Tag Archives: adventure

Author Showcase – Laura Kaye (Ride Wild: A Raven Riders Novel)

Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders… 

Wild with grief over the death of his wife, Sam “Slider” Evans merely lives for his two sons. Nothing holds his interest anymore—not even riding his bike or his membership in the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. But that all changes when he hires a new babysitter.

Recently freed from a bad situation by the Ravens, Cora Campbell is determined to bury the past. When Slider offers her a nanny position, she accepts, needing the security and time to figure out what she wants from life. Cora adores his sweet boys, but never expected the red-hot attraction to their brooding, sexy father. If only he would notice her… 

Slider does see the beautiful, fun-loving woman he invited into his home. She makes him feeltoo much, and he both hates it and yearns for it. But when Cora witnesses something she shouldn’t have, the new lives they’ve only just discovered are threatened. Now Slider must claim—and protect—what’s his before it’s too late.

 

 

 

 

It was just the two of them. Standing nearly chest to chest in a downpour. Not speaking. Not moving. And Cora felt torn between the desire to hug him for coming after her and hit him for provoking the anxiety she managed to keep battened down tight ninety-nine percent of the time.

“I was a dick,” he said.

“Yep,” she agreed.

He stared at her for another long moment. “I’m kinda fucked up over here, Cora.”

Her lips almost twitched in humor, but she bit back the impulse, because those seven words were quite possibly the most honest, personal thing he’d said to her in three months of working for him. And it felt . . . important, like some wall had come down between them. Or, at least, started to. “I know, but on some level, aren’t we all?”

He didn’t answer, but what he did say still hit her square in the chest. “You’re the best thing that’s happened to my boys in years. I don’t want to mess that up for them. I’m sorry if I have.”

“You haven’t,” she said, shaking her head, rain catching on her eyelashes as she peered up at him. “But don’t do it again.”

Slider gave a single nod, then leaned forward, his face coming close and then pausing a hairsbreadth away. For a moment, Cora was sure he was going to kiss her, but then he grasped the handle and yanked opened the squeaking door. “Now get in.”

Shaking a little—from the chilly rain, she told herself—she climbed onto the old bench seat. The rain had plastered Slider’s T-shirt to his chest, giving her a pretty clear view of the lean, muscular frame beneath. And she found herself wondering what kissing him might’ve been like. How hard his body would be against hers. How far she’d have to tilt back her head to meet his mouth. How ticklish his whiskers would be against her lips.

The wondering made her shiver.

He slammed his door and frowned at her. “You okay?”

“I’m wet, cold, and irritated, but sure. I’m great,” she said defensively. Because she was still a little miffed at him for making her freak out—and for making her feel curious about kissing him.

Just a little curious. Hardly at all, really.

Damnit.

The corner of his mouth lifted. Not much, but the movement was there. And it made Cora stare. Because the change in his face, small and fleeting though it had been, made the corner of his eye crinkle a little, too. “Well, I think I can help with two of those,” he said, putting the truck in gear and swinging a hard U-turn.

“Wait, where are we going? The clubhouse is the other way.”

“Uh-huh,” he said, slanting her another glance. All the amusement was gone this time, though, and in its place was something intense she couldn’t name. “I’m taking you home.”

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New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller Laura Kaye is the author of over thirty books in romantic suspense and contemporary and erotic romance and has sold more than one million books in the U.S. alone. Among her many awards, she won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense of 2014 for Hard As You Can. A former college history professor, Laura grew up amid family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Laura also writes historical fiction under the name Laura Kamoie, also a Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today bestseller.

Laura is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Maryland Romance Writers, the Washington Romance Writers, and she is past president of the RWA-Contemporary Romance Writers.

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Author Showcase – G.E. Stills (Garin’s Destiny)

For Mature Audiences Only: strong language, descriptive sex scenes and graphic violence

The exploration mission has barely begun and already it is a disaster. The Starseeker has sustained major damage. Garin’s entire crew is dead and he is stranded in a solar system hundreds of light years from Earth with no possibility of ever returning. There is a single unexplored world in the system that he must crash land on. 
Mitol is a world left in ruins by a virus that has killed the technological civilization that once lived there. It is now inhabited by savage creatures who live among the ruins and the surrounding jungle. Will Garin’s life be a short one with a violent ending, or a long lonely one? 

 

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Excerpt

 

Any landing you can walk away from…

Garin watched the information display on his monitor. Mitol was slightly smaller than Earth so he would weigh a little less. The air was slightly different than Earth’s but breathable. His stomach’s ability to digest any food source he found or drink the water was unknown. It’s not like I have any choice in that matter, he thought.

As he had orbited around the planet, he and the computer had searched for the best possible place to attempt a landing. He viewed that place now. A large lake. Garin took a sip of tepid water and scrolled through the data on his monitor one last time. The insertion coordinates approached.

No sense in delaying any longer.

Garin went through the preparations he had made one final time. The main engines of the Starseeker were solar powered and thus had infinite fuel but they were designed for long steady acceleration and not the brief strong bursts he would need during his descent. He had therefore turned the surface explorer ship so that its single working thruster faced forward and welded it in place on the Starseeker’s hull. Much of the fuel for the lander had escaped from ruptured storage tanks during the asteroid event, but he hoped there was enough left. Explosive charges were attached to the mounts that held surface explorer in place against the Starseeker’s hull. Garin hoped the computer link he had set up would allow the lander’s thruster to be activated remotely as planned.

If not I’m screwed, but I won’t be around to worry about it, will I?

When the craft was of no further use, he would detonate the charges and jettison the craft to get it out of the way. That would leave him with the maneuvering jets alone and they had a finite amount of fuel. According to his and the computer’s calculations, there would be just enough to reduce landing speed to a survivable velocity provided he landed the Starseeker in liquid.

Garin slipped on the skin-tight spacesuit only leaving the helmet secured to the handle of his chair. He fired the maneuvering jets and moved the Starseeker into position for its final descent to the ground below. In the beginning, only the readouts on his monitor told him the ship was sinking lower. Soon after, hull temperature shot up and the non-aerodynamic craft buffeted harshly as the atmosphere thickness increased. At timed intervals, the thruster from the attached surface explorer craft surged to life, slowing the Starseeker’s tremendous velocity.

The lander’s thruster winked out when the last of its fuel had been expended. Garin triggered the explosive charges and blew the lander free of the Starseeker. Attitude jets on the Starseeker burst to life correcting the trajectory change expelling the lander had caused. When the ship was on course again the thrust of the jets was shifted to the front and the ground rose to meet the ship quickly.

The jets sputtered and died, the last of their fuel gone. From here on, the Starseeker was an unpowered, unsleek glider. I hope my calculations were correct. I’m just a passenger from here, just cargo. There’s nothing more I can do, but go along for the ride.

Garin glanced through the front viewscreen to see land flashing by on each side in a blur. Starseeker hit the water causing him to surge forward against his restraining belts before the ship bounced into the air again. The second time it struck the water lasted longer, then it bounced into the air again. On the fourth bounce, part of the external structure was ripped away and Starseeker slewed to the left. More structure was ripped away and it veered to the right.

Each time the ship struck the water and before it skipped into the air again, it shed tremendous amounts of velocity and heat. Garin exhaled loudly when the ship settled to the water’s surface the last time and its speed rapidly decreased. The shore was half a kilometer in front of it once it stopped moving completely.

The Starseeker shifted abruptly, and instead of studying the shoreline, he gazed up into the sky. The ship settled ever lower and the viewscreen in front slipped beneath the water’s surface. Starseeker was sinking. Obviously, the hull had been breached during the landing and the interior of the ship was filling with water. Lights, artificial gravity, environmental controls, and the electrical systems continued to function. Garin felt it safe to assume that condition wouldn’t continue as more and more water flooded in.

That thought spurred him into motion. He jumped to his feet, grabbed his helmet which he attached to his suit, and dashed to the rear. In the galley, he stuffed condensed food packets into a bag then raced to the rear door. He noted the crew’s quarters was still dry, and after a brief stop to grab two changes of clothes, he dashed across the room. When he stepped into the equipment room, he saw water pouring in through the partially jammed open rear door. He snatched one of the extra spacesuits and stuffed the food bag along with his clothes into its cavity. Next, he gathered equipment, including a med kit, from the wall and shelves. He packed two water purifier units, two belts, each containing a holstered pistol and survival knife, flashlights, a fire starter, mini welding torch, and other equipment he deemed useful into the suit cavity. Water filled three fourths of the room by the time he finished. Garin grabbed a helmet and locked it in place on the suit carrying his supplies before he sealed his own helmet. The lights flickered and went out and the artificial gravity failed. Gravitational attraction abruptly changed. The floor was no longer down. Down was toward the rear of the sinking ship. The spare suit he had filled with supplies slid down the floor to splash into the water. Garin was right behind and plunged into the water as well. He switched on the suit lights in the now dark room.

While holding the spare suit, he dove under water and entered the decompression chamber. He manually opened the inner door and pushed into the chamber. Water filled the chamber behind him and he left the door open. Swimming across to the outer door, he opened it. More water rushed in and he held onto a handle waiting for the two sources of liquid to equalize.

Garin grabbed the spare suit and shoved it through the outer door ahead of him. When he was clear of the sinking Starseeker, he pressurized the spare suit. It jerked from his hand and shot toward the surface.

The ship struck the bottom of the lake and a billowing brown cloud of mud enveloped him, cutting of his view completely. Garin finished inflating his own suit and jetted toward the surface behind the spare suit. His head bobbed out of the water and he thrashed around in search of the suit containing his supplies. Spotting it, he swam up and reached an arm over the inflated suit. Garin unlatched his helmet, removed it, and inhaled his first breath of the planet’s air.

Having his suit deflated made it easier to swim, but he had to be careful not to let water pour in the neck opening and fill the suits interior. He spun in a circle until he was able to see the shore again. Pushing the inflated suit in front of him, he swam toward the shore that was several hundred meters away. When he finally reached it, Garin shoved the extra suit out of the water, then crawled on hands and knees to join it. He collapsed, panting and exhausted, on the sand.

 

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Normally zany and often naughty talking, G. E. has a serious and compassionate side if you can find it. He cares deeply for his friends and hasn’t met an animal yet he didn’t like. He is terrified of heights so hasn’t braved the tramway ride in his home town. He lives in the southwest while longing to live by the sea. He often says, “We have the sandy beaches but where is the water?”

He heeds the call of the many characters that pop into his mind and demand to have their stories put in print. Their tales are both serious and humorous. A multi-published author his stories cover many genres including contemporary romance, paranormal romance and science fiction. His stories are both erotic and non-erotic in nature. G.E. is the leader of a local writers group and in addition hosts a meeting of his own locally on fiction writing bi-monthly.

G.E. Stills loves to hear from his readers and can be contacted at any of these sites.

Website / Blog
Personal Facebook Page / Facebook Author Page
Twitter / Amazon Author Page  

Goodreads / Google+

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Author Showcase – G. E. Stills (Empress of Evil)

For 18+

Aiden is on the run from a dangerous cult who wants him dead. While hiding in a rundown mansion in a Louisiana swamp, he stumbles across two beautiful women, but these two are not ordinary women. From the beginning, he discovers they’re sassy, ornery, and powerful witches from another world. They join him and they bond in ways he could never have imagined. Aiden knows he can’t run and hide forever, and now there are two others included in the deadly cult’s crosshairs.

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~~ MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY ~~

(Excerpt Empress of Evil. Aiden meets Raine and Sierra)

 

Aiden read the note again as he peered down at the warning engraved on the box lid. “Humph…I’m not superstitious and never had much fear of curses.” He lifted the box and removed the key which he put in his pocket then opened the lid.

A puff of air, probably from the box having long been sealed, caused Aiden to jerk his head back and close his eyes. When he opened them again he scrutinized the two tiny beds and chairs inside. “Miniature doll house furniture but otherwise nothing, just as I thought.”

He turned to enter the opening on the other side of the fireplace, intent on exploring other parts of the house. Behind him two columns of smoke blipped into being. The smoke quickly dissipated. He spun quickly at the sound of the female voice. “Thank you for freeing us, Aiden,” it said.

The one who had spoken had brunette hair with blue streaks. The woman standing beside her had blonde hair with red streaks.

“About damn time someone set us free,” blondie said. “This place is a fucking mess, by the way. I can hardly wait to get the hell out of here.”

“Great, I’ve loosed two sawed off little runt ghosts to add to my misery and one of them has a smart mouth.”

Brunette scowled at her companion, and said, “I’m Sierra and this is Raine. We’re not ghosts, we’re sprites.”

Aiden took a closer look at the two. True, they didn’t wear billowing shrouds as he’d expected from descriptions he’d read of spirits, nor were they semi-transparent. Instead, Sierra wore a blue corset and Raine a crimson one. Both wore collars around their necks and had mittens on their hands. Aiden snorted at the skirts they wore. Hot pink tutus. “You may be short little shits, five-foot-nothing I estimate, but you’re taller than any fantasy pictures of sprites I’ve seen. I have to admit your assets are wonderfully displayed and the hot-pink tutus are a nice touch.”

Raine gazed down at the garment and shrieked. “This had to be Pequa’s idea. She knows how much I detest pink. Fucking bitch.” She ripped it away and flung it to the floor. Sierra calmly removed hers and dropped it beside her.

Aiden turned his back to them and dismissively waved his hand in the air. “Go away, spooks, I have other more important things to do, like checking out the rest of this dump.”

The block of wood, a piece of the crumbling furniture he decided, struck his back moments later with a thud and stung. Aiden spun in time to see Raine pick up another piece.

“Hey, we weren’t done talking to you,” she said.

“That hurt. Don’t do it again. So you have the ability to move objects. I’ve heard some ghosts can do that. What makes you think it’s your decision to make whether our conversation is over or not?” he asked.

“Raine—” Sierra started.

Raine stamped her foot in anger. “We’re in charge here, not you.” She flung a second piece. This one struck his thigh just to the right of his balls.

“You little shit,” he shouted. “That was too close. A little more to the left and you’d have hit something I don’t want hit.”

Raine smiled. “You’re lucky my aim is off from being imprisoned so long or you’d be lying on the floor doubled up in pain. I won’t miss the next time. You’re lucky I’m wearing this collar or you’d get a taste of my lightning magic.”

“Thank you for that bit of information. It reinforces my decision to keep this key I have in my pocket.”

Sierra shot a frown of disapproval at Raine.

“You’re infuriating,” Raine said. “You…you…despicable…human.”

Aiden laughed. “Well now, I’ve been called a lot of less than complimentary names in my life, but I’ve never been called a human in a derogatory manor. Fucking pesky ghost!”

In answer, Raine flung another block of wood at him. Aiden put up his hand and splayed his fingers wide. The block of wood stopped in midflight and everything else in the room, including Raine and Sierra became motionless, frozen in time. “I’m human but not the powerless type you take me for. I have the ability to stop time for five minutes and also to become invisible.”

Aiden crossed the room and stepped up behind Raine. “Time you learned some manors you little minx,” he told her. Without thinking, he aimed a smack at her bare ass only easing up his strike when he thought of how her body was just a mirage. His hand would sail through the illusion in the air, causing him to lose his balance. To his shock, his hand contacted soft, pliable skin. The splat reported through the room loud as a gunshot. So you are material after all and not just an illusion. Well then deal with this you little shit. He pulled her panties down around her ankles and grinned. “That spank is going to turn red and sting, then you’ll hopefully find your lowered underwear embarrassing. Serves you right you little minx.”

 

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G.E. Stills is zany but has a serious side. He lives in the southwest with a wife and two fur babies. He cares deeply for his friends and hasn’t met an animal yet he didn’t like. He lives in the southwest but often longs to live by the sea. He frequently says, “We have the sandy beaches but where is the water?”

Most days will find him hovering over his keyboard putting to words the stories of the many characters that pace into his mind. Their tales are both serious and humorous. A multi-published author, his stories cover many genres including contemporary, paranormal, and science fiction. Most of his stories have action, adventure, and humor. Some of them are erotic and some are not, but all have romance. His paranormal stories normally involve witches, demons or vampires with an occasional shape shifter thrown in for good measure.

G.E. Stills loves to hear from his readers and can be contacted at any of these sites.

Website / Blog / Youtube
Personal Facebook Page / Facebook Author Page
Twitter / Amazon Author Page  / Goodreads / Google+

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Author Showcase – Hywela Lyn (The Destiny Trilogy)

Note from Hywela Lyn regarding the ‘The Destiny’ trilogy:

💕 “Although some characters appear in each of the three books, each story is a ‘stand alone’ with no cliffhangers until the next book in the series. The series is Science Fiction/Adventure romance with a fantasy feel (or ‘space opera’, not heavy S.F.)” 💕

 

 Book 1 in the Destiny Trilogy



When Jestine Darnell is rescued from her sabotaged starship by the crew of the Destiny her only objective is to complete her mission and keep her promise to save a world from slavery. Love is the last thing on her mind. However, she has not counted on losing her heart to Kerry Marchant the ship’s second in command, who makes his distrust of her painfully obvious, despite the chemistry between them. The completion of her mission has consequences that neither of them could have foreseen. Enter Dahll Tarron, who becomes involved in a long and dangerous quest to find the Destiny. Fates become intertwined, perils shared, culminating in the realization that sometimes love may be so close that there is a danger it will not be recognized until it is too late…
 
 
 
 
CHILDREN OF THE MIST – Book 2 in the Destiny Trilogy
 
 
Two minds united against a common foe. Two hearts afraid to show their love:

Long ago Tamarith fell in love with a man she can never have, and is convinced she will never love another. However, she cannot help but be intrigued by a handsome stranger whose psychic powers exceed even her own.

Vidarh seeks only to find his true purpose in life and to win the regard of his father, who eschews his son’s psychic abilities. Thrown together by a comon threat to their planet, then torn apart by an evil greater than any they could have imagined, can Vidarh save the lovely Nifl woman who has captivated him, before it is too late?

Will Tamarith and Vidarh overcome the deadly enemy who threatens to destroy all they know and love? Will they find the happiness they both seek? Or are they fated to live their lives alone?
 
 
 
 
 
 BELOVED ENEMY – Book 3 in the Destiny Trilogy
 
 
Cat Kincaid is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.

Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret, and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. However, the beautiful, red-haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.

Marooned on an inhospitable planet, they need to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction. But how can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again, and she made a solemn pledge to destroy him?
 
 
 
 (review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 

The best science fiction tv shows are the ones that have you eagerly anticipating the following week’s episode or have you zooming through the commercials because wading through 2.5 minutes of ads feels like eternity… pure torture. When a show is that good, you wish for a few more minutes. When a scifi/fantasy book is equally grand, you crave a several more pages.

When I was nearing the end of Beloved Enemy, I kept hoping 20-30 pages would magically appear —  much like things in the book. No such luck though. However, despite my wish not being granted, I was thoroughly satisfied with everything I did read.

Each chapter in Beloved Enemy contained enough scifi, mystery elements/creatures that maintained my attention from the beginning to end.

 

Most memorable (for me):  

  1. The huge ass water and sand creature. They are the things of nightmares and deserve a spot on any otherworldly show! PS. I am rethinking ever washing off in a lake again. 
  2. bio-regenerator: This device enhances the body’s natural healing process. Imagine how many lives would be saved, children or an adult’s pain eased in minutes instead of days, and the profound effort it would have in combat missions. Medical marvel! 

 

After dealing with inhospitable creatures, more than one crash, physical altercations with humans, and other WTF moments, I am not surprised Cat and Kerry relationship went from allies for a common cause, to becoming friends, and then progressed to full on love. When you been to hell and back, your troublesome times either break you or make you stronger. Their bond definitely became stronger. It’s what actually saved them. And that’s all you’ll get from me. To find out more…. read the damn book. No seriously, read it. It’s a page-turner, for sure!

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score:❤❤❤❤1/2

 

 
 
 
 
REMINDER:  “Although some characters appear in each of the three books, each story is a ‘stand alone’ with no cliffhangers until the next book in the series.” 💕 
 
 
 
Hywela Lyn lives in a small village in England, with her long suffering husband Dave,  although her heart remains in her native rural Wales, which inspired so much of her writing.
 
Although most her writing tends to be futuristic, the worlds she creates are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature.  Her characters often have to fight the elements and the terrain itself.  Her heroes are strong and courageous, but chivalrous and honourable – and of course, handsome and hunky. Her heroines are also strong and courageous, but still retain their femininity! However difficult the journey, love will always win in the end. She is a member of The Romantic Novelists’ Association (UK)  and Chiltern Writers, her local writing group.
 
A keen animal lover, she has two horses,a ‘feral’ stable cat, and a rescued terrier, who manages to twist her round his little paw.  When she is not writing, she can usually be found enjoying the outdoors with the horses and dog – or just  eating chocolate!
 
 
 
1. Hywela Lyn are her real first two names. She has always been called ‘Lyn’ and decided it was time her Welsh/Celtic name ‘Hywela’ got an airing!
2. She completed the arduous Red Dragon Endurance ride in Wales.
3. She used to enjoy oil painting but gave it up to write.
4. The planet Niflheim, featured in the first two books of the Destiny Trilogy, was inspired by seeing the snow sweeping in like a pink mist across the Welsh mountains just before sunset.
5. The name ‘Hywela’ means ‘Eminent’
 
 
 
 
 

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Review of “Kayos: The Bad & The Worse” – Tracy A. Ball

kayos-the-bad-and-the-worse-front-cover

Pride & Prejudice do Mission Impossible with Young Guns

LAREINA ELLIOT, guidance counselor for Presque Isle Academy, discovered her idea for making students loyal to the government is being implemented in the Excellence Program to further the war. It has become her life’s work to undermine that effort. When she is arrested for being a Revolutionary sympathizer, her brothers, KAIDEN, FISHER, and SILAS rescue her with help from three of Lareina’s top students; ALEC, ORION, and YUKIYO. On the run but armed with intelligence and more, they seek to learn how she was exposed and by whom.

CHRISTIAN DEVERELL, the agent assigned to Lareina’s case is relentless. She can’t escape him. It doesn’t matter that he and Lareina are on opposite sides of the law, or that their history is dirty. It doesn’t matter that he commissioned her adopted brother, Silas, to assassinate her. The only thing of importance is his love for Lareina and his promise to protect her.

Silas MCKADE, soldier elite, Lareina’s secret weapon. The man who never misses is on the Government’s payroll to do whatever he likes to whomever he chooses. He has a death warrant for Lareina—the woman who means everything to him—and a heart full of hatred for Christian—the man he wants to be. He’s either going to break Lareina’s heart or stop it altogether. 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

Growing up, most of us have played cops and robberies, superheroes, spy games, or something of that nature. For those of us with children, we have seen the good guy – bad guy playtime trend continue on. It’s the thrill of the chase, desire to go on covert missions, being a secret agent, stopping an enemy target and so forth that keeps seats filled for movies such as Mission Impossible, Bourne series, 007 and the list goes on. The cinema even captures the interest and hearts of the younger crowd with movies like Spy Kids, Toy Soldiers, and (yes) Austin Powers series.

No matter what role we see ourselves in — fighter, assassin, brainiac, mad scientist, villain, damsel in distress, double agent, or the dying hero — there’s a place for us all and so viewers keep shelling out money for their love of action and adventure. Rest assured, you’ll get plenty of explosive action in Kayos: The Bad & The Worse. Unlike some movies, you’ll NOT walk away from KAYOS thinking you wish it had more booms, surprises, heartaches, gun battles, or action. Tracy DID NOT falter in the deliverance of the triple A’s — action, adventure and awesomeness.

Oh yeah, she also treated us to a few smoochie moments.  😉 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

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Tracy’s family is blended from three distinct cultures. Over the years, she has opened her home to foster children, drug addicts, AIDS victims and anyone who needed an assist. She has an equal number of liberal and conservative friends. She knows people who have committed murder and she knows people who know the Pope.

Which is why she writes sweet stories about tough love.

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Author Showcase – Kat Martin (Into the Firestorm: BOSS, Inc.)

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At Brodie Operations Security Service, Inc., following your instincts is company policy . . .

M. Cassidy—Luke Brodie had heard the name before, some novice bounty hunter working Seattle, catching tricky skips with more success than a newcomer should expect. But the dark curls, sparkly top, and impressive cleavage were not what Brodie had pictured.

Emma Cassidy is tough and smart and sexy as hell. She’s also popping up a step ahead of him every time he’s close to the capture he wants most . . . and there’s no room for learning on the trail of this monster.

Emma has idolized Luke Brodie, the bounty hunter who can bring anyone in. The big man in the soft shoes, with a face like a fallen angel and a reputation for breaking hearts. Watching him in action is intoxicating. But her fight with Rudy Vance is fiercely personal. If he gets too close, Brodie will find out just how ferocious she can be . . .

 

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~~ Excerpt From Into The Firestorm ~~

 

Sitting at the long, neon-lit bar in Rocker’s Karaoke Lounge, Luke Brodie sipped a cold Corona and eyed his quarry.  A bail skip named Skinner Digby leaned back in a chair at a round Formica-topped table a few feet away.

“You here for Skinner?”  Eddie Mullens, the bartender, a string bean of a guy with gold wire-rimmed glasses, followed Luke’s gaze to where Digby sat nursing a Jack and Coke.  Eddie knew everything that went on in this part of Seattle.  For a little cash once in a while, he kept Luke informed if anything interesting went down.

Luke took a sip of his beer.  “Digby skipped on a DUI.”

“Seems like small potatoes for you.”

Luke was a bounty hunter.  He went after FTAs, failures to appear, guys released on bail that didn’t show up in court.  He got twenty percent of whatever the bondsman had posted for their release and would have to forfeit if the fugitive wasn’t rearrested.  Luke specialized in the toughest and most profitable cases, bail skips whose bond sometimes ran into the millions.

“I need to ask Skinner some questions.”  That was the way it worked.  You went after the small fish to get your hands on the big ones.  “Figure I might as well make a few bucks while I’m at it.”

Luke took a swallow of beer and returned his attention to his quarry.  Digby had been flirting with a petite little brunette no more than five-foot-three in a tight black skirt and low-cut silver top who laughed at his dirty jokes.

Luke was getting irritated.  Skinner, with his bulldog face and beer belly, was no ladies’ man.  Luke wished the woman would just take the free drink he offered and move on.

Instead, she sidled a little closer and leaned down to whisper in his ear, giving him a bird’s eye view down the front of her sparkly top at some very impressive cleavage.  Skinner pulled out a chair, inviting her to join him.

Luke softly cursed.  If the woman was going to hang around, he was going to have to make his move.  He didn’t like putting a woman in the middle of a situation that might go bad, but he needed to talk to Digby.  The lady was giving him no choice.

He set the beer bottle down on the bar and came off the stool.  Luke couldn’t hear what the little brunette said, but Skinner snarled a curse and started up from his chair.

Luke couldn’t believe his eyes when the lady grabbed Digby by the nape of the neck and shoved his head down, slamming him hard onto top of the table.

Skinner groaned and his muscles went limp.  The brunette twisted one of Skinner’s arms up behind back, pulled a pair of handcuffs from the handbag on her shoulder, and shackled his wrist, did the same to the other one.  Looking even more stunned than Luke, Digby swayed, his legs wobbly, as the brunette hauled him to his feet.

Sonofabitch.  Luke turned to Eddie, who stood chuckling behind the bar.  “What the hell just happened?”

“She’s something, ain’t she?  Looks like the lady got to your bail skip first.”

“Who is she?”

“Name’s Cassidy.  She’s a bounty hunter.  Pretty amazing, huh?”

Luke was torn between annoyance and curiosity.  “That’s M. Cassidy?”

“Short for Emma.  The guys call her Em.”

Em Cassidy.  He knew the name, thought it was a man.  He watched the petite brunette–nine inches shorter than Digby’s six foot frame and no more than a hundred ten pounds–haul Skinner out the side door into the parking lot.  Luke reached for his beer, took a last swallow, tossed a little extra cash on the bar, and followed the lady outside.

It took him a minute to spot her beneath a lamp post at the edge of the parking lot.  He sauntered into the shadow of a car in a nearby space, got a real good look at her this time.

Late twenties, petite, but curvy in all the right places, thick dark hair that hung in heavy curls around her shoulders.

A bounty hunter.  That was a laugh.

The smile on his face slipped a little as he watched her handle Skinner.  She had the guy sitting cross-legged on the grass, hands cuffed behind him.  She was pressing him to answer her questions–exactly the same questions Luke wanted to ask.

“There’s a guy you know,” she said.  “His name is Felix Riggs.  He’s your supplier.  I want to know where to find him.”

Felix Riggs.  Same guy Luke was hunting.

Skinner just grunted.  “Yeah, right.  Like I’m gonna tell you anything.  You damned near knocked me out, you bitch.”

Emma lightly cuffed the back of Digby’s head, and Luke bit back a grin.

“You skipped on a drunk-driving charge,” the lady said, “third offense, Skinner.  They’re going to stick your butt in jail for at least a year.  Tell me what I want to know and I’ll let you go.”

She’d let him go?  Luke hadn’t expected that.  Now he was even more intrigued.

Digby sat quietly, considering his options.  “Take off the cuffs, then I’ll tell you what you want to know.”

“Not a chance.”

Digby shook his head.  “If Riggs finds out I told you, he’ll kill me.  He don’t like snitches.”

Frustrated, Emma nibbled her bottom lip.  It was plump and damp, and Luke felt a curl of heat he hadn’t expected.

“You want to walk or go to jail?” she asked, pushing, but not quite hard enough, only willing to go so far.

Luke glanced around.  If Digby didn’t spill in the next few minutes, there was a chance the cops would arrive.  Always somebody there to dial 911.

He stepped out of the shadows and Emma spun toward him, went into a wide-legged, self-defense stance.  He pointed to the bail enforcement badge clipped to his belt and she relaxed.

“I didn’t hear you walk up,” she said.

Luke ignored her, zeroed in on Skinner Digby, crouched down in front of him.  “The lady asked you nice and polite where to find Felix Riggs.  You know who I am?”

Skinner grunted.  “I know who you are.  You’re Brodie.”

“That’s right.  I’m going to ask you the same question just one time.  You don’t answer, you won’t have to worry about dealing with Riggs.  You’ll have to deal with me.”

Skinner swallowed.

“Now…where is Felix Riggs?”

Skinner ran his tongue over his lips.  There was a lump turning purple in the middle of his forehead.  “Riggs is…he’s out of town.  Won’t be back till Monday.”

“Where can I find him?”

Skinner gave a sigh.  “Hangs around The Polo Club.  There’s a bitch he’s got the hots for.”

“What’s her name?”

“Lila Purdue…like the college, you know?”

“Yeah, I do.”  Luke rose to his feet, turned to the lady standing a few feet away.  The moon was out.  She was prettier than he had first thought, with big doe eyes, fine features, and a firm little chin.  He was a boob man and from what he could tell, hers were prime grade A.

“Emma Cassidy,” she said by way of introduction.

“Luke Brodie.”  He glanced down at Skinner, who was grumbling beneath his breath, then looked back at Emma.  “Nice work,” he said.

“Thank you.”

Luke glanced across the parking lot.  “Here comes Skinner’s ride.  I’ll see you around.”  He started walking as a black and white patrol car rolled into the lot.  Interesting lady, he thought, ambling over to his battered old Bronco.  Pretty and feminine with a hot little body.

The very last person who should be running around trying to hunt down criminals.

Luke just shook his head.

He wondered why she was interested in Felix Riggs.  Riggs wasn’t wanted, though he should be since he was a low-life scum.  Maybe he knew something about another bail skip she was hunting.  Luke hoped like hell Emma Cassidy wasn’t going to confront the guy.  He didn’t think she’d come out as unscathed as she had tonight.

None of your business, he told himself as he crossed the lot, slid in behind the wheel of his beat-up old Ford, and fired up the powerful V-8 engine.

The Bronco, the perfect, non-descript surveillance vehicle, had been completely rebuilt.  A powerful Ford Racing Aluminator XS 5.0 liter Coyote Engine–500 plus horses–idled like a predator under the hood.  The Bronco had a Cobra jet intake manifold and fully CNC ported aluminum heads.

Welded restraints had been fitted into the back to hold any prisoners he had to transport to jail.  Luke loved the Bronco.  Like driving a rocket disguised as a paper airplane.

He checked the rearview mirror, saw little Emma Cassidy hauling butt-ugly Skinner Digby over to the patrol car.  Why she would want to be a bounty hunter he couldn’t begin to guess.

He’d never understood women.

Clearly that hadn’t changed.

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Author Showcase / Interview / Review – Nabila Fairuz (The Chronicles of Captain Shelly Manhar)

Welcome, Nabila!

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  1. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?

(Nabila) Ahoy, mateys! I am a Bangladeshi Canadian living in Calgary, AB at present. I published my first novel, The Chronicles of Captain Shelly Manhar, this year in October. I love Anime, video games, and reading. A lot of reading. Not all of it necessarily needs to be books. I hate not knowing what happens at the end of movies. And I am a big fan of lame puns. The lamer, the better. Here’s one: A man walked into a bar, and said, “Ow!”

 

 

  1. All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it.

(Nabila) First of all, I’ll have you known, I don’t handle it well. When writer’s block hit me, I tend to become very lazy. I end up doing everything else except writing. So if you want advice, here’s what I would tell you: don’t be like me. Try some other way. If I had to take a guess, I’d say that even if you are facing writer’s block, still try to write something. It may not be your best work, but it will keep the habit going.

 

 

  1. Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?

(Nabila) I like to play video games. Or read books. Currently I’m playing Dragon Age: Inquisition, and reading “Siege and Storm” by Leigh Bardugo.

I also like to check up on events happening nearby. Street festivals, Harry Potter themed outdoor markets, new movies, etc.

 

 

  1. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

(Nabila)  Thankfully, I have a very tight-knit group of family and friends who always wish me well and are very appreciative and proud of my work. I published my first book quite recently, and the love and support I have received from them has been astounding!

 

 

  1. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

(Nabila) Um… I am not good at coming up with top tens, but here’s a couple: J. K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, Stieg Larsson, Neil Gaiman, Dan Brown.

Among Bengali writers (i.e. writers from Bangladesh and Calcutta) I love Tagore, Humayun Ahmed, Zafar Iqbal, and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.

 

 

  1. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?

(Nabila) Well, I’ll be a little narcissistic and say that I would choose mine. I think ‘The Chronicles of Captain Shelly Manhar’ would make an excellent movie. It’s about a female pirate captain, and I think movie industries could use more of that.

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  1. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.

(Nabila) It is still in the outlining/planning stage, but I am planning to write another YA fiction with a sixteen year old girl called Celeste as the protagonist. There will be nursery rhymes. That’s all I’m saying.

 

 

  1. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?

(Nabila) So far, there’s only one book published by me, so no need to worry about reading order. My book is available on Amazon, and in e-book format from Kindle and Kobo.

It is also available in Barnes and Nobles, and the e-book version is available through Chapters and Indigo bookstores in Canada.

I am not 100% sure but I am pretty certain it is also available in UK and Australia.

 

 

  1. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

(Nabila) Yes! I am available on Facebook and Goodreads under the name Nabila Fairuz. Check out my page on Facebook and send me a message!

I am also available on Twitter and Instagram.

My Twitter handle is @N_FairuzR and Instagram ID is n_fairuzr.

Finally, and most importantly, you can contact me on my blog, My Own Little Corner, at the following address:

http://nabila-fairuz.blogspot.ca

 

  1. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

(Nabila) Goodbye, my dear friends,

‘Tis the mighty end of the road.

Again, we shall meet.

 

 

~~ Closing remarks ~~

I’ve said this once and I’ll say it probably a 1000 more times but I love interviewing authors. It’s so interesting finding out more about the person behind a story, what or whom inspires him/her and what he/she are working on next. When I read an interview, I find myself adding new books to my reading list based off question 5.

And, like many of you, my TBR is constantly growing and that warms this bookworm’s heart.  With that said, I have ONE MORE BOOK I hope you add to your reading list because it’s a voyage I think you’ll rather enjoy taking.

Enjoy, Mateys! 

 

 

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The youngest of three siblings, Shelly’s childhood tragically ended when her family disappeared under cryptic circumstances. Shelly and her sister embark on an epic journey to find them, only to face more hardship.

Witnessing the death of her only sister’s hardened Shelly more, and she was left with facing the bleak reality of continuing the mission alone. It affected her deeper than she imagined, and fueled her every move. It made her become the pirate captain whose name would eventually be feared everywhere. She gathered a crew and despite all odds always managed to come unscathed from any of her crazy exploits.

Along the way, she bumps into her brother who is now charged with arresting her, reconciles with her father who is hiding his own secrets, and frees her mother from the clutches of a power hungry Admiral of the English Navy. Will the fearless Captain Shelly Manhar manage to evade the hangman’s noose, or be forever lost in Davy Jones’ Locker?

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images-2(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

You can’t have a pirate’s tale without a hunt for lost treasure and what would a hunt be without a map. Shelly and her merry crew go searching for Neptune’s treasure and a magical goblet that grant a user’s request. Of course, the journey to the great booty isn’t easy as a finding an X on a sandy beach. No, they have to face creatures, scoundrels, and traps — some of the magical nature. 

This all sounds like a making of a Disney movie — aka Pirates of the Caribbean. Well mateys, Jack Sparrow didn’t suddenly appear from stage left but he was mentioned in passing. No, the pirates in this tale weren’t lead by a mascara wearing bloke. Instead the crew was led by a woman who wore an eyepatch and was quite the swordsman ….err swords-woman. 🙂

For that alone, I had to give this story high marks. The only reason why I knocked off a full point was due to the interaction between her and her brother. In First Contact, Conrad (Shelly’s brother) flats out states he wrote to her and Anna but they never responded. They argued about it. Then down the road in the chapter titled Family Reunion, they once again argue over it and Shelly appeared perplexed by him stating the same thing again. Why? Did she suffer from short term memory loss and forget he made this claim already. 

Anywho……

Despite that, I had only one other eh moment. I like how the story ended. The epilogue was quite comical but what about the buildup of Roy and Shelly throughout the adventurous tale? They had a moment, he loves her, and then nada. Maybe it’ll be played out in part 2. One can only hope!

Oh and one last thing, nice jaw-dropping, bombshell in Her Father’s Daughter. I do love surprises. It keeps me coming back for more! Others too. 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

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Author Showcase – Tracy A. Ball (Kayos: The Bad & the Worse)

RELEASED TODAY!!

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Pride & Prejudice do Mission Impossible with Young Guns

LAREINA ELLIOT, guidance counselor for Presque Isle Academy, discovered her idea for making students loyal to the government is being implemented in the Excellence Program to further the war. It has become her life’s work to undermine that effort. When she is arrested for being a Revolutionary sympathizer, her brothers, KAIDEN, FISHER, and SILAS rescue her with help from three of Lareina’s top students; ALEC, ORION, and YUKIYO. On the run but armed with intelligence and more, they seek to learn how she was exposed and by whom.

CHRISTIAN DEVERELL, the agent assigned to Lareina’s case is relentless. She can’t escape him. It doesn’t matter that he and Lareina are on opposite sides of the law, or that their history is dirty. It doesn’t matter that he commissioned her adopted brother, Silas, to assassinate her. The only thing of importance is his love for Lareina and his promise to protect her.

Silas MCKADE, soldier elite, Lareina’s secret weapon. The man who never misses is on the Government’s payroll to do whatever he likes to whomever he chooses. He has a death warrant for Lareina—the woman who means everything to him—and a heart full of hatred for Christian—the man he wants to be. He’s either going to break Lareina’s heart or stop it altogether. 

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             Christian watched Alec skipping down the fire escape; rifle over his shoulder, two-liter drink under his arm. Cocky little punk. He didn’t know Alec personally, but he was certain his description was accurate. It grated him that it wasn’t the cocky little punk he was waiting for. It didn’t matter. This one was obviously extra special to Lareina. Reason enough to kill him. He slid his gun free. “Stop right there you little bastard.”

               Alec did.

               Christian could see the intelligence in those dark eyes. The little shit is debating it. “You move. You die.” Gut instinct prompted him to add, “And Lareina gets to watch.”

               Now, Alec obeyed.

               “Climb down off that last step and put your hands up. You blink in the wrong direction and I will personally hand her the pieces.”

               Alec didn’t answer. He was thinking.

               “Leave him alone, Eugene.”

               Together Christian and Alec watched her approach. This was no place for a lady.

               Only Lareina would stroll down a blind, back alley, toward a loaded weapon, wearing stilettos. Christian couldn’t remember a day when she didn’t look good. He’d never admit it, but he’d been agonizing over her since the hospital. He had been worried. Hell, he missed her. And there she was: green top—too low in the front, dark jeans—as tight as can be, dangly earrings, glossy lips, an arm full of bangles, and those damned sexy-ass stilettos.

               Armed with an air of supreme poise, Lareina came forth. “Get in the car, honey.” She ruffled Alec’s hair but didn’t stop until she stood directly in front of Christian. His gun was less than three inches from her heart.

               Alec hadn’t moved. She hadn’t expected him to, but it was worth a try. No matter. Now, that she was there, he was safe enough. 

               “What are you doing here, Lareina?” Christian lowered his weapon.

               “Getting my child. What’s it look like?” She had the nerve to grin. “How did you find us?”

               He arched an eyebrow at her and cast a speculative glance at Alec, exaggerating the act long enough to make sure she noted it before he let the topic go. “What did you want with Jeri?”

               “Jeri’s a bastard.”

               “No shit, Sherlock. Tell me something I don’t know.”

               “It was news to me. That M-F’er has been stealing my files. He sold me out. It seemed prudent to find out some particulars.”

               “It wasn’t to the government because you’re a criminal?”

               She pursed her lips at him.

                Not the government. Then who? Something started to click, but Christian couldn’t finger it. “You know I’m taking you in, right?”

               “You can’t. Not today anyway.”

               “Why not today?” He could hear them coming.

               So could she. “Because my son can’t drive.”

               “Yes, I can.” If they wanted to pretend this was normal, Alec was cool with it.   Lareina glanced at him, affectionately. “Not legally.”

                He gave an indignant huff. “Because that matters.”

               “Lareina.” Christian didn’t have time for this shit.

               “Christian. I’m getting my child out of here.” There was no mistaking the resolution in her tone. “If you want to shoot me, you’ll have to do it in the back.”

               He leveled her a mean look.

               “Mr. Deverell, sir.” An officer came into view. Two others followed him escorting Jericho Parks.

               “That’s her!” Jericho pointed. “That’s her! She did it. She’s responsible. I want to press full charges! She was behind it all!”

               His outburst made up Christian’s mind. He raised his weapon and unloaded three caps. Like dominoes, the DoP’s went down one after the other. Jericho screamed. He fell to his knees and covered his head. Christian studied Lareina. “Three days.”

               He watched her eyes dart to the left in that telltale manner.

               “I need at least a week.” Urgency caused her voice to rise.

               “You’re only getting three days.” He was in no mood to bend. Three soldiers lay dead. He had compromised enough.

               “Fine. I’ve got to go.”

               One hand extended, gun still pointed toward Jericho, in the event he attempted to run, with his other, Christian grabbed Lareina’s arm, pulling her to him. He put every ounce of his frustration into his kiss. It was either that or break her neck. And he was strongly contemplating the latter.

               Lareina allowed it. She wanted, craved his touch as much as he craved hers. Theirs was a dance with the devil; irresistible and impossible. The tangles had become knots and he only gave her three days. It wasn’t enough. She could hardly wait.

            The kiss ended, but the intensity remained. He sighed, letting the heat recede.

            She whispered, “I have a pretty long to-do list, Christian. Unfortunately, you’re not on it.”

            He licked the corner of her mouth, matching her tone. “I am the list.”

            She pressed her cheek against his lips. “Well, you’re not getting done tonight.”

            “Don’t fool yourself, Lareina,” he said. “I am going to have you.”

            The absolute authority rippling through the huskiness in his voice made her nerves tingle with anticipation. It was a future fact. The next time, they wouldn’t be in the middle of a shootout. There would be no high emotions or weak moments to blame it on. It would be intentional. It would be permanent.

               Summoning strength he didn’t like to utilize, Christian pulled back an inch, tugging on her bottom lip a moment longer. “Don’t stop.” His eyes were serious.

               “Be careful.” Her eyes were worried. 

               With nothing more to say, she turned, moving away as fast as her stilettos would allow. Alec fell into step beside her. They were to the car, backing out and pulling into traffic when they heard a noise. It sounded like a gunshot.

 

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Tracy’s family is blended from three distinct cultures. Over the years, she has opened her home to foster children, drug addicts, AIDS victims and anyone who needed an assist. She has an equal number of liberal and conservative friends. She knows people who have committed murder and she knows people who know the Pope.

Which is why she writes sweet stories about tough love.

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Review of “From Within the Light” – C. Warner-Thompson

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For hundreds of years, Light and Darkness have fought in a fierce and unrelenting battle.

Now that battle is reaching its final stage, they are calling upon their strongest warriors to search for the Vessel.

Cassie’s quiet life is shattered. Her family are taken from her and she is thrown into a world of chaos.

Why were they taken, what was the reason?

Is there something Cassie is destined to do? Does she have the strength to save them?

Her Guardian Angel has seven days to show her the Light.

Seven days to keep her safe, safe from the demons hunting for her soul.

 

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Good versus evil — Light versus dark — no matter how you phrase it, there’s always a battle of some sort going on – around us and within ourselves. No man or woman is perfect and, it appears, no “angel” is perfect either. It’s an everyday struggle and, at times, the darkness will come ahead but then there’s the glorious days when goodness prevails.

In From Within the Light, the readers will watch the internal and external struggles of the dark and light battles. We shall see causalities, tears shed, and the possibility not everyone is truly gone (cliffhanger).

We also witnessed quite the HUGE REVELATIONSHint: One surprise made me think of the popular saying, The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Another bombshell had me saying, “Umm, I didn’t see that one coming!” (Chapter 21) 

I will say for those who love non-stop action with hardly any quiet moments, then you’d hit the jackpot. However if you are like me and want a bit more smooth sailing moments to help you drift off in la la land , then you won’t want to read this before bedtime. Seriously, Clemy went from exiting the metaphoric starting gate to Mach 1 quicker than I could make supper. Again, not a terrible thing for those who want a little more bang for their buck.

For you action book junkies, Clemy definitely “brought it” when it comes to the battle scenes with the leaches and The Keepers. They were hardcore where anyone and everyone was thrown into the mix. 

 

CLIFFHANGER! 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

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I live in the fantasy world just as much as real life these days. I self-published my first book, ‘Purest Light’, when i was 16, which is the first book of my first series, ‘The Sacred prophecies’. The 2nd and 3rd, ‘Darkest Regrets’ and ‘New Beginnings’, were released 2 years later, allowing me to start on a second, more in-depth, fantasy series. ‘The Star’ was released in 2012, with it’s two sequels, ‘The Mirage’ and ‘The Void’, following soon after. I am now writing my newest project which consists of two books. The first being named as ‘From Within the Light’ , which has just been released in October 2016, and ‘Even in the Darkest of Times’ which I have only started recently. I am looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for me 🙂

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Review of “The Keresa Headdress” – Larry Shackelford

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It’s just a routine case at the FBI’s Salt Lake City offices. The young woman’s boyfriend is missing, possibly dead. Agent Karen Adams thinks he’s probably just out with another woman—but then the Royal Canadian Mounted Police come calling. Why would they care about a wayward addict cheating on his girlfriend in Utah? Soon, Karen is involved in a case like nothing she’s ever seen, navigating through an international criminal network of drugs, sex trafficking, murder, and the black market trade of priceless archaeological relics. Her new partner Marcus “Playboy” McCoy—handsome, charming, and almost unbearably crass—is equal parts help and hindrance as she navigates a seamy underworld in the Utah desert. But she also finds assistance from some unusual sources: a graduate student in archaeology, a dissatisfied sister-wife from a polygamous commune, and an undercover Canadian Mountie. Together they become entangled in the web of international crime and the only way out is to find the most priceless artifact of all: the legendary Keresa Headdress.

 
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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 
When a writer constructs a story dealing with historical facts, it’s easy to get caught up in the finer details and suddenly your story takes on the image of a wikipedia page. In this case, Larry didn’t cross the line from entertaining to overly informative. Sure, you could feel the passion and respect Larry Shackelford had for the Native American culture. Through the use of his characters, (Derek and Ruth), we learned much about their history but it wasn’t presented in a stuffy, clinical way. Knowing when to pull back takes talent. Larry, congrats on possessing such talent. 
 
However, as much as I enjoyed the history lessons, I didn’t connect to some characters. 
 
Constable Lee Bergerman’s focus seemed to shift drastically from work to pleasure once he met Ruth. Guess his “other head” did all his thinking for a bit until work/case struck a little bit too close to home. 
 
I didn’t really see the importance of Marcus except for comic relief. But, if we look at all the great detective shows, there’s always one funny guy to help lighten up the tension filled cases so I guess Larry felt his story would’ve benefited from a funny guy too. Actually, it kind of did. 
 
Karen: When I think of an FBI agent, I picture a woman who comes across as a leader, not a follower. Basically, I felt everyone was leading her around by the nose. Her detective skills were also lacking. She should’ve been able to realize sooner that Marcus had been using her phone for personal pranks. Others caught on fast. Maybe go back to FBI training camp?
 
I could discuss my take on the various other characters but I won’t. I will say despite my lack of love for them, they didn’t turn me off from the story. With the historical info, Marcus’ pranks, I found myself enjoying the story. 
 
So would I recommend this story to others? Yes, yes I would. 
 
 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
 Score: ❤❤❤1/2
 

 

 
 
 

Larry was raised in southwest Missouri where he received his college degree, but he received his education after he graduated and began working in a maximum-security federal prison. After spending two years behind bars, he continued his law enforcement career as a criminal investigator, residing and working in eight states and two foreign countries. Larry retired from law enforcement after twenty-five years of service and resides in Salt Lake City with his wife and cat.

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