Total Pageviews

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hearts in Exile by Mysti Parker


Series: Tallenmere (stand-alone)
Author: Mysti Parker
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Melange Books
Formats Available In: All eBook formats and Print
Release Date: June 3, 2013

Dragon Necklace Giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YzIxMjZkNjdjMTM3NDJjY2VlZGY1YWE2OTBmOGMzOjI2/

Blurb: Somewhere, hidden in the waters of the Southern Sea, lies an island unlike any other. Within the amber glow of its pyrogem-laden cliffs, legend says the very heart of the dragon god Drae keeps the island, and its occupants, alive.

Loralee Munroviel, daughter of Leogard's High Priestess Arianne, had no idea what she would face when she arrived by boat ten years ago and was left alone in exile. All she knew about Draekoria's inhabitants was written in one tattered notebook. Now, her life revolves around keeping Drae's descendants happy. Never in her life did she imagine being a Dragon Keeper.

Captain Igrorio Everlyn, known as Sir Robert to his unit of Holy Paladins, has faced his share of hell, battling the evils of Emperor Sarvonn's tyranny and the dark god Tyr's abominations. But none of that compares to the ten years of hell he's been without Loralee, presumed dead.

One freak storm changes everything. Now the two of them must fight to re-establish the delicate balance of the island before the dragons take things into their own hands. Through it all, they discover the secrets that kept them, and their hearts, exiled for a decade.

Excerpt From Chapter Three:
After a shipwreck, Sir Robert wakes up in a strange cottage, only to find Loralee, the love of his life, whom he thought had been dead for a decade… 

“I don’t understand. What is this place?”

“It’s an island. Very few know of its existence.”

I shook my head, trying to clear the fog of this confusing dream come to life. “But, why would you be here, and why would you be sorry? Unless…”

The words wouldn’t come. My racing mind pitched in to help. Unless she didn’t want to marry me after all.

Wrenching pain I’d kept tucked inside broke free, and I clambered to my feet. Loralee followed suit, backing herself into the small dining table.

I tried, but could not hide the bitter anger in my words. “How could you do this to me? Do you have any idea what I’ve been through?”

Her eyes widened. She clutched the table with one hand and her robe with the other. “What you’ve been through? I didn’t want this. I was forced here.”

“What do you mean, forced here? Where are your shackles?” My voice roared through the little cottage as I gestured around me with one arm. “Where are the bars? This looks like no prison I’ve ever seen.”

Her voice cracked the air, rivaling with my own. “I was betrayed, forced into exile. Don’t you understand? I never wanted to leave you. I never wanted anything so much as I wanted you.”

Pacing away, I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I had to calm myself, to let the weight of this discovery, the improbability of her explanation to sink into my water-logged brain.

I couldn’t bring myself to look at her just yet, so I stared at my bare feet instead. “Why didn’t you tell me, write to me?”

“I tried. I begged the supply ship crew to bring my letters to you. They always took them, but never brought one in return. I suspect they destroyed them, but I had no way of knowing.” She sucked in a shaky breath as though trying to hold back her tears. “I never stopped loving you.”

Turning back to face her, I felt like a mindless beast. Here I was, raging against the love of my life when she’d all but been brought back from the dead.

“Loralee.” I eased toward her. She cringed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Without a word, I leaned in and pressed my forehead to hers, allowing myself to breathe in her scent for the first time in a decade. We stood suspended like that for a while, lost in time, and emerging from a purgatory neither of us had imagined ten years ago. I would have been content to stand like that forever, but Loralee burst into tears and wilted to the floor.

I followed her down and opened the quilt to wrap us both inside. I held her tight while she cried.

While I cried.

I finally got enough breath to speak again. “What did you mean by forced here? They told me you were…” I couldn’t say it, not with her warm and so very alive against me.

“I know.”

The weight of it all came crashing down on me. “This is my fault, isn’t it? You’re here because of me.”

She made no attempt to wipe her cheeks, but shook her head and stared at the rafters as though entreating the gods. “No, it’s not your fault. Not at all. There is so much to explain, I don’t know where to start.”

I couldn’t comprehend any of it, so I focused on the here and now. “You found me on the shore?”

She nodded.

“The crew, Francis…did you find anyone else out there?”

“No, I had Xax-, I mean, no, I searched but didn’t find anyone else.”

The familiar weight of grief squeezed my chest, and a few more tears escaped before I could stop them.

She pulled me close and whispered, “I’m so sorry. I know how much you loved him. We all did.”

“We all grieved for you. You’ve been here…all this time?”

“Yes.”

“By the gods, Loralee, I’ve missed you so much.” I put my wet cheek against hers and pressed my lips to her soft skin. “Part of me died the day I thought you… please…just tell me how you ended up here.”

Loralee took a few deep breaths and finally pulled away from me. She caressed my cheek and smiled weakly.  “I’ll make us a pot of tea. And then, I think we should start at the beginning, back to the Great Plague and when we first met. Do you remember that?”

Smiling past the sadness, I covered her hand with mine and closed my eyes. “How could I ever forget?”


About Mysti Parker:
Mysti Parker (pseudonym) is a full time wife, mother of three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger's Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and the second in the fantasy romance series, Serenya's Song, was published in April 2012. The highly anticipated third book, Hearts in Exile, has already received some great reviews. The Tallenmere series has been likened to Terry Goodkind's 'Sword of Truth' series, but is probably closer to a spicy cross between Tolkien and Mercedes Lackey.

Mysti's other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, and Christmas Lites II. Her flash fiction has appeared on the online magazine EveryDayFiction. She has also served as a class mentor in Writers Village University's six week free course, F2K.

Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder's Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.

Blog
Facebook Page 
Twitter 
Goodreads 

Tallenmere Series:
A Ranger's Tale, Tallenmere #1
Serenya's Song, Tallenmere #2
Hearts in Exile, Tallenmere #3 





Sunday, June 2, 2013

Foreplay by Tammy Valentine


Book 1, The Zodiac Club
Publisher:  Breathless Press 
ISBN:  9781926930213 (e-book)
Word Count:  5259
Date:  January 31, 2011
Rating:  4 1/2 stars


Disclosure of Material Connection:   I received this book for review from Breathless Press and from the author. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Excerpt
As she lay in the tub that evening, relishing the golden candlelight and warm vanilla scent from the bubbles, Izzy turned over the newfound information in her mind. She was fascinated by the notion that she could enjoy a man so much more by knowing which buttons to push—predetermined buttons based on his star sign. She had never had much luck with men, but equipped with Jessica's astrological handbook for seduction, might she not learn to discover the real pleasures of romance?

Closing her eyes, she let her hand drift lazily through the water to her mound and teased the wet, dark hair gently with her fingers. She felt the familiar tingle in her skin as she woke the sleeping creature deep inside, and she arched her back involuntarily as the first wave of pleasure lurched through her. Opening her legs a little wider, she then slipped a finger into the crevice, moist with bubble bath and anticipation, and began to play.

Behind her closed eyes she watched a parade of male models, each one naked but for a fig leaf covering his modesty, engraved with his star sign. Starting with Aries, she made the men line up in front of her in her head, then gazed appreciatively as one by one they shed their leaves to reveal the astrological promise beneath. She got as far as Cancer, the fourth sign, before she came, her clitoris convulsing deliciously under the pressure of her finger.

Could it be genuine? she wondered as she allowed the warmth of the water to bring her round from her daydream. Was there anything more than sheer hokum to the concept of compatibility based on astrology? And if there was, what did it mean for her in her continuing search for the perfect partner, who had so far proved dramatically elusive?

My Thoughts:
This is a short story that will start off what I think will be a great series.  I found that this was a great teaser for the books that follow.  It seemed that the title was very apropos.  The best way to read the series would be to follow the series for the whole year.

Tammy has written a unique concept of a way to find your sexual partner.  We have four friends that get together over coffee and Izzy Morgan is listening to her friend Jessica reveal that she has an interesting way of identifying men.  Each subsequent story is short enough that if you only have a limited amount of time, you should be able to get it read in just a couple of hours.  In the meantime, make sure to start the adventure with this great first book.
If you want to know how to follow this series, without checking the zodiac, stop over to Tammy's website.  http://www.tammyvalentine.com/the-full-collection.html

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Stutter Creek by Ann Swann


Author: Ann Swann
Genre: Fiction, Romantic, Suspense
Publisher: 5 Prince Books
Formats Available In: All eBook formats
Release Date: June 1, 2013
Digital: ISBN 13:978-1-939217-50-9  ISBN 10:1-939217-50-4
Print: ISBN 13:978-1-939217-49-3  ISBN 10:1-939217-49-0
Purchase Link: http://www.5princebooks.com/buy.html (Available June 1)

Blurb: She went looking for an old flame and found a serial killer instead.
When Beth lost her father to cancer and her husband to another woman, she didn’t know where to turn.  So she retreated to the family cabin at Stutter Creek.  Some of the best times of her life were spent at that cabin.  That’s where she met her first crush, a boy named John.  But that was many years ago . . . could he possibly still be around?  Or would she find something sinister instead?

Ann Swann is the author of All For Love, a contemporary love story published by 5 Prince Publishing.  She is the author of Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot, and Stevie-girl and the Phantom Student, tales of the supernatural.  She has also written numerous award winning short stories.  She lives in West Texas with her husband and their rescue pets.  She loves libraries and book stores and owns two different e-readers just for fun.  Her to-be-read list has taken on a life of its own.  She calls it Herman.

Excerpt:
Amanda Myers was making a conscious effort to keep her heavy foot off the Toyota’s gas pedal when she spied what appeared to be a small boy standing beside the road. An old fashioned newsboy cap nearly obscured his tiny face.

Mandy hit the brake and steered the Celica toward the gravel shoulder. With a practiced hand, she quickly texted her coworker, Myra, and asked her to concoct a cover story for her tardiness.

The kid had seemed very small in silhouette—maybe five or six years old—and no house or vehicle in sight.

When Myra texted back to say the boss was on the warpath, Mandy replied, “Well, just tell him I stopped to pick up a boy on the edge of town. That should really turn his face red!” It was an inside joke. Everyone knew when the boss’s face was red it was wise to give him a wide berth.

Myra sent back a row of question marks.

“L8R,” Mandy responded. She looked all around. She had assumed the little guy would come dashing up to the car as soon as she had come to a stop. But even when she could no longer hear the crunch of her tires on gravel, he still hadn’t materialized.

I didn’t pass him by that much. 

Craning her neck to see past the Toyota’s blind spot, Mandy dropped the phone into the center console drink holder and shoved the gearshift into park. A thick stand of live oaks cast a deep shadow over the bar ditch. The setting sun made the trees appear as black-paper cutouts in a landscape collage.

After checking her mirrors to make sure no one was behind her, Mandy pressed the button to lower the passenger-side window.

It was almost all the way down when a man yanked open the door and exploded into her world like a tornado into a trailer park.  Her hand flew to the gearshift, but she couldn’t engage it.  Even as her flight instinct kicked in, part of her mind was telling her this was almost certainly the same strange guy who had requested her section at the restaurant the night before.  His eyes had seemed to follow her all around the crowded dining room, and his oily stench had made him stand out like a spot of mold on white linen.

Mandy drew in breath to scream, her hand scrambling across the console for her phone or the gearshift, whichever came first, but he was too fast.  With lightning speed, he dove across the seat and slapped a rectangle of duct tape across her mouth.  At the same time, he buried his free hand knuckle deep in the thick blonde braid at the base of her skull even as his other hand slid down to her windpipe and began to squeeze.

Mandy’s fight instinct kicked in then, and she whipped her head back and forth in an effort to dislodge his hands. His stench, and the oily filth of his unkempt hair, was sickening. She clawed at his eyes, ripped at his skin, but it was no use.  The psycho laughed and simply leaned his head back out of her reach.

That’s when Mandy began to claw at her own face, attempting to scratch the silver tape off her mouth. It didn’t matter. There was no one around to hear her scream even if she could have gotten it off.

She wasn’t a quitter, though.  Mandy did her best to get her feet out from under the steering column to kick. But he was pressing down on her with his whole weight. She was trapped. Calmly, the psycho took one hand off her throat, doubled up his fist, and hit her so hard the back of her skull struck the driver’s side window with an audible whap!

Then he went back to her throat. As his deceptively thin fingers crushed her windpipe, Mandy’s grip on reality began to loosen.  Tiny strobes flashed inside her skull.

He squeezed even harder, the tips of his fingers disappearing into the flesh of her throat.
At the last second, as her world began to grow dark, a memory flashed through Mandy’s mind. She remembered how as a small girl of six, she had begun to worry about running out of air because if you couldn’t see something, how did you know how much of it was left? She could see balloons, though. So she had begged her mom to buy several packages of the colorful party staples, which she’d then blown up and stored in her bedroom closet. Her mom humored her. Her older sister, Kami, however, couldn’t let a good thing like that go unnoticed.

She had waited until Mandy was out, then she’d tied all the balloons together and attached them to the stop sign on the corner. Mandy had felt so humiliated when she came home from school and saw them. She’d wanted to get them down and put them back in her closet, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it. She would have let herself run out of air before giving her sister that satisfaction.

The balloon bouquet had wilted quickly in the hot New Mexico sun.

Now, even as she was dying, Mandy grasped the irony of that memory. She really had run out of air. Her last coherent thought—as the fireworks behind her eyelids exploded in the grand finale—was of those wilting, multicolored balloons.

About Ann Swann:
Ann lives in West Texas with her handsome hubby and three rescue pets.  All For Love is Ann’s first romance novel.  She is the author of the Young Adult books: The Phantom Series.  Book One is The Phantom Pilot, Book Two is The Phantom Student, and she is hard at work on Book Three, The Phantom of Crybaby Bridge.  Ann has also published short fiction in the anthologies Timeless (paranormal love stories) and Campfire Tales (spooky stories for the young at heart).



How to Contact Ann Swann:
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads