Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ever After Excerpt and Giveaway

Today the Book Pile is a stop on Kate SeRine's EVER AFTER blog tour. This action packed fairytale/legend based series has been a favorite of mine since book 1. This time around we have a gender-swapped Robin Hood, Arthurian legends, the Seelie court, old friends, and one of my favorite supporting characters from books 2-3, Gideon. Kate has also given us an excerpt from EVER AFTER and there is a giveaway too!

Unseelie, the inspiration behind Little John, and Robin Hood's lover, Gideon has been in the service of the Seelie king since the day his love perished in a heist gone wrong. We've known him as the stoic, lonely knight in shining armor who has been a very helpful ally to our friends from previous books. Now he stars in his own tale and I am so very happy. Apart from the Nate novella, this is also a romance from the male characters POV only, something that is a bit different, but I really liked it.

Any time you have an abandoned love theme, it takes awhile to get on the side of the abandoner, especially when the abandonee is your only narrator. Arabella worked though. She had good reasons for what she did. Thankfully, there aren't any BIG MISUNDERSTANDINGS. Just hurt feelings and time needed to sort things out. It helps that Arabella fits right in with the kickass ladies of the Transplanted Tales.

I did like the relationship and of course the action. I also liked the introduction of Merlin. Another fantastic addition to a great series!

On to the GIVEAWAY! The blog tour prizes are: Grand Prize ($50 gift card to Amazon, B&N, or BAM - Winner's Choice); signed paperback copy of EVER AFTER, and Transplanted Tales swag. Also, two winners will receive an e-book copy of the Transplanted Tales novel of his/her choice. The giveaway is international, but the swag may differ slightly for an international winner due to shipping costs.

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Now for the excerpt!



Excerpt from Chapter 6 of Ever After… 


"I kept my gaze straight ahead, trying to ignore the images her words brought to mind and wondering just where the hell Merlin’s hotel was anyway. I wasn’t exactly eager to see my old pal again now that I knew what he’d been up to with Arabella, but I’d kiss that bastard on the mouth if it’d get Arabella to change the subject. A subject that was torturing me with erotic images of us together that I had no business thinking about just then.

“Are you always this serious?” she asked, polishing off her chili dog. “You never used to have that perma-frown going.”

She was right, of course. I hadn’t been nearly as serious or severe when she’d known me. Not externally anyway. But what she didn’t realize was that any light-heartedness she’d witnessed had been more her doing than any inherent trait of mine. Her smile, her fearlessness, her brash eagerness to embrace every experience as an adventure—it was contagious.

And I’d craved it. Arabella had been a breath of fresh air to a dying man. Quite literally. The path I’d been walking had had only one destination. But she had offered me a detour that led me away from certain damnation and into her arms, giving me a glimpse of what the Ordinaries would call heaven. The memories of that happiness and the pure hell I’d experienced after I thought she’d died came back to me in a painful rush, making me wince.

“Oh, and there’s another scowl brewing, just there between your eyebrows,” she teased, wagging her index finger at my forehead. When I frowned at her, fulfilling her prediction, she gave me a playful smile, genuine this time. “Although, I have to say, you’re quite handsome when you’re worried about me.”

“Handsome?” I grumbled, letting her drag me along behind her. “I’d rather never have to worry about you and you think me repugnant.”

She sent a flirty grin over her shoulder. “Never happen.”

“You not giving me cause to worry? Oh, yes, I’m well aware that you take great delight in tormenting me with your antics. You always did.”

She laughed. “I meant, you’d never be repugnant to me—even if you were old and grizzled and all those gorgeous red-gold curls fell out, I’d still think you were the most handsome man I’d ever seen.” She abruptly stopped and spun around to face me to say something more, but having not anticipated her sudden halt, I slammed into her, my arms going around her to keep us both from stumbling. Laughing, she grabbed onto my jacket to steady herself.

I cursed under my breath and took a step back, putting her at arms’ length. “Sorry, lass,” I threw over my shoulder as I strode away, walking ahead of her now.

“Gideon!” she called, jogging to keep up with my long strides.

Fortunately, at that point we finally arrived at the hotel and casino where Merlin was staying and performing his act. I strode into the lobby, making a beeline for the elevator. As luck would have it, the doors happened to open just as I pushed the UP button. Not so fortunately, Arabella and I were the only passengers.

“I’m not gonna be just another one of yer games, Arabella,” I muttered. “Not this time.”

She pressed the button for the penthouse, then stepped directly in front of me, crossing her arms over her chest. “For the record, you were never a game to me. And you’re not a game now.”

I studied her for a long moment, wanting to believe her. “You have chili on your mouth,” I told her, avoiding the conversation about us.

She swiped at the corner of her mouth. “Gideon—”

“You missed it,” I said. “It’s the other side.”

“Bugger all…” She huffed and wiped the other corner. “Listen, I—”

“It’s still there.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake!” she grumbled, throwing her arms up in the air as we jolted to a stop and the doors opened. A man in a loud silk shirt started to get on, but Arabella threw a glare at him over her shoulder. “Take the next one.”

The guy grunted and started to get on anyway, but Arabella blocked his path. “Oi!” she snapped, giving him a shove back into the hallway. “Hop it, mate!”

As soon as we were on our way again, she turned back to me, her lips pressed together in an angry line. But before she could take the piss out of me, I cupped her cheek and pulled her toward me, wiping the smudge from the corner of her mouth, letting my thumb pass over her lips more than was necessary.

“There,” I said, my thumb now smoothing over her cheek as I marveled at the softness of her skin. “That should do it.”

She shook her head. “No. I don’t think so.” With that, she grabbed my jacket and pulled me down to receive a hard, hungry kiss. I wanted to resist her. I knew I should push her away. But I was far too weak. I kissed her back, lost in the sweet taste of her. I snaked an arm around her waist and pulled her hard against me, lifting her up on her toes. When she released me and took a step out of my arms, she closed her eyes for a moment. “I’m sorry, Gideon. I shouldn’t keep doing that, but—bloody hell, I’ve missed kissing you.”

I wanted to tell her how much I’d missed kissing her, too. I wanted to drag her back into my arms and capture her mouth again, show her just what we’d missed out on all these years. But I didn’t. I shoved my hands into my pockets to keep from peeling off her clothes right then and there and caressing every inch of her body, and took a step back, putting a safe bit of distance between us."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: ANTE UP

The latest novella in the Sin City Collectors series is out today. ANTE UP by Amanda Carlson features Diesel and Sofia, two characters we met in ACES WILD.

The blurb: "Diesel Jones is a shifter who has issues with the moon, but he quickly finds that Sofia Cabrera, a clever witch who just moved in to town, is his only hope to reach his goal of becoming a Collector. When they pair up to take down an incubus, she not only saves his life, but wins his heart in the process…"

My take: I really liked ACES, but this one I loved even more. Amanda has definitely "upped the ante," laying the foundation for more action and enemies, as well as more couples and fleshes out the world and various supernatural factions a little more.

Diesel is a werewolf who has trouble keeping control around the full moon. Sofia is a witch who first worked for the bad guy in ACES, but now wants to make a home for herself in supernatural-friendly Vegas. Sofia is definitely attracted to Diesel and vice versa ever since they met in book 1. They are still in the getting to know each other stage when Diesel gets a trial run job for the Collectors. Meanwhile, Sofia has been getting cryptic messages from an old friend, and then suddenly, someone is trying to break into her mind. It will take all of them working together to get out of this one.

I liked that this was no insta-love relationship. They've been getting to know each other and then when they are thrown together in a dangerous situation, they learn they make a great team, in a fight as well as in the bedroom. The romance totally worked.

Great action. Diesel's condition made him even more sympathetic. I loved Sofia's confidence. She is at the top of her game and knows it. I really liked how magic was used here. It made sense and was well thought out.

Looking for a quick, action-packed paranormal romance? Definitely visit the Sin City Collectors.

[received review copy]

ANTE UP:  Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | Google

Amanda Carlson:
website: http://www.amandacarlson.com/
twitter: https://twitter.com/amandaccarlson
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoramandacarlson

Sin City Collectors on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sincitycollectors

Monday, August 4, 2014

Shadow Hunter Review & Giveaway

If you haven't read Shadow Hunter, the prequel to the EXECUTION UNDERGROUND by Kait Ballenger...NOW is the time for ONLY $0.99 cents!

ShadowHunter_FINAL

Shadow Hunter (Execution Underground 0.5)
by Kait Ballenger
Release date: August 4, 2014


Blurb:
See where it all began in this exciting prequel to The Execution Underground, Kait Ballenger’s sexy paranormal series about the men who hunt evil and the women who love them.
Vampire hunter Damon Brock’s first assignment with the Execution Underground is Rochester, New York. But he isn’t the only hunter in town gunning for vamp blood. Tiffany Solow is ruthless when it comes to slaying the monsters that destroyed her family—and she works solo. But when she meets the mysterious hunter who wants more than just her turf, the line between good and evil blurs as they must decide between their lifelong beliefs…and their newfound desires.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22299907-shadow-hunter

My take: You know I love those action-packed romances. Execution Underground has been on my radar, and I thought that the prequel novella would give me a good taste of the series. Loads of action, so yay. The romance in this one is of the "younger sister of the hero's dead best friend" variety. While not always my favorite trope, it worked here. Damon is in town to kill the vamp that murdered his best friend. Tiffany has the same goal. Throw in some freaky vampire-zombie hybrids along with the attraction and romance and you have a good PNR. I do have to say, though, that Ballenger is not afraid to pull out all the stops. That end! It is a cliffhanger. Made me look up the other books in the series to see when we might get this one resolved.

We get a little peek at the other members of the team. I was happy to see that it looks like there is a ghostbuster in the bunch. I read a lot of vamps and shifters. I'd like to read a romance dealing with nasty ghosts. I'm on board. I'll be moving these up the list.

Be sure to check out the giveaway of the first two books in the series. Enter using the Rafflecopter below.

Buy LinksAmazon | B&N | Kobo 

About Kait:
Kait Ballenger is a full-time romance author, wife, a former professional bellydancer, and soon-to-be-professor. She is the multi-published author of the Execution Underground paranormal romance series about an international network of supernatural hunters who fight to protect humanity.
With a B.A in English from Stetson University (2011), Kait is graduate of Spalding University’s M.F.A in Writing for Children and Young Adults program (2013), where she studied dual-genre in screenwriting.
When Kait’s not preoccupied with paranormal creepy-crawlies, she can be found spending time with her family or with her nose buried in a book. She lives in Florida with her husband, their doggie-daughter Sookie (yes, like the heroine in Charlainne Harris’ books), and two mischievous cats Elliot and Olivia (yes, like the Law and Order characters), near the love and care of her supportive family. Kait believes anything is possible with hard work and dedication. One day, she will be a bestseller and have people name their pets after her characters too.
She is represented by Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency.

Website: http://www.kaitballenger.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kaitballengerauthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/kait_ballenger
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kaitlynschulzromanceauthor


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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Guest Post: Having a Drink with Malone

Today Carrie Patel, author of THE BURIED LIFE, is here.

The blurb: "The gaslight and shadows of the underground city of Recoletta hide secrets and lies. When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a renowned historian, she finds herself stonewalled by the all-powerful Directorate of Preservation – Ricoletta’s top-secret historical research facility.

When a second high-profile murder threatens the very fabric of city society, Malone and her rookie partner Rafe Sundar must tread carefully, lest they fall victim to not only the criminals they seek, but the government which purports to protect them. Knowledge is power, and power must be preserved at all costs…"

You know me and many of my favorite characters, and now we can add Inspector Malone to my list. Tough, kickass, not exactly a people person, but oh so very, very intriguing, tagging along in this thrilling world Patel has created and trying to unravel its secrets was a treat.  I asked Patel to fill us in on the type of drink Malone would choose to unwind. Take it away!

I’ve got a bit of a cheat sheet for this one at the end of chapter three. Inspector Malone breaks the ice with her new partner over a couple pints of pale ale. I couldn’t exactly call it an India pale ale (worldbuilding!), but that’s what I taste every time I read the scene.

A hoppy IPA is a good fit for Malone because, perhaps, it shares so much in common with her; it’s crisp and it gets the job done quickly. Malone’s not the kind of person who particularly enjoys getting sloshed, but alcohol is the great social lubricant, and people skills are not her strong suit. That her new partner is a people person sends her reaching for that second pint.

But if Malone went home for a drink instead of to the neighborhood dive, she’d pour herself a single malt whiskey, neat. Something that can be enjoyed slowly while digesting the events of a day and the details of a case.

Thank you for stopping by, Carrie! I happen to relax with a good IPA fairly often. Excellent choice!

THE BURIED LIFE is out July 29!  Pre-order: Amazon Indiebound

Carrie Patel:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What's in a name?

If you follow me here or twitter, pinterest, or goodreads, you might have noticed a little change. "Kindle-aholic" has made way for "Kathy", which I already use for Stellar Four and SF Signal.

To be honest, it was mostly laziness that prevented the change before. However, as time went on, the old moniker that I originally used on Amazon and just carried over to the rest of the internet made me sound more like a pro-Amazon blogger than what I am, a book lover who doesn't care where you buy your books, so long as you are reading.