December 30, 2013

Book Reviews (XIX)


The Shaman’s Temptation
 by Erin Moore


Madeleine Greenway, perfectionist and analyst for Surety Bank, has no place in her rigidly organized life for something as unpredictable as a man, much less a Native American shaman. Sent to the White Mountain reservation to help the tribe finance its new casino, she meets Tak, a proud, beautiful Apache, and finds herself surrounded by something magical in the Arizona desert. His touch becomes a passport to otherworldly bliss, and the strange coyote she sees makes her question what’s real. But it’s the amazing sex with Tak that makes Madeleine lose sight of her goal—to guarantee that Surety Bank’s investment in the casino won’t fail.
            Last in a long line of shaman shape-shifters, Tak Nah-Kah-Yen has sworn a vow of celibacy to his gods. But Madeleine’s lithe body and honeyed lips compel him to forswear his pledge, claiming her for his own. His passion for her overshadows his link to his gods at a time when he most needs their help. Desperate to find funding for the casino and lift his people out of poverty, he’d accepted start-up money from less than savory sources who are willing to kill to guarantee their profit—the profit Madeleine’s bank jeopardizes…



    My Review
           Erin Moore takes her readers on a pleasant journey and engages as many of their emotions as possible in The Shaman's Temptation.

            Madeleine Greenway, analyst for Surety Bank, sent to the White Mountain reservation to help the Apache tribe finance its new casino and Tak, Native American shaman, who had sworn off women, vowing his celibacy to the creators of Earth in return for helping his tribe, are fictional characters, but the themes of love and romance and erotica are so universal, and so personal to each of us that we all respond to stories in different ways.

            Erin's plot is engaging, offering the reader distinctive characters with perfect combination of heart, and cleverness. The author has a subtle way of playing your emotions that it's hard to put the book down. I felt engaged and drawn into the mythical world of the story from the very first page.

            Madeleine's and Tak's passion for each other is believable and will be a point of attraction for fans of romance spiced with elements of erotica. I would have liked a bit more development in the action but it can be only me. As this is a short story it can be read in one go.

            I was offered a copy of the book in exchange for an honest opinion.

            I give it Five Stars.

December 25, 2013

December 22, 2013

Book Reviews (XVIII)



Tears of Heaven  by R.A. McCandless



Book Blurb



            In the past, the children of angels and humans, the Nephilim, were allowed to lead their lives as they willed. But they proved too strong, too ambitious, and too cunning for their own good. They became warlords, conquerors and emperors. They caused war and strife until the Throne stepped in and forced them to submit to Its will, or die. Unlike most of her fellows, Del, one of the first Nephilim, had no interest in conquest and domination. In the ancient past, prior to the Throne’s interdiction, she met and fell in love with Dami, a Mediterranean ship captain and trader. Together, they face down pirates and storms and try to create a future together. In the present, Del unwillingly works for the Throne, obeying the commands of the angel Ahadiel. She helps to keep the world safe from the horrors of escaped demons. At the same time, she keeps herself in the Throne’s good graces. Whenever a rogue demon breaks free from Hell, she and her partner, Marrin, another Nephilim, work together to banish it.
            Thrilling danger, fast-paced adventure, high-seas action, and heart-warming romance fill this novel, with a page-turning story that won’t let you put it down.



 My Review

I can honestly say that Tears of Heaven is one of the most original and affecting stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading.      
            Like any urban fantasy novel it is set in the real world involving the coexistence between humans and paranormal creatures.
            As the author, McCandless, states in the story, meeting an angel is the scariest, most life-altering moment of any mortal’s short existence. Del is a perfect example.
            The plot unfolds on two planes - past and present. I confess I enjoyed the past story more. In past times, 223BCE, the main character Del, is a slave tall, proud, strong, beautiful, wearing only heavy shackles, traded to Damascus aka Dami for twenty-nine shekels.
            In present day, Omedelia bar-Azazel, is an assassin for the Throne. In comparison with mortals, who bred and birthed like rabbits, there were only a few like her, half-breeds born of disobedience and lust. She hunts and kills rogue divinities. She receives a job that she doesn't like. Yet the Throne doesn’t care what Del likes or doesn’t like. The Throne’s interdiction made abundantly clear, likes or dislikes, failure or success, she existed so long as she was useful. Omnia glorium Solii- All for the glory of the Throne. Her fee will include exclusion from the List for an additional five years.
            Del's hand-to hand combat and the pirate battles reminded me of the many beautiful role-play games I used to play, or of a  movie series dear to me -Highlander.
            Tears of Heaven is a gripping, dark, and gritty read that not only keeps you constantly in suspense; it psychologically melts you and your emotions with every chapter. As the plot thickens, you are compelled to read the next chapter, and it feels like at any second a major plot twist can happen. Tears of Heaven is an on the edge of your seat novel that keeps you begging for more. The entire book has a spontaneous energy that works very well because you never quite know what is going to happen next.
            I was offered a book by the author, in exchange for an honest review.

 My rating:  Five Stars.






December 19, 2013

Guest Promo (II)- Shawn's Latest Release


My blog hosts today the promo for a special lady author, Shawn Rost-Howen, whose latest release is called "Life Flight".





Blurb:
It's 1985. Malachi Blackfeather has spent twenty years in the Army. Two of those years as a Vietnam POW. Now that he's out, all he wants is some peace and quiet to figure out what to do with the rest of his life. Between the flashbacks, and an over interest in sex that is now being called sex addiction, finding his path isn't easy.
Kat is trying to escape an abusive marriage. Her soon to be ex is a master at manipulating the system, and her family thinks she should stay with him, "because no other man will want her." She's looking for escape in any form she can get it.
When they meet, sparks fly. Trapped by a blizzard, can two damaged people, who think there is no chance of love in the world for them, find each other, and survive an unforeseen circumstance that puts both of them in danger?
Mystery, romance, and danger, fill this novel, with a story that will draw you in and not let go.

Excerpt:
A woman’s voice broke my moment of bliss.
She walked past me as if she didn’t see me. Set a backpack on the floor near the curved end of the bar, leaned forward and grabbed a bar rag--used it to mop the surface of the bar in front of her.
My first impression of her--short. Then, too skinny, and her dark hair on top of her head in an almost bank-teller type twist--not very attractive. She wore a black and white button up poet’s shirt, belted around her narrow waist over a mid-thigh length black denim skirt. The front of the shirt gaped open over breasts that belonged on a woman twice her weight. She either didn’t know that too many buttons were open, or she wore it that way on purpose--the top half of the lacy black bra she wore an open invitation.
Davin set a Bloody Mary on the bar in front of her. “On me,” Davin told her.
She took a sip and watched herself in the mirror. “Wicked,” she said, still watching herself in the mirror.
Davin went to the other end of the bar, and she let out a laugh. Not the sort of laugh I expected. It was deep, throaty, a flash of sexual heat went through me--that voice was Indian--one any man would have done things for to hear her scream his name. “Davin, come on, you’re so stingy with the olives.”
“Get ’em yourself,” he said.
She leaned over the bar so far that her skirt pulled up in the back almost to her ass. She wore a garter belt to hold her line-up-the-back, black stockings in place. The shoes she wore--black stilettos, with metal heels so thin I wondered how she’d walked across the floor so quickly and quietly in them.
As many olives as ice cubes went into her glass, all the while she kept watching herself in the mirror. When she picked up an olive with a drink pick and took a long time playing with it on her lips, before it vanished into her mouth, I realized she wasn’t watching herself in the mirror. She was observing the reaction of every man in the room to what she did--watching my reaction. Her gaze met mine in the reflection. Dark eyes. Rimmed in black, with long black lashes. She licked her crimson-tinted lips. Tilted her head a bit. Reached up and pulled a clip out of her hair.
Hair the same raven color as my own tumbled down her back all the way to her waist. She shook her head.
“So much better,” she said.
I turned away from the mirror. Went to the pool tables. Pro or cock tease? My bet was pro. Too calculated. Playful innocence in clothes that had every man in the place watching her. Skinny women got hurt too easy, made me feel like I would break them with a touch. And a pro, no thanks. I didn’t want to pay for what I needed--paid for wasn’t real.
The cue ball cracked into the triangle formation of colored balls. Some satisfaction in that. Drew my attention away from the whore at the bar, whose laugh washed over me again. She obviously knew Davin well.
“You and the jerk official now?” Davin asked her.
Number three ball in a corner pocket. A glance at the bar. She saw me look at her in the mirrors.
“Jackass didn’t show for court, came all the way down here, and the shit bag doesn’t show. Even his lawyer looked embarrassed.”
Another ball spun across the table, vanished into a pocket. Solid or striped didn’t matter when you played alone.
“Never knew why you married him,” Davin said before he refilled a beer glass. So, maybe not pro, recent almost divorcee--celebrating freedom.
The door banged open, the brass bell on the hook above it jingled, and Jake came in followed by a group of college kids. All preppy and lost in their own world.
“Hey, man,” he said and moved straight to the pool table. Opened his stick case and put his cue together. “Sorry I was late, buddy had an issue today, had to meet up with him, help him out with a problem.”
I put quarters on the edge of the table. So Jake’s promise of a woman was bogus. I should blow the place and head out of town before...
“Hey, Jake, didn’t think you’d keep your promise.”

About the author:
Shaunna Wolf is the erotic pen name of S.R. Howen. For more than seven years, S.R. Howen has been an editor at Wild Child Publishing. She also runs workshops on how to craft a winning
synopsis and query letter. S.R. Howen has written for both Freya's Bower and Wild Child Publishing. Her most recent work, Life Flight, is an erotic romantic suspense. She also has an erotic science fiction novella, The Forge, under Shaunna Wolf, was released in July 2006. A former military brat, then military spouse, and a traditional naturalist, S.R. Howen currently lives in Texas, with eleven cats (three of them the non-domestic sort) three rabbits, and four fish, one husband and her daughter. She is working on a sequel to The Forge and on several more traditional fantasy novels. For more info on her and her works please visit her web site.
Buy Links: Print and ebook
Freya's Bower:






December 16, 2013

Reviews (XXII)

 rated it 5 of 5 stars

            I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion.

            Genevieve is a young girl who lived in the 14th century and was dealt a very hard life. She reminded me of the little girl that Shirley Temple played in that movie The Little Princess or her life did. Genevieve lived with this couple who had an inn type place that they ran. She had to get up early in the morning and help in the kitchen and then she had to help make the beds. She was working from daylight till dark. But then she got lucky when a couple of nuns stopped at the inn one night and decided to take her back with them to live at the abbey. With everything she had been through Genevieve decide that she was never going to have anything to do with men ever and the nuns at the abbey had been so good to her over the years that she wanted to be a nun herself. 
 
She was very happy as nun for a very long time until a new priest came to town. Genevieve and the priest fell in love with each other but they were not allowed to show or let anyone know how they felt about each because they had made their vows. But after a while and with all the bad things that was going on at the abbey they decided that the best thing for them to do was leave, sneak off in the middle of the night.



            Anne a young woman who lived in the present day and time had broken up with the man that she loved a while back. But then one day he shows up on her door step sort of speaking. Anne still being in love with him no matter what had happened between them realized that she couldn't be without him and let him talk her into giving him another chance. So Anne and Neil go on a vacation. They get lost on the way to their hotel and spend the night in the mountains. They find an old abbey that has all but fell completely down. While they are at this old abbey Anne starts having these vision or dreams about this young girl. Anne feels or just knows somehow that vision was real. Anne wants to help this girl/ghost to move on so that she can be happy. Anne finds some old bones in an old oak tree and sets out to find out whose bones they are.

            Shadows of the Past tells of two young girls' lives in two different time periods whose lives eventually end up joining. I like to read stories where you get more than one person's point of view especially with the past and the future collide with each other in some way or another. If you have not read Shadows of the Past and you enjoy reading historical romance with a little suspense thrown in then you are going to love Shadows of the Past. If you like Shirley Temple then you will love Genevieve as well. Hey give it a try who knows you just might like it I did. But of course I love Shirley Temple too. (Published at Goodreads on 21 November 2013)


December 11, 2013

Reviews (XXI)



5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting! September 29, 2013
by Skelly


            "Shadows of the Past" by Carmen Stefanescu is a riveting story about souls reborn in a plight to overcome evil. Genevieve, a nun living at an abbey in the 1400s, did the one thing she promised would never happen. She fell in love. What's worse, the man, Andrew, was a priest. Even more surprising is that he had also fallen in love with her. He promised he would return for her so they could renounce their vows and marry. Fear gripped her heart when he didn't show up on time, especially after finding the resident gardener dead in a small house on the premises. She had to get away from Sister Clementa, the Abbess who only meant her ill and the cursed forest that brought death to anyone who entered.

            By itself, this plot spiked my interest, but the next chapter introduced another couple, Anne and Neil, with their own drama in the present time. Anne separated from Neil for two years after she caught him with her best friend, Gillian. In an effort to reconcile, Anne agreed to join Neil on a special trip to the country where they could rekindle their love. Wandering around the side of a mountain, unable to find the hotel where Neil had made reservations, they set up camp for the night. That was when Anne experienced her first dream of a mournful Genevieve. Soon after Anne attempted to help this sad nun from the past, the mean Sister Clementa arrived in spirit form to destroy anyone who dared connect to the man she could never have - in this case, Neil the reincarnate Andrew.

            With each chapter, the story revealed more secrets which kept me turning each page. I enjoyed that each era had its own chapter, helping me connect how the past events affected the present day relationships and supernatural occurrences.


            I recommend "Shadows of the Past" to anyone interested in a meaty story with twists and shocking turns. Genevieve's story does not leave one's heart untouched. The cast of characters are definitely memorable.   

5 stars posted on Amazon 29th SeptemberAmazon
Buy link
Wild Child Publishing 

December 3, 2013

In Memoriam



In loving memory of our devoted, faithful 
                         Jack

who left us at half past four in the afternoon!



You are forever in our hearts, dear friend.

December 1, 2013

Mother/Daughter author guest blog

I have the pleasure to host, today, two special ladies, two fellow authors, mother and daughter, Leslie Talley and Terri Talley Venters.


Leslie Talley


Mother/Daughter Writing, From Mother’s Point of View

My daughter Terri’s interest in writing was sparked by a writers’ conference we attended in Melbourne, Florida, when she was in high school. Years elapsed during which time she mulled over an idea for a series which became Elements of Mystery.


Meanwhile, I had published travel pieces and a few short stories, but the publication of my mystery novel, Make Old Bones, eluded me. It had won first place in the mystery/suspense category at the Space Coast Writer’s Guild in 2000. Finally in 2008 Terri and I attended a conference sponsored by the North Florida Writers’ Association at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Make Old Bones once again won first place in the Lighthouse Book Awards for mystery/suspense. Terri was so proud, she cried! That spurred me on; that spurred her on. She finished writing her mystery novel, Carbon Copy. She hoped to ride in on my coattails. The opposite happened.


She submitted to Wild Child Publishing, an electronic publisher; I had never thought of doing that. When her book was accepted, I submitted also and was accepted. Since then we have critiqued each other’s work. She is my biggest fan! We feed off each other. My main characters, Otis and Clarice Campion, became her main character, Lilly Allen’s, Uncle Otis and Aunt Clarice. When we are together and we hear an interesting turn of phrase, we both screech, “I call it!”


One way I may have unconsciously influenced her is by setting, or a sense of place. According to my professor, Dr. Richard Adicksfrom Literature of the South at the University of Central Florida, there are six prominent features in Southern writing: a sense of history or of the past; a sense of religion or original sin; a sense of the grotesque; a sense of place; a sense of family or genealogy; and agrarian, or rural.


I write from a sense of place. Set your novel in a unique setting, and all manner of ideas pop up. Terri imbibed this from somewhere. Her first novel is set in New York and the Florida Keys, the sequel in Charleston. Her upcoming takes place in Scotland. My first takes place in Daytona Beach, the second in St. Augustine, the third in Ireland, and my work-in-progress in Scotland. We both have hurricanes and castles figuring prominently.


Even though we are much alike we have differences. My degrees are in English with some nursing thrown in. Hers are in Accounting and Taxation. She comes up with better plots. And while my mysteries are Cozies, hers are more modern.


But the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, to be trite! Great minds, and all that!

Bio Leslie Talley

Author of Make Old Bones and Bred In The Bone

Leslie Talley received her B.S. in Nursing from the University of Kentucky and a B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Central Florida, Orlando, where she subsequently taught, as an adjunct, Technical Writing and Business Writing for ten years.


Leslie and her husband Luke have two children: Terri Talley Venters, Wild Child author of Carbon Copy, Tin Roof, and Copper Cauldron; and Damon Talley, video conference lead at Harris Corporation. Leslie and Luke have lived in Titusville, Florida, for forty-five years.

Make Old Bones and Bred In The Bone are both available from Wild Child Publishing, amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com. Purchase links can be found on her website. http://www.makeoldbones.com/




Bred in the Bone Synopsis

In this sequel to Make Old Bones Otis, Clarice, and Miss Lettyact as exchange innkeepers at Castle Keep in St. Augustine, Florida.

Castle Keep, built of timbers from a shipwreck, has a disturbing history which carries over to the present.Recently a series of break-ins by a homeless man and the sound of chains dragging in the attic complicate matters.

MissLetty and Clarice visit the original plantation site where Clarice discovers a skeleton in the icehouse. In addition, they find the burned body of the homeless man in a dragon sculpture, causing them to make connections among disparate events separated by over a century.

Add to the mix a psychic, an African-American journalism student, the Donner wedding party, Florida Gators, two snobbish Southerners, father and son mural painters, an obstreperous Cavalier King Charles spaniel named Charles Dickens, and an obnoxious, but, unwittingly, helpful twelve-year-old named Beddington.

Terri Talley Venters


Mother/Daughter authors,From daughter’s point of view


Wow! Where do I start? 18 years ago, my mother and I only dreamed of writing a novel, let alone getting it published. Our dreams of becoming mother/daughter published authors was just something we fantasized
about. Now we’ve both published not only our debut novels, but their sequels as well.


Reflecting back over the last 18 years, I realize how much hard work went into our first books: Make Old Bones for my mother and Carbon Copy for me. The hardest part for me was starting. I thought about it for 8 years before I finally started writing. The next hardest part for me was finishing. I spent 5 years writing Carbon Copy. My mother was the reason I started and finished it. I always tried to have a chapter for her to read whenever we planned a visit. Then the next hardest part about the writing process was the waiting. Although I was blessed to find a publisher within six months of finishing Carbon Copy, it was another 2 and half years in editing before it was finally released in June 2012.


Now that we both have the same awesome publisher, Wild Child Publishing, the writing and editing are much easier for the both of us. I’ve recently finished writing my fifth book, Silver Lining, the epic conclusion to the Carbon Copy trilogy, while my mother is almost finished writing thefourth book in her bone series - The Bonnie, Bonnie Bone. My mother and I are case in point that hard work, patience, and determination, can make your dreams come true. We couldn’t have done it without each other’s constant encouragement all of these years.


So now that we’ve had our dream of being mother/ daughter published authors come true, what’s our next dream? I still dream big. I’m looking forward to having both of our books out in print so that we can do book signings together. And although I loathe public speaking, I can’t wait to doa mother/daughter presentation at a writer’s conference. Thank goodness my mother is an award winning Toastmaster. I’ll just smile, nod, and show cleavage. We’re brainstorming a co-authored book which is a prequel to Carbon Copy and Make Old Bones. The characters in our books are related.My heroine, Lilly, is the niece of my mother’s heroine, Clarice.The title will contain both a “bone” and an “element”.


My biggest dream of all is to have one of my books get made into a movie. My mother and I promised to be each other’s “plus one” if either of our book movies get nominated for an academy award for best adapted screenplay. And yes, I’ve mentally started writing my acceptance speech. Who knows what the future holds for our books, but the best part of all is that I’m enjoying this wonderful journey with my mother. I love you, Mom!





Bio Terri Talley Venters,
Author of Carbon Copy, Tin Roof, Body Of Gold, Copper Cauldron, and Silver Lining

Terri received her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Master’s degree in Taxation from the University of Florida. She is a licensed CPA and a Second Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida, with her husband, Garrison, and their two sons.

Terri has two other published works available from Wild Child Publishing. Carbon Copy and its sequel, Tin Roof, plus her unrelated novella, Copper Cauldron. She recently finished writing Silver Lining, the epic conclusion to the Carbon Copy trilogy, coming soon from Wild Child Publishing. Her romantic/suspense novel, Body Of Gold, is coming soon from Freya’s Bower. Terri also posts free short stories on her website each month. www.ElementsOfMystery.com. Follow her as she weaves her way through the Periodic Table of Elements.

Terri is the daughter of Leslie S. Talley, author of Make Old Bones and Bred In The Bone which are also available from Wild Child Publishing.

For the purchase links and more info about Terri’s books, visit her website.








  Blurb

Tin Roof



the sequel to Carbon Copy

 In the sequel to Carbon Copy, Lilly Allen returns to her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, to be closer to her mother, help with her injured brother, and heal from the disappearance of her fiancĂ© Grier Garrison. While she awaits Grier's return, she busies herself with her mansion renovations, her best friend's wedding, and her job as a news reporter.


But even her busy schedule cannot stem the worry over her brother's persistent amnesia and changes in personality. Is he her real twin? Or did they rescue a clone?


On top of this, the months of pining without a word from Grier begin to take their toll. She finds herself growing closer to her favorite cameraman, Joe. His confession of undying love, followed by a passionate kiss, has her questioning how much longer she can wait, and whether she wants to.


To further complicate matters, two unrelated news stories drag her into the seamy underbelly of the Charleston Police Department where murder and drugs are common occurrences.


In the chaos of a hurricane, another body washes ashore, and Lilly comes face-to-face with the murderer.