Thursday, January 28, 2016

Souls For Sale Series Cover Reveal

Release Date: February 5th, 2016

Hell To Pay:

The contract was destroyed and Tom’s soul saved from Hell.
Or so they thought.

HellToPay_600x956Demon deal-maker, Saul, and his mortal lover, Thomas Ives, find themselves on the run when the other demons take none too kindly to Saul’s bending of the rules. With the denizens of Hell on their heels, Saul and Tom must fight to stay one step ahead, knowing that if they’re caught there’s only one direction they’re headed: down.

When Heaven decides to get involved, Saul’s actions are no longer a mere bureaucratic misdemeanour but the basis of a factional confrontation. And now only one question remains: to whom does Tom’s soul truly belong?

21st Century Demon:

21stCenturyDemon_600x956It should have been an easy job: a contract signed and a new soul earmarked for Hell. But when suave demon deal-maker Saul chooses nerdy Thomas Ives as his next target, events take an unexpected turn. The lines between business transaction and pleasure blur, and Saul must decide whether he cares more for his professional reputation or the soul he just condemned to eternal damnation.

Pre-order Links

Don’t miss the Amazon Sale – 30% off for pre-orders and for the first 48 hours after release.
WIP     |     ARe


BY HELL, IT’S you! Do you have any idea how close you just came to a fiery death? Not sure how you found me, but since you’re here, I guess you’d better come in. Quickly, quickly. And shut the door behind you. Sorry for the abrupt greeting… actually, no, I’m not. If you had any idea what the sweet boy and I have been through these past few months you’d know better than to sneak up on us. It’s not easy being on the run. Sure, it looks exciting in all the films—action, adventure, amorous assignations—but I can tell you now that’s all a crock of shit. Well, maybe not the amorous assignations—we do have our fair share of those and no denying it—but the rest of it…. In reality, a life on the run is tiring, dirty, and not the least bit soppily romantic—the boy and I are no Bonnie and Clyde. And perhaps we should be grateful for that.
We’ve been holed up in this nondescript—or do I mean derelict?—hotel for three days now, and neither of us has set so much as a single foot outside since we checked in. We order takeaway or room service when we need to eat, and the sign perpetually hanging from the door handle is clear for all to read: Do Not Disturb. (Though obviously you chose to ignore that simple instruction, so maybe that piece of cardboard isn’t as effective as it’s cracked up to be.) Soon we’ll have to move on again. The grace period seems to be five days. Any longer than that and we risk being picked up. The first place we went to we stayed for a week, and on the evening of the seventh day—ironic, I know—the big boss sent us a visitor in the guise of a pizza delivery boy. It got pretty ugly. I mean, I could all but feel the flames kissing the soles of my feet as we high-tailed it out of there.

Who’d have ever guessed it would come to this? Well, you were there that day; you know what I mean. It was supposed to be a simple mark, a deal no different from any other. When I singled him out, I planned on getting a signature for his soul, making good on my end of the bargain, and then moving swiftly along. How was I to know the strange effect that beautiful, innocent nerd in the Marvel T-shirt was going to have on me?

About the author:
Souls-for-sale_3D-renderNICKI J. MARKUS was born in England in 1982, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her husband. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Nicki launched her writing career in 2011. She published works through Wicked Nights Publishing and Silver Publishing before both companies closed their doors. She is now self-publishing some of her works, including the novella Time Keepers and the fantasy novel The Ragnarök Chronicles.

Nicki also writes M/M fiction under the alternate pen name of ASTA IDONEA and has had several short stories published by Wayward Ink Publishing. She is currently working on her first M/M novella.

Nicki works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys: music, theatre, cinema, photography, sketching, and cross stitch. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel.

Social links:
Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Sugarspear Chronicles Book Blast

The Sugarspear Chronicles, the incredible twenty-six-novella saga that started with a little girl and her willow tree, is finally available in one complete collection.

The Sugarspear Chronicles: The Complete Collection is the story of young Sadie Sugarspear, a girl who endures intolerable abuse by reading about a fantasy world filled with incredible sights and outlandish people—a place she’s only ever encountered through her real father’s storybook.

One day, when the cruelty becomes too much to bear, Sadie runs away and hides inside her beloved willow tree. To her surprise, the tree opens, sending Sadie down into the abyss, into a land she’s only ever read about—where she must being a long, terrifying, and heartbreaking journey home.

Readers can now enjoy the entirety of author Nicole Arlyn’s dark fantasy saga in one complete book. This complete collection also includes a note from the author detailing the inspiration and events that led to The Sugarspear Chronicles.

*Note: This book is free today only, grab your free copy while you can!*


She stood up, carrying with her this vision of a place she was seeing in her mind. It was a beautiful room, wide and spacious with a breeze of roses entering through a clear window. A hand carved wooden desk sat under the window and on top of the desk was a pile of fresh parchment and a big clear jar of dark purple ink. A pen with a blue feather sat on top the paper.
That was all. All she needed now. In this moment, a desire so strong rose up in her and lifted her spirit. She desired this place, this ink, and that’s all. Her body was done. It had exhausted itself, a physical exhaustion beyond anything she had felt, like she had run hundreds of days without stopping. She rested her head against the tree. The bugs spread apart and stopped crawling as they felt in her breath, the kind of truth that is undeniable. The truth of her exhaustion. She told them all, “If only I could have, a quiet place all my own where I can write by the sunshine, the smell of the sea in the wind that comes to me.”
The bones were breaking under her feet, the bones in her hands, crushing as she pushed again. Nothing left. No human strength in her.
But the tree. The tree had strength to feel her. It knew her hands, her breath, it had taken her stories, her secrets, her prayers. It always heard her. It shaded her from her shady world. It danced its branches around her and swung with her when she swung from the swing that was no more. It knew her roots. It couldn’t hold onto itself like she couldn’t. It wanted to speak back to her and this would be its way...

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For the other stops on the tour, click here.

Author Bio and Links:
Nicole is a writer and an actress born in Brooklyn, New York. She has worked in films such as Clay Pigeons, opposite Joaquin Phoenix; The Wedding Planner; and Brooklyn Bound, among many others. She has performed, written and directed theater productions in New York, Los Angeles, and Europe. She has also read her poems in many poetry lounges in Europe and America, and is a song lyricist for musicians.

After living in Rome, Italy, for the past several years, Nicole has returned to New York City where she lives with her husband and son. She is at work on more novels.

Twitter     |     The Sugarpsear Chronicles webpage     |     Goodreads

Callum's Fate Cover Reveal

In 1780, Scotland, following a harsh year of drought, Callum Mackenzie is forced from his father’s farm in the hopes of finding work.

But as fate would have it, Callum is lured onto the moors by the will-o-the-wisp. Lost in the dark, he falls into enchantment, encountering faeries and nymphs, until he stumbles into the arms of a licentious Barrow-Wight who lays claim to his soul.

Hearing his silent pleas, Donal sends Liam the gruagach (faery) to rescue Callum and bring him to his farm, a place of refuge from the Fae.

Callum is happy working on Donal’s farm, slowly falling in love with the beautiful, silver-haired gruagach.

Yet there's something wrong in the nearby forest….

Despite Donal’s warnings, Callum is lured into the forest and becomes tangled in its magic, easy prey for the Barrow-Wight.

Will Liam be able to strike a deal with the Barrow-Wight to save Callum’s life, or has Callum found his last resting place instead?

Pre-order links:
Don’t miss the final day of the Australia Day Sale – 50% off all titles, including coming soon books, on the WIP website!

WIP     |     ARe     |     Amazon

And now, here's the cover:

CALLUM RAN UNTIL his lungs burned, every breath ragged and painful. Fear spurred him on, though fog began to cling to the rough mounds of the barrows, making such flight dangerous. Stones stabbed through his worn boots with each footfall, but he daren’t stop. There had been voices in the shadows….

Exhaustion slowed him, his chest heaving as he fought for air. Dusk spread its dark mantle on the landscape, and he shivered as a finger of dread traveled up his spine. Perilous to be on the moors at night without shelter. He cursed the ill fortune that had sent him this way, but he was hungry and ill. He’d followed the will-o’-the-wisp, thinking they were the lights of a farmhouse. His brothers would crudely have called them swamp gas and continued on the road, but Callum had always been the fool.

An owl hooted in the semi-darkness, making his skin crawl. “Sweet Lord,” he muttered, heart thumping. “Protect me—”

He stumbled on a loose stone and fell heavily against a dark mound of earth. Oh God! The ground caved in under him and he dropped into the barrow in a shower of dirt.

“Save me!” he sobbed as he scrambled to his knees.

Sinewy arms reached up from the blackness and twined around him. Callum screamed, but no sound escaped his throat, choked with terror. He was yanked against a hard chest and hands ran over him, disembodied in the darkness.

“Soft. Sweet.” A voice sliced the silence and a cold breath washed over his face. He gagged on the waft of rot and decay. The tip of a dry tongue scraped along his jaw and he shuddered against the body under him. “Nice strong bones to gnaw,” the voice continued. “Sweet marrow to suck and swallow. Shall I eat you, my lovely one?”

Callum whimpered as the low tones wound through his head. The mists parted and moonlight filled the barrow, showing him the creature. He gasped at the cold beauty of its face. Eyes dark as pitch burned into him and brushed against his soul. Lush lips, dripping honey, overripe, took his mouth in a kiss that sent his pulse into a riot of hunger and desire.

About the Author:
DIANNE HARTSOCK is the author of m/m erotic romance, both contemporary and fantasy, the psychological thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. Oh, and a floral designer. If she can’t be writing, at least she has the chance to create through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage to bring a smile to someone’s face.

Currently, Dianne lives in the Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play.

Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter     |     Pinterest

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

School of Deaths Review Tour

Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death?

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Scythes hungry for souls, Deaths who enslave a race of mysterious magicians, and echoes of an ancient war with Dragons.

As her year progresses, Suzie suspects her presence isn't an accident. She uncovers a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths. Now she must also discover the reason she's been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.

You ready?” asked Billy. He wore a mask over his face, showing only his eyes. He had insisted on covering his face to help the soul feel at ease. If they were transporters, they didn’t want to frighten their passenger.

“You can do this,” said Frank. His calm manner reassured her. He looked at her with his deep brown eyes and freckled face. She nodded and straightened the sleeves of her black robe.

She walked to Hann who stood in the center of the class. He handed her a long scythe, even taller than she was. It was light in her hand; the handle danced with energy. The blade slid through the air like sunlight through water. Life flowed down from the blade, coursing through the handle, sending tingles into her arm. Sweat beaded in her palms and trickled from her forehead.

“Let the scythe do the work,” reminded Hann, “and you’ll be fine.”

She nodded and walked back to her group. She tied herself to Frank and Billy using a tether. Then she held the scythe in her hands and paused.

This was ridiculous. She was a thirteen-year-old girl, a kid from Maryland, holding a scythe. Not some costume piece, but an actual, working scythe. Now she, Suzie, was supposed to Reap a soul. Even her mysteries with Sindril and the Dragon Key suddenly seemed trivial.

“Good luck,” said Frank.

She adjusted her grip and adjusted again. The tingles in the scythe grew stronger, itching her hands and arms. It’s ready. It wants to swing; to do its job. She moved her hands a third time and Frank glanced at Billy. Billy adjusted his mask.

“What’s the matter,” taunted Luc behind her. “Is the little girl scared?”

She clutched the handle and let the blade fall. She hardly moved, but the blade shot downward, slicing air, light, heat, even thought. For an instant, her arm was on fire and the world vanished into darkness.

The smell of strawberries exploded around her as color, form, and details blurred into a single, unending stream of confusion. She heard the sound of screams in the distance, and tears. The scythe pulled her down, down, down between the worlds. She slipped past the twin suns of the In-Between and watched the Mortal World approaching. On the edge of her vision, she glimpsed two bright pools of green fire.

“You grow stronger every day,” said the eyes. “But the greatest challenge is yet to come.”

She tried to turn, but the scythe pulled her onward. She coursed through stars and space, beyond time and emotion. Lighter than a daydream, she slipped through a crevice: the gap between light and shadow. The blade twisted, finding its way.

A face appeared before her: an elderly man she didn’t recognize. Somehow, she sensed a name: Elias Stoneridge.

She landed hard, stumbling as her feet hit a tiled floor. Beads of white light trickled off the blade.

For a moment, she couldn’t tell where she was. She heard beeps and the slow intake of air.

Frank patted her on the shoulder. “You okay?” he asked.


“Remember, don’t let anyone else see us,” said Frank, looking around the hospital room.

Certified Deaths received special robes to help avoid mortal eyes. Ironically, the Deaths who’d inspired tales of the Grim Reaper throughout the ages had been students like her. Students and ones who didn’t make it back. She shuddered, remembering her skeletal appearance. It seemed long ago.

A man lay in a bed, connected to an array of tubes and machines. Suzie walked to the foot of his bed and read the name on his chart. “Elias Stoneridge.” The scythe quivered in her hand. The handle pulsed like a beating heart, or was that only her own heartbeat? No, the blade felt the soul, it was hungry.

“It’s his time,” said Frank, patting her on the shoulder. “Quickly, before someone comes.”

Elias’s eyes stared at her, but he seemed to look through her. He gasped for air and the machines behind the bed beeped.

“A nurse is coming,” said Billy, glancing into the hallway. “She’s only a few doors down.”

Suzie didn’t have time to think, but in a way, she didn’t have to. She didn’t even swing; she relaxed her muscles and stopped fighting the scythe. The blade leapt downward, straight through Elias Stoneridge. As it struck the weak stranger, she felt a strange sensation as the blade swam through the soul. For an instant, she swore she heard chewing, not from Elias, but from the blade itself. The scythe continued down through the floor, before swinging around. It pulled on her, jerking her into a stumble.

Elias sat up, his eyes wide with fear. His body lay on the bed and the machine let out a long, droll beep.

The scythe tingled again.

My Review:
4 stars

I don’t normally read YA novels, but when I read the blurb, I knew I had to. I’m a huge fantasy fan, and a book featuring a school for reapers and a set-up for a strong female protagonist? Definite read for me.

I enjoyed this book, since it did live up to its promises. The world building was well done, and I enjoyed learning all about the system behind how the Deaths operate. The best part though was Suzie. She was a perfect mix of a strong, yet faulted heroine. She dealt with the usual issues 13 year old girls have to deal with, but in such a creative yet believable way. The only thing I didn’t like was that I felt that Suzie was a bit young to be dealing with this, and the age didn’t quite seem to fit with parts of the story. If she had been 15 for example, it would have made more sense for Suzie to be going through the experiences she’s having. Other than that though, I loved Suzie and cannot wait to see more of her in the future.

To visit the other tours on the stop, click here.

Author Bio and Links:
Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance and production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life. His wife, Rachel Mannino, is a romance author at

Mannino is currently completing The Scythe Wielder's Secret series and is working on several adult novels.

Website     |     Blog     |     Goodreads
Twitter     |     Facebook     |     Amazon author pg

Main    |    Publisher    |    Amazon    |    B&N    |    Books a Million

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Green Rose Book Blast

On the continent of Gaia, evil is brewing. Turncoat wizard, Balthyser, kidnaps the kings of Dahaka and Tapin. He wants the green rose, a source of powerful magic.

Princess Sonia of Tapin is forced to hunt down the rose in exchange for her father's life. It's the ultimate betrayal of Gaia's peace, but she has no choice if she wants to save her father.

Prince Ivánstan of Dahaka accompanies her on the journey. Both face challenges and obstacles that test their strength of character during the hunt for the rose. Dare Sonia put her trust and faith in a man she hardly knows to secure Gaia's peace or will the continent's harmony be shattered forever?

Racing forward, he spotted her near Tapin's tents surrounded by three beasts. Tall and slender, she possessed a strong, wild beauty he found intriguing. Long chestnut brown hair flowed down her back. Her eyes were golden yellow with obsidian irises. She'd been bonded! Only the noble bonded. Her high, exotic cheekbones and patrician features were steeled in courage and determination. The primal urge to mate with her made his heart pound in his chest.

A falcon, the heraldic symbol of Tapin, was prominently displayed on her tunic.

A bird screeched. A wyldebeast craned its neck upward and the descending falcon slashed its talons over the creature's face, spraying blood.

"Well done, Hiro!" exclaimed the woman.

A second wyldebeast lashed at her. She stumbled backwards, tripping on a rock. Her wrist struck the ground hard, sending her sword sprawling several feet away from her, leaving her vulnerable.

"Draco, defend the Tapin noblewoman!"

Ivánstan's dragon, now overhead, shot a blast of flame from his mouth, scorching the fur of an advancing beast. The creature collapsed and rolled over, attempting to use the ground to extinguish the flames on its body.

The remaining wyldebeast raised his hand, its fingernails moist, poised to strike the noblewoman. Ivánstan lunged forward and sliced off the creature's wrist just inches in front of her face.

"Thank Nyla!" she cried.

The beast howled in pain and spun to face Ivánstan. Draco latched its thorny claws into the creature's shoulders, lifting it into the air.

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To visit the other stops on this tour, click here.

Author Bio and Links:
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD.  She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire.  She served 11 years in the US Army and currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks.  She's also an assistant den leader for her son's Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children's books published with 4RV Publishing.

Find me on the web at:
Website    |     Twitter     |     Facebook
Goodreads     |     Youtube     |     Pinterest

Buy Links:
Publisher’s Site     |     Amazon     |     Barnes & Nobles
AllRomanceEbooks     |     Sony Ebooks

Friday, January 22, 2016

Cubeball VBT

A naturally gifted ex-national champion and a savant with a computer-like mind compete against the world's best in the 22nd century's most popular sport - CUBEBALL - the chess-like, technology-enhanced, snooker of the future where the world stage is dominated by gambling, drugs and massive audiences.

At that moment Mickey knew he had to play his way and make a shot that would not be forgotten. He called “power-play.”

He imagined the perfect shot in his mind’s eye as he circled the table twice, deliberating his fateful shot. The balls loomed large, but strangely different. The table appeared more circular than a cube as he lowered his chin to his carbon steel cue. The whole shot played in his mind as he drew back the cue to strike the cue-ball with a force that engulfed the whole stadium.

The crack of the cue-ball as it struck its target echoed sharply its warning of an imminent tidal wave of spin and curve that would capture the imagination of every fan in the stadium, or at home in front of their cubebit. In one game changing savage strike, the red ball fell into the pocket as the cue-ball savagely spun into the red triangle, spreading the reds in all directions from the centrifugal force of the cue-ball. Mickey slotted twelve red and black combinations in four minutes, gaining an unassailable lead. He followed that with a perfect defensive stroke, leaving the cue-ball safely jammed behind yellow. Flaveau conceded the game and the match, shell-shocked by the unique high-spin attack Mickey had unleashed. The break was soon nicknamed ‘the pulsar’ and it had secured Mickey the first semi-final win and a shot at the world title.

1. Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
As a boy, I imagined being a famous footballer. So I had a team of friends that I imagined I played with. We fought hard all season to triumph in the finals to become the best of the best. I think those friends helped to nurture my creativity and ultimately build in me a love for writing.

2. Do you have any phobias?
I had a life-long phobia for large spiders. But I was given good advice from a fellow sufferer, some years ago. The phobia makes us imagine the spiders’ as way larger and more threatening than they actually are. The trick is to re-enforce an opposite image of them. I envisage them sweating and fleeing from me in a panic. In reality, this is closer to the truth than the opposite image. I can’t say that my heart doesn’t skip a beat at the site of a large spider, but I do control my anxiety a whole lot better!

3. Do you listen to music while you’re writing?
Listening to music is a wonderful way to tap into your creativity. I cannot imagine a day without music or film to entertain and motivate me creatively. I am in the process of writing my latest novel, Alive. Currently, Armand Amar is my favourite music. 

4. Do you ever read your stories out loud?
I do on occasion, but only to a friend who is prepared to listen! But I admit to not doing that enough as it can feel very confronting. It’s ironic that I relish sharing my work with readers across the world, but I can feel intimidated when it is one on one. Go figure?

5. Tell us about your main character and who inspired him.
Mickey Allen was formed in my mind from an early age. I remember watching The Hustler, starring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason. I was so taken by the movie, I practiced snooker and billiards in my family’s back sunroom for hours every night for years. Decades later, those memories returned to me and I decided to write a science fiction book that paid homage to the grand old game.

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January 11: Long and Short Reviews
January 11: Reviews by Crystal
January 12: Room With Books
January 13: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
January 14: Writer Wonderland
January 14: Unabridged Andra's
January 15: Christine Young
January 15: Independent Authors
January 18: Romorror Fan Girl
January 19: Deal Sharing Aunt
January 19: Cover2Cover
January 20: The Reading Addict
January 20: Liza O'Connor
January 21: Queen of All She Reads
January 22: Sharing Links and Wisdom
January 25: Blog of Jacey Holbrand
January 25: Reviews By Crystal
January 26: Author C.A.Milson
January 27: Where the Story Comes First
January 27: Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
January 28: Harps Romance Book Review
January 29: Tina Donahue Books - Heat with Heart
January 29: The Avid Reader
February 1: SolaFide Book Club
February 2: LibriAmoriMiei
February 2: It's Raining Books
February 3: Beyond Romance
February 4: BooksChatter
February 4: Harlie's Books
February 5: Welcome to My World of Dreams

Author Bio and Links:
I worked with national and international organisations as a business analyst in Australia and overseas. I authored many business books analysing the foodservice and food retail industry in Australia, Europe and Asia, as well as agribusiness global trends.  I also ran a consultancy business that assisted Australian enterprises to develop new markets in Australia and overseas.

I commenced writing science fiction novels full time in 2009. It was a life-long interest of mine. I have written five novels - all exploring contemporary social issues in future speculative worlds. They are: Shadow Dance; Extinction; Cubeball; Titan Sages and Alive. My novels blend speculative science, new age and poetry. Readers of novels such as Carl Sagan’s Contact would enjoy my novels.

Blog     |     Goodreads     |     Website     |     iBooks

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Harem Master Review

Lord Demir has spent his life trying to appease a brutal, selfish king, and keep the concubines under his care alive—and now he is on the verge of losing everything. The council wants to abolish the harems, there are no heirs to the throne, and the foreigners control the Steward. One wrong move will tip tensions into civil war.

Crown Prince Ihsan returns to find his home in turmoil, and the royal court so full of vipers it's impossible to say which of them will strike first. Removing his father from the throne, one way or another, should be a simple matter. Staying alive and proving himself a worthy king will be far more difficult.

Crown Princess Euren has spent the last five years in hiding so that she could not be used against her father or Ihsan. But she is the daughter of a soldier, never meant to wear a crown, never trained to fight battles where words are the weapon of choice. If she hopes to keep herself and her loved ones alive, she'll have to learn fast.

Note: This story contains polyamory

My Review:
5 stars

I have always loved Megan's books, and her Tavamara series is a personal favorite of mine. When I heard that this book serves as a prequel to the other books in the series, I had to read it. As a prequel to some of her earlier books, it shows how the harem system seen in those books came to be, something I found fascinating. 

Derr's writing is as phenomenal as ever. For example, there are multiple first person POVs that she switches between. I’m not usually a fan of multiple POV switches because they can confuse the story and because authors overuse them. Yet with Derr, the multiple POVs allow the reader to experience the events through different angles, allowing the various plots to be told and then seamlessly come together. This also allowed the reader to learn more about the characters and to form a deeper connection with them. All of the character were phenomenal, but my particular favorite was Lord Demir. Living in a precarious position, yet loyally fulfilling his duty as Harem Master, both master and servant…he is now one of my all-time favorite characters. 

The plot was also fantastic. When I started reading, several side plots were introduced along with the main overall plot. I was confused, since I didn’t know how the author could possibly manage to tie them all together to get to a HEA…yet she did. Once I made it to the end of the story I saw how it all came together, even when I didn’t think it was possible. 

The only downside about the book were all the grammar and editing mistakes. Usually Derr’s books are edited better than this, so I’m not sure if this is because I received a review copy or if that is present in the final book. All in all though, this is a wonderful story that I highly recommend. You can read it as a standalone novel, though I would recommend reading books 1 and 2 of the Tales of Tavamara series first, as you would get more out of this book if you read those two first.

*Review copy provided via Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.*

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

National Popcorn Day

Today is National Popcorn Day in the U.S., an appropriate fit considering eating a yummy, warm food like popcorn during these cold days is a wonderful idea. One of the most popular snack foods for a variety activities, from seeing a game to watching a movie, popcorn is one of my top snacks, especially since it’s healthier than other alternatives. And I’m not the only person who loves popcorn. I found this video of Don Mattingly, former Yankees first baseman that cracked me up. During a game against the Chicago White Sox on September 16, 1992, he went to catch a ball along the foul line, but it ended up landing in the stands. However, before returning to his place on the field, he ended up grabbing a quick snack from an unsuspecting fan. So grab yourself some popcorn and enjoy the video.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Obsidian Worlds Review Tour

Jason Werbeloff’s short stories have been downloaded over 20,000 times. Obsidian Worlds brings together his 11 best-selling sci-fi shorts into a mind-bending philosophical anthology.

In Your Averaged Joe, a man’s headache is large enough to hold the multiverse. Q46F is an obsessive-compulsive android who finds love in a zombie-embroiled apocalypse. The end of the world isn’t all that bad – The Experience Machine will fulfil your every desire (and some you hadn’t considered). A sex bot dares to dream of freedom in Dinner with Flexi. But mind what you eat, because The Photons in the Cheese Are Lost. Don’t fret though: The Cryo Killer guarantees that your death will be painless, or your money back when you’re thawed. Unless, that is, you’re The Man with Two Legs.

Plug into Obsidian Worlds for these and other immersive stories, including the hilarious Time-Traveling Chicken Sexer. Your brain will never be the same again.

Excerpt from The Cryo Killer:
“Inesa and Paul, good to meet you. Who referred you?”

“Mr. Camfrey’s wife.”

Paul’s hands are working. Picking at each other. At the cuticles.

“Ah yes, I was sorry to hear about his passing.”

“I think,” she lowers her voice, “that it was professionally done. Heart attack, I hear.”

I lean forward. “You’d like a similar package, ma’am?”

Paul speaks up for the first time. “Is it quick?”
If I had a penny for every time a client asked me that question. “Painless,” I say, “or your money back.”

Paul harrumphs.

“Excellent,” says Inesa, beaming. “You’ve been doing this a while?”

“Best in the business,” says Janet, striding over to us. She places a hand on my shoulder. “You’re safe with Barker.”

“So, you’re wanting the double package?”

Inesa squeezes her husband’s arm. Every carat on her ring finger catches the sunlight. His nod is miniscule.

“Yes,” she replies after a moment.

“Those are difficult.” I lean back in my chair, weighing the ring out of the corner of my eye. “Coroner looks closely at doubles. Need a plausible cause of death. Right now all I have in stock are gas leaks and home invasions. Invasions can get messy – brings down the property value. I suggest the gas leak. Although …” I glance at Paul. “Home invasions are on the rise.”

Paul scratches the skin over his knuckles. His lips have taken on a bluish tinge. I’ve seen all manner of manners displayed in the chairs on the other side of my desk. Clients respond to their impending deaths in all sorts of ways. Paul’s reaction isn’t unique.

“Gas leak,” says Inesa definitively.

Paul nods, a quick jerk up and down. “When’ll it happen?” He can’t meet my gaze.

“I could probably fit you in next week. Any preferences?”

“I’m writing an exam on Tuesday,” says Inesa. She looks to Paul, “And I’m sure you’d like to finalize that merger?”

He groans.

“Late next week?” she asks.

“Let’s see … Janet, check my availability, please.”

“Could do Friday next.”

“Excellent,” says Inesa.

“But …” Paul is fading to a paler blue by the minute. Droplets dot his forehead. “I just can’t live with the thought of this hanging over me for the next ten days. I just …” He swallows. “I just can’t.”

I reach out a hand and touch the man’s shoulder. His golf shirt is saturated. “Not to worry, sir. A memory wipe is included. You’ll never know you were here.” I offer him my warmest smile. Janet calls it the Big Daddy. “In fact, you may’ve been here before, and you wouldn’t know.”

Paul eyeballs me. “Have we been here before?”

“I couldn’t tell you.” I wink.

My Review:
This was definitely an interesting collection of stories. I’m not sure exactly how to rate this book because it was so unusual. Each story starts by throwing you into not only a new story, but a new world as well. For example, going from a story set in a modern day time where a man has crazy things happen to him while reading through his emails (The Photons in the Cheese Are Lost) to a story about a time traveler from the 1900s being pulled into a future war against aliens (The Time-Traveling Chicken Sexer) was interesting to say the least.

The writer definitely likes pushing boundaries and being daring, which works sometimes and doesn’t at others. For example, he writes about hot topic issues such as religion and homosexuality, handling them interestingly in each story they are present in (especially his take on religion). I alternated between being shocked, amused, offended, intrigued, disgusted, and moved, among other emotions. Some of the stories had offensive or disturbing elements that squicked me out while others were funny and even surprisingly heartwarming (such as F***ing Through the Apocalypse, which I was not expecting at all). Some didn’t make much sense or seem to have a point beyond just being as bizarre as possible (I’m still trying to figure out The Photons in the Cheese are Lost).

While I enjoyed the experience of getting to read this book, I’m not sure if I’ll read it again, just because it is so bizarre and out there. However, I do recommend giving this collection or one of this author’s works a read. His writing style probably wouldn’t be for everyone, but it is interesting and worth checking out. Several of the stories in this collection (The Time-Traveling Chicken Sexer, F***ing Through the Apocalypse, Falling for Q46F, and The Experience Machine) are sold for free by themselves on Amazon (at least as of now they are), so I would recommend at least reading those stories and giving his work a try to see if it’s for you. 

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December 28: Unabridged Andra's
December 28: Romorror Fan Girl
January 4: Aspiring Joy Blog
January 11: Lilac Reviews
January 11: White Sky Project
January 18: Sharing Links and Wisdom
January 18: Harlie's Books

Author Bio and Links:
Jason Werbeloff is a novelist and philosopher. He loves chocolate and his Labrador, Sunny.

He's interested in the nature of social groups, personal identity, freedom, and the nature of the mind. His passion is translating philosophical debate around these topics into works of science fiction, while gorging himself on chocolate.

Amazon Author Page – download all of Werbeloff's fiction from Amazon.

Newsletter – subscribe to get 'The Solace Pill' free, as well as VIP access to Werbeloff's latest fiction.

Goodreads – read reviews of Werbeloff’s fiction.

Facebook and Twitter – follow Werbeloff for release date information on upcoming shorts and novels.
Website - read about the author, and the philosophy behind his fiction.

Buy Link - The book is $0.99 during the tour.