Monthly Archives: August 2013

Stalking Shadows by Tahlia Newland


New Adult Contemporary Fantasy from Tahlia Newland: Stalking Shadows: Diamond Peak #2

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This is the second book in Tahlia Newland’s Diamond Peak series. If you follow my blog, you know I do not do long reviews for anything but the 1st book in a series, but this is one that you do not want to miss.

My review for the 1st book in the series:

https://cynthiashepp.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/lethal-inheritance-blog-tour-tahlia-newland/

Ariel and Nick are at it again, fighting demons that prey off your emotions. In a new twist on fantasy, Tahlia introduces us again to magical realism. She puts characters in fantastical situations, but they are actually fighting everyday situations that have to do with hate, greed, envy, and the like. Her characters are rich in real life experiences, following on life’s journey of emotional ups and downs. I loved the relationship between Nick and Ariel. It was so pure with the promise of young love and the maturity to put it on hold while they fought the demons they were pitted against. In a race to save Ariel’s mother’s life, Ariel discovers who she is and what she is capable of. This is a gripping series that I would recommend to anyone. It has a great moral compass to encompass the ages. I look forward to book three!

BOOK ONE ON AMAZON:

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Book Two on Amazon

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Book Three on Amazon

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Lethal Inheritance
Stalking Shadows
Demon’s Grip 

Stalk Tahlia

http://tahlianewland.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tahlia-Newland-author/188047104605893

D.T. Dyllin Birthday Bash


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Book one of the P.J. Stone Gates Trilogy

New Adult Paranormal Romance

 

299 pages

 

by D.T. Dyllin

For P.J. Stone, being a “Seer” who has never seen anything is less than fun. And P.J. isn’t known for her patience.

To make matters worse, she must choose a suitable mate to continue the Seer bloodline. Duty always comes before her heart…at least that’s what her parents taught her. When she finds herself wanting someone who is considered off-limits, P.J. is forced to question everything she believes.

As if navigating her love life isn’t complicated enough, P.J. finally receives a vision—of a threat to her world that only she can perceive. But no one will believe a fledgling Seer’s warnings. With nowhere else to turn, she may decide to trust a stranger with her life, her world, and maybe even her heart.

Book two of the P.J. Stone Gates Trilogy

New Adult Paranormal Romance

241 pages

P.J. Stone is a Seer who saw too little, too late.

In the past, her biggest worries were boys and school—but war has a way of changing things. Now, the alien Riders are trying to overrun the world. As the last of their kind, P.J. and her friends must find a way to save humanity before there’s nothing left to save.

After choosing a mate, P.J. hoped she’d have time to enjoy her love life. But with everything changing so quickly and major secrets revealed, who knows what the future will bring?

Book one of the Death Trilogy

 

Erotic Paranormal Romance

 

307 pages

by D.T. Dyllin

Samantha Bevans is having the best sex of her life—but it’s not with her husband. Fortunately for her marriage, the affair is all in her mind. Isn’t it? As an empath, she senses other people’s emotions. But her connection to the man with the the chiseled face and haunting eyes seems so real.

There’s no time for fantasies with a serial killer loose in Pittsburgh. The killer is targeting dancers at a strip club where Samantha used to bartend, back when drugs were the only cure for the torment of her abilities. As a member of a special task force, Samantha uses her talents to sense the victims’ final thoughts. Just when she thought the case was complex enough, she discovers one of the victims was thinking about her fantasy man when she died.

Who can Samantha trust when she can’t trust her own mind? An empath feels the emotional environment around her…and Samantha is surrounded by death

About the Author

Cynical-Optimist. Chocolate-holic. Sarcasm Addict. Paranormal Believer. Self-Imposed Insomniac. Sci-Fi Geek. Animal Lover. Writer…are just a few words to describe D.T. Dyllin. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two very spoiled GSDs.

I would like to sign up to be a Fairy Book Parent! – Guest Post


Hi all! My name is Margarita and I’m your guest blogger today! I’d like to talk about a tweet I saw on tumblr, from Margot Wood:Image

I don’t know Margot, I don’t follow Margot, but I saw her tweet on tumblr and reposted it immediately. This, THIS! This is a thing I truly wished existed! One of the definitions on Wikipedia of a Godparent is this: The secular view of a godparent tends to be an individual chosen by the parents to take an interest in the child’s upbringing and personal development.

Now imagine the same thing, only including books! The bibliophile in me is in love with this idea. Imagine having someone sit you down, from a very young age and tell you about the books they loved. When a reader is passionate about a book, you can hear it in their voice, you can see it in their eyes, sometimes you can even feel it in the air. Imagine if that was your introduction to the world of reading instead of maybe being forced to read books you didn’t enjoy in school. I’m not saying the books that schools choose are bad; some of them are quite good. But I always felt like they weren’t my choices; they weren’t books I chose to read on my own. As such, I did feel a little forced to read them.

But instead, if I had a Book-Parent – or a Fairy Book Parent [because really, if I’m wishing here, I’m going to wish big] – she would take me to the book store. She would carefully help me choose books I liked or that she thought I might have an interest in. She would know me and my parents, so she would have some idea of the kind of child I was. She would steer me toward mythology and superheroes having heard me go on and on about Wonder Woman and Batman as well as Hercules and Athena. She might pick up some books on science or math, knowing that I liked Star Trek on TV, or maybe on Royalty because I loved the part on Mr. Rogers where the trolly goes to the land with the castles. We’d meet every couple of weeks, my Fairy Book-Parent and I, and we’d sit and read a bit and then talk about what we read. She’d pick some age-appropriate sections of the books she was reading and I’d learn new words and I’d have this love of reading fostered because of the time and effort we spent on it together.

I am very fortunate because my mother loved to read and I always saw her with a book. There were always stacks of books on the coffee table that she had read or was reading or was going to read. My father read too, although he didn’t have as much spare time, being self-employed and only taking two days off a year. But, I saw that reading was an important and valuable hobby and I took it up at an early age. We were taken to book stores and encouraged to read, so in that respect, I did have somewhat of a Book-Parent – my mum! But I can’t help but think how many children would benefit from something like this. I’m excited about reading. As a writer, I’m excited about storytelling. I want to share both those things with other people and hopefully see them excited about them too!

It breaks my heart when I hear that some people don’t like to read or never really gave it a chance. There are books out there for everyone, on every topic! Like cars? Planets? Math? Religion? History? Biography? Graphic Novels? There’s a section for you at your local bookstore or online! But it can be overwhelming to dive in if you’ve never been a big reader. How can you find something you like? How do you search the thousands of titles to pick one for you? If you like something, how do you find more stuff like it? A Book-Parent could guide you through all this!

My nephews are big readers and I love to ask them what they’re reading and why they like it. I hope in some small way I can be a Fairy Book Parent to them!
I just need to get some wings now…..

Thanks for reading!

Margarita

Novel Publicity Tour Recruitment


Hey, blogger friends, listen up! I’ve got a chance for you to receive a free eBook and to compete for over $750 in prizes, and it’s so easy to participate. Read on for more…

Novel Publicity is currently recruiting for one of our gigantic whirlwind tours. YAY! Each whirlwind tour boasts hundreds of dollars in cash prizes and autographed books, sometimes even Kindle Fires. NP also provide eBook copies for all reviewers. This time, they’re touring the debut YA novel by Stephanie Fleshman, Render.

Choose to be one of the first to read this awesome new book, or, instead, host an excerpt, interview, or guest post. That’s right, you don’t even have to read the books to participate–although that’s definitely an option. Novel Publicity will provide your choice of a pre-formatted excerpt, interview, or guest post to make participation easy.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP!

Render A Recompense 600x800Tour Dates: September 9 to 13, 2013

Genre: Paranormal YA

Page Count: 399

The Prizes:

* $100 Best/ most creative entry

* $100 Random commenter prize

* $50 Rafflecopter (2 prizes)

* $50 Random blogger award

* $50 GoodReads party prize

* $50 Facebook sharing contest

* $100 in the special author contest

* Kindle Fire in the special author contest

CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP!

 

About Render

A betrayal born of blood

A curse for a gift

A love worth saving

Koldan Holdt knows what he wants. The problem is his future was decided the day he was born—a future void of everything he has ever known.

Days before summer vacation, Koldan’s grandfather suddenly dies, leaving the consequences that have followed him since he fled his country to fall to Koldan. As Koldan learns about his new fate, he must accept the terms to which he is bound and live without the one person he wants, or remain true to who he is and risk both their lives repeating the choices his grandfather made.

Seventeen-year-old Raya Whitney thought she knew Koldan…until a sudden turn of events threatens both their lives. While she is not willing to give up without a fight, she knows it is a deadly game to stay together.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP!

Inside an Author’s Head


ImageDear Readers:

MANY thanks to Cynthia S. for letting me guest blog in her space! When Cynthia threw open the offer, I jumped at it – then panicked. WHAT do I say? After catching my breath, I figure now is an opportunity for me to share with you all what goes on in my mind when I’m writing. Any kind of writing.

My first thought is always how I’m going to say what has to be put into written form in the most word-efficient, grammatically correct, entertaining way possible. Tall order, hm? As is often the case, the answer is, it depends.

Fiction is easy. All I have to do is listen in on a conversation my characters are having, and I’m off and running. When it comes to my novels, two published (Blood Bonds: The Caravan, and Blood Bonds: The Castle) one in pre-pub production (Blood Bonds: The Cavern), two in writing production (Blood Bonds: The Cloister, and Blood Bonds: The Clans), four in pre-writing production (The Back for Blood series),  my characters run the show. I just have to apply seat of pants to seat of chair, as William Faulkner said, and the words flow. What works for me is to daily write for five or so hours, or until I reach the point where I’m pushing the words out syllable by syllable, whichever comes first. Yeah, sometimes the characters grab me by the throat and I write until they’re done, which can be a LOT more than five hours. I love it when that happens, but I don’t count on it. Seat of pants to seat of chair every day, remember?

Non-fiction is entirely different. I strongly feel I need to have everything correct, so I write much more slowly. I check my facts and and assertions as I write, to make sure I don’t build my case on a wrong premise. There’s enough imprecision out there without me adding to it. I’m working on a parenting book (Being a Better Parent) at the moment, which is a combination of what worked for me as a mom, and my experiences as a psychotherapist over the last eleven-plus years. The writing is comparatively slow going, but I make sure as much as I can what I write is accurate from the get-go.

Some writers go as fast as they can and correct and edit in a separate step. I have enough OCPD (Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder) so it’s physically painful for me to not fix as I go, so my writing style is go-stop-fix-go. Shudder if you like, but it works for me. 

Is this fun? You betcha! Is it profitable? In money, not yet. In satisfaction, YES! Would I do anything else? NO!

I’d love to know what you think of my musings. Contact me through Cynthia, if you like, or check out my Facebook Page: Rosanne Licata Author Page. I’d love to have you visit.

Warm regards,

Rosanne

Reflections Blog Tour & Giveaway


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Genre: Erotica

Bridget Ross is a woman with a shameful secret. Despite a life full of success and close friends she denies herself her true desires in penance for the crimes she can’t take back. Connor Reynolds is a man without a purpose. His own tragic past prevents him from putting down roots and pursuing his dreams. Their paths collide forcing them to face the ultimate question … is their love worth fighting for?

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About the Author

Hailing from Washington, DC, Elene Sallinger first caught the writing bug in 2004 after writing and illustrating several stories for her then four-year-old daughter. Her writing career has encompassed two award-winning children’s stories, a stint as a consumer-education advocate, as well as writing her debut novel, Awakening – a  novel of erotic fiction that won the New Writing Competition at the Festival of Romance 2011.

She is a lover of all things lingual, a warrior of words, and a vixen of vocabulary. Her goal is to titillate, provoke, empower and move you with her work which ranges from the erotic to the dramatic and everything in between.

Excerpt

“I have no idea why you don’t see yourself as sexy, but you are. From your brain all the way down to your perfectly painted toes. Everything about you is erotic as hell. You get me hard in the same breath that you intrigue me with some thought you just spoke.”

She turned her eyes away and flushed even deeper at the mention of him getting hard over her. She was no prude, but she wasn’t used to men so casually discussing sexual things with her.

He didn’t say anything else, but he did shift until he was sitting more closely beside her. She could feel the heat from his skin through the jeans he wore. The cotton of his T-shirt did nothing to mask it either. A soft breeze washed over them and she could smell the light woodsy scent of whatever soap he used. Her entire body was instantly attuned to his.

She saw his hand move but was still surprised when he gently tipped her chin up to look at him. She didn’t know what she’d been expecting, but the depth of the desire she saw in his face was not it. She responded almost violently. Her nipples sprang to life, hardening and tingling against the simple cotton of her bra. She went liquid at her core and her heart rate kicked up a notch.

“I want to kiss you, Bridget. Hell, let’s be real, I want to do a whole hell of a lot more than that, but I want to start with kissing you.”

His eyes had deepened to an almost gunmetal gray with lust. She was completely mesmerized by his obvious desire for her, by the touch of his fingers on her chin, by the scent of his body so closed to hers. She didn’t bother reaching for words, she just nodded.

He leaned in and brushed his lips across hers. They were warm, and soft. As he deepened the kiss, licking into her mouth, she could feel the rasp of stubble from where he’d shaved earlier that day. His tongue leisurely explored her mouth. No crevice went without tending, but he didn’t force his attention on her.

His hand ran gently up her body, stopping briefly to cup her breast. He lingered but a moment as if testing the weight and shape before moving up her body. She luxuriated in the feel of him. The soft invasion of his tongue in her mouth was both foreign and familiar throwing her even further off kilter.

She moaned and leaned into him bringing one hand to rest on his thigh which flexed under her fingers. Her blood was thrumming through her veins and she felt her body tuning to him. Any lingering embarrassment over the portrait was forgotten as she gave herself up to his kiss.

She could kiss him forever.

Connor brought his hand to her neck and exerted gentle pressure to lean her backwards at the same time he turned and subtly shifted his body to cover hers.

She didn’t think, she simply reacted. Her knee connected with his balls and he exploded back from her curling into the fetal position with a sharp cry.

“Connor!” she scrambled to her hands and knees as realization sank in, “Oh my god! I’m sorry. I’m sorry!”

Hot tears began to run down her face and she chanted her apology over and over. He wasn’t looking at her. His eyes were clamped closed and he rocked back and forth, the pain evident on his face.

It was time to face facts. There was no use pretending anymore. She was just too broken.

First book in The Crysalis Series

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Awakening (The Crysalis Series)

Second Book

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Reflection (The Chrysalis Series)

Elene on Goodreads

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6524900.Elene_Sallinger

GIVEAWAY!

Elene is giving away one e-copy per blog stop. Just comment with your name, email, and why you want to read this book!

Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club Promo/Paperback Giveaway


Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club

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Synopsis

When Clare Ballard sports a new bruise on her right cheek the day after a contentious town meeting, the ladies of the Thursday Morning Breakfast Club suspect her husband Roger of abusing her. That same day Hester Franklin, another breakfast club lady, is called to rescue her grandson Patrick after he is arrested for transporting drugs. Proclaiming his innocence, Patrick threatens that those who set him up will pay. Roger Ballard is high on his list.

But it’s when Lillie Mae Harris, the club’s leader, discovers the body of the local drug dealer on the nearby hiking trail, that the community is upended. Roger Ballard, the primary suspect, goes missing, and when his body turns up in his own back yard, Clare Ballard confesses to his murder. No one
believes she did it, but Clare insists she’s guilty and mysteriously refuses to talk to her lawyer, the police, or her family and friends.

The Thursday Morning Breakfast Club ladies believe she’s protecting someone, and they vow to find out
who it is. Charlie Warren, the town’s homegrown policeman, using unconventional means, collaborates with the breakfast club ladies to draw out the real criminal. But danger lurks.

Alice Portman, the matriarch of the breakfast club, is struck down in her own yard and is sent to the hospital. Then others in the small community start to disappear—one after the other. As the ladies get closer to the truth, they get closer to the danger. With no time to cry over spilled coffee, they form a plan to capture the true culprits before someone else is murdered.

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About the Author

After some thirty years writing everything from political encyclopedias to software manuals, Liz Stauffer retired from corporate life to write fiction, travel, and play on the beach. Since that time,
she has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world. With her two dogs, Stauffer lives in Hollywood, Florida, where she owns and manages a vacation rental business.

Thursday Morning Cover (Click to buy on Amazon for $3.99)

Excerpt

 “Clare’s dead!”

When she spoke the words, her voice was so low it was barely above a whisper. The sturdy woman with short, curly red hair dropped the handset back into its cradle and began to pace, the phone still ringing on the other end of the line.

Lillie Mae Harris stopped at the front window, taking no notice of the white buds that were just opening on the two Bradford pear trees in her front yard, or the spring flowers peeping through the freshly hoed soil in the close- by flower bed. Her thoughts were of Clare.

She had the best view in Mount Penn from this window. On a winter’s morning she could see for some thirty miles out over the valley with the big blue sky as the backdrop. The night view was even more amazing, offering a shower of dancing lights in the distance competing only with the brightest stars.

It was now early spring and the vista had already begun to shrink even though the trees were just beginning to bud. Once the trees were filled out with big green leaves the view would pull in even more until fall when the colors exploded and the view once again took one’s breath away.  But today the scenery did nothing to still Lillie Mae’s pounding heart or quell her shaking hands. She couldn’t stop worrying about Clare. Rushing back to the phone, she scooped it up, and punched in a familiar number.

“Hello.” Alice Portman answered in her sweet Southern drawl, after just one ring. Her Jack Russell terrier, Alfred, barked in the background.

“Clare’s not answering her phone this morning,” Lillie Mae said. “I’m so worried about her, Alice. I’m not sure what to do.”

“Settle down, Lillie Mae,” Alice said, shushing Alfred. “Why are you more concerned today?”

“You were at the water meeting last night,” Lillie Mae said. “You saw how Roger was acting. Yelling and screaming like an idiot. When he’s gotten that riled up in the past, Clare’s been his punching bag.”

“Well, yes,” Alice agreed, deliberately slowing the pace of the conversation. “But, Roger was just being Roger last night, dear. Just showing off. I didn’t see anything unusual in his behavior. Certainly nothing to make you so worried this morning.”

“He was acting worse than usual,” Lillie Mae insisted, still pacing the living room floor.  “And I’m sure he drank himself crazy when the meeting was finally over. That’s the real reason I’m worried, Alice. You know how he is when he drinks. What he does to Clare.”

“Roger playacts, you know, when it suits him, Lillie Mae,” Alice said, her voice still soft and cool. “He knows he’s going to make a lot of money hooking people up to the public water in a few short months, but he wants to come across as the good guy to his neighbors, not the money grubbing fool that he is. He’ll use every wile that he has to seduce the community. If the project fails, which it won’t this time, he looks like he’s the man who stopped it. If it passes, he wins big time.”

“You’re probably right, Alice,” Lillie Mae said, calming a bit. “I know Roger is shrewd. If he wasn’t always out there trying to make a deal, he wouldn’t be Roger, I guess.”

“So, stop overreacting, Lillie Mae. What’s brought all this on anyway?”           

 “I’ve been calling Clare’s house all morning and nobody answers the phone,” Lillie Mae said. “It’s stupid, I know, but I picture Clare lying on her kitchen floor, needing my help. Dead, even.”

A sigh escaped Alice’s lips. “You’re way over dramatizing this morning, Lillie Mae,” she said. “Roger’s not even home. He drove by me in that stupid yellow Hummer of his while Alfred and I were out on our early morning walk.”

“That’s good to hear,” Lillie Mae said. “Stop imagining the worst, Lillie Mae. Clare’s probably out, too. It’s such a warm spring day. Doesn’t she usually go grocery shopping on Wednesday mornings?”

“Maybe,” Lillie Mae conceded. “Or she could be in her garden, I guess.”

“She’ll call you back when she gets to it,” Alice said, a hint of impatience in her voice.

“I doubt if she does.” Lillie Mae’s voice broke. “She rarely calls me anymore. We’ve been such good friends for so many years and I miss her, Alice. I wish I knew what I did wrong.”

“Clare’s changing, Lillie Mae. She’s getting stronger. Give the girl some space.”

“I’ve noticed a change, too,” Lillie Mae said, “since Billy went off to university. She does have more confidence, I’ll give you that.”

“Have you written your article on the water meeting for the Antioch Gazette, yet?” Alice asked. “I thought it was due today.”

“Not yet,” Lillie Mae confessed. “I’ve been too worried about Clare.”

“Maybe being busy will take your mind off things that are not really any of your business,” Alice said.

“I guess you’re right,” Lillie Mae said. “Clare’s a big girl and can take care of herself.”

 “I know that well,” Lillie Mae said, then suddenly turned serious again when her thoughts returned to Clare. “I’m walking down to Clare’s to check things out before I start on the article. I need to make certain she’s all right, or I won’t be able to concentrate on my work. Do you want to come along?”

“No, you go on, if it’ll make you feel better,” Alice said. “You can fill me in on the details at dinner this evening.”

*    *    *

Roger Ballard’s yellow Hummer was not in the driveway when Lillie Mae arrived at Clare’s house a few minutes later, but Clare’s Ford Escort was. That was good news on both fronts.

Lillie Mae walked around to the back of the large white two-story house trimmed with neat green shutters, to see if Clare might be working in the garden as she often was at this time of the day. She paused when she heard Clare’s voice through the open back door. She sounded angry. Or was it scared? Lillie Mae couldn’t tell for sure.

As she approached the back of the house, Lillie Mae could see through the screen door that Clare was on the phone, her back facing the door. Ready to call out a greeting, Lillie Mae stopped when she heard what Clare said next.

“No, don’t come over here. I’m fine.”

A brief pause.

“There is nothing for you to worry about. It was an accident. Really. Roger didn’t touch me. I told you the truth about what happened.”

More silence.

“We have to be careful,” Clare said, her voice quivering. “If anyone finds out what we’ve done, it would be a disaster for both of us. Roger would kill us if he knew or even suspected.”

A stab of guilt pricked Lillie Mae’s conscience. She stepped back around the side of the house and then called out a belated greeting in her loudest voice.

“Clare, are you home? Lillie Mae here.”

“Just a minute Lillie Mae,” Clare called back. “I’ll be right there.”

Lillie Mae could hear rustling in the kitchen and what could have been Clare whispering something and then hanging up the phone. Clare’s big black tomcat was at the door mewing to get out, making it impossible to hear the rest of the muffled conversation.

Clare stood at the door a few seconds later, flushed and anxious. “Thanks for stopping by, Lillie Mae,” she said, brushing a strand of dark-brown hair behind her ear as she pushed the door open with her other hand. The slight smile on her lips was not in her bright blue eyes. “What a beautiful bouquet you have with you.”

“It’s for you.” Lillie Mae stretched the vase out toward her friend.

Clare took the flowers from Lillie Mae, then ushered her into the large country kitchen. “Come in and tell me the news,” Clare said, without much enthusiasm.  “Would you like a cup of coffee?”

“That would be nice,” Lillie Mae said.

Clare busily arranged an impromptu coffee while Lillie Mae took a seat at the table. Watching her friend as she prepared the table, Lillie Mae was struck again at how attractive Clare was despite her years with Roger. A large-boned woman, Clare could easily be a plus-size model with curves in all the right places. Although she must be in her mid-forties by now, Lillie Mae thought she could pass for a younger woman. Only her son Billy, now a freshman at the university, gave her age away.

Clare set the table with raisin-nut muffins, butter and jam, and a plate of strawberries and fresh pineapple, then poured the coffee in the mugs at each of their places. She had set the flowers in the center of the table. Sitting down opposite Lillie Mae, she passed her the plate of fruit. “These are the first strawberries out of my garden. I picked them this morning.”

Lillie Mae took one of the deep red strawberries from the bowl Clare had passed her, and popped it into her mouth. “That’s good,” she said when she had swallowed. “So sweet for an early spring berry.”

“Sweet berries always come after a cold winter.” Clare picked up a berry and tasted it.

It was then that Lillie Mae saw the bruise on her left cheek.

“That bastard,” Lillie Mae said. “What did Roger do to you?”

“Roger didn’t do anything to me, Lillie Mae,” Clare said, her hand flying to her face. “Right!” Lillie Mae exclaimed. “Roger never touches you, does he?  In all the years I’ve known you, you haven’t had one bruise or broken bone, thanks to Roger Ballard, have you, Clare?”

Clare looked Lillie Mae squarely in the eyes, and said very slowly, enunciating each word. “Roger did not do this to me, Lillie Mae. It was a stupid accident I did to myself.”

“Right,” Lillie Mae said again, this time muttering under her breath.

Clare blushed. “I’ll tell you what happened if you give me the chance. You’re so judgmental, Lillie Mae. You jump to the worst conclusions with very little information, and you always have to be right. I’m not a needy little girl anymore. I can take care of myself.”

Lillie Mae stared at her friend, shocked by the outburst. “I’m sorry.”

“Do you know what I hate the most, Lillie Mae?” Clare said, ignoring her friend’s apology. “The pity. I can see it in your eyes and I can’t stand it. Why do you think I’ve been avoiding you lately?”

Tears sprang to Lillie Mae’s eyes.

“Clare I didn’t realize—again, I’m sorry,” she said, truly repentant. “Tell me what happened last night, and I promise I’ll believe you.”

Clare looked at her friend for what seemed like a full minute.

“It was so stupid,” she finally said, as if the earlier conversation hadn’t taken place. “I went to bed around ten o’clock and went straight to sleep. It had been a busy day and I was tired. When I woke up around midnight and Roger wasn’t home yet, I got worried. As you know, when Roger stays out late, he usually comes home drunk.”

Clare glanced at Lillie Mae, who was nodding, but didn’t wait for her to say anything. “Most of the time he falls asleep on the sofa in his living room, but, on the rare occasion, he wants to talk to me. All I have to do to avoid him is hide in Billy’s room. Roger  never thinks to look for me there. So, last night when I was moving to Billy’s room, I didn’t turn on the lights in case Roger came home just then, and I tripped on an old pair of Roger’s boots that he had left by the landing. I fell and hit my cheek on the wall. That’s what happened, Lillie Mae. As I told you before, Roger didn’t touch me.”

 “So it really was an accident.” Lillie Mae said, thinking that indirectly Roger was as responsible for the accident as he would have been had he made the blow himself.  “Is there anything I can do for you?”

“No, Lillie Mae, there’s nothing I need from you or anybody. I’ve told you it’s not a big deal. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. Please, let’s not talk about it anymore. Okay?”

“Okay,” Lillie Mae said, wondering who else Clare had been trying to convince it wasn’t a big deal that morning.

The phone rang, the shrill noise blasting through the tension in the air. Clare turned pale. She looked over her shoulder at the phone, than back at Lillie Mae. “I’m not going to answer that,” she said with a nervous laugh. “I’ve been getting so many crank phone calls lately.”

Lillie Mae moved her eyes from Clare to the phone, but remained quiet.

The ringing stopped as quickly as it had begun. Clare inhaled deeply and clasped her hands, but Lillie Mae could see they were shaking.

 “Let’s go outside, Lillie Mae,” Clare said, jumping to her feet. “It’s way too pretty a morning to be sitting in the house. Besides I want to show you my garden. The onions, carrots, and the spring lettuce I planted last week are already peeking through the soil.” Clare picked up a bowl off the counter. “Let’s pick some strawberries for you to take home.”

Lillie Mae glanced back over her shoulder at the phone as she followed Clare out of the house.

Giveaway

Liz has been kind enough to offer a paperback for giveaway! Head on over to the Rafflecopter for your chance to win!
  

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New Release from M.L. Stephens (BARE ASSETS)


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Bare Assets Book Blurb:

With nothing but shattered dreams and a busted heart to fuel the way, Angela Fletcher drove out of Arkansas and never looked back.

Six years later, the new and improved version of the girl she used to be steered clear of romance, love and late night promises. The only pillow talk Angela engaged in these days, was making sure the person on the other pillow knew to lose her number as soon as he left the bed. She only had room for one love in her life and that was Bare Assets, the gentleman’s club she poured her heart and soul into.

Dean Murray was the devil in disguise and had left behind enough broken hearted women to populate a small country. Angela would know. She was an expert markswoman who was skillfully self-trained at shooting down the good, the bad and the ugly of all masculine targets. After all, as the owner of the most successful strip club in Dallas, Texas, it was her business to know men.

Just as she begins to fall for Dean’s silky words and passionate ways, her past and present unexpectedly collide and a meticulously planned future turns into unpredictable chaos. Is the smooth talking, denim wearing devil responsible for the chaos? Or have the secrets she left buried in Arkansas, coming back to haunt her?

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Author Bio:

I’m always clicking away at the keyboard, but when I’m not, my family, two dogs, and a very peculiar cat keep me on my toes! There’s never a boring moment at my desk!

Besides my obvious love for coffee and all things caffeinated, I love to travel. The occasional tourist stop is fun, but I’m a back road kind of gal. Take me off the beaten path. I want to meet the ordinary people behind the culture.

My crazy family includes a husband, four kids, two grandbabies, two dogs and a cat. That’s right. Life is totally insane, and so I write.

Speaking of writing, I’ve been spinning stories around the campfire since I can remember. Poetry was second nature and as a teen and young adult, short stories were constantly being penned. I’m an avid reader who loves almost all genres. Let’s face it! A good read is a good read, regardless of whether it takes place in the future, the present, the past or with ghosts.

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Excerpt 1

The small town girl from Arkansas had worked her ass off to turn Bare Assets into the five star rated gentlemen’s club it currently was. It had taken an Olympic sized swimming pool full of sweat and tears, along with countless hours and sleepless nights, but she never had to worry about losing her job or pissing off the boss man. Angela Fletcher was the boss man…or boss lady if you will. Scratch that. She was not a lady. She was a certified, hard-nosed bitch, but that’s what it took to make it in an industry saturated with chauvinistic pricks.

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Excerpt 2:

This guy might have snared the title of first runner up for the throne of prickish and dickish, but he was the reigning tyrant over the land of fine assed, denim wearing devils. Six years ago, she might have been giddy to be in the presence of such a fine creation, but knowing what she knew, his visits only irritated the piss out of her.

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Excerpt 3:

Death from carnal pleasures would be one hell of a way to go. ~ Angela

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Excerpt 4:

Changing the subject before it became too serious, Angie opened the bedroom door and glanced over her shoulder. “I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had a single thing to eat all day. If I don’t get something soon, I’m going to eat the wood off this door.”

Grinning from ear to ear, he had to say it, “I have something to appease your appetite, but I’m afraid the door doesn’t play into my lust filled scenario.”

Laughing, she tightened the rope on her robe and wittily responded, “I would love to take part in your version of a meal, but I’m afraid I need to rely on the basic food groups for now.”

“And why is that?” he asked, joining her at the door.

“Something tells me that once I truly get a taste of you, I may never want to leave this room again.

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Blog Tour for Michael Loring’s Dehumanized


Ryan Zachery lived his life the way all high school teenagers should –
carefree.
Until he was attacked by an unknown assailer and awoke in the hospital with lycanthropy. Taken by armed guards and dragged away from everything he held dear, Ryan was thrown into a US camp made for those ‘suffering’ from lycanthropy.
They caged the beast, but now he will show them that he will never be dehumanized. 

 

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved werewolves. It’s always been one of my guilty pleasures, just without the guilt. My love started when I was eight-years-old when I first saw An American Werewolf In London. I’m man enough to admit when I was little I was terrified of nearly EVERYTHING, but there was something about that movie that just captivated me. The idea that an average, everyday guy could become such a creature was so fascinating to me. I had already been an avid animal lover, and seeing someone turn into one really got to me. It was the first movie where I actually cheered for the monster!

I started looking more into the genre of werewolves. Most of the movies and stories were scary, so I was apprehensive. Being a young boy who was too scared to sleep without Scooby Doo or Gilligan’s Island playing in the background hindered my research quite a bit. Not to mention the media wasn’t as abundant as it is today thanks to the Twilight fad. This was the early 2000’s, so my research didn’t take me far. I read all about werewolves and the early incarnations of the legend, sitting in awe in front of my PC as I read all about these man-creatures that were effected by the full moon. I read the story of Lycaon and his testing of Zeus, cringed at the horrible deal Peter Stumpp made with the Devil, and stayed up all night because of the tale of The Beast of Gévaudan. I was hooked, and slowly my unnatural fear of all things horror-related faded and I became a dedicated “Horrorist” as I like to call it.

I grew to have many passions; karate, boxing, video gaming, comic books, music; but none even came close to my passion for werewolves. Only one thing ever surpassed that passion: writing. So, it was only natural to combine the two things, right? Of course! I attempted hundreds of stories, more than half involving werewolves, the others involving superheroes and vampires and zombies and such. But even with all of these failed projects I never gave up. I continued my study of all things Lycanthrope by watching the movies that have come out during these first years of the 21st century and reading all the books that I deemed “worthy” of my tastes. Even though I love them so much, I don’t just read any werewolf novel that comes out. I’m pretty picky. My guidelines for a werewolf novel have always been strict, and more than once I’ve ignored a New York Times bestseller because it didn’t fit my criteria.

There came a day when my mother, one of the few people who grit their teeth and pretended to be listening politely while I rambled on and on about the full moon beasts, said to me, “If you can’t find any werewolf books that interest you, then why don’t you just write them yourself?”

I remember just staring at her for a second; dumbfounded that such a simple, obvious answer had escaped my grasp. I gave some excuse involving something along the lines of already having tried, and then ran off to my room to think of an idea. After nearly two years of thinking and planning and writing, Dehumanized is now available for all to read!

And I’m happy to say it fits my criteria perfectly.

Michael Loring was born in Bristol, Connecticut, but has lived in a variety of places such as Florida and Tennessee. He likes to think of himself as an amateur Lycanthropologist, studying werewolves ever since he was eight years old when he first saw An American Werewolf In London. He spent most of his life switching between home school and public school, always focusing on his passion of writing no matter what. His interest in writing was sparked in the second grade when his teacher encouraged him to write short stories for the class, earning him more than one award at school assemblies for Creative Writing. He currently resides back in his birthplace of Connecticut with a house full of women who like to drive him up the wall until he finishes his chores. Though they seem to avoid him during the night of the full moon for some unexplainable reason…

As a present for stopping by
here is a Dehumanized screen saver:
We hope you have enjoyed this stop on
the Dehumanized tour!

Stop by www.MichaelLoring.com to check out the other tour stops;

New guest posts, interviews, excerpts and more!

 

Check out our review of Dehumanized!

REVIEW BY CASSIE HOFFMAN

DEHUMANIZED by Michael Loring

One bite could change your life forever and that is what happened to Ryan Zachery a nineteen year old young man.

In Dehumanized we meet Ryan Zachery a young man who was bitten and infected by a werewolf. Now Ryan is taken away from everything he knows, and hasn’t seen anything outside the fence surrounding the compound in two years.

When you are bitten you are taken to a rehabilitation center “Werewolf Camp”. No one really knows what it is really like, only the people inside the fence. In reality, it is a prison. Guards think of them as animals and treat them that way. They are mistreated, abused, and not give even a second glance.

Ryan keeps to himself from everyone else. One fight can land you into the “Dungeon” which is a cement room, dark, no windows or light. You are thrown in there naked and have only a bucket to use the restroom in. Ryan has seen that room a few times too many but he keeps finding himself in there.

Ryan finds solace sitting at the fence staring out into the woods, which is his escape from the horror that surrounds him. He has a cellmate name Frederic “Fred” who is a French man. They can’t really communicate because they can’t understand each other. Soon, another person is assigned to their cell and her name is Anna Clark. Anna is a beautiful young woman, who hid what she truly was until they found her.

Getting close to people isn’t a good idea. Ryan tries not to get attached to Fred or Anna because they could be easily taken away from him. Subjects die every day either from mishaps in the lad, lack of nutrition, or getting beat to death by the others or the guards. Ryan tries to keep his distance from his cellmates because if he did get attached and something happen to either one of them, he doesn’t think he could survive it. But, soon he lets his walls come down and let them in. He looks to Fred like a brother. Will his worst fears come true?

Anna and Ryan become closer and closer. Being close to someone and letting others know is asking for trouble so they try to hide it. Ryan has never felt this way for anyone in his life and he finds comfort in Anna.

Ryan struggles with knowing there is a beast in him. He didn’t ask for this and soon he starts having hallucinations. But is he really having hallucinations and is he going crazy? Ryan is in a constant battle of not letting the beast rear its head. He could easily let the beast take over. Does he?

After a lab experiment, something goes wrong. He can remember changing, remembers what happen after the change. Changing is a horrible experience with excruciating pain. He can hear his bones and muscles crunching, spin popping and pressing against the skin on his back. Gums ripping apart, having fangs sharper than some blades. The metamorphosis is soul shattering. Going from logic sense to primal instinct could drive you to insanity.

Thanks to the procedure, Ryan can transform into the wolf when the others only can transform during the full moon. What happen to be able to allow him to do that?

Now that the experiment has allowed Ryan and the beast inside himself to be able to communicate, can they become allies work together and try to escape the prison that has caged them up and tortured them?

Will they escape or will they be captured? Can Ryan and his inner beast live with each other or will one outnumber the other?

I was really fascinated reading this book. It was a totally different take on Lycanthropy. Getting to see how Ryan feels and seeing the inner workings of his change. I was rooting for him the whole time, wanting him to jump over the gate and escape. I’ve read other books about Werewolves but, nothing quite as great as this one. I couldn’t hurry to the next page fast enough and get to the end. The whole book was well written and the characters were fascinating in their own ways. I GIVE IT 5 STARS!!!!

Quotes from the book:

“Everyone is scared to go near you, in fear you’d do the same to them, but I ain’t gonna shiver under my blankets because of you.”

“Your mutation is so unique. We could have learned so much from you, gained so much from you, Mr. Zachery.”

“I think we should bury him, he deserves to be properly buried, like a proper human.”

If you were talked into reading this book, please leave the author a review where you bought it or on Goodreads. Every review helps the author!