Novella Micro Review: Streaming Dawn by Steve Bein

 

May Contain Spoilers

I’ve been fighting a cold and didn’t have the energy to write a long review for this novella that takes place in Feudal Japan, so here’s a micro review.

While I enjoyed this Fated Blades novella, I did not like Kaida, the main character. She’s a shinobi, and part of the secretive Wind organization that carefully sets events in motion to control the rulers of Japan. I loved the setting, and that an old woman could be such a fearsome opponent, but I didn’t like her. Kaida is near the end of her career as an assassin, and she’s determined to avenge the death of one of her students, in direct opposition of her current assignment.

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#Zombies Review: Waking Up Alive by Emma Shortt

 

Contains Spoilers!

Polly Parker has things good in deadly chaos after the zombie apocalypse.  She’s snug as a bug in a secure building in Chicago, just waiting for the wakers to die.  She occasionally ventures outside to give herself something to do, and when the mathematician runs into Tye LeBow, she turns her cushy life on end.  Letting Tye into her home, and her life, is a huge risk for Polly, one that she’s very careful about making.  The last time she tried to help someone, she was viciously assaulted, proving that the zombies aren’t the only monsters prowling the streets.

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Spotlight and Giveaway: Of Flame and Promise by Cecy Robson

 
Enter to Win a
Cecy Robson Super Fan Prize Pack

 
OF FLAME AND PROMISE
Weird Girls #6
Cecy Robson
Releasing on January 12, 2016
Loveswept
 


Perfect for fans of Keri Arthur and Bella Forrest, this short novel kicks off a sizzling new series in the award-winning Weird Girls saga as Celia’s sister Taran fights to have it all: independence, hot romance, and enough firepower to torch an army of blood-thirsty supernaturals.

Cursed by a spell meant to destroy them, Taran Wird and her sisters instead developed unique magical talents. With the power of fire and lightning literally at her fingertips, Taran doesn’t fear much. Demons, vamps, whatever—bring ’em on! Only one thing terrifies her: commitment.

Taran is crazy about her boyfriend, Gemini, a sexy were with the incredible ability to split into two separate wolves. But after watching her sister go through heartbreak with the pack’s Alpha, Taran knows not to count on happily ever after—despite Gemini’s desire to claim her as his mate. Reluctantly, she agrees to meet his very traditional and conservative parents. Taran’s a badass with a mouth to match, and Gemini loves her for it. She’s just not positive these attributes will please Mom and Dad.

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Spotlight and Giveaway: In the Company of Wolves by Paige Tyler

This December, Paige Tyler releases the third in her action-packed SWAT series, IN THE COMPANY OF WOLVES. To celebrate the release of IN THE COMPANY OF WOLVES, Paige Tyler stopped by to tell us about one of her favorite fun loving heroes in pop culture and to share an excerpt showcasing her own hero’s fun loving side!

Paige Tyler: Everyone loves reading about alpha males, right? But of course, you can’t have a single dimensional character that’s just hardcore alpha all the time. It comes off as flat or just plain irritating. Most of the time you want to let your alpha have a lighter side, just to keep things interesting. One of my favorite fun loving heroes from popular culture is Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard!

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Q&A and Giveaway: Dragon Storm by Katie MacAlister

Katie MacAlister dropped by the virtual offices to answer a few questions! Be sure to enter the giveaway, too!

Do you have any favorite book boyfriends of your own?

Oh, mercy, just line my books up and start reading off the hero names. I’ve said before that I write books for myself first, and that’s absolutely true. I love all of my heroes, and it’s only because publishers won’t let me write all the heroines as me that I bother with writing those dishy men females who are worthy of them.

Outside of my books, I was one of those girls who grew up with the hots for Sherlock Holmes. As an adult, I’ve been quite fond of several of Georgette Heyer heroes, particularly those who give in to their senses of humor (Sir Tristram from Talisman Ring, and Freddy Standen from Cotillion).

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Spotlight and Giveaway: The Winter Laird by Nancy Scanlon

 
Enter to Win a
Print Copy of THE WINTER LAIRD

 
THE WINTER LAIRD
Mists of Fate #1
Nancy Scanlon
Releasing November 17th, 2015
Diversion

 
THE PRESENT

Successful matchmaker Brianagh O’Rourke believes in happily-ever-afters…just not her own. She’s convinced passion only exists in her dreams. When she reluctantly accepts a marriage proposal, Bri decides she needs a vacation?but she didn’t expect it to be in 13th century Ireland.
 
THE PAST

Laird Nioclas MacWilliam just wants peace for his clan. The time for him to marry has come, and after waiting years for his ally to present their daughter, he’s agreed to marry another. But on the eve of his nuptials, a daring rescue brings his missing betrothed right into his arms.
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Spotlight and Giveaway: Wild Sky by Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann

Message From The Authors Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann

MelWild Sky is a paranormal story, set in Florida, approximately fifty years in the future. In this world, a small percentage of people, mostly girls and young women, are born with a chemical in their blood that gives them superpowers like telekinesis or extraordinary strength.

Suz: Nicknamed “Greater-Thans” or “G-Ts,” these girls have been targeted for kidnapping by bad guys who harvest their blood and use it to manufacture a drug called “Destiny.” Destiny is extremely expensive, highly addictive, and ultimately fatal, but before the user dies from it, the drug reverses the aging process, heals illness and injury, and gives the addict super powers, too.

Mel:  It’s pretty scary stuff!  Oh, and just an FYI: Although Wild Sky is the sequel to Night Sky, you don’t have to read Night Sky for Wild Sky to make sense!

Suz:  All you really need to know is that in Night Sky sixteen-year-old Skylar Reid discovers that she’s a Greater-Than with some serious superpowers. 

Mel: And that Sky and her best friend Calvin–a really upbeat kid who’s spent most of his life in a wheelchair–have some dangerous adventures with another tough-girl G-T named Dana, and Dana’s extremely (ahem) attractive sidekick Milo.

Suz: Sky and Milo really hit it off, so in Wild Sky, they’re a bit of an item.

Mel:  A bit! In Wild Sky, Sky and her friends get into more trouble as they search for Dana’s sister, Lacey, who disappeared years ago and has been presumed dead.

Suz: But now Sky’s got reason to believe Lacey’s being held captive in a Destiny “farm.”  And of course, high jinks ensue, and our beloved character Calvin is put into extreme danger–although throughout most of it, he holds onto his crazy sense of humor!

Mel: We both love Calvin very much!

Suz: And Sky does, too!  When we developed the Night Sky series, we wanted to center it around a main character we could easily relate to. And even though we grew up in very different circumstances –

Mel: Mom has an older sister, I have a younger brother. My dad was a lawyer, my mom a writer. My mom’s parents were both teachers.

Suz: I grew up listening to the Beatles –

Mel: Christina Aguilera.

Suz:  Watching Star Trek.

Mel: Full House.

Suz: Paul Newman!

Mel: Bradley Cooper!

Suz: But despite all of those superficial differences, Mel and I shared experiences far too common to teenage girls. Waves of self-doubt, with occasionally soul-crushing periods of insecurity.

Mel: Yet even at our lowest moments, we knew that there were things we were really good at.

Suz: And that’s where Sky came from. A young woman whose primary goal is to fit in with her peers, but whose G-T status makes that virtually impossible. Or so she believes.

Mel: Of course, her friends recognize Sky for who she really is – a funny, loyal young woman with a huge heart — whose superpowers only add to her awesomeness.  But for Skylar, nothing comes easy. Everything seems to be on shaky ground – her budding romantic relationship with Milo, her ability to help Dana find Lacey, even her friendship with Calvin.

Suz: It’s that very human mix of vulnerabilities and strengths that make Skylar so special.

Mel: We hope readers see Wild Sky as not just a really exciting, action-packed adventure, but a story about Skylar’s quest – and really every teenage girl’s quest — to own her awesome.

Suz: Because we truly believe that everyone is born with abilities that – no matter how seemingly small or insignificant — should be recognized and celebrated! It is our differences that make us Greater-Than.

Wild Sky Excerpt

I wish I could say I’d never witnessed a windshield shatter before, but I’d been in a terrible car accident a few years back, so I knew exactly what it looked and sounded like.

There’s a weird silence that happens immediately after something like that, in which everything seemed to occur in slo-mo. I forced my mouth to move.

“Gunshot!” I shouted, because I could see both Cal and Garrett looking wildly around, trying to process exactly what that noise was and what had just happened. “Bullet to car window! Over to the right.”

The broken windshield belonged to a beat-up sedan parked two slots down from us in the Sav’A’Buck lot. Someone had fired a gun, just once, probably from somewhere near the grocery store’s front doors, judging from that broken front window. Shards of glass made tinkling sounds as they careened off the front of the car and onto the pavement.

“Gunman at the store door, get down get down get down!” Calvin shouted, and I stupidly turned to look instead of diving onto the floor of his car, and he grabbed me by the shirt and yanked me down just as the shooter must’ve flipped the switch from one shot to massacre, and the gun began going off, popping bullets through the air.

BOOM BOOM BOOM POP BOOM!

I braced for them to hit Cal’s car, covering my head as I prepared for a rain of glass, but the man with the giant gun must’ve been pointing it in a different direction, because I heard the ping of punctured metal and breaking glass, but it wasn’t from our car.

I could hear someone screaming—high-pitched and frantic—even as Garrett yelled, “Calvin, drive!”

“Don’t,” I told Cal as I closed my eyes and focused on that glimpse I’d seen before he’d pulled me to relative safety.

Single gunman. Carrying…

A big gun. And something else…?

I focused on calling up the image, and yes, he was carrying some- thing under his left arm, some kind of brightly colored sack, with his assault rifle tucked into his right elbow—this tall, broad man, maybe twenty years old, buzz cut, scar above his eyebrow.

That screaming—it had been a child’s voice. She was silent now, but I realized with a flash that I hadn’t seen a colorful bag but instead the cheerfully patterned clothing of a little girl. That man with the gun was abducting a little girl. And I bet I knew why.

“Gimme!” I said and reached back to grab one of the water guns from beside Garrett.

“Sky!” Cal exclaimed. “Don’t—”

I didn’t wait to hear what he thought I shouldn’t do. I’d yanked my hood up over my head, hiding my red hair and as much of my face as I could, and I was already out of the car and on the asphalt, heading toward the man who was still firing that gun. He was using it not to kill, thank goodness, but to keep the little girl’s family from following him. I could see with just one glance that she was unconscious, as he tossed her none too carefully into the passenger seat of his shiny black Bimmer. He had a nice car. And I was pretty sure I knew how he’d paid for it—by kidnapping little girls like this one, like Sasha, too, and selling them to the Destiny makers.

Mother. Effer.

Hey! ” I belted out. But my voice was buried beneath the cacophony of his weapon. I had to move fast, or he was going to get into his snazzy car and that little girl would be gone.

I took a deep breath and concentrated. Water versus bullets? Not normally much of a contest there.

But I could do this. Couldn’t I?

Suddenly, I heard Dana’s voice in my head, shouting Fail! Fail! What are you doing, Bubble Gum? You have no backup, you have no plan!

What was I doing? This was insane.

Still thoughts. I closed my eyes and pictured Milo. I breathed him, I felt him, I heard him. Still thoughts, Sky. Just let it go

And in that moment in which I was specifically not thinking about what I was about to do or what the consequences would be if I failed, I felt and then saw my enormous pile of plastic water pistols—there were sixteen of them total—shoot out from the backseat of Calvin’s car and through the passenger side window that I’d left open. They streamed toward me like metal particles toward a magnet.

Then, just as quickly, all but one—a little green one—swooped in front of me before lining up and hovering in midair.

The little green plastic water gun zoomed over to the man with the real gun and smacked him in the face.

“What the hell…?” He fumbled his weapon as he turned to see me standing there—me and that collection of water guns—and his eyes widened.

“Holy shit, Sky!” With the noise from the assault weapon silenced, I could hear Garrett shouting, and I winced inwardly because he’d used my name.

But whatever he said next was muffled, and Cal’s voice rang out instead. “Hoshitski, look out!”

It was an intentional misdirect, and I tried to stand like a Hoshitski might, no doubt surly from years of being teased. I pitched my voice lower and ordered, “Drop it! Now!”

The gunman’s wide eyes narrowed, and we both knew he wasn’t going to drop his weapon, so before he could turn and kill me, I let loose my TK and blasted him. All of those plastic guns shot water from their barrels with the intensity of sixteen narrow but powerful fire hoses, and it sent the man down onto the ground so hard that I heard his head as it smacked against the pavement.

The gun he’d been holding clattered to the ground.

All of my weapons ceased water-fire and dropped onto the pavement in front of the unconscious shooter.

The silence that followed was eerie. I felt a little dazed, standing there with a single, silly-looking pink water gun still in my hand, staring at the downed man and his big real gun, and then over at the bullet-riddled storefront of the Sav’A’Buck.

Book Information

Title: Wild Sky

Authors: Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann

Release Date: October 6, 2015

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal)

Book Cover: Attached

Author Photo: Attached

Summary

Skylar is a girl with extraordinary power. A girl with a mission to use her Greater-Than gifts to stop the makers of Destiny from getting people hooked on their deadly drug. But Sky is still mastering her new abilities, and her first mission to destroy a Destiny lab leaves her best friend addicted to the drug. For a few days Cal will be able to walk again – until it kills him. Time is running out for Sky to save the world without sacrificing her friends, to become truly Greater-Than…

Buy Links

Amazon –  http://bit.ly/YAWild

Barnes and Noble – http://bit.ly/1WpnUkB

iBooks – http://apple.co/1PFLKEO

Biography

Suzanne Brockman, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author, has won 2 RITA awards, numerous RT Reviewers’ Choice, and RWA’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year three years running. She has written over 50 books, and is widely recognized as a “superstar of romantic suspense” (USA Today). Suzanne and her daughter, Melanie Brockmann, have been creative partners, on and off, for many years. Their first project was an impromptu musical duet, when then-six-month-old Melanie surprised and delighted Suz by matching her pitch and singing back to her. Suzanne splits her time between Florida and Massachusetts while Mel lives in Sarasota, Florida. NIGHT SKY is Mel’s debut and Suzanne’s 55th book. Visit Suzanne at www.SuzanneBrockmann.com.

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Release Blast and Giveaway: Immortal Matchmakers, Inc by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

 
Grand Prize Giveaway
5 Accidentally Yours Paperbacks + a signed copy of Immortal Matchmakers Inc
+ magnets and bookmarks + a SADDLEBACK leather tote. 

Four Runners Up
a signed copy of Immortal Matchmakers + magnet + bookmark
 
 
IMMORTAL MATCHMAKERS, INC.
Immortal Matchmakers #1
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Released Aug 24th, 2015
 
 
BECAUSE…dysfunctional immortals need love, too.
 
ANDRUS
Once the most powerful immortal assassin ever to exist, this demigod now spends his days pining for the girl who got away: Helena. Doesn’t help that he’s also Helena’s full-time nanny slash bodyguard. But now that the apocalypse is over and her husband, the vampire general, has returned home for good, it’s time to move on.
 
But can Andrus let go of the woman he secretly loves?
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