Storm Force blog tour: Interview with Susannah Sandlin

Storm Force blog tour button

I’m thrilled to have Susannah Sandlin back on the blog because she’s the author of the Penton Legacy books, a paranormal romance series featuring a different kind of vampire, and the Sentinel of New Orleans books as her other self, Suzanne Johnson. Susannah’s here today to chat about her latest release, STORM FORCE. Originally released as a Kindle Serial, the full book is now available and, let me tell you, it’s a whole lot of fun. Keep reading to get to know Susannah and her newest book!

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1. Welcome back to Team Tynga’s Reviews, Susannah! It’s great to have you on the blog again. To start, could you please tell us what inspired STORM FORCE?

Omega by Susannah Sandlin (Penton Legacy #3)Thanks for having me back! When I was writing Omega, the third book in my Penton Legacy series, I got interested in the idea of a joint special ops force of Army Rangers and paranormal partners like vampires or shapeshifters—working in the U.S. instead of abroad. I liked the idea of how these highly trained human warriors would handle partnering with a shapeshifter, for example—not only learning they exist, but accepting that there are some things a shapeshifter’s going to be able to do better than a human. So in Storm Force, the human hero, Kell, is slowly (and grudgingly) coming to terms with it.

2. How would you entice readers to try STORM FORCE if they’re new to your work?

Take a sexy Army Ranger with a bad back, a take-no-prisoners eagle-shifter, a heroine who isn’t quite human, a psychic who looks like a Greek playboy, a case of ecoterrorism that doesn’t quite add up, and a hurricane—and shake it all up. I think readers new to my work can always expect suspense laced with humor and a high dose of sexy.

3. One of the neat things about STORM FORCE is that it’s related to your Penton Legacy novels but stands alone quite nicely. Could you talk about this a bit please?

It takes an element of the plot that occurs in the third Penton book, Omega—in that case an Army Ranger-vampire partnership—and expands it to cover different types of “Omega Force” teams. So while the Penton folks are off doing their thing in the Southeast, the team in Storm Force focuses on cases in Texas and Louisiana. There are no characters in common except a retired Army Colonel with mysterious ties to people in high places, who heads up the whole Omega Force program. So someone could easily pick up Storm Force and read it without having read any of the Penton Legacy series.

4. What made you choose to release STORM FORCE as a Kindle serial? Are you pleased with the response it received? Would you do it again?

It was my publisher’s idea—they were experimenting with serial releases and asked if I’d be interested. I thought my action-filled story would lend itself to the serial format, which is released in nine “episodes” over nine weeks. And I write well under deadline since I come from a journalism background. At the end of the nine weeks, it comes out as a full-length novel in print and digital. It was an exhausting schedule, turning around 10,000 words a week for nine weeks, but I really enjoyed the process and would definitely try it again. The response has been good, although a lot of readers (like me, with other serials), just waited until the whole thing downloaded to read it!

5. You’ve included so many different supernatural beings in your various series. Do you have a favourite? Are there any you’re avoiding?

Storm Force by Susannah Sandlin There aren’t any I’m avoiding, but before I write about a paranormal species, I want to make sure I can give it my own spin and not just trot out a vampire because I like vampires, for example. In the Penton series, my vampires are in an almost post-apocalyptic situation when a flu vaccine turns human blood poisonous to them. Each of my shape-shifters in Storm Force has a different twist, although it’s too spoilerific to talk about! In my urban fantasy series written as Suzanne Johnson, I love my historical undead like the pirate Jean Lafitte and my merpeople, who are Cajun aquatic shapeshifters.

6. Why do you think paranormal romance is so appealing to readers?

I think it appeals to readers on several levels. It’s a fascinating way to explore human issues, because our paranormal characters have the same problems, only amped up and complicated by their species. I also think, speaking for myself as a reader, I love getting in the heads and hearts of a dangerous, sexy bad boy. Or in the case of Storm Force, seeing how a sexy, dangerous human hero copes with a not-so-human heroine—not a combination we often see!

7. Can we expect more Omega Force novels in the near future? (Please say yes!) And will any Penton folks put in an appearance?

I’d love to eventually have some crossover betweeen the two series, but right now I’m working on the fourth Penton book. And in the Omega Force world, I’d definitely like to do the book for Robin, our eagle-shifter. She seems to have really resonated with readers because she’s such a strong, bluntly-spoken character. (Kell doesn’t call her “Razorblade Robin” for nothing!)

To wrap things up, I have some quick questions for you because there’s nothing I like more that random questions! What or who is your…

Biggest temptation? Ah….Haha. I’ve been eating low-carb for the past five months, so if anything that involved bread or sugar wafted past, I’d grab it! I’m also a sucker for tech toys. I just lost the iPhone 5 battle even though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with my 4s.

Favourite action star? I’ll say Daniel Craig. Then I’ll add that I rarely have time to go to movies or watch TV, so at least I know who Daniel Craig is. I’m woefully behind the times with celebrities. Occasionally, I’ll see a copy of a celebrity magazine and realize I have no idea who the majority of those people are! Oh wait, who’s that Wolverine guy…Hugh Jackman!

Least favourite word? Mewl. Seriously, unless you’re an honest-to-god kitten, and a young one at that, I want no mewling, especially during a sex scene.

Ideal vacation destination? I’d like to go into seclusion at Cedar Key, Florida, for a few months. Wait, that’s not very exotic….eh, that’s okay. It’s the “seclusion” part I want. Cedar Key is cool; has sort of a Jimmy Buffett vibe without having to go all the way to the Keys.

Most cherished keepsake? I lost most of my childhood stuff in Hurricane Katrina (books, dolls, etc.), which was also an experience that made me treasure “stuff” less. So … this monstrous treadle-powered sewing machine that belonged to my grandmother.

Thanks very much for visiting us, Susannah, and congrats on your latest release!

Thanks for having me today!

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More about STORM FORCE:

StormAs leader of the elite counter-terrorism team Omega Force, former army ranger Jack “Kell” Kellison is always focused on getting the job done. So when a Houston high-rise is bombed and the governor killed or missing, Kell’s mission is clear: infiltrate the group suspected of the bombing and neutralize the threat by any means necessary. But once Kell meets beautiful chief suspect Mori Chastaine, he realizes there’s more to this case than meets the eye. And more to Mori than any man—any human man—could imagine.

Mori Chastaine is running out of options. Suspected for a crime she didn’t commit, forced into a marriage she doesn’t want, she sees no escape—until Kell walks through her door. A lifetime hiding her true nature warns her Kell might not be who he seems. But he could be the only one able to help save more innocent humans from becoming pawns in an ancient paranormal power play. If Mori reveals her secret, will Kell join her fight? Or will she become his next target?

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon

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Susannah Sandlin

Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranormal romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night. A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right?) The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Jenn

Storm Force by Susannah Sandlin

Storm Force by Susannah SandlinStorm Force by Susannah Sandlin

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
e-book: 342 pages
Genre: Paranormal romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release date: June 18, 2013

Series: n/a

Source: Review copy from Bewitching Book Tours

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon

As leader of the elite counter-terrorism team Omega Force, former army ranger Jack “Kell” Kellison is always focused on getting the job done. So when a Houston high-rise is bombed and the governor killed or missing, Kell’s mission is clear: infiltrate the group suspected of the bombing and neutralize the threat by any means necessary. But once Kell meets beautiful chief suspect Mori Chastaine, he realizes there’s more to this case than meets the eye. And more to Mori than any man—any human man—could imagine.

Mori Chastaine is running out of options. Suspected for a crime she didn’t commit, forced into a marriage she doesn’t want, she sees no escape—until Kell walks through her door. A lifetime hiding her true nature warns her Kell might not be who he seems. But he could be the only one able to help save more innocent humans from becoming pawns in an ancient paranormal power play. If Mori reveals her secret, will Kell join her fight? Or will she become his next target?

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know i enjoy Susannah Sandlin/Suzanne Johnson’s work. Needless to say, when I heard she was writing a new paranormal romance that’s a loose offshoot of her Penton Legacy vampire novels, I was quite excited, especially since it was being released as a Kindle serial. But then I couldn’t get it because I lived in Canada so I had to wait until the full novel was written to get my hands on STORM FORCE. But I’m happy to report that STORM FORCE is a nice paranormal romance with a lot of suspense added in. It actually reads like a paranormal suspense novel that just happens to have supernatural characters in it, which is just my cup of tea.

One of the neatest things about STORM FORCE is that the lead couple have an unusual power dynamic. Mori is more than human and is consequently more physically powerful than Kell. It’s a pairing that’s less commonly seen in the genre and it was kind of refreshing to watch this alpha Ranger man deal with the fact that his romantic interest is being sparked by someone who could throw him out a window if she was in the mood. Thankfully, he knows that her strength doesn’t make him weak because I hate those characters who can only see others’ strengths as detractions. I adore strong women — in fiction and in real life — and I can’t stand it when people react badly to capable women.

Rant aside, I also like how much this novel stands alone. You don’t have to be familiar with the Penton Legacy books to read STORM FORCE so if the blurb appeals, you should pick it up. STORM FORCE reads very well as a stand-alone novel and you’ll quickly be sucked into the mystery of who set the bomb and why they’re framing Mori for it. The answer is unexpected — and revealed early enough in the novel that you’ll get to see the ramifications, which is great. Knowing the who and they why really up the stakes and it makes STORM FORCE a roller coaster of a novel.

There are also some nice humorous moments in STORM FORCE. One of my favourite characters is Robin, an eagle shifter with a lot of attitude. I really liked her boldness and also the fact that she was an eagle shifter since we don’t see a ton of avian shifters in the literature. I do hope she gets her own novel at some point because I’d love to spend more time with her.

If you’re looking for a suspenseful paranormal romance, look no further than STORM FORCE. Sandlin has created a great story with a compelling cast and you’ll be hooked from the first page!

Read an excerpt

Jenn

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Omega blog tour: Through a Vampire’s Eyes by Susannah Sandlin + two giveaways!

Omega blog tour

Today we have a guest blog from an author I adore: Susannah Sandlin! I love her Penton Legacy books, a series of paranormal romance novels based around vampires who are forced to deal with a dwindling food supply when a vaccine leaves humans unpalatable. The first two books in the series, REDEMPTION and ABSOLUTION, were fantastic, and events really come to head in OMEGA, the latest release.

Susannah has put together a great interview with Will, the male lead of OMEGA. I hope you’ll all enjoy it. It’s a little insight into what makes this particular vampire tick.

And make sure to check out the two — that’s right, TWO! — giveaways that we’re hosting as part of the blog tour.

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Through a Vampire’s Eyes
(c) Susannah Sandlin

Ever wonder what it would be like to view life as a vampire? We caught up with Will Ludlam of the Penton Legacy to find out. After all, the eyes of a vampire are a window to his soul (yes, vampires have souls). When all is good in the world, Will’s eyes are a rich golden brown—a nice match with his blond hair that’s still sun-streaked from when his human life ended at age twenty-two. (Never mind that that was sixty years ago.) But when Will is hungry, or agitated, or, um, aroused, they glow kind of gold. So that eye thing could be good news or bad news, depending on what side of the fangs you’re on.

But still, here are a few questions for Will:

Describe your hands.
(Looks down and flexes fingers.) Uh, they have opposing thumbs. I don’t wear nail polish. I have done a lot of wood-working as well as computer work, so my hands are strong but also very agile. (Gives interviewer a mischievous look, as if he’s considering showing how agile they are…but then thinks better of it.) I don’t have hair on the backs of my hands. Or my back. In my day, girls thought that was gross. Do they still?

Describe where you sleep.
(Groans.) Well, right now, my whole town is in hiding in an underground bunker while my psychotic biological father plays war games overhead, destroying everything and waiting for us to pop up like ground squirrels so he can kill us. So I’m sleeping in a freaking twin bed. Thank God vampires are unconscious during daylight hours so I don’t know how uncomfortable I am—until I wake up with kinks and cramps in places I didn’t realize I had. And do I have to tell you how hard it is to have…uh…activities in a twin bed? I actually FELL IN THE FLOOR on my assets last night. Ridiculous, I tell you.

Describe Randa.
Is she going to see this? You’re sure not? Okay, then I can be nice. Otherwise, it would go to her head. She has the most beautiful dark red hair and beautiful skin. She’s got really nice..uh…is this a PG13 website? Well, anyway, they’re totally hot. She was in the Army before she got turned vampire, so she has these great camo clothes that we can totally role play. I keep waiting to see her Army boots and…what do you mean TMI?

Describe yourself.
This is a trap, right? Because if I tell you I’m the best-looking vampire in, like, the universe, you can show this to Aidan and Mirren and they’ll pound the crap out of me. Or Randa will put me in the brig..no, wait, that’s the Navy…Okay, I’m six-feet even, weigh 175, have a nice set of abs, I’m told, and the best ass in town. Blonde hair, brown eyes. Dimples. Girls love dimples. Did you realize girls love dimples?

Describe yourself sitting in your favorite spot?
What makes you think I’d be sitting? Oh, fine. I’m probably at Mirren’s house—the one he had before I was forced to burn it down. He has this huge sectional sofa, and I’m hanging out with Mirren and Glory and Aidan and Krys and, yeah, I guess Randa can be there. We’re watching one of those ridiculous western movies Mirren likes, and drinking wine and relaxing. That’s what I hope to get back to when all this mess with my father is done. Assuming we live through it.

Describe your most treasured item.
I have a photo of me with my mom and sister Cathy when I was about 15, so Cathy was 10 or 11. We’d left dad in the city and had gone to Coney Island for the day. Yeah, sounds corny. But it was fun and we got someone to take our photo on the boardwalk. Seven years later, they were both dead, and things had changed so, so much. When things got bad in Penton, I buried an extra laptop in a metal case in the woods behind my house because I knew I’d have to burn down the house. I stuck that photo in the box with the computer so I didn’t lose it.

Describe the first thing you’ll do when the siege of Penton ends?
You mean if I’m not dead or locked up in my father’s silver-lined dungeon? I’ll take Randa somewhere to get away for a while. Maybe New Orleans. Maybe the mountains. Of course, we’d need to take a human familiar with us who hadn’t been vaccinated with the pandemic vaccine that turned blood poisonous and started this whole mess. (Eyes interviewer.) You’d do. Want to go on a trip?

Will Ludlam will be hanging around today, so if you have any questions about what else you might see through his eyes, just ask! A commenter will be chosen to win their choice of book from the Penton Legacy series in print, audio, or Kindle version. Open internationally. Also enter the Rafflecopter for the Omega Tour prizes!

Now, what would you like to ask Will?

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Thanks for visiting us, Susannah, and giving us a vampire’s perspective on life!

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

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

Omega blog tour

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More about OMEGA:

Omega by Susannah SandlinThe bloody war between the Vampire Tribunal and the defiant scathe of Penton, Alabama, rages on, forcing its residents and their bonded humans to retreat into the underground fortress of last resort: Omega. There, Will Ludlam is charged with the care of Penton’s humans, though he longs to fight alongside his vampire brethren. He knows the risks: as the renegade son of the Tribunal’s vicious leader, Will’s capture could doom the resistance. Yet he is determined to prove his worth to his adopted scathe, to his vengeful father—and to former US Army officer Randa Thomas, his beautiful, reluctant partner. Randa has little faith that a former member of the vampire elite has what it takes to fight a war. But as their enemies descend upon Omega, Will’s polished charm—and Randa’s guarded heart—finally give way to the warrior within. Fans of Susannah Sandlin’s Penton Legacy are sure to devour this long-awaited third installment of the steamy paranormal series.

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

You can see what I thought of the previous two Penton Legacy novels by clicking on the cover:

Redemption by Susannah Sandlin Absolution by Susannah Sandlin

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giveaway

Giveaway #1: One (1) lucky reader will get one of Susannah’s Penton Legacy books (e-book, audio book, or print)

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #2: One (1) tour-wide winner will get his or her choice a Kindle Paperwhite or Nook Simple Touch (or US$100 gift card for Amazon, B&N, or Book Depository) and five (5) lucky people will win a $10 gift card for the online bookseller of their choice

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jenn

Omega by Susannah Sandlin

Omega by Susannah Sandlin Omega by Susannah Sandlin

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
Trade paperback: 328 pages
Genre: Paranormal romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release date: February 5, 2013

Series: Penton Legacy #3

Source: Review copy from Bewitching Book Tours

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

The bloody war between the Vampire Tribunal and the defiant scathe of Penton, Alabama, rages on, forcing its residents and their bonded humans to retreat into the underground fortress of last resort: Omega. There, Will Ludlam is charged with the care of Penton’s humans, though he longs to fight alongside his vampire brethren. He knows the risks: as the renegade son of the Tribunal’s vicious leader, Will’s capture could doom the resistance. Yet he is determined to prove his worth to his adopted scathe, to his vengeful father—and to former US Army officer Randa Thomas, his beautiful, reluctant partner. Randa has little faith that a former member of the vampire elite has what it takes to fight a war. But as their enemies descend upon Omega, Will’s polished charm—and Randa’s guarded heart—finally give way to the warrior within. Fans of Susannah Sandlin’s Penton Legacy are sure to devour this long-awaited third installment of the steamy paranormal series.

The third book in Susannah Sandlin’s Penton Legacy series, OMEGA continues the story of the vampires and humans who try to lead peaceful and cooperative lives in the face of ever-increasing danger and persecution. I really enjoyed the first two books in the series, especially ABSOLUTION. I also enjoyed OMEGA but it didn’t quite meet my expectations, perhaps because they were too high after the previous instalments. Don’t get me wrong — OMEGA is still a great book and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the series as a whole but it didn’t thrill me as much as REDEMPTION and ABSOLUTION did.

OMEGA is Will and Randa’s story. Their attraction has been on simmer since book one in the can’t-stand-each-other-but-are-totally-secretly-into-each-other kind of way. It’s a definite trope but one that works well here since Will and Randa are forced to work together on a regular basis and they both have some serious issues to work through. Will has a pile of daddy issues since his father forced him to become a vampire, is trying to destroy Penton, and had bad, bad things done to Will to get him to fall in line before Will defected to Penton. Randa is a reluctant vampire, also turned against her will only a handful of years before. She misses her human life and family and can’t stand basics of vampire life, like drinking blood. They’re both a mess but also both devoted to the cause, smart, and brave, so they’re a well matched pair. They both show a lot of growth over the course of OMEGA and it was fun to get into their heads but their romance didn’t resonate for me the way Kris and Aidan or Glory and Mirren’s did. I liked both characters individually and think they have some nice chemistry but they didn’t win me over in the same way.

I was, however, really thrilled with how Sandlin has structured the overall series arc for Penton and its citizens. There are some exciting developments in the series storyline and I really didn’t expect the plan they devised to deal with Matthias and win back the Tribunal’s favour. I’m not sure if there are more books planned for this series but they’re sure to be interesting if they come to pass thanks to this game-changing ending. It’s a great conclusion for the main big questions in the series, though the world is definitely open enough for more thrilling adventures.

If you’re looking for some great paranormal romance, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Penton Legacy books. They’ve got a great cast of characters, steamy romance, and fast-paced action, all wrapped up in a really original setting. OMEGA may not be my favourite instalment but it’s definitely a well-written story in an interesting world.

Read an excerpt

Jenn

Knight Awakened by Coreene Callahan

coreene callahan - knight awakened

Knight Awakened by Coreene Callahan

Book Stats:

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
ARC: 443 pages
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release date: December 4, 2012

Series: Circle of Seven #1

Source: Publisher (via Jenn)

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

In AD 1331, warlord Vladimir Barbu seizes control of Transylvania. But in spite of his bloody triumph, his claim to the throne remains out of reach. The king of Hungary opposes his rule, the Transylvanian people despise his brutal ways, and the high priestess needed to crown him has vanished without a trace. But Barbu hasn’t come this far only to be thwarted by a woman. He unleashes his best hunters to track her down and bring her to him — dead or alive.

For Xavian Ramir, killing is the only life he has ever known. Torn from his family when he was a child, he was trained from an early age to be an elite assassin. But now he longs for something more, vowing to start anew after one last job. The bounty on his target’s head is enough to set him up for good — if he can resist the long-dead conscience that stirs to life when he meets his beautiful mark.

Afina Lazar never wanted to become high priestess, but the brutal murders of her beloved mother and sister leave her no choice. Now she is running for her life, desperate to protect the magical amulet entrusted to her care. But when Barbu’s assassin comes for her, she realizes her only chance of stopping the warlord’s rise to power is to convince this enigmatic — and handsome — hunter that she is more valuable alive than dead. Dramatic and fast-paced, Knight Awakened is a stirring love story between two people searching for a second chance in a magical world of assassins, warlords, unearthly beasts, and nonstop.

If you’ve been following my reviews here on Tynga’s Reviews this past year, you might have noticed how much I’ve enjoyed Coreene Callahan’s Dragonfury series so far. It reminds me so much of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series because of the brotherly bond between the warriors and the intense bond they share with their mates. While this newest series of hers has those qualities, it’s a forage into a different genre altogether. Although KNIGHT AWAKENED does have a few dragons, the story concentrates more on the high priestess Afina Lazar and her bodyguard of sorts, Xavian Ramir who has declined the task of bringing Afina to the evil warlord Vladimir Barbu for a bounty.

This book promises non-stop action in a wonderful historical setting of greedy lords, yummy warriors and humble heroines. I really enjoyed the first book in this new series mainly because of the admirable characters and dragons shapeshifting dragons. The main characters, like in all Coreene Callahan books, are unforgettable. Afina has the right amount of strength and tenacity to survive and protect her niece while being hunted by an evil warlord. It’s her dedication to goodness that makes her an admirable and loveable character. The fact that we see her grow as a character in a short amount of time, makes her a more believable character. As for Xavian, he might seem like your typical warrior but his history and dark past add depth to his character. He is undoubtedly haunted by the things he’s done as an assassin and feels unworthy of Afina’s love.

While the story itself can seem like your typical woman-in-distress-meets-strong-warrior, I have no problem with the storyline because for me, that type of hook will never get old. It’s what happens during the rest of the novel that keeps you entertained anyways. Afina is wanted by many parties because of her magical powers and her high priestess title. As she runs away with Xavian from anybody that wants to harm her, an obvious bond starts to form between the two. I’m glad the author didn’t rush the relationship between the two. I’m not going to reveal too much about Afina’s magical powers and her quest because finding out everything is one of the charms of this book.

There’s a huge cast of secondary characters in this book, which made it hard to keep track of them sometimes. That’s probably the only negative thing I have to say about the novel. I understand the author wanted to introduce us to all the members of her prophesized Circle of Seven (the name of the series), but I think it’s the additional characters like the dragons, the bad guys and the various townspeople/household members that made it hard to keep track of everyone. Despite this minor inconvenience, the story is still very clear and enjoyable.

I have a guilty pleasure for historical paranormal romances and KNIGHT AWAKENED was able to satisfy my craving for the genre. There’s something special about this genre that makes me want to read more of it. With some of the secondary characters being shapeshifting dragons, I believe this Circle of Seven series might be a prequel of sorts to the Dragonfury series. If that’s true, I can’t wait to read more of either series so I can learn more about the magical world of Coreene Callahan’s dragon shapeshifters.

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Coreene Callahan’s Top 10 Dragon Tips + giveaway!

Coreene Callahan We’re skipping Daring You To Read this week because we have a guest post from Coreene Callahan, author of the Dragonfury series, which Stéphanie loves!

As the only girl on all guys hockey teams from age six through her college years, Coreene Callahan knows a thing or two about tough guys and loves to write about them. Call it kismet. Call it payback after years of locker room talk and ice rink antics, but whatever you call it, the action better be heart stopping, the magic electric, and the story wicked, good fun.

After graduating with honors in psychology and working as an interior designer, she finally succumbed to her overactive imagination and returned to her first love: writing. And when she’s not writing, she’s dreaming of magical worlds full of dragon-shifters, elite assassins, and romance that’s too hot to handle. Callahan currently lives in Canada with her family and writing buddy, a fun-loving golden retriever.

Stay tuned for Coreene’s Top 10 Dragon Tips and enter to win a copy of her latest Dragonfury book, FURY OF SEDUCTION!

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I don’t know about you, but I’m a big believer in the slogan “knowledge is power”. That kind of attitude has saved by tuckus more than once, enabling me to stay healthy while writing about dragon-shifters. They are, after all, a difficult—think…crazy, secretive, sometimes violent—bunch. And tend to get upset when I reveal things Dragonkind would rather we not know. Secrets like, oh say, their strengths and weaknesses, how and where they live along with—

Well, I could go on, but prefer to stay alive, so…

Today, I decided to share my top ten Dragon Tips. The ones that will help you recognize the warning signs and get the heck out of Dodge if necessary. I hope each stands you in good stead should you ever come nose-to-scales with a dragon-shifter in a snit or ah-hem…a more amorous frame of mind.

Top 10 Dragon Tips Everyone Oughta Know:

1. Dragon-shifters are notorious pranksters, so be careful—you start it, they’ll finish it…every time.

2. Never piss off a frost dragon. You’ll end up in a cryogenic deep freeze.

3. Never lend a dragon-shifter your car. Dragons love to drop things from high places, just to see them go crunch. He’ll call it a scientific experiment while you’re calling your insurance company.

4. Invite a dragon-shifter to dinner. He’ll not only cook for you (flambéed entrees in an instant!), but bring an excellent vintage from his wine collection too. Serve it up hot, sprinkle on some sexy, and enjoy HIM along with the meal.

5. Dragons fear water. There is, however, one exception to the rule…Mac (the hero of FURY OF SEDUCTION). So before you drop the towel on the deck to take a midnight dip, check the bottom of the pool. Mac’s been known to “borrow” one every now and again.

6. Never play poker, strip or otherwise, with a dragon-shifter. You’ll end up broke, homeless, and probably naked too.

7. Dragons love to show off. Ask yours to take you on a midnight flight. You’ll get a bird’s-eye view and the ride of your life…during and afterward.

8. Dragons love to give chase. So don’t run…unless, of course, you wish to be caught and thrown into an erotic free-fall toward the nearest bed. (*sigh* We should all be so lucky!)

9. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire…which probably means Wick is in the area. Stay inside and away from the windows. Hiding under the bed is advisable too, cuz yeah…Wick finding you? Not even close to a good idea.

10. Courting a dragon-shifter’s forgiveness? Treat him to a night filled with the THREE Ls: laughter, lingerie and lots of loving. Works like a charm every time. He’ll forget his own name, never mind what upset him in the first place.

So there you have it. The Top 10 list of Dragon Dos and Don’ts. A huge thanks to Tynga’s Reviews for inviting me to visit today. It’s been great fun! To learn more about the Dragonfury Novels and my Circle of Seven series, stop by my website www.coreenecallahan.com. I’d love to hear from you!

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Thanks for visiting us, Coreene! What a great list!

Want more Coreene? You can find her online at her website or on Facebook, or Twitter.

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More about FURY OF SEDUCTION:

Fury of Seduction by Coreene CallahanSuccessful landscape designer Tania Solares prides herself on living by her own terms, relying on no man to provide for her. But her carefully controlled life takes a turn for the extraordinary when her inquiry into the disappearance of her best friend thrusts her between two warring factions of dragon-shifters. Suddenly Tania’s survival depends on Mac, a newly initiated dragon-warrior who will break every rule to keep her safe.

Now that Tania knows the truth about Dragonkind, returning to her old life is too grave a risk. Ivar, leader of the Razorbacks, plots to decimate the human race, and Tania is just the tool he needs. Despite the danger, Mac cannot deny her a choice: Trade the independence she’s fought so hard to achieve for safety in a magical world, or turn her back on the man she’s grown to love in order to reclaim a freedom that might not last? It is an impossible choice. And yet a sacrifice must be made…

Stéphanie’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

To learn more about the first two Dragonfury books, click on the covers!

Coreene Callahan Fury of FireCoreene Callahan Fury of Ice

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giveaway

Coreene is graciously offering one (1) print copy of FURY OF SEDUCTION to a lucky reader!

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

Ends Thursday, December 13, 2012

Open internationally

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jenn

Fury of Seduction by Coreene Callahan

coreene callahan - fury of seduction

Fury of Seduction by Coreene Callahan

Book Stats:

Reading Level: Adult
Paperback: 449 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: November 13, 2012

Series: Dragonfury #3

Source: eARC from the publisher

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Successful landscape designer Tania Solares prides herself on living by her own terms, relying on no man to provide for her. But her carefully controlled life takes a turn for the extraordinary when her inquiry into the disappearance of her best friend thrusts her between two warring factions of dragon-shifters. Suddenly Tania’s survival depends on Mac, a newly initiated dragon-warrior who will break every rule to keep her safe.

Now that Tania knows the truth about Dragonkind, returning to her old life is too grave a risk. Ivar, leader of the Razorbacks, plots to decimate the human race, and Tania is just the tool he needs. Despite the danger, Mac cannot deny her a choice: Trade the independence she’s fought so hard to achieve for safety in a magical world, or turn her back on the man she’s grown to love in order to reclaim a freedom that might not last? It is an impossible choice. And yet a sacrifice must be made…

There’s no doubt in my mind that there’s something special about this Dragonfury series. Not only did she create a wonderful kind of dragon shapeshifter, but Coreene Callahan has succeeded in creating great characters that have you coming back for more. I think, FURY OF SEDUCTION has been my favorite of the series so far, especially since it features one of my favorite dragons, Mac.

Mac hasn’t been a dragon for a long time. Actually, he’s only known about his true nature for a few weeks now. He has always been drawn to water, especially when he was a Navy SEAL. Now that he knows he’s a water dragon, everything makes sense. The only problem is, water dragons are very rare, especially since one water dragon wants to remain the only one in existence and will do pretty much anything to eradicate any new water dragons, including Mac. It’s a good thing that Mac has joined the Nightfuries, warriors who will do anything to protect humankind. They have vowed to fight against the Razorbacks, who plan to kill off the majority of humankind and who have made this rogue water dragon one of their own.

Of course, this book wouldn’t be complete without the romance between Mac and Tania. Unfortunately, like all the other books in this series (and many paranormal romance book, truthfully), I found love was mentioned too soon and without any real foundation. What seems to bound these dragons to their mates is a strong energy that inevitably makes them fall in love. Not very realistic, I know, but a girl can wish for a strong and buff dragon of her own, can’t she? This has been my only problem with the series so far. The fated mate thing can get repetitive, so I hope author creates more obstacles in the relationships in the future books.

Nevertheless, Tania and Mac seem to be well matched. She’s the type of woman that never really trusted men since she’s always been afraid of revealing her emotions in fear of rejection. On the other hand, Mac has always been a one-night-stand kind of guy and has never thought of trying for a relationship until Tania stepped into his life. Since Tania is one of the prime targets for the Razorback breeding program, Mac will stop at nothing to protect and save her from kidnappers.

While Tania’s background story was very detailed and developed, I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t learn more about Mac’s past. However, because of his relationship with the rogue water dragon, I’m hoping more will be revealed in the future books.

The first two books introduced us to the silent war between the Nightfuries and the Razorbacks, and focused mostly on characters in the Seattle area. Now, with FURY OF SEDUCTION, Coreene Callahan has expanded her story to Europe and introduced other major key player of this war. I have a feeling we have only skimmed the surface of this secretive dragon world and I suspect were in for quite a ride in the upcoming books. If you’re a fan of dragons and/or of hot and dominant shapeshifters, do try this series if you haven’t already. I love that they’re reasonably priced for the kindle and kindle apps, since I’m the type of person that hates buying e-book for more that $5.

Read an excerpt

0stephsig

"When I’m not writing…" with Susannah Sandlin + giveaway!

Thea Harrison

I’m a big fan of this week’s guest: Susannah Sandlin (a.k.a Suzanne Johnson). She’s the mind behind a great new dark paranormal romance series called the Penton Legacy, in which vampires are forced to cope with a dwindling food supply thanks to a vaccine that has one small side effect: it taints users’ blood and leaves them unpalatable for vampires. One vampire, Aidan Murphy, comes up with a unique solution: to build a community when vampires and unvaccinated humans co-exist and help each other. The first book in the series, REDEMPTION, came out earlier this year and Susannah is here to help celebrate the release of the second book, ABSOLUTION, by telling what she does when she’s not writing as one stop on her blog tour.

Keep reading to find out what Susannah does to pass the time AFK and then enter the tour-wide giveaway! There are some awesome prizes to be had! 😀

WINW_logo

Thanks to Tynga’s Reviews for having me here today! “What do you do when you’re not writing?” is a hard question to answer. Before I do, an explanation.

First, I can tell you what I used to do before I started writing fiction. I loved to quilt, particularly paper-pieced quilting. It always amazed me how sewing together hundreds of teeny-tiny scraps of fabric could become something much more than the sum of its parts. Here are a couple of my quilts. Until August of 2005, I had a little cottage industry going, making quilt tops and selling them on eBay to people who liked to quilt but not to piece the tops. I also worked full-time at a local university, and liked to run around on weekends to festivals and antiques shows and art events.

Susannah Sandlin QuiltSusannah Sandlin Quilt

Then came Hurricane Katrina. Oh, did I mention I lived in New Orleans?

Katrina blew a lot of us in different directions. I evacuated at the last minute, and when I was finally allowed to return home after eight long weeks, I began quilting again but my heart wasn’t in it. I started a daily blog where I bitched about recovery and anger and loss every day. Then I tired of navel-gazing and turned my angst to fiction instead. After more than twenty years as a journalist I wrote my first novel in 2009, building on my Katrina experiences. It was called Royal Street, and it became the first in an urban fantasy series, Sentinels of New Orleans, being published under the name Suzanne Johnson.

By then, I had the writing bug, big-time. While waiting for Royal Street to go through the publishing cycle, I turned my hand to paranormal romance and indulged my love of sexy alphas, urban fantasy, and vampires. The result, Redemption, became the first in the Penton Legacy series—book two, Absolution, just came out (the third, Omega, comes out in February). For my romance writing, I chose to use my great-great-great grandmother’s name, Susannah Sandlin. She’s probably spinning in her grave!

So…what do I do when I’m not writing? With two series going simultaneously, I’m writing a lot. I also write a daily book blog called Preternatura and hold down a full-time day job that involves, yes, writing nonfiction.

But lest I come across like a workaholic dullard, I have a few guilty pleasures:

*MUSIC. I’m a complete music junkie—at last count, my iTunes song count was near five figures, and I have more than a thousand vinyl LPs I have no idea what to do with. I have really eclectic taste, leaning toward alternative singer/songwriters. Slaid Cleaves, Chris Knight, and Gurf Morlix are favorites. I also get on obsessive tears where I listen to the same artist for, like, MONTHS without break. It’s kind of like auditory stalking! I spent nine of the last twelve months listening exclusively to Cajun artist Zachary Richard, and the last three months I’ve been obsessed with a French-Canadian artist named David Jalbert. Love him! I have earbuds in all day at the office, then crank up the tunes when I’m writing everything except first drafts, which require quiet for me. I only sing in the car—alone—since I sound alarmingly donkey-like.

*shuffles feet* I allow myself about an hour and a half of TV per day, and use my DVR to record…well, yeah…my favorite reality TV shows. Total brain mush. I somehow manage to squeeze in the biggies like Survivor and The Amazing Race, but really love culture-immersion shows like Swamp People and Ice Road Truckers. When I say I’m looking for my soul mate, a long-haul trucker who hunts gators in his spare time, people think I’m joking. Um….not really.

I have two furkids who were both rescues. Shane is a 25-pound Irish terrier mix and Tanker is a 90-pound behemoth of black chow-golden retriever. They’re both getting old (13 and 12), but are still the funniest dogs in the world.

Susannah Sandlin Dogs Shane and Tanker

And…that’s about it! When I’m not writing books…usually, I’m writing something else!

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Thanks for visiting us, Susannah, on the last day of your blog tour!

For more information about Susannah and her books, check out her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

To see Susannah’s other stops, click on the tour button below.

Susannah Sandlin blog tour

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Here’s the scoop on ABSOLUTION:

Absolution by Susannah SandlinWith the vampire world on the brink of civil war over the scarcity of untainted human blood, battle lines are being drawn between the once peaceful vampire and human enclave of Penton, Alabama, and the powerful Vampire Tribunal. Mirren Kincaid once served the tribunal as their most creative and ruthless executioner—a time when he was known as the Slayer. But when assigned a killing he found questionable, Mirren abandoned the tribunal’s political machinations and disappeared—only to resurface two centuries later as the protector and second-in-command of Penton. Now the tribunal wants him back on their side. To break their rogue agent, they capture Glory Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, and send her to restore Mirren’s bloodthirsty nature. But instead of a monster, Glory sees a man burdened by the weight of his past. Could her magic touch—meant by the tribunal to bring out a violent killer—actually help Mirren break his bonds and discover the love he doesn’t believe he deserves?

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

You should also check out REDEMPTION, the first book in the series:

Redemption by Susannah SandlinFor vampire Aidan Murphy, life has never been so desperate. The vaccine used to treat a global pandemic has rendered human blood deadly to his kind, leaving them on the brink of starvation and civil war. In tiny Penton, Alabama, Aidan establishes a peaceful community of vampires and unvaccinated human donors. He dares to hope they can survive — until his estranged brother descends upon Penton and begins killing the humans. Determined to save his town, Aidan kidnaps an unsuspecting human doctor…and finds himself falling in love for the first time in nearly four centuries.

Dr. Krystal Harris thought she was coming to Penton for a job interview, but Aidan Murphy has other plans. Infuriated by his high-handed scheme to imprison her in the small town, Krys can’t ignore the attraction between them. But is it love? Or does her dangerous, charismatic captor want only to bend her to his will?

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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giveaway

TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAY

Kindle Paper White (or $100 U.S. gift card to Amazon, B&N, or Book Depository winner’s choice)
5 signed print or audio copies of Absolution (winner’s choice of print or audio)

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

US only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!

Jenn

Absolution by Susannah Sandlin

Absolution by Susannah Sandlin Absolution by Susannah Sandlin

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
Trade paperback: 327 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release date: August 7, 2012

Series: Penton Legacy #2

Source: Review copy from Bewitching Book Tours

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

With the vampire world on the brink of civil war over the scarcity of untainted human blood, battle lines are being drawn between the once peaceful vampire and human enclave of Penton, Alabama, and the powerful Vampire Tribunal. Mirren Kincaid once served the tribunal as their most creative and ruthless executioner—a time when he was known as the Slayer. But when assigned a killing he found questionable, Mirren abandoned the tribunal’s political machinations and disappeared—only to resurface two centuries later as the protector and second-in-command of Penton. Now the tribunal wants him back on their side. To break their rogue agent, they capture Glory Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, and send her to restore Mirren’s bloodthirsty nature. But instead of a monster, Glory sees a man burdened by the weight of his past. Could her magic touch—meant by the tribunal to bring out a violent killer—actually help Mirren break his bonds and discover the love he doesn’t believe he deserves?

As you may remember from my post last month, I really enjoyed REDEMPTION, the first book in the Penton Legacy series. ABSOLUTION, the second book, may just be better!

A quick reminder about the basic concept of the series: Vampires exist but most of the world doesn’t know about them. They’re in crisis because there was a vaccine that went out all over the world and one of its side-effects is that it keeps vampires from feeding on humans because they taste like ick. Penton is a small community founded by Aidan Murphy in which vampires and humans are aware of each other and live peacefully and rather symbiotically. It’s a really interesting setting: the vampires are living in this sort of post-apocalyptic world but everything’s business as usual for most of the planet.

In ABSOLUTION, Susannah Sandlin (a.k.a. Suzanne Johnson) puts one of Aidan’s lieutenants in the romantic hot seat: Mirren, formerly the Slayer for the Vampire Tribunal, who faked his own death to try to find a new life in Penton. Needless to say, he’s a complicated guy and it was a real treat getting to know him better. I really liked Mirren in his supporting role in REDEMPTION and he’s even more enjoyable as the main focus!

The leading lady of the story is also a delight. I adored Glory. She and Mirren meet under terrible circumstances but she’s not afraid of him, even knowing he’s a vampire and knowing just how terrible vampires can be. In fact, she forces Mirren to lower his shields and accept him in her life when she’s forced to stay in Penton for her own safety. Her interactions with Merrick, particularly those that take place shortly after she arrives in Penton, are delightful and I just couldn’t put the book down. We learn so much about the inner workings on Mirren’s mind! In fact, I was so hooked on their budding and sexy romance that I stayed up super late getting it finished because I needed to know just how they were going to get their Happily Ever After.

There are also some major developments in terms of the series story arc, with Penton’s battle with Matthias and some parts of the Vampire Tribunal being brought to the fore. Susannah Sandlin’s not messing around, folks, with the action or the steamy romance! The pace is quick and there are some amazing and unexpected scenes in ABSOLUTION. And the book ends in a way that has me dying to see what’s going to happen next so I’m going to be on pins and needles until OMEGA, the third book in the Penton Legacy series, comes out! If you haven’t given this series a try, I strongly urge you to head to the bookstore or jump online and order it because you definitely won’t be sorry!

Read an excerpt

Jenn

Redemption by Susannah Sandlin

Redemption by Susannah Sandlin Redemption by Susannah Sandlin

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
Trade paperback: 320 pages
Genre: Paranormal romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release date: June 19, 2012

Series: Penton Legacy #1

Source: Review copy from author

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

For vampire Aidan Murphy, life has never been so desperate. The vaccine used to treat a global pandemic has rendered human blood deadly to his kind, leaving them on the brink of starvation and civil war. In tiny Penton, Alabama, Aidan establishes a peaceful community of vampires and unvaccinated human donors. He dares to hope they can survive — until his estranged brother descends upon Penton and begins killing the humans. Determined to save his town, Aidan kidnaps an unsuspecting human doctor…and finds himself falling in love for the first time in nearly four centuries.

Dr. Krystal Harris thought she was coming to Penton for a job interview, but Aidan Murphy has other plans. Infuriated by his high-handed scheme to imprison her in the small town, Krys can’t ignore the attraction between them. But is it love? Or does her dangerous, charismatic captor want only to bend her to his will?

Susannah Sandlin is a pen name for Suzanne Johnson, which had me all kinds of excited because I loved her urban fantasy debut, ROYAL STREET. In REDEMPTION, she offers readers something a little different, as she shifts gears to paranormal romance with a focus on vampires, which keeps all of the positives of her other writing while upping the sexy.

First and foremost, I love the setting of REDEMPTION. Vampires are still underground and their very existence is threatened by a vaccination that caused minute changes in people who received it, making their blood poisonous to vampires. Aidan Murphy has started a small colony in Penton, Alabama, where vampires and unvaccinated humans live in harmony, a completely new idea in this world. The humans are all bonded to vampires, who are all bonded to Aidan, and everyone is carefully screened, creating a very Eden-like atmosphere, except for the dangers from the outside. This sort of post-apocalyptic setting (even though it’s not an apocalypse for the human population) reminds me a lot of the town in I Am Legend (the movie) or the Epitaph episodes of Dollhouse (or any number of doomed-society-looking-for-a-haven movies/shows/ books), which I always enjoy. Of course, not everyone supports this endeavour, and some fear Aidan because of his revolutionary ideas and the number of vampires in his scathe, which is what brings Aidan’s brother Owen into the picture, as he menaces residents trying to undo Aidan’s work. As part of his attack, he’s killed the town’s doctor, which is why Krystal Harris enters the picture.

Of the two main characters, Krys is definitely my favourite. She’s got such a dynamic personality! She comes from an abusive family but that wasn’t the main focus of her character, which was refreshing. Instead, she finds humour where others might not, is excellent at her job, and actually considers the idea of Stockholm Syndrome when she starts falling for Aidan, which was great because it’s something I wonder about — after all, how many heroines start falling for their captors without questioning it? In contrast, I wasn’t all that into Aidan, though he did grow on me over the course of the novel as we learned more about his motivations and back story. Despite being quite old, he’s still rather human. He fidgets, he’s fallible, and he broods. In fact, the same can be said for a lot of the vampires in this book — many of them retain a lot of human characteristics and aren’t the sort of super still, inhuman vampires you see in other stories. (There are a couple like that but all of the main folks are much more relatable.) My favourite characters in the novel are probably Hannah, one of the members of Aidan’s scathe, and Melissa, Aidan’s human familiar.

The writing in REDEMPTION is also top-notch. The action is well choreographed and each of the main characters has a very clear voice when the story’s being told from their point of view. There’s also some nice humour in the story, like the quotation below, which really made me chuckle. I love a bit of dry wit. =)

He [Aidan] took a quick shower and dressed in a pair of black wool pants and a pale blue cashmere sweater he’d never have picked for himself―he didn’t much care what he wore, so he let Melissa shop for him. He wasn’t sure exactly what she meant by calling him a “vampire Ken doll,” but it had to be bad because it amused her so much.

REDEMPTION is the first book in the Penton Legacy series and I’m excited to see what happens for the other characters in this world. The author has done a marvellous job of setting up the series arc and creating characters you’ll root for and I can’t wait to see what will happen next to/for Penton’s residents. REDEMPTION is a wonderful paranormal romance that is sure to delight fans of the genre.

Read an excerpt

Jenn