Review: The Watcher by Lisa Voisin

Today I am hosting a spot on the power blog tour of The Watcher by Lisa Voisin.  This is a great paranormal young adult book.  Very inventive and entertaining .  Be sure to check out my full review after the blurb and click on the link below to enter to win a giveaway.

The Watcher CoverBlurb:

Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her.  Can he face her without falling again?

Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings–soft and silent like snow–and somebody trying to steal them.

When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them—but not from any textbook.

In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both?

Ancient history is only the beginning.

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Format: eBook and Paperback

Length: Super Novel

eBook: 978-0-9856562-1-8

Review:

This was a great read!  Lisa Voisin really drew me in with this story.  The character’s and premise are phenomenal.  The idea that you could fall in love with an angel and they would fall from heaven to be with you is both sad and makes your heart thump.  Mia and Michael have been through this once before.  Now, they are meeting again after millenia have gone by.  The attraction is still there connecting their souls.  Michael has been given a second chance after falling, but must face Mia again to be let back into his heavenly brotherhood.  They must know he will choose God and Heaven over a woman.  All the while fighting their natural urges they must also fight the evils of Demons trying to attack Mia and her friends.  Along with being normal teenagers they must deal with a battle of epic proportions that only few can see.  Will Michael make the same choice or will Mia feel the pain of losing her angel again?

I loved this story.  The characters were well-developed and the story well thought out.  But, I am a sucker for a good love story that carries over time.  Thought Michael and Mia are teenagers I really felt they were much older than they seemed.  Lisa Voisin does a wonderful job illustrating the battle between Angels and Demons along with the battle between choosing love and lose.  Overall, a wonderful Young Adult read.  I would recommend this for anyone who loves a good love story, especially one with celestial challenges.

ebook sleeveGiveaway:

The paperback and eBook sleeve giveaway is open for US, UK and Canada while the ebook giveaway is open worldwide.
The eBook sleeve giveaway is customizable. The winner will get to choose from a lot of designs and the name will be sewed in too if they wish.  The designs are absolutely beautiful and this is only a sample

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NjJlMjE4ZjNjN2QxNDk4NmMzZjRmN2YxZjA5MmFlOjE5/

YA Corner: Guest Post and Review of Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay

Happy Sunday everyone!  Today I am happy to say that I have a wonderful author guest posting.  Stacey Jay is the fantastic author of Juliet Immortal and the awesome sequel, Romeo Redeemed.   Romeo Redeemed is a stand out sequel to her first book.  You can check out my review of Juliet Immortal here and check out my review of Romeo Redeemed after Stacey Jay’s post.  So, lets welcome Stacey Jay!

Just three days…

When I decided to write about Romeo and Juliet—for reasons I’ve discussed elsewhere on the Interwebs, but which included a strong distrust of Romeo, a character who was “desperately in love” with Rosaline mere hours before meeting Juliet—I knew I wanted to twist the story into knots, but I also wanted to keep some things the same. I wanted to mirror the light and dark imagery from Shakespeare’s play, and I wanted to stick to the same timeline as the original love story.

That meant each of my couples in JULIET IMMORTAL and ROMEO REDEEMED had only three days to fall in love.

Critics of “insta-love” may immediately recoil in horror, but I liked the symmetry, the challenge the constraint provided, and it just felt right for the story to take place in a very short amount of time. A supernatural battle for the souls of true lovers isn’t a drawn out affair in my mind; it’s a cut throat contest that would probably last a week or two at most, and in this case the stakes are even higher because this mission is Romeo and Juliet’s last.

But knowing I had only three days going in, I made some careful decisions when crafting my characters to make the three day time limit easier on myself.

In particular I:

1. Gave all my characters a tragic back story, and some pretty deep emotional wounds, which helped both to make them more empathetic people, as well as very eager for the kind of relationship that would help heal some of their wounds/make them feel less alone.

2. Went in with the assumption that these couples have ended up together in many permutations of reality. Their “how we met story” may be different from one reality to the next, but their happy every after is always the same, giving them a sense that they somehow know each other even when meeting for the first time.

3. Made sure my couples would be compatible in the long haul. They may experience bumps at the onset of their relationship, but in the long run, they are perfectly matched people who will only grow closer as time goes on.

4. Remembered who I was dealing with. Romeo and Juliet may have grown and changed in the afterlife I created for them, but they are still the most famous case of insta-love of all time. It made sense to me that they’d fall in love quickly the second time, as well, though they both made more informed, rational decisions than they did back in the 14th century.

At times the time crunch was a challenge, but I had great fun writing these love stories, and I hope my readers enjoy them as well.

Thanks so much for having me over to the blog, Jackie!

ROMEOwSLEEVEBook Blurb:

Seductive companion to the popular Juliet Immortal, in which former lovers—Romeo and Juliet—meet, not as true lovers, but truly as enemies.

Cursed to live out eternity in his rotted corpse, Romeo, known for his ruthless, cutthroat ways, is given the chance to redeem himself by traveling back in time to save the life of Ariel Dragland. Unbeknownst to her, Ariel is important to both the evil Mercenaries and the love-promoting Ambassadors and holds the fate of the world in her hands. Romeo must win her heart and make her believe in love, turning her away from her darker potential before his work is discovered by the Mercenaries. While his seduction begins as yet another lie, it soon becomes his only truth. Romeo vows to protect Ariel from harm, and do whatever it takes to win her heart and soul. But when Ariel is led to believe his love is a deception, she becomes vulnerable to Mercenary manipulation, and her own inner darkness may ultimately rip them apart.

Review:

After reading Juliet Immortal I was hooked on Stacey Jay’s writing.  I knew when I found out she was doing a sequel I had to read it.  It definitely doesn’t disappoint.  As sequels go, Romeo Redeemed definitely makes a name for itself.  In the first book you really learn to dislike Romeo and cheer for Juliet.  But, as the title suggests Romeo has the chance to redeem himself in not just the story but in the eyes of the reader.  Romeo’s story takes off where Juliet’s left.  After the choice of protecting Juliet, Romeo is punished by the Mercenaries as becoming a specter.  It is in this form that Juliet’s nurse propositions him to switch loyalties to the Ambassadors of Light, but first he must prove his loyalty by convincing Ariel Dragland to believe in love.  If Romeo fails he not only goes back to his life as a specter but can possibly doom the world.  A lot rides on Romeo’s redemption!

This sequel is the total package.  The characters, story and theme blend splendidly well.  You really fall for Romeo and you feel for Ariel.  In the day and age,  the prevalence of bullying will allow many to relate to the torment that Ariel has faced for many years.  The idea that someone can come along and see past the scars and appreciate you for being you is something most people would cherish.  It is in this you will completely fall for Romeo.  Along with falling for Romeo, you will fall in love with the overall unique take on Romeo and Juliet.  You will recognize characters from Shakespeare’s play and almost feel a certain level of comfort in knowing some of these characters. The time limit of 3 days adds a level of suspense that helps to propel both the love story and the overall pacing of the story.  Stacey Jay’s ability to incorporate some of Romeo and Juliet’s themes and story is a talent uniquely hers.  Overall, Romeo Redeemed is a great sequel in a wonderfully unique story.  I would recommend reading Juliet Immortal first so that some of the details in Romeo Redeemed are more clear.  This is definitely a book for all ages not just Young Adult.  Be sure to go out and pick up both Juliet Immortal and Romeo Redeemed ASAP, you won’t regret it!

stacey_cropAuthor Bio:

Stacey Jay is the author of many books for teens, including JULIET IMMORTAL, ROMEO REDEEMED, and the forthcoming, OF BEAST AND BEAUTY, a twisted retelling of Beauty and the Beast, available July 23, 2013 from Delacorte Press. Learn more at www.staceyjay.com or:

Follow Stacey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Stacey_Jay

Or friend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stacey.jay.ya

Fresh Faced Friday: Resurrecting Harry by Constance Phillips

Today I am featuring an awesome author and her new book.  Thanks to a blog tour I was introduced to Constance Phillips and her book Fairyproof.  I immediately loved her writing.  I was really excited when Connie asked me to review her newest book, Resurrecting Harry.  If you have read Fairyproof it is quite a bit different but still stepping into the Paranormal Romance genre.  This is a wonderfully written story and really takes the real people of Harry and Bess Houdini and gives them a chance at a different “ending”.  Be sure to check out my review after the blurb about Resurrecting Harry.

Harry-CoverBook Blurb: (courtesy of constancephillips.com)

Devastated by Harry Houdini’s unexpected death, his widow, Bess, clings to his promise to deliver a coded message from beyond the grave.  She’s determined to provide the bridge for him to cross, just like she assisted him on the stage, even if that means befriending her husband’s sworn enemy.

In order to save the only woman he’s every loved from self-destruction, Harry puts his afterlife on the line by entering a wager with purgatory’s keeper. He gives Harry a younger face and body, and a new name: Erich Welch. Even with Harry’s soul and memories, Erich feel out-of-place and disconnected from everything once his.

Will Erich be able to help Bess over her loss and will any good come from resurrecting Harry?

Review:

I loved this book!  There I said it.  Constance Phillips does not disappoint.  I was really curious when I read the blurb about this book.  I have always had an interest in Houdini and was intrigued on how this book would play out.  The story begins with Harry in a purgatory of sorts re-living all of his past failures.  He is brought out of this endless spiral by Jaden.  The keeper of this existence.  Jaden informs Harry that he has been dead for 11 months.  He soon offers Harry a proposition.  If he can get Bess to stop her séance of trying to contact Harry’s spirit then he may get yet another chance at life not only for himself but with his beloved Bess.  Harry would be brought back in a different body but retain all of his memories.  If Harry doesn’t succeed he will forever live in a world of nothingness.  Since Harry does not believe in an ever after he agrees and figures it will be very simple to get Bess to realize that deep within his new body and life is the Harry that she has loved.  Harry, who is now Erich, soon realizes that 11 lonely months has changed Bess and she is not the same that she once was.  Erich now faces a huge obstacle of befriending and hopefully earning Bess’s love all over again.  Bess in turn becomes conflicted with her growing feelings for this newcomer.  She is weary because in the time since her husband passed away she has been bombarded by charlatans and swindlers just trying to get a piece of Harry’s legacy.  She feels it is her duty to protect the public’s memory and her own memories.  Along with the strangers are those who Harry has harmed who wish to try to blackmail Bess into holding the séance for both monetary and notoriety that would help them recover what they feel Harry took away.  Through Bess and Erich’s journey you get a sense of reawaken and epiphanies.  Bess reawakens to a new life of possibilities that doesn’t have to surround her dead husband’s life.  Erich has epiphanies about things that he never realized happened.  Especially feelings that Bess had that he/Harry ignored or took for granted.  In the end, will the new love bloom and start a new and different life or will the old ways creep back in and snatch away the bright possibilities?

Overall, an extremely well done book that drives you forward with each chapter.  You can almost believe that this really did happen!  This had to have been challenging to take historical characters and develop them in a way in which would propel and strengthen the story.  Connie Phillips does a wonderful job navigating the waters of bother paranormal and historical romance.  Her choice of Bess and Harry was a clever one.  Though many stories have been told about they you will be hard pressed to find such a good paranormal romance with a focus about them.  In general I would whole-heartedly recommend this book!  If you like a bit of paranormal and  a bit of the historical you will love Resurrecting Harry.  Great job, Connie!

If you would like to know more about Resurrecting Harry you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.

connie_SM3Author Bio: (courtesy of constancephillips.com)

Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, two ready-to-leave-the-nest children, and four canine kids. Her perfect fantasy vacation would involve hunting Dracula across Europe with her daughter, who also digs that kind of stuff. When she’s not writing about fairies, shifters, vamps, and guardian angels, she’s working side-by-side with her husband in their hardwood flooring business.

She’s actively involved in her local Romance Writers of America chapter (MVRWA), and the Southeast Michigan chapter of the United States Pony Club (which her son is also very active in). When not writing or enjoying the outdoors, she loves reality television or can be found at a Rick Springfield concert (just look for the pink Converse high tops).

Her first paranormal romance, Fairyproof, was released from Crescent Moon Press in September of 2012. Resurrecting Harry, also from Crescent Moon Press will be available March 1, 2013.  You can also follow her on Twitter or friend her on Facebook.

Guest Post: A Baron in Her Bed by Maggi Andersen

I have an awesome treat for you all today.  Maggi Andersen is here to promote her new book, A Baron in Her Bed.  She stopping by to talk to us about her love of historical romance.  I’d like to thank Goddess Fish Promotions for letting me host this stop today. Maggi is also having a giveaway. Maggi will be awarding the winner’s choice of a backlist eBook to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a $30 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter.  So, without any further adieu I am going to hand the reigns over to Maggi.  Let’s welcome Maggi Andersen.

When I read Georgette Heyer’s Devil’s Cub, about intelligent practical Mary Challoner and wicked, Dominic Alastair, Marquis of Vidal, I was hooked! I already knew I would someday be a writer, but now I knew I wanted to set my books in that world. I read all Heyer’s novels as a teenager. I loved the Georgian and Regency periods she captured so beautifully. I’ve re-read them over the years, and the great contemporary writers who have followed in her wake. Writers like Jo Beverley, Amanda Quick, Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Stephanie Laurens and Mary Jo Putney.
Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters’ fabulous novels made an indelible mark on the romance genre. Rochester in Jane Eyre was the first of the romance heroes, troubled and dark. Who doesn’t like Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion and Emma? Victoria Holt’s wonderful Gothic novels are a favorite too, set in the Victorian era.
With a view to taking up writing seriously, I completed two degrees, a BA in English and an MA in Creative Writing, while raising my family. Rules of Conduct was my first Regency romance novel which I submitted to Mills & Boon. It didn’t fit their requirements, but they were very encouraging. Rather than try to write my stories to suit them, I dashed off a Regency novella, Stirring Passions, and in a matter of weeks was surprised when a publisher took it and asked for more.
I enjoy writing about rakes, alpha males and strong brave heroines. My characters emerge as I write, like the baron, Guy, Lord Fortescue in A Baron in Her Bed. He is half-French, which adds an interesting dimension to the story. My heroine, Horatia Cavendish’s world turns upside down when she discovers him lying unconscious on a road near her house.
Since Stirring Passions, I’ve written more Regencies and Victorian novels. I’m fascinated by the past, and enjoy the research and the period detail, the history, architecture, fashion, interiors and the mores of a society so different from my own. I’ve acquired a huge research library of beautiful books. I have to keep writing to pay for them!
A glorious book on Georgian Jewelry assisted with the writing of my Georgian romance, The Reluctant Marquess. I had to have it!
For those interested in research, I can recommend these:
All Things Austen. The wonderful Encyclopedia of Austen’s World Volume I & II.
The Prince of Pleasure and his Regency by J. B. Priestley.
English Country House Interiors by Musson.
The English Country House by Mary Miers.
Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester.
I write contemporary romantic suspense too, but always come back to historical romance. It’s the perfect dreamy escape.

Cover_ABaronInHerBedBLURB:

London, 1816. A handsome baron. A faux betrothal. And Horatia’s plan to join the London literary set takes a dangerous turn.

Now that the war with France has ended, Baron Guy Fortescue arrives in England to claim his inheritance, abandoned over thirty years ago when his father fled to France after killing a man in a duel. When Guy is set upon by footpads in London, a stranger, Lord Strathairn, rescues and befriends him. But while travelling to his country estate, Guy is again attacked. He escapes only to knock himself out on a tree branch.

Aspiring poet Horatia Cavendish has taken to riding her father’s stallion, “The General”, around the countryside of Digswell dressed as a groom. She has become bored of her country life and longs to escape to London to pursue her desire to become part of the London literary set. When she discovers Guy lying unconscious on the road, the two are forced to take shelter for the night in a hunting lodge. After Guy discovers her ruse, a friendship develops between them.

Guy suspects his relative, Eustace Fennimore is behind the attacks on his life. He has been ensconced in Rosecroft Hall during the family’s exile and will become the heir should Guy die. Horatia refuses to believe her godfather, Eustace, is responsible. But when Guy proposes a faux betrothal to give him more time to discover the truth, she agrees. Secure in the knowledge that his daughter will finally wed, Horatia’s father allows her to visit her blue-stocking aunt in London. But Horatia’s time spent in London proves to be anything but a literary feast, for a dangerous foe plots Guy’s demise. She is determined to keep alive her handsome fiance, who has proven more than willing to play the part of her lover even as he resists her attempts to save him.

Excerpt:

She patted The General’s nose and fed him an apple. By the time the last of it had disappeared, she heard the clip of a horse’s hooves on the gravel drive. She peeped out of the barn door and saw the baron, tall in the saddle, riding towards the house.

Horatia stepped out and beckoned him. He caught sight of her and rode towards the stables then dismounted and led the horse inside.

“Sorry, my lord,” Horatia said, adopting Simon’s gruff voice. “We have no footman here. No under-groom neither. I’ll stable your horse.”

“Simon, good fellow,” he said warmly. “I came to thank you again. I am indebted to you.”

“No need for that, my lord,” she said. “Everything’s right and tight here as it happens.” She turned her back to lead his horse into one of the stalls. Seizing a brush, she bent and swept it over the horse’s flanks.

He came to rest an arm on the stall door. “I am relieved. If you had lost your job, I was going to ask you to work for me.”

She straightened to brush the horse’s back, confident of the poor light. “Mighty good of you, my lord. But not at all necessary.”

Eh bien, merci encore.” He turned towards the door.

Relieved it had gone so well, Horatia stepped out from behind the horse. She looked up to see if he had gone and found him watching her with his arms folded.

The elation left her, and she took a deep, shaky breath.

“Did you really think you could go on fooling me?” A note of outrage lay beneath the humorous tone in his voice. “How many people around here have red hair like yours?”

“My hair’s not red,” she said, incensed. “It’s chestnut.”

“I wondered how far you would carry this ruse, Miss Cavendish.”

She backed into an empty stall as he strode towards her.

He followed her inside. Reaching over, he whipped off her hat, and her hair came loose and tumbled around her face.  “So, what do you have to say in your defense?”

“Nothing, my lord.” Horatia lifted her chin, her heart pounding loud in her ears. She chewed her lip. She would have to brazen this out.

Annoyed blue eyes stared into hers. “I do not like to be toyed with. I thought there was something wrong with me.”

“Pardon?”

“Watching you bend over in those breeches. Zut! From the first, I felt a strong attraction to you. And then, when I saw you dressed as a woman, I understood.”

“You knew it was me at the dance?” She scowled. “And you deliberately teased me?”

“Don’t you think you deserved it?” He seized her shoulders and gave them a shake. “You tricked me. Why?”

She swallowed. “No trickery, my lord. I was dressed this way when I found you, if you recall. I needed to keep up the pretense.”

He shrugged. “But why do you dress like that?”

She couldn’t explain her restlessness to him and tossed her head. “I prefer to ride astride.”

He raised a brow. “You like a strong beast moving beneath you?”

She bristled at the insult. “I like to ride alone.” He made it sound as if she gained some sort of indecent enjoyment from the exercise. Her face heated. To ride astride was unfeminine, she knew, but that fact had never bothered her before.

“But to do so places you in peril.”

Horatia drew herself up. “I can handle myself as well as a man.”

“You believe that, do you?” His gaze flicked over her. What was he thinking? She quivered under his scrutiny.

AuthorPicAUTHOR Bio:

Maggi Andersen and her lawyer husband are empty nesters, living in the countryside outside Sydney with their cat and the demanding wildlife. Parrots demand seed, possums fruit, ducks swim in the stream at the bottom of the garden, and the neighbours chickens roam their yard providing wonderful eggs. She began writing adventure stories at age eight. Three children, a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree later, her novels are still filled with adventure and suspense, but are also passionate romances. Georgette Heyer among others, brought inspiration to her seductive Regencies and she also writes darker, Victorian novels, contemporary romantic suspense and young adult.

She supports the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals) and animals often feature in her books.

Website: http://www.maggiandersenauthor.com

Blog: http://www.maggiandersen.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maggi-Andersen-Author/372854959805

Twitter: @maggiandersen

Guest Post and Review: Bewitched by Mark Jay Harris

Today I am happy to present Bewitched by Mark Jay Harris.  Mark is taking over the blog today! He’s gonna tell us how he came up with his awesome Young Adult novel, Bewitched.  Be sure to check out my review after Mark’s takeover.  So without any further adieu here is Mark Jay Harris.

First of all, I want to thank Jackie for this chance to blog a bit.

I’m still adjusting to having a book published. I can’t really express how exciting it is! I’m also sort of wandering around like I don’t know what I’m doing. I know how to write, but promoting, blogging, that’s stuff I’m still trying to get a handle on.

Jackie had a great idea, and I think I’ll blog about how I got the idea for BEWITCHED.

Like many people of my…how do I put this…Time period? Generation? Okay, age! there was a 60s television show called “Bewitched.” As a kid I enjoyed this silly little program. When I had kids of my own I thought they’d enjoy it; so, every so often we’d watch some episodes of Bewitched as a family. My kids love the show as well.

Eventually I shared this idea I’d been mulling over with my family. I told them how I thought it was an interesting idea being married to a real witch. Wouldn’t be interesting if someone wrote a story about a guy who gets married to a witch, but doesn’t know she’s a witch until after they get married. And then, instead of it being a comedy where the main character’s in-laws keep ruining his life, what if his in-laws hated him so much they wanted him dead? That could be interesting.

As I started to flesh-out this idea I couldn’t decide where to begin. How old should Darren and Samantha be? How do they meet? What is the historical context of the witches? What should I keep from the old TV show and what should I completely create?

Time passed and I let a lot of these ideas percolate.  Thoughts occurred and I’d play with them. The first thing I decided was that I wanted it to be young adults. Harry Potter was all the rage at this time and Twilight was just beginning to take off in popularity. As I wrote BEWITCHED I had in mind a target audience somewhere in between the groups that would read these two books.

The first chapter I wrote was what is now chapter five. It contained this flash back to the Old Testament where I thought the story should begin. Witches are old and I wanted the story to start there. The next chapter was what is now chapter 3: the basketball game where Darren first sees Samantha. It wasn’t until later that I realized chapter 5 was not your regular young adult fare. Most kids don’t know much about the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, nor do they find it particularly exciting. But the truth of the matter is that there are actual witches in that part of the Bible and what happens, when you think about it, is quite exciting and actually very frightening.

Depending upon who I showed this chapter to I got mixed reviews. Those who knew anything about the Bible thought it was terrific. A great tie-in to add in the story and it mixed well the actual account from the Bible with this piece of fiction I had written. Other people thought it wasn’t necessary and bogged down the story.

I found it too important to leave out, but I also recognized I had to win my readers over first with something more current, and with Darren, who is the main character after all. The first chapter had to really get the reader wondering what was going on so they’d want to finish the story. After they were hooked, I figured they’d trust me with this Biblical flashback and be willing to see where it would take them.

In any case, after rearranging these chapters and completing the book, I sent it to a friend from grades-school I’d run across through Facebook. After my wife, she was the one who most patiently went through the thing and gave me good critical advice. My daughter Genevieve also read through it several times and told me I was great and that BEWITCHED was a good enough to be published. I needed this kind of support because I sent out query after query with no bites.

I had a few people who wanted to know if I could change the title. I think they were too afraid of the connection with the television show and didn’t want to face any legal problems. I then changed the title to SPELLBOUND for a while, which still caught the essence of the story. Later I changed it to THE GRIMOIRE OF MOLOCH, but my wife didn’t really like it very much. She thought it sounded too esoteric. No one knew what a Grimoire was or who Moloch was.

Finally I went back with my original title of BEWITCHED and found Inkspell.  I loved the name of that company so much I wanted to have them publish my book more than any other place I’d run across to date. And when they wrote me back saying they were interested in publishing the book, I had to keep reading the lines in the email over and over again because I wasn’t used to reading words that weren’t “Good luck in your future endeavors.”

Well, I’m afraid I’ve probably droned on too long, and if Jackie decides to cut this down I wouldn’t blame her one little bit. All I can say is fall under the spell of BEWITCHED, (corny, I know, but I kind of like it) you won’t be disappointed.

You can find it out on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles. Or just try my site at: www.markjayharrisauthor.com.  I’m working on the second book in The Thaumaturgy, called THE RETURN OF THE FAMILIAR. That title will make a lot more sense after you finish reading BEWITCHED.  In parting, thanks for reading, and be careful who you fall in love with.

Thanks Jackie!!

Bewitched.v1.2Blurb:

Is it love or is it witchcraft? He’ll never find out if he kills her first.

The first time Darren saw Samantha, she was floating above his high school gymnasium during a basketball game, invisible to everyone but him. Next time he sees her, she’s sitting in front of him in class, wowing his friends and causing unexplainable things to happen that only he seems to notice. But things really get strange (and complicated) when his dying grandfather tells him that he is part of an ancient order, the “Pessum Ire,” whose duty is to destroy witches. What does he do now, since he’s almost positive Samantha is a witch…and he’s crushing on her pretty hard?

Review:

Bewitched was an awesome read!  The Young Adult genre has really blown up lately with a lot of paranormal based stories.  Bewitched deftly navigates the paranormal genre.  In Bewitched, we meet Darren.  When we first meet him he is attending the funeral of his older brother.  During the funeral he experiences some weird sightings that only he can see.  It’s a few years later that an incident during a basketball game throws his world for a loop.  He begins to believe the stories his crazy old grandfather had been telling since he was young.  As Darren delves more into his new life and the new world in front of him he finds it harder and harder to do what is asked of him while trying to figure out how he plays in a prophesy of his enemies.  While reading Bewitched you will keep asking yourself how will Darren choose his path and how will his choice effect those he cares about.

Mark Harris does a great job with this book.  This being the first book in his series he does a phenomenal job introducing his characters and developing the world that they live in.  The story is well conceived and developed.  Darren and Samantha are great characters that you really develop an interest in.  They alone could drive you to want to read more of this great story, but it is also the peripheral characters like Mike, Serena, Andrea and Atacus that bring comic relief and more insight into a murky undiscovered background.  I would unequivocally recommend this book for all paranormal lovers.  You will get sucked in and get to the end cursing that the next book isn’t out yet so that you can read it.

I’d like to thank Inkspell Publishing for letting me host and review this stop today.  I’d also like to thank Mark Jay Harris for his awesome post and to tell him to hurry up we need more!

MarkJHarris - AuthorAbout the Author:

Mark Harris lives in Smithfield Utah, a small town located in a beautiful valley in Northern Utah. His wife, Shaundale, and he have four terrific children, two girls and two boys and a fifth one due to arrive in November of 2012. Mark has taught English and Special Education and currently works from home teaching English to people from all over the world. Writing has always been his true passion since he was a grade schooler writing about mushrooms. “Bewitched” will be his debut novel. He has two others underway and will soon start on the sequel to “Bewitched,” called “The Return of the Familiar.” He hopes you enjoy his work because he is working on several series geared toward younger audiences.

You can find Mark on: www.markjayharrisauthor.com

Book available on all major outlets: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and The Book Depository

Fresh Faced Friday: Mark of Abel by Viola Ryan

Today I am featuring Viola Ryan and her book, The Mark of AbelThe Mark of Abel is a unique blend of paranormal romance and suspense.  Viola Ryan weaves a wonderful story that brings in a mixture of Christian beliefs/history and paranormal.  Be sure to check out my review of this unique Paranormal Romance after the book blurb.

3735587_origBook Blurb: (courtesy of http://www.violaryan.com)

Lucifer is fed up with humanity. He created hell to deter evil, but man’s inhumanity is only escalating. He just wants to return home to heaven, but ever since that little problem in the Garden of Eden, the Pearly Gates remain firmly shut to him. It doesn’t help that he’s the first vampire, an abomination in God’s sight.

Fortunately, two thousand years ago Lucifer’s estranged brother, Jesus, gave him a prophecy. To fulfill it, all Lucifer has to do is find the right artist, study her artwork and the path back to heaven will be revealed. The artist even bears a symbol so he knows who she is. Too bad she is murdered every time he finds her.

Janie’s a frustrated artist and college art teacher who wants two things—a guy she can show her paintings to and a night without nightmares. Each nightmare plagues her until she paints it. She doesn’t realize these paintings are key to unlocking her destiny, one that could redeem the original fallen angel.

Review:

When I first read the description of Viola Ryan’s The Mark of Abel I was very intrigued.  I have read numerous books about both paranormal and religious blends.  I felt like this could be a very interesting concept if it is carried out well.  I was not disappointed. The Mark of Abel begins with life in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.  It shows Lucifer in his beginning as the angel he originally was.  Lucifer falls in love with Eve and dislikes Adam.  It becomes Lucifer’s goal to bring Eve back up to heaven to live with him.  Not long after Lucifer’s first forbidden contact with Eve does he eat from the Tree of Knowledge and then so does Eve and Adam respectively getting them thrown out of the Garden of Eden and Lucifer thrown out of Heaven, becoming the first fallen angel.  This beginning is only one twist on the accepted religious notions of the beginning of man.  This is not the only twists Viola throws at us.  We are also show Jesus as Lucifer’s brother (another angel) and Lilith is Lucifer’s mistress of Hell.  Lucifer even father’s twins with Lilith.

It is amongst these alternative interpretations that Lucifer becomes the first vampire and Jesus leaves a way for Lucifer to find his way back to heaven.  Lucifer must find an artist that depicts gruesome nightmares on canvas.  This is where Janie comes into the pictures.  Janie has horrible nightmares and no matter what she tries she can only paint gruesome images.  Janie, like all the others before her, lives unknowingly in danger.  All of her predecessors have been murdered to prevent Lucifer from ascending back to Heaven.  So, it is up to Lucifer to keep Janie safe and find through her his salvation.

This was a wonderfully unique story.  I really enjoyed the different takes on modern Christian beliefs and popular paranormal ideas.  I think this blend of religion and paranormal was done so well.  It definitely took a unique approach to an already inundated genre.  Viola’s thoroughly done story and complete characters make’s this a geniunely phenomenal read.  For anyone who likes angels, vampires and a good love story you will enjoy Mark of Abel. 

2042459_origAuthor Bio: (courtesy of http://www.violaryan.com)

A very good friend of Viola Ryan in high school said, “You don’t think outside the box. You blow the thing up.” Sometimes boxes need exploding. That’s why she’s here. She has a whole bag of C4 and isn’t afraid to use it. She’s blessed with people who treasure her eccentricities or at least put up with them.

Sometimes the box can be a cozy place. Without some sort of stability, her two daughters’ and her life would be unmanageable. That stability comes from her husband. He’s the rock holding her family together.

On the flip side, his career is anything but stable. He’s a Chief Marine Safety Technician in the US Coast Guard. They’ve lived from Kittery, Maine to Yorktown, Virginia. Fortunately, the moves have all been on the east coast. Then again, the Coast Guard tends to guard the coast.

Her oldest daughter (15) was born on Cape Cod, not far from Plymouth. Massachusetts. Her youngest (12) was born in Yorktown, Virginia, down the road from Williamsburg. Viola jokes they’re doing the colonial America tour.

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