A big welcome today to L. Chapman who is celebrating the release of REDEEMED, the third book in the BELIEVE series, a super Contemporary Romance, where the heroine finds love against all the odds, but is still plagued by misfortune. Go and discover Megan and Mark!


Megan’s life has been anything but simple. She’s always lived amongst chaos, and for once, she just wants it all to stop. After years of lies and agony, will anything work out for her?

In this heart-gripping third installment of the Believe series, watch Megan discover love again, and not just any love, but one worth fighting for, one that makes her feel different, cherished, wanted, and treasured. For Megan, Mark is the one to give her all of that and has brought a new meaning to her life and a new reason to live.

The old saying, “Nothing comes easy in life,” holds true to this story, which is packed with unexpected twists and turns. For Megan and Mark, it pushes their love to new heights. Will the love they share for each other keep their relationship strong, or does Megan’s string of erroneous luck run out?


Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com

Believe Series
All Currently on SALE for $.99



the Author
L. Chapman was born in and continues to live in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom. She has spent most of her life helping others as a health care assistant, and was, at one time, a DJ for a special needs club. Blending her love of helping others and her love of children, L dreams to one day own and operate a childcare nursery that will help mainstream special needs children with others.
In the rare times that L. is not working to help others or maniacally writing, she enjoys making a mess of things while creating beautifully detailed greeting cards. She spends time relaxing with family, friends, and good books. L. loves to travel and has been to many places in the United Kingdom; her favorite places all involve the ocean. She hopes to one day share a kiss with her happily-ever-after in the romantic shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Should she ever get over her fear of flying, those kisses may be shared in the shadows of the Egyptian Pyramids.
Ever the fussy eater, L. has never once tasted peanut butter, and she despises coffee. If you should feel the need to bribe her, it is suggested that you bring chocolate, as that is one of her know weaknesses.


Hosted By:

21 Hours by Dustin Stevens – REVIEW

21 Hours - Dustin Stevens_1

Blood-pumping, exhilarating excitement that cannot be missed!

Blurb: Felix “O” O’Connor is an ex-con from central Ohio that has spent the seven years since being released from prison working on a ranch in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Rarely does he venture out into the world and never does it come looking for him. Both of those things change when his twin sister Alexa “Lex” Borden calls from Columbus, Ohio to ask for his help.

Earlier that afternoon, she and her husband were both beaten unconscious and their two year old daughter abducted from their front yard. Nobody saw a thing, the police are stumped, and it is a well known statistic that if a child isn’t found in the first 48 hours, they rarely are.

O immediately drives back to Ohio and finds himself with just 21 hours to find his beloved niece before potentially losing her forever. Plunging himself into a world he’d long ago left behind, he crosses paths with criminal masterminds, human traffickers, gun runners, drug smugglers, blood-thirsty spectators and suspicious detectives all in the name of bringing her home.


I absolutely LOVED 21 Hours, a perfect action thriller suspense following the love and determination of an ex-con and uncle willing to do anything to save his niece after she is kidnapped by a gang of criminals during a violent attack of her parents. This story is packed full of tension, action, emotion and pace, leaving the reader no opportunity to disengage.

Not only do we have such an intense situation to begin with, but to add to the tension further we have the time aspect. After realising the police have no leads and seem to be lost, ‘O’ is told that it happens to thousands of children a year – many of whom are never found, and those that are found safely are usually found within 21 hours.

Written in first person, the reader can follow every thought, every move of ‘O’. This sets the reader up knowing that ‘O’ will not stop until the very end or until he no longer can. The pace of 21 hours is therefore fast, exciting, powerful, intense and strongly emotive.

Whilst 21 Hours has it’s fair share of violence, blood and gore it is all necessary for the story. It adds to the tension, action and excitement. There are shootings and fight scenes that become inevitable as there are times when ‘O’ simply has no choice, when it’s his only chance of defence and when he is quickly running out of time. The gangsters and criminal masterminds he is dealing with have no compassion, or remorse, and would shoot him dead in a second. Therefore, the reader is left in no doubt as to the measures ‘O’ is willing to take.

A fascinating aspect of 21 Hours for me was the relationship between ‘O’ and the lead female detective in the case, Watts. Watts is a strong and determined character, who believes she has summed up ‘O’ from her first meeting with him. She and her colleagues have suspicions that ‘O’ could be involved and with his track record of being an ex-con it is a possibility that his past has something to do with this.

Watts provides ‘O’ with another challenge as her methods of investigating and his are completely different. Unfortunately, Watts has seen and heard of too many of these kind of cases, and with no leads she is left to play the waiting game in the hope that the abductors call for a ransom. ‘O’ on the other hand doesn’t want to waste precious time, considering he may only have 21 hours. This is a situation that is certainly unique to ‘O’ and extremely personal, whereas one could argue that Watts has no emotional tie and is not a stranger with working and hearing of these types of situations.

There is a clash between these characters from the offset but the beauty of this is when Watts’ eyes are opened to the different sides of ‘O’. It almost becomes a love/hate relationship. One of which I hoped to blossom into something more. I would love to hear from these two characters again as I believe they are too good to leave alone.

I cannot express how much 21 Hours is right up my street. Being brought up watching many action films of the 1980’s and 1990’s this novel fits easily into this category with many similarities (most notably with Lethal Weapon, Commando, Ransom, and Con-Air for me), and yet still remaining original and exciting to read.

What the reader can’t escape is the sheer desperation ‘O’ has to saving his niece and bringing her home. The reader finds themselves cheering him on and when he becomes injured you feel the need to jump into the novel, pick him up, brush him down and tell him to ‘go get ’em’!!

A copy of 21 Hours was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

21 Hours by Dustin Stevens is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

*BLOG TOUR* ~ AQUILA; FROM THE DARKNESS ~ by T. L. Searle ~ Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway

A BIG WELCOME to T. L. Searle’s AQUILA; FROM THE DARKNESS, a powerful and original Urban Fantasy. Scroll on down to read the book synopsis and an excerpt, find out about the author and enter the giveaway for a chance to win  a gift card and an e-book of Aquila!


TITLE – Aquila; From The Darkness #1
SERIES – Aquila
AUTHOR – T. L. Searle
GENRE – Urban Fantasy
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – #110,500
PUBLISHER – T. L. Searle




Seventeen year old Aqua Vickers lives a secluded life in the English countryside. She keeps herself that way, hiding in plain sight, out of fear. She has no idea where she came from or what she is, she just knows she isn’t human. Her mother is convinced she’s an angel, but does having wings make you an angel? Sharp, angular and intimidating black wings?

The only other person Aqua has let into her life is Aaron, her best friend. They’ve grown up together, shared every milestone and Aqua’s feelings for him have developed into something more. In a moment of impulse, Aqua reveals her true nature. Aaron freaks, hurting Aqua so badly that she flees into the night.

Lucas has been watching and waiting. As an Angeli Tail it is his job to be a spy; and he’s been ordered to watch Aqua. Lost and vulnerable above the clouds, Aqua is reaching exhaustion. When Lucas offers her the answers she seeks, she follows him impulsively.

In a city, carved into the rock of a mountain, Aqua discovers she’s not as alone as she thought; and her life has been rooted on a bed of lies and deception. In her absence, her home is attacked and her mother taken. With this new enemy intent on her capture and new family who aren’t all welcoming, Aqua must integrate and train with the Angeli Guard if she has any hope of rescuing her mother from the hands of the Dragone.

The Angeli Guard Master is unforgiving and ruthless, allowing Aqua little rest from his relentless and painful training exercises. Aqua can barely stand to look at him, but can’t seem to exterminate the butterflies she feels when he’s around.

War is coming but Aqua’s battles may need to be fought closer to home.


Barnes & Nobles Nook / Smashwords / iTunes – GB / iTunes – US / Amazon Kindle – UK / Amazon Kindle – US




I run for the car. The mass of people is dense and I keep bumping into dancers, drunkards and idiots – slowing my escape. A pair of hands grab my waist, and I think it’s Aaron.
“Where’d you think you’re going?” a slimy voice slurs.
It’s not Aaron. It’s the perverted creep from earlier with the taking what I’m offering comment. I spin to face him.
“Let go of me,” I seethe.
He sneers. “Oh come on gorgeous. I just want to see what you’re hiding under there.”
Without warning his grubby hands land slap bang on my cleavage. Jerk! I react instinctively, without thinking I pull my arm back and let my fist fly. It lands with a crunch on the moron’s jaw. There’s a sickening crack but that’s not the worst part. He takes off. His feet literally leave the floor as he shoots backwards and lands on his butt ten feet away.
The kids around us fall silent and stare. The guy’s sprawled out, he’s not moving but I know he’s not dead because he’s making a kind of gurgling noise. Someone rolls him onto his side but no one else tries to help him. They’re all too busy gawking at me; standing with my feet apart and my hands in fists by my side, my shoulders rising with my heavy breathing.
Aaron comes rushing out of the mass then and takes in the scene. I hate to do it to him twice in one night but I turn and run again. This time he follows.
“Aqua! Wait. Stop, please!” I hear his voice but keep running. Tears are falling now. I’m actually crying. How humiliating.
I have to control my pace. I can run inhumanly fast, it would draw even more attention. I misjudge it, maybe deliberately, and Aaron catches me by the wrist before I get to my car.
I glance behind. We’ve run a long way. There’s no one else here; the party’s in the distance, illuminated by the glowing bonfire.
I stop, still facing away from him. He keeps hold of my wrist. “What happened?” he asks, concern evident in his voice.
I swipe at the tears marring my cheek. “He groped me. I punched him.” I’m still sobbing but trying my hardest to hide it. “Maybe I hit him a bit hard.”
“A bit hard? He looked comatose!” He almost sounds proud. “Are you alright? Did he hurt you?”
“I’m fine, not hurt.”
I turn then.
He takes me in, in all my tear-streaked glory. I bet I look hideous.
“Aqua… why did you run?” He asks it softly, watching me with veiled eyes.
I know we’re not talking about the punch now. I don’t want this conversation though. “Did you see the guy? I could get eight to ten.” I mean it to sound light-hearted but it comes out sombre.
He flashes his dimple. “No. Before, after I kissed you. Why did you run?”


Author Photo


I am a mother of two from Somerset, England as well as a full-time student at the University of the West of England, Bristol. I write for enjoyment and I love to read novels of various genres but my passion is fantasy. I enjoy letting my imagination free as my stories develop. My childhood was rural, full of mud and tractors, of climbing trees and going on explorations of the countryside. My local area formed part of the inspiration for my first novel Aquila; from the darkness. I am currently working on the upcoming sequel Aquila; into the light.


 Website / Facebook / Twitter / Google+ / Goodreads / Amazon Author Page / LinkedIn



1 x $10 Amazon giftcard
10 x ebooks Aquila; from the darkness



Tour Organized By:

Our Current Reads

Hi readers, we hope that you are enjoying a good read. As summertime is about to begin, and with many of you planning holidays, we understand you’ll be thinking of a great book to take with you. Be sure to check out our A-Z list of authors and books we’ve reviewed for some ideas. We have also made a small list of our current reads (below) to keep you informed of what’s to come in the weeks ahead – again with a complete mix of contemporary romance, suspense and psychological thrillers, fantasy paranormal  and erotic romance.

Not to forget some fantastic releases coming soon where we will be part of blog tours, giveaways and cover reveals! Keep checking in for those. You can also find us on Facebook (as A Readers Review) and Twitter (@areadersreviewb).

Our current reads:

Double Alchemy - Climax (Book 2/2)Double Alchemy – Climax ( Book 2/2) by Susan Mac Nicol fantasy, paranormal, romance(Tina to review)

Powerful modern warlock Quinn Fairmont found ecstasy with the silver-eyed and not-quite-human Cade Mairston, but to know true happiness the pair must best both the shadow of a long-ago lover and an ancient enemy who seeks to destroy love, light and all they hold dear.
It begins with a Book of Shadows discovered by a London coven. The grimoire is as dangerous as it is rare, which is why it evokes modern-day warlock Quinn Fairmont’s desire. He collects objects of great power and beauty—like his lover, Cade Mairston.

Against all odds he and Cade found each other, but their perils have just begun. First is the ex-lover who once held Quinn in thrall. And, someone has been killing warlocks. Could it be one of his own kind? There are those too who would challenge Quinn’s power in their quest to overthrow him as Grand Master. Or is the danger something darker, something invoked inadvertently, rising from the shadows, building from the very inside of a man until it brings an end with a quick flash of light? Of the truth, the surface has only been scratched. Now Quinn and Cade must go deeper and find both answers and an end. They must learn what lurks in the hearts of men…and whether it seeks to love or destroy.

Book one, Double Alchemy by Susan Mac Nicol, review here.

The Re-Awakening (Second Coming, #2)The Re-Awakening (Second Coming #2) by Carter Vance – thriller, suspense (Caroline to review)

The saga continues. He has returned, but not yet awakened to fulfill His destiny.

With The Re-Awakening, the second book of the Second Coming Series, author Carter Vance continues the thrilling story of the modern day return of Christ.

Like the first book, it is full of action and suspense that takes place in a chaotic world reeling towards the prophesied Apocalypse.

The first book, The Return, re-counted the circumstances of His birth. The Re-Awakening chronicles the events of His growth and the re-acquiring of His Christ Consciousness.

The first son in the bloodline of Jesus Christ, Lazarus J. Christos, must immerse Himself in the modern day world and prepare to fulfill His mission that has been prophesied for two thousand years.

With the aide of the order of the Knights Templars, long existing in the shadows, and the even less known organization of The Founders, young Lazarus, on a path of personal discovery, encounters His doubts and faces His fears of His ability to fulfill His mission.

Meanwhile, His enemies mount their plan for His eradication and their goal of world domination. They believe there is a way for them to prevail beyond the prophecies. These Dark Forces embark upon a worldwide hunt for legendary artifacts of power that might tip the balance of power to their advantage for the forthcoming ultimate battle of good versus evil for the soul of humanity.

Book one, The Return by Carter Vance, review here.

Pushin' Buttons (Boot Knockers, #1)Pushin’ Buttons (Boot Knockers #1) by Em Petrova – adult fiction, erotica, romance (Tina to review)

It’s all in her head. Until she falls into the hands – and hearts – of two cowboys.

Sexual dysfunction. The words make Sybill cringe, but after one too many failed relationships, she has to face reality. Her O-button is broken, big time. Sick of sitting on the sexual sidelines, she books a week at Boot Knockers Ranch. If a passel of rugged cowboys vying to bring her bliss can’t get her off, nothing will.

Hugh had planned to sit out this week’s rotation of sexual therapy, but when he spots sultry Sybill, he pulls rank. His bone-deep urge to possess her isn’t enough to coax elusive orgasms out of her body, though. And his resolve to give the lady whatever she needs wavers when she shyly makes a mind-blowing request.

Riggs stepped aside when Hugh muscled in to claim Sybill, but he jumps at the chance to fulfill her ultimate fantasy – a threesome. But once they come together, all barriers are stripped away, exposing his love for the one man – and woman – he’d break every last rule to make his own.


Warning: This ain’t your daddy’s ranch. Contains cowboys administering sexual therapy to frustrated ladies – and each other. Fresh batteries recommended. You’re gonna need ’em!

Heart Of EternityHeart of Eternity by N. Jay – contemporary romance (Caroline to review)

When you are invited to dance with the muse of love, when you are driven to the edge by the pain of the past, when you hold the remedy for what ails you in your arms you will find yourself in the heart of eternity.
Set in the Blue Mountain’s town of Blackheath in New South Wales, Australia, the novel Heart of Eternity introduces two very different characters, Jay and Naida, who encounter each other at a challenging time in each of their lives. Their individual expressions of the feelings they provoke in each other give rise to a turmoil that could ultimately claim their lives. When two people understand so deeply the pain each other has faced will it force them into the abyss of darkness or will their combined need for healing allow love to enter both their hearts?

30 days to Syn30 Days to Syn by Charlotte Boyett-Compo – erotic (Tina to review)

The ad reads: Young woman (American only) willing to engage in domination roleplay. No BDSM. Salary: $1,000,000 upon completion of contract. Length of employment: 30 consecutive nights.
Drowning in debt, Melina Wynth is going under for the third time. With a dead-end job and a disabled brother dependent on her, the ad in the paper could be the lifeline to keep her from sinking. Reeling in her courage, she casts her line.
Synjyn McGregor is a shark—a very wealthy shark from Down Under—and his bite could prove to be her undoing. But Lina is determined she isn’t going to allow him to get away. The length of employment might read thirty nights, but she suspects he is fishing for something more.

Synjyn needs a woman who will love him—mentally and physically—as never before. A woman whose touch will not only put the billionaire in his place but keep him there…begging for more. He will quickly realize Lina is made for Syn.

The Medea ComplexThe Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts – psychological, thriller (Caroline to review)


1885. Anne Stanbury – Committed to a lunatic asylum, having been deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for the crime of which she is indicted. But is all as it seems?

Edgar Stanbury – the grieving husband and father who is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity, and seeking revenge on the woman who ruined his life.

Dr George Savage – the well respected psychiatrist, and chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital. Ultimately, he holds Anne’s future wholly in his hands.

The Medea Complex tells the story of a misunderstood woman suffering from insanity in an era when mental illnesses’ were all too often misdiagnosed and mistreated. A deep and riveting psychological thriller set within an historical context, packed full of twists and turns, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.

We hope that you enjoy reading all about our recommendations. And remember, we are only a click away if you’d like to contact us!

Caroline and Tina 🙂







blog tour banner

We are SUPER excited to be participating in the Blog Tour launching Nina Mason’s SIZZLING paranormal release The Queen of Swords! This post is jam packed full of information on the book and includes the book blurb, my personal review, excerpt and trailer, author interview and a fantastic giveaway!


Queen of Swords Cover_finalAuthor: Nina Mason
Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing
Heat level: sizzling
Formats: Kindle and paperback
Where to buy:
Kindle: http://smarturl.it/queenofswords (or http://smarturl.it/queenofswordsUK)
Paperback: http://smarturl.it/queenofswordspb



When Graham Logan, a Scottish earl turned vampire by a dark wizard’s curse, draws the Queen of Swords, he knows he’s about to meet the love of his life. For the third time. But surrendering his heart will mean risking her life…or making her what he is. Neither of which his morals will permit him to do. Graham, who believes he lost his soul to the curse, rages at God: Why give her back only to take her again?

Cat Fingal, the third incarnation of Graham’s twin flame, won’t let him escape so easily. As soon as they meet, she feels she knows him and begins having past-life flashbacks. A white witch, she casts a spell to summon him, wanting answers and to fill the void she’s felt all her life.
Graham has other problems, too. Like the seductress who wants him for herself and the dark wizard who cursed him and killed his beloved the first two times.

Will he find a way to save her this time around? Or will she save him?

My Review

Simply Spellbinding!

This book is such a deliciously dark and sexy read! If you love Paranormal Romances and Urban Fantasies I strongly suspect that you will feel this way too. The Queen of Swords draws on elements of vampire lore, Fae and Celtic mythology, Witchcraft and Tarot in a spellbinding tale full of action, suspense and lovemaking scenes which sizzle off the page!

The hero Graham, a vampire, is a real hottie and I wished I knew the summoning spell to bring him to my side as the heroine does! Turned against his will, he mourns the loss of his humanity and also the loss of his love, whom his maker has cruelly taken away from him on two occasions already. He has a fascinating tale to tell of his life which we learn of through a series of flashbacks. I liked how once Graham realises that Cat is his soul mate he seeks to protect her by putting as much distance between them as possible. The fact that he is unwilling to turn her into a vampire so that they can be together makes this book very different to many other vampire romances.

I LOVED how Cat goes against his wishes and uses her own substantial powers as a Witch to summon him to her for answers! The attraction between them is undeniable and she realises that he is her destined other half and without him she will be incomplete. Cat, a trifle bookish, is essentially a strong woman and I enjoyed how her character grows as she seeks to save Graham’s soul, which he believes is beyond redemption. However, what future do the couple have when Graham is hell bent on maintaining distance, a jealous lover is on the loose and Graham’s nemesis has returned, putting their future and lives in jeopardy?

The sexual tension and lovemaking scenes between the couple are passionate and intense and leave little to the imagination. There is also plenty of emotion and humour. I found the couple’s relationship very believable and realistic and enjoyed the moments of conflict between them as they seek to resolve the dilemmas thrust in their way and the tension they experience in rediscovering each other, for after all Cat is a modern woman and Graham a man first alive in Regency times!

It is clear that the author has carried out a substantial amount of research into vampire lore, Celtic mythology and history and the Tarot. The scenes describing the various spells carried out by Cat and the magic carried out by others is also very authentic, all of which added to my enjoyment of the book. A number of scenes pay homage to Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The secondary characters in the novel are also well drawn and portrayed and I sincerely hope that the author decides to share Avery and Benedict’s tale with us in the future. Scenes of a homoerotic nature occur in the book as do those involving torture, however, these do not dominate the plot and form an important element to the storyline.

I recommend The  Queen of Swords to lovers of Paranormal romance and Urban fantasy who enjoy a hotter read than normal, with an entertaining and well researched plot and strong and engaging characters.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.


the promise

12th May. Visited Caitriona tonight for the first time since becoming a monster. She slept, unaware of my presence, & for a time, I was content simply to observe. As the hours passed, I began to wonder what might happen if she awoke to find me in her room. Would she think me a wraith? Would she think it a dream? Desiring to know, & to get closer, I sat down on the corner of the bed, alert for any stirrings. Seeing none, I crawled up the bed until I reached her side. Still she did not stir. Ever so carefully, I set my head upon the pillow next to hers. She slept on. Drinking in her scent, I felt contentment for the first time since fate & Fitzgerald tore us apart. I closed my eyes & must have drifted off, because next I knew, her arm fell across my chest. Startled awake, I found her blinking at me in disbelief.

I lay there, still as death, waiting for her to react. Her hand moved up my chest to my face. She dragged her fingers across my jaw, pressed them against my lips, touched the end of my nose, my eyebrows, my forehead. As she combed back my hair, she whispered: “This must be a dream. But you feel so real, so alive. I don’t ken how such a thing is possible; nor do I care. I only pray I shall never awaken.”

I kept still. I could hear her heartbeat, smell her blood, but her blood was not what I craved. She set her head on my chest & started to sob.

“Am I dreaming?” she asked, soft & low.


She raised herself up, came over me & pressed her mouth against mine.

“Can we make love in my dream?”


When it was over, I collapsed beside her, feeling so elated, so profoundly moved, I very nearly wept.

She set her head against my chest. “Will you promise me something?”

“Anything, m’aingael.”

“Always come to me like this in my dreams.”

Trailer embed code:


Click on the link below and enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win AN AUTOGRAPHED PAPERBACK OF THE QUEEN OF SWORDS!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Nina Mason, authorNina Mason is a hopeful romantic with strong affinities for history, mythology, and the metaphysical. She strives to write the same kind of books she loves to read: those that entertain, edify, educate, and enlighten. Three of her books will be published in 2014: The Queen of Swords, an urban fantasy/paranormal romance; The Knight of Wands, book one in the Knights of Avalon Series; and The Tin Man, a political thriller about the dangers posed by media monopolies. She is currently at work on Book Two of the Knights of Avalon series and is itching to get back to a book she started a while back about a merman who falls for an oil company spokeswoman after a phantom tanker capsizes on the coast of the Hebrides islands. When not writing, Nina works as a communications consultant, doll maker, and home stager. Born and raised in Southern California, she now lives in Woodstock, Georgia, with her husband, teenage daughter, two rescue cats, and a Westie named Robert.

Social-Media Links:

Website: http://ninamasonauthor.com
Blog: http://ninamasonromance.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ninamasonromance
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ninamasonauthor (@ninamasonauthor)
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ninamasonauthor
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/ninamasonauthor
Google+: https://plus.google.com/105622637668245901733/posts

Interview with the author:

Q. Tell us about your book.
A. The Queen of Swords tells the story of a bookish white witch who returns every century to reunite with her earthbound soul mate. He’s a Scottish earl turned vampire by a dark wizard’s curse back in the Regency era on the eve of their wedding. She came back once before in the Edwardian era only to be killed by his maker in the same manner as before. He believes he has no soul, so can’t understand why she keeps coming back. She believes he does have a soul and that she comes back to free him from the curse. The story follows their journey as they try to work out who’s right and how they can stop history from repeating.

Q. After this, what’s your next project?
A. My current work-in-progress is book two in The Knights of Avalon series. After that, I haven’t decided. Probably another paranormal romance/urban fantasy. I’ve got a stalled manuscript about an oil company spokeswoman who gets involved with a merman during an oil spill in the Hebrides. Might get back to that one, or write one featuring Benedict and Avery, the secondary couple in The Queen of Swords. I’d also like to maybe write a sequel to The Tin Man, my political thriller releasing in August. It tells of two journalists thrown together to solve a series of murders tied to a global conspiracy to take over the media.

Q. What inspires you to write what you do?
A. All of my paranormal stories are inspired by my love of the history and mythology of Scotland, my interest in the unknowable, and my belief in the redemptive power of love.

Q. When did you start writing?
A. About as soon as I could write the alphabet. When I was a kid, I won an essay contest sponsored by the local library (I was an avid reader and always did the summer reading challenge). Back in the days of typewriters, I wrote a romance novel about a couple of ballet dancers, but never did anything with it. Didn’t try my hand at fiction again until five or six years ago, when I started what is now The Queen of Swords.

Q. What inspired you to write the book?
A. I started the first draft after reading Twilight. While I liked the saga, I also found myself frustrated by the lack of sex and Edward’s lack of history. In literature, vampires originally personified uncaged sexuality, so a chaste vampire seemed counter-intuitive to me. Plus, I felt writing an immortal creature provided fantastic opportunities to build an interesting backstory. What had he/she seen and experienced over the centuries? How was he/she affected by it? My immortal characters all have a history tied to the world and what they’ve seen and experienced has colored them in some way.

Q. Are you a careful planner or do you let the story guide you?
A. I do a bit of both. I work out the characters and their motivations, setting, and where I want the story to go. I also tend to do index cards for each scene or major plot point from start to finish. Once I begin to write, it can go completely off the rails, depending on where the characters want to take it. As long as they’re reaching the touchstones, I let them do what they want. If they go too far off track, I either re-plot the novel or rein them in, depending on which direction seems better at the time.

Q. Who is your favorite among your characters?
A. I love them all, of course. Graham, the hero in The Queen of Swords, is both noble and funny. Callum, the hero in The Knight of Wands, is a good-hearted romantic. Leith, the hero of my WIP, is a bit on the dark side, but still well-intentioned. If pressed to pick just one, I’d have to go with Alex Buchanan, the journalist hero in The Tin Man. He’s very complex and has lots of demons to overcome, but also is a really good guy.

*BOOK BLAST* ~ TO DREAM OF A HIGHLANDER (Highland Fae Chronicles), by Samantha Holt ~ Book Blurb and Personal Review

1010856_689421744447989_5886160877122772037_nA Passionate and Magical Highland Romance!

Book Blurb

Scotland, 1230 Sent on a rescue mission, Finn Mac Chaluim is prepared to do his duty, hand over the lass and return home. But fate has other ideas.

In the midst of a Norse invasion, Catriona barely escapes with her life. Masquerading as her sister, she finds herself in the hands of Finn who intends to hand her over to her sister’s betrothed, Laird Gillean. In the interests of bringing peace to her home, Catriona is determined to continue the ruse—even if it means going along with the marriage and denying her growing attraction to a man who keeps his hurts hidden behind a quick grin. If the green faery, Tèile, has anything to do with it, Catriona and Finn will come together—but only at the right time. Thanks to her last attempt at matchmaking, many paths were changed and now it’s up to her to put it right. Can she help Finn— who learned the hard way that sharing your life with someone only leads to heartache—get past his doubts? And will the battle-scarred Catriona even accept him into her heart? When Laird Gillean’s attentions toward Catriona become dangerous, both Finn and Tèile will find they have an uphill battle on their hands.

My Review

Passion combines with danger, faery magic and subterfuge in To Dream of a Highlander, another sensual Highland romance from Samantha Holt. I found it to be another super read from an author who never fails to deliver in whatever genre she is writing in.

Finn, who appears in the previous novel, To Steal A Highlander’s Heart, is a hero whom I very quickly fell in love with. Despite his jovial manner, this handsome warrior is still mourning the loss of his first love, his wife who died in childbirth. When Finn first casts eyes on Catriona, he feels that she is familiar to him somehow, and comes to realise that she is the very woman who has been haunting his dreams…..

Finn believes that Catriona, who unbeknown to him, is masquerading as her twin Katelyn, is destined for another. He is constantly at war with himself over his wild attraction to her and his fear that he cannot let himself love again, being convinced that he failed his first love. However, when he realises that Catriona is in danger he will do his utmost to protect her, laying his life on the line. I just loved how the author portrayed Finn’s inner struggle and really felt for him throughout.

Catriona is both a strong yet vulnerable heroine and I immediately admired her bravery in coping with the bloody and brutal Viking attack on her father’s keep. Although in the initial confusion she at first fears that Finn is  another Viking, she is drawn to him, due to his thoughtful behaviour, easy humour and the care he takes of her. Once she realises that he is her saviour she finds it difficult not to succumb to her attraction. It is Finn she turns to for support as she strives to cope with the memories of the attack on her childhood home and person, a traumatic experience that plagues her.

The scenes between the couple are both tender and passionate as they both struggle with their own inner demons, but neither can deny their mutual attraction for too long! Sexual tension is high and passion refuses to be denied between them, and they come together in a number of scorching swoonworthy scenes which I LOVED!

Catriona is determined to put the safety of the people of Bute first and continues to masquerade as her sister, even as she places herself in danger, for it seems she cannot escape the impending marriage to Laird Guillem. Will Finn put his fears aside and realise Catriona is destined for him alone or will she belong to another who may not have her best interests at heart? Also how will he and her prospective bridegroom react to Catriona’s deceit?

The antics and magic of the faerie Tiele, tasked by the Sidhe Council to bring Finn and Catriona together, are pivotal to the plot and are often amusing in the effect that they have on the couple, particularly Finn! Once again Tiele finds that the hearts of humans are far from easy to control. The supporting characters were well portrayed, in particular the widow Lorna, Finn’s sister, and her brother-in-law, Lord Guilleam who is her overlord and Catriona’s betrothed.

To Dream of A Highlander is another awesome read from this author and I recommend it to lovers of sensual  historical romances, especially those who love tales featuring hot Highland warriors and feisty heroines!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Buy on Amazon UK  Amazon US






BLOG TOUR ~*OTHER SYSTEMS*~ by Elizabeth Guizzetti

Tour Banner - other systems

Check out Other Systems, an original and thought provoking Sci-Fi novel by talented author Elizabeth Guizzetti! Read on for the press release, giving the background to the novel, the book synopsis, review excerpts and  find out about the author. There is also a substantial excerpt that will give you a real insight into this compelling novel, an interview with the author and more!

Other Systems: A Powerful Novel by Elizabeth Guizzetti Exposes Difficulties in Planetary Exploration and Colonization.

Cover_Other_Systems_blogPress Release 

Seattle, WA – Elizabeth Guizzetti opened a new door to the science fiction genre with a character driven multi-world fiction that grabs readers’ emotions and refuses to let go. Garnering a growing and dedicated readership, Other Systems examines what an actual life of might entail if someone chooses to leave Earth and live on another planet. Hailed as both ‘thought-provoking’ and ‘emotional’, the book is resonating with readers—some who have never read science fiction before.

Inspired by NASA’s Kepler mission (the search for other Earth-like planets) the novel explores the shifts in culture and belief systems, the definition of humanity, and family structure as humans for new homes. Finally it asks: Would you go?

As the author explains, her novel showcases the true power of a determined human mind. “Abby is an intelligent protagonist that grows through the course of the novel. Even though life does not turn out as planned, she uses her mind–not violence–in order to find a way out of her problems,” says Guizzetti.


Without an influx of human DNA, the utopian colony on Kipos has eleven generations before it reaches failure. Earth is over ninety light years away. Time is short. 

On the over-crowded Earth, many see opportunity in Kipos’ need. After medical, intelligence, and physiological testing, Abby and her younger siblings, Jin and Orchid, are offered transportation. Along with 750,000 other strong young immigrants, they leave the safety of their family with the expectation of good jobs and the opportunity for higher education 

While the Earthlings travel to the new planet in stasis, the Kiposi, terrified the savages will taint their paradise, pass a series of indenture and adoption laws in order to assimilate them. 

When Abby wakes up on Kipos, Jin cannot be found. Orchid is ripped from her arms as Abby is sold to a dull-eyed man with a sterilized wife. Indentured to breed, she is drugged and systematically coerced. To survive, Abby learns the differences in culture and language using the only thing that is truly hers on this new world: her analytical mind. In order to escape her captors, she joins a planetary survey team where she will discover yet another way of life.


Hectate of the Three Nerds & a Book Club said, “There were such complex issues ranging from technological advances, race and social disputes, and figuring out what can really make a family. It took a while to wrap my mind around the time differences, but I came to accept it as a norm.”

The Red Reader Reviews said: I can guarantee when you’re reading Other Systems, not only will you be enthralled by the world Guizzetti creates but you’ll be right there alongside Abby and her friends.

Denise DeSio the author of Rose’s Will was equally as impressed. She said, “Time and again I kept thinking, “Whoa! How many months, maybe years, of research did she have to do to come up with this stuff?”

Other Systems ISBN: 978-1-937546-01-4 was published by 48Fourteen, is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and 48Fourteen.

For more information, visit the book’s official website: http://other-systems.com

Excerpt – Chapter 7 

Kipos_poster8x10.5The family said good-bye over a lunch of chicken, carrots, and plenty of tears.   Grandma said prayers and burnt incense. Ma kissed her children again and again. Da squeezed them hard. So did Ray. Tara whimpered and paced, almost as if she sensed Abby and her younger siblings were not coming back. Tara was family, but she was seven years old, and Abby  knew that she could not give up her entire future for a dog. As they walked outside the commune, Orchid began to sniffle.

Da embraced his children once more and said softly, “Take care of them, Abby. Jin, I’m counting on you. You’ll be the man of the family on the new world.  “Orchid, you listen to your brother and sister now. You better get going. You have a ways to walk.”

The three took their first steps away from the commune. Abby glanced back. Her   parents held each other. Grandma clutched Tara around her giant, furry neck. Ray watched them. She knew there was part of him who wanted to come, but fear and duty held him to Earth. She waved once more at her dearest sibling. Her eyes were moist. She could not deny part of her wanted to return home. The sun was warm on their backs, but the blue  skies saddened her. She would never have another day on Earth. She was glad when they made it down the hill and the commune was out of sight. Orchid was bawling and tears  dripped down Jin’s nose. 

Abby reached around her sister’s narrow shoulders and squeezed her tight, then pulled out a few tissues and passed them around. In a false cheerful tone, she said, “This will be a grand adventure, won’t it?”

Jin followed suit: “I know we’ll miss Ma, Da, Ray, Grandma, and Tara, but we’ll   have each other, alright?”   Orchid took the tissue and wiped a bit of clear snot and tears off her nose and  nodded.

Abby went on: “I’m going to Kipos, but I’ll take you home right now. Once we are around this bend, there’s no turning back. Do you still want to go?”

“Yeah.” The younger girl lifted her chin to look at her sister. “Remember when  Mr. Tygh said that on Kipos I could go to school to become anything I wanted, maybe even a doctor. I like that idea. Ma and Da can’t send me to the university.”

Abby felt a lump in her throat. Orchid’s reasoning was much more mature than her own.

“If I can go to school, I always thought it would be neat to invent something instead of just building something that someone else designed,” Jin said. With a guilty look, he glanced up at Abby. “But I understand if I have to work.”

Abby nodded. “My hope is that both of you can attend school.”

Behind them, they heard: “Hey, guys! Wait!”   Rory ran to catch up with them. His forehead held a glaze of sweat. Abby waited  for him to start making lewd remarks but he just fell in step. His blue eyes were filled with fear. 

“There’s nothing to be scared of, Orchid.” Rory’s voice held a slight tremble, as  though the words were meant to make him more confident, not her. “We really are going somewhere new. Someplace better. I saw Ray before I left. He’s a good man. You should be proud to have a brother like that.”

“We are,” Jin replied.

Jin and Rory walked behind them and, though it was uncomfortably sweaty, Abby held Orchid’s hand as they hiked the two miles to the old airfield south of the city. They watched the elevator car disappear into the blue sky as the new colonists were sent up to  the mother ship. With each step, it was hard not to get excited.

Rory stopped for a moment. His voice was pleading. “I did not kill Mary.”

“No one said you did,” Abby said. She wasn’t sure if she believed him or just  wanted to.

Rory spoke quickly. “She committed suicide when I broke it off with her. She didn’t have any money for paternity tests and she didn’t have time to put it together before the ship left. I offered to abort the fetus, but the Suffering God does not like  abortion. Please, I need you to believe me. I did not kill her.”

Jin nodded.

Embracing him with a quick and what she hoped felt like a sisterly side hug,  Abby said, “We believe you. Come on. We are almost there.”  Ahead of them were layers of gated security and mobs of people. Pimps and drug dealers encircled the gate selling their wares. Thieves sold stolen or forged passes. Abby  was glad that their boarding passes were hidden deep within her blouse. Rory shoved his  hands in his pockets so no one could steal his. A man asked Abby what her price was, but  Jin glared and took a step towards him.

She grabbed her brother’s arm. “Let’s keep moving. Soon it won’t matter.”

Jin reluctantly agreed.

They worked their way through the crowd of people holding hate-filled signs and the reporters with their cameramen. They circumvented families who were saying their goodbyes. When they reached the first manned gate, the guard instructed, “Put your right thumbprint here.”

Abby told Orchid to go first. She whined that she did not want to be left alone even for a second, so Jin went first, then Orchid, followed by Abby. Inside the gate, Abby gave their boarding passes to the second official scanning the documents. Once the lighted red star beeped, he allowed them inside the second gate. They walked through a meter of icy antiseptic spray. Once across the threshold, they waited for Rory as it dried. They moved to stand in the next line when they heard shouting and saw three young men with guns storm the gate.

There was a single shot and a scream. Jin picked up Orchid and grabbed Abby’s wrist. He pulled the girls to the nearest barricade. Rory was  right behind him and Abby felt his arms wrap around her head to protect her. By the time they turned around the three men had been engulfed in flames. Abby covered her sister’s eyes. Crowds of people screamed, but no one did anything. They just waited for the elevator doors to open. Abby saw another young man and woman try to socially engineer their way through the gate.

“We lost our passes, but we are on the list,” the woman said, pointing towards the fence.

“Your irresponsibility is not our concern,” the Kiposi said.

“What she means is my brother has them and he is already in there.”

After a few more minutes of arguing, the woman eventually gave up and walked away. The man  grew angry that he was refused. The gateman hit a button and the man’s body erupted in a blue flame. His howl of agony lasted a few long seconds before he was dead.

Abby  forced herself to find fault in his actions, not blame the Kiposi. “He wouldn’t have just  left. They didn’t want to kill him,” she whispered as she filed through the airlock and into the space elevator.  A Kiposi woman handed each of them a small roll of soft candy and a napkin.  They were told to chew the candy or blow their noses to equalize their ears during the air  pressure change. Most of the seats on the ground floor were full, but she glanced around hoping to find four open seats that were together. Jin, however, rushed up the stairs, pulling Orchid behind him.

“Jin!” Abby called.

He glanced back with a smile and kept going. She trailed after them. Her brother pushed his way to an empty row of facing seats to make sure he and Orchid could sit next to a window. Once on the top floor, Abby glimpsed towards the sky, but she could not see anything but glittering cables against magnetic tiles and disappearing blue. Rory’s hand was gentle on her back as he continued to guide her towards the others. Abby apologized to anyone grumbling about the pair of wild children who had just pushed past them. By the time they reached them, Jin was helping Orchid buckle herself in. Abby
briefly considered reminding her brother to be considerate, but he had kept their little sister safe and found four seats together. She sat down next to Orchid without a word.  Rory sat beside Jin. 

Abby counted the twenty-five rows of ten seats. There were three floors: seven hundred and fifty souls per trip. According to her calculations, there must be at least ten trips in a day. Seventy-five hundred people from Seattle and there were nine other cities,
making a total of 750,000 souls, plus the crew of sixty per ship, in addition to seed and livestock.

Her stomach lurched as the elevator started to lift. Before she knew it, the city  was spread out north of her. Now there was really no turning back. She wondered what Ray was doing. Did he miss them? Did he regret his decision? She wished he were there to share in this adventure. As they rose, she could see the Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula. It looked like a child’s model. Soon the distinct topography disappeared and she could only make out splotches of brown, white, green, and the blue of the Pacific Ocean. She mused that it was strange that the first time that she ever saw the Pacific were
her last moments tethered to Earth. She took one piece of candy and gave the rest to Orchid, who wolfed hers down.

Abby blew her nose to equalize her ears, then wrapped her arm around her sister as the blue opened up to the black. Above them was a gray-bluish, conical shaped ship set  against a field of stars. On what Abby assumed was the bow, the cone rounded to a bulbous sphere. Below this sphere were  antennae and a large dish all of which looked like they might be retractable. Towards the aft was a large rotating wheel. Each spoke ended in a large thick box. Abby had no idea what any of it was for, but the constellations had never been so visible as they were at that moment. It had to be a good omen.
A clear acrylic hollow arm stretched out towards the elevator. It locked in place and the Kiposi technicians opened the airlock. An announcement told them to unbuckle their belts and file out in an orderly fashion.

Abby found walking easy enough, but she felt slightly lighter than she had before the journey. “Do you feel that? I bet there is lower gravity aboard the ship then on Earth. The technology on Kipos must really be amazing!” she whispered to the others.

Rory just nodded. His tanned skin looked very pale.

“You’re such a weirdo,” Jin said, trying to look indifferent but failing miserably since he seemed unable to stop grinning.

Not wanting to argue, but wanting to get in the last word, Abby said, “Imagine  being part of a team that designs ships like this.”

“Maybe I am,” Jin said, still grinning.

“Come on!” Orchid said as she pulled on Abby’s hand as they shuffled with the crowd towards the airlock. Walking through the heavens, the view of Earth below was too amazing to fear falling. She wished she could slow down to take it all in, but the crowd and her siblings pulled her along. Even for the ship’s sterile cleanliness, there was a smell of oil and dry air.

Abby was struck again by the similarities of the crew, but what was truly disconcerting were the insipid smiles on their too similar faces. Jin was confident, but Rory seemed as nervous as she was. Like everyone else, they tossed their tissues and candy wrappers down the marked chute. They followed the crowd, who followed the rows of light embedded into the ceiling. As they entered the back of the hold, a hallway split and they were to be segregated by gender. Rory looked ill.

Jin kissed both of his sisters on the cheeks. “I’ll see you when we land. You be  good, Orcs. Listen to Abby.”

While her brother followed the other males, Abby considered how, in those few moments, his voice had become deeper. He was no longer the second son or Ray’s  younger brother. Abby and Orchid followed a woman past large crates stacked upon one another and clamped to the walls. She could see by the writing that some were filled with supplies, others with seeds. Beyond, doorways led to long narrow passageways of smaller quarters. Abby and Orchid were told to relieve themselves, which they did on a cold metal public toilet that did not flush until its sensors determined that it was full. They were led with two additional girls inside a tiny room with four narrow bunks  that reminded Abby of a packing crate. The walls were solid, but the floor and ceiling
was grating. Through the open spaces between the metal, she could see tiny spirals of  piping. The woman handed them each a tiny waxed paper cup of water and two capsules:  one white oblong and the other a pink circular disk.

She said, “Alright, ladies. Just a sedative and an antihistamine.” She watched to make sure everyone swallowed the pills.  The other girls kissed each other for luck and climbed into the two uppermost    bunks. Orchid began to cry.

To distract her, Abby asked the technician, “My understanding is the hypersleep  liquid acts like some sort of filter.”

With a condescending smile, the woman answered, “That’s right. There is a  circulating current of highly oxygenated liquid and nanomites. You will sleep through the  entire trip.”

“Body functions cease?”

“They slow. Nanomites clean up any waste.”

“Isn’t that interesting, Orcs?” Abby put her arm around her little sister. She swore  to herself she would find a job on the new world and send her siblings to school. Jin  would design ships and Orchid would become a doctor. She would find a good husband  and when they were ready, she would help her siblings to do the same. They would even help Rory. Even though she would never see her parents again, she would honor them and her ancestors by her actions.

Abby helped Orchid into one of the lower bunks. The air smelled honeysuckle  sweet. She realized she smelled this aroma before. The day the Kiposi landed and again in city hall. She refused to allow fear to overwhelm her.

Her eyelids felt heavy as she tucked her sister under the thin blanket. “We ask that our ancestors watch over us and Jin and Rory. Even on Kipos, please watch over us, Amen.”

“Amen,” Orchid echoed.

Abby tried to stand, but Orchid started to cry again. “No, don’t go.”

“Relax in there,” the woman said. “Breathe deeply. You two are slender enough  that you can stay in the rack with your sister if you wish, Abigail. It won’t hurt anything.”

Abby sensed that the Kiposi’s cheerfulness was being forced now, but she wasn’t really irritated with them as much as it had been a long day. Abby guessed that since so  many siblings slept together that the Kiposi had gone through this many times before.

Abby crawled under the covers. Orchid calmed down immediately. The Kiposi’s relief  was obvious.  “Our ancestors will watch over us,” Abby brushed the hair off her sister’s ear.

“Rory too,” Orchid replied sleepily. “Remember the little book? It said there were  cats. I’d like to have a kitten.”

“I don’t see why not, but I’ll need to get a job first, okay?”

“Mmmhmm,” Orchid replied sleepily.

Another girl was placed in the now-spare bunk and given pills. Once she lay  down, the door closed. The air grew moist and the lights faded. The giggling above her  silenced.

Abby heard the girl crying. Orchid was asleep. She rolled towards the other girl.  “Homesick?” Abby whispered in the darkness.
A tired young voice whispered, “My mama told me that it would be a better life, but she was really sick. I shouldn’t have left her. She your daughter?”

“My little sister.” 

The girl mumbled something else, but it was coated with sleep. Abby rolled back over. Orchid was dead to the world when the room filled with a thick goopy liquid. She felt her sister drifting away from her in the black. Abby sat up. Bumping her head on the  bunk above her, she realized how long it took to put her hand to her brow. Even in the movement, Orchid did not stir. Suddenly, where there had been space a solid wall stood.  In seconds, the liquid seemed to expand. Still a liquid, but heavier. Like gelatin?

Am I wet? Abby did not have the vocabulary to make her observations into complete  thoughts. She wanted to scream but no sound came from her. She was too frightened to close her eyes.

“Please don’t be dead!” Abby tried to scream again. The black entered her mouth.  It was filling her lungs. She was going to suffocate. She felt the ship move. Should I feel acceleration in the gravity pod?  There was flashing before her eyes, but she was deep in the ship. She could not see stars even if she pinched her eyes shut. No amount of struggling would move the  black gelatin. Once more she tried to reach out to Orchid, but her sister was out of reach.
Calm down. This ship isn’t moving. The ship doesn’t leave for days. Days—I don’t know  how much time is passing. Is this a second or an hour? Let me out of this!!!

Abby knew she was panicking. She had to calm down. The Kiposi know what they are doing! Take a breath! She became aware that she was able to breathe through the gelatin. Her eyes grew heavier. The current nestled her. Abby fell into velvet blackness,  believing she heard music.

Written by Elizabeth Guizzetti
Published by 48Fourteen E-book 2012, Paperback 2013
June 14, 3062 C.E.

 Other Systems FAQ and Links

What inspired you to create Other Systems? Other Systems was inspired by the Kepler Missions along side many other factors. First of all, I tend to be interested in groups of people that encourage camaraderie and I like ships (both space and sea-faring) so I knew I wanted to write a book with a ship in it. Secondly, I find the idea of time dilation and how it effects families really fascinating. Finally, I wanted to write a book that my husband would really like and he’s a science fiction fan.

The concept really hit me when I was out walking the dogs. A young Earth woman goes to another planet and realizes she has become a slave. However, due to her intelligence, she will escape and become a ship’s captain while she rescues her siblings also somewhere lost on this planet. (Obviously this isn’t the final story.)

That very night, I saw an article about young, uneducated girls from India’s rural areas traveling into cities with the expectation that they are going to get factory jobs only to end up working as sex slaves. Suddenly, I knew the how Abby got caught up in all of this. Then the Alekos plot hit me. I knew the breeding laws were more expansive than just the bonded Earthlings. There would be more species than Homo sapiens and Homo kiposi. Those other species would be sterilized due to their genetic makeup.

How much research did you do?About three months, though most of it was during the early drafts of the novel as I was writing I would discover something I needed to know. I went to the Museum of Flight. I watched the Universe Series. I also listened as my husband and smart friends watched StarTrek, Prometheus, Aliens, and other Science Fiction hits. I wanted to know one thing: where did they groan because the science was lacking. My other emphasis was making the scientists act like scientists. It is a pet peeve of mine when I see people who are supposed to be intelligent acting stupid. So I tried very hard to make the crew of the Revelation and Discovery to act like scientists on a survey mission. Yes, that means they spend a lot of time collecting samples, just like our own astronauts.

 Do you identify with any of the characters? I identify with all the characters at one point or another during the writing of a novel. By the second draft, all the primary and secondary characters start speaking to me even if they are not a point of view character. Mark changed his whole sub-plot.

Why did you choose to tell the story with the two characters Abby and Cole?Abby was always the main character, but originally Cole’s parts were told by Harden and Helen. However when I looked over their chapters they all were repeats of Abby chapters just from their viewpoints or they were too introspective. Since they did not add forward momentum to the plot ultimately they had to go. I loved the Prologue from Harden’s perspective, but it was so angry and emotional that it was hard to understand what was happening. The other reason I used Cole as the narrator is he looks at all three of his kids, the fleet and Kipos whereas Harden is focused upon himself and Helen is focused on protecting her brothers, running the ship, and everything else she has to do. Mark was never considered because he starts the novel at age 6 and is too young to narrate the prologue.

Also while Abby grew up on Earth and ages 17 through 19 during the course of the novel, Cole is an adult. He was raised in the fleet and begins the novel at 36, already a father of three and ends the novel at 54. The difference in their perspectives is literally astronomical.

Would you like to go to another planet? Sure, but we are in the beginning steps of space travel and I am in my 30’s, so it’s likely I will be Earthbound for the rest of my life. If it were a one-way trip, I would never leave my husband. I will say I am excited to see space travel opportunities that we might discover if we began a colony on Luna or Mars. We know we can make it to the moon with today’s technology. Imagine what a vacation that would be.

Were you always a sci-fi fan? Yes, I am a sci-fi fan. Honestly I love all speculative fiction (fantasy, horror and science fiction.) I love books and movies that take me to another world.

(SLIGHT SPOILER IN THE NEXT QUESTION) I understand why Helen took Abby in, but why didn’t Harden fight more to get rid of her?
Now, this is a funny question, because I actually originally wrote this scene. However it was cut very early in the 2nd draft (of 7) since Harden and Helen were no longer point of view characters.
However the other more pressing story-telling problem is that the argument is repetitive of the next chapter when we see Cole and Harden discussing Abby’s employment. Also by this point in the book, the reader already knows Harden loves his family and while Helen is second in command, she runs the ship in regards to personnel. So the argument really didn’t add anything new to the story. That being said: check out the deleted scenes on http://other-systems.com if you want to read it!

Sales Links:


Print: http://www.amazon.com/Other-Systems-Elizabeth-Guizzetti/dp/1937546144

e-book: http://www.amazon.com/Other-Systems-ebook/dp/B007QQDU94

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/other-systems-elizabeth-guizzetti/1104526463?ean=2940014188180&isbn=2940014188180&itm=1&usri=other+systems

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Other-Systems/book-lAMz6j8ucEKWQZGgUMpZeQ/page1.html?s=b-OqFgbxpk-4FTmjKzwYAw&r=5

FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/OtherSystems

Website with deleted scenes and other extras! http://other-systems.com

Trailer Links

Other Systems: Voices from the Stars Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAHQJBjRvgE

Other Systems: The Stargazer Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiIJBPJ1DV8

Select Interviews and Reviews

Tam’s Two Cents Review

Three Nerds & a Book Club Book Recommendation March 24, 2013

The Big Nerd Review April 2, 2013

The Middle Nerd Review March 24, 2103

The Small Nerd Review March 21, 2103

Dan Thompson (Author of Caseworker’s Memoirs) Interview and Review October 30, 2012

Verdict Book Reviews 
Review: Tuesday September 11, 2012

Books are my way of Living Interview with Ruth : Monday August 20, 2012 Review: Wednesday August 15, 2012

Interview with The Red Reader:Thursday July 12, 2012
 Review by the Red Reader: Monday July 23, 2012



Bounty Hunter by S.J. Hollis

Bounty Hunter

Blurb: What do you do when your magic makes you a target? Run. Fight. Die.

14-year-old Kai Koson had nothing to do with the apocalypse, thank you very much. He was just a baby the day a coven of blood witches ripped a hole in the universe and the demons fell screaming from the sky. Earth and its magic perished. Witchkind was hunted and annihilated.

Now, because he was born a witch, Kai must spend his life running and fighting for survival. Even his own uncle seems determined to abandon him.

With nothing left to lose, Kai runs away and joins a team of galactic bounty hunters. But instead of providing an escape, it sets Kai on a path that will destroy everything he believes about himself and the apocalypse, transforming him into the most wanted teenager in the galaxy.

Written with humour, imagination and darkness, Bounty Hunter and its protagonist Kai Koson stand confidently beside Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, Alex Rider, Young Bond, Mortal Engines and Harry Potter.

S.J. Hollis’ BOUNTY HUNTER is an excellent read for young or adult readers who enjoy sci-fi and fantasy. It is essentially a coming-of-age apocalyptic/dystopian, following the story of a fourteen year old boy, Kai, and how he struggles being a hunter when he is the hunted…. by the whole galaxy!

Kai is an unfortunate boy as the reader realises that he understands very little about the truth of his very early life. Being brought up by his uncle, Galway, he is used to running from town to town every time it appears that he is being chased away for being different, for being a ‘witch’. Kai is gradually discovering his magic and coming to terms with who he is, trying to identify himself and his abilities. Galway is constantly looking out for him and protecting him to the best of his abilities, but once Kai begins to feel settled he longs for stability and to stop running and face his ‘demons’ if he has to. However, Galway is not supportive of this decision.

However, the reader feels sympathy for Kai and longs for him to be free – free from running, free to live as and where he chooses. Why should he have to keep running his whole life? At the same time, we also realise the danger that he is in, and as the story continues we find out that it is not just his magical quality that he is being sought for but actually who he is. The significance of Kai’s life plays a major storyline in this book, making for an intense read, especially when Kai seems a little lost until he meets the Bounty Hunters – Sam, Yamiko and Cassius.

The imagination of S.J. Hollis is amazing as the reader is then taken on an adventure travelling to different planets with different beings. In fact, at one point it reminded me of Star Trek, with the spaceships, planets, aliens and the politics between each kind. The next moment I was taken on a nostalgic ride back to when I read Enid Blyton’s ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ as a kid, where each day there would be a different land above the tree and within the different lands there would be different kinds of folk, some witch-like characters selling magic potions, etc. Just like the characters in ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ never knew which land was to be atop the tree each day, in Bounty Hunter Kai and the reader is never quite sure what to expect from each planet and the beings that live there.

Another great aspect of S.J. Hollis’ work is her quirkiness and the use of sarcasm within the dialogue. This certainly breaks up the intensity of the whole story and enlightens the mood. These moments occur mostly between Cassius and Kai. Cassius isn’t too keen on Kai being around and displays his feelings very clearly with his dialogue. The relationship between these two characters is interesting and entertaining to follow.

There were moments when I found some of the descriptive paragraphs a little too ‘heavy’, for example, describing the layout of the spaceship, docking bays, etc. However, due to the nature of story, especially being a sci-fi/fantasy, I realise that most is needed to assist the reader in building up the setting, planets and helping the reader to visualise the various characters, i.e. witches, demons, aliens, etc.

The front cover illustrated by Lawrence Mann is very eye catching, original and draws the potential reader in. I love the colours, the darkness and contrast between the red and the blue. It also shows a little of the magic that is in Kai’s hands, which is ironic as the reader has a sense of his magic before he is aware of it.

The whole layout of Bounty Hunter is carefully planned. Each chapter is named appropriate to its content and are quite a nice length to read, making it easy for the reader to read in small doses if they don’t have the chance to read in one or two sittings. Having the chapters named also helps the reader to find areas of the story they may wish to recap on.

If you’re looking for a timeless story within the sci-fi/fantasy genre, suitable for the younger or adult reader, with fantastic imagination, magic, adventure and wondrous characters then look no further. And what’s more, S.J. Hollis is working on a sequel to be released later this year!

E-book and paperback copies can be found at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker


~ *COVER REVEAL & EXCERPT* ~ SEAL My Destiny, by Sharon Hamilton



TITLE – SEAL My Destiny

SERIES – SEAL Brotherhood #6

AUTHOR – Sharon Hamilton

GENRE – Romantic Suspense

PUBLICATION DATE – June, 1, 2014

LENTH (Pages/# Words) – Full Length Novel

PUBLISHER – Al Publishing



Navy SEAL Luke Paulsen, on the verge of PTSD stemming from the death of his fiancée and a brutal tour overseas, knows he is damaged goods and unsuitable for relationships. While paying respects to a fallen comrade, he is unprepared for the chemical attraction he feels for the carefree dark-haired beauty playing in the surf one evening.

Julie Christensen befriends the troubled SEAL, motivated by her yearning to soothe the young man’s troubled soul. Fueled by intense mutual desire, they succumb to one night of mind-numbing passion. Afterwards, he is unable to shed the memory of his lost love and disappears.

When they meet again at a wedding that will forever bring their two families together, their passion and longing for one another forces them to confront their pasts in order to find a future together.
But soon the trauma of his service separates them. Julie goes back to teaching and Luke deploys for North Africa with SEAL Team 3. Upon his return, he receives a frantic call that Julie’s life is in danger. Will he make it in time to save the woman he now knows he wants to marry and spend the rest of his life with?


Pre-orders available now






He wanted to say something but suddenly became hesitant. Everything had gone so fast, he didn’t want to spook her. He was unafraid to show her how much he loved being with her, especially since she’d promised to visit him in Coronado and they’d see where things went from there. It would have been like the cart before the horse, but he wanted to ask her to marry him at that impulsive moment, but he held himself back. Being the wife of a SEAL was a special assignment and there was no training for that, except the school of hard knocks. There was a community of wives that looked out for each other. And not all the stories from overseas made it home to them. The smart wives knew this. He knew it was a lot to ask of someone. He didn’t want to fall for a lady who didn’t really understand what she’d be getting herself into. But that was a completely crazy thought, because he’d already fallen for her. He decided he’d just put it out of his mind, and not discuss anything future-related, to keep the pressure off them both. Nothing wrong with having a little bit of—well, a lot of—fun in the next few days before his deployment. He held her under the starlight. Feeling eyes on him, he saw Julie’s parents eyeing him from their kitchen window, smiling. He couldn’t keep up the eye contact because odds weren’t in his favor. He wasn’t prince charming, or Sir Galahad riding in on his white horse. He was just a guy other guys sent in to blow stuff up, grab people and hopefully get out before getting shot or caught. And his intentions, although he liked to think of them as honorable, were merely to do everything in his power to be as irresistible as possible to her so that when he left, he’d be the one hard to miss. And then maybe she’d wait for him. Maybe she’d wait until he got fully well. It was a lot of ifs. The music stopped while he was kissing her ear through her hair, while he was holding her tighter as she melted into him. He liked that they were dancing because their thighs made soft caresses and the dress, that yummy dress, made all that noise. He just knew every time he heard the sound of layers of chiffon, he’d get hard. It was going to be something he’d have for the rest of his life.














SEAL My Destiny - Author Photo

Sharon’s award-winning almost-erotic Navy SEAL stories of the SEAL Brotherhood, have consistently made best sellers lists and review sites. Her characters follow a spicy road to redemption through passion and true love. She has been an Amazon top 100 author in Romantic Suspense since last fall.

Her Golden Vampires of Tuscany are not like any vamps you’ve read before, since they don’t have to go to ground and can walk around in the full light of the sun. Honeymoon Bite, Book 1 of the Golden Vampires of Tuscany Series was recently named the #1 Gothic Romance by Amazon. It is now available on Audible.

Her Guardian Angels struggle with the human charges they are sent to save, often escaping their vanilla world of Heaven for the brief human one. You won’t find any of these beings in any Sunday school class.

Sharon lives in Sonoma County, California with her husband, and two Dobermans. A lifelong organic gardener, when she’s not writing, she’s getting vera vera dirty in the mud, or wandering Farmer’s Markets looking for new Heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers.


Amazon Author Page / Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Google+ / Goodreads / Shelfari

Tour Organized By:


*SPOTLIGHT* on Renea Mason’s ~Symphony of Light Series~

Paranormal Erotic Romance Series

Includes a MUST READ Excerpt from the New Release Between the Waters!

18+ Read

Renea Mason seres banner

If you love Paranormal Romance that is shall we say a little on the HOT side then Renea Mason’s Symphony of Light Series checks all the right boxes! Described as Fifty Shades meets The Black Dagger Brotherhood and Twilight. While others say it reminds them of the Night Huntress or Dark Hunter series’. But most agree it’s unlike any paranormal or erotic romance they’ve ever read……..

So far the series comprises three unique and sizzling reads: Symphony of Light and Winter, #1; Impostors’ Kiss # 0.5 and  Between the Waters #2, published on 15th May. Scroll down for the blurb on each of these books, find out about the author and read a SCORCHING  excerpt from Between the Waters. Please note that this excerpt is only suitable for mature readers aged 18+. 

Symphony of Light and Winter: Symphony of Light #1

He’s back from the dead. She has a lot of explaining to do. Can they quench the passion long enough to survive the truth?


One woman. Seven men. All bound by one man’s undying devotion.

Fundraiser Linden Hill has a knack for reading people. She always knows which conversations will put a prospect at ease, which drink will loosen a patron’s lips—or his wallet, and how cleavage will make a donor sweeten the deal. She’s even foreseen her dateless weekends four hundred and sixty-four times in a row.

But ten years after watching life drain from her former mentor’s and first love’s eyes, her skills for divining the predictable are lost. When Cyril returns, he’s still gorgeous, but this time he’s beyond human, far less dead, and pissed. His lack of memory drives him to desperate acts, and his turbulent re-acquaintance with Linden pulls her into his war with a creature hell-bent on his destruction. His group of six supernatural men share a tantalizing secret, but despite the hunger, it’s love that leads her to sacrifice everything to save him…

Published by Etopia Press

Length: Novel Word Count: 88,375 Page Count: 389 Price: 5.99 ISBN: 978-1-940223-10-0 Heat Level: 4 Release Date: 06/21/2013

Best Paranormal Badge

Best New series






3rd Place – Best Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice

2nd Place – Best New Paranormal Series, Paranormal Cravings Battle of the Books


“Renea Mason’s book has everything you could want—a unique world, a panty dropping alpha male, a gripping plot and seamless writing that would never let on this was her first novel.” lbookbliss.com

“If you love Alexandra Ivy, Lara Adrian, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lynsay Sands, Laura Wright, and all those other amazing paranormal authors that I absolutely love with all my heart…then you will LOVE Renea Mason and her brand new “Symphony of Light” Series.” BookReadsandReviews.com

Buy the book

Amazon.com (available at most international Amazon sites – Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada, UK etc.)  BarnesandNoble.com

AllRomanceeBooks.com   Kobo.com   Bookstrand.com

*Print edition available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Imposters’ Kiss: Symphony of Light Book 0.5

One night of sexual pleasure could teach a lesson in love.


Cyril is weary from weeks of traveling the Scottish moors, but his luck takes a turn when he rescues a battered and broken child. To express his gratitude, the boy’s father offers Cyril a night of carnal indulgence with his eldest daughter. Cyril graciously accepts, looking forward to a night of sexual release to ease the loneliness of his travels.

But what the supernatural sex god and deliverer of souls doesn’t expect is to be taught a lesson in love from the young and beautiful Celestine.

In a night of passion, two lost spirits find solace in an impostor’s kiss: one longing for a love that doesn’t yet exist, the other drowning in pain and guilt over love lost. Neither is what they seem…but what they learn will change them forever…

Etopia Press

Length: Short Word Count: 7601 Page Count: 42 Price: 0.99 ISBN: 978-1-940223-62-9 Release Date: 11-15-2013


“I loved this short story.  It gave us a glimpse into who Cyril is as a man.  His compassion, his sex appeal and his prowess.” BookReadsandReviews,com 

Buy the book

Amazon.com (available at other international Amazon sites – Canada, UK etc.)    BarnesandNoble.com

Kobo  Bookstrand  All Romance eBooks

Between the Waters: Symphony of Light #2

Magic is no match for love…


Trapped somewhere between life and death, demigod Cyril has lost the ability to communicate with his love. But not before giving her valuable lessons in magic, as well as his blessing to move on without him.

Coming to terms with Cyril’s absence isn’t easy, but Linden is doing her best to honor his wishes. Until she receives an unusual request from Moreaux, an estranged member of Cyril’s family. Bizarre things are going on with Mary, the former housekeeper, and Linden can’t let them go. But when her investigation leads to a mistake that nearly costs her life, Cyril’s best friend, Overton, steps in and violates a promise he made centuries before to bring her back from the dead.

Gratitude turns to comfort, comfort turns to desire, and desire leads Linden to a shocking revelation. In her charge to uncover the truth behind Mary and Moreaux, she discovers a spell she can’t undo without leaving wounds on her heart, wounds she knows will never heal…

Etopia Press

Novel Word Count: 63434 Page Count: 42 ISBN: 978-1-94169-20-66 Release Date: 05-15-14

Buy the book

Amazon.com (available at other international Amazon sites – Canada, UK etc.)   BarnesandNoble.com   All Romance eBooks

18+ Excerpt from Between the Waters – in reading further you guarantee that you are age 18 years or over.

Chapter One


“Linden…take your clothes off.” Cyril’s voice, low and commanding, laced tendrils of seduction through my mind. Even without his six feet five inches of supernatural perfection looming, he had control.

“Absolutely not. You’re not talking me into that again.” A world away, he still commanded my body. My stomach filled with warmth, and hairs raised on my arms with the cadence and tone in my mind. Damn it.

“How was I to know the man would be walking his dog so late? If your inferior senses had detected his presence, you could have hidden instead of running naked through the streets.” He snickered. “Look at it this way…you were lighter without clothes, and Michael’s power infusion gave you the ability to outrun the beast. Important knowledge, even if your hearing sucks.”

Ever since the accident, which left Cyril in another plane of existence, tormenting me remained his main form of entertainment. He took great pleasure in my uncertainty. Being separated from his body left him with metaphorical idle hands, and my brain the only thing within reach. He blamed his actions on not knowing which abilities I inherited when I destroyed Michael—my short-lived husband and all-around supernatural nuisance. The moment I plunged the knife into Michael’s back, something in me changed. Beyond the branching pattern of raised skin covering my back, the experience also altered my soul, but how was unclear. With Cyril as my guide, I never knew if I’d end up the victor or the prey.

“My hearing is fine. Besides, I couldn’t hear around all the bullshit you were spewing in my head.” I crossed my arms, still not quite comfortable speaking to him out loud. A delay occurred between my thoughts and his access to them. His interpretation of them was accurate about sixty percent of the time. Verbal communication allowed for instant understanding, when it worked.

“You’re not questioning me, are you? Do you want to learn or not?” The huskiness surrounding his words accented power and his centuries of experience. Since he was at my mercy until he once again inhabited his body, desperation for control led him to push boundaries.

As much as I hated to admit it, I needed him too, but letting him know was not an option. He was cocky enough. Another ounce of ego would make him unbearable.

“Mr. Aristin, do not think for one moment you are going to manipulate me. There needs to be trust.”

“I couldn’t agree more. Had you trusted me, we wouldn’t be in this mess.” He sighed and in a soft tone wrapped with demand said, “Now take your clothes off.”

“Can’t I just stick to releasing souls? That was easy, and I could leave my pants on.”

“No. You have much to learn.”

Cyril had let me know that he was not sure why, but the mixture of his blood in my veins and my proximity to Michael’s destruction gave me the ability to release souls. He had said that mankind should be damn thankful I was there to take his place as the gateway to the afterlife. Freeing their souls for the journey to heaven or hell saved them from an eternity in purgatory. But apparently that was only part of it.

“As long as you don’t start calling me Grim.” Maybe it wasn’t fair to forbid the nickname I bestowed upon him for his role as the soul deliverer, but I was beyond worrying about his sensitivities.

“I have far better names for you. Would you like to hear how you inspired them?”

“No. Let’s get this over with. It’s freezing.”

“Magic is more than an ability. It’s a skill. Surely our previous lessons have taught you that. Channeling the energy takes practice.”

“But you say it’s equal parts will and magic. Some situations require an influence and focus—spell component and chant. Like how you told me you created your family with the souls of three men, your blood, magic, and focused will. What does any of that have to do with getting naked?”

He growled. “Stop talking and do it. Trust me.” His use of trust as a trump card to win arguments was getting old.

I inhaled the crisp night air as the moon shone bright in the night sky, outlining everything in a strange, opaque aura. Its shadows appeared astral. It was almost midnight, and the night was cold. I looked behind me to make sure I was alone. Cyril’s lessons had brought us back to the cemetery where we originally met. The energy resulting from the intersection of two powerful ley lines would make it easier for me to learn. I moved my hands to the zipper on my coat.

“They are magical; the moon shadows, I mean.”

It sucked having him in my mind. A few seconds after a thought crossed he had full access to it as a memory. I was never alone except when he grew too weary to maintain the connection or when it dropped like bad cell phone reception. His presence was always a surprise. During rare merciful times, he’d let an embarrassing stray notion vanish without comment, but that was a rarity most days. The constant focus on controlling my thoughts wore on me. It was impossible to stop them from forming without thinking of why they shouldn’t be formed in the first place. Either way, I was screwed.

He must have sensed my turmoil because he changed tactics. “If you’d be so kind as to oblige my request…” But his attempt at manners was undermined by the growl reverberating between my ears. I couldn’t even roll my eyes in peace.

“Request, my ass. Besides, it’s cold.” No matter how much I wanted to resist, the guilt that gripped me for trapping him outside his body softened my response to his bullshit every time.

“You won’t be for long. Now get on with it; we haven’t got all night. I’m growing tired.”

Another quick look around revealed row after row of headstones. The crisp nip of winter air and the moon-bathed landscape awaited me. I shrugged off my coat, removed my shoes and socks, shimmied the jeans over my hips, and pulled the sweater over my head. Standing next to a pile of clothes in only panties and bra, I wrapped my arms across my chest. With the temperature near the low thirties, I shivered and looked up to the sky. Closing my eyes, I grumbled, “Now what?”

He laughed. “Oh, my dearest Linden, open your eyes and look down.”

Busted. I looked, but focused several feet away, avoiding my body. I focused on the grass trimmed in tiny white crystals of frost. So fucking cold.

“You naughty girl. When I told you to take your clothes off, I meant all of them. Do it. Then let me see.”

I huffed and reached around to unfasten my bra. The task proved difficult as my hands shook from the temperature, anger, and anxiety. Working the panties down my legs, I complained, “I’m going to die from hypothermia.”

Standing on a hill overlooking the Laurel Mountain range, in a cemetery, at midnight, talking to nothing but the night air while taking orders from a voice in my head was all the evidence I needed. I had finally gone insane.

“Show me.” The menace gone, seduction in its place.

I sighed and complied. My nipples were so puckered and hard they could have chiseled ice. My skin reddened from windburn.

A sound in my head like air being sucked through teeth echoed between my ears. “You are so beautiful. When I’m back, I’m going to dedicate a week to savoring each part of your body. I’m going to wrap my lips around each of those rosy buds. Without touching any other part of your body, I’ll make you writhe, pant, and moan for me.”

Damn him. The breeze blew, but I was immune. The heat that grew from within, negating its effects. “Cyril, please…” I intended a warning, but he interpreted my words as a plea.

“I feel your need. If I was there, I’d bend you over the bench, watch your red hair drape over your back, and fuck you until you screamed my name. When the echoes of your passion stopped filling my ears, I’d sit you atop me and bury myself inside you and lathe the milky white skin of your breasts with my tongue. When those beautiful green eyes told me you surrendered, I’d bite and consume you as you consumed me.”

“Stop. Cyril, please. I am on edge. I’m ready to ignite. You can feel it. Please don’t make it worse.” He held a switch to my body’s thermostat. The only thing chilled was the place between my legs where moisture pooled. What other woman could say that she bedded a god made for sex? The goddess who created him, to see to her every physical need, perfected every detail. The man was a Titan in bed, and damn my luck, the universe gave me a taste before taking him, just so I’d know what I was missing. Fucking fates.

“When you bring me back to you, where I belong, I’ll make it up to you. You have my word. Are you still cold?”

“No.” In fact, I was surprised I didn’t combust.

“See, you should trust me more often.”

I scoffed.

“Now your lesson…Light, close your eyes.”

Lowering my lids, I did as he asked.

“Can you feel the pulse?”

I focused, blocking out the whistle caused by the breeze blowing across my ears. The cold numbed my skin once my Cyril-induced inferno extinguished. It shook the hairs on my arms, tickling.

“Walk to it.”

I did. As I got closer, it thundered in my brain. Cyril’s identity, my anxiety, and the strange sensation caused something akin to a headache to take hold. “It’s making my head hurt.”

“That’s expected. The pulse has increased. Now, find the place where it’s so fast, it’s sustained. The pain will subside when you are in the precise spot. You’ll learn how to pace out the pinnacle, and you won’t need to focus on the feeling.”

“Is that what you were doing the first time I saw you here? You were counting.”

“Yes. The lines shift with the season, and winter is two paces to the left of summer. It’s easier to count since I’ve been here before. Better than getting naked and risk you attacking.”

“I never would have attacked you!”

“You may have been young, but the hunger in your eyes for me, even then, was unmistakable.”

“You are impossible. Hurry, I’m getting cold.”

“Do you need me to heat you up again? Should I tell you about how, if I was there, I’d drop to my knees, spread your legs and run my tongue up the inside of your thigh, savoring the essence. I’d lick—”

“Stop it. You can’t keep talking about sex.”

“Yes, I can. I’m made for sex. I am inseparable from sex.”

“But you’re not here, and it’s torture.”

“Seems a fitting price for not trusting me with our future.”

“I was only trying to help.”

“By giving yourself to a psychopath in a ridiculous effort to save me? I’m the closest thing to a god that exists here, and you thought to save me? My only vulnerability is you. You will be my destruction. Now that I have you, I won’t be without you. It’s your stubbornness that risks us both.”

“Well, sorry I told you I loved you. I should have left with Michael and kept you in the dark, wondering.”

“I would have found you. Besides, it was your careless disregard of magic that lead to my imprisonment.”

“Imprisonment? Really? Could you be more dramatic? I was trying to protect you.”

A sound that reminded me of a snort resonated. “Yes, and a ridiculous notion it was. Keep moving toward the source.”

“Whatever.” I cracked my lids the slightest bit to look for obstacles in my path. The pulsing stabilized at the center of the large circle of gravestones. The Nester family, I remembered. “Now what am I supposed to do? The frequency is sustained, and the headache is gone.”

“Still cold?”

“Fuck you.” He knew I wasn’t. Another one of his games was to ask questions he already knew the answer to just to prove his point.

“That’s my girl.” He laughed. “Clear your mind.”

“Easier said than done with the current infestation.” Removing all thoughts of Cyril and his tongue proved difficult. I focused on the grass, taking in the uneven blades.

“Now visualize. Look through the surface of the Earth and picture the energy. Picture pulling it through your body. As I said before, magic is little more than focused will, woven with the forces that sustain this world.”

It took a while to clear my head, and thankfully, he remained silent. Allowing numbness to fill my limbs and seep into my mind, I penetrated layers of earth, reaching the electric white lights branching under the surface. Each juncture enhanced the brightness. I focused on the nearest point and pictured drawing it toward me.

Soon a surge started in my feet, pins and needles followed, as the energy crept through my nervous system. I closed my eyes. The current continued until I was enveloped in the light, feeling invincible, but only for a moment. The energy started to recede.

“Linden, don’t let go. Use the chant. Remember how I told you to use the words to focus. Say them slowly. Nium parnum omsti narum.”

Mentally I grasped at the light as my lips formed the words. Even though not magical, each syllable helped channel the essence. I regained control and was once again overcome.

His next command caught me off guard. “Do not speak. Think of Clarence.”

Clarence? Why? I thought it odd but didn’t comment. Clarence, my friend and colleague, was the furthest thing from my mind. We spoke the night before. He was still vacillating between being pissed at me for bringing him into all this supernatural bullshit and appreciating me for adding excitement to his life.

Another set of instructions. “Think of how he looks. What he sounds like.”

Clarence. His smooth, coffee-colored complexion, baldhead, swimmer’s build, and slight Southern drawl.

My skin rippled like water and blended with the tingling caused by the energy. A straining from within—stretching muscle, shifting bone—caught me by surprise. It was not wholly painful, as the pulse served as an excellent analgesic.

“Keep thinking of him, concentrate.”

Entranced by the light and Cyril’s words, Clarence’s mannerisms came to mind. The way he fiddled with his collar, the strange way he cleared his throat when we passed a sexy man and how he held my elbow each time we crossed the street. I was all- things Clarence. I held the image, unmoving.

“That’s it. Feel him, know him, become him.”

Another focused thought on Clarence’s wide, mischievous smile and the corners of my lips lifted, mirroring my thoughts of his actions.

“That’s it, become Clarence.”

Deep breaths helped my concentration. I embodied his six plus feet of height. His toes, his large hands, his… “What the hell?” My eyes flew open.

Cyril screamed in my mind, “No, gain focus. Gain focus! Use the chant!”

Oh, dear God. I was a six-foot-tall…African- American…man. Holy shit. I was Clarence. What. The. Fuck!

“Linden, you have to calm down. Don’t let the magic snap back. If you do, it will be much worse. It’s going to be bad enough already.”

I turned my hands over and over again, taking in their size, color, and masculinity. Another glance revealed I no longer had breasts and a little lower… I was going to need more therapy.

The hands I scrutinized shook, and the sight disoriented. Rippling started in my skin, and the light began to recede.

“Damn it. Too late. Linden, I’m so sorry.”

was he sorry? For turning me into Clarence? But my knees buckled, and I fell to the ground. The energy sucked the last bit of warmth with it as it receded into the earth. My bones gave and muscles cramped in places I didn’t know I had. The pain crippled as I lay writhing on the ground.

“So sorry. Breathe through the pain.”

“Ahhhh…” The scream escaped from between my teeth. My eyes closed from contractions that raked my body. Some kind of grunting pushed through my throat. I was going to die.

“You’ll be OK. I wish I could help you.”

“Fuck you! What did you do?” Another violent spasm and sweat broke out across my skin. So cold.

“It should end soon. Just a little longer.”

Another groan I couldn’t control. I gritted my teeth from pain and the chill. More perspiration. I wanted to cry, but it would’ve hurt too much.

The jerking muscles quieted, and with that came the ability to move my limbs. I forced my eyes to open. Thank God! I had never been so happy to see my breasts.

“Light, I didn’t do anything. It’s all you.” Because Light was his pet name for me, I both loved and loathed him in that moment.

I formed my mouth into an O, and I steadied my breathing. Something wet slid down my forehead. What on earth? I opened my eyes to find my entire body covered in a thick, clear, mucous substance. It wasn’t sweat after all. I collected some and flung it from my fingertips. “What the fuck is this?”

“That, my dear, is shifting residue. It’s the by- product your cells produce when you take the form of another. You used to be quite found of it. It’s what your dearly departed Michael used to craft those little animal figurines he gifted you. Isn’t it romantic?”

“I would so punch you if I could.” I wiped the sticky disgusting liquid from my cheek.

“Do you have any idea what this means?” Elation sounded in his voice. My body felt like I fell from a thirty-story building, and he sounded like it was his fucking birthday.

“It means I’m bare-ass naked, lying on the ground after midnight, in a cemetery covered in goo.

Oh…and a minute ago I hallucinated that I had a penis.”

“That was no hallucination, Light. Isn’t this wonderful?” He was excited. Cyril didn’t get excited. Even when we first met and he discovered my immunity to his curse, he never let his enthusiasm show.

Another sweep of goo from my arm, I breathed heavy, rising on all fours. The slime dripped from my body, leaving tiny pools. “You’ll excuse me if I don’t see the wonder in all of this.”

“Linden, you mimicked Clarence. You changed shapes. You became him. I can’t even do that. I always envied Michael. Think of the possibilities.”

“Became Clarence? I feel like I gave birth to him.” The substance coating my skin started to harden. My clothes lay in a pile about ten feet away, but it felt more like ten miles.

“The process is a bit messier than I expected, but do you know what else this means?”

Right hand, left knee, then left hand, right knee. Each movement required thought, conviction. I needed to get to my sweater before the stuff hardened. “I.” Breath. “Don’t.” Huff. “Know.” Grunt. “What. Does. It.” Hyperventilate. “Fucking.” Growl. “Mean?” I fisted the sweater and rubbed at the small crystals forming on my skin.

“It means you are much stronger than I thought. Of course, you’ll need practice.”

I shrugged on my coat. Screw the underwear. Wiping down my legs, the residue splintered and flaked to the ground like small snowflakes. “Great. I can be Clarence. You know, one Clarence is more than enough.”

“You can do something I cannot. I wonder what else you can do.”

“Hell. No. We are done with your experiments.” I leaned back, wiggled my bottom into my jeans and eyed my car. Another ten feet. Fuck!

“You are strong enough to bring me back after all.”

On my hands and knees, I came to a halt. Why I looked up when he pissed me off was beyond me. It wasn’t as if he could hear me any better. “What? There was a possibility I wouldn’t be able to do it? When were you planning to tell me you might be stuck forever?” Five more feet. Never gonna make it.

“Everything is equally possible and impossible, Light. I hadn’t planned to tell you.”

“Oh, save your philosophical bullshit. I’m not in the mood.” My hand slapped hard against the door of my black Pontiac Solstice, and I pulled myself up, leaning against the car, still trying to catch my breath.

“I didn’t think it was possible, but I love you even more.”

“Funny, I didn’t think…that I’d want to strangle you any more than the night I ran naked through the street while being chased by that beast of a dog. But again, you’ve outdone yourself, my love.”

“Light, necessity is the mother of invention.”

I groaned at the pain and his words and opened the car door, falling into the seat. I grabbed each leg and pulled them inside one at a time. The smell of the leather soothed, familiar. I took a deep breath. “Nice quote. Who said it?”

“I did.”

I slumped against the steering wheel, trying to muster the strength to drive. “No, I mean originally.”

“That’s what I meant. Many attribute it to an old English proverb, but it was in a speech I gave in Greece, around 400 BC.”

Immortals. Bah! “Is there anything you haven’t done? I mean you’re essentially a vampire with your fangs, you’re immortal, you can summon wings, use magic like a wizard, and escort the dead. How does anyone compete with that?”

“They don’t.”

My groan of frustration surprised even me. I turned the key. The engine roared to life. “Why Clarence?” I cranked up the heat and rubbed my hands together, trying to generate warmth from friction. Finally, I slumped back in the seat and rested my hand on the gearshift.

“Why not?”

I had no energy for his games. Enigmatic pain the ass.

“I heard that.”

“Good. Now shut up and let me drive.” My teeth chattered.

“Would you like me to warm you up? I could—”

“God help you…” I grabbed the rearview mirror and stared into it. Glaring at myself, knowing he’d see my reflection, I focused my anger. Goo had crystallized in my hair, and faint bruises formed under my skin. “If you say one more word, I will pull over and hack my own head off just to stop your incessant bullshit. Then who will you annoy? Huh?”

I reached up and moved a strand of hair, and they all moved. My hair was so hard an eighties girl would’ve been envious. “And Cyril, if I have to shave my head because of this, I’m not bringing you back. Do you hear me? Never. Coming. Back.”

He laughed. “Did I ever tell you that your feistiness makes me hard? If I were there I’d—”

“Don’t push me.”


 About the Author

Renea MasonRenea Mason writes steamy romances to help even out the estrogen to testosterone imbalance caused by living in a house full of men.

When she isn’t putting pen to paper crafting sensual stories filled with supernatural lovers, she spends time with her beyond-supportive husband, two wonderful sons and three loving but needy cats.

Her debut novel, Symphony of Light and Winter, finished second for Best New Paranormal Series of 2013 in Paranormal Cravings’ Battle of the Books and received a third place award for Best New Paranormal Romance of 2013 in The Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewers Choice Awards.

Renea is a member of Romance Writers of AmericaThe Paranormal Romance Guild and The Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal subchapter of the Romance Writers of America.

She is also a founding member of Coffee Talk Writers and the Coffee Talk website–a site designed to support established writers and foster new talent.

Follow Renea Mason










Coming Soon in 2014 – Curing Doctor Vincent – An Erotic Novella Trilogy