was never confusing. I applaud Shives for making each character unique. The premise of the story was SO FREAKY. Imagine being killed by your greatest fear. Okay, I’m going to stop because I’m not sure which is my greatest fear, frogs or open waters. The plot had twists and turns as that’s characteristic of a mystery so it was a nice thriller ride but as I said, having guessed who the killer was resulted to no surprise factor at the end. Still, it was an enjoyable read and a page-turner. It started out a bit slow, building it up and once everything is in its place, there was no turning back. You’ll end up reading it page after page. So I enjoyed this one and I commend C.A. Shives as this is her debut novel. Can’t believe it! Such a strong novel this early.

About C.A. Shives

C.A. Shives is the author of PHOBIA, a suspense novel based in a small Pennsylvania town.

When not reading, writing, editing, or publishing, C.A. enjoys watching a good action movie. The author also spends time target shooting on the range and raising backyard chickens.

C.A. loves cheesy poofs, Bruce Willis movies, and wine (often simultaneously). The author is also a fan of Professional Competitive Eating.

A second book in the Artemis Herne series is scheduled for a winter 2012 release. C.A.’s upcoming novel weaves a dark tale of horrific vigilante justice tainted by the bitter taste of revenge.

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Giveaway

Click HERE to get to the Rafflecopter where you can win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! Woo!

You can also win an ebook copy of Phobia from me! Here’s how.

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment. Very easy!

Extra Entries: (Indicate what you did in your comment!)

+1 Follow me on Twitter (@whoopeeyoo). Please tell me your username.
+1 Follow C.A. Shives on Twitter and tell me your username.
+1 Add as a friend or follow C.A. Shives on Goodreads and tell me your username.
+1 Add Phobia to your Goodreads and tell me your username.
+1 Add me on Goodreads (whoopeeyoo) and tell me your username.
+1 Follow or subscribe to my blog.

Easy peasy! Good luck!

Follow the Tour!

Click on the tour banner at the top of the post and enjoy hopping!

Book Blog Tour: Relentless (Nashville Nights #5) by Cheryl Douglas

Today, we have here the Relentless tour, the fifth (!!) book from the Nashville Nights series. I will be promoting Relentless but I will be reviewing Shameless, the first book in the series. Enjoy!

About Relentless

Relentless (Nashville Nights #5)

Nikki Spencer is all grown up, but the world still sees her as the little girl she used to be. She’s ready to prove to her adoring public, and a certain rough riding rodeo champion, that sweet little Nikki isn’t as innocent as everyone seems to think.

J.T. McCall has a reputation as a rough rider, both on the bull-riding circuit, and in the bedroom. So what’s he to do when an innocent, like country crooner, Nikki Spencer, sets her sights on him? He plans to do what any good old country boy would do, save the lady from herself. But who will save J.T. when this little firecracker sets his world on fire?

Amazon

Just click on the cover to get to the Goodreads page. You can also see other books in the series from there.

About Shameless

Shameless (Nashville Nights #1)

Trey Turner may be topping the country music charts but his life has been going downhill since his wife left him five years ago. He’s desperate to make amends for the mistakes he’s made and convince Sierra their love deserves a second chance.

Sierra Brooks is happy for the first time since her divorce. She has a career she loves and a fiancé who loves her. Unfortunately, her fiancé isn’t the only man professing his love. He may be able to offer her safety and security, but will she decide to risk everything for another chance with the man who broke her heart?

My Review

This book tickled my soap-loving bone. The setting, the angst, the story of love, passion, anger, lust, hope and of course, forgiveness. Of course like most soap operas, it’s a sensual story, with Trey and Sierra’s forbidden love at its core.

This is my first dive into books of this genre and so I was pleasantly surprised that I actually liked this book. I love the TV show Revenge but I hate my local soap operas because they are not intelligent. Revenge is an exception because the plot is well thought out and the characters very palpable.

Anyway, I can say that this surprised me and that I recommend it for anyone who yearns for realistically flawed characters who redeems themselves in the end. Good read!

About Cheryl Douglas

It took me thirty-seven years to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought I’d found my calling. In fact, I worked as a nutritionist for twelve years before I finally admitted to myself that while I enjoyed my work, I couldn’t imagine doing it for the next thirty years.
My sub-conscious knew that I wanted to be a writer long before the conscious part of my mind decided to get with the program. While my sub-conscious was hard at work creating character profiles, plots and storylines, my conscious mind was telling me it was crazy to give up a successful business on the off-chance one of my manuscripts might rise to the top of someone’s never-ending slush pile. After years of listening to that negative voice, I was finally ready to stop making excuses, face the fear and follow my dream of becoming a full-time writer, no matter the outcome. I’m so thankful I did.

I love bringing my characters to life and I am so grateful to have readers who love those characters as much as I do.

When I take a break from writing it’s to spend time with my husband (a.k.a. my real life hero), my son, and my writing partner, Tia, a spirited Havanese who enjoys tapping her paw on my keyboard whenever I need a little comic relief.

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