Tuesday, July 22

@Goddess Fish Blurb Blitz & Giveaway: Shift Happens by J.C. McKenzie

Shift Happens

Carus Series, Book 1
J.C. McKenzie

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: March 25, 2014
Number of pages: 240
Word Count: 75,425
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     ARe

Andrea McNelly's job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire's human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can't afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.

Wick's job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.

Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.
I grunted and shut my eyes. Of course, imprisoned in a Were house. These buildings were pretty damn close to indestructible and near impossible to break out using strength—a must for house training new Weres. They could get pretty uncontrollable. Good thing I never counted on brute force to get me out of trouble.

“Is there anything I can get you?” he asked.

“Clothes,” I said without thinking.

A shadow passed over me. My eyes flew open. Wick leaned in and placed a hand on each side of my head. Bracing his weight, he bent closer. A smile tugged at his lips, now inches away from my own. His white teeth flashed. “Nervous?”

“You wish.” Butterflies danced the mamba in my stomach. Oh God, he totally nailed it.

His face darkened and he lowered his body. His peppermint breath brushed my face. “You should be.”

A shiver ran through my body at the promise in his words.


The author will be awarding one autographed print copy (US or Canada - digital copy substituted for international winners) plus a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during this tour and the Reviews Only Tour.

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Author Bio:

Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

To connect with the author online:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Monday, July 21

Quote-Tastic: Riding the Baloney Pony

This meme is about sharing your favorite quotes and the books they come from!
Hosted by Anna at Herding Cats and Burning Soup.

Everyone is welcome to join in: Readers, Bloggers & Authors.

Just grab the button and link back to Herding Cats and Burning Soup.

Marine for Hire by Tawna Fenske

Sam set the baby carriers at the edge of the living room, out of Limpdick’s line of sight. He checked to be sure the boys were still sleeping, then positioned himself in the corner of the room. He stood at ease, thumbs interlaced behind his back.

“You gave up your rights to me and to this family when you walked out on us,” Sheri said. “When you betrayed me.”

Sam tried not to wince as he thought about betrayal. Was he really much better than Jonathan?

“You slept with a stripper, for chrissakes,” Sheri snapped. “In our goddamn marriage bed while I was taking the boys to the doctor for a checkup.”

Okay, maybe he was a little better than Jonathan.

“Surely you’re aware that wasn’t all my fault,” Jonathan replied. “What was I supposed to do? We hadn’t been intimate for weeks, and a man has certain needs.”

“You’re insane!” Sheri yelled. “I gave birth to twins—your children, might I remind you. You’ll have to forgive me if I didn’t hop straight off the delivery table to ride the baloney pony.”

When I saw the cover of this book on Netgalley, I was intrigued; once I read the blurb, I was hooked.  I had no idea that this book had been released with another cover back in February under the Brazen imprint by Entangled publishing.  It wasn't until I was marking it on Goodreads that I even noticed.  Honestly, I like this cover so much better. It was what drew me to read the blurb.

Basically, we have Sam-the-Sexy Marine and Sheri-the-Spitfire Single Mom. MacArthur, Sheri's older brother and Sam's best friend, has asked Sam to play Nanny or Manny, as the case may be, to keep an eye on Sheri.  Sheri's ex-husband has been giving her some trouble lately and big brother wants someone he can trust looking out for her.  Sam has crushed on Sheri since the guys were in college and reluctantly agrees to keep Mac's assignment secret while on leave. But Sheri hates liars: "Lying is the absolute worst thing. Worse than riptides and parking tickets and pubic lice combined."

This book has unexpected funny moments, told from both Sam's and Sheri's perspective.  Although some of the best ones were when Sam was dealing with the twin boys, such as likening changing a diaper to cleaning an automatic weapon. I knew the deception was going to be a critical point between the characters.  I wasn't wrong, but it was wrapped up in a twist that kept this trope fresh and interesting.  Book 2 will be MacArthur's story and I can't wait to see him get his meddling comeuppance.  I enjoyed this and gave it 3 stars.

She thought she’d sworn off military men for good…

Sam Kercher is every inch a wickedly hot Marine. Tall. Sexy. Lethal. When his best friends call in a favor, Sam is forced to face an entirely new line of duty—playing nanny for their newly divorced sister and her squirming seven-month-old twin boys. If Sam can dissemble an M16 in his sleep, diaper duty should be a cakewalk…right?

Unfortunately, Operation Nanny isn’t quite that simple. Sheridan has sworn off overbearing military men, so Sam must protect her from her dirtbag ex without revealing just how much he has in common with her brothers. Or that he’s been ordered not to touch her. Ever. Problem is, Sheri’s one hell of a gorgeous woman, capable of making this hard-bodied marine even harder. And Sam wants her bad.

Protect the girl. Care for the babies. Hide his identity. And keep his hands off. But even the most disciplined Marine has weaknesses...and Sheridan is one Sam might not be able to resist.

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN    Kobo     ARe

Sunday, July 20

Audio Review: Long Live the Queen by Kate Locke

Long Live the Queen

The Immortal Empire, #3
Kate Locke

Genre: SteamPunk/UrbanFantasy
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Narrator: Moira Quirk
Date of Publication: November 12, 2013
Abridged or Unabridged: Unabridged
Length of Production: 10 hrs and 19 mins

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN    Audible   Downpour

Xandra Vardan thought life would be simpler when she accepted the goblin crown and became their queen, but life has only become more complicated. Everyone -- vampires, werewolves and humans -- wants the goblins on their side, because whoever has the goblins -- wins.

Queen Victoria wants her head, Alpha wolf Vex wants her heart, and she still doesn't know the identity of the person who wanted her blood. What she does know is that a project from one of the 'secret' aristocrat labs has gotten free and she's the only one who can stop the perfect killing machine -- a sixteen year-old girl. With human zealots intent on ridding the world of anyone with plagued blood and supernatural politics taking Britain to the verge of civil war, Xandra's finding out that being queen isn't all it's cracked up to be, and if she doesn't do something fast, hers will be the shortest reign in history.

The fantastic conclusion to the series that started with the spectacular undead steampunk debut, God Save the Queen and The Queen is Dead.

This was the third and final installment in The Immortal Empire series and I was so sorry to see it end.  I actually had to take a break after listening to this series. I was experiencing a doozy of a book hangover and just wasn't quite ready to dive into something else. I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about.

I knew from the very beginning of book 1, God Save the Queen, that the author wasn't afraid of heading into the dark side and killing off likable characters. In book 2, The Queen is Dead, Ms. Locke ups her game and shows us the brutal underbelly of London and we get up close and personal with some of the worst parts London has to offer.  In this final book, Long Live the Queen, we find out that what we thought we knew and what is really going on are two completely different things.  There are so many twists, turns and misdirection, that I was completely fooled, right to the very end.

I am afraid to say too much for fear of giving a spoiler.  So, let's just say that you need to read books 1 and 2 before you read 3 and that the ending knocked my socks off. 5 bloody brilliant stars!

Saturday, July 19

Review: A Major Seduction by Marie Harte

A Major Seduction

Good To Go, #2
Marie Harte

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Fated Desires Publishing
Date of Publication: June 15, 2014
Number of pages: 112
Word Count: 33,000
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     ARe

Major Mike Cava has done his best not to see Maria Thompson as anything but his baby sister’s best friend. Not an easy feat when Maria’s done her best to throw herself at him for years. But now that’s he’s returned to the East Coast and with his family again, he feels easier about handling little Maria.

Except in the two years since he’s seen her last, Maria has grown way up. Good God, she’s stunning. But now that he’s really seeing her, she isn't seeing him. No more jumping into his arms or smiling and flirting. A bland hello and she’s leaving to go hang out with some other guy. Oh hell no.

Maria spent the past fourteen years mooning over a man who never saw her as anything but a little girl, and she’s done. Or so she tries fooling herself. She’s twenty-four years old, and it’s past time she grew up and over him. But now Mike’s giving “those” looks. He’s acting jealous. And she realizes that she’s not over him yet, and maybe one of her old plans to stir his interest might work this time around.

With the help of her best friend—Mike’s sister—and his younger brother, she’ll prove she’s more than woman enough to handle him. His dominance, his kink in the bedroom, his huge, hot body. But just when she thinks they can make a go of it, he pulls back. She can’t do it anymore. Loving, being hurt, loving, being ignored. This time if Mike wants her, he’ll have to prove it. She’s done.

And he’s just realized he might have made the biggest mistake of his life in pushing her away...
I was thrilled after reading A Major Attraction to see that there would be more books in the series and was lucky enough that the publisher accepted my request to review them. This review is for book 2 in the series, but since Maria and Mike were actually married in Attraction and this stories takes place several years prior to it, it would work as a stand alone.

Maria Thompson is the best friend to Mike Cava's younger sister. Maria has been in love with Mike ever since she can remember. Her stunts to catch his attention ramped up when she turned 16 and took a much more mature tone when she turned 18.  But Mike has always only seen Maria as a younger sister type. Nothing she has done over the years had made a dent in his perception of her.  So now that she is 24 and Mike is going to be stationed at the nearby base, she has decided to move on.

Mike, on the other hand, is secretly pleased that Maria is always so glad to see him. He looks forward to her smiles and attention that are just for him. Mike gets quite the rude awakening when it becomes clear that Maria has no plans to dote on him as she has in the past.  She treats him as she has his brother Brad, just her friend Olivia's older brother.  Mike realizes that maybe it's time to acknowledge that Maria has grown up and their relationship can grow too.

Since this was a flashback, prequel sort of story, we know in advance that they will be getting together.  The questions are: 1) Who is going to muck it up on the road to the HEA, 2) How badly, and 3) How good is the make-up sex?  Here's a hint: it's Mike, it's pretty bad, and holy smokes it's good.  I am going with 4 stars, mainly because I was sucked quickly into the story and it kept me there.

Thursday, July 17

@GoddessFish Guest Post & Giveaway: The Eyes Die Last by Teri Riggs

The Eyes Die Last

Teri Riggs

Genre: Mystery Thriller
Publisher: Gauffer Press
Date of Publication: April 24, 2011
Number of pages: 329

Available at the following retailers:

The Las Vegas Mayoral race is heating up, and the incumbent doesn’t have a prayer. Wealthy real estate speculator Nick Campenelli, who wants to legalize prostitution in Clark County, and former pastor Louis St. Louis, running on a 'clean-up-Vegas-by-getting-rid-of-the-whores' platform, are the front runners.

They’re also front runners on the suspect list for a string of murders. Kennedy O’Brien, four-year detective with cop blood running in her veins, and her partner Wilder “Wild Thing” James, a veteran, are determined to find the man who’s murdering prostitutes who work the wrong side of the street, and they don’t care how important or politically active he is.

The killer is a man with a mission. He stalks the women before he kills them, leaving a “BEFORE” photo on their bodies, and sending an “AFTER” shot to the local news hound. Ed Hershey, an aging newscaster with just the right amount of grey in his hair, is determined to turn this story into a network gig, and his interference, along with the LVTVS legal team, are making Kennedy and Wilder look bad. Campenelli’s good looks and charm, and St. Louis’ vitriolic hatred of prostitutes are muddying the waters too, and now the killer seems to have taken a liking to Kennedy.

So the big question remains. Can she get him before he gets her?
Leaving the downtown area, Wilder and Kennedy drove past the now defunct Pioneer Club with the ever smiling, famous Vegas Vic sign sitting high on its perch. At one time, the forty-foot-tall neon cowboy had greeted visitors with a waving arm and a moving cigarette that blew smoke rings.

“Kenny, check out Vegas Vic. He’s winking at you.”

“What the hell are you talking about, Wilder? It’s a damn sign.”

“I’m just screwing around. You really need to lighten up some.”

Kennedy refused to respond.

“When I talked to Sparky and Lenny, they said you were still at Metro when they came in this morning.”

“And your point is?”

“You should have gone home and gotten some rest. Like a normal person.”

“I did go home. I slept and I showered. I am a normal person.” One that has a few issues, but hey, who doesn’t?

“Did you update your home murder board and spend hours studying it?”

She cringed. Her partner knew her too well. “I may have looked it over once or twice. But, I didn’t spend hours on it, not that it’s any of your business.”

“You need to have a life outside the job. Hell, even Vegas Vic has a girlfriend and he’s a damn neon sign. When’s the last time you even had a date?”

She looked out the window at the neon cowboy, then at the neon cowgirl sign on top of the Glitter Gulch topless club, and back at Wilder.

“Vegas Vicky? Give me a break, here.”

“Oh yeah, Vegas Vicky. What a neon babe.” His voice deepened, almost to a whisper. Then Wilder had the balls to wink at her. “I dig her cowgirl boots.”

“You’re sick, Wilder.”

He glanced sideways at her.

“Keep your eyes on the road.” She hadn’t meant to snap.

“What are you so sour about, Kenny?” He laughed. “You just realizing a freaking neon babe has a boyfriend and you don’t?”

She couldn’t hide the smile that tugged at her mouth and had to look away before he saw. “Wilder, this conversation is so over.”

“Look on the bright side.” She faced him again, just in time to see his wicked smile.

“There’s a bright side?”

“Oh, yeah.” He winked at her. “At least you don’t have to worry about some other neon babe shining your guy’s bulbs.”

“Like I said, Wilder, you’re one sick puppy.”

Guest Post: 

My Advice for Up and Coming Writers

There are so many things I’ve learned on my journey as a writer and so much more to learn. I’ve decided writing is a career you’ll never learn everything about. Right when you think you’ve got it all down pat, BOOM, another lesson is learned. Writing is an ongoing search for knowledge. I believe a writer just beginning their journey could benefit from my three favorite tips.

Tip Number One: Read. Read. Read. You can never read enough books. We all have our favorite genres. My advice is to write in the genre you love to read. I don’t read Steampunk. This doesn’t mean I don’t like the genre, it means I know absolutely nothing about it. How could I possibly write about a something I know zero about? If I tried I’d end up on the floor in a heap of frustration, tearing out my hair. If I happened to actually finish the book, my readers would most likely toss me on the floor and pull out my hair, right before they killed me. Okay, maybe that’s bit overkill. None-the-less, the book would be a nightmare. I could do the research, but I feel it’s not the same as reading books, watching shows, or living the genre. I can’t do it.

Tip Number Two: Take the advice of editors, beta readers, and critique partners. You may not always like or use their suggestions, but at least be open-minded. If you don’t want their advice, why ask for it to begin with? I know this first hand. I submitted one of my manuscripts to several editors and publishers. They all seemed to have plenty of suggestions. Some were awesome, some not so much. I noticed one particular suggestion I wasn’t a big fan of was offered over and over. Okay, I decided, maybe these people with the similiar critiques are on to something. I made the change and the next publisher I sent the MS to, offered me a contract.

Yep, there may be something to this. Again, you may not always make or like the changes—that’s your choice, but when more than one or two editors, critique partners, or beta readers mention the same problem, you should take a closer look at the glitch.

Tip Number Three: Never give up! No matter how many times you hit a wall while writing and need a break, get your butt back in the chair as soon as you can. I’m not talking the let me grab a coffee kind of break here. I’m talking a break that goes on for days. Your manuscript is not going to get written while you’re playing hooky.

Never give up! No matter how many rejections letters you get. I always say I have enough rejections to wall paper a small bathroom. Rejections hurt. But in the end you have to pick yourself up and park your rear back in the seat. If you’re lucky, you’ll eventually get rejected by an editor who takes a moment to tell you what they see as a problem. Like I said in tip #2, think their ideas over and see if maybe they’re right. You have to roll with the punches and grow thick skin if you want to be a writer.

Did I mention, never give up! Remember if you don’t swing the bat, you’ll never hit a homerun.


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Reviews By Molly

Author Bio:

Teri Riggs was destined to be a writer. As a small girl she didn’t read bedtime stories, she made up her own. Who needed Little Red Riding Hood or The Three Little Pigs when there were so many great tales bouncing around in her head? When she grew up and became a mother to three little girls, she continued the tradition of making up bedtime stories. On the occasions she chose to tell conventional fairytales, Teri usually gave them a bit of tweaking here and there or added a new ending. Her girls loved it.

After her daughters had the nerve to actually grow up and leave home, Teri discovered she had a passion for writing and jumped right in. It came as no surprise she chose to write mysteries and happily-ever-after’s since that’s the genres she loves to read.

Teri lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, one of her daughters and two dogs that seem to think they rule the world. And some days Teri thinks maybe they do.

Teri still frequently tells herself stories as she falls asleep. The only difference now is she wakes up the next morning and turns her bedtime stories into books.

To connect with the author online:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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