Monday, November 30, 2015

Blue Fire by Angela Castle on Mystery Monday: Presented by Addicted to Writing

Blue Fire
Angela Castle
Excerpt Heat Level: Violence
Book Heat Level: 4

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A war has left his people on the brink of extinction; Drystan Commander of the King's Warriors will turn to any means necessary to save his people.

Jane, an ordinary woman of Earth, falls into the strange land of muscle bound, sword wielding men, unlike she has ever seen and what's worse they seem to want her!

Could this woman be the savior of their people? Savior or not Drystan knows what he wants, and he wants Jane.

As the passion starts to sizzle evil forces threaten to tear them apart, can Drystan hold onto the woman not only he needs but his people?

Crystal City
Land of the Kell

Claws dug into Drystan's arm. He swung his blade round his head, twisting his large body. Drystan, the commander of the Kell army, kicked high into the lizard-like man's underbelly then shoved the body away. The Drac Scoull left bloody scratch marks as it was hurtled onto its back. Drystan did not hesitate, his blade sunk all the way into the exposed side of the Scoull's armour. The enemy gave a high pitched squeal, its body convulsing in its death throes. He yanked the blade out and ran forward to the next target; blood and adrenaline coursed through his system. His heart, full of anguish and rage, pounded so hard against his ribs he feared it would explode. So many Drac Scoulls in the way.

The screams of the women echoed around him. Oh, by the gods. He fought not for his life but for theirs. The city had been left unguarded; the Drac Scoulls had stormed the inner city. In and out of every home they had gone. Drystan had witnessed them dragging out the women, the helpless babes, the young girls, to slaughter them. The streets were running red with their blood.

The army had been too far away, lured out to battle by Norlac, ruler of the Drac. Adalardo, King of the Kells, had seized the opportunity to end the war once and for all. Every able-bodied man had marched on the Drac fortress.

The Drac were like a swarm of insects moving in every direction. Drystan leapt over the body of an adolescent girl. His blade again hitting its mark; another Scoull's head went flying. His hard, muscled body ached from exertion and was dripping with sweat; his body armour was splattered with blood. He battled, until there were none left to kill.

"That has to be the entire Drac army," panted Melor, who had been fighting a step behind him.

"Go, keep searching. Do not rest until we know every Scoull is dead. May the gods have spared some of our women from this horror."

Melor nodded, racing off. Adalardo came hurtling around the corner on the back of his stag; his own face dark with the same anguished rage Drystan was feeling.

"Drystan, to the palace! There are still Scoulls inside." He bolted towards the Palace gate tower. Drystan raced behind his King. He hoped and prayed there were some still alive.
Angela Castle’s Blue Fire is a fabulous short novel that had me entertained the whole way through.

Lila for Two Lips Reviews

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Allura on Romance Sunday: Presented by Addicted to Writing

Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

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Title: Allura Genre: Historical Author: Christine Young 
Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne Reviewer Email: 

Christine Young’s ALLURA is a delightful historical novel full of suspense, lovable characters, humor and a budding romance between two characters determined not to fall in love. Allura and Hunter’s stubborn, determined natures allowed for some interesting scenes as they attempted to get one up on each other. As a modern day woman I felt bad for Allura because technically her husband would dictate every aspect of her life and the freedom she loves would be a thing of the past. Hunter is unbending as far as to how he believes a wife should behave but falling in love changes him and his perception of Allura. Hunter and Allura are the main focus of this story but there are secondary characters whom I absolutely adored and would love to revisit in future novels (hint, hint). Especially the youngest sister Aiden and Hunter’s trusted friend Blade. He doesn’t believe in love and she’s determined to do whatever’s necessary to get him to notice her. SNIPPET— Allura has come to treasure her freedom and the adventures she shares with her sisters and her cousins but her father’s decision to find her a husband threatens that freedom. He’s placed an ad in the times in search of a man strong and smart enough to discover where exactly it is that the girls venture when they leave the safety of the castle.


Allura McClellan is horrified by her father’s decision to take out an ad in the Times awarding her to the man strong enough and smart enough to win her hand and uncover her secrets. She’s an intelligent young woman who takes great delight in the freedom allotted to her by her father. She’s well aware that marriage would effectively curtail the adventures she’s shared with her sisters and cousins.

Hunter Gray is nothing like the other men who’ve arrived to vie for Allura’s hand in marriage and everything that goes along with it. However, he is the first to refuse to concede defeat and pursue her despite her attempts to disguise her true appearance. It’s her temperament that is of more concern to him than her looks. Hunter has worked all his life with the hope of someday owning his own land. Now that it looks like there’s a very real possibility that everything he’s ever wanted is within reach nothing is going to deter him – including Miss Allura’s disagreeable disposition.

Eddington, Scotland 1815

"You can’t plan to wed me to that--that man down there!" Allura McClellan’s heart thundered and lodged in her throat. Balled into fists her hands trembled. "You promised I could marry for love. I thought when the last man failed to discover this imaginary secret you think I have, you would stop this craziness. I thought you would take the ad out of the Times and the other papers."

From the boxing ring below, fist met flesh, the sound echoing throughout. Hunter Gray whirled and ducked. He guarded his face to block the stinging blows his opponent rained down upon him. He spun and ducked again. The man he fought countered the attack, but he did not move fast enough. Hunter’s next jab was so fast and so hard the other man didn’t block the punch. The man staggered backwards, blood running from his eye. Men yelled and cheered for the two combatants. Hunter paused and spoke to the man he practiced with before the match continued once more.

Allura saw her life as she had planned it slip away as if it was grains of sand in an hour glass. She stopped pacing and watched the men below. She turned on her father. "The ad in the Times--giving me away to any man--you have gone too far. A marriage of convenience is barbaric. You promised." For a moment, she closed her eyes. She did not want to acknowledge anything that went on here. It was not her fault she could not find a man she loved. What horrific bit of bad luck had found her?

The laird cleared his throat. "Perhaps I have not gone far enough or soon enough. And the ad did not promise you to just any man. He must be strong enough and smart enough to win your hand."

It was not Allura’s nature to allow others to rule her fate. “These men,” she waved her hand in the air, frustration sweeping recklessly within. "They don’t want me. They come for one reason only. They are greedy and hungry for power. You have taught me everything I need to know. I can run your estate and all of your holdings. I’ve studied endless hours. I know the men who work for you. I swear I’ll defy your wishes. At the altar I will say no."

The McClellan’s grin faded as quickly as it had appeared and without further thought, he said, "Perhaps not, you are beautiful lass--one with rare promise. And," he stroked his chin, "no matter how much book learning a woman has she cannot dictate her own life. It is up to the men in her life to make sure she is happy and provided for."

A strained silence followed. She sagged against the stone wall. As if sensing her vulnerable position, she stiffened. Outraged and furious she looked upon her father. "They are money grubbers and want your land--our land. They have no right to any of your estate."

The McClellan held back for a moment, seemingly aware there was more than just a little truth in what Allura said. "How indeed?" he questioned her. Yet his smile was tight, forced. "I grow old. I only want this land secured and my daughters happy before I die. You are twenty-two. I have given you ample opportunity to fall in love. I thought it time to bring new blood to this land, a new man. I thought perhaps one would take your fancy."

"That man," she began. Her hand shook when she pointed at the man who danced and whirled avoiding each blow as if he dallied in child's play. She trembled so violently she could not speak. “Is an Englishman.”

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Banner's Bonus on Sci/fi Fantasy Saturday: Presented by Addicted to Writing

Title: Banner's Bonus
Author: Carole Ann Lee

Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

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INNOCENCE MEETS HEDONISM: He’s a father’s worst nightmare.  Yet cargo pilot, Nick Banner, is Jonathan Loring’s only hope of getting his daughter, Tressa, safely off-planet and out of harm’s way.

Within the tight confines of Banner’s ship, Tressa battles a girlhood crush gone dangerous.  As a sheltered teen, she secretly worshipped the hotshot cargo pilot from afar.  Even his carnal reputation seemed romantic. But, now, those old feelings are unsettling.

Banner misses nothing, particularly her coy glances.  Yeah, he’s noticed, and sexual tension smolders.  Danger stalks them across the galaxy and when Tressa is captured by pirates, Banner finds himself willing to sell his soul to free her.   

Without so much as turning to address her, Nick’s satin baritone calmly broke the silence. "It’s a damned good thing we don’t have any more days left on this run. With your lengthy showers everyday you’ve managed to put our more-than-sufficient water supply into the red."

"I have not been taking lengthy showers. For your information, I’ve been very conservative."

Nick smiled. "Yeah, well we’ve got a flashing indicator here that says differently."

Tressa cast a glance at the pulsing light on the console, then made her way to her seat. "I can assure you that’s not my fault."

"No of course it’s not. It’s TiMar’s." Reaching overhead, he flipped a series of switches and waited for a cluster of lights to turn green.

"It appears to me," Tressa said as she settled into her chair, "that once again your immaturity is at fault."

"Is that right." He continued monitoring the controls.

"Yes. Did you ever stop to think that the cause of the low water supply might be all those cold showers you keep taking?" The instant the words were out Tressa regretted them.

His head came around with a slow grin, and she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was about to be had for lunch.

"You think that’s what I’ve been doing in there?"

With heat scorching her cheeks, Tressa looked away, refusing to respond.

Taking a cold shower is probably the least of your busy little activities behind a closed door. A silent voice added.

"Tressa? I asked if that’s what you--"

"I really don’t care what you do, Banner." Glancing down, she feigned sudden interest in her fingernails.

"Ah, but you’ve wondered, haven’t you?"

She ignored him.

There’s nothing to wonder about, flyboy.

"Haven’t you, Tressa?" he taunted. "You had it all figured out."

She slid him a retiring look.

He grinned. "Besides, why the devil would I be taking cold showers?"

Refusing to rise to the bait, Tressa began examining one particular fingernail with avid interest. "I couldn’t care less why," she mumbled beneath her breath.

"What was that? You say something?"

Without looking up she replied, "The low water supply is just another classic example."

"Of what?"

"Your lack of self-control, of course."


You just can’t leave well enough alone, can you?

Tressa didn’t dare look at him. He was spoiling for a fight and she had just delivered the first punch.

And if you don’t stop, you’re going to find yourself out-gunned on a subject you’ll wish to stars you hadn’t opened.

"Ya wanna know what I was really doin’, Irish?"

Feigning boredom, she turned her sights to the small port window. "No thanks, Banner, you can keep the details to yourself."

"Allow me to satisfy your curiosity by enlightening you on several ways in which-"

"I’m not interested."

"But I’d be happy to educate you on some of the--"

"How much longer before we get there, do you think?" she asked, releasing a heavy sigh.

Satisfied and grinning, Nick turned back to the control panel. "Never challenge me, Irish--either directly or by insinuation--and particularly on a subject you know so precious little about." With a wink he added, "You’ll lose every time. I guarantee it."

Tressa didn’t respond, at last heeding the silent voice of reason.

5 Stars--Naomi of Fallen Angel Reviews
Banner's Bonus totally blew me away! I absolutely loved every page.

Linnea Sinclair--Award Winning Science Fiction Romance Author 
What a wild ride! Futuristic romance fans will love the passion and adventure in Lee's Banner's Bonus. Nick Banner can swagger through the stars with the best of them!

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Part to Play by Jennifer L. Fry is Friday's Featured Title: Presented by Addicted to Writing

A Part to Play
Jennifer Fry

Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

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Shattered by family tragedy, Lucy Carter, 15, is sent away to a prestigious performing arts boarding school where she meets a mysterious musician whose talent and insecurities teach her to rediscover her love of acting and to believe in herself.


She stood on a sidewalk near a busy intersection in her hometown. Cars zipped by through a layer of heavy fog that made visibility difficult. It was dark outside, but the orange street lights illuminated the cars as they drove by. Lucy saw familiar headlights. Her mother's car approached.

Despite the fog and the darkness, she could just make out her sister, Kate, sitting tensely in the driver's seat. Headlights flashed from the other direction, distracting Lucy from her sister for a moment. An erratic vehicle headed towards her sister. It veered into Kate's path for a moment, and Lucy screamed, but eerie silence hung over the scene. She tried to run out into the street to wave her sister down, but it was as though her feet were stuck in cement.

When Kate saw the driver in her path, she stomped on the brakes and spun the steering wheel sharply to the right shoulder, causing the little sedan to skid, which rotated it around ninety degrees. Now Kate's car blocked the entire street.

The larger vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee, slammed into the driver's side door at full speed, as if the driver hadn't even seen Kate's car. Lucy screamed again, but there was no sound, not even of the cars colliding. She couldn't tear her eyes away as she watched the sedan's side section crumple into itself. Kate's body tossed back from the force of impact. Suddenly, across the street on the opposite sidewalk, Lucy saw both of her parents watching the same scene. Once again, she waved her arms, this time to get their attention. But they acted as though they couldn't see her.

When she blinked, she found herself hanging upside down in a car, strapped in with a seat belt. It took her a moment to realize she was in the backseat of the car Kate was driving. Lucy looked around desperately for her sister and saw Kate climbing out of the passenger side door, unhurt.

Her parents embraced Kate, holding her and crying over the close call. Lucy felt a searing pain in her chest; she looked down to see a piece of metal from the destroyed vehicle piercing her. Blood gushed from the wound. She cried out for her parents, her shrill scream now the only sound in the violent scene. But her parents and Kate, with arms around each other, walked away from the accident, leaving her there. She heard her mom's voice, "This family does not work without you. Thank God you are safe."

"What about me?" Lucy cried. What about me!

Darkness enveloped the quiet dorm room when Lucy's eyes snapped open. She shook so hard from the nightmare that at first she wondered if she was having a seizure. This was by far the worst dream she'd had of Kate's death. It was the first where Kate actually walked away from the accident and she, Lucy, died in her place. Or at least she had been left for dead, with her parents and sister happy together.

The true impact of what it meant to be sent to ESPA hit her with the impact of a freight train. She simply was not good enough for her parents; they had always loved Kate more. And now, she would never have that life again--the one with laughter and games--it was gone. All of it. Kate was dead and her parent's marriage was dead. There was no home for her anymore. The security she drew from her sister's unfailing support, from her parents love and affection--it was all gone. She had nothing; she had less than nothing.

Her breath coming in short gasps, Lucy crawled towards her backpack to dig out her iPod. The room spun around her as she pushed play. She made her way to the small space between the bed and the wall and curled into a ball with her music turned up full volume. Who was she without her sister? Who was she without her family? Nothing, absolutely nothing. She cried harder than she ever had, wishing a giant earthquake would split the ground open and swallow her. And when the tears dried up, everything became numb.