Friday, April 20, 2018

#Friday'sFeaturedBook #BloodOath #Paranormal #Vampires

Book Two in The Seeker Chronicles. Blood Oath is a sequel to Blood Scent. We discover more about the Rogue, Seeker world in Australia. This is the story of Cassie and Matt, based in Tasmania. Matt kills a rogue vampire who wanted Cassie. This sets up a course of events where the rogue’s twin has sworn in a blood oath to avenge his brother’s death. Throw in a bunch of vampire hunters as well and you have trouble. Things become even more complicated when Cassie’s sister is kidnapped as bait. The only option may be that Cassie will have to give up her own life to save them all.



EXCERPT: Blood Oath

The dark haired vampire came at her attacker and had him in the same position he had been himself a moment ago. "You'll not do that to any female under my protection, Rogue."
What the heck did he mean by that? She didn't know these guys, let alone know she was under someone's protection.
The blonde vampire sneered, "Kill me if you dare, but your problems will only just start at that moment. Look at my hand. I've a scar that won't heal. It's from a blood oath. My twin has drunk from me. He'll come and kill you and make her death slow and painful. He doesn't want a mate, he just likes to kill. She'd be better off with me, so why don't you go and leave us alone?"
Cassie wasn't going to stay around and listen to any more talk of people or vampires killing her, or trading her for the less nasty one. She grabbed her bag and tried to stand, but her leg gave out as the pain shot up into her hip, causing her to almost black out. Using the wall to support her, she hobbled pass the vampires as the one underneath brought up his talon into the chest of the dark haired one. She kept shaking her head as if that action would make this whole experience disappear. It didn't work.
The dark haired one on top brought his hand down so quickly she didn't see his arm move, but he had sliced across the other one's throat. There was a tiny trickle of blood along the incision and then a drip flowed from the corner of the blonde vampire's mouth. His eyes opened wide in realization, he was dead if vampires could die. Then his head rolled to the side, perfectly separated from the body as if a guillotine had done the work. At that point, the only thing holding her upright was the wall behind her. Cassie didn't want to see any of this anymore. She shuffled along till she got through the front door and out of the shack.
Cassie made it as far as the bottom of the porch steps before she turned and threw up on the nearest bush. The smell of the regurgitated wine and the sight she had just seen were too much, even for a hardened theatre nurse. They might be vampires, but this was someone being killed before her eyes. She grabbed the railing on the steps to steady herself. Her head cleared as she breathed in the cold night air. Then the pain in her leg hit again as if it was on fire. She stumbled to her car. Her hands shook as she tried to put the keys in the door. She stopped before she opened the car and leaned forward, resting her forehead against the car roof. The dark haired vampire had saved her life, and the other one said there was another bad guy coming after her. If that was true, the only person who had a chance of stopping him was lying on the floor bleeding to death in Nan's shack. He wasn't a person, she told herself; he was a fucking vampire. This was insane, but she knew she was going back.
Each step sent fresh pain shooting up her leg as she hobbled back into the shack. Her hand went to her mouth to stop any more vomit as she saw the decapitated vampire with his grimacing face and fangs. The dark haired one had dragged himself over and was leaning against the wall. She limped to the kitchen and grabbed a t towel. She hesitated for an moment then made her way across and pressed it against his chest. The front of his shirt was soaked in blood, and his neck had a gash from his ear to his collarbone. She was used to blood working in the operating room, but what the hell could she do here? She grabbed her scarf from her bag and held it against his neck, but the blood soaked through and covered her hands. There was no phone coverage out here and by the time she would have gotten to the nearest town, he would be dead. It seemed a strange thing for a vampire to die of blood loss, but she was watching it happen as he became paler in front of her. She reached for his wrist and felt his pulse. He had a beating heart, so he definitely wasn't the undead. He opened his eyes and took her hand in his. His touch was so cold and his fingers almost blue. She should be pulling away, but something stopped her. He gazed at her with beautiful green eyes and smiled. A smile that showed no trace of the fangs she had seen earlier.
"You should leave. He's gone now. Go and get help for yourself," he pleaded with her. His voice raspy as if every word was a struggle.
She looked to the door and then back at the injured man before her. As she pressed against his wounds and his blood continued to soak through, she knew what she needed to do.
"Are you dying?" She didn't know if this guy was the same as any other human. He nodded in reply.
Every part of her knew this was ridiculous, but as far as she was concerned, it was her only course of action. He had saved her and she had the ability to do the same for him. Rolling up her sleeve, she took a deep breath and swallowed as she showed him her forearm.
"Why are you doing this?" He went to lift his hand and touch her cheek, but stopped.
"From what your friend here said, he has a brother who wants me dead. You look like you could save me. If I give you blood, will it heal you?" She wasn't sure she wanted to know the answer.
He nodded again. That settled it.
"Take it before I change my mind." She kept telling herself it was just like donating blood and he wouldn't kill her if he had just saved her.
The thought changed to panic as her stomach turned over. His hands took hold of her arm and moved it closer to his face. She glanced away, but was drawn back to see what was really happening. Was she really offering a vampire her blood? His lips drew back and there was a popping sound as his incisors lengthened. Her whole body stiffened, but, fascinated, she didn't draw away. His lips were cool against her skin as she waited. He moved his lips gently back and forth across her forearm in an almost sensuous way that made her breath catch. There was a slight sting, but nothing worse than when someone took blood with a needle. Closing her eyes, her mind drifted as the room faded from existence for her.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

#OnceUponAChristmasMoon #Fantasy #HistoricalRomance #Humor



Kindle Unlimited

REVIEW: Once Upon a Christmas Moon

Title: Once Upon a Christmas Moon
Author: Christine Young, C. L. Kraemer, Genie Gabriel
Rating: 5
Reviewer: James Charles
Three delightful short stories. Each one takes the reader into a fantasy world, even the one set post-Civil War, and serves up a well-rounded tale. Perfect stories for the cold months of winter. Wrap up in your blanket and grab a warm eggnog, and settle in to three different enchanting worlds.




EXCERPTS: Once Upon a Christmas Moon


Twelve Days to Love
Christine Young

Near New Orleans October 2,1867

“Sam! Close the shutters on the back landing. I’ll get the front. Hurry. There’s a storm coming.” Calanthe Durand felt the small hairs on the back of her neck rise and shivers run down her spine. A big storm was on its way, probably a hurricane. Energy and fear poured through her like the pounding rain and flooding that accompanied high winds. Closing the house to the storm was imperative.
Cali took a moment to smile. She’d heard Sam grunt. He didn’t talk much, but she wouldn’t have survived the war or these last two years without Sam and his daughter Daisy. Both sides, the North and the South, had occupied their home. Daisy and Sam were family, the only family she had. She’d do whatever was necessary to protect them. Even with emancipation, life wasn’t easy for blacks in the south.
“I’ve got them, Miss Cali.” Daisy rushed past her and out the door. Wind whipped her hair and tugged at her dress. Branches torn from trees landed on the porch.
Cali followed, the storm swirling around her, her hair beating against her face. Her breath was ragged, and fast as her heart thundered. She pushed and tugged at her skirt, trying to detangle the fabric from her legs. “Get inside!” The tempest raging around them swallowed her voice.
“Not until we’re finished here.” Daisy fastened a shutter before moving on to the next one.
They worked together to protect the windows from the storm on the raised porch which stood five feet off the ground as wind howled around the eaves. A steady rain poured from the black sky, and lightning slashed the darkness.
Cali pushed dripping strands of hair that had slipped from her chignon away from her face. “I’ll light the candles. It could get dark here pretty fast.”
“Horses and livestock are safe for now.” Sam stepped beside her. “Hope it’s not a big one.”
“Hello up there. Hello, bonjour, anyone home?”
Hearing the voice from below, Cali left the protection of the house to lean over the porch railing. Below her a man stood, with cupped hands to his mouth and a dead gator slung over one shoulder a quiver filled with arrows on the other. “Hello. Can I get shelter from the hurricane?”
“Don’t know if it’s a hurricane.” Terrified of unknown men, Cali didn’t want to do the charitable thing. She pursed her lips, thinking, but all that came to surface was memories of troops commandeering her home. Good lord but she’d had to hollow out a bedpost to hide her jewelry. The soldiers had taken everything they could see. Sometimes she felt as if the war had ripped her soul from her body.
“Maybe not a hurricane. Could be just a bad storm, but I don’t want to be on the swamp right now. The water’s rising.” A loud roar and a thunderclap followed his pause. Behind him an old Cyprus tree crashed to the ground, uprooted by the wind.
“You can take shelter in the stable.” Cali watched his back stiffen, while she swallowed hard, but she wasn’t about to back down. The stable was good enough for some wandering man who she owed nothing. Besides, there was a tack room with a bed. No one slept there anymore, but she kept it clean and the moss in the mattress was fresh. Daisy had rolled it out two days ago. Yet a small niggling in the back of her head kept telling her this wasn’t a traveling man but one of means. He was a man she should treat as a gentleman. She’d been taught better but the war had changed all that and the lessons she learned were not served to her with a silver spoon.
“Much obliged.” He nodded before turning toward the barn. His natural swagger and broad shoulders sent a different kind of sensation through her. Warmth swept inside, swirling within and heating her frozen heart. For a moment he looked back, a strange expression on his well-chiseled face.


Boots and Blades
C.L. Kraemer

High Desert, Central Oregon

Killian stared at the rise of rock from the desert floor. The emerging sun tricked the sky into revealing pink and blue streamers across the horizon exposing the severe lines of craggy mountains. Pine trees scented the air, and the slightest hint of sage tickled his nose.
“Where are they disappearing to? They’re much too young to be running away.”
“Master Killian?”
The young man turned his blue gray eyes from the mountain to answer. “Yes, Ms. Luna. What can I do for you?”
“Are you sitting out here at this early hour worrying about the young ones?” Luna’s black hair was braided down her back and she sported a shawl bright with her clan’s colors. She handed the young man a steaming cup of coffee. “I hope you don’t mind black. I’ve yet to milk the goat.”
Killian flashed her a seldom seen smile. “Ms. Luna, you make the best coffee in the desert. Black is fine.”
Taking up a spot next to him on the porch, she turned her attention to the mountains admiring the soft colors of rose and tan springing to life in the morning sun. “What is it that haunts you so?”
“The illogicality of it all.”
“Aye, I figured that. It is indeed illogical. The children are too responsible to leave unannounced, yet they are snatched from their beds in the middle of the night with no clues.”
Killian sipped the wicked black brew and allowed the liquid to spike his taste buds. The brilliant light of a new day was caressing the landscape and warming the air. “The kinders disappearing are not inclined to run off. They are the eldest and most reliable. These missings make no sense. They don’t happen in the same area or at the same time. They’re completely arbitrary and being so—random—has given me pause to find a method. If I were to discover a pattern, the recovery would be simpler.”
Luna watched the anguish distort his handsome young face. His blue eyes clouded to a dark grey when he spoke of the missing children, and his normally full mouth stretched to a tight slash across his face.
“I don’t wish to sound cruel, but none of these are young ones of your own family. Why take their absence to heart?”
Killian relaxed his scowl a bit, and a smile began to touch his lips. “Because it is they who will be the leaders of our clans in but a few short years. I had hoped to retire my sword someday to warm my boots by a fire. Having a mate and young ones around isn’t such a bad idea.”
He automatically sipped his dark brew. It would indeed be nice to warm my feet by a fire with a mate and children. The problem being I’ve found no person who makes me think in such terms.
“Well, I must admit, Master Killian, I never would have thought you to be the settling type.” She picked up his cup, returning from the kitchen minutes later with fresh coffee in the container.
“Neither had I, Ms. Luna, neither had I, however, aside from our missing young ones, there has been no conflict between the clans, nor have the Others tried to interfere in our affairs in a very long time. It is a good thing for many but for me, what good is a warrior without a war?”
Luna could only agree with his forlorn assessment; what good, indeed, was a warrior without a war? “Maybe a solution will arrive in the near future. You never know.”
Killian shrugged his shoulders. Who knew indeed?



Christmas Pawsibilities
Genie Gabriel

“So where is this alien craft?”
Fletcher had never completely trusted Commander Viktor Atrocitor. Since he had taken command of GIG two years ago, the atmosphere at the agency had become cold and suspicious, like the man himself. He seemed carved from six and a half feet of granite, blocky and scowling.
“It has disappeared.” Fletcher knew this statement would draw Atrocitor’s ire and disdain, but what was the use of denying the obvious?
“Fool! Can you do nothing right?” Atrocitor turned to the GIG agents waiting at a wary distance. “Search the neighborhood. Someone must have seen something or is hiding them.”
While Atrocitor berated Fletcher, other GIG agents spread throughout the neighborhood, offending pretty much everyone by demanding they stay in their houses while their property was overrun and searched.
After two hours of fruitless searching, Commander Atrocitor called a halt. “If you want to save your career and this town, you will bring me these aliens within twenty-four hours.”
As Fletcher watched the caravan of GIG vehicles disappear down the road out of Watermark, he felt like a six-year-old kid again. Bullied and humiliated for his belief that beings from distant galaxies simply wanted to explore and build alliances. They weren’t like aliens in movies who wanted to destroy humanity.
That’s why Fletcher started working at Geeks in Green. He thought he found other humans like himself who believed alliances with aliens could benefit everyone. Now he was starting to believe the rumors about Commander Atrocitor being heartless and determined to eliminate aliens were true. How could he know for sure?
His thoughts were interrupted when Agnes staggered out the back door toward the barn. “Who’s disturbing my goats?”
With her hair disheveled and her clothes askew, she did indeed look as if she had spent a raucous night of partying—the after-effects of being zapped by a ray gun.
Laycee and Fletcher followed Agnes into the barn, where the spacecraft was once again visible. Now the hatch was open, with guards standing on either side pointing ray guns at Agnes, Laycee and Fletcher.
“Holy extraterrestrial!”
With a sizzle of purple, one of the alien guards fired his gun and Fletcher crumpled to the ground.
“Why did you do that?” Ryan hustled out of the spacecraft.
“He is of GIG,” one of the guards stated. “He is a danger to our Queen.”
“Is he dead?” Ryan knelt over Fletcher’s inert body.
“Simply stunned. We will revive him when the danger to our Queen is gone.” The two guards loaded Fletcher onto a transport board, which levitated and moved inside the spacecraft.
“Your mouth isn’t moving but I can hear your words.” Laycee’s shocked whisper matched the stunned expression in her eyes.
“Our Canine Queen is birthing and is not to be disturbed.” This time the alien’s mouth moved as he spoke, and he looked like any other human except for a twinkle of star light in his eyes. “Weren’t you getting milk for the royal puppies?”
“Yes.” Ryan refocused his attention on this task, determined to ignore Laycee’s presence. What was she doing here anyway? “Agnes, do you have milk from your goats?”
“My goats don’t much like to be milked.”
“Surely it can’t be that difficult,” Ryan said.
Agnes lifted an eyebrow. “You’re welcome to try. I’ll get a clean bucket.”
Determined to get milk for the Queen’s puppies, Ryan began stalking one of the goats.
“I think it should be a female,” Laycee said.
Ryan felt like a first grader again. “I knew that.”
Laycee coughed behind her hand to cover her laughter. “There’s a girl goat on top of the space ship.”
Ryan looked up the curved, smooth surface. “Maybe there’s another girl somewhere easier to reach.”
He stepped around the space ship and over the boards broken when the craft crashed through the roof. “There’s a girl! Help me get her into a stall.”
“Um-kay.”
While Ryan circled around the nanny goat one way, Laycee closed in on her from the other side. The little goat narrowed her eyes at the humans and, when they were within a couple feet of her, she let out a bleat and ran between Ryan’s legs. Startled, he stumbled and dropped to one knee.
“Watch out!” Laycee’s shout made Ryan turn in time to see an irritated male goat charging toward him.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

#MyAngel #HistoricalRomance

A BEAUTY IN BUCKSKINS 
When her father decided to send her to a finishing school back East, Angela Chamberlain refused to be confined to stuffy drawing rooms. Instead, the daring spitfire who could shoot like a man and ride like the wind longed for a life of adventure and romance—and she knew exactly who could give it to her. Devil Blackmoor was a hired gun with a dangerous reputation. But Angela was willing to go to the ends of the earth to capture the handsome devil's heart.

A DEVIL IN DISGUISE 
He'd come to America looking for excitement, but Devil Blackmoor got more than he bargained for when he encountered a beautiful rebel who answered his kisses with a wild innocence that touched his very soul. Yet standing between them were more obstacles than either ever dreamed. For Devil had strapped on a gun for the wrong man. And that made Angela his enemy. Now he'll have to choose between his duty and the woman he loves more than life. 



EXCERPT: My Angel


A polished azure sky looked down on a day that vacillated between winter and spring--a day unable to make up its mind. Cool breezes lifted Angela Chamberlain's brand-new canary yellow skirt off the moisture-laden sidewalk. A blazing hot sun dried the puddles in the street left over from last night's deluge.

Unlike the day, Angela had no trouble making up her mind. Angela knew what she wanted out of life. She touched one finger to the sapphire earrings adorning her newly pierced ears.

She wanted adventure.

She had a terrible craving to see the world--to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, to walk the Great Wall of China. She yearned to fly in a hot-air balloon high above the earth, or ride in a gondola in Venice. She wanted to fall in love with a man who was as brave and smart as her father and as dangerous as Devil Blackmoor.

Angela's wish list had no end.

Instead of adventure and romance, in three short weeks she'd be enrolled in Miss Somebody's finishing school for young ladies, where knowing which fork to use was more important than riding with the wind on her favorite horse, Kangee. A place where changing one's clothes three times or more each day was common practice.

Two days ago she'd told her father she didn't want to go.

And two days ago her father had told her she would learn to appreciate the schooling and that she was a very lucky young woman. He'd also promised her a trip to the continent for a graduation present.

A graduation present! She wanted to yell at him, but wisely kept her mouth shut. She wanted to travel now. Today. But more than anything, she didn't want to be confined to the stuffy drawing rooms in the East. Just like her father, she needed freedom. But her father meant to take the choice from her.

To gossip and chatter with rich society women was not her destiny. To know which wine was served with fish would not make her happy. This was his dream for her. Sam Chamberlain needed to look to his own heart and remember the choices he had made twenty-five years ago.

Her destiny was out there somewhere, waiting for her to snap it up and hold the moment close to her heart. She knew what she wanted, and to prove her point, she'd bought a camera and had the machine sent over to the hotel. She meant to photograph all her adventures, every nook and cranny, every monument, every intriguing person.

Across the street and down two blocks, Devil Blackmoor had just taken the saddle off his horse. He brushed the stallion's back, all the while petting the animal's sleek coat and crooning into the horse's ear. Mesmerized, she watched his hands and the gentle way he stroked the horse. 

She wished she had her camera.

Devil Blackmoor commanded her attention. He symbolized everything a father cautioned his daughter to be wary of. Despite the warning, Devil's strong jaw, his powerful shoulders and the confident way he held himself beckoned to every feminine nerve in Angela's body.

Angela clutched her hands to her chest, willing her gaze to shift to something or someone who wouldn't shatter her senses and set her blood boiling. Helpless to control her wayward heart, she kept looking back at Devil. She noticed everything about him, the way he moved, the way his denim jeans clung to his legs and the way they molded to his backside. Devil laughed at something the bouncer from the saloon said, andwhen he smiled, one edge of his mouth tilted crookedly. Ange­la's heart swooned and fluttered, and she thought she might never breathe again.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

#TellTaleTuesday #BeforeTheDawn #YA #Shifters #Romance

Darkness continues to haunt Abby since her escape from the Hunterz. Questions continue to circle. Who are they, really? Why do they hate the wolves so much?




EXCERPT: Before the Dawn

I huddled in the darkness, barely aware of the passing hours and days. The wolf ate when she was hungry. She found mice and rodents to catch and devour. I was barely aware of the chase or the joy she found in the hunt. The wolf drank from streams and creeks along her journey. She slept when she was tired and traveled the rest of it.
I was aware the forest was starting to look familiar, but I didn't care enough to wonder why or where I was. When the big white sprawling house came before us, I realized the wolf had brought us to the only other place she knew to go: Aunt Lilly's.
I didn't leave the safety within the wolf when we arrived at the house. I was aware when we stepped onto the porch and dropped to the cool white washed boards where the wolf curled up and slept, but I stayed safe, hidden deep. The wolf and the instincts that drove her protected us. I was happy to let her lead. I was happy to be carried wherever she decided to go. I slept as the wolf did throughout the rest of the night.
When the wolf woke, I woke with her. We were still curled on the porch, but we were within a pile of dogs that had come to keep us safe and warm and offer company. The wolf was happy for the companions, as I was not able to be one. I was silent and empty and had nothing to give right then. I had nothing left to offer her.
I saw my Aunt come out on the porch, and I saw the moment she recognized me for what I was. "Abby, honey. What are you doing here?"
I shrank back deeper within the wolf, and as the wolf had nothing to say to her in that form, Aunt Lilly was left at a loss. She crouched down before us and ran her hands over my head and down my back. "You look a little worse for wear. Do you want to come in and eat? Maybe get a shower and some clothes?"
I wasn't coming out of the wolf form. I realized that had been my intention the whole time. I simply hadn't been ready to face it. I was obviously not very good as a human, so I would try being a wolf for a bit. I used a little more energy and turned my head away from her and dropped it back down on my front paws.
"Abby? What's wrong?"
I had no answer for her, so I didn't move or acknowledge her question. I didn't know what to tell her. I was still feeling sorry for myself, and I didn't have a plan of how to fix it other than to ignore it. I was happy as a wolf. Why did I have to be a human anyway?
She stayed crouched down next to me for a long time. She tried to talk to me, but I didn't answer. Finally, she gave up and stepped back. Her dog friends stayed with me, protecting me in their own way. She surveyed the pile of us then said, "Well, I guess I'll check on you in a bit."
I closed my eyes and went back to sleep. I spent the next few days hardly moving a muscle. What was the point? Aside from getting up to empty my bladder or get a drink of water, I stayed on the porch, quiet and still. Aunt Lilly stopped trying to talk to me, but she did continue to sit with me and offer what comfort she could by way of gentle caresses or tidbits of food she could tempt me with, or just simple water. The best part was when she sat in the white rocker and just rocked. Her being there was enough. Sometimes when she sat there, I would get up and sit next to her, just to be close to someone who gave a damn about me. Just me. Not what I could do for her, or what I could do for the clan. She just cared about me.
Why was I so unlovable by everyone else? Why didn't my mother want me anymore? Why did my father only see me for what I offered the clan? Why didn't Derek just want me? Why. Why. Why! What was so wrong with just being me?
It was times like those that even in wolf form I was able to cry. When the hurt of the world grew to immense I could not hold it in anymore. I cried the sounds of the wolf, even if it didn't come with the tears of a human. Aunt Lilly wouldn't press or talk, she was simply there with me as I tried to handle the sadness overwhelming me. She'd caress my head and continue to rock.
I don't know how long things went on like that. Maybe a few days, maybe it was an entire week. I do know when it came to an abrupt end. Morning arrived with a definite chill in the air. I didn't notice the cold all that much, thanks to my warm fur, but also because Aunt Lilly's dogs took shifts with what I thought of as protecting me. There were always a handful of them, either lying next to me or with me, or whatever. I was never cold or alone. They knew I was hurting and they in their animal wisdom stayed with me as comfort. Animals are awesome. People…suck.

AUTHOR BIO:

Courtney Rene lives in the State of Ohio with her husband and two children. She is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several anthologies, as well as her young adult novels, A Howl in the Night and the Shadow Dancer series, published through Rogue Phoenix Press. For a complete listing, visit www.ctnyrene.blogspotcom or feel free to contact her at ctnyrene@aol.com.

REVIEW:

Before the Dawn
Courtney Rene
978-1-62420-325-1

Reviewed by Astilbe of LASR Reviews
3 stars out of 5

There’s a wolf inside of Abby that can’t wait to get out again.

Lilly, Abby’s aunt, was such a kind person and wonderful role model for her niece. She brought a sense of stability and calm to Abby’s life that was desperately needed. Every time Lilly entered a scene, I smiled because I knew she was going to make everything feel alright again. She was by far my favorite character in this tale.

I would have liked to see more time spent developing Abby’s personality. She spent a great deal of this story being angry. While she had good reasons for feeling that way so often, it was hard to get to know the other sides of her personality because of it. I would have loved to see more examples of how she behaved when she was in other moods, too, so I could discover the rest of her as well.

The shifter society was fascinating. I really enjoyed seeing how it all worked, especially when it came to how men and women relate to each other in this world and all of the double standards that they have about what men are allowed to do but women are not. Abby’s reactions to those sections of the plot were exactly what I’d expect from her. It was as interesting to see her act the way I thought she would as it was to explore why so many of the men in this universe accept the status quo.

This book is the third in a series. I’d recommend reading the first two instalments before jumping into this one.

Before the Dawn should be read by anyone who enjoys stories about shifters.

Website URL: Www.Courtneyrene.com

Blog URL: www.ctnyrene.blogspot.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Shadow-Dancer-and-more-by-Courtney-Rene-164433473646449/

Twitter handle: @ctnyrene


Monday, April 16, 2018

#MysteryMonday: #IWantToHaveTheHeartOfADog

An intriguingly different look at one woman’s recovery from several lifetimes of abuse, betrayal and violent deaths—guided by dogs whose hearts contain the simple and miraculous knowledge of the Universe.




I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog
Genie Gabriel

Reviewed by Jeffrey Ross 
Five Starsfor animal lovers! -- a must read about the indisputable connection between people and their dogs...

I want to have the Heart of a Dogis an amazing text. Perhaps it is a collection of significant life history vignettes, stories which show powerful and dramatic moments and events in the lives of the author, Genie Gabriel, and her loving fur babies. Perhaps Heart of a Dog isa powerful Reikie(an ancient method for channeling life force energy for relaxation and healing) manifesto, a calming book that celebrates the spiritual connections between humankind and dogs—and the complex journeys we share daily. This book will make readers smile, laugh, perhaps even weep-- but everyone will come away enlightened and joyful.  All the wisdom and positive influences of the author’s canine friends are "channeled" in each chapter. The emotional and spiritual power of this book is obvious-- and refreshing. Hopefully, each person who enjoys this lovely text will come away with “the heart of a dog”—and a new understanding of life’s ultimate and profound meanings.



BLURB: I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog

One woman's journey that started with murders of passion in an Egyptian-like civilization two thousand years ago. After suffering betrayal, abuse and violent deaths through lifetimes of atonement, she comes to the present day realization that dogs are much more than furry companions. They are protectors, comforters, and teachers whose hearts contain the simple and miraculous knowledge of the Universe—if only we listen and learn.


EXCERPT: I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog

Fur against my face and the soft smell of a dog curled protectively around me existed before my first memories of this life.
Mom used to tell stories of me as a toddler, sleeping with my head pillowed on our Collie's belly; of my brave furry protector forcing an uncle back into his car because I was outside without a parent. Never mind we lived out in the country where only relatives or nearby neighbors came to visit.
Tippy took his duties seriously, and executed them well. For ten years, he was a companion, a pillow, and a protector.
Under this seemingly idyllic existence, something dark was happening to me that my child-mind didn't understand. My ignorance allowed me to form loving memories of my early years with Tippy.
As our beautiful boy neared his transition over the Rainbow Bridge, I caught a glimpse of something I hadn't previously seen in my young life—a look of helpless grief on my stern, stoic father's face. I didn't completely understand it then, but I knew it was somehow momentous. Perhaps there was more to this man than he let us see.
Though I didn't realize it at the time, Tippy was the beginning of my life-long love of dogs, and set the standard for all the furbabies who would be part of my journey.

~ Wisdom from Tippy ~
We will always be with you—your furry angels who you can love and trust unconditionally and feel safe with. Though you won't put this together until well into this lifetime, Collies will carry a special message for you, as do I. You will feel drawn to them, and they will appear at critical times to guide and support you.
But don't overlook the other furries who appear in your life, for they also bring messages—to hope, to play, to love, and to look for the joy in this lifetime. For it is there, sometimes buried and forgotten in the angst of your self-punishment, but it is there. Good-bye for now, my beloved. I will always be available to you and now entrust you to another set of paws to share your journey.

REVIEW:
Title:  I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog
Author:  Genie Gabriel 
Publisher:  Rogue Phoenix Press
Genre:  Non-Fiction 
Length: 108 Pages 
Reviewer: Courtney Rene
Rating:  5 out of 5


I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog was a more emotional read that I expected.  If you have ever had a beloved pet you will want to read this story, but have the box of tissues ready.  When I started reading it, I thought it was fiction.  Imagine my surprise as I made my way through the book and realized no, it is a nonfiction piece about the author.  This book is wonderful in that it gives insight to many dogs and their breeds and maybe their personalities, but it also gives insight into humans and their own nature and needs and shortcomings.  

Aside from the fact that this book did make me a little sad, I was forced to recall my own furbabies that have passed on and how much they were a part of my life and my journey.  The book stuck with me even after I finished the last page.  I have a feeling it will be with me for many days to come.  I can’t say that about many books.  

I am giving this book 5 stars.  I’m usually a little grinchy with stars, but I could not give this one any less.  It was truly an inspiring read.  

#MysteryMonday #HisEternalPromis #ParanormalRomance




BLURB


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

REVIEW: His Eternal Promise

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

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


EXCERPT: His Eternal Promise

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


AUTHOR BIO:

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

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

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





Keywords: Romance, paranormal, vampire, contemporary




REVIEW: His Eternal Promise

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


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

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