They Were Brought to RACK & RUIN–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review of Charlie Cochet’s RACK & RUIN, the third book in her THIRDS series. (Ha!) Anywho, I’m a devoted fan of this yummy M/M, paranormal, police, shifter series. You may recall I reviewed the first two books…HELL & HIGH WATER and BLOOD & THUNDER and found them thoroughly awesome. There’s police activity, and M/M lovin’ and shifting, and a whole lot of plot that is only helped by the romance and humorous antics of Dexter J Daley, human member of the Destructive Delta THIRDS team and main character of the books.

Rack & Ruin (THIRDS, #3)About the book:
New York City’s streets are more dangerous than ever with the leaderless Order of Adrasteia and the Ikelos Coalition, a newly immerged Therian group, at war. Innocent civilians are caught in the crossfire and although the THIRDS round up more and more members of the Order in the hopes of keeping the volatile group from reorganizing, the members of the Coalition continue to escape and wreak havoc in the name of vigilante justice.

Worse yet, someone inside the THIRDS has been feeding the Coalition information. It’s up to Destructive Delta to draw out the mole and put an end to the war before anyone else gets hurt. But to get the job done, the team will have to work through the aftereffects of the Therian Youth Center bombing. A skirmish with Coalition members leads Agent Dexter J. Daley to a shocking discovery and suddenly it becomes clear that the random violence isn’t so random. There’s more going on than Dex and Sloane originally believed, and their fiery partnership is put to the test. As the case takes an explosive turn, Dex and Sloane are in danger of losing more than their relationship.

My Review:
Here’s the thing: this book is gooooood. But the end made me FREAK the F@CK OUT.

Dex and Sloane are having a covert relationship. Which makes for lots of fun stealth hook-ups. About the relationships: Sloane and Ash are both Therian shifters who actually grew up together in the pre-THIRDS program. They suffered a lot, as the Powers That Be examined them, learned how the Therians worked, how they shifted, and taught them to control the beast within. It was terrifying, and Sloane is scared that Dex will leave him if he knows the truth about his history.

Thing is, Dex couldn’t care less. Well, that’s not entirely true. He cares about Sloane being happy. If Sloane’s past makes Sloane pensive, or angry, closed off, well then Dex cares. But details about Sloane’s mistakes as a scared child? Pfft. Nada worries.

Can I say I love Dex? I may be a human woman, and therefore thoroughly unattractive to this fictional gay man, but I swoon for him, nonetheless. He is just so fun, and flirty and intriguing. I guess that’s why everyone (excepting Ash) adores him. #GuiltyAsCharged

In this episode we also have Cael, Dex’s foster brother, revealing his deep affection for Ash–and Ash being a bigger total D-bag than usual. Which is saying a lot because Ash is a D-bag all the time.  Okay, I do love Ash, too, because I understand that he’s been broken, but it takes a good bit of love to consider that his turn-coatery is actually much more than it appears. And, his repulsion of Cael’s affection is for Cael’s own good. Mostly because loving Ash is more difficult and painful than hugging a Saguaro cactus.

The plain truth is, rogue Therians are executing humans who did a whole lot of Therian killing in the big skirmishes years ago, and it’s up to Dex, Sloane and Destructive Delta crew to ride point on the capture. This is made more complicated by the revelation that a mole exists within THIRDS and all the opportunities to apprehend the offenders result in chasing smoke on the wind.

This thoroughly realized action-adventure-shifter-police procedural-gay-romance is sure to satisfy the most genre-confused among us. And, I’m so eager for the next novel in the series I’m having trouble holding back the begging to Ms. Cochet. Good thing she throws out short THIRDS vignettes every Thursday on her blog. It’s like a weekly hit of my fave fictional drug, which softens the withdrawal symptoms just enough to manage.

Back to my post-book freak out… here’s how I felt when I ended the book:  SLOANE!!!!

Interested? You can find RACK & RUIN on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Dreamspinner Press. In fact it’s on sale at Dreamspinner (25% off) through today–as are all the books in the THIRDS series.

CCochet100Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest | THIRDS HQ | Newsletter
Email: charlie@charliecochet.com

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Yay! GLITTER AND GRIT is LIVE!

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In need of a new cowboy in your life? Jessie Evans’ GLITTER AND GRIT releases today and we couldn’t be more excited for everyone to meet Grayson!

 

GaG AmazonGRSWAbout GLITTER AND GRIT

* *20% OFF for the first weeks following release in a limited time Reader Appreciation Sale!* *

A sexy small town romance from New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jessie Evans

This ride is going to last a lot longer than eight seconds…

Female professional bull rider, Reece Hearst, graduated from the school of hard knocks. With honors. Because life is like bull riding–when it sends you to the dirt, you do whatever it takes to get on your feet, even if you have to crawl. Like when officials stripped her of her rodeo queen title on the basis of vicious gossip years ago and not even her father would believe her side of the story. Reece could have stayed in the dust, wallowing. Instead, she fixed Lonesome Point in her rearview, joined the pro circuit, and never looked back. But now a serious injury threatens to end her career and she’s back in Lonesome Point, living next door to the family that once made her life a living hell.

After multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan and his father’s death, all Grayson Parker wants is to get his family’s cattle business back in the black and live a quiet life. But the return of Reece Hearst opens old wounds, throwing his ordered world into chaos. Grayson was serving overseas when Reece was a teenager and can’t believe the girl he once knew has grown into a heartbreaker as hardened as she is beautiful.

Grayson finds a kindred spirit in wounded Reece and soon longs to be the man to show her that there is life after pain and loss. But can two people as damaged as Reece and Grayson find their way to happily ever after? Or will the scars on their hearts forever keep them apart?

Add it to your Goodreads list here!

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About Jessie Evans

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessie Evans, gave up a career as an international woman of mystery to write the sexy, contemporary Southern romances she loves to read.

She’s married to the man of her dreams, and together they’re raising a few adorable, mischievous children in a cottage in the jungle. She grew up in rural Arkansas, spending summers running wild, being chewed by chiggers, and now appreciates her home in a chigger-free part of the world even more.

When she’s not writing, Jessie enjoys playing her dulcimer (badly), sewing the worlds ugliest quilts to give to her friends, going for bike rides with her house full of boys, and drifting in and out on the waves, feeling thankful for sun, surf, and lovely people to share them with.

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Fun and Heat in TO ROME WITH LUST–Review and Giveaway

releaseblitz_rome

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a super steamy erotic read from KD Grace. TO ROME WITH LUST is the third book in The Mount series, and takes place in beautiful Rome. There are so many smexytimes, I was overwhelmed…in the good way.

To Rome With Lust: - The Mount SeriesAbout the Book:
The adventure that Rita Holly began in The Mount in London and Nick Chase took up in Vegas continue with journalist Liza Calendar, when a sizzling encounter with perfumer Paulo ‘The Nose’ Delacour, leaves them both in sexy olfactory heaven.

The heir of Martelli Fragrance, Paulo wants Liza’s magnificently sensitive nose to help develop Martelli’s controversial new line. What Liza doesn’t know is Paulo’s secret weapon – Martelli Fragrance is the front for The Mount, an ancient sex cult of which Paulo is a member. He plans to use the scent of sex to enhance Martelli’s new Innuendo line, and as Liza and Paulo sniff out the most potent aphrodisiac, they become their own lab rats – discovering just how well their perfume works. But when the perfume formulas are stolen and the blame lies at Liza’s feet, she and Paulo must find the culprit and prove Liza’s innocence before more is exposed than just secret formulas.

My Review:
This was a super fun read. If I had a guilty pleasure genre, which I don’t, I’d say lighthearted erotica would be it. Sure, everybody swoons for the BDSM stuff now, but there something to be said for copious amounts of vanilla lovin’ too.

To be fair, this book has a bit of Dom/sub, but it’s like one scene. The rest? So much lovely smexy. And the story? FUN!

Liza has a super nose. For real. She can smell the bitterness of a person’s anger, and the tangy scent of arousal. This is often a real challenge for her, as she can barely find a man whose scent she can tolerate–her current long-distance “BF” actually makes her sneeze. Well, he did until she found him diddling another gal and she booked it to Rome, on assignment. See, Liza’s a reporter, and she’s doing a feature on Martelli fragrances. On the trip she encounters a man whose scent is so erotic she cannot bear to be away from him.

And the feeling is mutual for Paulo.

Paulo knows a good nose–and Liza continues to amaze him, not only with her ability to experience scent, but with her sexual appetite as well. Together, they are an unstoppable force, sniffing out the pheromones of sex to build the sexiest of aroma combinations to build a line of perfumes. Liza takes it as a personal challenge, knowing it’ll make the absolute best article, but a deep bond is building between herself and Paulo, too. Looks like life is coming up roses…

Well, except for the stolen formulas.

Expect menage. Expect espionage. Expect smexytimes. Expect voyeurism. This is a flirty, fun read with a plot that cracks along. Read with an open mind.

Interested? You can find TO ROME WITH LUST on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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a $50 Amazon gift card.
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Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:

Voted ETO Best Erotic Author of 2014, K D Grace believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?

When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening. When she’s not gardening, she’s walking. She walks her stories, and she’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She also enjoys martial arts, reading, watching the birds and anything that gets her outdoors.

K D has erotica published with SourceBooks, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, Sweetmeats Press and others.

K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Witches trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available.

K D Grace also writes hot romance as Grace Marshall. An Executive Decision, Identity Crisis, The Exhibition are all available.

Find KD online on her websites: KD GRAGE and GRACE MARSHALL, hanging with the Brit Babes, on Facebook, twitter and Pinterest.

He’s KING DORK, APPROXIMATELY–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a newly released contemporary YA title from Frank Portman. KING DORK APPROXIMATELY is a sequel, and I haven’t read the previous title, but that’s cool. Because this book sucked me in, and I didn’t miss out.

King Dork ApproximatelyAbout the book:

From Frank Portman comes the long-awaited sequel to the beloved cult classic King Dork, of which John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars, said, “Basically, if you are a human being with even a vague grasp of the English language, King Dork will rock your world.”

Aside from the stitches and the head wound, Tom Henderson is the same old King Dork. He’s still trying to work out who to blame for the new scar on his forehead, the memory loss, and his father’s mysterious death. But illicit female hospital visitations, The Catcher in the Rye, and the Hillmont High sex-pocalypse have made him a new man.

What doesn’t make you stronger can kill you, though, and tenth grade, act two, promises to be a killer. Tom’s down one bloodstained army coat, one Little Big Tom, and two secret semi-imaginary girlfriends. Now his most deeply held beliefs about alphabetical-order friendship, recycling, school spirit, girls, rock and roll, the stitching on jeans, the Catcher Code, and the structure of the universe are about to explode in his face. If only a female robot’s notes could solve the world’s problems, he’d have a chance. But how likely is that?  

King Dork Approximately–it feels like the first time. Like the very first time.

My Review:
It’s 1999 and Tom Henderson is a kid with a conspiracy-filled brain. He’s sure one of his former teachers killed his father years ago. This is based upon a whacked-out Catcher Code he believes said-teacher followed, and he’s convinced the ‘psychotic normals’ are after him. Case in point: he had previously been attacked by a tuba-wielding mob and had his head bashed open.

While recovering from this horrific attack, Tom spends time with his bandmates, Sam Hellerman and Shinefield, composing horrid music (with abhorrent drumming) and assembling his case against the universe for his oppression and the (possible) murder of his father. Tom weathers the Y2K-Not-Meltdown, but big change is on the horizon for King Dork–Hillmont High, scene of his hazing and serial brutality at the hands of the normals, is closing.

Oh, and King Dork has other big news:

I did it. With a girl.

And maybe you’re thinking I’m just being cagey, and it will turn out that the “it” that was done, with the girl, by me, was something like baking cookies, or playing Monopoly, or fetching a pail of water from the old well up the hill. But I assure you, it means what people usually mean by “it.”

So! This adventure takes us through the vagaries of Tom’s completely plain life, in a way that is spectacularly textured. Tom’s agitated and verbose narration is a feat of ingenuity. The way he describes his school’s use of alphabetically ordered seating, is well…

The state, having determined that its interests would be best served by turning the lives of its citizens into a living nightmare at as early an age as possible, had entrusted the day-to-day soul-crushing process to the Santa Carla County School District. And the District found that its iron fist could most efficiently grind the aforementioned could into a fine, terrified, inert paste if the bodies they animated were clearly marked and organized in a rigid, alphabetically ordered grid, like books or socket sets, or fireworks.

Tom’s home life is in more dire straights than normal: his apathetic mother is more so, and his sunshiney, platitude-spouting step-father Little Big Tom has moved out due to unknown causes, though his sister, Amanda is sure it’s because of some panties in a gym bag–not that Tom gives Amanda’s theory any credence.

In Tom’s new school, he’s not the King Dork. He’s a Bone, trombone, that is, and part of the Pep Band, because, astoundingly, Clearview High has…pep.

I had long ago given up trying to discern any hint of sarcasm, or mockery, or even mild irony in this sort of behavior at Clearview High School: there really wasn’t any. These people, as crazy as it seems, really were this into it, and the “it” they were into, believe it or not, was simply high school. Damnedest thing I ever did see.

While engaging at Clearview, Tom finds himself a friend, Roberta, the Female Robert, and her best-ish pal, Pammelah, who inexplicably becomes Tom’s girlfriend.

The story is basically about Tom coming to terms with life, finally fitting in (sorta), being ostracized yet again, and realizing that his take of the universe is subject to re-evaluation from time to time. He invests himself in his music, and finds a better path, as it were. Plus, he makes out a lot with Pammelah, which is pretty cool for a 15 y/o boy.

The side characters are rendered so caringly. Sad-sack Little Big Tom and his uber-paranoid friend Flapjack who make attempts to teach Tom to play guitar. Sam Hellerman, and his pill-popping, motivational tape listening ways pining for a girlfriend. Even Roberta the Female Robert (who later becomes the Female Robot in Tom’s head) is fleshed out in girly-notes that are harrowing and hysterical at the same time.

I loved the voice, but sometimes I got lost in the long-winded sentence structure and had to re-read. Tom is an engaging narrator. And I mean that literally: he talks to the reader directly, all the time, which is a fun style for me. I dug the references about music and vinyl and Y2K and clunky cellphones, and I imagine other readers will as well, if not for nostalgia, simply because Tom makes it all so ludicrous and funny. Poor Sam, with his expensive phone and no one to call him becomes a running joke, and one I think tech-savvy teens today might find amusing. The whole awkwardness angle, and being a hopeless “dork” in the pre-anti-bullying timescape is mercilessly exploited what with the ‘psychotic normals’ always on the prowl. Tom’s deadpan wit was so cutting, I’d nearly hurt myself laughing, at points. I really enjoyed the book, and expect teen readers will, too.

Interested? You can find KING DORK APPROXIMATELY on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other outlets, undoubtedly. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends! :)

They Found WHERE DARKNESS LIES–Review and Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m joining in the release party for Bella Jewel’s newest release, WHERE DARKNESS LIES. This New Adult romance puts contemporary pirates in a sexy new light.

About the book:
Anger and pain brought them together, but their passion might just set them free.
Dimitri wants only one thing: revenge. His stepfather, Hendrix, has caused him nothing but pain and heartache. At last Dimitri can take something—someone—important to Hendrix and make him pay: Jess.

Jess is feisty and strong headed. Her past haunts her and connects her to the dangerously dark Dimitri in an unexpected way. Dimitri keeps his secrets locked deep inside, and Jess is drawn to this broken man like no one before.

With little to cling to besides their haunting pasts, both could have been doomed to lives spent raging against the darkness that holds them prisoner. Instead, it seems that as their pain draws them closer together, it is their desire that will set them free.

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review:
Jess and Dimitri suffered horrific abuse in their youth. Jess blames her foster father, while Dimitri blames Hendrix–his stepfather. The difference? Jess manages, and Dimitri doesn’t.

He kidnaps Jess from Hendrix’s ship, sure that Hendrix will come after her and the showdown will ensue, but Dimitri isn’t satisfied–in the least. He has to keep Jess near him at all times, fearing she’ll escape, and this puts a serious cramp in Dimitri’s smexytimes with his cadre of gals. Jess is attractive to Dimitri, but she’s not the whore he took her for.

See, Jess hasn’t willingly given herself to a man, ever. She didn’t think she’d ever want to, not after Roger ruined her, but something about the sheer masculinity of Dimitri calls to her. She can see he’s been broken before–the way he won’t let people touch him is a sign with which she can empathize–and she wants to help him get over his hatred of Hendrix. After all, Hendrix is like the father Jess never had. He protected her when she was alone and floundering and Jess has a strong kinship to him.

I’ll admit, I thought this would be a Regency romance, with swashbuckling and high seas raiding. It’s not. It’s kinda FIGHT CLUB meets 50 SHADES with boats thrown in. I liked the slow build of the affection between Dimitri and Jess, and also her steadfast loyalty to Hendrix. Jess’ relentless pursuit of understanding gets Dimitri out of revenge mode, but it’s a hard battle. It’s a fun read with a dash of drama and a double kidnapping that turns a meek gal into a hellcat cage fighter. Well, for a short while anyway. Decent heat, with flawed, yet likable, characters.

Interested? You can find WHERE DARKNESS LIES on AMAZON: US, UK, and AU, as well as Barnes & Noble.


Also Available: Book One in the CRIMINAL OF THE OCEAN series:

ENSLAVED BY THE OCEAN. This book is the love story between Hendrix and Indigo. I haven’t read it, but imagine this book flows right into WHERE DARKNESS LIES.

You can find it on AMAZON: US, UK, and AU and well as Barnes & Noble.

 

 

****GIVEAWAY****
Click the Raffle Copter link below for your chance to win

a signed paperback copy of WHERE DARKNESS LIES

Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author
Bella Jewel is a self published, USA Today bestselling author. She’s been publishing since 2013. Her first release was a contemporary romance, Hell’s Knights which topped the charts upon release. Since that time, she has published over five novels, gaining a bestseller status on numerous platforms. She lives in North Queensland and is currently studying editing and proofreading to further expand her career. Bella has been writing since she was just shy of fifteen years old. In Summer 2013 she was offered an ebook deal through Montlake Romance for her bestselling modern day pirate series, Enslaved By The Ocean. She plans to expand her
writing career, planning many new releases for the future.

You can catch up with Bella online on her website, Facebook, Amazon, Goodreads and Twitter.

Happy Book Birthday DEBT COLLECTOR: SEASON TWO–Review and Giveaway

The Debt Collector Season 2 Blitz Banner 851 x 315 copy

Hi there! Today I get to share the love for a dear friend’s newest release. Susan Kaye Quinn is an indie juggernaut and the variety in her books gives me the chance to dip my toes into several genres, at once. The Debt Collector is an on-going serial novel released in five “seasons” and today the final episode in Season Two is released. Also, you can now purchase the entire Season Two in one single download!

Debt Collector Season 2 CoverOPTIONED FOR VIRTUAL REALITY BY IMMERSIVE ENTERTAINMENT

2014 Semi-Finalist in Science Fiction in the Kindle Book Awards
The nine episodes of Season Two of the Debt Collector serial are collectively 125k words or about 500 pages.

About the book:
What’s your life worth on the open market?
In this gritty urban fantasy, debt collectors take your life energy and give it to someone more “worthy”… all while paying the price with black marks on their souls.

Wraith is a shadow in the night, haunting the bedrooms of the rich “high potentials” who have stolen life energy from the desperate and dying. The justice and the sweet mercy hit that follow keep her from falling into her own personal abyss.

Her secret nighttime work also keeps her on level for her real mission: carrying on her father’s legacy of attempting to bring an end to debt collection as a whole. But when a mysterious debt collector interrupts her in the act and discovers her secret, everything Wraith loves may be destroyed by the one thing she can never fix– the original sin of being a debt collector herself.

How about an Excerpt?

My new collection suit weighs less than a shadow on my skin, and my soft-soled boots don’t even whisper as I creep across the thick, yielding carpet of my target’s apartment. With the best bullet-resistant synthetics money can buy, the black curve-hugging suit makes me look more like female-special-forces than someone’s hot date for the night. It raised the bellman’s eyebrows, but an untraceable debit card got me waved through the lobby, no problem. Money buys a lot of things. Access to one of the highest-security luxury buildings in LA. A ninety-fifth-floor apartment high above the smog-soaked city, complete with all the clean air you can breathe. And the no-doubt illegal collection of ivory-handled daggers I passed on the way in. It’s too bad for data-mining mogul Adrien Odel that money can’t buy your way out of a blackened soul.

I know.

I’ve tried.

And tonight I’ve come to collect a debt he doesn’t even think he owes.

Outside the floor-to-ceiling windows of Odel’s apartment, the city is lit up with a nighttime electric haze, the kind that makes it look seedy even in the high-rent district. It’s the perfect backdrop for a collection, and my suit is a black silhouette against it, a hole of death punched in the city’s twinkling lights. The high-tech fabric clings to me like the original sin I can never expiate, the one every debt collector is born with: the ability to deliver death with the slightest touch. We traffic in it, surround ourselves with it, and can never escape it.

Not that I haven’t tried that, too.

But even a short three-week dry spell away from collecting has me needy as all hell. The craving for a life energy hit claws at my back, and every step across the carpet amps up the desire. Even the possibility of Odel pulling a gun and shooting me dead hypes the thrill a little. My palm aches in anticipation—for the justice and the high that comes with it—but I take it slow, watching the placement of my feet and checking the windows. Along one edge, next to a mile-wide screen and some pretentious artwork, there’s a control panel. Only the rich want windows that open in the city, but it’s a bonus for me, especially given the windows face the broad expanse of the skyline and not the high-rise next door.

As I check out the control panel, the high-rise becomes a peep show. A woman’s naked body is pressed against the glass, exposed to the city’s onlookers as a man clutches her bare skin and makes love to her. I’m transfixed by the way they move, skin against skin, without care for the contact or the watchers. In a moment, they’re gone. Maybe reason broke through the passion. Maybe the glass was cold, in spite of the perpetual heat of LA.
Regardless, the image holds me hostage.

Having a lover isn’t something that’s part of my future. Or my present, for that matter. But that doesn’t stop the base need from surging up, usually at the least convenient of times. Then a different image—a cold, pale specter from my past—crawls out of the dark corners of my mind and reminds me I’m not the kind of woman who gets to have a normal life. I’m the kind who takes life and then gives it away. And the ecstasy of that is the closest I’ll ever get to the normal kind again—so it had better be good enough.

I couldn’t stomach even that pleasure for a while, not after what the debt collectors did to my father. I managed a whole three weeks without a single collection. But in the end, it’s the only thing that keeps me stable. And I’ve had a severe lack of stable ever since my father’s death nearly tore down the teetering scaffold of lies that comprises my life. That’s when the abyss reared up and stared me full in the face. Will-power alone wasn’t enough to stop it—the darkness just opened its maw and threatened to swallow me whole. At least that would have put an end the torment… but I couldn’t let the sin of who I am destroy everything my father had worked for. That we had both worked for. So here I am, dressed like a phantom, stalking the rich to give to the poor. With a tremor in my hands that’s more than a little unsettling. For better and worse, it’s the one thing that keeps me out of that dark place and gives me hope that one day I might redeem everything I am and everything I’ve done.

DC-teaser

My Review:
I was a skeptic for the serial format–until I tried it. Being a busy mom/worker bee/reader/writer/blogger etc I didn’t think I could “waste” my time on a book that wasn’t even CLOSE to done. Silly me. It turned out to be the perfect in-between read for me, for when I have 30-45 minutes of time that I want to read, but don’t want to get sucked into a full-length novel. Plus, I always had a new episode to anticipate. Well, until now. Because Season Two is in the books.

Alexa “Wraith” Sterling has lived a double-life too long. By day, she’s the anti-life-energy activist owner of Sterling Cybernetics, fighting the good fight to end energy transfers from poor people to wealthy “high potentials”–essentially literally ‘cashing them out’ when their potential earnings outstrip their personal debts. It’s a horrific new reality, and resulted in the the early demise of not only her mother, but her father as well.

So, anyone can understand why Alexa would want life energy transfers to cease, but Alexa’s terrifying secret, that she was born adebt collector, is one she does not want to see the light of day. By night, Alexa dons the debt collecting persona of Wraith and preys upon people who illegally purchase life energy trades in order to enhance their youth, appearance, or just for a high. Wraith is a mean mama jamma, terrorizing the wealthy, life-stealers and paying out to sick kids—well, until she can’t anymore.

And, definitely not once she falls on the radar of a fringe group of debt collectors, called Gehenna, who want to render themselves immortal by eternal collection of humans. By turns, Alexa is pressured, with life or death consequences, to undo the good work of her anti-debt collection non-profit, Lifetime. The Gehenna collectors, headed by Molloch, will get Alexa’s compliance, or kill her–and all those she loves. Alexa find allies where she can, but she’s continually choosing between bad and worse options, always a few steps behind the well-orchestrated plan to de-regulate life-energy transfers and create an open season for debt collectors to ascend into the role of demigods, essentially.

Throughout, Alexa seeks to save her loved ones, and herself, but mostly to shut down Gehenna and its criminal activity. Working within the Gehenna system isn’t really feasible; the debt collectors don’t trust her, and surviving each more harrowing experience in their captivity is a challenge even this high potential/debt collector is hard-pressed to manage. And, frankly, lots of other people would have simply walked.

Not Alexa. She’s a warrior in corporate skirts. She may have been dealt a raw hand, but she bluffs and bets her way to the best victory she can. And, we’re all the better for this maverick willing, not to buck the system, but to tear it all down if it means saving the world from Gehenna overlordship. If I were lost in a dystopian future, I’d want Alexa by my side.

There’s a good bit of steam, and a love story, but mostly there is an amazing story of endurance and doing the right thing, even if it costs you everything.

Interested? You can find DEBT COLLECTOR: SEASON TWO on Amazon. It is recommended that you start with the first season, but each season is a complete story for that debt collector and can serve as an entry point to the series. There are five planned seasons in the Debt Collector series, the first four each from the perspective of a different debt collector with the fifth season bringing all four together.

*****GIVEAWAY*****

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win
a two-book paperback set of Debt Collector (Season One and Season Two)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

2978c-susankayequinnwebAbout Susan Kaye Quinn:
Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, which is young adult science fiction. The Dharian Affairs trilogy is her excuse to dress up in corsets and fight with swords. She also has a dark-and-gritty SF serial called The Debt Collector and a middle grade fantasy called Faery Swap. It’s possible she’s easily distracted. She always has more speculative fiction fun in the works. You can find out what she’s up to by subscribing to her newsletter (hint: new subscribers get a free short story!).

She is also NOMINATED for the Illinois Librarian’s “Soon to be Famous Author Project” wherein librarians hope to discover local authors whose “work will jump off the page for readers.”

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Goodreads

All They Could Do Was WATCH ME BURN–Review and Giveaway

Hi there! Today I am thrilled to share the love for WATCH ME BURN, the second book in the December People series from Sharon Bayliss. I reviewed the first book, DESTRUCTION last spring, and was intrigued by this contemporary witchcraft fantasy series.


About the book:
David Vandergraff lost his home, his job, and contact with his oldest son, but remains determined to be a good husband and father despite being a dark winter wizard.

His resolve is tested when a flyer for a missing girl–who happens to be a summer witch–begins to haunt him. David believes a spell needs to use him to save her, so he follows the magic’s command and looks into her disappearance. His teenage daughter Emmy resents him for caring so much about a random stranger. But when she uncovers some disturbing evidence close to home, she begins an investigation of her own.

David and Emmy quickly learn that the mystery is not only about a missing girl they barely know, but a deeply personal story that impacts everyone they care about. As their world crumbles, they fear the warning may be true—never mess with summer wizards, because the good guys always win.

Check out the trailer here!

My Review:

David Vandergraff is the head of a family of Winter witches. He doesn’t wish to be, but he is anyway. In this world, where one falls on the magical calendar determines the type of magic one will have. So, if a witch’s “date” is near the summer solstice, he (or she) will have summer magic, and be able to wield the power of light and goodness. Witches with a date nearer the winter solstice will have dark magic–which yields destructive powers. Winter and Summer witches are diametrically opposed, and have a serious battle between them. Meanwhile, witches whose dates fall between solstices, Equinox witches, can wield both light and dark magic.

David’s family consists of his wife Amanda, sons Jude, Patrick, Xavier and daughters Emmy and Evangeline. Xavier and Evangeline were from a different mother, and they suffered horrific abuse from their dark witch stepfather before David recovered them, nearly destroyed his marriage by revealing his infidelity–all of which happened in the first book.

Now, Jude is long gone–consumed by darkness enough that he raped a fellow witch: his sister’s best friend. He’s not COMPLETELY gone, however, because Amanda has been healing his darkness, taking it into herself at great cost to her own health. I can relate–a mother’s love is a strong and powerful force, much like magic.

David is somehow caught in a compulsion spell, one to bring home a missing summer witch. Julie has been gone two weeks, and David is consumed with finding her–and this brings both Emmy and Patrick into the hunt, involuntarily. Emmy knew Julie from volleyball camp, and hated her long before she understood about the animosity between summer and winter witches. It seems they have a physical reaction to each other. Emmy is a resourceful gal, even if she isn’t a powerful witch and feels likewise compelled to find Julie. Patrick is experiencing many disturbing visions of a tortured Julie, and his own role in possibly saving her.

In her searches, Emmy encounters Nathan, Julie’s older brother. He’s searching the forest where Julie went missing relentlessly, but he knows he’ll never find her. There is a strong confounding spell protecting the area, only allowing the access of witches who meet certain criteria. Emmy isn’t taken, either, and Nathan knows it is because the person who has Julie only wants witches who date on the Four Events: Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice, and the Vernal and Autumnal equinoxes. Julie was a Summer Solstice witch–and it made her summer magic powerful. With each Event the captor collects, he (or she) gains immense power.

The rescue of Julie is confounded–and David is struggling to keep his family together–when one of his children goes missing in the forest, too. And Amanda’s failing health seems to be at the heart of some of this problem. Nathan and Emmy join forces in the search, and they become close to each other in a way no one wishes, or predicts. Julie and Nathan’s summer witch family are relentless in their pursuit of the winter Vandergraff’s–wanting to destroy the winter witches, thinking it will protect their family and save Julie. They have succeeded in some destruction, but as Emmy tells Nathan, just because her family is “dark” doesn’t mean they are bad people.

This is a truth Nathan respects; his own family is light—and he knows for a fact they aren’t good.

I really love how this story is unfolding. It’s multi-layered with lots of twists, and significant moral gray areas. So many moral dilemmas: is it okay to kill innocents to protect those you love? Can one trust the visions of magic? What are the bounds of family, when power is the ultimate objective? Can good ends ever justify evil means? It’s fascinating, and deep, with good pacing and enough mystery to keep the series cracking along. The end is a good stopping point, but it’s clear there will be no peace between these two families, and that their conflict between them is only getting stronger.

Interested? WATCH ME BURN releases January 5th, but you can find it on GOODREADS and pre-order it on AMAZON. If you’re new to The December People Series, start with Destruction99 cents for a limited time!

Catch my review here!

***GIVEAWAYS***

Enter to win!! Get a paperback of your choice of Destruction OR Watch Me Burn.
Just leave me a comment telling me if you’re interested in reading this cool series and which book you’d like. I’ll choose a winner from comments logged before Jan 1st. International entries welcome.
 
Also join The December People Winter Celebration for more giveaways!!
And, Click the Rafflecopter link for your chance to win
one of 5 e-copies of DESTRUCTION or WATCH ME BURN

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and keep reading my friends!

Sharon BaylissAbout the Author:
Sharon Bayliss is the author of The December People Series and The Charge. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living happily-ever-after with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). She only practices magic in emergencies.

Check out Sharon online on her website, twitter, and Facebook.