Thursday, May 31, 2018

#SweetTalkinSugar #ParanormalRomance


Title: Sweet Talkin' Sugar
Author: Christine Young
ISBN: 978-1-62420-243-8
Email: achristay@aol.com

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



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 Lyn 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.


EXCERPT: 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.





Wednesday, May 30, 2018

#SweetSurender #ParanormalRomance



Title: Sweet Surrender
Author: Christine Young
ISBN: 978-1-62420-375-6
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 5


TAGLINE


BLURB

Maska O'keefe has loved the beautiful shapeshifter for years. Unable to save her life years ago, he vows to watch over her as he is given a second chance to convince her that even though he is a witch and not a shifter, they are indeed soul mates. Kimi's divided loyalties between her family and the cause she is now a part of will determine their relationship. Only the part she plays as the messiah can bring this to a conclusion in the final battle.



EXCERPT: Sweet Surrender

She caressed his cheek again, nodding her answer. I want to make love to you, Maska O’keefe. I don’t want you to make any excuses, maybe not tonight but soon. I am not too weak to know my mind.
“I think it’s time we left the lovers alone. They have no use for us, and Kimi is no longer in danger. She does have her mate.” Lyn cleared her throat, backing from the room and tugging on Deacon’s arm. Guy and Baylor followed suit.
“We will continue tomorrow,” Sarah said, bowing before returning to her quarters.
Mak scooped Kimi into his arms, kissing her forehead, “Depends on what Kimi has to say. I don’t want to put her life in jeopardy because she does too much too soon. No one is going to change my mind, not even the witch.” Wanting nothing more than the safety of his woman, he cradled her against his chest. God, she was light as a feather. Had she lost weight since they arrived? He’d make sure she ate right. “I love you,” he whispered for her ears only.
Carrying her up the stairs and through his house, he felt a deep compassion for Kimi. She’d given up so much for him, and still his people put her in grave danger. A battle might not be raged where she was forced to physically fight, but he had the feeling this mental combat she was engaged in was far more dangerous. He cursed Melva for her part in all of this. Then he cursed himself for his role.
Unexpectedly, he felt Kimi wind her fingers through his hair. She snuggled in closer. The warmth of her body close to him did little to ease his conscious. Perhaps he didn’t want the guilt to vanish.
“Umm...” she murmured, “feeling better. Just want to be with you tonight.” And always.
My thoughts too. What changed your mind?
Mak kissed her forehead. “Feeling better? I heard what you told me. Are you too tired for words?” He kicked the door to her room open and stepped inside, eyeing the bed with frustration.
“Yes, so much better. Why did you bring me to my room? Oh hell, it doesn’t matter where we are.” She pulled his head down and kissed him on the mouth. Too many words evaporated my energy, easier to speak without talking.
Shocked, Mak reveled in the feeling for a second before returning the kiss. “You have to rest, you know. I’m not going to be responsible for...” He told her even though his body rebelled, and he wasn’t too sure what he was talking about. It had been so long since any intimacy at all had been shared between them.
“What if I don’t want to rest? What if I want you to make love to me?” She slanted him a sexy as hell grin that made him want to put her on the bed and strip naked. He closed his eyes, trying to shut out the image in his head of Kimi naked in his arms.
Yet he knew better than to rush the agenda of sex between them. No matter how much he wanted to have that closeness with his mate. “We can talk in the morning. After you’ve had a good night’s sleep. More than anything I want to make love to you, but the time isn’t right.”
“I want you,” she said, rubbing her hands up and down his arms then across his chest. She moved closer and kissed the column of his neck, and he knew she tried to seduce him.
He groaned, comprehending the fact that if she kept this up he couldn’t possibly be responsible for his actions. Of course he could. He inhaled a long deep breath and shuttered his feelings, searching for common sense.


KEYWORDS

Paranormal, romance, shapeshifter, time-travel

SOCIAL LIINKS

http://christineyoung-romancewriter.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Christine-Young-350132315013316/
https://twitter.com/achristay


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

#TellTaleTuesday #ParanormalRomance



Author: Christine Young
Genre: Erotic Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 5



BLURB:
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. 

Review:


"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





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.


Manic Reader Review 
Rating:  4 1/2 stars out of 5
Reviewer: Alberta 
Review: 

Meara is a loner, content to spend time with her computers, without the bother of having too many people around her. When she turns from hacker to government computer specialist, she meets Jace, who knows she is his mate, but all he has to do is tell her he is a panther shape shifter and that she is destined to be his.

There is a lot of dodging bad guys, dodging another shape shifter, and trying to keep secrets from each other. In the end, Catching Meara is pretty entertaining, and I liked both characters, despite Meara’s dysfunctional personality.





Monday, May 28, 2018

#MysteryMonday #ContemporaryRomance



Title: June
Author: Alicia Stone
ISBN: 978-1-62420-316-9

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3



June

By Alicia Stone

A review by Jeffrey Ross

5 Stars

This is a world-class piece of literature—a finely crafted book that combines several genres successfully. On one level, June functions as an academic or campus novel—much of the text revolves around the detailed, complicated, scholarly world of Professor Perry’s anthropological research and love affair machinations. It also has robust elements of a detective story when super-sleuth David outs a cheating husband. But June most significantly and boldly illuminates a woman’s “sensual” coming of age (somewhat like Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening) as heroine Cassie begins to unshackle herself from a life of emotional servitude and learns to love again. As a writer, I was humbled by the workmanship and power of this novel. Read June—you will never forget the story.



TAGLINE


BLURB

Living a lie in a web of deceit, Cassandra finds the courage to challenge her controlling husband. She sets in motion a tragic chain of events that leads her across Europe from the medieval city of Tallinn to the showboating glamour of Nice. Cast aside and the victim of cruel revenge, Cassandra fights for her future and discovers she is not alone. Her new-found strength is tested to its limits, for where love is concerned there is often a reckoning. 


EXCERPT: June

Women's toilets, a curious place for confidences. Strangers become acquainted in the queue for the loo. Teenage girls discuss conquests as they hog mirrors, applying make-up. Cassandra had once seen a laughing group of Japanese women roll their trousers to their knees, fastidious in their preparation for a Western bathroom experience. She would have given much to understand their chatter. Quite extraordinary what she overheard about people's lives in toilets, but thiswas gossip, and the gossip was about her. She knew these voices, Malory Jacque and Miranda Pym.
"Of course Cassandra's very nice. Oh, Lord. Nopaper. For heaven's sake. A hotel of this repute. I shall speak to the manager. Andrew knows him from cricket."
"Hang on. I'll pass some under the door. Lord, this reminds me of school."
Cassandra heard scuffles and giggles.
"She's pleasant…easy-going in that reserved sort of way. Good for dinner parties."
"Thanks. Oh yes. Marvellous. Pop her next to anyone. She's sort of…you know…"
"Neutral? A foil?"
"That's it. Rather beige."
Cassandra froze in her cubicle. The toilets flushed and the voices moved over to the wash-hand basins.
"Oh, no. Would you look at that? They've changed the hand cream. I always liked the wild heather. This won't do."
A blast from the hand driers drowned any further eavesdropping. The door swung open; there was a clack of heels…
"But when you consider the husband…"
The door closed.
Cassandra waited for a moment before waving her hand at the automatic flush and coming out. Standing before the mirror, she remembered what Perry had said at breakfast.
"Sweetheart. Do you think that shade of blue suits you? Book club today isn't it? You've never worn the cashmere I brought you from Cairo. I found it in your closet the other day."
She had poured his coffee, put another round of toast in the retro Italian toaster, and slipped into their bedroom. The unopened duty-free bag stood upright in the bottom of the 'hers' wardrobe. Shrugging off the blouse chosen earlier, she removed the ribbon tag from her gift and pulled the soft jumper over her head, making for the kitchen.
"Pussy-cat, lovely. Want to stroke you." He didn't. Instead, Perry was out of his seat even as she offered more toast.
"Carbs, Cassandra, carbs. Got to look after the waistline." He held his stomach in and blew her a routine kiss, but she was already moving towards the sink.
Would the puff of air reach the cupboard housing the seldom-used twelve-place dinner service, or would the vapour simply dissipate mid kitchen, she wondered.
"Late tonight, some of the faculty…a little do. Back on the Nine o'clock. Have fun with the ladies."
Cassandra had dropped the toast into the bin and stared out of the window. Next-door's cat had emerged from a clump of daisies and shuddered, the tail bolt upright. Cassandra loathed cats, especially when they treated her garden as their personal litter tray. He, for the cat was a Tom, was the same shade of grey as her jumper.
Now she was staring at the reflection in the mirror. Her face lost, framed by the heavy ornate coving and flock-wallpaper of the Victorian hotel. She had often pondered what people would say about her. They might use affable or good-natured if a little shy. What they didn't see was that she was bored; Cassandra was bored to her very core. Not languid though, never that. There was so much that people did not see. Cassandra composed herself, took a breath, and fixed her smile as she hurried to re-join the discussion about a book she had no wish to discuss.

~ * ~

A creature of routine, she went shopping after Book Club. Every trip to the supermarket was at best an exhausting in-your-face reality experience, at worst a sensory assault. From the seductive smell of the in-store baked bread and the sweet blowsy lilies in pretty buy-me cellophane wrappers to the whole gamut of riotous colour, compelling fonts and unashamed brandingthe weekly shop was a marketing horror to be endured. Enthusiastic staff spoke of must-buys or operational matters over the public address system interrupting the bland music and the periodic wails of infants distressed or seeking attention. Employees wearing uniform fleece offered tiny plastic pots as if shoppers were at some impromptu cocktail party or were institutionalised, standing in line to take their medication before bedtime.
"Can I tempt you to try a French cheese on offer today? Our own-brand mayonnaise has been voted Britain's favourite. Would you like to see if you can taste the difference?"
There were endless choices, from the selection of three types of trolley at the entrance to the alternative methods of checkout at the exit. Early on in their relationship during a trip to the supermarket, Perry asked that Cassandra take on the responsibility.
"Sweetheart, shopping is ghastly. You are so much better at all this pointless busynessthan I. Look about you," he glowered. "Eighty percent of the people here are women. You are among your own kind; you know what to do; you have the time. Lucky, lucky girl, whereas poor old me, cash rich; time poor."
Money wasn't a problem. Perry urged her to spend what she liked. They could afford to live well on his salary and his grandfather's trust fund. Bunty and Reg, his parents, bought the couple's house as a wedding gift. Early on in their relationship, Bunty had trumpeted aloud at Cassandra's modest choice of food retailer and her student habit of shopping around for bargains.
"My dear, a housewife is judged by her table. Top end for groceries, always. It's what Perry's used to."
Cassandra did the shopping, coasting in neutral following a set path. Her face assumed a forced smile. She manoeuvred the trolley around slow mannerly pensioners, avoiding the child, skidding to a halt in the detergent aisle. She read labels comparing saturated fat and salt levels, catering for Perry's current preferences and tastes. He was most particular. Cassandra willed herself not to judge the large woman with the trolley stacked high with snack and convenience food or to think too uncharitably of the salad afterthought perched on top of the high-fat, sugar-laden mountain. She rejected the self-checkout points, aware of her need for human interaction, chatting at the till, agreeing that the weather was shocking and that the three-for-two offer on the Imperial Leather soap was excellent value.
"My husband won't try any other. His mother uses the same brand…you know, a family thing." Cassandra despised the words and herself for the weakness that was her norm.
The cashier listened with her head to one side. Was there a fleeting edge of solidarity or sympathy in the amber eyes? Perhaps it was the magnifying effect of the tortoiseshell glasses. Cassandra felt odd and lightheaded but conscious of a moment of female kinship and understanding with a woman she'd never met before.
"Are you alright dear?" The amber was almost orange, owlish, and wild.
Cassandra considered the question as she used her credit card. The first attempt failed as she tapped in the wrong number. Concentrating, she began the process again until she met with success. She stopped in the act of lifting the bag of shopping into her trolley.
"I think…I am."
The cashier reappraised her as she handed over the receipt.
"Changes take time to work their way through, don't you find? The trick is to make the right choices. Take care now."
There was no one behind her in the queue. The adjacent cashier was busy. No one else had overheard. What a curious exchange; not at all the usual bland pleasantries between staff and customers. Cassandra wheeled her trolley away, leaning against the metal frame. Glancing back at the checkout, the grey-haired woman was changing her till roll and did not look up.
Driving home through the rain, Cassandra thought about the book club. Perry had suggested she join. One evening at dinner, he announced that everything was arranged. The wife of Perry's occasional golf partner would introduce her to the club and pick Cassandra up, taking her to the first meeting.
Debbie, in a red sports car with a mane of tawny hair, tanned, wearing a lime green trouser suit, pulled up outside sounding three long beeps. Cassandra rushed out of the house, flustered with a wave of greeting. This went unobserved as Debbie shot into her driveway, executing a three-point-turn, which halted two inches from the next-door's spotless and regimented recycling bins.
"Hop in. Running late. A cul-de-sac in Westmead," she surveyed the immaculate new-builds, "bad luck. My book choice this month so they can't start without me. Got the top down…nice day…about time. Awful summer, you'd never think we lived in the south of England for pity's sake."
Cassandra held out her hand to no avail as the car sped forward.
"Belt up."
The recollection of that first meeting made Cassandra grimace and smile. She couldn't recall the name of the first book, the plot, or the characters, only that awful new girl paralysis, all the other women staring, appraising, and judging. Fighting an overwhelming instinct to run away, she defaulted to a learned behaviour; she smiled, crossed and uncrossed her legs, agreed and disagreed, nodded and listened, wholly intent on blending in. That was three years ago. Members came and went, but the core remained the same. Perry liked to ask her about the group, wives of cronies in his wider circle, so she stayed. Debbie stayed the course too, catching Cassandra's eye at the more outrageous comments, winking with mirth at the absurd.
Perry wanted to know who was bright. Who led the group? Who did most of the talking? That was in the early days. Of late, he had not asked much about the reading group, but Debbie had become a friend. An unlikely pairing perhaps, but, as the first meeting finished and they walked towards the waiting Mercedes, Deborah Gore-Hamilton said,
"I've got your number, Cassy Bishop. If you need an ally, I've got your back."
That was how their friendship started. Cassandra was no longer alone.

REVIEW:

Title: June (Many a Moon Series, Book 2)
Author: Alicia Stone
Rating: 4
Reviewed by: Gillespie Lamb

Cassandra Bishop is an upper-class English woman in her mid-30s who has voluntarily subordinated herself to a controlling husband (and his mother). Why would she volunteer? “I was young,” she sighs. Her pushy best bud brusquely dismisses that as a whiny excuse and lovingly prods her to reassert herself. In reluctant response, an emotionally deconstructed “Cassy” begins to reassemble her natural lively spirit.

Her quicksilver transformation into a strong, independent woman loosens the constraints in her marriage relationship, with liberating and tragic consequences.  

Author Alicia Stone’s forte is creating a believable slice of upper-crust British society within which her characters grow into people we care about. Her illuminating descriptions of the knick-knackery of the gentry lifestyle are fascinating in themselves. Cassandra comes across as an introspective, sensible, and nervy woman. It turns out her husband is multi-dimensional, too.

Testimonial: I am male. This is a woman’s book, PG-rated, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

AUTHOR BIO:

Alicia has recently returned to the UK. She is enjoying the south coast and exploring rural villages using back roads and public footpaths. The great thing about English villages is that they have amazing old churches full of history and stories often with a pub next door. Find out more about Alicia, or contact her on her blog: aliciastoneauthor.blogspot.co.uk

Website URL: N/A

Blog URL: aliciastoneauthor.blogspot.co.uk

Facebook page:N/A

Twitter handle: @Alicia_author



Sunday, May 27, 2018

#RomanceSunday #Spirit of Love #ParaanormalRomance



Author: J. L. Addicoat
ISBN: 978-1-62420-067-0
Email: jladdicoat@gmail.com

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


Old buildings have an eerie haunting feeling, and the 17thCentury Manor house in the Cornish countryside Julia intends to restore, is no exception. Originally her dead husband’s dream, she feels it’s up to her to complete it in his memory. When she arrives, she realizes it’ll take more than a quick clean to put the dilapidated old Manor to rights. 
While exploring the house, she feels as someone, or something, is watching her. Darting shadows and movements, seen from the corner of her eyes, seem to confirm sinister happenings at the Manor in the past. The discovery of an old diary hidden in a chest of drawers and the story it tells, lead Julia in a different direction than she originally thought she would be taking.

EXCERPT: Spirit of Love

A sense of foreboding settled in Julia's stomach as she quickly returned to the car. She didn't know what it was about the manor, but each time she visited, the hair stood up on the back of her neck. It felt as if something or someone was watching her.
Starting the car's engine, she drove slowly down the weedy, rutted path, the car bouncing as its wheels sank into the potholes. Julia cringed at the jolts and scraping sounds coming from underneath the vehicle. "I should never have sold the Landcruiser. What was I thinking, bringing the Jag?" She knew what she had been thinking. She was the Mistress of the Manor now, and wanted to show off.
As she bumped along through the avenue of trees, the manor revealed itself. Grey stone blocks of the fa├žade gave a haunting welcome. Julia swallowed a lump in her throat and tears pricked her eyes. It wasn't right. Richard should have been here with her. He'd wanted to restore the old mansion for a while. This was his dream house.
Instead, it had become his burial place.
She'd promised, while she knelt at his graveside, to restore the old manor in his memory. That had been two years ago. The memories of the time still haunted her. Grief and loneliness had held her back. Mentally, she felt stronger now, and able to accept having to carry on alone. "Get a grip on yourself Julia. It's an old house. It's bound to have a few creaks and groans."
Parking the Jag next to the front door, she unpacked, placing the bags in front of the massive wooden doors. The leering gargoyle face on the door knocker sent a shiver through her. Placing a hand over its face so she wouldn't have to look at it, Julia turned the door key in the lock and pushed the door open.
She'd never been inside the manor. Richard had gone inside, but she had stayed outside in the gardens. Just the look of the grey stone on the outside gave her an eerie feeling. The same feeling assailed her now. She glanced back. The hair on the back of her neck stood up. Something or someone was watching her. She was sure of it.
Get inside and shut the door. Then they won't be able to see you. Quickly picking up her bags she kicked a small bag forward with her foot, in an effort to get everything inside and shut the door. After closing it, she turned around and gasped. The entrance opened in front of her. Large marble tiles covered the floor, with the roof looming high above. A hand-carved wooden staircase in front of her wound its way to the first floor.
Oh, Richard. If you could only see this as I am now. I can see you running up the stairs, sliding your hands over the banisters and pulling up the carpet to see the wood underneath. I can see the delight in your eyes.
She ran her fingers over a nearby wall. Tracing the raised wallpaper patterns with her fingertips brought a sense of loss, a heaviness to her heart. She could feel the loneliness of the building. To her, it felt neglected, like it hadn't been loved for quite a while. Like her. Great, now you're associating yourself with a building. A moldy, musty stench emanated from the old, red, patterned carpet on the stairs, and she wrinkled her nose at the smell.
Once, people had walked up and down the rich, red-carpeted staircase. She could imagine children sliding down its curved railing, laughing as they reached the curled end, then running back up the stairs again for another trip. She smiled at the visualization it brought to her mind.
Now, the only footsteps it felt were from the mice chewing holes in its carpet, showing the bare wooden boards underneath. Yes, this is a very sad house indeed. As she turned left into what appeared to be the library, she caught a shadowy movement from the corner of her eye. She spun and glanced around, but nothing was there.
"Hello, is anyone there?" Silence was her answer. Maybe a bird had flown in through a broken window somewhere? She shook her head, chiding herself for being silly and so jumpy. She laughed to herself. I'll be seeing ghosts next. A cold shiver ran through her at the thought.
Turning back, she walked into the library. Stopping just inside the door, Julia closed her eyes and breathed in deeply. She could smell the books. Even if she had been blind, the aroma of the old paper would have told her exactly which room she was in. Bookcases lined the walls from the floor to the ceiling. They were full of dusty tomes, maps, and leather clad books. Lifting the dust covers off chairs and furniture as she walked around the room, she couldn't believe so much was still here. With a flick of her hand on a cloth, she uncovered a beautiful walnut sideboard. The glass was intact, as well. It'd look wonderful after she had given it a polish, she thought to herself. Old oil paintings hung in spaces on the walls, created just for them.
She stood in the center of the room and slowly turned in a circle. It dawned on her how much work was actually needed. Cleaning she could do, but she wouldn't be able to do it all herself. Help would have to be brought in, especially for the wiring and plumbing. Julia lowered herself into one of the chairs, realizing finally, the enormity of the job ahead of her.



Saturday, May 26, 2018

#Sci/fiFantasySaturday #Cupid'sKiss #YA #FantasyRomance



Title: Cupid's Kiss
ISBN: 978-1-62420-297-1
Author: Jennifer Milne

Genre: YA Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2



REVIEW:

Cupid’s Kiss by Jennifer Milne
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (38 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Astilbe for Long and Short Reviews
Cupid was real, and his descendants still walk the earth. Their magical matchmaking abilities don’t come from arrows though, but from their spit. Sixteen year old Amanda Amoretto is one of those descendants and she doesn’t believe in love. After all, if her spit can make people fall in love, it’s just a silly chemical reaction right? It isn’t real.Until she meets a boy she just can’t get off of her mind. But if she kisses him, he’ll fall under her Cupid love spell, which makes it impossible to have a genuine relationship. Her life is turned upside down as the girl who always overthinks everything finds herself a slave to her feelings. Can Amanda resist her feelings? Does she want to? Even if it means living a lie?
Being naturally irresistible isn’t always as easy as it may look.
My favorite part of this tale was the explanation the main character gave of how her ability worked. It was fascinating to see how she described the process of developing a crush on someone and why her saliva could jump start these feelings in a heartbeat. It made me want to know more about Cupid’s descendants!
While I really enjoyed this story overall, there was one part of that I didn’t quite understand. Many of Amanda’s classmates knew how resistant she was to the idea of ever kissing anyone. I was surprised by how common this knowledge was among them as it didn’t seem like the kind of thing she would go around advertising. Amanda was extremely private about her life in general, so it felt out of character for her to let so many people around her know something that would only encourage them to ask her even more questions about why she’d come up with that rule.
The chemistry between Amanda and the boy she met was absolutely perfect. I loved seeing them slowly figure each other out. They had a lot in common, and they were both such kind and smart people that I couldn’t imagine a better match for either one of them. It was impossible for me to stop reading until I knew if they were going to end up together.
Cupid’s Kissshould be read by anyone who is in the mood for a funny romance.



TAGLINE

What if all it took to fall in love was to swap some spit?

BLURB

Cupid was real, and his descendants still walk the earth. Their magical matchmaking abilities don’t come from arrows though, but from their spit. Sixteen year old Amanda Amoretto is one of those descendants and she doesn’t believe in love. After all, if her spit can make people fall in love, it’s just a silly chemical reaction right? It isn’t real.Until she meets a boy she just can’t get off of her mind. But if she kisses him, he’ll fall under her Cupid love spell, which makes it impossible to have a genuine relationship. Her life is turned upside down as the girl who always overthinks everything finds herself a slave to her feelings. Can Amanda resist her feelings? Does she want to? Even if it means living a lie?

EXCERPT: Cupid's Kiss

Sometimes I wondered if I looked different to different people. You know, because not everyone finds the same things attractive, but everyone thinks I am attractive. So I often wondered if what I saw in the mirror every day, was what other people saw when they looked at me?
And I'll bet you thought youhad an identity crisis.
It's not that it's all bad. It isn't. There are obvious advantages to all the weird things I can do. I guess the closest thing I could compare it to, is being a celebrity. Sure they're rich and famous and beautiful, and all those things are awesome. But they never really know if people want to hang around with them because they're a nice person or because of all those awesome things.
Whatever. It didn't matter. My increased heart rate, the warm feeling I was getting all over, those were just dopamine. Something about Ren was attractive to me, so my stupid brain was releasing dopamine into my blood stream and blocking my production of serotonin. Which was why I was having a hard time forming coherent thoughts.
"Yeah…" was all I could get out. Then I giggled.
I know. GIGGLED.
I cleared my throat and pulled myself together, ready to wow him with the intelligence I knew existed somewhere under all that hair tossing and eyelash batting.
I seriously couldn't control it.
Unfortunately, Casey Santoro chose that moment to plop down next to me. "Amandaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa," she whined. "I think Paul is cheating on me."
I sighed. Casey alwaysthought her boyfriend Paul was cheating on her. She was just one of those girls. Which was too bad because she was otherwise pretty and sweet, with dark hair and big, expressive, almond shaped eyes. "Casey can this wait? I'm kind of busy."
"Noooooooooo, Amanda, I'm seriouslyworried!"
No Casey. You are seriouslyinsecure. 
But I couldn't say that.
I looked at Ren. "Sorry."
"It's okay," he said amiably.
I turned back to Casey. "What happened?" I noticed Ren watching me out of the corner of my eye.
"I came out of English last period and I saw him talking to Amy Morningwood. She wrote something down on a piece of paper and gave it to him. I think it was her number," she moaned.
"Casey, Paul and Amy are doing a class project together. I know because Kristy is in that same class. I'm sure whatever Amy wrote down had something to do with that."
"Ohmigod, are you sure Amanda?" she said.
"Pretty sure."
"Oh thank God! Thank you so much, I feel so much better." She looked over and seemed to notice Ren for the first time. "Oh hi, I'm sorry, I'm Casey," she said.
"Ren," he said nodding, an amused look on his face.
"Anyway, I didn't mean to interrupt you guys, sorry," she said and took off.
I rubbed my forehead, feeling a headache coming on.
"Do your friends do that to you a lot?" Ren asked.
"Not just my friends. Everyone does it."
"Why?"
I sighed. "Freshman year, I helped Jody Beckett, this dorky senior girl, get together with Kyle Manning, the most popular boy in school." There was some love spit involved, but I left that part out.
"Ah and you've been Miss Lonely-hearts ever since."
"Pretty much. Well minus the advice column, the drinking and the adultery."
"Good to know," he laughed as the bell rang. "So what are you doing for lunch?"
"I have a Winter Carnival meeting."
"What's that?"
"Every year for Valentine's Day the cheerleaders put on this carnival to raise money for charity. We have a few weeks left and we're kind of behind."
"You're a cheerleader?"
"Don't tell me you're one of those types who doesn't like cheerleaders?" I hope. Wait, no I don't care. No I do. Not.
"Not at all," he said, smiling.
I sighed with relief. On the inside. I think.
"Well, have fun, I'll see you around," he said pleasantly.
"I'll sext you later."
He gave me a funny look. "Oh God!" I felt sick with embarrassment. "I was thinking of saying 'see you nextperiod' but then I just decided to say 'see you later' and 'see' and 'next' somehow combined into…'sext…' oh God…"
"Not the worst thing for a pretty girl to say to me," he laughed and headed out.
My chest ached a little after he was out of sight. Oh God… was I having… feelingsfor Ren?

~ * ~

 "Okay so everybody needs to sign up for at least one shift at one of the booths," Mrs. Solis, our faculty advisor, told the room.
I liked Mrs. Solis because she was real with me. Every once in a blue moon someone comes along that is immune to my Charisma. Mrs. Solis was the only person at school who wasn't affected by my charms, so I relied on her for straight shooting. The upside and downside of her immunity was she treated me like she treated everyone, which was kind of crappy.
The Varsity, Junior Varsity and Freshman squads were packed into Mrs. Solis' small classroom. We were all sitting kind of close and Hilary Hudson kept giving me these uncomfortably intense looks from where she sat across from me. Damn pheromones, they worked based on attraction and since Hilary enjoyed the romantic company of the fairer sex, I was exerting a pull on her.
I made sure not to make eye contact and instead focused on the math worksheet I was secretly working on. Unfortunately, some people were more susceptible to my pheromones than others.
Sometimes if the person was sensitive enough, they could pull a 'Kevin Friedman' without my even kissing them. I had never experienced this thank God, but Phil had.
"Who wants to work the funny photo booth?" Mrs. Solis asked the room.
"I'll do it," I heard Angela say. I was keeping my head down still because I could feel Hilary's eyes on me.
"Me too," piped in Jessica Johnson.
Mrs. Solis nodded. "Okay, the dunk tank?"
This went on for I didn't even know how much longer. I lost track of time after I peered up to see if Hilary was still staring, to have her lick her teeth at me. I'd always thought Phil was just being a homophobe, but it was actually really uncomfortable. Though truth be told if a guy licked his teeth at me it would've been just as creepy. I'd never understood the appeal of 'tooth-licking'.
"Okay Amoretto looks like you're the only one left."
"Wait, what?" I asked confused. I hadn't absorbed anything anyone had said for the past few minutes.
"You're working the kissing booth."

REVIEW:

Cupid’s Kiss

By Jennifer Milne

            Rating 5/5

            Reviewed by: Tamara White



~ Cute, Charming, and Heart Warming~

            Cupid’s Kiss shows how even the creators of love still trying to figure it all out.

            High school is a society within a society and Valentino-Day Academy is no exception. It has all of the love and heartbreak found in the adult world. But Amanda a smart, quick-witted high school cheerleader her high school experience is even more complicated. Amanda may have some qualities that are typical for a high school girl a squad of close friends, and ambition to excel academically. But Amada’s unique gift sets her apart from the others at Valentino-Day Academy, which had left her spending her high school years trying to avoid the one thing her friends are desperate to find, love, and the warm feelings that go along with being madly in love with another person. Amanda uniqueness leaves her with only her bother, Phil who is like her, to confide in.

            Amanda’s high school experience is unfolding the way she decided it would until, Ren DiFronte, a transfer student sits down next to her Chemistry. Ren, handsome, smart, and athletic, takes Amanda through a roller-coaster of feeling that even Cupid wasn’t ready to experience.