Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Jacksonville, Oregon 1868 Midnight...the witching hour, a time to ease one's conscience and look to the next world for answers. STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN BY CHRISTINE YOUNG FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED



Title: Straight to Heaven
Author: Christine Young
ISBN: 978-1-62420-278-0
Email: achristay@aol.com

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4


REVIEW: http://chantalgadoury.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2016-06-07T07:00:00-04:00&max-results=7

5/5 Stars 



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. 

I HIGHLY recommend 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 and is transported from the twenty-first century to life in the 1800s, a life she is unprepared for.

BLURB

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.


EXCERPT

Jacksonville, Oregon 1868
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 hope it 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 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).


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

TELL TALE TUESDAY: An intriguingly different look at one woman’s recovery from several lifetimes of abuse, betrayal and violent deaths—guided by dogs whose hearts contain the simple and miraculous knowledge of the Universe. I WANT TO HAVE THE HEART OF A DOG BY GENIE GABRIEL



Title: I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog
ISBN: 978-1-62420-288-9
Author: Genie Gabriel

Genre: Metaphysical
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

Buy at: Rogue Phoenix Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

TAGLINE

An intriguingly different look at one woman’s recovery from several lifetimes of abuse, betrayal and violent deaths—guided by dogs whose hearts contain the simple and miraculous knowledge of the Universe.

REVIEW:


I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog
Genie Gabriel

Reviewed by Jeffrey Ross 
Five Stars for animal lovers! -- a must read about the indisputable connection between people and their dogs...

I want to have the Heart of a Dog is an amazing text. Perhaps it is a collection of significant life history vignettes, stories which show powerful and dramatic moments and events in the lives of the author, Genie Gabriel, and her loving fur babies. Perhaps Heart of a Dog is a powerful Reikie (an ancient method for channeling life force energy for relaxation and healing) manifesto, a calming book that celebrates the spiritual connections between humankind and dogs—and the complex journeys we share daily. This book will make readers smile, laugh, perhaps even weep-- but everyone will come away enlightened and joyful.  All the wisdom and positive influences of the author’s canine friends are "channeled" in each chapter.  The emotional and spiritual power of this book is obvious-- and refreshing. Hopefully, each person who enjoys this lovely text will come away with “the heart of a dog”—and a new understanding of life’s ultimate and profound meanings.




BLURB

One woman's journey that started with murders of passion in an Egyptian-like civilization two thousand years ago. After suffering betrayal, abuse and violent deaths through lifetimes of atonement, she comes to the present day realization that dogs are much more than furry companions. They are protectors, comforters, and teachers whose hearts contain the simple and miraculous knowledge of the Universe—if only we listen and learn.


EXCERPT

Fur against my face and the soft smell of a dog curled protectively around me existed before my first memories of this life.
Mom used to tell stories of me as a toddler, sleeping with my head pillowed on our Collie's belly; of my brave furry protector forcing an uncle back into his car because I was outside without a parent. Never mind we lived out in the country where only relatives or nearby neighbors came to visit.
Tippy took his duties seriously, and executed them well. For ten years, he was a companion, a pillow, and a protector.
Under this seemingly idyllic existence, something dark was happening to me that my child-mind didn't understand. My ignorance allowed me to form loving memories of my early years with Tippy.
As our beautiful boy neared his transition over the Rainbow Bridge, I caught a glimpse of something I hadn't previously seen in my young life—a look of helpless grief on my stern, stoic father's face. I didn't completely understand it then, but I knew it was somehow momentous. Perhaps there was more to this man than he let us see.
Though I didn't realize it at the time, Tippy was the beginning of my life-long love of dogs, and set the standard for all the furbabies who would be part of my journey.

~ Wisdom from Tippy ~
We will always be with you—your furry angels who you can love and trust unconditionally and feel safe with. Though you won't put this together until well into this lifetime, Collies will carry a special message for you, as do I. You will feel drawn to them, and they will appear at critical times to guide and support you.
But don't overlook the other furries who appear in your life, for they also bring messages—to hope, to play, to love, and to look for the joy in this lifetime. For it is there, sometimes buried and forgotten in the angst of your self-punishment, but it is there. Good-bye for now, my beloved. I will always be available to you and now entrust you to another set of paws to share your journey.

REVIEW:
Title:  I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog
Author:  Genie Gabriel
Publisher:  Rogue Phoenix Press
Genre:  Non-Fiction
Length: 108 Pages
Reviewer: Courtney Rene
Rating:  5 out of 5


I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog was a more emotional read that I expected.  If you have ever had a beloved pet you will want to read this story, but have the box of tissues ready.  When I started reading it, I thought it was fiction.  Imagine my surprise as I made my way through the book and realized no, it is a nonfiction piece about the author.  This book is wonderful in that it gives insight to many dogs and their breeds and maybe their personalities, but it also gives insight into humans and their own nature and needs and shortcomings. 

Aside from the fact that this book did make me a little sad, I was forced to recall my own furbabies that have passed on and how much they were a part of my life and my journey.  The book stuck with me even after I finished the last page.  I have a feeling it will be with me for many days to come.  I can’t say that about many books. 


I am giving this book 5 stars.  I’m usually a little grinchy with stars, but I could not give this one any less.  It was truly an inspiring read. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

MYSTERY MONDAY: In the depths of winter, a bubonic plague survivor is seduced by a dark stranger who changes her life forever. ORIGIN OF THE SUCCUBUS BY JAMIE MCGRAW



Title: Origin of the Succubus
Author: J. E. McGraw
ISBN: 978-1-62420-230-8
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4


TAGLINE

In the depths of winter, a bubonic plague survivor is seduced by a dark stranger who changes her life forever.

BLURB

A survivor of the bubonic plague that has laid waste to much of Europe, nineteen-year-old Hanna is sent to a convent near Kosice by her wealthy father. She finds a wounded man named Cayo in the snow outside the convent and begins to nurse him back to health. There is something different about Cayo: his wounds heal much faster than expected, and Hanna becomes aroused whenever she is near him. Cayo seduces her. Hanna falls ill and Cayo urges her to flee the convent when he learns a priest has examined her. With those who once loved her now intent on her death, Hanna turns into a creature of lust and base desire: a succubus. She believes she will never know what true and pure love is again--until she meets a handsome paladin named Tartu...


EXCERPT

Cayo was the only patient in the hospice. He was sleeping. I stood by the door of the hospice, my hand bandaged, and watched him. He looked better than when the Reverend Mother and I had rescued him. Then, his lips were blue and his face pale. I had thought he would die. The color had returned to his face over the past weeks. He looked more like a native of the place he said he came from: Spain.
Cayo was not a tall man, and he was quite slim. He had the natural olive complexion of a Spaniard, but the usual Spaniard's swarthiness was replaced by a slender, almost willowy…it wasn't grace, but elegance. He wore no top and was bandaged about his waist. Cayo might be of small build, but his shoulders were broad and his muscles well-defined. The shadow of a beard darkened his face and his black hair, unkempt and matted when I first saw him, was now washed and shiny.
Quietly, I walked to Cayo's bed and sat down beside him. The Reverend Mother had charged me with nursing Cayo back to health. I didn't need to be with him – the only reason I had come here was to bandage my hand – but it felt apt that I check on him while in the hospice. I reached out and touched Cayo on the chest. A tiny but pleasurable shock ran up my finger, along my arm and down my spine.
Cayo opened his eyes. It was nothing. Little shocks often happened when the weather was cold. It had happened twice, once when I first touched him and now, but that was just a coincidence. Cayo was a man, but I was a novice in the service of God.
Cayo managed a smile, but when I looked at him closely, there was something else, as if there were a knowing, almost mocking grin behind the smile. "Novice Hanna," he murmured.
"I cut myself in the garden," I said quickly, showing Cayo my bandaged hand. "I thought I should check on you."
Cayo reached out and held my wrist gently but with firm resolve. "Even a pious nun bleeds. Tell me, does it hurt?"
"A little," I admitted. "How do you feel?"
"I am getting better. My wound is still painful, but I can feel it healing. I will be gone in a week or two."
"But your wound was very deep. The Reverend Mother said it would take two, three months…"
Cayo held a finger to my lips. "I am a quick healer." His smile widened. "But you're right, to heal properly it might take two or three months. I would be a fool to leave when I'm in the care of a woman as beautiful as you."
I looked away from Cayo and smiled. I'm sure I would have seen red in my cheeks had I looked in a mirror. "Do you feel stronger?"
"My strength is returning slowly. I am stronger than when I came here. I must thank you for saving me that day. I thought I was going to die."
"It's no problem. I have to admit I was frightened. I didn't know robbers came so close to Kosice. The Reverend Mother spoke with the city watch but they couldn't find anyone."
"I was easy prey. Predators always hunt for the easiest prey they can find. They're surer of a kill. It is the same with people."
Cayo might have been traveling alone, but he spoke with the self-assured poise – bordering on arrogance – of nobility. I was the daughter of a minor noble, but my father had courted and dealt with men wealthier and more powerful than he was. Men like Jiri. I knew so little about Cayo. I could even be treating a lord or knight. "Where in Spain do you come from?"
"Basque. A town called Guernica."
"What is it like there?" I knew very little about the geography of Europe outside the Bohemian plain and the Carpathians. My father had not seen fit to teach us, believing that what we weren't going to encounter in our lifetimes was irrelevant.
"It's home, and therefore the most beautiful place in the world."
I thought of Cayo's answer and my own home near the forest. I felt the same way. "Why did you leave?" I asked him, genuinely curious.
Cayo reached out and grabbed my good hand. His grip was surprisingly gentle, as though he were handling a rare and delicate piece of jewelry "Why all these questions? My life has little enough of interest. Perhaps I should be asking about you. The history of a beautiful woman dedicating her life to God is far more interesting than anything I could tell you about me."
I blushed again, but this time I didn't look away. "What would you like to know?"
"Where are you from?"
"A tiny village south of here. You won't find it on any map."
"I have often found the most beautiful places in the world are those you can't find on maps."
"I miss it there."
"I must visit one day. What is there?" Cayo asked.
"Very little. My father is the local lord. The village borders the forest and there are cattle and pigs in the fields, and vineyards. Guernica must be very different."
Cayo looked at the high ceiling of the hospice and for a moment he was pensive. Then he said, "Yes, it would be very different. I haven't seen it for a long time." He looked back at me, his confidence and knowing manner returned. "So what is the daughter of a lord doing in a convent?"
I could tell him that I was a second daughter, a useless spare once my father had wed Dalibora to Jiri and consolidated his lands with those of my late sister's husband. I feared the main reason would be harder for Cayo to accept. I had contracted the plague but, unlike many, I had survived. I looked at my reflection in the river sometimes. I still had the gaunt look of those who had survived the plague, but it was improving. "My father isn't rich," I said, "and my elder sister had already wed. He thought a convent would be the best place for me."
"But wouldn't that leave you free to wed for love?"
What man would desire a woman who had survived the plague? "My father did the right thing. I like it here. It is a virtuous calling. I have a little sister. She will marry for love."
"You are lying." The bluntness of Cayo's words shocked me. He spoke softly, as though his statement wasn't an accusation but a comforting truth. "There is something sad about you. But there is anger too. You are not as at peace as you would have others believe." Cayo placed his hand on mine, and this time his grip was firm. "What do you seek?"
"I seek happiness and peace with God."
"You seek revenge."
"No!" The urgency of my protest only confirmed his accusation. I was ashamed of the feelings I had been experiencing when I thought of Jiri – I didn't even know if they were justified except for an unspoken inference from Dalibora – but part of me clung to them.
"Why do you lie to me?" Cayo asked gently. "It is a sin to lie." He smiled. "Or do you like indulging in sin?" Cayo's smile was predatory now and he looked at my body.
"You don't understand." I was angry with him for finding my lie out and looking at me the way he was, but another, deeper part of me felt aroused. There were few men in the convent and the way Cayo looked at me made me certain he was interested in me as more than his nurse. There was no one here. I could reach out and kiss him, caress him, lie beside him. No, it wasn't right! Ecaterina might indulge her wicked thoughts but I wouldn't. I was a novice in a convent and I would respect God.
"What are you thinking about?" Cayo inquired. "I think you're thinking about me."
"You don't understand," I said again. "Someone close to me…"
I didn't want to continue. My life was none of Cayo's business. He was a patient in the hospice and nothing more. I stood and smoothed out my habit. "It is good to see you are on the mend." I tried to sound practiced and self-assured, but I still felt a pleasurable sensation as I looked at Cayo's chest. I turned and left the hospice before my imagination got the better of me.