Monthly Archives: November 2015
Amber Gifts Series
Kevin B Henry
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Time Travel
Publisher:Champagne Books, Burst
Date of Publication: November 03, 2015
Number of pages: 78
Word Count: 25,000
Cover Artist: Ellie Smith
Tag line: A simple research project goes horribly wrong once murder and time travel get involved.
Mitchell and Crystin are living on the west coast of Florida in the Seventies. He has the beginnings of a loving family and couldn’t be happier. It’s remarkable how quickly things can change. Perhaps the fate of a Teithwyr Amser is to never be stable, never find love without defending it against the rest of the world, against evil and against the fabric of time itself.
A simple TV documentary will spin Mitchell out of control as he first attempts to prove the filmmakers wrong and then ultimately find and protect his new family from a monster of his own creating.
Available at Amazon
Part of me was like some detached, immature schoolboy. I was the hero, bound for adventure and looking for the infamous villain with hope of making all things right and returning to the hearth fires of my home, victorious. I was Robert Downey Jr. playing Sherlock Holmes. I was John Wayne playing almost any role. Hell, I was David Tennant playing The Doctor.
The problem was, I wasn’t playing, and if I wasn’t real damn careful I was going to end up playing John Wayne in The Cowboys or even worse, William Shatner in Generations. God, please make my death scene more interesting and meaningful than that. These thoughts poured through my brain as I walked across the street.
By the time I reached the opposite side I exuded cool, matter of fact demeanor and displayed no heroics. Simple confidence was my copilot. Caution was my mantra. I had an almost-wife and a beautiful baby girl to return to.
I took a winding path that led me to Commercial Road. The darkness was all engulfing. More than half the lampposts were not functioning. It cast every turn, every alleyway, every alcove in total blackness. I walked cautiously but without any appearance of trepidation. I did not want to appear an easy target.
Women of questionable morality approached and quickly departed. I was polite, but firm in my refusals. There was certainly no questioning their hygiene or their state of inebriation. A very high percentage of the female residents of Whitechapel turned to prostitution. Most began as a way to make a living, but as they turned more and more to alcohol to erase their memories, the act became more about the next drink and less about the money. Most could be had for the cost of a shot of gin, about fifty cents.
The first victim, Polly, went out one last time the evening of her death because she thought she looked exceptionally well. She had a new bonnet. She had no teeth, but the hat made all the difference, I’m sure.
I found the cut off that led south from Commercial Road and made the turn. Less than a block down this street was the Socialist Club and adjoining the club was a small open courtyard. As I walked toward the club entrance, I heard a sound I can only call a muffled gurgle. I sprinted the rest of the way to the courtyard opening. There, lying on the ground was Elizabeth Stride. Kneeling beside her was the one and only, Jack the Ripper. He was nothing I had ever expected.
The man stood as I came to a halt at the courtyard opening. He was much shorter than I would have expected. I had envisioned a mixture of Vincent Price, Frank Langella, in his early films and just a hint of Malcolm McDowell, again from his younger days. This Ripper was none of those.
As I mentioned, he was not tall, perhaps five foot six, no more than five foot seven. He was portly. That is the only word I can use to describe him. While his clothes fit well, they could not conceal his amble midsection, nor his arms and hands, which I can only describe as doughy.
His face surprised me the most. I had expected to see an angry, scared, possibly deformed individual. Jack’s face was almost angelic. It was round, and I would swear it appeared to have baby fat in the cheeks.
His eyes were sharp, clear and a grey color. He was perfectly clean-shaven, his light-colored hair trimmed short and well groomed, perhaps with lard, since styling mousse would not arrive for many years. I would have expected to see him in a cathedral pulpit or perhaps in a bank, not hunched over the fresh corpse of an unlucky prostitute.
About the Author:
From an early age, Kevin B. Henry was a voracious reader. His collection of science fiction, fantasy and mystery books bring tears of envy to the eyes of many small community libraries.
Kevin has worked as an educator, technology specialist and day laborer most of his adult life. During all that time he lived the life of a frustrated author. That it took 30 years for him to piece together the series, Amber Gifts is a testament that the best meals need slow cooking to bring out the flavor.
The Amber Gifts Series begins with Amber Gifts. The second story, which is really the first, is Amber Prelude, and is available now. The third story, Amber Legacy continues where Amber Gifts left off. It will be available in November 2015. All are published by the wonderful folks at the Champagne Book Group. A fourth story is in the process of being written.
Kevin is a natural story teller, so it’s logical that he lectures occasionally. Topics range from the implementation of cutting edge technology hardware to the creation, modification and use of e-books within education. He constantly pursues research to expand his range of possible topics. His most recent research revolved around the aerodynamic properties of reindeer. He’s also been known to include little known facts and trivia within his presentations. Did you know just 146 years ago today the Union Army marched into Atlanta. It took longer than anticipated. They were delayed by a traffic jam on I-75 and the toll booth on Ga. 400
He continues to live in the Mid-West without human or domesticated mammal companionship.
Amber Gifts Series: www.ambergifts.blogspot.com
Champagne Books www.champagnebooks.com
Facebook (Amber Gifts) www.facebook.com/AmberGifts
Romance author Jenna Heart is headed to the mountains of East Tennessee for a December writer’s workshop. Since her mother passed after a long illness, Jenna has had one wish: she doesn’t want to spend Christmas alone. Every night she makes her list of five things for which she is most thankful.
Meeting Nicolo Maldini, cover model and actor, could make more than Jenna’s Christmas wish come true. If Ember Morten, Nicolo’s ex girlfriend doesn’t do something crazy to stop Jenna and Nicolo from being together.
Her three favorite things are dark chocolate, visiting the beach and ocean, and hearing from her readers. Each letter, card and email is a treasured gift, like finding that perfect shell upon the beach.
“Spreading love one story at a time.”
About the Book
Author: M.L.S. Weech
Genre: Paranormal Thriller / Urban Fantasy
Bob Drifter is a substitute teacher with a secret. He seems like no more than a polite young man who loves to read and mentor students in his free time. Yet, on the side, Bob takes part in some rather strange extracurricular activities that soon attract the attention of local police. For some reason, people have a way of dying around him.
It’s not his fault. Maybe he just hangs around people who are already dying. Maybe he has bad timing. But Bob knows better. He has a secret mission that must be completed before he ends up in prison or raises the ire of the most frightening individual in the supernatural world. No pressure.
A terrifying new force has set foot into Bob’s life, and a string of ghastly mutilations follows this figure wherever he goes. Now, Bob has to keep his own secrets, protect his students, and fulfill his mentor’s wishes. Welcome to the world of those who watch over the dead.
Such a deep story! Action packed and interesting. Very thought-provoking too. I will definitely recommend this one to my young adult readers. Woven into the fantastic storytelling are a few very good life rules for everyone to learn.
As an independent reviewer for Paranormal Romance and Authors that Rock, this is a departure from my usual as while it does have a sprinkling of romance throughout, that is definitely not the main theme of this story. I give it five fangs for being a great page turner and involving enough to bring tears at those proper moments.
M.L. S. Weech was born in August 1979 in Rapid City, South Dakota. He fell in love with fantasy and science fiction at an early age. His love of writing quickly followed when he tried to write a sequel to his favorite movie. He didn’t know what copyright infringement was. He can’t remember a time he wasn’t working on some sort of project from that day on. He wrote for a junior high project. The only way his freshman english teacher could get him to settle down was to let him start writing a book. He completed what he calls his first manuscript when he was 17.
He got a ton of feedback that was honest, helpful, and not much fun to listen to, but instead of quit, he simply wrote another, and then another.
He fell in love with reading in high school when he was introduced to Timothy Zahn and the Star Wars novels. Then he was handed Anne McCaffrey, Robert Jordan, Dean Koontz, Brandon Sanderson and so many more. He went from reading to complete homework to reading more than three books a month.
He joined the U.S. Navy as a journalist in 2005. He served on aircraft carriers and destroyers. He served in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan. He finished his time in the Navy in 2015, and currently teaches future Navy Mass Communication Specialists at the Defense Information School.
When he wasn’t taking pictures or writing features or news stories, he was writing fiction. Photojournalism was a hobby he enjoyed getting paid for, but writing fiction has been and remains his true dream.
He’s completed six manuscripts and is already planning a seventh. He took his third project to Archway Publishing, who helped him turn his life-long dream into a reality.
Buy on Amazon
Dead and Kicking – The Harry Russo Diaries, volume 1
By Lisa Emme
Release date: October 2, 2015
What’s a girl to do when her date is D.O.A?
Angharad ‘Harry’ Russo is just your ordinary twenty-something, with one exception – she’s a witch with an out of the ordinary gift. When her blind date goes sideways and she ends up face to face with a dead body, her life starts to go sideways too.
Harry soon finds herself right in the middle of the mayhem, dealing with Cian Nash, a homicide detective that is as aggravating as he is sexy; the biggest, baddest vampire in town; and a parcel of pesky zombies that keep popping up everywhere. It’s all connected to her date’s unfortunate demise, or is there more to it than meets the eye?
This is a standalone adventure with no cliffhanger. Intended for a mature audience.
I received a copy of this book from the author and Paranormal Romance & Authors that Rock, in exchange for an honest review. Angharad (aka Harry) is special. Why is she special? First off, she’s a witch but that’s not quite why, at least not all of it anyway. The story follows Harry and a world that’s built around magic, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, etc. Oh, and zombies too.
This book is definitely a paranormal read. There isn’t really any romance, just pent up lust. On the plus side, there is a lot of options open in that area for Volume 2. I’m really hoping some steamy scenes will be added in the next volume, but even if there isn’t I’m still looking forward to the next book in this new series. The obvious option for Harry would be with Nash, an overbearing Alpha male with a deep need to protect her and he doesn’t seem to grasp why. Then Isaac enters the picture, a mysterious vampire who also has a need to protect Harry but his reason is apparent in the story. Don’t get the wrong impression of Harry though. She is a strong fighter but even a good fighter needs some back up.
Warning, This book has a cliffhanger but some may disagree with me. My review was done and ready to go until I went to post it. I decided to skim through others reviews first. I stopped right there and revised my review to add the following. This is why reviews really matter, because everyone has their own opinion. Here are mine. When I saw someone write that there isn’t a cliffhanger I thought, what the hell did they read because it couldn’t have been the same thing I had. Sure, the story does end per-say but it ends by revealing a secret about Harry’s past and a big reason to why she is who she is. In my opinion, that is a freaking cliffhanger and it left me slack-jawed. At least Volume 2 is on the way and will be available in January. So I don’t have too long to stew in the state of wonderment I’ve been left in because there are so many possibilities for how this story could proceed. Another thing that bothered me with some people’s reviews was saying that the author did not reinvent the wheel. Okay, I get that people want to see “new” but seriously, how many ways can a story go? For example, romance: boy meets girl, they fall in love, the end. It’s always the same, but we still read the stories even with knowing how it’ll go because what makes a story different is the plot the author cooks up inside their head and then how they portray it into words. I loved that Lisa Emme played with many types of paranormal creatures. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by them or become confused with the story. This story isn’t simple, it has practically everything and although some say they didn’t like this, I loved this. The story wasn’t boring and it kept me intrigued. Kudos, Lisa Emme, for having the imagination to create Harry and her supernatural world.
This book receives (5) Fangs from me easily. It may not contain the romance factor I typically like in my reads, but this story is crazy action packed and that made up for it. If you enjoy books that contain a quirky butt-kicking female, hot males (and some creepy not so hot ones too), stories with mystery, drama, laughter, combat, friendship, betrayal, and lots of paranormal action going on, then this story would be for you.
Nail Biting Robin Bricker Novel Now Available for Pre-Order; Publishing Date 11/10
Minneapolis, MN – Fans of Laurel Osterkamp’s Robin Bricker novels are in for an exciting treat asThe Standout is a 2015 Kindle Scout Winner!
The novel tells the spellbinding tale of Robin’s quest to win The Standout- a ballet themed fashion reality show. Surrounded by backstabbing contestants and haunted by mysterious ghosts from her past, Robin can’t trust anyone, including herself.
The Standout is a psychological thriller about love, betrayal, tall buildings and finding the courage to jump. The author skilfully weaves an engaging plot guaranteed to keep readers glued to the pages and at the edge of their seats. Though The Standout features the same characters as Osterkamp’s previous two Robin Bricker novels, the book can be read as a stand-alone without the reader feeling as though they missed something.
Asked about the inspiration behind the enthralling tale, Laurel said: “I got the idea for The Standout at a “Fashion Through the Decades” exhibit I saw at Minneapolis Art Institute. I was also inspired by reading books like Gone Girl, Girl on a Train and We Were Liars. Finally, stories from classical ballets like Giselle and Swan Lake also really influenced me, and I wove them into the narrative.”
The Standout was recently selected as a 2015 Kindle Scout Winner. Kindle Scout is a relatively new, reader-powered publishing program by Amazon, and it’s highly competitive. Selected books are published by Kindle Press, and authors receive a full publishing contract.
About the book:
About the author:
Laurel teaches high school English and Creative Writing in Minneapolis, and she is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing.
Scarlet Risque Releases Her New Romantic Thriller: Red Hourglass
Singapore – A POWERFUL, MYSTERIOUS woman finds a homeless girl in a New York subway and adopts her. Janet swears loyalty to the White family and they train her at their Academy as a secret agent. Before long, her transformation into the Red Hourglass—an assassin—is complete. She is ready to start her missions in service of the White Queen.
In order to learn the whereabouts of her real mother from the White Queen, the Red Hourglass must stop the planned expansion of Wilmar Enterprises. She goes undercover to infiltrate Wilmar, and she is hired as the executive secretary to the Chief of Security, Conan Casey.
Janet works diligently to uncover all Wilmar’s secrets. She soon learns that Conan Casey, her target, is heir to the billion dollar Wilmar organization. She falls prey to his dark seductions and twisted secrets … and they leave her gasping for more.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Fangs
Review: Mary is a young woman who finds herself abandoned by her mother, left with her abusive step-father, forced to kill to protect herself, and on the streets before she is sixteen years old. Is it any wonder that when a mysterious woman known as The White Queen finds Mary on the subway half-starved and offers Mary a place to live and food for her belly, Mary jumps at the chance. Like many young women in a similar situation, Mary doesn’t look too closely at the strings attached to the offer.
I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about this book. I enjoyed parts of it immensely. Other parts made me roll my eyes at how trite and cliched it was. It was a quick read, and an enjoyable one. The sex scenes are hot, hot, hot and involve mild domination by both partners. Because of the age of the heroine, I expect that this book would be best categorized as New Adult, but it also borders on erotica. Though this is book one of the series, it does NOT have a cliffhanger ending, which is a blessed relief compared to many books in this genre. Kudos for that! I would not feel like I have reviewed this book in good conscience if I didn’t warn readers of potentially triggering scenes involving attempted rape at the hands of Mary’s step-father and some instances of semi-dubious consent.
I do like the concept of this book and think that it might have benefited from some harsher edited towards the end as the ending seems somewhat pat and rushed for me. I did enjoy the book enough that I’m willing to give future outings in the series a shot.
Reviewed by HR Duby for Paranormal Romance and Authors that Rock
About the book:
About the author:
Each book in the Hourglass Series has a female lead searching for her identity and truth in today’s world. Set against a backdrop of globalization, these stories of intrigue and espionage are full of undercover agents and themes of dominance and submission.
When she was 18 she left the small farming community without a stop light and headed for the bright lights of Las Vegas. She continued to write but life kept her from actually publishing anything. After ten years in the big city, Rider decided she wanted a much slower paced life and returned to Kansas.
It was here that she met a friend who loved her stories and encouraged her to submit them.
When not writing Rider loves to read anything she can get her hands on from the Dark taboo erotic books to the lighter Amish romance. She also has an interest in the lost art of pen paling. Putting pen to paper and sharing the good times and the bad through the written word with friends near and far. Rider also loves to travel and while she has been to the tourist attractions she much prefers the hidden gems off the beaten path that few know about. It is these adventures that often find their way into her books.
Screenwriter Blake Williams has to keep moving before Oz’s latest scandal catches up to him. But the dark-haired beauty with a backpack and an adventurous streak is messing with his plans. He can’t seem to walk away from her. But secrets have a way of coming out, and when the week is up, Julia and Blake will have to decide if they’re jumping into the biggest adventure of all or playing it safe.
Rebecca is the author of Above All and How to Fall. She likes outdoorsy guys with both muscle and heart, and independent women ready to try something new.