Thursday, January 29, 2015

5* Review for Devil in Duke's Clothing (Royal Pains, #1) by Nina Mason




Devil in Duke's Clothing (Royal Pains, #1)Devil in Duke's Clothing by Nina Mason
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FSOG meet Indecent Proposal!

Innocent Maggie have no other option but to marry the Duke of Dunwoody’s, Robert Armstrong. She knows that she is in for a rough ride and is scared beyond words. While snooping around she found the devilish duke and another woman getting it on, but what she saw had left its mark on her forever. Now wedded to the dark intense man, she fears her marriage with him. But Robert blows her mind when he introduces her to sex, pain and most of all love. Maggie falls deep in love with the Duke but when she needs to pay the price for their marriage to be excepted by the King, it might be too much to ask of her.

Wow, what an interesting ride! Imagine a girl in the 1600's getting her hands on FSOG? Well Maggie would be the one, and even more get to experience it. As an innocent she fears what her devilish husband would do to her each day, but as he introduces her to his world, she is taken beyond just desire. I loved how Maggie started off as just another virgin and quickly changed into one hell of a mistress. Robert was, well you can say, a gentlemen. Slowly and with care he brought Maggie into his world of love and pain.

Mason have introduced us to an historical version of FSOG with an intense ride. Her writing was superb and I was lost in her novel within the first two pages. The plot was tense and near the end utterly suspenseful. I have to say that this was an amazing read from start to finish. Devil in Duke's clothing is the perfect read and I would highly recommend it.

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Book Blast & Giveaway: Zoku’s Hope by @ChelCOneal

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TITLE – Zoku’s Hope SERIES – Angel Crest Trilogy #2 AUTHOR – Chelsea O’Neal GENRE – Urban Fantasy Romance PUBLICATION DATE – March 21, 2014 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 220 pages PUBLISHER – Mirador Publishing COVER ARTIST – Mallory Rock’s Art

  Zoku's Hope - Book Cover  


After Jaiden found Daniah in Juniper, they returned to Garnet City. Daniah is destined to become Queen of Zoku, a race of angel half-breeds who protect the humans from a soul-stealing evil. Now, Daniah is learning of her abilities and responsibilities as queen. Just as things seem to be going smoothly, a group of Zoku show up to help, led by an angel, Shelly. Mallory has been on her own for most of her life, trying to protect and save those around her. She is Toyek, and she's been hiding in plain sight while fighting for her life. She is intent on finding her friends' daughter, whatever the cost, when an innocent trip to the supermarket takes an interesting turn. Orion has been hired to find a female and, as a Tracker, finding people is his specialty. He finds much more than he was looking for when he runs into the beautiful Mallory. While pursuing both his target and the resistant Mallory, he finds himself fighting to defend Princess Daniah and the Zoku. Can Orion and Mallory work together to help Daniah be the hope the Zoku so desperately need? Or will a few surprises and a tragedy be all it takes to break the united front of the Zoku fighting against the evil Meikal?




  Portrait of young elegant couples in the tender passion  


“Cord, come dance with me,” I suggest, sliding out of my chair and holding my hand out to her.

She looks up at me in surprise then blushes and reaches her good hand up to clasp mine and we head to the dance floor. The music has all been slower songs, which is good because with her broken arm Cord wouldn’t be able to get too crazy.

I slide one arm around her waist and pull her against me while taking her free hand in mine. We sway to the music and I notice the beat changes into another song which is a bit faster, so I dip Cord back then nudge her gently with my arm at her waist while pulling her other arm, making her go in a circle before pulling her body back up against mine.

She giggles. “This is fun, and you’re quite good,” she says smiling up at me. “Even with my bum arm.”

I smile back and respond, “thank you.” Then we continue on, me dipping, swaying, pushing away pulling her back against me. I twist her so that her back is against me and we sway in time to the music. I drop my head against her shoulder and lay my cheek against hers.

“You’re pretty good at this yourself,” I say into her ear and feel her body tremble against mine as she lays her head back against my chest. ““Even with your bum arm.”

We sway a bit more, before I spin her around again and dip her before bringing her up against my body, lifting her to where her face is close to mine. We are still swaying slightly as the music changes again, and then, looking into her eyes and her flushed face, I lean closer, my eyes falling to her lips.

I feel her take in a breath and hear it catch in her throat. I release her hand and slide both of my arms around her, one on her waist and the other around her back. Her hand moves to my shoulder and I feel her pull me closer. My eyes flick back up to hers, which are locked onto my mouth. Without another thought, I lean in and press my lips against hers softly. My hand moves to her nape as I cradle her against me.

I feel a shock at the first touch of our lips and then I feel Cord press herself even closer to me as she pulls at my shoulder. She is everything I have been wanting and more than I had hoped for. Her lips are soft and warm, molding against mine; her body is lean and muscled, though still soft. Her hand moves up to my hair and she lightly scratches my scalp and I moan into her mouth feeling the touch all throughout my body.

I move my lips against hers, lightly swiping my tongue against her lower lip, coaxing her to open for me. She does, sucking in a shuddering breath, and I thrust my tongue into her mouth. I feel as well as hear her groan in to my mouth as she angles her mouth against mine.

I pull back from her mouth and move to her neck, lightly leaving open- mouthed kisses along her jaw and neck. I have waited years to finally kiss her, and I have wanted her more the last few days. “Cord,” I whisper and I feel her body stiffen.

I pull back and look at her in question. She looks up at me with indecision all over her face, though I can see the desire in her eyes.

Zoku's Hope - Teaser 2  


Chelsea O’Neal lives in her fantasy world where people can fly, vampires could be real, money is never an issue, and the romantic meeting of your true love is a normal happening. When not relaxing in Chelsea-ville, she enjoys talking with animals that talk back and taking long walks with her Prince Charming…

Actually Chelsea lives in the United States in Nebraska, where she was born and raised, with her black lab Daisey, who hasn’t spoken actual words, but she is pretty sure Daisey understands her. She is yet to meet her Prince Charming, though she is quite sure he is out there. Chelsea enjoys working in a library as well as a cosmetologist. She is an avid reader and writing has always been her passion. Zoku’s Hope is her second novel, and she is working on her next book now.




Zoku's Hope - Teaser 1  


1 ebook of each of my books.

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Book one info below



TITLE – Juniper’s Princess SERIES – Angel Crest Trilogy #1 AUTHOR – Chelsea O’Neal GENRE – Urban Fantasy Romance PUBLICATION DATE – July 2, 2013 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 254 pages PUBLISHER – Mirador Publishing COVER ARTIST – Mallory Rock’s Art

Juniper's Princess - Book Cover  


Daniah is different, she always has been and now her dreams and visions of the future are increasing, she knows her life is changing. She just doesn't know by how much...

Jaiden is different, but he knows why and he knows his responsibilities. He must find the saviour of his race, the angel human half-breeds who are fighting a war for humanity's souls. If he can't convince Daniah she is more than just a little different - she is the princess of their people - they are all going to die.

Unfortunately Daniah doesn't have many reasons to trust Jaiden, especially when he is caught in a web of his own lies. In a world where half-breed angels walk among us, fighting an evil for our souls, Daniah must find the strength to become the princess we all need.

Chelsea O'Neal has a unique voice in storytelling, threading the characters lives together intricately to give us a complex web of good versus evil in a world descending into chaos...




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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Blast, Giveaway & Interview: Blood and Spirits by @witlesslackey

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clip_image002_thumb[1]Blood and Spirits

The Coming Storm

Book One

Dennis Sharpe

Genre: Paranormal Thriller

Publisher: Booktrope Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-62015-595-0

Number of pages: 220

Cover Artist: Shari Ryan

Book Description:

Small-town life can be hard for a dead girl…

For Veronica Fischer the night to night life of a bloodsucking madam in Middle America is tough enough before she adopts Rachel Gregory, an eight year old ghost.

After her house is set on fire and Rachel disappears, all signs point to foul play. When she finds herself with a hit out on her unlife and warrants for her arrest, it becomes clear she’s going to need help.

Now she has to contend with horny zombies, violent spirits, and murderous grave robbers if she’s ever going to find Rachel and discover the awful truth of the coming storm.

A raucous ride through the dangerous lives of the lecherous undead.

Book Trailer:


Chapter 1

I’m told it’s an oddity that I still sleep. It only comes in short bursts, no more than forty-five minutes at a time. Most others with my condition, and I have only known a handful, tell me they don’t sleep anymore. Some of them haven’t in more than five decades. I can’t imagine the hell that must be. Even in my brief moments of rest, I still dream and in that I find relief. Even if the dreams aren’t what I like, they are still an escape.

The soft thickness of my comforter envelops me as I relax back into bed. Before I’m completely awake, my mind begins to unfold, opening to the world around me. In the distance, the fog is rolling in off the river, dense and blanketing, its vaporous fingers right there on the edges of my consciousness. The night is cool, and the last lights of the dying day dance across my ceiling, reflected from the crystals hanging in my window. The light tinkle as they sway into each other is a reassuring sound; the beautiful prisms they cast, a blessing. Not one night comes that I don’t wake to thank Jules for having the windows in this house ‘treated’. I can actually see the sun, even if I can’t be out in it.

I am now completely aware for miles around me. I’m awake, and not even grudgingly so. Not tonight. He’ll be here soon. I look forward to it and fear it all at once, but I ask myself ‘why dwell on what we can’t change?’

A soft breeze blows across me as I slip out of my bed, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand out. My mind recognizes the sensation as a chill, even if my dead flesh can’t feel as it once did.

Rubbing a hand down from the base of my skull, in a futile attempt to warm myself, I open the lid to the old steamer trunk Julie brought up from the basement today. She aired out everything in it while I slept, and the interior smells as though she even put some of my perfume on a few of the choice garments. I breathe in deeply and can the corner of my mouth turns up slightly. Time may have dulled Jules’ scent, but it’s still unmistakable, mingled in with the fragrance in the clothing.

Clothes have always held memories for me. The crimson silk of a dress drops down over me and it’s as though his eyes were on me again. The mirror reveals the garment to be no more out of place, for its slinky cut or lack of length, than it did when I first wore it a lifetime ago, when I could still remember being a girl. I first put it on in front of him and twirled around to raise the hem, hoping to entice and astonish with my feminine wiles, foolish enough back then to believe that because I loved him, a creature like him was even still capable of love.

I’ve learned from his example and years of my own mistakes – emotion is a weakness to be managed.

Yet, here I am, slipping into this dress that I haven’t worn since he left, simply because I know he’ll remember it.

Stepping out into the thick evening air, the raw power of the river hits me with the force of a freight train. Even from this distance, the power is unmistakable. Tonight, though, it has an odd feeling, as though it were restrained.

Standing still with my eyes closed, I concentrate and listen to the pulse of the water rolling heavily over the rocky bed, feel the lapping, almost angry waves against the shoreline. I don’t know why closing my eyes helps me bond to my surroundings, it just always has. It must be another facet of my insanity.

I’ve never met someone with my affliction that was as sane as they had been when they were alive. I wasn’t ever all that sane, either, but I’ve grown more detached as time has gone by. Too often these days, I feel like a spectator. Maybe that’s just my ‘coping mechanism’. My therapist would love to know about this fabulous train of thought. Prick.

As I enter the garage, it occurs to me that I’ve only got two cars at this house. Frank was to take Julie back to town with the Charger this afternoon to keep up the appearance that everything was normal. I’m certainly not taking my old Volkswagen Beetle to go bar hunting, so the flat black Eclipse will get a work out tonight. I hate this car, but she’s been fast enough to outrun a lot of demons I didn’t feel like facing.

Pulling out of the driveway, I already wish I’d stayed at the other house today. The drive into town is only thirty minutes, but I’m tense enough tonight and don’t need the wait. Telling myself that I needed to be here, for safety’s sake, only makes me feel more upset at my fear and lack of control.

Six months ago, I’d have talked to Lucy; she’d have taken the edge off. If she were here, though, I’d have had no need to contact Jules. Now I get to feel like a failure and look like one, too.

The tires scream as I kick the car almost sideways, narrowly avoiding a deer. My lack of focus is getting worse. As much as the idea repulses me, tonight I’m actually going to have to go look for food instead of letting it come to me. I haven’t had to do that in years. On one hand, it’s a fitting start to the night, but on the other, I had really thought I’d outgrown eating out.

I always forget how much sensory input I lose when I spend time around all the steel and pavement. The dark moonless drive down rural roads is a blessing, putting me more in tune with the land, at once one with the leaves on the trees, the bats overhead, and the rocks around the base of the roadside.

The sound of the insects in the high grass is comforting. Their flittering finds my ears even over the engine noise. They are mine as much as everything else here; as much as I am a part of them. It took more than twenty years to reach this level of awareness, and I’m still not foolish enough to believe I’ve mastered it.

I used to be able to spend time expanding my mind. I used to do a lot of things I haven’t been able to do lately. Everything has devolved so fast and I’m still reeling.

The past year I’ve been so caught up in the life of a dead girl, I’ve dealt with little else.

Rachel died eighteen months ago at the ripe old age of eight; I met her after that. She was hanging around the Jefferson House, where my girls work. If she hadn’t picked that place to haunt, I doubt I’d be in the mess I’m in now.

The town springs up slowly. Houses begin to sit closer together, then nearer to the road. Side streets appear, and businesses start to intersperse among the spider web of tight residential development, obviously undertaken with no real planning or forethought. Then, at last, the glow of the streetlights tells me I’m back where I’m in control. This is the town I run, inside and out. Or I did.

Passing the street that leads to the Jefferson House, it takes will not to turn. I want to check up on things, but personal priorities come first and I have to trust Julie has everything well in hand.

The dulcet tones of a southern rock cover band blare from six blocks away tingling my eardrums. The music is louder than usual. It should be a fun night, or at least a packed house. Either way, I’m content.

The transmission voices its complaint as I downshift onto the access road. I’ll never really like this car, but she does get from A to B more quickly than most. I still wish I’d driven something nicer tonight, something with a top I could put down. But, in the end, the car I’m in is the least of my concerns right now.

The lot isn’t full yet, leaving plenty of good spaces, but rock star parking wasn’t really a concern of mine to begin with. This just means that after I eat and pick him up, I should be able to get back here to a manageable crowd.

If I’m lucky, he’ll want to be social tonight. If not, then I’ll be too busy to make it back here at all. I really want to show him that the biggest part of my life is still under control, so he won’t only see the little girl that has to call him in as her savior. Again.

Why do I need so badly for him to be proud of me?

As I cross the parking lot, the lingering scents of sweat, cheap beer, and longing hang heavy in the air already. This might be a little too easy. Though catching a fresh meal has never been really what I’d call difficult. That’s why the small town, Midwestern life suits me; I usually get what I want and rarely have to work that hard to have it. Hopefully, years of having my food delivered hasn’t left me too out of practice.

Someone sees me coming and opens the door and holds it for me. That’s the thing about being a regular in a small town rural bar – you are a known commodity, more or less. This helps and hurts when you have to hunt for food where you also gather socially. Like a balancing act. Some are good at it; some are not. Those who have been less than good at it around here, I’ve had to deal with. No one pisses in my pool even once and gets to do it again.

There’s a big cowboy at the end of the bar, a couple bikers near the pool tables, and a few burly construction workers at a table. After only the briefest pause, my route is clear in my mind. The first taker is my next victim. I really love playing this game. Maybe I’m not so rusty, after all.

I don’t get the chance to make it very far. As I pass the bar, in my peripheral vision, the dark brown of the cowboy hat moves in my direction.

“Now this is why I came out tonight. A good looking girl in tight fitting dress!”

The booming words come projected from the stout bear of a man standing at the end of the bar undressing me through his beer goggles.

The cowboy it is; he’ll make a full meal.

I do my best to fake a blush, while acting interested and offended all at once. Pretending to care what men think is an art. It takes moments to learn, but lifetimes to master. I’d like to believe I’m an expert.

I walk over to him smiling but with my eyes downcast. “My name’s Veronica. Who are you, handsome?”

He puffs up in his detail-stitched denim shirt, pushing out his barrel chest in a vain attempt to hide his well-tended gut. He’d be fairly good looking if he didn’t obviously take such pride in how good looking he thinks he is.

“They call me Buck, and if I could I’d like to do a lot more than buy you a drink.” he slurs slightly at me.

He motions to the bartender for another round and I do my best to blush again, this time giving a halfhearted laugh at his insipid comment.

“Here ya go, darlin’.” He hands me a J├Ągerbomb and tries to force it to my lips “Bottoms up, baby!”

He reminds me why I live in a small town; this corn-fed hick really thinks he’s irresistible. Well, who am I to disappoint? I down the drink like a good girl going bad, exhale deeply, and lean over into him, letting my neckline plunge as it was designed to do. As old and tired as this dance is, I really do love his eyes on me. Some things never change.

“Now, that was worth it, wasn’t it?” he asks me proudly. “Buck won’t steer ya wrong.”

“We can go somewhere more private if you’d like…Buck,” I whisper softly in his ear, pulling back almost as slowly as the wicked grin spreads across my face. His perverse smile hides nothing. I have him now – hook, line, and zipper.

Money changes hands as we exit the bar. I laugh a little out loud while remembering the lack of faith I’d had in my abilities. I try to lead him to my car, but he’s intent on going to the alley behind the building. I try to convince him, sliding my hand slowly down over the large oval belt buckle with his name on it. But he’s convinced the alley is what excites him, and I don’t want to take the time to change his mind so I follow along.

It begins subtle and playful, but it’s clear that’s not what he’s in the mood for. He pushes me down onto my knees in a matter of seconds, quickly wrapping a hand in my hair and beginning to jerk my head back and forth violently.

He couldn’t hurt me if he tried so I let his game continue on his terms. Using my mouth like a cheap sex toy is a bit insulting, I guess, but I don’t need to breathe so I’m not gagging or choking. As always, I’m here to get what I need, and so I’ve gotten used to allowing them what they need. I look at it like my public service, or my good deed.

I could just take what I want and be done, but that generally leads to more problems than I want to deal with. I’ve even grown bored with the games of superiority and subservience. I let them feel dominant, and powerful. It’s the least I can do, really. Besides, the heightened state of arousal makes them taste better, even if most of them could use a lesson in hygiene.

It’s been so long since I did this in public. It might even be a little exciting if I weren’t so anxious, or if Buck were more attractive.

I’m only vaguely aware of the fact that he’s calling me a dirty whore. A little laugh flitters inside that he would call me dirty; the irony is lost on him but not me. I’ve almost completely tuned him out, focused on the job I’m here to do.

And then he makes a mistake; he hits my face, hard. If I were still alive, it would have done some damage, broken bone, maybe even knocked me out.

This isn’t playful anymore – this bastard actually likes to hurt women – now, I’m done playing.

I pull back slowly from him, looking at his fist wrapped around what looks like a roll of quarters. He’s using every ounce of strength and leverage he has to try to hold me on my knees. He has no more effect holding me down than the weight of my clothes. His eyes begin to widen and he lets go of my hair as I rise slowly and determined. His fist is still drawn back, but we both know he’s not going to swing. I’m going over all the painful ways I can drive home the point that he doesn’t get to hurt the girls he plays with, all the while considering how much I love this dress and don’t want to ruin it.

Standing in front of him I wipe his liquid from the corner of my mouth and stare deeply. I can see the panic in his eyes. I can smell his fear, deep, rich and growing, and for the first time tonight, I’m actually aroused.

“Now, Buck, what could possibly have made you think that was a good idea?” I ask in a cool and controlled voice.

“Get back on your knees whore! I ain’t paying you to fucking talk!” He spews the words out loudly, in a vain attempt to regain control as he tries to force me back down with one hand, while still menacing with his fist. He only succeeds in ripping my dress.

Not this dress, not tonight. He’s decided it for me; tonight is the end of his story.

“I’m used to the rough stuff, Buck.”

In an instant, I have his throat in my hand and his back against the wall. He’s beginning to shake as he draws back to swing.

“I was just going to let you off with a little pain and a warning about hurting working girls, and look what you’ve done.”

The fear pours off of him in waves as I disregard his raised fist and calmly show him my torn dress. It’s enough to make even my body react involuntarily to the stimulation. “You want a pretty girl to throatfuck, you pay for it. We’re all good. You like it a little rough, that’s fine. But slapping a girl around hard enough to actually hurt them? We just don’t do that, Buck. You’re incredibly lucky I don’t bruise easy.”

I flash him a smile and for just a moment I can see he thinks it’s all going to be okay.

“We had a perfectly good deal worked out, and now you’ve ensured that I’m the last thing you’re gonna see, and given me the extra work of dealing with your corpse.”

He shudders and wets himself.

It really is dirty how hot this has gotten me. I’ll blame it on my state of mind, certainly not wanting to give this bastard any credit.

I peer deeply into his eyes, and his mind unfolds to me. I see all that he had planned for me; I know all that is ‘Buck’. The last restraint I had left is gone. He’s from out of town, no one here knows him, and only his trucking company will miss him.

I apply just a touch more pressure, and with a flick of my wrist, he goes limp. I let go and he crumples to the ground in a heap. Quick and painless is better than he deserves, but I’m pressed for time.

I drink from him what I need and leave him piled up behind the dumpster. At least he’s served his purpose, even if he was more trouble than I’d planned on.

Why this dress? Any other dress he could have ripped and he’d still be breathing. Clearly, I’m too stressed out.

I dial my cell and wait, more than a little irritated when I get voicemail. “Frank, you really need to call me back. I have a pick up for you and it’s time sensitive. Remind me again why I keep you on payroll?”

I walk back up to the end of the alley and wait for my phone to ring. The straps on the left shoulder of the dress are ripped completely out of the back and there are two deep tears where they had been attached. This is what happens when you have to rush. Things don’t go as planned, and then shit gets broken.

“Can I help you with that?”

His voice is steady, soft, and scares me almost out of my skin. This is why I pay him so well.

I turn to face him and am a bit taken aback to see him dressed in jeans and a wife-beater. He’s never this down-dressed, even when I tell him to be.

“Not with my dress, but you can wrap that up,” I fume, nodding my head back down the alley to what remains of Buck. “And make it disappear.”

Frank O’Leary looks like what a Greek god should look like. Chiseled out of stone; an example of everything that makes a man attractive. His mane of auburn hair, always perfectly messy, hangs down between his shoulder blades. Like all men who look this good, Frank has no interest in women. He also has very few morals, a deviously creative mind, and an unequaled love for money. That serves to make him an irreplaceable asset. I keep telling myself I can never trust him completely, but he’s too smart to bite the hand that pays for his lifestyle.

Also, despite my attempts to keep him at arm’s length, I’ve grown attached to him over the years.

He stares, one eyebrow raised, at the boots jutting visibly out from behind the dumpster and nods. “Any particulars on how he disappears or just ‘out of sight out of mind?’”

“Just make it fucking happen, Frank! I don’t have time for bullshit tonight!” As soon as the words escape me, I’m aware they’re harsher than he deserved.

The look on his face says it all. He understands. He’s not happy about it, but he knows why I’m stressed and he’ll accept it for now and hope that things will get better.

“He is coming in tonight, then?”

“Should be here in about an hour.”

I really have to get back to the old me, and soon. I know better than to kill this close to where I go to relax. I know he knows that, too. It felt good to destroy that piece of shit, and save generations of women from having to deal with him, but I still know better.

Frank looks down the alley again, then back to me and holds out a set of keys with a silver skull keychain. He knows me too well. I take the keys to the Charger and hand him back the ones to the little flat black speedster.

“How much gas does she have?” he asks, still looking down the alley, sizing up the job.

“You need to get some.” I call back at him, already walking toward the emerald-green muscle machine. “You’re on fumes.”

He’s muttering under his breath as I get in, but his voice is less than a whisper and it gets lost under the deafening roar of the engine coming to life. I put the top down and back her out slowly while checking my watch. Not much time left.

I leave the lot and the mess behind me, able to count on Frank. I have to get to the airport, and make sure everything is secure before his plane lands.


Character Name: Veronica Fischer

Character Bio: Veronica is a madam in a small Kentucky town. She’s been a bloodsucker for decades now, and recently adopter her first child – Rachel, an 8-year-old ghost. She’s into fashion, things of beauty, good music, and being in charge.



The following is believed to be the audio transcript of Dr. Julianna Montclair’s, a state licensed therapist, interview with Veronica Fischer. Dr. Montclair confirms that she does record her sessions, and even identified the tape this transcript was taken from as one that had been in her possession. However, in her sworn statement Dr. Montclair claims never to have met with Ms. Fischer, or to have recorded a session with her. The tape was acquired through a confidential informant, through means that make it inadmissible as evidence. The actual recording has been misplaced from the evidence file; all that remains is this transcript which you will find attached.

Thanks for taking the time to familiarize yourself with this information; it may be of use to you in the future as the investigation continues. Please disregard the obvious falsehoods in Ms. Fischer’s answers, and look only to her admissions of criminal activity.

Detective David Lewis

Pekin Police Department

Pekin, KY


Interview transcript begins:
(audible click as the microcassette recorder comes to life)

Veronica: So… You’re recording this?
Dr. Montclair: That’s right Ms. Fischer, and yes, I am. That was detailed in the Informed Consent forms you signed. Once again, my name is Dr. Montclair and these recordings are for my records only. We are bound by therapist/patient confidentiality. Nothing we discuss leaves this room unless you actively threaten to kill yourself or someone else. There recordings allow me to refer back to what we talk about as I transcribe my notes. With these recordings I don’t have to rely on just my memory for details we discuss and of treatment. And, not keeping any records is below the standard of care, unethical and, illegal.

Veronica: That sounded rehearsed.

Dr. Montclair: That’s because it is. I do have to give those facts to all my new patients. I’m sorry if it seems a bit… robotic.

Veronica: No, that’s fine… but you realize that I have a regular therapist, right? This is just kind of a fill in thing while he’s on vacation. That’s clear, right?

Dr. Montclair: Perfectly clear, Ms. Fischer, yes. My Colleague made me very well aware that I am just filling in while he was on vacation. The release of information was only signed for that timeframe.

Veronica: So… if any of this were to ever… get out, ya know, outside this room… we’re going to have to have a very uncomfortable, perhaps even painful conversation. We’re clear on that, too, right?

Dr. Montclair: This is a safe environment, Ms. Fischer. You don’t need to have any concern about that. Again, as long as you aren’t planning to harm anyone specific, yourself, or someone’s property, then there is no legal reason for me to go to law enforcement. If you did then I would have to report it.

Veronica: Right. You try that.


Veronica: And please, you’re not an officer of the court or a bill collector… call me Veronica. It’ll help facilitate your safe environment… or whatever…

Dr. Montclair: All right then, Veronica… we’ll start with some simple questions.

(clearing throat)

Dr. Montclair: Describe yourself. What is your worst and best quality?

Veronica: Describe myself?


Veronica: Well, I’m into scrapbooking and nights out with the girls. I like unicorns, dragonflies, and those stretchy necklaces with the little pink plastic hearts. And, oh… that’s right… as we discussed before you turned that recorder on, I drink blood, I’m a sex worker, I manage other sex workers, and I sometimes kill people when they’ve done bad things… or really piss me off. Right now, though, I have a dead eight-year-old daughter… ghost… she’s adopted… who is missing, my regular therapist is away on vacation, and my house was set on fire. All that being said… I haven’t hurt you yet, or erased your mind… add that to the fact that I’m still sitting here, even though you’re recording this – did I mention I’m not comfortable with that? – and I think that that could qualify as both my best and worst qualities. At the moment, anyway. Does that work for you? Maybe?

Dr. Montclair: Wow. That’s a lot of hostility. Okay. I will go ahead and state again, for the record, that threats are not going to add to the safe and secure environment we need to maintain here. So, if you could tone down your aggression that would be great. I understand that you are upset, and we will work into that. You just have to trust me. So, moving on, what is the one thing you wish other people knew about you?

Veronica: Actually, in general, I’d prefer people knew as little about me as possible. I’m not saying you in particular… just everyone… in general. The less people know about me the better.

(silence for 3 seconds followed by a sigh)

Veronica: I’m sorry. Look… I’m really having a hard time with this… I’m a kinda private person… usually… what, exactly, are you going to do with this interview recording thingy, anyway?

Dr. Montclair: Veronica, it appears that you have certain trust issues that are being triggered, and I respect that – I do, but without a certain level of trust between us then we can’t hope to try to help you. I am being completely honest with you when I tell you that no one beyond myself will ever hear what is on this recording. Now, you seem somewhat defensive, and you hadn’t really addressed that last question, but that’s fine. We can come back to that one later. If you feel you can show some trust and go out a little on a limb with me… what is your biggest secret something no one knows about?
Veronica: Are you serious? Wha…? No. I’m… uh… How does this even apply to what I told you I needed to see you for? Seriously? My biggest secret? Who wants to know? Who is it you think you’re asking? We already covered that I am a criminal and undead… oh and that my dead little girl is missing… biggest secret? Do you work for Learner?

Dr. Montclair: I hear you. I hear your anxiety. I can assure you, though, that if you bear with me we will get to the issues at hand, we just have to lay some groundwork and build some trust to use as a springboard into your ultimate care. If we’re going to get anywhere with this you’re going to have to trust me. Please, just bear with me. We’ll get through this together.

(silence for three seconds)

Dr. Montclair: Now, Veronica, tell me… what are you most afraid of?

(silence for twenty-three seconds)

Veronica: Right now, you mean? I’m afraid of who you might really work for and why you have me answering all these questions? They might fit some framework for how you’re going to help me… or make me all better… but they aren’t dealing with the things I already told you were going on with my life. The reasons I told you I was here. So… what I’m wondering now? What I’m afraid of now? I’m wondering who knows about my shrink, and I’m afraid that some jackass got you to sit in for him, and I’m scared that someone… you – or whoever you work for – is using this, frankly, bizarre route to get into my dirty laundry. I mean… really, now? Afraid of? I’m afraid of what happened to Rachel. Remember, her? The one we talked about, like I said before… back before you turned the recorder on… which still seems a little sketchy, but I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt here… I’m afraid of who tried to kill me by burning down my house. I’m afraid for my life. I’m afraid of being seen out in public in sweatpants. I’m just afraid a lot lately, which if you knew me… at all… you’d know, is so very not my normal mode of operation. I don’t even know which I’m most afraid of anymore, but I know that you clearly aren’t afraid of me, and that’s… well… not something that makes me very comfortable right now… and that might have just come off wrong…

(deep sigh)

Veronica: I’m just… I’m a little emotional right now and I’ve been known to do some bat-shit crazy things in the past… so…

(silence for fifteen seconds)

Dr. Montclair: Veronica, what do you want more than anything?

Veronica: No!

(silence for six seconds)

Veronica: Really? Now… I… Seriously? What do I want more than anything? For this to be over… like, now. Who are you, really?

(Sound of breaking glass)

Veronica: Oh! Do I have your attention now? I’ll pay for the window, but I want to be clear. I’m not okay. Rachel is missing and I’m coming apart at the seams. I guy I see regularly is out of town, and I bounce a lot of stuff off Lucy, too, but I can’t do that right now, so I got you… I’m making do… What do I want more than anything? I want Rachel home safe, and I want people to stop treating me like dirt, and I really want people to stop trying to ruin my life or kill me… and I want… I mean…

(deep sigh)

Veronica: Go ahead, ask the next question. Let’s see where this goes and how good you really are.

Dr. Montclair: (voice wavering slightly) What is your relationship status?

Veronica: None of your f***ing business! Next question!

(sound of movement on furniture)

Veronica: There’s not a relationship… Not at the moment. Is that good enough?

Dr. Montclair: (sniffling, voice still slightly wavering) How would you describe your sense of fashion?

Veronica: Wait, wait, wait… are you the new assistant Frank hired? Seriously, shut up. Stop crying. Look at me. Look in my eyes. Did Frank put you up to this? Tell me now. If he did this… if he set all this up just to try to make me feel better since my shrink was out of town, I’ll get it… I’ll be pissed, but at him, not you… Honestly, it’s all on him, not you.

Dr. Montclair: (audibly crying) Who is Frank?

(sound of tapping on wood – likely fingernails)

Veronica: So, these are like real questions, then? Like, really real? Are you getting them out of a book or something? Are you new to this?

Dr. Montclair: (almost inaudible) No... well… I’ve been doing this for three years.

Veronica: I’m… fine… just keep going… I’m just really on edge.

Dr. Montclair: (voice still wavering slightly) Ok… Veronica, how much of a rebel are you?

Veronica: Rebel? Well, I’m an orphan, Dr. Montclair. As a human being… and then as… not a human being. And in bloodsucker society that means I have no family, and thus, I mean less than nothing. I’m the trash that the trash wipes its boots on. When you add that to the fact that I run a slightly criminal enterprise… I’d say I’m as rebel as they come around here… Pekin, I mean. Now, and I can’t stress this enough, stop crying, please. I’m sorry I had… an outburst. I’m sorry I scared you. I will pay for the damages. Let’s just put that behind us and get on to something that’s going to help me out. Can we do that?

Dr. Montclair: (sniffling, voice still wavering slightly) Yes.

(throat clearing and then sniffling)

(silence for eleven seconds)

Dr. Montclair: (voice wavering slightly less) Veronica, what is it that… What is your idea of happiness?

Veronica: Happiness? Well… I guess… being at home with Rachel, and Frank – he’s the gay PI I told you about, before… he’s like my best friend, but don’t tell him I said that… he’s probably the person I’m closest to… but, yeah… being with them, and my girls, Julie, and Piper, and Leslie… and even Lucy, when she pops in… and not worrying about people trying to come after me, and hurt the people I care about… just that togetherness, and safety, I guess… that’s my idea of happiness.

(shuffling sounds)

(audible sob then gasp)

Veronica: Oh, no! It’s just a gun. Don’t let it freak you out. C’mon. I just carry it for protection, I’m not going to use it… Look. I’m putting it away. See. Right there. It’s in my purse, it’s down. Just… let’s keep going.

Dr. Montclair: I don’t feel safe continuing while you have a weapon in the office… this is supposed to be a safe environment… of trust… for both of us.

Veronica: People have been seriously trying to kill me, and people close to me. It’s just for protection. Here, you take my purse and hang on to it until we’re done. I swear to you… you have nothing to worry about

(shuffling sounds and a slight thud on wood)

(silence for nine seconds and then clearing of a throat)

Dr. Montclair: (voice a bit more in control) I’m… I’ll keep this here… but, in the future… weapons are not… they don’t help with build an environment conducive to working through the issues that… just… don’t bring a gun, from now on. Okay?
Veronica: Cross my heart. I’ll leave it in the car.

Dr. Montclair: Okay, then… I, uh… What would you say is… What is your current state of mind?

Veronica: Well I think that’s kinda obvious. Right? I’m on edge. I’m a little freaked out. I’d say I’m paranoid, but are you really paranoid if someone is actually after you? You’re not, right?

Dr. Montclair: I’m not here to judge, or label. At this point I’m just here to listen. Now, Veronica, what is your most treasured possession?

Veronica: Well, it was my house… maybe my car? I have an old VW… No, wait. My Charger. I’ve got a sweat vintage Charger. It was a gift from… well… never mind. It was a gift. I love that thing. All-in-all, though, I’d say I value people… or my relationships with them… far more than possessions.

(sounds of shifting in furniture)

Veronica: See, doc? You’re getting better at this… keep going. You’re doing good now.

Dr. Montclair: Uh… thank you, Veronica. Now, um… What is your most marked characteristic?

Veronica: My disregard for the law or my lack of regard for human life?
(silence for five seconds)

Veronica: That was a joke.


Veronica: My sense of humor? My overprotective nature… when it comes to people being used… or hurt… by those bigger or stronger… or those who just feel like they can?

Dr. Montclair: M’hmm… and… What is it that you, most dislike?

Veronica: Good God! That would be hard to narrow down. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a really negative person, but there are a lot of things that piss me off, and get under my skin. Like pushy people who, ya know, think they’re better than you… usually men, right? And, like, going into a bathroom that hasn’t been flushed… and you can like smell it. Or, this is a big one… asking for help… having to ask, I mean. I hate that… and people who don’t use blinkers. One of those… pick one of those.

Dr. Montclair: Which living person do you, most despise?

Veronica: Marcus Learner. Next.

Dr. Montclair: Alright… What is your greatest regret?

Veronica: Wow… um… maybe not ever having a child of my own… like a flesh and blood one… back when I actually could do that… before the whole fang-life… but I’ve got Rachel… well… I don’t have her right now… which is why I’m here… bad question. Next question.

Dr. Montclair: What is the quality you most like in a man?

Veronica: Not vindictive… Not a douche… Not caked in layers and rolls… Not smelly… If he’s funny… why does it even matter? Next.

Dr. Montclair: What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Veronica: I’ll say the same… and hygiene is an issue… for both men and women… Next.

Dr. Montclair: Who is your favorite hero in fiction?

Veronica: That’s just… It’s Scarlett O’Hara… obviously. Right? Next.

Dr. Montclair: Which living person do you most admire?

Veronica: Well, that’s not a fair question. It would be Jules or Lucy… but they’re both dead. That doesn’t stop them from being major forces in my life. Jules from a distance… and Lucy more night to night, ya know? They’re very active for dead people, trust me.

Dr. Montclair: So… you see the dead, then? You talk to them?

Veronica: I’m undead. Did you miss that?

Dr. Montclair: Have you… seen things… or believed in things… that you later found to not be true? Have you had any prior diagnosis in that area, or medications, that you haven’t mentioned yet?

Veronica: No.

(silence for twelve seconds)

Dr. Montclair: Veronica, If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

(silence for five seconds)

Veronica: Where I’m at right now.

(shuffling sounds)

Veronica: Look, I tried. I really did. And I’m sure you are really good at what you do for some people…

Dr. Montclair: Veronica, please sit back down.

Veronica: This just isn’t working for either of us… so… just… yeah, that’s it. Let me in. I’m in your mind now. Yes. That’s right… calm down… relax. Yes, everything I’ve said was true. You can see now. You can see I’m not going to hurt you…

(creaking of desk chair)

Veronica: Just rest now. Sleep. You won’t wake up until morning. You’ll remember working late, but not what you were working on. It’s just stress getting to you. You’ll take a day off and go to a spa. Everything will be better. Until the sun is up you won’t hear or be aware of anything going on around you… you’ll just sleep.

(shuffling sounds)

Veronica: Well, that didn’t work at all. Maybe it’ll help her.


(cell phone dialing)

Veronica: Yeah, Jessica? I’ve got a cleaning job here I need you to handle.

(unintelligible talking on other end of phone)

Veronica: No! Nothing like that. This is just an office that needs to have no evidence that I was ever in it. Just a good scrub down, wall to wall, any notes or records with my name gone… Just make sure no one can ever tie me to this place. Got it.

(door slamming)

Veronica: (more distant) I’ll text you the address from the car.

(silence for thirteen minutes then tape ends)


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Born and raised in the middle of the American Midwest, Dennis Sharpe has been a writer as long as he can remember. His mother has told many people about the fantasy and science fiction stories he'd write on scraps of paper, and staple together as his 'books', before he'd attended his first day of formal education.

He has spent many late nights at diners and dives, drinking coffee with a tattered notebook to put a voice to his feelings of himself and the world around him, and other worlds that can exist only in fiction. The voices in his head don't ever stop talking to him, and so sooner or later he has to get out onto a page all that they've filled him up with.

Inspired by Neil Gaiman, Kurt Vonnegut, Frank Miller, Chrissie Pappas, Charles Bukowski, Stephen King, Issac Asimov, and countless classic literary influences, Dennis continues with the ability to write what at a glance might seem absurd, but quickly begins to resonate with our own thoughts and emotions. He writes people we know, love we've known and lost (and found again), and places we've been in our lives and in our heads. Even his fictional characters and worlds carry enough of the grey areas we experience in day-to-day life, to let us find the truth in his words, no matter how fantastic.

These days he can be found still writing, drinking coffee with friends, or spending time with his children (the true joys of his life), in Western Kentucky.


Twitter: @witlesslackey



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Release: Trigger by Jill Meengs

Trigger by Jill Meengs

Published by Booktrope

January 27, 2015

Genre: Spy Thriller


Jordan Shaw knows the only way to stop the man hunting her is to kill him. She also knows the other men who came after her are dead, some of their blood is on her hands, and she wouldn’t have survived this long without the help of the intriguing and secretive Chase Hudson. Even though she isn’t sure she can trust Chase, she believes she needs him to discover the truth. Two days before, life was pretty good as she backpacked around Europe with her best friend. Now, everything has changed and she may not even live through the night. What started as a summer trip of self-discovery has become a dangerous journey across three countries as Jordan is forced into a world few know exist and even fewer survive. A clandestine international organization that will let nothing stand in their way has put a price on her head. Despite all the uncertainty, there are two things that she is absolutely sure of; she has one chance to out-maneuver a world class killer, and she has to make that move right now.

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jill meengs

About the Author

Jill Postlewait Meengs grew up in a small town on the Oregon Coast. During and after college she spent extended periods of time backpacking in more than 30 countries. She has been to every location she describes in “Trigger” and some of the content is based on her own experiences while traveling. She met her husband, Chad, in the MBA program at Oregon State University. After getting married, they purchased and fully remodeled a house. It was Chad who encouraged, and then bribed her to write her first book, “Trigger.” He says that he very much enjoys watching the flat-screen he purchased as part of their deal. When Jill isn’t reading or writing, she is running, doing yoga or planning her next trip. Jill and Chad live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Blast, Giveaway & Interview: Grave Vengeance by @Lori_Sjoberg

Grave Vengeance Banner 851 x 315_thumb[1]



clip_image002_thumb[1]Grave Vengeance

The Grave Series

Book Three

Lori Sjoberg

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Kensington Books

Date of Publication: January 19, 2015

ISBN: 9781601832696

ASIN: B00M01756O

Number of pages: Approx. 284

Word Count: Approx. 93,000

Cover Artist: Kensington Books

Book Description:

The past doesn’t like to play dead…

Handsome and haunted, he’s a reaper who prefers to work alone. But Fate has other plans for him and the sassy secret agent who shot him in another life—if their pasts don’t catch up with them first.

Dmitri Stavitsky has never played well with others—a Soviet KGB spy in life turned reaper after death, his work of bringing souls to the other side is best done alone. But orders from the top soon place him alongside fellow reaper Gwen Peterson, the American counterintelligence agent who took his life so many years ago. Now, as a ghost from Gwen’s past resurfaces with the power to steal reapers’ souls, the two have no choice but to set aside their differences and apprehend the rogue together. But their cross-country mission soon ignites feelings Dmitri thought he was no longer capable of—for the woman who helped destroy him.

With an ancient force and a small army against them, he’ll have to let go of old grudges or risk his future with Gwen…as Fate hangs dangerously in the balance.

Available at Amazon BN iTunes Kobo Google Books


Some men were nice to look at. Others, you couldn’t look away from. And then there was Dmitri Stavitsky.

He was taller than her, around six foot four, and had the powerful build of a gymnast. The shirt he wore did nothing to conceal his thick, corded arms or the broad expanse of his chest. His thighs strained against the confines of his jeans. He carried himself with an air of confidence that most men found intimidating and most women found irresistible. And even though Gwen despised him as much as he despised her, she had to admit he wore it well.

Gwen could feel his eyes moving over her while she drove, and she resisted the urge to squirm in her seat. “What?”

The passing streetlights played over the planes of his face. He hadn’t shaved in a day or two, and his jaw was shadowed with stubble. It made him look almost as dangerous as he was.


Back in the day, he’d been one of the KGB’s top agents. For nearly a decade, he worked within the borders of the United States, stealing some of the country’s most valuable secrets. What he couldn’t steal he usually destroyed with calculated and ruthless efficiency. He killed defectors before they could spill their secrets as well as killing anyone else deemed an enemy of the Soviet Union. The full extent of his treachery was never determined; he’d taken those secrets to the grave.

“You cut your hair.” During the Cold War, he spoke with a flawless American accent to mask his true identity. The habit died when the Iron Curtain fell, and now his rich, deep voice contained a blend of both Russian and American, with the former growing more pronounced whenever he got pissed off.

Like now.

“So nice of you to notice.”

One corner of his mouth twitched. “It makes you look like a boy.”

Bastard. Her grip tightened around the steering wheel. “Like I give a damn what you think.”

He laughed under his breath. “I think you do.” The smirk on his face vanished when she ground the gears. Careful! It took me two days to rebuild the transmission.

“Sorry.” Not really. She totally meant to do that. “Third’s a little sticky.” She held back a smile as she hooked a right onto Alafaya Boulevard.

Dmitri raked his hands through his short, dark hair. He was a few weeks past the time for a cut, and the ends curled around the nape of his neck. “Why are you here, Gwen?” Her name sounded like poison on his tongue.

Good question. Her current base of operations was on the opposite side of the country, along the American side of the border with Mexico. Samuel had been vague on the details when he contacted her late last night with orders to fly to Orlando for a special assignment. She hated the idea of working with Dmitri, but knew better than to refuse an order. After all, the Big Kahuna wasn’t known for his gentle demeanor. The quicker they got the job finished, the quicker they could return to their normal routines and forget the other existed.

“Samuel sent me,” she replied with a shrug, knowing he’d understand the way the boss operated.

He nodded, his expression grim. “And why did you steal my car?”

“Because I could.” And because she knew it would piss him off. It was the way things had always worked between them. They’d lost their humanity and become reapers together, and had been at each other’s throats ever since. Two Cold War relics, passing through the modern age. “You really need to install a better anti-theft system. Anybody with a screwdriver can hot-wire this thing in less than five minutes.” She’d done it in three.

She could have sworn he growled.

An uneasy silence fell between them. She darted a quick glance in his direction and saw the unwashed hostility darkening the blues of his eyes. The muscles along his jaw clenched and unclenched, his full lips pressed into a thin white line.

The light ahead switched from green to yellow. After checking for cops, she punched the gas to make it through the intersection before the yellow turned to red. “You know, I’m not happy about this either. The sooner we do whatever Samuel wants, the sooner we can go our separate ways.”

With a huff of annoyance, Dmitri rolled down the passenger side window and propped his arm on the sill. “Doesn’t mean I have to like it.”

For once, they were in perfect agreement.


Character Name: Dmitri Stavitski

Character Bio: I was mortal, a long time ago, back when the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union brought mankind to the brink of annihilation. After my death at the hands of the Americans, I was given a chance to avoid damnation by working for Death as a reaper. Now I harvest the souls of the recently departed and send them to their proper destination. And even though I’m in charge of a unit of seven reapers, I prefer to work alone.


Describe yourself what is your worst and best quality?

I’m loyal. Some might say it’s a good quality to possess. But since it led to my death, I beg to differ.

What is the one thing you wish other people knew about you?

Knowledge is power, so the less people know about me, the better.

What is your biggest secret something no one knows about?

I’m a former spy. Do you honestly expect me to share my biggest secret?

What are you most afraid of?

I’ve been beaten, tortured, and stripped of my humanity. At this point, nothing frightens me.

What do you want more than anything?

Revenge. Against the wife who betrayed me, the people who tormented me, and the woman who ended my life.

What is your relationship status?

Single. I’d be a fool to let anyone get close enough to betray me again.

How would you describe your sense of fashion?

I don’t give a damn about fashion. I wear whatever’s comfortable and what allows me to blend in with my surroundings.

How much of a rebel are you?

In my book, rules are guidelines. I’ll do what it takes to get the job done, and if that means bending some rules and suffering the consequences, so be it.

What do you considered to be your greatest achievement?

I’m not at liberty to disclose that kind of information.

What is your idea of happiness?

A tall glass of vodka, a plate of blinchiki, and seeing my enemies crushed before me.

What is your current state of mind?

Determined to endure. I’m Russian. We’re used to hardship and hopeless situations. We bend, but we never break.

What is your most treasured possession?

In my line of work, it’s best to travel light. I have no treasured possessions, only treasured memories.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I never give up. Never. Once I set my mind to something, the devil himself cannot stop me.

What is it that you, most dislike?


Which living person do you, most despise?

That would be Gwen Peterson. Back when we both drew mortal breath, she worked as a counterintelligence officer for the FBI. We were sworn enemies then, and that sentiment hasn’t changed since we both died and became reapers.

What is your greatest regret?

Trusting the wrong person.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Strength. Integrity. Intelligence.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Strength. Integrity. Intelligence

Who is your favorite hero in fiction?

James Bond. His stories make me laugh.

Which living person do you most admire?

Vladimir Putin. It’s good to see a former KGB operative claw his way to the top, even though he could use to dial back on the shirtless horseback riding.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

What’s the point of the question? We are what we are. If I haven’t changed at this point, it’s not going to happen.

What is your motto?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.



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Growing up the youngest of three girls, Lori never had control of the remote. (Not that she's bitter about that. Really. Okay, maybe a little, but it's not like she's scarred for life or anything.) That meant a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy. Star Trek, Star Wars, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits - you name it, she watched it. It fed her imagination, and that came in handy when the hormones kicked in and she needed a creative excuse for being out past curfew.

After completing her first novel, she joined the Romance Writers of America and Central Florida Romance Writers. Now she exercises the analytical half of her brain at her day job, and the creative half writing sensual paranormal romance. Grim reapers are her specialty, but she loves to write about all creatures of the night.





Sunday, January 25, 2015

Book Blast–Sanctuary by @P_Creeden

Sanctuary - Banner


TITLE – Sanctuary SERIES – Sanctuary AUTHOR – Pauline Creeden GENRE – YA Thriller/Science Fiction PUBLICATION DATE – Sept 2013 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 268 pages PUBLISHER – AltWit Press COVER ARTIST – Najla Qamber
Sanctuary - Book Cover


First Place Winner of 2014 Gold Award Readers Favorite YA Horror First Place Winner of 2013 Dante Rosetti Award in YA Fiction
What if the Biblical End Times unfolded in a way no one told you about and the rapture didn't happen before the tribulation began...
"Makes you afraid of the end times again." - D. M. Dutcher for Sword Cross Rocket
"Sanctuary crosses boundaries and borders and incorporates elements of all kinds of action and intrigue, from thriller-like adventure to a post-apocalyptic tale of life after aliens invade. Thus it will delight readers seeking something truly different, while disappointing those who anticipated a shallow, one-dimensional subject and story line." - Midwest Book Review
Left Behind for the Hunger Games generation
In a heart-racing thriller described as Falling Skies meet The Walking Dead, Jennie struggles to find a safe place for what’s left of her family. But it seems as though there is no place sacred, no place secure. First the aliens attacked the sun, making it dimmer, weaker, and half what it used to be. Then they attacked the water supply, killing one-third of Earth’s population with a bitter contaminate. And when they unleash a new terror on humankind, the victims will wish for death, but will not find it…
When the world shatters to pieces around her, will Jennie find the strength she needs to keep going?



When Jennie reached the back door, she saw them. Four large dog-like creatures with pinched faces like bulldogs and lion-like manes. They snarled, and one of them leapt at the window on the top half of the door when it saw her.
Jennie jumped back and fell hard on the cold tile floor. The bottle of painkiller bounced across the kitchen tiles. The creature slammed against the window a second time, cracking it. She blinked hard. Her heart sunk, and the hairs on her arms stood on end. A horrendous gargling howl rent the air, causing a shiver down her spine. She held her breath and waited for the creature to slam into the door again.
“What on earth?” she whispered to herself.
When the third attempt never came, she scrambled toward the door. Blinking hard, she used the door knob to help herself stand. Out the cracked window, her mother was still out of sight, but the last of the dogs headed across the field behind her backyard.
“MOM?” Jennie called out.
The rumbling faded, and the vibrations in her chest receded with the dogs. She pulled open the door and rushed onto their back deck. “Mom, where are you?”
When she reached the banister, she looked over the side. Her mom lay sprawled with one hand on the lattice. Blood gushed from Mom’s leg and her opposite arm. Jennie’s ears rang and flooded with every beat of her heart.
Jennie didn’t know how she got to the second floor of her house, but she found herself shaking her sleeping father. How had he slept through the rumbling? “Outside, it’s Mom…”
Her father leapt from the bed. Mickey, her little brother, lay asleep and undisturbed. Dad ran down the stairs and outside in his flannel pajama bottoms and white t-shirt. He scooped Mom up to his chest and carried her inside. Blood stained his shirt in crimson.
“Jennie, call 911!” Her father had said it at least three times before it finally registered in her brain.
She pulled the cell phone from her pocket, but it refused to connect. With a groan, she grabbed the cordless from the wall receiver, glad her heart stopped pounding in her head so she could hear.
“All operators are busy at this time,” a mechanical voice deadpanned, “Please stay on the line, and the next available operator will take your call.”
“They have me on hold, Dad. Should I hang up and try again?” She held the phone in both hands away from her face.
“No, just stay on the line.” Her father lifted the shredded jeans from Mom’s leg. “It looks like a shark bite. What on earth happened?”
Jennie took in the damage through tear-filled eyes. A huge chunk was taken from her mother’s calf, exposing the fibrous tendons that covered the bone in her leg. A bloodstain grew on the beige couch. Was she going to die? Panic rose up.
“What happened, Jennie?”
“I...I...They looked like lions, or dogs, or something. The rumbling shook the whole house…I tried to go outside to get Mom, but—” A sob blocked her throat.
Her father grabbed a throw pillow and held it against the leg. Mom’s exposed forearm laid across her chest in much the same condition as her calf.
“Grab me the duct tape.”
Jennie suddenly remembered the phone, put it back to her ear, and headed to the hall closet. She reached for the shelf above the jackets and grabbed the junk basket next to the toolbox.
“Please stay on the line. An operator will be with you shortly.”
She shoved the phone in the crook of her neck and fished through the box. Half the contents dropped around her feet. Who cares? When her fingers wrapped around the silver duct tape, a short-lived relief sent prickles down her arms. But the urgency gripped her chest in less than a heart beat, and she threw the junk basket on the ground with the rest of the items.
“Hurry, Jennie!” her father called from the living room. “And turn on the TV. Maybe they’ll have something about what’s going on.”
She handed her father the tape and turned toward the TV. The mechanical voice on the phone came through again, followed by more easy listening.
When she clicked on the TV, the shouting and wailing began before the picture warmed up on the screen. A sideways picture of New York City broke through, with the shaky voice of the newscaster voicing over.
“What we are watching now – I can’t believe it – is live footage of Times Square,” the newscaster’s voice paused for a deep breath. “We’ve lost our man on the scene and his camera man to what appears to be some kind of new alien creature. Just a short half-hour ago, the doors to the ship that hovered above Central Park opened and these dog-like creatures flooded out.”
Jennie couldn’t pull her eyes from the screen. She straightened and dropped the phone on the hardwood. The battery popped out and skidded across the floor.
Sanctuary - Author Photo 1
Pauline Creeden is an award-winning author, horse trainer, and overall book ninja. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been a #1 Bestseller in Christian Fantasy and been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. Her debut novel, Sanctuary, won 1st Place Christian YA Title 2013 Dante Rosetti Award and 2014 Gold Award for First Place YA Horror Novel.


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