Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dirty Little Secret #49

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by Under the Covers. Every Thursday we get to know other bloggers and our readers more intimately by asking them a question hoping to reveal their dirty little secrets. We hope that you will all join us!
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  4. Then add your link below.
Non-bloggers: We want to hear from you as well!!! Let us know your answer in the comments!
We hope you join us and let us know your Dirty Little Secrets!

"Whats your favorite place to read?"

I have my perfect spot already set up and waiting every night. I have a pair of chairs and a nice table with a lamp for light. I just curl up and rest against the side of the back and put my legs over the opposite arm and I can sit and read for hours and get lost in books!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Guest Post & Review: The Luminary Tour

Good Morning everyone. I am thrilled to have Elle J. Rossi here as part of her book tour for The Luminary. Please welcome Elle to the blog as I give it over to her talented hands.

Welcome Elle!

Inspiration Is Required

Many times, the process of writing can become stale and boring. When this happens, the story reflects how I feel, ultimately becoming a churning puddle of crap. Those pages quickly get the big “D”… DELETE.

There are a few things that can help me find my way out of that mundane slump.

  • Summer storms.
    There’s nothing quite like the sights and sounds of a summer storm. I open the curtains wide and stare at the colors of the changing sky. Blue gives way to shades of silver, grey and black. I listen to the driving beat of the downpour and the rumbling of thunder as the storm rages on. Lightning flashes, the interior lights flicker, and my fingers start to fly over the keys. I prefer my stories on the dark side, so the combined elements that make up a storm really appeal to me.
  • Fall candles.
    I like the heat of summer, but autumn has the best scents. Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry, Hot Cider, Cinnamon Apple, Harvest. They fill me head with witchy imagery, battling warriors with a great cause, vampires on the hunt for the ultimate mate. Yes, one inhalation and my imagination soars.
  • Music.
    The genre and artist I choose depends on the scene I’m writing. I’m a huge country music fan so Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean are with me most nights. Evanescence is my friend when I’m looking for something haunting and ethereal. Battle scenes call for either Eminem or Nox Arcana. For me, music is an integral part of the creative process. I’d surely be lost without it.
  • Coffee.
    Preferably with a bit of Bailey’s mixed in! Most of the time I wait until after 5pm before adding liquor into the mix. “Most of the time” being the key words there. I heard that statistics show, women who drink more than 3 cups of coffee a day are 20% more unlikely to be depressed. Um, that’s because we’re too wired to be depressed! I’m up to 4 or 5 cups a day. I’m probably the happiest person you’ll ever meet. I hear laughing. Who’s laughing?

How about you? Where do you turn for inspiration?

LMAO..I know I am now...WOW 4-5 Cups of coffee in one day?!?! O.O Adding liquor is definitely a laughter inducing chemical. I love a grand thunderstorm. If it rattles the house and lights it up with white light even better. Thanks for sharing some of what inspires you Elle!

When Meera Brennan learns she’s a Luminary, one of the most powerful witches in existence, it rocks her already fragile world. The revelation explains the disturbing episodes that made her question her sanity, but does little to soothe the sting of discovering her life is now at risk. To save herself and keep peace within the veiled community, Meera will have to hone her powers and brave an ancient realm to destroy the slayer’s magickal source. She alone must dispel chaos and ensure the balance of good and evil for all mankind.

Banished and stripped of his guardian powers because of a witch, Ghanem Adamo, former prince of the Saharren realm, receives a chance at redemption when his estranged father reveals an immortal battle destined to alter all realms. In order to protect the innocent, regain his title and reunite with his family, Ghanem must destroy the slayers’ source of power and bring down their terrorizing leader.

Her life . . .

Or his throne . . .

When the war against the slayers force Meera and Ghanem to work together, more than magickal sparks fly. Challenged by fate, can love survive a nefarious battle that can result in only one prize?

Buy Links: Amazon US

About Elle

Elle J Rossi grew up in rural Indiana surrounded by great people, a huge family and more animals than she could count. But the sites and sounds of the world beckoned, so she left her small town to escape into a creative world full of music. As a full time singer she was able to lose herself in a thousand different songs in a hundred different places.

After meeting the love of her life and settling down, she yearned to find a new and fulfilling creative outlet. Overly fond of the happily ever after, she wondered what it would be like to have her own characters lead her down dark and twisted paths. The very first word on the very first page sealed her fate. She'd found a new love. She'd found her escape.

Now along with weaving haunting tales about the journey to love, she's creating cover art for authors around the world and loving every second of it. For fun, she cranks country music to take her back to her roots, and sings karaoke anytime she gets a chance. Her husband, two children, and a cat that rules the roost keep her company along the way and guarantee she doesn't get lost in the enchanted forest. She wouldn't have it any other way.

Where to find Elle

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook


Meera is struggling with strange "episodes" or flashes which occur every so often. With many episodes starting to happen more frequently she seeks out her friend, a psychic who is more then she lets on. Meera is about to have an episode in front of her friend, when her friend uses some "special smoke" which draws Meera in and her episode becomes a full out experience. It leaves her shaken until her psychic friend leaves suddenly and without explanation. Something is definitely up.

Ghanem is a former Guardian, a protector of humanity if you will, who is sent back to his home to retrieve a letter and given a very daunting mission. Seek out Meera, but he doesn't know that She has no clue of her special abilities or whom she truly is. When he realizes she doesn't know about anything veiled he's shocked. Soon however the dark creatures start their assault on her. She wakes up from dreams injured and frightened. She is thrust into the veiled world as she learns of what She is, a powerful Luminary witch.

After learning of what she is she finally comes to grips with the facts; her parents are long gone, understands why her adoptive parents never really took a liking to her and why she is different from most people. She is also thrust into learning incantations, spells and harnessing her "light" powers to use at her will. Her time is cut short when her Psychic friend realizes that the dark forces are gaining power and effecting Meera more. Help (Ghanem, his brother and two others) to help bring her into their world to fend off the dark forces.

Unfortunately as they set to trap the dark forces they see that more is at play and Ghanem and team go through a portal and Meera jumps in without thinking about what it means to her. Separated from everyone, Ghanem included, she is surrounded by the dark and nearly trapped in her mind she huddles in and is brutally attacked in her dream-state. Ghanem is trying to find his way home when her he feels her heartbeat nearby and rushes in to find her...she's badly hurt and unconscious, but alive. He tends to her and after she's mended they take off to find out what dark forces are turly plotting.

The dark forces are closing in on them both, but Ghanem had gotten his Guardian powers back and in his bravery attempt to save the day, but Meera is captured and taken away to the dark princes castle and she is bound, unable to use her magic or light powers. She tries to placate the king, but he sess through her plot and decides to succumb to being a shell of herself. But when Ghamen shows up his dark secret comes out. Ghanem is attacked and Meera fights back and fends off the prince, and runs into hiding... You'll have to read the end of this story to find out if Meera and Ghanem can save the worlds, destroy the slayers power source or if Meera and/or ghanem fail at their task.

Elle does a very intriguing job of introducing us to both Meera and Ghanem. I liked Meera from the beginning and how she didn't just want to sit by and let life go by. She is a fighter, een when she didn't understand what was happening to her. Ghanem is funny as he started off being an office worker, but takes off when he knows that is needed back home. Their two worlds collide and both feel the impact, but Meera and Ghanem can't explain why their attraction is so potent. not to mention Ghanem has a dark past which still haunts him. Seeing them come together when hurt was so emotionally packed, as much as neither was trying to hurt they other, they did...but overcame that to fight for the greater good. The strange world they wind up in left plenty for us to imagine and lot to still see. This was an excellent start to an upcoming trilogy. A 5 star read from me.

Elle Is offering 2 eBook copies of her book as part of the tour stop. All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Thanks for stopping in and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Interview: The Dark Proposal by Megan Cashman

Good Morning Everyone. I have Megan Cashman here to talk about her book The Dark Proposal. Please welcome her to the blog.

Hello Megan! I’m thrilled to have you here and thanks for being today’s “Pick”.

Please share a little about you, your works and what got you into writing.

I am a 30 year old from New York City. I have a background in journalism, having worked for cable news stations and did some freelance work. This is my first novel.

I’ve always wanted to write a book, even as a small kid. It was all a matter of finding the right time in my life to truly dedicate myself to something I’ve always wanted to do.

Did the plot and characters work out as you wanted or did they shape the story as you were writing?

I’d say both. I did have in mind on how I wanted the characters to initially come across as. But as the story develops, their development took a life of their own.

In the begin we are introduced to a meek and timid Claire, she seems like a bit of a downer, with being a new college grad, not finding much work, and barely making ends meet. What went into creating her as such a downplayed character?

I was going through almost exactly what Claire was going through when I started this book. I was struggling to find work in a poor economy and that put a damper on my spirits. I felt her meekness and timidity worked with the story. I really don’t think Daniel would’ve made his move if Claire was more stronger.

When we get our first glimpse of Daniel he definitely had the dark vibe in seeing how he acted at first toward both Claire and Nancy. Did Nancy possibly know more then she let on about him?

Nancy felt that something was off about Daniel. She knew he wasn’t exactly a nice guy and had an arrogant streak. But she sensed there was something about him she couldn’t quite put her finger on, but it was enough to make her suspicious of him.

We see Claire has her stronger moments when people around her start to cut her down, but at other times she clamps her feelings down when her “alarm” are going off in her head. Is she avoiding confrontation, not wanting others to try and talk her out of things or tell her what to do?

Claire is avoiding confrontation by being in denial at times of what is going on around her. She wants to be accepted by Daniel’s group of friends and keep him as her boyfriend. She’s not exactly afraid of being alone, but she does seek approval from others.

When Daniel show her his darker side she is truly scared and wants to run, but he tell her she can’t turn back. As things progress and she really sees what’s going on she does become almost robotic, void of emotion and care. Was that part of what I’d call “conditioning” for what she’s to become?

Yes. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but Daniel wants Claire to be obedient so it would be easier for him to have a new vampire by his side.

Daniel does some despicable things to her and turns her world upside down, her friends figure out certain things and Claire realizes that she has to really hide things from everyone. She soon begins to change and sets the stage for the tone in the rest of the story. How did that development shape her character?

She is kind of broken at this point. Depression and helplessness has set in, but she is not free to express those emotions because that may lead to her revealing what it really going on with her and Daniel. Unfortunately, in this world the paranormal is widely believed to not exist, so Claire has little chance of being understood. So, by being trapped and not being free to express herself, she breaks down.

With your paranormal world the creatures have different names in their world from those in the human world, what made you choose to create that disconnect from keeping it the same in both worlds?

I felt because they are centuries old creatures in a world with increasing surveillance, they would need to hide their identities more.

When she gets in too deep and realizes she has only two ways her life will be shaped, both of which she dislikes, she breaks down and chooses the greater evil in her eyes. She then becomes more like the Claire we first saw, before the climax near the very end. Do you think she could eventually become stronger once she accepts things?

Claire does become stronger during the next two books. She has no choice but to accept the life she basically chose. How she does that is part of the storyline for the follow-ups.

Can you share a little, without spoilers please, about what’s coming up in this trilogy?

Besides Claire’s adjustment, the vampires deal with the detectives and hunters tracking them down even more – as is mentioned in “The Dark Proposal”. Claire’s friends and family try to remain in contact with her, and she becomes good friends with Hilde.

Lastly the fun questions:

Plotter or pantser?
More of a pantser, though I am forcing myself to be a plotter to make writing more easy.

Early Bird or Night Creature?
As I get older, I’m more of a early bird in order to get my day started on the right foot.

Are you more like Claire, Hilde, Samantha or Monica?
I’d say Claire and Monica. My downer side is like Claire’s, but the rest of me is like Monica – reserved, diplomatic in my relationships

White, Milk or Dark chocolate?

Coffee Tea or other?
I’m one of those “I need my coffee” in the morning, but I like to wind down with a nice big cup of tea.

Music or quiet while working?
I need some noise or else silence will drive me crazy. Sometimes music helps if I’m writing at home, and I prefer instrumental music in order to focus properly.

Favorite place to sit and write?
I prefer going to Starbucks or Panera Bread. There’s something about being out in public that energizes me. If I stayed home all the time, I would feel less energized.

Computer or good old pen and paper?
I wish I could say pen and paper, but the computer makes the process easier.

Pick your poison (alcoholic drink of choice when going out)
Usually a cosmo or a martini.

Thanks for stopping in Megan, it was great to be able to pick your mind and talk about Claire and Daniel.

No problem!

Girls, if you had the perfect boyfriend who suddenly reveals he's a vampire, and also wants to make you one or else...what would you do?

That is the dilemma college graduate Claire McCormick faces. Her life is brightened up by Daniel Bertrand in a whirlwind romance, who only to turns out to be a bloodthirsty vampire. He also won't take no for an answer when he proposes for Claire to join him for eternity. She faces becoming evil herself or have evil done to her and her loved ones. The Dark Proposal explores Claire's nightmare and fears while she makes her decision. Along the way, she learns why exactly Daniel wants her to be vampire.

The Dark Proposal will be the first book in a trilogy that follows what becomes of Claire and the vampires. It will be released on Kindle this September.

About Megan Cashman

Former freelance journalist Megan Cashman is getting ready to publish her first book in September 2012. The Dark Proposal will be released as an E-book on Kindle. Megan has worked for cable news stations, both local and national, and has a master's degree in journalism under her belt.

Born and raised on Staten Island, New York's forgotten borough, Megan always had a love of reading and writing. Her favorite authors are Paulo Coelho, Anne Rice, Khaled Hosseini, and Sarah Dunant. She enjoys books that take her to a different world and/or see her world differently. She hopes to do the same for her future readers.

As for other things, Megan likes to hit the beach in the summer, rollerblade, do yoga and cook. She loves to blast her iTunes with all her songs. Her favorite acts are U2, Enigma, Depeche Mode, Garbage, Sarah McLachlan and many more - she even likes Celtic and New Age music!

Her favorite movie is The Lord of the Rings trilogy. She tunes in to watch Once Upon A Time, Girls, Game of Thrones and True Blood.

Where to Find Megan

Twitter: | Facebook | Website/Blog



Claire McCormick sighed heavily when she saw the professor’s name on the letter.

“I can’t believe he’s gone.” she mumbled.

“Who? Colin Willis?” came a voice from across the office.

Claire looked up at the other secretary and nodded. “Yeah, I just don’t understand why would anyone would want to kill him.” She set aside the letter and continued going through the papers she had to put away. “He was my favorite professor. He was so encouraging and fun, and I used to always look forward to his classes.”

The secretary, Nancy Giordano, shook her head sadly. “Yes, it was a big loss for all of us. Such a pleasant man. Even worse,” she stood up to use the copy machine. “There hasn’t been arrests or any leads. Nothing has happened!”

Claire could only nod. Two weeks had passed since the death of Colin Willis, and the case seemed to have already run cold. The professor was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment after neighbors reported a foul odour coming from there. Willis was found on his bedroom floor, his throat slashed open. There was no evidence of forced entry, robbery or anything of the like. From what Claire had heard, it was as though someone calmly walked into Willis’ apartment, killed him without a fight and calmly walked out.

She blinked a few times to clear her mind. She didn’t want to spend too much time dwelling on how the professor died or sadness would weigh her down. Instead, she focused on getting her work done for the day. Claire worked part-time at the English department at Richmond College, a small private institution in New York City. Although she had graduated a few months earlier, she kept her job as she struggled to find work.

Even Nancy seemed to want to change the mood of the office. She went back to her cheerful humming and even brought up a subject that always lit Claire up. “How’s your niece doing?”

“She’s doing very well!” She beamed. “Ava is learning to sit up by herself. She is getting so big! I should have new pictures to show you soon since my sister-in-law is always taking pictures!”

She finished going through the papers and went over to the filing cabinet to begin filing them. Looking at the clock above the cabinet, Claire almost smiled again as she saw it was fifteen minutes to five.

But it was who entered the office right then that prevented her from smiling altogether.

He strolled in calmly and casually, not making a grand entrance in hopes of being noticed. He politely said hello to Nancy, who was back at her desk and had tightened up by the mere sight of him, but he did not appear to notice. He then nodded at Claire, who mumbled “Hi” back to him, but was taking in his appearance. She could have glanced at this man and continued filing away the papers. But it was what he wore that made her almost stare.

It was eighty-five degrees outside, partly cloudy with the sun peeking out now and then, and the man was wearing a long sleeved red shirt buttoned up except for the top one at the collarbone. On his legs were slim khakis, brown socks and loafers. How could this person dress like that in the heat?

Upon examining this stranger’s attire, she also noticed his skin, or what little was shown of it. Despite the three months of summer, the man was noticeably pale, almost sickly looking. Was there something wrong with him?

After acknowledging his odd appearance, Claire noted the rest of him. He looked to be in his mid-twenties, a little under six feet of medium build with light brown hair and blue-green eyes. She also saw that he was handsome, with high cheekbones framing his face. However, his clothing overwhelmed his good looks.

“Laura Matthews will be available shortly, Daniel,” Nancy was telling him, saying the chairwoman’s name. “Have a seat and she will see you in a few.”

“Thank you, Nancy,” the man responded politely but distantly, with a cultured sounding accent. Claire couldn’t tell whether it was British or not, but it certainly wasn’t American.

He went to sit on the cushioned chairs against the wall, opposite the filing cabinets. That was when she saw he had a satchel over his shoulder, the type many professors carried around campus. If this Daniel was a professor, why hadn’t she ever seen him during her four years at Richmond College?

Nancy was talking to the man, though in a more guarded tone than her usual perkiness. “Daniel, how was your summer in Australia? I understand you did some reporting Down Under?”

Over at the filing cabinet, Claire’s ears perked.

“It was a great trip, as always. Spent time with friends and family, got a lot of work done. Can’t complain,” Daniel answered.

“You went to Australia for the summer?” Claire left the cabinet drawer open and walked over to the professor. “Do you go there often?”

Daniel looked over at Claire, sized her up and replied, “Yes, I have relatives and friends in Sydney. The summer is my one chance to see them.”

“And you’re a reporter? For what publication?”

“Many. I’m a freelancer.”

Nancy put on one of her broad smiles. “Claire graduated from our English Writing program this past May. She’s been doing some freelancing ever since, but it is difficult out there.”

Claire felt a bit embarrassed that the secretary introduced her to Daniel in this way, but he didn’t seem too fazed. Instead, he raised his eyebrows, slightly intrigued “A freelance writer? And what was your name again?”

“Claire. Claire McCormick. I work here part-time.” Why did she say the last part?

“Where have you been published?”

“A few places online and local newspapers, nothing too spectacular. And I interned for a bi-weekly Brooklyn magazine.”

“So, I take it writing is really something you want to do?”

She nodded. “Yeah, I mean, I like to write. I like to tell stories and inform people. Writing is how I communicate to the world.”

Daniel smiled. “That’s always good to hear. You can tell when someone is serious about the written word.”

“Are you an international journalist?” Claire knew she looked stupid standing before this person in the middle of the office, gushing about writing and traveling like a wide-eyed young girl. But she too eager to learn about what seemed like an exciting life.

Daniel smiled again, though this time he seemed to hold back a laugh. “Yes, in some degree. I am not world famous or else I wouldn’t be here.”

“Where have you’ve been published?”

Daniel named off some magazines and websites for men, traveling, lifestyle and even one major news outlet. “I’ve been freelancing for six years and I still have to fight my way to get published. As I said, I am not world famous, so I still feel the competition.”

Before she could ask any more questions, Laura Matthews appeared in the doorway to her office. She gave Claire a stern look, which sent her back to filing the papers, and called in Daniel. He walked in without speaking, and closed the door behind him. Once that happened, Claire immediately shut the cabinet she was working on and rushed over to Nancy’s desk.

“Who is he? How come I've never seen him before?”

“That’s Daniel Bertrand, he’s an adjunct professor here. He only started last year and only works nights. Since he’s new, he gets stuck with the 101 classes,” Nancy answered as she shut down her computer.

“Really? No wonder why I’ve never seen him before.” She thought back on the conversation. “He said he’s been freelancing for six years. Is he working on his PhD?”

“No, I understand he got his two years ago.”

“Two years ago? Nancy, he doesn’t even look old enough to have one.”

Yes, I know. I always assumed he just looks young for his age. I’ve heard he’s about thirty years old.”


Claire is a recent college graduate. Like many of us is struggling to find work in a downed economy. When the mysterious Daniel Bertrand walks into the office she can't help but notice his features and pale skin. Once she learns about his freelancing she brazenly asks for some help in finding work. From here things start to get darker.

When Daniel meets the reserved and soft spoken Claire, he at first thinks nothing of her, but once he realizes she has potential he decides that she could be the one mate for him, as long as she gets shaped how he desires.

As Claire and Daniel get acquainted their relationship takes of at record speed. They start dating, and she often goes to his Tribeca neighborhood to meet for dinner, and eventually meeting his "friends" at a local bar. When happens at the bar is eye opening for Claire, open groping, kissing, etc are all over the scene and Daniels friends act completely different from how most so. Claire soon sees Daniel's true nature and she gets freaked. but she knows too much and Daniel reminds her of this more than once. Her family and friends would be in danger if she lets on that anything isn't right.

Her only two options are both ones she dislikes - either end up dead or she joins him and becomes a monster like him. Clair chooses to protect the ones she loves and reluctantly decides that she'll become a monster. With this their relationship takes it up a few notches within a week. She moves in with Daniel and over the upcoming college break, they travel to Paris. However, this is more then a pleasure trip, it is here that she meets the elders, who decide if Daniel is worthy of performing the task of transforming Claire.

Claire also comes to find out that Daniel has a hidden agenda of his own. For personal gain which the others aren't aware of. Now being with Daniel she sees what some will do to get where they think they belong. Now she is left to learn about the monster she has become and try to placate Daniel. What chouices will she make now in her new life? We'll have to wait for the next book to find out.

I liked this story as we see Claire has both her strong and weak moment. This made her very realistic as we can't always be strong all the time. Daniel to me became a "Two Face". One side is the more human side which he initially showed Claire, on the other side is his true nature, which is frightening and dangerous. Megan does a great job of making the characters come off the pages and bringing out the emotions. I'm curious to see how she develops the new Claire and what this new version will do to Daniel and his group. A solid 4 stars.

Vaempires: Bloody Chunks Tour

The Vaempires: Zombie Rising Bloody Chunks Tour

Hello everyone. Welcome to the Bloody Chunks Tour!

I’m Thomas Winship, author of Vaempires: The Evolutionary War—a vampire series that explores the question: what if vampires evolved?

For this book tour, I decided to do something a bit different. Instead of sharing excerpts, reviews, interviews, and all the usual accompaniments, I’m giving you the book itself—piece by piece.

Or chunk by bloody chunk!

This tour is the only place where you can read Vaempires: Zombie Rising, the next chapter in the vaempires saga, before its official release!

The tale of The Evolutionary War resumes in Væmpires: Zombie Rising.

Væmpires have taken control of twelve major cities. Their leader, Vielyn, seeks the atomic weapons that will bring the rest of the world to its knees.

Vampire forces are reeling. As Linq and Ray race to the royal estate to rendezvous with Cassandra and Daniel, the princess is captured and Daniel falls.

With the fate of world shifting to their teenage shoulders, Linq and Ray must deal with tremendous losses while battling a most unexpected—and undeadly—new foe.

This tour wouldn’t be possible without the time and efforts of a very special group of people, beginning with Silvia and Franny at Dark Mind Book Tours and including everyone on the list below. Please show your support by stopping by, commenting, and spreading the word!

Tour Schedule:

I hope you enjoy Vaempires: Zombie Rising!

Where you can find Tom:

Website | Email | Facebook | Twitter | PinterestYouTube | Goodreads | | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Where you can buy Vaempires books: | | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Smashwords | CreateSpace -Revolution | CreateSpace -White Christmas

Chapter 5 - Part 2

The threat chilled Cassandra to the bone. She’d rather be shot in the head than have Vielyn’s fangs in her again.

Vielyn pulled his hand away and gazed at it. “Will you look at that,” he said, shaking his head with mock sadness, “I broke a nail.”

He looked away in contemplation, and then snapped his fingers. “I’ll bet it happened when I killed Daniel.” He laughed. “That was one powerful blow. I don’t think the poor boy even had time to know what hit him.”

The mention of Daniel ignited a small fire in Cassandra. How dare he?

“It is such a shame, really,” Vielyn continued, oblivious to her rising outrage. “I never thought it would be so easy. After all, he was the one who threatened to kill me the next time we crossed paths.” He sighed. “I really hate when people fail to deliver on their promises.

“And to not even put up a fight. I mean, heck, you’ve fared better than him and you’re a princess. He was next in line to be the head of our military.”

Vielyn took a lock of Cassandra’s auburn hair and twirled it around a finger. She wanted to bite the finger off. “It was all rather anticlimactic, wouldn’t you agree? I mean, I actually think I did you a favor, Princess. Just imagine what a disappointment he would’ve been in the long run.”

Cassandra fumed but remained silent. Vielyn gazed out a far viewport, pretending to be lost in thought. “Unless …” he said with a theatrical pause, putting his other hand to his chin. “But no. Our fairy-tale princess would never abandon her chastity for someone so unworthy.” He screwed his face up in a quizzical look. “Would she?”

Despite knowing that Vielyn was taunting her, Cassandra was further incensed. The thought that she would …

Her eyes blazed.

“Such outrage. Or is it shame in disguise?” Laughing, Vielyn unwound her hair from his finger—she expected him to give it a vicious pull, but he didn’t—and stepped back. “You make me wish I had Read poor Daniel.”

His dark eyes widened. “You know, Daniel wasn’t quite dead when I left him. I can Read from the dead, as long as it hasn’t been too long.” He looked at his wrist for a watch that wasn’t there. “I’ve no idea how long it’s been, but heck, the twerp might still be hanging on.”

Cassandra’s emotions flip-flopped as thoughts rapid-fired. Daniel was still alive? She’d seen him; it wasn’t possible. But what if it was? Linq and Ray were on their way. They’d be able to help Daniel. They couldn’t help her, though. She didn’t want them facing Vielyn. She couldn’t lose anyone else dear to her. Thankfully, she was a far way from the tower, where they’d begin any search.

Above all else, she had to keep Vielyn from going back outside.

Vielyn saw the alarm in her eyes. “What’s wrong, Princess? Afraid of what I’ll find?”

Cassandra was desperate. She needed to distract him. “At least let Daniel have peace in death, Vielyn,” she spit. “Lord knows you never allowed him any in life.”

Vielyn smiled. It was oily and vain. “Oh, the long-suffering fool really worked you over, didn’t he?” He gazed at her, and for a millisecond, she thought a flash of humanity tried to peek out. “Why do teenage girls always fall for the heart-in-hand, not-so-secret admirer? What the hell is so appealing about a guy who loves you from afar but doesn’t have the guts to do anything about it until all the competition’s been eliminated?”

She sighed, although secretly pleased that Vielyn was taking the bait. She fought to ignore her pulsating leg. “That isn’t what happened, Vielyn, and you know it.”

“That is exactly what happened,” he insisted, eyes flashing. “He hid in the shadows, waiting, plotting, until he could stick a knife in my back.”

Cassandra made her words cold. “You’re one to talk about betrayal.”

“Betrayal,” Vielyn repeated, raising an eyebrow to make it more of a question. “Actually, I am now in a position to talk about anything I like, Princess. Anything at all. So, what should I talk about if not betrayal?”

When she didn’t respond, he smiled. “No matter. There’ll be plenty of time for that

topic later, when you’re back on your feet. Literally and figuratively.” He snapped his fingers. “You know what? I’m feeling magnanimous. Why don’t you let me take away your pain?”

Cassandra flinched, expecting a trick. “My leg?”

“No.” He laughed. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to bear with that for a while longer. I’m talking about the pain of your loss.”


“Just say the word and I’ll erase all the bad memories.” He saw the look of horror on her face and misinterpreted it. “I promise I won’t take a second more. I’m really very good at it.”

“You … you’re despicable!” she sputtered. “You kill my parents and the man I love, and then offer to wipe it away as a favor!”

“First of all, Princess, let’s tone it down with the ‘man I love’ stuff. You don’t know the first thing about love, and neither did your boyfriend.” Vielyn injected the boy part of boyfriend with pure disdain. “Second, there is nothing you can, or could, offer me that would convince me to erase the memory of his defeat. It’s the price you pay for backing the loser.”

He pursed his lips in mock thought. “Well, perhaps if the offer was to erase every memory of Daniel, I might be swayed.” He continued when she didn’t respond. “And third, I did not kill your parents.”

Cassandra scoffed. “Then one of your minions did. Do you think that matters? Forget your goddamn revolution for a minute, Vielyn. Your actions got my parents killed.”

“Great change always comes with great sacrifice.”

“What did you sacrifice? You and your ilk?”

“My ilk and I paid our sacrifices far in advance.”

“Really?” Cassandra cried. “No one killed your parents.”

“Once again, you’re wrong, Your Highness. I killed my parents. A few hours before the attack, in fact.”


“Well, technically, my father killed my mother and then I killed my father … but since he killed her for siding with me … that still makes me responsible. It’s all convoluted, but no more than the usual family drama,” Vielyn explained, putting his head in his hands. “I’m still getting used to being an orphan, so I’m kind of vulnerable right now.”

Cassandra was aghast. “I-I don’t know what to say.”

Vielyn scowled, abandoning all pretenses. “Oh, don’t say anything, Your Highness. I don’t want your sympathy. I don’t want your understanding. In fact, there is one, and only one, thing that I want from you.”

Cassandra stared, afraid to guess what that might be.

“No more games. You know what I want,” Vielyn said, advancing. “And you’re in a position to give it to me right now.”

Cassandra scooted back on the bed, her burned leg screaming in protest. She hit the headboard and realized she had nowhere else to go. She was trapped on her parents’ bed.

“What do you want?”

Vielyn cocked an eyebrow, and it dawned on her.

I’m trapped on a bed. Oh no. First Jorl, and now Vielyn.

The thought sickened her so much that she almost vomited in her mouth, but she put on a brave face, glaring at him with all the loathing she could muster.

Vielyn gave her a once-over, a cold assessment that left her feeling violated. “Oh, don’t be so pedestrian, so cliché,” he said, waving a hand in annoyance. “I’m not about to savage the princess like some kind of common thug or former teen heartthrob,” he insisted. To his credit, the insult in his voice sounded sincere. “You’ve mistaken me for poor Jorl or one of those vampires who refuses to age and lurks in teenagers’ bedrooms while they sleep.”

He laughed. “Christ, even if a vampire doesn’t look his age, you’d sure as hell think he would act it. What the hell can an old fossil have in common with a child?” He met her eyes. “Why, it’s almost as ridiculous as a princess falling in love with a common soldier.”

Vielyn smirked, enjoying Cassandra’s scowl. “Nevertheless, my dear, I have neither the desire nor the need to take what isn’t offered to me.” His dark eyes bored into her. “Your innocence will not be lost here today.

“Not that innocence, at least,” he said enigmatically, backing away and looking around the room, as if seeing it for the first time.

The room, although spacious, wasn’t ostentatious. One corner held a writing desk, a bookshelf, and a trio of vidscreens. Another corner contained a small sofa, a plush chair, a reading lamp, and a coffee table stacked with books—the real, physical books that Queen Anne had preferred over their digibook counterparts. The other side of the room held the bed that Cassandra occupied, dual closets, and a large marble fireplace. The walls were adorned with family portraits and a few choice paintings selected by her parents.

Altogether, it was closer to the bedroom of a typical married couple—with clothes strewn across chair backs and closet doors ajar—than that of a king and queen. It had always been that way, and its familiarity coupled with the lingering scents of her parents to make Cassandra ache.

Vielyn walked over to the fireplace, running a finger across its mantel. The gesture angered Cassandra. She wanted to order him to take his filthy hands off her parents’ stuff, but she held her tongue.

“This is amazing,” Vielyn muttered, more to himself than to her. “I haven’t been in here since … well, since the last time I was in here.”

He shook his head, the spell broken. “Nevertheless, here we are, my young captive. You should know that my sources inform me that we’ve taken command of all the targeted cities. In a little over a day, your precious vampire kingdom has been overthrown.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“So you can make an informed decision, Your Highness—one that avoids unnecessary loss of life. Catastrophic loss. Since it’ll be your last decision on behalf of your people, I believe it should be a good decision for everyone.”

“What decision is that?”

“I want the atomic codes.”

She gaped.

“I’m not going to use them,” he insisted. “I just need the threat of them to bring all resistance to a halt.” He tried to sound reasonable. “Think of how many lives you’ll save.”

“Never!” she cried, scooting to the edge of the bed and ignoring her protesting thigh. “You’ll get those codes over my dead body.”

Vielyn’s retort was drowned out by laughter—dark, sonorous laughter that conjured images of mutilated babies and other horrific deeds, laughter that didn’t come from anyone in the room.

Cassandra’s head whipped back and forth. What the … ?

She blinked and a man stood beside Vielyn; a light-skinned man with green eyes and a shock of red hair cut into short spikes.

Surprise was supplanted by recognition, which sent a hot streak down her spine. “You!”

The newcomer was one of the uninvited væmpires who had accompanied Councilman Donrel to the holiday summit some months earlier—the so-called scientist who had taken such offense to Dr. Wrede’s assertions that væmpires were working to exterminate humans and vampires.

“It seems we meet again,” the green-eyed man said, glaring at her. “And my name is Belmon.” He spoke with an Aurasian accent that hadn’t been evident during the summit. At the time, Daniel had claimed the man didn’t look like a scientist, and he sure didn’t look like one in the black night-fighter suit he wore. It didn’t help that his claws and fangs were extended.

“How did you get in here?” she demanded.

The red-haired man shook his head. “Still acting like you’re in charge, I see.” He gave Vielyn a questioning look, and Vielyn gestured for him to continue.

“I have a rather unique ability to move from one place to another by just thinking it, Princess.” He laughed. “You see, I could’ve crashed your Christmas party at any time, although we weren’t quite ready to reveal ourselves, or our abilities, just then. Still,” he said, looking around, “I must say that I prefer this setting much more than that stodgy old compound.”

“I suppose you’re here for the atomic codes, too?” Cassandra asked in a haughty tone that she didn’t feel.

“I’m here because Vielyn ordered it,” Belmon claimed, green eyes blazing. “Unlike some people, I know how to follow orders.” He smiled. “And what fortuitous timing, arriving just as you tell Vielyn that he’ll get the codes over your dead body.”

He took a step forward, leaning toward her. “You wouldn’t know, because you stomped out of the meeting like a child throwing a temper tantrum, but your parents used that same exact phrase when discussing the possibility of Vielyn ever coming near you again.”

Cassandra’s heart throbbed. At the same time, Belmon’s proximity gave her visions of tearing his throat open with her fangs and feeling his hot blood pour down her throat while burying her claws in his sternum and shredding his insides.

“Look where that got them,” Belmon said, his eyes betraying his pleasure at hurting her.

The red-haired væmpire turned to Vielyn. “I have interesting news for you, by the way. While coming here, I spotted two victims—er, vampires—heading toward the formal entrance.”

“Did you identify them?” Vielyn asked.

“Of course.” Belmon locked gazes with Cassandra and her heart sank. “It was her friends, the muscle-head and the joker.”

Vielyn’s face lit up with sadistic excitement. “Linq and Ray! My old friends. Now it’s starting to sound like a party.”

End of chapter 5 - Part 2

Now if Vielyn doesn't give you the creeps, at least his red haired friend should. I know they both did for me.

Book Trailer

Thanks for stopping in for my "Bloody chunk" of the tour. Follow along to read the story before the release.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Mashup #1

Welcome to the Monday Mashup, its a no frills, but all thrills meme with no commitment issues! Just fun getting to know fellow bloggers. This blog is hosted by Amy H of DJ Library Dishes and Poison Rose of Picked byPoison. All we want to do is introduce you to your fellow bloggers whom you may or may not know and share the blog love!

If you'd like to be featured, or know someone you'd like us to feature, contact either Amy or Poison. Welcome to the Meme and enjoy getting to know another blogger.

Welcome to Amy H of DJLibrarian Dishes

Denim Jacket Librarian Dishe

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you?
My name is Amy and I'm a reference librarian outside the blogging world.

How long have you been blogging?
I've been blogging for about two years now, and it's been great! 


Why did you get into blogging?
I got into blogging as a means of keeping in touch with one of my old roommates and a dear friend to let her know what I was reading and what I thought of the books.  Soon I started testing the waters in the blogosphere to get to know other book bloggers, and I've met some of the most awesome and amazing readers (present company most definitely included).

What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book that you have read so far in 2012?
I’m currently reading Anew by Chelsea Fine as part of a blog tour for her Archers of Avalon series. So far it’s quite intriguing.

What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)?
I think my favorite feature on my blog is actually the meme Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish.  This was one of the first memes that helped me on my networking with other book bloggers, plus I love coming up with the lists of Top 10.

Where do you see your blog in five years?
Considering how busy life has gotten in just the past few months, I hope to still be blogging even in five years. But we shall just have to wait and see when it comes to time management.

Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?
Such a tough question!  I think my favorite post would be my review of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and my review of The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.  I feel very proud of my reviews for both books and I enjoyed both of them thoroughly.


If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
Maggie Stiefvater would definitely be my choice of author to have dinner with just because she is so funny and has a lot to say.  I met Maggie at two events in April, and that just really made my librarian/blogger year.

What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?
I think I would want to visit Seattle, Washington because it has so been featured in books for several genres I read.  It has the feel of a city of mystery and even the supernatural, plus I've always wanted to go see the EMP Museum and their Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?
Hands down, my favorite part of the community is the community!  I've met some great people through the book blogging community both local and long-distance that I can just feel free to talk about books or almost anything.  It's also helped introduce me to more of the local resources I have around my location, such as the fabulous independent bookstores.  I guess the only thing I would like to see change is having less fracas among the community.  We are people who love books and like to share our opinions with other book lovers.  It's best to keep this saying in mind: "Peace, love, and books."  That's all bloggers really need.  Oh, and chocolate and coffee or tea.

Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?
Oh, yes, my reading tastes have changed.  I'm reading much more young adult literature than I was when I first started blogging, and that's just fine with me.  The only thing I'm hoping to do is start reading more paranormal and urban fantasy adult books.  I've been acquiring quite a pile of paperbacks that is in need of some attention.

And about you:

Tell us three non-book-related things that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.
I’m a martial artist and have studied two different styles, Soo Bahk Do (Korean style) and Aikido (Japanese style). I’m still a horse-crazy girl and love to ride whenever I can, though it’s been awhile since the last time I’ve ridden. I’m fascinated by Japanese culture and hope to go to Japan someday.

What do you like to do in your downtime (besides read of course)?
Dabbling.  No, seriously, I have quite a few other interests besides reading.  I love to write, bake, play video games, watch movies, go and visit my uncle's farm and see the horses, go shopping.  There's a lot of things I've dabbled in, but reading, writing, and baking are my usual standard interests.  While I don't have anything completed, I'm slowly working on two different in-progress stories, so we will definitely see where those go.

If you were given a break to do one thing on your “bucket list” what would you do?
Write and publish a novel. The problem is that this would take a long break to do since I sometimes have trouble focusing.

If you went to your dream vacation spot where would we find you?
Probably in either Germany (preferably in winter) or Japan.

What are some of your hobbies and interests you enjoy?
Reading (of course), baking and trying new confectionaries, horseback riding, gaming, and writing.

Flash Round

Cake or pie?
Cupcakes! Or mini-pies! Either way is a win.

Coffee or tea?
Coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon or evening. ;)

Beach or mountains?
Mountains because I love the snow and forested areas.

Night owl or morning dove?
Morning dove when it comes to library work but night owl when it comes to writing.

Thanks so much for sharing Amy. Its always fun to chat with fellow friends/Blogging buddies. And you're the awesomest! *HUGS*

Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: Archangel's Storm by Nalini Singh

With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha’s consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.

Earning Neha’s trust comes at a price—Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster.

With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare… and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.


Like many I agree that having inserted chapters of the other Cadre members was a little awkward, but we have to remember that all these things are playing out while the main story-line is going on. With that being said, I really liked this story.

We start with Jason being called to Neha's palace to help her hunt for the angel, vampire or being responsible for mercilessly killing her consort Eris. Jason knows that returning to Neha would put him back in her service, something Jason is unwilling to do. Thus Neha offers him the alternative of becoming blood bonded to her "daughter" Mahiya. Jason agrees, but the bonding must be done on his terms. Neha agrees and with that our story takes flight.

Upon completion of the blood bond ceremony, Jason gets straight to work. Having Mahiya lead him around the palace to various rooms in which Neha spends her time mourning her loss. when Jason gets to look at the brutal gore of Eris's murder he takes note of the way in which the body is "displayed" and parts are missing. Mahiya is more observant than Jason had thought, but he can read behind her well hidden facade to see she is hiding something. He makes a point of asking about things to which he knows she has knowledge of, but her curt answers only enthrall him more. He WANTS to crack her shell and see the woman under the mask. Mahiya is afraid if things get out Neha will punish her, and she's not willing to let her get her claws on her ever again.

Mahiya is taken aback by our black Jason at first, but once she sees that his knowledge and being able to keep in the shadows serves him well she wonders what else lies in the shadows. She escorts him throughout the fort ad palace and she too finds out much about her fellow ladies-in-waiting, the other higher court vampires and angels alike. Jason comes to find out about Neha's treatment of Mahia and she is surprised at his care of not prodding into her life, but wanting to keep her safe and let her be free.

As the clues start to become more complex and it is becoming apparent that their killer is amongst them, many suspects stories don't line up. Their own agendas have them trying to make others look like they have motives. Jason uncovers more thanks to help from several friends in the Cadre - Vemon and Aodhan stop in and shed some light on what is truly going on. What they uncover is far more involved than a simple murder as more angels wind up dead in brutal fashion. Jason soon uncovers that their target is one they had believed to be dead, but was merely buying time to plan revenge.

when the killer is found it leads to much conflict for our heroine, but time is a bitter bitch when things get ugly and with her deepest desire finally attained she is left questioning where and to whom she truly belongs with. The ending was one I did not see coming, but was shocked at what happened. The very last 3 paragraphs had me crying with the tenderness and significance of it.

Nalini Singh has done it yet again in the 5th book in the Guild Hunter series. I loved how the love was only simmering throughout the story and seeing how Jason and Mahiya were with each other made it very intimate in their actions to show they cared. I felt for Jason as we saw through his eyes the major event in his fledgling days which shaped his cold, unfeeling life. I also felt for Mahiya as we learn of the lies told by her "family" to keep her feeling like a servant, and the events which made her act as she has, cold and calculating, and not a truly valued angel. It was raw, tender and emotionally packed in every sense. Nalini lured me in and then kept me wanting more. A solid full 5 stars for Archangel's Storm.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dirty Little Secrets #48

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by Under the Covers. Every Thursday we get to know other bloggers and our readers more intimately by asking them a question hoping to reveal their dirty little secrets. We hope that you will all join us!
To participate in the meme all you need to do is:
  1. Be a follower of Under the Covers.
  2. Create a post in your blog taking the meme image (code above) and copy instructions.
  3. Answer the question proposed! This can be done in any way you like, post a video, write a post etc.
  4. Then add your link below.
Non-bloggers: We want to hear from you as well!!! Let us know your answer in the comments!
We hope you join us and let us know your Dirty Little Secrets!

"It's blogger appreciation week...tell us which bloggers/reviewers would you like to meet in person?"

Wow, that's a LONG list your asking for. I need to someday meet all the UTC gals, most especially Ang who has chatted and laughed with me countless times. I'm dying to meet Amy H (DJ Librarian) of DJLibrarian Dishes, Ana of Beach Bum Reads, and Elena from Sam E & R,s Awesomeness! There are a zillion more I'd love to meet, but those are my tops. Road trip anyone? *winks*

Friday, September 7, 2012

Review: Divinely Ruined by Diane Alberts

She finally meets a decent man–after she’s oath-bound never to touch men again!

Rebecca’s life sucked before she became an angel. Crappy apartment, awful jobs, abusive boyfriends–it was no wonder she jumped at the chance to escape it all and become a real live angel. The problem is Rebecca’s not very angelic, and she’ll have to do more to earn her wings than end her love affair with the word f–er, frick.

Especially when she’s assigned to save single father Tony Weis, whose less-than-pure thoughts wreak hell on a telepathic angel’s nerves. It’s all Rebecca can do to keep her hands off him…but when she loses her memory injuring herself to save Tony’s daughter, now it’s Tony’s turn to be her angel and care for her. But will Tony’s devotion tempt her from her angelic path, even if it means being human again?

Buy Links:
B & N | Amazon US | Books on Baord | Entangled Publishing

About Diane

Diane Alberts has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she’s not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another.

She is a multi-published, bestselling author with Entangled Publishing and Decadent Publishing. She has, as of this date, four books with Entangled Publishing, and five books with Decadent Publishing. Her February release with Entangled Publishing, ON ONE CONDITION, hit #18 on the Barnes and Noble Bestseller List.


Rebecca Chance was a angel in training. She still hasn't earned her wings and due to her "sailor" mouth it took nearly twice as long for her to complete her training before she was FINALLY given her first mission which would earn her wings. Upon arriving at her location she is caught by the man whose soul she is trying to save.

Tony Weiss has enough to deal with on his plate, after loosing the family business and then loosing his job as an accountant, and now his home is in foreclosure Tony is feeling like there isn't might left in the world worth fighting for, except his daughter, Miranda. She is the one young and innocent thing left in his dark world. When he catches Rebecca watching him unpack the trailer, hes at first put off by her and tells her to leave. But he thinks she's crazy when she says she's an angel there to save him.

After she reappears in his new home, Tony is still a bit put off, but can't help his unclean thoughts about the beautiful "angel" in front of him. Unfortunately for him, Rebecca can hear his thoughts and she's abash at whats she's hear and sees from him. Seeing that there are boxes everywhere she decides it might just be best to help him put things away. After a while they begin to talk about her mission and Tony is adamant that he'd never do a thing to jeopardize Miranda's welfare. Thus leading the two to a fight and both frustrated beyond belief.

Leave it to a young innocent child, like our endearing Miranda to bring out the best of both Tony and Rebecca. Miranda takes an instant liking to Rebecca who takes it upon herself to help in getting Miranda as pretty as a princess. Tony and Rebecca begin to warm to each other, but with Rebecca hearing Tony's VERY impure thoughts shes getting ideas of her own. One day Rebecca takes Miranda out for a walk while Tony is fuming at her outside after another fight. Things go form picture perfect to nightmare in the blink of an eye when the two are caught in the middle of a face of between police and a criminal. Rebecca is critically shot while protecting Miranda and ends up unconscious and in the hospital.

The aftermath of the shooting leave Rebecca with Amnesia and when she finally awakes in the hospital she is scared at his closeness and Tony is afraid of what would happen to his developing relationship if she ever recovers her memory. with some "Divine intervention" form Rebecca's mentor Tony begins to live as he should, but is also told that her mission has now been completed and once she regains her memory she can leave. Through this he begins focusing on what he has, and not what he lost. He treats Rebecca as any lady wants to be treated, but she still questions how they met, about their relationship, etc. A couple weeks later an unexpected visitor triggers Rebecca's memories to come flooding back and she's PISSED at Tony for using her as she believes he did. He knows that he has to make things right, but can Rebecca forgive him and will there me a possible future for them after this? You HAVE TO read to find it its that good! a STRONG 4 Stars for Divinely Ruined.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Review and Giveaway with Wynne Channing

Good Morning everyone. I am thrilled to have Journalist turned author, Wynne Channing stopping my to chat today. So, without further ado, I hand over the blog to her! Welcome Wynne!

Thanks so much to Picked By Poison for hosting me today! My name is Wynne and I wanted to take this opportunity to chat with you a little bit about characters who come alive.

I know a character has life when I wake up in the morning and wonder what they're up to. Or when I see something and say, "Oh, man, that's something [character] would totally do!" Then I realize, "Whoa. [Character] is a fictional person from a book. I'm a dork."

Guilty as charged...LOL

But though I feel like a loser for a second, it's really a win for the author. He or she has created someone very real for me. And what an incredible feat.

So when I was writing my debut adventure novel What Kills Me, I wanted readers to know Zee. I wanted them to hear her funny and warm voice in their heads. But how do you achieve this?

While I think you will like Zee, you don't have to adore a character for them to be real. (Who likes Hannibal Lector?) The characters just have to be true to themselves. So questioned my heroine’s actions and motivations at every turn.

For example, why would Zee venture out at night with a young man whom she just met? (That's dangerous!) When we meet her, she is a little naive, trusting, and desperate for adventure. So she makes a mistake. The mistake of course, costs her her life. But she is braver than she thinks she is, so she is able to face the horror that comes.

She's funny. Her little sister was sick growing up, so Zee became a clown to make her laugh. She’s also incredibly loyal and kind. She was bullied when she was younger, so she tries to treat everyone with respect. She's also honest and blunt. Unfortunately, this means that she blurts out whatever is in her head.

Whatever happens to her, this is her core. After she falls into an ancient well and emerges a vampire, she is told that she is the monster of monsters. Dangerous. Vicious. And Zee has to figure out for herself, who she is now and who she wants to be.

I hope one day that you wake up one morning and wonder what Zee is up to. Spoiler: chances are, she's either running for her life or kicking someone's butt.

what Kills Me
Wynne Channing

An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race.

So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive.

How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?

What Kills Me Links:
Goodreads | Wynne's Website

Where to buy What Kills Me

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smaskwords | Barned & Noble | Kobo


A human girl will be re-born a vampire. She will shed the blood of all who walk in darkness and bring about the death of the entire vampire race.
—Ancient vampire prophecy

Chapter 1

The sun’s down. I am so dead.

I walked out of the bakery with a box of cannoli balanced in my hands and when I saw the dark sky, my smile faded. I shouldered my way through the crowds and rushed into a piazza. The clock on the church tower read 9:25 p.m. I rounded the fountain in the center of the square, my flip flops slapping at my heels. I shifted my box of pastries so that it was under my arm like a football and quickened my pace.

Sofia is going to kill me. When I left the house at 7:30 p.m., I had told her that I’d be only twenty minutes. But I’d lost track of time wandering the narrow cobblestone streets, snapping pictures. So far, I wasn’t being a good guest in her home. Two days ago, I had accidentally used dishwasher soap in her laundry machine, producing a titanic bubble bath. This was not the way to redeem myself.

A few people sat on the stone stairs around the fountain. A bearded man plucked at a guitar and nodded his head. A woman reclined against her boyfriend, her hands on his knees as if they were the arms of a chair.

One young man stood alone on the top of the stairs. His hands were in the pockets of a charcoal coat with an asymmetrical zipper that cut across his chest. His face was backlit against the street lamps, but I knew that he was staring at me. He had such rigid posture that nothing but his head moved as he watched me cross the square.

I dropped my gaze. The straps of my backpack dug into my shoulders and shifted my T-shirt. I tugged at the hem so that the Canadian flag was centered in the middle of my chest. He probably wants to rob me. My father had warned me about pickpockets in Rome. A few days before my trip, he had come into my room with a bulgy blue fanny pack: “To keep your valuables safe.”

From the corner of my eye I could still see the man’s face pointed in my direction, and I heard my best friend’s voice in my head. Zee, he’s checking you out. See if he’s hot. Ryka had encouraged me to have a summer fling. The only fling I’d ever had with a guy was when Felix Lewis flung me in the air during cheerleading tryouts. “Find someone and have fun,” but avoid the bad guys, she had said. She wanted me to keep my other valuables safe.

Pretending to look back at the clock, I glanced at the fountain. The guy was gone. I searched the piazza but didn’t see him. Too bad. He might have been cute.Would his trying to pick my back pocket count as second base?

I turned down a lane sandwiched between two square buildings and wove through a group of men in soccer jerseys. An old man in an undershirt and house slippers stood in the street with a dusty poodle, and I returned his sullen glare with a smile and a nod.

After walking several minutes, something seemed wrong. Okay, I remember passing this restaurant with the row of people eating on white linen tablecloths under white umbrellas. I remember this tight street with the parked cars on my left. But I don’t remember the street opening into a parking lot and this giant purple bush.

A mass of fuchsia flowers cascaded down the side of a building, like a purple monster arm, reaching for the ground with its branchy fingers. I would have remembered this. I doubled back through the dim streets but then couldn’t find my way to the piazza. Don’t panic.

I took a mental inventory of the contents of my bag: a journal, my wallet, my passport, my digital camera, a bottle of water. Of course, I didn’t take the note card with Sofia’s address and phone number on it. It’s on my dresser. Of course, I didn’t take a map. I could see Sofia’s round face, scrunched with disapproval, the creases on her frowning forehead. I performed a frustrated pirouette.

“Come on,” I said, exasperated with myself.

“Excuse me?” A voice said behind me.

I spun around, and there he was in the middle of the road. The guy from the fountain. I recognized his jacket and his tall, stiff stance.

“Sorry. I was talking to myself,” I said.

He took a step toward me and his face shocked me. He had high cheek bones and clean-shaven, pale skin. His deep-set blue eyes were in shadow under thick, dark eyebrows, but they were luminous.

I realized then that I was staring with my mouth ajar.

“You’re American?” he asked in his Italian accent.

“No, I’m from Winnipeg. It’s in Canada,” I said, pointing to my T-shirt. I glanced away, feeling weird that I had just directed his attention to my chest.

He nodded. “You are on vacation?”

“I’m living here for two months studying Italian.”

“Well then, welcome to Italia,” he said, and his pale pink lips smiled. “Do you like it here?”

“I’ve only been here for about a week and I love it.”

“What do you love most?” The word, “lah-ve,” filled his mouth thickly.

“I love the architecture, the food,” I said. “If I could eat gelato every day for the rest of my life, I would.”

“Then you must be sweet.”

His smile widened and I felt embarrassed. To quash my anxiety, I thrust my hand at him. “I’m Zee,” I said.

He seemed startled, tucking in his dimpled chin to gaze at my hand. “Zee?"

“My name is Axelia but everybody calls me Zee.”

“Paolo,” he said.

He slipped his smooth, cool hand into mine. I gripped his palm and shook it vigorously.

“Eggs-ee-lee-ah?” he said, pronouncing every syllable of my name. “I like it.”

“Thanks. I like it too.  It’s spelled A-X-E-L-I-A; but the X is soft. Though I hated it when I was young. In kindergarten, someone spread a totally untrue rumor that ‘Zee likes pee,’ and then, you know, at recess, it was always ‘Zee likes pee, Zee likes pee.’”

I laughed and when he didn’t join me, I cleared my throat to silence myself. “And I have no clue why I told you that story, since we just met.”

Oh, Zee. Always babbling when you’re nervous.

He cocked his head and studied my face. “Zee, would you like to go with me for a gelato?” he asked.

Whoa. Is this beautiful guy asking me out? Ryka would be celebrating with corniness: “He doesn’t want to steal your wallet. He wants to steal your heart.”

“Uh, thank you, Paolo,” I said, relishing the opportunity to use his name. “But I actually need to get home.”

“Where do you live?”

“Good question. I mean, I’m not sure. I’m a bit lost,” I said with a shrug and something in between a grin and a grimace. “It’s on a narrow street around here. There’s a café on the street. There’s a pizzeria. I know—every narrow street has a café and a pizzeria. And I don’t have a map or an address. I might just have to live on the streets, survive on cannoli, and sing for coins.”

“You sing?”

“Yes but I’m sure people will pay me to stop.”

“Don’t worry,” he said. “I will help you.”

“Oh, I remember!” I exclaimed. “There’s a white church on my street.”

“Via della Scala has a white church,” he said. “And a café and a pizzeria.”

“Via della Scala, that’s it!” I said.

He put his hand over his heart and bowed slightly. “May I have the honor of walking you there, Zee?”

“That would be lovely.”

As we walked back to Sofia’s apartment, I chattered to fill the silence. I told him about the laundry fiasco and about my Japanese housemate, Miyuki. At one point, I realized that I was nervously swinging the box of cannoli while I walked. Paolo kept his eyes on me while I looked everywhere else. His suede coat sleeve would brush my bare arm, giving me goose bumps.

“How old are you?” I said.

“How old are you?”


“Me too,” he replied.

“I start university in the fall. I’m going to take general arts courses for now because I’m not sure what field I’d like to get into. My father’s an aerospace engineer and my big sister is studying mechanical engineering. But I almost failed physics and math in high school. So for the safety of mankind, I don’t think I should get a job building anything. I love taking pictures so maybe I could be a photographer. What do you do?”

“I’m a student.”

“What are you studying?”

“I’m a student of life,” he said. He pursed his lips when he smiled.

Was that code for unemployed?

“I see,” I said, instead. “And what have you learned so far?”

“I’ve learned that treasures present themselves when you least expect them,” he said. “And you? What has your life taught you?”

“That I shouldn’t walk around without a map,” I said. “And that dish soap doesn’t go in washers. Actually, I’m here because I want more life experience. I feel like I’ve been pretty sheltered in Winnipeg.”

“I’ve never been there. Is it nice?”

“Yes, but it gets cold.”

“Cold doesn’t bother me.”

“This cold would. Our winters are brutal. It’s so cold sometimes that my eyes water and then my wet eyelashes freeze together.”

He chuckled. His teeth were small and perfect. For a moment, I imagined walking with him through these streets, laughing and holding hands. I imagined him teaching me Italian. I imagined him kissing me. Then I could add “kissed a hot guy” to my experiences, right after “traveled outside of Winnipeg.”

Suddenly I recognized the square planters in front of Sofia’s apartment farther down the street.

“Thank God, we’ve found it!” I blurted. Then I turned to Paolo. “I didn’t mean thank God because I don’t like your company. You’re wonderful company in fact.”

“I also enjoyed your company.”

“Thank you so much. I owe you my life for helping me get back to Sofia’s.”

One side of his lips curled up. “Then repay me,” he said.

“Okay.” I channeled Ryka’s boldness. “I could buy you a gelato?”

“Yes. Let’s meet tomorrow at nine fifteen.”

“Where?” I asked. I could feel my cheeks flushing.

“Right here,” he said, pointing to the pizzeria to his left.

“Done,” I said. “It was nice meeting you.”

“Goodnight, Zee.”

“Goodnight, Paolo.”

About Wynne Channing

ynne Channing is an award-winning national newspaper reporter and young adult novelist. She loves telling stories and as a journalist, she has interviewed everyone from Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman to the president of the Maldives and Duchess Sarah Ferguson. The closest she has come to interviewing a vampire is sitting down with True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard (he didn’t bite). She briefly considered calling her debut novel "Well" so then everyone would say: "Well written by Wynne Channing." 

Where to find Wynne Channing

Her Website | Her Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Axelia (Zee) is studying Italian in the center of the culture in Italy. when she meets Paola things seem to be perfect, but things quickly go from good to bad, to worse. Paola is NOT what he seems to be and he leads Zee to the sacred grounds of the Ancients. When Zee finds herself drowning in a pool of blood and somehow manages to get out, things go from normal to creepy in a matter of minutes. Once she emerges she's taken to face the Queen and faces punishment for her intrusion on sacred ground. She soon finds out she's not like others of her kind.

Once she escapes, she heads into the woods and simply runs to find a way be free. Its there she finds the cottage, Lucas and his family who are rebels of the queen. Lucas is a skilled swordsman and fighter. Soon the queens warriors catch up with Zee and Lucas' family fight to save her and all but Lucas survive. On the run they seek out an old friend of Lucas' who can help them seek out Lucas' maker, who has knowledge about the prophecy surrounding Zee.

<>Their journey is seemingly full of peril as the monarchy is still hot on their trail and Zee and Lucas have to fight to stay alive. Once they reach their destination they think they have sanctuary for a while. However, things aren't what they seem as their lookout is found killed, turned to ash, and others are missing. Soon the army of the queen is right there. Zee and Lucas are shocked to find out how they were found. Things are getting getting tense, but the tables will turn.

I can't spoil the ending as it was a truly shocking revelation which leads to what will be the next story in the trilogy, or so I'm told... Wynne has a great way of storytelling and descritptive details which make Zee and Lucas jump off the pages. The cliff hanger near the end was intense and had me turning pages well into the early morning hours. I loved Zee and Lucas and I can't wait to see how things turn out next! A 5 star read for sure!


Wynne is offering an eCopy of what Kills Me with a signed bookmark with a butterfly charm to one lucky commenter (please leave your E-mail and format preference) on the blog all you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter form below and post a quick comment. The Giveaway here is open to US and Canada residents.

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