Horrific Book Giveaway!! – “And They All Lived Happily Ever After!” – Review!!

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For a title like that you know the author, Crystal Connor, has a wicked sense of sarcasm.
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Title:  And They All Lived Happily Ever After!
Author:   Crystal Connor
Published:  August 28th, 2012
Word Count:  approx. 65,000
Genre:  Horror, Sci-Fi, Dark Fantasy
Recommended Age:  13+
Synopsis:
Once upon a time, in a dark & scary place, in a frightening land way too close to home…
Crystal Connor’s …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! is a collection of short fables not meant for children; but for those who enjoy the madness of nightmares.
In the ‘Queen’s Pawn’ you’ll visit a magical kingdom full of wonder and splendor only to come to the sickening realization that when the Queen had a message…she sends her pawns.
The perils of eating forbidden fruit have been cautioned against since the Book of Genesis, but will our urban princess in ‘The Apple’ heed those warnings?
Embark on a mystical and treacherous quest to reach ‘The Ruins’, located in place so sacred that is should never be visited by mortal man.
These are just a few of the adventures you’ll have as you explore the dark imagination of Crystal Connor. Fourteen short stories of horror, science fiction, and fantasy; 65,306 words of terror by a single author who clearly intends to one day be known as a Master in the genre.
Monsters, Women, and Villains (oh my)!

Where to Find:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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GenreRating
Five-Five Horror
This is a labelled as a horror and true to form, it provided me with many different types of horror stories. There were disturbing, horrifying, dark humor, and classic stories. Though under the umbrella (and obviously sarcastic) title of “And They All Lived Happily Ever After”, I have to say that at least someone or something in each story has a satisfying ending, you just never know which one.
MyTwoBits
I’d like to note first that I listened to the audio book as read by K. Richardson. When I downloaded this book, the stories were free samples on iTunes but I cannot say if they still are. I even downloaded the podcast app because I’m a newb to all this. Please check out the link: iTunes Audio Book and if you do, provide a review for the author. It’s indie after all! This kept me company on my way to work for nearly three days and I was entertained.
I was told that stories may vary whether you read the book or listen to the podcast, so here is my podcast review:
My favorite stories include, “The Lazarus Antidote” because of the intricacy of the post zombie world. It did get a bit wordy when describing everything as there was a lot to take in for a short story but this was luckily one of the longer stories and the first to sample.
Best Friends Forever” is true to the horror genre. I won’t give away anything but it’s short, sweet and made me smile by the end.
The Christmas Wish” keeps sticking in my mind despite the fact that I didn’t want it to. It was a disturbing experience that reminded me of that awful Supernatural episode. They weren’t similar to each other but there’s a twist to the Christmas ideas regarding Santa.
The Monster” was amazing with the imagery. The ending was nail-biting and a bit evil. I wanted more!
“Amber’s New Friend” is another great story, this one is more on the paranormal side. I’m not talking vampires and zombies but actual paranormal activity, like ghostly entities. The characters in this one were charming, believable and fallible. I think this one was my favorite out of them all. I could have read 80,000 words on this one particular story. It was like a movie going through my head and it was addictive.
Conclusion
Four-Five Overall
The endings were brutal, happy, unpredictable and twisted. I liked that she didn’t have a pattern when it came to her endings. There’s a vivid imagination when it came to the southern lore, apocalyptic versions of the future and the logic planted behind each of them is convincing. It was like reading about a real doctor with their jargon and analytical minds.
My tweak, and this is a small one, is how detailed the stories became. “Lazarus” for example felt like 80% explanation of the setting and 20% of actual story. This happened only a few times when it came to medically inspired stories. Each story was unique with it’s ending and I appreciated that I couldn’t predict a single one. This isn’t a book of gore-horror, but rather psychological and there’s something more frightening in that. Unless boogers is the main focus, I’m rarely grossed out and end up bored…this didn’t happen with this collection.
  
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There’s a whole host of benefits allotted to those, who like myself, possess these very specialized set of skills. One of the benefits is, that afterward, you sleep really good at night and I mean really good.

What?

Well, it’s true, it’s hard to believe I know, but trust me it’s true. Sam, my uncle, sent me to this exotic land that used to smell of frankincense and myrrh. He sent us there, my brothers-in-arms and me, so that we could become proficient in the art of death. We were good at what we did too, because now it only smells of gunpowder, burnt oil, and death. That’s a hellofa predicament you’ve found
yourself in, isn’t it?

Well, at least now you know I’m good with a gun and thanks to my Uncle Sam I am also very comfortable with a blade. This ten inch beauty here is a staple, it’s sharp enough to be use as machete. But this one, with the gut hook, is my all
time favorite and I’ll show you why here in a minute. Now, I can understand why you broke into my home, these are tough times, and a guys gotta eat I get that. I do.

Maybe I would have let you live if you had simply demanded my money and jewels, but, then again, I was never known for being charitable.

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About the Author
 photo Crystal-Connor.jpgWashington State native Crystal Connor has been terrorizing readers since before Jr. high School and loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys, rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high heel shoes & unreasonably priced hang bags. She is also considering changing her professional title to dramatization specialist because it’s so much more theatrical than being just a mere drama queen. Along with inducing insomnia within her readership Crystal also reviews indie horror and sci-fi movies for HorrorAddicts.net
Where to Find:  
 



Giveaway Details
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
1 Lucky winner will get a print copy of And They All Lived Happily Ever After!
Giveaway is International
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Prism (Short Stories) – Review!!

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Prism-200x300• Paperback: 282 pages
• Publisher: All Things That Matter Press (July 3, 2014)

Prism presents the best of Roland Allnach’s newest stories together with his most acclaimed published short fiction. These selected stories fracture the reader’s perceptions among a dazzling array of genres and styles to illuminate the mysterious aspects of the human experience. Roland Allnach has been described as a ‘star on the rise’ (ForeWord Clarion), ‘a master storyteller with a powerful pen’ (Cynthia Brian, NY Times Bestselling author), with writing that is ‘smart, elegant, and addicting’ (San Francisco Review).

Prism collects seventeen stories into one volume, following a trail of diverse genres and narrative forms. From literary fiction to speculative fiction, from humor to horror, from tragedy to mythical poetry, Prism represents a wide ranging journey united by contemplations on the human condition. Including Allnach’s award winning published fiction (“Conquest’s End” and “The City of Never”), a Pushcart Prize nominated story (“Creep”), Prism also consists of the previously unpublished pieces “Titalis” (a tragedy along the lines of Shakespeare and Greek theatre), “Of Typhon and Aerina” (a tribute to epic verse), “Tumbleweed” (a humorous ditty), and “Dissociated”, a surreal short to cap off the collection.

Praise for Prism

5 Stars – “Roland Allnach delivers a wonderful collection of stories in ‘Prism’…I would recommend this book to all.  It brings an air of mystery along with witty and wonderfully delivered tales.”  Lisa Jones, Readers’ Favorite

Where to Find:  Amazon.com  |  Goodreads

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GenreRating

I reviewed Roland Allnach’s first collection of short stories Oddities & Entities as “Horror”, but this new batch is an eclectic mix. There are 17 very different, very unique stories so I’m waiving this usual feature in my reviews. There’s everything from horror, sci-fi to poetry. That’s a big stretch between stories. So if you’re looking for a diverse collection, this would be it!

MyTwoBits

Like the previous book of short stories by Roland Allnach, no two stories are the same. There’s contemplative stories, horror stories and stories written in different formats such as an overly dramatic Greek Tragedy or a poetic verse.

This series of short stories didn’t quite reach my expectations. “Oddities & Entities” was mainly sci-fi/horror and this was more of a muddy mix of everything. If you’re a fan of all genres and want to be surprised, I’d recommend this book as each story has a different take, a different prose and unique re-telling of stories you may be familiar with.

There’s stories of misunderstood characters. People we’d either avoid, pity or fear. There’s sci-fi situations and questions exploring the cosmos but the heart of most of them is the misunderstanding of human nature and how it relates to each other. I noticed a particular draw to childhood fears for a few of them, or a child’s point of view. These were the ones that made the most impact on me as the emotions were raw, not forced. Though there was also the story of “Flowers for Colleen” that I found interesting. If you liked the TV show Dexter, this could be a good one for you.

Conclusion

Four-Five Overall

This isn’t a small read. There’s 17 short stories and a few are meatier than others. There are different worlds and new adventures to be explored. I think, for me, it was the fact that there was no theme for the whole collection. If it were a book of dramatic tragedies or horror stories or sci-fi/fantasy maybe I’d be more attracted to it. That being said, I think someone who wants to be surprised with the variety of stories will be very pleased.

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About the Author

Roland AllnachRoland Allnach, after working twenty years on the night shift in a hospital, has witnessed life from a slightly different angle. He has been working to develop his writing career, drawing creatively from literary classics, history, and mythology. His short stories, one of which was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, have appeared in many publications. His first anthology, Remnant, blending science fiction and speculative fiction, saw publication in 2010. Remnant was followed in 2012 by Oddities & Entities, a collection spanning horror, supernatural, paranormal, and speculative genres. Both books have received unanimous critical praise and have been honored with a combined total of twelve national book awards, including honors from National Indie Excellence, Foreword Reviews, and Readers’ Favorite. Prism marks Roland’s third stand alone publication.

When not immersed in his imagination, Roland can be found at his website, rolandallnach.com, along with a wealth of information about his stories and experiences as an author. Writing aside, his joy in life is the time he spends with his family.

You can also find Roland on Facebook.

Working for the Devil (Dante Valentine #1) – Review

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Working for the Devil coverDante Valentine #1

Synopsis: 

When the Devil needs a rogue demon killed, who does he call?

The Player: Necromance-for-hire Dante Valentine is choosy about her jobs. Hot tempered and with nerves of steel, she can raise the dead like nobody’s business. But one rainy Monday morning, everything goes straight to hell.

The Score: The Devil hires Dante to eliminate a rogue demon: Vardimal Santino. In return, he will let her live. It’s an offer she can’t refuse.

The Catch: How do you kill something that can’t die?

Where to Find:  Amazon.com  |  Amazon.ca  |  Goodreads  |  B&N  |  Kobo  |  Chapters/Indigo  |  Audible

 

 

GenreRatingFive Fantasy

This went beyond Urban Fantasy. This damn near hit Dystopian (before it was cool). There’s also plenty of Sci-Fi and Fantasy to sink your teeth into. Think “The Fifth Element” with demons, necromancers, shamans, ghosts…and so much more. I was almost overloaded at first but soon acclimated to the situation, the new world and the crazy situations that Dante Valentine manages to get herself into.

MyTwoBits

Dante Valentine is a badass necromancer. Think Anita Blake, but in a futuristic world with less vampires and more demons, spirits and multiple magic users. Dante brings ghosts back from ashes to communicate with the living. She’s a fascinating character with a rune sword, jewelry that sparks and a tattoo on her face that’s embedded with an emerald. This way the whole world will know what she is.

My only issues might be – and this is just me being weird – when Dante would think something, then say the same thought out loud. I don’t know why this is a pet peeve of mine. Also, some of her mental tantrums when something didn’t go her way. She was a bit overdramatic making her a volatile leader but at the same time, this made her unique and unpredictable.

What wasn’t a waste of time was the intricate story that went with Dante’s world. It was so detailed that it felt real. It was believable, chaotic (in a good way) and pretty damn awesome.

I was enthralled, engaged and trapped in those pages with Dante, her Psion buds and demonic sidekick. Her deal with Lucifer ends up as a bigger deal than she imagined and could cost her more than she’s willing to give.

In this particular future I was also pleased to see a lack of sexual labelling. It was refreshing that who slept with who wasn’t a title to describe that person.

Conclusion

Four-Five Overall

Though at times it felt like Dante was an emotional extremist there were main portions of the storyline that were hypnotic. I didn’t just want to find out what happened, I needed to know.

The world building was fantastic and inventive. The author made it a familiar place by the end. I can say with confidence that I’d love a slicboard and no one will know wtf I’m talking about. I’ll definitely be checking out the next book.

 

About the Author

Lilith SaintcrowLili Saintcrow was born in New Mexico (which probably explains everything, given the nuclear testing) and spent her childhood bouncing around the world as a military brat. She fell in love with writing in second grade and has done it obsessively ever since. She currently resides in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her children, dogs, cat, and assorted other strays, including a metric ton of books holding her house together.

Where to Find:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google+  |  Goodreads  |  Tumblr

ARV-3 (YA Dystopia) – REVIEW!

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ARV-3-coverARV-3 by Cameo Renae

The After Light Saga #1

 

Synopsis: 

 

The beginning of the end. The Apocalypse.
A nuclear fallout wiped out every living thing on the planet, except for a few thousand of us who took shelter in underground bunkers across the globe. Now, after thirteen long years, we were finally able to return to the topside to begin to rebuild.

We thought we were alone. We were never more wrong.

Before the fallout, scientists had worked on creating an anti-radiation vaccine (ARV). The first two attempts failed, but despite the incomplete tests and results, the government approved and distributed the third serum to the masses in an effort to aid those who had no shelter.

It worked, keeping those who remained on the topside alive, but it also altered and mutated them. This new and infectious threat had completely outnumbered us. Now, we not only had to rebuild our planet. We would have to fight for it.

My name is Abigail Park. I’m seventeen, and this is my story.

Where to Find:  Amazon.com  |  Amazon.ca  |  B&N  |  Goodreads

GenreRating

FiveDystopia

You know what?! I’ve never done a Dystopia review before! So, I made a new genre rating symbol and, holy-crap, I’m kind of proud of it. I’ll have to read more dystopians so I can keep using it. :P

ARV-3 is set in the near future. The world went to hell the moment the solar flares become so great the earth was blasted with radiation. Those who were prepared retreated underground. Those who found shelter are coming back to the surface nearly two decades later. But, the empty world they were expecting isn’t quite as barren. The people who’d been left on the surface aren’t the same and they’re out for blood.

MyTwoBits

We begin in the Hive which is where the main character has essentially grown up. This would be an underground bunker with a nice hunk of Abi’s family and a few extras, making it around twelve people. It’s been several years and it’s come time to rebuild the earth after the massive solar flare that obliterated man-kind.

The main character, Abi is an average teenager. Her circumstances are slightly less than average as she’s been trained to defend herself and is preparing for the ascent to the surface. The Hive is a peaceful, artificial place where concrete walls are painted with clouds and sunny days but the occupants haven’t seen the outside world for many, many years. The desperation of the residents to see, smell and hear the outside world is tangible but then they get the news that everything might not be safe.

The Hive becomes aware through communication with other Hives that there is a presence above ground. They’re calling them Arvies.

ARV-3 is a serum injected into the population in hopes to protect them from the radiation that was about to strike. Unfortunately, it hadn’t been properly tested and with time running out it was the last hope and resulted in a mutated creature that was like a “28 Days Later” zombie but slightly altered. You’ll see if you read it. I don’t want to give everything away.

With Abi’s Hive having no choice but to breach the surface, no one is safe and the only world that Abi knows is in jeopardy. Now to cut from the drama that I just spilled, I will say here that Cameo Renae has, without a doubt, the longest make-out scenes in the history of YA. I could see why she makes such an impact on readers of YA. She has a knack of delving into a character and making them believable and relatable. Abi wasn’t a love-struck girl waiting to be saved (thank goodness!), but she is susceptible to hormones and the need to belong.

The book lulled a bit in the middle while there was readjustments to new surroundings but it picked back up at the end where I found myself checking out “Sanctum”, the sequel. No, it wasn’t a cliffhanger. Phew! But, I’ll probably pick up the next book when I can.

Conclusion

Five-Five Overall

Despite the teen angst, lovey-dovey parts (this is coming from a jaded adult, mind you. Haha) the story was well done. The pacing, other than the middle, was engaging and the main character had me believing in her. She also proved she didn’t need a boy to stand on her own two feet which I really appreciated.

I liked the idea behind the “end of the world” scenario and how the human race adjusted to their new surroundings.

Making the military the bad-guys is the new “fad” in recent zombie fiction but I found in ARV-3 that characters were based around being humans rather than labels. YEA!

About the Author

Cameo RenaeMy family is what keeps my heart beating, and my world a happy place to be.

I was born in San Francisco, raised in Maui, Hawaii, and recently moved with my husband and children to Alaska.
I’m a daydreamer, a caffeine and peppermint addict. I love to laugh, love to read, and love to escape reality. One of my greatest joys is creating fantasy worlds filled with adventure and romance, and sharing it with others.
One day I hope to find my own magic wardrobe, and ride away on a magical unicorn. Until then…I’ll keep writing!

Favorite quote: “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” Albert Einstein

Where to Find:  Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

 

Witch Born (Fantasy) – REVIEW!

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This would be the sequel to “Witch Song”, which I reviewed a while back. If you’d like to see the review for the first book just click the cover below. :)

Witch Song

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Witch BornWitch Born by Amber Argyle

Witch Song series #2

 

Synopsis:

 

Brusenna thought it was finished. She defeated the Dark Witch, saving the Haven Witches from imprisonment and death. She found love and a place to belong. She was wrong.

Haven is not the sanctuary it appears to be. Even love is in danger of slipping away like water through cupped hands. Some things can’t be saved. A new threat merges with the old as the Witches’ dark history begins to catch up with them. Only Brusenna knows the extent of the danger and how to stop it, though doing so might cost her everything. Including her life.

Will Brusenna be required to make the ultimate sacrifice?

 

Where to Find:  Amazon.com  |  Amazon.ca  |  Kobo  |  B&N  |  Goodreads

 

GenreRatingFive Fantasy This is a Fantasy novel, not the be confused with Urban Fantasy. This is a less than modern era but the nature of this fantasy world isn’t random. Witches control the weather, plants, water etc. You want your farming to be prosperous? A witch can help and so on. Previously I gave this concept a four out of five but the more I think about it and the more involved the witches have become in this new novel, I’m convinced it’s an easy Five out of Five for Genre Rating.

I still like the whole concept of the witch song and how it relates to the world that Argyle created.

MyTwoBits

I’ll admit, I was excited to start this book only to find a very slow beginning. This book wasn’t a review request so there wasn’t a time limit and I had other books to review, so this one did take a few months. I even thought of stopping all together but I can’t stop a book once started. I’m cursed that way. So, I continued on when between books.

Senna has few faults magically, she’s an overly powerful witch. This was a bit frustrating as I found myself liking Mistin and wishing she were the main character. That girl was far more interesting to me. She was misunderstood and the type of person I wanted to know more about. I kind of wish she had her own book, to be honest.

Then something happened. Half way through a twist in the plot made me pause. I re-read the twist, having not seen it coming and realized that this story just went from “hard to get through” to “holy crap, what the H will happen now?!

I was hooked. The pace quickened and the story took off in an addictive direction. I couldn’t put it down and to think that I almost stopped reading. I’m glad I didn’t. Adventure, sacrifice, love, twists and turns were all that awaited me once Senna got off the island.

Conclusion

Four-Five Overall

It’s said, that the ending makes the story and I found that this ending definitely did it for me. I was so happy when I put the book away that I realized this needed a good rating. If it weren’t for the beginning, this would have been an easy five out of five.

The overall story, the fantasy elements, the witches and the sneaky twists earns this a “Great Read” rating. I think I’ll keep an eye out for other books by this author as she seems to be getting better and better!

About the Author

4629065Amber Argyle grew up with three brothers on a cattle ranch in the Rocky Mountains. She spent hours riding horses, roaming the mountains, and playing in her family’s creepy barn. This environment fueled her imagination for writing high fantasy.

She has worked as a short order cook, janitor, and staff member in a mental institution. All of which has given her great insight into the human condition and has made for some unique characters.

She received her bachelor’s degree in English and Physical Education from Utah State University.

She currently resides in Utah with her husband and three small children.

Where to Find:  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Blog  |  Website  |  Goodreads

 Halloween

$50 Gift Card for (Urban Fantasy) Isla’s Inheritance!!!

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Summary from Goodreads

Isla was content to let her father keep his secrets, but now she can’t stand the touch of iron and her dreams are developing a life of their own. She must discover the truth — before it’s too late.

Seventeen-year-old Isla Blackman only agrees to participate in a Halloween party séance because Dominic, an old crush, wants to. She is sure nothing will happen when they try to contact the spirit of her mother. But the séance receives a chilling reply.

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IslaIsla’s Inheritance by Cassandra Page

Genre: Young adult urban fantasy

Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press

Release date: 9 October 2014

Synopsis:

SHE IS NOT DEAD.

Isla doesn’t want to upset her father by prying into the family history he never discusses. When the mysterious and unearthly Jack offers to help her discover the truth, Isla must master her new abilities to protect her loved ones from enemies she never knew existed.

Where to Find:

Goodreads | Amazon | Smashwords

excerpt

Okay.” Emma rolled up her sleeves so they wouldn’t trail on the table. She slid the upturned scotch glass so the pentagram was centred within it. “Everyone put a finger on top of the glass.” We did. “Ready?” Without waiting for a response, Emma tilted her face towards the ceiling. “Is anyone there?”

Nothing happened.

Is anyone there?” Emma asked again. She didn’t seem worried. I glanced at Dominic, whose face had fallen.

Is anyone there?”

The glass began to inch along the surface of the paper, picking up speed as it slid towards the YES. Tamara gasped, going white under the makeup; that pale, she looked like a porcelain doll. Emma smiled, enjoying her moment. The guys watched with wide eyes.

Welcome.” Emma smiled. “What’s your name?”

I studied the glass in its nest of fingers as it spelled out D-A-N-I-E-L. My eyes narrowed, searching for the whitening around the fingertips that would indicate someone was pushing the glass. Was that why Emma had turned off the light—to hide the tells?

Hello, Daniel.” Emma smiled again. “Daniel’s my spirit guide,” she added in an aside to the rest of us as the glass slid across to HELLO.

I watched with a frown as the others asked questions of Daniel: where he was born, how he’d died, that sort of thing. I didn’t pay much attention; I was busy trying to see how the trick was being performed. It was a normal scotch glass and, if anyone was pushing it, they were being discrete. Emma was good.

Finally, she looked around the table at us. “Daniel can act as our intermediary to the afterlife, protecting us from evil spirits. Do any of you have relatives who have passed over that you’d like to contact? A grandparent or anything?”

My grandpop’s dead, but he was an old bastard.” Kurt laughed. “I don’t want to talk to him. Besides, your Daniel wouldn’t let him through if he doesn’t like evil spirits.”

Tamara shook her head; Dominic turned to me. “Isn’t your mother dead?” he asked softly.

Yes.” I looked away. I’d never known my mother. She’d died giving birth to me. But I didn’t like the idea of turning her into a parlour trick.

Dominic saw my hesitation and looked sheepish. Emma brightened, though. “What was her name?” she asked.

Melanie,” I said reluctantly. “Melanie Blackman.”

Hey, we don’t have to do this if you don’t want to,” Dominic said.

It’s all right,” I said. It wasn’t real. It didn’t matter.

Melanie Blackman, are you there?” Three times Emma repeated the call, and, as before, the glass didn’t move until the third time.

NO.

No?” Emma looked surprised—which was itself surprising, given she was the one moving the glass. “Melanie Blackman, are you there?”

The glass circled away from the word and back again, rattling across the paper.

NO.

Obviously that wasn’t meant to happen. “Daniel, are you there?”

There was a long delay while I imagined a sheet-covered ghost handing over the receiver of a telephone. YES.

Why isn’t Melanie Blackman there?”

It wasn’t real. It didn’t matter. But I still held my breath as I watched the glass spell out the reply.

S-H-E [SPACE] I-S [SPACE] N-O-T [SPACE] D-E-A-D.

Isla_mirror

About the Author

Cassandra Page is a mother, author, editor and geek. She lives in Canberra, Australia’s bush capital, with her son and two Cairn Terriers. She has a serious coffee addiction and a tattoo of a cat — which is ironic, as she’s allergic to cats. When she’s not reading or writing, she engages in geekery, from Doctor Who to AD&D. Because who said you need to grow up?

Where to Find:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest | Goodreads

Giveaway Details

Enter to win a $50 gift card at Amazon or Barnes & Noble – winner’s choice (open internationally.)

ENTERGIVEAWAY

$50 Amazon Gift Card & .99¢ for (fantasy) “Bound By Duty” LIMITED TIME!!

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Bound by Duty CoverBound by Duty by Stormy Smith
(Bound #1)
Publication date: July 24th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
Synopsis:

Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she’s an Elder but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she’s betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and she doesn’t even know his name.

Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky Southern girl and to fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is and not what she’ll be.

As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head or her heart win the battle?

 

Where to Find:  Amazon.com  |  Goodreads

 

 

 

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excerpt

Bound by Duty released on July 24 and is Stormy Smith’s debut novel. It’s already climbing the Amazon hot new release bestsellers list and today we wanted to give you a preview.

To set the stage, Amelia Bradbury is our heroine and the center of this next scene. Amelia knows that she is an Elder and that she is betrothed to marry the prince of the Immortals. What she doesn’t know is the source of the power that continues to grow and evolve inside her and what that power will mean for her future. All Amelia wants is a little bit of time to be normal, but she’s about to meet the guy who will forever change the way she looks at herself and what she wants from life.

An excerpt from Bound by Duty:

As soon as I stepped out on the giant deck, the sea air hit my face. It tangled in my hair, whipping it around my shoulders as if playing hide and seek in the dark strands. I exhaled, not realizing I had been holding my breath.

I stood there a moment, just listening to the waves beat against the sand as the tide came in. The full moon came out from behind the clouds, brightening my path and leading me to the stairs that would take me down to the beach. I didn’t hesitate. Almost leaping to the bottom, I kicked my gladiator sandals off as soon as I hit the sand and ran toward the water. Just as the tide touched my toes, the hair on the back of my neck stood up.

Someone was there.

Instantly, a jolt of power raced through my veins. I tried frantically to calm it back down, to maintain control. But, against all effort, I’m sure my eyes went from their normal hazel to bright violet, as they always do when my power takes over. I stood there, staring out at the sea, trying to decide how to react. I couldn’t draw attention to myself, but I could protect myself if I had to — I had learned that much. I felt my power build; like small pinpricks of electricity racing through my veins, filling my blood inch by inch. I forced myself to soften my stiff posture, but kept my right hand open and out in front of me in case I needed to use it.

Since moving to Brighton, I’d been working to actually use my magic, but it still felt like a second person trapped inside me that I couldn’t force into compliance. Sometimes it worked with me, sometimes not. We’ve been fighting this battle for as long as I can remember and in times like these, when I didn’t know what I was dealing with, I trusted it more than myself. I stood there, my body still as my power rippled beneath the surface and cautiously probed around me, just waiting to be unleashed.

I slowly started to turn around when he said, “Oh, so you’re hiding from them too, huh?”

His voice was smooth and almost melodic, with just a little fire behind it. I somehow knew he was smirking even though I couldn’t see him. The moonlight hadn’t breached the shadow from the deck where I could see his outline sitting on a picnic table. He was sitting on the top with his feet on the bench and elbows on his knees. I heard the old, weather-beaten table creak and groan as he set his feet on the ground. A shiver ran through me; he looked dangerous.

Do I know you?” Something told me I’d seen him before. The fear that had ignited my magic instantly turned to curiosity, the danger melting to intrigue. I could actually see the thready, purple wisps spreading out, poking around, trying to get a read on him. It’s a good thing humans don’t actually see our power unless we let them. Abruptly, I turned back toward the ocean, kicking myself as I mentally drew it back in.

What am I doing?! I don’t even KNOW this guy. What if he’s…?

You don’t have anything to worry about,” he interrupted, as if reading my thoughts. I could hear his voice coming closer, a little tentative, feeling me out.

I’m sure he thinks I’m nutcakes. Well done, Amelia. You are here to blend in, not prompt people to think you’re a freak a month into the semester.

I sighed, took a breath, and turned to face him, not realizing how close to me he now was. The full moon cast light and shadow across his body as he stood just feet from me, silent, sizing me up as I did the same to him. I drew in a quick breath as all my thoughts came together in just two words. He’s gorgeous.

I couldn’t stop my eyes from roaming. There was something tortured about him, I could feel it as easily as I felt my own curiosity building. He stood just a few feet from me, clearly trying not to be intimidating. But, between the hints of a tattoo peeking out from under his black T-shirt and the leather cuffs on his wrists, there was an intensity he couldn’t hide. He had big eyes with long lashes a girl would kill for. As my gaze followed the strong, angular features of his face, I realized he had a dimple, just on the one side that must only come out when that corner of his mouth lifted into the smirk I had heard in his voice earlier. The one he was wearing now as he watched me watching him. For some reason, that dimple changed everything; transformed him in my mind as just being a boy on a beach.

Soundtrack

Hi everyone! Stormy Smith here. My debut novel – Bound by Duty – released on July 24 and I’m here to give you some insider information on me and the book.

Music is a HUGE part of my life. I am addicted to Spotify and adore finding new artists. I spend a lot of time getting to know local artists and live shows are among my favorite places to be. When I wrote Bound by Duty I knew it would have a soundtrack. Every significant moment in my life has a song associated with it and the book I spent a year pouring myself into would be no different!

I’m a little bit of an odd duck in that I can’t actually write listening to music that has words. So, I spend my writing hours listening to classical music that helps distract my mind just enough to keep the creativity flowing without stopping the lovely voices in my head from telling me their stories. But, once I’m in the car, cleaning, or doing anything else, I’ve always got an ear out for songs. I find that the lyrics often inspire new plot lines, emotions or authentic reactions in characters.

You can check out the full Spotify soundtrack for BBD here, but here are my top ten in no particular order!

About the Author

StormyStormy Smith calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly that stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form.Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn’t be stopped. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.

Where to Find:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter |  Goodreads