Friday, October 24, 2014

Landslide Blog Tour! (+$25 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway!)

Title: Landslide
Author: Robin Mahle
Series: N/A
Pages: 276
Date Published: July 22nd, 2014
Publisher: N/A
Format: Kindle Edition
Genre: Mystery
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours!

Synopsis:
In the sprawling suburbs of Seattle, Claire McKenna finds solace in her perfectly ordinary life. With the daily struggles of raising a family and climbing out of debt, she and her husband Colin, work hard to hang on to what they’ve got.

So when Claire is offered an incredible opportunity to rise in the ranks of her firm, she jumps at the chance. Her joy, however, is short lived at the discovery that her close friend and colleague, Beth Graves has just been accused of embezzlement.

Compelled to see Beth’s name cleared, Claire soon stumbles onto something far more dangerous than she could have ever imagined possible. A conspiracy that involves people she once trusted. A conspiracy that threatens to destroy her ordinary life.
~Guest Post!~
The Great Debate: Should I Write What I Know, or Write What I Wish to Know?
This is a question that I suspect plagues a great many writers. We’re so often told to write what we know. But if we did that, would there ever have been such a thing as Middle Earth or Hogwarts? Okay, so those are fantasy novels and maybe they don’t apply. After all, they require an incredible imagination and if one is lucky enough to be blessed with that, then one is writing what they know, correct?

For me, well, let’s just say that when I started writing, I knew I wanted to write crime novels. Am I criminal? No. Am I in law enforcement? No. I am, however, very intrigued by those worlds. So, I did what every good writer does, I studied them. In fact, even in my spare time I studied them, whether I was working on a novel or not. It fascinates me. Perhaps I should have taken a career in criminal justice or something like that.  I don’t know.

I have learned over the past few years and continue to learn, so many facets of both sides. I’ve studied the FBI; their vernacular, procedures, old cases. Not to mention, the really cool technology they get to use! I’ve also put a great deal of time into studying the minds of killers, thieves and the like. I’ve often found that part rather disturbing, as I think most people would, but it was essential for me to understand them, to an extent of course. I read lots of true crime books, talked to former law officials. All of the things that I felt I needed for my work to be authentic. That brings to mind something my husband said to me once. “Why can’t you write about rainbows and unicorns?” I replied, “because then I would be an author of children’s books, silly.” So, while I didn’t really answer his question, I understood it. But, I am who I am and I am drawn to the darker side of humanity, but I am also drawn to those who fight against it.

While most of my novels revolve around murderous crimes, my latest release, Landslide, focuses on those elements in addition to the primary theme of white collar crime.  It was a world in which I knew very little when the idea came to me. But never let it be said that I walk away from a challenge! Instead, I threw myself into that world. I read everything from the fall of Enron to the subprime mortgage crises all the way to Ponzi schemes. Boy, let me tell you, those people responsible were just as bad and did almost as much damage as murderers!


So I’ll wrap it up by saying this. It helps to know what you write about, most definitely, but what you don’t know, you can always learn.  Never let it stop you. It hasn’t stopped me from writing with great passion and it never will.
~Try an Excerpt!~
THE SHEETING RAIN clouded her view of the blazing taillights ahead, but the image soon sharpened beneath the rhythmic swish of the wiper blades. Office buildings, parted by the road on which Claire was now wedged among the other commuters, had emptied out for the night. Downtown Seattle was in full rush-hour mode.

The radio proved helpful in subduing the dissonant clamor of drivers pressing down on their horns and of the rain thumping on her car roof. A man in a BMW next to Claire appeared aggravated, as evidenced by the pounding of his fists on the steering wheel, having missed the stop light she was now approaching. He caught her momentary glance and raised the one-finger salute in her direction.

“Nice.” Claire turned back, glancing at the clock on her dashboard; 5:15, and prepared for the long drive back to Bellevue. The upscale gated community that was home to Claire and the rest of the McKennas was a stretch financially, but, like many, they had banked on the continuing upswing in the housing market during the boom. Now, they only hoped to climb their way out from beneath the crushing weight of that speculative conclusion.


If she were a betting woman, Claire would wager an hour, at best, before arriving home. Colin would probably beat her there by a small margin, but she knew there was little chance he’d do anything to begin preparations for the evening meal. A good father and husband, he sometimes fell short in forward-thinking ability, opting for more traditional gender roles. This was something she hadn’t noticed in him until after the children were born. 
~Meet Robin!~
Robin Mahle lives with her husband and two children in Arizona. She found her passion for writing, which later became her second career, after spending 20 years in the construction industry.

Having always been a lover of books, Robin attributes her creativity to the wonderful overseas adventures she has shared with her husband of 15 years. Traveling throughout Europe and having lived in England, opened her mind and with that came a steady stream of story ideas inspired by her author-idols in the suspense/thriller genre.


Robin published her debut mystery/suspense novel, Redwood Violet in March of 2013. And in September 2013, the much-anticipated sequel, All the Shiny Things (Redwood Violet II), was released. Both have become Amazon Bestsellers! Now, Beyond the Clearing has also joined the list!  Her latest novel, Landslide, was released in July, 2014. This exciting corporate thriller reveals Robin’s unique voice yet again.
Robin will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn host.

Return to Emerald City Blog Tour! (+$10 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Return to Emerald City
Author: Sofia Grey, Allyson Lindt
Series: N/A
Pages: N/A
Date Published: October 14th 2014
Publisher: N/A
Format: Paperback
Genre: Speculative Fiction
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

Synopsis:
Dorothy’s Red Shoes 
There’s no place like home… Dorothy is already feeling homesick for Emerald City, and wonders if taking a job halfway around the world was a mistake. When her love life crumbles–again–will she run for home?

His Replay Girl 
If he only had the nerve… Ten years ago, Quinn made the best choice of his life, and the biggest mistake. It’s true, his band, Lionheart, is one of the biggest in the world, but how much does it mean if he can’t tell the woman he loves how he feels? 
His Reboot Girl 
If he only had a brain… Scott woke up with his head spinning and not much else going on up there. Now he’s a suspect in a terrorist plot, and on the run. One woman insists she's the key to his past and his freedom. Too bad he doesn't remember her.

His Rewind Girl 
If he only had a heart… Cam is as much machine as man. There are days he loathes the CyGes implants that saved his life but couldn't do the same for his family. They replaced his limbs, but now he needs someone to mend his heart.
~Try an Excerpt!~
“Ready?” Ben smiled when I turned to him “We can sit anywhere.” He held out his hand, but I stood frozen. Now I was here, I felt sick. I normally avoided big, noisy parties like this. Why had I come? Oh, yeah. Because I wanted to impress Matthew, and I wasn’t going to do that if I continued to lurk out here. I shoved down my fear, clamped a temporary lock on my social ineptitude, and with a grateful smile, slipped my hand into Ben’s. His palm was warm, smooth and dry. He laced our fingers together and gave me a quick squeeze.

I nodded. I could do this.  “Let’s go.” The words came out in a strangled voice, and Ben flashed me a smile. Heel, toe, heel, toe. I repeated the mantra in my head, and managed to walk beside him without tripping over my own feet.

A sultry jazz singer warbled softly from the stage, and wait staff flowed around the room, carrying trays stacked with canap├ęs. In one corner, a magnificent Christmas tree reached the high ceiling, glass baubles reflecting a copious string of flashing lights. My beautiful shoes pinched already, but that was just because they were new. All the same, I didn’t want to walk too far, and I happily sank into the first seat Ben found. It was an ideal position. From here, I had an excellent view of the entrance; I could see everyone who came and left.
 ~Meet Allyson and Sofia!~ 
About Sofia Grey:

Romance author Sofia Grey spends her days managing projects in the corporate world and her nights hanging out with wolf shifters and alpha males. She devours pretty much anything in the fiction line, but she prefers her romances to be hot, and her heroes to have hidden depths. When writing, she enjoys peeling back the layers to expose her characters’ flaws and always makes them work hard for their happy endings.

About Allyson Lindt:

Allyson Lindt is a full-time geek and a fuller-time contemporary romance author. She prefers that her geeky heroes come with the alpha expansion pack and adores a heroine who can hold her own in a boardroom. She loves a sexy happily-ever-after and helping deserving cubicle dwellers find their futures together.

Find Sofia Grey Online:

www.SofiaGrey.com
Allyson and Sofia will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host between this tour and the Excerpt tour.
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sotto Voce Blog Tour! (+$25 Barnes and Noble GC Giveaway!)

Title: Sotto Voce
Author: Erin Finnegan
Series: N/A
Pages: 270
Date Published: October 21st, 2014
Publisher: Interlude Press
Format: Paperback
Genre: Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

Synopsis:
New York-based wine critic Thomas Baldwin can make or break careers with his column for Taste Magazine. But when his publisher orders him to spend a year profiling rising stars of California’s wine country and organizing a competition between the big name wineries of Napa and the smaller artisan wineries of Sonoma, his world gets turned upside-down by an enigmatic young winemaker who puts art before business.

Sotto Voce is the story of love and wine, and how both require patience, passion, an acceptance of change—and an understanding that sometimes, you have to let nature take its course.
~Guest Post!~
STRONG WOMEN PULLING THE STRINGS IN SOTTO VOCE

Last week, someone told me that readers of M/M romance don't want female characters in their stories.

I find that odd considering that M/M fiction has such a strong female readership. Whoever these people are that don't want female characters in their novels featuring gay romance, I'm not one of them.

And apparently, I'm not writing for them, either.

That's because some of the strongest characters in Sotto Voce are the female supporting characters, Brooke Clifton and Carmen Sandoval.

These two women have a solid sense of self, and aren't afraid to pursue their dreams. In fact, it's almost a misnomer to call Brooke and Carmen supporting characters, because in many ways, they're the ones pulling the strings.

While the heart of Sotto Voce is a romance between Tom, a wine critic, and Greg, an artisan winemaker, their story would not have happened without the scheming of Brooke and Carmen.

Tom's California odyssey happens because Brooke, his publisher, has plans to increase the stature and ad revenue of Taste Magazine. She invites Tom to her office under the guise of planning his publication calendar for the year, when she has actually already done that for him, going so far as to having booked his hotel and rental car and having found him a renter for his New York apartment. And the fact that Tom is recently single helps to ensure his participation. Brooke has manipulated him brilliantly, and continues to do so throughout his California assignment.

Carmen Sandoval, the president of a Sonoma trade association, also uses her strong will to shape events. The common link between Tom and Greghaving known Tom since college and becoming one of Greg's closest friends in the Sonoma wine communityCarmen fiercely defends the industry she represents. And while she isn't shy about using friendships to help her achieve her goals, she also quietly goes about protecting the friends and relationships she values.

Both women initially go to great lengths to downplay their mutual vulnerabilityeach otheruntil they find a way to exorcise the demons of their pasts and define their own terms of happiness.

Without the influence of these two strong female characters, the romance between Tom and Greg could never have occurred. So I say, keep bringing the strong female characters in M/M fiction. As allies, antagonists, friends, colleagues, truth-tellers or obstacles, they can add another wrinkle to help bring the story to life.
~Try an Excerpt!~
Kennedy took the glasses, rinsed them and the wine thief, and then moved on to another tank. Repeating the procedure, a velvety red wine was deposited into the glasses.

“Mezzo, the Zinfandel.”

“I’m sensing a trend here,” Tom said. “Rhapsody Wines? Allegrezza? Mezzo?”

“Mm. Yes,” Kennedy responded, sounding truly uninterested in the conversation.

“Is there a reason for the choice of each name for the particular wine?” Tom asked.

“If you can’t tell, then I haven’t done my job very well.”

Tom again checked the color, the legs, the nose, then sipped at the rich, lively Zin.

“It has the brightness of fruit, without the feeling that I’m eating a bowl of jam—which is happening altogether too often lately.”

Kennedy smirked—the closest thing to a smile since they met, Tom thought.

“Let’s see. The Roussanne? Allegrezza. It’s bright, cheerful, like a bouquet of spring flowers.”

The winemaker’s head might have been turned, but Tom could still see the slightest smile slip across his lips.

“I’ll have to take a stab that Mezzo is your in-between wine. Not bright and summery like the Roussanne, but there’s something else you’re making that’s darker, richer—something with deeper tannins. So the Zinfandel is Mezzo.”

“Yes.”

“And it’s lovely,” Tom said.

“Thank you. Syrah’s next.”

“And it is?”

“Appassionato.”

The thief slipped samples of a dark, sinfully lush wine into the glasses. The color looked like it belonged on the runway, like haute couture. It clung to the glass like silk cut on the bias. A swirl, a dip of the nose—Tom closed his eyes.

“Blackberry, pepper and... something else, almost smoky, with a hint of sweet, like... maple?”

He took a sip, held it on his tongue. He sensed Kennedy’s eyes on him.

“Bacon!”


Kennedy dipped his head as the corners of his mouth rose, revealing dimpled cheeks. 
~Meet Erin!~
Erin Finnegan is a former journalist and editor. She was born and raised in Southern California, where she lives with two sheep dogs and grows, ferments and drinks Syrah and Zinfandel in the foothills outside Los Angeles. 

Sotto Voce is her first novel.

Connect with Erin at erin-finnegan.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/ErinGoFinnegan, on Goodreads at Goodreads.com/ErinFinnegan and on Twitter at @eringofinnegan.

Erin will be awarding a Multi-format Sotto Voce eBook to 10 randomly drawn winners and a Grand Prize of a $25 B&N gift card will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner, all via rafflecopter during the tour. 
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REVIEW: An Intimate Murder (+$50 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway!)


Title: An Intimate Murder
Author: Stacey Verdick Case
Series: Catherine O'Brien #3
Pages:  288
Date Published: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Before the Falls Books
Format: eBook
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

Synopsis:
A Catherine O'Brien Mystery: When Jonathan and Susan Luther are murdered in their home, St. Paul homicide detective Catherine O'Brien and her partner Louise discover this isn't the first time the Luther family has been visited by tragedy. Is it a case of bad family luck or is there something more?

~My Thoughts~
An Intimate Murder is a contemporary mystery with romantic elements. Catherine O'Brien is a bad ass detective, working homicide, and she and her partner Louise break in the novel by being called to a murder scene. Catherine is not at all happy about this, as she was just about to re-consumate her marriage to her hubby...for the umteenth time ;) but was interrupted by this inconvenient murder.

I liked the snarky and somewhat sarcastic humor that Catherine had. Although at times she did come off as callous and whiny because of her snark...she still was a good character that I enjoyed spending time with.

While I liked the characters...the storyline and plot was a bit of a problem for me. There were some plot holes and inconsistencies with real life that kind of threw me for a loop. It was hard to get over certain things that were obviously not capable of happening or would not happen in our world today. I just couldn't suspend my disbelief enough. The mystery itself was pretty satisfying and I enjoyed how the threads of the story wrapped together in the end, but those first stumbling blocks make it hard for me to really get settled into the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed Stacy's writing style. It was fun and interesting and witty. There were a couple of items that could have used a little more thought and research, but overall this was a fun and entertaining read that let me really get into the story and enjoy the ride!

~Try an Excerpt!~
The world as a whole is a strange place, and the people who inhabit this world are even stranger. The Luther’s neighbors proved to be the strangest I’d encountered in ten years of law enforcement. Considering the whackos and ice-blooded murders I’d run into, these neighbors could be proud of their over achieving ways.

The street looked benign, an affluent tree lined parkway with a BMW or Mercedes in every other driveway. The neighbor across the street had a pickup truck in their drive, but it turned out to be the yard man’s, who happened to be cleaning up the left behinds from the oak and maple fall deposits. Pretty to look at until they rotted into brown slime piles on your grass.

We questioned every neighbor on the block but no one heard the gunshots. They lived behind triple pane glass where the temperature was never too hot or too cold. Only one had dared to steal a glance out their insulated glass when an older car, rusted in too many places and not carrying the pedigree of a classic automobile, sped down the street.

“I knew right away they were up to no good.” Bernice Leigh, who claimed a relation to Janet Leigh, rocked on the edge of her tufted, chintz ottoman.

“Well maybe not right away.” She rolled her hand dramatically in the air. “At first I thought the car could belong to one of the boy’s friends who visit the Luther’s from time to time.”

“Did you know the Luther’s very well?” Louise nibbled the edge of a Ginger Thin Mrs. Leigh had fanned out on a china plate, and placed on the coffee table in front of us

~Meet Stacey!~ 
Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota.  After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.

Stacy has written all her life earning a High School Writer Award and a Daphne Du Mauier Award for excellence in Mainstream Mystery/Suspense.

Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband of twenty-years, her five-year-old daughter, and their two cats.

An Intimate Murder is the third book in the Catherine O’Brien series.

Visit Stacy on the web:

www.StacyVerdickCase.com
Stacy will award a $50 Barnes and Noble GC to one winner, and a signed ARC of An Intimate Murder (US only) to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during this tour and her standard tour.
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Project Firebird Blog Tour! (+$ 20 Amazon GC Giveaway!)


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nick will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Don’t ask Leo Lloyd-Jones. Ask him how to steal a car, or why he got excluded from every school in Salford, but don’t come to him for help. This whole thing must be a daft mistake – and if anyone finds out, he’s done for.

Earth is on a deadly collision course that nothing can prevent. The only real hope is Project Firebird, deep inside a blast-proof bunker that shelters the brightest and bravest young people. Leo has got mixed up with the likes of Rhys Carnarvon, the celebrated teenage polar explorer, and other child prodigies chosen to keep the flame of civilisation.

Among them is the streetwise Paige Harris, a girl Leo likes a lot (but not in that way). Paige is desperate to rescue her little sister from London before the catastrophe strikes. But no-one is crazy enough to try that. Almost no-one.

~Enjoy an Excerpt~

‘That which you have there, is a frog.’

Lenka stood in the doorway, smiling. Dressed in a casual blouse and vaguely military trousers, she looked wide awake and not surprised to see them. Leo managed to get his head to stop swimming. Puking on her boots would not be attractive.

‘What is going on here?’ she asked. ‘The midnight feast?’

Rhys wrung the hem of his t-shirt awkwardly. ‘I’m sorry, Doctor Mironov. We couldn’t sleep.’

‘A North American wood frog.’ Lenka nodded at the frozen thing. ‘Rana Sylvatica. A very special animal.’

‘Why –’ Leo coughed. ‘Why have you got dead frogs in your ice box? You’re not French.’

Lenka giggled like a schoolgirl. ‘No, Leo. I’m from St Petersburg.’ She took the lolly in her hand. ‘And this frog, he’s not dead. He’s sleeping.’

‘It’s frozen solid,’ Paige protested.

‘That’s how wood frogs hibernate,’ said Lenka. ‘They’ve evolved to stay alive inside a solid block of ice.’

Rhys made an odd strangled noise. Now he was the one who looked green in the face.

‘We keep these specimens for demonstration purposes,’ said Lenka.

‘Demonstration?’ Rhys spluttered. He seemed unable to take his eyes off the frog. ‘Demonstrating what?’

Lenka tapped her capped teeth with one perfect fingernail.

‘You weren’t supposed to be told this yet. But since you ask, let’s strike while the ironing’s hot. Come. I’ll show you.’

About the Author: Nick Green lives in the UK. He is the author of seven fiction books to date, including the middle-grade CAT KIN trilogy published by Strident. His other books include THE STORM BOTTLE, a fantasy adventure about the dolphins of Bermuda, and most recently the FIREBIRD trilogy, a YA science fiction epic.

www.nickgreenbooks.com
https://www.goodreads.com/nickgreen_catkin

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hathor Legacy: Burn (+$45 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Burn
Author: Deborah A Bailey
Series: Hathor Legacy #2
Pages: 321
Date Published: July 16th, 2014
Publisher:  Bright Street Books
Format: Kindle
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Synopsis:
On the planet, Hathor, an old threat re-emerges that may destroy the fragile alliance between the Guardians and Novacorp. When Nadira is called to investigate a rash of fires throughout the city, she discovers the Deshtu, another group with PSI powers who have been purposely kept in the shadows.

Working to uncover the source of the fires, Nadira learns the brutal truth about the origin of the Guardians. The Guardian Elders have plans to make Nadira more powerful, and she may be forced to sever her psychic connection to Jonathan Keel.

When an unexpected ally gives Jonathan information about the Deshtu that connects them to the fires, he becomes a convenient scapegoat for the opposing factions. Nadira puts her life on the line to solve the crime, while the Elders make their move to remove Jonathan from her life forever.

As time runs out, the Guardians prepare for a clash with Novacorp that could plunge the planet into chaos, and a final betrayal forces Nadira to risk everything to save herself and Hathor.
~Guest Post!~
Writing Love Scenes
For the most part when I wrote short stories, I didn't include love scenes. Romance and flirting, yes. Sex, nope. If my stories had romance, it was a side thing. I'd mention it and hint at what happened between the characters, then move on.

But when I wrote my first novel, Hathor Legacy: Outcast, I found myself in a bit of a dilemma. It's a romance, isn't it? So I knew at some point, the heroine/hero would have to get busy. These days so many stories seem to be in the erotica camp, even when they're not officially erotica. Going all the way is expected. But how far? That was my question.

Since I'd just started getting to know the characters, I didn't feel comfortable having them get together too fast. But even though I waited until halfway through the book, I still had a reviewer say it might've been too soon. Well, maybe. It can be hard to tell when to get the hero and heroine paired up. It is a romance, isn't it? At some point, they'll have to have a love scene.

But whenever it happens, it shouldn't feel forced. Once I decided how explicit I wanted to get, it got easier. Instead of doing endless "insert tab a into slot b" descriptions, I looked for descriptive words that could set the mood without my having to actually describe the blow-by-blow. Here's an example from Hathor Legacy: Burn.

"Above the roar of the waves crashing, so much louder in this corner of the beach, he heard her moans. Fueling him to his own explosion he held himself back, wanting to take his time on his task."

I'm not describing any body parts or explicitly describing actions. But words like roar, crashing, fueling, explosion, make a strong impression. They drive up the tension and the reader has a reaction to them, even if they're not fully aware of it.

Words are powerful. They paint images and stir up emotions. I want to show what's happening, while at the same time I want to stay within what I think is appropriate for that story. When I write these scenes, I try to stay true to what I feel works at that point. The characters will let me know when they're ready, and that will make the scene much easier to write.
~Try an Excerpt!~
"I don't believe in old stories, Nadira. Whatever they think they can accomplish, it won't work. But I mustn't criticize Elder Dakar even if I feel that some of his actions are questionable," Mikal said.

"Are you going to tell me what you mean by that?" Nadira asked. "What has he done?"

Mikal looked off in the distance. "Your transport is coming."

"You're not going to answer me, are you?"

"I'm his assistant and it's not my place to say anything against the Elder," Mikal said, as he glanced back down the street. "But I know that he will do everything in his power to force you to comply with him."

"Force me? None of them can force me to open myself up to them. That would be a violation."

The transport trundled up the street and pulled over to the curb. It stopped and the door swung back with a hiss.

"Yes, it would be, Nadira. But they're desperate and afraid of what Novacorp may do to us. And desperate people can do violent things." He reached out and ran his hand along her cheek.

His touch was like fire against her skin, searing her with his open desire. Startled she jumped back and stumbled as she tried to stay on her feet. "Mikal, don’t. I have to go." Brushing past him, she climbed into the vehicle and moved to the opposite side of the seat. Sitting there huddled in the corner, she felt vulnerable, like cornered prey.


"I'm sorry if I was too forward, Nadira," he said, leaning into the cabin. "My emotions overpowered me."
~Meet Deborah!~ 
As a little girl when Deborah A Bailey was watching Star Trek and Twilight Zone, she was writing and drawing her own superheroine comics. When she grew up, she continued to write and followed her love of technology into a career as a computer programmer and developer. But writing was never far away from her heart, so over the years she wrote and published stories set on other worlds and in Earth's future. Ultimately she fulfilled a lifelong dream and completed her first novel in the Hathor Legacy universe, Hathor Legacy: Outcast.


Her short stories have won awards from the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and her work has been published in US1 Magazine and the Sun. In 2013 she published a short story collection, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales. In her "other" life, she's a freelance writer who's published three non-fiction books and countless articles that have appeared in print and online. Visit her blog for writing tips, interviews and updates. http://www.BrightStreetBooks.com
Deborah will be awarding a free print version of Hathor Legacy: Burn to three randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour (US ONLY), and a Grand Prize of a $45 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 
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REVIEW: Pariah by (+$25 Amazon Giftcard)

Title: Pariah
Author: C. R. Richards
Series: N/A
Pages: N/A
Date Published: September 15th, 2014
Publisher: Smashwords
Format: ebook
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours 
Buy Me!

Synopsis:
Millennia have passed since the corrupt of Seelie society were banished from Otherworld. Abandoned in the Human Realm, their Descendants keep to the shadows, secretly controlling criminal organizations and swaying governments. Jin, a Seelie Descendant, refuses to swear allegiance to any Clan. Marked as a pariah, he is banished from their society. One ill-fated evening, Jin breaks the rules to visit the family he left behind. A chance meeting with an old enemy draws him into a murderous plot that could propel the Human Realm into a bloody war. His warning of insurrection goes unheeded. Determined to keep the plan secret, the conspirator summons an ancient demon with a taste for Seelie blood. It's reward? A pound of Jin's flesh. On the run with a Death Mark on his head, Jin is desperate to find the cunning spider behind the conspiracy. With the help of Gracie Berry, a pre-cognitive with a hidden past, Jin searches for their allusive enemy before his ruthless hunters find their target.

~My Thoughts~
Jin as a main character was the perfect blend of angst, strength, and power. As a Seelie descendant, I was interested to see what kind of abilities he and his brethren would possess. Fairies, and their other incarnations, are always big areas of interest for me, especially because of my fondness for Laurell. K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry series. I did enjoy what Jin was capable of, and wished we could have gotten a bit more on that end. The whole "leaping into nothingness" was a cool and unique power that is right up the mythological alley of the Celts and Norse and I thought that was really cool! C.R. also did a great job detailing Jin's age, as he would remember certain historical events when looking at a given place or thing, and that added a dimension and weight to the character that really helped round him out.

Even supporting characters were fully fleshed out and good. I particularly enjoyed Mai Ling and her reaction to her brother Jin's visits. She was the perfect child, though a bit well spoken for her age. Many side characters had lives of their own, which I appreciated, and gave better fullness to the story. I also liked how multiple cultures were represented. There were Asian influences, among others, and all of these gave a creative flavoring to the story that I didn't expect.

The writing style was good, but a little over embellished in my own opinion. That doesn't stop it from being good! I did enjoy the stylization, but it was a little at much at times, what with all the dramatic declarations and angsty pools of thought that seem to suck the life from you... See...now I'm doing it! Lol. As for the plot, it was original and fun and gave me a great run around as I was trying to stay one step ahead of the mystery. This was a great read and I'd be happy to get my hands on another C.R. Richards book soon! 
~Try an Excerpt!~
Family. It was a blessing to some and a soul-crushing inconvenience to others. Jin closed his eyes for a moment, willing the throbbing along his right rib cage to subside. Sticky blood soaked his shirt, binding the fabric to tender flesh. The bones in his family's closet were rattling again. Like a fool, he was dancing to their harsh beat. Old habits.
           
Jin steadied his body against the centuries-old window frame. Balancing on the ornate iron rod mounted four stories above the pavement, he was a black shadow against white stone. He remained perfectly still in the fading twilight of a Paris sky. Rue Saint-Dominique's ancient spine arched beneath him, a glittering highway for travelers in the evening rush. Normals, or humans as they preferred to be called, strolled obliviously hand in hand along the sidewalks below.
           
Two loud pings and spraying bits of stone brought Jin's focus back to the challenge at hand. Titanium quills were embedded deep into the building just inches from his head. Not a bad shot, but not good enough either. His intense eyes—not quite human—focused on the next section of window several feet above him. Nothing stood between him and the distant railing except empty air and a five-story drop.
~Meet C.R!~ 
C. R. Richards is the award winning author of The Mutant Casebook Series. Her literary career began as a part-time columnist for a small entertainment newspaper. She wore several hats: food critic, entertainment reviewer and cranky editor. A lover of horror and dark fantasy stories, she enjoys telling tales of intrigue and adventure. Her most recent literary projects include the horror short story, Lost Man's Parish and the newly released novel length dark fantasy thriller, Pariah. She is an active member of EPIC and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Find her at her Website, Blog, and Amazon Page!