Friday, May 29, 2015

Viking For Hire by Jo Grafford Virtual Tour and Giveaway

Jo Grafford will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Viking For Hire
by Jo Grafford



Branwyn O’Tyre’s estranged brother summons her for a healing ritual. Fearing he actually plans to arrest her for witchcraft, she drinks a protection potion before he arrives.

Eirik, a Viking sea captain pretending slumber in the tavern corner, witnesses Branwyn’s magic and offers her safe passage from Exeter if she will reverse a curse that plagues him. Alas, every woman who touches him falls madly but falsely in love with him.

There’s only one hitch: If she fails, Branwyn’s heart will fall prey to the same madness...forever!


What happens when you have a witch meet a Viking.  Read Viking for Hire to find out.  Eirik is cursed and needs someone to help him break it.  Branwyn is running from her brother who wants to burn her at the stake.  These two are made for each other.  Look for fun dialog, great characters and a lot of tension.  A short read with a lot going for it.


Two of the knights separated themselves from the group and rushed forward. Alas, the one on the left slipped on a puddle of ale and crashed into his comrade. Their helmets collided with a dull clanking sound that made Branwyn wince. Then they crumpled to the floor.

The Viking stranger emitted a muffled guffaw and appraised her carefully. “Methinks I can guess the nature of the potion now. Come, lass. ’Tis getting late. We’d best be on our way.” The rogue actually crooked an arm at her as if preparing for a stroll in the park.

Branwyn could only gape.

With a sigh of resignation, he reached down to clasp her hand and drew it through his arm. She gasped as a powerful awareness sizzled through her. ‘Twas sharp and immediate, stopping just sort of pain. Branwyn’s shocked gaze locked with the stranger’s. When the clarity of his blue gaze took on a slightly dazed sheen, she realized he felt it, too.

Lord help her, but she was instantly drawn to his scent — a mixture of smoke and salt and mystery — as well as his strength. The pulse of his heart, the hum of blood through his veins, the aura of power and danger surrounding him. The air around them fairly crackled with the potency of their contact as skin brushed over skin.

Alarmed, Branwyn tried to tug her hand free, but the stranger clamped his arm tighter to his side, imprisoning her. She nearly cried out from the sensations flooding her. Light. Heat. Joy.

“Pray forgive the liberties I take with ye, lass,” he muttered in her ear. His breath on her lobe brought her just shy of the point of collapsing. “I will explain as soon as we are clear of this arse.” He steered her towards the door.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jo writes high stakes romance. Her favorite books contain layers of intrigue with alpha males and strong-minded women who are willing to risk it all for love.

From St. Louis, Missouri, Jo holds an M.B.A. and has served as a banker, college finance instructor, and high school business teacher. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, From the Heart Romance Writers RWA Chapter, and the Writers Group of Ansbach/Katterbach/Illesheim.

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Visit the other blogs on the tour for additional chances to win.

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56 - May 29, 2015

I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and join the fun.

The Beginning:

"Something happened to Julian as he stood in the San Francisco alleyway, looking down at his progeny and longtime friend."

Page 56:

"The cop's expression changed drastically. "S-sir," he stammered. "I mean, your majesty. Not wait that's English royalty. You're a-a-'your grace' right?

From Midnight's Kiss by Thea Harrison. This is A Novel of the Elder Races a series I love. I won an ARC when Harrison ran a contest and am just getting around to reading it. It looks like another great story.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Three Wishes by Debra Dunbar Virtual Tour and Giveaway

Debra is awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

Three Wishes
by Debra Dunbar


Dar helped his foster sister become the ruler of Hel, and helped her free the enslaved humans from the elves. It’s about time he helped himself – to a fun week of mayhem in the Windy City. Collapsing a few buildings and corrupting politicians is an ideal vacation for a demon in Chicago, but Dar didn’t count on a beautiful angel sabotaging his fun and putting him to work.

Asta is an angelic enforcer, scanning for demons in her assigned territory and sending them to an early grave. Unfortunately, the latest trespasser from Hel has diplomatic immunity - but immunity doesn’t mean she can’t coerce him into helping her track and dispatch the powerful demon that’s been cycling in and out of her radar for the last few days.

Demons are the sworn enemies of every angel, but Asta must learn to trust Dar or the dark presence that is growing in Chicago will spread - and this particular enemy has the skills and knowledge to send human civilization back to the dark ages. She has one week left as an enforcer before she returns to her heavenly home – one week to catch an elusive monster, and one week to safeguard her heart from the demon who is determined to seduce her to sin.

My thoughts on Three Wishes:

Three Wishes is a spin-off from Debra Dunbar’s Imp series.  It does stand alone.  I loved both Asta and Dar.  Asta, is an angel, has been on Earth 100 years and is just one week from going back home when she meets Dar, the demon.  Things just keep getting more complicated and fun as the two get together.

Dar is just fun, fun, fun with an unexpected serious side.  His has great lines and an engaging personality.  Asta on the other hand is very serious about her job.  She keeps trying to keep Dar in check.  I loved their back and forth relationship.  There is another demon on the scene and he is really bad news.  Both Dar and Asta have to work together to save humans from the damage this very angry demon can do.

If you start reading and wonder where the title Three Wishes comes from keep going.  It does not show up until the middle of the book and then it is not what you might expect.


A few blocks later, the demon turned and walked into a bakery.  Not just any bakery, but Alliance Bakery. The charming retro neon sign blinked invitingly, and the canvas awning proclaimed the availability of macarons, croissants, and wedding cakes, but it was the sweet, rich smell of sugar and butter mixed with the aroma of coffee that had Asta pressing her nose against the glass. It had been a while since she’d walked the streets in this section of town, filling her senses with what, for her, was forbidden.  She was a bit surprised to see that Alliance was no longer an old-fashioned Polish bakery, but instead had filled their display window with an array of colorful French pastries. Éclairs and fruit tarts crowded around intricate fondant-covered cakes.  And what were those brightly colored round things?

And where was the demon?

Berating herself for her inattention, Asta scanned the area, breathing a sigh of relief when she realized he was still inside, broadcasting his energy like a homing signal. She should move, get away from the door so he didn’t knock her over when he left.  That wouldn’t exactly be stealthy.  Still . . . all those pastries.

The door opened, and she jumped, hastily moving aside. He turned, his eyes meeting hers.

Oh shoot.  Busted. But she couldn’t turn away if she’d wanted to.  The front of him was even more entrancing than the back.  High cheekbones with an angular jaw in a tanned face.  A sharp nose, its lines softened by a full, generously curved mouth.  His shirt was unbuttoned at the top, revealing a golden vee of skin.  But it was his eyes that held her in place — gray with flecks of bright silver.  A corner of his mouth curved upward in a sardonic smile, as red lit his eyes with a flash.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

After majoring in English with a concentration in Medieval Literature and Folklore studies, Debra promptly sold out to the corporate world, occasionally writing marketing copy and op/ed articles for a local city paper. By day, she designs compensation programs, after dark she stuffs her nose into obscure mythology, and feverishly writes her novels. A DEMON BOUND is her debut novel.

Debra lives on a farm in Maryland with Sweetie, three sons, and a Noah's ark of four legged family members. She drives an old PT Cruiser, couldn't carry a tune if you duct taped it to her back, and enjoys an occasional cosmopolitan (heavy on the vodka). On a good day, she jogs and horseback rides, hopefully managing to keep the horse between herself and the ground. Her only known super power is 'Identify Roadkill'.

Book Link:



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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Survivor (Vicky Peterwald #2) by Mike Shepherd

Science Fiction/Space Opera

From Goodreads:

Seeking revenge for her brother’s death, Grand Duchess Vicky Peterwald underwent an unlikely transformation—from pampered heir to naval lieutenant. Now a new challenge looms: Vicky will need to use both her military and political ranks to rebuild war-torn planets, planets ruined both by the Peterwald Empire and by Kris Longknife’s revolutionary quests.

But not everyone shares Vicky’s goals. When the death-before-dishonor code of the Navy meets the anything-goes-to-win motto of the Imperial family, Vicky must confront, outwit, and conquer both revolutionaries and her own family to stifle galactic disorder.

And nothing stops a Grand Duchess, on or off the field.

When I first met Vicky she was not very likeable.  She has been a side character in the Kris Longknife series and now has a spin off series of her own.  She has been going through a change since she got her own series and with Survivor she really becomes a different person.  She is concerned with others and has learned to think on her feet.  As she works with others to change what is happening in the Peterwald Empire she begins to like how people are reacting to her.

This is a fast paced, action filled story.  The actions are what show the changes in Vicky and by the end of the book she is a much more likeable character.  After reading the first book I was not that sure about the series but with book two Shepherd has changed Vicky into someone that I want to continue reading about. 

Survivor could stand alone. I enjoy it more because I read book one and have read the entire Kris Longknife series.  If you start with Survivor you may want to go back to the previous books for more fun reading.

Ace published Survivor by Mike Shepherd in 2014.

I received an ARC of Survivor from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Musing Mondays - May 25, 2015

MusingMondays-ADailyRhythmMusing Mondays is a weekly meme sponsored by A Daily Rhythm that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Where is the strangest place you’ve ever read a book? OR… Where is the strangest place you’ve ever found a crazy-good book, unexpectedly?

I am excited to tell you about the Liaden books by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.  The series
started in the late 1980's.  Was stopped by the publisher and brought back when a new start up arrived in the publishing world.  That company went out of business and Baen picked up 
their contract.  Dragon in Exile is the latest book and I started it yesterday.  Love, Love, Love the series.  For long time fans this is extra special as we get to catch up with many of the major players in the series.  If you like SciFi/Space Opera with some romance start this series.  I think you will Love, Love, Love it too.

Strangest place to read a book.  I really don't know but I expect it was when we were doing a lot of camping with our three young sons.  In those days I always had a paperback book with me when we hiked.  I would read anytime we rested or found a place where the boys wanted to spend some time.  No ereaders in those days.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Marcus: Hell Squad (Hell Squad #1) by Anna Hackett

Science Fiction

From Goodreads:

In the aftermath of a deadly alien invasion, a band of survivors fights on…

In a world gone to hell, Elle Milton—once the darling of the Sydney social scene—has carved a role for herself as the communications officer for the toughest commando team fighting for humanity’s survival—Hell Squad. It’s her chance to make a difference and make up for horrible past mistakes…despite the fact that its battle-hardened commander never wanted her on his team.

When Hell Squad is tasked with destroying a strategic alien facility, Elle knows they need her skills in the field. But first she must go head to head with Marcus Steele and convince him she won’t be a liability.

Marcus Steele is a warrior through and through. He fights to protect the innocent and give the human race a chance to survive. And that includes the beautiful, gutsy Elle who twists him up inside with a single look. The last thing he wants is to take her into a warzone, but soon they are thrown together battling both the alien invaders and their overwhelming attraction. And Marcus will learn just how much he’ll sacrifice to keep her safe.

Marcus: Hell Squad is a good start to a new series by Anna Hackett.  As the blurb says it is set in a future where aliens have invaded and almost wiped out humans.  Hackett does a good job in getting the world building and back-story up and running.  After that the main tension is between Marcus and Elle.  Both are intense characters.  Marcus just wants to protect his squad and keep Elle out of the field.  Elle just want it do her job even if it means putting herself in danger.  Add to fact that both are attracted to the other but covering it up adds to the tension.  All in all a satisfying story. 

Don’t look for any solutions to the alien problem but do look for an intense romance.  Also look at the other members of the squad for hooks to the next story in the series.

Amazon Digital Services published Marcus: Hell Squad by Anna Hackett in 2015.

I received an ARC of Marcus from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56 - May 22, 2015

I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and join the fun.

The Beginning:

"I'm busier than a mosquito at a nudist colony: Things We say in the South" Saying at beginning of Chapter One.

So, how exactly did you manage to drive the car into the pool?" - First sentence at Chapter One

The Friday 56:

"My brain flew through thoughts of Matty Thibault and her note, Mick Thibault and his affair with Ms. Jamison, and Randall Jamison's pending DNA test at the lab."

From Worked to Death by Kerri Nelson. I go an ARC from the author and have to say I got several good laughs while trying to solve the mystery. It was a fun mystery.