Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Silent Review



Title:  The Silent
Series:  Irin Chronicles #5
Author:  Elizabeth Hunter
Release Date:  July 28, 2017

My Rating:  4 Epic Hearts

*Many thanks to the author for an arc of The Silent.





Synopsis:

They are called kareshta, the silent ones.
But the silent are waking.


Kyra has lived her life in the shadow of a powerful Grigori brother. She’s ignored her own desires for the good of her family, but an unexpected request from Thailand sends her on a mission that could change her life and alter the fate of free Grigori all over the world. Sons of the Fallen hidden in the mountains of Thailand have adapted an ancient human magic for their own purposes. Will this practice bring peace or lead to even greater danger for the Irin race?

A simple diplomatic mission sends Leo to Bangkok, but he didn’t expect to see a familiar face in surveillance photographs. He’s tried everything to drive Kyra from his mind, since he was convinced the gentle kareshta wanted to hide from the world. How did she turn up halfway across the globe, living with Grigori who may or may not be Irin allies?

Leo has bided his time. He’s given Kyra her space.

But this scribe is ready to hear a kareshta sing.

THE SILENT is a romantic fantasy, and the fifth book in the Irin Chronicles series.


Review:

Elizabeth Hunter is a master at creating an IMAX type experience in each of her books. The sights, sounds, feels, and smells of each setting/region are brought to life by her beautiful writing, surrounding the reader and transporting them into the heart of her story, characters, and world through scenes vibrating with life.  I find myself completely immersed in her stories, surrounded by characters that entice me to laugh, cry, love, explore, and battle by their side.  And after finishing each book, just like leaving a movie theatre after a great movie, I relish the satisfaction of having just finished another spellbinding read that leaves me begging for the next one.

The Silent is a story of hope, a story of a future ripe with possibilities for so many - the Irin, the Kareshta, and yes, even the Grigori.  Their past is intertwined and laden with betrayal and mistrust, but if they are to prosper and grow, they must learn to co-exist peacefully - to trust, to accept, to have the courage to let the past go and move forward together to defeat their common enemy.  Is it possible?

At long last, readers get Leo and Kyra's story.  A relationship that seems impossible - a kareshta and an Irin warrior?  No way it will ever be accepted.  But sometimes, fate steps in to lend a helping hand.  Once again, this couple finds themselves in the same place at the same time - each on a mission for their people, each surprised to see the other.  There's no denying the attraction sizzling between them, even as danger and evil rears its ugly head.  Leo is an Irin warrior in every sense of the word, and yet there is an air of innocence about him that I adore.  He radiates goodness even as he steams full speed ahead to claim the woman who stars in his erotic dreams.  Kyra emerges from her cocoon much like a butterfly, spreading her wings to fly solo for the first time - laying claim to her independence as she accepts and embraces the full extent of her magic.  In the beginning, they reminded me of awkward, inexperienced, lovesick teenagers but awkwardness soon disappears as passion takes over.  Whew!  Suffice it to say, this may be the most erotic Irin Chronicles book yet!

The Silent is an intriguing, heart-felt story that focuses a great deal on character/relationship development, in turn enhancing an intense plot line that carries the series story arc ahead by leaps and bounds.  A strong, unique support cast introduces some new, promising characters along with a few from the past.  An epic story, The Silent would play out in an explosion of color across an IMAX screen complete with surround sound.  One can only hope!  Another great addition to the series!  A must read!

My Rating:  4 Epic Hearts . . . And that's the truth!


Cross My Heart . . . xxx


Sandra

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Red Collector Card Set Giveaway ~ Sinning Has Never Felt So Good!

The Red Collector Card Set Giveaway!  
July 8 - 20
Paintings play a major role in The Red, the new erotic fantasy from international bestseller Tiffany Reisz.

Now you can win a set of collector's cards featuring artwork from the novel. Every set includes a signed card!

I'm stoked to have the opportunity to offer one set of Tiffany Reisz's The Red Collector Cards to one lucky winner here on my blog!  You can enter the giveaway through my Rafflecopter Giveaway below. 
Contest open to U.S. addresses only. No purchase necessary. Odds of winning depend upon number of entries. 1 winner will be drawn at random. Contest closes at 11:59pm ET on July 20, 2017.

Title: The Red
Subtitle: An Erotic Fantasy
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Publisher: 8th Circle Press (eBook and Trade Paperback) • Tantor Audio (Audiobook CD and Download)
On-Sale Date: July 11, 2017 (Worldwide)
Genre: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica
Page Count: 248 pages
Retail Links: Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | iBooks Australia | iBooks UK | iBooks Canada | Kobo
Pre-order links not available for the trade paperback or audiobook at this time. Details about signed print copies will be available after release.
Goodreads Link: Goodreads

Summary:
Never make a promise you don’t intend to keep…
Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother's art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it's in the red.
Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.
The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting...but surely her mother didn't mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red...
The Red is a standalone novel of erotic fantasy from Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series.

My Review of The Red ~ Sinfully Shocking & Taboo! A Page Scorching Must Read!  So hot it should come with a warning...



About Tiffany Reisz
Tiffany Reisz is the international bestselling author of the Original Sinners series for Mira Books and Mills & Boon, including the RT Book Reviews Best Erotic Romance 2012 winner The Siren and the LAMBDA Literary Award-winning The King. Her novel The Saint won the Romance Writers of America RITA® for best Erotic Romance in 2015.


Follow Tiffany on Social Media: Facebook • Twitter • Instagram
About 8th Circle Press:  8th Circle Press is a Lexington, Kentucky-based publisher of literary friction. For more information, visit our website at www.8thCirclePress.com.

Enter for a chance to win your own set of The Red Trading Cards...
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest open to U.S. addresses only. No purchase necessary. Odds of winning depend upon number of entries. 1 winner will be drawn at random. Contest closes at 11:59pm ET on July 20, 2017.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IWSG: The Perils of Procrastination...


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a community of writers who share ideas and encourage other writers. It's a great place to express doubts and concerns as well as offer and receive tribulations and guidance from other writers. IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month. I think you'll find it to be a great writer's resource that's well worth your time. Be sure to stop by and visit with some of the other IWSG writers/bloggers at IWSG Members.

A great big thank you to July's awesome co-hosts:

July's dog days of summer are making their presence known in the south.  Temperatures are rising and the humidity is showing no mercy.  How hot is it?  Sweat-dripping-hot even when sitting in the shade sipping a glass of iced sweet tea.  And it's just started.  Busy time of year around here with a lot of gardening, canning, and freezing going on.  It really cuts into this girl's writing (and reading) time and brings to mind this month's IWSG question:  What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing? 

There are so many things I could say here, but a valuable lesson I've learned the "hard way" and the one that has been driven home to me time and time again is "don't
procrastinate!"  The time to write is now, not later.  Don't assume you have tomorrow.  I can't count the times I've been caught unprepared the night before a deadline and found myself in the middle of a full-fledged, deer-in-the-headlight panic attack and the resulting late night writing push to get everything done.  I wish I could say it never happens anymore, and I'm always prepared but let's face it . . . life happens.  What I can say is I've lived with the perils of procrastination a few times too many and will do whatever it takes to avoid them in the future.  Lesson learned:  Don't put off until an illusive "tomorrow" what I should be writing "today".

So - are you a procrastinator?  Or are you one of the envied ones . . . always prepared with posts ahead of time?  If so, please share any tips, hints, or advice on how you manage it all with everything else life throws at you.










Thursday, June 29, 2017

Some Kind of Hero Review


Title:  Some Kind of Hero
Series:  Troubleshooters #17
Author:  Suzanne Brockmann
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Release Date:  July 11, 2017
Order Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Simmering 's

*Many thanks to the publisher for an arc of this book via Netgally.




Synopsis:
Navy men don’t come tougher than Lieutenant Peter Greene. Every day he whips hotshot SEAL wannabes into elite fighters. So why can’t he handle one fifteen-year-old girl? His ex’s death left him a single dad overnight, and very unprepared. Though he can’t relate to an angsty teen, he can at least keep Maddie safe—until the day she disappears. Though Pete’s lacking in fatherly intuition, his instinct for detecting danger is razor sharp. Maddie’s in trouble. Now he needs the Troubleshooters team at his back, along with an unconventional ally.

Romance writer Shayla Whitman never expected to be drawn into a real-world thriller—or to meet a hero who makes her pulse pound. Action on the page is one thing. Actually living it is another story. Shay’s not as bold as her heroines, but she’s a mother. She sees the panic in her new neighbor’s usually fearless blue eyes—and knows there’s no greater terror for a parent than having a child at risk. It’s an ordeal Shay won’t let Pete face alone. She’s no highly trained operative, but she’s smart, resourceful, and knows what makes teenagers tick.

Still, working alongside Pete has its own perils—like letting the heat between them rise out of control. Intimate emotions could mean dangerous, even deadly, consequences for their mission. No matter what, they must be on top of their game, and playing for keeps . . . or else Pete’s daughter may be gone for good.
 

Review:

Rich with unique characters, snarky humor, sizzling romance, and intense suspense, Some Kind of Hero is another great read in the Troubleshooters series!  Brockmann’s signature multifaceted characters and plotlines are prevalent, but to a somewhat lesser extent than some previous books, and as always, heroes are larger than life.
Anyone with dreams of becoming one of the elite Navy SEALS must make it through BUD/S Training and survive Hell Week as in overcome every impossible obstacle that Lt. Peter “Grunge” Greene throws in their path.  Failure is not an option if they are to become one of the elite.  Grunge practices what he preaches in every aspect of his orderly life.  So what stops this big, bad*ss SEAL dead in his tracks, throwing him off his game?  Grunge is suddenly faced with the overwhelming responsibility of raising a teenage daughter he doesn’t know - a mere, mortal 15-year-old.  Should be a piece of cake for a man who whips wannabe SEALS into shape, right?  Wrong.  Rebellious, sullen, unhappy, and mourning the sudden loss of her mother, Maddie isn’t interested in getting to know her father – a man she believes never wanted her - and so she splits at the first opportunity with 20-year-old “Dingo” no less – a kinda weird, possible hippie/druggie who befriended her.  Before the unpacking is done, Grunge has lost track of Maddie!  When it becomes obvious that he’s not the only person searching for her – that she’s in real danger, he hits panic mode and calls in back-up.
Shayla Whitman is a smart, funny, creative single mother extraordinaire raising two boys on her own while penning romance/suspense novels and arguing with voices in her head.  When she sees the sexy SEAL that just moved in across the street flagging down cars and yelling “my daughter is missing,” she does what any Mom would do . . . drives to the rescue with both “mom-barrels” blazing.  Shayla is in for the long haul, ready to share her “mother-of-a-teenager” knowledge along with some of her suspense/mystery solving skills aka romance/suspense book research.  With intense sexual chemistry sparks flying, their journey from strangers to friends to cohorts to lovers begins.
Some Kind of Hero started off with a different vibe for me – not the norm I have come to expect from the Troubleshooter books.  While the scenario of a frantic father looking for his missing daughter is intense, the delivery had a light-hearted tone.  It threw me at first as Peter seemed out of character and came across as a little inept for a SEAL, making some costly *well, duh* mistakes for the professional, well-trained man that he is and often relying on Shayla to tell him what to do.  I realized, however, that he was reacting as an inexperienced scared Dad vs. a take-charge Navy SEAL.
As the story unfolds, it flows more toward what I have come to expect from these books – deeper, more action-intense plot line, past characters riding in to the rescue, slow-burn romance simmering with lots of tension.  And as with many of the other books, a past historic story line weaving its way throughout - connecting past places, times, and characters with the plot of the present - adding yet another rich and heart-touching layer.  Favorites like Izzy help deliver another intriguing Troubleshooter story with just the right blend of snarky humor, romance (with a side of HOT sex), and suspense with a few twists along the way.  Another Must Read in one of my favorite series ever!
My Rating:  4 Simmering 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Sandra


Sunday, June 18, 2017

From Midnight to Moonlight ~ Tantalizing, Seductive Paranormal Romance From One of the Best! A Steal of a Deal . . . Get it While it's Hot!


Follow Along!

Friday, June 16
Authors' Cafe

Saturday, June 17
M. J. Schiller, Romance Author

Sunday, June 18
Cross My Heart Writings & Reviews

Monday, June 19
The Realm of Fantasy & Fiction

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Melissa Keir

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
What Readers Want

Thursday, June 22, 2017
Romance Me

Friday, June 23, 2017
Loren E. Price

Saturday, June 24, 2017
Paranormal Realms

Monday, June 26, 2017
HBS Author's Spotlight

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
fundinmental

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Paranormal Dimensions

Friday, June 30, 2017
My TBR Addiction
Midnight Masquerade

Can they escape the shadows of the past?

This time, he could lose his soul . . .

An invitation to join an exclusive D.C. law firm seems like a chance for Nick Flynn to leave his mistakes behind. But it’s his shadowy past and unrealized inheritance that attracted his mysterious employers. Once embroiled in their dark schemes, his struggle for success becomes a battle for his salvation.

And she could lose her life . . .

Loner detective Rae Borden goes undercover as a call girl to discover the truth about her best friend’s death. Her carefully laid plan of revenge and personal redemption becomes a crusade against an unbelievable evil . . . with Nick Flynn in the middle.
Nancy Gideon is one of the best supernatural writers on the market today! — Midwest Book Review: BookWire
Touched by Midnight Series {Book 8}
Just $0.99 for a Limited Time!
By Nancy Gideon
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Published by: ImaJinn Books
Release Date: May 4, 2011
Length: 232 Pages

READ AN EXCERPT

Remembered by Moonlight

Because the road to . . .

Clever, cool and preternaturally lethal, Max Savoie is leader of a secretive shape-shifter clan, heir to a mobster’s legacy, and the love of New Orleans’ top cop . . . but he can’t remember any of them. The only way to recover his past, and his rightful place in the arms of the woman who risked all to save him, is to surrender to a mysterious visitor who could use him as a weapon against all he’d loved.

Happily-Ever-After . . .

After rescuing her mate from his ruthless captors in the North, hard-hitting Detective Charlotte Caissie is now painfully vulnerable—a stranger in his eyes . . . and in his bed. The key to his memories is locked in a tortuous past. To reclaim the strength of their passionate bond, Max must learn to trust her enough to face that darkness at her side before the threat it hides exposes the secret Cee Cee carries.

Is never smooth.

When an investigation into grisly deaths in an underground Shifter fight club points to more than just dangerous clan rivalries, Cee Cee enlists Max’s help to find a traitor in their midst while there’s still time to turn a deadly invading tide. But the cost of saving their treasured future may mean sacrificing his past. Especially when the enemy they pursue . . . might be Max, himself.
Every delicious word Nancy Gideon puts on the page exhilarates with a sensuous ferocity. Hopelessly addicted. — Darynda Jones, NY Times Bestselling Author
By Moonlight Series {Book 9}
Just $1.99 for a Limited Time!
By Nancy Gideon
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Release Date: October 13, 2014
Length: 290 Pages



Nancy Gideon is the award-winning, bestselling author of 60 romances ranging from historical, regency and series contemporary suspense to paranormal, with a couple of horror screenplays tossed into the mix. She’s also published under the pen names Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West and Lauren Giddings. She works full time as a legal assistant in Central Michigan, and when not at the keyboard, feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin and fowl.

A prolific writer, Nancy attributes her creative output, which once peaked at seven novels in one year, to her love of history and a gift for storytelling. She also credits the discipline learned through a background in journalism and OCD. The due date for her third book and her second son were on the same day . . . and both were early! When on deadline, she turns on the laptop between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. to get a chapter in before heading in to her day job. She’s a member of GDRWA, MMRWA, PASIC, FF&P and Novelists Inc. and dotes on her critique group.

For more information on the author, her books, or the “House of Terriot” and “By Moonlight” series, visit Nancy at the links above.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Ghost in the Glamour: A Linx & Bogie Story Review



Title:  A Ghost in the Glamour: A Linx & Bogie Story
Author:  Elizabeth Hunter
Publisher: E. Hunter
Release Date:  June 21, 2017

My Rating:  3.5 Nostalgic Hearts


*Many thanks to the author for an arc of this book.




Synopsis:

Linx Maxwell’s life is on the verge of greatness. She’s finally graduated from street fairs and hopping chain link to making art that pays the bills. Her family life is… not dull. And it looks like her van might just be able to exist on hope and duct tape.

If only she could get rid of the ghost who’s plagued her since the eighth grade.

Frank Bogle is a detective who lost his life in the line of duty. Everyone on the other side knows that the Maxwell women are the best mediums in the business, but did he have to get attached to the one whose hair had been attacked by a weed wacker?

Frank doesn’t like his afterlife any more than Linx does. He just doesn’t know how to leave.

Linx & Bogie is a stand-alone, short fiction, paranormal series by Elizabeth Hunter, author of the Elemental World, the Irin Chronicles, and the Cambio Springs Mysteries.


Review:
Quirky, colorful LA artist & medium Linx Maxwell is finally making a living off her art and so close to achieving her dreams she can almost taste it.  She really doesn't have the time or inclination to placate the ghost of LAPD Detective Frank "Bogie" Boyle who was murdered in his prime while investigating a murder case back in the 50's.  There's just one teeny, weeny, little problem. . . Bogie is bound to Linx and is not going anywhere.  They haven't a clue as to why he can't move on and so they're stuck making the best of a bad situation which leads to some hilarious scenes.

Linx and Bogie's story has a bit of an old school vibe to it - reminiscent of the era of Bogart or Sinatra - a mystery with a classic cigarette smoking, fedora wearing, jazz listening detective on the case . . . only this time, he's a ghost attached to a medium.  The two couldn't be any more different if they tried which sets the stage for some witty, snarky humor as Bogie gives Linx dating advice, and Linx helps Bogie solve cases.  When Bogie asks Linx for help solving the old case that got him murdered, she sees it as an opportunity to learn more about his past and maybe, just maybe help him move on.  But is this really what either of them wants?

As the story unfolded, I found myself intrigued by the mystery of what had happened to Frank/Bogie all those years ago.  Linx has to allow Bogie into her mind so that she (and thus the reader) sees the past scenes play out first-hand through his eyes, thus skillfully weaving his past story into the present.  While short on pages, I found this story to be a unique read with a great blend of strong characters, intriguing plot, and snarky humor.  A great introduction to this world and characters!  I hope we see more of Linx and Bogie!  Another Must Read by Elizabeth Hunter!  

My Rating:  3.5 Nostalgic Hearts . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx
Sandra






Tuesday, June 6, 2017

IWSG: Quitting is Not an Option . . .


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a community of writers who share ideas and encourage other writers. It's a great place to express doubts and concerns as well as offer and receive tribulations and guidance from other writers. IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month. I think you'll find it to be a great writer's resource that's well worth your time. Be sure to stop by and visit with some of the other IWSG writers/bloggers at IWSG Members.

The awesome co-hosts for the June 7 posting of the IWSG are JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!  

Quitting is not an option ~ Finish what you started . . . If I had a dime for every time I heard that growing up, I'd probably be laid back on some white sandy beach drinking pina colada's while my favorite bbf massaged coconut oil into my sun-kissed skin.  If my dear southern mama said it once, she said it a million times.  One thing everyone knew about her was she didn't know the meaning of the word "quit" - it was never an option.  And in hindsight, I understand she used it to motivate us into finishing our chores, homework, and projects before she had to take more drastic measures.  Oh, what I wouldn't give to hear mama's voice ringing in my ears now:

Sound familiar?  One thing I know to be true . . . If my sweet mother were still here, she would be telling me in no uncertain terms to continue writing and finish what I started.  As a child, my nose was always stuck in a book - either reading or writing.  While I  never lost my love of either, I did occasionally veer off course - getting sidetracked by real life and yes, even periods of disbelief in myself.  And yet, I've never given up on writing - I've simply not finished what I started yet.  

So in answer to this month's IWSG question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I have never said the words "I quit writing" to anyone . . . not even myself.  It's simply not an option.  But I have thought, "What's the use?" on more than one occasion during periods of time when life became a little too heavy for me to carry more.  I have definitely let writing simmer on the side burner way too often and long.  So why would I bother making it a priority now?  The short answer is I need to finish what I started.  The truth is "I have to write because for me - quitting is NOT an option . . . not when it comes to writing."  Mama said so.

How about you?  Have you ever given up on writing only to return later?  Why?