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Review of “The Damsel and the Dragon: Seven of Stars” – Mae McKinnon

As a child, Linandra spent many hours slaying monsters and having adventures. 

So, when faced with a future containing little in the way of excitement (but plenty of cereals) she gathered up her courage and set out into the world. 

It soon turned out that becoming a dashing hero – or any hero at all – wasn’t as easy as the stories made it out to be; if someone’s garden was, say, infested with weedrats, they sought to hire a mercenary, not a waif off the streets. 

Now on a journey going nowhere, when Lin comes upon an old barn, all she’s really looking for is respite from the cold. But this is a place which holds more secrets than it does hay and Linandra soon finds herself dragged into the lives of wizards, cleaning-ladies and other, even stranger, folk. Much to her chagrin, this also includes Setharrion, who is trying very hard not to let his own past catch up with him.

She’d spent years looking for a second chance. Now it had found her. Only, it wasn’t like anything she’d ever imagined… 

She was, however, very grateful that it didn’t eat her.

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Excerpt

 

What she really wanted was to be back in her bed at her last attempt at holding down a job. Even more, she wanted to be back in her own bed. The one she’d always had, growing up.

It had been hard and narrow and there hadn’t been much in terms of bedclothes, but they had been there. Right now, even that sounded appealing. Being back home, going about what you did every day. Was that really so bad?

Lin’s thoughts strayed, as if trying to find anything else to think about but the current situation, while edging another step closer to the ground. Her knuckles turned white where she gripped the bars.

A shivering foot swung down, searching for the next rung in the dark.

What had she been thinking, switching that dead certainty of her future for this? That every day would be the same? That she’d know what she’d be doing ten, even twenty, years from now?

And what had she exchanged it for? All this? She hadn’t even found a place for herself yet. Not after her last position went down the drain, quite literally.

A tumbled drop down to the ground and a loud ‘ouff’ when she misjudged the last bar on the ladder and she couldn’t fall any further. Once there, Lin knew that the path between her and the barn doors was devoid of obstacles and those had, inside of them, a much smaller normal door that she could go through without all the hassle of towing open the big ones.

That’s what she normally used when sneaking out.

Tonight, she never got the chance.

Accompanied by a whole series of rumbles and forks of blazing light zigzagging through the air those large barn doors flew open. As if forced aside by the sheer power of the wind, they greeted the storm beyond in its unbridled fury.

Linandra became transfixed to the ground. Her vividly green eyes, thrown open as wide as the doors, stared almost without seeing. Her mouth fell open, gaping like a fish out of water. The gale tore at her long hair, whipping it all around her, but she didn’t notice.

The next bolt of lightning caught her off-guard and as she peered out into what was left of the night, the night looked right back.

‘Oh, mother of all that is,’ Lin whimpered, while the rest of her mind went blank.

The lightningstrike had just lit up what was in front of her. She’d been happier if it hadn’t.

It was big. No, big didn’t even come close. It was huge. Humongous. A veritable mountain of flesh and armoured plating. The rainwater wasn’t just trickling off its skin, it was cascading down from its body in torrents and lightning reflected off the powerful flanks every time the sky sizzled and frayed.

If it hadn’t been for the illumination of the thunderbolts, she never would have seen it. From tip to tail it gleamed with a deep, inky, black. It was as if the night had coalesced from smooth velvet into rocky crags. If crags could move with a purpose.

Had it been moving away, Lin would have followed its progress, even been impressed by the sheer, raw, power it exuded. But it was getting closer and every part of her mind that hadn’t already shut down, was screaming with primal urges to run away—if only she hadn’t been frozen in intimidation.

While the storm continued to rage around them it was being pushed into the background for Lin. The rain kept streaming in through the opening in the barn, hitting her in the face, but she no longer saw that either.

The body before her gleamed, slick with rainwater. The muscles bulged even as it stood still, as if had been caught in motion, readying a leap into the sky.

Immense wings, still partly extended, blackened out parts of the heavens, drowning her world in shadow, like an eclipse to the suns.

The head, this close up, seemed elongated with noble, if craggy, features as they reached the crest, and it was crowned with a whole array of short horns and spikes carrying on down the neck.

But that wasn’t where her attention was. It was the eyes. Luminous orbs in the dark. Yellow and red with fire, they filled her world. Looking into them you could, almost, believe you could see beyond them, into a world twirling and spinning and, without any doubt whatsoever, looking right back at her.

For a brief moment, the two of them stood there, motionless, in the rain and the wind. Then, lowering its head, the dragon approached the gaping hole in the barn.

Held by the same almost hypnotic gaze as the mouse caught out by a viper and, foraging for food, becoming food itself, Lin couldn’t move. Her breath came in short, jagged bursts.

The jaws, slightly parted, were only meters away when Lin finally managed to break away. She scuttled backwards.

To her horror the dragon pursued even if it had to crouch down to fit through the doors. But it didn’t pounce. Surely it saw her? It couldn’t be ignoring her, could it?

Its steps light, each one still made the nearby ground shiver every time one of those clawed feet hit the ground. And what claws they were … more like an armful of talons. Or should that be a foot-full of talons? Four whole sets of them.

Creeping forwards, moving with a grace and dignity that belied the cramped location, the midnight dragon entered the barn. And as it wrapped its tail around its feet, the doors slammed shut behind it.

She was trapped. Trapped, with a huge, toothy beast only meters away. Why, oh why weren’t any alarms sounding? They must have them in this place, surely? No one wanted a rampaging dragon dropping in unannounced. Dragons raided places like this, didn’t they?

A calmer mind might have asked itself, that if a dragon raiding party had arrived, then why was it curling up like a cat that had just returned home from a three-day excursion, in a wooden, very flammable structure, rather than roaring and gnashing its teeth at everything in sight.

By now, body parts should have been raining from the sky, screaming and wailing coming from the people still alive.

That’s what dragons did. Everyone she knew said so. That was why all those knights in all those stories had always needed to go off protecting the kingdoms from them.

Dragons were beasts: huge, hulking brutes that breathed fire and trampled everything in their wake.

This one, however, was making itself comfortable in the middle of the open planned structure. The tail was, slowly, draping itself around the series of support pillars that held up the loft. Its tip scraped against the bottom wood, creating furrows where the soft material was no match for the hard scales.

Guess that explained those marks she’d seen earlier, Lin figured, in between the madness. What an odd thought to have pop into your mind at a time like this, Lin chided herself. 

By now, the dragon had nestled its head on top of its front paws. It didn’t seem like it was planning on going anywhere, anytime soon.

The problem—and since she was still alive it was a somewhat smaller problem than, say, five minutes ago—was that the dragon was looking right at her. It was a calm gaze, filled more with amusement than cunning. But it was looking right at her.

 

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

 

When we visualize a dragon, we form an image of a humungous, snarling beast determined to bring havoc, death and destruction. However, in The Damsel and the Dragon we learn dragons can be gentle, compassionate, loving, and protectors of all — humans or otherwise. Kaherion possessed all the above qualities and so did Setharrion (Seth). Being a beast doesn’t always equate a monster. Lin, a humanoid, was a witness to their softer side. They were patient with her when she gave them attitude. Seth, in fact, rescued her on more than one occasion. He charmed her. He was playful. He was a dragon worth knowing – worth caring about. Joran, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. He was a true beast and did have carnage in his sights. When the dragons battled, the book really heated up. 

 

Now, even though, I thought the fist 2/3 of the story was dragging a bit there were some memorable scenes. 

1.) Seth (in human form) groaning about nails and their lack of importance. Also, him clothes shopping was quite a funny experience (for me, not so much him). Let’s not forget his sweet tooth. Cute.  

2.) Lin’s pet dragonling was just adorable, in a highly mischievous way. It behaved like an ordinary unruly pet. It chewed on inappropriate things, needed obedient school, and liked to do its own thing. Sounds like new puppy behavior to me. 

 

Once again, I must state that once Lin and Seth came face to face the book picked up much needed steam. My interest, which seemed to be diminishing, was captured. Seth was just so likable, a sweetie. When Lin confronted him in dragon form, I almost snickered at his reaction. He whined, folks. That moment made the whole chapter for me! 

 

**This book did end with a HEA but also left it wide open for more adventurous tales.**

 

Heart Rating System 

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

 Score: ❤❤❤

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Mae is a creature of contradiction: The type of person who loves to discover new things, and faraway places, but worries about sticking her nose into the shop she’s walked past every day for years and years and who can be as much a starry eyed idealist as the most bitter of cynics, about the same thing, at the same time. If you think this is exhausting – you’re right.

There’s absolutely nothing contradictory about her love of reading or writing though – and she happily does both as much as she can (it’s true what they say, there never IS enough bookshelf space). Somewhere along the line, this will, probably, involve dragons 🙂

Incidentally, she also wishes she could type as fast as her imagination runs and that someone really should come up with a reliable way to train muses and characters to stick with the story and don’t go chrono-hopping, explore strange new alternate realities or, even worse, insist on bringing home plot-bunnies.   

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Author Showcase – Tricia Copeland (Kingdom Journals)

Volume 1

He wouldn’t understand. He didn’t live in a pretend world. In truth, he did. Most beings, pure humans, walked around thinking they were the only type of people that existed.” –Alena

As a creature forbidden by both vampire and witch cultures, Alena is forced hide her identity. Her mother moves them from city to city searching for answers. When Alena finds Hunter everything changes. She believes their bond may be the. But her mother finds Theron, an equally handsome and mysterious suitor. Will the truth of his intentions be uncovered before it is too late? Or will her Mother’s kingdom be reduced to embers?

 

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 Volume 2

“… the previous night’s vision, or whatever it was, ended with a name I heard clear as day, as if the people were in my room. Ivy, the girl and boy recited together.” – Camille Could her dreams be real? Is she the key to freeing witches from their curse? Of course not, right? Thinking that her only chance at a normal life lay in a new treatment, Camille joins Dr. Antos and a group of teens for a month long camping trip in Iceland. There she meets Jude, a fellow schizophrenic. Dr. Antos invites Camille and Jude to extend their work with him on the island of Sardinia. Camille is suspicious of Dr. Antos’s intentions but her dad goes missing, leaving her no choice but to travel to Italy. Is she walking into a lion’s den or has her illness invaded her reality?

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

 

People, of all ages, are fixated on vampires and witches. They are moneymakers for retailers, book stores, movie theaters and add allure to some touristy spots. Admittedly, back in the day, I was addicted to cult favorites such as The Craft (1996), Charmed, BladeBuffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Lost Boys (1987). As a grown up, my love for the paranormal world hasn’t wavered a bit. Truth to be told, I have watched every Harry Potter movie (more than twice), never missed an episode of True Blood, and I always root for the evil witches/sorcerers in fairy tales. 

No doubt about it… People love the supernatural world. The endless possibilities of what if certain magical beings were real and what it would be like to harness their power. For me, I think possessing the ability to levitate, control the elements, mental telepathy, and invisibility would be amazing skills to have in my arsenal. Jude and Camille really did put their newly discovered powers to great use. They were on a mission to save the witches and their respected fathers. 

Before they go on the great adventure, they attend a camp focusing on helping those dealing with mental problems. Before the camp, they each thought they were just two teenagers who were delusional, schizophrenic. When you don’t realize magic is real, how else is your mind supposed to explain the unexplainable?! Visions. Hallucinations. Those are scary things for any person to face — especially a young child/teenager. Tricia Copeland tapped into those fears from a bearer’s perspective and from their family members.  

After Jude and Camille realized they weren’t schizophrenic, really 1/2 witches, that’s when the real magic begins. It’s where readers will be treated to scenes where Jude and Camille learn about their powers and how to master them. We also fear they might be in over their heads.

The ending especially had me on the edge of my seat. It was one helluva cliffhanger. 

In summation: Solid plot, great character development, lovely pace, and great set-up for Kingdom of Honor (book 3). 

Oh and on a final note…. wait until you read whom the witches are descendants from… MIND BLOWN

 

 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Released September 6, 2017

Jude’s Story – Jude only knows one thing: he must rescue Camille. It doesn’t matter what must be done to save her from the evil coven, he will do it. But once she’s recovered, what will his role be? How does he fit into the trinity’s prophecy? Find out in this urban fantasy adventure novel that finds the Kingdom Journals characters traversing the globe in search of Camille, and the key to breaking an age-old curse.

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Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia but now lives outside the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado with her husband, three kids, and multiple four legged and finned friends. An avid runner and paranormal fan, she also enjoys hiking, trivia, and Scrabble. You can connect with Tricia and other readers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and on her website.

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Author Showcase – G.E. Stills (The Spreading Evil: The Demon Slayers, Book 2)

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

Things have calmed since Kiya and her team destroyed the demon Xaphon. The band Kiya manages, called Lusty Desires, has completed their tour and are now back in studio to make another album. Kiya is taking a welcome break from her tour duties and demon hunting. She misses her teammates and lovers, Raith and Kaley. They’re in Europe traveling with another touring band. Kiya is unaware that a new threat, far deadlier than Xaphon, is forming.

Tiona, the daughter of the demon Xaphon, is merciless and brutal. She is creating followers and fellow demons. Their goal is to mingle among humans to kill and multiply. Tiona also seeks to annihilate Kiya for she is the witch who destroyed her father. The two forces, one good and one evil, are on a collision course. Who will live and who will die.

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Tiona spun on her heel and padded toward the bedroom door to explore the rest of the house. As she passed by a floor length mirror, she stopped and gazed at herself. The reflection that peered back at her was of a female around twenty. Her dark-blonde hair was down to her shoulder blades. As she watched, the last specks of red faded from her eyes leaving them a dark green. While she scrutinized herself, a few minor alterations of her transitioning body took place. Her hips flared slightly, her waist narrowed more, her stomach grew flatter and her lips became fuller.

She cupped her breasts with her hands. Each one was larger than a handful but less than two handfuls. Sometime during her maturing process a black scorpion tattoo had formed on her right breast above and to the right of her nipple. Another black scorpion had formed on her lower stomach. The sight of the scorpions brought knowledge, not her own, of their purpose. For the scorpions were living. Their sting would enslave a human to her forever, but there was a downside. The sting would also render the human sterile. She dare not let her scorpions sting someone she wished to impregnate her or a woman she intended to have carry one of her spawn. I will use caution in using them.

Tiona combed her fingers through the blonde curls that covered her folds. From the knowledge that had flooded into her mind, she knew that most human men and women preferred a woman with bare folds. She determined the blonde curls would be gone before she encountered her first human victim.

She smiled as her mental command caused her nipples to stiffen and peak, while her cervix slickened and became ready for penetration. Every inch of her delightfully curved body was designed to lure humans to her for their ultimate death.

Her existence was to accomplish three goals. The first was to conceive and deliver children who were part demon and part human. Her stunning looks would lure men to her easily and she would copulate with them before performing her second goal, their death. Her third reason for existence was to kill as many hateful witches as possible, especially the one named, Kiya.

After casting a final glance at her body, Tiona padded silently from the bedroom. There was one additional room in the cabin. It was a combination of kitchen and living area. The living room section contained two reclining chairs, a couch and a stone fireplace. Small tables were located beside each chair and a long and low table rested on an area rug in front of the couch.

The kitchen space contained a refrigerator, a counter containing a double sink, a stove and above it a microwave. Along the opposite wall was a table with four chairs. Next to the table was a washer and dryer. The sight of numerous empty cans that littered the counter, table, and the floor confirmed Tiona’s supposition that Petra had not been eating right for some time. Feeding Petra a better diet became Tiona’s first priority.

Tiona stepped through the front door, the only exit from the cabin, onto a wooden porch. A cool breeze stirred her hair both that on her head and between her legs. She tilted her head back and sniffed at the air. On her right was a smaller wooden building. Her acute sense of smell informed her nothing living occupied the building and therefore presented no immediate threat. Tiona determined to check the inside of the building at a later time but it wasn’t top priority.

Turning to her left, Tiona’s bare feet made little noise as she padded from the porch and into the stand of trees. A few yards from the cabin, she left the foliage and stepped onto the grass covered bank of a sizable lake.

Hardly a ripple disturbed the surface of the early morning water. With vision far more acute than a human’s, Tiona peered across the two-mile wide expanse of water and scanned the far shore. A few boats, some for fishing and others for pleasure, dotted the shoreline. Sniffing the air brought the scent of campfires to her nose and she noted their locations. Farther east was a scattering of cabins similar to the one she inhabited. They were almost invisible in the dense foliage and separated by thick stands of trees. The still water vanished to the east and west in the early morning haze, preventing her from seeing farther.

Next, Tiona studied her own shoreline. She felt certain other cabins shared it with her own but she couldn’t spot any signs of activity by sight, sound or smell. No scent of campfires were detectable. She did spot a wooden dock located approximately a mile to the west, but there was no boat there and no evidence of recent use.

Tiona turned to her right and followed along the bank until she spotted a barely discernable game trail, veered into it, and followed its course. Occasionally, thorns pierced the soles of her feet but she ignored the slight pain and a few steps later the puncture wounds the barbs had made, healed completely. She stuck her nose into the air and sniffed again then turned from the trail. A few yards later, she reached a clearing filled with wild flowers in multiple colors. At the same time, a large black bear entered the clearing across from her. Tiona marched boldly into the clearing to confront the beast.

The bear advanced the stood, sniffed the air and fixed its gaze on her. In a blur of motion, Tiona surged forward and stopped a few paces in front of the beast. Standing, the bear was well over six feet tall and towered over her five-foot-two naked frame. The bear roared in both rage and challenge and Tiona lunged forward.

With the awareness, she had gained from her father’s memories had come the knowledge of how the change from human form to demon and back at will. An eye blink before she contacted the bear, Tiona assumed her demon form, with a scale-covered body, a short snout containing three-inch fangs and sharp claws on her feet and hands. Ten identical Tionas materialized and surrounded the bear ready to offer their assistance.

The beast’s massive claws scraped harmlessly across her back and its teeth failed to pierce her shoulder when it bit her. Tiona raked her hands over the bear’s chest and stomach, her claws opening deep gashes in the fur covered hide. The bear stepped back, and the roar it voiced this time was one of agony. An inhuman snarl issued from Tiona’s lips. The beast dropped to all fours and Tiona lashed out with a clawed hand. The bear never stood a chance.

 

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DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT BOOK ONE IN THE DEMON SLAYERS SERIES! 

Kiya, a witch, is devastated when her cousin is murdered. Shortly after that, she becomes acquainted with Raith who informs her this murder is a pattern of killings done by an evil demon. The only lead is all the murders are connected with a band called Lusty Desires. Kiya vows to avenge the murder of her cousin and seeks out the help of the goddess Nyx to increase her witch powers. Nyx provides those powers but drastically changes Kiya in the process. The team of Kiya and Raith begin following the band and because of her financial background, Kiya becomes the band’s manager. The position provides an excellent reason for being with the band while the team searches for the demon.

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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 – G.E. Stills (A Witch and Her Dragons: Demon Slayers)

Kiya, a witch, is devastated when her cousin is murdered. Shortly after that, she becomes acquainted with Raith who informs her this murder is a pattern of killings done by an evil demon. The only lead is all the murders are connected with a band called Lusty Desires. Kiya vows to avenge the murder of her cousin and seeks out the help of the goddess Nyx to increase her witch powers. Nyx provides those powers but drastically changes Kiya in the process. The team of Kiya and Raith begin following the band and because of her financial background, Kiya becomes the band’s manager. The position provides an excellent reason for being with the band while the team searches for the demon.

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Before you read the excerpt from A Witch and Her Dragons, I wanted to post a quick………….

 

This story is intended for 18+ readers due to strong language, descriptive sex scenes and graphic violence. 

 

~ Excerpt ~

 

The all-night orgy of the band and their groupies is winding down and Kiya decides it’s time to go down to her room and sleep.

 

Kiya stifled a yawn and glanced at her watch. It was close to two in the afternoon. She finished her drink, stepped around the bar, and opened one of the drawers there. Kiya smiled when she spotted the extra keycard to her room attached to a lariat. She’d given it to Rudy when they’d checked in, knowing that at this party she’d be naked and have nowhere to keep it. There was another card there and she knew that one belonged to Kaley. 
Kiya gazed around and saw there were a few diehards still fucking, Micca was one of them, but most of the guests and band members had succumbed to exhaustion. Rudy was another of the diehards. He crossed the room, his cock hanging limp from recent use and joined her at the bar. He fixed himself a drink, then asked her, “Wanna fuck some more, Kiya babe?” 
She shook her head. “We already have, three times today. I’m tired and sore. Besides, I just saw you pounding that weapon of lady destruction between your legs into Micca’s pussy a few minutes ago and you’re limp.” 
“Micca is a great fuck. I’ve sampled both her pussy and ass today. But you, my lusty lover, are better. And as for my limpness, those lips of yours are talented in other ways than kissing, I’m certain I would get hard for you in no time. If you want to go down to your room to fuck, I’m game.” 
Kiya rolled her eyes. She placed one of the obligatory morning after pills on her tongue and made a point of having Rudy watch her wash it down with a drink of water. “We certainly can’t take a chance of me giving birth to a little Rudy.” She winked at him. “Goddess forbid that from ever happening.”
“I thought you told me you couldn’t get—”
“I can’t, I was just teasing you. Rudy, I’m going down to my room to sleep. Now be a good boy and go pass out somewhere.” 
She placed the lariat over her head and stumbled on wobbly legs toward the elevator. In the foyer, she found her bag lined up with the others and picked it up. To her consternation, she found her clothing was missing. Kiya had a strong suspicion she knew who was responsible for the missing items and why they had been removed.
I am not going to stay up here in the penthouse with you, Rudy. When the doors slid open, she stepped into the car and selected her floor. Now if I can just get into my room without someone seeing me wearing nothing but my birthday suit. She was especially afraid she would run into Raith because his room was on the same floor and just a few doors down from hers.
Kiya sighed in relief when the door to her room closed behind her and she hadn’t encountered anyone. She pulled the lariat over her head and tossed it along with the small bag on the dresser top. Pulling the coverlet on her bed down exposed the crisp and inviting sheets. She pitched face down onto them and lay across the bed quickly drifting to sleep. 
A knock on the door brought her fully alert. “I told him I was coming down here to sleep,” Kiya grumbled as she prepared to pin his ears back. Not even thinking of her undressed condition, she thrust the door open. Kaley, just as unclothed, stood in the hall facing her. 
“God you’re so beautiful, Kiya. You always are, but when you’re all naked and glowing from being freshly fucked, you’re stunning.” 
“Kaley hon, I’m tired, too tired to even think of having sex.”
“I’m tired, too, Kiya, I just want to sleep, but I don’t feel like sleeping alone. Will you let me stay with you?”
Kiya stood aside and ushered Kaley in. The two of them sprawled out on the bed and Kaley started laughing.
“What’s so funny?” Kiya asked.
“When I was coming down the hall, a handsome guy stepped out of his room and bumped into me. You should’ve seen his eyes grow wide when he saw I wasn’t wearing a damn stitch of clothing.” 
“Oh goddess, what happened then?”
“Being my bashful self.” A grin stretched Kaley’s lips. “I spread my arms and legs and posed, providing him a full frontal view while telling him to take a picture to use for masturbation later.”
“Oh Gods, Kaley, you’re so bad. What did he do next?”
“He just shook his head, stepped back into his room, and closed the door. My hair is a fright and I reek of sex…but still I’m freaking naked. I guess he doesn’t like women, or at least he doesn’t like this one.” 
“Maybe he was in shock. You don’t step out of your room into a naked woman normally, then have her brazenly display herself for you.” 
“I guess not. But still, I’m freaking naked.”
In a short time, their laughter died away, and they surrendered to exhausted slumber.

 

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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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Review of “Viktor (Happy Evil After, Book 1)” – Sarah Marsh

 

Evernight Publishing (June 20, 2017)

Cover Art: Jay Aheer

When the heroes have reputations like these, who needs a villain?

 

Have you ever read a fairy tale and wondered why the goody two-shoe Princes and Princesses were always the ones who got their happy endings?

Pandora is a Fairy Godmother who’s never fit in with her own people. Still, she has the power—and the attitude—to step in and help those who others have decided “aren’t worthy” of a happy ending. How hard could it be to manipulate some of the most feared beings in their world?

Viktor has spent his entire undead life being the bogeyman to the paranormal community, and that’s the way he wants to keep it … with everyone else far away from him. But when the opportunity arises to take his revenge on his nemesis, he can’t resist—even if it means risking his reputation and rescuing the damsel in distress.

Halle never expected to find herself in need of a savior, especially one with a reputation like Viktor’s. But she’s used to listening to her instincts, and her cat trusts the strange woman who pops up and claims to have some solutions. After all, if a girl can’t trust her own Fairy Godmother, then what is this world coming to?

 

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“I mean you no harm, lady. You can go. I’m only here for what’s in the car,” he said slowly walking towards her. She was a cute little thing, all soft curves with golden skin and hair.

“Ummm, yeah, about that … I’m what’s in the car, Mr. Krescech. You have to take me with you out of here,” she said almost nervously, those big green eyes pleading with him.

Clearly, she was also insane. What was with the women he was running into this week? Viktor had had more than his fair share of groupies throwing themselves at him in the bars, wanting to take a walk on the wild side for a few hours, but this wholesome little beauty certainly didn’t look like the type, so he had no idea exactly what she was asking him for.

“I don’t think so,” he said, moving past her towards the open back door to search the car.

“Seriously, there’s nothing else in the car. They were taking me from my family and my pard to be married to Conrad. I have to go with you to get away from him,” she continued, putting her tiny little hands on her very curvy hips in a way that distracted him far more than it should have.

Interesting, so this little number was a leopard shifter? Viktor hadn’t really had any interaction with the pard in this country, but by reputation, they were a good lot. Why on Earth would she agree to marry Conrad?

“I don’t rescue damsels in distress. I eat them,” he said with a flash of fang. “So run along, little kitten.”

The tiny spitfire threw her hands dramatically up in the air and sighed loudly.

“You just saved me from a life of baby-making slavery. Aren’t you supposed to whisk me away to your super-secret villain lair and ravish me? Sheesh, where’s your follow-through?”

Viktor just stood there and stared at her for a moment. He didn’t know whether to laugh at her ridiculous statement or take her up on her offer and bend her over right here on the trunk of Conrad’s car. He was extremely turned on by the fact that she didn’t seem the least bit afraid of him. He’d always tried to pretend that his reputation in the paranormal community pleased him, that it helped him by keeping the rabble away. But deep down it bothered him that everyone always thought the worst of him. His honor was just yet another thing that Melisandre and Conrad had stolen from him when they took his mortality.

“Don’t you know who I am, woman?” he finally said as she just stood there looking at him expectantly.

“Yes, I know who you are. Who else is capable of keeping me out of Conrad’s douchy hands?” she said sounding a little impatient.

“Don’t you have a family you can go to?” he asked, still wondering why he was even standing here talking to her.

Well, that wasn’t entirely true. Once she’d said the word “slavery” he knew he couldn’t leave her to Conrad’s tender mercies. Viktor knew more about slavery than he ever wanted to, and no being should ever be held against their will. That and he had seen firsthand what Conrad enjoyed doing to women. It still sickened him to think back to the horrors he’d had to witness as Melisandre’s pet.

“If I go back to my family they’d just have to hand me right back over to him again. My pard owes him a blood debt, and I am the payment. I need this to look like Conrad’s men lost me in the confrontation with you. This needs to be his fault, as otherwise, it will start a war between my family and his coven,” she said, stepping ever closer.

She stood so close now that Viktor could smell the strawberry and coconut scent of her shampoo. Good Gods, she smells good enough to eat.

“Why would you think that I should care whether or not this starts a war for your people? I will not be fighting in it,” he answered, trying to sound like he didn’t care one way or another.

“Because I think that you hate Conrad just as much, if not more than I do, and there’s nothing he wants more than to possess me,” she answered quietly, her huge green eyes staring right into his grey ones.

She was right of course. There was no one on this Earth that he hated as much as he hated Conrad. That’s what he told himself anyway when he ultimately decided he would take the girl with him—whether it was the whole truth about his motivations or not.

“First, tell me how your pard was thoughtless enough to enter into a blood debt with a killer like Conrad?”

“It’s not like we had any choice. My father was jumped one night by a bunch of rogues, and Conrad just happened to be there to offer his assistance … for a price.”

The venom in her voice clearly stated that she suspected they’d been set up. The rogues were most likely paid to attack by Conrad himself. It was a trick the coward had used over and over again.

“Fine,” he said with a sigh. “You can come with me, but just until we find somewhere to stash you that Conrad cannot reach you.”

“Thank you!” she said with a squeal just before she reached up and hugged him before he could stop her. “I’m Halle, by the way.”

Clearly, his reputation was never going to recover from this if anyone saw him being hugged in the alley, but with her luscious frame leaning against his, smelling so sweet, he had a difficult time finding a reason to care.

 

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

 

I’ve read countless stories featuring the good guys finding their love and living HEA. I’ve also read my share of stories centering around vamps that aren’t quite as evil as once feared, shifters who marry outside their pack/kind, and misunderstood paranormals who want a new lease on life. Love. Family. Everything.

Those books are common, found in every bookstore. However, what I haven’t seen lining the shelves are books about a dark fairy godmother that wants the so-called villains to find their mates and live Happily Evil After. 

In the human world, good and evil can be found in every walk of life. It makes no difference your color or gender. There’s good and bad all around us. The same can be said in the paranormal world — evil and not so evil beings can be found in every coven, pack, territory and so forth.

As we saw with Viktor, not all creatures are complete blood thirsty, ruthless bastards. Viktor didn’t choose this life. Actually, it was forced upon him. He didn’t deserve to lose his family. He did deserve a second chance and thank goodness Dori stepped up to work her magic. 

Dori: She is wonderfully mischievous, manipulative, has no boundaries at all, and is quite humorous. If I had a fairy godmother, dark or light, I would hope she’d be like Dori. However, I would insist she’d leave my underthings on. I may not care for wearing a bra but I do like my puss covered.

Other characters I loved…..

How about EVERYONE! Ok, maybe not everyone. Conrad was a douche, an asshat, and a complete psychopath. Kudos to Sarah for creating a character I loved to hate and creating so many characters I loved falling in love with. 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

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Sarah Marsh was born in British Columbia where she still lives, she has only recently began her writing career finding it the perfect outlet for taking the edge off a nine to five office job. She’s been a science fiction and romance junkie for years and when her imagination started to take the characters she’d read about even further in their adventures she decided to try writing something of her own.

Sarah’s also a former pastry chef and spends a lot of time cooking and baking for friends and family as well as painting and knitting. Her biggest weaknesses are animals of any kind…she even loves the ones that wake you up at four in the morning because they can almost see the bottom of their food dish.

When it comes to life in general she’s a big believer that laughter is the best medicine and that there’s no such thing as too much love, which is why she’s such a sucker for a happy ending.

 

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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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Review of “Hiring the Tiger (Heart of the Mountain, Book 1)”- L.J. Longo

Evernight Publishing (May 1, 2017)

Length: 52 pages

A tiger shouldn’t be picking tea-leaves and carrying luggage, but that’s the only job Navarro sees in his future. He’s learned to be humble since he and his friends, a wolf pack, exchanged their former careers as highway robbers for prison.

Then Lady Jasprite Doughton, a merchant with all the grace of the far East and the wealth of the West, whirls through the village on the back of a dragon and reminds Navarro what it means to want something. With her dominating sexual tastes and her powerful personality, Jasprite challenges his body, his lust, his loyalty to his friends, and his own worth.

After all, is gold enough to buy a tiger?

 

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< Image is of a Tiger’s Eye gemstone> 

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

 

If a story laced with heavy doses of kink (erotica) is your thing, then you’re going to most definitely want to purchase Hiring the Tiger. From first introductions, Jasprite wasn’t shy about taking control of Navarro. She literally took him in hand to make sure he had the right goods to satisfy her carnal needs. I guess with her size does matter. 😉

Nav was momentarily stunned by her brazen behavior. Her red chest filled with sexual pleasure items also briefly took him aback. He wasn’t accustomed to women having whips, collars, and various sex toys, which they planned to use on a man. Jasprite definitely opened his eyes as she parted her legs.

Between the items used to heighten the experience and her bluntness (commands on how to please her), Navarro’s mind was blown. He allowed her to whip and collar him, use his body, treat him as a sex slave, but he had a hard limit — no shackles. His reluctance to allow himself to be shackled was a nice touch to humanize him in a reader’s mind. We all have our hard limits so why shouldn’t a shifter. They are “human” too after all.

Even though I did like parts of the dominating sex scenes, I cannot get behind partners calling each other BITCH or other degrading names. For me, words of that nature will ruin the steamiest of scenes. 

Also, I love erotica but I want a more balanced read as in equal parts nakedness versus plot. However, if your tastes prefer about 90-95%% of the story being kink related, then you’ll jump on this story faster than Jasprite jumped on Nav.  😉

 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)

Score: ❤❤❤

 

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L.J. Longo is a queer author, a geek, a feminist, and is ARe best-selling author of Erotic Romance. The Dishonest Lover is L.J.’s first solo project through Evernight Publishing, though you can also find L.J.’s stories in Dark Captive: Manlove Edition and in Owned by the Alpha: Manlove Edition. Find more thoughtful, hot erotica at Graceful Indecency where L.J. offers free erotica and contests to win romance e-books. L.J. also sometimes takes a break from writing and messes around on Twitter and Facebook.

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Author Showcase – Kevin Hammond (The King’s Peace)

The Kingdom is young and yet it stands in great peril. Dark tales of the unnatural have reached the King’s city. The King is slain in his bed and the storm on the horizon brings black ships closer to the coastal city of Erenon. Nathaniel, a clever thief has stumbled upon a job that brings him to the home of the King when he is slain and Nathaniel is unwillingly dragged into the quest to reach the southern garrison which has gone quiet in recent months. Strange powers are helping and hindering him and the small company of soldiers dispatched to that garrison as war comes to the city.

They will find those horrors that plague the common man, an ancient legend will unravel, and a deception so epic in scale it involves the Gods. The whole world of man and nations who live on the other side of the mountain range known as the Great Divide will come together in a war no one really understands and as the kingdom fights to survive it will face an enemy they know nothing about.

 

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Between the two men, one of the serving girls had placed a candle and Nathaniel watched for long minutes in silence. The flame shone so bright in the dim corner of the room where they sat. The Duke sipped a cool glass of water and the men milled around the room trying to get the place cleaned up for the morning when the locals would come by expecting food and drink. He had no idea that the Duke would allow him to sit for as long as he needed before giving his answer, nor did he know how much time had passed. He extended his hearing around the room to isolate the many conversations and hushed whispers among the people in the room. Two men near the door spoke of the genius plan to install archers on the balcony of a brothel across the road. Another man was offering a silent prayer to whichever God he favored. He asked that his wife and young daughter be well cared for in his absence, but he spared little thought for himself, and Nathaniel approved of the man’s selflessness and care for his family. He wondered if he might ever live long enough to have what this man ached to be away from. Hector, on the other hand, cursed the King’s men quietly while scrubbing some unseen mess made in the kitchen by the soldiers battling with the fake guildsmen who had managed to flee that way.

The Duke was sitting quietly staring off into space as the young thief peered at the candle. His mind and his senses were away somewhere else and he could not have named that moment when the flame of the candle had turned black. He sat for long moments staring at the ominous, dark motion of that snaking flame, but as his mind was elsewhere he did not call any alarm or draw attention to it. And Nathaniel continued to stare at that dark flame until the creeping itch travelled up his spine and a terrible alarm pounded in the back of his head. Slowly, in a voice filled with a terror he had never before experienced, he managed to grind out the words “Something is terribly wrong.”

With his senses extended still, around the room, he heard the conversations fall mute. Hector stopped cursing the mess and the soldiers had stopped cleaning. One man silently crossed himself, and many instinctively reached for their weapons. The storm had picked up in earnest and the darkness outside was complete. Inside the room something had filled the air. It was an ecstatic tension buzzing between the people like something travelling around, under the tables, men jumped as they felt something brush past their feet.

He heard the rolling hiss of something swirling around the room. There was no point of issue and it was charging the air with energy. Nathaniel thought he could almost see something turning around in the shadows of the room, in the corners of the building, travelling around the ceiling.

And the scream, so filled with helpless terror, was cut short with a gargling cry and a vile hissing as blood coursed from the soldier’s neck; behind him stood one of the false guildsmen. His body had been hacked to shreds by the soldiers and it was so impossible that he could live yet he had torn the throat from a live man. The monster’s stumbling gait was its only betrayal of the deep injuries inflicted from the passage of his death. There was a cruel glimmer that Nathaniel thought might have been pleasure within the coal black shades of his eyes as he crammed some of the dead soldier’s flesh into his mouth.

Most of the men in the room were frozen in mute horror at what they were seeing, their eyes recorded it but their minds couldn’t process it. The dead were rising, for vengeance, for wrath, for whatever dark intent fuelled their desire. The weapons were held in shaking hands by ashen white faces but no one made the move to attack. The reality of it, the cruelty of it, had not dawned on the soldiers fully until they saw their own comrade- freshly killed- beginning to stir on the floor. As his coal black eyes fixed on the living, some of the younger soldiers expelled the contents of their stomachs.

Amid rasping, unintelligible threats and flailing limbs, the walking dead ambled forward, and the soldiers slowly moved backward-inch by painful inch. From the kitchen they could hear Hector and the serving girls fending off the creatures come back to life, until they burst through the door with panic strewn on their faces.

“Barricade that door!” The Duke screamed, and the soldiers came to life with the practiced obedience of listening to his authority. Two men broke ranks to help the girls shove tables before the kitchen door and held it in place while the pummeling assault came from the other side. The creatures vented a deep throated rage as they tried to smash their way through.

Nathaniel loosed a throwing dagger with a strong throw and the knife struck a guildsman square in the chest. It would have been a mortal blow for a living man but the creature barely even flinched.

“Fall back, hold the line, press them away with your swords.” Jorge barked orders at his men. The soldiers gave up ground slowly while the creatures came on. A few men dared hacking blows that severed limbs but the dead pressed further on, until the living had given up fully half of the bar room.

Dashing behind the soldiers, Nathaniel reached for a broken table leg, wrapping it in some table cloths and poked the brand into the flames of Hector’s hearth. The rags quickly caught fire and he returned to the line to throw amid the dead men. The brand caught fire on one guildsman’s leg but the creature stumbled forward with one arm and a leg partially alight, still questing after the flesh of the living. “Don’t lose your heads, hold your line and strike for their limbs,” Jorge ordered his men.

“Gods save us,” McKeen uttered a loud curse as he returned to the bar. Some of the undead turned to face him but the burly Sergeant did not turn and run as expected. Nathaniel watched in awe as he locked the door behind him. “Can’t have you fellas roving about my good city now can we? Wouldn’t be good and proper for the fancy folks to see your like parading about chewing up their nice outfits, no we can’t have that.” The Sergeant pulled his sword and roared like a man possessed as the first of the guildsmen drew near. His long blade sliced in a powerful arc to sever the thing’s head from its shoulders and the body crumpled in a heap on the floor. The body lay still as the head rolled around the floor, still gargling and hissing.

“Set to, gentlemen, the Duke gave the quiet command and the men pressed on the counter to hack and slash at the heads of the undead. Nathaniel saw little use for himself in the fight but he mustered the courage to pick up a fallen man’s sword and help to press the unliving backward so the soldiers could do their job.

“Ware the limbs!” Jorge warned, as he ducked an arm to drive his sword upwards through a dead man’s neck. With a savage twist he pried the head clean off the shoulders. While the undead snatched and grasped for any contact with human flesh, the soldiers worked in pairs to parry their limbs while his partner placed the killing stroke to take the head clean from the shoulders. The fray took little time to come to an end and, though the men looked sick with fear, they knew it was a miracle that only one man had died. The resistance in the kitchen was brief compared to the main assault that took place within the bar room with only a few of the undead left to be dispatched.

A blood spattered Duke stood to the left flank of the melee in the midst of a small gathering of headless men “Sergeant McKeen? Are you still alive, sir?”

“Present and in good working order, sir.”

“Mind telling me how you came upon inspiration to save the day then, Sergeant?”

“Gods save us, sir. I hail from the small island of Forfar on the Southern Reaches, beyond the widow’s peak, sir. The people have been around from before the Kingdom and they say there was a village overrun in our history. They say one night when a dark storm brewed that the dead folks long since passed had come back to tear at the living. They say, sir, that they craved the taste of living flesh, and ought to blame us for their passing as we are alive and they had already gone to their maker. That the body is dead and the mind possessed by some dark magic, they say the only way to kill them was to sever the head from the body. It’s bloody butchery, if you don’t mind me saying, sir. But now we best tend to the corpses and the severed heads. If legend be true then the heads will never die until the spell is ended. But we are best to burn all that’s left of them so they might never find way to rise again.”

 

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I always thought there was something very iconic about falling down a really big hole. Until that happens I’ll just write some stuff.

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Review of “An Empire in Runes: The Runes of Issalia, Book III” – Jeffrey L Kohanek

A Long Forgotten Magic That Might Save the World …Or Destroy It

Led by a boy named Brock, a small team of teens urgently assembles a force to confront an army of monsters, one that ravages and destroys anyone or anything in its path.

In a race against time, Brock attempts to train a group of recruits to wield the powerful magic known as Chaos, a magic that he himself is still learning to master. All the while, they must remain vigilant against a secret organization within the Ministry that will do anything to prevent the return of Chaos.

As foretold by an ancient prophecy, the human army must face and defeat their ancient enemy on the Tantarri Plains. For if they fail, all will be lost.

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

I knew the battle against the banshees was going to be fierce. Standing ten feet tall, with red eyes and sharp talons, they would strike the fear in any man, woman, or child. Their wail alone leaves their opponents frozen in place, but to see them actually engage in battle is a sight to cause night terrors. Hell, that is if you survive their rampage. With their immense power, they can and will rip you limb from limb and then devour you — dead or alive. To them, it makes no difference. A meal is a meal.

However, there were many a men and women who wouldn’t stand by and watch the towns fall. They fought back and with a vengeance. The battle lasted many chapters but Jeffrey knew not to rush such a pivotal moment in their lives. The humans used magic (runes), flash bombs, swords, fire-tipped arrows, and much more to hinder the banshees’ path of carnage. Many lives were lost, two especially I hated to see go. The losses hit the survivors hard. I felt their grief as my very own & wished they could be brought back to life. Sadly, there was no coming back. 

Once the battlefield had grown quiet, Jeffrey led the team to another battle — with humans. This is the point where everything is explained: The Hand, banshees, bacabras, Chaos…..everything!

There were multiple happily ever after’s. Some old characters reappeared. Plus, the ending showed us that the future looked remarkably promising; a major turnabout from hours before when death was thisclose to knocking on their door. 

Great job, Jeffrey. You’ve written three wonderful tales, full of triumphs and tragedies. And most importantly, each was more intriguing than the last. 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

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Catch all the action from the very start……..

 

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Discover a lost magic, long buried and forgotten…

Without a rune marking his role in society, Brock is doomed to a life below the lowest rung of the social ladder. Unwilling to accept his fate, the teen risks his life to obtain a fake rune that marks him as a member of the Empire’s ruling class. He then embarks on a quest to join an institution where the Empire’s future leaders are trained.

As a student of the Academy, he soon uncovers a chain of secrets kept hidden for centuries, secrets that expose cracks in the foundation of Empire society. Among his discoveries is a powerful magic, long buried and forgotten.

Brock’s compassion and sense of justice are seeds that sprout tight friendships and a blossoming romance. An unwillingness to be bullied earns him a dangerous enemy, growing into a feud that escalates to a climactic showdown.

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As they strive to become Masters within the Ministry, Brock and his friends resume their training at the Academy, an institution founded on magic, science, knowledge, law, and combat. They soon discover an expansive web of conspiracies and deceit within the Ministry, hidden behind a veil of benevolence and piety. The exposure of one of those secrets forces Brock and his friends to flee the institution with their lives in the balance.

Joined by a fierce Tantarri warrior, the group embarks on a quest to locate a mysterious throne that has been lost for centuries. Guided by the cryptic words of an ancient prophecy, and backed by a forbidden magic that they are still learning to wield, they journey across the continent to save humanity from extinction.

 

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Link to my review – 1/27/17

 

 

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Jeffrey L. Kohanek grew up in rural Minnesota where comic books sparked his young imagination, inspiring fantasies of heroes with super-powers saving the day. His tastes later evolved to fantasy epics featuring unlikely heroes overcoming impossible odds to save worlds born from the writer’s imagination.

Now residing in southern California, Jeff uses that imagination to weave tales of engaging characters caught in fantastic plots to inspire young adults and the child within us all.

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Review of “The Mortal Falls (Undercover Elementals)” – Anna Durand

A pragmatic human thrown into a world of magic…

Lindsey Porter fled from her traumatic past, determined to lay low, but now someone has framed her for murder. The quest for answers leads her into a parallel realm where magic reigns, and with a hostile sheriff and a shapeshifting assassin on her trail, she must place her life in the hands of a seductive, supernatural man who tempts her like no one else.

An immortal sylph enslaved by magic…

Nevan is trapped by a desperate bargain struck a century earlier, yet the beautiful, spirited Lindsey has enticed him to abandon his magically enforced duty. As forbidden passion flares between them, they’ll risk everything to uncover the truth and find what they both need the most—redemption.

When two worlds collide…

The fates of the elemental and mortal realms depend on the star-crossed lovers. As dark secrets from their pasts threaten to shatter the fragile trust between Lindsey and Nevan, a shocking revelation holds the power to deliver salvation or destruction.

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

 

First impressions of the book: What an absolutely eye-catching cover. You just know, along the pages, there lies a badass man who will partake in a good fight because what’s the point of welding a sword unless you’re going to use it. Mmm, there’s something sexy about a man who knows how to use his sword, the weapon and the one covered by his loincloth. FYI: He made use of both swords and those times left quite the impression. With out a doubt, Nevan proved he’d do anything for Lindsey and she in turn him.

Their relationship started off bumpy as in she stumbled upon a dead guy and witnessed Nevan running away from the crime scene. She didn’t fully trust him but she overcame that in four short days. He sort of grew on her with his sexy bod, sweet gestures, oh and saving her behind repeatedly. She did return the favor though with the help of a wee leprechaun.  Oh Tris, he made me smile. His presence lightened up some tense moments, which there were plenty of: corpse, killer raven, psycho king and a battle between occupants of the Unseen realm and ours to list a few.

However, despite all the obstacles trying to keep them apart, Nevan and Lindsey did take time to consummate their relationship, which I thought would never come to pass. My only issue was the time leading up to the big moment. I get that Lindsey was a 32 year old virgin but she acted as if she had never seen a naked man before. At times, I found her behavior and attitude that of a much younger woman. I get she’s inexperienced but a woman of her age with ZERO sexual experience seemed a bit far-fetched. Maybe there are 30 year olds out there like her. I don’t know any but it’s plausible.

 

That aside, if you are wondering if you should purchase The Mortal Falls, then let me help you with your decision. 

1.) Do you love stories with strong men and even stronger women?

2.) Do you love paranormal stories where the supernatural beings underestimate mere mortals?

3.) Do you love characters who are sarcastic, sexy, and prepared to throw down to protect the ones they love?

4.) Do you believe in magic and the power of love?

 

If you answered yes to any of the questions above then you must pick up this book. 

  

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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 Anna Duraadnd is an award-winning writer, a freelance librarian, and an audiobook addict. She specializes in steamy romances featuring spunky heroines and hunky heroes, in settings as diverse as modern Chicago and the fairy realm. Her romances have to date won eight awards and her novel Intuition was a 2016 RONE Award nominee, while her short story Tempted by a Kiss was a finalist in The Romance Reviews 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards. In her previous life as a librarian, she haunted the stacks of public libraries but never met any hot vampires hunting for magical books.

Check out the Upcoming Books page for details on what she’s working on now.

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