Coffee and a Review: Light the Shadows by Michelle Clay

imagesAs promised everyone here is today’s second review.  I am spotlighting Light the Shadows by Michelle Clay.  Today is full of paranormal romances and this is a great addition.  Its unique take on souls, reapers and more.  This book will have you looking over your shoulder for shadows along with hunting for a hunky reaper.  Be sure to check out my full review after the book blurb.

17796209Book Blurb:

You only get one chance at life, then you die. The game’s over, no second chances.  But she was never one to follow all the rules.

In a strange twist of fate, a woman flees purgatory only to jump into a newly vacated body. When she wakes in the hospital, she has a brand new life and a whole lot of unanswered questions.  Now she’s Micah Munroe, a real estate
agent with broken memories of the messed up life she once lived. A mysterious man who claims to be Death says she’s his granddaughter and that she’s something called a grimm.

Sully knows she’s an imposter because he reaped the soul of the real Micah only a week ago. He suspects she might be a misplaced shadow, what he calls spirits and vengeful ghosts. He becomes obsessed with finding out who she really is and just how she inhabited a new body.  He’ll stop at nothing to find the truth and send her back to purgatory where she belongs. What he didn’t bargain on was how his body would react to her or how  powerful the white light within her is.

When a powerful shadow and her horde of angry spirits kidnaps Sully’s best friend, they must work together to get him back. Fighting their feelings for each other isn’t half as difficult as fighting the army of shadows bent on starting a war with the living.

Review:

We first meet our heroine when she dies.  She follows a doorway into what appears to be a waiting room that no one expected her to be in.  Though she can’t remember her name she does know that she doesn’t want to be dead.  So, in an act of rebellion she runs back through the door and jumps into a now empty body.  She is now Micah Munroe.  She sees what Micah’s life was like and decides that if this was going to be her new home then she had to revamp everything about her life.  While Micah is trying to become what she once was she inadvertently runs into Sully.  Sully recognizes Micah because it was only a while ago that he reaper her soul.  She should not be standing in front of him breathing.  It soon becomes Sully’s mission to find out who or what Micah is and what her plans are.  The only problem is spending more time with her is making him feel things he shouldn’t be.  While Micah and Sully draw closer she soon discovers that she isn’t just an ordinary soul starting over, she is a grimm.  She is charged with fighting, removing or guiding shadows through the light so that they may go to their hereafter.  Micah’s life isn’t just new it’s completely different and with a sexy man at her side how can she not try to live life to its fullest.  But, with death there is never an easy road.  With the shadows wanting her and her feelings for Sully growing how can things work out for the best without her dying or worse becoming a shadow herself?

This was a great story. I was really drawn in by the characters and the action packed story.  Micah and Sully are as steamy a couple as they come.  You can really feel their feelings toward each other and go along with them while they grow.  I thought the premise of the story was great.  It is definitely a different interpretation of the idea of a reaper, souls and many other death related mythologies.  Michelle Clay does a wonderful job with this story and I fell in love not only with the characters or the story but with her writing as well.  If you are a paranormal romance fan, like me, you will want to pick this up if not for the story than for the steamy scenes with Micah and Sully.

Review: United Service by Regina Morris

Hey everyone, we are lucky today. I have two posts with both equally good books.  First, I am reviewing Regina Morris’ newest book, United Service United Service is the second book in her Colony series.  It’s a great paranormal book and wonderful addition in this series.  It is definitely a book you don’t want to put down.   Check out the rest of my review after the book blurb.

18285765Book Blurb:

Vampires exist among us. They can be our neighbor, best friend, our child’s teacher … They alter their aged appearance based upon the amount of blood they consume. They move to a new area, drink a lot of blood, and appear young. Slowly they limit their intake of blood and age, right in front of our unsuspecting eyes. After decades, they fake their death, move, and do it over and over again. Most live quiet lives in an effort to blend in. Some however want power and control. The Colony is an elite group of vampires sworn to protect the President of the United States from these rogue vampires. Sterling, a half-breed vampire who works with a covert team of vampires to protect the President of the United States, is the weakest link in the chain for his team, and he knows it. His unique ability to glean information from inanimate objects has Sterling spending much of his lonely life down in the evidence room at FBI headquarters. His current case involves the kidnapping of vampire children by a religious cult trying to save them. Sterling snatches the opportunity to do some field work by teaming up with a purebred vampire, Kate, who is the nanny of one of the missing children. Sterling’s world is turned upside down by Kate. She is everything Sterling could hope for in a mate, and he wonders if she’d ever consider loving a half-breed. Kate is beautiful, intelligent, charming and sophisticated – but has led a sheltered life and is considered handicapped by vampire standards. Will she be willing to trust Sterling with her dark personal secret? Could she be able to open her heart to a bad-boy who’s never known true love before? Together, can they save the children and find true love?

Review:

Sterling is a half-breed vampire.  He is half human and half vampire.  He is a covert operative that works for the government.  He is on a team led by his father.  His ability to read the history of an object just by touching it is useful but painful.  After using his ability he has severe migraines that only a woman’s given touch can cure.  A new case comes a long for Sterling.  Vampire children are being abducted.  He must get down to the bottom of this before anymore children get taken.  But, in getting to the children the nanny of one of the missing children distracts him with a wanton that he has never felt.  Though as he works with Kate, the nanny, he learns that she is hiding more than one secret herself.  While the clock ticks by for the children, Sterling and Kate become closer.  But, once this case is over will they have a chance or will the barriers of those around them force them to part ways?

I loved Sterling from Eternal Service and was ecstatic to find that he was the center of the second book.  I love his character and I am so glad we got to hear his story.  Kate as his match is perfect.  Though Sterling finds happiness with Kate, his relationship with his father is a huge plot point.  I thought that through Sterling’s eyes Raymond was much harsher than I remembered.  I was glad how their relationship turned out.  It was a nice resolution for the two characters.  This book was just as action packed and fast-moving as Eternal Service.  The sex scenes are pretty hot too, but you would expect that with Sterling’s book.  Overall, it was a great follow-up in a wonderful paranormal romance series.  If you haven’t read Eternal Service you need to pick it up then you’ll be clamoring for United Service right after.

Fresh Face Friday: Try Not to Burn by Michael David Matula

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone is ready for the weekend.  I know its gonna be a wet one here but it’s still the weekend so that counts.  Today I have the opportunity to feature Michael David Matula and his book, Try Not to Burn.  This was definitely a unique story.  It takes the reader to places they dare not think about.  Into a world that most people live their lives to avoid.  Be sure to check out my full review after the Book Blurb.  I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend and be sure to check in Monday for two reviews!

Book Blurb:

16036270Officer Brandon Morales remembers the last smile he ever saw.  It was the smile of the serial killer who shot him at point blank range.  When Brand awakens, it’s into a much darker world than the one he left.

Purgatory.  The inmates call it “Hell City.”  The demons who populate this nightmare simply know it as the first stage of the Gauntlet, God’s own testing ground for the immortal soul.  It’s a grinder; a massive pit that chews up the worst criminals society has to offer.  Souls go in, and they rarely come out.

Traffic violations and little white lies aren’t enough to condemn a soul to this level of purgatory.  Only a cardinal sin can seal that fate. Hell City is like a maximum security penitentiary, if the warden left the cells unlocked and waved the guards goodbye.  The inmates roam freely, many delighting in the carnage, finding satisfaction in an infinite number of victims.

Brand doesn’t want to admit that he might have earned his place here.  It all seems like a cruel joke to him.  The courts acquitted him of his crimes.  They deemed it self-defense.  He never told anyone what had truly happened that one night, when he gunned down two robbers in cold blood.  Even he had started to believe his innocence.

He has only one chance to make up for what he did.  If he can survive the Gauntlet, he can earn a second chance at life.  If he fails at any point, flames will engulf him and drag him straight to Hell.

Trying to make sense of it all, Brand stumbles across two women with sordid pasts: Samantha Reiss, a tough-as-nails bank robber who died from lethal injection, and Jane Calrin, a teenage girl who ate a bullet after committing an unthinkable crime of passion.  Despite what they had done, Brand can’t help but see the good hiding within them.  They seem worthy of forgiveness, and worthy of redemption.

However, when a horde of inmates descend upon their doorstep, Brand, Sam and Jane are forced out of their meager hiding place and into the untamed depths of the afterlife.  With their souls hanging in the balance, and eternal damnation never more than one wrong turn away, these three strangers will need to put their trust in one another in order to stay one step ahead of the flames of Hell.

The Gauntlet trials are not for the faint of heart.  Purgatory creates another challenge whenever the current one is overcome.  The city park, Eden, becomes anything but a paradise, and is prowled by unseen, whispering threats that can tear a man to pieces.  The underground sanctuary, the Grotto, becomes home to burrowing monsters and unimaginable behemoths.

All is not lost, though.  There might just be a guardian angel lurking somewhere within purgatory.  And if Brand can find him, he and his new friends would gain an ally that could turn the tide in their favor.

But when enemies pose as trusted friends, when lost loves crumble the will to continue, and when hidden desires threaten to tear allegiances apart, it will take more than faith and determination to pass God’s final test.

It will take a miracle

Review:

We first meet Officer Brandon Morales at what should have been a routine traffic stop.  The only difference is that this traffic stop ends his mortal life and thrusts him into Hell City.  Hell City is a purgatory for molesters, killers and any other kind of deviant you can think of.  When Brand awakes he meets two women Jane and Sam.   Both have managed to survive Hell City but the dangers that are occurring daily threaten everyone’s lives.  Though they are already dead the threat of getting Burned is imminent and an idea that is a fate worse than death.  So, the trio set out to survive together.  Unfortunately, they find allies aren’t really allies and trust is wavering and very fragile.  When Brand almost gets burned more than once an option to survive and possibly get out is given to him.  He must find the soul could help him and his friends survive and get redemption.  The only problem is that is not as easy as it sounds and they don’t know who they are looking for.  In a place where devils abound they must find a possible angel to guide them to safety and life after death.  Can the allies work together to survive or will obstacles and diversions tear them and their chances for surviving apart?

This was a really enjoyable read.  I thought the premise was unique and well written.  The story itself is enough to scare people into being a better person.  I really enjoyed the back stories of the characters and the opportunities and challenges that are given to the trio.  I thought Brand’s character was good, but really felt that his back story of his purpose of being thrown into Hell City was a bit strained considering Brand became a police officer for reasons other than those of why he was in purgatory.  I also thought Jane and Sam were wonderful supporting characters that both helped the story and Brand’s character to grow.  Overall, it was a great read and I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good paranormal suspense book.  It gives the reader so much to enjoy and reads very well.

Author Bio:

6536141Michael Matula is a novelist from Chicago, IL, and a current member of the Chicago Writers Association and the SCBWI. Michael once dreamed of becoming a comic book artist, sketching pictures and caption bubbles in class when he really should have been studying. Unable to draw fast enough to keep up with all the ideas and storylines he came up with, he wrote out a side story for one of his characters. He ended up falling in love with writing and never really looked back.

His first book, Try Not to Burn, was released in September 2012 by Post Mortem Press.

He’s currently working on the sequel, and a sample of one of his novels won the top prize on Authonomy.com after being ranked at #1 overall.

YA Corner: Antithesis by Kacey Vanderkarr

For this week’s young adult spotlight I have the privilege to share with you an awesome book with a unique story.  Kacey Vanderkarr’s Antithesis is refreshing and inventive.  It draws you in and won’t let you go.  For my entire review be sure to check it out after the book blurb.

17408078Book Blurb:

My name is Gavyn.

Liam doesn’t care that I only have one arm. He actually likes my red hair and freckles. I might forgive him for kidnapping me.

My name is Gavyn.

I lost my Liam. I’ve lost them all. And now it’s my job to make sure they don’t show up again.

My name is Gavyn.

I had a life with Liam, but he couldn’t give me what I need. Then I killed his father. I don’t expect he’ll forgive me for that.

My name is Gavyn

Review:

We first meet Gavyn on a snow day.  A day where you don’t have to do anything but curl under your covers.  Gavyn’s peace is disturbed when  she hears thumps outside her door.  Soon a hot guy comes bursting through the door and transports her to another world.  Gavyn immediately thins she is dreaming.  But, this is no dream.  Liam, the hot guy, begins to explain to Gavyn about multiple worlds with multiple Gavyn’s and multiple Liam’s.  When Gavyn shifts from these worlds while being chased she begins to discover she is only Gavyn with one arm.  As Gavyn and Liam travel more worlds they become closer and begin to fall in love.  When they finally get to the destination that has caused all the trouble in most of the worlds it looks hopeless for all involved.  When all hope seems lost the unexpected happens and Gavyn’s already upside down world becomes even more so.  In the end will Gavyn find her way back to her world and can she continue on when she is so different?

This was a wonderfully unique story.  It was inventive and I loved the dimensions the Kacey Vanderkarr brings to both the story and her characters.  This is definitely a story that draws you in and won’t let you go.  The story is fast paced and doesn’t slow down until you get to the end.  The love story between Gavyn and Liam is also very cute and a lovely addition.  Gavyn’s character is one of a kind.  She is born handicapped yet is functional.  Though clearly at the beginning her self-esteem is low it truly begins to grow and brings a new depth to her character.  I think Gavyn’s character alone could make this a must read but it ends up being just one piece in a spectacular story.  I would highly recommend this book for all those of you who like a unique story in a young adult genre.

Cover Reveal: The Star Catcher by Stephanie Keyes

Today, I have the awesome opportunity to share with you the cover of Stephanie Keyes newest book, The Star Catcher.  If you are a follower you will know that I have reviewed this book and you can find that here.  So, here it is the gorgeous cover for The Star Catcher.

TheStarCatcher.v4-FinalThe Star Catcher (The Star Child #3)

By Stephanie Keyes

Release Date: Fall 2013

Publisher:  Inkspell Publishing

Cover Designed by: Najla Qamber Designs

 

Book Summary:

Magick and destiny intertwine as he fights to save his kingdom and the goddess he loves.

Her kiss…the feel of her skin…the beat of her heart…For seventeen-year-old Kellen St. James, each memory is marred by a single sentence on a lone strip of paper.

Cali has been taken…

Armed with an amulet that channels the ultimate power of Faerie, Kellen searches for his love. However, control of the amulet’s energy comes with a price, and Kellen soon learns that Cali’s captor has plans for the stone. With the threat of the Star Catcher’s evil looming above Kellen and his kingdom, he’ll have to free the Heart of Faerie and break the curse the binds the Children of Danu to the darkness. But before that, he has to find his real father, the king. No pressure, right?

Kellen and Cali will battle bewitched armies and unknown foes as they fight to stay together. Will Kellen embrace his immortal destiny? Or will his world, and the man he is fated to become, be destroyed by The Star Catcher?

About the Author

steph12bwStephanie Keyes has been addicted to Fantasy since she discovered T.H. White as a child and started drumming up incredible journeys in her head. Today, she’s still doing the same thing, except now she gets to share those ideas with readers!

When she’s not writing, Stephanie is also a graphic designer, international speaker, teacher, musician, avid reader, and Mom to two little boys who constantly keep her on her toes. In addition, she’s best friend to her incredible husband of eleven years.

Mrs. Keyes holds an undergraduate degree in Business and Management Information Systems from Robert Morris University and a M.Ed. from Duquesne University. She is a member of the Society For Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), as well as a featured author in the global group of writers, Love a Happy Ending.com.

Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which currently includes The Star Child, After Faerie, The Fallen Stars, and the soon to-be-released finale, The Star Catcher (November 2013), all from by Inkspell Publishing. Mrs. Keyes is hard at work on a new YA Paranormal Romance.

 

***Author Links***

http://www.stephaniekeyes.com/

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5360651.Stephanie_Keyes

https://twitter.com/StephanieKeyes

 

P12433441GIVEAWAY:

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Coffee and a Review with Headline Ghouls by James Teel Glenn

Coffee-coffee-13874368-1920-1200Good Morning and Happy Monday!  Today we are having coffee and reviewing with James Teel Glenn’s book, Headline Ghouls.  This was a cute collection of stories that through back to a time of old Hollywood and journalism that strode the line of ethical and not so much.  Be sure to check out my whole review after the book blurb.

51y2Zgeh34L__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-61,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Book Blurb:

Reporter Moxie Donovan has followed his actor-wife to Hollywood and taken a job as a studio flack, but he hasn’t lost his eye for a story… and Hollywood is full of stories. It’s 1938, Hitler rules Germany and is supporting U.S. Nazi groups, the studio system is in full force, America still suffers from the Great Depression, and hard-boiled reporter heroes are the order of the day.
  Written in the “pulp” style with over-the-top characters, bizarre situations that combine mystery, nazis and the occult, the hard-charging reporter hero, and plenty of fists, guns and drinking.

Review:

This collection of “pulp” like stories almost reads like a Dick Tracy comic.  With quite a few differences but the idea is there.  We follow Moxie and his wife Maxi as they snoop out stories from Nazi’s to voodoo priestesses.  This is definitely a fun throwback novel paying homage to the type of journalism that flourished in the time of the Depression and pre-World War II.  I really enjoyed the back and forth between Moxie and Maxi.  I thought they were both good foils for one another.  It seems like they could definitely find trouble under the most benign rock.  The colorful characters that came through the stories also help to grab the attention of the reader.  Though I enjoyed this collection I felt the over the top language and lingo of the time was a bit much.  That made it feel more like a comic than part of a novel.  Also, I would have loved to have seen just one of these stories a bit more in-depth and made into a full novel.  There is definitely the capability there and James Teel Glenn has the talent.  Overall, I felt this was a cute collection of stories and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good adventure back to Hollywood’s heyday and Journalism’s time to really press the envelope.

Fresh Face Friday: A Trail in Blood by J. David Anderson

***OMG!  Sorry guys didn’t realize this was still in drafts.  Better late than never right.  :)***

Happy Friday!  Anyone else ready for the weekend?  Today I have the awesome opportunity to share with you J. David Anderson and his book, A Trail in Blood.  This is a paranormal suspense book that is wonderfully fast paced and a very quick read.  It has a great story that keeps you guessing right up until the end.  Be sure to check out my review after the book blurb.  I hope all of you have a great weekend!

18144952Book Blurb:

The Williams clan is a family just like any other. They have jobs. They pay bills. They don’t always get along. They live one day at a time. But they also have a secret. The Williams pack is a family of werewolves. And they are not alone.

Supernatural beings interact with the regular world every day, sometimes going to great lengths to keep their existence a secret.

Now, as the current pack Alpha is forced to step down and his oldest son is preparing to take over, a rogue werewolf is loose in their territory, leaving a violent, bloody wake. The body count is quickly rising but tracking a killer through a crowded urban city is no easy task.

Can the family set aside their differences and pull together to find and stop this monster before their trail of bodies unveils the truth about werewolves and the rest of the supernatural community to the world? And are they ready to face the consequences of what the truth might do to their family?

Review:

The Williams clan is a clan of werewolves.  They all have normal workaday lives and jobs, but just turn furry when the need arises.  The need for a normal façade is paramount.  No one must know what they are.  But, when killings begin happening and they soon connect them to a werewolf it is up to them to find the killer before their secret gets out.  The only problem is can they work together to find the monster before he kills again?

I really enjoyed this book.  It was a quick paranormal suspense read.  It had a great story and you really felt like you were finding the clues along with the characters.  The strife between some characters was very natural with a sibling rivalries and such.  I really enjoyed the character dynamic and when all was said and done the “bad” guy wasn’t who I thought it would be.  I definitely see more coming with these books.  There are different storylines and characters I’d love to see explored more.  If more come I will definitely read it.  J. David Anderson is a great storyteller and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

7155798Author Bio:

J. David Anderson is an author of science fiction, horror, fantasy, and anything else he thinks would be fun to write. He lives in Indiana with his wife, son, dog, and imaginary friends.

He may or may not have saved the world from five alien invasions, four biological attacks from an alternate dimension, three major flea infestations, two holes in the space time continuum, and a partridge in a nightmare tree. It’s difficult to tell for sure because he makes stuff up.

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