Sunday, November 23, 2014

Review: Spider's Revenge Elemental Assassin, Book 5) by Jennifer Estep

(Photo courtesy of goodreads.com)

Synopsis from Back Cover of Paperback:

OLD HABITS DIE HARD FOR ASSASSINS.
And I plan on murdering someone before the night is through.

Killing used to be my regular gig, after all.  Gin Blanco, aka the Spider, assassin-for-hire.  And I was very, very good at it.  Now, I'm ready to make the one hit that truly matters:  Mab Monroe, the dangerous Fire elemental who murdered my family when I was thirteen.  Oh, I don't think the mission will be easy, but turns out it's a bit more problematic than expected.  The bitch knows I'm coming for her.  So now I'm up against the army of lethal bounty hunters Mab hired to track me down.  She also put a rice on my baby sister's head.  Keeping Bria safe is my first priority.  Taking Mab out is a close second.  Good thing I've bot my powerful Ice and Stone magic - and my irresistible lover, Owen Grayson - to watch my back.  This battle has been years in the making, and there's a good change I won't survive.  But if I'm going down, then Mab's coming with me...no matter what I have to do to make that happen.

Book Details:

Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books; Original edition (September 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439192642
ISBN-13: 978-1439192641

Sapphyria's Review:

Here are links to reviews of previous books in the series:

Spider's Bite, Book 1: 

Tangled Threads, Book 4: 

This is a series and each book plays off of the one before it (except, of course, book 1). That being said, parts of the review of Book 5 will contain information that was previously disclosed in one or all 4 of the previous books.

Mab knows that The Spider is gunning for her and has holed herself up in her compound.  Word has gotten out that Mab is hosting a huge dinner party; the first in a while, and it's not her normal crowd of attendees.  Gin uses this information to plan out a way to take Mab down without getting any of her friends/family involved.

Gin finally has Mab Monroe in her sights....and blows the assassination attempt.

Running for her life after the botched job, Gin encounters two women - party guests of Mab's - who she decides to let live instead of dropping them on the spot.  This proves to be a wise move on Gin's part later on in the book.  It also has Gin curious as to what Mab is up to now.

When the city becomes overrun by bounty hunters, Gin understands exactly what Mab has planned.  The plan also involves Bria and Gin refuses to allow Mab to use Bria as a pawn.  Unfortunately, the best laid plans and all that - and Gin is forced to watch Bria get taken away by bounty hunters.

Now it's detrimental that Gin take down Mab because letting Mab kill her sister is not going to happen.

The epic battle between the Fire Elemental and the Elemental Assassin comes full circle when it lands on Gin's family property - the same place that Mab killed Gin's mother and sister all those years ago.  The location psychologically screws with Gin, exactly what Mab wants, potentially swaying the fight in Mab's favor.  The author does an excellent job building up the anxiety and drowning the reader in the memories from Gin's mind.

Another fantastic installment of the Elemental Assassin series. The books have pulled me in and kept me engaged from the very beginning. These are the types of books that have me longing for the next one. They are written with vivid descriptions and genuine feelings, allowing the reader to become totally immersed in this world. The world building continues in Spider's Revenge as more from Gin's past develops and is explained.  We also get a better explanation behind Sophia's past and the horrors that she endured.

My review copy was courtesy of my local library, where I take full advantage of our interlibrary loan program. If my library doesn't have the books I want, they will have them sent from a library in Michigan at absolutely no cost to me.

Sapphyria's Rating:


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Book Promotions: Perfect Mate & Blood Mate (The Project Rebellion, Books 1 & 2) by Mina Carter


About Perfect Mate:

Monsters do exist...and they’re the good guys.

Lillian Rosewood leads an ordinary, boring life working as the manager of a psychiatric hospital. The highlights of her day, other than her skinny hot chocolate, are the hunky guards who work in the secure section. Until a late-night emergency is wheeled in.

Captain Jack Harper is insane, drop-dead gorgeous...and just had his abdomen shredded. Despite the fact they're not an emergency room, Lillian can't turn him away and risk a death on her hands. Unable to get the handsome soldier out of her mind, Lillian sneaks into the restricted area to check on him. What she finds is beyond belief. Somehow Jack has managed to heal himself from a near-fatal wound in mere hours.

When one of the doctors, Walker, attempts to rape her, things go from bad to worse. In the blink of an eye, Jack is loose and Walker is dead... and Lillian must accept a truth about her rescuer that will change her world forever. What if the patients aren't insane? What if their stories of secret government experiments and monsters are true?

Warning: Contains blood, mayhem and nude werewolves operating heavy weaponry. Large amounts of sarcasm and smart-ass vampires may offend some readers. No civilian hospital staff were harmed in the making of this story.

Purchase Your Copy Here:

Amazon Perfect Mate (The Project Rebellion)

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/perfect-mate-mina-carter/1112120180?ean=9781619212770


About for Blood Mate:

The only thing they have in common? Really…sharp…teeth.

The Project Rebellion, Book 2

Major Antonia Fielding has one goal: to escape the clutches of the Project. With the blood-virus infecting her system, though, a body bag is likely her only way out. Until her boss lets slip that he may just have a cure for her—if she brings in an escaped Lycan.

Can she trust him? Now there’s the million-dollar question. Then again, can she afford not to take that chance?

Darce Foster was a Special Forces soldier, until the Project got hold of him. Now he’s a Lycan, a lab-created werewolf, this close to escaping his creators—until another of the Project’s experiments stops him in his tracks. Not because she has the power to hold him, but because he instantly recognizes the impossible. The vampiress is his mate.

Allowing her to bring him in is his only choice—and possibly the last mistake of his life.

Enemies or lovers, it doesn’t matter. When they discover that the Project is hiding yet more secrets, they must work together to bring it down...or die in the attempt.

Warning: Contains a cocky wolf who won’t take no for an answer, an ice-queen losing her cool and a pack full of hunky werewolves bent on rescue. And zombie spidermen.

Purchase Your Copy Here:

Amazon Blood Mate (The Project Rebellion)

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-mate-mina-carter/1115809526?ean=9781619216556


Kobo http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Blood-Mate/book-kDBpbfuPg0ueB3aLbFWQSQ/page1.html?s=VgtcDov-XEyI8vvR08Xn9g&r=1

About the Author:

Mina was born and raised in the East Farthing of Middle Earth (otherwise known as the Midlands, England) and spend her childhood learning all the sorts of things generally required of a professional adventurer. Able to ride, box, shoot, make and read maps, make chainmail and use a broadsword (with varying degrees of efficiency) she was disgusted to find that adventuring is not considered a suitable occupation these days.



So, instead of slaying dragons and hunting vampires and the like, Mina spends her days writing about hot shifters, government conspiracies and vampire lords with more than their fair share of RAWR. Turns out wanna-be adventurers have quite the turn of imagination after all...

(But she keeps that sword sharp, just in case the writing career is just a dream and she really *is* an adventurer.)

The boring part: A full time author and cover artist, Mina can usually be found hunched over a keyboard or graphics tablet, frantically trying to get the images and words in her head out and onto the screen before they drive her mad. She's addicted to coffee and would like to be addicted to chocolate, but unfortunately chocolate dislikes her.




Available for Preorder

Project Rebellion (SARA Book 1)

This is an offshoot of the Mate Series

There is life after death, unfortunately for them, it's the same one...

Brett Perkins was a soldier, until the Project killed him. Now he's finding that life after death isn't so hot. With the Project base destroyed, he and his team have been tasked with running down and destroying a group of rogue Bloods. Unfortunately the vampires always seem to be one step ahead. Then they start kidnapping women...

Thanks to her soon-to-be ex-husband, Julia Collier is despised and reviled in the small town of Greenwood. His stories have painted her as everything from an air-headed gold-digger to a nymphomaniac serial killer. She can't even shop in the local store without suffering abuse from her fellow townsfolk, and that's before the late night calls or her ex's bully-boys following her.

When her home is broken into, Julia assumes it's her husband making good on his threats to 'deal with her for good'. She never dreams that it will lead a descent into another, terrifying world. One inhabited by werewolves, vampires...and zombies. Or that zombies could be so damn hot. Espeically one certain example who makes her heart pound and all her common sense disappear over the horizon. After all, what woman in her right mind would fall for the undead?

Unless the undead aren't dead at all, but something more than human, from a world she'll need all her wits and new abilities to survive the battle between the undead...and the dead.

Project Rebellion: They're not heroes, they're something else... They're SARAs and they're about to kick ass.

Amazon Not Dead Enough: Zombie Paranormal Romance (Project Rebellion: SARA Book 1)

Brought to you by:

MK Schiller, Author of Variables of Love Reveals Some Fun Facts - Read About Them Here


Variables of Love

by MK Schiller

Tour Organizer: NK Author Services


About Variables of Love:

Meena Kapoor knows what life has in store for her. She’s in her senior year at Stanford where she’ll graduate summa cum laude, and then she'll begin her interviews…her marriage interviews. Meena is Indian, and she’s never questioned that she’ll have an arranged marriage like all the generations before her. Not until she meets gorgeous math major Ethan Callahan. Ethan’s sense of humor and free spirit stir feelings in Meena she didn’t know were possible outside of Bollywood movies. It doesn’t hurt that he’s charming and has the uncanny ability to make math sound like poetry, but Meena knows their equation makes no sense in the real world.

Ethan finds himself intrigued by the mysterious, beautiful girl, whose big, brown eyes reflect great pain. His goals are small at first—to make her smile and then to laugh. But he soon wants more, and though Meena is adamant they have no future, he convinces her to share the present. Ethan believes every problem has a solution, but with cultural expectations and family duty among the variables, they will struggle to solve the ultimate equation to find happiness.

Read an Excerpt:

“I’m really sorry, Ethan.”
“Don’t apologize anymore. It’s really okay. If that’s the dumbest thing you do in college, you’re better off than most people. I am curious, though, why you got so drunk. That’s not like you, sunshine.”
Her back was to me, and she clutched the covers, moving into a fetal position. I wanted to reach out to her. Her hair was still in a ponytail. Would it hurt to sleep like that? I wanted to pull out her hair band and run my hands through it, but I stopped myself.
“I didn’t want to be me tonight. I thought it would help me forget, but it didn’t.”
“Help you forget what?”
“That I’m not supposed to be here.” She shivered, despite the heavy comforter.
“Where are you supposed to be?”
“Dead,” she whimpered.
My heart froze in my chest, and I struggled to understand what she meant. She started crying soundless sobs that caused her body to shudder, like the emotion was too big for her small frame. I pulled her close. She turned and embraced me, and I held her tightly against my chest. I tugged out the hair band and stroked her silky hair while she cried in my arms.
I didn’t say anything or encourage her to talk anymore. Truthfully, I wasn’t ready for an explanation. I didn’t even know if I wanted one. I just wanted…no….needed to hold her as much as she needed to be held.

She fell asleep like that. I kissed her forehead and whispered quietly, “If you were dead, I’d have no sunshine.”

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Variables of Love

Amazon UK

Nook

Add to Goodreads

Fun Facts About MK Schiller:

1) I have been married for 19 years.

2) I’m Hindu.

3) My favorite movies are Schinder’s list, Saving Private Ryan, Forest Gump, and 300.

4) I never watch a movie twice except for the ones listed above.

5) I was lucky that my editor had attended Stanford and could help me authenticate scenes in Variables of Love.

6) I played the trumpet in high school.

7) I wanted to name my son Ethan. My husband vetoed it. The beauty of being a writer is now I get to use that name again.

8) I’ve been kicked out of a Kid Rock concert before.

9) I’ve always wanted to be musical but it just wasn’t meant to be. That’s one of the reasons all my books have music tracks.

10) I played Frank Turner’s The Way I Tend To Be on repeat while writing Variables of Love. It’s sort of became the theme song for Variables of Love.


Additional Information About MK:

I am a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. I have a full time life and two busy teenagers, but in the dark of night, I sit by the warm glow of my computer monitor, and attempt to conjure up passionate heartwarming stories with plenty of humor.

I started imagining stories in my head at a very young age. In fact, I got so good at it that friends asked me to create plots featuring them as the heroine and the object of their affection as the hero. We'd spend hours on the phone while I came up with a series of unrealistic, yet tender events, which led to a satisfying conclusion. You've heard of fan fiction... this was friend fiction.

Even with that, it took many years to realize I could produce an actual full-length book that readers would enjoy. I try to make my stories humorous, realistic, with flawed but redeeming characters. I hope you enjoy my stories and always find The Happily Ever After in every endeavor.

Find MK Online:

http://www.mkschillerauthor.com/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/mk.schiller

Facebook author page - https://www.facebook.com/MKSchillerauthor

Website - http://www.mkschillerauthor.com/

Sign up for my newsletter - http://www.mkschillerauthor.com/newsletter-sign-up/

Twitter - @mkschiller


Review: Copycat Killing (Magical Cats Mystery, Book 3) by Sofie Kelly

Photo courtesy of Goodreads.com

Synopsis via paperback:

Everyone thinks their cats are special - but Owen and Hercules have powers that go far beyond adorable looks or irresistible purrs.  Along with their owner, librarian Kathleen Paulson, they have uncanny instincts for solving crimes....

It's been raining cats and dogs in Mayville Heights.  The small town's been deluged, and now the local artists' co-op is on the verge of flooding.  Kathleen has been working hard to help her friends move their creations to the safety of the upstairs studio.

The artwork survives, but when controversial mask-maker Jager Merrill is found drowned in the co-op basement, Kathleen questions whether the death was accidental.  With the help of handsome detective Marcus Gordon - and her cats' extraordinary powers of detection - it's up to Kathleen to unmask a killer.

Book Details:

Series: Magical Cats (Book 3)

Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Signet (May 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0451236629
ISBN-13: 978-0451236623
Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches

Sapphyria's Review:


Book 2: http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/review-sleight-of-paw-magical-cats.html

The town of Mayville Heights is drowning after a series of storms and everything is flooded; streets, basements, parking lots, etc.  Several businesses, like the library that Kathleen is head librarian at, are closed awaiting the water to recede.  While helping her friend, Maggie, move precious items out of the co-op basement, they discover the dead body of  a newcomer to the co-op, Jager Merrill.

This time Kathleen isn't just dealing with a potential murder after a local yet mysterious artist turns up dead in the basement of the local co-op. Her carelessness on the edge of the cat sanctuary property leads to the discovery of an additional long-buried body.  So now Kathleen is trying to help figure out why Jager ended up dead and who's bones she unearthed.  

Unlike my disappointment with the lack of the cats' involvement in Book 2 (they just weren't front and center the way they should be in a series titled "Magical Cats Mysteries"), our feline friends had a much bigger presence in Book 3.  I enjoy the silly duo of  feline peculiarities.  They are an invaluable help to Kathleen in her quests to solve the influx of deaths that seem to happen in this cozy little town.

The dual dead person scenario certainly peaks interest in this installment.  Are they related - are they not?  Is Jager really who he says he is or is he in hiding and got caught?  Obviously the bones have been there for a while since they are, well, just bones, not a body or having any flesh.....  Oh the mysteries that come up in Mayville Heights.  

Another cozy mystery that keeps me engaged.  Copycat Killer has enjoyable characters and a plot that is both exciting and suspenseful.  It is fast paced, easy to follow, and doesn't divulge anything before the proper time.

Review courtesy of my bookshelf.

Sapphyria's Rating:


Friday, November 21, 2014

#Excerpt from Speculative Literary Fiction Novel The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky by David Litwack


About The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky:

After centuries of religiously motivated war, the world has been split in two. Now the Blessed Lands are ruled by pure faith, while in the Republic, reason is the guiding light-two different realms, kept apart and at peace by a treaty and an ocean.

Children of the Republic, Helena and Jason were inseparable in their youth, until fate sent them down different paths. Grief and duty sidetracked Helena's plans, and Jason came to detest the hollowness of his ambitions.

These two damaged souls are reunited when a tiny boat from the Blessed Lands crashes onto the rocks near Helena's home after an impossible journey across the forbidden ocean. On board is a single passenger, a nine-year-old girl named Kailani, who calls herself The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky. A new and perilous purpose binds Jason and Helena together again, as they vow to protect the lost innocent from the wrath of the authorities, no matter the risk to their future and freedom.

But is the mysterious child simply a troubled little girl longing to return home? Or is she a powerful prophet sent to unravel the fabric of a godless Republic, as the outlaw leader of an illegal religious sect would have them believe? Whatever the answer, it will change them all forever... and perhaps their world as well.


Speculative Literary Fiction
Date Published: May 19, 2014

**Saphs' Notes**:

The cover of The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky is absolutely beautiful, don't you think?

The artistry is breathtaking and worthy to be framed and hung on the wall.

Read the Excerpt:

The ripple at the edge of the fog again drew Helena’s gaze. For an instant, it took shape, but quickly vanished, a reverse mirage, something solid where only water should be. She squinted, trying to penetrate the haze, and turned away to find something more substantial. 

She traced the coastline instead. The land rose southward in a gentle curve toward the tip of Albion Point, and ended at the Knob, which stood like a clenched fist challenging those who sailed the Forbidden Sea. The northern firs that capped the rocky coast were broken here and there by a handful of dwellings. From this distance, they looked like great seabirds nesting. 

The fog had shifted with the tide, enough for her to pick out her parents’ home, the white one in the center, overlooking them all from the highest cliff. It was where she slept for the time being, where she stayed alone and apart. Only the second floor of the house and the garret above it showed. With the rest blended into fog, the house looked like a phantom rising from nothing. It had felt that way since her father died. 

She glanced back out to sea and caught the beacon of the Light of Reason. The ancient tower stood on a craggy rock in the middle of the bay, ten stories high and always first to peek through the fog. She balanced the book on one knee and scanned lower, down along the horizon. 

The mirage burst out and became solid—a boat where none should be. 

The sail luffing in the breeze was a clumsy triangle with no arc, holding little air. The front was awkwardly shaped, more tub than prow, and it sailed where boats were banned—a ripe target for the shore patrol. If it had been launched by zealots overcome with missionary zeal, it was too small and ill-fitted, not salvation vessel, but death trap. 

And it was drifting toward the rocky coast. 

Now, Jason saw it as well. The sun glinted off something on its bow as it dipped into a trough. When it rose again, someone clutched the mast—a girl with golden hair. 

Jason vaulted back to the beach and beckoned for Helena to follow. She moved to the edge, squatted, and jumped. He caught her by the waist and swung her to the sand. 

In those few seconds, the boat crashed against the rocks. The crack of wood splintering rose above the sound of the waves. 

The two of them raced into the surf as the girl with the golden hair thrashed about in the water, struggling to avoid jagged debris from the shattered boat. They waded in a few steps, braced against the undertow, and pressed forward again. Three more waves and they reached her. 

Jason grabbed the girl just as she began to sink. Despite the buffeting sea, he carried her back to the shore without straining and lay her fragile form on a swath of grass beyond the rocks—a slip of a child no more than nine or ten years old. 

Plain cotton pants clung to the girl’s legs, and an elaborately embroidered tunic covered her slender frame—the typical garb of the zealots, but other than her clothing, she looked nothing like a zealot. Her skin was light and perfect, unblemished but for a trickle of blood on her arm. Her golden hair hung down to the middle of her back, and her round eyes held the color of the ocean. 

Were Helena a believer, she’d have considered this the face of an angel.

Purchase Your Copy:


Watch the Book Trailer on YouTube:


About David Litwack:


The urge to write first struck when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter's editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic .

Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned.

He's published three novels so far in this new stage of his life: There Comes a Prophet, Along the Watchtower, and the recently released The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky.
David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.

Find David Online:



Twitter:@DavidLitwack