Friday, July 26, 2013

Blitz: The Howling Heart By April Bostic



Book Details:

The Howling Heart by April Bostic
Expected publication:  Aug 1, 2013 



Description

Paige Donovan is an ambitious college graduate who aspires to reach the top of the corporate ladder. She’s climbing fast when given the promotion of a lifetime at a prestigious fashion magazine in New York City. Her bright future comes to an unexpected halt after news of her father’s death. She inherits his old cabin in the Colorado Rockies and just when she thinks her luck couldn’t get any worse, she has a car accident in the mountains and awakens in the small, remote community of Black River. Soon she’s engulfed in the mystical world of Varulv—wolves descended from 12th century Scandinavia and blessed by Norse gods with the ability to appear human. Paige is desperate to return home, but never expects to fall for her rescuer, Riley Gray, a charming young werewolf from England who offers her an alternate future with his pack. Now she must choose between the career she’s always wanted and the love she’s always dreamed.


Author Bio:

April Bostic is a New Jersey-based romance author who enjoys unleashing her creativity and letting her imagination run wild. Her love of romance books inspired her to become not just a reader, but also a writer. In December 2008, she self-published her first novel, a contemporary romance with a supernatural twist entitled "A Rose to the Fallen". Her first short story, "Right Here, Right Now", released in January 2012 is an erotic romance with a dash of S&M. The following year, she released two more short stories: a romantic urban fantasy inspired by the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche entitled "Eros, My Love", and a sexy romantic comedy entitled "Love Addiction". After five years, she will release her second novel "The Howling Heart" in August 2013, a paranormal romance that delves into the mystical world of werewolves and Norse gods.


Author Links:



Hosted by BB Book Tours
Itara

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Guest Post for Surrendered Titania's Court, Book 4 By Sarah Makela

                             

Surrendered
Titania’s Court, Book 4
Sarah Mäkelä


Genre: Erotic Fantasy Romance

Publisher: Total-e-Bound Publishing
Date of Publication: July 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-78184-376-5
ASIN: TBD

Number of pages: 47

Cover Artist: Posh Gosh


Book Description:

A mercenary who skirts light and dark must protect a reclusive Seelie noblewoman, but when they discover a common link, they must surrender…

Niamh McNamara has always been a little different from the rest of the Seelie Court. Their natural mirth and playfulness is something she has to force, so she won’t stand out much during the midsummer’s festivities. That becomes nearly impossible when an attempt is made on her life by a violent masked fae. Content with seclusion, she’s unhappy when the queen requests her back at court to meet her new bodyguard.

Doyle Kearney is mercenary who skirts the light and dark courts. Some think he’s Unseelie, while others are sure he’s Seelie. When Queen Titania brings him to protect a sullen noble, he almost refuses—he’s a warrior, not a bodyguard—until he sees Niamh. His body reacts to the golden goddess, but he can’t forget how his noble parents had easily tossed him aside to protect their titles. He questions if she’ll do the same if he surrenders his heart.

Short Excerpt:

Summer’s warm magic glittered in the night air. Nature drank deep of it and flourished with life and growth. The delightful party playing out around Niamh McNamara didn’t interest her one bit. As a member of the light court, she should’ve enjoyed the merry festivities that Midsummer’s Eve brought on, but her sour mood wouldn’t let go of her. Then again, she’d never been like the rest of her people.

Darkness constantly ached within her chest beneath her golden appearance. Before she’d been able to ignore it, but now it wasn’t so easy, especially after overhearing whispers about her from the other members of court. Hiding away had helped, but she couldn’t always stay hidden.

Queen Titania had requested her presence back at court for a while, and when the queen asked, one didn’t say no. The queen held a special interest in seeing Niamh, as a female noble, commit to a worthy relationship. At Niamh’s age, she should’ve at least had one potential suitor, yet she did her best to avoid them and had been fairly successful.

Niamh took another sip from her goblet. The faeries around her sang, laughed and danced, yet she could barely gather the enthusiasm to smile. How cruel life was that she had to watch their happiness while she didn’t share their feelings.

There were men who seemed determined to court her. The more she dissuaded them, the more eagerly they flocked to her. A familiar male elf took her elbow to sweep her off to dance, but she brushed off his hand. "Sorry, I’m not interested in dancing at the moment."

Another reason why she preferred to stay away from court these days. She hated presumptuousness and what tended to happen next.

His face fell, and confusion creased his brow. The lady next to Niamh gawked at her like she was crazy before grabbing the male’s hand and waltzing away with him. The lady leaned close to him and whispered something, causing them to both break out into laughter.

Niamh bristled. She didn’t want to feel like an outsider amongst her own people.

A happy, albeit drunken, pixie flew by her, nearly colliding with her shoulder. The tiny being apologised in a high-pitched tinkling voice, then it was gone, darting away to join a group of pixies near the mead.

Most of the pixies there had already drunk their share. Their amorous personalities, combined with the summer’s fertility magic, heated the group until their moans of pleasure chimed through the warm breeze. Others nearby reacted to the intimacy, their clothes slipping off in their fervour.

Yet another sign of how nature’s power innately affected the Seelie.

The group she stood with were still chatting merrily amongst themselves, though their attention was beginning to drift to the playful fledgling orgy.

Niamh slipped away into the forest, making sure no one saw her. She needed a break from the laughter and shallow niceties. Her face ached from the plastic smile she wore for the party. Once safely out of view, she leaned against a tree and let out a ragged breath. Her fake smile fell, and she stared into the sky between the leaves. If only she were home, away from the misery of joy she had to force. Warmth and happiness permeated the air around her, but a part buried within her retracted from those emotions, shying away from the silky caress. Most of the time, she wondered if she had something wrong with her. Darkness held solace for her while light made her aware of what she lacked.

The snap of a branch startled her, and she peeked around the tree. No one was there. Thoughts about her inner darkness dissipated. Her shoulders tensed, and she strained her ears to hear more signs of movement. Another twig snapped behind her, and she nearly jumped out of her skin.

Before her stood a man in an elaborately decorated mask, which covered most of his face. A dark hood and cape cloaked the rest of him, making it impossible to distinguish any of his features. He was most definitely fae like her—he had that kind of aura. He must’ve hidden his wings beneath his grand cape.

She looked him over with a frown. Why was he here, away from the party? Especially dressed as he was? I left the party behind to rest, not to give someone the opportunity to make my acquaintance in private. She sighed but forced herself to smile.

A scream caught her attention from the party, turning her towards the sound, but the laughter that followed reassured her that everything was still safe.

The foreboding man spun her to face him. He clasped his hands around her throat, and slammed her folded wings back against the tree. Her head bounced against the hard oak. She clawed at his glove-covered hands, trying to get him off her, trying to draw air into her lungs.

He smashed her against the tree again, but his grip slipped slightly.

"What do you want?" she squeaked, gulping in air.

"You. That’s what I wanted."

She’d never heard this man’s voice before. How could he want her while she couldn’t figure out who he was? He must’ve used glamour so she wouldn’t recognize him.

Guest Post

Surrendered, my newest erotic fantasy romance, is part of the Titania’s Court summer collection. It’s about is about a faerie noblewoman who feels like an outsider among her people because Niamh McNamara isn’t as cheerful as the rest of the Seelie Court. When a violent masked fae makes an attempt on her life, Queen Titania orders Doyle Kearney, a mercenary who skirts the light and dark courts, to guard her.

Doyle isn’t pleased with this assignment. He's a warrior, not a bodyguard. But when he sees Niamh, his body reacts to her. However, he's unwilling to trust his heart to her because his noble parents tossed him aside to protect their titles, and he ponders if she'll do the same if he were to surrender to her.

The companion story to Surrendered was in the Oberon's Court winter collection. It’s called Captivated, and it was my first ever erotic fantasy romance. Captivated is about a female mercenary named Honora Butler whose family was killed by a dark elf. She firmly believes that her purpose is to dispose of wicked Unseelie Fae. However, she finds herself questioning her mission when she meets Brennan O’Niall, the hero and a dark elf prince.

Brennan isn't sure what it is about Honora, but he's captivated by her. However, all good things must be shaken up. When she's charged with the murder of a friend, he has to discover the truth and decide how much she means to him. Will he leave her rot in the dungeon or will he fight to keep her alive?

I’m thrilled with how the mini-series turned out. I hope everyone will enjoy these books as much as I do.


Thank you for having me here today, Itara!

About the Author:


Sarah Mäkelä lives in North Carolina with her husband and cats. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, computer and video games, and travelling all over the world. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, as well as the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapters.


Thanks Sarah for the awesome post and excerpt.

                               



You could win 1 ebook of Surrendered and 1 $5 Amazon gift card.                                    
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Itara

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blog Tour: The End Of The World Playlist By Dan O'Brien


Welcome to the first day of the The End of the World Playlist blog tour. It will run until August 1st and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this dystopian world:

The world as we knew it had ended. Deep in the mountains of the west coast, six men survived. In the town of River’s Bend, these six friends continued on with their lives as zombies inherited the Earth. As they navigated the world that had been left behind, the soundtrack of life played on.



A few questions for the author:


Tell me about your book.  

The novella actually started out as a screenplay that I shopped around for a little bit. After a period of time had passed (and studios passed on it), I decided to turn it into a novella. The idea came from a discussion I had with some friends about how they would spend the end of the world. 


How did you get interested in writing this particular genre? 

I have always loved zombies, especially anything Romero made. Lately, there has been a surge in zombie fiction and I thought I might throw my hat in the ring. Horror and isolation, post-apocalyptic stories can be very interesting to read.


What kind of research did you do for this book? 

Only so far as asking the people on whom the characters are based if they thought I captured them appropriately. Everyone was pleasantly surprised about my portrayal of them at the end of times. 


What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal? 

I am a pretty organized person. I operate two businesses, as well as my writing, so there is an element of planning that goes into any writing session. My office is also my gym, so I have a pretty effective space to think and write. I set time-based goals as opposed to word counts, but I am not averse to altering my schedule to reach a deadline.



Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:


Track 1
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?


There was a cabin deep in the woods. Inside that cabin sat a young man at a table. He was the very description of an average man: brown hair, brown eyes. He smoked a cigarette like it was the greatest thing ever, as if he were enjoying a fine wine or admiring a fine painting. 

He is William, or Wills; perhaps even Captain as he had people call him on occasion. Will coughed hard, the sputtering, wet variety that usually signals a not-so-good-for-the-well-being chain of events recently transpired. 

Moving in closer, it is easy to see that the scene is not hopeful. It is the other kind: the kind that starts and ends with obscene action. Leaning forward, he looked deep into the fire. 

Light crossed his face, revealing heavy lines of sleeplessness that are dwarfed by the caked blood and dirt that hide his youthful features. A dark stain has begun to spread across his gray shirt. But young William’s story began earlier in the town of River’s Bend.




Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.





Would you like to win a copy of The End of the World Playlist?

All you have to do is comment on a post during the tour. Two randomly drawn commenters will be awarded either a physical or digital copy of The End of the World Playlist.

Visit http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Spotlight: Wicked Hunger By DelSheree Gladden


Book Title: Wicked Hunger
Series: SomeOne Wicked This Way Comes
Author: DelSheree Gladden
Release Date: July 9th
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Length: 95,000 words/240 pages
Publisher: GMTA Publishing LLC
Presented by: As You Wish Tours

SYNOPSIS

Vanessa and Zander Roth are good at lying. They have to be when they are hiding a deadly secret. Day after day, they struggle to rein in their uncontrollable hunger for pain and suffering in order to live normal lives. Things only get worse when Ivy Guerra appears with her pink-striped hair and secrets. The vicious hunger Ivy inspires is frightening, not to mention suspicious.

Vanessa’s instincts are rarely wrong, so when they tell her that Ivy’s appearance is a sign of bad things to come, she listens. She becomes determined to expose Ivy’s secrets. Vanessa tries to warn her brother, but Zander is too enamored with Ivy to pay attention to her conspiracy theories.

One of them is right about Ivy … but if they lose control of their hunger, it won’t matter who is right and who is wrong. One little slip, and they’ll all be dead.





EXCERPT

Chapter 3: No Happy Endings

“I want you to stay away from that girl,” I say.

“But she’s Laney’s cousin. I can’t avoid her without doing the same to Laney.”

“Maybe that’s just how it has to be, then.” Giving up friends, it’s something Van should get used to, now, because it isn’t going to stop any time soon.

Van shakes her head. “No, Zander. She’s my best friend. I’m not going to bail on Laney like that.”

“You think she’ll be happy you stayed friends with her when you kill her pretty little cousin?” I snap.

Her head drops down, but I can still see the corner of her mouth twitching. “I can control it. I won’t hurt her.”

“You can’t guarantee that.”

“I won’t live like you,” she says quietly. “I won’t live alone for the rest of my life because I’m scared of hurting people.”

I sigh and close my eyes. “It’s not about being scared, Van. It’s about being smart. Stay away from her.”

For a long moment, she doesn’t say anything. Deep down, I’m hoping with everything I have that she’ll listen to me. I can’t go through it again. Oscar nearly broke me. She can’t expect me to go through that with her. I won’t make it. Please just listen to me, I beg.

When she finally speaks, her voice startles me. “She knows something.”

It’s just a simple sentence, but it ignites my anger like a match to a fuse. “She doesn’t know anything! Nobody does. Get that through your head and quit looking for answers, Van!”

My sister’s head snaps up and my hands tighten into fists at the determination in her eyes. “She knows something, and I’m going to find out what it is.”

Then she throws open the door of the truck and runs away.

AUTHOR RECOMMENDATIONS
Delsheree Gladden's first book in her new YA series SomeOne Wicked This Way Comes is a riveting story of uncontrollable bloodlust that turns dealing with family, friendships, trust, devotion and love into a WICKED HUNGER~~~Susan Stec, author of Dead Girls Never Shut Up and The Grateful Undead Series.

AUTHOR BIO
DelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually teaching yoga, coaching gymnastics, reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist. Her works include Escaping Fate, Twin Souls Saga, and The Destroyer Trilogy. DelSheree's newest series, The SomeOne Wicked This Way Come series, follows Vanessa and Zander Roth, siblings with an uncontrollable hunger for pain and suffering that will either gain them limitless power or lead them to their deaths.



Itara

Blog Tour: Spotlight and Review for Lions, Tigers, and Sexy Bears Oh My By Candace Havens



Lions, Tigers, and Sexy Bears Oh My!
Candace Havens

Lions, Tigers, and Sexy Bears Oh My!


Genre: Paranormal Romance  
Publisher: Entangled Publishing Covet Imprint
Date of Publication: 7/22/13

ISBN: 9781622668076
ASIN: B00DK42NWG

Number of pages: 165
Cover Artist: Amber Shah
I received this book as part of the tour for review

BN   Amazon    iTunes   Kobo

Book Description:

A Montana town where no one is who they seem....

Everything about runaway heiress Ainsley McLeon screamed trouble—from her luscious midnight locks to her Louboutin-clad toes.  Yet sexy, stoic bar owner Luc couldn’t deny the instant connection he felt to the tempting stranger…or the long-dead feelings she evoked.  She could work in his pub until her truck was fixed but after that she had to leave town for good.

Ainsley traveled with her own emotional baggage and there was no way she'd fall for the bear-tempered Luc...no matter how many passionate nights she spent in his bed or how safe she felt in his muscular arms. Can these two opposites find love in the middle of a blizzard, or will Luc's darker side and Ainsley's past catch up with them?


About the Author

Candace Havens

Bestselling author Candace Havens has written twelve novels for Berkley, Entangled and Harlequin. She is also in the anthology Spirited, the proceeds of which help a literacy organization.

Her books have received nominations for the RITA's, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards.

She is the author of the biography Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation's leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities including Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and many more. Her entertainment columns can be read in more than 600 newspapers across the country.

Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 2000 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing class. She does film reviews with the Dorsey Gang on New Country 96.3, and is the President of the Television Critics Association.

Blog 

My Review

I have to start off my saying that I loved this book. 5/5 stars and if I could give more stars, I would because it was that good. Now let me tell you why....

So the story starts off with Ainsley crashing her truck and seeing a Tiger snooping around and at some points she thought he was laughing at her jokes. Ainsley is running away from home because someone is out to kill her because she knows some family secrets. She comes from a wealthy family so a lot is at stake if she talks. So she is sent to Luc's bar for a job so she can fix her truck and that is where the plot takes off.

The characters in this story were awesome; I loved Ainsley, but I loved Luc more. The story was told from both of their perspectives. Ainsley had her own mind and could take care of herself. Oh boy did she have her own mind! That girl can tell you off and kick your butt and you won't know what hit you. I enjoyed reading about her point of view because we are a lot alike; she described herself as "not the perfect size 2", and I recently had a baby so we have that in common. Also that she bites her lip a lot throughout the book and I'm always doing that. I thought it was cool that we had a few things in common. Luc was a pompous old bear that was sweet and caring in the inside. I loved their chemistry together no matter how hard they would fight it. Luc was suck an interesting character for me because he was so broken and he's the one that needed a bear hug at times (pun intended). I loved how he cared for Ainsley, he was always there for her. He took better care for her than she did for herself. It makes me just fall in love with him but he's a fictional character so that would be a problem for me. Other than being caring he was also very hot and what a great combination. I also liked Ian, Luc's friend but quickly became Ainsley's friend as well. He was very refreshing, his advice was helpful and he was a great character all around. I grew to feel bad for him at times but he got better.

I think the chemistry between Ainsley and Luc was unbelievable; I love the way he felt about her, how he appreciated every part of her, not just in a sexual way (which there was quite a bit of) but he generally just wanted her not her money or anything else. When Ainsley got to the town and befriended everyone she didn't want to leave because for once she actually had real friends, they didn't want anything from her.
There were so many moments where I literally laughed out loud.

"Did he recognize you at all?" The Doc asked.
Luc frowned. "For a moment, just before he lunged at me.
But when Conrad's truck came in view, well, you saw what happened. He went ape shit. Or Tiger shit as the case may be."

I really loved this story and although it was a perfect ending, I wish there was more and I can't wait to read more from Candace.



                                              

                                                              Itara

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blog Tour: Excerpt from Cerulean Dreams By Dan O'Brien


Welcome to the second day of the Cerulean Dreams blog tour. It will run until July 24th and will feature excerpts, new author interviews each day, and a video blog by the author. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this dystopian world:

Orion, the last city of men. Deep within the desert, a secret lay waiting. Young women found dead in the street. A corporation that controls the sleep of a populace that never sees the light of day. Alexander Marlowe seeks to unravel the mysteries of Orion as he helps a young girl, Dana, flee the city. The closer they come to the truth, the greater the danger that hunts them. Follow them as they search beyond the boundaries of everything they have ever known for answers. 



A few questions for the author:


What are you ashamed of? 

Probably by the fact that I slip into a place where I am ashamed of anything. I find that shame, guilt, and the like are not conducive to a happy life. Actions have consequences. 


What's the loveliest thing you have ever seen? 

Too numerous to count. There was an overcast and cold day on the Mendocino coast that stands apart. Something about the waves and the desolation and beauty of the sea was breathtaking. 


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I write little bits here and there. I’ve been known to dance poorly when people are looking. I am a Whovian. I love to watch foreign films and I have been known to publish a book now and again. 


What do you do when you are not writing? 

Editing, and when I am not editing, publishing. There are down times between bouts of being a pen monkey when I like to train and spend time with my wife, but writing (and all that goes with it) is a powerful force in my life.



Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:


Chapter II


The night was a sweltering one. Marlowe sauntered across Messiah, which ran parallel to 48th. He watched the street trash as they dodged in and out of public housing. 

Dark deals made in the false utopia. 

The need for recreational pharmaceuticals survived the Water Rights War. Humanity had so many problems and seemingly such little time to deal with them; a chemical intervention seemed inevitable. 

Messiah Avenue was a mosaic of shattered dreams and rundown buildings. They climbed into the heavens as well. Thick smog hung above their peaks, threatening disease and malnutrition to those who dared ascend them. The visor whirred angrily. Giving in, Marlowe activated it with a press of his finger to his temple. 

The imaging module crackled, red lines inhabiting corners of his vision. The pixels spread quickly, forming a singular picture. Mountains far in the distance, the night air hung with stars and a brilliant mammoth moon that seemed to smile. Grassy fields as far as the eye could see and in azure letters, the words CERULEAN DREAMS. 

“Map. Messiah District,” barked Marlowe. 

The Messiah district was the grid name for what was lovingly referred to as the Hole. The image of the city shifted from overhead to a blueprint cast in a broad section of colors. 

The voice was no longer feminine, but instead a middle-aged man. “Messiah District map incomplete, loading closest match.”

Marlowe sighed. The Messiah District was one of many districts that were scheduled for renovation through the Orion Improvement Program. 

“Load thermal imagery and voice/facial recognition modules for Messiah District,” spoke Marlowe clearly, each word enunciated so as not to confuse the software.

A red dot in the corner throbbed angrily as the network was processing. All information was transferred directly from a feed at the Cerulean Dreams compound at the center of the city, but sometimes the signal was much slower in the peripheral districts. “7.93 million registered citizens, 7,930,001 thermal signatures collected.”

Marlowe smiled at the discrepancy. 

There was no denying the efficiency of the network. 

Every citizen of Orion was implanted in their temple with a motherboard chip from Cerulean Dreams as a way to monitor their wants and needs, cataloguing all information within the city. 

Marlowe felt for the bulge along the left side of his trench. He drew his weapon methodically, the steel cold to the touch. His fingers were sweaty, his grip greasy as he flexed his hand a few times to get a grip he liked. 

“Location of unknown thermal signature,” spoke Marlowe quietly, aware that there were other humans standing all around him, moving about their business. Had one of them had their visor down, his words would have sailed to their ears. 

The software whirred again, the voice crackled this time. “Location is corner of 48th and Messiah, edge of Messiah district.” The voice paused and then resumed. “Upgrade immediately, network connection weak.”

Gripping the weapon low in one hand, he crossed into one of the back alleys on Messiah, moving past transients and shifters who held their hands out for charity. Even those on the lowest ring of society retained access to the main network. 

However, their ability to function was still powered by economics. The visor controlled the monetary system, the pleasure system, nearly every function of being; sometimes even governing thought if one was not careful to step away from its thrall on occasion. 

Marlowe considered disengaging the visor, but stopped suddenly as the screen filled angrily in row after row of crawling red script. Upgrade was repeated over and over again. 

“System failure imminent,” crooned the fading voice. 

Marlowe shook his head, wiping at the air. 

“Deactivate.”

“Command overridden. Upgrade immediately. Voice protocol required.” Had the visor been an animate creature, he would have struck it, perhaps even fired a round into it. He reminded himself that it was little more than an automated voice and a network of images. 

“Fine. Upgrade approved. Could we please carry on?” he asked, knowing that his sarcasm would be lost on the programmed entity. 

The red script dissolved back into a street map occupied by throbbing yellow dots that represented the people around him. He moved carefully across the alley until he came to the building marked on the imaging map. 

“Deactivate. Upgrade in the background,” he ordered. 

The visor dissipated and returned to a bobbing sphere. Within the sphere, a green light shone brightly, announcing the status of the upgrade. When it changed from green to blue, the upgrade would be complete.

48th Street looked eerily similar to Messiah, which was not entirely surprising. Lights were on in a scattered pattern across the buildings. Some citizens stood staring upward. Mouths moving, their visors donned. 

Cedars Tower: that was the location of the anomaly. 

There was nothing remarkable about the building; same black steel construction and tinted gray windows that climbed into the dusty atmosphere. Marlowe approached the steps. Taking each one deliberately, the thick grip of his boots found sure footing. 

A man sat to the side of the double-door entrance. 

His visor was down and his voice was a high cackle as he talked to himself. The words he spoke were alarmingly similar to what Marlowe was doing. “I told her that he was coming, but that girl never wants to listen.”

Marlowe couldn’t see his face. 

The visors had a way of dehumanizing people, reducing them to a voice and a body covered in similar monotonous clothing; everyone analogous in their creature comforts. He hesitated for a moment, looking down at the man. Marlowe held his weapon tight in his hand, wondering if it was only paranoia. 

“You talking to me?” he croaked at the seated citizen. 

The man continued, as if Marlowe had not spoken. “Then he showed up and she wasn’t there.” A pause. “Yeah, I know, she doesn’t ever listen. Even her mama told me not to marry her. Yeah, she was too much trouble.”

Marlowe’s grip slackened on his weapon. 

He moved past the man through the swinging double doors and into the darkened interior. The everlasting gloom that seemed to permeate from Orion was due in part to the draw of electricity to billboards and signs, as well as the amount of energy required to keep the network active. That coupled with most citizens being logged in the majority of their lives made the necessity for lighting in housing seem something of a waste of energy and time. 

A few flickering lights cast shadows across the antiquated furniture in the lobby. Twin elevators lay at the far end of the empty room. No light resonated from them, convincing Marlowe that they were indeed out of commission. 

The left side of the room was occupied by a large wraparound desk that probably had been used to welcome guests to the tower. There was no sound except the scratching of rodents moving about. Messiah district was by far the poorest of the city, and the most populated; almost eight million crammed into a few city blocks. 

Many lived below ground, in the warmth of the sewers as they could not get heat in the winter. Food trucks no longer came into the district. Thus, they created a diet rich in rodents and other creatures that crawled or slithered deep beneath the city. 

He moved forward through the lobby. 

Chairs and couches were scattered around. Some were overturned. Others had the cushions and padding ripped from them, no doubt for shelter or clothing. Marlowe backed against the wall, the rhythmic hum of runner lights following him as he peered into the stairwell. The bleached stairs were covered with muddy prints; footsteps covered, and then covered again over time. Using his free hand to push open the door, he sucked his breath in: nothing, no sounds. 

He moved through the doorway and closed the thick door behind him. Looking up at the flights of stairs, he sighed. The building was easily a hundred flights high. 

“Activate.” The clear blue wrapped around his face once more. The emerald bar had nearly reached half, a little script above it scrawled out that it was 54 percent complete. “Site location of thermal anomaly.”

The visor whirred and the progress minimized, finding a place in a distant corner of his vision. “49th Floor, Room 4918,” responded the voice. Marlowe nodded as he looked up the endless flights of stairs and began his slow ascent.




Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.





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Cover Reveal: The Rise Of Xosha By S.Cu'Anam Policar



Book Title: The Rise of Xosha
Series:  Legend of Xosha
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Author: S.Cu’Anam Policar
Cover Art: Jennifer Martinez
Presented by:  As You Wish Tours



SYNOPSIS

A tale of epic proportions.
The Rise of Xosha tells the tale of Xosha's beginnings.
Where Anjyls are mortal pawns,
Dragons rule the skies,
Wolves and elves roam the forests,
and demons lurk below the surface.

Oceanus, the leader of the last horde of dragons in the realms must find his people a new home.
Going only on the word of the odd colored white dragon, Rose, he leads the horde far from their home, over waters that seem to have no end.

Pyre, Oceanus' younger, rebellious brother must come to terms with the fact that Oceanus will never see him as anything more than a welp too young to be of any use.

Jade the youngest of the three has her own thoughts and inner demons to contend with.

Then there's Rose, The dragon with an amazing gift no one will acknowledge. The outcast of her people simply because she's the only one of her color.

One to lead...One to see...One to protect...One to Deceive.
The Rise of Xosha; The story that started the legend.

"not all allies are friends, not all friends are true, and some enemies will in turn be your greatest allies."




                                                          AUTHOR BIO

S.Cu'Anam Policar was born in Brooklyn, NY, but now lives in Washington State. The Mother of three she makes time to write, usually late at night.

An avid reader, she not only writes but helps promote other authors with blog tours and reviews of their books.

She is Pagan but respects all religions and believes everyone should celebrate their similarities and not care about their differences.

When she has the time, she enjoys playing video games, horseback riding, singing, and writing things other than her Legend of Xosha Series.

She absolutely loves to make new friends so don't be afraid to come by and hi on facebook!

AUTHOR LINKS


Itara

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Review: The Last Witch and The Underground Witch



Author: Debbie Dee
Series: Incenaga # 1
Source: Received the book for review
Published: September 12, 2012

Book Synopsis
For generations the Incenaga Witches have been forced to use their power to fulfill the wishes of others until they are drained of their magic and left to die. Desperate to protect his infant daughter - the last surviving witch - Emmeline’s father escapes with her to the forests where he vows to keep her hidden from the world and from the truth. 

Sixteen years later, Emmeline is discovered and finds herself in the grip of a traitor who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if it means abusing her power until she dies. As she fights to regain her freedom she is faced with a choice between a prince who offers a lifetime of security and a common gamekeeper who has no idea of her power, but offers his heart. 

But who can she trust when her power can be used against her?

Review

I liked this story, it was well written and it made me forget I was reading as I was swept into the story. Debbie can surely write suspense! I was at the edge of my seat for many parts of the book. There was some character development; Emmeline learned many things about herself that she didn't even think were possible like that she was a witch as well as what really happened to her mother and why. I hated the fact that other people could control Incenaga witches because they felt so vulnerable. The "Master" I guess you can call them, do not have any regard for their health because they make them use so much power that it would kill them. Emmeline will stop at nothing to stop people from controlling her and her power. I really liked Erick, he was a breath of fresh air, he was so sweet and wanted nothing from Emmeline, it seemed like everyone wanted something from her if not everything.

The story starts off with soldiers coming for Emmeline. Her father has protected her all her life by keeping her away from people because if they see her eyes they will know that she is an Incenaga witch, which can be controlled by anyone who can look into their eyes when they shine the brightest. Usually country leaders look for the witches in order to get rid of their competition and intimidate others. Incenaga witches were used to kill opposing armies and they were all dead because their master abuses their power, if they use too much of their power it kills them. That is why it is so important for Emmeline to be protected, she is the only one left. Emmeline has not met anyone and she longs to have relationships with people or to even talk to them. She doesn’t know that she is a witch, she just thinks that she’s been isolated with her father for her protection.
So Mahlon comes for her so she can marry the Crown Prince for her protection. Emmeline has no idea that her father made a deal long ago for the Crown Prince to marry her because he would inherit their army, which is the best. At the palace Mahlon was trying to control her the entire time, he would take her to the woods to light a fire and when she didn’t open her eyes for him he would beat her and the next night he would do it again. Of course I didn’t like that.

What didn’t work for me:
The fact that Emmeline didn’t know what was going on the entire book. She didn’t know she was a witch, what happened to her mother, that she was betrothed to the Crown Prince, and other information about herself. I would have also liked some history about the Incenaga witches, where they came from, how to master her powers. Emmeline spent the whole book waiting for the Crown Prince and she just did things to occupy her time.

The Last Witch gets a 3/5 stars because I thought there were a few things missing for me. My first reaction was that it was a great book, but then I thought that if it included a little bit of history then it would have been great for me.

Buy on Amazon as Kindle Edition
It's free but I'm not sure until when.




Author: Debbie Dee
Series: Incenaga # 2
Source: Received for review
Published: May 2, 2013

Book Synopsis

As the last of the Incenaga Witches, Emmeline has been tortured and forced to use her power to kill. But unlike the Incenagas before her, she has survived. With her freedom restored, she should feel safe, invincible even. After all, she has the protection of Prince Erick’s army and a power strong enough to obliterate any enemy. Yet Emmeline lives in fear for the next person who will try to control her, and no one can seem to find the tyrant threatening to claim her. 

Until it’s too late. 

With everything on the line, and the enemy at her throat, will Emmeline be able to use her power like never before? Even if it kills her? 

In The Underground Witch, the second novel of the Incenaga Trilogy, Debbie Dee delivers enough adventure, heartbreak, and suspense to captivate readers at every turn.

Review

I really liked this second book. I thought there was great character development in both main characters and there was a lot of Incenaga history, which was what was missing for me in the first book. Emmeline learned so much about where the line of witches came from, more secrets about her mother. I really enjoyed reading those parts of books, pretty much when everything comes together and you find your “aha” moment. For me it’s more like “hmm so that’s why this and this happened, it all makes sense now”.

In the beginning Erick receives a letter saying that someone is coming for Emmeline and they know that she is a witch, and that they will stop at nothing to take her with them. And the story takes off, I never know what to say about it because I don’t want to give away the whole story. Tiergan was the new ruler that was coming for Emmeline. When he captured her instead of beating her like Mahlon used to do to gain control over her, he gave her the best of what his country had to offer and when that didn’t work he put her in a pit where there were snakes sometimes to scare her.
There were new characters in this second book; there was Tiergan the antagonist, he was ruthless. There was his assassin Demyan, who could kill on command and not even think twice. He also had incredible strength almost unnatural. And other characters that were just as awesome and interesting to read about but those are a mystery.

I give The Underground Witch 4/5, I really liked it and I’m interested to see what happens in the next book because it will be Emmeline’s biggest battle.  



About the Author




Debbie Dee recently moved to southern Idaho with her husband and three children where she is learning how to be a country girl in her favorite pair of blue heels. She adores fairy tales and happy endings, but secretly crushes on the bad guy now and then. 

As a dedicated musician who practices way too much, she never expected writing would sweep her off her feet until she jotted down a scene from a daydream, which turned into two scenes, which turned into a messy house and her first novel. Since then she hasn’t been able to let a day go by without writing. 

In addition to writing, she plays the piano, harp, violin, and gets in frequent fights with her cello. She loves to read and play board games - when she is winning. 

Links:


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