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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ward of the Vampire by Kallysten

Pages:  54 pages/215KB (e-book)
Date:  February 28, 2013
Rating:  4 ½ stars

Angelina works for Miss Delilah.  Miss Delilah has received an invitation from her brother, Morgan Ward.  Before the party, Miss Delilah has a surprise for Angelina.  The party is where all the action takes place.  Kallysten has me wishing that I was in Angelina’s shoes.  And then when Lina goes to the party her life changes. 

If you like sexy vampire stories, Kallysten will not disappoint you.  She packs a great paranormal love story in just a small amount of pages.  If you have a short amount of time and are looking for something that will grab you from the first page, you will want to read Ward of the Vampire.  It will also have you wanting to read more of Kallysten’s work.  I know you will enjoy whatever she has written - her next book is coming out in April and is titled Beyond the Edge.  You may also want to check out her web site,  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Blood on the Cards by David W. Huffstetler

Series:  A Jack Harden Mystery
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Release Date: October 1 2012
A brotherhood of powerful men, a self-proclaimed prophet, and an ancient goddess hover over a series of murders that start with a game of Texas Hold-em. Are they to blame, or is it the embittered Comanche outcast set on revenge against Jack Harden for the death of his niece? Elsie and Jack try to salvage what’s left of their relationship, as a canvas of death unfurls around them.

Can they stop it?
Educated in Dallas, North Carolina, David Huffstetler holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has worked in the area of human relations and spent fourteen years weaving through the maze that is politics, including participating in a Federal Law suit with a sitting governor. David has served on Boards of Directors for numerous professional organizations and has advised governors and legislators on matters of public policy and legislation. 

David’s work as a senior manager with a major industrial concern took him to international venues and exposures that helped feed his urge to write Disposable People, a dramatic expose of the working conditions and politics that engulf undocumented workers. Disposable People is a top-ten “Suggested Book” at Tufts University in Boston, MA.

He turned the frustrations and rejection that plagues thousands of yet-to-be-published authors into the heralded mystery/thriller Blood on the Pen, with a serial killer disposing of literary agents. David’s passion for history led him to write Dead in Utah, the story of Joe Hill, the controversial musician and union organizer accused of a double murder in 1914. Blood on the Cards follows his tradition of thrillers, and it stands on its own merit as a novel with a hint of the paranormal.

His books receive praise from mystery readers across the globe.

“David W. Huffstetler crafts gripping crime thrillers that can only be described as a riveting roller coaster ride from its ‘okay, you’ve got my attention’, beginning, to the suspenseful ‘I’ve now chewed my nails to the quick’, conclusion.”   -Book Lovers, Inc.

As an editor, public speaker, and seasoned professional, David has appeared on television and radio, and has lectured on the East Coast, California, Canada and Mexico. David currently lives in Lexington, South Carolina with his wife, Trudy.

Purchase Links

Barnes and Noble

Wild Child Publishing

Author Links

Excerpts – Blood on the Cards
* * * *

Jack passed Millburn’s Store doing seventy-five miles per hour. He saw the dirt road to his father’s house, and he saw the back of a yellow, Jeep pickup vanishing around a curve in the distance. “It’s him, Mose.”
“Yeah, the son of a bitch.” His heart was torn between the Ranger who wanted to give chase and the son who was afraid for his father. Dust and bits of gravel flew from his tires as Jack slid his truck to a stop at the steps. He dashed onto the porch and called back to Browner, “Check the shed.” Harden burst into the living room, knocked over a chair, and clamored into the kitchen. “Pop!” Nothing. The hall and the bedroom were as empty as the rest of the house. He ran onto the porch, leapt over the railing, and hurried toward the shed.
A sliver of sunlight lay across the floor of the shed and onto the post where Moses stood, holding his handkerchief against Jim Harden’s neck. “He nailed him to a post. We need help.” He tossed the cell phone to Jack and said, “Call EMS and tell them how to get here. I’ll keep pressure on the wound.”
Jack saw an empty look in his father’s eyes. “Moses, is he . . .”
“He’s alive. That’s all I can tell you. Now, make the call.”

* * * *
                Dusk settled outside the window, and Reverend Lu stood at the head of the table. He turned toward the front door and said, “Ah, Tim is here. Let’s get started.”
                Jackson smiled, nodded to the other ten men around the table, and took his seat. “Sorry to be late. We had a problem at one of the car lots.”
The men joined hands, bowed their heads, and Lu prayed. “Oh, Spirit of Truth, speak to us. Open our minds and our hearts that we may hear you, that we may yield to you. Amen.” Their hands slid off the table onto their laps and every eye was on Benjamin Lu. “Gentlemen, I asked you to come tonight for a special reason. You were twelve and now you are eleven. We had a traitor in our midst.” He took a Bible from a full bookcase and opened it. “Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, chapter five. ‘To deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved.’ There are many books that speak to us of the truth, and this is one.” He closed the Bible and eased it back onto the shelf. “We have lost one of our number, but we have saved his soul. There is no greater sign of love than the shedding of blood. My brothers, only the strong and the pure can understand these teachings.”
                He looked at each of them, until he stopped at Jackson. “Tim, do you see the wisdom in what has been done?”
                Jackson swallowed hard, looked around, and said, “Yeah, I guess so.”
                “Look at me, Tim. We are the chosen, the elect. There has always been a remnant of true believers in an evil age, and you are part of that remnant. Do you understand that? Do you understand who you are--who we are?”
                “Yes, I’m with you. I wouldn’t have gone out there, if I hadn’t been. But, what happens if the police come around?”
                Lu pointed to Paul Thibadeuax and said, “Tell him, Paul. Tell us all.”
                Thibadeuax’s voice was calm and smooth. “We are not subject to their laws. We have been called to a greater purpose.”
                Lu smiled and said, “There are no truer words. Each of you was selected to be where you are. Samuel, you are a judge because it was your destiny. Robert, it is not simply coincidence that you sit in Congress. Every generation has a prophet. For some it was Moses, for others Confucius, and for yet others Joseph Smith. Each brought the same message, and I bring it to you.” He looked around the table and asked, “Do you believe in me?” They all nodded. Lu handed a metal medallion to Chet Watson. “Place it in the center of the table.”
                Watson leaned over the table and set the medallion on the polished oak. Lu lowered his left hand into his lap and pointed at the medallion with his right hand. He narrowed his eyes, put his finger to his forehead, and said, “Let it be so.” The medallion slowly moved down the table, passing by men with open mouths, until it stopped in front of him. A murmur rose around the table. Lu stood. “What you have seen here must not be discussed outside this room. It is a sign for you, not for the nonbelievers. Keep it in your hearts. Our time will come soon, but we must be one family. Tim is right. The enemy will come. I saw him in a dream. He was a young man with an old heart, and, when he comes, we must be strong. We must be of one mind.”

* * * *
                Elsie dressed in a haze of morning sunlight. She buttoned a red blouse over gray pants and left just a hint of cleavage. She saw him in the mirror, stretched out flat on the bed. Others might criticize his looks, but she found him ruggedly handsome. His broad, genuine smile warmed her every time she saw him. “You know I’ve got to go,” she said. “I don’t want to leave you, but I’m still a reporter, and I have to go to work. I need to see what they found out at the river. And, if I were you, I’d get moving. Neither of us wants Jack Harden to come home and find you in is bed.”
She sat on the edge of the bed, ran her fingers down his bare chest, and pressed her cheek against his. She wanted to crawl back in beside him, but she couldn’t. She bounded to her feet. She walked to the door, paused, and looked back into those deep, brown eyes. He slipped his tongue out the side of his mouth, wagged his tail, and fell back to sleep.
My Thoughts:
At the start of this book, Jack Harden receives a late night call.  He has a talk with two teenagers.  As an adult, you’ll love how he gives them a little tough love.  Elsie is a reporter who happens to have a thing for Jack.  But this is not a love story.  I’m one that usually only reads all things romance but I said that I’d give this book a try.  I’m glad that I made that decision – Jack had me hooked right from the first page.
One character to watch out for is Reverend Benjamin Lu.  He’s not like any religious man I’ve ever come into contact with.  He seems to be one of those characters that keep you riveted to the story.  You just have to see if you can figure him out.
Jack is a character that one minute you question his morals and then he turns around and redeems himself.   He’s also a man that cares about his family and friends.  He’s a man that I would want to have on my side.
David has either done a lot of research to get his scenes so perfect or he has a great imagination (or the perfect combination of both).  It would be interesting to know if he would like to see his book on the small or big screen.  And then it also has me wondering who he would cast as his characters.
This book is as good as any romance that I have read – I didn’t want to put it down.  It has a lot going on and it gets a little complicated but isn’t that what makes a good mystery.  If things got solved too early, what would be left to hold your attention?  At one point you think you have it all figured out and then you realize that you don’t.  The bigger mystery is if there is going to be a book three.  If you also like to read romances, you will get a teaser at the end.  The only disappointment I had was that I haven’t read book one.     


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Loki's Game by Siobhan Kinkade

Publisher:  Sugar and Spice Press
ISBN:  9781939151148
Publication Date:  February 11, 2013
Pages:  309 KB/163 pages (e-book)
Rating:  4 ½ stars

Unemployed museum curator Lily Redway responds to an advertisement in the newspaper, thinking she is applying for a job. On the other side of that small, black-and-white box waits two things: a fantasy world come to life and a man named Rowan Keir.
Rowan is a man with many secrets. He is a shape-shifter, a descendent of old world mythology, and the guardian of a rare and valuable Nordic artifact. He is also being hunted by the god Loki and has spent the last six hundred years outsmarting and outrunning him.
With the fury of Asgard on Rowan’s trail, Lily finds herself caught up in a real-life fantasy story, a love triangle, and an ages-old war that pitches her into a different world and one very hard truth: All is fair in love and war.

Lily’s mind reeled. They knew each other. And they hated each other. And Rowan owned the
damn club. This must be the trouble Rowan talked about.
“All right, outside…both of you,” she shouted, and started for the front door. Rowan caught
her wrist and pulled her around behind a curtain, into a dark hallway. The touch of his fingers on
her skin burned; threatened to derail her completely. Then the cold night air rushed over her and
his touch left her. Lily turned to face the pair of them, taking a deep, hard breath to steady her
jangled nerves. “Now, will one of you please explain to me what the hell is going on?”
Loren and Rowan caught each other’s stare, holding in that pattern for a long moment.
Neither spoke.
“Rowan…how do you know him?”
“We go way back,” he said through clenched teeth. She was afraid of what that meant. “Your
boyfriend,” he spat the word at her, “has a bad habit of stealing things from me.”
“First of all, Loren isn’t my boyfriend.”
“Didn’t look that way inside.”
“I work for him, you idiot. As for that kiss…I hardly had time to process it before you threw
him halfway across the room!”
“My prerogative as owner,” Rowan replied, unrepentant.
“Go to hell, Keir,” Loren snapped, obviously having had enough of this game.
“Fuck you,” Rowan said. “Fucking poacher.”
“If you wanted her, you should have marked her.”
“I am not a barbarian.”
“What?” Lily interjected, but went unnoticed.
“So the chest-beating He-Man bullshit is considered civilized in your world?” Loren asked
with a smirk.
“You will destroy her.”
“And it is no concern of yours.”
“It is.”
Loren rolled his eyes and laughed, a deep, sardonic chuckle that rattled Lily’s nerves. She
had no idea what this argument was really about, but at the center of it was not where she wanted
to be. “Don’t give me some lame line about her being your mate.”
“Hurt her and I will tear you limb from limb,” Rowan threatened.
“I’d like to see you try.”
“There won’t be any trying, kitten.” The air shimmered around Rowan’s form. His eyes,
normally that soft sea-and-sky color Lily loved, had dilated, shifting to black. His teeth looked
sharper, his fingernails more like claws.
“BOTH OF YOU SHUT UP!” Lily screamed, and both men froze. She swallowed around
the frustrated lump in her throat. She knew how close Rowan was to losing it, knew that Loren
had provoked him. No matter how she spun it in her head, Rowan was the monster she wished he
wasn’t, and while the offered protection flattered her, it also frightened her.
There was something deeper happening here, she knew. She had no idea what they were
really arguing about, but she knew without a doubt that she was at the crux of the fight, and was
ultimately the catalyst for whatever would happen from here on out.
“Now will one of you idiots please put aside the testosterone and calmly explain to me what
is going on? Loren?”
“Keir here is jealous because he let you get away.”
“No,” Rowan countered, his voice taking on an edge of desperation that set her nerves on
high-alert. Even with what little she knew of him, she knew he was reasonable. And he did not
sound reasonable right now. “He is dangerous, Lily.”
“I knew this was a mistake,” she muttered, pinching the bridge of her nose. This had to end
or someone was going to get hurt. “Look,” she started, forcing calm into her voice, “I don’t
know where this misguided sense of duty has come from, but as flattering as it is on both sides,
it’s a little creepy.”
“He’s jealous,” Loren said at the same moment Rowan muttered, “He is dangerous.”
Throwing her hands up in disgust, Lily turned and stalked away, hailing a cab despite both their
protests, and gave the driver Loren’s address so she could pick up her car.

Siobhan Kinkade

My Thoughts:
Rowan Keir is thinking about advertising for a girlfriend – what a unique way to start off a book. But that begs the question; would you be one to answer that ad? Lily Redway is one such woman. Next question is; do you wish you were in her shoes?
Their first meeting seems to be a little awkward but isn’t that what you would expect? It’s a time of getting to know each other. It also leaves the reader wishing that they were a fly on the wall – wishing you could see what Lily is seeing. There is also a lot of heat between the two of them. But what starts as heat quickly turns into a blazing fire. The passion seems to ignite as soon as their lips touch. Then a secret is revealed.
If you want to know what that secret is then you will just have to go out and grab a copy of this book. You will not be disappointed. It’s a great book from beginning to end. As I read Rowan and Lily’s story, I can picture this story going up against some of the current shows out there – Arrow and Beauty and the Beast come to mind. I think Siobhan could give them a run for their money.
If you like a shape-shifter romance that is sexually charged, you will want this book on your list. It’s also a book that I wouldn’t mind reading again. I had a hard time putting it down – which is a good thing. The bad part was that I was reading it on my lunch hour and had a hard time getting back to work because I kept having to read one more page. It’s not too long so I was able to finish shortly after getting home.
Siobhan also adds in another character – love never comes easy and sometimes others can get in the way. You will want to know who Loren Eshu is and what is his connection to Rowan. The reader also gets a good look at the war between good and evil. Something else that I loved about this book was that Siobhan includes some information about Mythology. This is what is great about paranormals – nothing is off limits and creativity abounds. I look forward to see what Siobhan has in store for her readers next.
I received a copy of this book from the Jitterbug PR in exchange for an honest review.