Tour: Desecrating Solomon by Lucian Bane

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Dᴇsᴇᴄʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ Sᴏʟᴏᴍᴏɴ: A Fᴏʀʙɪᴅᴅᴇɴ Rᴏᴍᴀɴᴛɪᴄ Tʜʀɪʟʟᴇʀ

Author: Lucian Bane

Release Date: October 22, 2015

Genre: Forbidden Romantic Thriller

Buy Link: Amazon: http://amzn.to/1McfFHi


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::Synopsis::

***WARNING***

This book contains elements that may be disturbing and offensive. Please read with caution if you are triggered by events depicting violence and various forms of abuse.

On the seventh day of the seventh year… she desecrates.

Evil keeps a formidable schedule in Weston, West Virginia. Every seventh year, spirits from the town’s abandoned insane asylum seek worthy souls to command. But this seventh year, a desecration unlike any before is scheduled to ravage the town. And Solomon Gorge is lured to the harrowing event by the screams of Silence.

:::Excerpt:::

Silence focused her mind, bringing the erratic race of her pulse back into her control. Again. She was finally there. In The Hallower. She didn’t permit herself to look about but her peripheral said she’d been wrong about the most holy chamber. The torture devices and horrific tools she’d imagined hanging from the ceiling and walls did not exist.

Six years. She could hardly believe it had passed. Six years as ‘Silence’ ended today. No, six years of silent Contemplation ended today. But it really didn’t end. There would never be a time when she didn’t contemplate what came next. And what would her new name be? She never permitted herself the blasphemy of trying to guess. Today she’d know.

She carefully slid her gaze to the single entrance leading in. A small door made of thick slats of wood, held together by decorative black metal. The entire room was black—walls, ceilings, floor—all a rough stone painted a shiny looking onyx. And empty. Except for the single slab of granite in the shape of a hobbit table where she sat in her ceremonial graduation gown. It reminded her of a wedding dress.

Would Master be the one to usher in the final phase? Her stomach clenched in excitement and she immediately calmed the fleshly rebellion. She secretly hoped he did. She’d never met the Order’s Queen but once, and even then Silence was not permitted to look upon her as an unlearned runt.

Silence was used to Master’s ways, even though all feared him. The Dark Legend of their Order had trained her personally in the most Holy arts of pain and fear. Any fear borne outside of her Master’s care was destructive—that was one of her first lessons. There were good fears and bad. The bad fears were counterproductive to the Order, the good fears protected it. And Holy Fear with pain were gifts she received directly from her Master’s hands. And only her complete submission provided the divine covering required to fulfill her role as the Queen’s chosen Redemptrix.

Her calm insides jolted at the clang of the outer door leading to The Hallower. She faced straight ahead in deferring obedience, eyes cast to the floor. The Hallower door opened next and her peripheral said the entirely nude form was indeed Master. She let out a silent breath of relief.

He shut the door. One metal bolt clanked… then another… then another. Her heart hammered in her ears despite her steady breaths. It was always this way. No matter how practiced she was with Master’s training, her body knew. Muscle memory always braced for sure impact of some sort.

“Sweet Silence,” he said when he stood before her.

She stared at his hardened phallus, leaning to place the customary kiss on the butterfly tattoo wrapping its length. He stopped her with a pointer finger on her forehead.

“Not this time.”

Again Silence braced, mostly in confusion. She didn’t remember a single time when he didn’t require the Butterfly Kiss. She still remembered the day he had the vision to get the tattoo. The butterfly on the phallus symbolized that the lost would be ushered to heaven’s door by the seed of Master. During her Silent Contemplation she’d marveled over his interpretation, glad that he seemed to be getting some of her gifts.

She hoped he got all of them.

“You look beautiful in your graduation gown, Silence.” He stroked that same finger along her face, beginning with her temple. Her mind flashed with past disciplines he’d put her through. There was no part of her body he’d not trained in some way, for some sacred reason.

“Thank you, Master.”

She listened closely to his unsteady breaths, thick with the scent of fermented juice. “Are you nervous?”

“No, Master.”

The several grunts followed by strained groans told her he was having divine revelations. “Six years of Silence to usher in the final phase.” The withered words came with the glide of his finger over her lips, lingering long enough for her to know what he wanted. But when she parted her lips to suck, he drew it away, bringing another surprise. “Are you ready, little one?”

“Yes, Master.” The bad fears made her breaths shallow as she struggled with old flight or fight instincts.

Why wouldn’t he let her suck it? It was always the not knowing parts that got her, it always was. What he would do each time. He liked surprising her. It had become an unspoken duel between them—her to anticipate, and him to be unpredictable.

A gasp escaped her as she fumbled with the reigns on her control. Master was the one person she would always fear. She was supposed to fear him and only him. Fearing him was allowed, it was good, it was expected, demanded.

Think of the Hallowing Ceremony. Graduating to the next phase. Six years of silence is over.

Sudden terror hit her as she remembered. The dream. The vision for her new name. There had been none.

“So much fear, little one.’His voice croaked with disappointment as he tilted her face up with that same finger, now under her chin. “I am sure you’re eager for your new name.” He began a slow trek to the right of her, his finger gliding off as he went. Silence refused to allow her gaze to stray from straight before her. He’d had the dream? The vision? “I too, am ready to hear it.”

He’d not. Terror raced back in and she swallowed at what this might mean. “There was none.” Her voice rang out with a strength despite the quiver in her gut.

His deep low chuckle behind her, tickled along her spine. “I know,” he whispered, his mouth suddenly at her ear. “Because I was given the dream this time.”

The beat of her heart became a wallop in her chest. Breathe, Silence.

“I’m sure you’re eager to know it?” he said lightly, slowly coming back around on her left now.

“I am excited to learn it.”

“And I’m excited to tell you.” He came to stand exactly before her again. Silence gripped her dress in tight fists as he placed his hands on either side of her head. He pulled her to his phallus, moving his hips side to side lightly. She waited for his direction, knowing not to engage until he communicated firmly. “I had a vision of your new name, little one. A vision of a hand writing on the wall next to my bed.” The tip of his penis stroked errantly over her cheek and lips, meandering and without purpose. “Do you know what it said, sweet angel?”

She shook her head only barely. “No, Master.”

*****ABUSIVE PART BELOW*****

His fingers suddenly bit down in her hair, pulling harder than he’d ever done before. She fought to look him in the eyes the way he always insisted when milking for his essence. But he shoved so far in so quickly and she hadn’t had time to relax her throat, already it burned and hurt.

“Talk to me Silence. One last time before you leave,” he growled, grabbing the hair on top of her head while he pinched her nose shut. “Tell Master how much you will miss him. How you will never forget him. How you will only think of him,” he hissed, pounding his penis harder against her throat.

Silence struggled to give him what he wanted, but her body refused, it always did.

“Tell me!” he ordered between grunts and thick groans.

She tried again. She tried so hard.

His fist shot down and slammed into her forehead. A familiar numb buzzing filled her skull and ears. “Tell me Silence, tell me how much you’ll miss me while you fuck our sacrifice!”

She did it in her mind. She screamed until she had no more breath. She screamed as loud and hard as she could, like he wanted her to, but it came as silence. Something had broken inside her years ago. She couldn’t remember the exact day, she just knew it had. She could no longer scream. It was as though she’d forgotten how or lost the ability. No matter how much he beat her or hurt her body, her mind disconnected from everything and she couldn’t.

She could feel the pain but she was trapped in silence. Just like her name.


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A Bookaholic’s Fix Review

Please take the warning seriously for this one. As you can tell from the excerpt, this kind of story isn’t for everyone. The violence and abuse are inescapable facets of the story.

I have to say, this book was not what I expected. The blurb made it sound like a paranormal with the talk of spirits, but the book definitely falls within the thriller  genre. I also see elements of mystery and even horror (the non-supernatural kind) present as well.

I don’t particularly care for depictions of abuse (in fact, it makes me fighting mad to think people endure horrible circumstances at the hands of others) but I can overlook disturbing scenes when it works within the constructs of the story. In this case, it is essential to understand the depravity the main character, Silence/Chaos, is subjected to. The sexual abuse, beatings, mental abuse and brainwashing she endures is have shaped her character and in order to understand what motivates her to carry out the directive handed down by the man known as Master we have to see the torment she endured. 

The character development of Solomon, is displayed more by his words and actions. Everything he does or says is indicative of his nature. His past is relayed in snippets without a whole lot of details, but the information given is enough to lend insight to the type of person he is and his actions with his charges reinforce the goodness of his character. 

I really liked the complexities of the main characters and the way the secondary characters displayed unique personalities and also enhance the main characters and the story line. 

As for the story itself, I found it compelling and intriguing. I was sucked in and despite stomach turning violence, I couldn’t put it down. I give this book five stars. 

Now I will warn you that it does contain a cliffhanger–which was also unexpected–but I will be anxiously waiting to see how this story ends.

:::TEASERS:::

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:::Other Books By Lucian Bane:::

Mercy: A Dark Erotica

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No Mercy: A Darker Continuation:

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Beg For Mercy: A Dark Conclusion

TBR Link: http://goo.gl/1MLxm5

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Dom Wars Box Set Round 1,2 &3

US- http://amzn.to/1FXp8dN

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WHITE KNIGHT DOM ACADEMY 1ST SEMESTER

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Paranormal romance series

Box Set Ruin (first 3 books

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RUIN The Waking:

US- http://amzn.to/1wIfgFD

UK- http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00N401Y3U

RUIN Revelations

US- http://amzn.to/1NgVsxN

UK- http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NXJW0L2

RUIN The Judgment

US- http://amzn.to/1CwWqCN

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RUIN The Turning

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Goodreads link bit.ly/1xZsIBy

Arks of Octava

The Scribbler Guardian

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UK- http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00TJNFCH0

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Tour: The Maurin Kincaide Series by Rachel Rawlings

The Morrigna
The Maurin Kincaide Series
Book One
Rachel Rawlings

Genre: Paranormal Urban Fantasy
ASIN: B003V4B6CI
Number of pages: 326
Cover Artist: Joseph Eastwood

Book Description:

I’m Maurin Kincaide, a psychometric, and until a few days ago I was working for Salem’s Preternatural Task Force as an interrogator. I cracked more cold cases and got more confessions than anyone else in the department. Of course that was before I traded in my badge for an ancient Celtic sword. Now, I’m the Special Liaison for the Council, the governing body of the Others, and I take my orders from witches, werewolves and vampires.

I didn’t just make a career change though. I’m not the same person I was before. I’m stronger, I can heal from wounds that would kill a normal person. I’m developing latent psychic skills at a breakneck speed. Oh yeah, and it would seem that a Pagan goddess has taken permanent residence in my body and mind. Crazy thing is, I’m starting to feel normal, like this is who I’m supposed to be.

Of course, there are those who don’t agree. Morrigan and her sisters for example. Actually, I’m pretty sure they’d like nothing more than to see me dead. And if I can’t stop them and the demons they’ve raised, they just might get their wish.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/Y9g8FJKN2vM

Available at Amazon | Audible | BN

The Morrigna Excerpt:

I couldn’t help feeling a little vindicated as the Captain told him his theory was pretty much paper thin, but he hadn’t even started on me yet. He dismissed Masarelli with a wave of his hand, but Masarelli didn’t move. He just stood there like he was waiting for more instructions or perhaps to hear me get chewed out. He would get neither.

“Now, Masarelli.” The tone in Matthison’s voice had me sitting up straight. “Shut the door behind you.”

Captain Matthison waited until Masarelli closed the door and was sure he had walked far enough away not to overhear our conversation before he continued. Definitely not a good sign.

“You’re not going to like what I have to say, Kincaide, but I’m going to say it and you’re going to listen. I’m putting you on paid administrative leave. Effective immediately.” He was his usual calm self as he handed out my punishment.

“For how long? Wait a minute, what the hell did I do? I came in here, tried to do my job and now you’re punishing me because I didn’t get the desired results? You never said that there would be repercussions if I didn’t produce every time when you offered me this job!” He might be calm, but I was fuming.

He lowered his head and ran a hand through his short brown hair. “I realize every case can’t be easy, that there will be times when you simply can’t get the answers we need. That’s not what this is about and you know it.”

“No, I don’t actually, so why don’t you enlighten me.” It probably wasn’t smart to get flippant with the Captain, but I couldn’t have cared less in the heat of the moment.

“There’s something going on with you. I’ve noticed things over the last couple of weeks, ever since we’ve been dealing with this demon case. Even before that, if we’re being perfectly honest. There‘s no way that witch should have walked out of here like she did.” He was mussing up his hair again, like he didn’t want to finish, so I didn’t give him the chance.

“If the arresting officer had caught that witch’s charms, we wouldn’t even be talking about her right now! And you can’t seriously think I had anything to do with any of this? That my not feeling well is in any way related to the demon running loose? So why put me on leave?” I didn’t even try to hide my disgust at the thought.

“Would you shut up and let me finish. We both know it’s more than you ‘not feeling well’. ‘Not feeling well’ implies that you’re coming down with a cold or something. That is not what is happening with you. And of course I don’t think you had anything to do with the demon. As for being related? Who knows? From what Masarelli says, our best, though admittedly thin, lead had you in some kind of trance. You were catatonic in our interrogation room for Christ’s sake! That’s never happened before. Not once in the three years you’ve been here. You have been getting stronger. I’ve seen it. You spend less and less time with the suspects and walk away with more and more information. But the witch? Charms have never stopped you before. And then you face O’Neil and it’s like you’ve got nothing, no abilities at all. He should have been a cakewalk for you. He didn’t even register on any of our psychic scans. It’s like with more power comes less control. I don’t know what’s going on with you and you don’t either. So until you figure it out, you’re on leave. I just can’t risk you being injured or blowing a case – both of which are very real possibilities and you know it. I don’t want you near the station or anywhere near this case. That’s an order.” He didn’t have the same tone in his voice as he had with Masarelli, but it didn’t make it any easier to hear what he had just said.

“Do you want my badge too?” Okay, it was slightly juvenile, but I couldn’t help myself.
“Are you offering it to me? Because as much as it would disappoint me, I’ll take it if you are,” he said.


Witch Hunt
The Maurin Kincaide Series
Book Two
Rachel Rawlings

Genre: Paranormal Urban Fantasy
ASIN: B009YLODRW
Number of pages: 316
Cover Artist: Joseph Eastwood

Book Description:

Maurin Kincaide is back in this action packed follow up novel to The Morrigna. No longer a member of Salem’s Preternatural Task Force Maurin is the new liaison for The Council, governing body of Others. During what should have been a routine meeting with her former Captain, Maurin is brought in on a murder investigation.

Three dead witches, three cryptic clues, no sign of the killers and the Salem coven is losing allies within the Council. If Maurin and her unlikely partner Captain Matthison can’t stop the killers, the Witch City might be without its namesake.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/ZwTNzVGJvxQ

Available at Amazon | BN | Audible

Witch Hunt Excerpt:

“Maurin Kincaide.” That was my professional greeting.

“It’s Matthison. You need to- ” I cut him off.

“Too late. You already approved the pass. You don’t get to change your mind now.” He wasn’t going back on the pass, not after I had already sent word that it had been approved.

“First, I only said yes to you. You don’t have my signature on the form yet. And second, I absolutely could go back on it if I wanted to, and there isn’t a damned thing that you could do about it. But that’s-” He didn’t get to finish.

“I could get someone to whip up a potion. I know people.” I interrupted.

I was almost to the corner. I pulled my coat a little tighter. It wasn’t officially winter yet, but the Solstice was only a week away. I could almost see the sign for the Daily Grind; coffee was almost within my reach.

“They wouldn’t and you know it. I didn’t call about the pass, Maurin. You need to come back in.” The friendly banter was over.

“Come back in? You make it sound like I’m wanted for questioning. Am I a person of interest, Captain?” I asked.

Something was up – so much for a decent cup of coffee. Looks like I’d be slurping down more of the sludge they keep in the coffee pot in the break room.

“You are one of the most interesting people that I know. I need to talk to you about a case.” I could hear him talking to someone, but his hand was over the receiver, muffling his voice.

“Wow! Sounds like you need to meet some more people. Don’t you have any cops working for you anymore, or did you transfer all of them too? Why didn’t you ask me about this when I was in your office?” Of course, I had already turned around. My curiosity was definitely peeked, but I didn’t want him to know that.

“I’m looking at it now for the first time. Just get your ass in here.” He hung up.

When I got back to Matthison’s office, he was gone. It didn’t take me that long to get there; I was right outside, for crying out loud. I scanned the desks outside his office and found him bent over a folder with my least favorite detective – Masarelli. The one good thing about not being on SPTF anymore was not seeing Masarelli’s ugly mug every day.

I walked over to Masarelli’s desk. “Captain.” I didn’t even bother acknowledging Masarelli, the prick. I did, however, try to look at the file on his desk.

Before I could get a good look at anything, Matthison scooped up the folder and waved me into his office. Masarelli turned his best thousand-yard stare on me – as if I was intimidated by him. I was a better interrogator than he was and he knew it. Of course, he would say it’s because I have advantages that he doesn’t. While it is true that I have what I would call “helpful abilities”, it isn’t my fault that I have them. Besides, I was convinced that I would be a better interrogator than Masarelli even without those abilities. I gave him a wink and a smile over my shoulder, and then followed the Captain into his office.

He dropped the file onto his desk. “I need you to make a call.”

I shut the door behind me. “I’m sorry, what?” I hadn’t expected him to ask me to make a phone call. Talk to a suspect for old time’s sake maybe, but not a phone call.

“You’re the liaison. I need you to call the Council. Mahalia, specifically.” He started rubbing his forehead, which was always his tell that something was very wrong.

“Okay, and what is it that you’d like me to ask her?” I asked. It was never good when he reminded you what your job was. Something was definitely wrong.

He dropped down in his chair. “Tell her that I’ve got a dead witch on my hands and I need her to ID the body. She can meet us at the morgue. They’ve already finished processing the scene.”

“How are you so sure it’s a witch? If they only just finished at the scene, then there’s no way you have lab confirmation. What makes you say witch?” I was really hoping that he was jumping the gun on this.

There were lots of Norms who liked to masquerade around as witches in Salem. You could find a body in front of a cauldron with a broom in one hand and a wand in the other, and it still wouldn’t mean you had a real witch. True witches have a slightly different genetic make-up than Norms, but you’d never know it without the lab work.

He slid the folder across his desk, spilling its contents. “Besides the ‘thou shalt not suffer a witch to live’ carved into her abdomen, you mean?”

“Shit.” I picked up a photo off his desk. “Are her, are her hands cut off too?” Despite all the gross stuff I’d seen recently, I was still swallowing hard.

“Yeah, and her tongue was cut out too. Why would someone do that?” He wasn’t really asking me, which was good – because I didn’t have an answer.


Wolfsbane
The Maurin Kincaide Series
Book Three
Rachel Rawlings

Genre: Paranormal Urban Fantasy
ASIN: B00DAIILMS
Number of pages: 78 Novella
Cover Artist: Joseph Eastwood

Book Description:

Given the choice between her sister’s wedding and witnessing the challenge for Alpha of the Salem pack, Maurin knows exactly where she’d rather be. Smack dead center in a pack of snarling werewolves wearing eau de filet mignon.

Until Francesca takes off the morning of her wedding. Being her sister’s keeper will not excuse her from her job as the Council Liaison. Torn between obligations to a family she’s avoided for almost a decade and the Council of Others, Maurin has less than twenty-four hours to set things right.

Available at

Amazon | BN | Audible

Wolfsbane Excerpt:

I woke in a cold sweat to the sound of heavy gun fire. I grabbed the Retaliator from the empty side of the bed and bolted out of my room. My front door was open and I was out in the little stairway that led to my third floor walk up before I was awake enough to realize there was no danger. My first clue should have been Conry- a Cwnn Anfwnn, gift from my father and personal guard “dog”- just rolling over and burying his head beneath his massive paws. The sound of grenades and Dempsey’s voice coming up the stairs told me it was just my new neighbor playing COD Zombies with the TV full blast at three o’clock in the morning again. I was still in boy shorts and a tank top but I didn’t bother to go back in my apartment to change. He’d seen me in less. I stormed down the flight of stairs to Cash’s apartment with my sword in hand.

“It’s going on four in the morning! Turn that shit off or I’ll send some real zombies to your apartment!” I yelled while I pounded on the door.

How the guy on the first floor slept through it I’ll never know. But it had been me stomping on my floor and banging on Cash’s door every night for the last month.

“What’s the big deal? I figured a fanger like you would be used to staying up late.” Cash casually replied upon opening the door.

“You can be such a jerk.” I said with more venom than the insult commanded.

“Jerk? That’s the best you could come up with?” Cash said through his laughter.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I’m not at my wittiest when I wake up to the sound of World War III at three in the morning.” I said tartly.

“It’s Modern Warfare, not World War III.” He smirked.

I rolled my eyes. “I’m not the only other person who lives here you know. I can only imagine what it sounds like downstairs. The poor guy probably has to sleep with ear plugs in.” I scolded.

“Mike works third shift. He doesn’t get home until after seven in the morning. ” He was still smirking.

“He’s only lived here for like three weeks and I haven’t even talked to him. You two are what, like best friends already?” I asked, irritated.

“What can I say? People just like me better than you.” He was past smirking and into a full grin.

I probably shouldn’t have but I couldn’t help myself. I swung the Retaliator around until the tip of the blade pressed against his Adam’s apple. “Just turn the TV down or we’ll see how good of a gamer you are without your thumbs.”

I stomped away. “And stop staring at my ass.” I said as I started up the steps. If the challenge for Alpha of the Salem pack didn’t happen soon Roul was going to start getting wake up calls at three in the morning. I didn’t know what the holdup was anyway. He was too busy to help us with the Inquisitors and the demon they unleashed a few weeks ago because of his “pack business” and now it’s delay, delay, delay. It’s been unusually quiet in Salem but I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in four weeks because of my new neighbor.

Well, it wasn’t all Cash’s fault. Aidan had a little something to do with it – too bad it was just talking. Aidan made his feelings for me clear but was still insisting we take our time. Vampires could be very patient. Having spent most of my life living more like a “norm” than an immortal I found it infuriating. He wanted to be sure the effects of Mahalia’s spell were gone. I assured him that any feelings I had for Oberon died the minute I found out he hadn’t. I thought I had killed him, pulling too much power through the tie that bound us. In order to save himself, he broke the connection and the false feelings for him Mahalia had spelled into my heart.

I tried on more than one occasion to convince Aidan that I hadn’t felt more like myself since Mahalia’s magic had been broken. That had been a monumental waste of time. It takes powerful magic to control someone’s heart and mind, he explained during one of our all night conversations. I had had other things on my mind, things that didn’t involve so much talking. I used all my feminine wiles to persuade him – unsuccessfully. He was convinced lingering magic would try to latch itself onto the next person to vie for my affections. His conviction to determine my true feelings made for more than one long and frustrating night. Not to mention my temper was becoming increasingly short. Which might explain why I was down here threatening to cut fingers off my irritating neighbor’s hands.

“No kiss good night?” Cash asked sarcastically.

I didn’t bother with a response. Cash was one of the few people I knew who had as many smart ass comebacks as me. If I didn’t walk away we’d be going at each other until the sun came up.

“How about a kiss for good luck then?” He called out as I was half way up the stairs. “The challenge is tonight.”

I turned around slowly. How weird was that? I was just ranting to myself about how Roul was dragging his ass. If I didn’t know better I would have thought Weres had suddenly developed the ability to read minds. Thankfully they hadn’t or my thoughts about Roul wouldn’t have been the only thing Cash would have glimpsed. He didn’t need any more ammunition when it came to aggravating my vampire. If Cash even suspected my frustration with Aidan it would be like arming a nuclear war head.

“The only lips she’ll be kissing are mine, wolf.” Aidan’s voice carried up the stairway from the first floor. I’d hardly seen him over the last couple of weeks. Just hearing his voice sent shivers up my spine and I silently cursed him, knowing full well we wouldn’t get further than second base again tonight.

I’m sure Cash knew he was there, hence the kiss comments but I hadn’t been expecting him. So why had he suddenly shown up on my doorstep? Curiosity over his surprise visit quieted my suddenly raging hormones. He had been working every night on some new assignment that he couldn’t talk about. It was starting to piss me off actually – not the constantly working part, the not knowing part. To be honest, my increasingly bad mood may have stemmed more from being out of the action than Aidan staying out of my bedroom. Sure the time off from saving Salem from imminent danger was great. At first anyway, but it had been almost a month of peace and quiet. After only a week I found myself wishing for some sort of Armageddon. Whatever Aidan was working on seemed to be the cure for my doldrums – and pent up sexual energy – but Agrona had me on the sidelines with no intentions of letting me play in their vampire games.


Blood Bath
The Maurin Kincaide Series
Book Four
Rachel Rawlings

Genre: Paranormal Urban Fantasy
ASIN: B00IJ16Z56
Number of pages: 202
Cover Artist: Joseph Eastwood

Book Description:

Bodies are piling up and all signs point in one direction. Rogue vampire. Except things aren’t always what they seem, especially in a murder investigation.

With her current relationship on the rocks, her father playing match-maker and her neighbor tossing his hat in the ring, the body count isn’t the only thing on the rise. Maurin is neck deep in magic, mayhem and murder.

Can she catch the killer before the killer catches her? One things for certain, when hunting vampires there will be blood.

Available at

Amazon | BN | Audible

Blood Bath Excerpt:

“You need to come to the station with me.” He moved to open my door, like that would get me into motion. Conry took interest in the detective again and Masarelli quickly removed his hand from the handle.

“Look, I was going to talk to you about the Salem pack. I’ll spare you the bullshit excuses and just admit I forgot. Cash is the new alpha. If I promise to come in tomorrow and tell you about it can I go? I’m already late for an appointment.” I glanced at the clock on the radio. It was the only unoriginal thing in the car, well that and the speakers. I was now ten minutes late for my meeting with Arawn.

“It’s not about the wolves. It can’t wait until tomorrow.” He backed up enough for me to open the car door.

“I’m not getting out of the car until you tell me what the hell is going on.” I started to put the window back up.

“I am not going to discuss this on the side of the road. Quit busting my balls and get out of the dammed car.”

“Quit busting your balls?” I opened the door and stepped out in a rush, thrusting my hand out. “Hello, pot, my names kettle. It’s nice to meet you. Why can’t I just follow you?”

He ran a hand over his face, across stubble that was too long, even for him. “This is exactly what I was talking about. Because I know you won’t follow me. Now would you please get in my car so I can take you to the station and get your expert fucking opinion on something?”

I relinquished any hope of salvaging my night, leaned inside the Camero, put the window up, grabbed the keys from the ignition and whistled for Conry. I glared at Masarelli over my shoulder as I walked to his car, daring him to question me about my dog. Masarelli locked and shut the car door, giving the Camaro one last approving look before heading back to his filthy unmarked patrol car.

Since I wasn’t under arrest – at least not yet, the night’s still young – I opened the car door myself and slid in behind the driver’s seat. “Remember that movie we watched last week, Conry? The one where the dog ate the nice policeman’s headrest?” I gave him a big belly rub as he stretched out over my lap and the rest of the back seat.

Masarelli gave me his best cop stare in the rear view and headed toward the station. “So you just forgot about the fact that a black ops merc killed the alpha and took control of the Salem pack? You got papers for this guy?”

“It’s a pack not the AKC.” I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Matthison approved his pass personally.”

“It’s expired.” He blipped the lights and burped the siren to get through the intersection.

“Cash is Alpha now. The paperwork is irrelevant at this point. Unless of course you want to run him out of town on a technicality and create a power vacuum.” I gave Conry a little nudge, my legs were falling asleep.

Masarelli spared a quick glance in the rear view mirror. “What happened to Roul? They eat him?”

“Eighteenth century France called. They wanted their superstitions back. How did you get this job again? They buried him, following pack ritual.” Not even ten minutes with him and I was already exhausted.

“And his mate?” He couldn’t know, could he? Was this what the mysterious trip to the station was really about? He needed my expert opinion on some trumped up murder charge?

“Dead.” I didn’t elaborate.

“Killing the mate isn’t covered under the Meneur de Loupes agreement.” He was fishing for something, anything to get rid of Cash.

My mouth was moving before I thought about the consequences. “It doesn’t need to be covered by the Leader of the Wolves agreement since a werewolf didn’t kill Olwyn. I did and it was self defense.”

“And that’s why you didn’t bother telling us about it? I have to file a report and take your statement. I don’t suppose you have someone to corroborate your self-defense story?”

Shit. “Besides the pack you mean?”

He shook his head. “What do you think?”

“No.” If this sounded half as bad to him as it did to me I might actually be in trouble.


Mistletoe Meltdown
The Maurin Kincaide Series
Short Story Book 4.5
Rachel Rawlings

Genre: Paranormal Urban Fantasy
ASIN: B00RLUQ2GI
Number of pages: 28

Book Description:

What do you do when you’re out voted on hosting a holiday party, complete with gift exchange and all the trimmings?

Tie on the apron and deck those halls.

Self proclaimed Scrooge, Maurin Kincaide accepts the challenge and tackles the yuletide with all the determination she would a Council task.

But not everyone is brimming with holiday cheer. A blood coven threatens to bring the holiday festivities to an end.

Can Maurin stop the dark magic before the clock strikes twelve, signaling the solstice?

Available at

Amazon | BN | Audible

Mistletoe Meltdown Excerpt:

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Yuletide carols being sung by a choir and folks dressed up like Eskimos.” Nat King Cole’s smooth voice blared from the outdoor speakers hidden in the greenery that turned the walking mall into a winter wonderland, soothing the savage holiday shopping beasts surrounding me. I tried not to overanalyze the lyrics but I’d met the Hoar Frost King once and he’d do a lot more than nip at your nose.

Besides, did anyone really have a Christmas like the ones people sang about?

The Kincaides, my adoptive family, practiced every holiday tradition from Midnight Mass to the extravagant family dinner to a house staged similar to something from a Martha Stewart Living magazine. It didn’t change anything. The tinsel and twinkling lights only highlighted the hatred.

So imagine my enthusiasm when my real father Arawn suggested we have a Christmas/Solstice dinner. With friends. At my apartment. I understood his need to create memories–he’d missed out on most of my life–but as a self-proclaimed Scrooge I’d avoided anything to do with the holidays since I’d left Beacon Hill at seventeen. But here I was layered up underneath my leather jacket, knit hat pulled down to my eyebrows, basically dressed like the aforementioned Eskimo.

The numbness in my hands increased with each block I walked back to my car. Not from the cold–my purple wool gloves did a decent job–but from the shopping bags cutting of my circulation. I loaded up the Rabriolet, an old metallic blue VW so named because the guy who sold it took all the Rabbit badges off and replaced them with Cabriolet, the convertible’s small trunk barely holding my haul of gifts and groceries for tonight’s festivities.

The temperature inside the car barely rose a degree above the outside temperature during the short drive back to my apartment. I pulled into the parking space I’d shoveled out this morning after the snow stopped but didn’t rush to get out of the car. Two pep talks later I dragged myself and my multitude of bags up the three flights of stairs which led to my place.


Ill Fated
The Maurin Kincaide Series
Book Five
Rachel Rawlings

Genre: Paranormal Urban Fantasy
ASIN: B00TI20TZC
Number of pages: 270
Cover Artist: Joseph Eastwood

Book Description:

Some things are destined to end in death. After the first attempt on her life Maurin wasn’t scared. Hell, she was almost flattered. But someone put a price on her head and things are getting complicated. Trouble is brewing in the fae courts and it’s spilling over into Salem. The UnSeelie Dark Guard have answered the call for her head on a platter and people closest to her are disappearing.

Can Maurin master court politics and find her missing men before someone claims the bounty on her head?

Available at BN

Ill Fated Excerpt

“You’re awake?” He sounded more than a little surprised.

“I’m not really sure the state I’m in qualifies as awake.”

“Here I was, terrified to poke the dragon, and you’re already drinking coffee and talking in complete sentences.”

I snorted and took a sip of the aforementioned liquid gold. “Are you always like this in the morning?”

“If you’d let me sleep over you’d already know the answer to that question. Why aren’t you asleep?”

In general or just tonight, I silently wondered. “Bad dream. I’ve been tossing and turning all night. I finally gave in and got out of bed.”

Papers rustled in the background and when he spoke again, his voice was lower, intimate.”You want to talk about it?”

“Something tells me my nightmares are the least of our problems.”

“You have no idea. I need you to come down to my office.”

I sighed. “Can it at least wait until after sunrise?”

“Would I be breaking the no phone calls before noon policy if it could wait?”

“There really is no rest for the wicked, is there?”

He laughed and the sound warmed me more than a hundred cups of coffee. “Apparently not, in your case. Now, there’s a dirty chai latte and a croissant for you if you’re here before Amalie. I can’t promise real coffee and pastries will survive beyond five minutes of her arrival.”

“It’s four-thirty in the morning, Mas. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll make sure at least one dirty chai and croissant remain unmolested.”

“I’ll see you soon.” He was laughing as he hung up the phone.

Three hours ago I’d practically crawled through the doorway, exhausted from cleaning up after a newbie vamp who’d broken the Jus Sanguinis Intergentes when she killed her donor. The blood pact between people and vampires had a clear no killing, no exceptions clause.

It was up to the maker to ensure their child was ready to feed unsupervised. If something went wrong and the Council found out about it, we cleaned up the mess and the sire was subject to heavy fines and possible revocation of their rights to expand their blood lines. She’d been quite literally a bitch to track and take down.

It had been a long night and it was shaping up to be an even longer day.

I wasted little time getting dressed, opting for a slip on black jersey dress, eighteen hole Docs and a leather jacket. Jewelry was a hindrance in my line of work. My meeting with Mason could easily turn into a run. Choked with my own chain? No, thank you. Unclasping the necklace, I set it in a glass dish on my bathroom counter. I ran a brush through my hair, a toothbrush over my teeth and slipped into the between. I stepped out of the alley two buildings down from the station and walked the last block and a half.

Amalie was swarmed by detectives trying to get at the goodies she brought over from the Daily Grind. She greeted me with a warm smile, shaking her head when I offered to pull her out of the fray. She had managed to endear herself to the entire department in record time. All it took was real coffee and fresh pastries. I pointed to Mason’s office. She’d make her way over once the starving masses had their fill.

Mason was so engrossed in the file on his desk he didn’t hear me come in. He looked as tired as I felt – too many double shifts. Despite an uptick in activity, SPTF was short staffed due to budget cuts. Without enough man power to staff the shifts properly overtime was mandatory.

“Is that for me?” I pointed at the to-go cup and white paper bag on his desk.

He finally looked up and gave me a smile which lit up his whole face. “As promised.”

I stole a quick kiss, grabbed the coffee and croissant, and settled in the chair across from him. I took a long sip of my latte, savoring the delicious mix of tea and espresso. “Man, I needed this. Is that the case you’re working on?”

“Yeah, we’ve got a real problem on our hands.”

“Don’t we always.” I tried to peak at the file.

Mason closed the manila folder. “I’d rather wait until everyone is here.”

“Who else is coming besides Amalie?” My curiosity was definitely peaked now. I reached across his desk, hoping to grab the file.

“You look exhausted. Tell me about your dream while we wait.”

I narrowed my eyes and glared at him. “I see this for the obvious distraction it is but you’re right.” Sighing, I rubbed my temple.“However, I’m exhausted, too exhausted to argue. So I’ll tell you. Prepare to be confounded.”

He listened intently as I filled him in on the nightly visits from the weathered old woman who washed my clothes and hauntingly called my name. I expected him to laugh and tell me it was just a dream, that I had nothing to worry about.

I didn’t expect him to look so stricken.

“Bean Nighe.” He all but whispered the name.

“You’ve heard of her?”

“Of course I’ve heard of her. How long has she been coming to you?”

I stared at him curiously. “A few weeks. Why?”

“A few weeks and this is the first I’m hearing of it?” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, obviously struggling to control his temper.“We talked about this. No holding things back, remember?”

“I thought it was just a dream.” I shrugged.“Honestly, I didn’t think it was a big deal.”

“It was a big enough deal for you to research it.” Agitation rolled off him in waves.

When I agreed to give this thing with Mason a chance I also agreed to some conditions. No more flying solo, no more rash decisions or rushing off to play the hero. We were a team, in everything. This was just one of many set-backs.

“I got curious, did a little digging. Until tonight, everything I found pointed to deep seated family issues, particularly with a mother figure. I’ve told you about my childhood, does that dream analysis surprise you?”

His growl told me he wasn’t in the mood for reasonable—at least to me—explanations. “When did you discover the true meaning of the dream? How long have you known about the Bean Nighe?”

“Tonight. This morning. Before you called me.” I held up a hand to stop the tongue lashing I knew he wanted to give me. “I would have told you. I got the impression on the phone there were more pressing matters than my insomnia.”

“Is this why you won’t let me stay at your place?” His gaze roamed over my face, searching.“Why you never stay at mine?”

“Is that the real reason why you’re so upset?” I arched my brows. “Because we’re not having sleepovers?”

“I stayed at your lovely apartment the first night we met.”

I turned to watch Aidan glide into the room, stopping behind my chair. Rolling my eyes, I snorted and muttered, “In the closet.”

Mason’s jaw twitched but he didn’t take the bait. “Aidan.”

“It’s almost sunrise. Shouldn’t you be hunkered down for the day?” I sighed, wondering what he was doing here. I was too tired to deal with Aidan and Mason and their combined testoserone.

Putting the three of us in a room together was like throwing lit matches at sticks of dynamite – eventually one of them will explode.


Rachel Rawlings Button SEPT-OCT- 300 x 225

A Bookaholic’s Fix Review:

As part of the tour, I had the pleasure of reading all six books. Let me say that I am incredibly impressed. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I am a bit of a paranormal junkie so this series is right up my alley. I’m going to give my overall impression of the series and then talk about the individual books.

The entire series ranks above five-star in my opinion. The story unfolds more in each installment so I’d definitely suggest reading the series from beginning to end to avoid confusion. I loved the characters and I loved how each grew and changed as the series progressed. One of the things I’ve never cared for is stagnant characters and I am happy to say that Rawlings managed to avoid letting her characters become complacent in their roles in the story.

Maurin is a wonderful character. Strong and independent, she managed to carve a place out for herself in her ever-changing world despite the obstacles she faces. From beginning to end the series flowed well and while there were numerous changes taking place in each story, they didn’t feel forced. the story flowed organically and kept me interested in finding out what happened next.

I will say that the series does seem complete. If Rawlings decides to give us more of Maurin’s story, I’d definitely read it but if the series ends here, readers shouldn’t be disappointed.

BTW I can’t help but make a comparisons with this one. The series particularly the supernatural politics and power plays remind me of other series I’ve read, specifically the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris and the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series by Laurell K Hamilton. The focus is definitely less sexual than these others (particularly the LKH series which are intensely sexual) and more on the supernatural world. In fact there is very little sex in these books, the few scenes play well into the story-line and enhance the overall arc of the series.

Now for the breakdown.

The Morrigna- Lots of rich detail. It is not the fastest read but it does an excellent job of introducing the characters and the world they live in. Witches, vampires, weres, and other supernatural beings exist and they are trying to co-exist with the human race. Not everything is sunshine and roses and when things hit the fan, Maurin gets sucked into a world she doesn’t understand. Her quest for justice leads her down a life-altering path and opens her up to her destiny.

I really love everything about the way the story is set up. So much detail. I really understood the world created for these characters.

Witch Hunt- In this one, we learn more about Maurin, the coven and others in general. Threats are introduced that upset the delicate balance between the preternatural and norm communities and cause unrest within the supernatural world itself. Loyalties change. There are trust issues that come to light as well as some background to their causes. There are also revelations and unexpected changes within interpersonal relationships.

I can’t argue with any of the developments. The more I learned about Maurin in this story, the more uncertain I became of her circumstances. I felt the shift in the story and I found that I approved of the new direction her life takes.

Wolfsbane-  This one brings about new developments in the supernatural community. There is a challenge for control of the Salem pack. Maurin ends up in the middle because of her new position with the council. Along with the power-struggle and the fallout, she has to deal with her adoptive norm family.

This one really outlines the turning point in Maurin’s life. While changes have been happening all along, this one really highlights the discrepancy between her past and future. I did find myself tearing up a little as she closes the chapter on one part of her life. I really appreciate the way this emphasizes Maurin’s character development- everything that makes her the individual she is stems from her past and is shaped by her future–absolutely brilliant!

Blood Bath- The title of this one is great. The multiple symbolic meanings of the title make this one my favorite. Of course things are once again changing–jobs, lovers–add in the scariest threat ever, just amazing. The fluidity of the story kept me reading. The constant changes in Maurin as she learns more about her power is intriguing. She is turning into quite the badass.

She is also collecting suitors at an alarming rate. But unlike other series I’ve read, she remains the monogamous type, choosing to end one relationship before she moves on. She does catch some flack her and there about the men, but she doesn’t let it get to her. She shakes insults off like a pro. I like that she picks her battles. She’d rather face the next big bad than worry about other’s opinions. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite badass heroines!

Mistletoe Meltdown- This is a shorter story that shows how Maurin is balancing her life. The mix of tradition and normalcy would be a little out of place without some chaos. A Christmas/Solstice party with a band of supernatural beings seems perfect. Things almost go off without a hitch but Maurin’s version of ‘normal’ rears it’s head and they have to take care of business and still manage to enjoy their holiday.

I found this one to be a little cute, a little sweet, and a perfect addition to the series.

Ill Fated- This one is different. You can really see the character development here. Maurin is learning. She is learning to be objective and she is learning to work with others instead of going off half-cocked. Dangers and decisions are abundant in this one. New foes and old surface and lives hang in the balance. This one read faster for me simply because the adrenaline rush kept me enthralled. I really didn’t know how it would play out but I needed to know.

I can’t help but feel that the series is playing itself out here. I don’t see the loose ends that I saw in the others aside from one. Part of me wonders if this is going to be the end or if the story is going to continue. Two words uttered at the wrong time, to the wrong being make me wonder. It really stuck with me and since it didn’t resolve during the book, I’m hoping that it is a foreshadowing that we will be seeing more about Maurin.


About the Author:
Rachel Rawlings was born and raised in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Her family, originally from Rhode Island, spent summers in New England sparking her fascination with Salem, MA. She has been writing fictional stories and poems since middle school, but it wasn’t until 2009 that she found the inspiration to create her heroine Maurin Kincaide and complete her first full length novel, The Morrigna.

When she isn’t writing, Rachel can often be found with her nose buried in a good book. An avid reader of Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Horror and Steampunk herself, Rachel founded Hallowread- an interactive convention for both authors and fans of those genres.

More information on Hallowread, its schedule of events and participating authors can be found at www.hallowread.blogspot.com and www.facebook.com/Hallowread .

She still lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.

www.rachelrawlings.com

www.authorrachelrawlings.com

www.twitter.com/@rachelsbooks

www.facebook.com/themaurinkincaideseries

www.facebook.com/hallowread

www.tsu.co/@rachelsbooks

www.hallowread.com

bewitching tours

Tour: Free Spirit by Jennifer Wells

FreeSpiritTour

Free Spirit
by Jennifer Wells
New Orleans Magick Series #2
Publication Date: October 26, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Paranormal

FreeSpirit Cover

Purchase on Amazon

Wild child Rachel is having a week so terrible, not even a pitcher of margaritas will help. When her evil boss shows up on her doorstep with a sob story, her request to stay a few nights turns into a whole lot more. She can’t even escape into some of her favorite haunts in the Quarter since she seems to have garnered the unwanted attention of some rabid readers. When her ghost-hunting assignment goes unexpectedly awry, Rachel unknowing releases a vengeful spirit.

Enduring a wicked houseguest and hiding from an over-enthusiastic fan all while trying to put a spirit back in her grave where she belongs is more challenging than sobriety during Mardi Gras. Can she and her family work some magick to put things right in the Crescent City or has Rachel bit off more veggie muffuletta than she can chew?

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A Bookaholic’s Fix Review:

So I fell in love with this book before I even finished chapter one. Rachel is snarky, sarcastic, and a bit of a pain in the ass… In other words, she is my spirit animal. I cannot think of a better character to follow through the haunted cemeteries and houses of New Orleans.

Rachel isn’t the only lovable character in the book though. Her twin sister, Janie, is Rachel’s polar opposite. While Rachel believes in the paranormal, tends to be impulsive, and is a bit eccentric, Janie is skeptical, logical, level headed. She is also a bit of a softy which is why they end up with their boss/friend/enemy, Jacqueline, as an unwelcome house guest. Jacqueline is a grade A biotch. Her rags to riches story changed her at a fundamental level and has made her more than a handful and now the golden carriage is turning back into a pumpkin… well, she’s more moody and unpredictable than ever. Ryan is Janie’s boyfriend and he tends to be the referee and voice of reason no matter the situation. Megan is their cop friend who they met when Rachel had issues with a stalker. Then there is Cherry, the loud, obnoxious, amateur ghost hunter and her partner/boyfriend Ted, who happens to be Janie’s ex-boyfriend. Throw in a some other friends and a couple of ghosts, and you have an eclectic, colorful, cast of characters that keep you sucked in to the story.

Being from Louisiana, I really love stories that highlight the cultural insanity of my home state. This one takes place in New Orleans where believing in ghosts, voodoo, etc. is the norm and the food is out of this world. The details of the city were minimal but Wells put enough authentic elements in the story to make me see The Big Easy in my mind and her descriptions of the food made me want to take a trip just to get some beignets and chicory coffee. No one does food like NOLA… YUM!

The story itself was wonderful. From the beginning I was completely captivated. I enjoyed every single word and I couldn’t get enough. Like I said, I can relate with Rachel. She tells it like it is and holds nothing back. She calls a spade a spade and admits her flaws as quickly as she points out others’. Tack is definitely not her strong suit but her abrupt manner does make for some amazingly funny lines.

I absolutely love this book and I look forward to reading more by Wells in the future. Free Spirit is definitely a five-star read and perfect for anyone who loves paranormal with a healthy dose of attitude!

Magic Charm
by Jennifer Wells
New Orleans Magick Series #1
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Paranormal

Magick Charm Book One

Buy it on Amazon

Janie Adler likes her quiet, orderly life reviewing books for a small New Orleans newspaper exactly the way it is. So what if Duke Hot Pants, the hero of her favorite romance novel, is the only man in her life? She has a Pulitzer Prize to chase. That is until her quirky twin sister Rachel moves in, bringing boyfriend drama, a smelly ferret, and irrational belief in all things magickal along with her.

Persuaded by a local voodoo priestess-and maybe one margarita too many-the twins cast spells to improve their love lives. Loser-magnet Rachel focuses on avoiding the wrong men and Janie seeks her romance novel ideal. While plenty of eligible bachelors flood into their lives, Janie only has eyes for her coworker who lives in the apartment downstairs and works in the cube next to her.

But the twins soon discover the incantations’ many unintended-and dangerous-consequences. The increasing number of mishaps and misfortune putting the sisters in grave peril seems more like the work of a curse. Can Janie and Rachel’s “twintuition” save them from the menace stalking them?

About Jennifer Wells

JenniferWells

Jennifer has been writing since she was in middle school. When she discovered romance novels in junior high, she knew she wanted to write them someday. Her writing remained a hobby while she studied biology and forensic DNA science. She worked as a molecular biologist and published cancer research before finally leaving the lab and taking up her laptop full time.

She currently lives in Northern Virginia with John, her husband of seventeen years. John is a professional tarot card reader and astrologer. John and Jen have two children who happen to be cats: Morgana Madison and Luna. MoMo is a possessive Scottish Fold who loves to knead Jen’s hair. Luna is the baby, an affectionate Scottish Fold who thinks her name is “Cute.”

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Tour: Confessions of a Punk Rocker by Nessie Strange

Confessions of a Punk Rocker Banner 851 x 315

confessions coverConfessions of a Punk Rocker
Living Dead World
Book 0.5
Nessie Strange

Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Etopia Press
Date of Publication: Sept 25 2015
ISBN: 978-1-944138-05-9
ASIN: B015QJ7TAS

Number of pages: 268
Word Count: 55305

Book Description:

The dead should stay dead…

Jack Norris has just lost his best friend—who also happened to be his band’s drummer—to a drunk driving accident. As he struggles to deal with the band’s uncertain future and his own personal demons, those issues soon become unimportant. His dead friend has come back. And he’s not showing any signs of going away. Questioning his own sanity, Jack finds his life spiraling out of control. But when a new acquaintance not only hooks him up with a drummer, but promises to help get rid of his ghostly stalker, Jack’s life does a one-eighty.

Drew MacLellan, the new drummer, is more than just a new set of sticks—he’s the brother of the insanely hot Jen MacLellan, who’s definitely not Jack’s biggest fan. Jen is nothing like the women Jack’s dated in the past, but the more he gets to know her, the deeper he falls. The only problem is she’s got a boyfriend. Caught between his growing attraction and the desire to do the right thing, Jack does everything he can to keep his distance. But the more he sees of her, the more he realizes he can’t. He’s determined to win Jen’s heart, if only he can figure out how to help his dead friend rest in peace…permanently.

Amazon     BN    Kobo    Google Play    iTunes    ARe    Etopia Press

TeaserCONFESSION1

EXCERPT

It’s almost a week after we get back from New York when I wake sometime in the middle of the night with this awful, skin-crawling feeling that someone is watching me. Did I have a dream? If it was a dream, I don’t remember what happened, only that I can’t shake the bad vibe it left behind.

I sit and rub my hands over my face. I’m about to get up and go to the bathroom when a chill brushes over my skin.

“Whoa, stop right there, bro. You’re naked, right? I ain’t gotta see that shit.”

I nearly fall out of bed at the sound of his voice. “Jesus…fuck!”

Eben is sitting on my bureau, watching me. One of his eye sockets is crushed in, and the side of his face looks like bloody hamburger. Bits of skull stick up through his hair. I guess I haven’t woken up yet after all. He leans forward and his scalp flops over.

“What, you’re not happy to see me?”

“I need to wake up.” I rub at my eyes.

“Who says you’re dreamin’?” Eben drops to his feet. Sort of. He’s actually hovering a few inches over the floor.

“Who says I’m not?”

He laughs. “Right? Now for the love of all fuck, please tell me that clown who was pawin’ all over my drums today ain’t in the band.”

“Not if I can help it.” I say it more to myself than to him. “So, uh…what are you doing here?”

He sinks onto the end of my bed with a sigh. The temperature drops in steady increments. “I don’t know, man. I don’t remember much from that night. This dude, he found me standin’ at the side of the road, and he was like Eben Francis? And I was like ‘Yeah. That’s me…except, how come I’m over there…and over here at the same time?’ And he was like, buddy, you’re dead.” Eben shakes his head in slow motion. Blood rolls down his face and hangs from his chin before it drops onto my blanket. “Bro, that’s some fucked up shit.”

“Yeah.” Not nearly as fucked up as having a dead dude sitting on your bed. I force a laugh, because it’s Eben. The live version would’ve wanted me to mean it, but Dead-Dream-Eben doesn’t seem to notice.

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A Bookaholic’s Fix Review:

I had the pleasure of reading one of Strange’s stories in the Love Least Expected Anthology last year so when the review option for this one came through my inbox, I just had to sign up.

So this one features a punk rocker on the rise to fame, a dead best friend, and the girl that’s off limits. Honestly, I would have read that without knowing anything about the author’s previous work. The story is told in first person perspective from Jack’s POV and it is written in present tense. Now this usually is problematic for me but I have to give the author credit, it was amazingly well done. Jack’s voice is strong and it never seems to slip; I knew throughout the story everything was his–thoughts, perceptions, feelings, etc. And as for the tense–it was so well done that I didn’t even notice. I never got that ‘off’ vibe that clues me in to this particular style. I actually noticed it when I went back through the text to make sure I had my details right.

When I sat down to review, I went back and looked at the other story I’d written a review for and noticed something similar about the characterization in the books. The main characters start off a little weak for my taste but once again, Strange makes it work.

At first, I hated Jack. There, I said it. He came off as whiny, self-centered, self-absorbed, self-destructive… His whole poor-pitiful-me routine made me want to kick his ass up between his ears. Now, I admit my opinions are tainted a bit because: 1) I am the oldest child so I don’t relate to the baby of the family mentality and 2) By my early twenties, I was already married with children so the concept of being young and doing normal stupid-kid-stuff is kinda lost on me. I really related more to Jen because taking on too much responsibility has always been my gig. Anyway. As the story progressed, I began to understand that Jack’s familial strains weren’t just his imagination or a matter of faulty perception, and I began to feel sympathetic to his plight. I guess he grew on me the same way he grew on Jen.

I did like the other characters tremendously. Like I said, I get the older sibling mentality so I actually liked Ashton even if he was a bit of an ass. I loved PJ and Ethan because everyone needs weird friends. Drew was the typical little brother–having 2 of my own, I know they tend to be both wonderful one moment and a PITA the next. Then there were the depictions of family relationships. I loved the way she captured different family dynamics through the descriptions and personalities of the various parents (and the interactions with their children) present in the story. Strange managed to create an entire community of separate and interconnected people which gave the characters and the story a tremendous amount of credibility.

The Paranormal elements were great. Ghosts, talking with the dead, crossing over–these were handled wonderfully. I did like the more gruesome factor the haunting had. It reminded me a lot of R.M. Gilmore’s Dylan Hart books. The author took a different approach and instead of doing the cliched type of ghost story, she created something raw and gritty. I love the paranormal genre but it is super popular right now and sometimes is in danger of becoming homogenized. Stories like this provide novelty and keep the genre fresh and alive.

This is definitely a 5-star read. I can’t wait to read the other books in the series and I fully intend to stalk–um, I mean follow–this author to discover what other amazing stories she concocts.

authorAbout the Author:

Nessie is a Massachusetts native and mother of two who has dabbled in everything from abstract painting to freelance sports reporting. She also loves a good story, whether it’s reading or writing one. The first two novels in her Living Dead World series–Living Dead Girl and Reaper Madness–were published in 2014.

http://www.nessiestrange.com

http://nessieslivingdeadworld.blogspot.com

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https://twitter.com/NessieStrange

http://amazon.com/author/nessiestrange

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7463821.Nessie_Strange

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Tour: Fairytale Lost by Lori Hendricks

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FairyTale Lost
by LA Hendricks
Queen City #1
Publication Date: October 19, 2015
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Romance Fairytale Lost Cover

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Synopsis: Emmalyn Chase has a six month expiration date with men. She’s out celebrating the loss of her latest boyfriend with her friends when she runs into Lukas Upton, the old flame that broke her heart into a million pieces. Her mind threatens to fall back into the dark place it created when he left.

Despite Em and Lukas’ best intentions, fate has decided their fairytale isn’t over. Unfortunately, life has a habit of getting in the way. While Em battles depression and her conflicting feelings for Lukas, Lukas struggles against his history of unreliability and indecision.

As Em and Lukas seek to redefine their romance, they find out how hard it can be to hold on to true love.

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EXCERPT

Robert turned to Emmalyn, concern written all over the deep frown in his forehead. “Are you okay? You want me to kick his ass?”

Zavia, Robert and Emmalyn grew up together, the threesome meeting in the second grade, when Em’s mother moved the family to the Charlotte suburbs shortly after divorcing Em’s father.  Robert had a crush on Zavia for as long as any of them could remember. For Zavia though, it wasn’t love at first sight because she didn’t want the boy next door, but as they all got older and  entered high school, and then college, she realized he was always the one for her. Robert’s 10th grade growth spurt that included facial hair and muscles didn’t hurt either. They married right after college and had their son, Jared, five years later.

“Robbie, not to be mean, but I’m pretty sure he’d pummel you.” Em smiled at him, a full smile, to soften the blow.

“He may be bigger than me and work out and all that, but I’m scrappy.” He flexed his skinny arm muscles, causing both women to burst out in laughter.

“Of course you are sweetie. I don’t think any fighting is necessary. What happened at the restaurant was just… an unfortunate series of events.”

“Yup, just call me Lemony Snickett,” said Em sarcastically from the backseat

“Emmalyn, I can’t imagine what you’re feeling right now. I know how much you loved him. But you did the right thing then.”

“Oh really? How can you be so sure?”

“Because I told you to do it. That’s how. And we can all agree I’m always right.” Zavia smiled at her friend and tried not to remember the frighteningly dark period Em went through when she and Lukas broke up five years ago.

Em had always struggled with bouts of depression — especially after her father’s death. After Lukas left she wasn’t much more than a ghost – going to work and home, never stopping anywhere or going out, for almost a year. Em was always so afraid that she’d run into Lukas that she stopped going anywhere they’d ever been together, going so far as to have her groceries delivered. She slept if she wasn’t working and it seemed as though she’d never break out of the gloom that surrounded her. During that time Lukas was transferred to an office on the other side of the country, and Zavia and Isabel were finally able to coax Em out of her funk.

Zavia did not want to go through that again. She needed to talk to Isabel before they took Em home.

“I’m going to run upstairs and see what is taking Isabel so long.” Zavia jumped out of the truck before either Robert or Em could respond.

“That was random,” Robert remarked before going back to scrolling through emails on his phone.

Em smiled at Robert. He really had no clue. “Not really. Zavia is going upstairs to tell Isabel what I should and should not be allowed to do over the next forty-eight hours.”

Robert paused but didn’t look up from his phone. “You’re not going to go after them are you?” He finally looked over at Em, who had a bemused look on her face.

“Nope. I know better than to try and stop Zee when she is in mothering mode. Besides, I’m not really in any position to argue that I can take of myself, am I?”

A BOOKAHOLIC’S FIX REVIEW

I’m going to go ahead and say that I feel this is a four-star read so that anyone reading this doesn’t get the wrong idea from the next section. I try to remain as objective as possible when I’m reviewing because I believe all writing deserves to be assessed on its merits.

This is one of those stories that appeals to a certain type of reader–and I’m not that type. I guess I agreed to review based on the title alone and didn’t bother reading the blurb or even glancing at the genre. While I read a lot of contemporary romances, I’m not the chick-lit type–hell, I’m not the chick-anything type. (I’ve never read or watched a Nicholas Sparks book/movie adaptation… Gimme James Bond, Han Solo or John McClain any day.)

The book was written well enough. I did come across typos but since it was an ARC, I tried to ignore the majority of them in hopes they were fixed before publication. I will say some are tense related though and that made reading troublesome at times.

The characters were a little underdeveloped. Some of the issues Em’s friends had with Lukas seemed a little over the top. I realized later on their objections had merit, once more of the backstory was revealed. If the details of Em’s mental instability had been highlighted earlier (and even expanded on beyond what we get) it would have come off more as protectiveness instead of extreme bitchiness.

The first third of the book is drama-centric. It revolves around the melodrama of the failed relationship and without a lot of detail, it comes off more like drama for drama’s sake. Again- just not my thing. I finally got into the story about half way through and that is when I started seeing just how well the story itself was constructed. I found myself wanting to watch the rest of the story unfold.

I did have some issues suspending disbelief during the events that lead up to the story’s conclusion. The way it played out suggested an earlier time period than the rest of the story making the ending seemed forced instead of organic. But I did like the emotion the author poured into the last half of the book, it shifted the focus where it needed to be- on the future of Emmalyn and Lukas.

About Lori Hendricks

Lori Hendricks

LA Hendricks is an IT project manager by day and science fiction/fantasy novelist by night. A longtime lover of words, she reads science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance novels regularly (when there is time). When not reading, writing or working, LA can most often be found watching football or basketball with her adorable cat, Mona.

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Tour: Beyond the Call of Duty by Tracy Tappan

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Beyond the Call of Duty
by Tracy Tappan
Wings of Gold #2
Publication Date: September 25, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Military, Romance, Suspense

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Synopsis: Eric “LZ” O’Dwyer, a senior lieutenant stationed out of San Diego, is in command of his own helicopter detachment out of the HSM-75 Wolf Pack. Deployed off the coast of South America on a counterdrug operation, Eric jumps at the chance to take down a ruthless drug lord. But to do it, he’ll have to join forces with badass DEA Agent Nicole Gamboa. Infiltrating the drug lord’s mansion is crucial to the mission, and to pull it off, Eric and Nicole have to play out an intimate scene together that leaves them both reeling. In the aftermath, Eric wants to foster something real with Nicole, but there is a secret part of Nicole’s life that makes a relationship impossible. The mission erupts again, and Nicole and Eric end up relying on each other in ways they’d never predicted. The stakes are raised to their highest when the drug lord gains the upper hand, and living or dying hinges on a final showdown between Nicole and her past…and whether Eric can get to her in time!

Content warning: contains profanity and adult situations.

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Excerpt

Her DEA partner, Ryan, was at her side in two paces. “You’ve got the wrong idea about what just happened, Nicole.”

Nicole squared her chin and walked faster, nearing the doorway into the Air Traffic Control tower.

“Would you stop—” Ryan grabbed her arm—“and let me talk to—?”

She whirled, and with a hard downward chop of her hand, crashed his hold off her.

Ryan barked in pain.

“I have two black belts in martial arts!” she shouted into her partner’s face. “Do you ever bother to remember I’m more than a pair of tits?”

“Hey, what’s going on?” Eric jogged up to them, hauling off his flight helmet. “Are you two okay?” Behind him, the helicopter’s rotors were still turning.

Aagaard kept his eyes on her. “That wasn’t about your ability to fight. It was about distraction. The target was going to blow us to Kingdom Come. There weren’t any other options I could see for handling the situation other than what we did. You either, or you would’ve mentioned them. I knew it would work. And it did.”

“Congratulations.” Her voice came out of a dark pit in her stomach. “You’ve seen my breasts now, Ryan. Maybe you—”

“What?” The one word cracked out of Eric like a bullet from a gun.

“—finally stop being such a jerk.”

Ryan’s face flushed a strangled shade of red. “You’re out of your skull if you think that’s what this was about.”

“Right. Then why do you keep blushing?” Nicole reached for the door handle to the tower.

A hand grabbed her arm again. Eric’s.

“Everyone needs to stop touching me.”

“I’m sorry,” Eric said, dropping his hand. “I just want to make sure you’re okay.”

“No, Eric, I’m not okay.” She turned to face him fully. “I haven’t been okay since we pretended to have sex together.”

A Bookaholic’s Fix Review

I have to say I was really impressed with this one. I’m pretty picky about books that have any degree of military related information, characters with military backgrounds, military operations, etc. I want them to be believable. My husband served in the US Army for several years and I have a multitude of friends and family that have served or are still serving, so I understand a few things about military regulations and so when an author describes a male soldier as having hair that curls/hangs over his collar/ear/forehead, they automatically lose credibility. That’s not the case here. Every time a physical description of one of the Navy guys was given, it fit the image of a member of the military. As I read more of the novel, I realized the author really knew her stuff, and after reading her bio, I see why.

The terminology and acronyms she used gave the whole thing a very authentic feel. She was even kind enough to add in notes on the military speak to aid those unfamiliar with the terms. I admit, I had to check the notes on a good deal of the phrases because I speak Army and not Navy but I enjoyed the way she incorporated the jargon. Having spent a great deal of my life around military types, believe me when I say, they often talk just like the guys in the book. (I actually remember the first time I watched Renaissance Man and actually understood the directions the guy gives Danny Devito when he first arrived on base–kinda made up for the headache of listening to so much military speak in my daily life!)

Now, if you aren’t keen on military speak, don’t worry, the book has more to offer. The story line was well developed. A large portion of the book focuses on the efforts to take down a major drug cartel, so there is plenty of action and suspense associated with those scenes. The fight scenes were described perfectly–the play by play helped me see the scene unfold in my mind. And if action and suspense aren’t your thing, you might find the romance between Eric and Nicole interesting. There pair are forced into a compromising position during an operation and things end up steamy and a bit awkward between them. Nicole’s approach to handling men is to chew them up and spit them out making her a hard target for those unfortunate enough to pursue her. They attraction/repulsion dichotomy that plagues them gives the romance a Shakespearean feel–(think Taming of the Shrew with automatic weapons)–and the way Nicole fights her attraction makes me love the story even more. It definitely deserves five-star status.

I also feel the need to comment on the sex scenes. The first one is kinda different considering it is part of their undercover op and their plan to fake it ends up fubar– but the way it plays out is well done and it adds to the suspense of the novel. I also liked the way the events in that particular scene illustrate the attraction between Eric and Nicole. As for the others, one word… HOT. Tappan does a good job of making the scenes sexy and still keeping them true to the depth of emotion the characters claim.

The characters are very well constructed. They are complex individuals with a wide range of backstories–son of wealthy immigrant, daughter of a cartel enforcer turned states evidence, kid from the wrong side of the tracks–each one unique and perfectly designed. It is obvious their pasts shape their the psyche and play a large part in how they handle situations and interpersonal relationships. This added to the realism of the story and kept me hooked–I had to know how it all played out.

I’m definitely adding the other books in the series to my TBR and Tappan’s other books as well. I look forward to reading more from this top-notch author.

About Tracy Tappan

Tracy Tappan

Tracy is the bestselling and award-winning author of gritty romance, her books spanning genres across paranormal (The Community series), military romantic suspense (The Wings of Gold series), and medieval historical (The Baron’s War trilogy). During nearly twenty-five years spent as a naval aviator’s wife, she lived all over the United States and in Europe, enjoying seven years overseas in the diplomatic community, first in Rome then in Madrid, until she settled back in San Diego. Tracy holds a master’s degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling (MFCC), loves to play tennis, is a volunteer puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and enjoys a good glass of wine. To learn more, please visit her website at http://www.tracytappan.com

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Release Blitz and Review: The Second Wife by Kishan Paul

Today is the day. The incredible Kishan Paul is celebrating her newest release- The Second Wife.

I first learned of Kishan Paul when I was reviewing and promoting the Love Least Expected anthology last year. Paul’s piece in the collection seemed like a excerpt for a full length novel (which I’m still waiting to get my greedy hands on–hint, hint) but with just that snippet of a story, she grabbed my attention. The story was very well written and I decided to put her on my watch list.

Then earlier this year, I got to read her debut novel, Blind Love. With this one, Kishan Paul immediately jumped to my MUST-READ-EVERYTHING-SHE-EVER-WRITES list. The novel was absolutely brilliant. She managed to weave in elements of romance, intrigue, and suspense seamlessly into a roller coaster ride that I never wanted to end. And when I think about the fact it was her first novel, I can only imagine what she will accomplish in the future.

Now it is time to celebrate her second novel- The Second Wife. This one deviates from the romantic themes of the previous stories–no hearts and flowers here–instead it focuses solely on the suspense. There is love in the story but it takes a major backseat to the intense thrill of the story.

 second wife cover

 

~~~Blurb~~~

If you want to live, you must let go of the past…

Twenty-eight-year-old psychologist, Alisha Dimarchi, is abducted by an obsessed client and imprisoned in his Pakistani compound for over two years. Forced to change her name and live as his second wife, her life is filled with trauma and heartbreak. Thrust into a world of violence and oppression, Ally must fight not only to keep herself alive but to protect the lives of the people she now considers family. At night, she retreats into her memories of the only man she has ever loved—a man she believes no longer loves her.

Thirty-four-year-old handsome surgeon, David Dimarchi, has spent the last two years mourning the disappearance of his wife. After a painful and isolated existence, he begins the process of healing. It is then he is visited by a stranger, who informs him that Ally is very much alive and needs his help. In a desperate attempt to save her, David enlists the help of a mercenary. Together they find themselves in the center of more than just a rescue mission. Will he be able to reach her in time, and if he does, will she still want him?

 

Warning: This story contains elements some readers may find offensive: violence, rape, death.


 

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~~~REVIEW~~~

Normally, I finish a book and immediately sit down to write my review. I couldn’t do that with The Second Wife. I had to take the time to truly process what I read and take a few days to reflect on how I wanted to approach this review. I knew, from the moment I finished, I would rate this one as a five-star read, I just wasn’t sure what I could say about the book. I will start with this: I don’t think I have ever read a book that affected me the way this one did.

Generally, I try to keep to more fantastical genres preferring to rely on an author’s ability to make me suspend my disbelief instead of delving into more realistic fiction. I do this because it is much easier to deny the existence of vampires, werewolves, and the like rather than the real monsters that exist in our world–rapists, kidnappers, murderers, ect. are scarier to me and contribute to more nightmares than any creature that goes bump in the night. Anyway. When I occasionally venture out into realistic stories, I find myself judging the book based on just how realistic it gets.

The Second Wife was terrifyingly realistic. I found it was filled with rich and occasionally horrifying details, that kept the adrenaline pumping into my system. Through most of the book, I was either on the verge of tears (the scenes told from David’s POV) or ready to run for my life (Ally’s POV). It was, by far, the most intense reading experience of my life. I felt like I lived every heart-breaking, terrifying, soul-shattering moment. There are some pretty intense scenes depicting violent attacks, including rape, so it is definitely not for the faint of heart.

I love how Paul constructs her characters. Ally is an intelligent therapist, so the way she analyzes typical responses before she acts gives the character more believable attributes and also avoids those ‘don’t do that stupid’ moments that you find in characters that end up victims in stories like this. She has a good heart and maintains the ability to feel compassion for others despite the hell she’s lived through. She chooses her battles and displays a quiet strength that manages to keep her alive. Then there is the selflessness she embodies which makes her situation all the more heartbreaking. Ally is truly a remarkable character and I believe Paul really outdid herself with this character’s story. 

David is attempting to deal with his grief and trying to move on but he is haunted by his missing wife. The pain and anguish accompanied by the guilt and effort to move forward makes him a complex character that you can’t help but pity. He denies himself hope by constantly telling himself that Ally is dead–she has to be because if she isn’t then he can’t handle her absence. He tries to abandon hope but when he finds out that she’s alive, nothing will stop him from bringing her home.

The other characters… I just don’t know how to describe them all.

Her abductor is pure evil. Those within the household provide an abundance of various types of victims to be used and abused at his slightest whim. He uses various forms of control and manipulation techniques to assure they do as he says. The level of physical, mental, and sexual abuse depicted made me hope and pray that he’d meet a violent end. (I myself have a very protective nature so I what I really wanted was to kick his ass myself.) 

There are children acquired either by capture or adoption that become Ally’s pseudo family. There is a doctor under Sayeed’s control who always skates the line between doing what he’s told and doing what he can to help her. The first wife who manages to invoke feelings of pity and hatred simultaneously. Ally’s sister who still has hope. David’s girlfriend who wants to help him heal. The mercenary who offers to help David rescue his wife but has his own agenda… All of these characters make for an incredible story that drove me to read until I reached the end of the book (no sleep for me during that one).

The story shifts back and forth between perspectives. David’s part of the story starts at the point he decides to seek therapy (over 2 years after Ally’s disappearance) and moves forward but Ally’s part starts from the abduction and goes from there. The chapters in the beginning, alternate between David’s present and Ally’s past until the two reach a point where the events are simultaneous. Despite the shifting perspectives and timelines, the story is clear. The portions focusing on Ally’s story serve as a flashbacks to let the reader know exactly what happened to Ally during her captivity. While the other chapters explain the events leading up to her reunion with her true husband.

I appreciate the realism of the story’s conclusion. I find it very refreshing that things happen in a manner true to life. No details because details = spoilers and I don’t like to post spoilers. I will say the ending raised some questions which make me wonder if this is the last we’ll see of these characters. I do know that I will be waiting for whatever Paul decides to do next.

~~~Author Info~~~

affc8-kishan
 
Bio:

From daring escapes by tough women to chivalrous men swooping in to save the day, the creativity switch to Kishan Paul’s brain is always in the ‘on’ position. If daydreaming stories were a college course, Kish would graduate with honors.

Mother of two beautiful children, she has been married to her best friend for over 16 years. With the help of supportive family and friends, she balances her family, a thriving counseling practice, and writing without sinking into insanity.

Links:
Website: http://kishanpaul.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KishanPaulAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@kishan_paul

TSU: https://www.tsu.co/kishanpaul

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kishanpaul

Coffee Talk: http://www.coffeetalkwriters.com/coffee-talk-authors/kishan-paul/

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