Sunday 30 June 2013

The Miss Education of Dr. Exeter by Jillian Stone

Title: The Miss Education of Dr. Exeter

Series: Book Three in the Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator Series

Author:  Jillian Stone

Genre: Historical paranormal romance with steampunk and erotic elements

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Kensington

Published: June 25, 2013

Book Description: Plunge deeper into the curious world of the deadly Nightshades.

The Moonstone is having a destabilizing effect on the time/space membrane leaving Phaeton trapped in a parallel mirror world where everything is opposite or upside down, yet oddly the same. He is held captive by Domina Valour and tested sorely in this darkly sensual third episode of the Phaeton Black series.

Gaspar Sinclair can't go after Phaeton. His physical body is unraveling before everyone's eyes. America Jones is large with child, but only she has the preternatural ability to locate Phaeton and bring him back. And Doctor Exeter's beautiful charge, Mia, has her claws in him. Quite literally.

To accomplish Phaeton's rescue, the doctor must let loose forces he hasn't the foggiest clue how to control, including his attraction to Mia.

While in the dimension of magnetic opposites, the doctor and Miss Jones attempt to reverse polarity to retrieve Phaeton and stop Gaspar from unraveling. Can America and Phaeton find a way to return together, or will this final test rip them apart forever?


22 Half Moon Street

Mayfair, London 1889

MIA CLAWED AT HER BALL GOWN as she climbed the stairs. There it was again, that tingling feeling—more of an itch than an urge, as if her skin was stretched too tight over the wrong body. At the first signs of a metamorphosis, they had made their excuses, left the ball at Stafford House, and returned home.

“Coming to bed, darling?” Her question was a flippant snarl, not a sultry invitation, for she knew he would not condescend to answer. She reached the landing and turned, surprised to see him just a few steps behind her.

As her guardian drew close, her nostrils flared. The scent of Royal Lime No. 5 layered with hints of his shaving soap assaulted her senses. She was drawn, however, to a more intoxicating musk—the very masculine essence that was Doctor Asa Exeter, enigmatic half-blooded Persian prince and English Baron.

“Will you let me help you, Mia?” He stood one step be- low her, bringing them eye to eye.

“You know that is impossible.” A momentary flash of fantasy intruded—her bare breasts exposed to his anguished gaze, nipples peaked in anticipation of the brush of his thumb. Mia shivered. The sudden surge of arousal could have caused an instantaneous shift. She shook her head gently so her tears would not spill. “The change comes faster now, you could be injured." She lifted her chin. “Let me be, Om Asa.”

She turned to leave, and he caught her hand. “At least let me mix a powder for the headache.”

Exeter had spent a week in the library of secrets studying her condition. He well understood that her migraine warned of an impending, involuntary shift. The pain had quickly become intolerable, and he had escorted her out of the ballroom. In the carriage, she had tried to make light of it. “It seems this is my coming out season—in more ways than one.”

Now, here on the stairs, she met his gaze, that of a protector, of caring and affection. The same look of concern she had known since childhood. The one that now caused her heart to break. “The discomfort will pass, shortly.”

Exeter rattled off a litany of symptoms. “Neuralgia, generalized body aches, a sinus drip—not sniffles from a cold, but the kind one gets from exposure, when one is out in the snow for too long.” He examined her carefully. “Typically these signs begin within a few hours of the transformation. Are they all present?”

She rolled her eyes upward. “Yes, Doctor Exeter.” The wild thing inside her stirred. The beast humped its back and stretched, languidly.

The headache had eased somewhat, which was all the more terrifying. This meant the reshaping of her body was imminent. Mia’s gaze lingered on the seraphim painted on the ceiling. God’s burning angels. “We were fortunate tonight,” she murmured. Sometimes, there were no warning signs—the shift just happened. “Jersey says as I gain experience I will be able to better anticipate the onset of change.”

As intimate as it was to be alone with Exeter, things had felt a bit desolate this evening, without the Nightshades. She had grown used to having bodyguards, most everywhere they traveled. Jersey Blood and his consort, Valentine, had been assigned to she and Exeter. Jersey was a seraph shifter who rarely allowed himself to transform. He had become something of a mentor in these early months of her transformation.

“Gradually you will learn to manipulate these shifts; then you may change at will, if you so choose,” Jersey had assured her. His promise of control had cheered her some, even as she fought back the urge to rip off her dress and expose herself— to rub against Exeter and purr.

“I must go.” She ran the rest of the way up the stairs and down a length of carpeted corridor. This longing to mate with her guardian was not new, exactly. But there were times now, when her desire was almost too strong to bear. Upsetting to say the least, and beyond perplexing for the good doctor. The untamed feline urge was so strong that, on one occasion, she had used coarse language and disrobed in a provocative way. Shocking behavior on her part. Now her belly trembled at the memory of Exeter’s palm cupping her breast, the moment when his thumb had stroked and she had exhaled a low, throaty rumble.

He had stepped away in horror.

Mia shook off the painful memory and burst into her bed- chamber. She made it as far as her dressing table before she realized her mistake and turned back. Exeter stood in the open doorway holding an oil lamp, his gaze penetrating, measured. “I believe you need me to undress you.”

She bit her lip and nodded. Several weeks ago there had been a close call with Lucy, her maid. One evening, as she helped Mia ready for bed, a sudden, unexpected shift had occured. No warning signs. She had hissed so ferociously, the terrified girl had fled the house in the middle of the night.

Exeter entered the room and set the lamp on her dresser. “Come, Mia.” She hadn’t noticed how dark it was—mostly because her night vision was extraordinary now. She could read the ancient codex at her bedside without illumination, if she cared to be illuminated.

Placing her hands on her hips, she turned her back to Exeter. “Please assure me you will not frighten the Metropolitan police on patrol in Green Park. . . again.”

“I often have no control over her . . . she’s—” Mia shifted away and he pulled her back. Persistent, gentle fingers loosed the strings of her corset. Even as her cheeks flushed with heat, cool air wafted over skin moist with perspiration. His knuckles brushed against the flesh of her back, causing a shiver she failed to conceal.

A hand slipped around her waist and he turned her toward him. “As the codex advises—assert yourself but do not force her to your will.”

“She always wants...” Mia avoided his gaze, until she couldn’t any longer. “You know what she wants.” Exeter’s exotic green eyes, the color of imperial jade, stayed with her. The stubble on his chin and jaw made him look swarthy, and exceedingly masculine, and yet he was also her protector.

“Gentle persuasion, Mia, the more you struggle with her—”

Inexplicably, before she could gain control over her hand, she reached out and stroked the dark, tempting ruff of his whiskers. She traced a faint, cream-colored scar that ran along the edge of a powerful jawline. Her touch stopped his conversation mid-sentence.

What inexplicable behavior! But this is how she had become with him. Heat flushed her cheeks and she withdrew her hand from his face. Shaking her head, even managing an uneasy laugh, she apologized. “I don’t know what came over me, please excuse . . .”

“No, please, continue.” Covering her hand in his, he guided her fingers over the stubble below his cheekbone to his handsome, well-formed mouth. Her gaze lingered on his generous bottom lip and the upper, with its strong cupid’s bow. Another scorching flush of heat crept up her neck. Gently, he turned her hand palm up and brushed his lips over the faint pulse on the inside of her wrist. “Forgive me, Mia.”

A tingle shivered through her body, curling her toes. She had never seen him smile, not like the one she now experienced, and she was positive he felt her tremble.

Sweeping a stray wisp of hair off her cheek, he took a long moment to examine every feature on her face.

“You are changing, Mia, from a precocious, adorable girl into a most sultry beauty. From here on out, I will have to keep a close watch on myself.” Exeter backed away and shut the door quietly.

Mia blinked. She wasn’t quite sure what to make of his speech—apology, confession, or warning? All she knew was the ends of her mouth tilted upward.

She disrobed and left nothing on, having learned the hard way. Any clothes on her body would end up in tatters. The evening chill was soothing, even sensuous. She moved to the tall paned windows and opened French doors. A waft of air hardened her nipples and prickled her skin. Touching herself, she imagined his fingers . . . there.

The shift was instantaneous. Painless.

Lean sinew rippled under a coat of sleek, black fur. Exeter stood on the rooftop and admired the panther’s agility and stealth as she dropped down between buildings and into the alley north of Curzon Street. A gray ghost of fog crept over stone pavers. “So, the huntress is on the prowl.”

Anytime now, she would return to human form. These in- voluntary shifts never lasted long. Exeter hooked a finger into his waistcoat pocket and tipped out his watch. Nearing the stroke of three.

Less than an hour ago, a large blue-black cat sprang from Mia’s bedchamber window to the roof of the townhouse. She had put up a merry chase, and he had followed after, hurdling gables, vaulting chimneys, using potent energy for the impossible jumps. Still, it amounted to vigorous calisthenics, keeping up with the agile feline.

Exeter leaned against the steep pitch of an attic roof, and squinted. The dark cat crept down the mews lane, but he could not make out what she stalked. Further away, a dust bin toppled to the ground with a crash.

Mia froze, fixing on something down the narrow row. Shoulders hunched, she crouched low and waited.

He suspected rats or alley cats, until he heard the scoffs and shouts that followed. Exeter stepped out from behind the chimney for a better view. Three young street rowdies sauntered down the row, up to no good. One of them emptied the last of a whiskey bottle and gave it a toss. The glass shattered against a wall.

Mia backed into a corner and hissed.

“Well now, what ‘ave we here?” A brawny young man stepped closer and she took a swipe at him. “Watch yourselves— this pretty puss has claws.” The drunken sot swayed backward, then pitched forward. One of his mates had the good sense to yank him away and prop him between cohorts, who hung back. “Look at her—big ain’t she?” Another boy gasped. “Some big green eyes on her . . .”

She curled her lip with a snarl.

“Fangs, as well.” The bolder, drunker lad stuck a thumb under his cap and scratched. “What do you suppose?”

All three ruffians stared as one spoke up. “I say this pussycat likely escaped from some rich lord’s private zoo, don’t you know.”

The rowdy beside him nodded. “Mattie works fancy balls at a duke’s house in Belgravia. She says he’s got a leopard— one of those big cats with spots. Rides ‘im in an open carriage through Hyde Park.”

Exeter stood at the edge of the roofline and observed the cornered panther that was Mia. She paced back and forth eye- ing the young men. Jersey Blood had warned him about tracking Mia in her shift-state. “Unless she’s in dire straights—leave her be. She needs to learn her own strengths, how to defend herself.”

Mia lunged at the doddering bullies and hissed. She was testing them.

“You suppose this one’s escaped?” one of the boys asked.

“There’s a bloke named Jamrach, has a shop over on Radcliff Highway in Shadwell—Jamrach’s Menagerie. He deals in wildlife, birds mostly, but large cats as well. I wager she’ll fetch a thumping-good sum.” The boisterous de facto leader kicked over an empty dust bin, and picked up the lid. “Hand me a stick and grab one for yourselves, lads.”

Using the lid as a shield, he tried poking and prodding at her. “Let’s see if we can get this pretty puss into the bin. Go around to the side there—don’t let her escape.”

A gnash of bared teeth ended in a snarling growl that quickly grew into the loudest call of the wild ever heard in the borough of Westminster. She leapt directly at the large bloke, teeth bared. At the last second, as bully boy staggered to one side, the sleek cat veered off and took a jaw dropping spring into the air. She jumped from window ledge to roof and landed not far from Exeter.

If he wasn’t mistaken, Mia had incorporated a bit of what Ping referred to as relic dust and champagne, or potent energy, to assist in those breathtaking leaps. Until now, he hadn’t seen such skillful maneuvering from Mia. And she had manipulated the physical universe in cat form.

The wild creature stared down at the astonished hooligans below who dropped their sticks and lids and hurried out of the alley.

“Impressive, Mia.”

The cat turned, flashing green eyes of . . . was that recognition? His heart thumped hard inside his chest. He stood his ground and held his breath as she crept closer. At the last moment, she turned her head and rubbed against his leg, arching her back. Glancing over his shoulder, he watched her curl back around for another pass. He descended to his haunches and she allowed him to rub her neck and scratch behind her ears—with one hand, then both. Her robust rumble modulated into a low purr as she closed her eyes and collapsed into his body.

A flesh and blood young lady lay in his arms. Exeter removed his coat and covered her. She opened her eyes momentarily and shivered. Lifting her up, he bent the physical world just enough to make it home in several leaps—from rooftop to rooftop, until he dropped down onto the balcony of her room. He pushed open the window and was greeted by Mr. Tandi, who waited beside a small copper bath. His manservant poured a steaming kettle of water into the tepid water, as he angled Mia through the French door. “That will be all, Mister Tandi.”

Exeter lowered Mia into the warm bath and stayed until she was revived enough to begin to bathe herself. “Are you well enough, Mia?”

She looked up and nodded. Still he waited until she smiled softly. “Leave me—you look tired, Om Asa. Get some rest.”

His servant stood in the corridor holding a brandy on a sil- ver salver. These strange, middle of the night rituals had be- come routine of late. Exeter slumped onto one of upholstered chairs in the hallway. For months now, the Nightshades had kept vigil from these chairs—only tonight it would be Mr. Tandi.

He took a sip of the warm amber liquid. “How long has it been since you and Mia announced yourselves at my door, Mr. Tandi?”

His manservant’s eyes lit up at the memory. “My word— seems very long ago—ten years, I believe, sir.” Exeter recalled the tall, soft spoken African man standing in the foyer, holding the hand of a doe-eyed waif of a child, the young Anatolia Chadwick. Mia, as she was called, even by her parents, was at best a distant relation. But, it seemed, he and his father were all the child had left in the world.

Mr. Tandi had recounted a hair-raising tale of a bloodthirsty raid on a small town built around a mining operation. Mia’s parents had been murdered. Wearing the clothes on their backs and carrying a hidden pouch filled with diamonds, Tandi and the child had made their way to Cape Town, sold a few gems, and booked passage on the first ship bound for London.

A last swallow of brandy slipped down his throat. Exeter closed his eyes and pictured the scrawny little girl and the African man––as dark as midnight––standing at the door. He set down his glass and rose from the comfortable chair. At Mia’s bedchamber, he tapped lightly on the door before slipping inside.

Silently, Exeter stood at the edge of the canopy bed. He swept back a veil of diaphanous curtain and watched her breathe, tempted to get out his stethoscope and listen to her heart. She had always looked like an angel in her sleep; since when had she become the devil’s own temptress?

For several months now, there had been provocative mo- ments between them including a few ardent displays of affec- tion. Some of Mia’s advances had been quite shocking and affected him deeply. So much so, he wasn’t so sure he could still say that the attraction was entirely one sided.

This evening, as was his custom, he had waited on a neighboring rooftop for her. From this vantage point, he had spied Mia seconds before her shift. Her nude figure bathed in soft moonlight . . . so breathtakingly beautiful, he had thought her as stunning as a painting he had once seen by Jules Lefebvre in the National Gallery of Victoria.

Just hours ago, she had stood on tiptoe and stroked the stubble along his jaw. He had captured her hand, and his lips had found the sensitive flesh on the inside of her wrist. His tongue traced a light blue vein, and her pulse had quickened. “Carus Deus, you are torture.”

How long was he going to be able to resist her?

About the Author:  In 2010, Jillian won the RWA Golden Heart for An Affair with Mr. Kennedy and went from no agent or publisher to signing with Richard Curtis and being offered a three book contract by Pocket Books. That summer, she also won the erotica category of the 2010 Romance Through the Ages contest for The Seduction of Phaeton Black and was offered a three book contract by Kensington Brava. Needless to say, she has been busy writing books this past year and a half! Jillian lives in Southern California.




July 16 -

Think Out Loud #12

 What is Think Out Loud?

 Think Out Loud is a weekly meme created by
Thinks Books to break out of the blogging bubble. Consider your Think Out Loud posts a time to do WHATEVER YOU WANT!

You can find more information and how to participate on your blog

So, here is my Think Out Loud for this week!

This is my 13-year-old son's current favorite song.  He made me watch the video one day, and I have to admit, though it is crazy stupid, it's kind of fun.  So...thought I would share :)

Friday 28 June 2013

Q & A with Ian Thomas Healy

Title:  Day of the Destroyer

Series:  Just Cause Universe #3

Author:  Ian Thomas Healy

Published:  March 13, 2013 by Local Hero Press

Page Count:  316

Read It & Reap:  2014

Description:  A CITY IN DARKNESS

July 13, 1977 - The lives of four super-powered people become irrevocably intertwined when the lights go out in New York City, plunging their world into chaos. The superheroes of Just Cause, grown soft and complacent without any supervillains to challenge them, must overcome their personal demons as well as uphold the law in a lawless land of rioters, arson, and murder.

Lurking in the darkness, like evil incarnate, is the one thing that could bring the world's greatest superheroes to their knees: the force of anarchy and vengeance known as Destroyer. 

Q & A with Ian Thomas Healy

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your heroes in Day of the Destroyer.
A:  Day of the Destroyer follows the storylines of four different characters during 22 hours before and during the NYC Blackout of '77. Not all four of the characters are heroes! But their stories do cross over one another and eventually all converge in the climax.

The "heroes" are the members of the team Just Cause, which has found itself to be an army without anyone to fight. They've beaten all the supervillains, and thus the organization is starting to rot from within. Some of the heroes are unfaithful. Others are drug addicts. And when the disaster strikes, these are the ones who must rise up to help save the city.

Q:  What makes your superheroes stand out?
A:  My superheroes are not collections of powers. I have always written superheroes as "real people" first, who just happen to have certain exceptional abilities. I treat superpowers as special effects; the real story is in the characters and their relationships.

Q:  What was your favorite scene to write?
A:  Ooooh, that has to be the moment that one of the heroes of Just Cause, named Pony Girl, first confronts the Destroyer battlesuit. It's in the middle of the Blackout, and Destroyer is tearing apart a tenement in Harlem and burning the street, and Pony Girl is the only thing standing in his way.

Q:  This is book three of the Just Cause Universe series. Is it imperative that your readers follow the books in order, or could this be read as a standalone?
A:  No; all the Just Cause Universe novels are related, but each one is a distinct, stand-alone work. You can come into the series with any novel (or even some of the short stories which are available as ebooks). I would hope that eventually, readers will check out the entire series.

Q:  What do you see as influences on your writing style?
A:  Comic books and movies have been a great source of inspiration to me. Some writers especially stand out: Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Mike Resnick, Alan Dean Foster. One of my biggest influences on my writing style would have to be my dear friend, best editor, and coauthor Allison M. Dickson.

Q:  What do you see as the biggest challenge for indie authors and what have you been doing to overcome that?
A:  The biggest challenge is to Get The Word Out; to make our books discoverable. I've found that far and away the best method is to release a lot of quality material. It's imperative that you're not releasing junk. Write good stories, take time to edit them (and have them edited), and make them the best you possibly can before releasing them into the market. People will remember you as someone who writes good books, and they'll look for more of your work. When you have a lot of it, and release more regularly, they'll keep coming back. And hopefully, they'll tell their friends.

Q:  What do you do to unwind and relax?
A:  I'm a big fan of my local hockey teams, the Denver Cutthroats and the Colorado Avalanche. Since neither of them are playing again until October, I'm enjoying spending time with my kids during their summer break.

Q:  What book are you reading now?
A:  Seven Wonders, by Adam Christopher. It's been taking me awhile to get through it because (a) I'm a slow reader and (b) It's not as good as I'd hoped it would be.

About the Author:  Ian Thomas Healy is a prolific writer who dabbles in many different speculative genres. His superhero novel Deep Six: A Just Cause Novel was a Top 100 Semi-finalist in the 2008 Breakthrough Novel Award. He’s a seven-time participant and winner of National Novel Writing Month where he’s tackled such diverse subjects as sentient alien farts, competitive forklift racing, a religion-powered rabbit-themed superhero, cyberpunk mercenaries, cowboy elves, and an unlikely combination of vampires with minor league hockey. He is also the creator of the Writing Better Action Through Cinematic Techniques workshop, which helps writers to improve their action scenes.

His goal is to become as integral to the genre of superhero fiction as William Gibson was to cyberpunk and Anne Rice was to urban fantasy.

Ian lives in Colorado with his wife, three children, and a plethora of housepets. When not writing, which is rare, he likes to take road trip, enjoys watching football and hockey, and listening to or playing music. His ebooks can be found on Smashwords, Kindle, Nook, iBook Store, and other online retailers.

You can find Ian online all over the internet. Besides on
Goodreads, he is on Facebook as Author Ian Thomas Healy and Local Hero Press, on Twitter as @ianthealy and @LocalHeroPress, and on his website

His Amazon profile page ( shows the most up-to-date listing of all his works.

Thursday 27 June 2013

Love Me If You Dare by Kate Laurens

Title:  Love Me If You Dare

Series:  Safe Haven Series Book Two

Author:  Kate Laurens

Genre:  New Adult Romance

Book Description:  Some things change...

It’s been three years since Kaylee Sawyer has been home—home to the alcoholic mother she can’t handle, home to the painful memories of her sister Ella... and home to the guilt she’s carried for years. About to enter her final year of college, she is determined to come to terms with the mess of her past—and to ignore the guy whose single kiss has been tattooed into her mind forever.

Some things stay the same...

Dylan McKay is still golden haired and dangerous, the flame Kaylee was always afraid to touch for fear of getting burnt. But despite the damage that’s been done, she finds that she still can’t stay away from the one person who accepted her the way she was.

Some things are meant to be.

Kaylee is no longer the innocent girl she once was. Though tragedy ripped them apart before, one look from Dylan brings all of the old feelings rushing back. Torn between her past and her future, she’s not sure if a person can ever truly go home again.

But Dylan doesn’t plan to let her go without a fight.

Recommended for mature readers aged 17+ due to language and sexual content.

Buy it on Amazon

4 of 5 stars
Though Love Me If You Dare is book #2 in the Safe Haven series, it can be read as a standalone. I just want to make that clear in case you have not read the first book but you are interested in this one. Some of the characters cross books, but only as background characters, and you definitely would not feel like you were missing part of the story by reading them out of order.

As for Love Me If You Dare, I think I liked this story even better than the first. I loved Kaylee. She was hurting so much but did everything in her power to hide it. She went to college away from home for the purpose of having a fresh start – a place where no one knew her or her past. When she finally went back home for her first summer visit three years later, she had to try to mesh who she had been with who she had become as well as face her ghosts.

Dylan, the sexy bad boy (what story is complete without one?), was the one person Kaylee did not want to see, but was dying to see. Dylan shared the same ghosts as Kaylee, and together they had to fight through them – though it is much easier said than done.

I also loved the story line – it was different and heartbreaking, but something that could happen in real life. I loved Kaylee and Dylan together. The only thing that would have made this story even better was if there would have been more of it. At only 182 pages, this book was relatively short. I would have loved to see more of the story played out rather than faded out or skipped over. In the end, though, it was a great read.

View all my reviews

To celebrate the release of book 2, Love Me For Me, book 1 in the Safe Haven series is on sale for $0.99 for a limited time!
A fresh start...

It’s been three years since Serena King learned to say no—no to the boys that were a desperate cry for help, no to the extra weight she put on in self defense, and most of all no to the abuse that has haunted her since she was fifteen. Now a sophomore in college, all she wants is to be normal. The last thing she expects is a guy who can make her want... make her want everything.

A new guy...

Alex Blackthorn is a bundle of contradictions, a sexy dark haired badness who goes slow... deliciously slow. And despite the iron will that has gotten her through the last few years, Serena finds herself unable to ignore the heat that sizzles between them whenever they’re together.

A dark past...

Serena never thought she could be involved in a relationship, but Alex makes her long for things she thought were out of her reach forever.
When he finds out her secret... when he finds out what she did to keep herself sane... will he still want her, or he will treat her just like everyone else?

And Alex has a secret of his own.

Recommended for mature readers aged 17+ due to language and sexual content.



About the Author:  
Kate Laurens is a proud Canadian who loves beer, coffee, kickboxing and books. She writes New Adult Romance and falls a little bit in love with each hero that she writes.

Kate loves to hear from her readers. Find her at  

She's also on Twitter as @KateLaurens


June 26

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #8: Dr. Sleep by Stephen King

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

My next eagerly anticipated book is:

Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Genre: Horror
Available for pre-order from:
Amazon and Barnes & Noble

 Book Description: 
On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

What's your "waiting on" pick this week? Find out how you can participate

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Is This All There Is? by Patricia Mann

Title:  Is This All There Is?

Author:  Patricia Mann

Genre:  Woman's Fiction/Chick-Lit

Page Count:  216

Published:  January 3, 2013

Publisher:  Mannequin Vanity Publishing

Read It & Reap Date: 

Book Description:  Beth Thomas has the perfect life. At thirty-five, she’s married to her college sweetheart, has two adorable kids, and teaches part time at the local university. But when a friend persuades Beth to go dancing on a rare night out, a chance meeting with twenty one year old Dave, one of her former students, changes the course of her life. Loud music, too much to drink, and the thrill of feeling young again lead to an unforgettable kiss that was never supposed to happen. As she tries to put the memory behind her, Dave’s pursuit leaves Beth torn between what her mind says is right and what her heart and body crave.

Buy Links: 
Amazon  ~  B&N

Add Is This All There Is? to your Goodreads shelf

See my review on Goodreads

Q & A with Patricia Mann
Q: Tell us a little bit about your main character, Beth.
A: In some ways, Beth might be seen as a role model, having achieved all that we’re supposed to desire in life. At just thirty-five, she’s married with two kids, owns a home, and teaches part time at a university. But when you look beneath the surface, you see that Beth’s life has become a hot mess. How else could she allow herself to be drawn into an affair with a former student? Beth’s kids are running the show at home, she doesn’t know how to communicate her feelings to her husband, and she’s lost control of her time, her weight, and her moral compass. Still, many readers have said they could relate to Beth, because as women who are trying to be, do, and have it all in our world today, something usually has to give. We inevitably learn some lessons the hard way, and that’s exactly what Beth does in Is This All There Is?
Q: Why did you decide to write Is This All There Is?
A: I wrote the first draft in a weekly writing group, which was my escape from a life that was somewhat similar to Beth’s at the time. I had two young children, was teaching part time, and needed a creative outlet. Writing was so exciting and the connections forged with my writing teacher and fellow students were fulfilling and uplifting. As my story took shape, I began to believe it might actually be worth sharing, but it took me years to build up the courage to do that. When you’re a professor, wife, and mother, it’s a little scary to publish a novel about a professor, wife, and mother who has an inappropriate relationship with a former student, fiction or not. This is why I used a pen name.
Q: In your opinion, what makes a good, strong female character?
A: A good, strong female character is smart but also compassionate and relatively self-aware. She may make mistakes, but we have to understand why she would make the choices she makes.
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge for indie authors and what have you been doing to overcome that?
A: One of the biggest challenges for indie authors is publicizing a book without breaking the bank. I’ve read so many incredible books by my indie author pals that make me wonder, why isn’t this a NY Times Bestseller? But doing it on your own can be hard. There are promo companies that charge a significant fee and will result in a major increase in book sales, but not everyone can afford that. Also, there are so many self-published books out there these days that it’s hard to figure out which ones are worth reading. I know there are many people who would enjoy my book and wouldn’t mind shelling out $2.99 for it, but I don’t yet know how to reach them all and don’t have a fortune to spend on it. I’m learning though and I won’t give up. Someone suggested that I write a weekly blog to interest people in my book. It’s a lot of work to keep up with and I don’t think it has helped me sell many books, but it turns out that I love it. It’s a wonderful vehicle for engaging in a meaningful conversation with women about all the issues we deal with in our lives. So there’s a ton of advice and all sorts of services for indie authors, but we each have to find our own way and be willing to learn some difficult and expensive lessons along the way. Joining a supportive community of writers is essential, in my opinion. I’ve received so much encouragement and valuable information from a group of like-minded authors on Facebook that I’m part of. I don’t know where I’d be without them!
Q: I heard a rumor that you are writing a sequel to Is This All There Is? - Can you give us a little peek into what that story is going to be about?
A: The rumor is true. I am writing a sequel. Readers have shared such insightful feedback, which I’m extremely grateful for. Many have expressed wanting to know more about Beth’s earlier relationship with her husband Rick and his perspective. I’ve also learned that the way Is This All There Is? ended left many readers wanting to know more about what happened next. So the sequel is about the aftermath of an affair. It’s about learning why it happens and how to repair a marriage damaged by infidelity. Beth’s extramarital love interest, Dave, will return and tempt her in new ways. Beth and Rick may consider separation when things get rough, allowing Beth to ponder the feasibility of actually giving a relationship with Dave a try. But the torture of all the factors, including the kids, will make this an impossible dilemma. I’m also writing another book, which I plan to publish with my real name and I may even decide to merge Patricia Mann and the real me at that point. It’s women’s fiction, but completely different from Is This All There Is? I’m writing it with my mother, who is preparing to retire from over 30 years of nursing, mostly in critical care. She has the most incredible stories, which we’ll include in the book. It’ll be medical drama from the miraculous to the heartbreaking, with everything in between, and some romance thrown in too, of course.
Q: How do you balance work, home, and your writing?
A: I don’t balance work, home, and writing well. Just ask my husband. I do try. I spend too much time on the computer. I get stressed out about things I know I should just let roll off my back. But I honestly have the most amazing husband, kids, parents, and friends. They remind me that I need to take breaks. I have an office at home and my kids will sometimes just come in and sit down and start talking to me. That’s my cue to stop whatever I’m doing, realize it’s not nearly as important as it seems in that moment, and just listen, ask questions, laugh, and be a mom.
Q: What do you do to unwind and relax?
A: I exercise almost every day. I drink wine in the backyard with my husband. I play games with my kids, hang out with girlfriends, go dancing, and I write, write, write, and write some more.
Q: What book are you reading now?
A: I’ve decided that for the time being, all I’m going to read is books by my pals who are also authors. I have made so many writing friends online and they have become very special to me. As a reader, there’s nothing better than being able to chat with the author about the book you’re reading because you’re actually dear friends! So right now, I’m reading and loving In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister, who is one of many cherished members of my beloved Chicklit Goddess online community. I also want to mention some of the books I’ve read and adored lately and highly recommend: Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino, Believe and Somewhere Between Black and White by Shelly Hickman, Momnesia and Unexpecting by Lori Verni-Fogarsi, Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey, and Viewer Discretion Advised by Cindy Roesel.

About the Author:  Patricia Mann is a university professor. She lives in California with her husband, their two kids, and a sweet, silly old dog.


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Sunday 23 June 2013

Devil's Play by Kenya Carlton

Title:  Devil’s Play

Series:  Sweet as Sin Series Book Two

Author:  Kenya Carlton 

Genre:  Paranormal Multicultural Erotic

Publisher:  Parker Publishing  

Date of Publication:  May 25, 2013

Number of pages:  169

Book Description:  Snuggled within the warm embrace of marital bliss, biologically altered army Captain Drake Devilin and his supernatural bride Sienna face their biggest challenge to date. Called back for duty in World War II, Drake must leave his amazing life behind and join his troop to fight the Nazis. Although he’s certain his new mission is merely a rouse to obtain his most precious commodity, his wife, Drake leaves, but not before giving Sienna a magical necklace in the hope it will protect her against unknown enemies.Lured from her prosperous island by a sorcerer who is convinced she was always meant to be his bride. Sienna is challenged to play three magical games to ensure her husband’s safe return. In each game, a limited time is given to Sienna to immerse herself into a new world, situation, and persona; find Drake; and have him acknowledge her by name. And she can’t use her powers to make it happen.

Everything dear to Sienna’s heart is put in jeopardy. Willing to fight for the love of her life and her happiness, Sienna takes on the sorcerer in his own game of cat and mouse. 

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3 out of 5 stars
Devil's Play was a captivating tale with an original storyline. Full of a variety of supernatural creatures, the author delves into the supernatural realm and creates an alluring world that is dark and sexy. Set in the 1940s, Devil's Play is the story of Army Captain Drake Devilin and his wife, Sienna. Drake is a genetically altered human, and Sienna is a powerful witch. When Drake is called to war, he grudgingly leaves his wife behind under the watchful eye of a trusted friend. When Drake's life is threatened, Sienna is caught up in a deadly game, the prize being her husband and her happiness.

The book jumped right into the story, which I thought was great at first, but I was expecting the author to go back and explain some of the things we were introduced to. However, that never happened. This is what I struggled with the most regarding this book. When I received a copy of Devil's Play for review I was not aware that this book was part of a series. There is nothing on the book cover or in the description to indicate that it is not the first part of the story. As it was, I jumped right into the middle of a story that I had no background on. While I did enjoy this book, I would have been able to fully understand the characters and their lives and troubles even more had I had the opportunity to read the previous book first. 

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About the Author:  Native of Chicago Illinois, Kenya worked in the Network operation Center for PBS and TLN television stations. Executive producer of her own production company Black R.O.K Productions Kenya produced a pilot for travel series Destination Everywhere, Independent short film Dawn shown at the Chicago Latino film Festival, and wrote and directed the documentary Our Africa. Writing titles available; Jaded, Sweet as Sin, Brazil re-issue, Devil’s Play, and Remember This.