Traitors’ Gate book tour dates

The prequel to my Battle of the Undead series will be out soon – my publishers, Evernight Teen have arranged a virtual book tour to celebrate the release.

EvernightTeen - Traitors Gate Nicky Peacock

Tour dates:

2/29 Young Adult & Teen Reads
2/29 Darkest Cravings
3/1 Get Cozy
3/2 The Book Pub
3/3 Seeing Stars
3/4 Fantasy Pages
3/5 All Book Finds
3/6 Nics Book Nook
3/7 Nikki Noffsinger 

Book Review: The Amazon Chronicles: A Collection Sarah Mäkelä

SarahMakela_TheAmazonChronicles800-682x1024Synopsis:

The Amazon Rainforest still contains a few secrets.

One of these secrets is a hidden village of women whose history is filled with the horror of conquering men. When the princess of the Amazons falls in love with a weretiger biologist, the tiny village will be changed forever.

This collection contains the four previously published paranormal romance novellas in the Amazon Chronicles series: Jungle Heat, Jungle Fire, Jungle Blaze, and Jungle Burn.

About the Author:

Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy…even a sweet contemporary romance!

A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night-light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies (and Ghost Adventures), and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.

http://www.sarahmakela.com

http://www.twitter.com/sarahmakela

http://www.facebook.com/authorsarahmakela

http://www.goodreads.com/sarahmakela

My Review:

This is a collection of 4 linked novellas all centred around a female warrior tribe. The interplay between each story was lovely and the very last one tells the tale of the children of the couples from the previous stories, so is a nice way to end the collection and hint at the HEA endings without rubbing them in the readers’ faces.

I must admit though that I’m still unsure about the whole ‘mated’ business that seems to endlessly crop up with shifter stories, and this does feature quite heavily through all the Amazon novellas. I do think that when you ‘mate‘ characters in a book, it’s kind of a cheat. By doing this they will love each other without much build-up, plot devices or character arcs. Maybe it’s just my cynical nature, but instantaneous love at first sight never happens and it all boils down to what I keep saying about paranormal romance – the more realism you can put in these stories, the more believable the whole scenario becomes and the more the reader invests in your tall tale of the supernatural.

From a writer’s perspective, there was one particular stand-out story in the bunch – but, like anthologies, it can’t be helped to pick a favourite and compare all the others to it. The writing was good and it had a great balance of plot and spice. Although, again I must say that it relied a little too much on the ‘I want them as my mate’ troupe for my tastes. Contrary to popular belief there are not that many animals in nature that mate for life – they tend to be more of a ‘love the one you’re with’ bunch.

The front cover is lovely, very expressive of the overall characters and feel of the book. I like the colours very much and it was the reason I picked this book to review – I know, I’m so shallow!

Overall I’d give The Amazon Chronicles 4 out 5 stars. A little bit of jungle romance to warm you on a dreary winter night.

 

Virtual Book Tours: To tour, or not to tour?

book

Well, if you’ve been reading my blog (if you haven’t – where have you been?) you’ll have noticed that I do a lot of book reviews and author interviews. The interviews are mainly because I’m an incredibly nosy person, but the reviews tend to be either Netgalley related (If you haven’t joined yet and you love reading – what are you waiting for?) or for virtual book tour companies. I started looking at these sites when I got the release date for my own book and decided to join a few to see how they worked and which of the many companies offering this service provide the best value for money.

I must admit, I’m having quite a bit of fun doing these tours. I’ve met some truly lovely people and been introduced to some awesome authors and books – ones I’d have never found on my own. The whole thing appeals to my organised ‘anal’ side, and it doesn’t hurt to have related content almost every day for this blog.

Now, I’m not reviewing the companies who do this, but from my sidebar you can see the ones I tend to favour and I’d encourage you all to have a click through and perhaps join as a tour host or invest in a tour for your own book. And let me know your thoughts as comments on this post.

I see a number of the same authors out there who are dedicated to using these services and repeat business must hopefully mean they’re seeing fairly decent results in the interest levels in their books. The basic equation here is that bloggers have followers, and followers might buy your book.

Most tour companies will offer a service that includes: reviews, interviews, spotlights, and guest posts. You can pick and choose from this menu, but I’d advise you to go ‘tapas style’ on it and try a bit of each to see what you like the most. Reviews can be the scariest of all, what happens if a blogger hates your book? To be honest, this is a natural part of being an author anyway – not everyone will like your work – accept that, move on, suck it up… Do you like everything you read? No. I certainly don’t. But did bad reviews hurt ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’? No, it unfortunately did not!

With more and more books being released it can be hard to get yours to the front of the reading pile. And this isn’t all down to your publishers either; as a modern author part of the job is keeping social and having a decent online presence. Whether you like it or not, we are living in an increasingly digital world and blanking it is not just rude but utterly career stunting. Authors need to get their work out there, and yes this can be time consuming – so virtual book tour companies could be a clever solution for you to do just that whilst keeping your precious time on the thing you actually want to do – going down the pub, oh wait I mean write!

Book Review: Eternal Flame by Valerie Twombly

Large coverSynopsis:

A woman he cannot have, a man who is only a dream…

When guardian Marcus Dagotto, discovers the Gods have gifted him with a mate, he is pissed. He has no room for love and even less for a human who has no idea he exists.

Cassandra Jensen, has a shattered heart and has given up on men. Only one man can set her body on fire, but he is a fantasy that haunts her sleep.

Two worlds, one desire.

When the two collide, fate will rip them apart and test their resolve. Will darkness and evil prevail? Or, will love conquer all?

About the Author:

As a child, Valerie would often get into trouble for peeking at her mother’s favorite TV show, Dark Shadows. She can still hear her mother saying “It will give you nightmares.” She was right of course, but that did not stop Valerie from watching. As an adult, her love of the fanged creatures never waned. She would watch any vampire movie she could find.

Being a true romantic, Valerie was thrilled when she discovered the genre of paranormal romance. Her first read was one of Lara Adrian’s, Midnight Breed Series and from there she was hooked.

Today, Valerie has decided to take her darker, sensual side and put it to paper. When she is not busy creating a world full of steamy, hot men and strong, seductive women, she juggles her time between a full-time job, hubby and her two German shepherd dogs, in Northern IL.

 Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Eternal-Flame-Guardians-Valerie-Twombly-ebook/dp/B00G0G3FM8/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1382153296&sr=8-2&keywords=valerie+twombly

Other:  http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/m8/609-978-1-60735-700-1–eternal-flame-immortal-guardians-book-one-by-valerie-twombly.html

Website: http://www.valerietwombly.com/

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/fangedfantasy

Publisher: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/1.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Valerie-Twombly/e/B00BOXA8ZE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1381061037&sr=8-1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/vtwombly

My Review:

Okay, I really liked this book. It was well written and the story itself was a good one that didn’t just rely on steamy sex scenes and a destined romance – however I really feel like the title lets it down. Eternal Flame is the name of a very famous Bangles’ song that has been covered several times and can be heard in wind chime format in lifts all over the world – not to mention hold music. By giving it a title that can never truly belong to the book lightens its impact. I know there are many books out there that have similar/ the same title as other books, movies and songs – it can’t be helped; but in my opinion the really famous ones should be avoided like the literary plague.

As characters go, I think we can all relate to Cassandra and her ‘unlucky in love’ scenario. Although a little cliché, it does speak to most of us ladies who perhaps are our own worst enemies on the love front. It’s all too easy to imagine gorgeous men who treat you like a queen and be disappointed when life doesn’t work out like that – fortunately for Cassandra she actually does get a pretty decent hero (still, probably not who she was expecting!) As an author myself I tend to feel a certain obligation to reward my own characters with soul mates of their own, so I appreciated the effort that Valerie went to craft the romance between Marcus and Cassandra.

The world building and flow were excellent and there was a massive supporting cast of other interesting characters introduced that, I’m assuming, go on to star in their own books.

From a writer’s perspective, some of the dialogue was a little unrealistic to me. Although not all the time, but sometimes they would dip into ‘oldey worldy’ speak which comes across both tired and wrong. One of the most important things in a paranormal/ urban fantasy setting is to make everything else around your supernatural elements as real as you can – thus making the unbelievable that much more believable.

The front cover is a little cartoony for my liking and, to be fair I almost didn’t read the book at all on this weakness. I know it’s wrong to judge a book by its cover, but hey that’s just how it is. I think it would do the book more justice if it were both characters on the front in a more artistic format.

Overall I’d give Eternal Flame 4 out of 5 stars. If you’re dying to get your teeth into a new paranormal romance series, then chomp, chomp this way.

Eternal-Flame_tour

Book Review: Immortal Revenge by Mary Abshire

immortalrevengeSynopsis:

Grief stricken Katie Dillinger is on a mission to claim revenge for the death of her lover. In a race against time to find the murderer, Katie reaches out to Riker, a man listed as her boyfriend’s emergency contact. The cold-hearted man comes to Katie’s aid, but she doesn’t completely trust him. To keep her friends safe, she insists they leave town immediately. But her efforts come too late. A friend disappears and a clear message is left in the wake: surrender or more people will die.

Katie’s world is turned upside down when she discovers Riker has vowed to protect her. She’s involved in a prophecy, one which her lover had been preparing her for before his murder. All the combat training he gave her suddenly makes sense, and as Katie fights to keep her friends alive, she’s forced to prioritize. Revenge now, saving mankind next.

About the Author:

Mary lives in Indiana and is a lifetime lover of the paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy. When she’s not slaving away at her government job, she is a Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Author. She creates fantastical worlds with vampires, demons, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. Dive into her books and find action, a dash of mystery, and seductive men with passionate hearts.

Website: http://www.mary-abshire.com

Facebook:
 http://www.facebook.com/mary.abshire

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/maryabshire

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/maryabshire

My Review:

I do love a good revenge story! And I loved the premise of this book.

The start was a bit slow though, there were a lot of people having conversations about action rather than actually having it – but I can see how that would have been true to the grief process – and its what I always say, the more truth you can put into a supernatural tale – the more real it becomes.

Poor old Katie! You really do feel for her as a character – the scene at the start (I won’t ruin it by going into too much detail) really does ally her with the reader from the outset. A good decision by the author – if she had started with the happy relationship it would have meandered a little too much.

From a writer’s perspective, the only gripe I had with this book is that Riker is a bit of an asshat. I found it hard to warm to him and really didn’t want to see him anywhere near Katie. I realise that, as characters, the vampires needed a certain aloof quality, but he could have had at least one redeeming feature or the reader.

The front cover is great, although could have done with perhaps a hint of vampire. With a title like ‘Immortal Revenge’ it could have been about anything from shifters to demons.

Overall I’d give the book 4 our of 5 stars – a promising start to a cool new series.

Immortal-Revenge__300x400_comming (1)

Book Review: Seductive Powers by Rebecca Royce

SeductivePower-2-200x300Synopsis:

Wendy Warner is a bit of an oddball. Raised in an orphanage, she’s found solace and friendship by watching the television show, Space Advenures, and participating in its fan clubs. Twice a month, Wendy comes to work dressed in a costume from the show that she wears to charity events. She’s been able to ignore the looks of disdain from many of her coworkers, but when the president of the company gazes at her with something more, she knows she’s in deep.

Draco Powers rather likes the way the uniform hugs all her curves in just the right places. He’s also a real-life Guardian who told the word that, yes, some people had superhuman abilities, but, no, they wouldn’t work for free or without health insurance. Some people refer to him with derision as the

“Capitalist Guardian.” While Draco doesn’t care what he’s called, he’s also being hunted by a group called the Organization whose motives are unclear and yet still cause death and destruction wherever they go.

The Organization has decied that Draco’s biggest weakness is the way he cares about his employees and has chosen Wendy as their next target. To save her, Draco will have to come to terms with his real feelings and the reason he’s long resisted complicated relationships…but he’s running out of time.

Goodreads

About the Author:

Rebecca Royce is a wife, mother, and author of over 40 romances that range from steamy to sweet.  She can be found running around Austin, TX with her kids or locked away in her room creating new worlds to satisfy her overactive imagination.  Rebecca loves to hear from readers, please drop her a line!

My Review:

I do love the idea of Superheroes in fiction. Too long have they been illustrated into comics and confined to the big screen. Superhero fiction, although loosely urban fantasy, should have a genre in its own right, but this definitely falls into romance – or flies into it, whichever you prefer.

This book is part of a greater series, and again I managed to read the book out of sequence (I really do need to check these books out more thoroughly!) however, I’m guessing it’s more of a collection, than an on-going story, which makes doing that much more accessible to readers.

The idea of a secretary looking after a superhero is great (very Ironman/ Pepper Pots) my only problem was I didn’t think it needed her to be an addicted fan of a TV show, sporting the uniform like a crazy Treckie. It kind of muddied the waters for me and took away from the core of the book which was a superhero fantasy. I get why the author put it in, but I personally would have spent more time on action and plot, and left that facet out as it divides the readers in their opinion – either she’s cool, or a total nerd.

From a writer’s perspective it flowed well with only a few minor jumpy bits here and there. It’s a superhero romance with a dash of spice – so it really does do what it says on the tin. I would have liked to see a slightly more inventive plot – but to be fair, it’s a romance and so the relationship needed to take lead.

The front cover is cool and attractive and gives us ladies what we want – a hunky hero to drool over.

Overall I’d give Seductive Powers 3 out of 5 stars – If you’ve been salivating over the recent barrage of Marvel movies and want a bit more, pick up Rebecca Royce’s series today (tights and cape are optional!)

Sed_powers_300x400

Book Review: First Bite By Dani Harper

17620279Synopsis:

Geneva “Neva” Ross doesn’t want to die. But now that she’s been turned into a werewolf against her will, she’ll do anything to protect her family and friends…even if that means taking her own life.

After witnessing Neva’s leap from a high ledge, Travis Williamson—a Changeling with a dark past—uses his powers to save her life. He feels a connection to the strong-willed woman whose eyes flash that familiar Changeling green. While Neva is hospitalized, Travis risks everything to kidnap her, knowing the approaching full moon will put everyone in jeopardy.

Bickering constantly to hide their growing attraction, Travis and Neva run from the authorities…and from Neva’s sinister sire, Meredith de la Ronde. Meredith delights in creating new shape-shifters and compelling them to do her dark bidding; now Neva must join Meredith’s murderous wolf pack…or die.

Intensely suspenseful with deliciously sexy twists, this paranormal romance—the first in (the title of series)—intertwines sensual passion with an epic, thrilling battle between good and evil.

My Review:

I really enjoyed First Bite, having never read anything from Dani in the past, it was a pleasant surprise to find an author who can write a good story and compelling characters without falling headfirst into too many clichéd tropes.

Neva is a strong character, although I did get a bit tired of her suicidal tendencies that take up a lot of the book. I could kind of see why she’d think like that, but when Travis shows up and is so obviously different to Meredith (the evil wolf queen) then you’d think she’d but two and two together and work out that life as a changeling is worth a pop – especially since Travis seems gorgeous, and a decent six pack is always worth living for!

From a writer’s perspective, the notion of ‘Changling’ was a bit misused, as this traditionally is a Fae term. And it didn’t exactly add much to the overall story, other than to feel a little confusing at times. I think if the story had just stuck to ‘Werewolf’ or even ‘Shifters’ then it would have flowed much better

I loved the antagonist, Meredith, such a great villain – and it was refreshing to find one in a paranormal romance book which wasn’t a diluted shadow of a character lurking in the background.

The front cover is beautiful, but perhaps would have been more accurate to have Travis on there too – as the book is third person and concentrates on him as well as Neva, it would only be fair to have him represented. I guess, in that vein, also Meredith too.

Overall I’d give First Bite 4 out 5 stars – well written, paranormal romance at its very best.

First_Bite_Large-Banner

Book Review: Loup-Garou for You by Katalina Leon

loupgarouforyou_9781419947322_msrSynopsis:

Bayou Country, 1834. Aubert Marston awakens on the eve of his twenty-seventh birthday to discover he’s undergone some disturbing physical changes. His body is bigger, stronger and hairier than it’s ever been, and burns with the lust of a beast. To make matters worse, a hundred guests are about to arrive for the plantation’s annual ball.

A mysterious young woman named Corrine appears in his home, tempting Aubert to unleash the inner lycan, and family secrets from a medieval past surface. Corrine lures Aubert to a bayou camp of Cajun Loup-Garous—werewolves. Aubert’s wealth and good looks are no advantage here. He must surrender to his feral nature and fight tooth and claw against another male pack member to claim Corrine as his own.

Inside Scoop:  This story contains mild bondage, southern hospitality, consensual sexual torment, female/female, male/male, anal play, cage fighting and unfettered animal lust. Enjoy!

A Romantica® historical paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

About the Author

Katalina Leon – I’m an artist, an author, mother and wife. I write for Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id Publishing and a couple new publishers to be announced soon. I try to bring a touch of the mystical and a big sense of adventure to everything I write because I believe there’s a bold, kick-ass heroine inside all of us who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.

Ellora’s Cave:

https://www.ellorascave.com/index.php/authors/index/author/slug/katalina-leon/http://www.ellorascave.com/loup-garou-for-you.html

Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/authors/a-f/amber-skyze-katalina-leon.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00BIXI8BQ

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html

Night Owl Reviews Author Page: http://erotica.nightowlreviews.com/V5/Authors/Katalina-Leon

http://www.katalinaleon.com/katalina_leon/Home.html

My Review:

Yet another well-thought out engaging tale (or should that be tail?) by Katalina. I really enjoyed the aspect of it being from the hero’s point of view rather than the heroine. It’s certainly not your typical werewolf romance either and gives a whole new take on the legend.

Aubert was a great hero too – you instantly fell in love with him and, looking at the front cover above, would instantly want to help him out with his (ahem) ‘problems’. I kind of couldn’t help imagining the actor that plays Alcide in the HBO Trueblood series, which was another bonus!

From a writer’s perspective the flow of the story was strong and faultless, much like Aubert himself. And I loved the little touch at the end – I wont spoil it, you have to read it for yourself. It’s also the perfect length for a romance to get lost in, but to come out when the cold, real-world calls you away.

The front cover was great and represented the story well, which was another tick in the box.

Overall I’d give Loup-Garou for you 4 out of 5 stars – an excellent romantic werewolf read

Loup_garou_Large-Banner

Book Review: Fairy in the Flesh by Katalina Leon

fairyintheflesh_msr copy 2Synopsis: 

Maya Rousseau’s fantasy vacation in Avignon, France, heats up when an eccentric enchantress tricks her into drinking mojo-laced absinthe. An unexpected encounter with the green fairy causes Maya’s reality to have a serious meltdown. She travels back in time and wakes up naked in the bed of her favorite bad-boy Bohemian artist, the tall, dark and mysterious André Bosco. There’s nothing wrong with that—except it’s 1903.

For André, it’s love at first sight. He begs Maya to become his cherished model, muse and lover. The chemistry and shared passion between them is overwhelming. André’s a generous-hearted dream-man, but there’s a catch. Every hour they spend together bonds them tighter and time is running out. The same powers that flung Maya back to 1903 are preparing to snatch her back.

With a hundred and ten years separating these soul-bound lovers, it’s uncertain whether they can find a happy ending without the help of a little magic and La Fée Verte.

Inside Scoop: Story contains super-hot sex with an unattainable man, enchanted hallucinatory beverages, mischievous time-twisters, green fairies and a touch of voyeurism.

About the Author

Katalina Leon – I’m an artist, an author, mother and wife. I write for Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id Publishing and a couple new publishers to be announced soon. I try to bring a touch of the mystical and a big sense of adventure to everything I write because I believe there’s a bold, kick-ass heroine inside all of us who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.

My review:

Well, Katalina has done it again! In the real world where romance is taking a last breath, she has brought us an original and incredibly romantic fantasy journey. I loved this book. just the right length and with the right amount of saucy scenes that are not just shoe horned in for the sake of it.

I loved the idea of Time Twisters and I think that there are soooo many romantic time periods that could be utilised for another novel. I myself would love to see a modern day man flung back to fall for a sexy female highwayman.

Her writing is evocative and I thought the Green Fairy was an original supernatural creature to include. There were even a few plots twists as well (I won’t spoil them and tell you though – you just have to read it yourself!)

The front cover really sets the scene too. Definitely for over 18s though!

5 out 5 stars – art appreciation at its very best!

Buy Fairy in the Flesh

Fairy-in-the-Flesh_Large-Banner

Book Review: Vampire Elite by Irina Argo

VEcoverSynopsis:

How can you make a choice between saving your people and destroying the one you love?

A millennia-long war between two immortal races is about to come to an end. Long ago, the Vampire Elite began capturing members of another race of immortal beings, the Amiti, forcing them to become their blood suppliers—bloodstock—and locking them in underground cells, where they are treated like livestock. Now, the few remaining free Amiti are making a final attempt to strike back. The Queen of the Amiti has been proclaimed a traitor and executed. Her death makes possible the rise of a new Queen, her young daughter Arianna, who becomes the last hope of her dying race.

Arianna totally embraces her mission and is ready to fight for her people to the last drop of her blood but encounters an unexpected challenge—the vampire King Tor. The Amiti Queen and the King of the vampires are drawn into a trap of love where each has to make the ultimate choice: to kill their loved one or risk the extermination of their people.

Vampire Elite is an epic story of a bitter conflict between two peoples, and the effect of that conflict on everyone living in its grip. The characters are driven to love and betrayal, vengeance and sacrifice in a world without easy black-and-white answers.

Based on an ancient Egyptian legend, packed with action and intrigue, Vampire Elite will pull you into the entrancing world of immortals and open new portals into their hidden universe.

Authors:

Irina Argo is a combined pen name for two authors, Irina  and Jo-An .

IrinaIrina’s world is dark. She works as a clinical psychologist in a Juvenile Correctional Facility dealing with the extremes of human behavior on a regular basis and takes care of her paralyzed husband who suffered a stroke several years ago. To bring light into her life she writes. Writing has always been her passion. She is originally from Russia where she was employed as a TV journalist.

jo-ann

Facebook page series: https://www.facebook.com/Vampire

EliteSeries

Website: www.vampire-elite.com

Jo-An is a Leo, a lioness who has emerged to follow her dream, to someday write a book of her own. She owned a
costume shop for 15 years and was able to satisfy and excel in her creative nature. She is an over-achiever and believes that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and ignore the nay-sayers.  Her philosophy is based on Shakespeare “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.” She currently resides in California with her 5 cats and 1 husband.

My Review:

Vampire Elite has a similar feel of Gena Showalter and the White Wolf  Vampires the Masquerade books. It’s told third person with multiple character viewpoints and has a variety of supernatural clans – quite literally, at each other’s throats. It’s set in some lovely locations and has some very nice turns of phrase.

From a writer’s perspective, my only criticisms are really down to personal preference. The Glossary was a bit annoying at the start of the book. One of my favourite authors, Karen Marie Moning has them in her books, but they are nestled firmly at the back of the book so can be ignored if the reader chooses.

I’m not a big fan of head hoping and the book does spend time on lots of different characters – again just my personal taste here (I couldn’t get into the Game of Thrones books either – as they do a similar thing.)

Overall I’d give Vampire Elite 3 out of 5 stars. It was a great premise and had some strong characters. It has the potential to be an evolving series, rich with plots. It would make a good supernatural soap opera.

Vamp_elite-Large-Banner