Fresh Face Friday: The Antique Love by Helena Fairfax

Hi Everyone!  This Friday I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Helena Fairfax and her book The Antique Love.  This was a cute love story.  It was quick read with a very thorough storyline.  Be sure to check out the rest of my review after the book blurb.  I hope everyone is going to get the chance to enjoy this holiday weekend and be sure to check out my new segment on Monday.

18342845Book Blurb: (Courtesy of Goodreads)

One rainy day in London, Wyoming man Kurt Bold walks into an antique shop off the King’s Road and straight into the dreams of its owner, Penny Rosas.  Lively, spirited and imaginative, Penny takes this handsome stranger for a romantic cowboy straight from the pages of a book.   Kurt certainly looks every inch the hero…but he soon brings Penny’s dreams to earth with a thump.  His job is in the City, in the logical world of finance—and as far as Kurt is concerned, romance is just for dreamers.  Events in his childhood have shown him just how destructive love can be.  Now he’s looking for a wife, right enough, but what he wants is a marriage based on logic and rational decisions.  Kurt treats Penny like he would his kid sister, but when he hires her to help refurbish his beautiful Victorian house near Richmond Park, it’s not long before he starts to realise it’s not just his home she’s breathing life into.  The logical heart he has guarded so carefully all these years is opening up to new emotions, in a most disturbing way…

Review:

In The Antique Love we first meet Penny.  She is the co-owner of an antique shop when she sees a man who appears to have stepped right out of a western novel.  As she continually spys his browsing in her shop she is distracted from her piles of bills.  All of a sudden the “cowboy” appears in front of her wanting to learn more about some of the antiques.  Penny shows how truly passionate she is about antiques and the stories behind them.  After selling the “cowboy” an antique set of earrings Penny goes back to her work.  Not long after she is interrupted by the “cowboy” who she finds out is not actually a cowboy but a very wealthy financer.  He solicits her work as an interior designer.  Kurt wants her to decorate his new home for a wife that he has yet to meet.  As Penny gets to know him she finds that he bases all of his decisions on logic and finds passion and dreams to be illogical.  But, as Penny and Kurt work more and more together they learn more about each other and Kurt begins to question what he believes.  As Kurt opens up he feels Penny’s natural passion weaving her way into his life and his heart, but will Kurt accept his new feelings before it’s too late?

This was a very cute story.  It was a romantic story that developed naturally.  I thought Penny and Kurt were wonderful characters and definitely seemed like people you would know.  The story is well-written and developed, but I would have liked to have seen more of it.  It seemed like it ended too soon.  It had a wonderful ending, but I think more could have expanded the story.  In the overall aspect of things the love story was wonderful and so were the characters.  I think we all want a bit of their love story but I did feel that the final culmination of their story seemed too quick.  Like I said, I would have liked to see more developed in the end.  This is definitely a story for romance lovers and if you’re a fan of England you’ll love the setting.

 

7082986Author Bio: (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Helena Fairfax was born in Uganda and came to England as a child.  She’s grown used to the cold now and that’s just as well, because nowadays she lives in an old Victorian mill town in Yorkshire, right next door to windswept Brontë country.  She has an affectionate, if half-crazed, rescue dog and together they tramp the moors every day—one of them wishing she were Emily Brontë, the other vainly chasing pheasants.   When she’s not out on the moors you’ll find Helena either creating romantic heroes and heroines of her own or else with her nose firmly buried in a book, enjoying someone else’s stories.  Her patient husband and her brilliant children support her in her daydreams and are the loves of her life.

Review: The Star Catcher by Stephanie Keyes

I have had the awesome pleasure of getting a very advanced readers copy for the final book in The Star Child Trilogy. The Star Catcher is so new it isn’t even on Goodreads yet, but yours truly got her greedy little hands on a copy and I’m going to share what you can expect.  Stephanie Keyes has definitely become one of my favorite authors and she did wonders for summing up her trilogy.

First off if you are new to Stephanie Keyes’ work you may want to read my previous reviews of  The Star Child (Book One) and The Fallen Stars (Book Two) before reading any further.  I try not to give spoilers with my reviews but sometimes its unavoidable.

Ok, now onto The Star Catcher.  The Star Catcher picks up exactly where The Fallen Stars ends.  Cali and Kellen are separated and unsure how they will ever reunite if ever.  Along with Cali being missing a new aspect of Gabe, Kellen’s best friend, comes to light.  He is not only Kellen’s best friend anymore.  He is much more and has always been a part of Kellen’s life even if Kellen was unknowing.  It is up to Kellen and Gabe to figure out who has Cali and how to find her.  With a missive from above, guidance is provided.  Kellen and Gabe must find Cali’s now mortal sister, Rowan.  She has the answers that they seek.  When Kellen and Gabe find Rowan they also find Rowan’s daughter, Singer.  Instantly, Gabe knows and understands how Kellen feels about Cali when he meets Singer.

Once Kellan, Gabe, Rowan and Singer team up they each have a set of goals.  Gabe and Singer must find Cali and Rowan and Kellen must decide whether Kellen will continue on with his humanity or choose to become a God. When Cali is rescued Kellen and Cali finally seal the deal (get married) and enjoy one blissful night together.  Unfortunately due to an impending war started by The Star Catcher the five of them must continue into Fairy.  Kellen finds out that from the power of his amulet he can now do many things he once couldn’t.  In fact it is within him to find his father, lift the curse of the C.O.D (Children of Danu) and defeat the Star Catcher.  Though this is now within Kellan’s means it doesn’t mean he can do it alone.  He must rely on not only his powers but those of the people around him.  Kellen must also learn to utilize and control his new power and to think less logically and more with instinct. In the end,  sacrifices will be made and tears will be shed but in the end the ultimate question is will good triumph over evil or will both the human and fairy worlds be destroyed?

I loved this book.  It may even be my favorite in the trilogy, but then again I am very much like Kellen and like to know the answers to things.  Stephanie Keyes does a phenomenal job of developing her characters.  If you have read this series so far you will know that Kellen alone changes both physically and mentally in both books, but it is in this book that his greatest changes happen.  I loved seeing more of Gabe.  His role becomes very pivotal in this book and he falls into place seamlessly.  Cali, though originally a God, we see much of her new humanity and with that a depth to her character that you can relate to.  Rowan and Singer are the newbies in this book and extremely important to this book’s story.  Their addition is flawless and very natural.  The Star Catcher is everything you would want in a final book in a trilogy.  It isn’t rushed or forced.  The story ebbs and flows naturally and ties up all the loose ends.  Overall, this book is wonderfully written and is one of the best endings in a trilogy I have seen in a while.  Stephanie Keyes did justice to the story, the characters and the world she created.  Her fans will not be disappointed with how the story wraps up.  I think I speak for all the fans of this story that the characters will be missed, but I know Stephanie will come up with something even bigger and better.  In the immortal words of Gabe, Stephanie “you are a total rock star.”

Unfortunately at the time of this review I am unsure of the publication release date, but the Cover Reveal is in October.  Check back here for more details.

 

Review: Home to Whiskey Creek by Brenda Novak

Today I am happy to share with you a wonderful book I had the chance to review.  Home to Whiskey Creek is a wonderful love story that comes out of a horrific event.  It is a book you won’t want to put down until you have flipped the last page.  Be sure to read the rest of my review after the book blurb.  Have a great Saturday, Everyone!

Book Blurb:

17251443Sometimes home is the refuge you need-and sometimes it isn’t.  Adelaide Davies, who’s been living in Sacramento, returns to Whiskey Creek, the place she once called home. She’s there to take care of her aging grandmother and to help with Gran’s restaurant, Just Like Mom’s. But Adelaide isn’t happy to be back. There are too many people here she’d rather avoid, people who were involved in that terrible June night fifteen years ago.

Ever since the graduation party that changed her life, she’s wanted to go to the police and make sure the boys responsible-men now-are punished. But she can’t, not without revealing an even darker secret. So it’s better to pretend….

Noah Rackham, popular, attractive, successful, is shocked when Adelaide won’t have anything to do with him. He has no idea that his very presence reminds her of something she’d rather forget. He only knows that he’s finally met a woman he could love.

Review:

Home to Whiskey Creek starts with Adelaide Davies’ return to her home town after a 13 yr absence.  How does she get welcomed back?  She gets kidnapped, threatened, almost raped and thrown down a mine.  Thankfully a knight on shining bicycle comes along and hears her yelling for help.  Noah Rackman, finds Adelaide trapped in a mine he swore never to visit.  Ever since that mine was the scene of his twin brother’s death.  Once Noah saves Adelaide she recognizes him immediately and sets her sights on keeping him and the memory of the fateful night of his brother’s death as far away from her as possible.  Noah has other plans.  But, what Noah doesn’t know are the reasons for Adelaide’s walls and the continual threats she receives since having come back into town.  The biggest question is when all becomes clear who will be standing together and who will be standing apart?  And can love survive such loss and deep hurt or will it crumble under the weight of tragedy?

This was such a moving and emotional book in various parts.  The characters are phenomenally well-formed and support all aspects of the story.  Brenda Novak does a wonderful job tackling such strong subject matter and giving hope along with the grief that comes with the losses that both Adelaide and Noah have suffered.  I also enjoyed the supporting characters.  Her Gran and Mother were very memorable but for completely different reasons.  Overall, a story of such powerful magnitude will leave you emotionally drained with a pile of tissues.  However, the sadness also has a redemptive end with the love that Noah and Adelaide find.  This is Brenda Novak’s fourth book in this series, but I feel I need to now go back and read the others in her Whiskey Creek series.  I would recommend this book if you want a good cry but feel good in the end.

Review: Faster Than the Rest by Shirleen Davies

Today you guys are in luck. You are getting a bonus review on top of my normal Fresh Face Friday. The bonus is Faster than the Rest by Shirleen Davies. It’s a wonderfully quick read. It is a historical romance that will make you want to go back to the time of cowboys and saloons. Be sure to check out my full review after the book blurb. I hope you enjoy today’s bonus review! I know I enjoyed it.

Book Blurb:

FASTERU. S. Marshal Jamie MacLaren will do whatever he must to find people who have been abducted, then return them to their families. This includes the woman who betrayed him then disappeared from his life.

Victoria Wicklund has endured numerous obstacles since she left Fire Mountain. None as frightening as being the victim of a kidnapping. At least that is what she thought until Jamie MacLaren appeared to rescue her. He was older, just as handsome as she remembered, and as unforgiving as the Arizona sun in summer.

Neither expects the desire they shared many years before to still burn as strong as ever. Nor do they anticipate the accusations upon their return to Fire Mountain. Will Jamie seek revenge, turning his back on the only woman he ever loved? Can Victoria forgive herself enough to trust the one man who can help her?

Review:

Faster than the Rest is the second book in the MacLarens of Fire Mountain series.  Its is a wonderful historical romance.  We first meet Jamie MacLaren while he is searching for a kidnap victim.  But, this is no ordinary kidnap victim.  This is his ex-fiancee, Victoria,  that left him for another man seven years prior.  Once Jamie rescues Victoria he tries desperately to forget all the feelings she still created inside him.  Along with the love that he still carried for her there was anger and hurt from her choice so long ago.  Victoria faces the same but she is elated to see Jamie again and hopes to possibly reconcile what was once lost.  The biggest question is can Jamie forgive and forget Victoria’s choices and can Victoria move past her pains from her past to move onto to a future with Jamie?

I love a good cowboy romance.  This is definitely a great one.  I loved Jamie and Victoria’s story along with the side story of Sam and Gloria.  I thought the story was full of suspense at times and really helped to propel the characters is wonderful and entertaining ways.  The story and the characters were well-defined making it a wonderful read.  I can’t wait for Shirleen’s next book.  I definitely want a cowboy of my own after this story.  WhooWee!

I’d like to thank Reading Addiction book tours for giving me a stop on this tour.  If you’d like to learn more about Faster than the Rest you can go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble or any other book retailer.

Author Bio:

shirleenProfile1I have been writing most of my life, but only recently began the transition into fiction. Historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and short stories are what keep me reading, so that is the focus of my writing.

I was born in California, grew up between a growing beach town and a small town at the base of the San Bernardino mountains. My mother originally planned to name me Katherine, but she read an article in the paper about a woman named Shirleen shortly before my birth, so instead of having a cool nickname, like Kate, I am simply Shirleen. My mainstays growing up were all the Nancy Drew mystery books; I loved them. Eventually I moved on to mysteries, suspense stories, crime novels, and romance. Pride and Prejudice will always be one of my favorites.

Besides California, life changes have allowed me to live in Oregon, Colorado, and Arizona. Everywhere I have lived has been inspirational in one way or another, giving me the opportunity to meet remarkable people with their own stories to tell. I’ve sailed, skied, owned horses plus lots of other animals, and ridden various off-road vehicles. I enjoy dancing, fishing, hunting, being the back-seater on my husband’s Harley, traveling and, of course, reading and writing.

Prior to transitioning to writing fiction, I worked for Fortune 500 and many smaller, start-up companies. Fortunately, I regained my sanity long enough to start my own consulting firm, which I still maintain today.

My husband and I spend most of our time at our main home in the mountains of Arizona and our second home in Southern California. Between us we have five boys with growing careers and families of their own.

So, from my perspective, my life is a success and always an adventure. I wouldn’t change a thing; well, except finding more time to write.

I love hearing from readers, so please feel email me at shirleen@shirleendavies.com.

Website: http://www.shirleendavies.com

Blog – http://www.shirleendavies.com/blog.html

Twitter – https://twitter.com/shirleendavies

LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/shirleendaviesauthor/

Google Plus – https://plus.google.com/101252295772842023369/about/p/pub

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/17921590-shirleen

Fresh Face Friday: Only Love Survives by Renee Charles

Well, it’s another Friday and it’s another great book and author.  Today I am spotlighting Renee Charles and her book Only Love Survives.  It’s a great paranormal love story set in a world where zombies are prominent.  Within this boy meets girl is a wonderful paranormal story.  Be sure to check out my full review after the book review.  So, as always everyone I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Book Blurb: (Courtesy of Goodreads)

17985530Amidst an epidemic ravaging the world, all Megan Fletcher’s hopes for the future lie in getting to Las Vegas where newscasts reported scientists were gathering to search for a cure for the modern plague. After rescuing her from a rooftop surrounded by Zombies, Sam Woods appoints himself her escort. While he knows she is determined to get to Vegas no matter the cost, he doesn’t know her secret. And with his hatred of all things Zombie, she doesn’t dare tell him the truth. The more he kisses her, the harder it is for Megan to hide her growing feelings…and the bite-shaped scar. But Vegas is not the haven it was promised to be, and when Megan’s immunity to the disease is discovered, she realizes her future and her heart belong to Sam, if he will trust her.

An idealistic school teacher and ex-corporate mogul manage to find love despite a looming worldwide catastrophe. Can their love survive while everything around them is dying? Will they learn that when facing the end of the world, Only Love Survives.

Review:

In Only Love Survives we first meet Megan while she is scavenging an abandoned home.  Searching cabinets for provisions that will help her get to Las Vegas.  While she is searching through the home she is distracted by a cat and lowers her guard.  This one slip up forces her to the roof clinging on for dear life while Zombies try to get to her.  Here appears her knight in shining SUV, Sam.  Sam who we soon find out was once a mogul is on his own journey looking for his sister.  Soon the circumstances push the two of them closer together. Between fighting off Zombies, fighting off scavengers of the human variety and searching for supplies, they soon discover that answers and possibly Sam’s sister will be found in Las Vegas.   Along this journey of survival the love between Megan and Sam blooms with first kisses and frantic love-making.  But,  in the end will Sam and Megan be able to part ways when the time comes and will Sam be able to accept Megan with her dangerous secret.

Only Love Survives is a wonderful zombie love story.  I loved the well-rounded characters and the story.  Once I started this book I didn’t want to stop.  The story though fiction was one that we could definitely see happening.  Renee Charles does a fantastic job of showing how when barriers of humanity and society break down it is who we are that drives us to survive.  For Megan and Sam it is their love that can either break them or join them together forever.  I truly hope Renee writes a sequel to this book because I can definitely see a lot of potential with this story.  If you love paranormal romances you will want to pick this one up.

Author Bio:  (Courtesy of Goodreads)

6584582Author, Renee Charles believes all love is legendary. Being the only female in a house full of giants (husband and two teenage boys) she tends to lean toward the macabre, but inevitably the softer side shines through.

Whether life leads her to a snow covered mountain top, sun dappled forest, or the bottom of a ravine (yes, ditches happen) she always has a pen and note pad ready so wherever the next adventure takes her, she can take notes.

Her own romance began in an insane asylum. Luckily, both she and her husband only worked there. But it makes sense her romance novels have strange beginnings that lead to passionate endings. Romance with a twist.

In the face of zombies, werewolves, and big foot she always seems to find a happily ever after to leave you with a sigh at the end

Guest Post: Beautiful Experiment by January Valentine

beau_experiments_Large_bannerToday, I get the pleasure of giving my blog over to January Valentine, author of Beautiful Experiment.  She is also offering a wonderful giveaway that you can enter here. I’d like to thank Paranormal Cravings Blog Tours for letting me host January today.  I’m going to make today’s bit from me short and sweet so I can hand everything over to January.  So, let’s give a wonderful welcome to January Valentine.

Thank you, Book Maven, for hosting me and Beautiful Experiment paranormal romance Giveaway!!

Greetings from New York!  It’s a beautiful day for a … Beautiful Experiment!

I’m Victoria (January) Valentine, and I’m thrilled to meet you.

Why don’t you want to hear about my book?

Communicate. Communicate. Why do you refuse to communicate with me!!!

These are questions I’m constantly asking my kids, because they can no longer handle my perpetual rants and ramblings. I’m a mom first, but since I’ve been a writer since birth … okay that’s stretching it; I’ve been a writer since I could speak. Forget about reading and writing; I concocted, memorized, and recited.

I scribbled when I was two, and I’m still scribbling to this day. When my digital recorder is full, and I haven’t had a chance to transcribe my verbal reminders, I keep a pad and pen at my bedside. Just in case. Who am I kidding? Yes, I’ll be writing while I sleep. I dream scenes and dialogue. Wake up with a start to scribble my ideas in the dark, without my reading glasses, most times half asleep. If I can get to sleep, because when I’m into a book, it’s a curse. I cannot rest. My mind never stops. Neither does my mouth.

Hence, “Why don’t you want to hear about my book? How about reading a chapter? No, you say?” So, as many authors do, I read aloud to myself. Talk to myself, daydream a lot, getting my best ideas when I’m on the treadmill, in the bathtub, and yes, while asleep. The end result? Try reading the scribble with a morning squint, especially when it’s more difficult to decipher than a two year old’s. Try listening to a recording when all you hear is heavy breathing because you were jogging while recording. I hate my voice.

I eat, sleep, and breathe plots, characters, scenes, dialogue, internalization, narrative. Horror, thrillers, romance, children’s books, poetry. Paperback and Kindle formatting. How to promote and market. Delicious cover design and what I hope in the end evolves as a page-turning bestseller. I do these things while publishing books for others, and planning and airing my weekly blogtalkradio show: Away With Words, where I interview and promote other authors.

My kids are sick and tired of hearing about authors and books and radio shows, so they ignore me.

So, I’ve begun to put the shoe on the other foot. When my kids try to talk to me, and I don’t reply because my mind is in high gear, stalking a victim, killing a villain, creating a nightmare scenario or romantic interlude while typing like a madwoman … Ha. I mean, “Huh?” is my signature reply. Is a grunt considered a reply? How about agreeing to a pricey purchase because you unintentionally utter, “Okay,” when your daughter asks to “borrow” your credit card. Doesn’t borrow mean repay somewhere down the line?

I released Beautiful Experiment, my first paranormal fantasy romance, in June, and was 20K into book two of the trilogy, and just not feeling it. While celebrating Fourth of July, my kids came out of hiding and commented on my quandary, took pity on me and suggested, why not write about your first love. Horror, my all-time favorite genre.

Werewolves are my favorite creatures of the night. I love a cozy cabin in the heart of a dark, creepy forest. What’s more exciting than cuddling inside four logged walls shadowed by a smoldering fire when there’s thunder, lightning, rain pounding on the roof, and the howling of wolves outside?  I’m getting excited just thinking about it. Some of this, and a whole lot more is going into the current book I’m working on, which I wrote in less than a month breaking my record of four months for Beautiful Experiment.

To touch upon Beautiful Experiment, it’s not about werewolves. It’s about kids. No, not my kids. Well-to-do parents who need a break are sending their entitled problem children to an upscale facility in Louisiana. On the way, they’re kidnapped!  Who in his or her right mind would want to kidnap a problematic teen? The shady characters who plot to send them to an uncharted island where the kids are about to learn something they’ve never been exposed to before: discipline, among other things. They argue. They fistfight. They ban together trying to find a way out of their predicament.

The moment Brook (hot island resident teen) sets eyes on Gabriella (gorgeous kidnapped-by-mistake sweetheart) sparks fly. Literally for Brook, who has begun to see flames in the sky. While shadows surround him, the air whispers warnings; sometimes it howls. He’s clueless about these occurrences, as well as his past, because he doesn’t remember having one.

You’ll be spending three-hundred and thirty pages with these often obnoxious teens. Be ready for disappearances, spider bites, sharks and demons. Book one is mostly about discovering the island, themselves, and each other.

Kids can be passionate, inventive, resourceful, and of course, entertaining.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, take my advice. Listen to your kids. They might be more perceptive than you give them credit for, and gift you with a great idea now and then. Another aspect is, paying attention before shopping trips you’re writing through may save you cash.

Now that I’ve shared a bit about my new book, and some of my quirks, what are some of yours? Don’t have any? Okay, how about rituals and pet peeves? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a message!

Thank you for listening to my rant 🙂

Beautiful Experiment is currently available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.  As soon as it’s out of the KDP program, BE will also be available on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and others.

Another gripe for another post. How difficult is it to write a synopsis?  Holy cow, shrinking 98K words into one page is nearly impossible for me.

Here is the synopsis I managed to come up with:

Six unruly teens are abducted on their way to a juvie home. Dumped onto an uncharted island. Could things get any worse? Hell, yeah. Hostility and envy run rampant. Throw in some alphas, divas and demons, and what do you have? Beautiful Experiment. Book One of the Island of Defiance Trilogy.

The teens are referred to as waywards, informed their parents have sent them to the island for rehabilitation. While they struggle with their predicament, and each other, they come to a shocking realization … for once in their lives, they have to follow rules.

Brook has lived on the Island of Defiance his entire life, with no choice but to believe everything he has been taught. As he approaches eighteen, the secret of who he is, and the ultimate fate he must face, begins to unfold. To complicate matters even more, Brook grows to experience something he has never known … love.

How do you convince a stranger a dreadful mistake has been made? Gabriella Winslow is an honors student who has always helped others, but now has to fight for herself. Something unimaginable wants her as much as the beautiful island boy with whom she is falling in love.

Beautiful Experiment is Book One of The Island Of Defiance Trilogy (paranormal – fantasy – romance – for teens and adults) Mature 17+ for adult language, drugs & alcohol, mild sexual situations & violence.

Thank you Book Maven, members, visitors, friends and fans. I hope you will check out my books, blogs, and websites.  I’ve had a lovely visit. I hope you have too:-)

http://www.januaryvalentine.com

http://www.januaryvalentine.blogspot.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaJanuaryValentine

https://twitter.com/VictoriaSkyline

http://pinterest.com/janvicval/boards/

DefianceCoverValentineBeautiful Experiment
Book One of Island of Defiance Trilogy

By January Valentine

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Pages: 330

Isbn: 978-0615828596

Blurb

Six unruly teens are abducted on their way to a juvie home. Dumped onto an uncharted island. Could things get any worse? Hell, yeah. Hostility and envy run rampant. Throw in some alphas, divas and demons, and what do you have? Beautiful Experiment. Book One of the Island of Defiance Trilogy.

The teens are referred to as waywards, informed their parents have sent them to the island for rehabilitation. While they struggle with their predicament, and each other, they come to a shocking realization … for once in their lives, they have to follow rules.

Brook has lived on the Island of Defiance his entire life, with no choice but to believe everything he has been taught. As he approaches eighteen, the secret of who he is, and the ultimate fate he must face, begins to unfold. To complicate matters even more, Brook grows to experience something he has never known … love.

How do you convince a stranger a dreadful mistake has been made? Gabriella Winslow is an honors student who has always helped others, but now has to fight for herself. Something unimaginable wants her as much as the beautiful island boy with whom she is falling in love.

Beautiful Experiment is Book One of The Island Of Defiance Trilogy (paranormal – fantasy – romance – for teens and adults) Mature 17+ for adult language, drugs & alcohol, mild sexual situations & violence.

Excerpt

The surging tide is tempting. I’m concentrating on the foam that is quickly erasing my footsteps. It’s not the caw of gulls that alerts me, because the winged creatures have vanished. In their place, the air is filled with my name. I lift my face to something startling, and my heart begins to pound.

The sky has burst into flame. Red and gold, it’s raging. The sun is the sky. Scorching. Shooting stars, like flaming spears, are dropping all around me. If I don’t shut my eyes, I’ll be blinded. If I do, I’ll be nothing but a solid target. The wind wails like a mother who has lost her child. “When the third moon falls, the beast will devour the sky.”

As suddenly as it started, it ends. I’m standing beside Father, totally disoriented. Am I standing? I look down at my feet, because I feel legless. I’m floating. Struggling to regain control of my mind, my body, the shock.

I grip the clipboard and pen with my knees, so that I can draw my palms across my twitching eyelids, astonished that I’m actually still holding onto anything.

“Did you see that flash? Did you hear that creepy voice?” I’m breathless, massaging my pounding temples with burning fingertips. “My head feels like it’s about to split open.” I rattle each eardrum with a pinky, then plug my ears to listen intently. Was the urgent whisper that turned me to stone inside my head? Phantom sounds? I’ve never experienced this kind of phenomenon before. “My eyes pain.”

Father regards me with a mix of surprise and concern. “You have a migraine?”

“Migraine?” I scoff. What the fuck, loops through my head. I’m freaked out, left with a strange feeling this is not going to be like other days. I try to shake it off, like I shake him off.

The sky is now clear and so perfectly blue, it looks as though it’s been painted by deliberate strokes of an artist’s brush. It is a seamless dome of beauty. If we were not receiving today, I might be lying on the pristine beach, permitting my thoughts to wander far beyond my own boundaries. Maybe I’d be lounging on my bluff, or climb my watchtower tree, burrow into its welcoming arms where I collect my years, watch over all that is mine.

“Feeling better?” His voice is buffered, but coarse enough to jar me from thought.

Skimming Father, my gaze snaps back to the waves, the skiff that is almost upon us. “I’m fine.” I don’t mention how bad my body aches, and feels like it’s being torn apart. I stretch my arms, then my neck, trying to pin down what I did to cause these muscle spasms. The bomb that’s about to explode in my head.

When the ocean is calm it’s translucent, sparkling with sunlight as though it’s coated with billions of precious gemstones. Today it’s not much more than rolling waves and seaweed.

“I’ve never seen it this rough.” Between wind and thunderous surf, I have to face him or my voice will be useless.

“Storms.” His reply is blunt.

“You wouldn’t know it by the sky.” I bring my gaze to a more pleasant sight.

“There’s one brewing out there. You’d feel it if you had my knees.” Staring gravely at the ocean, his body is rigid.

“Are you in pain?”

“Nothing I can’t handle.”

“Let’s hope the weather holds off until we’ve settled them.”

“Rain or shine, we’ve got our work cut out for us, Brook.”

“As always.” My stomach rises to my throat as I watch their approach. I wonder if I’ll ever get used to this way of life. Do I want to? Of course not. There are so many other things I’d rather be doing right now, like hopping onto that boat, and for starters, checking out the other side of this island.

Beyond the boat, a floating veil of mist rolls in like billows of steam from a tremendous boiling kettle. I am no longer able to see the large vessel from which the skiff was launched.

The atmosphere of the island is as such, inviting one moment, rejecting the next. Father calls it a gentle beast, with characteristics and charm like the women he has known. My glance shifts, falling upon the shoreline curve where a jetty, composed of rocks chiseled and stacked by nature, projects like the nose of a dolphin and the forest begins. This is as far as my eyes pan.

“Thank you for cutting your hair.” For a moment his eyes wash over me, then his gaze refocuses on the others who are struggling against the relentless current. “I know it pains you.”

“Don’t you mean shearing?” I huff. “I don’t understand why I can’t grow it long. I have awesome hair, or so I’ve been told.” I smirk.

He shoots me a phony glare. “You’ve been told, huh?  No cozying up to any of these girls. I don’t want another batch begging to stay.”

“I’m not a womanizer. Just good company.” I shrug.

“No nighttime jaunts to the lagoon, either. And I mean it this time.” Now his glare is authentic.

“Yeah, yeah. I know. Stay out of the lagoon. Out of the forest. Out of the lockers. Pretend to like my boring life.”

He almost looks sympathetic. “One of these days you’ll understand.”

“What? Why I can’t swim at night?”

“You’re impossible sometimes, and the reason I ask you to cut your hair is to set a good example.”

I let out a tired sigh. My hand runs over my smooth scalp, the shadow of bristles so short and sun-bleached, my reflection in a mirror looks hairless. If not for my deeply tanned skin, I would look anemic.

“Seems a waste. Six or more inches of attractive dark hair again and again swept into the trash.” My jaw sets as our discussion continues. “I like my hair long. It makes me feel …”

“Like a rock star?” He chuckles, scrubbing my head playfully. “In so many ways you remain such a child, yet you desire to be worldly. Do you admire them?”

“Not as you might be thinking.” My eyes lower, landing upon my anxious toes digging through a mound of sand.

I swing my gaze across the vast horizon which is now shaded with purples and blues, fantasizing about the places beyond. The order of the world not contained within this globe of existence called Defiance Island. I know the temperament of the waywards, but wonder what others are like. Are they beautiful? Intelligent? Kindhearted? Do they possess the nature that can make a man want to tear another to shreds?

About the Author

VictoriaJanuaryValentineJanuary Valentine is the pen name of Victoria Valentine, New York writer and indie book publisher. See Victoria’s Author page: amazon.com/author/victoriavalentine

I chose to use a pen name because Love Dreams was originally going to be a red hot erotic story, and I wanted to separate Victoria, who writes contemporary fiction and children’s storybooks. Since my birth month is January, January Valentine seemed an appropriate pseudonym.

I also host a blogtalkradio show: Away With Words, every Wednesday evening at 7 PM EST where my co host Jill and I interview other writers and poets and discuss writing in general: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1

I just released my first paranormal romance, Beautiful Experiment, book one of Island of Defiance Trilogy. I’m so not good about talking about myself, but I’ll give it a shot.

I publish books for other authors through Water Forest Press, which I founded some years ago. In the past, I have written poetry and song lyrics, but now I focus on fiction. I’ve created multiple websites and blogs that I don’t have time to manage very well.

My desire to be in a rock band brought me into a recording studio … where my lyrics sprang to life with the help of a local alternative rock band. Together, we produced a CD.

I enjoy designing book covers and youtube videos. In summer, I enjoy hiking and swimming. I love all kinds of music. Watching horror flicks and Tyler Perry movies are my escape from reality.

I have an addiction to engraved pens that I buy to accompany each of my books. My office is filled with paperbacks and swag.

My sites and pages.

http://www.januaryvalentine.com

http://januaryvalentine.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaJanuaryValentine
https://twitter.com/VictoriaSkyline

http://pinterest.com/janvicval/
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3198304.Victoria_Valentine

A bit about my books:

Love Dreams (Romantic Drama) is a story about a handicapped young man who secretly falls hopelessly (and helplessly) in love with a young woman who hides herself, and her past, beneath a grim but beautiful exterior. This gentle romance builds into a powerful “reality”.

Sweet Dreams is a novel about a serial killer who is on the loose, working his way up the east coast. Readers get a glimpse into the killer’s mind, as well as the hero’s.

Head Over Wheels, (New Adult Romance/Drama) focuses on Jewelia, whose lifelong dream of becoming part of the NYPD is derailed by hot medical student, Indigo.

Beautiful Experiment details above.

All book covers, videos, information and buy links can be found on my website:  http://www.januaryvalentine.com

I also have an online store: http://waterforestpressbooks.miiduu.com/

Fresh Face Friday: Hippie Drum by Jnana Hodson

WaHoo!!  Friday is finally here.  You know that with Friday comes my review of a spotlighted author and book.  This week I am featuring Jnana Hodson and his book Hippie Drum.  This is a fictional account of a man attempting to find himself in varying circles and find the love of his life.  Be sure to check out the rest of my review after the book blurb.  I hope all of you out there have a wonderful weekend and get a chance to enjoy it anyway possible.

Book Blurb: (Courtesy of Goodreads)

18114937Long hair, marijuana, and draft resistance aren’t the only ways to identify a hippie. As DL learns when he accepts Nita’s invitation to lodge in a ramshackle farm shared by a dozen other free spirits, the Revolution of Peace and Love is a testing ground for youthful dreaming and promise. It runs, especially, through ongoing introductions and friendships.

Book Review:

Jnana Hodson’s Hippie Drum is an eclectic view on the hippie culture of the sixties.  This journey into being a hippie is taken by D.L.  D.L begins his journey after taking a job as a newspaper photographer and soon things fall into place when he gets set up on a farm recommended by his ex-girlfriend’s ex-roommate.  He meets a varied assortment of people those who range like him who have a job but still straddle the line into being a hippie, there are also people who get by as barters and finally those who you just didn’t know how they were getting by.  These three categories of people tend to surface and re-surface throughout the book.  You even see these people in the women that D.L attempts to have relationships.  As D.L pursues finding a soul mate along with finding himself you continue to root for him to find what he needs to be happy whether that is just his photography, his chanting or the arms of a loving woman.

This was a difficult book for me.  I was intrigued when I agreed to review it.  I am a big history buff and have even been to Haight Ashbury in San Francisco, but this book had me thinking I had ADD.  It was really difficult to focus on the characters.  Some would pop in and out so infrequently you didn’t even know if you’d heard of them.  Also, the story line was difficult to follow.  It took almost three-quarters of the book for me to realize what D.L was really looking for.  This book is written very much like stream of consciousness.  There were times that the sentence before and the current sentence didn’t make any sense together.  I truly got the counter-culture vibe but I really didn’t get that D.L was a true hippie in the sense that most people understand.  Overall, it wasn’t a bad book, but it was difficult to read and had difficulty holding my attention with all the diversions.

Author Bio: (Courtesy of http://www.jnanahodson.com)

october-2010-download-223I am a Quaker, poet, and novelist who lives in a former seaport in New England. These entries reflect the journey that led here and the news of what’s emerging from my workbench and loft.

Born and raised in the Midwest, my career as a daily newspaper editor based me in Ohio, Indiana, upstate New York, Washington state, Iowa, Maryland, and finally New England – all while writing poetry and fiction in my free hours.

The name Jnana – a Sanskrit term for the spiritual path of intellect or discernment – was bestowed in 1972 to affirm my unique inner nature during a year-and-a-half residency of intense yoga study and practice in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania. In America, it is typically pronounced jah-na, sliding over the first n. In its fullest form, the name expanded by increments to Jnana-Devanandashram.

Over the ensuing relocations, my religious practice led me ever more deeply into the Society of Friends (Quaker), which, to my surprise, was the faith of my Hodson/Hodgin/Hodgson ancestors. I am now an active member of Dover Monthly Meeting in New Hampshire.

My published novels include Hippie Drum, Ashram, and Subway Hitchhikers in addition to several poetry chapbooks. More than a thousand of my poems, stories, and essays have appeared in journals on five continents.

 

Guest Post: Little Red by Trista Jaszczak

Little Red Banner 450 x 169 Today, Trista Jaszczak, author of Little Red is taking over my blog.  She is stopping by with an interview with the characters from Little Red.  She is also offering an awesome tour wide giveaway that you can enter after the book blurb. I’d also like to thank Bewitching Book Tours for letting me host this stop today.  So, without any further adieu I pass the reigns over to Trista.

Chat With Little Red’s Parker Pack

I’m so lucky that I get to sit down and have a little chat with the Parker brothers from my novel, Little Red. Not only are these boys quite handsome but they’re funny and sweeter than  pure sugar. I had a blast during our little chat…and I won’t lie, I’m a little sad that I can’t keep them for myself. Read on and I hope you enjoy my interview with the Parkers: Aaron, Colt, Eli, James, Trent and Ian.

Trista: Welcome Parkers! I cannot thank you boys enough for having this little chat with me…my you are quite the bunch of handsome faces. You look good enough to eat! Haha!

Ian: But, we can’t deny that I am the better looking one. *winks*

Aaron: Clearly, Ian is the most insane one, I’d be the better looking of all these mugs.

James: Clearly, it’s been a while since they’ve looked in the mirror, the title of best looking obviously goes to me.

Colt: Haha! Trista, all I can say is, good luck with this conversation. *winks*

Trista: Well boys, we’re off to a hell of a start!…first off, Eli…how many more babies? Do I hear the pitter patter of more little feet in your house?

Eli: We’d love four, maybe more.

Ian: The Parker men are known for twins.

Trista: That you boys are! Congratulations to both you and Maggie, Eli,  I am thrilled for you both. Now…Ian…one word…Jeb.

Ian: Haha!! Who in the hell names their kid Jeb? I still stand by it…that’s all he knows how to spell.

Trista: Haha! I have to ask, at this point, have any of you heard from the Avery’s?

James: No, and I doubt we ever will to be honest. Not that we want to.

Trent: After that ass kicking? Can I say ass?

Ian: Haha!…can we?

Trista: Haha, I think you’re okay but try to keep it clean…I’m looking at you, Ian.

Colt: I’d say after what we put them through, the Avery pack won’t be so willing to set foot in Louisiana anymore.

Trista: I’d say you’re probably right Colt. So, tell me, the Moon Curse, is it completely gone or do some parts remain? If some so, are any stronger than the others?

Aaron: We do still feel the pull of the moon, but the rage…all that hatred and anger is completely gone. We’re relaxed and somewhat normal for the first time in years.

Eli: But, our senses are still remarkably strong.

Trent: We’re just as strong and as fast as before.

James: We also have much stronger senses and can feel things out that a normal person can’t.

Trista: I have to ask…and I may regret this…who is the strongest?

Aaron: Me.

Colt : Me.

Eli: Me.

James: Me.

Trent: Me.

Ian: Me.

Trista: Haha! What about Ethan?

Ian: Well, he’s not here to defend himself. It’s still me, though.

Trista: Haha, I’ll take your word for that Ian, but I’m pretty sure those five shaking heads are disagreeing! All right…Ethan has Red, Eli has Maggie, Trent is still dating Molly…are there any special ladies in your lives finally?

Ian: *winks* Are you single?

Trent: Ian, stop.

Colt: I’ve met someone, we’re taking it really slow.

James: I’m just dating, but nothing has come of it so far.

Trista: I think a lot of people want to know, including me, who is the true Alpha of the Parker pack?

Colt: Me.

James: Me.

Ian: Me.

Trent: Me.

Eli: Me.

Aaron: Haha! Red.

Trista: Aaron, you are the oldest and considered the Alpha, are you willing to give up the title to Red?

Aaron: Red is special to all of us. There’s something so grand in her that all of us can see. Even under the worse part of the curse and in her most vulnerable state, she saw a good in us that we couldn’t even see ourselves. She changed all of us. She may have been terrified at times, but deep down, I believe that she is stronger than all of us put together.

Trista: I see five nodding heads, you must be proud of baby brother Ethan.

Ian: I still stand by it…I’d steal her from him if given the chance, haha!

James: We’re all proud and I know that our parents would be just as proud.

Trista: And Elise?

Aaron: She’d probably steal Red from all of us, haha!

James: She would love Red as much as we do.

Eli: She’d be over-joyed for Ethan, who is finally living.

Trista: I don’t want to say it, but I think I’m out of time. Boys, I cannot thank you enough for joining me. Can I talk you into another interview?

Ian: Jot down your number and we’ll talk. *winks*

Trent: Will you stop hitting on her, she’s married…I am so sorry, we can’t control that one.

Trista: Haha! Thank you boys!

Book Blurb:

littleredLittle Red
Believe Series, Book One

Trista Jaszczak

Genre: romance/fantasy

Publisher: Front Porch Romance

eBook released June 18, 2013 and paperback fall 2013

ASIN: B00DHRYKDG

Number of pages: 207 estimated eBook

Word Count: 62,921

Cover Artist: Charisma Knight: Designs by Charisma

Book Description:

Follow Sam Wentworth through the winding back roads of Louisiana, on a desperate escape from her past, where she falls into the arms of the unlikely and sometimes unwilling hero, Ethan Parker.

When circumstances and fate seal the two together, entangling them with his six older brothers, Sam finds her life changing in ways that she never imagined. Filled with feuding families and a little old bayou magic, can Ethan put aside everything he has ever known to keep Sam safe from the dangers that their lives and their love possess.

Giveaway:   Enter here to win:

tour wide giveaway compressed8 custom made beaded books marks (made by ClaraBelle’s Custom Creations offered by Bewitching Book Tours)
6 Little Red eBooks (PDF form)
6 Little Red signed posters (those about 11×17)
US shipping for the book marks and signed posters.

Author Bio:

tristaTrista Jaszczak (pronounced Jazz-ick) is a writer, military spouse and a mother. She is originally from Hamilton, Ohio but calls home where ever the military sends her and her family, which is currently Anchorage, Alaska. She has a great love for writing, the outdoors, fitness, guitar and the arts.

www.facebook.com/AuthorTristaJaszczak

www.tristajaszczak.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/TristaJaszczak

http://authortristajaszczak.tumblr.com/

Review: Lord Griffin’s Prize by Katalina Leon

Happy Monday Everyone!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  I am here to start your week off with a bang.  I am reviewing Lord Griffin’s Prize by Katalina Leon.  This was a wonderfully quick read.  It had equal amounts of both romance and paranormal.  Be sure to check out my full review after the Excerpt.  Along with my review today this tour is also doing a tour wide giveaway of two $15 Amazon Gift cards.  All you have to do is enter here.  So I hope you sit back with your morning, afternoon or evening coffee and enjoy my review of Lord Griffin’s Prize.

Book Blurb:

LGPLord Griffin’s Prize

Katalina Leon

Genre: Paranormal romance shape-shifter

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave

Date of Publication:  July 10, 2013

ISBN: 9781419945397

Number of pages: 114

Word Count: 50k

Cover Artist: Syneca

http://www.ellorascave.com/lord-griffin-s-prize.html

Book Description:

Part of the Emerald Isles Fantasies series

Tullamore Castle Ireland is an enchanted place where the unexpected happens. Phantom lovers materialize in haunted beds and a lonely griffin patrols the ramparts waiting to reclaim its mate. And that’s just the beginning.

For the adventure of a lifetime Maeve de’Burgo visits Tullamore to study genealogy. Through a magical act and time travel she becomes embroiled in a dangerous medieval romance and the unfinished life of her ancestor. Maeve gets thrown back in time to be captured, ravished and cherished as a war chief’s prize.

Ronan O’Griofa is a griffin-shifter, the most loyal of creatures. He’s been trapped in limbo as the avenging guardian of Tullamore since 1332 AD and longs to be free. When the soul of his wife returns to the castle he’s granted the privilege of becoming a man for one day to be her lover, win her heart and remind Maeve of a bond strong enough to last an eternity.

Excerpt:

(In this scene Maeve has been in the O’Griofa suite for less than an hour, but she’s already become infatuated with Lord O’Griofa’s portrait, traveled back in time to a castle under siege, released the pain of a failed marriage and hallucinated that a griffin is walking the castle grounds. It’s been a very eventful night. She’s exhausted and jetlagged. When she climbs into the notorious O’Griofa “griffin bed” things really heat up.)

…She walked around the room, making sure the door was locked and switching off the few lights still lit. The fading red embers of the fire glowed. The fire’s soft illumination was lovely and provided just enough light to see. An errant sliver of moonlight cut across the room and lit Lord O’Griofa’s portrait.

Maeve pulled the covers back and climbed into the massive bed, which could have comfortably slept several adults. She gazed up at the silk canopy. The viridian curtains surrounding the bed were woven with a subtle pattern that suggested to her tired eyes the faintest hint of feathery wings.

She noticed that the bed curtains could be drawn around the bed to either block light or create an oasis of privacy. She drew the curtains in hopes of preventing the first rays of dawn from waking her too early. She allowed her head to sink deep into the lush pile of pillows and sighed with pleasure that the bed felt as good as it looked.

She stretched across the crisp sheets with her eyes squeezed shut, wishing she had the energy or will to take off the bulky bathrobe, but before she could rouse herself to act she became aware of the warm weight of a solidly built man pressing down on her.

As if by magic a naked man materialized beneath the bedcovers. His warm skin radiated the faint but unmistakable scent of musk. He unknotted the robe and pushed the fabric aside, baring her breasts. A soft sigh crossed his lips.

She made a halfhearted attempt to stop him.

With gentle but decisive action, he took hold of her wrists and slowly slid her arms above her head, pinning her beneath him.

She gulped a startled breath as he parted her legs with his knee. The sensations were real. The wet tip of his heavy erection brushed between her thighs. She started to cry out in surprise.

“Hush,” the man whispered. He grazed his lips against the side of her cheek. “Don’t wake, my love—this is only a dream.” The man’s comforting voice was pure reassurance. “I’ve been waiting so long for you.”

“Ronan?” She relaxed.

“Who else comes to your bed?” A quiet laugh crossed his lips as if it were a casual joke that often passed between them. He released his hold on her wrists. “Wrap your arms around me and make me feel loved.” He leaned close and his warm breath flooded the side of her throat. “I need you, Maeve.”

A shudder of desire seized her, impossible to deny. The man’s voice was drenched with longing and coaxed myriad buried feelings to surface. She realized that every lover should plead for touch with this much conviction, yet so few did.

Dream or not, it had been ages since she’d felt sensations so fiery and she couldn’t resist giving in. The dream man—Ronan or whoever he was—felt so good that she found herself wrapping her arms around his broad shoulders and drawing him close. The silky hair on his chest glided against her breasts. In a moment of uncharacteristic boldness, she reached down, took hold of his shaft and guided him between her legs. She rubbed the head of his cock against her with slow strokes, until he was slick and her clit peaked. Without further prompting she allowed him to glide inside.

“Oh Maeve.” A husky groan escaped his lips as he sank deep.

She arched beneath him and twined a smooth leg around his hip, wishing he’d start moving and pay out on the building excitement he’d caused. She skimmed the length of his muscular back with open palms before gripping his solid butt and pressing down with a demanding little push that said “get going”.

He moved with caution.

She tried to glimpse his face in the shadows but saw nothing beyond a vague silhouette. It excited her to be with a complete stranger. She’d never done such a thing and it really didn’t matter because this was just a dream. It was so freeing to give in to raw lust. “Fuck me,” she whispered.

“What a salty tongue you have.” He sounded amused as he nipped her throat. His lips lingered on her skin. “You’re sweet as heaven but you talk like a devil.” He took several long strokes, pumping his hips faster. The muscles of his back coiled and his breath sped. He was big and solid and the animal strength of his graceful body took her breath away. Each movement was controlled and decisive and every inch of his body tensed. “I can’t hold back.” A moment later he bolted into action like a racehorse sprinting. “Sorry, love. This is going to be sweet and swift.” He gripped her shoulders as his body covered hers and moved with fierce strokes.

The thick shaft of his cock glided against her wet clit at the perfect angle. She lifted her hips off the bed to intensify the sensation. “That’s good.” She encouraged him to move with her. She grabbed on to the hard muscles of his butt and pushed down with force. The brisk stroke of his cock brought her moaning to the edge. “I’m right there.” A beautiful rush of sensations heated her blood as the easiest, quickest climax of her life carried her away and left her limp with pleasure. “Ah…”

He lifted Maeve’s thigh higher and sank deep. A quiet growl vibrated low in his throat. He tipped his head back and arched as he came hard. The man trembled and nearly collapsed against her, with a dewy sheen of sweat on his skin. He brushed his face against her cheek and she felt a gritty hint of stubble.

Alarm shot through her. Those details felt all too real. She feared this couldn’t possibly be a dream. No dream was this vivid. She pushed against his shoulders and tried to get a better look at him.

“Am I crushing you?” He rose on his elbows so she could move and brushed his fingertips against her cheek. “That was wonderful. I wish I could stay inside you all night, but I can’t.”

A chill shivered across her skin. “Why can’t you?”
“Because it’s not night anymore, it’s morning.” The man evaporated in front of her

eyes and the warm bed covers slumped on top of her with a swoosh as he exited.

Maeve bolted upright and smacked the empty covers with her palm. The man had vanished. The bed curtains remained drawn and still. Her bathrobe was open and the bedding was rumpled but beyond that only the faintest scent of salty sweat betrayed that he had ever been there.

She reached between her drenched thighs with caution and touched. Without doubt a man had been with her. What the hell was going on?

The quiet scratch of what sounded like claws against the wooden floor made her freeze. She drew a tense breath, listened with laser focus and heard a soft snort and what sounded like the padding of heavy paws crossing the room. A noise like an animal snuffling the fire grate made her blood run cold.

Now she was fully awake and certain this was no dream. Her heart hammered against her ribs. Beyond the bed curtains, someone or something was moving around the suite.

She drew the bed curtain aside a crack and peered out. The room was illuminated by the faint rays of an overcast dawn.

Near the fireplace beside the mantel, she saw a large animal the size of a male lion with black sweeping wings folded behind its back. The creature turned to the side, revealing the lethally curved beak of an eagle and keen, dark eyes. She gasped in awe and immediately covered her mouth with her hand.

The griffin.

The creature glanced over its shoulder stealthily, as if it were aware of her presence, and reached toward the wedding ring she had left as an offering. It picked up the ring with its hooked beak. The griffin tossed the ring into the air and swallowed it with a quick gulp.

She bit her lip to keep from gasping aloud.

The griffin turned and walked through the heavy wooden door, which posed no physical barrier. It passed through the locked door with the same ease as if it were walking through fog, and disappeared.

“Oh my God!” Maeve trembled with shock. “What just happened?”

She threw the bed curtains back, leaped off the mattress and ran toward the door while tying the bathrobe around her waist. She grabbed the doorknob and rattled it. The knob did not budge and she saw that the door was latched from the inside.

She turned and ran toward the mantel. Her gaze went straight to the clawed feet of the stone griffin. The wedding ring was gone. She reached out and felt the empty spot with her fingertips to reassure herself that this moment of utter madness was real. “I’m losing my mind. This isn’t good.”

She focused her gaze with suspicion on the disheveled bed before ricocheting like a bullet toward Lord O’Griofa’s portrait. Had all that been real too? Had she made love to a phantom?

“Nope. That’s too much crazy,” she said it aloud in a calm voice. There was no way a man from the distant past had materialized in bed and fucked her breathless with tender gusto. It was a thrilling but improbable fantasy.

It was more likely she’d been ignoring her true feelings and physical needs for so many months that she’d gone temporarily nuts. “Strange fantasy men in the bed” crazy was a bad development. That level of cuckoo should never happen again. It was obvious to her that dire needs must be addressed. She realized she should buy a vibrator on this vacation and start using it ASAP.

Fucking hunky medieval phantoms was without doubt a sign she needed to get off more often than she had been lately—which was not at all. She was pent-up. This situation simply wasn’t acceptable. She was a loaded gun ready to explode, for God’s sake. What was next? Would she throw herself at the first interesting man who crossed her path? In her current wounded-prey state of mind she knew that would definitely be a mistake. To make sure this type of weirdness didn’t happen again, a vibrator was a must, and she promised herself she’d get one soon.

Beyond the tall, narrow windowpane, the sun broke through a thick layer of cloud, lighting the morning sky in brilliant shades of blue and gold.

Maeve smoothed the bed covers. There would be no pretense of going back to sleep. Besides, she didn’t dare to climb back into that bed until she’d had a sobering cup of coffee and a long talk with her love-starved libido…

(Maeve dresses and heads downstairs and guess who she runs into walking the castle grounds dressed in contemporary clothing? Oh yes, it’s very awkward. How can she tell a stranger that she just finished having sex in her dreams with someone who looks and sounds just like him…Poor Maeve.)

Review:

I adored this paranormal romance.  The story was intriguing and the character’s were fascinating.  You immediately love Maeve and you totally fall for the hunky Lord Griffin, even if he is only an apparition at times.  He could crawl in my bed sheets anytime.  It felt that even though the modern-day events take place for only one day you can really feel the lifetime connection these two characters have.  Most of the time I don’t enjoy books that have characters that have the soul of someone else.  I usually can’t feel a connection to those characters.  But, I felt that though Maeve had the soul of her late ancestor she was still her own modern self.  I enjoyed that.  I also enjoyed the lush scenery that is so eloquently painted by Katalina Leon.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good Irish romance with a little of the paranormal thrown in.  After reading this you will want to buy the first ticket over to Ireland and find the nearest castle.

I’d like to thank Bewitching Book Tours for letting me have this stop.  I’d also like to thank Katalina Leon for allowing me the wonderful pleasure of reading her book, Lord Griffin’s Prize.  If you’d like to know more about Lord Griffin’s Prize you can go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble or any other book retailer.

Author Bio:

I’m an artist, an author, mother and wife. I write for Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id Publishing and a couple new publishers to be announced soon. I try to bring a touch of the mystical and a big sense of adventure to everything I write because I believe there’s a bold, kick-ass heroine inside all of us who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.

Ellora’s Cave:

https://www.ellorascave.com/index.php/authors/index/author/slug/katalina-leon/

Loose Id:

http://www.loose-id.com/authors/a-f/amber-skyze-katalina-leon.html

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00BIXI8BQ

All Romance eBooks:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html

Night Owl Reviews Author Page:

http://erotica.nightowlreviews.com/V5/Authors/Katalina-Leon

Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/katalinaleon/

Facebook:

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Fresh Face Friday: Andrea at the Center by J.P Kansas

Happy Friday, fellow book enthusiasts!  I hope this past week has treated you well.  I will be starting your weekend off with a steamy read.  Andrea at the Center is a very hot erotic novel.  It takes us through the erotic enlightenment of one girl at a place that welcomes new and unique erotic fulfillment.  I guarantee after my review you will be grabbing your loved one whether real or battery-powered to find your own enlightenment.  Be sure to check out my full review after the book blurb.  I hope all of you have a wonderful and steamy weekend  (and I’m not talking about the weather).

Boo17401735k Blurb:  (Courtesy of Goodreads)

“You’re going to here at the Center for a few months. It’s going to be the most enlightening experience of your life. When it’s over, you’ll be returned to where you taken from—a different woman.”

Young and beautiful Andrea is, without warning, whisked away to a secret location, where a mysterious group devotes itself to the pursuit of sexual enlightenment through the use of many sensual techniques. Gradually, she’s introduced to the ways of the Center by the people that gladly occupy it. Her sense of self and her understanding of sexuality are profoundly challenged, leading her to a new understanding of herself and the deepest sexual satisfaction.

Andrea at the Center, previously published by Masquerade in the 90’s, has been fully revised with titillating updates for our Pink Flamingo readers! J.P. Kansas will thrill you with his stunning tale of straight, lesbian and gay sex, bondage, exhibitionism and all sorts of sex toys and dolls! The excitement does not stop there, however. Andrea’s experiences are sure to arouse every fetish; from spanking and collars to threesomes and voyeurism. Andrea at the Center has everything you want in an erotic novel and more!

Review:

In Andrea at the Center we begin the book by Andrea being kidnapped.  She is taken away a place that she knows not where she is or how long she will be held captive.  She is soon informed that she will be there until she becomes who she is.  This all really puzzles Andrea until she meets her big sister.  She soon introduces her to many new experiences from lesbian sex to a male strip club to being video taped and watching herself.  After she is forced to leave Emmy she soon becomes a slave in a women’s dormitory.  She learns humiliation and sex can at times go hand in hand.  After surviving the slave duration she becomes a mistress.  It is her time during the mistress that she is introduced to many other things such as male prostitutes, artificial stimulation and much, much more.  It’s not long into this part of her story that she finds herself wanting to escape and run away.  She is found a punished.  Her punishment is that of becoming a stripper and a hooker.  She is brought to a whole new low.  In the end Andrea’s erotic journey does end happily we assume.  We are left in the end at the same place it began.

Overall, this was a very intriguing erotic novel.  There is a lot of sex.  Some sex I’ve never actually read about before.  This story will get you all hot and bothered.  I have to say the sex was probably the best part of the story.  I did have trouble at times keeping up with the subordinate characters and the story sometimes wasn’t as coherent as I would prefer.  I don’t often read erotic novels that don’t have some romance.  This book focuses mostly on the sex and it is phenomenal sex that is bound to give the reader ideas.  But, if you’re looking for a really great story it is lacking in that department.  After reading this I kinda felt like it had all been a dream and wasn’t sure what the ending really meant.  We are left just as confused as Andrea.  If you are a reading who loves really hot sex scenes and don’t really care about the story then this is for you, but if you are looking for a story with sex interspersed you will have mixed feelings about this book.

 

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