Author Archives: Carrie

Mason Dixon – Monster Hunter by Eric R. Asher blitz with giveaway

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Mason Dixon – Monster Hunter Episode 1
Eric R. Asher
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

They are the first line of defense against the things that go bump in the night.

They are the keepers of a centuries-old legacy of The Church defending the world against the forces of darkness.

They are a bunch of highly armed rednecks, internet video celebrities, soccer moms, and assorted broken nutjobs.

They are the new Templars, and things are about to get weird.

From the pages of Bubba the Monster Hunter comes a new series featuring the Hunters from around the United States hunting down monsters, fighting off supernatural baddies, and making life really, really bad for the things that hunt people.

He’s Mason Dixon, and he’s a bona fide internet celebrity. He has his own video series, a pistol that deserves its own area code, and a high definition video camera, and he’s not afraid to use any of them.

In this introductory urban fantasy novella, we meet Mason, his right hand Emma, his “handler” Noah, his anime-styled hacker friend Himari, and more monsters than you can shake a stick at. Unless it’s a really big stick.

With Mason, it’s always a big stick. This first novella in the series follows Mason through the wilds of Missouri as he hunts down monsters that hunt men, monsters that eat chewing tobacco, and monsters that make pancakes. And there’s moonshine.

And then Bubba the Monster Hunter shows up.

The New Templars novella series is a new series of short novels, similar to BookShots. Mason Dixon – Monster Hunter is the first in the series by popular urban fantasy and steampunk author Eric R. Asher.

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EXCERPT:

“Out,” I said. “Get out of the pit. Safeties off.” I raised the stock to my shoulder and swept the area around us again.

Emma slipped and crashed into the pit, sending a cascade of stained white bones over the edge to clatter down into the limestone depression. We waited, and I could hear my own heartbeat pounding in my ears.

Boom.

We both froze. I don’t care how many times you’ve encountered something in the wild, you still freeze for a split second.

Boom.

“Move!” I hissed, backpedaling while keeping my tranquilizer aimed around Emma. She was almost out. We could get back on the ATVs and come back with bigger guns. 10cc darts? I should have brought the 50cc cannon. This was a mistake. The old man wasn’t crazy at all.

Boom. Boom. Boom. BoomBoomBoom.

The gowrow erupted from its lair like it had been spit forth by an angry god. Its stubby, bulbous body might have been humorous paired with its long scaly neck if not for the tusks fit for a mammoth gleaming in the dying sun. It would take that creature zero effort to kill us in one charge.

Its movements seemed awkward, but its attacks were practiced. The gowrow swiped at Emma with a four-toed webbed foot, a lethal claw extending from each digit. She fell backwards and rolled away, barely avoiding the attack.

Any doubt this gowrow was a maneater fled in a heartbeat.

I cranked the air pressure as high as it would go on the tranquilizer gun and fired. The dart rose slightly in a wind disturbance created by the massive creature and pinged harmlessly off the field of spiky scales lining its back. I cursed, flipped the butt of the rifle open, and loaded another dart.


Author Bio:

Eric is a former bookseller, cellist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis, Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading, gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.

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The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite

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The Darkest LiesThe Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Melanie Oak is a mother that gets the news that every parent out there dreads the most, that her little girl Beth has been hurt and is in the hospital hanging onto life. Melanie had walked her daughter most of the way to a friends house but as typical of a young teen Beth convinced her mother she could make it on her own but the next morning they find the girl had never arrived having lied to her parents her plans for the night.

Melanie being the distraught mother makes it her mission to make sure that the truth is revealed about what really happened to her daughter that night. Being a small community someone somewhere must have seen something and knows how her daughter ended up broken and beaten alone in the marshes and Melanie is determined she will get to the truth no matter the cost.

The Darkest Lies is a psychological thriller that takes a reader on quite a journey to get to just what happened to a young girl who is now hanging onto life. A lot of the story is told from the point of view of Melanie, the mother, who is doing a lot of internal talking to her injured daughter Beth about how she is going to find what happened that night. Now I’ve read books of this nature before but for some reason at times in this story Melanie would irritate me a bit with her internal monologue to Beth, perhaps because I questioned that her child is still alive why isn’t she spending time with her?

However, putting aside my doubts of Melanie and her character I found the story within this book quite compelling. There were a lot of twists and turns to keep a reader’s interest along the way in the story. I had my different guesses at the outcome in here and one of my suspicions happened to be true but then the author throws another twists at the reader and completely adds more to the story I don’t think anyone would expect. In the end I thought this one was a pretty good read even with questioning my liking the main character in parts of the book.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Cover Reveal: Keeping Claudia by Suzanne McKenna Link

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Keeping Claudia
Suzanne McKenna Link
(Toby & Claudia #2)
Publication date: May 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Back home in a town she once fled, headstrong Claudia Chiametti returns to the arms of the only guy ever to awaken her heart. Everything about Toby Faye contradicts her family’s traditions and values, but she’s ready to take a chance on love.

Toby finally has the girl he’s long dreamed of within his reach. But, it’s only a matter of time before light will be cast on the dark corners of a secreted past.

Can Claudia love him unconditionally …or will the truth cost Toby what he wants most?

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is hard.

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Author Bio:

Suzanne McKenna Link works for a family of newspapers that cover events in and around the South Shore of Long Island, New York. She lives in the town of Sayville with her husband and two children.

SAVING TOBY is her debut novel. The literary love story follows the moving journey of a damaged young man and his love for a girl who might just save him. An avid interest in psychology has Suzanne digging deep into the reasons for her characters’ behaviors. The native Long Islander is fascinated by the how and why of people’s actions. As a result, her characters come to life on the pages.

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Shopping for a CEO’s Wife by Julia Kent blitz with giveaway

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Shopping for a CEO’s Wife
Julia Kent
(Shopping for a Billionaire, #12)
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

Snowbound. Sounds so romantic, with visions of cuddling before a roaring fire, hot chocolate spiked with brandy, and a secret elopement.

Wait. What?

My fiancé’s father won’t stop trying to turn our pending wedding into a three-ring media circus so he can get free publicity for his family’s Fortune 500 company. My mother has decided she’s done with All Things Wedding and asks her teacup Chihuahua for mother-of-the-bride advice.

They’ve all gone certifiably mad.

Then the stress from the wedding puts my mother in the hospital, I scream at my future father-in-law in front of a camera crew and the video goes viral, and the romantic wedding that started with Andrew’s grand Pride and Prejudice proposal looks less like Jane Austen and more like Dostoyevsky.

So what do you do when you’re a fixer and you can’t fix something?

You give up on it.

Not on Andrew, silly.

The wedding.

Shopping for a CEO’s Wife is the 12th book in Julia Kent’s New York Times bestselling Shopping series. As Shannon and Declan enjoy their newlywed bliss, Andrew’s father wants to exploit Amanda and Andrew’s nuptials, much to Amanda’s chagrin. Can she learn to stand up to her future father-in-law and fight for what’s right? But the real question is: will Spritzy the teacup Chihuahua end up being a flower girl?

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EXCERPT:

“You have a remarkable capacity for imagining the strangest worst-case scenarios, Amanda.”

“I have to. I’m in love with you.”

“Hey!”

“Did I or did I not walk miles in an 1800s Regency-era costume after you lost your car keys AND a three-carat diamond ring in Walden Pond?”

“Yes, but — ”

“Did you or did you not have to rescue me, half clothed, from a pool at your brother’s wedding?”

“I am sensing a trend.”

“And did you, or did you not, wake up with me in a Vegas hotel room, thinking for a few hours that somehow we’d both married more than one man?”

Now he just sighs.

Ah.

Victory.


Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.

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All Darling Children by Katrina Monroe

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All Darling ChildrenAll Darling Children by Katrina Monroe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fourteen year old Madge Darling has been living with her grandmother Wendy for the last ten years since her mother’s death. But Madge doesn’t believe that her mother actually died fourteen years ago, she believes that her mother is alive and well and living in Chicago. Madge has the idea to try to run away to find her mother but gets caught and brought back to her grandmother.

Grandma Wendy however ends up having a heart attack and staying in the hospital. While her grandmother is away Madge again tries to head to the Windy City to find her mother but ends up meeting a boy named Peter Pan who lures her to a place called Neverland. While in Neverland Madge uncovers some disturbing secrets about the place, the family and Peter Pan.

All Darling Children is a twisted retelling of the classic story of Peter Pan. This version is a bit more horror and as some others before it centers around a more evil version of Peter than the one in the original tale. There are all the characters that you are used to knowing from Peter Pan but with a more horror twist to the story.

I have to say I’m a sucker for anything Peter Pan and have read quite a lot of different versions. While a more evil Peter isn’t new the author did an OK job coming up with her own story in this version. However I didn’t rate this one very high due to it having a lot of inconsistencies involved with not only the characters descriptions/personalites but even some of the action in the story. If a huge fan of retellings or Peter Pan I’d still say give it a shot but don’t pay too close attention to the details or it may leave you scratching your head.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Ward Against Death (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer, #1) by Melanie Card

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Ward Against Death (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer, #1)Ward Against Death by Melanie Card
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Ward de’Ath is a necromancer whose latest job is to bring the daughter of a nobleman back to life for fifteen minutes to be able to say goodbye to her since she had been taken quickly. However when Ward awakens Celia Carlyle she has plans of her own even after death giving Ward a bit more than he expected from this simple job.

Celia when awakening claims that she was murdered and immediately takes off on Ward in a quest to find her killer. All Ward really wanted was to become a surgeon but when he wasn’t able to do so he thought being a necromancer would be simple but now unable to abandoned Celia, Ward finds himself in danger as she takes on the quest to find her killer.

Ward Against Death is the first book in the Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer series by Melanie Card. I have to say that for me this would be one of those reads that sounded a lot better than it turned out being for me. The book started off rather well grabbing my attention but at some point it just seemed to start to drag and get a bit redundant maybe.

One of the things in here that I really didn’t care too much for is when the characters are attracted towards one another. It’s a book about raising the dead and a teenage assassin that had been murdered so I really didn’t find it necessary to toss in the young adult book needs a romance of some sort plot line. As far as the rest of the plot too it just seemed to stall out in the excitement department for me leaving me with rating this one at 2.5 stars.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Cover Reveal: Karma by Cynthia Vespia

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Karma
Cynthia Vespia
(Silke Butters, #1)
Publication date: June 21st 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

A mask, a makeup brush, and amazing powers. It’s all in a days work when supermodel turned superhero, Karma, faces off against criminal masterminds, The Sin Squad, who are endowed with their own special powers.

Silke Butters is the face of the fashion world. Her Indian heritage and long, silky black hair have made her an international icon. Silke is also one of the most powerful superheroes in the world…she just doesn’t know it yet.

When her father, Sgt. Duke Butters, dies suddenly, the block he’s had on Silke’s powers breaks causing them to come to the surface out of Silke’s control. Through the help of Joe Riggs, her father’s second in command and Silke’s former crush, she discovers that there are other superhumans like her in the world including Joe himself. As Silke’s powers begin to grow she finds herself caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between both a subdivision of the U.S. government known as Shadow Company, and a ruthless terrorist organization known as The Sin Squad. Both entities want the “enhanced” for their respective teams with Silke as the main prize.

To disguise her famous face, Silke invents an alter ego. Karma is born of necessity to decide the fate of those who are ill-intentioned and empower others with hope. Alongside Joe, and her computer hacker friend Maki, Silke develops a heroes call-to-action to battle the dark force that threatens to annihilate humanity.

KARMA is the first in a series of 5 novels. It will appeal to fans of superheroes like Wonder Woman and Supergirl, as well as novels by Patricia Briggs, Cassandra Clare, and Sherrilyn Kenyon.

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Author Bio:

Cynthia Vespia “The Original Cyn” writes speculative fiction that encompasses fantasy, the paranormal, and magic realism. Her characters are rich with detail and fabulously flawed which breathes life into them with a realism readers can identify with. Cynthia’s creative worlds are an amalgamation of many different genres which offers a cross-over appeal. Her novels are emotionally engaging, leaving hearts pounding and pages turning. She has been nominated for a “Best in Series” award for her fantasy trilogy Demon Hunter.

She has also turned her creative energy into Original Cyn Creative Services, an award-winning copy, design, and video source for the development of promotional content. With over a decade of experience her background has included feature writing for a variety of publications; web design; national marketing and promotional campaigns via print and copy; script writing; video trailers and montages for authors and entrepreneurs. Her creative work has won awards for “Most Artistic Trailer” Demon Hunter 2: Seek & Destroy; “Best Video” Bloodlines; “Honorable Mention” for Anti-Bullying Campaign, and a nomination for “Best Cover Design” Demon Huntress: Destiny Unleashed.

During her downtime she enjoys getting lost in a good book or movie, and keeping active through martial arts and weight training.

Cynthia is available for freelance work, conventions, and workshops.

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Deathbringer by Tamara Grantham blitz with giveaway

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Deathbringer
Tamara Grantham
(Fairy World M.D., Olive Kennedy)
Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Some heroes are fated to save the world. Others are meant to destroy it…

Olive Kennedy is all about positive thinking. She’s been stuck on Earth for the past four months, waiting for the spring equinox to arrive so she can return to Fairy World — but she’s staying positive. She’s hopeful she’ll once again see her handsome Viking fiancé who’s waiting for her. She’s optimistic that her mission to reclaim the sword of Dracon — a sword of King Arthur fame and the only weapon capable of killing Theht — won’t result in death and destruction. And then there’s the small matter of an asteroid that’s been ripped out of its orbit and is hurtling toward Earth…no biggie.

One last thing — she’s fated to destroy the world. To stop that prophecy from being fulfilled, she may have to sacrifice the one person she loves the most.

Good thing she’s staying positive.

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EXCERPT:

I stood and crossed to my bedroom, then grabbed my backpack and slung it over my shoulder. After grabbing my temporary mirror case out of a drawer, I placed it on top of my dresser.

I wasn’t sure if I should cringe or laugh as I scanned my new mirror. I’d found it at the dollar store after a frustrating day of trying to create a new mirror box with no

success. I’d bought it because it was absurd and to remind myself that it was temporary.

The plastic box was pink with the name BARBIE scrolled on the top. Inside was a foam liner that had once held five nail polish bottles. I’d cut the foam to make larger slots. Now, it held my five figurines that represented the races of Faythander: Dragon, elf, Wult, pixie, and goblin.

After unlocking the latch, I opened the lid. “You’re fabulous! Inside and out!” sang to me in a bubble-gum voice as I propped the lid open.

As I said, temporary solution. Extremely temporary. It had a mirror under the lid and was the perfect size for my figurines, so it worked. For now.

Scanning my figurines, I found the Wult and removed it from the foam, then propped it upright against the mirror. I needed to get to the Wultlands, and this would be the easiest way to do so.

I ignored the glittery scrolling along the edges of the mirror and focused on the glass. Taking a deep breath, I paused before touching my fingers to the mirror.

Months ago, the portals had started acting erratically. I’d thought the problem had been solved after we’d restored the fairies’ stone, but when I’d returned to Earth four months ago, the portal had almost torn me apart. I’d gotten several stitches in my abdomen because the crossing had been so violent. Since then, I hadn’t once been able to open a portal, but tonight, I had no choice. I needed to return to Faythander before the equinox, and I had one thing in my favor—I hadn’t tried opening a portal with my new Barbie box yet.

Here’s to hoping my luck improved, I thought. Then again, this was my luck we were talking about. Yeah, probably not.

Carefully, I placed my fingertips to the screen, inhaled a deep breath, and then conjured the word to open the portal.

Magic flowed from my heart, through my arms and hands, and into the mirror. Gold and amber swirls licked like fire over my skin as the magic interacted with the mirror, mingling with the blue glow coming from the plastic case.

The power grew inside me as the portal opened. Wind swirled around me until the room disappeared and I floated in a void. Voices came from somewhere. Soft whispers. Among them was a familiar one. The cold, detached voice of Theht.

I am here. I am waiting.

I’d gotten better at tuning her out, but being in a place like this, between worlds, made it almost impossible to keep her away.

Soon, we shall destroy the world together. Deathbringer.

The wind grew stronger and faster, wrapping around me, squeezing the air from my lungs. It compressed me until I couldn’t breathe. Pain coursed through my nerve endings as the pressure weighed me down. I felt as if I’d been buried under millions of tons of sand.

I cried out, but couldn’t hear my voice over the wind. Tears leaked from my eyes. I felt their warmth on my cheeks. In a desperate attempt to survive, I focused on the magic within me, unleashing every ounce, pouring it into the portal to keep it steady.

I thought for sure I was dead when I hit the ground. I landed awkwardly, my shoulder and hips taking the brunt of the impact. My mirror, on the other hand, made a graceful landing in a pile of leaves beside me.

I lay on the ground, panting for air, staring at the faded blue sky through the patchwork of branches with budding green shoots.

“Never again,” I muttered between gasps. Next time, I would find a Viking ship and cross through an underground ocean filled with man-eating sea-snakes before using a portal. “Never. Again.”

On the bright side, at least I’d finally made it back to Faythander. The $.99 investment into the Barbie mirror wasn’t such a bad buy after all.


Author Bio:

Tamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than half a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series and the Shine novellas. Dreamthief, the first book of her Fairy World MD series, won first place for fantasy in INDIEFAB’S Book of the Year Awards, a RONE award for best New Adult Romance of 2016, and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Mythology and Fairy Tales categories with over 100 reviews.

Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in English. She has been a featured speaker at the Rose State Writing Conference and has been a panelist at Comic Con Wizard World speaking on the topic of female leads. For her first published project, she collaborated with New York-Times bestselling author, William Bernhardt, in writing the Shine series.

Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita, Kansas. She rarely has any free time, but when the stars align and she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, taking nature walks, which fuel her inspiration for creating fantastical worlds, and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made. You can find her online at http://www.TamaraGranthamBooks.com.

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Smugglers & Scones (Moorehaven Mysteries Book 1) by Morgan C. Talbot

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Smugglers & Scones (Moorehaven Mysteries Book 1)Smugglers & Scones by Morgan C. Talbot
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pippa Worthy has what she thinks of as her dream job running Moorehaven, a bed-and-breakfast that was once the home of world-famous mystery writer A. Raymond Moore. Located on the Oregon Coast Moorehaven is a slightly quirky B&B in the fact that the guests that come here are all mystery writers looking for an away place to write their own novels.

One night Pippa hears what sounds like a crash outside and rushes off to help finding that a boat had indeed crashed. Not knowing if there are survivors Pippa calls out and hears the voice of a man so she immediately throws him a lifeline. Unfortunately the next morning Pippa finds that the man she saved is suspected of murder when his boss was found among the crash remains.

Smugglers & Scones is a book in the cozy mystery genre that at some points in the story I absolutely loved the characters, setting and story but at other times found myself struggling to remain interested. I guess I just never really connected with this one the way I would like to with a mystery which seemed to have this one going along at a slower pace than I normally would enjoy.

The book had a unique setting with Moorehaven although I did question just how realistic it was to run a business with only a certain select clientele but the history behind the location gave some life to the story that was needed at times to hold my interest. I enjoyed Pippa and some other characters well enough but never really fell in love with any of them either.

In the end I’d say if you are a fan of a cozy mystery give this one a shot as it might have just been an off day for me when picking this one up. The book seems to have all the right ingredients for a good cozy but a bit slow paced for my taste.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

The Stranger Inside by Jennifer Jaynes

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The Stranger InsideThe Stranger Inside by Jennifer Jaynes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Diane Christie has lost her husband to suicide so she decides to move herself and her son to the small coastal town of Fog Harbor, Massachusetts. Diane’s older daughter is attending college nearby and Diane thinks being closer to her daughter will help mend their strained relationship but when a young girl is found murdered at the local college Diane’s worry pushes her daughter further away.

After the murder Diane is volunteering at the local crisis hotline when she receives a call from someone disguising their voice that seems to know details the police haven’t released. With a new man in Diane’s life, a daughter that does everything to push her mother away and a son with health issues Diane doesn’t understand why the caller seems to be singling her out which makes her question everyone in her life.

The Stranger Inside was one of those psychological thrillers that I found quite easy to dive right into and begin to know the characters and get completely engaged in the story. At every turn of the page there was a new shady character to point the finger at and wonder could this be the killer? I found this completely compelling to continue reading and find out just how it would all turn out for this interesting cast of characters.

When finished with this one I was reading a few other reviews that completely hated the ending of this one. I have to say for me personally I rather enjoyed the ending, a bit off the map as far as what you would think would really happen when a killer is finally named but yet set up well for it to work in this story and quite possibly be the reaction that could happen, it certainly had my attention to the very end.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.