Thursday, October 13, 2016

Empower by Ashley Stambaugh - Excerpt

The Collide Trilogy, Book Three

Ashley Stambaugh

New Adult Urban Fantasy/Suspense
Clean Reads
October 5, 2016

Amazon | B&N

You have to have the dark to see the light.

Over a month has gone by since Melina won her internal battle between good and evil. She and the elders have been vigilantly waiting for Maura and Adelia to enact their plan, but there have been no signs of them anywhere. Then one day, Melina sees a Noxin demon lurking behind an old building. As more and more demons start to appear around town, she begins to worry that their plan may have already been put into play.

While Melina tries to figure out what the demons are up to, she starts to notice a sudden increase in her negative emotions, which in turn seem to be amplifying her powers. At first, she likes how strong it makes her feel. But when she realizes that her newly acquired demon powers are the cause of her sense of empowerment, she wants nothing to do with it. Even though she has reversed her demon powers to do good, she still sees them as coming from an evil source and fears that by using them the evil she fought so hard to overcome will rise up in her again.

But as the demon activity increases, and the people in her town, including all the people she cares about the most, start to display strange and violent behavior, Melina finally understands that if she wants to stop the demons and help her friends, she must embrace not only the good in her but also the bad. Because the only way to truly empower herself is by finding a way to use them together.


            She turned to look at the front of her store and saw that the huge front window had been completely busted in, allowing the chilly winter air to blow right through the room. The rest of the store wasn’t in any better shape. Broken glass, splintered wood, and burnt, ripped up books and paper covered the entire floor. She felt like she should be having déjà vu, seeing as how her store had been destroyed by Noxin demons before, but there was a difference this time. She didn’t have her friends to help her pick up the pieces.
            Before she was able to get teary-eyed again, she heard footsteps coming from behind her. She turned around and saw that Walter was back, and he had Phinneas, Cecil, and Helene with him. They all nodded at Henry, who nodded back at them, and then they all returned their focus to Melina.
            “Hi,” Melina said as she gave them all a slightly confused look. “What are you all doing here?”
            “I thought it was necessary to tell them what’s happening with you,” Walter said.
            Melina pulled her robe a little tighter around her and turned her gaze down to the floor. She wondered if they were disappointed in her for not telling any of them sooner.
            “Melina,” Phinneas said as he took a step toward her. “None of us blame you for feeling the way you do. The fear you have of your anger and of your demon powers is completely valid. But it’s nothing to be afraid of, or ashamed of. I’ve told you before, not everyone is all good or all bad. We all have good and evil in us.”
            “Yes,” Melina said as she nodded her head. “I remember you saying that. But then you also said that we just have to choose which one is going to win, and I chose good.”
            “And I’m so glad you did,” Phinneas said. “But just because you chose good and were able to reverse the demon powers to use them for good, doesn’t mean that the bad aspects of the demon powers aren’t still a part of you, too.”
            “Melina,” Walter said as he took a step toward her. “To truly embrace all of your powers, you must accept not only the good aspects of them but also the bad. I can only imagine how strong it must make you feel when your emotions amplify your powers, but instead of fighting them and trying to stop them, feel all of those emotions and use them in a good way. Use them to empower yourself.” He paused for effect and then continued. “You have become a force to be reckoned with. You just need to learn to accept them and then control them.”
            Melina’s eyes were filled with tears again. His words reminded her of what Lee had told her—that she needed to accept all of herself. She knew they were both right, but she still couldn’t let go of her hesitation and fear.
            “But what if it makes me susceptible to being taken over by evil again?” She bit down on her lip as she stared over at Walter with eyes full of distress.
            He gave her a reassuring smile. “I know you’re scared, but I also think that you know, deep down, that you’re not going to be taken over by evil again. This is just how the demon powers are going to work in you. We all experience negative emotions, Melina. But it's what we do after the emotions arise that matters. We can act upon those negative feelings and let them control us, or we can feel them, acknowledge them, but then choose not to act on them. And instead of letting them control us, use them as motivation for something good.” He was silent for a moment then said, “You have to have the dark to see the light.”
            Melina sat quietly as his last words sunk in. She had never thought of it that way, but he was right. She had both light and dark in her, just like everyone else, but she just needed to make sure that her light always shone brighter.

Get Book One for 99¢ thru Oct 31

About the Author

Ashley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.

Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.

When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.

Social media links

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Review: The Daemoniac by Kat Ross + Giveaway

The Daemoniac
A Dominion Mystery, #1
Kat Ross
Publication date: October 12th 2016
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Young Adult

It’s August of 1888, just three weeks before Jack the Ripper will begin his grisly spree in the London slum of Whitechapel, and another serial murderer is stalking the gas-lit streets of New York. With taunting messages in backwards Latin left at the crime scenes and even more inexplicable clues like the fingerprints that appear to have been burned into one victim’s throat, his handiwork bears all the hallmarks of a demonic possession.
But consulting detective Harrison Fearing Pell is convinced her quarry is a man of flesh and blood. Encouraged by her uncle, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry hopes to make her reputation by solving the bizarre case before the man the press has dubbed Mr. Hyde strikes again.
From the squalor of the Five Points to the high-class gambling dens of the Tenderloin and the glittering mansions of Fifth Avenue, Harry and her best friend, John Weston, follow the trail of a remorseless killer, uncovering a few embarrassing secrets of New York’s richest High Society families along the way. Are the murders a case of black magic—or simple blackmail? And will the trail lead them closer to home than they ever imagined?

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

Top Ten Reasons You Should Read The Daemoniac Now!

~Main character, Harry, is everything I love in a female lead: intelligent, driven, and somewhat fearless in her pursuit of the truth. Plus her uncle is Arthur Conan Doyle-- all kinds of awesome! 
~John Weston, Harry's stalwart friend. I fell in love with him and really hope that Harry does too!
~Intriguing story/plot with lots of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.
~Author Kat Ross has a writing style that flows so nicely, drawing the reader in through Harry's POV.
~Wonderful pacing made this novel almost impossible to put down.
~This is the perfect season for a supernatural mystery- with the cool weather and Halloween decorations popping up everywhere, it makes the read that much better
~Interesting time period. Something about the Victorian Era just lends itself to the paranormal. Anything seems possible and believable, especially with the rise of Spiritualism.
~Hints at Jack the Ripper- need I say more? One of the most enduring serial killer mysteries
~Jekyll and Hyde- a timeless classic re-imagined in this YA historical mystery.
~1st in a series- we know from the get-go that this is only the beginning!

Author Bio:
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Interview with Shonna Slayton, Author of Spindle + Giveaway

Welcome to Shonna Slayton, author of Spindle!

Tell us about the main character. Who is Briar Rose?

Briar Rose is an everyday girl from the 1890s. She’s the daughter of poor Irish immigrants, the oldest sibling, and the one left in charge after her parents die. She’s a girl who had it all worked out until her world fell apart. She doesn’t know it, but she’s on a journey of self-discovery, a shared journey with other girls during her time who learn that they can work together to raise each other up. She lives during the early days of the suffrage movement, working in the cotton mill, and living in the company boarding house. She is a girl who struggles between duty and love. And for her sake, we want love to win out.

Spindle sounds like an interesting twist on Sleeping Beauty. What inspired you during the creation? Did you have a plan before you started writing?

I started with a rough plan by brainstorming the major turning points. This way, I had targets to write toward, but left lots of flexibility to let events to unfold naturally. For historical inspiration, I read the writings of the Lowell mill girls from the mid 1800s to learn what life was like back then living in the boarding houses and working in the mill. These girls were pioneers, and quite well spoken. I hope I did them justice.

What is your favorite fairy tale?

Tangled, Disney’s version of Rapunzel. I was not a fan of the original fairy tale, but how Disney spun it was pure genius. I loved the addition of the lanterns on her birthday to give Rapunzel a dream to chase.

Brothers Grimm/Hans Christian Anderson or Disney? Which do you prefer?

Disney. I prefer the non-gory fairy tales with a Happily Ever After ending (see above question)

What must you have handy for a productive writing session?

Laptop running Scrivener software. If out in public—an ipod. Amaretto latte hot or cold; both are delicious.

If you could visit any fictional place, where would you go?

Oooh. Good question! Wow. The little kid in me is going crazy…which to choose!!?? Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I’d like a taste of that chocolate river.

What’s your favorite TV show or movie?

Toss up between Anne of Green Gables and The Princess Bride. 

Where can readers find you online?

My website to sign up for my new release newsletter—home base for all upcoming book news and freebies. Twitter for occasional announcements, Facebook if you want to chat, Pinterest for my fairy-tale or history boards, and Instagram for random bookish and vacation photos.


Shonna Slayton

Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Entangled Teen
October 4, 2016

In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger
Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?
When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness…and Briar’s not immune.
If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.

Entangled Publishing:

About the Author

SHONNA SLAYTON writes historical fairy tales for Entangled TEEN. Cinderella's Dress and Cinderella's Shoes, set in the 1940s are out now. Spindle, a Sleeping Beauty inspired tale set in the late 1800s, will be out October 2016.

She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.

The best way to keep in touch is by signing up for her monthly newsletter. She sends out behind-the-scenes info you can't read anywhere else. Sign up is on the sidebar of her website Shonna Slayton.

Author Website:

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Interview with Julie Wetzel, Author of Blazing Moon + Excerpt & Giveaway

Welcome to Julie Wetzel, author of Blazing Moon!

Where are you from?
I’m originally from Ohio, but I hail from Jackson Mississippi right now.

Tell us your latest news?

There is a lot of stuff going on in my world right now.
Currently, I’m working with a lovely man by the name of Marcio Catalano to get the Kindling Flames series made into audio book. He has the most wonderful voice. We just finished with Smoke Rising and are waiting for it to come out before heading on to the next.
In addition to that, On the Accidental Wings of Dragons is up for a RONE award with InD’Tale Magazine. I should be getting the results of that any day now.
Right now I’ve got the next in the Dragons of Eternity series on my writing desk. I just need to find the time to get it going. Things have been a little hectic with getting this book out and planning for my overseas trip.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the English language. I loved reading. I hated the way words were put together. My spelling was horrible. But I braved my first stories in 2010-2011 when my sister asked me to send her stories while she was deployed in the US Navy.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’ve had book in print for two years now and I still don’t consider myself a writer. I play with words, I throw them at the page, and I pray that what comes out is worthy to send out in the world. I’m still terrified that people are going to wake up and realize what I write is drivel. But I can’t leave my two series hanging like they are, so I push on trying to be a writer. These stories aren’t going to put themselves on paper. Just, please, don’t let anyone wake up yet. This is a good dream.

What inspired you to write your first book?

In 2010-2011, my sister was deployed aboard the USS George H W Bush. They were out at sea in a military action zone and had limited communications. My sister emailed me to ask if I could download some of her fanfictions and email them to her. The fanfiction site she used would not allow me to copy and paste the stories over and I refused to spend hours retyping them for her. So I told her I would write he a new story and I asked her what she wanted. She wanted vampires, so I wrote her a vampire story. I sent her a chapter a day so she would have something new in her in-box when she got off work. Shortly after that, I started getting mails from some of her other shipmates asking for chapters. My sister was sending chapters to her friends, but only the current chapter. She hadn’t bothered to send them all the chapters. So by the time I finished the story, I had a bunch of sailors on my email list and several wanting to know where they could buy the book to share with others. And so, a novel was born.

How did you come up with the title?

This is the sixth book in the Ancient Fire Series, also known as Kindling Flames. There is a reasonable explanation as to why the series ended up with two names, but that’s a long story. As to the actual name of the novel, this story steps away from the main characters of Darien and Vicky and deal with the events that take place in Brenton while they are away. Since most of the problems deal with the werewolves, we picked something to represent them: Moon. Now, to stick with the fire theme from the rest of the series, we picked the name Flaming. This led to an odd cadence in the title, so we changed it to a fire related word that hadn’t been used: Blazing. And so we ended up with the name of Kindling Flames – Blazing Moon

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Nope. I don’t write with a message in mind. My books are meant to entertain, not teach or preach.

How much of the book is realistic?

The basic setting is fairly realistic, but it’s a paranormal series. It’s about as real as vampires and werewolves can be.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

No. My life isn’t this interesting.

What books have most influenced your life most?

Oh the books are endless. I can’t really name all the books that have some influence on me. I like high and epic fantasy most of all.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Sherry Ficklin. Not only do I love what she does, she had taken me in and helped me understand the world of writing. If I have a question, she is always right there with the answers I need. She’s always teaching me new ways to get into trouble. (Hey Sherry, I love your *face*!)

What book are you reading now?
I’m trying to work my way through Jon Messenger’s Magic and Machinery series, but I haven’t been doing a good job at it. With everything that’s popped up, my reading has taken a side line. So far it’s a fabulous series. I’ll get back to it when life settles down after my overseas trip.

What are your current projects?

I have too many irons in the fire right now. The most important project is the four book in the Dragons of Eternity series, For the Kingdom of Dragons. I’ve also got a gender-bent retelling of the Little Mermaid, a pair of Deamon/Reaper books, and a book about Death and his troubles in the afterworld. I’m sure I’m missing a few others, but they will get their time to shine eventually.

What would you like my readers to know? 

If you see me out and about, by all means, introduce yourself. I love meeting new people and am very friendly. I also hope you all enjoy the new book.

Blazing Moon
Kindling Flames #6

Julie Wetzel

Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: October 10th 2016
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Trouble has once again found its way to Brenton…
When a pack of rogue werewolves makes a grab for the local pack’s land, Rupert, the local alpha, does his best to keep the peace. Unfortunately, his people have been having some issues of their own that complicate matters.
When Phelan, Rupert’s second, becomes the latest wolf to lose control over a simple dispute, Rupert is left with no choice than to seek outside help.
Krissy, a human empath who stumbled on the scene, was able to help Phelan, but dealing with an entire pack of enrage werewolves is too much for one person to handle. With Master Darien on his honeymoon, Rupert turns to his next best choice—Elliot.
Now Phelan, Elliot, and Krissy have to discover what’s driving the weres into an emotionally savage rage before all hell breaks loose and destroys the wolves of Brenton.


Grab book 1 for FREE today!


“But you didn’t even try,” Phelan screamed. His fist clenched at his side in rage as he threw out his accusations. “You would rather coddle your damn vampire than stand behind the needs of your own people.”

Confusion and concern creased Rupert’s brow. This was unlike his friend. Phelan liked Darien. He had also understood Rupert’s position in the past. It was bizarre he would take such a stance now.

“Phelan?” Rupert asked as he reached out to touch his friend’s shoulder.

As the hand made contact, Phelan shrieked in rage and slung his fist into Rupert’s face, staggering the man back. Red colored Phelan’s vision as he tore out of his coat and leaped at his alpha. His mind spun with hate and rage, driving all thought out of his head. The smell of blood on Rupert’s split lip made Phelan’s blood boil. His wolf ripped through his skin, shredding his shirt.

Staggering away from his attacking friend, Rupert threw his arm up just in time to stop the sharp teeth from reaching the delicate skin of his throat. Shocked by the sudden attack, he yelled out as he fell backwards under the weight of the wolf. He lay on the ground, stunned by the sudden violence, as Phelan mauled the sleeve of his jacket. The outburst was unlike anything Rupert had ever seen from his second. The unprovoked attack reminded him of the problems they were having with the pack, and sorrow filled his heart as he gathered his thoughts enough to start fighting back. It wasn’t fear of death or injury that pained Rupert, it was the dread of having to hurt or kill one of his closest friends.

Author Bio:
Originally from Ohio, Julie always dreamed of a job in science. Either shooting for the stars or delving into the mysteries of volcanoes. But, life never leads where you expect. In 2007, she moved to Mississippi to be with her significant other.
Now a mother of a hyperactive red headed boy, what time she’s not chasing down dirty socks and unsticking toys from the ceiling is spent crafting worlds readers can get lost it. Julie is a self-proclaimed bibliophile and lover of big words. She likes hiking, frogs, interesting earrings, and a plethora of other fun things.