Saturday, November 30, 2019

#Sci/FiFantasySaturday #HisEternalPromise

Title: His Eternal Promise
Eternal Gifts Book Two
ISBN: 978-1-62420-329-9
Author: Sheri Lynn

Genre: Paranormal romance; vampire
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4


BLURB: His Eternal Promise

Maxim hasn’t wanted a woman, especially a mortal, in over a century, but he wants Carlee. He intends to keep the truth from her in order to build a relationship first, but a woman from his past complicates things forcing him to reveal the truth. He hopes Carlee chooses to keep him in her life, because he can’t leave, her life is in danger.

REVIEW: His Eternal Promise

His Eternal Promise
By Sheri Lynn
4 Stars
Reviewed by Jeffrey Ross

I leave this entertaining book with the sense I might enjoy being a vampire! The human-to-vampire transformation is a little rough—but the benefits (immortality, heightened sensory awareness [of all kinds], and increased strength) seem worth the struggle. This book successfully combines vampirism and romance—Maxim and Carlee are hot for each other no matter what the circumstance—or century. Author Sheri Lynn does an excellent job of displaying the turgid emotions felt by her main characters.  She has a clear sense of the plot’s machinations and outcomes. The love scenes are passionate—and a little wild.  A great read that I award four stars to only because the language is a little rough for my taste—but that’s just me

EXCERPT: His Eternal Promise

Something about this one human reached out and into the dark, lonely places inside him. He couldn't let her go. He knew that. Looking into her eyes, hearing and feeling her blood circulating through her lovely body, he knew he found the exception. For her to accept him, want him, and take him as she did, just reinforced it.
Her light hair spread out inches from his face. Rubbing his nose in it, he breathed in the scent, reveling in the reactions her smell conjured in him. Many women attempted to attract him, entice him, and he always rejected them. After he fled Annika, he lost interest in women. Until Carlee. The need to seduce, cherish, protect, and indulge her consumed him.
How would she see him this morning? She could have regrets. She could obsess over what she saw behind the building. She could decide to end any further interaction with him. There were so many questions, and he needed to decide what he was and wasn't ready to divulge. With all certainty, he knew she belonged with him. She would remain his.
As he entered the kitchen, a coffee pot came into view. Now to find filters and coffee.
"Right upper cabinet, over the sink," informed Carlee. He didn't hear her enter the kitchen, but the sight of her standing there, just waking up, tousled hair, and nude, made him want to reclaim her right then and there. As if she read his thoughts, she grinned, lifting her arms awkwardly to semi-cover her chest.
Approaching her, he took both her wrists and pulled her arms to her sides. "Kotyonok, don't you ever hide from me…especially that exquisite body." Leaning in, he brushed his lips over hers. Her round, hazel eyes never leaving his. "What is it you normally do on a Sunday?"
That produced another grin from her sweet mouth. "I don't do anything before coffee." Scooting around him, she said, "I'll make the coffee." Filling the carafe from the sink, her back to him, the questions began. "So…your accent, is it Russian, or thereabouts?"
An easy one first. Good. "Yes. I grew up in a small village just outside of Saratov." Plagued with an inner turmoil of what truths to expose and what to suppress, he realized a human part of him still existed. He made the decision to hold onto her…build a trust…protect her, and if that meant withholding, that's what he would do. He wouldn't lose her.
Enjoying the sight of her moving about the kitchen invigorated him. These feelings were nonexistent since the change and before he became tainted. He resigned himself to the fact that he lost this forever. Her shoulder length hair swayed with her movements. Her beautiful soft skin with live blood flowing underneath it, her narrow hips, all of which he intended to worship…forever. Her plump rear bore light marks from his belt. The need to take her again, now, challenged his restraint.
Opening his mouth to speak, anything to subdue his yearning, she turned to face him and asked. "Before we take this any further…I need to know what was going on last night."
Not his initial impulse, but he decided to toy with her. He sensed she could handle it, and wouldn't accept it for long before she demanded the answers she really needed. "I had the pleasure of feasting my eyes upon you, Kotyonok. I followed you home, and to my ultimate surprise, you left the key in the door, allowing me access to your home." Placing her hands on her hips, she pursed her lips, but he continued. "You were in bed, in all your naked glory, and I couldn't resist tasting and feeling you from the outside in…and spanking your lovely needy ass."
His recount of their evening altered her breathing, and he heard her pulse quicken. She even paced in front of him before she scolded him. "Maxim…you know damn well that isn't what I'm talking about. Are you a fucking murderer?"
Surprised by her outburst, he answered in a calm, authoritative tone. "Language, Kotyonok, very unbecoming from someone so lovely." He hated lying, and prided himself on only doing so to survive. For now, he must do it out of necessity, necessary to keep her as his. "No. I am not a murderer. That was James. He drinks too much, and never learns. He is killing himself. I would not normally have treated him so shoddily, but I was worried about you." The lie executed, he hoped this won more time with her. He decided he better continue, remove any possible concerns from her mind. "His girlfriend was on his way to take him home. I attempted to have him walk it off a little."
Considering this, her brow furrowed, resulting in a cute crease in her forehead. "To answer your earlier question…on Sundays I go and see my father. Usually, I get him out of the house. Take him to eat."
That let him off the hook. His self-control waned, as thoughts of taking her as his again dominated his mind and body. He must handle this right. Scaring her off was not an option. She was his. Moving in front of her, he placed his right hand in her hair, tilting her face to look at him. "Though I would love nothing more than to spend the day with you, you have plans, and I also have an engagement." Gazing into her beautiful face, it bewildered him how much she affected him, reaching places he believed died in 1917.
He placed his cheek on her forehead. He savored her sweet warmth. Clearing his throat, he pulled back, giving her a quick kiss. "I very much want to pick you up…say around 6:30 this evening and have you attend a small art show at a gallery downtown with me."
Smiling, she nodded. "I would very much like that too."


I grew up an Army brat, so my childhood involved moving every three years. However, truly a southern gal, I currently reside in Alabama with my husband, two Chihuahuas, a mean cat, turtle, and a teenage daughter. I have two sons, who live on their own, and a stepson and stepdaughter.

Romance novels have always been my first reading choice. I'm a hopeless romantic, and that trait materializes in every aspect of my life. "Wearing your heart on your sleeve" has been a common phrase repeatedly heard throughout my life. Writing romance and happily ever afters comes naturally.

Whether a result of my childhood, or not, I love to travel. Warm weather and beautiful beaches are always my choice destination.

Keywords: Romance, paranormal, vampire, contemporary

REVIEW: His Eternal Promise

Title:  His Eternal Promise 
Author:  Sheri Lynn 
Publisher:  Rogue Phoenix Press
Genre:  Paranormal Romance Fiction 
Length: 83 Pages 
Reviewer: Courtney Rene
Rating:  4 out of 5

His Eternal Promise, by Sheri Lynnn was a fast paced, well written, and entertaining read.   The main characters Carlee, a human who has been putting everyone and everything first for quite some time, has a moment of abandon with Maxim, a vampire, that changes her life forever.  Add in a feud that has lasted decades and you have a very good book to sink your teeth into (no pun intended).  

The romance between Maxim and Carlee is fun to read.  They are definitely into each other, no matter what the circumstance or the problems. The love scenes are passionate, wild, and sometimes a little rough, and I have to admit made me laugh now and then, which I think was the authors intent.  The story itself was a very sweet love story.  The author did a very good job keeping me entertained and reading. Well done.   It was a very good read and I am therefore giving this book 4 1/2 stars.    

Friday, November 29, 2019

#Friday'sFeaturedTitle #SilentSonora

Title: Silent Sonora
Author: Jeffrey Ross

Genre: Life History
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1


BLURB: Silent Sonora

Silent Sonora details the life of a heroic young girl, Lillian Carroll, whose family resides in two tents during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Set in depression-era Scottsdale Arizona, the book reveals Lillian’s daily life experiences, the family’s struggles, and her quest for a better life through education. Lillian tells readers directly about tent life, the local “emerging” Arizona communities, and the ongoing hardships she and her family confront.  Both of Lillian’s parents are deaf—her father works in the local agricultural industry, while her strong-willed mother endeavors to make the best home she can for her children.  Lillian admits that “life was tough,” but assures us she and her family had good times, too. Ultimately, Lillian’s desire for a better education helps her situation—her love of family and strong faith give her the support she needs to finally gain independence.

REVIEW: Silent Sonora

Silent Sonora by
Jeffrey Ross
4 Stars

Review by C. L. Kraemer

Mr. Ross has honored the narrator of these recollections from the Depression by leaving the text just as it was presented to him. I felt as if I were sitting with an aunt who answered my questions without hesitation and didn’t sugar coat any aspect of those times.
This was a fascinating read and should be required of all history students. Real life memories give a better perspective of the situation than novels, however brilliant.
Bravo, Mr. Ross. 


The Tent Household

About 1930, we were living in two tents, a twenty foot by twenty foot tent, and a sixteen foot by sixteen foot tent. Dad always put our dwellings up in a road's right-of-way or else worked out an appropriate arrangement with a property owner, like Charles Miller. Mom and dad never paid any rent to set up our tents.

The tents had poles inside to provide support, and both tents had flaps and screened places to let in fresh air. A smokestack stuck through the roof of the larger tent to allow cook stove smoke out. Our tents had been coated with a chemical to make them waterproof. Living in tents was rather primitive, as you might expect.

Our tents were connected by a kind of patio covering my dad created. This covering was quite large, about twelve feet in length. We would sit under the cover to be comfortable. When company came, we would always sit out there. One tent, the smaller one, had the kitchen, the kitchen table, and a small cot for my oldest brother. The table was about nine feet long. Dad made this table much like a big picnic table, with nice benches on each side. The rest of our beds were located in the larger tent.

Early on, when were very little, we'd have to sleep four or five in a bed. We slept in a big double bed. One time, I didn't know it, but I had rolled down the far side to the floor. Nellie was hollering for covers because she was cold. I had tangled all the covers with me on the floor. Jim woke me up and said, "Hey, get up, you've taken all the covers." John, Clifford, Bill, and Nellie and I were sleeping together that night. Quite a crowd.

We had a back house, a big building, with an outhouse attached. We were the only people living in tents at the time, and our family was often ridiculed for our way of life.

Dad built a "portable" wooden floor for the kitchen area. Whenever we moved and set up the tent, he would water down the dirt area under the floor so the surface stayed hard and dry.

We didn't have any inside plumbing, and we didn't have a shower hook-up. I guess my Grandfather Birchett, my mother's father, was very clean. He would always come home and put on fresh clothes before he sat at the table. But not this Carroll bunch. The boys and my father took a bath about once a week. They would use a big washtub with a little hot water and P & G soap. Grandpa took his baths downtown. I don't think I ever saw him bathing in the big tub by the tent.

But remember, times were tough in the 1920's and 1930's. WW II, a few years later, significantly changed the way we all lived.

We didn't mind the cold in the wintertime because the cook stove kept us warm.

But during the summer, we would often place damp sheets over us at night so we could sleep. And we tried to sleep outside. We always cooked outside in summer.

We lived in those tents for a couple of years, actually for several years, as we moved back and forth between Laveen and Scottsdale.

Later, dad built a trailer with two beds: one for my mother and youngest brother, and the other for Nellie and me.

Those homemade trailers made us look like gypsies. Ha. One time a group of "real" gypsies stopped by and dad ran them off. Do you find a bit of irony or humor in this gypsy story?

Years later, when we resided in a tin-roofed house north of Scottsdale, our dwelling still had sheds and trailers connected. My room was in a trailer. Even then, we lived so far north of Indian Bend, about a mile, that we didn't have electricity for a long time

Living in the Tent

What was it like living in that tent? Well, tent life was tough, but it wasn't so bad. Early in the mornings, my mother would get up and cook breakfast, typically fried potatoes, biscuits, and gravy. My father and Jim would drink coffee. I don't think anybody else liked coffee. Occasionally, mother would make oatmeal. I never became fond of oatmeal, and I don't like oatmeal today, either. She had those enameled dishes. Mom had pots made from same material. The coating wasn't tin, so you had to be careful to avoid chipping. We had forks, knives, and spoons, and those tin cups common to the time. Mother also had big cast iron pots and skillets she used for cooking. We'd use heated water and P & G soap to do dishes. Mom had a big washtub for soaking and cleaning all the dirty utensils, plates, and pans. We always seemed to have dishrags nearby.

My father fabricated a nice cabinet for her dishes, and his creation sure was a nice piece of furniture until wearing out.

Additionally, she had a spatula, a can opener, and lots of wooden kitchen matches. We depended on matches.

Once, later, a small fire started out at the Douross house we were living in because mice bit into the matches, which were stored in an uncovered bowl. The place would have burned down if mom hadn't noticed and quickly put out the fire. Mom kept the bowl covered after the fire. By the way, revenge was sweet. We made war on those mice and did quite a bit of damage to them.

We depended on kerosene for light. At times, we'd get ice, but we didn't have a regular icebox. Do you know how mom kept her eggs and butter cold? She had lard buckets covered with wool. Mom would put eggs in the buckets, cover them with wool, and wet the wool. Evaporation would keep the eggs, or whatever she put in the bucket, cool and reasonably fresh. I don't believe she had a refrigerator until my brothers came home from the war in 1945 or 1946. Of course, we didn't need to keep our milk cold. We didn't get milk very often, and when we did, the ten or so kids at home would drink it up rapidly.


Silent Sonora
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Genre: Historical Non-Fiction
Length: 93 Pages
Rating: Five Stars!
Reviewed by: Jonathan Dimmig

Silent Sonora is an informative yet highly enjoyable reading experience.  It chronicles the life of a young girl named Lillian Carroll.  She and her family live in Arizona during the earlier half of the 20thCentury.

The format of Ross’s book makes it a breeze to read as he breaks up Lillian’s life into easily-digested chunks of categories.  Lillian describes every facet of her childhood from schoolwork and daily chores to playing with her siblings in the citrus orchards.  No detail about her life is missed and readers walk away with a true sense of what it must have been like to grow up in her shoes.

Although Lillian’s family struggles to survive crushing poverty she shows us how life continues to flourish in the midst of extremely challenging circumstances.  I highly recommend Silent Sonora.  It is amazing how a young lady’s life can teach every reader some very important lessons about the strength of family.         

Thursday, November 28, 2019

#AlluraSecret #HistoricalRomance

Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne Reviewer Email: 

Christine Young’s ALLURA is a delightful historical novel full of suspense, lovable characters, humor and a budding romance between two characters determined not to fall in love. Allura and Hunter’s stubborn, determined natures allowed for some interesting scenes as they attempted to get one up on each other. As a modern day woman I felt bad for Allura because technically her husband would dictate every aspect of her life and the freedom she loves would be a thing of the past. Hunter is unbending as far as to how he believes a wife should behave but falling in love changes him and his perception of Allura. Hunter and Allura are the main focus of this story but there are secondary characters whom I absolutely adored and would love to revisit in future novels (hint, hint). Especially the youngest sister Aiden and Hunter’s trusted friend Blade. He doesn’t believe in love and she’s determined to do whatever’s necessary to get him to notice her. SNIPPET— Allura has come to treasure her freedom and the adventures she shares with her sisters and her cousins but her father’s decision to find her a husband threatens that freedom. He’s placed an ad in the times in search of a man strong and smart enough to discover where exactly it is that the girls venture when they leave the safety of the castle.


Allura McClellan is horrified by her father’s decision to take out an ad in the Times awarding her to the man strong enough and smart enough to win her hand and uncover her secrets. She’s an intelligent young woman who takes great delight in the freedom allotted to her by her father. She’s well aware that marriage would effectively curtail the adventures she’s shared with her sisters and cousins. 

Hunter Gray is nothing like the other men who’ve arrived to vie for Allura’s hand in marriage and everything that goes along with it. However, he is the first to refuse to concede defeat and pursue her despite her attempts to disguise her true appearance. It’s her temperament that is of more concern to him than her looks. Hunter has worked all his life with the hope of someday owning his own land. Now that it looks like there’s a very real possibility that everything he’s ever wanted is within reach nothing is going to deter him – including Miss Allura’s disagreeable disposition.

EXCERPT: Allura's Secret

He turned her in his arms. Her hands rested on his chest and she gazed into his eyes. Their crystal-blue clarity never ceased to surprise him. More beautiful than any woman he’d ever gazed on, she stole Hunter’s breath. He wondered how he could have been such a fool to have fallen, even for a moment, for her ugly duckling ploy. Blade had seen through her game, too. Hunter’s hands tightened around her waist. She lowered her lashes then looked back into his eyes. Within his chest his heart thundered. Lightly, he brushed his lips across her forehead. The sanctity of the moment surprised him. Emotions flew like wildfire between them, and he felt the magic of Allura deep in his soul.

As if he needed to share a part of him he pulled back, watching the waves lapping against the shoreline. "I worked all my life to prove myself." He paused, tenderly tracing the line of her hair across her forehead. "As children, Guy would taunt me, but I didn’t let his words change my plans. I knew what I was and what I wasn’t. I understood what would and would not be given to me. The world doesn’t give much to men who are born bastards." He smiled at her, traced the line of her jaw. "I don’t want your sympathy."

"I know," she said, her voice soft, almost admiring. 

She moistened her lips, her lashes fluttered across alabaster cheeks. Slowly, he lowered his head. Their lips brushed tentatively. It was a sweet, languid kiss, a kiss that promised so much more. 

Yet he forced himself to stop.

"I sold myself to armies. I stepped into the boxing ring letting the rich bet on my prowess, and I’ve saved everything I have earned. Blade found a failing estate in the north of England. I had enough money to buy it, but then we saw the ad in the times your father posted.

In his arms she stiffened.

"I thought heaven sent me a miracle. I didn’t know what this land and this castle would be like. I knew I had to find out. I had to try."

"For the heiress," she said, her fingers weaving into his hair.

"But I’ve been pleasantly surprised."

"Why did you stay?"

"Enough," he said, unwilling to waste another moment in useless talk. Measure by measure he brought his mouth down until his breath mixed with hers. With a care that cost him dearly, Hunter touched his lips to Allura’s in a feather-light caress that stung his skin exquisitely. He traced the seam there, urging her to open for him. She rose on her toes, pulling him closer. Despite the animosity between them, she was so very passionate, so willing. Her response to him was so innocent. She made a small, whimpering sound and her eyes flickered shut. Irresistible magic flowed between them when they touched.

Yet in other ways, she fought him so hard. Hunter drew back and studied her heartbreakingly lovely face. The lines were drawn tense, her lips moist and slightly parted. Tendrils of her hair moved softly around her face, encouraged by a sea breeze.

"I would know more about you," she whispered.

"You would?" He wanted to win her heart, to hold it so tightly she would see everything his way. Yet he knew deep inside she would always have an opinion of her own, and he would have to learn to deal with that.

A sigh raised her breasts, and Hunter clenched his hands more tightly around her waist. 

"Yes," she said.

"There is little of interest to tell."

She appeared startled. "I don’t believe you, Sir." But then her attention suddenly settled on his mouth, and she leaned ever so slightly even closer.

"Your disbelief does not bode well for our marriage. I would have your trust if not your love," he told her, challenging her, knowing in his heart he’d just given her opportunity to swear her love--knowing too she would not do so.

Hunter felt sweat break out on his brow as they slowly drew together.

He knew what he would do, what he must do. He would work his way into Allura’s life until she thought only of him, obeyed only him. He would become the center of everything for her, then he would get her with child. She would be so immersed in her life with him and a new babe she would never think of the island sanctuary again. He’d wasted too much time discovering her secret. 

Now he must win her heart as well as her trust.

She pressed against him innocently, moving more and more insistently. Hunter shifted his hands to her neck and stroked her there, touched his fingertips to the sensitive hollows behind her collarbones, found the delicate spots beneath her ears. Her breathing grew faster. He bent to kiss the places his hands had just explored and saw the rapid rise and fall of her breasts.

Allura moaned softly against his throat, and he realized that following his example, she was tentatively kissing his neck. Her hands had found a way beneath his shirt, and she kneaded his chest with feverish intensity.

Raising her chin, he kissed her fully, passionately, holding nothing back this time. He opened her mouth with his lips and felt her shudder. Barely a second passed before she responded, imitating the thrusts of his tongue with hot little forays of her own.

"You are so sweet," he said against her cheek. "So absolutely exquisite."

"Hunter," was all she said and her voice broke on his name.

He had entered into a realm that very nearly overwhelmed all his senses. It was a world Hunter was not used to, but meant to explore. Control was the ultimate word, because he meant to take this seduction at least one step farther than before. A few kisses were all they had shared. This time he meant to show Allura just how much pleasure she would find with him and give her a hint of the marriage bed as well.

Excerpt: Allura's Secret

Eddington, Scotland 1815

From the boxing ring below, fist met flesh, the sound echoing throughout. Hunter Gray whirled and ducked. He guarded his face to block the stinging blows his opponent rained down upon him. He spun and ducked again. The man he fought countered the attack, but he did not move fast enough. Hunter’s next jab was so fast and so hard the other man didn’t block the punch. The man staggered backwards, blood running from his eye. Men yelled and cheered for the two combatants. Hunter paused and spoke to the man he practiced with before the match continued once more.

Allura saw her life as she had planned it slip away as if it was grains of sand in an hour glass. She stopped pacing and watched the men below. She turned on her father. "The ad in the Times--giving me away to any man--you have gone too far. A marriage of convenience is barbaric. You promised." For a moment, she closed her eyes. She did not want to acknowledge anything that went on here. It was not her fault she could not find a man she loved. What horrific bit of bad luck had found her? 

The laird cleared his throat. "Perhaps I have not gone far enough or soon enough. And the ad did not promise you to just any man. He must be strong enough and smart enough to win your hand."

It was not Allura’s nature to allow others to rule her fate. “These men,” she waved her hand in the air, frustration sweeping recklessly within. "They don’t want me. They come for one reason only. They are greedy and hungry for power. You have taught me everything I need to know. I can run your estate and all of your holdings. I’ve studied endless hours. I know the men who work for you. I swear I’ll defy your wishes. At the altar I will say no."

The McClellan’s grin faded as quickly as it had appeared and without further thought, he said, "Perhaps not, you are beautiful lass--one with rare promise. And," he stroked his chin, "no matter how much book learning a woman has she cannot dictate her own life. It is up to the men in her life to make sure she is happy and provided for."

A strained silence followed. She sagged against the stone wall. As if sensing her vulnerable position, she stiffened. Outraged and furious she looked upon her father. "They are money grubbers and want your land--our land. They have no right to any of your estate."

The McClellan held back for a moment, seemingly aware there was more than just a little truth in what Allura said. "How indeed?" he questioned her. Yet his smile was tight, forced. "I grow old. I only want this land secured and my daughters happy before I die. You are twenty-two. I have given you ample opportunity to fall in love. I thought it time to bring new blood to this land, a new man. I thought perhaps one would take your fancy."

"That man," she began. Her hand shook when she pointed at the man who danced and whirled avoiding each blow as if he dallied in child's play. She trembled so violently she could not speak. “Is an Englishman.”


ISBN # 978-1-58749-722-3
April 10, 2009
Rogue Phoenix Press
$4.99 US
239 Pages 
Historical Romance
Rating: 4 Cups

Allura McClellan’s father wants to see his daughters married before he passes on and has decided to run a contest to see who can reveal Allura’s secret and, if correct, the prize is her hand in marriage as well as her land and titles. She fights her father every step of the way, clinging to the reasoning that she does not want to submit to a man and give up who she is because she takes pride in all she has learned and who she has become without a husband.
All Hunter Gray's life, he has been treated horribly for being an English earl’s bastard son and as an adult, fought for his country and became a mighty warrior. Now, he sees a chance to get everything he feels he deserves, money and land, and all he has to do is seduce Allura into marrying him.
Even though a crackling fire rears itself every time Hunter and Allura are together, they truly try to fight the attraction, but for different reasons. As time goes by, feelings start to change and as they are in danger of losing themselves and more, can Allura and Hunter both get what they want?
I really enjoyed this book by Christine Young. It has mystery, humor and, whew, steamy love scenes! An awesome group of characters make this read very entertaining, from the tough as nails Allura to her meddlesome younger sister, Aiden. There is never a dull moment throughout this book and you will surely not be disappointed. I can only hope that some of my favorites get a story of their own. Well done Ms. Young.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More