Monday, October 31, 2016

Twin Souls by DelSheree Gladden

I picked up this book because I knew it would be a clean read that involved a bit of Native American mythology. The story centers around a couple of teens, she is the daughter of the wealthiest man in town, he is the son of a rancher. Uriah has been in love with Claire for as long as he can remember. They come together when Claire orchestrates a fight with her boyfriend.

I am usually able to find something about a book that I like. I regret that is not the case with this one. The pace of this book is slow and uneven, at points boring. The editing is poor to non-existent.  I made it to page 95 before I finally had to give it up as a lost cause.

There are problems with missing words, extra words, incorrect words ("conceded" and "conceited" are NOT interchangeable). Some sentences read as though the author had a new thought/idea or just changed her mind mid-sentence. I cannot in good conscience recommend this book to readers in its current condition. I think the potential for a good story is in there somewhere, but at the time of writing this review, her book reads like a work in progress. I would urge the author to remove this book from sales and have it properly edited.

Because of the problems with the book at this time, I regretfully can only give it 2 stars.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Stolen and Forgiven (Branded Packs Book 1) by Alexandra Ivy and Carrie Ann Ryan

This story is set twenty-five years after a virus decimated the human population. Unable to stay hidden when humans began noticing entire communities not falling sick and dying, shapeshifters came out to humans and saved them. Their blood created the cure. As thanks, humans rounded up all shifters and forced them to live in containment camps, sorted by the type of animal each shifted into.

I read a lot of shapeshifter stories. By "a lot," I mean more than 75% of my library is shifter stories of some kind. I love them. I used to dream as a child that I could turn into this or that animal. Enough about that.

So... on to the story. This book is actually written as two stories. Stolen is the story of Ariel, an orphan experimented on by a sadistic doctor and left for dead just inside the wolves compound. I enjoyed the story. The authors have presented a scenario that is original for me, while at the same time, showing humanity at its worst - greedy, self-serving, and afraid of the unknown. I'm hoping as the trilogy progresses that humans sympathetic to shifters will come into play.

Throughout Stolen, I found the storyline to be somewhat predictable. There's the expected damsel in distress, the honor-bound alpha, and jealous ex-girlfriend. You get a bit of back story, just enough to understand how shifters came to be corralled together on fenced land. We're given a hard look at the brutality the humans have forced on the alpha as he adheres to laws enacted out of human fear. There is also a bit of propaganda that has to be reversed after Ariel recovers.

In Forgiveness, the story picks up with the punishment meted out as a result of an event at the end of Stolen. As in Stolen, there is a love story that plays out with all the usual aspects and a twist or two, though nothing shocking or completely unexpected. What I did appreciate about this part of the book was more details about why the shifters were rounded up and put in contained areas. I felt as though I had finally been given some "meat" in my story.

In addition to having more substance, the authors introduced some unexpected help for our intrepid shifters. Their presence is explained in a great way, and looking ahead at the next book in this series I can see they will play a more important part in the storyline.

Overall, this was a fairly decent book. Was it griping? Did it keep me up too late at night to finish reading? No. Did I enjoy it? I think I can safely say yes. I found a couple of places in my reading where editing missed a couple of problems, but not enough to reduce the stars. However, because I could easily set the book aside to do something else, I'm only giving this three stars.

This book is available at Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Legacy of the Dragonwand, Book 1 by Daniel Peyton

At sixteen, Markus wants to study magic and become a wizard. His parents want him to stay and someday take over the family farm. It's time for him to choose, and choose he does. Slipping out in the middle of the night, Markus strikes out on his own in pursuit of rumors of an wizard in the hope that he will find in him a teacher and mentor. Markus succeeds in finding the wizard, but the old man only lives long enough to pass on his wand and a quest that, if he is successful, will save his world from a growing evil. 

Markus' world is filled with different beings resembling one or another type of non-human life capable of speaking, Lizardkind, Rakki (having tails and fur much like wolves or dogs), and dragons. On his way to find the Dragon Citadel, he comes across a couple of Rakki losing a battle with an imp. Using a spell from his dreams, he manages to save the female, and is invited back to their village to rest and resupply as thanks. While there, Markus learns he has become is country's most wanted by the Guard.

I found this to be a clean, easy read. The story has all the elements a young (or old) reader could want for a fantasy novel. There's the requisite girl his age for Markus to become interested in, the obligatory over-protective father, understanding mother, a quest, forbidden magic, an evil wizard and greedy king.

With a couple of exceptions where I found passages the read like a word was missing, the story is well written and fairly well edited. The biggest exception to this is the difference in the title on the cover of the book versus what is on the inside of the book. An easy enough fix for eBooks, not so for the print copies. This should have been caught before going to press.

Due to the issues mentioned above, I can only give this book three stars. I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.

You can pick up your copy at Amazon (US, CA, AU, UK) and Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Andromeda's Reign; Moonrising Book 2 by K.S. Haigwood

In this addition to the Moonrising saga, Mena, now calling herself Andromeda, is in the southwest with her bondmate to learn how to be an Alpha. Committed to thirty days away from Phoenix, she's full of anger and attitude. Not to mention fighting her growing feelings and desire for Ace, the Alpha lion of Las Vegas. All while still wanting to be back with Phoenix.

And of course nothing can be straightforward in any book with Haigwood's name on the cover. Members of his pride are everything from confused to downright hostile about her presence among them. On one page, she's paired with a woman who is definitely out to stir up trouble and does so quite effectively. Next thing I know, the two women have jointly conspired to pull off a sneak attack on Ace that leaves him somewhat, um, over exposed.

Some of my favorite characters from her Eternal Island series make an appearance and have an important role of their own to play. Ace, being the font of brilliant ideas, makes a deal and ends up with a major handicap. (What? Did you really think I'd give that one away? Not on your life.)

Throughout the hilarity, there is a serious side to the story. As in any good story where love is a thread, there is jealousy. And jealousy rears its ugly head at the worst possible time. When Haigwood told us we'd never guess who got the girl, she wasn't joking.

When I got to the end of the book, I found myself in the unusual position of being furiously angry at one of the characters. I don't think I've ever felt that way about any character in any book I've ever read. I told her at the first opportunity that I wanted to drag "so and so" from the book and kill him, bring him back to life and kill him again. She laughed. Hmph. The book has been live and available now for five days. I still want to commit "character-cide." (I may have just coined a new word.)

I've been reading Haigwood's stories for a couple of years now and have yet to get my hands on one that is merely "okay." Seriously now, I want to know how she manages to make each book better than the last one. Because that's what has happened. This book doesn't stop moving from the first page to the last. It's a fast-paced, wild ride. Highly emotive writing, fantastic character development (including one I want to kill), and perfectly edited. What more could a reader ask for? Do yourself a favor and get this book. Heck, get both of them. And the prequel. I guarantee it will be money well-spent.

For all the previously mentioned reasons, I'm giving this one 5 stars. I received an ARC of this book to beta read and review.

You can find this book at Amazon (US, CA, AU, UK) and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Phoenix Rising: A novel of Anne Boleyn by Hunter S. Jones

I've read my fair share of stories about King Henry VIII and thought I had a fairly well developed opinion of the man. As a king I considered him to be a bully that people had to step carefully around. As a man, well, I suppose it's safe to say Henry VIII was a (royal) man of his time.

Hunter Jones presents a different facet to the story of King Henry and Anne Boleyn - one of two people deeply in love that were caught in the machinations of others. The story of the last hour of Anne's life is one that bounces around a bit in time as the characters revisit treasured memories. We are shown precious memories of love when it's new, hope for a different outcome than what history tells us happened, the respect of the populace for a condemned queen, and the grace of a queen as she asks for the crowd to "pray for a good and gracious king."

As the story developed, I found my opinion of King Henry starting to change. Before reading this book, I saw him as just another man in history who used and abused his power to get what he wanted regardless the cost to others. By the end of the book, I felt sorry for both Henry and Anne.

I find it a curious fact of history that mysticism was considered something apart from witchcraft and used fairly frequently by royalty and others. This is included in the book as Henry seeks guidance on an important decision pivotal to Anne's fate. The seer whom Henry consults shows up a few times letting us eavesdrop on certain people and events, a brilliant touch from the author.

Jones provides a bibliography at the end of the book which I appreciated. Her research shows in her writing. She was able to take what she learned and put a fresh and emotionally wrenching spin on an historical event - one that I think most people don't think twice about questioning what we were taught in school. We are shown Henry's thoughts about the decision he felt compelled to make regarding Anne's judgement and sentence. We are there with him as he suffers losing the love of his life. And we are there when the conspirators discuss how well their plans are playing out.

I love history and have a particular fascination with the histories of England, Scotland and Ireland. Time travel not being an option at this point in time, I have to make do with books. Jones did a superb job of presenting an alternate look at the events leading up to the execution of Anne Boleyn. She has made me feel compassion for a person I'd previously looked on with something bordering on disgust. She has reminded me that there are two sides to every story and it is the victor that writes the history.

I'm very glad I had an opportunity to read this book. Jones has a clean style of writing that was a joy to read. The editing was very well done. I found no errors to distract me from her work. History can be a touchy thing to not only write, but write well enough to keep the reader engaged. Hunter has done that.

For the quality of her writing, editing, research, and causing me to reconsider my opinion of King Henry VIII, I am giving this book 5 stars. I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available at Amazon (US, CA, UK, AU), Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A new entry in the Moonrising Saga!

I love this author. She's sharp, witty, and a lot of fun. Her books are sure to pull you in for an amazing ride. There is nothing laid-back about her work, even the slow moments keep me glued to the book. I am so happy to be able to share her announcement of the next book in the Moonrising series with you. This book has replaced the first one of hers I read (Eternal Island) a couple of years ago as my favorite. Wanna hear something funny? She says I told her that about Accepting the Moon, book 1 in the series. I guess that's what happens when she keeps surpassing herself with each new book.

Follow the links in the promotion below to pre-order your copy now. This book goes live May 12!

Urban Fantasy Romance at its BEST!

Cover Reveal and Pre-Order of Andromeda's Reign by

K. S. Haigwood and Anne Conley

Do you like big books? Andromeda's Reign slides in at just under 170,000 words!


The Moonrising story continues…

The Alpha Lion of Las Vegas, Ace Keller, has luck on his side, at the poker table and with the ladies, calling bluffs and breaking hearts whenever the notion strikes him.

After bonding with the Alpha Wolf of Montgomery, Alabama, fate flips Ace's simple world upside down when he finds himself desiring only one woman in his life — Andromeda. But not only does he want her, he needs her touch in order to live.

The bond forces them to feel each other's emotions and hear each other's thoughts, which wouldn't be a problem except Andromeda is in love with a Master Vampire, and Ace has dark secrets of his own that could put her in danger.


Andromeda's Reign

Chapter 1

Wednesday, February 4th 2015 5:42 p.m. PST

Las Vegas, Nevada


"Do it again," I demanded.

I could feel Andromeda trying to give up emotionally, as well as physically, but I pushed her harder. I knew what her body and mind were capable of, and we were nowhere near her breaking point. She was a lot stronger than she thought she was.

Our connection, as we both liked to refer to the bond, seemed to be growing stronger, rather than weaker, like Andromeda had hoped it would. She wanted to find a way to reverse the ritual.

I didn't.

She could feel my every emotion and hear my every thought—unless I blocked the telepathy—but it worked both ways, so she could keep me out of her mind, too. Unfortunately, we couldn't block the emotions.

I felt each and every happy memory she'd had with Phoenix and each and every sad moment she'd had without him. The only time she wasn't thinking about him was when we were training. So I planned to make her train. A lot.

This damn rollercoaster of feelings was literally driving me insane. I had never in all my life felt as much as I had in the last week, and I hated it. Me… with one girl… forever… I rolled my eyes at the absurdity that my life had become in only the blink of an eye. But as crazy as that all sounded, and even though I had in no way asked or planned for any of it, I couldn't bring myself to hate the fact that I was finally ready to settle down.

I blocked Andromeda's kick, grabbed her shoe and threw her to her back on the workout mat. Grinning down at furious, pale-green eyes, I offered her my hand.

She huffed as she got to her feet on her own, looking down as she limped away from me. What a terrible actress. Chaos could have done a better job of fooling me.

I shook my head as my hands came up to rest on my hips. "Don't give me that shit. It might work on your wolf cubs or even your boyfriend, but you can't fake it with me, Andra. We're bonded. I know you're not hurt, so don't—"

"I'm tired, Ace—"

"You shouldn't be tired," I sneered. "You slept the whole flight here. But for the sake of a pointless argument, humor me. What are you going to do when you're in battle with an enemy and you get tired? Are you going to limp away? What if I'm not there to kill the fucker for you next time?"

"I never asked for this!" she screamed as she whirled around to glare at me, her beautiful eyes brightened by the tears shimmering in them.

"I didn't, either!" I roared back. She flinched as our emotions tangled together. I knew those tears weren't there because she was sad, because her fury washed over me like I had been doused with boiling water. The rush of it almost hurt. The anger sucked, but I knew anger. I could deal with anger. Anger was my friend. It was the sadness and the heartbreak and the sappy-frilly-frilly I couldn't fucking deal with. Unfortunately for me, Andra seemed to be full to the brim with all that shit.

With more effort than I really wanted to put forth with the mood I was in, I waded through her rage, then through my madness and forced calm over us.

This bond was new to us both, but getting it through her thick head that it would be easier on us if she would dump her boyfriend was like trying to breathe under water. I might have understood her side of the argument a little better if she had been dating the vampire longer than a month, and never mind the fact that two of those weeks she was locked in a silver cage as a wolf. They hadn't even had time to get to know each other. I knew her. She knew me. We had direct contact with each other's thoughts, memories and emotions, yet she wouldn't even consider the idea of us being together on an intimate level. I didn't understand it at all.

After a moment, I held out my hand again. "Come here." I'd be dead and damned before I went to her, not with how she'd been acting since we left Montgomery, Alabama.

She looked down at my hand and set her jaw. I knew she wanted to touch me just as much as I needed her to, but I also knew by her thoughts that she wouldn't without a little more encouragement.

"I know you promised Phoenix that you would try to be happy here with me in Sin City. Do I need to make a call to the High Vampire of Montgomery to let him know you aren't playing fair, Andra? My first attempt at getting him to break things off with you was just that: my first attempt. You may hate me before this is all over and done with between you and your bloodsucker, but, in the end, you will still need me and you won't have him. I can live with that. Can you?"

Her lip quivered, and I nearly caved. I couldn't handle the tears, but I could counteract with a little rage, just enough to give her a taste of how I felt. "Ace—"

"You're mine, Andra. I'm willing to give you some time to let that soak in, but I won't wait long." I hardened my voice to a steely edge, even though she could undoubtedly tell I was serious. She had bonded with me, damn it! She was mine. She didn't belong to some vampire nearly two thousand miles away. And when he got here, he still wouldn't have her completely. I had to tamp down the utter rage at Andra's memories of the vampire in bed with her, his skin sliding against hers, his mouth on my mate's mouth. Fuck. If she wasn't going to realize it on her own, I'd have to push the issue. "He can't have you, Andra. I won't let that happen." I said the last part slowly, maybe for dramatic effect or maybe it was because, deep in my heart, I knew it to be true—I wouldn't let him have her. By the fear in her widening eyes, I could tell she was seeing things from my perspective now. It was about damn time.

"I knew you would do this! I knew you would get me here and try to control me—"

"The only thing I'm trying to do is train you, but you won't stop thinking of him long enough to concentrate on keeping your lovesick ass alive if this were a real situation!"

"Why do I need to learn how to fight so fast? We've barely stopped since we got here. And why haven't you let me in your mind in two days? You shut me out the moment I asked about Justice."

I huffed. I couldn't tell her about Justice yet. If this upset her, I could only imagine how enraged she would be when I told her that I nailed a huge target on her head with our bonding. The worst part was that I knew it before I even did it. I didn't know how to break the news to her without her hating me for it. Hell, I hated me for it. "I'm not ready to talk about it yet."

"Well, I'm not ready to stop missing Phoenix yet," she bit back. "I've only been away from my home for a little more than half a day, Ace. Cut me a little slack."

I guess I was damned and dead, because I took a step forward, reached out and took her hand. The relief was immediate. Our rage subsided and our tempers calmed as if we'd never been angry at all. Our fight seemed so petty now. "I'm sorry. I am trying, Andra, and I will talk to you about Justice soon. I promise. I just have to figure out how to go about doing it the right way."

She nodded as she wrapped her arms around me, and I looked up to the high ceiling, thanking the good Lord above us that He had given me enough sense to apologize. There was no better feeling in the world than when she was in my arms. It felt like heaven. It was new for me—totally unheard of for me—but I was quickly getting used to it. That in itself was mystifying.

"I'll understand," she said, and I lowered my head so that I could whisper in her ear.

"About what?"

"About him. Whatever it is, I'll understand, Ace."

God, if that were only true! Sighing heavily, I said, "I hope you will."

"Were you lovers?"

I blinked rapidly at that. What the fuck? "No!" I had to laugh. Of course she would think something like that! "I've never been intimate with Justice… or any other guy, for that matter," I said in disbelief, and then a smile crept across my face. "I like puss—"

Andra quickly clamped a hand over my mouth. "I hate that word. Call it something else."

I threw my head back and laughed harder than I had in a long time. After I calmed down enough to speak clearly, I said, "What do you call it?"

Her eyes nearly popped out of her head as she blushed, and then those walls swiftly went up, blocking me out of her mind. Damn it! "I'm not telling you what I call my… my…"


She slapped my chest, and I laughed. "Stop! That sounds so gross to me."

She did a little shudder-wiggle thing, and I couldn't stop laughing. I'm serious. It was freaking hilarious watching her squirm over a word I'd said in everyday conversation most of my adult life.

"Okay, we won't talk about what you call yours. What do you think I should call it in general? I have to call it something."

"Why do you have to call it anything? People don't go around talking about hoo-has all day long. You could just leave that particular body part out of your vocabulary altogether," she said matter-of-factly.

My eyebrows rose as I stared at her in fascination. "Hoo-has?"

"Well, hoo-has is plural, meaning more than one. Hoo-ha is singular, meaning only one."

Shit! Is she really giving me a grammar lesson on pussy slang?

"I know what singular means, Andra. I'm fairly educated."

"Oh, then there you go. Hoo-ha and hoo-has."

Frowning, I shook my head. "I don't like that word. Call it something else."

She grinned playfully, mimicking my head shake as she turned to walk away, but I grabbed her wrist and pulled her to me, enclosing her in the iron-like frame of my arms. Her skin—coated in a thin sheen of sweat—slid against mine, bringing to mind all sorts of erotic delights, but I only held her tighter. She stiffened, but she was too distracted to keep her walls intact. We were too close and she wasn't as experienced with blocking as I was. I felt her desire for me the exact moment I smelled it.

Not only did the lion in me wake up, but the bonded male in me did, too. I wanted her. Bad. But it was too soon. She still had that vampire on a leash and I hadn't told her my secret. My wants could wait for the perfect time. And there would be a perfect time. I was damn sure of that.

I had her right where I wanted her, though. Her walls were down and she was fully aware of how much she wanted me. The bonding did that to us. The attraction we felt for each other was unavoidable when we were this close. It may have been mean of me to use it to my advantage, but I had to know; she could not leave this room without me knowing. I did exactly what I intended to do from the start and no more. I bent until my lips almost touched hers, and then I dove into her mind. She hadn't even tried to hide it from me. It was right there, for the taking, what she called her Golden Grotto, her Holy Grail or, in her words, hoo-ha.

I smiled as I whispered, "Kitty-cat."

Desire left her eyes as she pushed against me. I let her go with a light chuckle.

"You're an ass, Ace," Andra said as she avoided looking at me. I could feel her embarrassment and guilt. Yes, guilt was there, too. The fucking vampire was cock-blocking me from seventeen-hundred miles away.

There was no need to bring up the fact that she would have willingly let me pet her kitty-cat if I had only kissed her. There was no vampire here for her to run to now. She wouldn't have stopped me, but she would have regretted it. I didn't want her to regret being with me. Ever. I had to play my cards right. There was no folding or losing in this game. I would win.

The gym doors opened, and Slade walked in with Kai, Rogan and Chaos. Chaos ran straight to Andra, and she knelt down to ruffle his ears and baby-talk to him. She was spoiling him, and he was eating it up. I frowned, my mood turning a bit sour at admitting to myself that I was envious of my Rhodesian Ridgeback.

"Great timing, assholes," I grumbled.

Slade's grin was a mile wide as he watched Andra pet my dog, and then his green eyes cut up to mine, his black eyebrows rising in amusement. He thought it was funny as hell that I'd finally met a woman I liked and she wouldn't put out. His words, not mine. And what made it worse, I hadn't even told him. My Beta knew me better than I knew myself most of the time. I guess he could tell by the sexually frustrated look on my mug that I hadn't gotten any—or any worth bragging about—in a while. I was never, ever telling him what Andra called the cockpit. Hoo-ha… What kind of word is that for something so awesome? The fucker would never let me live down how vanilla she was.

Slade nodded to Andra. "Has Ace been a good host? Are you getting settled in okay?"

She smiled shyly as she gave him a curt nod, but her face was still a little pink from the embarrassment I had caused only a few moments earlier, so I closed the distance between us and took her hand. She squeezed my fingers in response, and I winked at Slade.

"I've got it taken care of. She's staying in my room."

All three men did a double-take. My dog even looked at me funny. It didn't surprise me. No female of mine had ever been allowed in my room—not that I kept one for more than a night, but that was beside the point. I took care of my women away from the lion's den. None of the other pride members who lived here were allowed to bring anyone back here with them for some kinky play, either. It was best for everyone if humans didn't know shifters existed. Every Tom, Dick and Harry would grab their pitchforks and hunt us. That's all we needed, a bunch of simple-minded rednecks who didn't understand a damn thing about us, trying to become slayers. That wouldn't do anything except get a bunch of humans killed.

Rogan's whiskey-colored eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. "Huh?"

"Your room?" Kai said as he swept his shaggy blond mop out of his eyes so he could see me with both of his deep blue eyes. "But you—"

"How did I miss that?" Slade said, interrupting Kai. "I thought Olivia had an extra bed in her room that Andra was supposed to sleep in while she stayed here."

Narrowing my eyes at him, I released Andra's fingers so I could drape my arm over her shoulder and pull her closer to me. I already knew she had access to everything about my past, since she'd received all my memories the moment we bonded, but I didn't want these dickweeds making her think she was like those other chicks. "Andra is special, guys. Shut up, will ya?"

The guys just stared at me in disbelief. I wasn't joking, but they were obviously waiting for me to tell them I was. Did they expect me to be a bachelor forever? Of course they did. Four days ago I would have expected that of myself.

Andra snickered, I was guessing at the nervous feeling I was sending her through our connection. "I got settled in just fine, thank you. Though I haven't had much time for rest. Ace has had me training since we arrived."

Slade grinned at her mischievously. "He's easily bribed. Give him something he wants. He'll do whatever you want him to do."

"You can go now," I said, letting the lack of amusement that I felt seep into the tone of my voice.

Andra laughed softly. "I'll have to try that. What would he want?"

Kai snorted. "What does every man want from a woman?"

I looked up to the ceiling and huffed in annoyance when her embarrassment crept over my skin. "Get the hell out of here, guys. We're about to turn in for the night. The rest of the Pride will be here early in the morning to meet Andra."

"Turning in for the night?" Rogan said, and then looked at the other guys, like he was missing something. "We came to tell you it was time to leave for work. None of us are as good as you are, Ace."

A muffled curse passed through my lips as I ran my free hand down my face. "Uh…" I stammered, and Andra turned to look at me, confusion pouring out of her and into me in waves. She was on the verge of freaking out that I might leave her here alone. I forced a smile as I pried my wide eyes away from the guys to look at her. "It is, uh… tonight is poker night, and kind of a tradition I started a few decades ago. I'm pretty good at it, hence why I named my lion Ace. Most of us don't really work around here. We gamble. It's how the bills get paid. And I guess it's my night to make sure we have a place to live next month."

She glanced around the huge gym that was only a small fraction of the house. "You gamble and win enough money to pay for this place?"

"Yeah… and then some. Look, I won't go if you don't want to go, but I'm better than anyone here. We'll lose everything pretty quick if I depend on some of these losers to cover the bills. A few of them lose more than I win sometimes."

"Wait… the chick is coming with us?" Rogan said on a chuckle, and then his expression turned serious. "You're fuckin' joking, right?"

I saw red, but managed to shove Andra out of the way before I shifted—the welcome feel of bones stretching and changing, the fur sprouting, the muscles morphing—and pounced on Rogan. My teeth not-so-tenderly brushed the skin above his jugular where his pulse was pounding hard enough I could hear it. Kai and Slade backed away, but I could sense Slade wanted to interfere, and I suppose that was the only thing that stopped me from biting Rogan's head off.

"Rogan doesn't know about the bond, Ace!" Slade shouted. "Nobody but me and the crew that went with you knows that you're a bonded male now! Don't kill him! Christ! He didn't know any better!" I didn't glance up, but I knew him well enough to know that he was running his fingers through that stark black hair and gripping it hard enough to pull it out by the roots.

"Ace," Andra's startled voice said. "Don't kill him."

I moved my head back enough to close my mouth, and then just stared down into Rogan's eyes as a low growl rumbled up my throat.

"I would advise against ever calling her a chick again if you value your life, Rogan," Slade said on a relieved exhale. "Ace bonded with Andromeda in Alabama. She's your Alpha now, too."

There was cold fear in Rogan's confused eyes. He knew he'd screwed up, but I could tell that he wasn't sure how he'd managed it. The truth was that none of us knew how strong this bonding thing was—well, aside from me and Andra; we knew exactly how tough this bitch was, but I wasn't in the mood to give lessons or talk about it unless bloodshed was involved. I'd let Slade explain it to Rogan. Instead of backing away, I stepped forward, placing one of my back paws on Rogan's groin as I made my way back to Andra.

Howls of agonizing pain issued from behind me as I shifted back to my human form.

Ignoring the scene behind me, I chuckled when Andra held out my shredded gym clothes, her head turned in the opposite direction from my immodesty.

I took the threads and covered myself enough to make her comfortable. "So, how are you at poker?" I said as we walked toward the doors to leave.

She laughed. "I'm better at Blackjack."

"Let's go Double Down then, my dear," I said with a flirtatious grin, and she beamed at me. God, I loved that smile.

"I need to take a shower first," Andra said.

I grinned playfully. "Good. You can shower with me. There's a spot on my back I can never quite reach." She gaped at me, and I nearly busted a gut laughing. "I'm kidding… unless, of course, you want to shower with me. I wouldn't tell you no. I'm nice like that," I said with a wink.

Catching me off guard, she shoved me into the corridor wall, and then laughed when I hit my funny bone and let out a loud curse. "You are not showering with me, Ace."

I scowled as I rubbed my elbow, until I glanced up to see her walking away from me. That high ponytail and the look of her ass in those workout shorts had me forgetting all about the sharp pain shooting from my elbow to my wrist. I bit my lip as I watched her hips sway, and then I ran to catch up with her before she noticed I had started panting.
She might not shower with me tonight, but she would soon. She would soon.
©Copyright 2016 by Kristie Haigwood

Special prices set for the other books in this series:

Accepting the Moon - Prequel $0.99

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Midnight Moonrising - Book 1 $2.99

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Happy Reading!!!




Monday, March 14, 2016

Crimson Shadow, Book 5: The Longest Night by Nathan Squiers

What to say, what to say? I love this series. There's always something new around the next turned page. This was in turns insightful (getting more of the Stryker family history), nerve wracking (learning more of Xander's past and how he got the red eye), and heart-warming. I mean really now, who doesn't love a good love story?

Squiers has filled in a lot of holes for me by providing some much wanted history. But this book introduces a new category of Mythos to his series that just opens up his worldscape for so many more stories. For my part... fist pump and a loud YES!! I don't think I will ever get enough of this author. From the book blurb we know that Xander and Estella get married.

I was captivated by the wedding vows each of them spoke, but mostly by Xander's. There's an openness and honesty to his vows that I want to experience in my own life (in spite of having no intention of ever getting married again). There's a vulnerability to Xander we don't often get to see. A precious gift from a strong character ready to take on the world regardless of his physical condition.

We've always known Estella was a gentle soul unwilling to hurt another living being. We see a new side to her in this book. In her turn, she also sees a side of Xander's life he assiduously kept from her. She was the light in his life. Keeping his home life secret from her kept her from being sullied by it, at least in his mind.

The story goes back and forth between time periods to give us more of Xander's childhood, and details of his father we didn't previously know. The jumping around in history culminates in an astonishing conclusion that once again proclaims Squiers status in my mind as a Bard in his chosen genre. I've read books with similar jumps in time that were almost painful to read. Not so in this book. Once again, I can say with confidence that you really WANT this book.

For the quality of writing, his continuing character development, continuity from one book to the next, I have to give him 5 stars. I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available from Amazon (US, CA, UK, AU)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cover reveal by an amazing author...

Nathan Squiers, aka the Literary Dark Emperor, is about to do it again. I've watched this author grow into Bardic status with each new book in this series. My hands are already going "gimme, gimme" even knowing the book isn't out yet. Time only ever crawls when gifted authors are about to release a new book. Have I mentioned patience is not my strong suit? Yeah. Sigh. Anyway, keep reading to see what he has in store for us.

Title: Crimson Shadow - The Longest Night
Series: A Crimson Shadow Novel
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Release date: 03/15/16

Xander and Estella Stryker are finally married.

And while everything feels like a dream for the two, a strong foe from Xander’s past threatens to tear the two apart. When a plane crash-lands them stranded in what appears to be an abandoned castle in Europe, the two find things are not at all what they seem. When both the past and present clash at the couple, they have to find all their strength to overcome any adversity.
Even if the adversity is the strongest either Xander or Estella have faced…

With stronger enemies and a foe tied for revenge to tearing the two apart and destroying Xander’s legacy, Xander and Estella will both have to let go of any doubt or fears. Lest the two be devoured into the shadows for good.

Will the Stryker couple be able to stay united through these challenges…

…or will their union be destroyed in the flames of revenge?

Nathan Squiers – The Literary Dark Emperor

 Born in Massachusetts in 1986, Nathan Squiers (The Literary Dark Emperor) grew up in Andover, where his affinity for story-telling flourished due to a love of books and movies as well as an overactive imagination. At the age of 13, Nathan and his mother moved to Upstate New York to be closer to their family.

After surviving public school, where he spent most of his days locked away in the AV room watching old 80s movies on Laserdisc and planning out his next video project, Nathan began a shaky college career. A love of weaving tales and telling stories was motivation enough to pursue an education in English, and, as luck would have it, a series of phenomenal professors were available to get him pointed in the right direction. It was in his first years of college that Nathan began to actively pursue a writing career, starting his first literary journey with a piece that would later become "Noir", the first book of the Crimson Shadow series.

Like any good story, a chaotic turn of events brought Nathan from the very brink of insanity and loneliness to the warm, comforting embrace of Megan, his best friend, lover, kindred spirit, and--more often than not--personal handler. It was with Megan at his side that Nathan was able to continue his writing (sometimes solely motivated by the young lady's threats of dismemberment if he tried to stop). With Megan's help, Nathan was able to see Death Metal, his fourth manuscript, through the publication process.

Nearly ten years later, The Literary Dark Emperor (now a multi-award winning author and co-owner/manager of Tiger Dynasty Publishing) continues to invent stories and put them into a literary sequence that he hopes will be somehow decipherable by other readers. As a lover of all things creative, he works in both novels, novellas, short stories, as well as comic book scripts (just don't ask him to draw something if you don't like stick figures and poorly-executed shapes).

If he's not submerged in the realm of fiction or burning out his retinas with horror movie marathons, Nathan is planning/getting a new piercing/tattoo or enjoying life with his lovely wife and fellow author, Megan J. Parker-Squiers.