Saturday, August 18, 2018

#Sci/fiFantasySaturday #MckennaClanBoxedSet



Title: McKenna Clan Series Boxed Set
Author: Christine Young
ISBN: 978-1-62420-280-3

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 5
Kindle Unlimited

BLURB

Catching Meara

Meara Thorton was a feisty, world-class computer hacker—cornered by the FBI and shockingly given the chance to be their newly acquired technical analyst. Brilliant and intuitive, yet aching with the loss of everyone she has cared about, her restless heart led her to discover a love she fought and a world she didn't know could possibly exist.

Jace McKenna was an enigma, a loner, impossibly handsome, sincere and committed. The Apache shapeshifter blood running through his veins burned hotter than the blistering Sierra Madre sun. Jace knew the moment he caught Meara's scent she was his for eternity.

Delane of Coffee Time Romance & More says:

"Catching Meara is a superbly written mystery that draws readers in and makes them a part of the team. The characters are vivid and provide a perfect canvas for the life of a unique team that catches some truly nasty villains. Ms. Young provides a perfect blend of paranormal, mystery and romance providing the reader an entertaining adventure."
Rating: 4 cups out of 5



Sweet Sexy Sadie

From the first time Sadie’s eyes met those of Brody McKenna in the hot Sierra Madre Mountains, theirs was a potent attraction—not gentle, slow, and easy, but hot, hard, and all-consuming.The daughter of a dysfunctional family, Sadie had dreams no man could wrench from her with hot sex and an all-consuming passion. She’d challenge this alpha male with all the strength she possessed. But her red hair, fiery temperament, and indomitable spirit obsessed Brody...and he knew he had to find a way to show her he was more than he appeared and convince her to make a life with him.




Sweet Misbehavin'

Cast adrift after fleeing the home of Jokul, the ice demon, Atantsi, a firestarter, grew to womanhood as she moved through time to keep the demon from finding her. Though stubborn and courageous, she was ill prepared to use powers she had not been taught. Her first sight of the intoxicating Carr McKenna left her breathless, and her second encounter gave her hope for a future she never thought she had.

A playboy, a second son and a shifter, a man who thought his life would be carefree, Carr McKenna was shocked to discover the woman he’d paid as an escort is a firestarter who is running for her life. He is the leader of all the McKennas around the world and that he has multiple powers. His passion for Margo and the need to defend her might cost him his life as well as hers.

Reviewed by Ashley Ladd, "Happily Ever After"
4 out of 5 stars

Sweet Misbehavin' is a romantic, mystical tale packed with magic, action, and adventure. Romance blooms when Margo, a novice fire starter running from an evil demon meets Carr, a heroic shape shifter. Although Margo has an innate distrust in people, especially in men, Carr gains her trust and convinces her to let him and his clan protect her and her young daughter. Not only does Margo come to know Carr, but comes to know herself, grow her powers, and trust in love again. This is a beautiful story that I heartily recommend reading. Although short, it packs a mighty wallop.

Reviewed by Harps Romance Book Review

I have just finished this book and it was awesome!  Carr McKenna meets Margo on her first night working as an escort to support herself and her young daughter.  Margo is an untrained firestarter so when she gets mad things catch on fire.  She is running for her life from an ice demon named Jokul.  Carr is more than he seems as he is a shapeshifting jaguar.  And he has more powers that he is just learning about. He sees Margo as his life mate when they meet as sparks fly.  Can he save Margo from her stalking demon with the help of his family? Read and find out! I thoroughly enjoyed it.



Sweet Talkin' Sugar

Lyonesse McKenna, was dreaming or was she? From the instant Lyn saw Deacon McClain across a black jack table in a crowed Las Vegas casino the unmistakable attraction sent Lyn’s senses flying into overdrive. Her family of shapeshiters believed in soul mates. She’d always been sceptical yet she couldn’t help but question the way her heart sped when he looked at her.

When Deacon appeared in Las Vegas he knew his first job was to save Lyn from a Sea Demon, but the next order of business was to convince her he would someday mean more to her than she’d ever expected. But her stubborn nature and unbendable spirit consumed Deacon...and he had to chase away all the demons real and imagined in order to win her heart.

EXCERPTS: McKenna Clan Series Boxed Set

Catching Meara

Meara had been seconds from revelation, mere seconds. Now quivering with terror, she huddled in the corner of her electrified office while lights flashed and popped all around her, knowing there was no where to run. Monitors flashed and burst, exploding and sending shards of liquid fire into the air. A cop entered the small room, his arms stretched forward, gun in both hands and a flashlight on top of his gun.

Three more cops followed behind. No, they were government agents. The logo printed in white across their chest announced their profession.

Bright lights swept the room in a slow steady arc, searching for her. Finally resting on her face, she shielded her eyes. Smoke from the crucified computers filled the cubicle, making the agents choke. Sweat from fear beaded on her forehead, and her heart lurched to her throat. She closed her hands over her heart as if she could slow the furious beating.

"Hewitt, check this out. There might be more than this one. Barrister go search through the other rooms."

"Right, McKenna."

"My name is Jace McKenna," the man said as he approached cautiously, kicking debris from under foot until he stood above her. "Put your hands in the air." 

His voice held so much authority and sounded so calm. For a moment she thought he meant to reassure then she remembered she was his prisoner. Well, she would be as soon as she complied with his demands. 

Jace appeared dark, dangerous, handsome and tall, she noted at first. Very tall, which was hard to miss, since she was skinny and short. His eyes were an amber color with a hint of green. He towered over her. Beneath the deceiving bulkiness of his bulletproof vest, she observed next, his shoulders were very broad, and though his hips were lean, his thighs, tightly hugged by his jeans, were muscled and powerful.

His hair was blacker than the midnight sky, nearly indigo with its sheen, his amber eyes were cast into a rugged face that appeared naturally tanned. He was probably somewhere in his late twenties or early thirties. He seemed fierce, alive with a striking tension and a volatile energy that seemed to exude from him.

Shaking, sweat dripping down her face, Meara slowly raised her trembling arms. "D-don't shoot--me, please" She heard the pathetic whimper in her voice as she blinked the stinging sweat from her eyes where it melded with her mascara. Her heart pounded so hard against her chest she was sure it would burst through her ribs.

"Stand up, slowly." He swept the flashlight as well as the gun up and down the length of her body, which had been curled into a tight fetal position.

Rising to her feet, she leaned against the wall behind her, trying to keep her hands up and not fall flat on her face. She wiggled her butt against the wall and inched her way to a standing position. Her life flashed in front of her in a series of leaps and bounds until she saw the faces of her parents. 

"Do as he says," they whispered. "Everything will turn out fine. You'll see. We love you." Then, just as they appeared, they vanished.

Their faces faded into the smoke and flashing lights. Her eyes open wide, she gazed at her enemy--her jailor. The man who was here to arrest her. Mind games, or was it mind think that her parents used to play with her, teaching her to communicate through thoughts instead of words. She focused on his brain, sending out feelers, trying to read his thoughts and trying to tell him she was no threat.

The next moment he was beside her, grasping one of her arms, and in one swift move he had turned her, both hands were behind her back and handcuffed. Her breath stopped for a moment. The movement had been so sudden she was thrown against the wall. Her face flattened on the smooth surface. Yet she was glad for that because the impact brought her back to the reality of this moment. Her mind cleared for a brief second. For courage she inhaled a swift deep breath.


Sweet Sexy Sadie

Sadie didn't know what to make of Brody. Exceptionally handsome and charismatic, he'd made her smile the first time she saw him sauntering down the road toward her. Good lord, but he looked as if he owned the world. Tall, tanned from the sun, amber-green eyes that sparkled as if he saw some light humor in everything. He was wiry and sleek; a quickness about him surprised her. His blue-black hair was tied back with a leather thong, his chin angular.

Perhaps he did own this part of the Sierra Madres. His family seemed to own most of this town.

Her research had brought her to this place, Cactus Junction. Now the prospect of getting to know an interesting man would be an added perk. In the bathroom she slipped out of her clothes and into a tepid shower. A few minutes later she emerged squeaky clean and ready for the next part of her adventure.

Unpacking her clothes and taking out her laptop, she opened it. What do explosive experts do?  Hmmm....

Why, they blow up things. What would he blow up around here? 

Lord but that sounded crazy to her. Before typing in the necessary info to pull something up on Google, she leaned back, relaxing into her chair. The wallpaper was outdated, and the old fan complimented the air conditioning. She realized she liked the atmosphere.

Enough musing. Mining in the Sierra Madres. Let's see, it says here they mined silver as early as 1521.

Sadie scrolled down the paper. Ok… Montezuma, in 1492, was already drinking hot chocolate from goblets made of gold. Maybe she should be studying this instead of her research thesis. The migration of butterflies. Once she'd thought the topic was romantic. Chasing after butterflies…

So what are they doing now? Junior drilling companies…She wondered if that was what the McKenna Clan was, a junior company. How soon was too soon to ask? Probably not on their first dinner together. Knowledge brought power and she firmly believed everything happened for a reason. Then her chance encounter in this place was not a coincidence.

This says the companies are drilling to find the ore. So… Do they still need explosives? If not, he didn't do much for his day job. Perhaps the family had millions stashed away. At first glance this hotel was theirs and Brody had told her the land this town sat on belonged to them. But millions in the Caymans? Probably not.

She closed her laptop. Then leaning back, she shut her eyes and tried to cleanse her mind of all thought. A little catnap might be in order, but her heartbeat so fast she didn't think sleeping was a plausible scenario. Eager to meet the McKenna Clan and begin her research, her body was wound tight as a rubber band ready to snap.

The bag of chips in her purse seemed to call to her just after her stomach growled its discontent. Trying to ignore the excessive calories and her empty belly, she rose and wandered to the window. Dinner would be that much better if she waited. Outside, the sun still beat down and one could see heat waves decorate the street. 

The air conditioner chose that moment to blow out cold air. Sadie wrapped her arms around herself then turned the monitor down a notch.

Back at the window she looked at the street below. A man walked down the sidewalk, and as he grew closer, he stopped and shielded his eyes then gazed up to her room. Sadie's breath caught in the back of her throat and another chill swept through her. This time it wasn't caused by the air conditioner. The sight of the man sent an eerie feeling to the pit of her stomach. She stepped back in an attempt to remove herself from his line of sight.

The knock startled her away from the window. She jumped, afraid it might be the man she'd just seen but knowing it wasn't.

"Sadie? Sadie, you in there?" Brody called from outside the door. Damn, but she'd recognize his voice anywhere. A smile crossed her face. She meant to forget the stranger.

Sweet Misbehavin

In a sign of unity, they linked arms and strode to Phaedra's room. She picked up the crystal, and walking onto the balcony, Phaedra held the clear orb toward the sun. "Take us to Jokul, wherever he might be." Phaedra began to chant as the crystal seemed to take on a life of its own.

Splinters of sunlight hit the glass ball. The glow surrounding the crystal flowed into and around the girls. The world turned and spun. All the colors of the rainbow wrapped them in a protective tunnel.

Margo closed her eyes against the blinding light, clinging to Phaedra as they hurtled through space. She felt the difference. Time was not changing, only their destination.

In a matter of seconds, they were set down on a ledge of ice. Laughter echoed through the hallway then thunderous booms. Margo motioned to Phaedra to follow her. With caution, they walked toward the sounds. The building they were in shook and the ice columns around them swayed as if they might fall.

"What is it?" Margo felt nausea roll in her stomach. For a moment, she closed her eyes, hoping to understand what was happening and how to deal with it. She tried to remain composed, knowing the ability to think and react in a rational manner would serve her well.

A young girl cowered in a corner, a collar around her neck. Tears flowed down her cheeks. She turned from them when she saw them, her body trembling.

Phaedra knelt beside her. "Are you Jokul's slave?"

The girl looked up, terror clearly written in her eyes and nodded, "yes."

"Where are they? Where is Jokul? And what is he doing?" Margo's impatience grew exponentially. Fear spiraled, yet she forced control of her emotions and tried to remember everything she'd learned.

"Down that hall. He has killed. The big cats didn't have a chance. He is keeping one alive just to torment him." The girl's shaking hand rose from her lap and pointed.

"You'll be fine." Phaedra cupped the girl's cheek with her hand. "I promise. When this is finished, I will come back for you."

The girl didn't say anything. Instead she stared back with a vacant and torn gaze as if she didn't believe Phaedra.

"Jokul will not survive this day. I promise you. You will be set free." At her sides, Margo clenched and unclenched her fists. She meant to do this and suddenly she was no longer terrified of Jokul, his ice or his threats. With each passing second, her courage and confidence grew.

Several heartbeats later, Margo stepped inside the room where the slave girl sent her. The sight caught her breath. Carr's siblings and cousin were frozen ice statues. Relief that Carr wasn't frozen swept through her. Yet fear for him immobilized her for a moment. She watched him leap into the air, avoiding an ice bolt Jokul shot at him.

So consumed with their fight, neither male noticed their entrance to the room. Time was apparently on her side. Before anyone knew she was there, she shot fire at the three guards, their bodies aflame. The inferno lit the room. Then she turned her attention to the demon. Focusing on Jokul's back, she raised her hand, sending fire his way. Seeming to feel the searing heat, he whirled.

Rage lit his face then a smile. "You have come back to me but it is too late." He sent a torpedo of ice her way. Unflinching, she met it with fire. For a second, confusion creased his brows. She saw determination and rage in his face and a moment of confusion.

"You cannot defeat me." More powerful than ever, he sent another wave of ice towards her.

She met ice with fire. "No, Jokul, I'm not an innocent young girl who has no idea how to use her powers. Phaedra has taught me well. Did you think I would always be weak and in your control?"

Rivulets of water from the melting ice ran across the floor. Carr let out a mighty roar and leapt toward Jokul, bringing him down. They rolled on the floor, Jokul caught between Carr's claws.

At the close proximity, Jokul was able to slather Carr in a coat of frost. He broke free, scrambling to his feet and sending a small coating of frost to entomb Carr.

Margo could not risk Carr's life. Yet she remained ready for the battle, waiting for the right moment. Jokul left his mark on Carr once more. Then he rose, his frown growing.

"I will end you, Jokul," Margo said. "There is no other way." Her arms extended, her hands pointing to Jokul, she was poised on the brink of no return. She recalled the spoken words of caution. If she ended his life, there would be repercussions felt around the world. But if she did not, her life as well as the McKenna's would be threatened.

"You're very certain." Jokul's laughter encased her soul and terrified her. Once again, he sent a stream of ice, and once more she melted it with her fire. "You're no longer the weak little girl who fled my care."

"I told you it was so. I am strong, stronger than you because I have love for these people. You have only hatred to guide you." Her heartbeat slowed and assertive energy surged through her.

Phaedra remained behind Margo. "You must finish this. His strength is great. You must strike now before he regains his energy field. You cannot outlast him and you have the others to think of."

Margo tipped her head slightly, noticing how Carr had thrown off the cloak of frost and was stretching his muscles. While she kept her focus on Jokul, Carr looked at her and nodded.

She heard Carr's words in her mind. You have no choice. He means to kill all of us if he survives.


Sweet Talkin' Sugar

In observation mode, he walked through the casino, hands in his pockets, listening and watching, his heart racing. Before the blackjack table at the end of the row, he paused to reflect and decide on a course of action. The air inside was sultry, hot and smoke-filled. He swept one hand through his damp hair, fresh from a summer rain. He forced his mind from the heat and the rancid smell of cigarettes, and with single-minded focus, stared at the table and the cards lying innocuously on the green felt.

The picture of cool calmness, she sat on a bar stool, a drink in hand and cards in the other, her legs crossed provocatively. Her daringly cut emerald V-neck dress didn't leave much to the imagination, but he forced his gaze to the man beyond who stared at her as if he owned her. Every hair on the back of his neck stood on end and a chill slivered down his spine, nerves on edge, muscles tensed. His brows furrowed when the man turned his attention, for one brief moment, his way.

The dealer gave her another card and she tipped one corner up to look at it then let it go. Her body language spoke volumes to him and he wondered if the dealer noticed too. The poker face she so obviously tried for was something she'd never possess.

Deacon McClain paused before settling on a bar stool across the table from her. He waited for the last hand to finish before placing his chips in front of him and nodding to the dealer he was ready to play. His fingers closed around his glass of whiskey as his heart thundered in his chest. She glanced his way, inquisitively cocking her head to one side before slanting him a sexy-as-hell-grin.

The grin sent a message that nearly catapulted him from his seat. Inhaling a deep breath to calm his splintering nerves, he turned his attention back to the cards he'd just been dealt. Not good, not good at all, he motioned for another, then sat back and gazed at Lyonesse. Lyn McKenna, the woman he'd been sent to find and bring home. He'd never believed this gig to be an easy one, but now he felt sure this might be his most difficult assignment of all. Her easy grin sent his heart into a tailspin and her long shapely legs were hard to ignore. What would happen if she gave him her full attention?

He'd lose all sense of perspective and balance.









Friday, August 17, 2018

#Friday'sFeaturedTitle #WhereAllPastYearsAre #FamilyLife


Title: Where All Past Years Are
Author: Joseph Allen
ISBN: 978-1-62420-399-2
Genre: Family Life
Key words: generational fiction, family, saga, family ties, LGBT, strong marriages, Americana

Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2
Price: 

Buy at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble


TAGLINE

Saga of the sprawling Chadwick clan from 1954 to 2015. Highly emotional and affecting, the family will make you laugh and break your heart.

BLURB

Starting on Thanksgiving Day 1954, the Chadwick family encounters wars, financial crashes, 9-11, and the Great Recession. As a family with a WASP history they discover the wider world that is America, marry across religious, racial and ethnic lines, live, love, laugh and celebrate Thanksgiving and Independence Day at the Old Home on the shore of Lake Champlain near the Canadian border in New York.  

The love of husbands and wives, the closeness of relatives who are an increasingly rainbow-like group, the touching beauty of the Old Home on the Lake as some family members move back to the property into new cottages – all are major themes.  Children running a three-legged race watch the young man, Gray Chadwick, drop to his knees to beg his pregnant girlfriend, Melissa, to marry him. Births, deaths, burials, 4th of July fireworks, boating and bass fishing, and the strengthening power of love lead to a final surprising and unexpected reunion of two branches of the family for the first time in over three hundred years.


EXCERPT

As he headed back up the stairs from the basement with the first of three cases of a good St. Estephe, he could smell biscuits cooking, and chattering women’s voices. When he got to the top of the stairs he could smell coffee too, and in the warm hallway with the excited sound of voices in the kitchen, he thought to himself that it was at moments like this that he really loved being who he was and being there in the Old Home with the genially snobby but sweet-natured Chadwicks; even Pop, who had a sour side, but looked forward to holidays with the eagerness of a child waiting for Santa. It was as though he pumped himself back up and lost at least ten years driving up from Manhattan—which was a long, boring drive for most people. 
He put the wine by the door to the dining room and went back and hauled the other two up, one at a time. Then he went back downstairs and finally found a case of Puligny Montrachet; a dry white for those who didn’t drink the hearty reds, especially the meaty, chewy St. Estephe. Then he staggered exaggeratedly into the kitchen and the women handed him a basket of biscuits and a mug of hot coffee. There were three kinds of jam open on the butcher-block table: marmalade, a reddish berry that was probably raspberry, and a dark one that almost had to be grape jelly. All home-made. There was something about Thanksgiving that dictated home-cooking and homemade everything.
It couldn’t last, he thought with a touch of sadness. This house, this time, this group, had more in common with the past than with Ike’s America. All but the children had been through the Depression and at least one World War, maybe two. There was actually a surprising mix of political opinions in the family (mostly Republican, spanning the spectrum), but everyone was agreed that Ike was the right man at the wheel. They learned from Truman, who couldn’t resist a war in Korea, that no one could keep the United States out of war better than Ike, who commanded the troops in World War II. And, he thought with the beginning of a smirk, Ike and the Chadwicks had one thing in common—a wife who at least seemed to be slightly tipsy a lot of the time.   
There were no Christmas decorations, because usually there was no one here at Christmas other than the caretaker’s family. The winter around Lake Champlain could be severe, and since there were no mountains, there was no skiing. The house was used a lot in the summer, with Rich and Lizzie keeping a calendar of family members who wanted a week on the lake. There was an optional family gathering for the Fourth of July, with fireworks over the lake, but Thanksgiving was more or less mandatory. He looked around at the beautiful dark wood molding that ran along the tops of the walls, the enormous Persian carpets, and the probably hand-made Chippendale dining table and twelve chairs. Like a movie set. A world on the way out. It would be ruinously expensive to maintain a house like this, but fortunately Pop seemed to have an endless fortune.
“Penny for your thoughts,” a voice behind him called out. 
He turned to see Jane smiling from ear to ear. “Just thinking how lucky we are to be here, year after year, and wondering...” He turned away.
“How long it will last? Me too. Pop is the one who keeps it going, and he’s certainly not young.” She put her hand on his forearm, kissed him lightly on the cheek and led him back toward the kitchen. He gestured at the cases of wine and she smiled again and took his arm. “Biscuits and jam in the kitchen, and you can help singe the birds.”
“Maybe Rich will step up when Pop gets too old,” he said. 
“Or you,” Jane said, holding his arm with her free hand. “Maybe you’ll step up.”
The bottle of vodka was gone. He peered into the parlor as they passed the door, and a couple of the guys—Connecticut cousins—were sitting on a couch with tumblers of tomato juice. Good for you, he thought. 
There were two big turkeys to be roasted, and two big hams. Pies were baking in the two ovens, and the cloying smell of mincemeat floated in the air. He looked over the first turkey to see where the pinfeathers needed to be burnt off. He found a stack of newspapers in the butler’s pantry and spread some of them on the back porch, shivering a bit at the chill. Then he rolled up about an inch of newspapers into a torch and lit the end with his lighter. As it flamed up, he passed it over the areas of the bird where the little hairlike feathers were, and they disappeared as the flame went by, with an unpleasantly pungent smell. Ugh. He tamped out the newspaper torch, took the carcass back into the kitchen and grabbed the other one, repeating the process. He was a little like Lizzie, he thought, a consort rather than a family member. Meant he had to work harder.
“What’s next?” he asked the kitchen.
“Take a breather,” Jane said. “If we need help, we’ll yell.” There were too many cooks in the kitchen, but these women didn’t get to talk to each other often and they never ran short of news or breath. The youngest was about twenty, he estimated, and most of the worker-bees were, like Jane, closer to thirty. Two of the older women were punching bread dough on a flour-covered plank sitting on the counter. Looked like a Saturday Evening Postcover. 
He ambled into the parlor and grabbed a newspaper. Premier Mendes France had struck a deal with Habib Bourguiba for Tunisia to be independent. He was set on getting rid of the French colonies. 
He had agreed with Ho Chi Minh after the massacre at Dien Bien Phu to withdraw French troops from Vietnam and turn the government over to the locals. Of course he was a Jew, everyone knew that—he looked like a Jew, too—but he had been a fighter pilot in the war and the French liked him. 
The French were always unpredictable. They had owned most of north Africa and he was just giving it away, back to the natives. Well, not natives like in the movies, you know, but the locals. Camel drivers or whatever.
Well, Britain was starting down the same path, from the greatest empire the world had ever seen, to a small island with some trade agreements with places they used to own. Look at India. Look at Burma. That Nehru, he was almost British, about as good as India was going to get.
“Where’d you get the tomato juice?” he asked the two men on the couch. “Hi, I’m Ted Semple. I’m here with Jane.”
“In the kitchen,” the blond one said. “I’m Eric Chadwick, and this is my brother Antony.”  They stood up and the ritual of handshaking was taken care of. “We met a year or so ago, here in this room, I think.”
“I’m sorry, there are so many people here at Thanksgiving, and my memory of names from last Thanksgiving is faulty. I’ll try to be better.”
“Most people call me Ricky, and everybody calls him Tony. Don’t worry about it. We have an advantage. We’ve been coming to Thanksgiving here all our lives, so we grew up knowing a lot of the people here. Even so, I have a hard time remembering some people—even people I recognize. Just the names go away. We’re from the Massachusetts side of the family. Jane is the Virginia side, or what we call the Virginia side, even though she and her parents and grandparents and probably great-grandparents at least were all born around here. They’ve been living around New York City since before the Civil War.”
Ted smiled and nodded. An advantage, he thought. You bet. The advantage is being a Chadwick and being rich. Who was it said the rich are different from the rest of us? Fitzgerald. And Hemingway said, yes, they have more money. That gets to the bottom of it. He quick-walked back to the kitchen and one of the women poured some tomato juice into a tumbler from a quart can she took out of the refrigerator that had been opened with a churchkey. He headed back to the parlor and asked “Do you have the vodka?”
Ricky shook his head and looked puzzled.
“Oh, sorry. There was a bottle of vodka sitting on the buffet earlier and it wasn’t there anymore. I just assumed when you were drinking tomato juice that you’d picked up the bottle,” Ted said. He looked at the tomato juice and though, hmmm, I don’t even like tomato juice, tastes metallic. He took a swig. At least it was cold. He wandered back to the dining room and looked around. No vodka. 
“Looking for this?” It was Sam, and she was holding the vodka bottle. She was always pretty and looked especially fetching with a ruffled apron on and her hair in a bun. 
“Thanks,” he said, holding his glass out to her. “I was wondering if I would have to drink this plain.”
“Say when,” she said and started to pour. 
“When,” he said. “Just a blessing, not a real drink. I don’t want to be drunk and I would be if I started drinking this early.”
She wrinkled her forehead and he realized what he said had been awkward.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…”
She smiled and wiggled her nose and smiled. “Don’t worry about it. We’re all drinkers, especially at the holidays. Comes with the genes.”
“I smell pies,” he said. And craned his neck around the corner toward the kitchen. The table by the kitchen window was covered with pies. He counted eleven pies. “Help me escape from the mincemeat; there’s something about it.” He shook his head with a shiver.
She tilted her head back and laughed. “Me too. Problem is you have no idea what’s in it, yesterday’s meat or last week’s meat, and could be anything. And so sweet and spicy. That’s why there are so many spices in it, and the raisins and the brandy, because otherwise it would stink. Here, have a dividend,” she said, and held the bottle out. 
He poured more into the remaining tomato juice. “Just this once,” he said. 
“Right,” she said. “Just this once.” She opened the cabinet door in the center of the buffet and put the bottle inside. “If it’s gone, I’ll know who took it.” And she swept back into the kitchen.
There was a sound of feet running in the hallway above the dining room, and then Lizzie appeared at the top of the stairs. “Help me,” she stage-whispered. “I can’t get Pop to wake up.”

Thursday, August 16, 2018

#SweetMisbehavin' #ParanormalRomance


Title: Sweet Misbehavin'
Book three in the McKenna Clan Series

ISBN: 978-1-62420-110-3
Author: Christine Young
Email: aandcyoung@aol.com

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 2
Book Heat Level: 5
BUY AT AMAZON


Reviewed by Ashley Ladd, "Happily Ever After"
4 out of 5 stars


Sweet Misbehavin' is a romantic, mystical tale packed with magic, action, and adventure. Romance blooms when Margo, a novice fire starter running from an evil demon meets Carr, a heroic shape shifter. 
Although Margo has an innate distrust in people, especially in men, Carr gains her trust and convinces her to let him and his clan protect her and her young daughter. Not only does Margo come to know Carr, but comes to know herself, grow her powers, and trust in love again. This is a beautiful story that I heartily recommend reading. Although short, it packs a mighty wallop.


BLURB: Sweet Misbehavin

Cast adrift after fleeing the home of Jokul, the ice demon, Atantsi, a firestarter, grew to womanhood as she moved through time to keep the demon from finding her.Though stubborn and courageous, she was ill prepared to use powers she had not been taught. Her first sight of the intoxicating Carr McKenna left her breathless, and her second encounter gave her hope for a future she never thought she had.

A playboy, a second son and a shifter, a man who thought his life would be carefree, Carr McKenna was shocked to discover the woman he’d paid as an escort is a firestarter who is running for her life. He is the leader of all the McKennas around the world and that he has multiple powers. His passion for Margo and the need to defend her might cost him his life as well as hers.

EXCERPT: Sweet Misbehavin'

In a sign of unity, they linked arms and strode to Phaedra's room. She picked up the crystal, and walking onto the balcony, Phaedra held the clear orb toward the sun. "Take us to Jokul, wherever he might be." Phaedra began to chant as the crystal seemed to take on a life of its own.
Splinters of sunlight hit the glass ball. The glow surrounding the crystal flowed into and around the girls. The world turned and spun. All the colors of the rainbow wrapped them in a protective tunnel.
Margo closed her eyes against the blinding light, clinging to Phaedra as they hurtled through space. She felt the difference. Time was not changing, only their destination.
In a matter of seconds, they were set down on a ledge of ice. Laughter echoed through the hallway then thunderous booms. Margo motioned to Phaedra to follow her. With caution, they walked toward the sounds. The building they were in shook and the ice columns around them swayed as if they might fall.
"What is it?" Margo felt nausea roll in her stomach. For a moment, she closed her eyes, hoping to understand what was happening and how to deal with it. She tried to remain composed, knowing the ability to think and react in a rational manner would serve her well.
A young girl cowered in a corner, a collar around her neck. Tears flowed down her cheeks. She turned from them when she saw them, her body trembling.
Phaedra knelt beside her. "Are you Jokul's slave?"
The girl looked up, terror clearly written in her eyes and nodded, "yes."
"Where are they? Where is Jokul? And what is he doing?" Margo's impatience grew exponentially. Fear spiraled, yet she forced control of her emotions and tried to remember everything she'd learned.
"Down that hall. He has killed. The big cats didn't have a chance. He is keeping one alive just to torment him." The girl's shaking hand rose from her lap and pointed.
"You'll be fine." Phaedra cupped the girl's cheek with her hand. "I promise. When this is finished, I will come back for you."
The girl didn't say anything. Instead she stared back with a vacant and torn gaze as if she didn't believe Phaedra.
"Jokul will not survive this day. I promise you. You will be set free." At her sides, Margo clenched and unclenched her fists. She meant to do this and suddenly she was no longer terrified of Jokul, his ice or his threats. With each passing second, her courage and confidence grew.
Several heartbeats later, Margo stepped inside the room where the slave girl sent her. The sight caught her breath. Carr's siblings and cousin were frozen ice statues. Relief that Carr wasn't frozen swept through her. Yet fear for him immobilized her for a moment. She watched him leap into the air, avoiding an ice bolt Jokul shot at him.
So consumed with their fight, neither male noticed their entrance to the room. Time was apparently on her side. Before anyone knew she was there, she shot fire at the three guards, their bodies aflame. The inferno lit the room. Then she turned her attention to the demon. Focusing on Jokul's back, she raised her hand, sending fire his way. Seeming to feel the searing heat, he whirled.
Rage lit his face then a smile. "You have come back to me but it is too late." He sent a torpedo of ice her way. Unflinching, she met it with fire. For a second, confusion creased his brows. She saw determination and rage in his face and a moment of confusion.
"You cannot defeat me." More powerful than ever, he sent another wave of ice towards her.
She met ice with fire. "No, Jokul, I'm not an innocent young girl who has no idea how to use her powers. Phaedra has taught me well. Did you think I would always be weak and in your control?"
Rivulets of water from the melting ice ran across the floor. Carr let out a mighty roar and leapt toward Jokul, bringing him down. They rolled on the floor, Jokul caught between Carr's claws.
At the close proximity, Jokul was able to slather Carr in a coat of frost. He broke free, scrambling to his feet and sending a small coating of frost to entomb Carr.
Margo could not risk Carr's life. Yet she remained ready for the battle, waiting for the right moment. Jokul left his mark on Carr once more. Then he rose, his frown growing.
"I will end you, Jokul," Margo said. "There is no other way." Her arms extended, her hands pointing to Jokul, she was poised on the brink of no return. She recalled the spoken words of caution. If she ended his life, there would be repercussions felt around the world. But if she did not, her life as well as the McKenna's would be threatened.
"You're very certain." Jokul's laughter encased her soul and terrified her. Once again, he sent a stream of ice, and once more she melted it with her fire. "You're no longer the weak little girl who fled my care."
"I told you it was so. I am strong, stronger than you because I have love for these people. You have only hatred to guide you." Her heartbeat slowed and assertive energy surged through her.
Phaedra remained behind Margo. "You must finish this. His strength is great. You must strike now before he regains his energy field. You cannot outlast him and you have the others to think of."
Margo tipped her head slightly, noticing how Carr had thrown off the cloak of frost and was stretching his muscles. While she kept her focus on Jokul, Carr looked at her and nodded.
She heard Carr's words in her mind. You have no choice. He means to kill all of us if he survives.


Reviewed by Harps Romance Book Review

I have just finished this book and it was awesome!  Carr McKenna meets Margo on her first night working as an escort to support herself and her young daughter.  Margo is an untrained firestarter so when she gets mad things catch on fire.  She is running for her life from an ice demon named Jokul.  Carr is more than he seems as he is a shapeshifting jaguar.  And he has more powers that he is just learning about. He sees Margo as his life mate when they meet as sparks fly.  Can he save Margo from her stalking demon with the help of his family? Read and find out! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

#StraightToHeaven #HistoricalRomance #TimeTravel


Title: Straight to Heaven
Author: Christine Young
ISBN: 978-1-62420-286-5
Email: achristay@aol.com

Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4


REVIEW:



Are you ready for adventure, love, time travel and more? This novel has it all and will NOT let you down. Christine Young's "Straight to Heaven" is about Alexandra McMurdie, a girl from our modern 21st Century, who stumbles into a time-traveling vortex as she's running for her life. It is there, in the 1800s, where Alexandra doesn't expect to find someone like James Lawrence. 

All I can really and truthfully say about this novel was that I loved it. Every minute of it; every raced heartbeat as Alexandra and James connected, discovered, fought for themselves - for love. I'm a huge fan of time-traveling with a pinch of love and adventure, and Ms. Young delivers. I enjoyed the dialogue between Alex and James throughout the novel SO much. James Lawrence was probably by far, one of my favorite characters in the entire novel of "Straight to Heaven." Ms. Young offers a developed world, well-rounded and developed characters - with an exciting and fantastically romantic plot.  

This story grabbed my attention from the moment I started to read the novel, and held my attention to the very last page (and even so, left me wanting only to read more about James and Alex.) I was so sad to have the novel end, leaving behind such fantastically creative characters. 

"Straight to Heaven"offers a new look to the Western States after the Civil War with the twist of time. 

If this novel doesn't send you "Straight to Heaven"- I'm not sure what will. 

HIGHLYrecommend this wonderfully romantic novel to anyone who enjoys danger, adventure, and of course - a bit of Time Travel ;) 

Well done, Ms. Young! 

REVIEW

https://lizgavin.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/straight-to-heaven-blog-tour-review/



TAGLINE



Running from demons, Alexandra McMurdie stumbles into Forbidden Ground where up is down and elements of nature are contested.Though a strong independent woman in the twenty-first century' she is unprepared for life in the 1800s. Her first sight of the formidable James Lawrence makes her heart skip a beat, giving her cause to reconsider her desperate need to find a way home.

Born with a silver spoon, James’ life was torn apart during the War Between the States. Moving west he vows to put the life he once knew in the past. When he discovers a half-frozen woman near Gold Hill, his heart begins to thaw. His love for Alexandra and his need to keep her from a man who has pursued her through time might cost him his life as well as hers.



Midnight...the witching hour, a time to ease one's conscience and look to the next world for answers. Wild tales of a vortex told by the Native Americans where up was down and large was small, intrigued the valley settlers. One had only to expect the unexpected and it would occur. A ball could roll up hill but not down. No one ventured through the vortex unchanged, simply because the site defied the human mind. Here there were no limits set and no boundaries defined.
Mysterious tales ran rampant among the Native Americans. Fantastical stories portrayed visitors from other ages, other worlds, and even other dimensions passing through time and stopping here for a moment of rest before continuing their journey. Difficult to comprehend, impossible to believe unless one met his fate head on at the appropriate hour. Midnight. When spirits roamed the earth, anything could occur and anyone could vanish.
Midnight...an hour to be wary of, to remain at home and hopeit passed by without illusions floating on the stairway, of distinctive flickering in the candlelight, or a hesitant knock on the door from some invisible apparition. No one would wander out at this hour or challenge another, unless faced with no other choice.
Captain James Lawrence had sworn to uphold the law. Tonight, he might have to venture into the unknown; meet any challenge. He might stumble upon an innocent unsuspecting traveler, perhaps encounter a miracle and find a path straight to heaven.
The deserted countryside lay as a freshly painted picture bathed in the moonlight, and the crystal ice that coated the laurel trees shimmered, sending prisms of light toward the heavens. Even February's freezing rains paused as if paying homage to the hour.
Midnight.
James watched the moisture hover in a mindless drizzle of mist; low lying clouds floated and swirled in gossamer veils near the earth, entwining themselves in the manzanita and laurel, around the blackberry bushes, and the fields of grasses and weeds that dotted the hillside.
"Not tonight. Not again..." He pounded his fist against the railing, hoping he heard wrong.
From the west, James Lawrence could hear the low baying of hounds and the steady beat of horses as he stood on the porch of his home surveying his land. Charles Majors would bring his hounds, six of them, merciless in their intent, and trained to hunt man. They did not give up and he'd never known them to fail.
"Son of a bitch!" he said fiercely, "not tonight!" His fist landed squarely on the wooden beam holding up the roof. He stared into the night, cursing the situation. Duty and honor in the forefront of his mind, he knew he would join the posse.
Soon the men would stand at his porch expecting him to mount and ride with them. They were law-abiding men from town. A couple of them owned stores, some panned for gold. One was the saloon owner and another owned the town newspaper. He owed the community, knew he couldn't avoid this responsibility. If they would only come without the dogs, the nightmares might stop.
He rubbed his temples and wished the hammering within would vanish, but the pounding hooves grew louder, the hammering worse. His muscles flexed and as a brittle tension radiated through him, he held his breath, purposely waiting.
Staring into the cold night, he reflected on another time. A time during the war when the dogs had hunted him and they had come so perilously close to his heels. Now, on this moonlit night, even his home offered him no protection, no safe retreat. They came to him for his help—for his expertise. James shivered, yet the sensation wasn't caused by the cold.
He had hoped they wouldn't call on him again, but now it seemed as if the trail lay fresh and in his direction. He hated the look in a man's eye when cornered with nowhere to go; loathed the utter despair that accompanied it.
And the fear.
"Poor wretched soul," he said. "He'll know what hell feels like before the morning sun rises."



REVIEW:LibriAmoriMiei

My Review:

It 's a wonderful romance with an incredible time travel, a romantic love story, two charming characters, lots of suspense and a little adventure.
To escape an assault Alexandra falls into a strange vortex and finds herself living in 1868. She is a strong and independent woman of the XXI century and it is not easy for her to adapt to the mentality and to the limited means of 1800. While trying to survive, she meets James and she falls in love. But their love story is full of difficulties, James  has many open wounds suffered during the civil war.
I really liked the style of this author, she knows how to capture the reader's attention, once you start it, it's really hard to put it down. Her stories are full of magic and she is able  to create atmospheres full of suspense.
This was a truly engaging and delightful read. The story had a good pace, the plot was clever and the dialogue was witty.
  I highly recommend this book!




REVIEW:

Straight To Heaven by Christine Young
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Genre: Historical, Time Travel
Length: Full (389 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy

A solid entry into the time travel genre.
James, an honorable man who was left damaged by the Civil war makes a wonderful hero. His honor is indisputable, as shown the by the way he devotedly takes care of his young, orphaned niece, Jessie.
Alexandra is a sweet woman who is pursued through time by a villain who wants her for his own. She unexpectedly falls into a vortex when running from him in 2015 and finds herself in the past, just following the end of the war between the states.
The villain, Sean Cassidy, is truly reprehensible. And single minded. All he wants is Alexandra, and he doesn’t care what he has to do to get her.
I enjoyed watching Alex trying to find her way around the past. It’s remarkable how many little slang sayings make no sense out of context, like when she wants to keep James from the treehouse where she and Jessie are talking, and gives as her reason that “it’s Grand Central Station” up there. Of course, the way women behave now and how they were expected to behave in the late 1800s was also an issue. Ms. Young does a good job painting the past through Alex’s eyes.
The romance between James and Alex is bittersweet, since Alex intends on returning to her own time. But neither can help falling for the other and it’s sweet and heartbreaking and helps both James and Jessie to heal from their emotional wounds.
The only “complaint” I had with the story is that James is so good and Sean Cassidy is sobad. I wish James had been more flawed and that the villain had a few redeemable qualities. Oh, and the other thing that made me a bit crazy is how the author seldom referred to him as simply “Sean” and mostly called him by his full name, Sean Cassidy. Not only did it feel a bit odd, but every time it happened I ended up picturing him as the teen idol from my youth.
Overall, though, Straight To Heavenwas a well-written, interesting book that should appeal the time travel romance fans. And it should certainly touch your heart. It did mine.

Book Review: 'Straight To Heaven' by Christine Young

A solid entry into the time travel genre.
James, an honorable man who was left damaged by the Civil war makes a wonderful hero. His honor is indisputable, as shown the by the way he devotedly takes care of his young, orphaned niece, Jessie.
Alexandra is a sweet woman who is pursued through time by a villain who wants her for his own. She unexpectedly falls into a vortex when running from him in 2015 and finds herself in the past, just following the end of the war between the states.
The villain, Sean Cassidy, is truly reprehensible. And single minded. All he wants is Alexandra, and he doesn’t care what he has to do to get her.
I enjoyed watching Alex trying to find her way around the past. It’s remarkable how many little slang sayings make no sense out of context, like when she wants to keep James from the treehouse where she and Jessie are talking, and gives as her reason that “it’s Grand Central Station” up there. Of course, the way women behave now and how they were expected to behave in the late 1800s was also an issue. Ms. Young does a good job painting the past through Alex’s eyes.
The romance between James and Alex is bittersweet, since Alex intends on returning to her own time. But neither can help falling for the other and it’s sweet and heartbreaking and helps both James and Jessie to heal from their emotional wounds.
The only “complaint” I had with the story is that James is so good and Sean Cassidy is so bad. I wish James had been more flawed and that the villain had a few redeemable qualities. Oh, and the other thing that made me a bit crazy is how the author seldom referred to him as simply “Sean” and mostly called him by his full name, Sean Cassidy. Not only did it feel a bit odd, but every time it happened I ended up picturing him as the teen idol from my youth.
Overall, though, Straight To Heaven was a well-written, interesting book that should appeal the time travel romance fans. And it should certainly touch your heart. It did mine.


4 **** – Sweetly romantic time-travel
** I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review **
I’m a huge fan of time-travel and an avid reader of historical romances so my expectations were quite high before I read this book. I think that might have been a negative factor in my enjoyment of the book. It took a while for me to connect with the story and the characters. However, once I did I had a good time with the book.
The author does a very good job with both the main and the supporting characters. The plot is well-written and the suspense builds up to the climax in the end. My reason for not rating it with five stars is that I like my heroes a bit on the flawed side and James Lawrence is too sweet for that. Also, the love scenes were good but felt a bit rushed. As an author of erotic romances I was a bit disappointed in them.
All things considered, though, this is a very good book that I recommend for those who enjoy time-traveling and sweet romance.
AMAZON (I’ve posted the review on Amazon but it hasn’t gone live yet. I’ll include link here as soon as it becomes available).