Monday, December 9, 2013

Dangerous Waters VBT and Review

For Emily Waters, a nature-loving, small-town girl with an overprotective father, heading off to Boston University to study conservation biology is a dream come true—until a chance encounter catapults her into a mythical world she’d do anything to escape.

The latest victim in a rash of abductions near campus, Emily is brutally attacked before being rescued by a powerful new friend. She survives the ordeal, only to find herself held captive and presented with an impossible choice.

While preparing for the unimaginable life she must now embrace clues soon emerge that Emily may not be entirely human, and her physical transformation awakens goddess-like powers that her new family cannot begin to explain.

Dealing with her human first love, the not-so-platonic relationship with her coven “sister,” and her new vampire sort-of-boyfriend further complicates matters, not to mention being secretly hunted by the psychopaths who attacked her. And as the only known offspring of a once all-powerful race, the climactic battle is only the beginning of her journey.

Prologue excerpt

“All rise!” the bailiff bellowed out through the hall. “This court is now in session. The honorable global court inquisitor O’Callaghan presiding.”

An imposing figure with short, golden locks entered from behind the bailiff, motioning for people to take their seats. He gathered his floor-length white and purple robes in his left hand, made his way over to the furthest prisoner and yanked the hood from her head.

“So this is the all-powerful Sienna,” the inquisitor mocked, squeezing the bound woman’s cheeks with his hand. “How disappointing.”

Her once beautiful face was disfigured by several charred-black electrical burns. Blood and pus oozed out of the open wounds. The pungent salve packed into her broken nose made her eyes tear up and prevented her from smelling anything.

“Do you have anything you wish to say in your defense before I render my verdict?” the inquisitor asked, deactivating the device around her throat so she could speak.

“This will never work—she knows her life is far more important than mine.”

“It’s possible she’d let you die,” he acknowledged. “But both of her parents, her mate and her best friend? No, I think that’s far too much to expect her to endure. Sooner or later she’ll come, and the world will celebrate her execution.”

Sienna snapped to attention, her green eyes widening in horror at the news of who else had been captured. “You have no idea what you’ve done—everyone in this building’s going to die.”

The crowd erupted at her outburst, and the inquisitor held up his hand to silence them. “And how exactly is your precious queen going to manage that? She’ll be welcomed to our fair city by twenty thousand volts from the first alarm she trips. Not enough to kill your kind, but plenty to leave her unconscious until—”

“Sir, a perimeter alarm’s been triggered just outside the north gate,” a soldier interrupted from the gallery.

He wheeled on the man in a fit of anger. “Interrupt me again, and I’ll disembowel you! People have been jumping the fence all day—contact the guards at the gate and have them check it out.”

“We tried sir. Calls have been placed to the guard desk, the three closest perimeter sweep teams and the north tactical unit—they’re not responding.”

“Who’s not responding, you imbecile!”

“Any of them.”

“It’s too late,” Sienna said, gazing at his panic-stricken face. “She’s here.”

Advice for writers
The best advice I could give anyone thinking about writing a book is to not worry about getting published up front. Let yourself enjoy the unbound creativity that comes with crafting your very own world. Invest time up front to put together a plot arc and a rough story outline. Think about each of your main characters. What’s different about them? How do they dress, talk, act? What role do they play in the central plot arc? What challenges will they face? What are their personal shortcomings? What mistakes will they make along the way? The better you understand your characters, and the more clearly you can define your storyline, the easier the entire process will be. Above all else, commit to finishing what you start and making time to write each day.

Getting input along the way from test readers (especially those who read a lot of books in your genre) is another great tool. It’s much easier to make major storyline changes before the entire draft is written, and input on dialogue, narrative voice, syntax and character development received for one chapter can be leveraged as you work on future chapters. When the initial draft is finally pulled together the long and tedious revision process begins. At a minimum, I’d recommend two complete rounds of revisions: One focused on word repetition, action beats, speaker connotations, syntax and grammar, and another geared more toward content, flow and readability.

Once you’ve honed your manuscript, it’s time to craft the all important query letter, where you get to boil your entire novel down into two paragraphs. No pressure, you just need to make your cherished creation stand out from the tens of thousands of other unsolicited queries that are flooding your chosen agents slush piles. Speaking of choosing agents, there are great online tools like and that can help you search for agents to query and track your submissions. Spend the time to visit each of their sites and follow their submission guidelines. Customizing your query with information found on their site, addressing it to the agent most suited to your genre by name and complying with their guidelines is critical for making it past the initial pre-screen.

Two things to keep in mind on this step:

  1. Have patience. It generally takes between 4-6 weeks to get a reply (except for the lovely “Not right for us at this time” canned response rejections, where you didn’t make it past the initial screening). You will be sending out queries for several months or even years, and you will get TONS of rejections / no responses. Keep pushing forward.
  2. Don’t query your target 100 agents all at once with the same query letter. Send out 5-10 and gauge what kind of response you receive. Any nibbles? Did you get all canned rejections back? You may want to tweak your query letter a bit before sending out more. Once you get a version that is getting a decent hit rate then you can start increasing the volume, but remember to customize each and every one and follow the agencies guidelines. I can’t stress that enough.

My Review:
4 stars

This is a tough book for me to review. There’s so much I want to share about how I enjoyed it, and yet I don’t want to give away any spoilers. So, I’m just going to say this: this was a fast-paced, exciting, and a different kind of vampire novel. Not only do you get the movie version vampire stuff, you also get the hows and whys of vamp life, where they’re from, etc. I’m a bit of a philosopher, so I always want to know why, so to get explanations and background, history was great.

And the characters? All I have to say is, damn. I love sharing a name with this heroine, as she does us Emilys proud. I fell in love with these characters, and I can’t wait to see them again in future books.

The only thing I didn’t like was that while there was a lot of action, there were also parts I wanted to skip because events dragged on, and bored me. I think this book could have been shortened a bit in order to make it flow better and to keep the fast pace going throughout the entire novel.

All in all though, this was a fun read, and I can’t wait for the sequel.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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December 9: Unabridged Andra
December 10: Room With Books
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December 16: Deal Sharing Aunt
December 17: Kit 'N Kabookle
December 18: Corey's Book Reviews
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December 30: Blood Red Shadows
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February 4: Aly's Miscellany
February 5: Book Bliss
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February 7: A to Z Reviews

Author Bio and Links:
C.M Michaels grew up in a small town in northern Michigan as the youngest child of a close-knit family of seven. He met his wife, Teresa, while attending Saginaw Valley State University. Together they’ve provided a loving home for several four-legged “kids”, including Sophie, their eternally young at heart, hopelessly spoiled Spaniel.

He has always enjoyed writing, and still has fond memories of reading his first book, a children’s novella, to local grade schools when he was 14. Dangerous Waters, the first book in the Sisters in Blood series, is being published by Freya’s Bower on September 5th, 2013. C.M. is currently working on the second book in the Sisters in Blood series along with a Fantasy romance.

When he’s not writing, C.M. can be found curled up with a good book, watching movies or hitting the hiking trails with his wife. An avid reader since discovering Jim Kjelgaard novels in early childhood, his favorite authors include Kelley Armstrong, Peter V. Brett, Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Claire, J.R. Ward, Laini Taylor and Tessa Dawn.

C.M. currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Website     |     YouTube     |     Book trailer

Buy links:

AllRomance eBooks     |     Kobo


  1. Thank you for hosting me today! I will reply to everyone's comments this evening.

  2. What an exciting excerpt. I thought the review was very good.

  3. This books sounds amazing! I especially love the cover. Thank you so much for sharing with us! =D

    cloud.weaver.girl AT gmail DOT com

    1. Thanks Melinda :) I am so happy with how the cover came out!

  4. It looks really intriguing!


  5. This Book is An Amazing Book If you haven't read it yet. I really Highly Recommend it. C.M.Michaels Is an Amazing Author.

  6. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for sharing your review and the giveaway. Loved your review! Wishing everyone a wonderful and magical holiday season! evamillien at gmail dot com

    1. Thanks Eva! Happy holidays to you and your family as well :)

  7. The excerpt!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  8. I really enjoyed reading the advice for writers! Very interesting!