Category Archives: magic

Beyond A Reasonable Doubt by Sharon Johnson

💫✨💫Reviewed by Kiwi💫✨💫

TITLE: Beyond A Reasonable Doubt

SERIES: Doubt series

AUTHOR: Sharon Johnson

PUBLISHER: Wicked Words Publishing

LENGTH: 241pages

RELEASE DATE: November 30 , 2015

BLURB: DeMatteo Santiago is the Alpha of one of the largest prides in North America. He is a young, successful lion shifter, surrounded by a large family and his devoted lover. By anyone’s account he has more than any one man can ask for, but his lion cares of nothing except finding their mate.

An unexpected business trip pits DeMatteo and his long awaited mate on opposite sides of the courtroom. But when challenged by ex-lovers, nosey siblings, and crazy hunters, DeMatteo realizes that finding his mate was the easy part. The real question is whether they will live long enough to be together.

This release is an M/M paranormal shifter romance. This series will contain, graphic violence, graphic language, and Mpreg. What it will not be is an instant mate fairytale, as forces set out to destroy everything and everyone.

REVIEW: Alright, now we’re finally getting into the story of Matt’s life after his parent’s deaths. Now, as I’ve stated before, I love shifter stories in general, lion shifter in particular because I’m one of those crazy cat ladies that love all things feline. I will also admit that I like Mpreg stories; they fascinate me. So, put both of those elements together and of course I’m in.

Matt is a alpha lion of a large pride. I like the fact that he’s not just a lion shifter. He’s a highly successful and sought after attorney in the human world so I like how the author wrote him to be able to balance interacting in and with the human world as well as the paranormal world.

The human world is where he finds his true mate, Sean. Sean’s the opposing attorney in a very messy human divorce. Matt is ecstatic that he find his mate but there’s just a few glitches in the program. One, Sean’s human so there’s the how-in-the-hell-am-I-going-to-explain-this aspect to this mating. Two, they’re both with other people—Sean has a girlfriend, Matt a boyfriend so there’s the how-in-the-hell-am-I-going-to-make-a-clean-break aspect of those situations. Sean’s breakup was painless compared to Matt’s. I felt so very bad for Hugh! It was to the point that I didn’t care for the Matt’s character at all. Even though Matt made it clear that whatever they had was just sex, I still felt that he could’ve handled it with a lot more grace than he did. The way that he did it was a bit foul. It was like he told Hugh and then reminded him that he was just something to play with until the real thing comes along. It was sad. I understood that he made it clear in the beginning what type of relationship it was to be but fifteen years…I felt he could’ve at least given the poor guy a week or two before just tossing him out of the house. And Matt’s sisters didn’t make the situation any better. I actually loathed them for they way they treated Hugh. I felt like they were all rubbing salt in a cut Matt inflicted. It’s like Hugh has been mistreated all his life and were aware of that but didn’t care. They acted like insensitive bitches. And I didn’t care what happened to or with them for the rest of the story.

There’s threats from all sides, human hunters and other paranormals. Add in the mess from the breakup with Hugh and it’s not an easy walk for Matt and Sean. And you know what? They didn’t deserve one. I felt that they deserved every bit of drama and chaos that came their way; they deserved the karma over how their exes were treated.

I really enjoyed reading this book. You know the author did a great job when the reader has such visceral reactions to the characters and you’re absorbed in the storyline.

The only thing about the book that I didn’t quite care for was the tenses. I think it was told in a–I don’t know-narrative voice?  I’m not sure if that’s what it’s called. It was like someone was telling you the story as opposed to you reading it as it’s happening…I can’t explain it properly but it drove me nuts. I tried to roll with it but after the first chapter I ended up substituting the tenses and the changing the wording in my head and that made it easier for it to click. It weird, I know but it’s a quirk of mine.

I usually hate cliffhangers but if the story’s really good, as this one was, I don’t mind it so much. Especially this time because I had the next book on hand so I was able to quickly get to it. In all, I think it worked out rather nicely.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

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Erasing All Doubt by Sharon Johnson

💫✨💫Reviewed by Kiwi💫✨💫

TITLE: Erasing All Doubt

SERIES: Prequel to Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

AUTHOR: Sharon Johnson

PUBLISHER: Wicked Words Publishing

LENGTH: 72 pages

RELEASE DATE: January 8 , 2016

BLURB: Eighty six thousand, four hundred seconds. One thousand, four hundred and forty minutes. Twenty four hours. One day. In his twenty five years of life DeMatteo Santiago had often taken for granted how much could change in a single Day. When DeMatteo crawled into bed at 10:30 pm on May 7th, 1980 there was no way of knowing how the next twenty four hours would forever alter his life. As a young Alpha lion shifter DeMatteo has left his pride, in search of his mate, and a pride of his own. But the fates have been conspiring for centuries to lead him to this precise moment in time. May 8 1980, 10:30 pm, a moment in time that will forever change the life of Matthew (DeMatteo) Santiago. Facing the challenges of being the new Alpha of the largest pride in the United States, DeMatteo must find a way to lead in the face of his own personal tragedy.

REVIEW: This is the prequel to the first book in the Doubt series which is pretty much a map of all the characters in the upcoming books and their lives. This novella reveals how Matt becomes the alpha of the pride after the death of his parents, his relationship with Hugh and such.

You definitely should read this novella prior to starting the first book because it actually gives the background stories to many of the characters. I made the mistake of reading the first book before reading the prequel and I must say that I was a little bit confused as to what was going on and who everyone was in relation to Matt. I stopped in the middle of the first book and went back to the prequel.

I liked how she mapped out each character’s life and gave us a feel of each of the characters. The only issue I had with the story was Hugh’s backstory. You read he’s experienced some abuses from his old pride but it’s mentioned in the vaguest of terms for most part of the story. It’s finally revealed but by this time, I had pretty much giving up on ever finding out. Now reading about his past makes me that much more sympathetic towards what his character goes through in the first book.

You’re not going to really connect with the characters because this prequel is simply a map into the character’s lives and personalities. You will get the full story in the upcoming books. In all, I think she did a good job. This book piqued my interest because I am a fan of shifter stories in general, feline shifters in particular. Because I am obsessively in love with all things cats, I feel that there’s not nearly enough books featuring feline shifters.

This is a nice novella acts as the appetizer before the main courses.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

 

Amazon

 

 

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A Different Breed by Angel Martinez

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: A Different Breed

SERIES:

PUBLISHER: MLR Press

RELEASE DATE: August 6, 2016 (first published November 27, 2010)

BLURB: Josh the vampire hunter falls in lust with one of the enemy; Richard has secrets and might not be sane–oh, sure, this will work.

Josh hunts vampires with relentless, cold precision until the night he confronts a gorgeous hunk of vamp in the woods outside Ithaca. Richard destroys all of his prejudices about vampires in the first few moments of conversation and the sexual sparks between them ignite almost as quickly. Richard offers the stability Josh never had. Josh offers the healing Richard needs so desperately.

But it’s nearly impossible just to walk away from a life of violence. An attack one evening leaves a friend in the hospital, Richard with a bullet through his chest, muttering about strange creatures, and Josh fighting to piece together what really happened. Are Richard’s nightmare attackers real, or is Josh’s favorite vamp losing his mind? Is there a reasonable explanation or has the hunter now become prey?

This title has been previously published.

.

REVIEW: This story was an absolute joy for me to read. Josh and Richard may just be my new book boyfriends. More so Richard than Josh. I just adore Richard to bits! He was an interesting mix of fierce warrior, sweet, gentle, protective, kind hearted, heartbroken vampire. He’s experienced love and loss many, many times. He’s still in mourning and feel guilty over the murder of his last human lover, whose life was taken by vampire hunters.

Josh is a vampire hunter whose led a hard life. A life filled with violence, abandonment, anger, and pain. He spots Richard one night and just makes up his mind to kill him. But the funny things happened on the way to killing the vamp.

Josh found that he couldn’t do it. One look at the beautiful vampire was all it took and the two men makes a connection. And it’s more than sexual.

I loved, LOVED this story. Josh was vulgar, rude, obnoxious, violent and a smart ass but that I felt was an armor he wore to block the pain of losing his twin sister years prior. Richard also was dealing with the loss of a loved one and these two finding each other at the time they did was perfect.

Martinez did a wonderful job bringing these characters to life. The author had an entire cast of background characters brought in and was able to blend their dialogues and storyline without losing the focus on the MCs. This was definitely not a run of the mill vampire story, believe me.

Every little thing about this book was wonderful. The plot, which has been done before, was done in such a way in this that it wasn’t tired or overused. The storyline was lovely and you will fall in love with the characters. The ending was so very sweet, definite must for those who, like me enjoys a good HEA ending.

I would love to see a sequel to this, maybe a novella just to see how these two guys are doing.

I would definitely recommend this.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JKJ1E6K/ref=gi_dp_gtfa#nav-subnav

ARe

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-adifferentbreed-2083622-340.html

 

 

 

 

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Middle Child- Flux by Kim Fielding Guest Post with Excerpt

fluxfs

Hi, I’m Kim Fielding, here to talk to you a bit about Flux, my new book.

Flux is the second book in a trilogy of dark fantasy books set in a world in which magic is real and those who possess great powers are often tempted to abuse them. The first book, Stasis, took place in the city-state of Praesidium, where Ennek rescued Miner from a terrible punishment. Now, in Flux, Ennek and Miner are on the run, encountering danger and adventures while exploring their relationship and their self-identities.

I think the second book in a trilogy is a lot like a middle child. I’m the oldest child of three. My task was to be a trail-blazer, the first in my generation to try things. That’s the first book, right? It sets the pace. It gets the conflicts going (sorry, Mom and Dad). It gives everyone a sense of what’s going on and what might happen.

The final book is the youngest child, of course. It wraps things up. It draws heavily on what came before, while also carrying the burden of resolving the problems created by its predecessors. It’s often somewhat restrained, in that it has to deal with the shadow of what came before—it may even be judged in comparison to the first and second. But it also gets the glory of the happy ending, right? The joyous moment when everyone’s all grown up and the drama of childhood is over. (Which isn’t to say adulthood is without drama. Maybe that’s why trilogies sometimes grow into much longer series.)

But what about the one in the middle? It has to contend with the legacy of the first, deal with its own arc in a satisfying way, and yet leave everyone still eager to contend with number three.

I think sometimes the middle child—the middle book—gets overlooked. Number one has carried all the flash of something new, and number three has the promise of neatly tying things up. But the poor second book works so hard! In the case of this particular trilogy, Flux is perhaps the hardest-working book of all. The characters are moving all over the place, they’re dealing with life-threatening risks all the time, and yet they’re also coming to terms with who they are. And they’re making important choices about who they want to be—choices that will carry great significance for the final book.

So, what do you think? Have I strained the metaphor too far? Or are you a middle child now feeling allegiance with the second book in trilogies?

Excerpt: 

They shouldn’t have wasted moisture on tears. The vomiting hadn’t helped either. By the time the sun set, the bits of Miner’s exposed skin—his face, his hands—felt hot and sore, and both men were as dry as old paper. Ennek had slept most of the day, slumped against Miner’s chest, but as the sky alit with oranges and reds, he stirred.

“I’m sorry,” he said in a sandpaper voice.

“For what?”

“Not being… better. Stronger. Smarter.”

Miner wasn’t sure whether to laugh at Ennek’s foolishness or cry at the man’s inability to see his own worth. He ended up doing neither, instead caressing Ennek’s back under the shredded shirt, murmuring nonsense syllables at him like a parent might to a distressed child. After a time Ennek pulled away a little. His eyes were very shiny, but he wasn’t crying. “I think we’re not far from land,” he said.

“I saw a gull this morning.”

Ennek nodded. “Good. I can try to steer us to shore. I’m not sure how soon I can row us there, though—”

“You’re in no condition to row us anywhere,” Miner said, because Ennek was still pale and drawn.

“Well, neither are you.” Ennek pointed at Miner’s wrist. Then he frowned and took a closer look at the cut on Miner’s arm. “And this is beginning to fester. You’re dehydrated too.”

“So are you. So much water and nothing to drink.”

Ennek looked out over the edge of the boat and frowned in concentration. “I’ll wager I could remove the salt,” he said, almost to himself.

“You’ve already made yourself sick enough doing magic,” Miner protested.

But Ennek ignored him. He knelt and leaned over the side, scooping up a double handful of sea. Then his frown deepened for a moment and he brought his hands to his face. He sipped cautiously at the liquid and then grinned triumphantly. “It worked! Come here.”

Miner considered arguing but decided that would be pointless. He scooted around until he was next to Ennek, also along the side of the boat.

“Get some water,” Ennek said.

Miner stole a glance over the edge and imagined himself hanging over as Ennek had just done. “I… I can’t.”

Ennek gave him a patient smile. “That’s all right. It probably wouldn’t have worked with your wrist anyway. Hang on.” He leaned over again and brought up more water. “Drink it before it drips away.”

Miner leaned down and put his lips above Ennek’s palms. It was a strangely intimate thing to do, to drink from someone else’s cupped hands. But the water tasted only a bit brackish, and it felt wonderful as it

moistened his tongue and throat. He drank it all, and then Ennek gave him another handful and another, and he would have kept on going, but when Miner saw him begin to sway and noticed the way his breaths became harsher, Miner stopped him. “Drink some yourself,” he insisted.

Ennek managed to drink only two handfuls before he collapsed.

“Don’t you dare throw up that water!” Miner said anxiously, moving Ennek’s head into his lap.

“Trying not to.”

Miner rubbed softly at Ennek’s temple. He didn’t know if would help, but he doubted it would hurt. He felt so useless, just sitting there like a great, timid lump. Ennek closed his eyes, and Miner thought he might have fallen asleep. But then ten or fifteen minutes later, he opened them again. “This is a stupid way to die.”

Blurb:

Ennek, the son of Praesidium’s Chief, has rescued Miner from a terrible fate: suspension in a dreamless frozen state called Stasis, the punishment for traitors. As the two men flee Praesidium by sea, their adventures are only beginning. Although they may be free from the tyranny of their homeland, new difficulties await them as Miner faces the continuing consequences of his slavery and Ennek struggles with controlling his newfound powers as a wizard.

Now fugitives, Ennek and Miner encounter challenges both human and magical as they explore new lands and their deepening relationship with each other.

Buy Links:

DSP Publications–https://www.dsppublications.com/books/flux-by-kim-fielding-298-b

Amazon–https://www.amazon.com/Flux-Ennek-Trilogy-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01I0QTE52/ 

Social Media: 

Facebook—http://facebook.com/kfieldingwrites

Twitter—@kfieldingwrites

Website—http://kfieldingwrites.com

Author Bio:

Kim Fielding is very pleased every time someone calls her eclectic. Her books have won Rainbow Awards and span a variety of genres. She has migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States and currently lives in California, where she long ago ran out of bookshelf space. She’s a university professor who dreams of being able to travel and write full time. She also dreams of having two perfectly behaved children, a husband who isn’t obsessed with football, and a house that cleans itself. Some dreams are more easily obtained than others.

Phantom Lover: The Saga of the Lonely Life of a Kumu Hula (Hula Master) by A.J. Llewellyn

phantomEight years ago, I was visiting Lahaina, Maui when I encountered a painting in a gallery window on Front Street. The painting was called Spirit Lover and it captivated me and has held me in its grip ever since. In it, a young woman is in the arms of a powerful-looking Hawaiian man. He is striking. Solid. Masculine. He is all-consuming.
He is also a ghost.
During the day, the spirit lover’s body disappears below the waist. At night, in certain light, his bottom half reappears. I was fascinated by the painting and since I was staying nearby I kept coming to look at the painting day and night. And then an idea formed in my mind. The young man managing the gallery noticed me one morning he tried to interest me in buying the painting but I didn’t happen to have thousands of dollars loitering in my wallet.
But, as he lifted the painting out of the window and took it inside for me to look at it under special lights, I realized how magical that painting was and I could have wept for not having the money to buy it.
It gave me an idea, though. When I returned to my holiday house, I began work on Phantom Lover and created the story of a local hula master posing for a painting. I named him Kimo Wilder and he became real to me. No. He was larger than life to me. I have no idea where the story came from but a few days later I met a real hula dancer in Lahaina and he was training at a local halau, hula school, and he invited me to come and watch.
I met some wonderful teachers and dancers through him. I learned so much that I never knew about hula. For example, learning hula takes many, many years and requires great sacrifice. Dancers spend a long time away from their families to prepare for competition. It sometimes feels like they are preparing for battle.
Many young children in the islands are taught from an early age. In some areas, the children live with their teachers and fellow students in special schools. They are taught secrets about their culture that are taught by word of mouth since there was no written language until the missionaries came to the islands in the 1800s. The children’s talent is noticed at a young age.
Some hula is very painful, such as one performed on the knees. I watched as young girls cried rehearsing a long dance devoted to the goddess Hina (moon goddess), but they loved the dance. Loved the pain.
For a long time, Hawaiian language, music, dance, and literature were banned in the island state’s schools. Today, a huge movement is holding strong and the artists of the Hawaiian culture no longer practice in secret. The more I learned the more I wanted to know about the Hawaiian culture that it became more important than ever for me to create a character that was authentic to its religion and philosophy. Many of those friendships are still important to me today. I have maintained those ties and cherish them and still continue to learn the role of the male hula dancer in the world yesterday and today.
Hula dancers are storytellers.
They have in their hands and feet the heartbeat of their culture, the history, and their songs. The hula dancer conveys so much with the mere twitch of a finger, which is why people always say “keep your eyes on the hula dancer’s hands.”
I know I always do!
Here is a synopsis of Phantom Lover. It’s the first of 16 books in my series, which I am re-releasing through The Pele Press.
The rest will be coming soon. Once they are all released, I will be writing more. I am giving away 2 copies of the ebook, AND a copy of the audio book to two lucky readers so please post a comment telling me what you think of male dancers…and what do you think of hula?

Phantom Lover by A.J. Llewellyn

Purchase Link:
https://www.amazon.com/Phantom-Lover-Book-J-Llewellyn-ebook/dp/B01KCVLGNQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471830514&sr=8-1&keywords=phantom+lover+a.j.+llewellyn#nav-subnav

Synopsis:

Hawaiian hula dancer Bobby Kikawa has deep fantasies about the alluring, mysterious Kimo Wilder, a gifted kahuna and kumu hula, a hula master. He becomes even more fixated after Kimo poses for an erotic painting called Phantom Lover. He plans to seduce Kimo even though the man is straight, married and known for his extreme loyalty to his wife. 

Alone on a hot night after dance rehearsal on the big island of Hawaii, Bobby manages to persuade Kimo to let him service his neglected, extremely hungry passions. When the young dancer awakens a part of Kimo that nobody else ever has, Bobby both fears and welcomes the incredible power Kimo has over him. The legendary dancer inserts himself into Bobby’s life, but not everyone is happy about their burgeoning romance. 

Things go from one extreme to another with interference from family and friends. Are the men prepared to sacrifice everything for each other? Their red-hot fling threatens not only Kimo’s marriage but Bobby’s sanity when he discovers Kimo is a “Keeper of Secrets” in the Hawaiian culture…a man born of fire and hidden, taboo, dark magic the ancient Hawaiians called Lua. 

NOTE: This book was previously published. This reissued version of the book has been re-edited.

A.J. Llewellyn is the author of over 200 M/M romance novels, who was born in Australia, and lives in Los Angeles. An early obsession with Robinson Crusoe led to a lifelong love affair with islands, particularly Hawaii and Easter Island.
Being marooned once on Wedding Cake Island in Australia cured her of a passion for fishing, but led to a plotline for a novel. A.J.’s friends live in fear because even the smallest details of their lives usually wind up in her stories. A.J. has a desire to paint, draw, juggle, work for the FBI, walk a tightrope with an elephant, be a chess champion, a steeplejack, master chef, and a world-class surfer. She can’t do any of these things so she writes about them instead.
A.J. I started life as a journalist and boxing columnist, and still enjoys interrogating, er, interviewing people to find out what makes them tick.
Friend me/Find me:
email: ajllewellyn@gmail.com
website: http://www.ajllewellyn.com
http://www.facebook.com/aj.llewellyn
http://www.twitter.com/ajllewellyn
Newsletter sign-up: ajllewellynnewsletter@gmail.com – each month I give away a free ebook!
I’m an app! Download my FREE A.J. Llewellyn App for Android here: http://tinyurl.com/lkbc4wm

Guest Post by Aishlar Snow, Author of I Experimented Once In College

I-Experimented-OnceFS

PhD candidate William Yderis comes to Efeldon University to teach and finish his degree in charmcrafting. For methodical, sedate, and scholarly William, the school defies his expectations—and not in a good way. The biggest surprise comes when William meets his boss, absent-minded Archmage Taliesin Karsus, a man as infuriating as he is sexy.

As William struggles to carve out his place at the university, he is drawn in to Tal’s chaotic experiments… and drawn to Tal despite his logical mind’s protests. And if Tal’s wavering affection isn’t enough to complicate William’s studies, he uncovers a plot involving an ambitious staff member, brainwashed students, sexual assault, and a threat to the lives of everyone on campus. When it comes time to face the danger, William is on his own. For the first time in his life, he’ll have to trust in his heart instead of his head.

POST:

Hi there! I’m Aishlar Snow, author of I Experimented Once in College. Big thank you to The Kimi-chan Experience for giving me the opportunity to guest post here.

So what is I Experimented Once in College? Is it a romantic comedy, a good-versus-evil fantasy, a coming-of-age drama? Why not all three!

William Yderis comes to Efeldon University to earn his PhD and start an assistant professorship in the hopes that someday soon he can conduct his own research on magical objects. Instead of his professorship, though, he finds something entirely different waiting for him when he arrives – a job that’s more secretary than researcher, and a boss whose morals are immediately lacking.

Archmage Taliesin Karsus is not used to being questioned. An esteemed researcher, powerful mage, and head of the university board, Taliesin moves from one project to the next, as capricious as he is talented. Instead of the compliant, easily-cowed assistant he was expecting, though, he gets William – a man with actual research experience and a passion for rules and regulations.

When William and Taliesin clash, it brings more to the surface than two irreconcilable personalities. There is more to the archmage than William could have imagined, and Taliesin finds that his assistant is not so easily won. Add to that a plot against the school and corrupt magic, and William will have a lot more to contend with than Taliesin Karsus, and a lot more to learn than he thinks.

Why does William fall for Taliesin when he has every reason not to? He’s his boss, his opposite in every way, and there are far more important things to worry about than love when dark magic is about. Maybe it’s because Taliesin’s unpredictable, passionate nature awakens something in William that was long suppressed. Maybe it’s because William can sense that his presence changes the archmage in the same way. For all of their heated exchanges and difficulties understanding one another, they can both stand to learn something.

In that way, it really is a coming-of-age story on top of everything else. Universities, magical or non-magical, are places that take us and mold us into something new. William’s experiences at Efeldon University, even as a PhD student, are emblematic of that. The challenges, triumphs, and even the harsh adversities we may face are what develop us as individuals.

William faces more than his fair share of challenges in the fall semester, and it is up to him to overcome them and come out the other side a stronger person. Between assisting the archmage with experiments of dubious safety, dealing with his roommate – who has problems of his own – and battling an insidious plot against the school, it will take everything William has to succeed. Oh, yeah, and start his dissertation.

BUY LINKS:

Dreamspinner Press ebook

Amazon ebook

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AUTHOR BIO:

Aishlar Snow has been writing gay romance since high school, where a trusted teacher read one of her first works and encouraged her to pursue writing. Since then, she has earned a Masters in Library Science and has worked in a number of public libraries while writing. Aishlar presently works in an academic setting, from which she draws inspiration for her works.

The way to Aishlar’s heart is an easy one and includes pastries, coffee, and bad jokes. On her days off she can be found lounging in her royal harem-inspired room, watching Xena: Warrior Princess, or playing video-games. She cosplays casually, draws and paints (badly), and plays both the piano and ocarina.

Most of all, Aishlar enjoys fantasy settings and immersing herself in new worlds and characters. Her favorite worlds include those of Discworld, Wheel of Time, Star Wars, and Warcraft. She is always looking for a new book, show, or podcast to enjoy.See what’s moving forward at aishlarsnow.blogspot.com or contact Aishlar at aishlarsnow@gmail.com. She is always happy to hear from readers!

Guest Post by Phetra Novak, Author of Finding Home and Haven’s Revenge (Caddo Norse Series)

havens revenge

Norse mythology, actually most kind of mythology, has been a subject that have been close to my heart for most of my life. I am by far the least religious person you can find but the myths and lore about the vikings and Norse Gods, bloody as it may be has always put a thrill in me. And in a way I guess it is just the fact that it is more lore and folktales than religion that suits me. Because lore and folktales are more commonly known as tales, unlike religion that is taken as a fact and truth even though there’s nothing that proves that it is anything else but 95% lore too.The idea of turning Norse mythology and Native American lore into one well-oiled series was never really the plan, Haven was at the start, a Native American were

The idea of turning Norse mythology and Native American lore into one well-oiled series was never really the plan, Haven was at the start, a Native American were hunter who was going to have no other passion than traveling the roads like a nomad. His only mission in life that of killing off the entire shifter race because of what one crazed shifter did to his family and tribe. He was never meant to have a lover, a group of men and women who he considered his family, no his story was at the early stages of my brain’s development of this story a very solitude and dark life.

It wasn’t until I started plotting out his story that the idea of Norse Mythology and the Fenrir Ulv, being the ultimate father of all shifters, started to creep into my mind. First, the Fenrir Ulv was going to be the Ultimate shifter, as he still is, the father of all creation when it came to were shifters. He was meant to have been Haven’s ultimate challenge, who Haven, in the end, was meant to die from trying to kill, and who know’s he might just still do that, but all in all no matter what happens  the path Haven went down was nothing like I first anticipated or planned.

Native American lore and history have is another subject that has always been something that has fascinated me. Native Americans being the only real natives of the continent of North America, it’s always surprised me how little we see of that history there. They were there, living the earth, making homes and a living long before Columbus discovered the Americas and were and are a huge part, the essential part of North American history and still “the white” man’s minute long presence is what dominates our history books. With Haven’s Revenge, I wanted to change that, I wanted to make Native American history and lore a main part of the story.

Those who have read my books, and I guess especially those that have read my books and knows me, know’s I favor the underdog, the oddball, the grumpy goodhearted bastards of society who everyone else has lost faith in, those are the men and women I prefer since following the stream of political correctness has never really been my cup of tea. I can honestly say I despise political correctness for the sake of it because way too many people hide behind it and are allowed to act like cowards because of it.

Planning Haven’s Revenge, at the beginning, was fairly easy because his cause his reason was just going to be that of revenging his past with his acts of devotion to killing of every shifter till all of them were dead. It wasn’t until I reacquainted myself with the Fenrir Ulv and Norse Mythology, and my love for it came back to live that I started playing with the idea of making it part of the heart of my story. I mean killing the Fenrir off when he was such a cool myth and when it would be so much more fun and interesting to have him stay alive and for once being one of the good guys!

It is funny when it comes to Norse Mythology and Vikings, most people get it wrong, Thor and Odin, and even Loki always somehow become heroes like Superman or Batman. Bad boys with good guys heart when in reality all of them were if you read the Edda or other sources of Norse Mythology information, they were all evil and selfish bastards. And as for the Viking, there was nothing gentle or loving about them, they were all brutes. Barbarians.

Fated fuure

Being pretty familiar with Norse mythology researching it I knew what I was looking for and really just needed to look up details such as how the Fenrir Ulv was captured by the Asa Gods, where exactly he was held and how they drove that sword through his giant jaws. The point was to keep as much of the original lore as possible, to keep the realness of what most people know or what is known as the “truth” so that you would get that familiar feeling as you read the story. Besides the most complicated story keeps to the facts, when you start swaying out too much and you need to explain in too much great detail that is when the story is lost. At least in my eyes it is.

So, what happened between Haven being a pissed of forever lost were hunter with nothing else on his mind than prowling the land of the United States killing shifters and ending up as ranch hand training horses, being the candy of a farm boy’s eye and becoming the key to that farm boy’s future as the King of Wolves?

It is fairly stupid to call me romantic, because in reality I am not, I am way too cynical to be called romantic but I guess there’s a part of me, even if that part is fairly small, that still likes the idea of love like no other kind of love. The kind of love that will make you break all the rules, even your own, the kind of love that will get you through that long and dark tunnel and out into the light, the kind of love that makes you a possessive son of a gun and makes you wait forever and a lifetime just to be with that person for no other reason than that you have no room for anyone else. I guess a small part of me that exists out there at least for some people.

Mind you now I say love, not being in love, because even if the idea of being in love and the idea of that one perfect mate/lover/partner/second half (call it what you want) is something a lot of people hope is true, love can be any type of love it doesn’t have to be boy meets girl or boy meets boy. It can be the love between a parent and child, grandson, and grandfather and so on and so forth, and I think that you see all those kinds of loves all through Haven’s Revenge, that love is what love is and come in all different shapes and colors and none is better than the other just different.

As soon as I started to toy with the idea of making Thor and foremost Odin into the bad guys of my story and the Fenrir Ulv (and his siblings the Midgard Snake and Sleipnir) together into the good guys everything just sorts of fell into place all on its own. Coleman and Vojin they were the first characters to take form in my head, Vojin immediately being the key to the Native American lore of things.

To me, Native American culture and lore is a lot about self-discovery, about finding you inner strength, personal spirituality, and sacrifice. That you are willing to give up a lot of your own things to bring pleasure, happiness and safety for your people/family/tribe and at times that ultimate sacrifice is death itself but it is not feared because you are always protected by the spirit you made part of you. In Haven’s Revenge all of the Caddo community are a proof of this Zacharias, Haven’s father, death, Vojin being the link between the Caddo community, the Fenrir Ulv, and the Shifter council with the original eleven (twenty) cubs that were the children of the Caddo man who was the first man to ever be possessed by the Fenrir spirit and who managed to not go crazy.

The Caddo Norse story is the lack of a better word, a complex story, and I think that show’s in the criticism the book get both from people who love it and hate it, because the most common criticism it, or I have gotten, from readers and reviewers is that there’s “things” that doesn’t make sense like who the hell is Viktor and Hawk, the pop up and disappears and we don’t really great a grip on them, Vojin is essential to the story but we don’t see him enough, and this was supposed to be Haven’s and Alex’s story but it is stolen away because of all those other characters or their story was rushed (which I personally don’t get because it was dragged out to the point of almost becoming too much) but all these criticisms and others have answers.

The M/M Romance community is very used to, or spoiled (winks) with HEA’s with stories that start and ends with boy meets boy and then they live happily ever after. They are used to series where the MC are the main focus and there’s a new couple in each book and the couples from the past book or books only, if at all, makes small guest appearances. Not in mine, they don’t.

I don’t, only, write traditional romance stories, I obviously don’t mind them, but all my stories (with one exception of Finding Home) the main plot of the story isn’t love and getting the two MC’s together as a couple, they are a sidekick to the bigger picture, the red thread, the moral of the story which as in the Caddo Norse Novels is the war between the Asa Gods and the Fenrir Ulv/ Paranormal and human world. It is the war between good and evil, look and you shall find a lot of my own personal views on things all the good and all the evil represents real situations or people. What is the moral of the story? Characters pop up in Haven’s Revenge and disappears for a reason, we are shifted back and forth in time to show the reader historic events that have a purpose for the future.

And as for Haven and Alexander, whatever possessed you to think that their story was over to begin with? (Grins) There are load of things still going on with those two and their fate, their story, together as well as apart has only just begun (and that goes for Vojin too.)

finding home

Luca is a first year med student at the University of Gothenburg. He is following in his father’s footsteps, something he’d been programmed to do all his life. He lives a sheltered and still life, with no real friends. Luca would love to change that but doesn’t know how, since he always feels so odd around other people, like he doesn’t quite fit in. There’s so much inside him that wants out, like wanting to become a veterinarian more than a doctor. And the fact that he likes boys and not girls. But he doesn’t tell anyone about that—not even himself.

In comes Kai, an American cowboy in Gothenburg. He’s doing his thesis overseas to broadens his horizons before he does what he has always wanted to do, which is to go back home and run the family ranch. He just happens to see Luca one day leaving class and can’t stop watching the shy guy as he waded his way through the crowd with quick, silent steps, and his head down to avoid eye contact with anyone. For weeks Kai watches him from a distance, trying to figure out how to approach him.
Had he known that spilled coffee and slippery, awkward book bags would have gotten him close to the guy, he might have physically bumped into him a long time ago.

Finding Home is a book with star-crossed lovers meeting and the evil mind of the wicked witch in the west threatening to crush young love’s every dream!

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About the Author

Phetra often refers to herself as the odd man out, the dorky book nerd who rather spend her time with a good book or making up fantastic stories with even more fantastic characters, than live in the real world dealing with real people. 

The real world is strange, in a very non humorous way, and people in it complicates it to the point of wearing you out. In the world of the written word, no matter if it is in someone else’s words or that of her own things might get busy, complicated, and sometime even plain painful, but somewhere along the line there is always a hero on the horizon. He might not be prime or proper, a church going pretty boy since the author prefer rebellious men and women who don’t follow the protocols of society.
 
One of her favorite saying are that only dead fish follow the stream and well she ain’t no dead fish. 

Phetra live together with her family, two children, a domestic partner and their two cats in Gothenburg, Sweden and when reading her books you will notice that she always finds a way of bringing her on culture into her books. 

The joy of writing and reading comes from her childhood and is something she has always loved, something she is passionate to share with others. Phetra loves hearing from her readers even with ideas of what they want to come next. 

If you are looking for her, the best place to start looking is at home in the quietest corner of the house, where she’ll be curled up with either her Kindle reading or with her laptop typing away.

You can also find Phetra at:

Amazon author page: Phetra H. Novak

Webpage: http://www.phetranovak.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PhetraNovak
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/phetra.hedlund
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14436714.Phetra_H_Novak

 

Blind Devotion (Shifters Book 3) by MD Grimm

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blind devotionBlurb

“The Shifters: Book Three”

In Haven, Montana, the shifters and their human allies are safe-for now. But that safety hinges on the town’s location remaining a secret, and it’s about to be compromised.

Cougar shifter Travis Kuger spent the past ten years alternating between craving revenge and wishing he could forget his painful past. Ever since the shifter-hating Knights blinded him and killed his family, Haven-and Sheriff Jack Ulger-have been Travis’s refuge.

Travis and Jack know their friendship could be much more, but Jack is part of Haven’s ruling wolf shifter pack. If he takes a non-wolf mate, he’ll be banished forever. But when one of the Knights infiltrates Haven, love becomes the least of their problems.

Review

Travis is hurt by a group of hunters who hate shifters. He finds his way to Haven, a place where shifters can be safe. He is befriended by Jack, but resists anything more because he’s afraid to love again. He lost his entire family to the hunters and can’t risk that kind of emotion again.

Jack has been slowly falling for Travis, for years. But he can’t be with someone not a wolf shifter and still be in the pack’s good graces.

When danger comes to Haven, Travis and Jack are forced to admit their feelings and fight for their right to be together – both against the pack and their own worries.

**

This was a really sweet, slow burn love story. Though there is some danger and some struggle against the pack, most of this is the two of them getting to know one another and slowly growing from friends to lovers.

I love that their pull is as strong as any “True Mate” type attraction, though that isn’t the case. I also loved the magicky stuff the Agency people add to the mix.

I really appreciated the slow pace and easy love in this story and am excited to read the sequel! (I haven’t read books one and two but will absolutely do that now, the continuing saga with the Agency and the Knights is very compelling.)

4 of 5 hearts

4

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Cronin’s Key III by N.R. Walker Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway

RC

 

Pages or Words: 58,800 words

Excerpt:
CHAPTER ONE

Alec sat back in the chair and held in a sigh, feeling every bit the lab rat he’d become. Since he’d become a vampire a year ago, he’d been put through test after test, so each and every one of his unending list of talents could be explored and documented.
He’d agreed to this, and he knew it was the right thing to do, but in that very moment, he wished to be doing anything else.
And with talents for making errant thoughts an instant reality—like setting fire to sofas and making Xbox controllers explode in Eiji’s hand because he’d somehow won—it wasn’t a good frame of mind to be in.
He loved Jodis. He really did. She had become one of his best friends. But she’d also taken it upon herself to document his talents, and he’d just about had enough for one day. If replicating wasn’t a talent so frowned upon in the vampire world, he’d make a copy of himself to endure Jodis’ tests while he and Cronin hid out in their bedroom. He’d replicated himself a few times, experimentally of course, and found it too taxing on himself anyway.
“Can you do it again?” she asked, notepad and pen in hand.
Alec had found a certain talent he’d dubbed the chameleon, for obvious reasons, because he could make things change color. It was absurd, really, and probably of no better use than a party trick. But he could, if he concentrated, turn a red pen blue or a white shirt black. The talent could only manifest by touch, and it lasted only a few minutes before returning to its original color, but Jodis was rather intrigued.
Alec, on the other hand, had passed bored like it was standing still and was well on his way to irate. “Jodis, I’ve kinda had enough of this today.”
“Last one, I promise.”
For Alec, it wasn’t so much as reining in a temper anymore, where the most damage done was a cutting remark. Now it was keeping a lid on a few dozen talents that reacted poorly to anger. He only had to get really pissed off and a rage would barrel out of him like nuclear fallout, literally knocking humans and vampires off their feet. Or he could burst eardrums with a furious roar, or maybe he could turn them to stone, or dust. Or maybe, just maybe, he could rip an earthquake through the apartment so he didn’t have to do any more of these stupid fucking tests.
“Alec,” Eleanor cautioned from the next room.
“I wasn’t actually going to do that,” he replied petulantly. He knew Eleanor, with the gift of foresight, saw possible outcomes of decisions made, and that did nothing to quell his frustration. “Jesus, now my thoughts aren’t even my own.” Standing up, he snatched the purple notebook off the desk, holding it for half a second and slamming it back down. It was now black, as was every page inside it, and it was smoldering as though it almost caught fire.
Cronin was suddenly in front of him, a hand cupped to his face. “He’s had enough,” he said to Jodis, and they disappeared.
* * * *
As soon as Alec’s feet hit the soft earth, he took a deep breath of fresh air and reveled in the silence.
His life hadn’t exactly been quiet in the last twelve months.
He felt the warmth of Cronin’s hand in his, smelled the sweet aromas of heath and moss from both the vampire beside him and the cool air of the long-abandoned battlefield, and Alec exhaled loudly.
Cronin had somehow learned to quiet his mind a little and it gave Alec the silence he so desperately needed. In the last twelve months, Cronin had taken Alec on more time-outs than he could count. Knowing when he’d had enough and was reaching breaking point, Cronin would simply remove Alec from the situation, leaping him somewhere quiet where his mind could have some much needed solitude. But with a gentle squeeze of his hand, Cronin reassured him he was there.
“I’m sorry,” Alec said.
“Don’t apologize,” Cronin said adamantly. “I can’t begin to imagine your frustrations.”
“Jodis is only trying to help. I behaved badly.” He could very well speak words directly into Jodis’ mind and tell her privately that he was sorry. But he’d prefer not invade the thoughts of others, preferring to apologize in person.
“She understands,” Cronin said, trying to pacify him.
Alec sighed loudly and allowed the quiet to envelope him. “I love it here,” he said eventually.
The field at Dunadd, Scotland, had become a sanctuary for Alec. No voices in his head, no city of millions with flurrying thoughts unbidden through his mind, no politics of vampire councils, no meetings, no one hovering.
Just Cronin.
“It affords you a great privacy,” Cronin said. His Scottish accent and formal tone still made Alec smile. “Your talents as a vampire are a burdensome gift.”
Alec had learned very early on to block out the voices and thoughts of those around him, but living in a city of millions made it a constant effort, and his display of anger at Jodis just minutes ago bothered him. “These talents are a pain in my ass.”
Cronin laughed quietly. “Your control over them still astounds us all.”
“The control you keep talking about is a talent in itself. It’s like casting a net over a thousand different fish.” Alec sighed loudly. “I’ve told you that before.”
“I know. Though it amazes me still.” Cronin squeezed Alec’s hand again and looked out across the field of long grass to the line of trees that fronted the river. “Lie down with me.”
Cronin simply lay flat on his back in the middle of the field and when Alec lay down next to him, Cronin snatched up Alec’s hand again. And together in the mind-clearing silence, they watched the blanket of stars glide across the sky.
It was a clear autumn night in Scotland, cold and dark. Neither of those things impeded a vampire of course, and Alec would never tire of the simple changes he’d gone through when he became a vampire. It was the complex changes he was beginning to struggle with. The talents he’d been given made him unique: the only vampire ever to have all vampire talents, some he was still discovering a year after his change. It was these talents that made his life hectic, his obligations as the key to the vampire world that gave him a great responsibility, and as Cronin had said, it was becoming a great burden.
Alec loved that Cronin would leap them to the very field where his human life had ended. The old battlefield in Scotland was also where they’d first made love, where they came to talk, to be by themselves. Like now.
“Thank you for bringing me here,” Alec whispered, his anger and frustration from before almost gone. “I feel like I can breathe here.”
“Is that not what husbands do?” Cronin asked with a smile. “Save the other from the myriad of madness?”
“Husbands,” Alec said, bringing Cronin’s knuckles up to his lips and kissing them softly. “Now that is something I’ll never tire of.”

Buy the book:

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About the author:
N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.
She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.
She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.
She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love.
She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.
She’s been writing ever since…
Where to find the author:
Website

Facebook

Facebook Author Page

Facebook Fan Page

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26107909-cronin-s-key-iii

Publisher: BlueHeart Press
Cover Artist: Sara York

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Demon of Mine by Rayna Vause

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DemonOfMineBlurb

Climbing the corporate ladder can be hell….

As a Collections Demon, Zavier grants his “clients” one wish in exchange for their souls. His job sucks, but once you make a deal with Corporate South, they own you. The trouble is, Zavier’s not a very good Collections Demon, with his tendencies to spurn authority and find loopholes to help deserving clients out of their contracts. He’s under scrutiny from the head of his department, who would quite literally like to see him burn. He just needs to close a simple deal to get upper management off his back. Instead, he meets Ryan.

Ryan is desperately searching for a way to save his dying sister. He doesn’t believe in magic and demons, but he’s out of options. Zavier’s not what he expects in a demon, and even more unexpected is the strong sense of familiarity—very intimate familiarity.

While trying to free Ryan from his contract, Zavier discovers secrets unscrupulous even by South standards. Exposing them could cost Zavier everything, but it might be Ryan’s only hope.

Review
(Warning, spoilers.)

Ryan’s sister is dying of cancer – in a desperate move he makes a deal with a demon for his soul in exchange for her health. Zavier is the demon called on to make the deal, only Zavier and Ryan have a history.

Together they realize that all is not how it seems and that even in “hell” mistakes can be made. With some help from a friend in high places, they find a way to beat the system and try for a second chance at a lifetime together.

**

I see that I might be in the minority here, and I really wanted to like this book, but I didn’t.

The pluses: I liked the characters: Ryan is funny but nicely stubborn and not always in a good way. Zavier is impetuous but has a heart full of love. Adrian is appropriately mysterious and sexy and I hope he gets his own book next. Maggie is sweet and supportive. Serena and Mr. Simon are good at being bad.

The minuses: There were so many plot holes I couldn’t keep track. There seemed to be no “rules” in this alternate reality where hell is like a corporation that deals in souls but still makes people work every day in a remarkably “earth” like environment. I didn’t get it. How is it selling your soul to be granted an eternal life with an apartment and a job and restaurants and… ? It didn’t make sense.

Then there’s the “clerical error” thing… huh? How is that not monitored and fixed and isn’t there some sort of checks and balances going on? If not a heaven/God, then what do the angels do? Why in the world would that even happen and since it did how do you explain Ryan and his “deal” the first time around? Who is keeping track and promoting people? Surely there is some “higher being or thing” keeping track of this stuff. Why wouldn’t they catch all these mistakes and misdeeds? I just didn’t understand the corporation analogy.

I also didn’t get Jason’s role at all. If he’s such a good friend why in the hell would he recommend Ryan sell his soul in the first place? And once he realized that he had wouldn’t he be overcome with guilt? And how is he allowed to “know” all about demons now?

Then there’s the bickering between the two lovers about which Ryan is the real guy… come on, really? There isn’t enough to fight against, we have to fight over an earlier incarnation?

To me this story needed someone sitting down and simply pointing out plot inconsistencies. It bugged me so much that I was completely thrown from the story over and over to the point that I didn’t really care about Ryan and Zavier making it because the whole thing was so implausible to begin with (even given a total acceptance of demons and souls and angels and magic etcetera).

So, I will be a voice of dissention, but I cannot recommend this but give it 2 of 5 hearts for the attempt, the cover and the original idea.

2

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