Thursday, February 28, 2019

Mother of the Chosen by Laneal Falor - Book Blast and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Janeal Falor will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Adriella is pregnant with the child she's always wanted.

She can't wait to share the joy with her husband. Prophecy has other plans. The countryside is a ablaze with rumors of a soon-to-be-born child who will destroy the High King.

A royal decree demands the death of any child who could threaten the throne, including Adriella's unborn baby. Worse, her husband is one of the soldier's enlisted to carry out the king's demands.

Now Adriella must keep her secret and flee, rather than celebrate with her spouse.

With the High King's men searching for anyone who defies him, the country is full of grieving parents, and the streets run red with the blood of the innocents. Adriella knows her chances of survival are slim, but she'll sacrifice everything to stay one step ahead of the law.

If she can't evade capture, she'll lose the one thing more precious to her than her own life—her child.

Book One of her Mother of the Chosen series.

Read an Excerpt

My dagger was in my hand before I realized it. The growl came again, the sound of it sending a chill through my body. Whatever the creature was, it sounded big. Very big. And hungry.

Richart snaked his arm around me. He whispered, “Stay close to me. Don’t get separated.”

Candui and Aphier silently made their way over to us slower, crossing the clearing a footstep at a time. The moment they reached us, an enormous animal bounded into the little area that had been our area for months, its huge fangs dripping with saliva. It had a long, thin body of gray with darker spots on its hind end. It was low to the ground, but agile.

Aphier swore. This creature wasn’t something I’d seen before, and it looked hungry. If Aphier was this upset, it couldn’t be a good thing.

Another roar sounded, the black hairs on the back of the creature’s body standing on end, as a second and third animal joined the first.

Richart stuck his arm out in front of me, sword in the other hand, and slowly started backing up. The others did the same. At least we were getting some space from the beasts, but the way they eyed us, it wouldn’t be that way for long.

Without warning, the first of them leaped across the distance between us in a single bound.

Richart slashed at it, making it dart away. To us, he yelled, “Run!”About the Author:
Janeal Falor lives in Utah with her husband and three children. She loves both reading and writing fantasy--with romance, always romance. In her non-writing time she teaches her kids to make silly faces, cooks whatever strikes her fancy, and attempts to cultivate a garden even when half the things she plants die. When it's time for a break she can be found taking a scenic drive with her family, dating her husband, or drinking hot chocolate.


Purchase Links:

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Amazing, Unfolding world of Machine Civilization Series by Clayton Barnett - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway

The Amazing, Unfolding World of Machine Civilization Series
by Clayton Barnett


GENRE: Science Fiction


NOTE: Echoes of Family Lost and The Fourth Law are only $0.99



A history beginning in our near future, these stories are set in a world where the US dollar has been displaced as the world’s reserve currency, prompting its economic and political collapse, with a few areas able to hold onto civilization.

At the same time, across the Pacific, under a resurgent economy brought about by the implementation of new technology and deregulation, three Japanese companies produce breakthroughs in both artificial intelligence and robotics.  These newly made people exhibit an odd interest in the goings-on of the former United States.
To-date, my chronicling of this interest of theirs has led to stories that populate five novels, which I would like to share with everyone now!

The Fourth Law- In the near future, 23-year-old apprentice nurse Lily Barrett lives in a shattered time.  Following its economic collapse, the US has devolved into a group of a few barely functional smaller states and vast swathes of barbarian badlands.  His sister has been missing for years, and her father, after earning the opprobrium of most of the world for running a state terror organization, presumed dead.

Two things keep her going: her live-in job at a small, Catholic orphanage in the city of Waxahachie, Republic of Texas, and Ai, her odd but dear friend, whom she met online; a young woman who only shows herself to Lily as a rendered CG image.

Troubled by her past, haunted by her name, and facing an uncertain future, Lily seems only a quiet, simple life.  But, that past and her present conspire against her.

Echoes of Family Lost- Alive!  After four years believing her older sister lost and presumed dead in the horrible Breakup of the United States, Lily Barrett gets word from her dear friend, Ai – and Ai’s family of Machine Civilization – that Callie Barrett is very likely alive… but over 900 miles away in Knoxville.

Using the resources of her and Ai’s family, Lily puts together a search party to go find Callie:  old, broken, and burnt Orloff – an expert in surviving in the Badlands, Ai’s little sister, Fausta – her machine mind controlling a Combat Android to protect her friend, all together in a cart pulled by their sturdy pony, Clyde.

It’s almost a thousand miles to go, with something very odd trying to limit their ability to communicate over distance and even to cross bridges.  A chance meeting along the way in Huntsville, former Alabama, wrecks their plans, and puts all of their lives in danger.

Cursed Hearts- Even with San Diego occupied by the Mexican Army, Katarina Sosabowski pursues her MBA at UCSD, and is happy to welcome and put up her visiting step-cousin from Japan, Christopher Dennou, for a night so he can complete his enrollment the following day.

But a minor earthquake brings a major surprise: Chris’s younger sister, Maya, murders their mother and escapes Neuroi Institute, the research facility that created them.

While Chris and ‘Cat’ grow closer to one another, Maya inexorably crosses an ocean and half a continent to take back her brother, killing anyone who gets in her way.

Friend and Ally- Model 5 is a prototype designed to fit seemlessly into human society.  A meeting in Tokyo derails Nichole’s planned training as she is dispatched to Portland, former Oregon; the last working deep water port on the West Coast of the imploding US.

There, under her cover as a Graduate Engineering Student, she is to do her utmost to nurture the people and politics of the City-State into a Friend and Ally of the Japanese Empire.  But from the first day in her new home, all of Nichole’s plans go awry.

Beset by those who want this small lamp of Western Civilization snuffed out, Nichole must find within herself the courage and ability to protect her new friends, at whatever consequence to herself.

Foes and Rivals- After residing nearly a year in Portland, Nichole’s life seems to finally settle down: with her classes, friends, and lover.  But troubling rumors about secret deals between the City’s master and the savage horsemen to the east reach her ears.

With her own skills augmented by her friends and allies, she sets plans into motion she hopes will thwart those in opposition to her dream of a peaceful future.

Once again denied a quiet, normal life, Nichole is faced to make hard, dangerous choices that will jeopardize her, her friends, and the survival of the City itself.



Echoes of Family Lost:

Lily stared through her field glasses toward the bridge.  On the roof of an abandoned eight-story warehouse on the east side of West Memphis, they wanted to try to confirm the rumor before they went any further.  The air was cool – mid-fifties, she guessed – and the gray clouds didn’t affect her view.

“The span’s still there…” she said aloud.  But, was something dangling from the middle?  

“Fausta? That middle section…?” Lily asked without turning or lowering her glasses.

“Definitely damaged,” Fausta replied in her low, rich voice.  “I’d speculate it was either a missile or kinetic energy weapon; a simple bomb would have blown out and up as well.”

Lily lowered her field glasses and turned to her friend.  Jump boots, field gray pants, combat webbing over her similar colored jacket, that, over a black tee shirt, with her large sunglasses perched atop her head.  Her long brown hair was kept under control in a tight braid.  Fausta turned her android body to face Lily, and stared down at her with her “eyes.”

At least I don’t shudder anymore, Lily thought.  Not at all pretty like Ai’s body had, these were not even eyeballs:  a complex cluster of synthetic micro-crystals was stuffed into each socket.  ‘Electromagnetic search array’ was what Fausta had called them.  More powerful than Ai’s, they could see into ultraviolet and infrared.  Even so, they’re creepy as hell.


Mixed Book Bag Guest Post –

Where are five places you might visit for inspiration for your books? or What are some of the Key settings in each of you book?

Besides the miracle of self-publishing, another of our information age is maps: overhead imagery, 3D tilt imagery, street-level imagery.  As recently as ten years ago, I would have spent thousands of dollars travelingabout the US and parts of Japan to make sure I got my geography correct (I actually know a lawyer in Waxahachie, Texas; had I got it wrong he would sue me!).  Now, with very few exceptions, you can peruse these images from the comfort of your chair in your home looking at your computer.
But still…
This is MBB’s place, but these are also my stories, so I’m going to take a bit of license with the question; let’s ask, ‘What are some of the key settings in each of your five books of Machine Civilization?’ instead.  Please forgive me stepping on your toes!

“The Fourth Law” – most of the drama takes place in the small town of Waxahachie, Republic of Texas; about an hour and a half south of Dallas.  Close enough that Lily once went to the outskirts of that burnt-out city with her then-boyfriend, pretending to be “zombie-cannibal hunters!”  The port of Galveston makes an appearance, along with the Travaasa Resort in Austin.  There’s a flashback to how she and her parents were marooned in Japan when the US economycollapsed and how they muddled through as best they could as strangers in a strange land. The strangest land of all, of course, is the home of Lily’s dearest friend, Ai, and Ai’s family. Things are… different there.

“Echoes of Family Lost” – The first half of the book is a road story from two perspectives that starts in Lily’s hometown.  The other story, in parallel, begins in Knoxville (with a flashback to Bardstown, Kentucky and central Ohio, where Leslie Hartmann wifesup) and makes its way to Huntsville, former Alabama.  Lily along with her friend Fausta and their guide, Orloff, make their way to Huntsville, too, where the rest of the plot unfolds.

“Cursed Hearts” – Chris and his step-cousin Cat try to create a settled routine in Mexican-occupied San Diego while going to university.  But back in his home in Hokkaido, an earthquake lets his little sister, Maya, loose, who proceeds to cross the Pacific… Hakadote Port to Vancouver BC to San Diego… with a trail of death in her wake.

“Friend and Ally” – Made in Osaka with a boundless desire for friendship, Nichole 5 is unexpectedly summoned to an audience with Japan’s new Empress Togame in Tokyo.  Nichole is dispatched thereafter to Portland, former Oregon. Under her cover as a grad student at Portland State, Model 5 finds herself in three border wars to the north, northwest, and east as she tries to bring stability to the region.

“Foes and Rivals” – after nearly a year with stability achieved, Nichole 5 is now hip-deep in politics; politics that find her seconded to the mounted horsemen far to the east who desire to be foederatiin the lush central Washington valleys. Model Five walks a tautwire of power-politics to preserve her lover and her friends, all while creating a shadow government in the city of Portland.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

One time engineer, some time pharmacy technician, full time husband and father, Clayton Barnett stumbled into writing a traditional novel November 2014 during National Novel Writing Month. Liking the results, he edited what would become “The Fourth Law” and set about teaching himself self-publishing. In the following four years he has produced four more novels as well as a children’s early reader, all in what is now called Machine Civilization.  

Clayton Barnett lives in central Ohio with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs.

Book Links




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

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It's Getting Scot in Here by Suzanne Enoch - Blog Tour and Giveaway

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of It's Getting Scot in Here.  Contest closes on 2/28.


London socialite Amelia-Rose Baxter is nobody’s fool. Her parents may want her to catch a title, but she will never change who she is for the promise of marriage. Her husband will be a man who can appreciate her sharp mind as well as her body. A sophisticated man who loves life in London. A man who considers her his equal—and won’t try to tame her wild heart...
Rough, rugged Highlander Niall MacTaggert and his brothers know the rules: the eldest must marry or lose the ancestral estate, period. But Niall’s eldest brother just isn’t interested in the lady his mother selected. Is it because Amelia-Rose is just too. . . Free-spirited? Yes. Brazen? Aye. Surely Niall can find a way to soften up the whip-smart lass and make her the perfect match for his brother for the sake of the family.
Instead it’s Niall who tempts Amelia-Rose, despite her reservations about barbarian Highlanders. Niall finds the lass nigh irresistible as well, but he won’t make the mistake his father did in marrying an Englishwoman who doesn’t like the Highlands. Does he have what it takes to win her heart? There is only one way to find out...


Once upon a time – in May 1785, to be exact – Angus MacTaggert, Earl Aldriss, traveled from the middle of the Scottish highlands to London in search of a wealthy bride to save his well-loved but crumbling estate.  Aldriss Park had been in the MacTaggert Family since the time of Henry VII, when Domhnall MacTaggert, despite being Catholic and married, declared publicly that Henry should be able to wed as many lasses as he wanted until one of them got him a son.  Aldriss Park was the newly minted earl’s reward for his support and understanding.

For the next two hundred years Aldriss thrived, until the weight of poor harvests, the every-intruding, rule-making Sassenach, and the MacTaggets’ one fondness for drinking, gambling and wild investments (including an early bicycle design where in the driver sat between two wheels; sadly it had no braking mechanism and after a series of accidents nearly began a war within g\the MacTaggets’ clan Ross) began to sink it into disrepair.


When Amelia-Rose Baxter and Niall MacTaggert met I was sure I knew where this story was going and how it would get there. Well it seemed to get there half way through the book and then it took a sharp left turn. After that it took another turn and then another before Amelia and Niall finally get their HEA. An interesting and convoluted plot with two likable characters that kept me reading. A great start to a new series.

About the Author

A lifelong lover of books, Suzanne Enoch has been writing them since she learned to read. She is the author of two well-received traditional Regencies, 24 and counting England-set Historical Romances, four contemporary Romantic Suspense novels, and a growing number of Scottish Highlands Historical Romances including the October 2016 release of HERO IN THE HIGHLANDS (Book One in the No Ordinary Hero trilogy).

A native and current resident of Southern California, Suzanne lives with a green parakeet named Kermit, some very chirpy finches, and a small army of Star Wars figures (including a life-size Yoda). Her books regularly appear on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, and when she's not busily working on her next book or staging fights with action figures, she likes to read, play video games, and go to the movies with her large and supportive village.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Believe in Me by Ella Quinn - Book Blast and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ella Quinn will be awarding a $50 gift card - Amazon or iTunes (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Even the Worthington least likely to wed may find her perfect match

. . . Marriage has worked out quite nicely for her older sisters, yet Lady Augusta Vivers is certain it would end her studies in languages and geography, and stop her from travelling. But when her mother thwarts her plan to attend the only university in Europe that accepts women—in Italy—she is forced to agree to one London Season. Spending her time at parties proves an empty diversion—until she encounters the well-traveled Lord Phineas Carter-Wood. Still, Europe awaits . . .

Phineas has studied architecture all over the world, yet Augusta is his most intriguing discovery yet. How can he resist a woman who loves maps and far-off lands? But her longing for all things foreign hinders any hope of courtship. When he learns her cousins have offered a trip to Europe, he secretly arranges to join their party. For he is determined to show Augusta that a real union is a thrilling adventure of its own. And when their journey is beset by dangerous obstacles, he gets far more opportunity than he bargained for . . .

Read an Excerpt

He reached out his hand as if to touch her, then dropped it. “Please don’t be. I do know how much planning goes into a journey.” He grinned at her. “Even if you are not making all the preparations, you still have a great deal to do and many decisions to make. I apologize for not thinking of that.”

“Well, thank you, again.” She would miss him when she was gone, but she was glad he understood. “If we do not see much of each other over the next few days, good luck with your hunt for a wife.”

“Your wishes are appreciated.” The corner of his mouth cocked up into a crooked smile. “Not that I blame you for having your ambitions, but your leaving has made my search much harder.”

“Yes, well.” She brushed back a curl from her face. “Perhaps you will find a lady whom you can love.”

Taking her hand, he kissed it, and the warmth of his lips radiated up her arm. Good Lord, she’d forgotten neither of them wore gloves. Augusta became acutely aware of the strength in his lightly calloused hands, and removed her fingers from his grip. “I shall see you this evening.”

“Until then.” He inclined his head before taking his hat and cane from Thorton and strolling out the door.

She stared at Phinn until Thorton closed the door. Perhaps, after this evening, she should eschew entertainments altogether.

“Augusta,” Grace said, “you must decide if you’ll take Zephyr with you. Hector needs to know.”

“I do wish to take her with me.” She was leaving so much behind, but not her horse.

“Very well. I’ll send him a message. Please be ready to go in a half hour.”

“I will.” Phinn had more than surprised her this morning. If he loved her— No! She was not going to think about that. Allowing herself to fall in love with him would only lead to heartache.

About the Author: USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn's studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a Great Dane. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat. After cruising the Caribbean and North America, she completed a transatlantic crossing from St. Martin to Southern Europe. She's currently living in Germany, happily writing while her husband is back at work, recovering from retirement.

Ella loves when readers connect with her.

Author Contact and Social Media:

Twitter: "

Buy Links:

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon AU:
Amazon CA:
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Monday, February 25, 2019

The High Sierras Series - Deadly Purpose, Already Gone by Diane Benefiel - Book Blast and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Diane Benefiel will be awarding Flash Point + Dead Giveaway to 2 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


A decade after Logan walked out on Maddy, he returns, and emotions long banked surface, then everything becomes complicated and dangerous.


Thrown together, and neither is happy about it, Meg and Declan navigate their unwanted growing attraction as they fight to keep Meg alive.

Read an Excerpt from Deadly Purpose:

Who was occupying her father’s cabin?

The surly face of a bearded man was not what she expected. Tall and long-limbed, his wide shoulders filled the door. Furrowed brows shadowing dark brown eyes and a scowling expression did nothing to alleviate the feeling that she’d awakened a bear in its den. And a hungry bear at that.

“What do you want?”

About the same time he growled out the question, the warmth hit her. It emanated from inside the cabin and felt like a thick blanket pulled fresh from the dryer and wrapped snugly around her. She wanted to slip past him and find a place to lie down for the next week or so. Someplace out of the way where she could ignore him until she felt better and could deal with his intrusion.

He stepped forward and wariness had her taking a step back before she recovered herself. Grow a spine. Don’t cower. Stand up for yourself.

He stepped onto the porch and pulled the door shut behind him.

Meg suppressed a groan at the loss of warmth. Gathering her resolve, she asked, “Who are you?” At least her voice sounded strong. “And what are you doing in my cabin?”

“Not your cabin. You must have missed a turn. Go figure out where.” He reached back to lay a hand on the doorknob.

“This is my cabin. You need to leave.”

He gave her a once-over before locking his gaze on hers. “I know what the owner of this place looks like, and you don’t fit the bill. Go away.”

“If I go away, I’ll get the sheriff and let him deal with you. I don’t think he’ll tolerate squatters in these mountains. I’ll give you ten minutes to get your things around, then you’re gone.”

“Go for it, lady. We have a police chief, not a sheriff, and cell coverage is spotty up here. By the time you get into town, it’ll be dark. Chief Gallagher is too smart to bother with this right now. He’ll tell you to get a room at a motel somewhere and figure it out in the morning.”

She sized up the man. With his tough build, he wouldn’t be easy to budge. This was not how she envisioned her day ending. She tightened her arms around her middle to stop the shiver snaking up her spine. A glance out from under the porch showed fat snowflakes wafting softly from the sky. She’d never seen snow falling before. Watching the drift of hazy white made her head swim.

“What the hell?” She jerked back when strong hands gripped her elbows, backing up her breath in her lungs. “What are you doing? Let go.”

“Then don’t act like you’re going to pass out.”

“I’m not going to pass out.” She pulled against his hold. “Hands off.”

He released her, putting his hands up like he was calming an emotionally disturbed person. The headache brewing at her temples spiked.

“You on something?”

Either irritation made his voice gruff, or it was his natural tone. She gave her forehead a surreptitious rub, not bothering to verbalize a response.

“Look at me.” He cast his gaze over her face. Only full, sensuous lips softened the rough planes of his face. He raised a hand and she backed up. A fuzzy sensation crowded at the edge of her brain, reminding Meg of when she’d suffered a concussion after being beaned in the head by a softball pitch.
“Steady there.” He held up a finger. “Without moving your head, follow my finger with your eyes.”

She looked him straight in the eye. “You know what you can do with that finger, don’t you?”

Only the slight crinkling at the corner of his eyes gave her any indication that the comment had struck home. He laid the back of his hand against her forehead. She didn’t jerk back this time, but it was a close call.

“You’re not high, you’re sick. Your skin is hot to the touch.”

About the Author:

National Readers’ Choice Award winner for her novel, Solitary Man, Diane Benefiel has been an avid reader all her life. She enjoys a wide range of genres, from westerns to fantasy to mysteries, but romance has always been a favorite. She writes what she loves best to read – emotional, heart-gripping romantic suspense novels. She likes writing romantic suspense because she can put the hero and heroine in all sorts of predicaments that they have to work together to overcome.

A native Southern Californian, Diane enjoys nothing better than summer. For a high school history teacher, summer means a break from teenagers, and summer allows her to spend her early mornings immersed in her current writing project. With both kids living out of the house, in addition to writing, she enjoys camping and gardening with her husband.

Diane loves hearing from her readers.





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Sunday, February 24, 2019

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 363 - Severed by Shona Husk, Jake's Redemption by Jamie Schulz

Severed (Precinct One #1)Severed by Shona Husk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Severed was a hard book to put in a category. It is science fiction that flows over into erotica, There is a lot of sex and much of it male/male. Then it goes to a triad for two males and one female. Both are the norm for this world that Shona Husk has built. I loved the three main characters. All are strong but have very human weaknesses. The world building is unique as women fly and men walk. Halle Ish, Avin Lent, and Jarro Coblic end up together while facing danger. Their reactions to each other drive the story. This is the start of a new series and I look forward to seeing what happens next in the very fascinating world.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Jake's Redemption: The Angel Eyes Series PrequelJake's Redemption: The Angel Eyes Series Prequel by Jamie Schulz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jake's Redemption turns the tables on male and female relationships. Jake is a slave as are most of the men in this world. Women have a new power and the fate of men was changed during a war mentioned in the book. Jake's status is not changed in the story. He is always a slave but what does change is how he is treated when he leaves a place where he is kept barely alive to one where he is treated with respect. I liked the concept and the world building. I did think the book would have been better if it had been edited down and the story presented in a more concise manner. I found it to drag between the action and wanted the story to speed up. That said I am looking forward to the next book that continues the story started here.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Friday, February 22, 2019

The Mage Tales Prequels by Ilona Waters - Book Blast and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ilana Waters will be awarding a $75 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

From USA Today bestselling author Ilana Waters:

Vampire. Witch. Hero. Monster.

Titus Aurelius is all of these things. Ever since he rose from the ashes of ancient Pompeii, this former Roman general has fought for survival.

A few millennia later, bloodseeker Titus isn’t looking for trouble—just a quick meal. But when his path crosses the witch Abigail’s, that plan gets shot to Hades. They find out the Paranormal Investigation Agency (PIA) is plotting something monstrous—something that involves exploding gas mains, lethal bird-shifters, and sadistic vampire minions.

Will they uncover the PIA’s murderous secret before every supernatural in its path is destroyed?

And what is Titus and Abigail’s connection to the mage who, almost twenty years later, is exiled to a paranormal boarding school? Can this mage solve a mystery concerning a stolen potion and ghostly figure before students—including him—wind up dead?

Together for the first time, the Mage Tales Prequels: Books 0-II are action-packed, edge-of-your-seat suspense stories shot through with a megadose of snark. If you love authors like Kevin Hearne, Lev Grossman, and Ilona Andrews, give these a try! This box set contains one novella and two full-length novels:

When Darkness Falls
Blood and Magic
Mage Lessons

Read an Excerpt

From Mage Lessons:

It took all I had just to keep the protection spell up. My supply of magic began to run dangerously low.

Miles . . . Pen . . . anyone! If you’ve a heroic rescue in mind, now would be a really good time. My heart hammered against my rib cage. Even with the protection spell, I was covered in sweat. I felt the heat seeping through, burning my mouth, my throat. What little air I could get was so hot, it hurt to breathe.

No one’s coming. The realization hit me like an iceberg dropped into my stomach, despite the heat all around me. No one will get here in time. I’m going to burn to death, just like the witches of old. Now my heart was beating so fast, it felt like one long whir. Futilely, I covered my head with my arms and squeezed my eyes shut.

Oh, God. This is going to hurt so, so bad. At least it’ll be quick. Please, God, let it be quick.

Just as I was sure the fire would claim me, I saw a blinding flash of white. I honestly thought it was because I was about to die. Then, I heard a strange sound. It was faint inside my fiery prison. It took me a moment to recognize the sound as glass shattering. The hourglass had exploded, the way it always did at the end of a game. Outside the window, I saw its brightness light up the nighttime sky. Tournament was over.

And so am I.

About the Author:

Hi! I'm Ilana Waters, USA Today bestselling author of the Mage Tales.

I write urban fantasy for those who like it fast, funny, and fierce. If you're into cross-blended creatures (think witch-vampire hybrids and half-breed mages) and supernatural ass-kicking, I'm all over that. Ditto if your book turn-ons are equal parts creepy and action-packed (think ancient cities and crypts combined with beheadings and bombs).

Sign up for my newsletter here, and I'll give you a free book:


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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 362 - Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer, Fleet of Knives by Gareth L. Powell

Death in the Stocks (Inspectors Hannasyde and Hemingway #1)Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Death in the Stocks is the first in a mystery series by Georgette Heyer. It has the classic Heyer witty dialog and interesting characters. There are a lot of red herrings before the mystery is solved. However the characters seemed to be too in love with the sound of their own voices. All of the dialog became receptive and caused the story to drag. I think that the mystery is a little dated and it did not hold up as well as Heyer's historical romances have. Even so I was a little surprised by who did the two murders.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Fleet of Knives (Embers of War, #2)Fleet of Knives by Gareth L. Powell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Poor Trouble Dog (remember she is a warship that did not like what she had done and changed sides) Even a routine shape up flight after repairs turns into trouble. And not just trouble for her - trouble also for the ship they try to rescue. This changed view points throughout the book as danger from multiple fronts are revealed. There are new characters introduced and the crew of the Trouble Dog returns. Nod is still my favorite character and there is a big surprise when the ship goes off on the rescue mission. This set the stage for the next book and while the Trouble Dog is in constant danger much of that danger remains.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Short and Sweet book Reviews # 361 - The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas, The Ruin of Kings by Jennifer Lyons

The Psychology of Time TravelThe Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you think you know what time travel is like think again. Can't be in the same place at the same time - not true. You can have several of you from years apart in the same room at the same time. That allows the plot in The Psychology of Time Travel to move from a character from one time period to the same character from another time period while all are in the same place. And while that is part of the plot the action revolves around the murder of one of the main characters. We follow several people as they interact often without knowing that they are all part of the same story. This was very interesting with its different take on time travel and how different people saw the same action. The history, the backstory and the world building are all very well done and help keep the story line and characters moving. Pick this up for a very interesting and different murder mystery.

I receive a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons, #1)The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This follows Kihrin both before and after he becomes a slave. There are many hints about who and what Kihrin is but no answers. What does happen as the story progresses is complex world building, hints about Kihrin's backstory, and the introduction of multiple characters. Kihrin's actions bring danger and tension to himself and the people around him. All of this sets the stage for what will follow. There are no solutions to problems instead there is just an end to the book knowing that there is more to come. An interesting part of the world building is the addition of foot notes to things or people in the story adding information to the world and back story,

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

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Monday, February 18, 2019

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 360 - Believe in Me by Ella Quinn, The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Rowal

Believe in Me (The Worthingtons, #6)Believe in Me by Ella Quinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is a perfect match and there is a solution to all of your dreams you just have to work to find a solution. For Lady Augusta Vivers and Lord Phineas Carter-Wood it just takes time and travel. Throw in a little danger and the Worthingtons and you have the basis for this story. I did love how Augusta hated the restrictions placed on women and how she opened Phineas' eyes to the things that made her resistant to marriage. Phineas was a very good student and as both were very intelligent it made for great reading and an HEA for both.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut, #2)The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This time it is Mars and Elma York has a big decision to make. Children or space and we know what she choses. This follows her on the trip of her dreams but it is not without pitfalls. I enjoyed the characters and how they interacted. Even Parker came out as not so much as ***hole as before. I hated to leave Elma when she finally got to Mars so I looked up the short story that takes place many years later. (It was published first). I wished I had skipped it as it left me in tears. Even so a really good book and Mary Robinette Kowal does a wonderful job reading her story.

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Millionaire B&B by Robin Daniels - Book Blast and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Robin Daniels will be awarding a $50 mazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Sadie is a successful romance author. She can write a swoon-worthy man with the best of them but can’t seem to find one for herself. Miles is the cute and wealthy heir to Copeland Press, Sadie’s publishing house. It’s hard to find a woman in his social circle who appreciates a down-to-earth book nerd.

When a twist of fate has Miles and Sadie double booked in the same vacation rental, they decide to share the cabin. Even though Miles isn’t Sadie’s type, she can’t deny the chemistry between them. Sadie’s down for a flirty fling, but Miles has other plans. He’s got a huge crush, and just one week to convince Sadie they were meant for a happily ever after.

Read an Excerpt


“What’ll it be?” I looked at Miles after grabbing Ethan’s beer and a Diet Coke for myself.

“What do you have?”

I leaned over and hung on the refrigerator door, surveying its contents. “Corona Light, some cheap boxed wine, orange juice, Diet Coke, Dr Pepper, milk, water.” Miles hadn’t answered, and when I turned back, I caught him dragging his gaze away from my butt. “French vanilla creamer…” I teased, boring my eyes into him. He knew he was busted, but he played it off smoothly.

Miles chuckled. “I was going to say Dr Pepper, but you may have just sold me on the Coffee-Mate.” I grinned at his witty comeback, and his face lit up. Then he winked, and my heart skipped a beat.

There are all kinds of winkers in this world: the squinty winker, the rapid winker, the slow-motion winker, the blinker, the can’t-get-my-eye-closed-all-the-way half-blinker, and my least favorite, the over winker. Like Goldilocks, I decided Miles’s wink was just right.

“I’d have pegged you for a beer man,” I replied, handing Miles a Dr Pepper.

“I’m actually more of a wine guy. But I’ve just learned that wine with hamburgers is gross, and I’m trying to impress you.” I pressed my lips together. Was he teasing me or flirting with me? Because it sounded like a little of both.

About the Author:
Robin is an overgrown child who fancies herself a bit of a comedienne. She loves to laugh, crack jokes, create flirty characters, write witty banter and believes in happy endings. Robin lives outside of Phoenix with her wonderful husband, five crazy kids and naughty labradoodle puppy. Millionaire B&B is her first adult rom-com, but she has six YA titles that are equally fun.


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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 359 - Stroke of Luck by B.J. Daniels, The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

Stroke of LuckStroke of Luck by B.J. Daniels
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really loved the plot in Stroke of Luck. I was in the dark about who did what and who was who for most of the book. The two main characters (Will and Poppy) have a history that is playing out as danger, tension and death stalk the Sterling Montana's Ranch season opening. This is a great start to a new series with Luck being a big part of the story. There is a small touch of the paranormal in the story line as there is one character who believes in curses.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review

The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut, #1)The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Calculating Stars title is a play on words and a very clever one. The setting follows what happens when a large meteor strikes the earth setting up the need to find a way off planet as this may be an climate cataclysm. The story follows Elma York, a math genius and WASP pilot as she works to get humans into space. I loved the detail in the story and Mary Robinette Kowal does a really great job reading her creation. The background shows that the author did a lot of research as she wrote the book. I also identified with Elma and her struggle to included as an astronaut. That made it a very difficult book to quit listening to. I love that this is book one in the series and that I can connect with Elma in future books.

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 358 - Constellation XXI by Edward Hoornaert, Unforgettable You by Brenda Novak

Constellation XXIConstellation XXI by Edward Hoornaert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book three in the Repelling the Invasion series and I had not read the first two. As a result I missed the backstory and world building and was dropped right into the story. What was done in Constellation XXI was the character development. I loved both Sienna and Crispin. They had a past and it was getting in the way of the present. Sienna had a secret that was covered in guilt. Crispin was just happy to finally be back around Sienna. He also had a secret and that one was what they needed to win the war they were in. Ships had quit working and Crispin has found the secret. That secret was putting them in a lot of danger. Great story line with interesting aliens as well as humans. 

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Unforgettable You (Silver Springs, #5)Unforgettable You by Brenda Novak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Back in Silver Springs a new set of characters are center stage. This time the tension is very evident from the first page. While I liked the main characters I had trouble buying into the plot. Forgiveness is at the heart of the story. The event that lead to needing forgiveness made it hard to believe that the past could ever be put behind in the way the story was told. I do believe in moving on just not in the ways it came about in the story. 

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Can't Let Go by Chrissy Brown - Book Blast and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Chrissy Brown will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner, also an ebook of the second installment of the series Come a Little Closer (tentatively to be released 2/9), to another randomly drawn winner, both via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A sweet, yet steamy new adult romance about a girl who's not ready to fall in love and a boy who isn't ready to let her go.

She is beautiful, probably the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, but she's damaged.
Her a-hole exboyfriend broke her.
I still want her.
I can show her that all men aren't the same
That I'm different.

He's everything I need to stay away from, and I try.
I really do, but he's relentless.
So, I give in and let him have me.
All of me.
I should have known better.

Read an Excerpt:

I spend my days wondering what she’s doing.

Is she okay?

Is she out drinking herself to death like I am as I try to block out the pain?

Or, the worst one of all, did she get over me and move on to someone new? I think that thought tears me up the most. I know we haven’t been apart long, but the phrase “to get over someone you have to get under someone else” haunts me.

Thinking about her in some other man’s arms, his lips kissing her soft skin, his hands roaming her body, makes me sick. The only thing that helps numb the suckiness that has become my life is the whiskey.

I grab the bottle of Jack beside my bed and take a swallow, then chase it down with another and another until the pain doesn’t hurt quite as much. But no matter how much I drink, there’s always a dull ache that is Mallory.

About the Author:
Chrissy Brown is a Contemporary Romance and New Adult Romance author. She lives in Central Florida with her husband, twin girls, two dogs, and the neighborhood cat.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like cuddling on the couch watching movies with her family, reading, Netflix, and beach trips. She reads two to three books a week, but favors stories with strong women, true love, and steamy scenes.

When Chrissy is not sitting at her computer, fantasizing about gorgeous country boys, she is teaching third graders how amazing books are...and writing, and math. She has also been an amateur wedding photographer and a CNA (to which she gives kudos but says never again.)

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