Saturday, March 22, 2014

Blog Tour: Through the Oracle's Mist by Aedan Byrnes - Excerpt & Giveaway

Through the Oracle's Mist
Vengelys Book 1

Aedan Byrnes

Historical Paranormal Romance
Drake Valley Press
November 21, 2013

Amazon * Smashwords

In the blackest night, with the moon and stars to guide him, she would always be there waiting… Cyrenna thought she died the day she watched Tynan and his brothers jump through the banishment portal in an act of solidarity with Rigor. Little did she know, it would be the first of many deaths she would experience in her quest to claim his heart. She would surrender not only her immortal soul, but a mortal one repeatedly. Through a deal with the great Oracle, she has multiple mortal lifetimes to change the direction of her future and have a chance with Tynan. Her journey spans the ages from the GenPei War in Japan and the Silk Road west, to Cromwell, the Three Kingdoms and modern times, bringing her one step closer to forever until she makes a misstep. Then, the burden falls to Tynan. The only thing that is absolute is her fervent hope that he will come, but there’s one big problem. Through it all, he doesn’t so much as know her name.


How many times can a man be broken? How many times can a man die and never have it be final? How many lost loves or lost chances at love will it take to undo any chance of ever becoming whole? In the purest sense…only one. Nothing I could imagine or ever endure would compete for the absolute punishing agony of her folding me into her arms to comfort me and hearing her whisper…
“I know.”
Two words. Who knew that two words would be all that it would take to loose the storm? Hardly two words really, only five letters. Five little letters with extreme power. Five little letters to rob Zeus of his most lethal bolt, focus the strike, and rend me in pieces. The surge had pushed past my pride and leaves me sobbing for the loss I had yet to experience. A loss I knew would take my breath, but I cannot die. How cruelly ironic that death has become my sole wish now?
My internal emotional upheaval is a flash storm out of place beneath the cloudless sky. The cacophony of my noisy tears and transition scatter the small creatures for miles. I have no control and shift without grace. Rage and pain coalesce to an explosion, angst roaring as the internal battle is waged and the war lost before the call to arms is done sounding. My thunderous eruption screaming against the fading light, with a rising silvery moon and shimmering stars to bear witness to my destruction. The metamorphosis from man to beast is abrupt. I shift, not with the flexing of bone and the stretching of skin, but with the crack of a gun blast and a single pull to form. It is razor wire across my senses and I am bloodied raw without a trace to be found.
A testament to her, she stands still. Not frozen, but placated to let me render the fury that must come out as I cannot hold it in. The beast from within is enormous, but not big enough to hold so much. I warned her. I told her. I had made her aware almost cruelly that first time I let my inner wild out that this day might come…could come…would come and that it would be ushered in on an unseen tide that would sweep our perfect world away. I had wanted her to be afraid. She wasn’t. She had believed, but had also naively assured me that the day would be long into the future and we would enjoy the time until then.
She had been wrong. There was nothing to say now. ‘I’m sorry’ would be a hollow sentiment and ‘I was wrong’ would do nothing as the last thing I would want to hear and know about this was that I had been right.

About the Author

There is no simple description for Aedan Byrnes. Obsessive, dreamer, reclusive, compulsive, outdoorsman and wordsmith would be among the list if one were started. The displaced Gael lives in the upper Midwest with family between jaunts wherever the road takes him. A frequent traveler, he is as likely to be found rock climbing or spelunking as sitting fireside dreaming or aimlessly floating away.

A lifelong lover of words and writing, he claims a diverse reading appetite and his writing reflects the myriad influences. A self-proclaimed 'reader's writer', he looks for the emotional and the sensory in word combinations, not just the visceral comprehension of phrases in the stories he crafts and his love of all things literary shines through.


Tour-Wide Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Finale: The Drew Farthering Mysteries by Julianna Deering - Giveaway

To post this Grand Finale and add your Social Media to the Rafflecopter, email us at PrismBookTours(at) with "Death by the Book GF" in the subject line.

A themed review tour by Prism Book Tours...

It's the Grand Finale for
Death by the Book
by Julianna Deering

Did you learn a little more about Drew Farthering and this suspenseful series? If you missed any of the posts, go back and check them out now! Then go on and enter the giveaway, if you haven't already.

There's murders, controversy and destruction going on in this mind blowing read. Derring will captivate you with each page you turn. "You also wont believe who the real killer is."

“Not much to go on.” Drew stood and picked up the two halves of the bookend, a bust of Shakespeare only recently separated at the neck. “You did say this had been checked for fingerprints?”

“I did not say. But yes, it has. There aren’t any.” Chief Inspector Birdsong pursed his lips under his shaggy mustache. “Weren’t any.”

Pieces of Whimsy - Author Interview

What do you hope readers take with them when they read your books?

My books vary widely from series to series, but I would say throughout them all is the theme of forgiveness and reconciliation, that God is a merciful, loving God who never leaves us and who walks with us through every trial and that it is never, never too late to turn to Him. Even though my Drew Farthering books tend to be lighter, fun reads, there is still that element in them.

JoJo's Corner - Review

"Julianna Deering has done it again!!! Spectacular!!!
I love love love this series and I hope it never ends!!!
Drew is absolutely one of my fave all time amateur sleuths- right up there with Hercule Poirot (not an amateur, I know) and Miss Marple.
Who wouldn’t fall for a man who smelled of fresh linen, new books, tea and honey?!?"

Kelly P's Blog - Excerpt

“I just managed to slip out the back way.” Nick jumped into the car and wiped his sweating face with his handkerchief. “Madeline. She said I had to warn you.”

“What’s happened? Is she all right?”

Crafty Booksheeps - Top Ten Mystery Novels

In choosing my top ten favorite mystery novels, I couldn't possibly go farther than my trio of favorite authors from the Golden Age of Mystery: Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham and Dorothy L. Sayers.

Continue reading to found out what her top picks were...

The chief inspector managed a grim smile. “Ah, Detective Farthering. Good of you to come.”

“Not at all, Inspector. What’s happened?”

“Act Two, it would seem, of our little drama in Winchester last week. I thought perhaps another pair of eyes that saw the aftermath of the Montford murder might help us here.” Birdsong shrugged a little self-consciously. “Saw your car turn into the drive.”

Letters from Annie Douglass Lima - Interview About the Cover

About how much time does it take to design a cover like this?

...Rules of Murder roughly took 50 hours, give or take, for art direction and design—composition, layout , typography. That included research, team discussions, Illustrator reviews, art direction, thumbnail sketches, type development, character development, image and inspiration research, and revisions/finessing to nail down an approved, final look...

Mel's Shelves - Review

"I loved this book! As soon as I started reading it, I knew it would be hard to put down. I enjoyed everything about it: the time period--1930's, the location--London (Farthering St. John), a compelling mystery (hatpin murderer), an obstinate aunt, humor, polite society and a light, clean romance."

Deal Sharing Aunt - Series Inspiration

I am often asked why I started writing my Drew Farthering mysteries. It all came about because I love to read Agatha Christie and Margery Allingham and Dorothy L. Sayers, the queens of the golden age of crime fiction, the 1920s and '30s. Their famous detectives (Poirot, Campion and Wimsey, respectively) are a delight to read. And the BBC has filmed versions of many of their novels which are always a sumptuous treat. After enjoying the genre for so long, I simply had to try my hand at writing it.

The Wonderings of One Person - Drew Description

There was a little spark of mischief in his gray eyes that she had already come to know so well. Surely even Aunt Ruth couldn’t dislike him for long. In the weeks Madeline had been here in Hampshire, she had seen him with the older ladies in the village– well, with all the women to be honest. He didn’t intentionally flirt, not really, but he was never lacking in charm, charm that was all the more attractive for its artlessness, charm that made them girlish and indulgent whenever he was around.

Cherry Mischievous - Excerpt

“Hello there.” 

They both turned at the decidedly American voice, and Madeline’s face was all-over smiles. 

“Well, hello to you. What are you doing here? Oh, let me introduce you to Drew Farthering. Drew, this is Freddie Bell. I met him yesterday when I was out.”

Beck Valley Books - Excerpt

Madeline turned from the shelf where Mrs. Harkness kept books on lace making and other traditional crafts.

“And just why couldn’t she have done it?” She put her hands on her hips and looked up into Drew’s face, a challenge in her periwinkle-blue eyes and a defiant set to her mouth that made it not a whit less captivating than usual. “You never think women are capable of real crime.”

I also found Drew an engaging, sympathetic character who sincerely cared about those he was trying to help. The romance between him and Madeline was sweet and the interfering Aunt Ruth provided a humorous touch. With plenty of unexpected events and suspicious characters, Death by the Book, provides an entertaining and enjoyable read.

My Love for Reading Keeps Growing - Mikado (book 3) Teaser

Even though Death by the Book, the second in my series of Drew Farthering Mysteries, is hot off the press right now, I am thrilled to tell you a little bit about Book Three, Murder at the Mikado.

After everything that happened during the past summer, Drew is happy to have some peace in his life. His company, Farlinford Processing, is doing nicely under competent, trustworthy management, and his relationship with Madeline Parker is better than ever. Everything is going well until an old flame, Fleur Hargreaves, suddenly makes an appearance at Farthering Place begging for Drew to prove her innocence in a murder case.

Roger’s voice was scarcely a whisper, and so broken that Drew knew he wouldn’t have recognized it if he hadn’t known who it was.

“Drew. Oh . . .”

Drew heard a wrenching sob, then silence once more.

“Roger? I say, Roger!”

“You’ve got to help me. I just . . . I don’t . . . Sweet mercy, she’s dead. She’s dead.”

"Julianna Derring did a remarkable job of weaving a wondrous murder mystery set in England around the late 1920's. It kept me reading into the wee small hours of morning to find out if my suspicions of who the killer could be were right or not."

Death by the Book (Drew Farthering Mystery #2)Death by the Book
by Julianna Deering
Christian Mystery
Paperback, 320 pages
March 4th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers

Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered, an antique hatpin with a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest.

Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl's tearful confession point to the victim's double life, but what does the solicitor's murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem--except for another puzzling note, affixed with a similar-looking bloodied hatpin.

Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn't at all certain they have the right suspect in custody. And why does his investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?

Bethany House

Other Books in the Series:

ALL readers, who are interested, can receive an autographed bookmark. 
You can see a picture of the bookmark here.

Just send a self-address STAMPED (7" long) envelope to:

Julianna Deering
P. O. Box 375
Aubrey, Texas 76227

Julianna DeeringJulianna Derring has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, Summer 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, Spring 2014) and Murder at the Mikado (Bethany House, Summer 2014).

From the author regarding the fabulous GIVEAWAY:

How could one possibly have a cozy mystery 
set in an old manor house in the English countryside near a quaint little village 
and not have tea? 
Drew doesn't usually take lemon or milk in his. He prefers honey, 
especially if it's fresh from the hive. 
Mrs. Devon, his housekeeper, spoils him terribly and makes sure he has it.

Print copies of The Rules of Murder and Death by the Book and a Tea Gift Basket (US ONLY)
March 10th - 28th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grab Our Button!
Are you a blogger and want to receive information about new tours? Go HERE.
Are you an author or publisher and would like to have us organize a tour event? Go HERE.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Blog Tour: Home Matters by Julie N. Ford - Trailer, Review & Giveaway

Home Matters Updated

Home Matters
Julie N. Ford

According to her mother, Olivia Pembroke was born to be a star. But how is she supposed to be famous when she can't even get a decent acting gig? Her lucky break comes when she lands an audition for a wildly popular home improvement show. Even though she has no design training and has never even held a power tool, she refuses to let that stop her. She's confident that her destiny is finally within reach. When her affections are torn between her heartthrob co-host and the irritating, yet somehow endearing lead contractor, does she continue to reach for the stars? Or does she design a new happily ever after? One that leads not to the fading lights of fame and fortune, but to a love that will burn forever.

My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Home Matters is a sweet romance, enjoyable, perhaps a bit predictable, but fun nonetheless. Lately. I've really enjoyed reading novellas. It's nice to pick up a story and read it from start to finish in about an hour. And one can never underestimate the power of a nice, happy ending.

I really liked Olivia. She's so intelligent, yer vulnerable since she comes across as a bit naive. How she can be naive after braving the sharks in LA is beyond me, but she still radiates some old-fashioned innocence that''s rather refreshing. Olivia is no push-over. She hates being the pretty parrot, pretending the designs are hers while reading from teleprompters. Olivia is a talented woman, but she's pursuing her mother's dream for her rather than considering what she wants from life.

Case in point: I never would've expected her to fall from her uber-handsome costar, William. He's so shallow and annoying. Perhaps she liked the attention. I don't know, but it just seemed out of character for her to continue to date him. One weekend, sure, why not. More than that... not so much. Though two guys vie for her attention, I wouldn't really call it a love triangle. I just sat back and patiently waited for William to show his true colors. When he did, Olivia was shocked, I wasn't.

I liked Pete quite a bit. He had a snarky sense of humor I found to be endearing. He didn't ooze charm and savoir-faire like William which I considered a wonderful thing. But Olivia's goals spurred her away from Pete and right into William's arms. Overall, I thought the characters were well-written, though William is somewhat cliche. I enjoyed the story, especially the interactions between Olivia and Pete. The ending was nice and happy as it should be in a sweet romance.

JulieAuthor Julie N. Ford

Julie is a forty-something, dangerously close to becoming a fifty-something, graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science. In addition, she has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama, which has only made her better able to recognize the unhealthy, codependent relationship she has with writing. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a marriage and family counselor. She is the author of four women’s fiction novels, including Count Down to Love, a 2011 Whitney Award finalist. When she’s not writing, she entertains delusions of being a master gardener, that is, when she’s not killing the unsuspecting plants in her yard with her good intentions. She lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, two daughters, a Betta named Bob, and a Scottish fold kitten, Ardweal.

Updated Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series
Enjoy this exciting new series of clean novellas by six critically-acclaimed authors. "Like a pebble tossed into calm water, a simple act can ripple outward and have a far-reaching effect on those we meet, perhaps setting a life on a different course—one filled with excitement, adventure, and sometimes even love." Book 1: Home Matters by Julie N. Ford Book 2: Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin Book 3: Righting A Wrong by Rachael Anderson Book 4: Lost and Found by Karey White Book 5: Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver Book 6: Immersed by Jennifer Griffith

Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/31/14   Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Inspired Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Series Spotlight: Emerald Isle Trilogy Boxed Set by Renee Vincent - Teasers & Giveaway

Boxed Set
By Renee Vincent

One man risks his life to save her.
Another risks his heart to love her.
Who will be the victor?
Three of Renee Vincent’s bestselling and critically acclaimed historical Viking romance novels are now available in one spellbinding bundle—yours for only 99¢ (limited time offer)

Full of fast-paced adventure, unforeseen plot twists, and courageous, to-die-for heroes like you’ve never read before, this extraordinary boxed set is sure to satisfy every readers’ craving for the ultimate in historical Viking romance.

Available now at:
Amazon | B&N | KOBO | Smashwords | ARe | Turquoise Morning Press

Ræliksen, Book 1
Mara, the daughter of an Irish clansman, was raised to believe the men of the North are heathens - murderous pagans without a moral bone in their bodies. Despite warnings of the Northmen's raids, and the growing threat of another incursion, Mara is continually drawn to her favorite place - the River Shannon.

Dægan Ræliksen, a wealthy chieftain from Norway's frozen fjords, secretly discovers Mara at the water's edge. He is charmed by her beauty and sensuous grace. As the days pass, his contentment with simply watching her grows thin. He can no longer deny his unabated desire for the young maiden. His search for a wife has ended.

However, Mara and Dægan come face-to-face in a time when Ireland is in turmoil - when every Irishman is being called up to fight against the Nordic foreigners. In these times of upheaval, how can Dægan make peace with Mara's father and acquire the woman he treasures? Furthermore, can Mara move past her fears and find the noble man within the savage?

Teaser Quote:

“You are correct in saying that desires often come from things we cannot easily gain—mine, being that of your love. By all accounts, I do wish I could steal it. But I am not that sort of man. I will wait. Forever and a day…I will wait.”


"This is my first read by Renee Vincent and she has undoubtedly earned a place on my auto-buy author’s list. This book and author earn my highest recommendations and I feel privileged to have read one of the best.”
~ 5 Stars TOP PICK ~ Night Owl Reviews

"…a fast-paced, action-packed historical romance, which Ms. Vincent brings to life right before your eyes; a story you will remember long after the last page is read."
~ 5 Blue Ribbons! ~ Romance Junkies

Mac Liam, Book 2

A tortured soul…

Breandán Mac Liam, the strapping young hunter from Ireland’s lush forests, is in love with Mara, an ineligible beautiful princess. For seven long years, he has been vividly haunted by her memory, taunted by the throes of his heartache. And not even the thought of her marriage to a Northman can extinguish the fierce, burning desire running rampant through his heart and soul.

An innocent heart…

Mara, the spirited Connacht princess, has no idea she is the object of the Irishman’s longing. She is living out her days on Inis Mór, raising a troubled son and trying to endure the cruel loneliness that afflicts her.

A deadly secret…

Ordered by the king on his deathbed, Breandán must return to Mara and bring her through the perilous lands of Connacht to fulfill her father’s last dying wish. But as their worlds collide, Breandán not only finds himself wrapped in the arms of Mara’s embrace, but thrown into a struggle to defend his honor.

With Mara caught between the family she loves and the father she knows, can Breandán uncover the mystery of her past and still protect her from a secret that threatens them all?

Teaser Quote:

“Mara, you are my next breath. You are the reason I breathe at all.”


"This is one fantastic historical…a must-read for anyone who enjoys historical romance and I cannot wait to read the final book of the trilogy as this story has stayed with me days after I read the last word."
~ 5 Hearts "5 Heart Sweetheart Award" ~ The Romance Studio

“Ms. Vincent surpassed all of my expectations with her impressive writing abilities, while offering more incites and revelations that will keep readers coming back for more. Readers should be warned of the emotional turmoil they will face once again while reading this incredible story. I eagerly anticipate the next story in this trilogy, yet already mourn the finality."
~ 5 Stars TOP PICK ~ Night Owl Reviews

The Fall of Rain, Book 3

Leif Dæganssen, an archeologist from Norway, is determined to trace back his Scandinavian roots as far as the Dark Ages and find proof of their existence on the Emerald Isle. After several years of living off the west coast of Ireland, he finally uncovers an ancient artifact—an intricately decorated chest with pagan carvings—buried beneath the very porch of his coastal cottage. Knowing it only confirms the presence of a glorified Norse-influenced settlement on Inis Mór, he’s determined to establish a link between himself and those who once inhabited the rugged isle.

For as long as she can remember, Lorraine O’Connor has had dreams of a Norse warrior kissing her. And even though she’s never fully understood the reason for her vivid subconscious imagination, she welcomes the meaningless and wanton pleasure of being in a Viking’s protective embrace—until the day she meets that brazen Northman on an impulsive vacation trip to Ireland.

Though blindsided by the relevance of her dreams and the strange familiarity of the man within them, Lorraine can’t help but feel a deep-seated intimacy toward Leif. And the more she gets to know him, the more she’s convinced they’ve shared a life together in a time long forgotten.

Are the clues to their ancestral past hidden within the contents of the chest or buried deep within their hearts?

Teaser Quote:

“What Lorraine has told you is the honest truth. There’s no denying who you are. But until you go in that house and dig up the evidence for yourself, you’ll never know who you used to be. Oh, I know you’ll realize it one day. By then, I fear it’ll be too late. So, don’t be a fool and let the only woman you’ve ever loved slip through your grasp. Three days, Leif.”


"I didn't believe it was possible to take Daegan and Mara's incredible love story to another level, but I am extremely pleased to be wrong. Every word seemed to have a purpose in helping create a beautiful and poetic ending to an unforgettable trilogy. If you've never heard of the name Renee Vincent then you're missing out on quality reading that's worth every second of your undivided attention. It's an escapists dream and I will most certainly be back for more."
~ 5 Stars TOP PICK ~ Night Owl Reviews

"An ingenious ending to an amazing trilogy! This series has become my all-time favorite."
~ 5 Blue Ribbons ~ Romance Junkies

Author Bio:

RENEE VINCENT is a bestselling Contemporary & Historical Romance Author. From the daunting, charismatic Vikings, to the charming, brazen Alpha male heroes of modern day, you’ll be whisked away to a world filled with fast-paced adventure, unforgettable romance, and undying love.

She also writes lighthearted, fancy-free Chick Lit Romance as GRACIE LEE ROSE. For those who love to read fun, wholesome, and endearing romantic stories (with a smidgen of spunk) that your mother, sisters, friends, and daughters can enjoy.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Book Highlight: Blood and Fire by Tori L. Ridgewood

Blood and Fire
The Talbot Trilogy Book Two

Tori L. Ridgewood

Paranormal Romance
February 11, 2014

Available at Amazon * Smashwords * Lulu

What chance does one witch have against five vampires? Alone, not much. But Rayvin’s allies are gathering...

The battle between good and evil supernatural forces heats up in the long, cold November nights of the former mining town. But how will Rayvin’s motley crew of spellcasters and shapeshifters cope when they discover the threat they face is even greater than they imagined?

The Talbot Trilogy books:
0. Mist and Midnight (prequel)
1. Wind and Shadow
2. Blood and Fire
3. Crystal and Wand

Link to my review of Wind and Shadow -book one in The Talbot TrilogyClick here


       Crouching to prod the fire, Grant thought over the options now open to him. It wasn't safe to go back to Talbot, at least not until he had gained a better understanding of what had happened to him. He needed more than a measure of control over this thing. Once he had that, he could go home and set things right. Destroy de Sade once and for all. After all, was that not the purpose of werewolves? To be an equal adversary for the undead?
       The next question was not as simple. Just how did a werewolf train himself? Was it even possible for him to remain cognizant and in control when his body was no longer human?
       A knot of sap crackled and snapped. He amused himself with the thought that the fire was speaking to him.
       The thought that he was merely delusional, that being able to magically transform into a vicious four-footed animal was a hallucination, the product of slow starvation and exposure, nearly made him laugh aloud.
       If a fire could speak, its language would be visual, he decided. He relaxed his eyes and let the glowing embers form shapes and letters.
       The wind blew in from the open cabin door, swirling around him and carrying the clean scents of snow, damp wood and earth, mixed with the rank odour of animal carcass from his footprints in the snow…and something else.
       Grant held very still.
       The something else was faint, but recognizable. Vaguely comforting. It made him think of an old wet dog. Or an old man who had not washed in a long time. Some combination of the two.
       A cluster of coals fell in a rush of sparks. The noise drew Grant’s attention, even as the strange smell made his nose twitch and his nostrils flare.
       The collapsed, blackened piece of wood strongly resembled the face of a man with strong, mature features. It was broad in the forehead, with a long nose and wide, round eyes. A scattering of red embers looked like a bushy beard covering the mouth and jaw.
       It couldn’t be possible during the day, but it seemed to Grant that he could hear the borealis sing.
       Solomon. The name that belonged to this face. It was spelled out clearly for him, just for a moment, in the leaping flames.
       A few more sticks collapsed, changing the image. An a-frame cabin on a lake. A short, blunt mountain nearby, and a small lake in the shape of a teardrop. The mountain had sheer sides. Grant thought he recognized it, had even been rock climbing on it in his youth. Mount Cheminis, near Dark Lake.
       Yes. Grant understood. He blinked, and the images were gone. Exhaling, he got to his feet and went to the door. The scent of wolf and man now seemed to clearly mark a trail through the trees, to the south-east.
       Someone had sent him a message. His gut wanted to tell him that it was Rayvin, though logically that couldn’t be right. How the hell could she contact him from so far away? She’d done it before, sent him a mental plea for help, but she’d only been a few blocks away. And was it at all possible that she knew this character?
       Great, more questions without answers.
       He may have screwed up on his first battle with the monster, but at least he’d learned that he wouldn’t be able to fight on his own and win. He needed help. Wherever this information had come from, it felt right on some level. The sooner he could find this Solomon guy, the sooner he’d learn how to get control.
       With control, de Sade and his little army wouldn’t find him as easy a target as before.
       “Welcome to the family,” the bastard vampire had told him. Yeah, well—think of me as the black wolf in your little flock.
       His mind drifted to the image of the small, red-headed witch who had chosen the vampire over him. Had she sent him the vision, the way she’d called out for help before? If she could still do that, what did it mean?
       “Wait until you get a load of me,” Grant whispered aloud, as he turned back into the cabin.
       He quickly filled the rucksack with a small aluminum travel pot, three more cans of beans whose dents were less severe than the others, a can opener, some boxes of pasta and rice that were still intact, and some sticks of dry kindling. He took the grey blanket, rolled it into a short, fat, sausage, and strapped it to the bottom of the rucksack in place of a sleeping bag. With the stub of a pencil he’d found in a drawer, and a scrap of paper, he wrote a quick inventory of what he’d taken. Once the bastard vampire was taken care of, Grant had determined that he would go back and try to make some compensation for what he had 'borrowed’.
       Grant used a cloth to close the door behind him, and then turned his face to the woods in order to once again find the scent of the unknown wolf.
       Speed was definitely a gift that he could get used to, in this strange new life. He’d moved faster than Usain Bolt, even, reaching the edge of the small lake below Mount Cheminis by noon.
       Casting his eyes around the shoreline, Grant fashioned a makeshift cup of birchbark and filled it with fresh water from the lake. The sun had just passed its zenith in the sky above, but with the temperature low, he could barely feel its warmth on his back. He scooped in some of the purification tablet he had crushed on a rock, trying to measure it proportionally to the amount of water, swished it around a few times to help it dissolve, and then waited for the iodine and assorted chemicals to work.
       “You don't need to do that.”
       He started. The little man standing next to him had approached without a sound. He was no bigger than an eight-year-old child, and he was completely bald, except for his full beard and his eyebrows. He had a barrel chest, and sinewy forearms showed where the sleeves of his lined flannel shirt were rolled back. Grant looked at a pair of child-sized battered work-boots, only a few feet from his face. He sensed that the man was assessing him just as carefully.
       “I don't want to take any chances,” Grant answered, finally. His breath condensed in the chill air. He stood, casually, still swirling the cup of water. “You never know, these days. Decades of mining, acid rain, human presence. There are bugs in that water we probably don't even know about.”
       In response, the hermit took his hand out of his jeans pocket, brushed it against his chest, squatted, and leaned over a near dip in the rocky shore. He lowered his hand into the cold black water, and scooped up a palmful. Lapping it up, he shook off the remaining drops and wiped his skin dry again. “I drink this every day, buddy. Do I look sick to you?”
       Grant laughed shortly. “Kudos to your immune system. I think I'll stick with my iodine.”
       His visitor shrugged, gazing across the lake. “You're a long way from the trails. Where's your gun?”
       “I'm looking for someone by the name of Solomon. He's supposed to live around here.” Grant watched his face for a reaction. The other man only continued to squint against the glare of the sun, a short distance above the horizon. “Have you heard of him?”
       “Maybe.” He picked up a rock and weighed it in his hand. “Who's asking?”
       Grant wanted to laugh again, but he didn't. He hadn't really known what to expect, or even that he'd actually find the stubby little mountain in the dream or vision or whatever he'd had. The A-frame cabin further down the shore was evidently occupied, given the smoke rising from its chimney. From what he could see, there were no other cottages in the near area. Logically, then, this man was Solomon. What reason could a hermit have for concealing his identity? Was this some kind of epic quest moment, where the hero has to prove that he is pure of heart in order to receive wisdom from the sage? Grant had always believed in honesty. Still, he proceeded cautiously. “Do you believe in the supernatural?”
       “You're a cop, ain't you?”
       “What makes you say that?”
       The bald man stood, cracking his back with an audible grunt of relief. “You always answer a question with another question?”
       Grant shrugged with one shoulder. “No, but since you're obviously being careful, I should be, too.”
       “I'll tell you what,” the stranger said, slowly. “You show me some balls, toss that so-called pure water and take a drink from the goodness of Mother Nature; I'll show you Solomon.”
       Grant regarded him with a half-smile, and deliberately poured out his birchbark cup. He should have been dead weeks ago, anyway. Maybe his new physiology would protect him from beaver fever, maybe it wouldn't. Either way, he needed answers. The other man watched with narrowed eyes as Grant bent down, cupped his hands, and drank from the lake.
       “Okay?” he asked, wiping his face on a clean part of his bright orange sleeve. “Where's Solomon?”
       The little man burst into laughter. He opened the snaps on his work-shirt, still laughing, and pulled his t-shirt over his head. As he stepped forward, his face elongated and sprouted fangs under a black snout; his eyes yellowed as grey fur grew out of his skin, and his back snapped, the bones expanding and rearranging themselves into a canine form. Grant stepped back in horror, holding his hands out in an instinct to defend himself, backing along the edge of the rocky outcropping. The stranger’s laughter became a series of yipping howls that echoed against the trees. The massive wolf shook itself, rippling its fur, and scratched its impressive nails on the granite as the howls lowered to a growl. Grant's skin prickled, recognizing the attack posture of the biggest timber wolf he had ever seen.
       Then it lunged into Grant's outstretched arms.
       The animal hit Grant's chest like a bag of cement, knocking him back and down into the water.
       His feet left the rocky ledge that formed the shore, but the boots he had taken from that hunter's cabin stayed where they were. In the seconds that he was airborne, he felt it all clearly, as though it were taking place in slow motion: his ears registered the snarls of the animal snapping at his neck and the ripping of cloth under the wolf's sharp nails, and from his own body's transformation. His ribcage, expanding and elongating, pushed the threads of the bright orange fleece past their limits. His pants shredded and tore as his pelvis moved and sharpened, and a tail burst out of the base of his spine. Grant's shocked cry became a canine yelp and a whine. Two writhing, growling animals hit the water at the same time and vanished beneath the surface.

About the Author

After her first heartbreak, Tori found solace in two things: reading romance novels and listening to an after-dark radio program called Lovers and Other Strangers. Throughout the summer and fall of 1990, the new kid in town found reading fiction and writing her own short stories gave her a much needed creative outlet. Determined to become a published author, Tori amassed stacks of notebooks and boxes of filed-away stories, most only half-finished before another idea would overtake her and demand to be written down. Then, while on parental leave with her second baby, one story formed and refused to be packed away. Between teaching full-time, parenting, and life in general, it would take almost seven years before the first novel in her first trilogy would be completed. In the process, Tori finally found her stride as a writer.

At present, on her off-time, Tori not only enjoys reading, but also listening to an eclectic mix of music as she walks the family dog (Skittles), attempts to turn her thumb green, or makes needlework gifts for her friends and family members. She loves to travel, collect and make miniature furniture, and a good cup of tea during a thunderstorm or a blizzard. Under it all, she is always intrigued by history, the supernatural, vampire and shapeshifter mythology, romance, and other dangers.

Tori is currently working on Crystal and Wand: Book Three of The Talbot Trilogy. She lives in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two children. She is a full-time teacher at a local high school.

Author Links:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mental Health Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Mental Health Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am A Reader & Reading in Twilight.

My favorite mental health tidbit is something everyone probably already knows but tends to forget about in day to day life. Laughter is a great stress reliever. It releases dopamine and endorphins within the brain. The effects are instantaneous. So the next time you're feeling stressed or down, find something funny to watch on TV or try youtube.

I am giving away a book that I read as a child. It helped me through some rough patches, and is one I still turn to today. I think Dr. Seuss is very therapeutic. Something about Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are just resonates with me. If you're stuck in the 'Why Me?' doldrums, this book will pull you right out.


"When you think things are bad, when you feel sour and blue, when you start to get mad… You should do what I do! Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re really quite lucky! Some people are much more…Oh, ever so much more…Oh, muchly much-much more unlucky than you!" 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Series Spotlight: Brothers of Rock by Karolyn James

The Brothers of Rock series kicks off with five novels following the rock band, Chasing Cross. Each book is features a different band member as they deal with life on and off stage.

All Access – follows lead singer, Johnnie, and a decision he must make regarding the band and his career… and part of that decision does not include falling in love.

Broken Sound – tells the story of guitarist, Davey, after a woman shows up to his hotel room with a young child whom she claims is his. Davey’s past rockstar ways have come back to haunt him…

Bitter Farewell – takes guitarist, Danny, back home to where Chasing Cross formed. Band mates Danny and Johnnie are also brothers and their father has passed away. However, going back home is much harder for Danny than for the rest of the band. When Danny left all those years ago, he left the only woman he ever loved… and now he must face her again…

Buried Notes – begins with a secret from bassist, Chris… he’s married, and his band mates had no idea. When Chris receives divorce papers, he has to go back… literally back… to a time when Chasing Cross was just taking off and Chris found what he thought was love…

Last Song – In the final Chasing Cross book, shocking news comes from drummer, Rick. He’s leaving the band. After his personal and professional life hit rock bottom, Rick buys a house and is determined to start over. But starting over isn’t always easy, not when he meets a woman that captures his heart, yet he can’t stop thinking about Chasing Cross…

The Brothers of Rock series has continued into 2014 with the release of the first book featuring Fallen Tuesday titled A Voice to Love!

**Reviews for Brothers of Rock:

“Once again Karolyn James hits a home run. This series gets better and better as it goes along. I highly recommend this book and the whole series if you haven't read it yet. Will not disappoint” – Bitter Farewell

“This is a fun series to read. The characters are likeable and the storylines move along quickly. Can't wait for the next one in the series!” – Broken Sound

“I loved this book. It exceeded my expectations. I am hooked on these characters. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.” – All Access

About the Author

Bestselling author in romance, western, coming of age, new adult, and erotica

Karolyn James is a bestselling romance author, selling over 100,000 ebooks spanning several genres.
Her rockstar-romance series, Brothers of Rock, has recently been extended through 2014 with five books following a new band, Fallen Tuesday. The original series following Chasing Cross is now available in the first five books.
Under the pen name Claire Charlins, Karolyn has topped the Western, Historical, and Contemporary Romance charts with the Mail Order Romance series.
Recently announced, Karolyn James is the author behind the bestselling Coming of Age and New Adult name, London Casey. Her The Boys of DownCrash trilogy is now available and look for an upcoming New Adult Romance trilogy coming Fall 2013!
Visit Karolyn on her site at Follow her on Twitter @KarolynWrites. She’s most active on her Facebook page at You can also stay up to date with Karolyn through her mailing list here –
Karolyn enjoys interacting with her readers, so be sure to contact her via Twitter, Facebook, her blog, or even email her at

Book Blitz: Carina Press New Adult - Guest Post & Giveaway

Defiance #2
Stephanie Tyler

Matthias Robichaud is looking for an alliance. The Defiance motorcycle club is a stronghold in the dangerous world that’s become the new norm and he’s driven to prove he’s tough enough to be sworn in as a full member. But when he sees a beautiful, spirited girl abducted by a rival MC, rescuing her jeopardizes all he’s worked for.

Politician’s daughter Jessa Everson knows what’s expected of her—obedience, loyalty and silence—but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t fight when she’s kidnapped by the Lords of Vengeance. Having Matthias save her is like gaining an avenging angel in leather and tattoos. But Defiance is known for brutal justice, and she may have just traded one bad situation for another.

Matthias’s urge to protect is too strong to ignore, no matter how much trouble Jessa brings to Defiance’s gates. There’s no room in the post-Chaos world for weakness so if Matthias and Jessa have any chance of surviving, they’ll need to put their full strength behind the MC…and hope that the MC will do the same for them.

Wild Ones
The Lane #1
Kristine Wyllys

Bri Martin likes her skirts too short, her heels too high, and trouble close at hand. So when big, brooding underground boxer Luke Turner comes into the bar where she works and starts a fight before she brings his first drink, she can't help being intrigued. Luke is everything she never wanted and everything she can't resist.

Soon, Luke is showing up everywhere Bri is, and she can't break free of his hold on her, nor does she want to. When her best friend turns on her, it's Luke who is there. When  Luke's opponent comes after her to send Luke a message, it's he who comes to her rescue.

Before Bri knows it, she's caught in the midst of a rivalry between her boyfriend and her boss, both of whom are not content to settle their scores inside the ring. She swore she'd never live this life, so like the one she once ran from. But only by confronting her past can she decide where her future lies…and whether Luke can be a part of it.

Tell Me When
Stina Lindenblatt

Amber Scott should be enjoying life as a college freshman. She should be pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She should be working hard to make sense of her precalculus math class. 

She shouldn’t be waking up her college roommate with screaming nightmares. She shouldn’t be flashing back, reliving the three weeks of hell she barely survived last year. And she definitely shouldn’t be spending time with sexy player Marcus Reid. 

But engineering student Marcus is the only one keeping Amber from failing her math course, so she grudgingly lets him into her life. She never expects the king of hookups will share his painful past. Or that she’ll tell him her secrets in return, opening up and trusting him in a way she thought she’d never be able to again. 

When their fragile future together is threatened by a stalker Amber thought was locked away for good, Marcus is determined to protect her. And Amber is determined to protect Marcus…even if that means pushing him away.

Quicksilver Dreams
Dreamwalkers #1
Danube Adele

My name is Taylor, and damn but my life changed overnight. One moment I was just a regular girl working two jobs to pay my bills, and next thing you know, I'm uncovering secret metal disks at my boss's house. Now I'm reading minds, dream-walking and being saved from bad guys by Mr. Dark and Brooding.

That would be Ryder Langston, my new next-door neighbor. He's sex on legs, but he's also a secret agent from another world—no joke. I believe him now, because he dragged me back here "for my protection" after he discovered someone was trying to assassinate me on Earth. It isn't working out so well.

There's a war going on, one that's been fought for generations. Ryder's having trust issues (not that it's stopping us from falling into bed), and it turns out I'm connected here, if you know what I mean. The target on my back finally makes sense, but there's nowhere left to hide…

Guest Post by Author Stina Lindenblatt

10 Things Every Aspiring Writer Should Know

1. Rejections aren’t the end of the world, even if they feel that way at the time. They’re like a dare. A dare from the agent or editor to challenge yourself to be a better writer and storyteller.  

2. Rejections don’t mean your story sucks. It might just mean it’s not the right story for that agent or editor. Even Stephen King and J.K. Rowling received rejections. Hard to believe, huh?

3. Social networking isn’t a waste of time. It’s fun. It’s a chance to meet new friends who will later be your biggest supporters. Did I mention it’s fun?

4. Remember the saying about putting all your eggs in one basket? Well, it applies to EVERYTHING in publishing. Don’t put all your hopes on landing your dream agent (query others who are looking for your genre). Don’t focus on only one social networking platform (on the other hand, you don’t want to dilute your efforts by being on ALL of them. That’s too exhausting). Don’t…well see #5 for this don’t.

5. It’s so easy to fall in love with your first story and not move on. You keep polishing it, even after you’ve started querying. An agent sends you a form rejection with nothing more than ‘not for me’ as the reason for the rejection, and you tweak the manuscript some more. It’s time to move on. Your first baby is out there, flapping its wings, hoping to catch the wind for a safe landing. Great. Now get to work on your next novel. If you plan to self publish, your next project can be a sequel. If you plan to go the traditional route, start a project that has nothing to do with the first book. There’s no guarantee your first book will be published, and you’re only wasting time working on a sequel if it doesn’t sell.

6. It’s rare that a writer will land a publishing contract with her first manuscript. For me, it was my fifth. I didn’t finish editing all of them. Some I realized wouldn’t stand a chance in the competitive market, and I shelved them. I considered each book practice for the next one. And with each book, I strived to do better than the last. That attitude shouldn’t change once you’re published.

7. Enjoy each stage of the process. Focus on the journey and not on the destination. And while you’re at it, figure out what success means to you, but pick something obtainable. Everyone wants to be a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, but not everyone will be one. If that’s what you’re striving for, and only focus on that, you’ll miss out on what writing all is about—touching the hearts of your readers and writing the stories that are important to you.

8. Read. Read. Read. Don’t just read in your genre. You might get a brilliant, fresh idea from reading a different genre. And don’t forget to read lots of crafts books on different aspects of writing. All of this will help you grow as a writer.

9. Do. Not. Plagiarize. Chances are great you will be caught, especially if you plagiarize from bestselling authors. Their fans will recognize the prose and will call you out on it, which I can guarantee will go viral. It won’t sell books; it will kill your writing career.

10. Live your life. Spend time with your friends and family. Have fun! Because one day you will land a publishing contract and with that comes DEADLINES. Yes, these are the dreaded dates that tend to be scheduled for when you’re away on vacation (been there) or when your kids are off from school (been there, too).

Is there anything you wish you had known when you first started writing with the goal of publication?

About the Authors

Stephanie Tyler
New York Times Bestselling author Stephanie Tyler writes what she loves to read - romantic suspense novels starring military heroes and paranormal romance novels novels starring warrior heroes, all complete with happy endings. She also co-writes as Sydney Croft. She lives in New York with her husband, her kids and her crazy Weimaraner, Gus.

For more information on Stephanie, please visit or email her at
For more information on Sydney, please visit or email Sydney at

Kristine Wyllys
Kristine Wyllys, who usually answers to, “Hey, You! With the Hair!” was born in the north and now resides in the northern version of the Carolinas. She lives in a farmhouse older than she is, with a bunch of property that makes her spontaneously break out in Dixie Chicks songs every time she looks out the back door. She's got babies, books, a boy that she fell in love with at 15, and a dog that might be a lesbian. She spends her spare time naming chickens after Harry Potter characters, breaking smart phones, and blogging.

Stina Lindenblatt
Stina Lindenblatt lives in Western Canada, where she loves to dream up New Adult and Young Adult stories, especially those with romance. She loves to travel, and has lived in England, the US, Canada, and Finland. She has a Master’s of Science degree in exercise physiology and has worked with elite athletes. In her free time, Stina enjoys photography, especially the close-up variety. She is the author of TELL ME WHEN (01/20/14).

Danube Adele 
Danube Adele wrote her first romance at the age of seven when she penned the sweet story of her dogs falling in love and having puppies together. She’s been dreaming up romantic tales ever since. A lifetime resident of southern California, she spends time playing at the beach, camping in Joshua Tree National Park, and hiking Mammoth Mountain. Always a lover of adventure, she and her husband took their sons on a cross country road trip to Florida and back in an old VW Westfalia, that had no A/C, in the month of July, and still, it continues to be the best trip they ever took. Extensive travel and trying new things has kept the creative spark alive. Danube lives in Claremont with her biggest fans, her loving husband, amazing and wonderful identical twin sons, and a teddy bear of a Rottweiler.

Blitz-Wide Giveaway!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway