Tag Archives: shifter

Howl by Mariposa Cruz (Book Showcase)


Howl and Roar were originally released as two separate titles with the same cast of characters. Based on reader feedback, I decided to roll both stories under a single title when I re-released Howl. I had dedicated Roar to honor my dad so I kept his dedication and referenced the story as Book II, Roar. Find out what happens to Kate and Jack and the rest of the pack in Book II.

 

Evil often strikes in unlikely places, outside an office in broad daylight or at secluded cabin at dusk. This unflinching pair of shifter tales reveals the beasts in our midst. After surviving a brutal attack, a single mother’s days become a battle to maintain control while her nights are a disturbing blur of dreams. A workaholic is plunged into turmoil when her weekend romantic rendezvous becomes a desperate struggle to survive. Will love save them or be their undoing?


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Excerpt

     Jack’s fists clenched.

     “A month after Mom died, I started receiving newspaper articles about missing women. I knew Pierce picked up where his parents left off. I’ve been trying to track him down.”

    “Have you talked to the police?”

    “Except for the clippings, I have no proof. Even if they were to apprehend him, can you imagine what he’d do to a prison population?” Without more tangible evidence, enforcers won’t pursue the case.”   

    “Enforcers?”

    “Since criminal behavior risks exposing the entire were population, we have our own methods of dealing with illegal activity. Enforcers investigate, evaluate and execute if necessary.”

    “That’s harsh. How can one person act as judge, jury and executioner?”

     “It’s necessary, to avoid exposing the community. Do you want to spend the rest of your life caged in a lab?” Jack asked.

     “No.”

     “I did get one woman away from him and brought her to the lodge. I assume Lillian helped her sort out her life. I haven’t heard from her since. It’s probably better that way.” Jack hesitated.

     “What else?” Kate prompted. 

     “Pierce called me this morning.  He’s here. He left cigarette butts near your window.  I spent all day tracking him.”  Kate hugged her knees trying to shake a sudden chill.

      “When I think about what he did to you…” 

     “I’m all right. I want to be with you in any way, shape, or form.” Kate put her arms around him.  She felt the tension in his shoulders. Kate turned his face toward hers and kissed him slowly, her free hand stroking his beard.

     “I never realized you could be such a tease,” Jack murmured into her ear.

     “I never knew you could be such a beast,” Kate replied and she kissed him again. 

     He returned her kiss, pulling her onto his lap, his hands slid up her shirt caressing her bare back while she snuggled closer and wrapped her legs around him.

     The first howl startled them both.

     “Damn,” Jack muttered. Kate sighed.

     “We can’t be late for dinner?” She murmured.

     “No. I’m not going to rush this time. We’ll continue this later in bed. I’ll wait for you outside.” His fingers traced the curve of her bare thigh when he released her. He kissed her hard on the mouth then turned abruptly and left her to change alone. If he lingered around her much longer, they would miss dinner.

    Jack paced restlessly outside while he waited for Kate to join him. Changing in the chilled night air cooled his ardor. He heard the others in the distance and his stomach growled. Searching the forest for Pierce, he hadn’t eaten all day. What was taking her so long? It wasn’t as if she needed to freshen up her make up or curl her hair. Finally, after several long minutes a small silver wolf joined him. She nipped at him playfully as they raced to meet the others.

 

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Mariposa Cruz balances writing with working as a full-time corporate paralegal. For her Create on the Side blog she has interviewed a variety of real life characters from artists to romance authors. She works, writes and dances Salsa in Reno, Nevada.

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Queen of Corvids: Raven Crawford by J. C. McKenzie (Book Review)

Raven Crawford Book 3

 

Truth can be ugly and part-time waitress, casual PI investigator, and half-fae shifter, Raven Crawford, can’t deny she owes the Lord of War a favour. If she defaults on her debt, she relinquishes all her power to a man who doesn’t know the meaning of mercy. And she thought her bank loans were bad.

With her new role in the Underworld contending with her debt to a dictator, a budding romance with the Lord of Shadows, and her need to pay the bills, Raven is in serious need of balance. But the moment the dark fae walked into her diner months ago, she’s been off-balance.It’s time for Raven to pull up her big girl socks and prove to everyone she’s no longer the burnt-out waitress with a nifty parlour trick.

She’s the Queen of Corvids.

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

What I loved about Queen of Corvids, using the alphabet as my guide.

It’ll be hard, but I’ll try my best not to reveal spoilers. Heads up, some lines will make sense after reading the story, so I encourage you all to buy/read Queen of Corvids!

Proceed with caution! 

 

Assasins

Bane, a character you’ll love to hate. 

Chad Berkley, aka Tarzan. I hope we see more of this Roller! 

Dungeon has visitors. 

Erebus. I rather liked his interaction with Nyx. He amused me. 

Frey. He wasn’t very good at being bad. 

GOLD!

Hyenas messed with the wrong family. 

Investigations.

Juni. Watch out for her right hook! 

Killing is not always the answer. 

Lord of the Shadows. Cole has more love in his 💖 than most mortal men. 

Marcus. He pulled at my heartstrings. 

Nyx. Her screen time wasn’t long, but she made a lasting impression nonetheless. 

Odin’s shriveled nuggets! 

Pepe the goat, familiar to a well-known magical character. 

Queen’s power is finally in full display. 

Rourke, a sarcastic badass with a huge heart. 

Scythe. Kick ass weapon! 

Troll battle. 

Unofficial Crawford. Read and found out who’s joined the family.

Victims. Multiple deaths! 

“Where’s the rest of it?” (Quote pertains to her court attire.)

Xcellent read. Yeah, I misspelled it on purpose. 🙂

Gododdin. 

Zip to the end for Glossary of Terms.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score:  ❤1/2

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~~ CHECK OUT BOOK ONE! ~~

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My Book Review!

 

~~ And BOOK TWO! ~~


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Read My Review!

 

 

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.

J.C. McKenzie’s Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |

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Viktor by Sarah Marsh (Book Showcase)

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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Evernight Publishing Site

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

 

“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.

 

Kindle Purchase Link

Evernight Publishing Site

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

 

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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Nevermore: Raven Crawford (Book 2) by J. C. McKenzie (Book Review)

Rundown waitress, part-time private investigator, and full-time shifter, Raven Crawford, always gets the opposite of what she wants most.  She works two jobs but can’t pay the bills. Her confrontation with Queen Lloth has unexpected and unfortunate consequences, and her love life is a hot mess.

With failure and disappointment honed to painful perfection, Raven’s life is riddled with complications, including her troublesome attraction to the lethal Lord of Shadows. When her latest case leads to a group hell-bent on destruction, she must decide who to trust. Will she choose wisely, or will she fail once again and become the next casualty in a war between the Mortal Realm and the Underworld?

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

When I read Conspiracy of Ravens (book one), I was immediately drawn into the story. Every character, no matter how big or small their role, captivated me. I liked the good guys/gals and even found myself warming up to the questionable characters as well. 

After reading Nevermore (book two), I can safely say it shared similar qualities with its predecessor: suspense, mystery, love, passion, shocking developments, humor, action, and plot twists. 

However, unlike CoR (acronym), I wasn’t instantly engaged with the storylines. I didn’t particularly care Robert (Raven’s ex) kept vanishing on his fiancée (Sarah). I didn’t mind Kelly Clementine (the teacher) was attempting to cheat the system and collect disability checks. I wanted more Cole and Raven time. I also wanted Bear to have more of a presence this time around. 

Oh, we did get more Cole time. Let me say; he will never have to resort to toys when he has shadows at his beck and call. *wink, wink* 

As for Bear, he didn’t grace the pages too much but Mike (younger brother) sure did. He brought the funny many times over. 

Even though I didn’t take a sudden liking to the sequel, my opinion changed halfway into the book. 

Raven’s two cases (Robert and Kelly) were linked. Bombshell after bombshell was dropped. When you think Raven’s life can’t become any more complicated, she learns another big secret that will change everything for her. I can’t wait to see how she’ll handle the latest curveball. 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score:  ❤❤❤❤

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~~ CHECK OUT BOOK ONE! ~~

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.

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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.

J.C. McKenzie’s Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |

Goodreads | Amazon | Newsletter

 

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Viktor by Sarah Marsh (Book Review)

 

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?

 

Kindle Purchase Link

Evernight Publishing Site

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

 

“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

Kindle Purchase Link

Evernight Publishing Site

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

 

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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