Thursday, March 5, 2015

Pretty Poison Blog Tour! (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Pretty Poison
Author: Lynne Barron
Series: N/A
Pages: 310
Date Published: February 6th 2015
Publisher: Lynne Barron
Format: Kindle
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

What’s an American heiress to do when a pair of britches, a plunge into a pond in the dead of winter and a broken betrothal force her to set sail across the ocean to an arranged marriage with a fortune hunting Englishman?

With her hopes and dreams sinking to the bottom of the sea like so much lost treasure, Emily Calvert falls into the pretty poison she finds in a little blue bottle.

Can Nicholas Avery, a charming aristocrat with a faulty memory for names and a family in dire need of financial salvation, convince the wounded lady that the blessed oblivion she finds in his arms is sweeter than opium?

~Try an Excerpt!~
Emily plopped down onto a chair in the corner of the hall and tugged off her muddy boots while the guests began to retreat into the front parlor. She watched as Lady Bernice looped her gloved hand through Nicholas’s arm and laughed up into his smiling face before they disappeared behind the others.

Well, that was surprisingly easy. Nicholas hadn’t even looked at her, not once since he’d seen the lady standing in the hall surrounded by the welcoming throng.

Suddenly weary right down to her bones, Emily rose and made her way slowly up the long curving stair case and down the quiet hall. She found Tilly in her room bent over a hot iron.

“You’re back,” Tilly exclaimed. “Hurry, you must dress. We’ve another guest and she’s a pretty thing, for all that she’s a giant.”

“Yes,” Emily agreed.

“You’ve seen her then?”

“She’s quite impossible to miss.” Emily fell back onto her bed with a groan.

“What are you doing?” Tilly demanded. “Luncheon is in an hour and you need to bathe and I’ve to do something special with your hair. I thought this fine lavender dress would do nicely, makes your bosom look bigger.”

“Oh Tilly, are you thinking to dress me up to compete with that amazing creature?”

“What? That bovine is no competition for you! Get into the bath,” she nodded to the open door across the chamber and the steamy bathing room beyond.

“I’m tired. Just have a tray brought up.”

“And let that one steal your man right out from under you?”

“He is not my man and she’s welcome to him.”

“You listen to me, Emily Ann Calvert,” Tilly ground out between her teeth as she marched over to the bed. “You get your skinny butt into that bath.”

“All right, all right.” Emily held her hands up in surrender as she climbed off the bed. “Good Lord, child, when did you become a harridan?”

“When you lost sight of your wits.”

“I assure you I lost sight of my wits months and months ago.”

“Don’t I know it,” the girl muttered as she whipped off her mistress’s guernsey and went to work on the buttons of her shirt. “And enough is enough, miss. You’ve been wallowing in self-pity all these long months.”

“I have not.”

“Oh boo hoo, my worthless fiancé dropped me flat as a flapjack.” Tilly pushed Emily’s breaches down her legs, drawers and all.

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Oh woe is me, Da dragged me across the ocean to marry a stranger.” Tilly herded her into the bathing room and into the tub.

Emily laughed at the ferocious frown on the girl’s caramel-skinned face.

“Poor opium addled me, I’ve gone and stabbed myself right through the heart.” Tilly dunked her head under the water.

Emily came up sputtering and coughing water.

“Oh, it’s just so unfair, I’ve got a big strapping handsome man wants to marry me.” Tilly rubbed lilac-scented soap into her hair, digging her little fingers into her scalp.

“It’s my fortune he wants to marry,” Emily ground out.

“So what?” Tilly demanded before she dunked her head once more.

“Stop that,” Emily sputtered, water dripping into her eyes. “Are you trying to drown me?”

“Who cares if you use your fortune to catch him? The real trouble is you don’t think you can keep him once you’ve landed him.”

Emily had no argument. It was true. She did not believe for one moment she could ever hope to keep Nicholas Avery. And she would not share him.

“When did you begin to doubt yourself?” Tilly gently rubbed a soapy linen square over her mistress’s back, down her long arms. “You were always so sure of yourself, Em. As long as I’ve known you, my whole life, you never thought there was one thing on God’s green earth you couldn’t do. No matter who told you otherwise, no matter that maybe you shouldn’t ought to be doing them things. You always knew you could.”
~Meet Lynne!~ 

Write About What You Know.

Every Creative Writing Teacher and College Professor said these words to Lynne Barron in one form or another. But what did she know?

She knew she enjoyed the guilty pleasure of reading romance novels whenever she could find time between studying, working and raising her son as a single mother.

She knew quite a bit about women's lives in the Regency and Victorian era from years spent bouncing back and forth between European History and English Literature as a major in college.

She knew precious little about romance except to know that it was more than the cliché card and a dozen red roses on Valentine's Day.

Then she met her wonderfully romantic husband and finally she knew.

Passion, Love and Romance.

And she began to write.

If you would like to learn more about Lynne Barron and the Idyllwild Series, please visit her website at or follow her at Facebook: 
Lynne will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.

The Second Lie Blog Tour! (+Giveaway!)

Title: The Second Lie
Author: Anna Richland
Series: Immortal Vikings #2
Pages: N/A
Date Published: January 26th, 2015
Publisher: Carina Press
Format: Kindle
Genre: Speculative Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

A woman desperate to achieve her dreams.

To reassure wealthy clients, Christina Alvarez Mancini invented a jet-setting British owner for her Napa Valley wine collection service. Success has brought her close to buying her own winery, when irregularities at a London wine auction threaten her business.

A man in love with a good plan.

Stig, an immortal Viking thief, knows he’s found the perfect role. The California woman who created his character won’t discover what he’s up to in England until after he’s pocketed the money he needs. Then Christina walks into the auction preview, ready to ruin his plans, and he knows his boredom has ended.

Secrets that turn deadly.

By the end of the night, these two rivals must cooperate to escape kidnappers, British authorities, media and a pair of mysterious watchers. That’s when a game Stig’s played for a thousand years puts Christina’s life at risk.

Can two people whose identities are based on lies trust each other enough to survive?
~Try an Excerpt!~
A long night investigating fraudulent wines at London’s most elite auction house is about to turn dangerous for Christina. And the only man who can help her is the same one who threatens her business.

If the men hadn’t been arguing loudly, Christina wouldn’t have heard their voices through the wine cave’s walls several minutes later. She didn’t have time to raise the hinged counter panel, just ducked under with the syrah bottle’s green glass neck clenched in her fist and crouched in the corner behind the bar.

They opened the door. Now she could hear them clearly. Her shoulders shook and her breathing sounded like a twenty-year-old air conditioner until she covered her mouth with her free hand.

“You don’t have a choice, Stig.” The man’s accent was clipped and hard enough to emphasize the malice in his voice.

“On the contrary, I have several.” The voice of the man replying was unfortunately familiar. “I choose to finish my business here.”

His business. Defrauding and ruining her. She didn’t have any sympathy.

“It is finished.”

“I’m afraid not.” Whoever the bastard claiming to be Geoffrey Morrison actually was, he didn’t sound nervous. She was, however, so she bit down on the skin between her thumb and first finger in her effort to keep silent. A slight rustling that she couldn’t identify, and then he continued. “May I offer you a drink before you leave?”

“You’re coming with us. One way or another.”

Her stomach twisted, and she tried to recall the mental chant she’d used to enter her zone before gymnastics meets, but part of that ritual had been pacing, twelve out, twelve back. Stuck in a corner, no walking, no moving, just listening, she couldn’t find her calm.

“He doesn’t mean it that way.” This third voice was more modulated, less vicious than the first and hinted at Eastern Europe. “We told you Ivar wants to see you.”

“His problems are no longer mine.” His voice had come closer and his shadow blocked the light diffusing into her hiding space, as if he was leaning on the other side of the bar. “I paid my debt with the Boston job and I’m free.”

Payment. Money. Her purse.

The weight of the revelation rolled across her like a loose barrel, crushing her with certainty even before she looked at the bottle clenched in her left fist. Her right hand covered her mouth and crap, yes, she’d forgotten to grab her purse or shoes. From her place crouched on the floor, the only thing visible to her was the faux-beamed ceiling, but she pictured the countertop as clearly as a label engraving. A black oblong purse with a ribbon trim and a thin gold chain. Stark against the green slate counter. Her black heels tumbled on the floor. No way to retrieve them.

Dread raised goose bumps on her arms, and she curled her chest tighter to her knees to try to warm herself.

Her phone and list were out there too. On the counter? Or in a niche next to a bottle? It didn’t matter exactly where, because her presence was scattered across the space like leaves in the street.

“What’s behind you.” The angry man’s flat intonation wasn’t a question.

They were coming for her now, but she was frozen on the floor, a ball of quivering silence.

“A bar. In celebration of our unexpected reunion, I’m happy to share the Incarnadine. It’s the best vintage here, and happily it’s not mine. A glass, shall we?”

“No. This.”

The tiny jingle wouldn’t have registered in a crowded party, but inside these walls no night-traffic or city noises, not even the hum of a heater, intruded. To Christina’s ears, the clinks of her purse chain sounded like a tray of glasses breaking.
~Meet Anna!~ 
Anna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. The perpetual drizzle is a good excuse to drink more coffee. She’s a former US Army officer who now writes The Immortal Vikings series from Carina Press and also the author of His Road Home, a novella which Publishers Weekly called “Tantalizing … a raw, emotional story” and the website SmartB*tchesTrashyBooks gave an A rating.

She donates a portion of her book proceeds to two charities: the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.

To sign up for Anna's newsletter, find out more about her books, and read longer excerpts, please visit her website.

Anna will be awarding a set of En Route notecards, gorgeously illustrated by Kate Pocrass (because falling in love with an Immortal Viking is a wild journey!) to a randomly drawn winner (INTERNATIONAL) via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

REVIEW: Off the Grid (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Off the Grid
Author: Karyn Good
Series: N/A
Pages: 191
Date Published: November 7th, 2014
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Format: Paperback
Genre: Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

A committed doctor to Vancouver's inner city, nothing fazes Sophie Monroe—until a pregnant teenager shows up at her clinic on Christmas Eve requesting sanctuary and claiming the baby's father is one of the city's most influential businessmen. Sophie is in over her head and thankful when aid shows up in the form of an attorney who's a little too confident and a lot too sexy.

Family Law expert Caleb Quinn just wants a date, a chance to prove he isn't the elitist jerk Sophie assumes. Helping deliver a baby is not what he has in mind. But before long protecting a traumatized teenager and her son become his first priority. Even if saving them pits him against the baby's father, a childhood friend. A man who will do anything to keep his dark side private.

But justice never comes cheap. Will doing the right thing cost Sophie and Caleb their reputations? Or their lives?
~My Thoughts~
The premise was pretty unique, particularly for the romance genre which is chock full of its "friends to more", and "vampire/werewolf love triangle" tropes. Sophie Monroe, established physician and power-woman, was completely unprepared at how one pregnant teen would change her whole life. The teen claims that the baby's daddy is none other than the renown businessman and playboy. When lawyers get involved, Sophie expects heated discussions, she just didn't expect to get quite so heated about one Caleb Quinn... 

Set in Vancouver (like most American TV shows these days...). It was just different enough to have me enjoying the change of pace (New York is so blah and overdone these days!). There was a gritty sort of realism that made this lean almost into the thriller side of the genre, but it definitely had major romantic elements that took precedence. 

Sophie and Caleb have astoundingly good chemistry and they seem like the type of couple you love (or hate) to see walking around holding hands in public. The plot rushes ahead, almost without them being able to catch up, and in the end they are firmly together in a whirlwind of tension, romance, and potential disaster. 

If you're looking for an enjoyable bit of pastime, try Off the Grid! It's a very quick read!

~Try an Excerpt!~
Casual relationships weren’t her thing. Once she’d yearned for more. For the commitment other women scoffed at. Then she’d learned her lesson. It didn’t mean she didn’t crave family. She refused to ask about the woman from his office. It was none of her business. Neither was he. But renewed determination to resist him didn’t mean he wasn’t getting to her.

No soft music played. The dim lighting was courtesy of an unlit dingy hallway. The smell of antiseptic and desperation laced the air. It didn’t matter. Sophie wanted to meet his challenge. She didn’t want to dodge. Or object. She wanted to kiss the hell out of Caleb Quinn.

So she stepped back. “I can’t do this with you. I need to know I matter. That I’m the only name on your list.”

Caleb took her face in his warm hands. “Sophie, right now there is no one else but you.”

She wrapped her hands around his wrists and tugged them away. “But there’s a long line behind me and I’m choosing not to join the queue.”
~Meet Karyn!~ 

I grew up on a farm in the middle of Canada's breadbasket. Under the canopy of crisp blue prairie skies I read books. Lots and lots of books. One day the inevitable happened and I knew without question the time was right. What to write was never the issue - romance and the gut wrenching journey towards forever.

Karyn will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Heart Shaped Stone Blog Tour! (+$50 Amazon GC)

Title: Heart-Shaped Stone
Author: Arby Corry
Series: N/A
Pages: 292
Date Published: July 31, 2014
Publisher: Createspace
Format: Paperback
Genre: Romantic Thriller/Mystery
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Caila, like most dreamers, just wants to be wanted. Unlike most dreamers, she's wanted by the CIA. When the last decade of thirty-two year old Caila Domenici's life disappears, destroyed in a car accident, she is forced to begin again. Defying doctor's orders to slow-go-it, she sets out to navigate the world on her own. It's not going well. Coddled from birth, everything from a bus schedule to how to boil water confounds her. Worse yet, she's about to accept her meddling mother's offer to pay for food and rent. With just a hunch her talents extend beyond that of daughter of privilege, Caila searches for her past. Before she can find it, it finds her. And the handsome azure-eyed stranger who's saying he knows her is somehow part of it. Caila always believed there had to be more, but now, on the verge of discovering the truth, she must decide which is worse - never knowing who she really is, or knowing too much
~Guest Post!~
I've got Arby Corry here to answer a few questions about her book Heart-Shaped Stone! Welcome to Unabridged Andra's Arby and I'm glad to have you here! Let's get started!

What part of your book was the hardest to write?
I’d say the middle. It became like that couch you just loved in the furniture store. You take it home, admire your “I could have been an interior designer” taste, throw pillows on it and invite everyone to come see it and sit on it. But by month three you notice it’s sagging in the middle. The ends are still quite lovely, giving your couch a great beginning and ending, but there’s something about the middle that’s not right. You throw more pillows on it, hoping no one notices the middle is just a means to get to the end. But in the end there’s no getting around that your middle needs less cushion and more fabric.

Has a secondary character ever threatened to take over your book? What happened?
Yes! In fact, she’s likely earned her own book after the way she barnstormed onto the scene. It’s my protagonist’s mother, Charmaine. Just her handbag collection alone deserves some kind of write-up. She’s wickedly evil, yet stylish and ever-flanked by mounds of gorgeous muscle – but that’s mainly because they’re her bodyguards and she pays them mounds of money. The last thing you’d want to do is turn your back on her. She’s even upset she didn’t get more print.

Who's your favorite character in the book & why?
Charmaine wouldn’t like this, but it’s her daughter, Caila, who’s the star of the show. She is not only the perfect protagonist for this story but she easily reminds one of a close friend – one you’d just love to save. The flaws are all too evident to the world and Caila knows this, she just refuses to get specific. She wants what she wants and will never back down. And this is true even when what she wants changes.

What's your favorite line in the story?
Charmaine’s words, let alone her presence, had long been the very unraveling of what Caila considered her most tightly held secret – that she wasn’t quite as tough as she seemed.

What event occurred in your life that has influenced your novels?
With Heart-Shaped Stone in particular, I lent Caila my footsteps, so to speak, taking her to places that I love. Some of those places were not always physical, but rather the ups and downs of my own life, namely, the insecurities. I think all women experience that on some level as we constantly doubt ourselves. Caila’s outlook is like doubt on steroids. But as in my own experience, you eventually find that center (or come very close to it) and realize that the place you are was all by design after all.

If your main character had been allowed to write the novel rather than you, how would the story have been different?
Oh, she’d cut right to the chase and we’d have a novella on our hands! There would also be a happy ending and life would be B.O.R.I.N.G – not for the reader, but for her. It’s a very good thing she does not have this kind of control.

If you had to live on a deserted island with one author, who would it be?
Pat Conroy. I’d even clean and cook all the fish he caught just to have him tell me a story by campfire. 

Thank you so much for being here Arby! For all you readers out there, make sure to check out Heart-Shaped Stone. What do you think of the interview or excerpt?
~Try an Excerpt!~
Reese was being too nice. Something was up - their deep conversation the night before, the bubble bath, the tea, turning down her bed and now breakfast? Caila wasn’t suspicious by nature, and in most cases trusted more than she should, but where Reese was concerned she dropped all pretenses and questioned his every move. He was much too calculating to not see opportunity in everything he did. Caila recognized that in him right away. Her mind was now churning with theories. Why, if he was up to something, would he be so blatant with this sudden kindness? Did he think she would not notice?
Then she imagined the most unexpected thing.
Maybe he wasn’t up to anything at all. Maybe this was another side to the man she detested right from the start. The invader, the man who came to make her life a living hell and push aside her father may not, after all, be the man she believed him to be. But even that theory was short lived.

No, she thought, he has a motive.
~Meet Arby!~ 
Arby Corry has spent the last twenty-five years in the radio business. Performing every job from radio announcer, to program director, to commercial producer to copy writer, Arby gives voice to characters found just on the other end of the request line. Her debut novel, Heart-Shaped Stone, has received critical acclaim as well as delighting readers with its fresh approach. Arby believes in real characters, with real voices. And while a happy ending is always satisfying, she believes life has other plans. When not on the air or writing her follow-up to Heart-Shaped Stone, Arby enjoys spending time with her husband, children and the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.
Arby Corry will be awarding $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.

Monday, March 2, 2015

REVIEW: Beacon Blog Tour (+$75 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Beacon
Author: Angela Brown
Series: Ripped Ties #1
Pages: 222
Date Published: November 20th 2014
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Format: Kindle
Genre: Paranormal YA
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Tsunamis reduced the USA into a shell of itself, called The Fold. Surviving humans and vampires joined forces to form The Colony, where registered citizens do as they're told.

They donate blood quarterly and dream of being chosen as Attendees for the Jubilee celebrations, that is, everyone except Macie Breen. With high school graduation near, she’s anxious to ditch the rules in hopes of starting a new life with Thane, an unregistered and also her best friend.

Her hopes fizzle when Macie is selected as an Attendee, forever registered. Any future with Thane…impossible. Being chosen comes with another unexpected price.

Truths about The Colony blaze into ashes and lies when she discovers the vampires haven't kept their part of the bargain. Worst still, Macie’s life unravels as her stint in the city of Bliss forces her to face daunting truths about who, and what, she really is.

~My Thoughts~
What a cool story! I'm used to zombies or nuclear war destroying the world...but tsunamis?? How cool! And Angela doesn't stop there with her creativity, she brings out never before seen elements of a unique dystopia that stands apart from the vast collection of desolate wastelands that fill the genre. The Fold (Tsunami...) allowed vampires to shrug off the shadows of ignominy and become the dominant class of this brave new world. Vamps aren't the only super-humans to do so though. All manner of creatures have crawled out of obscurity to find their place and what an insane world it is! 

Humans are chosen (and kind of sadistically honored) into being blood donors, for the elites in this new world: The Colony.  All Macie wants is to escape being a ward of the state with her best friend Thane, but her dreams are shattered when she is chosen as and Attendee and is transported to Bliss (vampire city!) for the Jubilee Celebration. 

Poor Macie. This girl goes through a lot during the course of the book and by the end it's almost impossible not to completely be on her side simply because of the amount of crap she's had to wade through. I liked her energy, fiery spirit and personality and she seemed to be a cut above the somber heroines that run rampant in this genre. 

This was book one of  new series for me, and I got a kick out of it. Blending my two favorite genres is pretty much guaranteed to get me to rave about your book but Angela did so much more with the Ripped Ties series. This is a fun read, full of angst, a few splotches of horror, and tons of distopian fabulousness. 
~Try an Excerpt!~
"We’re not kids anymore, Macie. You’ve learned what little The Colony had to say about the vampeer, wights and devil spawn. There’s something else they’ve hidden from you. From all registered citizens. I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time why we met. Just how special you really are. But you won’t want to be my friend anymore once you know the truth. Losing you would be…”

Words trickled from my mouth unfiltered. “I, what do you mean I wouldn’t…”

He turned to me, chewing his bottom lip. The last time he did that was the day I broke first blood.

We were playing at knight warriors, a favorite of ours since we were kids. I thrust my wooden sword forward. It clattered to the ground as I doubled over from a sharp spasm in my stomach. I tried to shoo Thane away, deal with the pain on my own. But, noticing the grimace on my face – I really tried hard to be quiet, but I cried out anyway – he wouldn’t have it. When he glanced at my yellow cargo pants, he chewed his bottom lip, eyes wide. My gaze trailed down to the bloody mess I’d become. My face couldn’t have flashed hotter if I set it on fire.

Now he was doing it again, chewing his bottom lip. What could he possibly have to say? He opened his mouth to speak when the tent flap ripped away. We jerked our heads around to face a tall being covered in shaggy, brown fur from scalp to hoof. A shadowy glow encircled it like a dirty aura. Two arms protruded from both sides. Jagged teeth crowded its mouth. Drool leaked down its chin. Reptilian eyes shone bright white with a red slit down the middle. One set of eyelids blinked side to side as the second set followed up and down. It snarled, spat and drooled some more. My bladder felt one moment away from losing it.

“Frag me,” I whispered as my world collapsed into a nightmare.
~Meet Angela!~ 
Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Angela now calls Central Texas home. She's a lover of Wild Cherry Pepsi and chocolate/chocolate covered delicious-ness. Steampunk, fantasy and paranormal to contemporary - mostly young adult - fill her growing library of books. Mother to a rambunctious darling girl aptly nicknamed Chipmunk, life stays busy. Her favorite quote keeps her moving: "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Angela will be awarding a $75 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host. Additionally, Goddess Fish Productions will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.

Love's Last Bite (+$15 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Love's Last Bite
Author: Viki & Vina Grey
Series: Orbus Arcana #3
Pages: N/A
Date Published: February 2015
Publisher: N/A
Format: ebook
Genre: M/M Romace
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

Dark forces, a vampire, plus one sexy cop is a recipe for trouble.

VINCENT KAMATEROS is no longer the lonely exiled vampire running a cupcake shop, but the heir to his father’s throne. JOHN REEDER is out and accepts his vampire lover, but he has to deal with his lover being destined to rule the vampire kingdom.

While Vince and John revel in their newfound love, dark forces are at work in Orbus Arcana, determined to keep the progressive Vince from becoming the next vampire king.

Time is short and decisions loom. Their irrevocable choices will change their lives forever.

~Try an Excerpt!~
John was smiling. Good. He showed no fear. Vince couldn’t bear that. His super-human strength was a natural part of Vince. It had been a few months since John had found out the truth, not in the way Vince had wanted to handle his confession. But it had worked out and John had accepted Vince’s vampire nature. Still, Vince kept his violent side well under control around John. Even when he fed from John, he was careful not to take too much, never biting until John asked him to. Wary. Cautious. Worried that someday John would walk away when he discovered the darker aspects of what it meant to be a vampire.

Vince shook off his brooding thoughts not wanting to waste another precious second of their vacation. He handed John a half shell, complete with a broken piece to use as a scoop. “Nothing like fresh meat.”

John rolled his eyes. “Shit, you need new material.” John shoveled a large piece of the tender white coconut flesh into his mouth. “But, damn, this is the best thing I’ve tasted.”

“Oh, yeah? Now where have I heard that before?” Vince slapped his forehead and pretended to think. “Wait, I’ve got it. Right after I came in your mouth yesterday.”

“Fishing for a compliment now?” John mumbled through a mouthful of fruit.

“I don’t need to. I know what I have,” he teased, loving the camaraderie, and wanting it to last a bit longer. His news was about to shatter the peace between them.

“Let’s see. Arrogant. Macho. Opinionated.” John ticked off each word with a tap to his fingers. “Yep, just what I look for in a man.”

“That’s all the words you have to describe me?” Maybe he was fishing for compliments, but he wanted to hear how John felt. It might bolster his courage for when he gave him the news.
~Meet Viki &Vina!~ 
An introvert and artist with a healthy dose of skepticism about life and love =Viki. An extrovert and academic and a die-hard romantic =Vina. It was so not a match made in heaven. But Viki and Vina discovered a mutual love of traveling around the world, the paranormal, good coffee, and a healthy admiration for their respective creativity. Sitting in a coffee shop one day, they started brainstorming about story plots and Vince and John and the car crash in the bakery. A story was born. Vina writes the sappy romance and Viki tempers it. Between them, they managed to find their boys a ‘happily ever after’.

Viki and Vina will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.

REVIEW: Return to Sender (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Return to Sender
Author: Mindy Halleck
Series: N/A
Pages: 392
Date Published:  October 29th 2014
Publisher: Booktrope
Format: Paperback
Genre: Various
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

1955 ~ Father Theo Riley never wanted to be a priest, nor a killer. The former boxing champion and Korean War veteran gave up more than a career when he went into the Army. He lost the only thing he ever wanted: his love, Andréa Bouvre. Friends thought Theo entered the priesthood to mend his broken heart or atone for the massacred orphans he couldn’t save in Korea. However, the truth is much darker and more damning, tied to a blood debt and family secret that has haunted Theo since he was a boy. He drinks to forget he ever had a life of his own—waits for death, prays for mercy, and hopes for a miracle. He gets all three when a child goes missing, another shows up on his doorstep, and the love of his life drives back into his world; the seaside hamlet of Manzanita Oregon. Theo’s dream reunion with Andréa becomes a nightmare when a serial killer who considers himself a holy man targets the town and everyone Theo loves. Drinking days decidedly behind him, Theo and some old warriors set out to send evil back to hell and a few good souls to heaven in RETURN TO SENDER.
~My Thoughts~
Mindy's writing style was impeccable and quite expressive. I found myself easily slipping into her vision of the world in the 1950's and succumbing to the darkness and mystery found within! This is a psychological thriller and seems to write the book on tortured heroes with traumatic pasts. 

The story revolves around Theo, a priest/war veteran/former boxer who is returning home after the Korean war all torn up inside and broken because of the war and losing the love of his life. Blending in almost Native American-esk kinds of spirituality, Theo strives to take similarly broken souls and heal them. He finds comfort in the bottom of a bottle, but his journey towards the priesthood transforms and heals him along the way. 

 I enjoyed the multiple points of view. It's great to get a good hero that you can fit inside his head, but it's even greater when you find a villain that either chills you to the bone or lets you feel out some of the reasons that they are so twisted. Getting glimpses from both sides of the fence helped to build a bigger, more condensed picture of events that was very enjoyable!
~Try an Excerpt!~
POV of the villain, Genghis Hansel;

Used to think that in prison I’d at least be in good company: broken heroes, twisted knights, and righteous kings of the damned—the keepers of dark underworlds, that sort. But no!

In prison it’s mostly just a bunch of fools who did foolish things, guarded by other fools with guns who ultimately will do foolish things. Can’t suffer fools. There’s no excuse for ’em.

Just want out—out of this plaster hand cast, out of this cell, this prison, this puke green hell hole where one glance, one wrong word, one secretive tug can release an alchemy of hell on earth. Alchemy. That’s a good word; something his God would say. Still, hell on earth because, like I said, they’re all fools, and a foolish man doesn’t know to just shut the hell up and do his time, or bide time until he can get out, unnoticed, real quiet-like.

Rain pelted against the tin shingles outside the unreachable window near the ceiling. That pinging sound and the absolute boredom got on my last nerve—needed a distraction. I squeezed my face between the corner bars to see the guard and shouted, “Rain, rain, rain! Frickin’ rain.”

“Shut up, Hansel.” The fat guard with the moral fortitude of a hedgehog shouted back from the end of the corridor. He sat feet propped up on the desk, clipping his fingernails. Another sound I couldn’t abide. 
~Meet Mindy!~ 
Mindy Halleck is a Pacific Northwest author and writing instructor. She grew up the daughter of a celebrated beauty queen/songstress, and a retired soldier in Portland Oregon. Her career began early when at nine years old she stood behind the counter of the family business (shoe repair) on a whisky crate and was dubbed 'queen of the cash register'. It was there, surrounded by vibrant emigrants where she developed an ear for good stories. It was no wonder Mindy later developed a career in finance, good taste in shoes and a love for storytelling. You can hear some of these stories on her blog.

Portland was home except in the summers, when the cozy inlet of Manzanita Oregon was her family's escape and her father's hideaway from city life. Mindy's father was one of the hopeful gold diggers who honeycombed unsuccessfully through Neahkahnie Mountain in search of the elusive pirate's treasure rumored to be buried deep in the mountain. These settings are prominent features in Mindy's writing.

Writer's Digest Magazine published one of Mindy's first stories, Mr. Ed, in 2001, and in 2007 she
received Honorable Mention in the Writer's Digest Mainstream Literary Short Story Contest for an excerpt from Return to Sender. Mindy has written three novels, and one nonfiction book, Romance & Money - 12 Conversations Every Couple Should Have. In addition, hundreds of her articles have appeared in local and national publications, including her financial advice column, titled Romance & Money, and numerous travel essays.

Mindy has written her blog Literary Liaisons for seven years and is dedicated to the Pacific Northwest writing communities as a member of Willamette Writers in Oregon and Pacific Northwest Writers in Seattle. She is a steering committee member for the Edmonds Write on the Sound Writers' Conference in Edmonds, Washington.

Mindy is married and has one daughter and two grown grandchildren whom she adores. When not writing, she is happiest traveling Europe with her husband Joe; their most recent travel was a Rick Steves 21-Day Tour of six countries, which she highly recommends

Mindy will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.