Thursday, April 28, 2016

Spotlight & Excerpt - Payable On Death by Rachel Rawlings!

A deal with the Devil. Demons haunting your every step. When an Angel offers you the chance to redeem yourself, you take it. Because eternal damnation isn't all it's cracked up to be. 

But the Devil always gets his due. 

On the streets of Baltimore redemption is..... Payable On Death.

The Jax Rhodes Series (Book One) by Rachel Rawlings
Print Length: 207 pages
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: R Squared Publishing 
Cover Artist: Najla Qamber Designs

"You're too young to be so troubled. You haven't even seen a quarter century. You're just a babe." The man flicked his cigarette in to the dark, a shower of little orange sparks erupting when it hit the pavement. 
"I'm not your babe. Leave me alone." I pushed off the railing on the pedestrian bridge crossing over I-95 and walked away. 
He followed. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spotlight & #Giveaway - Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade #3) by Jennifer Estep!

Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade #3)
by Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: April 26th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal, Magic, Supernatural

Bad Things Always Come In Threes…

As a thief, I'm good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls. 

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families--and kill every last Sinclair. What they don't know is that I'm on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I've got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…

You are the worst thief I have ever seen.”
Felix Morales frowned, stopped walking, and dropped the large black duffel bag he was carrying on the ground. I winced at the clank-clank of the items inside the bag banging together.
Why would you say that?” he asked.
Oh, I don’t know,” I sniped. “Maybe the fact that you are tromping through the woods like you are trying to kill every single blade of grass under your feet. Not to mention hacking through the bushes with your sword like we’re on a jungle safari. And then of course, there’s the talking. There is always the talking. It’s a wonder you don’t pass out from lack of oxygen.”
His eyes narrowed. “And what is wrong with having a little light conversation while we hike through the woods?”
Light conversation? You’ve been talking nonstop ever since we left the mansion.”

Friday, April 1, 2016

Excerpt, Spotlight, & #Giveaway - Smoke & Fire (A Dark Kings Novel) by Donna Grant!

Welcome to the SMOKE AND FIRE Blog Tour! 
To celebrate the release of SMOKE AND FIRE and the season of Spring, there is also a DRAGON EGG HUNT going on throughout the tour! Exciting, right? Certain stops throughout the tour will have something special to share with you which will provide you with an extra entry for the giveaway. Just like a traditional egg hunt, you're going to have to search for these items/information!! Find out more information about the Dragon Egg Hunt at the bottom of the post! 

Smoke and Fire 
(Dark Kings Series, #9)
By Donna Grant

She wanted to touch him. There had always been something about being in his arms that made her feel as if she could tackle anything and the world wouldn’t dare get in her way…

A dragon shapeshifter and a computer mastermind, Ryder is sent to guard Glasgow after a devastating Dark attack. But when memories of an explosive affair come back to him-in the flesh-Ryder cannot help but want to protect the woman who haunts his dreams. Even if means shifting into the dragon he was never supposed to reveal…

Kinsey could never get enough of Ryder. His every touch only left her wanting more. But now that she’s seen him in his true form, Kinsey’s world is rocked to the core. She knows that to stay-and feel-alive, she must be with Ryder. But is Kinsey’s passion worth the risk of danger that comes with being a part of Ryder’s dark and fierce world?

Available for purchase at 



Ryder sat back and blew out a breath, feeling a flutter of nerves. He laced his fingers behind his head and only realized then that Dmitri was still in the room. He slid his gaze to Dmitri.
What are you up to?” Dmitri asked. “You know that lass. I could see it on your face. If you have Tristan bring her up here, you’ll feel Con’s wrath.”
Ryder dropped his hands to the arms of his chair. “That occurs all the time, and I do know Kinsey. I’m no’ yet sure why she’s here. But I aim to find out.”
Meaning?” Dmitri urged.
We were lovers three years ago. Until I realized that I’d fallen in love with her. I didna want anyone to know that our spell preventing us from feeling deeply for humans no longer worked with me.”
Dmitri leaned forward, his brow furrowed deeply. “That was around the time Hal fell in love with Cassie.”
Cassie arrived at Dreagan right after I returned from Glasgow.”
All right,” Dmitri said as he rubbed his jaw. “So you fell in love before Hal. No’ a big deal.”
Ryder lifted one shoulder in a shrug. “I suppose no’. No’ compared to her seeing me in dragon form a few weeks ago when I was in Glasgow to protect the city from the Dark invasion.”
Oh, fuck.”
Anger crackled through him every time he thought about how close Kinsey came to dying that night. If Ryder hadn’t been there, she would’ve been taken by the Dark, her soul drained. “There was a Dark after her. I shifted into human form to help her. Unfortunately, she saw it all.”
And?” Dmitri pressed with a brown brow raised.
Ryder looked at the screens, following Kinsey from one to the other as Tristan walked her to the manor. “I’ve never seen anyone so terrified before.”
Of the Dark?”
Ryder wished. That night still haunted him. No matter how many times he thought over what happened, there hadn’t been another way to save her. “Of me. I can still hear her scream before she ran away.”
So she doesna know you’re here?”
I doona believe so. She’d rather walk through the fires of Hell than be anywhere near me.”
Dmitri sat there for a moment before he gave a slow shake of his head. “You’re having Tristan bring her to you, are you no’?”
I am.”
That . . . could be a bad move.”
It probably is.” In more ways than one.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Guest Post, Excerpt, & #Giveaway with Catherine Stine, Author of Witch of the Cards!

Witch of the Cards

Catherine Stine

Genre: paranormal historical suspense

Publisher: Konjur Road Press

Date of Publication: March 16, 2016

Number of pages: 265

Cover Artist: Mae I Designs

Book Description:

Fiera was born a sea witch with no inkling of her power. And now it might be too late.

Witch of the Cards is historical, supernatural romantic suspense set in 1932 on the Jersey shore. Twenty-two year-old Fiera has recently left the Brooklyn orphanage where she was raised, and works in Manhattan as a nanny. She gets a lucky break when her boss pays for her short vacation in Asbury Park. One evening, Fiera and her new friend Dulcie wander down the boardwalk and into Peter Dune’s Tarot & Séance, where they attend a card reading.

Fiera has always had an unsettling ability to know things before they happen and sense people’s hidden agendas. She longs to either find out the origin of her powers or else banish them because as is, they make her feel crazy. When, during the reading, her energies somehow bond with Peter Dune’s and form an undeniable ethereal force, a chain of revelations and dangerous events begin to unspool. For one, Fiera finds out she is a witch from a powerful sea clan, but that someone is out to stop her blossoming power forever. And though she is falling in love with Peter, he also has a secret side. He’s no card reader, but a private detective working to expose mediums. Despite this terrible betrayal, Fiera must make the choice to save Peter from a tragic Morro Cruise boat fire, or let him perish with his fellow investigators. Told in alternating viewpoints, we hear Fiera and Peter each struggle against their deep attraction. Secrets, lies, even murder, lace this dark fantasy.

The allure of creepy, ramshackle beach towns as settings for dark fantasy

What is it exactly that makes edgy beach towns the perfect setting for sinister fantasy and historical suspense? I’ve always been attracted to the dark side, and particularly to strange beach towns. So far, I’ve set two novels in them.

When I first moved to New York City after college and a stint out west, you couldn’t tear me away from the dilapidated boardwalks of Coney Island. This was back before the arcade was renovated, back when the sideshow by the sea with its sword swallower and human pincushion were on full display. It was when a hungry, dirty capybara was caged in a box that read: Only $5 To See the Biggest Rat in the World! This poor critter was a plot point in Dorianna, my paranormal twist on Dorian Grey. And no surprise, I set Dorianna in Coney Island, and installed a sexy villain in Wilson Warren. He was an agent of the devil disguised as a videographer who prowled the beaches, making girls into viral Internet sensations for a very high price.

Guest Post, Excerpt, & #Giveaway - Divine Hotel by Nicole Loughan!

Divine Hotel

Divine Series

Book One

Nicole Loughan

Genre: Time Travel/ Mystery

Publisher: Can’t Put it Down Books

Date of Publication: 03/28/2016

Number of pages: 212

Cover Artist: Genevieve LaVO

Book Description:

Time is running out for Philadelphia’s Divine Hotel…One woman is tasked with saving two children who lived at the once majestic hotel but she soon learns that there is more to their history and the hotel than she ever thought possible. To save them she’s going to have to re-set the clock for everybody at the hotel and the only way to do that is to go all the way back to 1964. Righting the wrongs of the past will be no easy feat, because there are those willing to fight to keep their sins buried in history.

When one is stooped over a computer writing about murder, lies and betrayal sometimes it can be good to have company.

For three years I wrote all by myself, not venturing out much into the professional world, unless you count going down the street for a coffee and sitting next to another person pecking away at their computer as a co-worker. While I was sitting in a well-lit café streaming with calming ambient music I wrote about a series of grisly murders which revolved around two Cajun girls for my Saints Mystery Books. Later, and still in solitude, I wrote a time travel mystery where two kids who face one horrible situation after another, not knowing that their misfortune was set in stone decades before they were born. I wrote these heart wrenching scenes I was alone, never bothering to look over at any of my “co-writers.”

Sometimes, I just wanted to look over and read back a sentence I had written and ask, “Does this make sense to you?” That’s when I started googling for writing groups. I found the perfect alibi, I mean group, “Sister’s In Crime.” They are an organization dedicated to bringing together woman who love writing about crime and mystery and enriching their endeavors with regular speakers. Technically, there are a few gents in the group too.

I knew when I attended my first Sister’s in Crime and watched a demonstration by a certified Search and Rescue Dog that I was in the right place. One day a month I get out of the house and learn a little more about crime and murder. I’ve learned how things really go down when a lie detector operator is grilling you for questions and a few of the ways to spot a seasoned liar. I’ve also learned a great deal about how advocates for victims work.

It really helps make my search history much less frightening. Since joining Sister’s in Crime I have met the President of my local chapter, Sandra Carey Cody, who has written many books, with some big name labels. I’ve also met with many publishing vets and newcomers. It’s been great to bounce ideas off of likeminded writers and not sound like you are a little touched in the head. For anybody who is trying anything alone, I highly recommend getting out, if you are like me and like to delve into the world of murder, mischief and mayhem I recommend you do it with friends.

You can find Nicole’s latest book Divine Hotel for sale on Amazon for an introductory $2.99 special. Her Saint’s Mystery Series are also available on Amazon starting with To Murder a Saint.

You may know Nicole as the syndicated humor columnist, “The Starter Mom,” or from her Best-Selling Saints Mystery Novels. Because of the series’ popularity, Amazon chose it for their Stipend Program to be turned into an audiobook at their expense.

An award-winning journalist and author, she was recognized by Writer's Digest as a top fiction writer in 2015 and won honorable mention in genre fiction from the Writer's Digest annual self-publishing competition for her Saints Mystery Series.

Nicole writes for two daily newspapers in the greater Philadelphia area and as a columnist for Happenings Media. Prior to working as a writer, Nicole was an Agency Social Worker for the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, where she first learned about the subject of her latest novel, Divine Hotel.

Nicole grew up on a rural farm in Southern Michigan, but she was always a city girl at heart. She still has a penchant for straight-from-the-dairy cheese, but otherwise prefers to spend her days in New York and Philadelphia and her adopted hometown in Bucks County. The mother of two, she is a soprano in The Bucks County Woman’s Chorus and an amateur pianist.


A long time ago, before most people can remember, a palace stood over Philadelphia. It was a place of refuge for the weak and weary of the city, a shining monument of marble, oak and brass that towered over the metropolis.
Good and evil were kept in balance there, until one day the scales tipped and evil won out. As the years passed, the marble and brass were stolen, and the oak was stripped of its shine. As the hotel fell into ruin, its inhabitants followed. All was not lost, though, for there was one chance to save the hotel—and its inhabitants—from this fate. Hidden not far away was an otherworldly gift meant to right the wrongs of the past, if only the right person could find it.


You can’t catch me,” the boy shouted as he flung open the doors to the dilapidated dining hall. The room was lit by slivers of sun that peeked through the cracks in the high ceiling, and sporadic beams of light that shone through hastily fastened boards covering the room’s many broken windows.
All that was left of the once great hall were water-stained plaster ornaments positioned high up on the ceiling, far out of reach. Everything of value was gone. The light fixtures, hardwood floors, door knobs, and every last bit of shined marble and brass had been stripped away. The floors were an uneven terrain of warped wood and broken boards. The edges of the room were a tapestry of trash, but the center of the great space, which had once housed long oak dining tables, was completely bare.
The girl in pursuit walked gingerly over the broken boards. She kept her eyes on the ground and squinted to keep the dust floating through the air out of her eyes.
Slow down, Darrius!” she shouted.
She paused in front of a hole in the floor, which blocked her passage into the great room. She stared down and saw only darkness, which could mean the hole opened only down to the next floor, or could possibly reach as far down as all ten floors.
Come on, Carol,” he shouted. “You aren’t gonna fall going over that tiny hole.”
She watched him move with feline grace over the broken boards and gathered her courage. She involuntarily held her breath, took two steps back, and focused her eyes on a point just past the opening.
She ran as fast as her legs would carry her toward the gap. She pushed off and wobbled as a loose board slid away from her. She fell awkwardly forward and threw her arms out to catch herself. She scratched her palms reaching out for the ledge and only managed a precarious hold. If she’d weighed just a bit more she might have fallen in.
Darrius raced to her. The strain of holding on was too much for her, one by one her fingers were slipping, the pinkies first, then the ring fingers, and then all at once the rest gave way and she fell. Darrius grasped her wrist just before she slipped out of sight. He grunted as he pulled her up and out of the hole. As soon as he had her over the edge he fell backwards and she landed beside him with a thud.
Carol lay back and caught her breath as Darrius joked, “I could’ve made that jump with you on my back, you chicken.”
She stared up at the ceiling and pointed at a plaster fruit basket. “Darrius, look, the ceiling. It’s changed again.”
He looked up and said, “I don’t see anything different. You always think that ceiling looks different. Who do you think would get all the way up there and fix the ceiling?”
It does change,” she exclaimed. “It always looks like it’s about to fall apart, then it’s patched back up. Yesterday that fruit basket was just a hole in the ceiling.”
He laughed so hard the ground shook beneath him. When he stopped he realized the floor was shaking without any work from him, and he bolted upright.
What is that?” Carol demanded, as she jumped up and looked down at the floor.
It’s somebody pounding,” Darrius yelled as he, too, jumped up to his feet.
More knocks rang out around the hall, shaking up dust, which floated freely through the room. Suddenly a shout could be heard below their feet. “Keep it down,” followed by a more distant yell, “Shut up.”
When the pounding ceased they could hear the wail of sirens outside. Darrius jumped up and ran to peek through the boards.
What?” Carol asked.
It’s the cops.”
What do we do?”
We run.”

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

[Coffee Shop Talks] 2016 Book to Movie Adaptations

This is my very late edition of Coffee Shop Talks. While the plan is to post on Mondays, I occasionally suffer from migraines and this last one had me out for 2 days. But now I'm here, all is well, and I want to share the 2 book-to-movie adaptations that I'm most looking forward to this year.

I must admit that I wasn't crazy about Me Before You. I thought it was good, but not great. I wouldn't have thought that I would ever be interested in seeing a movie adaptation, but the casting for this film definitely changed my mind. I do plan on seeing it and it may even become one of those rare occasions where I love the movie more than the book.

I listened to the audio version of A Monster Calls a few years ago after seeing some great reviews from my friends on GoodReads. I was excited when I discovered that the movie would be releasing this fall. The trailer looks great and I think the special effects will be amazing. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Spotlight, Excerpt, & #Giveaway - Halfway Dead by Terry Maggert!

Carlie McEwan loves many things. 

She loves being a witch. She loves her town of Halfway, NY—a tourist destination nestled on the shores of an Adirondack lake. Carlie loves her enormous familiar, Gus, who is twenty-five pounds of judgmental Maine Coon cat, and she positively worships her Grandmother, a witch of incredible power and wisdom. Carlie spends her days cooking at the finest—and only—real diner in town, and her life is a balance between magic and the mundane, just as she likes it. 

When a blonde stranger sits at the diner counter and calls her by name, that balance is gone. Major Pickford asks Carlie to lead him into the deepest shadows of the forest to find a mythical circle of chestnut trees, thought lost forever to mankind. There are ghosts in the forest, and one of them cries out to Carlie across the years. Come find me. 

Danger, like the shadowed pools of the forest, can run deep. The danger is real, but Carlie’s magic is born of a pure spirit. With the help of Gus, and Gran, and a rugged cop who really does want to save the world, she’ll fight to bring a ghost home, and deliver justice to a murderer who hides in the cool, mysterious green of a forest gone mad with magic.

Available for purchase at 


I speak four languages. English, naturally, then Latin, and the Lingua Arcana. The language of magic is not my most unusual language skill. That honor goes to my fourth tongue, the curious shorthand diner pidgin that has evolved in the Hawthorn since before I was born. Our waitresses speak it; so does Louis, and both of the other cooks, and all of the former waitresses, too. We don’t have waiters; the ladies who wait tables would sooner die than allow their jobs to go elsewhere, which is usually the way a position opens up. My mom told me that nearly every job goes from family member, to daughter, cousin, or niece. I know one thing; they handle the front of the diner like a finely-tuned engine, so whatever system they have for finding new staff once every five years, works.

The diner seats about forty if they know each other, and twenty-five if they don’t. It’s a basic rectangle, with the kitchen in the back, tables to both sides, and a middle counter where the serious caffeine addicts like to park when they read their phones or newspapers. To the left is a small bakery case standing next to the cash register. Bathrooms are along the far right wall, and our décor is so Adirondack that you expect a moose to come walking out of the hallways at any moment. Every single thing in the diner is locally made, and there are panels on the wall where people can leave a business card, or something declaring that they were here to visit. The layer of cards is five deep in some places, and I’ve seen names in over fifty languages. What can I say? People love diners.

This morning, I was joined by Louis, as I suspected, who spent the bulk of his morning baking furiously to produce over a hundred pusties in both chocolate and vanilla varieties. Before you ask, of course I tested the custard. I care too much not to, and you’ll simply have to accept the fact that my sacrifice to quality knows no bounds.

Mallory and Pat were waiting tables and making chaos into order, usually by the simple act of refilling coffee cups. Before Pat could hang her ticket in the window, she squawked an order while pouring chocolate milk and refilling a jelly caddy. She was in her late forties, rail thin, and pretty if you ignored a long nose that gave her a faintly sad expression until she smiled. Her dyed-blonde hair was in the requisite net, and she had the hands of a pianist, which she was at her church on Sundays.

“Rasher dasher and a Carlie, you stay here,” Pat said before pinning the ticket to the stainless steel wheel and whirling back to the front. For people other than the fifteen or so who speak Hawthorn Diner, that was a bacon sandwich wrapped in foil and a half stack of waffles. Yes, we stack our waffles; it’s sort of our thing, and my recipe is stellar because it was a gift from my Gran. Upon retiring from home waffle preparation some years earlier, it was generally known that she was a ninja with anything that required batter. The half stack is in honor of my lack of height; it seems that whoever is the shortest staff member gets the honor of having a small portion of waffles named after them. Until we hire someone under five feet tall, three waffles on a plate will forever be known as a Carlie. I can live with that. Waffles are amazing. I looked out to see who ordered it, and met the eyes of a tourist who’d eaten the same thing every day for the past week. I gave him a friendly nod and bent to the griddle; even short timers in Halfway sometimes learn that routine can be beautiful.

Looking out from the diner, I can see the main road in town, and it’s usually clogged with traffic that alternates between cautiously optimistic and the border of open revolt. If a moose or deer comes wandering along the road, which they do almost every day, people love to slow down, take pictures, and generally back traffic up to the border of Pennsylvania. It doesn’t really matter what day of the week it is; tourists are the lifeblood of my little town, and they’re present seven days a week. This morning was no different. I glanced out at the slow procession of family cars and SUVs, wondering if any of the drivers would get off the main road and really see what they were passing by. I hoped so. It was too beautiful to miss.

The honking was what drew my attention, and I felt a chill that had nothing to do with scooping ice into a bin that held pats of butter. Outside, a low-level buzz was building as people began to walk off the sidewalks toward a forgettable silver sedan that may as well have been emblazoned with a sign that read rental car. The driver, a man of middle years, was slumped over the steering wheel, causing the stoppage of traffic. As I saw this detail, one of our patrons leapt to his feet and ran outside; he had the build and haircut of a firefighter. A woman reached in and put the car into park, then opened the door, and in seconds the crowd was laying the man gently onto the sidewalk mere feet from our door.
He was dead. I could tell at a glance that he was completely, spectacularly dead. Whatever killed him had been instantaneous. His eyebrows were furrowed slightly in concentration, and his brown eyes stared up and beyond the shoulders of the people circling him. We have one police officer who works our town; he’s a sheriff with the county, and I saw his lean frame wedge through the group of onlookers to take control of the situation. He spoke quickly to the man who’d left our diner in such a rush. An older woman who oozed competence knelt by the body, too, placing her fingers expertly to verify that there was no pulse. I saw her give a short, definitive shake of her head, wipe something from the man’s mouth, and then slowly stand. She never took her eyes from the man’s face. The sheriff, Hugh, searched the body and produced a wallet, then flipped it open while speaking into his radio. This all transpired in a matter of moments; the eggs I’d been cooking weren’t even finished when Hugh began waving people along. I looked down at the cheerful yolks and wondered what the man’s name was. It was incredibly sad, and I felt a tear slip down my cheek without permission. I’ve seen death, and I prefer life. I flipped the eggs and plated them on golden toast, marveling at the normality of people returning to their coffee and breakfast. I hope that when I die, people can go on as quickly. The nameless man had just slipped beneath the waves like a mortally-wounded ship, leaving nothing but ripples soon to be consumed by the winds.

The firefighter type returned to his seat after a few more minutes, and I heard his terse, professional report as he told the men sitting around him at the counter. “Aneurysm or something like it. Instantaneous. He’s not a tourist, his ID reads Department of Forestry; he’s a fed of some sort.”

Eventually, the excitement faded and I was caught up in the bustle of my shift. Before I knew it, it was three in the afternoon and I was walking home in the sun, alive but more than a little sad, and not entirely sure why.

Halfway Bitten (Halfway Witchy Series #2)

Available for purchase at:

Born in 1968, I discovered fishing shortly after walking, a boon, considering I lived in South Florida. After a brief move to Kentucky, my family trekked back to the Sunshine State. I had the good fortune to attend high school in idyllic upstate New York, where I learned about a mythical substance known as "Seasons". After two or three failed attempts at college, I bought a bar. That was fun because I love beer, but, then, I eventually met someone smarter than me (a common event), and, in this case, she married me and convinced me to go back to school--which I did, with enthusiasm. I earned a Master's Degree in History and rediscovered my love for writing. My novels explore dark fantasy, immortality, and the nature of love as we know it. I live near Nashville, Tennessee, with the aforementioned wife, son, and herd, and, when I'm not writing, I teach history, grow wildly enthusiastic tomato plants, and restore my 1967 Mustang.

You can find Terry at:


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