SS: Guest post by Jillian Stone + giveaway!

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Today’s post is by Jillian Stone, author the Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator series published by Kensington Brava. It’s super sexy steampunk and the third book in the series, THE MISS EDUCATION OF DR. EXETER, has just been released. Jillian is on tour to celebrate this release and is offering a tour-wide giveaway of a steampunk necklace. She’s written an extremely steamy scene for us so make sure you’re ready for mature content before proceeding! And enjoy the post!

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The Miss Education of Dr. Exeter by Jillian Stone (Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator #3)“What exactly is a superior moon?” Mia asked, untying her cloak and letting it drop to the ground.

Jason Exeter stood on a rise overlooking the Thames. The river sparkled from the light of the moon at perigee. “A superior moon or supermoon occurs but once a year, when the moon is closest to the earth––much larger and brighter than an average full moon, he explained. The fact that this moon happens on the summer solstice is a cosmic coincidence of great importance.”

“The brightest moon on the longest day.” Mia spread her cloak on the cool grass, and leaned back on her elbows to star gaze. “Mr. Ping says that a magic moment will occur at 3:32 a.m. but he did not specify exactly what will happen, in fact he was rather mysterious about this rare confluence of moon and earth.”

She scanned the skies, as he explained. “Many cultures associate the solstice with increased fertility, while others believe the superior moon has certain effects on people’s behavior, even though there is no scientific evidence to prove it. I have never personally felt the effects but I know someone who seems more agitated, more feline every time there is a full moon.” Exeter’s gaze moved from the river to her. “How are you feeling, Mia?”

“She is near.” Mia clawed at her gown. The tingling sensation and urges were back, and the sense that her body was not entirely her own. These unexpected shifts to a feline creature had come upon her rather suddenly last year. And her brave and handsome husband had preformed duties far above and beyond the natural world to bring her through this frightening period of transformation. “I get the feeling you and Ping are plotting something.” Mia’s eyes glowed, and her pupils narrowed into suspicious slits.

She now had Exeter’s full attention.

The Seduction of Phaeton Black by Jillian Stone (Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator #1)“Do you need me to undress you?” He lowered to his haunches. “Turn around, love.” She moved her back to him. “Please assure me you will not run off––for as lovely as you are without a stitch on––I would not want the neighbors to view my beautiful wife in the nude . . . again.”

“I often have no control over her . . . she’s—” Mia shifted away and he pulled her back. Gentle fingers loosened the strings of her corset.

His exhale wafted over skin moist with perspiration. “Ping believes the cat will speak to me tonight––I may hear her voice for the first time.” His knuckles brushed against the flesh of her back, causing a shiver she failed to conceal. They had been married less than a year––and his touch still sent a tremble through her, as though it were the first time he caressed her bare skin.
She disrobed and left nothing on. Any clothes on her body would end up in tatters. The evening chill was soothing, even sensuous. She lay back as a gentle wind hardened her nipples and prickled her skin.

Exeter would not touch her now, she was too close to shift. It was too dangerous. He had been scratched and bitten more than once. “Touch yourself, Mia” And she imagined his fingers . . . there.

The shift was instantaneous. Painless.

The sleek black panther stretched, and languidly moved off toward the river. The water rippled with a deep green luminescence––no doubt due the brightness of the evening sky. The cat hesitated––one front paw off the ground as the magnificent, full moon rose above the tree line.

She looked back at Exeter. Slowly she returned to him. Women are like the moon––beautiful––something to be adored, praised––and loved.

This was a new voice he heard in his head. Mia often spoke to him telepathically in cat form, but he had never actually heard the panther’s voice. Exeter sat up straight. What was he to make of the cat’s speech? I love Mia, body and soul, with all my heart.

Aaaaah, but does she feel adored? The cat licked a paw and rubbed her face.

The Moonstone and Miss Jones by Jillian Stone (Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator #2)Exeter stared. Of course he had told Mia he loved her––hadn’t he? Well, perhaps not in so many words. Truth be told, he had been rather busy of late, moving back and forth between London and Boston. Mia had college, and she was doing brilliantly. She had all the makings of a fine, compassionate physician. Deep in thought, Exeter rubbed the stubble on his chin. Perhaps they had drifted apart, some.

He gaze returned to the green-eyed panther. What would you have me do?

Bring her back with your words, alone.

He stretched out on the grass, beside Mia the cat, and spoke softly. “…I awoke before you this morning. As most mornings, I often watch you in your sleep––the rise and fall of your breasts as you breathe––the pale sunshine on peach colored cheeks. When I can stand it no longer I pull you close and nuzzle, hoping to wake you gently, for a hint of smile, to feel your lips on mine.”
The cat nuzzled back.

“In those quiet, moments, I yearn for you to wake. And when your eyes flutter open, I am enthralled, for I know I will spend another day with my dear wife––who is both my friend and my lover.” The cat rose and collapsed into his arms. “Mia, I love and adore you with all my heart.”

She slowly shifted back––claws to fingernails, whiskers to nose, sleek black fur to pale ivory skin. Her arms moved around his neck and she pulled him down. As his lips met hers, she whispered. “Make love to me, Exeter––I’ve heard quite enough!”

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Thank you so much for stopping by on your blog tour, Jillian! For more of Jillian’s tour, check out the other stops by clicking on the banner below.

The Miss Education of Dr Exeter tour banner

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More about THE MISS EDUCTATION OF DR. EXETER:

The Miss Education of Dr. Exeter by Jillian Stone (Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator #3)Plunge deeper into the curious world of the deadly Nightshades.

The Moonstone is having a destabilizing effect on the time/space membrane leaving Phaeton trapped in a parallel mirror world where everything is opposite or upside down, yet oddly the same. He is held captive by Domina Valour and tested sorely in this darkly sensual third episode of the Phaeton Black series.

Gaspar Sinclair can’t go after Phaeton. His physical body is unraveling before everyone’s eyes. America Jones is large with child, but only she has the preternatural ability to locate Phaeton and bring him back. And Doctor Exeter’s beautiful charge, Mia, has her claws in him. Quite literally.

To accomplish Phaeton’s rescue, the doctor must let loose forces he hasn’t the foggiest clue how to control, including his attraction to Mia.

While in the dimension of magnetic opposites, the doctor and Miss Jones attempt to reverse polarity to retrieve Phaeton and stop Gaspar from unraveling. Can America and Phaeton find a way to return together, or will this final test rip them apart forever?

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Here’s the rest of the series:

The Seduction of Phaeton Black by Jillian Stone (Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator #1) The Moonstone and Miss Jones by Jillian Stone (Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator #2)

giveaway

Jillian is offering a tour-wide giveaway of a steampunk necklace!

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To enter, obey the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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In 2010, Jillian won the RWA Golden Heart for An Affair with Mr. Kennedy and went from no agent or publisher to signing with Richard Curtis and being offered a three book contract by Pocket Books. That summer, she also won the erotica category of the 2010 Romance Through the Ages contest for The Seduction of Phaeton Black and was offered a three book contract by Kensington Brava. Needless to say, she has been busy writing books this past year and a half! Jillian lives in Southern California.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Jenn

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SS: Short story by Cecy Robson + giveaway!

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I’m thrilled to welcome Cecy back to the blog for Supernatural Solstice! I really enjoy her Weird Sisters series so far and I think she’s a great new voice in urban fantasy. Cecy’s put together a great short story for this event and I’m sure you’ll all enjoy it!

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A Weird Soltice

We abandoned the thick vegetation of the forest and stepped into the clearing. I withdrew my tigress’s eyes from one blink to the next and took in the glen with my human stare. The full moon lit bright enough to illuminate our surroundings with a soft white glow. I didn’t need my inner beast’s strength, nor did I need to call her forth completely . . . at least, for now.

Emme slipped off my back as the warm evening breeze flung my long waves in all directions. She stumbled but didn’t fall, a rare feat for our youngest sister. “Thanks for carrying me, Celia.” She pushed her hair out of her face, glancing around nervously. Although she was twenty-two, her soft voice and mannerisms made her seem younger. But that didn’t mean my timid sister couldn’t protect herself.

Shayna clicked off her industrial sized flashlight and pointed to where Tahoe spread across the horizon. “Whoa. Check out the view. This would be a great place to picnic . . . during day . . . and if there weren’t demon children lurking about, waiting to eat us.” Her head jerked as something rustled in the dark forest behind us. “Celia . . .”

“Mouse,” I answered quietly when my sensitive ears picked up the scamper of tiny paws and my nosed fixed on the scent of vermin. I turned back to Taran. “But that doesn’t mean something else won’t show up. Explain to me again why we’re doing this?”

Taran huffed and rolled her eyes. “We need to learn to harness Tahoe’s magic.”

I crossed my arms. “Do we?”

A Cursed Embrace by Cecy Robson (Weird Girls #2) Another huff, another eye roll, this time accompanied by an annoyed pucker of her lips. “Look. We have a magical resource right here at our fingertips. Pardon the shit out of me for wanting to do more than set things on fire!”

“But you’re so good at blowing things up.” Shayna punched her affectionately in the arm. “And zapping people. Let’s not forget the zapping, dude. Zzzzzz!”

I scrambled between them when Taran glared. “That wasn’t an invitation to zing her,” I said sternly. “Let’s just do what we came for and get back home.”

Taran threw her arms in the air. “Fine.” That’s when she started to strip. I don’t mean she unbuttoned her blouse because the night was unusually warm. I mean she ditched her sheer black tunic, red tube top, and unsnapped her bra.

Emme watched Taran’s boob choker land at her side in horror. “Taran. What are you doing?”

“Emme, this is the summer solstice. Next to Halloween, it’s the biggest time of year for supernatural shit and magic.” We all stared back at her. “It’s about nature.” More blank stares. “And becoming one with nature.” At this point, I thought she was going to slap us. “Son of a bitch. Just get naked!” She kicked off her shoes and stripped down to everything but her mani-pedi.

Shayna sighed in defeat when Taran sat on the ground and proceeded to pull off her T-shirt. Emme buried her face in her palms. “This is so embarrassing.”

I shook my head, not knowing how Taran always managed to drag us into her crap. Shayna shrugged. “The sooner we do this, the faster we get home.” She flashed me a grin. “Koda is staying the night. Is Aric?”

My body warmed at the thought Aric’s muscular form draped over mine, and I tossed my tank top on the ground. “Yeah. He and the pack are patrolling the area for more demons.” I cleared my throat and pulled my cell phone out of my denim shorts to check the time. “He should be done in another hour, provided they don’t run into anything they have to mutilate.”

Shayna laughed and tugged her jeans down. “Come on, little dude,” she said when she caught Emme’s hesitation. “No one’s around.”

Or there wasn’t until Emme was down to her socks. “Son of bitch, Emme,” Taran muttered. “Hurry up. Something’s poking me in the ass.”

The forest debris was pretty damn sharp, but this hadn’t been Emme’s idea. I narrowed my green eyes. “Quit complaining, and start.”

Taran mumbled a few swears in Spanish then reached into her backpack. She placed a plastic container in front of her and filled it with water she poured from a canteen. She didn’t have to tell me it was water from the lake. Tahoe’s magic stirred from within the clear container and stroked gently against my skin like a caress.

Shayna watched the water swirl in the moonlight, obviously expecting something extraordinary. “Okay. Now what?”

Taran straightened, growing serious. “You see that rock?” She motioned to a gray stone near Shayna’s knee. “I’m going to levitate it.” She placed her fingertips in the water and focused on the rock like it had called her a bitch. For fifty freaking seconds she stared, her face reddening. Finally, little by little, the rock began to tilt and slide along the dirt.

The Weird Girls by Cecy Robson (Weird Girls #0.5) Shayna’s lids peeled back. “Awesome! You’re like, totally doing it!”

No. Actually it was Emme, using her telekinetic force. I knew it. Hell, I sensed it. And so did Taran. She flicked the water from her fingertips. “Cut it out, Emme.”

Emme crinkled her nose and tossed one of her remaining socks over her shoulder. “I was just trying to help.”

“I don’t need help,” Taran insisted. “If those witch bitches can do this, damn it, I can, too! And no one’s going to stop . . .”

Her irises blanched from blue to clear as a sense of cold squirmed its way down my back like a cluster of slugs.

I leapt to my feet, my claws lengthening from my nail beds and a deep growl building low in my throat. Twigs snapped in the forest. A heavy foot, then another, thumped against the moist forest floor. “Food,” something hissed.

“Food?” Emme croaked in a tone that clearly begged me to tell her no.

Six-plus feet of demon child eased his way through the dense sections of pine. Gray scales swathed his gargantuan potato shaped body and short, stout legs. Glowing red eyes blinked from the peak of his head while a fanged mouth ran the entire length of his body. His wings flapped eagerly at finding its dinner. AKA us.

“Holy shit!” Taran scrambled to stand, followed by Emme who still wore one pink sock. Shayna had already taken a stance beside me. The batteries from her flashlight fell from the chamber as she manipulated the metal into one bad-ass and hopefully demon-decapitating sword with her power.

The point glinted in the moonlight as she lengthened it past her head. She stepped forward, but I held an arm out. “Me first.”

I rushed forward in a blur of speed. I was fast. Unfortunately, so was Mr. Potato Head with fangs. My foot smashed into his knee. I would’ve reveled in the satisfying crunch of his bone snapping if he hadn’t punched me in the head with his ham hock fist. My entire body whirled before landing hard. I roared from the impact and tried to crawl away.

In the far distance, a wolf answered my agonized cry with a howl.

Aric had heard me. He was on his way. Too bad the demon child could give a rat’s ass. He lifted his gorilla arms and brought them down toward me. I rolled out of the way, giving Shayna ample room to swing her sword. One of the demon child’s arms landed next to me. I used it to nail him between the eyes as Taran unleashed a barrage of lightning bolts. I don’t know if you’ve ever smelled charred demon bits. And if you haven’t, you never want to. Imagine decomposing skunk flesh mixed with burning rubber . . . only not as refreshing.

Taran’s lightning seared his into flesh. Shayna lifted her sword only for an arm―that’s right, arm―to extend out of the demon’s mouth and clasp her wrist. I’d fought the creepiest preternaturals over the past few months. But I’ll admit, that gave me pause. She screamed, unable to wrench herself free and dropped her sword. I continued to beat him with his own damn arm while my other leg kicked against his underbelly. He backhanded me with his other arm, sending me sailing above Emme. I rolled to my feet in time watch him snatch Taran.

Taran’s ability to surround herself with fire was the only thing that saved her. He flung her like a giant, screaming, and flaming Latina. Emme managed to catch her with her force. She was still easing her down when I charged, abandoning my human side and changing into my golden tigress.

I severed the demon’s arm with my fangs, freeing Shayna and allowing her to dive for her sword. My claws sliced while she hacked and stabbed. But Emme was done watching. She lifted the demon with the strength of her mind and slammed him repeatedly against the earth. The first slam only pissed him off. The second made what remained of his arm-tongue flail loosely. I thought we had him until his knife-like fangs launched like spears in all directions. I changed back.

Sealed with a Curse by Cecy Robson (Weird Girls #1)Fire,” I called to Taran. “Lots and lots of fire!” I raced around, dodging, and circling him, trying to keep his aim on me while Emme and Shayna dove for cover behind a cluster of small boulders. Taran’s inferno built and scorched the air around us. With a shriek and a whole lot of attitude, she launched a mini fireball right into the demon’s center.

Which he then swallowed like a marshmallow.

The rest of us inched toward him slowly, knowing the fight wasn’t over and stunned by the demon’s smirk.

The smirk didn’t last. And neither did the demon. He exploded. Not in anger, but rather like a piñata filled with bowels and a few extra kidneys. Taran’s fire had that effect.

A flailing stomach knocked Emme on her back and out of her remaining sock while what could only be described as Evil’s urine sprayed Taran and Shayna.

Through the spew of swamp-like nastiness, I was the only one who remained standing. Good thing the wolves decided to show up then or they might have missed this wondrous, if not nauseating sight. The earth quaked as the noble lupines shot through the forest with their fearless alpha in the lead.

Aric ground to a halt in front of me, growling as he took in the row of intestines draped over my head like spaghetti and the gray slime pooling at my feet.

I stared up at the sky and groaned. Good. Lord. How many times can your boyfriend find you naked and covered with entrails?

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Thank you so much for this awesome story, Cecy! It’s great to have you back on the blog!

Cecy is currently on a virtual tour to support the release of A CURSED EMBRACE. Visit her website to see the other stops on her tour!

More about A CURSED EMBRACE:

A Cursed Embrace by Cecy Robson (Weird Girls #2)Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twentysomething girls—with one tiny exception: They are the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that made them, well, a little weird.…

After Celia Wird and her sisters help master vampire Misha save his family, their powers are exposed to the supernatural community of the Lake Tahoe region. But fame comes at a price, and being “weird” isn’t always welcome.

To make matters worse, Celia desires the love of Alpha werewolf Aric, but his pack is bent on destroying their relationship to preserve his pureblood status. And once weres start turning up dead—with evidence pointing to the vampires—she must face the prospect of losing Aric forever. But the chaos only masks a new threat. An evil known as the Tribe has risen—and their sights are set on Celia and her sisters.

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Click on the cover to see my thoughts on the rest of the series:

The Weird Girls by Cecy Robson (Weird Girls #0.5) Sealed with a Curse by Cecy Robson (Weird Girls #1)

giveaway

Cecy is graciously offering one (1) signed copy of A CURSED EMBRACE to a lucky reader!

To enter, obey the Rafflecopter!

US/Canada only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Cecy Robson

Cecy (pronounced Sessy) Robson is an author with Penguin’s SIGNET ECLIPSE. She attributes her passion for story-telling back to the rough New Jersey neighborhood she was raised in. As a child, she was rarely allowed to leave the safety of her house and passed her time fantasizing about flying, fairies, and things that go bump in the night. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, she began writing her Urban Fantasy Romance Series, Weird Girls, in May 2009. THE WEIRD GIRLS: A Novella and SEALED WITH A CURSE are now available. A CURSED EMBRACE, releases July 2, 2013 followed by A CURSED MOON: An eSpecial Novella December 2013, and CURSED BY DESTINY, January 2014.

Website | Facebook | Twitter.

Jenn

Elizabeth Norris’ Top Five Summer Movie Picks

Elizabeth Norris, author of UNRAVELING and UNBREAKABLE, is here today to share 5 more of her top summer movie picks with Team Tynga’s Reviews.

  • Iron Man 3. It’s awesome. There’s action, a lot of great humor, and a story with heart at the center.
  • The Great Gatsby. Baz Luhrman, Leonardo DiCaprio, and my favorite classic novel. (F. Scott Fitzgerald!!) Need I say more?
  • Man of Steel. Finally a new superman movie that looks like it’s going to be awesome. Also Henry Cavill’s abs don’t hurt.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness. I have high hopes for this movie. The first one was so fantastic and this one has Benedict Cumberbatch in it. That means it can only get better.
  • Pacific Rim. Here’s Why.

Make sure to check out other summer movie picks from Liz at I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Two Chicks on Books (June 7th). Please also stop by Reading After Midnight(June 4th), I’d So Rather Be Reading (June 10th), Bewitched Bookworms (June 11th), Midnight Book Girl (June 12th), Good Books and Good Wine (June 14th) and more to come to find out what books and TV shows Liz is recommending this summer, and to read excerpts from her novels.

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More about UNRAVELING and UNBREAKABLE:

Unraveling by Elizabeth NorrisLike The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Elizabeth Norris’s Unraveling blends realistic coming-of-age issues with a gripping science fiction world.

Unraveling’s heroine, sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner, is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle’s mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.

And that was before she died…and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth’s destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Unbreakable by Elizabeth NorrisUnbreakable, the sequel to Elizabeth Norris’s Unraveling, blends science fiction, mystery, and romance into a thrilling story YA readers won’t be able to put down.

It’s been four months since Janelle Tenner stopped the earth’s destruction with the help of Ben, the boy who resurrected her after she died. Ben is gone now—disappeared through a portal to his home world.

Even though Ben broke her heart, Janelle refuses to believe it when Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay tells her Ben is suspected of running a human-trafficking ring across several universes. She vows to uncover the true culprit and rescue the people who have been sold into slavery on alternate earths—not to mention find Ben and prove his innocence.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Jenn

Guest Post: Reviews by Cassi Carver + Giveaway

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In celebration of her most recent release, Dark Flight, Cassi Carver graciously accepted to stop on the blog during her virtual blog tour, and share her thoughts on book reviews. I think it’s a great post since it reassures me, as a blogger, that my reviews aren’t lost in cyberspace. Some authors, like Cassi, really appreciate our thoughts on the books they’ve written. So check out down below what Cassi thinks about reviews!

Also, don’t forget to enter Cassi’s giveaway at the bottom of the post!

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Hi, everyone! I’m so happy to be back on Tynga’s Reviews today! You guys have been so supportive since the very beginning of The Shadow Slayers series, and I wanted to talk today about something I rarely discuss: reviews.

Yes, I’m a writer, but I’ve been a reader for most of my life. Although reading seems pretty easy, there was a time when I thought reviewing was another matter entirely. When Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads came into my life, bringing with them those little boxes yearning for my words of wisdom on a recent read and five empty stars to fill, I shied away—overwhelmed at the task and underwhelmed at my ability to write a review.

But reviewing a book should be easy, right? Maybe, but I know several people, even in my professional writers group who still cringe when they’re asked to write a review. I’ve had several people ask me, as though I should be an authority on the matter, “How does one write a review?” And when that happens, my mind goes blank for a moment as I frantically search the wrinkly gray matter inside my skull for an answer.

Then I realize that I don’t really have a perfect answer because reading is such a personal experience, and every review is going to be as unique as the reviewer. When I read a book, for instance, I usually connect on an emotional level. Because of that, I may not point out every metaphor or plot device, but I can tell you what I liked about it and what I didn’t. I can tell you if it was satisfying or if I wish it would have ended differently. I may not be able to draw comparisons to great literature, but I know if the story worked for me. And I think that’s all we need to do.

Trust me, as an author, I want to know what you think. Authors don’t mind if reviews are gut level reactions or beautiful works of writing themselves. What we want to know is that you took the time to read our book and what it made you feel. Were you dancing on air? Did you want to chuck your e-reader across the room?

Every author should know that the best way to sell a book is still word of mouth. That takes some pressure off of readers because even if you give a book three stars, you don’t have to feel bad. You may say the book has “way too much sex in it,” but when you post that review, there may be another reader who sees it and thinks, “Yes! Finally enough sex!” Most any review is better than a book not being talked about at all.

So to help the reader who is unsure of how to review a book, I want to give you a very brief checklist of stuff you might want to include in your reviews.

  • Have you ever read this author before?
  • Is this book in a series or does it stand alone?
  • What is the genre and page (or word) count?
  • What was your initial reaction to the book? What did you like about it?
  • Who were your favorite characters and why?
  • How was the pacing? Did it seem slow or action-packed?
  • How would you describe the spice level? Did it seem to fit the story?
  • Was there anything confusing about the book that was never answered?
  • Did you want to keep turning the pages to see what happened next up until the very end of the book?
  • Did the book turn out like you were hoping? If not, what would you have changed?
  • Would you be interested in reading another book from this author?

So those are a few ideas to get you started, and you can include as many or as few of them as you like. That’s the beauty of it—your review is up to you!

I have a few helpful tips though, for both authors and reviewers. Reviewers—try to keep your comments about the book and never personally attack the writer, even if you think the book stinks like a rotting road kill and only a weenie would have written it. Authors—don’t ever respond to a bad review. It never helps, and besides, people are entitled to their own opinions. Just be happy readers are talking about your book.

So…do you ever review books? If not, I suggest you check out Goodreads. It’s a really cool forum to meet friends and discuss the books you’re reading. Check it out here.

Now you’ve heard my thoughts on reviews—what are yours? Comment and be entered to win a copy of Dark Flight, the third book in my spicy urban fantasy series. And of course, if you get around to reading The Shadow Slayer series, I’d love to hear what you think!

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Thank you Cassi for stopping by!

Here’s more about Dark Flight:cassi carverDark Flight

Kara has been training for months to help take down Brakken—the merciless black-wing who is making life hell for the Demiáre. But when Julian discovers a scout has been tracking Kara, he wants her out of the fight—even if it means breaking her heart in the process.

Gavin isn’t much better. He’s already lost so much to Brakken and has no intention of allowing the woman he loves to be the next sacrifice. He and Julian have their hands full trying to fight Brakken’s army and keep Kara safe, especially after her recent visit to the mythical white-wings. Since her return, she’s been acting decidedly…strange.

With a terrible battle looming, Kara doesn’t have time to think about her conflicted feelings for Gavin and Julian—or the fact that she’s developed an unnatural taste for Gavin’s blood. But if she thought it was complicated evading mysterious scouts and fending off vicious black-wings, she’s learning that’s nothing compared to loving two strong-willed men.

Product Warnings

This book contains angels that aren’t what they seem, a heroine with mad midwifery skills, and a metamorphosis that will change life as we knew it.

Purchase: Amazon

My thoughts

Read an excerpt

giveaway

Cassi is giving away e-copies of Dark Flight to three (3) lucky winners who comment on this post.

To enter the giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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More about Cassi Carver:

cassi carver 2She lives in sunny Southern California with her two dogs, four kids, five chickens, and one hubby who gives great massages. She gets to the Gaslamp for research (okay, happy hour) as often as possible. She’s never saved the world, but keeps sexy boots on hand just in case the opportunity arises.

When not busy plotting and writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, caring for pets, getting outdoors, and trolling makeup counters for that elusive shade of eye shadow and lip gloss that will finally bring her lasting cosmetic fulfillment.

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Zenn Scarlett blog tour: Life on a Dystopian Mars by Christian Schoon

Zenn Scarlett by Christian SchoonThis week, we’re welcoming one of Strange Chemistry’s newest authors, Christian Schoon, to Team Tynga’s Reviews. His debut novel, ZENN SCARLETT, has just been released and Christian is joining us today to talk about what life is like on a dystopian Mars. It’s great insight into the setting of his novel and I think it’ll really inspire you to give ZENN SCARLETT a try.

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Life on a Dystopian Mars

My heroine, Zenn, lives on a future Mars where things aren’t going so well. And the dystopian nature of the colonies on Mars has a fairly significant impact on everything that Zenn goes through during the novel.

So, why isn’t Mars a place of sleek, ultra-modern skyscrapers, vast, shiny domes and zippy monorails carrying outrageously fashionable elites with peculiar hair-styles hither and yon on happy, hedonistic trips to the teen-gladiatorial games over at the Olympus Mons hyper-arena? Glad you asked.

Mars atmosphereSeveral decades ago, the Earth cut off all communication and trade with Mars and the other dozen or so inhabited planets of the Local Systems Accord. This had to do with a gnarly virus that burned through Earth’s population and really did a number on the planet. The Earthers blamed aliens and their animals. So, they kicked them all off-world. Mars still deals with aliens, though, so they also stopped all contact with their former colonies on the Red Planet.

Zenn lives in the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic and training facility, where she’s studying to be an exoveterinarian specializing in large, dangerous alien animals. The Cloister does have some more or less modern, sci-fi-y equipment (sedation field generators for remotely sedating animals, advanced surgical devices, etc.), but due to the Rift with Earth, a lot of this stuff is breaking down, wearing out or having its software go buggy. There are no spare parts, no replacements, no upgrades available. So, Zenn and the others at the Cloister have to make do, patch, repair and generally scrape by as best they can.

The dystopian hammer has fallen hardest, however, on the colonists outside the cloister’s thick, mud-brick walls. They don’t use domes for habitation on this Mars; instead, they have tech that allows them to seal off large expanses of the vast Martian canyon systems, then pump the sealed canyons full of breathable atmosphere, and then build towns on and farm the canyon floor. But the bary-gen generators that once protected the canyons are beginning to go off line. So, the atmosphere and warmth in that portion of canyon leaks out, and the colonists have to quickly abandon their farms or villages and take whatever they can carry and move to the large towns where the bary-gens are still holding the cold, airless, outside Martian “atmosphere” at bay. Naturally, this means Mars is losing its farmable land bit by bit, and food is beginning to be hard to come by.

The whole look of the colonies is also being changed by the Rift, or trade embargo with Earth. There are some older,Mars Sol454 Marte spirit original buildings that were made from gorgeous, cut Martian sandstone and other rocks. But lately, any new structures, or repairs to old ones, must be built from scavenged materials, old metal sheeting, shipping containers and crates. Now, basically, you have shanty towns full of refugees growing up like a fungus around the remaining cities.

And this is the world that Zenn finds herself in, as she attempts adapt to and survive the tribulations of her environment, while at the same time managing to get through her novice year of exoveterinary school. Of course, she also faces an array of other challenges, from the academic to the romantic to the alien-medical, but all of these are impacted by the fact that Mars is sinking fast into a dystopian hole… and there’s no bottom in sight.

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Thanks so much for visiting us again, Christian! I’m looking forward to the rest of your tour!

Want more Christian? You can find him online at his website or follow him on Twitter. You can also see the rest of Christian’s tour by clicking here.

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Here’s the scoop on ZENN SCARLETT:

Zenn Scarlett by Christian SchoonZenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she’s specializing in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars will find her working with alien patients from whalehounds the size of a hay barn to a baby Kiran Sunkiller, a colossal floating creature that will grow up to carry a whole sky-city on its back.

But after a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school and other near-disasters, the Cloister is in real danger of being shut down by a group of alien-hating officials. If that happens, Zenn knows only too well the grim fate awaiting the creatures she loves.

Now, she must unravel the baffling events plaguing her school, before someone is hurt or killed, before everything she cares about is ripped away from her and her family forever. To solve this mystery – and live to tell about it – Zenn will have to put her new exovet skills to work in ways she never imagined, and in the process learn just how powerful compassion and empathy can be.

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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Christian SchoonBorn in the American Midwest, Christian started his writing career in earnest as an in-house writer at the Walt Disney Company in Burbank, California. He then became a freelance writer working for various film, home video and animation studios in Los Angeles. After moving from LA to a farmstead in Iowa several years ago, he continues to freelance and also now helps re-hab wildlife and foster abused/neglected horses. He acquired his amateur-vet knowledge, and much of his inspiration for the Zenn Scarlett series of novels, as he learned about – and received an education from – these remarkable animals.

Jenn

Guest Post: Why toads? by Julie E. Czerneda

A Turn of Light

 

In celebration of Julie E. Czerneda’s most recent release, A Turn of Light, Julie graciously accepted to stop on the blog and share about one of her inspiration: Toads. Now you didn’t see that one coming? I certainly didn’t lol! Please welcome her warmly 🙂

 

 

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Why toads?

Toads on my desk 20121028_162656

There are toads in my desk. There are toads in my novel, A Turn of Light. Important toads. You may be wondering … why?

What I, as a writer, create exposes something of me — if I’m being honest with my readers, which I try to do — as much as it reveals the deliberate thought-filled choices I’ve made for the story. When it comes to Turn, the toads, my “house toads” or “little cousins,” reflect my love of nature. And, yes, toads.

Where we live, at the edge of a forest, is marginal turf for Bufo americanus, the American Toad. Before we allowed the meadow to expand, a palm-sized specimen ruled the vegetable patch, with a dozen smaller leaping aside when we mowed the lawn. Their numbers declined, and the big beauty moved elsewhere. A pond in the back, as well as piles of rock in the flower beds, encouraged a few to return, to my great joy.

I want to be a good neighbour to nature, quiet and unobtrusive, yet aware of my surroundings.

Toads, I feel, have much the same intent.

When I began to conceive of A Turn of Light I had dragons and horses and all the usual suspects, but something was missing from Marrowdell (the story setting). I found it one sunny afternoon. We were strolling down our main street, it being closed for the annual summer sidewalk sale, when I spotted a huge ceramic toad on a store step. There was something not-toad about its eyes. Curious, I went closer and discovered they’d used dog-like brown glass. Artistic license.

And inspiration! I didn’t buy the toad, though I lusted after it with a wholly uncharacteristic desire-for-stuff. Instead, I took the store owner’s card and wrote on the back: “toad with puppy eyeballs.” That card’s still taped into my notebook for Turn.

And that toad? Is in the book, sitting on the Nalynn’s porch. What had been missing — a touch of what-you-think-you-know-isn’t whimsy — had been found. I described Marrowdell’s house toads as more or less like the large toad of our garden, save for the puppy eyes and, well, sharp teeth. I made them good neighbours too.

I also, because this is Marrowdell, made them sentries. They guard the settlers’ homes. They have their own small magic. They speak, to those who can hear them. They annoy my dragon, to whom they are “little cousins,” no end. They are pompous, brave, loyal, and practical.

Toads counting down to book release 20130226_153629As I wrote Turn, I fell more and more in love with toads. I went back to that store, cash in hand, only to find he no longer sold what I now considered “my toad.” Knowing my disappointment, our amazing daughter found a little shop in Colorado that not only had one, but would ship it to Canada in time for Christmas! Yes, that’s the toad I’m holding in my author photo.

Marrowdell’s house toads hopped, squatted, and blinked their way through the entire story and have made me smile times without count. My wonderful editor made toad jokes galore as I wrote the book and, with my publisher, conspired to send me yet another fabulous toad this past Christmas. In fact, toads have begun to accumulate in our home, to no one’s surprise, and I’ve featured them in announcements and fun moment on my Marrowdell facebook page.  Now that the book’s out, toads are following me — or arriving to greet me — at events. I’ve even made TOAD cookies for my readers.

Why toads?

Why, says I with great glee and a blink, not?

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Thank you so much Julie for stopping by!

Here’s more about A Turn of Light:

A Turn of Light

The village of Marrowdell is an isolated pioneer community, but it is also the place where two worlds overlap, and at the turn of light–sunset–the world of magic known as the Verge can briefly be seen.

Jenn Nalynn belongs to both Verge and Marrowdell, but even she doesn’t know how special she is–or that her invisible friend Wisp is actually a dragon sent to guard her… and keep her from leaving the valley. But Jenn longs to see the world, and thinking that a husband will help her reach this goal, she decides to create one using spells. Of course, everything goes awry, and suddenly her "invisible friend" has been transformed into a man. But he is not the only newcomer to Marrowdell, and far from the most dangerous of those who are suddenly finding their way to the valley…

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

More about Julie:

Many of you know Canadian author Julie E. Czerneda as the former biologist turned science fiction novelist published Julie Czerneda author photo credit Roger Czerneda Photographyby DAW Books NY. You may have read her Clan Chronicles series, or be a fan of Mac or Esen from her other work. Maybe you’ve heard she’s an editor. Also true. This spring, however, prepare to meet the Julie you don’t know. After three years of work, she’s letting out her whimsical side with the release of her first fantasy novel, A Turn of Light, also from DAW. The setting, Marrowdell, is based on pioneer settlements in Ontario. There are toads. And dragons. The magic? All her own. For more about Julie’s work, including book excerpts and upcoming events, please visit www.czerneda.com.

Photo credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

tynsig

Blog Tour: Bound by Elisabeth Naughton + Giveaway

Bound UPDATED Final Blog Tour Banner

I’m very happy to receive Titus (via Elisabeth!) here on the blog today for an interview 🙂 Please Welcome him warmly!

Titus’s Interview

1.) What is the best and worst thing about being an Argonaut?

Doing what I’m told. I don’t like to follow directions.

2.) Knowing that the Argonauts are a tight knit family, who do you look up to the most?

Normally I’d say Theron but…well, you’ll have to read my book to find out why he’s not my
favorite person right now.

3.) When did you first discover your gift? Did you experience it as a child or did you grow into it? If you experienced it as a child, did you have to hide it or was it okay to be "out in the open" with
it?

Most Argoleans come into their gifts when they hit adulthood. Argonauts tend to realize their abilities sooner, sometimes as early as childhood. I’ve always been able to hear others’ thoughts. For a long time I thought everyone heard voices. It was only when I reached my teen years and picked up some of the thoughts of the girls around me that I realized I was unique. (And if they had any idea I knew what they were thinking…let’s just say I used that to my advantage whenever I could.)

The Argonauts have always known my ability to read others’ thoughts. They see it as a gift, I see it as a curse.

4.) Destiny, or pre-destiny, is one of the themes of the book. What was it like growing up knowing that you, Titus, were going to be an Argonaut? Did you ever see it as a burden? or was it always a privilege? Did you ever want to be anything else in your life (and if so, what?)?

Hm…that’s a deep question. My father was an Argonaut. I had the markings from the moment I was born. It wasn’t a choice–I knew someday I’d serve. As a kid, it seemed like an awesome gig. Getting to kick ass on a regular basis? Who wouldn’t love that. The older I get though, the harder it is to do what I’m told. (See answer #1)

What would I do if I weren’t an Argonaut? Probably have my nose in some book or holed up in my house inventing something or other.

5.) We tend to take for granted the simplest of things like a caress, hugs, shaking hands, giving a friend a high five or just holding the hand of the one you love. How have you dealt with not being able to touch others?

You don’t deal with it. You accept it. Dealing with it means setting yourself up for failure. It’s better not to think of the alternative.

6.) We know that you’ve said that your gift of reading minds isn’t all that its cracked up to be. In fact, you’ve clearly stated that its a curse. If you could have any gift, what would it be and why?

None. If I had the choice, I’d choose to be normal.

7.) How are you and the other Argonauts handling having a ‘larger family’’, specifically meaning that many of you have found your other half. Before it was “just the guys” now, not only are there women living with you all, but they are your soulmates and they are very independant and strong willed. How is that going for you all?

I like the girls. They chill the guys out. Especially Zander. Man, he was a bear for way too long. Most of the guys who’ve found their soul mates are way more stressed though when they’re in the field. That, I don’t like. I seriously don’t need their messed-up thoughts in my head.

8.) Speaking of larger family – the next generation of Argonauts is also being established. Zander’s and Callie’s son Max, who is now 10 years old and Demetrius & Isadora are about to become parents soon. How are you all getting ready to prepare them for their future? Is there an “School for Argonauts” or an “Eternal Guardian Academy”?

No school. The training is usually one-on-one, father to son. It’s usually the leader’s decision when to start training.

9.) Knowing the mercurial nature of the gods, how will you and the other Argonauts prepare for the next attack?

Very carefully.

10.) The Argonauts have been working with Nick, the Leader of the Misos’s colony, against your enemies. Could this be the start of something? Do you believe that the Misos and Argeoleans will be able to coexist in peace?

I don’t see why not. Nick’s an okay guy most of the time. Serious chip on his shoulder, but he pulls through for us when we need him. The wild card is the Council. They do not like the Misos at all.

titus teaser II v9 FINAL

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Thank you Titus for taking the time to visit us 🙂

About the book:

Bound by Elisabeth NaughtonTITUS—To most his gift seems like a blessing, but for him it’s a curse the other Eternal Guardians—those who protect the mortal realm from threats of the Underworld—seek to exploit. One he would gladly trade for the chance to be free…

Obsessed. Her touch is like a drug. From the moment he met her, Titus knew she was different. Even dangerous. Yet though his guardian brethren are convinced Natasa is working for Hades, Titus can’t stop thinking about her. Can’t stop fantasizing about her. Can’t stop craving the one thing he knows could lead to the downfall of his world.

Possessed. Faced with stopping Natasa or joining in her quest, Titus falls to temptation and is thrust into a world of lust, deception, and deadly treachery designed by the gods. Her touch—only hers—frees him from his bonds, but desire may just condemn him. Because before the end he’ll have to decide which is more important: duty and honor to those he took an oath to defend, or a woman who could very well be the biggest curse to them all.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

giveaway

Tour wide giveaway prizes:

Bound Giveaway Collage II UPDATED

• 1 ebook copy of “Bound”
• Character Trading Cards
• 1 Eternal Guardian Bookmarker
• 1 Eternal Guardians Drink Coaster
• 1 Eternal Guardian logo Temporary tattoo
• 1 Bound Car Charm
• 1 Bound Keychain

Fill the form to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About Elisabeth:

Elisabeth-200x300I was never one of those people who knew they wanted to be an author at the age of six. I didn’t have imaginary friends. I didn’t write stories in my journal or entertain my relatives by firelight after Thanksgiving dinner. For the most part, I was just a normal, everyday kid. I liked to read, but I wasn’t exceptional at it. And when my teachers complimented me on my writing abilities, I brushed them off. I did, however, always have a penchant for the unique and absurd. And as my mother told me all throughout my childhood, I should have been an actress—I was a drama queen before my time.

Years ago, my husband bought me Scarlett: The Sequel to Gone With The Wind. If you ever saw the book, you know it’s a long one. I sat and read that thing from cover to cover, and dreamed of one day being a writer. But I didn’t actually try my hand at writing until years later when I quit my teaching job to stay home with my kids. And my husband? After that week of reading where I neglected him and, he vowed never to buy me another book again. Little did he Scarlett know I’d one day end up sitting at a keyboard all day drafting my own stories.

My writing journey has not been easy. I didn’t just sit down one day, decide I was going to write a book and voila! sell my very first attempt. As most authors will probably agree, the path to publication is filled with hours of work, pulling all-nighters I thought I’d given up in college, sacrifices, rejections, but a love I discovered along the way I just can’t live without. Instead of a big, thick book to read by lamplight (I do read much smaller ones when I get the chance), I’ve traded in my reading obsession for a laptop. And I’ve never been happier.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a wonderful family and fabulous husband who put up with my writing—and obsessive personality—even when life is chaotic. More than once my kids have been late to swimming or baseball because I needed just five more minutes to finish a scene. Their support and encouragement mean the world to me. I also have amazing friends and a support network I couldn’t survive without. So to all of you out there who have encouraged me along the way, sent me emails and fan letters, phone calls and congratulations, I just want to say, thank you. You make this whole writing gig that much more enjoyable. I truly wouldn’t be here without you.

Author Links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

tynsig

Tempting Fate blog tour with Marlene Perez +Giveaway

Strange Fates Marlene PerezNyx Fortuna from Marlene Perez’s STRANGE FATES spends his whole life tempting fate. He’s  been on  the run from his Aunts. He’s trying to find what little is left of his mother and of his life. It won’t be easy but fortune favors the bold…

Please welcome author Marlene Perez to celebrate her most recent release: Strange Fates. And don’t miss a chance to enter to win a character poster, a box set of Marlene’s DEAD IS series, and an ebook of STRANGE FATES..

Fate, Danger, & Superstition

In Strange Fates, the first book in my new adult urban fantasy series, Nyx Fortuna literally fights fate, in the form of his aunts, the three Fates. He has the embodiment of luck on his side, as his mother was Lady Fortuna, AKA Lady Luck, the fourth and forgotten Fate.

In Strange Fates, there is a thread of superstition running through the novel. Even the Fates themselves fall prey to superstition, as they want to kill Nyx simply for being born the only male in the Wyrd family line. A prophecy indicates that a male Wyrd will bring about the Fates’ downfall and since they believe in the prophecy, they do everything they can to end Nyx’s life, but he’s immortal and can’t be killed.
Lady Fortuna’s missing charms are symbols of good luck. Nyx manages to acquire some of the charms while he’s in Minneapolis, which he attributes to his phenomenal good luck, but is that what’s really going on?

I admit to a few superstitions myself. I believe that lucky people are those who look for opportunities in life, but I also have a four-leaf clover necklace and a wishbone necklace. I bought the four-leaf clover necklace after my agent sold the Dead Is series and I bought the wishbone necklace after my agent sold the Nyx Fortuna series. So maybe my agent is really my good luck charm?

I have to resist the urge to throw a pinch of salt over my shoulder, knock on wood, and spin around three times to ward off low advances, bad reviews, and worst of all, a lack of ideas. That last part I made up. Everyone knows that your cat has to sit on your manuscript for luck.

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More about Strange Fates

Strange Fates Marlene PerezThe first in a line of three exciting new urban fantasy novels blending elements of Greek myth and forbidden romance against the backdrop of Minnesota’s magical underworld.

Brooding, leather jacket-wearing Nyx Fortuna looks like a 20-something, and has for centuries now. As the son of the forgotten fourth Fate, Lady Fortuna, he has been hunted his entire life by the three Sisters of Fate that murdered his mother.

Fed up and out for revenge, Nyx comes to Minneapolis following a tip that his aunts have set up a business there. His goal ­ to bring down his mother’s killers and retrieve the thread of fate that has trapped him in the body of a twenty year old unable to age or die.

But when a chance meeting with the mysterious, dangerous and very mortal Elizabeth Abernathy throws off his plans, he must reconcile his humanity and his immortality.

Purchase:
Amazon
B&N Nook
Kobo
Google Play

You can follow Marlene on
Tumblr: http://marlenedperez.tumblr.com/
Twitter
: @MarPerez
Website: marleneperez.com

Check out the book trailer:

Previous TEMPTING FATES blog tour stops

March 18- http://parajunkee.com
March 19- http://www.smashattackreads.com/
March 20- http://amberkatze.blogspot.com/
March 21- http://closeencounterswiththenightkind.blogspot.com/

giveaway

One (1) lucky winner gets a character poster, a box set of Marlene’s DEAD IS series, and an ebook of STRANGE FATES..

Open to US & Canada only

To enter, fill the rafflecopter form below.

Ends April 5th, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

tynsig

Redemption blog tour: Guest post by Erica Hayes + giveaway!

Wicked Lies blog tour

This week, we have a guest blog from the talented Erica Hayes, author of the Shadowfae Chronicles and the new Seven Signs series. She’s here to promote her newest Seven Signs book, REDEMPTION, the second book in this apocalyptic urban fantasy romance series, as part of her blog tour. She’s put together a lovely guest post for you and there’s also a great giveaway for the tour. Please join me in welcoming Erica back to Tynga’s Reviews!

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Thanks to Tynga and the team for hosting me on the blog today! My new romance series, the Seven Signs, is about an angel vs. demon Apocalypse. Y’know, the kind with plagues and portents, rampaging demon hordes, seven vials of holy wrath and fire raining from the sky. Awesome!

But that’s not the only kind of world destruction. The End can happen in many fascinating ways.

Imagine you want to stage your very own Apocalypse. You’re getting your supervillain on, and you’ve decided this pitiful fleshbag world just has to go. But how to proceed? Naturally, you want to impress all your villain friends with just how destructive and evil you can be. You want your Apocalypse to be the very best, not some cheap imitation.

So here are a few factors to consider when throwing your end-of-the-world shindig:

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1. How will you end it?

Alien invasion, nuclear holocaust, zombie hordes, super-viruses, rogue meteorites, global famine or water shortage, even just a good honest world-wide war. Your options are multitude. Which brings me to question two:

2. Who lives and who dies?

In my Seven Signs series, the villains are a gang of demons intent on busting Satan from the pit where he’s been imprisoned for thousands of years, and creating hell on earth. They don’t really care who lives and who dies. They just want to eat everyone’s soul. So they’ve stolen the Seven Signs of the Apocalypse, and they’re just pouring out the wrath willy-nilly. Death and destruction ahoy.

But your choice of catastrophe will depend on the sort of destruction you’re looking for.

Blowing up the entire planet? Perhaps alien invasion is for you. Call 1-800-DEATH-STAR.

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Or, if you’d prefer some survivors to lord it over? Consider a rogue meteorite (effective, but difficult to arrange on short notice) or a super-bug. Super-bugs can be awesome – fortified enclaves of terrified survivors are brilliant fodder for an iron-fisted authoritarian regime – but ensure you have exclusive access to the cure, or it could be your corpse moldering by the wayside.

For a good all-purpose end, consider a zombie horde. They can be unreliable, but very amusing. And their ugly flesh-munching antics tend to bring out the worst in survivors. If you like the idea of food shortages and rampaging mobs of shotgun-wielding rednecks, definitely try a zombie horde.

How will you establish control?

However you do it, eventually you’ll want to rule over the ashes. Unfortunately, your innate villain’s charm, smoldering good looks, British accent (optional but useful) and fabulous evil laugh will probably not be enough.

So make sure you have something that everyone else wants. Water, food, gas, the cure to the virus, surprise magical powers or the only super-weapon that can defeat the aliens. You might need an army of minions to keep the peasants in line, so brainwash early, brainwash often – there’ll be no time to recruit thousands of greedy followers once the destruction starts. If you’re going to start your own religion and enslave the population that way, sow the seeds early with a few well-staged miracles, before the internet collapses and no one can see you on YouTube.

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Be prepared to wipe out anyone who opposes you. Now is not the time for tedious scruples about human rights and the rule of law. Summary execution is your friend. No one will notice a few thousand illegal guillotinings once the sky starts raining fire.

Also, your fellow villains will try to take advantage of your good work, so have a dastardly plan ready to thwart them. Luring them into a barn with promises of an unholy alliance, and then setting fire to it, has worked well in the past.

4. Who will try to stop you, and how will you deal with them?

The good guys. Sigh. Yeah. Eventually, you’ll have to deal with these do-gooders. Scientists intent on curing your super-bug, political leaders who insist on keeping law and order, or gangs of super-powered warriors who go around killing your rampaging aliens or sending your vicious demon hordes back to hell.

It doesn’t matter what form the good guys take. Whoever that is over there on the soapbox, shouting with the voice of reason? They must be silenced.

So make sure you know in advance who the do-gooders will be, and have a plan in place to discredit them. Failing that, see above on summary execution.

So there you have it. How to build your own Apocalypse.

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So you tell me: if you were a supervillain intent on destroying the world, which method would you choose, and why?

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Thanks so much for visiting us again, Erica! I’m looking forward to the rest of your tour!

Want more Erica? You can find her online at her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

You can also see the rest of her tour by clicking on the tour button below.

Redemption by Erica Hayes blog tour

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More about REDEMPTION:

Redemption by Erica Hayes (Seven Signs #2)Japheth the Tainted is on the hunt for a mysterious demon vampire. But meeting her face-to-face might disarm his warrior spirit—and spark an unquenchable passion with apocalyptic consequences.

As a fallen angel, Japheth is determined to make his way back to heaven by staying pure and slaying hellspawn. With a new scourge of vampires unleashed by a blood-drinking demon, the Prince of Thirst, there’s plenty to be done. But Japheth is after one vampire in particular—the one they call the Angel Slayer.

Rose Harley never wanted to be a vampire, but the Prince of Thirst can turn even the kindest soul into a soldier of hell. Feeling abandoned by God, she stalks the West Village taking revenge on his angels—until she meets her match.

When Japheth and Rose encounter each other, the battle is fierce and charged with desire. But when they discover a common enemy—the Prince of Thirst himself—they form a dangerous alliance that could either cost them their eternal lives, or spark a love more powerful than heaven or hell.

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Here’s the scoop on REVELATION, the first book in the series:

Revelation by Erica Hayes (Seven Signs #1)A fallen angel with a mission and a medical examiner who’s lost her faith are fighting for their souls in a glittering, near-future Manhattan…

Blind faith is for fools. That’s what Dr. Morgan Sterling believes. And she’s going to prove it by curing the zombie plague ravaging her city’s slums. She’s certain it’s not a sign of the End of Days, but a nasty disease—until an angel appears in her morgue in a flash of glory.

Luniel is not just a fallen angel. He’s a powerful warrior sworn to fight evil in hopes of a chance at redemption. He’s after the demon princes who are stealing the seven vials of holy wrath which, when perverted, will unleash eternal hell on earth. To stop the plague, Luniel needs Morgan’s help, and her faith. But Morgan believes science is their salvation. If the zombie plague is a demonic curse—and if Luniel is true—he’ll have to prove it. Even if he loses his heart to true love or his soul to Hell…

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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giveaway

There’s a tour-wide giveaway from Erica Hayes: a Kindle Fire (or an equivalent value Amazon gift card if the winner lives outside the US)

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jenn

Pooka in My Pantry blog tour: Tell Me How You Feel by R. L. Naquin + giveaway!

Pooka in My Pantry blog tour

This week, we have R. L. Naquin joining us for her blog tour in support of her latest release, POOKA IN MY PANTRY. POOKA IN MY PANTRY is the second book in her Monster Haven series from Carina Press, which feature an empath named Zoey Donovan, who’s just trying to figure out her powers and still manage the wedding planning business she runs with her best friend.

Please join me in welcoming R. L. to Tynga’s Reviews!

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Tell Me How You Feel
by R. L. Naquin

Every urban fantasy heroine has to have a thing. You know, a unique skill or quality. Something she’s better at than anyone else. She might not even know about it herself. That special something might be as simple as a sharp intelligence that helps her think her way out of trouble. Maybe she shifts into cat form, moves objects with her mind, or has fairy blood.

It could be an inherited, wicked-sharp sword she calls Senor Shinyton Prickleblade.

If there’s nothing at all special about her, start to finish, why would we read her story? I can ask my neighbor how her day at work was and save myself the time. I’m sure her story will be every bit as exciting.

In my Monster Haven series, Zoey Donovan is an empath. She feels the emotions of the people (and creatures) around her.

In a sword fight, that’s pretty lame.

While empathy is a pretty crappy offensive skill (second only to the ability to eat Cheetos without getting your fingers dirty), Zoey learns to read a situation in order to handle it better. If you know somebody is yelling at you because they’re afraid of something and not because they’re angry, you can diffuse the situation rather than escalate it.

This poses a huge difficulty from a writing standpoint.

Since grade school, we’ve all heard the mantra “show, don’t tell.” Also, one of the words on the no-no list that authors are given is the word “felt.” (Yes, we have a no-no list which includes words like “just,” “like,” all adverbs ending in “ly,” and any references to “secret gardens” or “throbbing manhoods.”) It’s considered lazy writing to have the main character constantly say she felt sad or angry or nauseated. This is partly because the word “felt” would be overused, but also because it’s telling, not showing. If someone is sad, show it in body language. If they’re angry, make them throw something. We can’t simply write “I felt angry.” Yawn.

But feeling is my heroine’s thing. I could get special dispensation from the Department of Creative License Registration, right? Wrong. I had to get around it.

Monster in My Closet by R. L. NaquinIn order to show you what Zoey feels from other people’s emotions, I subject Zoey to all sorts of physical sensations. Anger might come across as a prickly heat against her face. Fear can ooze across the floor and suck at her ankles. Sadness settles heavy across her shoulders and weighs her down.

Sure. I could have Zoey tell you that somebody is terrified. But that would be lazy. I’m not going to tell you, and neither is she. We’d rather show you.

And then she’s going to somehow take that information and save the world with it. Or at least keep her friends alive.

Not an easy task when the Leprechaun Mafia, The Board of Hidden Affairs, an angry Grim Reaper, three sharks, and a herd of goats are all after her.

So far, nobody’s bothered to ask Zoey how she feels.

For a free short story set in the Monster Haven world (with a bonus peek at the first chapter of Pooka in My Pantry), visit here: Ill-Conceived Magic

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Thanks so much for visiting us, R. L., and enjoy the rest of the blog tour!

Want more R. L.? You can find her online at her website or follow her on Facebook, Goodreads, or Twitter.

You can also see the rest of her tour by clicking on the tour button below.

Pooka in My Pantry blog tour

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More about POOKA IN MY PANTRY:

Pooka in My Pantry by R. L. NaquinA Monster Haven Story, book two

Zoey Donovan–empath, wedding planner, go-to girl for monsters with personal problems–has been marked twice for pickup by Death. On both occasions, Riley the smoking-hot reaper has refused to follow through. For his breach of protocol, Riley is now on probation. For her refusal to die on schedule, Zoey’s right to live is challenged. She will have to undergo a life-or-death trial, but she won’t know when or where it will happen…

Staying alive might not be so difficult if the Leprechaun Mafia hadn’t strolled into town. Now every business owner with the slightest connection to the supernatural community is being threatened with the most appalling bad luck if they don’t pay up. Mirrors are smashed, bodies are dropping, and Zoey’s still got clients waiting for fabric samples.

With a little luck, she might be able to save everyone and still have time for a second attempt at a decent first date with her favorite reaper.

Find out how it began in Monster in My Closet, available now!

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon

And here’s the scoop on MONSTER IN MY CLOSET, the first book in the Monster Haven series:

Monster in My Closet by R. L. NaquinI stopped believing in monsters long ago. But I knew I wasn’t imagining things when I found one in my kitchen baking muffins. I’d seen him before: lurking in my closet, scaring the crap out of my five-year-old self. Turns out that was a misunderstanding, and now Maurice needs a place to stay. How could I say no?

After all, I’ve always been a magnet for the emotionally needy, and not just in my work as a wedding planner. Being able to sense the feelings of others can be a major pain. Don’t get me wrong, I like helping people–and non-people. But this ability has turned me into a gourmet feast for an incubus, a demon that feeds off emotional energy. Now, brides are dropping dead all over town, and my home has become a safe house for the supernatural. I must learn to focus my powers and defeat the demon before he snacks on another innocent woman and comes looking for the main course…

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon

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giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for R. L.’s tour:
One (1) person will get a set of Monster Haven ebooks (MONSTER IN MY CLOSET and POOKA IN MY PANTRY)
R. L. is also giving away five (5) e-book copies (winner’s choice of either MONSTER IN MY CLOSET and POOKA IN MY PANTRY)

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jenn