Saturday, July 30, 2016

Midnight Bites: Stories of the Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine (review)

Midnight Bites: Stories of the Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine is based on one of my very favorite vampire series and all 22 of the stories in this book remind me of the author’s ability to immerse the reader in a chilling world that values humans only for their ability to produce an acceptable quantity of blood or perform menial tasks. I’m not a big horror fan, but somehow, no matter how horrific the acts described, I am still mesmerized by the struggle by humans (and vampires) who refuse to be forced into a life (with or without a beating heart) contrary to what they believe in. The charm of this series is the depiction of the ability to survive unspeakably awful events and (eventually) continue to live a useful life. This is a wonderfully chilling collection of tales about those eerie inhabitants of Morganville that fleshes out some of the books and reminds those like myself who haven’t caught up with all of the series that there are gaps to be filled in and books to be read! Visit Morganville…you’ll never leave…just like the rest of the humans…

This paranormal read is a wonderful collection of stories that remind one of all of the wonderfully quirky and dark elements of this series. The prologue to each indicates where in the series the action is taking place so this isn’t the volume to read if you haven’t caught up with all of the books because there are spoilers for earlier volumes. Those who are familiar with all of the factions and frenemies and true enemies of Morganville will get intriguing glimpses of the motivations behind some of the occurrences. I enjoyed discovering different facets of vampires such as Myrnin and Oliver, who each feature in stories that give their perspective on life with humans. And the surprise of realizing that Monica Morrell…almost…could be something other than a witch of the first order, the fun of seeing how Shane got his car ‘murdered’, seeing events from behind Eve’s Gothed-out eyes, plus a view of the love and bonding between the four inhabitants of Glass House, makes this a remarkable collection of stories.

A copy of this book was provide to me for review and a version of this review was submitted to Night Owl Reviews

Amazon link

The first four (of fifteen) titles in the series:


Friday, July 29, 2016

Free of Malice by Liz Lazarus (VBT, guest post, excerpt and GIVEAWAY)

The author was running a little late, but here is her guest post...

ELF:  What would be your dream place to visit and why?

LL:  Part of my work with GE took me all over the world, including living in Paris, France, for three years. I had a beginner’s knowledge of French from high school and college, just enough to be dangerous. When I returned to the US several years later, I was fairly fluent, which still surprises me.
My first job there was as a buyer of mechanical parts. Most of the suppliers I met with could not speak English so we muddled through our conversations as best we could. One of the first phrases I memorized in French was … I must have a price reduction. There is no point in debating with me because I can’t understand you anyway.
Not a bad tactic, right? They would explain away why my demand wasn’t feasible and my reply would be simply, “Je ne comprends pas.” (I don’t understand), which was often true!
About three months in, our secretary came running over to me shouting, “Non, non, non.” I thought I was inviting one of my suppliers to follow me to the conference room. Well, I confused “salle” (room) and “chambre” (bedroom). Turns out I was saying, in informal French, “Follow me, I reserved a bedroom.”
I’m sure I made a few other mistakes along the way, but my time in Paris was so enriching. Besides the sight-seeing and new friendships, France taught me another way of life… to take time to have a coffee in the morning with a colleague, to appreciate a five course meal that takes five hours, to enjoy a Sunday afternoon walk, and so much more. 
So, you ask my dream place to visit – I was fortunate for that dream place to come true! J’adore Paris!


by Liz Lazarus


GENRE: Suspense / Thriller



Laura Holland awakes in the middle of the night to see a stranger standing in her bedroom doorway. She manages to defend herself from the would-be rapist, though he threatens to return as he retreats. Traumatized with recurring nightmares, Laura seeks therapy and is exposed to a unique treatment called EMDR. She also seeks self-protection— buying a gun against the wishes of her husband. When Laura learns she could have gone to prison had she shot her fleeing assailant, she decides to write a hypothetical legal case using the details of that night. She enlists the help of criminal defense lawyer, Thomas Bennett, who proves to be well versed in the justice system but has an uncanny resemblance to her attacker. As the two work together to develop the story, Laura's discomfort escalates particularly when Thomas seems to know more about that night than he should. Reality and fiction soon merge as her real life drama begins to mirror the fiction she's trying to create.



Run. Run faster. As much as I strained my legs to move, they were immobile, like I was waist deep in quicksand.

Why can’t I move?

I tried to scream for help but my mouth was full, like it was stuffed with cotton—no sound would escape.

I felt something clutching my shoulder. No, it was someone. He was pushing me forward and then yanking me back. I tried to jerk away but he had a tight grip, like a vice.

I have to break free.

The tugging got harder, more forceful. He was calling my name— over and over. He knew my name.

“Laura, Laura.”

I jolted awake—my husband’s hand still on my shoulder.

“Honey, wake up. You’re having another bad dream.”

Slowly, I turned over in bed and looked at him—his dark brown eyes were fixated on me. I could see them clearly as the light from the bathroom brightened our bedroom.

For a month now, we had slept with this light on.

I could see the small wrinkle on his forehead. I loved that wrinkle though wished he didn’t have good reason to be so concerned. I was enduring the nightmares, but he had to deal with my tossing and mumbling in terror.

I remember when we first met—ten years ago in chemistry lab at Georgia Tech. He had walked up to me with those warm eyes and a charming, confident smile and asked, “Want to be partners?”

Two years later he took me to Stone Mountain Park, rented a small rowboat and, in the moonlight, he pulled out a diamond ring and asked me again, “Want to be partners?”

Life had seemed just about perfect.

Until now.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Liz Lazarus is the author of Free of Malice, a psychological, legal thriller loosely based on her personal experience and a series of ‘what if’ questions that trace the after effects of a foiled attack; a woman healing, and grappling with the legal system to acknowledge her right to self-defense.

She was born in Valdosta, Georgia, graduated from Georgia Tech with an engineering degree and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern with an MBA in their executive master’s program. She spent most of her career at General Electric’s Healthcare division and is currently a Managing Director at a strategic planning consulting firm in addition to being an author.

Free of Malice is her debut novel, set in Atlanta, and supplemented by extensive research with both therapists and criminal defense attorneys. She currently lives in Brookhaven, GA, with her fiancé, Richard, and their very spoiled orange tabby, Buckwheat.




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The tour dates can be found here

Thursday, July 28, 2016

star spangled cowboy by paige warren (release blitz spotlight and excerpt) BTG ADULT tile

paige warren
ADULT title
Erotic Western Romance
Evernight Publishing
Heat Level: 3 Word Count: 20, 610
ISBN: 978-1-77233-936-9

Combat-wounded vet, Tyson Braxton, feels like half a man since losing his leg in Afghanistan.  After returning to the family ranch, he wonders what any woman would see in him now. His scars and self-doubt run deep, and while feeling desperate, he hires a prostitute to ease his sexual tension.

Dacey Morgan has lived a life of horror since the age of seventeen when her pimp lured her into a life of prostitution and depravity. She wants out, but the last girl who tried to run ended up dead in a ditch. So, Dacey tries to do what she’s told—but she has one guilty pleasure, her two nights a week she gets to see Tyson.

Dacey longs for the day she’s free to love the man she’s falling for, but she knows that freedom will come at a cost.

* * *


Tyson slowly kneeled and took her hand in his, his touch gentle. “I know that we only have a business arrangement, Dacey, and I have no claim on you. That being said, despite the fact I use your services, I don’t like your job. I don’t like the thought of other men’s hands on you, or that you have to sleep with random strangers just to pay your bills. I once offered to help take care of you if you would just give up that lifestyle. Why won’t you let me?”

“I’m not a problem for you to solve, Tyson. My life may not be perfect, but it’s mine. My trailer isn’t much, but at least I own it. And my job may not be as glamorous as it looked on Pretty Woman, but I’m careful.”

His hand tightened on hers. “I don’t like it, but I know I can’t force you to quit. One day, you’ll decide you’re ready for a respectable life, a home, and a family. What are you going to do when that happens?”

She already wanted those things, desperately, but how was she supposed to get away from Carlos? She wasn’t as popular as the other girls, but she still brought him a steady income, and he wasn’t going to let her go anytime soon. He owned her, and there wasn’t anything she could do about it. If she went to the police to turn him in, they’d just arrest her as well for prostitution. And she couldn’t let Tyson go after Carlos, not with his disability. He might act all big and tough, but she knew he was still recovering.

“No one’s going to want a washed-up whore, so I guess I never have to worry about that. Besides, I don’t think I can have children. Back when I first started working, Carlos took a few months to get my birth control lined up, and he didn’t always make the customers use a condom. I think I’d have gotten pregnant if it were a possibility.”

She’d gotten frequently tested during that period of her life, and she still went every month. Of course, she also made sure her customers used condoms and refused to service the ones who wouldn’t. It had been the cause of many fights between Carlos and her, but knowing she wasn’t doubling her chances of an STD was worth the beatings.

“You can’t save me, Ty,” she said softly. “I appreciate that you want to, really I do, but it’s too late for me. I’ve been working this job since I was seventeen. I’ve seen things and done things that I’m not proud of, but I’ve done whatever was necessary for me to survive. You think someone’s going to want a woman who’s been a whore for five years? Someone who never graduated high school? What’s my marketable skill, that I can make you come in less than a minute?”

He smiled a little at that. “I’m not sure I would consider that skill. I like it when things are dragged out for a while. The anticipation and incredible sensation of feeling you wrapped around my cock are even better than coming.”

“You get my point, though.”

Tyson caressed her cheek and placed a gentle kiss on her lips. “I will do whatever it takes to protect you, Dacey. Anything. If it hadn’t been for you, I probably would have blown my head off months ago. Knowing I’d get to see you twice a week has been the only thing keeping me going, and yeah, I know I pay for your time, but I also know that you enjoy being with me.”

She leaned into his touch. Just thinking about him ending his life was enough to make her cry, and for once she was thankful for her job. If she hadn’t been a prostitute, they never would have met. He’d gotten Carlos’s number from a friend and she’d just been lucky to be the girl her pimp sent out that night. Ty had made her life so much better, even if she didn’t get to spend much time with him. They’d laughed and talked, and just genuinely enjoyed one another’s company. He’d been so cute that first night, unsure of himself to the point of refusing to take off his pants. It had taken her weeks to get him to undress in front of her, and when he had, she’d taken the time to kiss all of his scars, including what remained of his left leg.
“You’ve made me whole again,” he said. “You never cared that I only have one leg now, or that I’ve had more holes in me than a pin cushion. My scars don’t disgust you, and I was finally able to see myself through your eyes and come to grips with the body I have now versus the one I had before the explosion.”

Buy Links:   Evernight Publishing    Amazon    Bookstrand    ARe

* * *

About Paige Warren:

Paige Warren spends her days weaving tales about alpha male cowboys and the women who love them. There's nothing hotter than a man in tight Wranglers and a pair of well-worn boots. You have to admit, there's something sexy about a man who knows how to use a rope!
A cat lover, she has more than one furbaby running around, keeping her company in the wee hours of the morning as she tries to find just the right way to say "His skin gleamed, the early morning rays caressing his sun bronzed flesh, as he studied her from beneath the brim of his Stetson." Or, you know, something similar.
When Paige isn't dolling out tons of affection on the furbabies, or slurping down a pot of coffee (Yes! A whole pot!) so she can get in her daily word count, she enjoys reading and watching movies - romances, usually.

Author Links:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Loves of Our Lives by AC Chenier (Spotlight, excerpt, review and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by A.C. Chenier


GENRE: Romance



A rich and compelling novel exploring romances past and present, Loves of Our Lives centers on Katie Benjamin, a happily married woman whose interest in the theory of past lives changes her understanding of herself and the world around her forever.

Along with her best friend, Maria, whose terminal cancer has given her an entirely new perspective on life, she embarks on past-life regression therapy. Here, Katie learns of the lives of Elinor Davenport and Catherine Buchanan and the people they both loved.  In the process of finding these two women who once shared her soul she discovers a sense of completeness she never thought possible.

“The same souls come back to us many times and interact with us. This is the way we can understand our souls go on for eternity. These bodies may fail, but our souls do continue on to reunite with our loved ones many times.”



“I want you to think about some things over the next few days and weeks. I want you to clearly look inside yourself and ask what it is you want, not what anyone else wants or expects from you. Meditate on it. Pray on it, if that works for you. But make sure that any action you do or do not take is based on what is right and good for you. Not Katie. But the real and true you. You’re starting to see her in your life on a daily basis. Talk to her. Find out what she wants you to do. Then follow through on your heart and soul decision. Only then can you know that what you are doing is right for you, the true you. Not Catherine, not Elinor, not Katie, or any other human body you have inhabited. Do what is right for the authentic and real you.”

Buy in Canada

Buy in US.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AC Chenier is the author of the Past Lives series of books. The novels explore the fascinating spiritual world and the concept that we are all souls who have lived before, and that we reunite with our loved ones through time. The novels allow her to couple her long standing interest in the romance and fantasy genres with a passion for writing.  When she’s not busy typing away at her computer, you can find her with her horses or golf clubs.

Her books are available in paperback and ebook.





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The tour dates can be found here


My review:

3.5 stars

Loves of Our Lives by A.C. Chenier is the first story in the 'Past Lives' series and is a book that combines historical and contemporary romance. Centering around Katie Benjamin’s exploration in the field of past life regression as influenced by the writings of Dr. Brian Weiss, the story explores the lives of several people in the past on two different continents and their connection to and influence upon Katie in her modern existence in Calgary, Alberta.  Katie’s relationships with her husband, a stranger met on the train, and a dying friend are all influenced by her growing familiarity with Elinor, an English woman living during the mid 1700s and Catherine, a woman living in Philadelphia during the late 1800s.

This intriguing story has a slow and somewhat somber onset that gradually shifts to a descriptive experience of two very different lifestyles that are nonetheless connected.  There is a richness of subject matter that touches upon women’s rights, prejudice, class distinctions, and societal upheavals even as the heroine gradually has her own epiphany about the life she lives.  I liked the growth that she experiences even though I found the awkwardness of skipping from life to life and the multiplicity of points of view a little frustrating.  I think that the struggle to integrate so many secondary characters resulted in most of them being fairly superficially described but the overall concept of the story is thought-provoking and imaginative.  This story will probably appeal to those who are curious about the idea of reincarnation and fate as well as those who enjoy the concept of time travel.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Seducing the Chef by Janet Lane-Walters (spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Janet Lane-Walters


GENRE: Romance, Contemporary



Seducing the Chef - Allie Blakefield, editor of Good Eatin' wants to do a feature on Five Cuisines a restaurant across the river from NY City. Her father forbids the feature and won't say why. She's not one to sit back and be ruled by someone. She borrows a friend's apartment.

While leaning over the balcony she sees a handsome dark haired man doing a Yoga routine. He looks up and she is struck by the Blakefield curse. Love at first sight.



Allie tied her sneakers and walked to the sliding doors leading to the apartment’s balcony. She’d arrived in the Hudson River village late last evening and settled in. Before Steve left he’d made her reservations at Five Cuisines for her under the name she used when scouting restaurants. The reservations were for the six PM seatings for five nights in each of the rooms.

She drew a deep breath of air not redolent with city odors. She walked to the railing. A warm early June breeze caressed her skin. Cloud puffs scudded across the blue sky. Several sailboats glided past. She watched until they neared the Tappan Zee Bridge.

A sound caught her attention and she looked down. If this was the neighbor Steve had mentioned he had been right. The man was definitely her type. He wore black work-out silk pants and flowed from one Yoga position to another. His tanned sculpted body was glorious. Her blood stirred.

She sucked in a breath. A man who looked as fabulous surely had been claimed years ago. Her last relationship had died four months ago and no one had appeared. The constant jetting about the country wasn’t conducive to long term relationships.

Face it. None of the men she’d dated in the past had made her want to remain earth-bound.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Janet Lane Walters, an award winning author has been published for 46 years. Before graduating to novels, she published short stories and poetry. She writes romance from sweet to spicy. Some are contemporary, some paranormal and some fantasy. She has also written mysteries and suspense and even strayed into non-fiction. Becoming Your Own Critique Partner written with Jane Toombs won an EPIC award.

Janet Lives in the scenic Hudson River valley with her husband of many years. Her psychiatrist husband considers her writing an obsession, but one he refuses to cure. She's the mother of four and the grandmother of seven - four biracial children and three Chinese children. In the past she has composed music and earned enough money casting Horoscopes to fund a trip to Ireland. She tries to live up to her eclectic writer name by living an eclectic life.

Books We Love



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The tour dates can be found here


My review:

3.75 out of 5 stars

Seducing the Chef by Janet Lane-Walter is part of the ‘At First Sight’ series.  This contemporary romance centers around chef Greg Ramsey and review magazine editor Allie Blakefield whose searing attraction threatens to become disrupted by a tragic family feud between their respective parents. Navigating the tricky challenges to find a way to be together may require a very special dish…of crow.

This relatively short story is a quick and breezy reworking of the traditional family feud theme a la Romeo and Juliet but given a wonderfully sensual twist.  I had trouble believing that the offspring could be so ignorant of the feud and would have liked a bit more depth to the characters but I enjoyed the descriptions of the culinary journey (yum) and appreciated the setup for the next story in the series, in addition to the very long preview.  The author has nice imagery and I think this was an enjoyable light story.

A copy of this story was provided to me for review