Title: Tinsel (Lark Cove #4)
Author: Devney Perry
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Sofia Kendrick has always cherished her tiara. As the youngest daughter of a wealthy New York family, she’s lived the life of an American princess. But after two scandalous divorces and a breakup smear her name across the society rags, the shine from her crown has dulled. People call her superficial, even gaudy.
She’s nothing more than tinsel.
Desperate for escape and starving for peace, Sofia heads to Montana for a holiday weekend with her brother. But she doesn’t get the relaxing vacation she planned. Instead, she’s put to work in a bar alongside Dakota Magee—a man who does not want her help. A man who is set on teaching her a few lessons about real life and hard work. But Sofia has a couple of life lessons of her own to teach. Like how to fall in love.
About Devney Perry
Devney is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jamison Valley series. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media.
Forget You Not was a wonderful introduction to the world of Havenwood Falls. Being a person that just has to read series in order if at all possible, I really enjoyed getting the "first look" at the town along with Kaela as she takes on her dream job in the remote Colorado city.
But she soon discovers that the town really isn't all that new to her. As she rediscovers all memories, she has to face the fact that someone has been messing around with her life - and in a way that has some pretty bad consequences - like really really bad.
But this is a romance, and it's an interesting twist on long lost lovers - because Kaela doesn't actually remember him at first. I loved the twist and turns that begin to bring them back together. And the rich backdrop of Havenwood Falls and its residents is one I look forward to visiting again.
I loved Third Grave Dead Ahead. Some amazing characters are introduced in the form of a biker gang - and I'm not sure if I'm really supposed to be rooting for them, but I want to. They are a super rough bunch of guys - but super sweet as well.
When Charley's dad tells her she needs to get out of the business - there's a huge falling out - and this comes into play big time as the book wraps up. It triggers some pretty major revelations about Charley that you won't want to miss.
Meanwhile, Reyes seems to be haunting her dreams - so she decided not to sleep while she searches for another missing woman with an over-controlling husband with a nasty history.
Another beautiful job narrating. I always get such a kick out of these books and I have a hard time pressing the pause button to go back to real life.
Second Grave on the Left was full of amazing information on some of my favorite characters. Charley is on the hunt for a missing woman that is friends with best friend, Cookie. The case has Charley chasing a trail of clues with some pretty surprising twists and turns.
Meanwhile, it turns out Reyes is far more than what we thought at first. When Charley finds out he's the Son of Satan (like, for real), she's forced to accept that she doesn't know all there is to know about the world around her and even her own abilities.
Second Grave on the Right not only includes an awesome mystery, it sets a huge stage for some pretty amazing things to come. Darynda Jones doesn't disappoint with Charley's sarcasm and sense of humor. Her personality plays so well with Cookie's, and their conversations are some of the best I've ever read.
Title: Two Witches and a Whiskey (The Guild Codex: Spellbound #3)
Author: Annette Marie
Genre: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Three months ago, I landed a job as a bartender. But not at a bar—at a guild. Yeah, the magic kind.
I’m not a badass mage like my three smokin’ hot best friends. I’m not a sorcerer or an alchemist, or even a wussy witch. I’m just a human, slinging drinks like a pro and keeping my non-magical nose out of mythic business. Seriously, I know my limits.
So why am I currently standing in a black-magic ritual circle across from a fae lord?
Somewhere behind me, my three mage friends are battling for their lives. Somewhere near my feet is the rogue witch I just knocked out with a stolen spell. And I have about five seconds to convince this very angry sea god not to shmoosh me like a bug.
I’m pretty sure this wasn’t part of the job description.
Two Witches and a Whiskey Excerpt
©2019 Annette Marie
Footsteps creaked on the stairs, and I could tell by the sound who it was. Huffing nervously, I opened the door and stuck my head out.
Kai paused with his hand on his bedroom doorknob, laptop tucked under one arm. “Hey Kai!” I said brightly.
His eyes narrowed immediately.
“What?” I demanded, wounded by his wariness.
Faint amusement touched his features. “Tori, if you don’t want to seem suspicious, don’t act so sweet and sugary.”
“Oh, come on. Why is me being cheerful suspicious?”
Leaning back against his door, he looked me up and down like I might be carrying concealed weapons. “What do you want?
I smiled hesitantly. “Wanna take me for a ride on your motorcycle?” His guardedness returned in full force. “A ride where?”
No matter how I answered that, he’d be suspicious, so I batted my eyelashes and chirped with all the sweet sugar I could muster, “It’s a surprise!”
He stared at me—then threw his head back in a laugh.
Fifteen minutes later, I was gripping Kai’s leather-jacket-clad waist as his motorcycle rocketed down Dunsmuir Street. Yellow streetlamps and red tail lights flashed past as we weaved through traffic. I pointed over his shoulder and he careened through a left turn, cutting it way too close to an oncoming car.
Ahead, the skyscrapers opened up. Squatting among the giants was an old-fashioned building with a stone exterior, four-story-tall columns marking the dramatic entrance, and a domed roof. The structure, once a courthouse, was over a hundred years old.
I looked around for a parking spot, but dozens of sleek cars and SUVs, most of them black with the occasional silver or gunmetal gray, were parallel parked bumper to bumper. Kai slowed the bike, and I gestured helplessly toward the gallery as we passed it.
“Here?” he shouted in disbelief over the road noise. “Yeah.”
His helmet swiveled as he scanned the street. The engine revved, then he spun a one-eighty into the opposing traffic and shot back down the road. With a squeal of tires, he cut across the pavement and onto the sidewalk. Slowing to trolling speed, we passed a grand three-sided staircase that looked like it had spilled off the second-level terrace. The gallery entrance was tucked into the inner corner of the L-shaped building.
Stopping the motorcycle beside a row of trees in concrete planters, Kai killed the engine. I loosened my death grip on him and looked around. Yeah, this wasn’t a parking space, but who would complain? The felonious rogue we were about to meet?
About Annette Marie
Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
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Title: The Council of Nereth
Author: T.J. Amberson
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Six months have passed since the Council of Nereth was formed. The land is at peace. The people are thriving, secure in the knowledge that Raelin, the evil sorceress who once ruled over them, is no more.Like the other members of the Council of Nereth, Edlyn has returned home to live and work, waiting for the time when the council will meet again. Busy serving the people and restoring the manor of her childhood, Edlyn keeps her deepest wishes hidden away in her heart.On Edlyn’s eighteenth birthday, a messenger from the capitol arrives to her home and delivers devastating news: Maddock has gone missing, and the worst is feared. Edlyn rushes back to the capitol to join the other council members in a desperate search for Maddock. Soon, a ghostly attack confirms the terrifying truth that evil forces are upon Nereth once again. With time running short, Edlyn and her companions must find Maddock and save Nereth before it is too late.
Council of Nereth Excerpt
©2019 T.J. Amberson
Suddenly, the Berax let out another screech, toppled off of Edlyn, and collapsed onto the leaves that covered the ground. Edlyn pulled herself to her feet. She froze when she saw the silhouette of a man crouched beside the Berax. The man swiftly raised an arm, and the flash of his dagger's blade caught the moonlight before he thrust his weapon into the monster's side again. The Berax was dead.
Edlyn staggered and dropped her sword, a torrent of emotions crashing down upon her.
"Maddock," she whispered.
"Are you hurt?" she heard him ask.
At the sound of his voice, Edlyn swayed again, the shock still so acute that she could barely reply. "I am not hurt."
Maddock came toward her. Like Edlyn, he was breathing fast. Once he got close, Edlyn could see that Maddock's clothes were dirtied and worn, and his hair had grown longer since she had seen him last. But Maddock's eyes—dark and penetrating—had not changed.
About T.J. Amberson
TJ Amberson hails from the Pacific Northwest. With a love of writing in several genres, TJ strives to provide well-written, age-appropriate, & original novels for tweens, teens, and new adults.
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Triplicity is an odd mix of an almost slice-of-life story and a suspense novel. As I followed the three teenagers on the cruise I continually wondered where the story was trying to go. We get a dash of a romantic triangle, misplaced blame for a thief on board, and lots of family drama. With so many different trains of stories running through, I felt like the there wasn't really an end goal.
I didn't always find the three main characters very engaging, and there were many times I flat out didn't like them. Navy especially had moments that I found to be very disingenuous. The standards that she held Isaiah and Jesse to were inconsistent, and while both of the boys also had their issues, I found them to feel more real and genuine.
The impact of the mystery the teens are trying to solve really doesn't impact the story until very close to the end, and I wish it had been integrated throughout so that it had more of a hovering presence instead of just the occasional mention to cause drama.
Isaiah was the character that saved it for me. I loved his history with the ranch, and while in the end, he did a few questionable things, it was more because he didn't see another way out. Jesse was a close second. But I found it odd how Navy looked past his lies while holding Isaiah to a different standard.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
About J. Mercer:
J. Mercer grew up in Wisconsin where she walked home from school with her head in a book, filled notebooks with stories in junior high, then went to college for accounting and psychology only to open a dog daycare. She wishes she were an expert linguist, is pretty much a professional with regards to competitive dance hair (bunhawk, anyone?), and enjoys exploring with her husband–though as much as she loves to travel, she’s also an accomplished hermit. Perfect days include cancelled plans, rain, and endless hours to do with what she pleases. Find her on Facebook @jmercerbooks or online at www.jmercerbooks.com.
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Title: Shadow's Voice
Author: Natalie Johanson
Rose Trewin is on the run. Pursued by memories of her father, she runs from city to city, seeking normalcy. But Rose can’t escape her past, or the magic running through her veins, the magic that allows her to slip through the shadows unnoticed. The magic her father once used to mold her into a mercenary sent to destroy his enemies.
Now her magic is growing and changing, becoming something new and untamable. Rose is unable to rest. Wolves wrapped in fog follow her relentlessly along the countryside. Desperate, she uses her magic to escape, but the shadows are pushing her towards the center of a conspiracy.
Now, her country teeters on the brink of a civil war as a Lord Governor gathers power against the king. An enemy, with magic similar to her own, emerges in the chaos of political intrigue.
Faced with a country at war and a king brought to his knees, Rose must accept who she is and harness her powers in order to save her country and herself.
Excerpt from Shadow's Voice
Copyright © 2019
When moonlight filtered in through her window, Rose climbed from her stiff bed. With an angry sigh, she pulled on her trousers and stuffed her feet into her worn and cracked boots.
With the dagger in her bodice, she slipped into the hallway, peer- ing through the shadows in each room as she passed it. It was an easy enough trick, looking through the shadows as though they were nothing more than windows.
She found him back in his room, bent over at the short table in the corner. The soft glow from an oil lamp distorted any more details. Rose looked up and down the hallway, saw no one else, and stepped into the shadow casted by the still lit candles. She fell into the darkness, became part of it, and was in Gavin’s room. She didn’t know how it worked, where the magic came from, or why she could use it when no one else apparently could.
When she’d still attended the lectures at the small schoolhouse in town, before her father made her work, she was told there were different planes of the world. The gods lived in one, the world in another. Rose often wondered if the shadows were another plane, and that was what she was touching.
It scared her back then. It scared her still. Maybe if she wasn’t afraid of it, she’d know what she could truly do with it. Rose had never pressed herself with her magic. Never challenged herself.
She drew her small knife as she moved closer. She paused in the shad- ows, the cool mist that always seem to be present ghosting over her skin.
This would be difficult. His back was straight and rigid. Even through the loose sleeves of his shirt, long lines of muscle were visible. She had one shot, one try for this to be easy and finished. Good thing I’ve had practice. Rose moved closer in the light shadow.
With a deep breath, she fell out of the shadow.
The bed dipped as her weight suddenly appeared on it. The second she was back in the real world her hand whipped around his mouth and pulled him back against her, her dagger sliding across his neck a second later. She pushed him to the ground, her hands and arms covered in blood. There were splashes on the wall across from her.
She stayed kneeling on the bed, her breathing deep and raged. Gavin choked on the floor in front of her. She should say something. He stared at her as if he was waiting for her to say something. Instead Rose looked at her bloody dagger and stained arms. They never could stay clean for long, no matter how far she went.
Rose sank back into the shadows and stayed in them until she was back in her own room. A headache started between her eyes from the time in shadow, it had been a long time since she’d used her magic. A nauseous feeling settled in her stomach, but she didn’t think that was from her magic. With a sniff, Rose methodically cleaned herself in the small bowl and changed her shirt and bodice. Throwing her ruined shirt into the small wood stove, Rose locked it all away with the rest of her past. She’d see it again in her nightmares.
Quietly, Rose walked around the small room and gathered her things: a few changes of clothes, old and worn, her one good set of boots. Numbly, she blinked at the tears in her eyes and hauled her pack over her shoulder. Rose tossed the key onto the bed and headed off toward the servants’ stairs. Once outside, Rose heaved a sigh and started toward the edge of town. She was just passing the stables set behind the inn when the first tear made its way down her cheek.
Rose took a deep breath and pinched her lips together, but that didn’t stop the tears as she walked. She wrung her hands in her shirt, as if there was still sticky blood to be wiped off. Her breathing came back, the tears came faster, and Rose had to cover her mouth to stop the sob.
“Stupid,” she cursed herself and gulped down air. She let herself think, for just a second, while working the spinning wheel in Marg’s dusty little shop that she could stay. “You know better.” Oh, but it had been nice. The illusion of a normal life, working a boring job for too little coin in a small town. Rose took a deep breath, her tears slowing and her pace quicken- ing. She should’ve remembered it was an illusion.
Rose followed the uneven cobblestones past the old buildings, the cool night air blowing loose strands of hair around her temples. She just needed to go further. Rose scrubbed at her cheeks with her sleeves and cleared her throat. She walked through town, past the slaughter house at the edge, the smell of rotting meat following her into the fields. Eventually those faded, and with sore feet Rose walked into the tree line.
The crickets were loud around her and every so often she’d hear the hoot of an owl. The moon was large in the sky and provided light on the small trade road. And so, she walked and tried not to think of Gavin and the look in his eyes. Or his blood. She reminded herself Gavin had killed and robbed. His death was no loss. Rose thought, for a second, she hadn’t needed to kill him. She could’ve just slipped away without a word, but if Gavin sent word she was this far west . . . if her father turned his attention toward her after so many years. . . . Rose snorted. She would not go back to her father.
When her feet hurt enough to make her limp, she walked off the small road into the forest and settled against a large tree. She pulled her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. She let her head fall back against the rough trunk and closed her eyes. Rose sent a short prayer to the gods she wouldn’t dream and let herself sleep.
A hand on her shoulder woke her, her heart jumping into her throat. Rose palmed her dagger and had it shoved against the person’s ribs as she opened her eyes. The man kneeling above her stilled and slowly lifted his hand from her shoulder. Rose kept her dagger pressed against his ribs.
“You’re all right.”
Rose looked around before slowly sitting up and scooting back against
the tree. She kept her dagger raised. “What are you doing?”
“Checking on you,” the stranger said and cautiously moved backward on his haunches. “A young woman asleep in the woods. . . . I was check- ing to make sure you were not injured.”
Rose eyed the man, trying to point where she’d seen him before. He was familiar, but she couldn’t remember why. “I’m fine.”
About Natalie Johanson
Natalie Johanson has been interested in writing and reading since she first held a pencil. What first began a short story for her own reading turned into a world with a story to tell the world. When her time isn't being monopolized by her ferret, work as a police officer, running Dirty Dash races or reading she is writing.
Check out Natalie's website, nataliejohanson.com, for news, updates and more.
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I'm a bit behind the times on getting started with this series, but I'm so glad that I finally did. Charley Davidson is a complete riot. Her "squirrel" moments of easily distraction and rapid through-train changes made both her internal and external dialogue amusing and somehow perfectly timed for every moment.
As the grim reaper, souls that haven't crossed yet can find her to help them cross over or take care of unfinished business. Although not all of them want to, like the intriguing Mr. Wong that hangs out in a corner of her apartment. I keep waiting for him to do something - and maybe he will eventually.
With the ability to see the departed, Charley is an invaluable asset to Uncle, a detective on the police force. As she navigates her place in the investigation, often providing information that no one else can, she seems to stroll through life in her own cloud of uniqueness. The departed each have their own unique personalities as well. From Angel, the teenage gang banger, to the ones involved in her uncle's most recent case.
Throw in the "Big Bad" aka Reyes - who is smoking hot and more than what he seems at first, and you have a hint of romance along the way - maybe. It's not entirely clear where this arc will go, but I really can't wait to find out.
Title: A New World - Contact
Author: M.D. Neu
Genre: Science Fiction
A little blue world, the third planet from the sun. It’s home to 7 billion people with all manner of faiths, beliefs and customs, divided by bigotry and misunderstanding, who will soon be told they are not alone in the universe. Anyone watching from the outside would pass by this fractured and tumultuous world, unless they had no other choice. Todd Landon is one of these people, living and working in a section of the world called the United States of America. His life is similar to those around him: home, family, work, friends and a husband.
On the cusp of the greatest announcement humankind has ever witnessed, Todd’s personal world is thrown into turmoil when his estranged brother shows up on his front porch with news of ships heading for Earth’s orbit. The ships are holding the Nentraee, a humanoid race who have come to Earth in need of help after fleeing the destruction of their homeworld. How will one man bridge the gap for both the Humans and Nentraee, amongst mistrust, terrorist attacks and personal loss? Will this be the start of a new age of man or will bigotry and miscommunication bring this small world to its knees and final end?
A New World - Contact Excerpt
©2019 M.D. NEU
They were busy with cleanup, not paying attention to the television, until they recognized what sounded like a special bulletin. Getting into the living room, they fell silent watching the TV. Reporters jockeyed for attention from the press secretary in the White House briefing room.
“If they’re going to make an announcement, isn’t it usual for the press secretary to tell us what the topic is?” one of the reporters questioned, her voice raised so she could be understood. “Particularly one called without advance notice.”
“The president informed me about the address an hour ago,” Press Secretary Frank Chen said to a visibly annoyed member of the press. “The president will address the nation and Congress tomorrow night at eight eastern time.”
Jumping on the end of his sentence, a female reporter shouted, “Does this have to do with the troop movements in Europe and Asia?”
“Yes, President Zachary will be addressing the troop rotations and provide an update on military movements,” Chen answered. “Next question, please.”
Todd turned to Jerry who was focused on the television. He would have thought he was a statue if it wasn’t for his breathing.
“What about FEMA?” A female reporter yelled at the press secretary to get his attention. “FEMA has been reported outside of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Los Angeles International, and Chicago O’Hare. They report they are conducting practice disaster emergency responses, but reports say they look like they are staging for something.”
Chen’s face brightened with a smile. “FEMA conducts regular joint exercises with city and state officials all the time. Those are the three busiest airports in the country. It only makes sense for FEMA to practice disaster response with them on occasion to ensure we are prepared. Next question.”
“Will the president—” A male reporter leaped out of his seat to be heard over the other reporters shouting for attention. “—address the reports of the UN peacekeepers going in and sealing the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory on the Canary Islands? We’ve been told that the White House made the request. Is that true?”
“I have no information on that,” Chen answered sharply. He nodded to an aide, “Last question.” He pointed to another reporter.
The older reporter stood. “We’ve heard reports that President Zachary has been meeting privately with several leaders in Europe. He’s also met with the Japanese Prime Minister, the Prime Minister of Australia, and the Chinese Premier. Is he going to be announcing a shift in our strategy toward China?”
“As you know, the president meets with world leaders on a regular basis—”
“All in the last week?” the older reporter interrupted.
“As I said, the president meets with world leaders on a regular basis. He is not announcing any shifts in policy toward our friends in China. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have nothing more to share.” With that, Mr. Chen left the podium and headed off stage.
Jerry bit his lower lip and Todd shifted back and forth on his feet.
The camera returned to Tonya Smith. “For those of you joining us, late-breaking news from the White House. President Zachary has announced that he will be addressing the nation tomorrow night at eight eastern. As we get more details, we’ll bring them to you. Now back to The Lineup with Kimberly Guilfoyle.”
Jerry crossed his arms. “Huh. Your brother might not be crazy or lying.” Jerry’s face was pale, and his eyes were wide. “I’m not sure what’s happening, but I’m glad we got stuff for the house.” He reached for Todd’s hand as they continued watching the TV.
About M.D. Neu
M.D. Neu is a LGBTQA Fiction Writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he's always been fascinated with what could be. Specifically drawn to Science Fiction and Paranormal television and novels, M.D. Neu was inspired by the great Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Stephen King, Alice Walker, Alfred Hitchcock, Harvey Fierstein, Anne Rice, and Kim Stanley Robinson. An odd combination, but one that has influenced his writing.
Growing up in an accepting family as a gay man he always wondered why there were never stories reflecting who he was. Constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, M.D. Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing, wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world.
When M.D. Neu isn't writing, he works for a non-profit and travels with his biggest supporter and his harshest critic, Eric his husband of eighteen plus years.
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