Tag Archives: paranormal

Review of “Conspiracy of Ravens: Raven Crawford Book 1” – J. C. McKenzie

Raven Crawford knows better than to venture into the seductive world of the dark fae or agree to any of their salacious promises. She plans to pay off her debts so she can get on with her life and stay far away from the denizens of the Underworld.

Unfortunately, her numbskull twin steals from the most tempting and lethal fae of them all. Now, Raven must help the Lord of Shadows get back what her idiot brother stole. Her only weapons? Just a little ingenuity and a whole lot of snark. It’s suicide for sure, but she’ll do anything to protect her twin.

 

 

Shadows encased them. Her scalp prickled as if someone reached out and gripped her head with giant fingers. Raven twisted around to find a large figure blocking out the moonlight.

“You!” she hissed.

“Move.” Cole’s deep voice punctured the quiet forest and silenced Mike’s whimpering.

Before she could demand answers, Cole flowed forward, gathered them both in his arms and pushed them into the darkness of the trees. A shadowy film settled over them, much like the dark cloak when Cole had pulled her into the shadows at Bear’s apartment.

A branch snapped down the deer trail to the right.

Cold settled over her skin.

Moments later another large, looming figure entered the clearing. Luke. Again. She couldn’t lose these two dark fae. They kept hopping back into her life like rabid fleas.

 

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

Conspiracy of Ravens is by far my favorite J.C. McKenzie novel

I loved how she didn’t limit herself to stereotypical shifting scenarios. Human body to ONE particular animal… No, not for JCM. JCM didn’t limit any character’s power, and the story was better for it. 

Mystery.

Passion. 

Love.

Anger.

Humor. 

Danger.

Magic.

Deception.

Heartache. 

Surprises. 

Plot twists.

You’ll find all the above in Conspiracy of RavensYou’ll also find yourself eagerly grabbing for book 2 in the series, Nevermore

Special note to the author: I love how Raven curses. “Odin’s scrotum!” 😀

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score:  ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

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J.C. McKenzie is a book-loving, gumboot-wearing, unapologetic science geek. She’s the author of the Carus Series, an urban fantasy five-book saga published by the Wild Rose Press. Born and raised on the West Coast, J. C. sets the majority of her books in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with sassy heroines and brutish, alpha-type men.

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Author Showcase – Cynthia Eden (One Hot Holiday)

She’s running for her life. He’s the safe haven she never expected to find. The holiday season is about to get HOT.

Hiding out for the holiday season in the heart of the South? Not something that Haley Quick ever expected to have on her to-do list but then…she never expected her ex to want her dead, either. Turns out, life is full of surprises. Time to deal. Haley has ditched New York for a crazy little dot on the map known as Point Hope, Alabama. It’s a town gone extra crazy for the holidays, and Haley is sticking out like a sore thumb with her very much Grinch-self.

But enter sexy sheriff Spencer Lane…Tall, muscled, and made with an extra dose of sex appeal, he is exactly the kind of man that Haley should be avoiding. He’s charming, he looks way too good in a Santa hat, and, oh, yes, he’s her new landlord. The hits just keep coming. She can’t afford to let Spencer learn all of her secrets, a tough job since she is living with the man. No sex, though. It’s purely a business relationship. Except…the holidays in the South sure do get HOT. Or maybe that’s just sexy Spencer. Usually, Haley falls for the bad guy. It’s the whole reason she’s running for her life. She can’t help but wonder…What would it be like to fall for a man like Spencer?

He just got his Christmas wish.

Sheriff Spencer Lane can’t believe his luck. The most beautiful, fascinating woman he’s ever seen has just dropped into his life like a gift from, well, the big guy in red. Only the problem is that Haley seems to think Spencer is some by-the-book, nice guy. Probably because of the badge. And if she wants him to be the hero, that’s a role that he’s happy to play for her. But the truth is, Spencer has plenty of darkness inside, too. Ex Special Forces, he knows how to get sh—um, stuff done. He also knows how to be very, very naughty.

When danger threatens his Haley, all bets are off. No one is going to hurt her. No one is going to threaten her. Not in his town. Not on his watch. The nice guy will show Haley just how bad he can be.

Fake snow, a parade of drunk elves, and a stalker ex don’t make for the merriest of times, but in Point Hope, anything can happen—and it usually does. Ready for a steamy story that will get you in the ho-ho-ho spirit? Settle back, curl up with Spencer, and have yourself a jolly old time.

 

~ Click HERE to read Chapter One!~

 

 

 

 

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Author Showcase – Veronica Cline Barton (Yuletime at Cherrywood Hall: Once Upon a WolfPack Anthology)

Once Upon a Wolfpack

Contributing author, Veronica Cline Barton

I was so honored to have my short story, Yuletime at Cherrywood Hall, Pippa’s First Christmas, included in the #WolfpackAuthors anthology that was published earlier this year. The anthology is a compilation of works by authors of all genres, and all proceeds are donated to the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC) My contributed short story is one close to my heart—it is a prequel to a storyline in the 3rd book of my #cozymystery series, Deadly Receptions; the Debut of Castlewood Manor. It tells the tale of a tainted bridal veil from years gone by and introduces the readers of my series to Aunt Pippa, the beloved ancestral aunt who saved the Cherrywood Hall estate with her marriage to Charles Lancaster, the 4th Marquess of Kentshire.

The short story takes place in the weeks before Christmas. Pippa has been receiving demeaning messages criticizing her every move as an American married to the popular marquess. A chance snowstorm brings her nemesis to Cherrywood Hall. Pippa meets her husband’s previous fiancé, the author of the critical notes–a jilted woman who is filled with anger at the woman who holds the position and privilege that she thought would be hers. As a blizzard rages outside, her mind is set on deadly revenge…Will Pippa’s first Christmas at the hall be her last?

Read more about the #WolfPackAuthors anthology and the great cause it benefits here:

The idea was simple: form a group of authors based on the mantra, “Do good things for the right reasons.” We are a pack – #WolfPackAuthors. Together, we expand exposure for our books, help one another with all aspects of the process, pick each other up when the lonely life of writing gets us down.

As with wolves, words can be dangerous or healing. The reintroduction of the wolf, hunted to the brink of extinction, carries such far-reaching results as to make vegetation grow on what was once barren, and to change the paths of rivers. Considering these powerful facts, we chose to donate the proceeds of this anthology to Lockwood Animal Rescue Center /LARC, a facility with a unique mission. They are one of the few organizations focused heavily on wolves, integrating military veteran rehabilitation into the caretaking process.

In this collection of work, you will find a showcase of many of our members’ talents: A young girl betrothed to a werewolf, yet her father, a human, is the true monster. Two snipers who lay in wait, an otherworldly supreme being watching them, in the form of a majestic wolf. A she-wolf sets her sights on a young woman, married to the man she loved. The paradoxical story of the big bad wolf, who through no fault of his own sets out on a calamity filled adventure. A batch of witty private investigators at work solving crime. A sarcastic banshee, a shapeshifting detective, and a vampire, all friends, investigate a string of murders. There are many others, varied in style or genre.

Come on an adventure with the WolfPackAuthors. We’ve got the stories you want; together, we hope to make the world a better place for wolves, humans, and those who dare to dream.

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Cozy MysteryYuletime at Cherrywood Hall: Veronica Cline Barton
Fairy Tale/ ParodyUnfairy Prosecuted: J.W. Crawford
Fairy TalePoppy: Tia Fanning

Fantasy/ SupernaturalFor the Love of the Pack: Sharon Lopez
Horror/ Meta horrorThe Untold One: B.L. Clark
HorrorFrost Harbor: Alexander Pain

LiteraryOmega Road: Lee M. Tipton
Magical RealismAn Early Snow: Andi Marchal
P.I./ DetectiveThe Wolf: Joe Congel 

P.I./ Detective, Cozy MysteryMrs Solberg’s Problem: CW Hawes
PoetryWolf Pack United: Angie-Marie Delsante
PoetryWelcome to the Den: Lori Katherine

Romance/ SupernaturalThe Soap Maker’s Mother: Christina van Deventer
Science Fiction/ MilitarySacha: Jeff DeMarco
Science Fiction/ ParanormalWolf Cry: Z Gottlieb
Science Fiction/ ParanormalCircus of the Night: Stefan Angelina McElvain
Urban FantasyTrue Nature : Luna Selas

 

Veronica Cline Barton earned graduate degrees in both engineering and business and has had successful careers in the software and technology industries. Her lifelong love affair with British murder mysteries inspired her to embark on a literary career. The Crown for Castlewood Manor and Cast, Crew, & Carnage; the Filming of Castlewood Manor are the first and second books in what she calls her My American Almost Royal Cousin Series. When not traveling and spinning mystery yarns, she lives in California with her husband, Bruce, and her two cats, Daisy and Ebbie.

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Author Showcase – Laura M. Baird (Sights on Her: Shifter Clans Book 2)

Hawk shifter, Brennon Underhill is on a mission to shut down rogue labs and take down those responsible for experimenting with humans and shifters. A startling connection ignites within him after one look at Mikki, the only survivor of horrific deeds, and he knows he’ll do anything to save her and make her his.

One moment Mikki Babineaux is celebrating with friends, the next she realizes she’s been kidnapped and put through torture. Her savior comes in the hulking form of a gorgeous stranger named Brennon who sparks decadent desires. But learning he’s a shifter, and she may now be one as well, throws her world into a tailspin.

Can they rise above the chaos to find love and balance with one another?

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Excerpt:

Brennon hooked the radio to his pants. He then raised his hand to the glass and flattened his palm to the window. The glass wasn’t any thin, two-pane panel that might be easily broken. It looked to be solid, nearly the same thickness as the door, at close to two inches. So what had caused the cracking? On the inside, no less. He looked to the woman with wonder, staring, beseeching her with his eyes to approach the glass again.

She looked at his hand, then his eyes, and took a hesitant step forward. Slowly, cautiously, she raised her hand but held it away from the glass.

“Come on, trust me,” Brennon whispered.

Her gaze locked with his as she pressed her palm to the window opposite his hand. When she made contact, Brennon could’ve sworn he felt her heat radiate through the thick barrier. And she must have felt something too because a tiny gasp escaped her mouth, causing the glass to fog with her breath. Her breathing increased, her chest moved rapidly, and her eyes dilated, becoming almost completely black from her wide pupils.

Brennon slung the rifle across his back while continuing to keep his sights on the woman. He began speaking in a normal tone. “I’m not here to harm you. I’m here to help.”

She blinked several times, a beautiful bright gold replacing the black as her eyes returned to normal. Her breathing remained a bit elevated, but at least she was breathing. And upright, as opposed to either passed out, drugged, or dead like the others.

“I want to open the door and get you out of there, but you’ve got to promise to remain with me. Can you do that?”

The woman nodded once as she quickly glanced to the doorknob then back to Brennon.

“I’m Brennon.”

She smiled, showing brilliant white, straight teeth. “M-Mikki.” Her voice cracked, its low tone barely above a whisper as it was muffled by the obstacle between them.

Brennon returned her smile. “Mikki.”

She nodded several more times before attempting to speak again. “The door, locked.”

The raspy sound of her voice shouldn’t have sparked something inside Brennon, but it sure as hell did. Turning his concentration to the door, he did indeed find it locked. With nothing around to bang on the knob, and not wanting to damage the rifle any further, he figured he’d have to bust it open with his body.

“You’re gonna have to step back.” He spoke louder so she’d be sure to hear him. “Can you shield yourself with the mattress? I’m gonna have to bust the door.”

Mikki nodded and scrambled to the bed, easily lifting the pitiful mattress and holding it in front of her as she put herself in the corner.

Brennon lifted the rifle off and set it along with the radio on the floor beyond the door jamb. He backed against the opposite wall, giving himself about four feet of distance before launching his body at the door. It easily burst open from the force, banging against the wall. Brennon stopped it from swinging back at him, and when his hand slid around to the inside, he felt dents on the metal. As he started to look at what he was feeling, Mikki threw down her shield and began running toward him. He had just enough time to react as she jumped into his arms. Her body shook as he easily caught her petite form and held her close. Even with the smell of dirt and sweat coating the gown and her skin, he detected an underlying scent of something sweetly musky. A heady combination.

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As one who grew up with a love of reading, I’ve turned that into a love of writing.  And one day (soon) I hope to make that my full-time endeavor.  I continue to practice dental hygiene – a career I’ve enjoyed for nineteen years.
 
I’ve been married over twenty-eight years to my stud of a husband, and had the pleasure of raising two sons who make us proud. Recently, we’ve joined the ranks of grandparents, with the addition of a precious grandson.

Growing up on the East Coast in Florida, and after meeting my husband in Georgia while we both served in the U. S. Army, we call the West our home.  After living in Idaho for many years, where hubby is from, Washington State is where we now reside.  Traveling is a dream for us, as we have passports just waiting for stamps from Canada, Scotland, New Zealand, and Fiji!

Besides reading and writing, I enjoy music and movies, art and tattoos [both admiring as well as personally getting], staying active, watching football [NFL and Boise State], dark chocolate, and stalking my favorite authors on social media…. authors such as Donna Grant, Rachel Grant, Toni Anderson, Anna Durand, and so many more. You can see what I’m reading and recommending at Goodreads and BookBub.

I write what I also enjoy reading; stories that range from heart-warming to body-blushing, filled with emotion, suspense, humor, and contemporary issues.
 
To be in the “know” about all the latest, click over to my contact page and follow me on my social media sites.  I love engaging, so join me for the fun and memorable moments on this journey!

 

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Author Showcase – G.E. Stills (The Resurrection of Ruma: Demons & Witches Book 1)

The year is 1879, the witch Farrah has destroyed the demon Ruma, but the cost has been high. Her two best friends and fellow witches are dead as well.

A shot rings out and a bullet plunges into her back. As Farrah lies dying, she watches helplessly as one of Ruma’s followers gathers some of the demon’s ashes. The follower shoots Farrah again. With the last of her magical energy she embeds her essence in the necklace she wears then dies.

Years pass and the follower’s descendant revives the demon Ruma. At the same time an innocent woman named, Lisa, finds Farrah’s necklace in a meadow and puts it on. Farrah’s spirit enters Lisa’s body and takes control of it.

The battle between witches and demons is renewed, but this time the struggle starts in 2016. Ancient magic and modern day weapons will make this war deadlier by far.

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** EXCERPT **

Lisa guided her vehicle to the grocery store. She didn’t have any choice which store to go to, the one in whose parking lot she pulled in was the only one in town. There was a single hardware store, two gas stations, a post office, a 7-11, one bar, a café and a few other small businesses and that was the extent of the Greensville’s shopping district. Off from Main Street were two churches as well. Lisa filled her cart then checked out. She opened the tailgate and started placing bags in the back of her SUV. A jolt of surprise raced through her when a stranger stepped up behind her. She hadn’t even heard a car pull in.

“Need any help loading, Lisa?” he asked.

She spun quickly to face him. The man was tall and buff in his blue jeans and red t-shirt. He had sandy blonde hair and a rugged face. His green eyes seemed to smolder and to her chagrin she unconsciously licked her lips. It hasn’t been that long since I was with a man. For Pete’s sake one look at this handsome man and I’m ready to jump into bed with him. I don’t even know his name for crying out loud.

As if he could read her thoughts, he went on, “My name’s Grant, Grant Higgins.” He reached out and brushed his fingers gently over her fingers instead of shaking her hand which was filled with a grocery bag. His mere touch was like a deep kiss and to her mortification it caused her panties to dampen. Say something, you damned idiot. Don’t just stand there like a deer caught in the headlights. “Lisa, Lisa Hale, nice to meet you, Grant.”

Without waiting for her approval, he began helping her load the shopping bags in the back of her truck.

“May I ask how you happen to know my name?” she asked.

Grant chuckled and the smile that spread his lips caused her heart to skip a beat. This is real life, Lisa, not some romantic moment from a novel you’re writing.

“Small town, most everybody here knows everyone else. And if possible, most everything about everyone else. For example, I know you’re new here, from Texas, are single and a writer.”

Lisa stopped loading and placed her hands on her hips. “How the hell do you know so much about me and I don’t know a damn thing about you?”

“My aunt is the real estate broker you bought your cabin and property from. She is also one of the biggest gossips around here. I’m not the only one who knows your name and what you do. I may be one of the few that knows you’re single, but that is because I probed my aunt for more info. By the way, I own the tavern here and work there much of the time. I’m single as well. So now you know some about me. I lead a pretty boring life.”

Once again he flashed her his disarming smile that made her want to drop her pants and jump his bones right there in the parking lot. Why does he affect me that way? I’m brazen and some say I have loose morals. I’m not afraid to go after what I want, but I don’t flaunt myself on men I’ve just met a few minutes earlier.

Grant loaded the last bag of groceries in the back of her truck and she closed the hatch. Lisa moved to wheel the shopping cart back to the store, but Grant stopped her. “I’ll get it. I haven’t done my shopping yet. By the way, Lisa, we’re neighbors. That branch off the dirt road going to your cabin leads to my place. I’d give you my phone number just in case of emergency, but I doubt you have reception out there.” He cocked his head in question.

“I’m getting internet tomorrow so I will have then.” After a slight hesitation she took her phone out of her purse and gave him her number. “Call me so I can add your number to my contact list,” she said. When he did she added it to her list and said, “Got it. Thank you. I’ve got to go now and put these away before the frozen things thaw. Nice meeting you. Maybe we’ll see each other again soon.”

“I’m sure we will. Small town. Stop into my tavern sometime. I’ll spring for some free drinks.”

This time they shook hands for real and once again the contact of his skin to hers caused thrills to race through her. Lisa hopped into her SUV and drove away, only allowing herself to glance in the rearview mirror once to see the tall and handsome Grant standing there in the middle of the parking lot watching her drive away. Oh yes, she did intend to accept his invitation to visit his bar. If for no other reason it would give her an excuse to get to know him better. If things worked out maybe she could make his life unboring. She chuckled at her wicked thoughts.

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Resurrection of Ruma (book 1)

When Lightning Strikes (book 2)

Collateral Damage (Book 3)

Demon Spawn (book 4)

A Matter of Trust (book 5)  

 

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