Monday, January 26, 2015

Blog Tour: Night Buddies: Imposters, and One Far-Out Flying Machine by @Night_Buddies #review

Juvenile Fiction
Date Published: June 1, 2012


 In the second book in the Night Buddies series, red crocodiles start popping up all over the city, creating confusion, committing crimes, and causing Crosley to go a little crazy at the sight of them. 
The impostors must be stopped, and Night Buddies John and Crosley are just the guys to stop them!
Stakeouts and wild chases in a fantastic flying machine, far-out schemes to snare the impostors, and a never-ending supply of Crusted Crème Fro-Madge frozen yogurt make for one totally super night.
These adventures after lights-out will delight any young reader who relishes an adventure/fantasy in the wee hours of the night. 
The Night Buddies series revolves around the nighttime adventures of a young boy named John, who is not ready to go to sleep, and a bright red crocodile named Crosley who turns up under John’s bed. 
Each book starts by having this unlikely pair sneaking out of John’s house using Crosley’s I-ain’t-here doodad, which makes them invisible to John’s parents. They embark on their Program, the Night Buddies word for Adventure, and make their way around the Borough chasing down enemies and cleaning up the mishaps at hand. 
Night Buddies, Impostors, and One Far-Out Flying Machine is the second book in the Night Buddies series, a 7-times award-winning chapter book series for kids. The first book, Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare was released in June 2012 and the third book, Night Buddies Go Sky High is due out in March 2015. The Night Buddies series is available in both print and ebook format. 



Review


John and Crosley are such fun characters for children to read about. There is a wonderful cast in this novel and there are plenty of interesting twists to keep the kids interested in John and Crosley's newest adventure. 

While my children could not read this story themselves, they are a bit younger, it is a great story that I was able to read to them and we all enjoyed.






Sands Hetherington credits his son John for being his principal motivator. Sands raised his son as a single parent from the time John was six. He read to him every night during those formative years. He and young John developed the Crosley crocodile character in the series during months of bedtime story give-and-take. Sands majored in history at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and has an M.F.A. in creative writing and an M.A. in English from UNC-Greensboro. He lives in Greensboro.About the Illustrator:
Jessica Love grew up in California, with two artist parents. She studied printmaking and drawing at UC Santa Cruz, then went on to study acting at The Juilliard School in NYC. Her favorite way to work is collaborative, which is why illustration is such a treat.
Some of her inspirations are Maurice Sendak, Edmund Dulac, Lisbeth Zwerger and of course, the incomparable Hilary Knight. Jessica currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, toggling back and forth between her work as an actor and her work as an artist.




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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Blog Tour: Steel Rose by @NighttoDawn1 #review


Horror / Sci-Fi
Date Published: February 2, 2013


   
Sometimes they come back. At least the Kryszka aliens do. Their leader captures humans and injects a chemical to turn them into zombies. Yeron escapes their underground colony to practice human medicine, but most people fear him. Alexis, his patient, is afraid, too…until his seductive attentions profoundly arouse her. He develops a drug to control her pain from disabling arthritis, but her weakness prohibits her from handling most weapons. The Kryszka soldiers and zombies who break into the hospital are hungry. So very hungry. How will she fight them?



Review 


Horror/Sci-Fi, emphasis on the Horror. Barbara Custer does not shy away from creating scenes that are gruesome and will have readers in shock. This novel is definitely not for someone who is not a fan of blood and gore as there is plenty of that. Not only will you see that, but there are also some scenes that will leave you gasping. Hardcore fans of Horror will definitely find this as a wonderful addition to their collection.



Barbara lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she works full time as a respiratory therapist. When she’s not working with her patients, she’s enjoying a fright flick or working on horror and science fiction tales. Her short stories have appeared in numerous small press magazines. She’s published Night to Dawn magazine since 2004.
Other books by Barbara include Close Liaisons, Twilight Healer, City of Brotherly Death, and Life Raft: Earth. She’s also coauthored Alien Worlds and Starship Invasions (both now out of print) with Tom Johnson. She enjoys bringing her medical background to the printed page and blending it with supernatural horror. She maintains a presence on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and The Writers Coffeehouse forum. Look for the photos with the Mylar balloons and you’ll find her. 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Help Spread The Word about the In For the Kill THUNDERCLAP @shannonmckenna4




Romantic Suspense
Date Published: January 27, 2015

Years ago, the McClouds and their friends rescued little Sveti Ardova from ruthless organ traffickers. Now she’s all grown up, and getting into some scorching trouble of her own . . .
NO SURRENDER

The risks ex-cop Sam Petrie has taken have turned his life into a train wreck. So he has nothing to lose by doubling down as the elusive Svetlana Ardova’s unwanted bodyguard on her ill-advised trip to Italy. Her crusade against modern slavery has blazoned a bullseye on her chest, but when one of the death threats against her almost hits the mark, Sam’s protective instincts go into overdrive. Every lethal obstacle and trap they encounter ups the stakes—and the undeniable heat between them.
Now they’re spiraling in on a deadly and explosive secret—one that could either redeem them or destroy them … and the closer they get, the shorter the fuse …



Praise for Shannon McKenna

"The McCloud series is an auto buy for me." --Maya Banks

"McKenna writes intense, sensual stories." --The B&N Review

"Shannon McKenna makes the pulse pound." –BookPage

 




Shannon McKenna is the NYT bestselling author of over ten action packed, turbocharged romantic thrillers, among which are the stories of the wildly popular McCloud series. She loves tough and heroic alpha males, heroines with the brains and guts to match them, villains who challenge them to their utmost, adventure, scorching sensuality, and most of all, the redemptive power of true love. Since she was small she has loved abandoning herself to the magic of a good book, and her fond childhood fantasy was that writing would be just like that, but with the added benefit of being able to take credit for the story at the end. Alas, the alchemy of writing turned out to be messier than she'd ever dreamed. But what the hell, she loves it anyway, and hopes that readers enjoy the results of her alchemical experiments. She loves to hear from her readers. Contact her at her website, http://shannonmckenna.com, or join the newsletter by signing up here: http://shannonmckenna.com/connect.php.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

PROMO: Tied With a Bow and No Place to Go by @TalkinTwang #excerpt #giveaway



Mystery / Humor
Date Published: August 2014

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Texas Ranger Ridge Cooper has investigated some odd cases during his career, but when local chicken farmer, Jay Roy Hobbs, is found dead, wearing nothing but boots and a bow, it becomes the strangest one yet. On the positive side, the lawman won’t lack for suspects. Turns out the victim got up close and personal with most of the girls in his graduating class and they’re in town for a reunion. All Ridge has to do is tolerate a talking parrot and consult a color wheel as he tries to determine if the culprit is one of Jay Roy’s three ex-wives or a high school conquest.

While her husband looks into his latest murder case, Tizzy Cooper has problems of her own. She’s joined forces with first cousin and local PI, Jinx Monroe, to follow a possible cheating husband, confront their Nana about baking Boom Brownies, and drench-a-wench at the local Renaissance Faire.


Excerpt

Jay Roy Hobbs held the county record for talking women out of their panties. At least that’s what Tizzy Cooper had heard. Rumor said ladies ignored his lack of good looks and fell for his quick wit. Now, staring at him through binoculars, she wasn’t so sure humor was his main appeal.

She swallowed the lump that’d been lodged in her throat since arriving on the scene. It wasn’t the sight of a dead body that bothered her. She’d seen plenty of those over the years. Her talent for talking to the dearly departed made it a frequent occurrence. But while the rest of Brownsboro’s citizens were having their first cup of coffee, she was five miles out of town, at the edge of a field, swatting mosquitos. Not the way she intended to start her day.
Sunlight filtered through naked limbs of an old tree and cast shadows across colonies of Bishop’s Weed standing tall like lacy parasols. The only thing ruining the spring array, Jay Roy’s lifeless body.

At first, Tizzy considered he might be asleep or unconscious, but after calling out to him with no response, and given the color of his skin, along with the buzzards overhead, she decided on a third choice.

Stepping onto an old stump to get a better view, she focused the field glasses. About fifty yards away, the man lay naked, except for boots and a bow, on a patch-work quilt, face toward heaven, arms outstretched. Something twisted in Tizzy’s chest. Jay Roy and her mom had graduated high school together which made him much too young to die.

A few feet to the right, Tizzy’s friends, Synola Harper and Rayann Tatum, shaded their faces and squinted toward the dead man. Tizzy stepped off the stump, adjusted the straps of her sundress and decided they must be as surprised as she by the sight, because neither of them said a word until she passed the field glasses to Synola.

“Lord, can you believe the size of that thing?” Synola let the binoculars dangle around her neck. She tugged her red tank top against warm mocha skin, tucked it into the slender waist of her jeans and smirked at Rayann. “I don’t suppose you’ve ever seen anything that big.”
Rayann tossed her head, blonde curls bouncing with the movement, then narrowed her green eyes and frowned. “Of course I have. I watch HBO.”



About the Author

Ann Everett embraces her small town upbringing and thinks Texans are some of the funniest people on earth.  When speaking to writing groups, businesses, book clubs, and non-profit organizations, she incorporates her special brand of wit, making her programs on marketing, self-publishing, and the benefits of laughter, informative and fun.

An award winning author, she’s also a member of Northeast Texas Writers’ Organization and a top ten reviewer on thenextbigwriter.com

When Ann’s not writing, she spends her days listening in on people’s conversations at the local Wal-Mart, beauty shop, Goodwill, and numerous other gathering spots. She draws from that research to pen her romantic suspense novels full of southern sass and Texas twang. For her new adult romance stories, she blends her dramatic writing style with a kick of humor.

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$10 Amazon Gift Card



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Saturday, January 10, 2015

PROMO: Silk by Chris Karlsen #excerpt



Mystery / Suspense / Thriller
Date Published: December 14, 2015

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Silk on the skin—luxurious, luscious..lethal.
London-Fall, 1888

The city is in a panic as Jack the Ripper continues his murderous spree. While the Whitechapel police struggle to find him, Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner are working feverishly to find their own serial killer. The British Museum's beautiful gardens have become a killing ground for young women strangled as they stroll through.

Their investigation has them brushing up against Viscount Everhard, a powerful member of the House of Lords, and a friend to Queen Victoria. When the circumstantial evidence  points to him as a suspect, Rudyard must deal with the political blowback, and knows if they are going to go after the viscount, they'd better be right and have proof.

As the body count grows and the public clamor for the detectives to do more, inter-department rivalries complicate the already difficult case.



EXCERPT

He wrapped an end in each hand and pulled. His fingers crept up the silk and he tugged a bit harder still. The material pressed deeper into the flesh of her neck. Bright pink dotted her cheeks and radiated down to her jaw. The veins in her temples popped out and pulsed in time to her heartbeat. She moaned, pushed her hips upward and writhed against him. Her soft pubic hair tickled his testicles. Isabeau’s unsubtle way of letting him know she wanted him inside her. He obliged.

Her hands encircled his wrists. She tugged hard outward, harder than usual. A choked sigh escaped her. He paid no attention. This was standard. Isabeau always insisted he maintain pressure until she signaled for him to release his hold. In the past, when she reached the edge of consciousness, she’d beat along his upper arms. This time she thrashed her head back and forth, something he hadn’t seen before. Her eyes bulged in an unattractive way and she clawed at him. Her nails gouged the skin on his hands, drawing blood.

She hurt him and he wanted to slap her. He almost let go of one end of the scarf to do that. Instead, he pulled tighter. Isabeau tried to insert her fingers into the spot where the material crossed over. Her mouth opened and shut, soundless and fishlike. She swatted at the mattress wildly. Red-faced to the point of being near purple, she bucked beneath him.

She fired his blood with her lack of inhibition. Never had she responded with such intensity. Raw power surged through him, primitive, animalistic. He pumped hard. Ready to climax, William clenched his fists, twisting the scarf one last turn. Odd, feathery touches tapped his biceps, feminine and subtle grazes, and then she went limp. Spent, he released his hold and collapsed on top of her, his heart pounding while he caught his breath.

Isabeau didn’t move and her head stayed turned to the side. She hadn’t cried out the way she normally did when sated. Perhaps she was disappointed with his effort. He gave the thought a mental shrug. At the end of the day, it really didn’t matter. He’d arrange for her departure first thing in the morning.

William rolled over and slung a sweaty arm over his eyes. He tried to decide which was worse, telling her tonight the affair was over or waiting until morning. The idea of doing it after such a rambunctious sexual endeavor seemed bad form, but he wanted to get it over with. He turned onto his side, prepared for histrionics, caterwauling, great tears and verbal abuse.

“Isabeau, look at me. I’ve come to a decision and it will likely distress you.” Nothing. She didn’t stir. “Isabeau?”

He shook her by the arm. Still no response. William let go and her arm dropped listless to the mattress. He raised her arm again and let go. Again, it fell listless. He straddled her and patted her cheeks. Nothing. Her head twisted without resistance first right then left depending on the direction of his pat. He slapped her harder. Nothing. Vacant eyes stared fixed on the ceiling. He bent an ear to her chest. Nothing. William leapt from the bed, snatched a silver mirror from the dressing table, and held it under her nose. Nothing.

“Bitch.” William hurled the mirror against the wall. “Bitch, whore,” he raged and paced along the side of the bed. “I will not allow you to make my life a nightmare. This was your doing. I told you to leave me alone.”




About the Author

I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader.

I grew up with a love of history and books.


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Friday, January 9, 2015

Blog Tour: The Girl In Black Pajamas by @CHRISBIRDY1 #review


Murder / Mystery / Suspense 
Date Published: July 2014


   
R&B Investigations is under attack. Their employee is shot in the back as he enters the building, and a hacker is trying to compromise their secure network. While the Boston police investigate the shooting, Bogie McGruder needs to find the culprit who is trying to put them out of business. Bogie and his partner Rose Jones can’t disclose their internet problems to the cops since Bogie is a hacker himself. Bogie McGruder returns to Boston with his four- year-old daughter Isabella. He joins up with Rose Jones’ uncle Walter who is fresh for Lompoc Prison. Bogie and Walter strengthen their firewalls while they try to determine who is behind the invasion. As the R&B team hones in on the culprit, they uncover several murders and discover a plot to wipe out the financial institutions in Boston. While Bogie is in Boston, his extended family in Palm Beach becomes enmeshed in a sex scandal that threatens to ruin lives and careers in the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office. Feeling like a wishbone about to snap, Bogie tries to handle problems in both cities while Isabella continues her quest for someone to teach her the Five-Point-Palm-Exploding-Heart technique as seen in Kill Bill Volume 2. This tale of murder, revenge and greed takes the reader on a whirlwind trip from Boston to Palm Beach and back.

The Girl in Black Pajamas is available in both print and ebook format. 


Review


Chris Birdy has characterization down to a science. Her characters really run the show and make the story so fun to read about. Isabella is probably the best character in the book and she is just a little girl. Some of her behaviors were a bit unbelievable, but I really liked her and what she brought to the story and the other characters. 

This was a fun Mystery that definitely kept me flipping pages.




Chris Birdy is an award-winning author of the Mystery/Suspense Pajama Series. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, she did a four year stint in the Middle East. When she returned to the States, Chris settled down in the Boston area and became a true Bostonian by collecting college degrees while raising a family.
For more than twenty years, Chris has been a member of the legal community performing investigative work for Boston law firms.
Chris lives outside of Boston and in Palm Beach, Florida with her husband.





Thursday, January 8, 2015

Blog Tour: Adventures With Ragweed by Linda Lou Crosby


Humor
Date Published: February 10, 2014


   
Whimsy - Humorous Tales of Adventure, Friendship and Outdoor Ventures For Young Adult Readers and those young at Heart
Adventures with Ragweed is a collection of humorous short stories filled with adventure and family themes.
Ragweed is a tribute to the whimsical part of each of us. Follow this young teen and her best friend, Marney as they travel to Mexico for a fishing trip, where the family is to shoot a pilot for a television show, instead, find themselves in an unexpected sea storm.
Laugh out loud as Ragweed takes on the tennis elite at the country club or attempts to rearrange their perfectly cut lawns.
Always one to learn new things, this young freckled face gal with the unruly blonde hair, builds a float, rides a horse and grows a garden - always getting into unintentional trouble and conning her friends to partake. Each task done with her own unique vies of the world.
Light Hearted and Funny
These stories are meant to entertain. It's difficult to narrow it down to one specific genre as the book is a collection of short stories suitable for young adults as well as for an older crowd with a sense of humor. Family Relationships, Friendships, Essays and Humor are categories all presented within the pages of this book.
If you like the outdoors you might enjoy reading about Ragweed's horse riding exploits or her compost-creating stunts. She spends a great deal of time playing sports and in the garden. Most of the stories are based on the author's own experiences when she was a young adult but some of us know that inner youth tends to follow us into adulthood - so if you have similar backgrounds, these tales will make you grin.
Beautifully Illustrated
Each story in this humorous collection is beautifully illustrated. The pictures capture the character and facial expressions of the gals in these short stories and in our opinion add to the text. There is also an animated video on the author's page that is worth watching. The artist tried to capture the fun-spirited character of Ragweed and when the pictures were put into film, the story came alive visually. It's like a short cartoon.


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Review


I seriously enjoyed this novel and how it was written in such a whimsical way. I loved how funny it was. The Illustrations were fantastic and vivid and really added a lot to the novel itself. 




Linda Lou Crosby is a video producer, storyteller and former professional athlete. Like Ragweed, she has a unique approach to life. Ragweed is a part of herself she wanted to share with others. Linda Lou has a great sense of humor and likes to laugh and make others laugh too.
She currently lives with her husband in Montana and California where on clear days you can find her fishing, hunting or hiking.
She and Ragweed hope you will enjoy each tale in this book as much as Ragweed enjoyed living the adventures.