Sunday, March 30, 2014

REVIEW: "Infinity Unleashed" by Sedona Venez (Xpresso Book Tours)

A New Adult story of Betrayal. Sex. Addiction. Love. And Power...

Mason's diabolical plan had actually worked.

In a matter of minutes he had kidnapped me, stripping me of, family, and freedom. It was humbling, depressing, and damn infuriating but I refuse to go down without a fight. I refuse to be defeated.

Boulder will find me. I didn't know how, but I felt it deep in my soul.

Boulder...the one man that made my body quake with just one look. It was madness. There was so much I didn't know about him. For that matter, there was so much that he didn't know about the evil darkness lurking inside me, waiting to be unleashed.

Could he accept me without judging?

That's where most men failed. Accepting the real me. But after years of hardening my heart, and sealing it behind a steel cage, I was ready to give myself to him freely. Knowing, that he planned to take everything I offered with both hands, until all I thought of...and wanted...was him...

Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
**Mature Content Warning** 18+ for language, and adult situations.


Sedona Venez aka T.L. Clarke is the author of the New Adult Credence Curse series, and the New Adult Valkyries: Soaring Raven series. She is a NYC girl (go Brooklyn!) with a slight obsession with her iPad, Pinterest, television shows Pawn Stars, Castle, and Face Off. Her love of music, tattoos, rockers, alpha men and wolf-shifters inspires her edgy paranormal and contemporary romance novels. You can find out more about Sedona and her work by visiting 


Ever wonder why stories with supernatural being seem to be all the rage nowadays?  Ever wonder why vampires and werewolves just can't seem to get along, no matter what universe they are in?  Ever wonder if the explosion of supernatural beings battling it out under humans' unaware noses is a social commentary on something larger? This story won't answer any of these questions, but it will help you wonder...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

REVIEW: "The Art of Forgetting" by Peter Palmieri (Virtual Book Tour Cafe)

Sooooooooo, awhile back I did a post about an awesome looking book that I didn't have time to read when it was touring.  The author graciously allowed me to have a copy of the book in return for a review when I had time.  Shamefacedly, I admit it took me far longer to read it than I expected, but here is my review for....

"Dr. Lloyd Copeland is a young neurologist who is tormented by the conviction that he has inherited the severe, early-onset dementia that has plagued his family for generations – the very disease which spurred his father to take his own life when Lloyd was just a child. Withdrawn to a life of emotional detachment, he looks for solace in hollow sexual trysts as a way to escape his throbbing loneliness. Still, he clings to the hope that the highly controversial treatment for memory loss he’s been researching will free him from his family’s curse.

But when odd mishaps take place in his laboratory, his research is blocked by a hospital review board headed by Erin Kennedy: a beautiful medical ethicist with a link to his troubled childhood. The fight to salvage his reputation and recover the hope for his own cure brings him face to face with sordid secrets that rock his very self-identity. And to make matters worse, he finds himself falling irretrievably in love with the very woman who seems intent on thwarting his efforts."


Genre: fiction: medical (medical suspense)
Publisher: self
Rel  ease date: June 2013

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Peter Palmieri
Peter Palmieri was raised in the eclectic port city of Trieste, Italy. He returned to the United States at the age of 14 with just a suitcase and an acoustic guitar. After attending public high school in San Diego, California, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Animal Physiology from the University of California, San Diego. He received his medical degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and completed his pediatric training at the University of Chicago and Loyola University Medical Center. More recently, he was awarded a Healthcare MBA by The George Washington University. A former student of Robert McKee's Story seminar and the SMU Writer's Path program, and a two-time attendee of the SEAK Medical Fiction seminar taught by Tess Gerritsen and Michael Palmer, Peter is now busy practicing general pediatrics at a large academic medical center while working on his next medical suspense.


I received a review copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review, which follows:

Alzheimers in one of the most devastating diseases to ravage families across this grand planet.  Slowly stripping individuals of their memories, it brutally robs individuals of their identities while completely changing how their families operate.  Many of my friends have loved ones who have succumbed to this hideous monster of a disease, and I've watched the devastation unfold.  Memories make us who we are.  But what if all that could be changed?  But what if a cure is not worth the risk?

Written with a medical accuracy only possible from someone who has worked in the medical field, The Art of Forgetting is a masterpiece of medical and psychological suspense.  This artful novel follows part of the story of Lloyd Copeland, an esteemed doctor who has devoted his life to the search for a cure for Alzheimer's, a brutal identity thieving disease which affected his father, and his father's father before him.  For Lloyd, it is only a matter of time.  He must find this cure.  He is so close to finding a cure....but at what cost?  

A suspenseful plot that includes medical mystery, psychological discovery, romance, and a sinister plot to ruin someone's career for the sake of riches - this novel has a little something for everyone.  Even my husband was intrigued, and he doesn't read fiction.  

Palmieri, an esteemed medical professional himself, is a superb author.  He successfully creates a character who is about as huggable as a porcupine on crack, but that you just want to keep hugging despite the quills.  Medical situations are crafted with a clear insider's knowledge of how the medical world actually operates.  The plot unfolds in a complex manner that is twisted but not confusing.  My only quibbles with the book are thus: during some conversation scenes it is hard to track who is talking, and it is so infinitely detailed that in several scenes I got lost in minutia.  Otherwise, a superb book.  Part of me hopes Lloyd's story continues...

On an ascending scale of 1 to 5, this book receives a 4.

The Good
I absolutely loved this book.  This morning when I was finishing reading, my husband was asking me to "get've been awake for an hour already!"  My response?  "I'm finishing the book I've been reading!!"

The Art of Forgetting is one of the most intricate and psychologically satisfying books that I've read in a very long time.  It contains levels of deceit, manipulation, familial and relational history, medical information, and interesting selfishness that were just plain satisfying to unravel as the pages turned (rather quickly, I might add). 

Lloyd Copeland is an esteemed medical professional who has a bright future ahead of him....if he can manage to toe the line to keep his job when his superiors seem determined to derail his research.  This isn't just his research, this is his life.  You see, Copeland is conducting research on a possible cure for Alzheimers.  His father was ravaged by the disease, as was his father before him.  So were their wives.  For Copeland, it is only a matter of time before the disease ravishes him too.

Romantic relationships?  Who in their right mind would start one knowing it would end in Alzheimers?
But then along comes Erin, the woman whom he knew as a girl and who might challenge everything he thought he knew about being in love...

Pets?  Only if you count the mice he injects with the "cure" he has discovered....

Close friendships?  Who has the time to get close to anyone when one is trying to save his own life?

This is the story of a man who is set to begin human trials of a revolutionary new cure for Alzheimer's, a cure which will never reach humanity if Copeland doesn't figure out what happened with the mouse who apparently died from the cure, who is blocking his research and how, and who is after his job?  Are they all the same person?  What are their motives?  And just what is he supposed to do with the beguiling woman who won't leave his thoughts?

Gosh, I loved this book. 

I loved it because it was set in the modern world (I've read a lot of mythical stuff lately, as well as a decent amount of dystopian futures) and the characters feel like real people I might meet in a real coffee shop or hospital.  They are human, fragile, running from their own personal demons, fallible, and determined to reach specific goals. They behave in ways that make sense according to their unique personalities, rather than in ways that simply serve the author's purposes.  They refuse to be defined easily.

I loved it because it has roots in psychology, which was my major in college and is one of my continuing passions.  Yet it's psychological roots were balanced with medical roots as well (not one or the other, as so often happens in fiction that deals with a condition of some sort).  These medical roots were clearly laid out by an author who has a real-world grasp of medicine and so made inherent sense and was true to science.  This is important!  I've read stories with medical aspects where it is clear the author is a novice trying to make sense of the the medical terms they're researching for their story.  Not so here.  Palmieri is an actual doctor and the medical writing here is spot-on.  

I loved it because we so often hear on the news "This doctor from this place is starting  human trials for medicine designed to address this condition...." and here we have a story of what went behind a trial.  Granted, the trial is fictional, but it is good to remember that behind every drug that ever went to human trials, there were humans trying to figure out a disease.  Humans with motivations and mental struggles all their own. 

I loved it because it has a super complex and intriguing plot that is rather unpredictable, engaging, and quite a whirlwind.  I needed to know what happened next....lost a bit of sleep while reading this book.  : )

I loved it because psychology and medicine are all wrapped together with and ethical debate that unfolds within these pages.  What are the ethics of conducting trials of an experimental drug on humans?  What are the ethics of leaving thousands of families to suffer the effects of Alzheimer's?  What would your ethics demand if you were close to a cure that could help millions, including yourself (possibly....but you'll have to read the book to see why I said that), but everything was inexplicably standing in your way?

The Bugly (bad/ugly)
Two significant issues caused this book to lose a star: 
1) Characters sound too much like one another.  Regular readers of my blog know this is one of my pet peeves.  Yes yes yes, I get that many of these characters are highly educated individuals who would have traveled in high academic circles with the same kinds of speech patterns.  Truly, I get that.  It just bugs me when characters sound too similar to one another, particularly when conversational scenes don't contain many of the "he said, she said, then he said" kind of identifiers that show you clearly who is speaking.  Many scenes here confused the bugger out of me as I tried to figure out who was saying what.  They needed more identifiers to show who was talking. 

2)  Too.  Much.  Detail.  Okay, I get that a certain amount of detail is necessary for medical explanations and processes to make sense.  The problem is that I get so stuck in the minutia of some of the scenes that it felt like my brain was stuck in a slog of information.  Maybe I was just looking for too much story around the details, but every medical thing was explained in far too much detail.  Don't worry, I have the same complaint about Lord of the Rings and some of the battle scenes.  Detail is good.  Too much detail is difficult.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

TOP 10 LIST: "Across the Wire" by Stella Telleria (Xpresso Book Tours)

When Mia Mitchell, a hardcore but lonely former Marine, steps into an alley to pull some thugs off an unlucky foreigner, she walks into a fight she expects. What she doesn’t see coming is the foreigner making her a job offer any sane person would refuse. So, she takes it. She thinks she’s headed for some third-world country; instead she’s mysteriously transported to an Earth-like parallel world. That’s a mad left-hook.
Mia discovers a matriarchal dystopia where freedom doesn’t exist and fighting for it means execution. Lethal force bends all to the law; women fear for their families and un-wed men suffer slavery. Mia’s job is to train an underground syndicate of male freedom-fighters for a violent revolution. However, the guys don’t want a pair of X chromosomes showing them the way.

Eben, an escaped slave, is encouraged by Mia to become a leader among the men. But when he turns his quiet determination on her, it spells F.U.B.A.R. for cynical Mia. Their unexpected connection threatens more than her exit strategy; it threatens the power struggle festering with in the syndicate.

Haunted by nightmares and post-traumatic stress, unsure who to trust or how to get home, Mia struggles to stay alive as she realizes all is not what it seems.

Across the Wire by Stella Telleria
Publication date: November 4th 2013
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Stella Telleria
"All my life I’ve dreamed of stories or have had my nose buried in one. I live in Edmonton, Canada with my husband and my weird sense of humor. Across the Wire is my first novel.

I love old war movies, dystopian fiction, and any story with action, a good plot, and characters I'd get into a fight at the pub for. Not that I'm a brawler or anything. Unless you think that out-of-print book or vintage piece at the thrift shop is going home with you instead of me. Then, my friend, the gloves are off.

Some say if you have your nose buried in a book, you're missing out on life. I say my nose is buried in a book because one life is not enough."


10 things I wish every aspiring writer would know - by Stella Telleria

"I can only speak to this from my experience and hope it helps others out there. Good luck my intrepid writing friends!

  1. Make a writing goal for yourself on a daily basis, or whenever you can sit down to write. Try to never stop for the day until you meet or exceed this goal be it two pages or two chapters.
  1. Just get the story out of your head in the beginning. Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly how all your plot points will connect. Some like to have a very detailed plan, others like to fly by the seat of their pants. Don’t worry about how others do it (the writing process) just do what works for you. Just write.
  2. In conjunction with #2, realize that all first drafts should never see the light of day. You will be super excited when you finish writing your first draft, as you should be. You will want to show everyone you know what you have written. Fight this urge like you would if someone asked you to pull their finger. Nothing good can come from it and if your curiosity wins out you will regret it.
  1. Revisions, for most writers, makes up 80-90% of the writing process/time. If you don’t have trusted beta readers or writing partners, you need to find some. I repeat—you need to find some. You can pay for an editor, but I think this is only something you should do once you believe you have gotten your manuscript into the best possible shape you can. I’m talking after revision nine or ten. I’m being totally serious.
A great writer’s resource I found online is Critique Circle. This is a free site where writers critique each other’s works. I’ve found some great writer friends and have learned so much from critiquing other’s works and looking out for the same things in my own writing.

Reading writing books can help, but don’t go overboard.
My favourites:
Stephan King- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White- The Elements of Style

  1. You have to develop a thick skin. You have to be comfortable with people judging your writing, your characters, your story, and you. Don’t take it personally. The majority of comments are not personal attacks on you, and when you realize this you will be able to do the most important thing—objectively consider the criticism you receive. You cannot and should not change everything anyone comments on. You have to sort through the advice and decide what rings true. Sometimes realizing what’s true means a rewrite, or writing an extra chapter, or cutting a few chapters. If it is going to make your novel better, more compelling, or stronger, you need to do it even if it hurts. Sometimes you have to murder your darlings.

  1. Writing is not pretty, it’s hard work. Just when you think you’ve revised something for the last time you’ll just figure out you need to do a rewrite.
  1. Be ready for rejection and a lot of it. Professionals are just amateurs who never gave up.
  1. Be realistic. Not everyone is going to love your work. This is about as impossible as birthing a unicorn who does Gangnam style in a tutu. Not likely. This is a feat unattainable by even the greatest of authors and the most critically acclaimed works. Don’t hold yourself to it.
  1. Write what you love not what you think will sell. I’d rather squander all my free time over the next ten years and be known for work I feel passionately about than work I feel apathetic for. Being original is more important than imitating what has been successful.

  1. You have to know when to stop revising. When to stick a fork in it and declare it done. This was difficult for me. I could have continued to revise for years. After nine revisions and a major rewrite, I decided I was finished working on Across the Wire. Could I have made it better? Maybe. But I really felt it was time to set the story free. To let go and have it stand on its own feet. I had to stop hovering and realize at a point it is simply out of my hands. That was a scary and liberating moment."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

BLITZ: "Shattered Embrace" by Piper Newton (Reading Addiction Blog Tours)

Bethlehem took her first breath as her mother took her last.

Left to survive in overcrowded Ethiopian orphanages, she developed survival skills rivaling a warrior - a fierce, independent fighter before she could walk or talk. As she approached her second birthday, Bethlehem lived her days guided by two rules: everyone leaves and trust no one.

A world away in Canada, Tory Witcraft is trying to adopt from Ethiopia with her husband, Matt, when her adoption agency goes bankrupt, threatening her dreams of becoming a mother. Against the advice of many, including government officials threatening to revoke the adoption, she goes to Ethiopia, and her new daughter, Bethlehem.

When they finally meet, both mother and daughter struggle to connect, each trapped by their own fears and demons. Emotions and tempers run hot. Hearts and dreams collide, shattering a family before it could fully form. 

The adoption journey was difficult, but no one expected the hardest part of the journey would begin once they met.

Shattered Embrace - PROMO Blitz
By PR Newton
Contemporary / Women's Fiction
Date Published: 3/14/2014

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P.R. (Piper) Newton is a proud geek mom of two little boys, one through birth, one through adoption. She has a background in psychology and continues to take post-grad courses in childhood trauma and development. In her writings she loves to explore the human mind, putting her characters through unthinkable things, just to see how they react. She is a full-time author, who believes in the magical, creative inducing powers of arm warmers and stripy socks.

Author Links



$10 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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     An itty bitty little thing of a girl came running into the room. Bouncing high with each step as she flew at them and promptly threw herself into Matt’s lap. Tory’s hand clutched her face, her breath stopped in her chest as she watched Matt draw the little girl close. His body rocked as he held her, his face split into a smile of pure joy.
     “Daddy!” she cried out in a squeaky voice. She grabbed Matt’s face kissing each cheek with a big, slimy, open mouth kiss.
     “Bethlehem!” Matt breathed out as he hugged her and kissed the top of her head.
     “Bethlehem,” Tory whispered the name, as if saying it for the first time as she took in the face of the little girl she had studied through pictures for months. Blowing up the pictures until she could examine every facet of the the little girls features. Seeing her up close, face to face, finally close enough to touch left Tory breathless. Her skin itched to touch her. With a tentative hand she stroked her back.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

REVIEW: "Rumpled" by Lacey Louwagie

Get ready....this review is packed!  Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom so you don't miss out!!

Gold for a poor girl,
Beauty for a twisted man, 
A child for a powerful sorcerer . . .

Rumpelstiltskin can change anything he touches into gold, but he cannot change his own twisted body. The sorcerer Laurus can make Rumpelstiltskin tall, strong, and handsome—but he will only work his magic in exchange for a child in its first year of life. 

When Emily's deluded father claims she can spin straw into gold, the King demands proof. Caught between a mad father and a mad king, Emily's life hangs in the balance. Rumpelstiltskin offers to help keep up her ruse for three nights—if she promises him her firstborn child.

When the King decides to marry Emily, the pretense must continue for much longer. And what Emily offers Rumpelstiltskin in return for his continued help has the power to change everything.

This retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin" is best suited for ages 14 and up.


Note: for March 19th and 20th, Lacy is offering this at a steep discount on Amazon!!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Lacey Louwagie
Lacey Louwagie has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and fold a few pieces of paper together. Her first book, full of pictures of unicorns, started her on the path of writing science fiction and fantasy. She has worked as a freelance writer and editor, magazine editor, reporter, and librarian. Although she grew up on a farm in Minnesota, she now lives in a tiny house in South Dakota with her husband, two cats, a dog, and hundreds of books.

I was given a copy of the book in return for a thoughtful and honest review.  What follows are my true and honest opinions of this work.

One day, a man regaled me with the story of a bar in Texas he visited where dwarfs donned velcro suits.  There was a velcro wall, and people would pay to throw the dwarfs at a target on the wall.  This man thought it was hilarious.  I cringed.  

People whose bodies are "different" have always been treated as optional, expendable creatures.  My mother has a visible physical disability, and I've seen how she has to work twice as hard to get half the accolades for anything that a "temporarily able-bodied" person gets without trying. 

Many of us have heard the story of Rumplestiltskin - a dwarf who spins straw from hay to spare the life of a miller's daughter....but how many of us have pondered why he demanded her first born child in payment?

I loved this book.  I suppose I should elaborate....

This re-imagining of Rumpelstiltskin forces readers to consider the why behind the what.  Many of us have heard the story of Rumpelstiltskin - a miller lies to the King, saying his daughter can spin gold from straw.  The daughter's life will be forfeit if her inability to do so is found out, but if she manages to do so then she shall become Queen.  A dwarf comes along, saying he can spin the gold, but he demands the woman's first-born child as payment.  The woman agrees, but when time comes for payment tries to rescind the deal, begging the dwarf for her child.  The dwarf says that if the woman figures out his name in 3 days time, he shall forfeit the deal.  A messenger reveals the name to the Queen, who reveals that she knows his name to the dwarf on the 3rd day, saving her child.  Rumpelstiltskin becomes irate and either falls over a cliff, or flies away on a spoon, or rips himself in half.....the ending of the story varies. 

Here we have the same story, and yet Lacey approached it from a different angle, and angle which addressed the niggling question in the back of my mind when I first heard this story as a child: why did Rumpelstiltskin want the child?

Through artful writing and a masterful attention to detail, Lacey spins a golden story that pays attention to who "Rumple" was, what his life as a dwarf in medieval Europe may have looked like, what the life of the miller's daughter may have been like, and most importantly - why Rumpelstiltskin wanted the child.  

Poignant, heartbreaking scenes pepper this book as Rumple and the miller's daughter do their dance.  I held my breath while reading, knowing how the story was "supposed" to end.  Nothing could have prepared me for the ending which nearly made me cry....and you'll have to get the book to figure out why I was on the verge of tears!

On an ascending scale of 1 to 5, I give this book a 5!!

I greatly appreciate any story that looks into the why of anything.  I also greatly appreciate any story that make a concerted effort to cast those with physical difficulties in a positive light.  Hence, I greatly appreciate this book. 

Lacey Louwagie did a wonderful job of delving into the history of Rumpelstiltskin...and the miller's daughter.  Why did he want the child?  Why did he act as he did?  Why was he able to turn straw into gold?  Why did he help the woman in the first place?  Why was the woman willing to give up her firstborn in a deal?  Why didn't the woman just leave the castle?

Rumpelstiltskin is a dwarf.  He has receive rotten looks his entire life, been stared at, beaten for his physical difference by  nearly everyone around him, and told he is nothing short of completely ugly.  He works in the King's court as a jester...perfect place for someone like him in medieval Europe.  At least there he will be fed regularly.  

One day a young woman is brought to the castle.  It has been rumored that she can spin gold from straw, and the greedy king wants to test this claim.  Of course, she cannot....but "Rumple", as she affectionately comes to know Rumpelstiltskin, can.  

This young woman is clever, and comes to the castle with baggage of her own.  She and Rumple form a  close bond, one which becomes rather complicated once she marries the King.  You see, Rumple did turn the straw to gold and did demand her firstborn child.  What happens once she gets pregnant, however, will forever change how you see this age-old story. 

We currently live in the midst of an age where old stories are being retold.  Old stories are framed in new ways to fit modern readers.  Old movies are remade to take advantage of current technological miracles on the screen.  Generally I get annoyed when an old story is remade....but I loved this.

Let's look at writing style - first person narrative from Rumpelstiltskin's point of view.  We see his inner workings on a blunt, emotional, and "rumpled" level.  The story comes alive in a way not seen elsewhere.  It helps that Lacey writes absolutely beautifully.  Scenes flow well into one another.  I never had to stop and backtrack to figure out what has happened, or who said what, and so forth.  

There are some time gaps here, but they are done so well that it isn't a "how'd we get to this time?"  It is a "okay, now the story continues..."  Not sure if I explained that very well....think about movies where you see "five months later" as the scenes fades into something else.  These changes are not abrupt in Rumpled, they are smooth and flow together seamlessly.

While settings are described beautifully, the focus of the story clearly lies with the people.  Lacey spends the vast majority of the writing space here focused on the people, their story and motivations.  We do, after all, know the story....but we don't know the people....until now.

In short, this book is superbly well written in an engaging fashion, and provides background information that makes everyone in the story feel more human.  I love it!

The Bugly (bad/ugly)
The only real thing I have to complain about here is that while the rest of the book flows really well, the story ends a little abruptly.  I want to know what happens for the two weeks following the current ending, make sure some things end as they are supposed to, etc.  I just wanted more!  Maybe a sequel....*hint hint* (although to my knowledge this would be breaking completely new territory with this story, which is scary for any author).

Monday, March 17, 2014

BLITZ: "Lakota Honor" by Kat Flannery (Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours)

This is my favorite cover for a book that has been on this blog...ever!! And I love the lady's name....  :P

Fate has brought them together, but will a promise tear them apart?

In the small town of Willow Creek, Colorado, Nora Rushton spends most of her days locked up in her home with a father who resents her and fighting off unwanted marriage proposals from the wealthy Elwood Calhoun. Marked as a witch, Nora must hide her healing powers from those who wish to destroy all the witkowin—crazy women. What she doesn't know is that a bounty hunter is hot on her trail.

Lakota native Otakatay has an obligation to fulfill. He has been hired to kill the witkowin. In a time when race and difference are a threat and innocence holds no ground, courage, love and honor will bring Nora and Otakatay together as they fight for their freedom. Will the desire to fulfill his promise drive Otakatay to kill Nora? Or will the kindness he sees in her blue eyes push him to be the man he once was?

Author Kat Flannery photo LoupaPhotography20284029_zps53a1bff5.jpeg
Kat Flannery's love of history shows in her novels. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. When not researching for her next book, Kat can be found running her three sons to hockey and lacrosse. She has her Certificate in Freelance and Business Writing. A member of many writing groups, Kat enjoys promoting other authors on her blog. She's been published in numerous periodicals. Her debut novel CHASING CLOVERS has been on Amazon's Bestsellers list many times and was #62 over all their titles. LAKOTA HONOR and HAZARDOUS UNIONS are Kat's other two books and both have made bestseller lists. Kat is currently hard at work on her next book.

Colorado Mountains, 1880

The blade slicing his throat made no sound, but the dead body hitting the ground did. With no time to stop, he hurried through the dark tunnel until he reached the ladder leading out of the shaft.

 He’d been two hundred feet below ground for ten days, with no food and little water. Weak and woozy, he stared up the ladder. He’d have to climb it and it wasn’t going to be easy. He wiped the bloody blade on his torn pants and placed it between his teeth. Scraped knuckles and unwashed hands gripped the wooden rung.

The earth swayed. He closed his eyes and forced the spinning in his head to cease. One thin bronzed leg lifted and came down wobbly. He waited until his leg stopped shaking before he climbed another rung. Each step caused pain, but was paired with determination. He made it to the top faster than he’d thought he would. The sky was black and the air was cool, but fresh. Thank goodness it was fresh.

 He took two long breaths before he emerged from the hole. The smell from below ground still lingered in his nostrils; unwashed bodies, feces and mangy rats. His stomach pitched. He tugged at the rope around his hands. There had been no time to chew the thick bands around his wrists when he’d planned his escape. It was better to run than crawl, and he chewed through the strips that bound his feet instead. There would be time to free his wrists later.

He pressed his body against the mountain and inched toward the shack. He frowned. A guard stood at the entrance to where they were. The blade from the knife pinched his lip, cutting the thin skin and he tasted blood. He needed to get in there. He needed to say goodbye. He needed to make a promise.

 The tower bell rang mercilessly. There was no time left. He pushed away from the rocky wall, dropped the knife from his mouth into his bound hands, aimed and threw it. The dagger dug into the man’s chest. He ran over, pulled the blade from the guard and quickly slid it across his throat. The guard bled out in seconds.

He tapped the barred window on the north side of the dilapidated shack. The time seemed to stretch. He glanced at the large house not fifty yards from where he stood. He would come back, and he would kill the bastard inside.

He tapped again, harder this time, and heard the weak steps of those like him shuffling from inside. The window slid open, and a small hand slipped out.

“Toksha ake—I shall see you again,” he whispered in Lakota.

The hand squeezed his once, twice and on the third time held tight before it let go and disappeared inside the room.

A tear slipped from his dark eyes, and his hand, still on the window sill, balled into a fist. He swallowed past the sob and felt the burn in his throat. His chest ached for what he was leaving behind. He would survive, and he would return.

Men shouted to his right, and he crouched down low. He took one last look around and fled into the cover of the forest.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

REVIEW: "Waterproof" by Amber Garr (Mark My Words Book Publicity)

Dying of thirst is the new reality.

Five years after the last drop of clean water disappeared, global societies collapsed and nuclear war shattered all hope of recovery. In a place now only a skeleton of its former self, survivors fight to avoid capture by the government. Forced to work in factories that produce the only drinking water available, those who go in, never come out.

Zach and Vivienne have lived as deserters since they were teenagers. Fighting amongst their own and scrounging for the necessities of life, they’ve learned to rely on each other in every way. Yet when tragedy strikes and the true objectives of the government facility are revealed, their world is ripped apart. A fate once thought to hold their demise may be the sole answer to their survival. Who can they trust? Who can they believe? 

In this life, it pays to be waterproof. 

Disclaimer: Waterproof is a new adult dystopian with sex, violence, and language that may not be suitable for a younger audience.


Amber Garr spends her days as a scientist and nights writing about other worlds. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. Amber is a multiple Royal Palm Literary Award winner, author of Waterproof, The Syrenka Series, The Leila Marx Novels, and the upcoming Death Warden Series. When not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie. 


Older people I talk to tell me of being literally afraid of nuclear war, having a plan mapped out with their family if a bomb fell and they weren't killed instantly.  What if that future comes true?

Monday, March 10, 2014

REVIEW: "STIM" by Kevin Berry (Xpresso Book Tours)

Robert is different. He has Asperger’s Syndrome. He experiences the world differently to 99% of the population. Follow his entertaining and highly empathetic story as he struggles to realise and accept who he really is, try to understand other people—which he cannot—and find a girlfriend. Especially find a girlfriend—he’s decided it’s his special project for the year. Accompanied on this transformative journey by his quirky flatmates, Chloe (who also has Asperger’s, amongst other things), Stef (who hasn’t, but doesn’t mind) and their oddly-named kitten, Robert endures a myriad of awkward moments in his quest to meet a nice, normal girl…and not even a major earthquake will stop him.

This absorbing and humorous story is starkly told from Robert’s point of view, through the kaleidoscope of autistic experience.

Stim by Kevin Berry
Publication date: October 16th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Kevin Berry is an indie author. His particular niche is writing Aspie New Adult contemporary novels set in an earthquake zone. The first of these is STIM, published in October 2013.

His first novels, co-written with Diane Berry, are Dragons Away!, Growing Disenchantments and Fountain of Forever (humorous fantasy). These are available as paperbacks and ebooks at Amazon and elsewhere.


I was provided with a copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review.  What follows are my honest opinions.

Chances are very good that you know someone who has a diagnosable mental illness.  In fact, some more conservative studies estimate that if you are in a room with 100 other people, 25 of them have been diagnosed with something. 

What do you think of when you hear the words ‘autism’ or ‘Aspergers’?  Does “Rainman” come to mind?  Perhaps you have a friend, sibling, or other relative who has been diagnosed.  Perhaps you have a diagnosis of such yourself.  But what does it really mean to live on the autism spectrum?  What if you could have a first-person narrative of the experience?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

REVIEW: "Infinity" by Sedona Venez (Xpresso Book Tours)

*New Adult Paranormal Romance*

The first moment I saw Boulder... his helmet-covered head snapped in my direction and stared. 

My eyes greedily took in the hardness of his thighs encased in dark jeans, his kickass motorcycle boots, and leather jacket. I licked my bottom lip, stifling the crazy urge to leap out of the car and climb him like a tree while burying my nose into the crook of his neck like a possessed woman.

I needed to see his face, and as if answering my request, he pulled off his helmet impatiently, and literally, something clicked in my head as his warm apple-green eyes locked onto me and he muttered, "All mine." 

Well, that's what I imagined he was saying as his lips moved silently. He could have been whispering, "Stalker girl," but hey, I was willing to stalk him into submission.

**Mature Content Warning** 18+ for language, and adult situations.


Sedona Venez aka T.L. Clarke is the author of the New Adult Credence Curse series, and the New Adult Valkyries: Soaring Raven series. She is a NYC girl (go Brooklyn!) with a slight obsession with her iPad, Pinterest, television shows Pawn Stars, Castle, and Face Off. Her love of music, tattoos, rockers, alpha men and wolf-shifters inspires her edgy paranormal and contemporary romance novels. You can find out more about Sedona and her work by visiting 


Ever wonder why stories with supernatural being seem to be all the rage nowadays?  Ever wonder why vampires and werewolves just can't seem to get along, no matter what universe they are in?  Ever wonder if the explosion of supernatural beings battling it out under humans' unaware noses is a social commentary on something larger? This story won't answer any of these questions, but it will help you wonder...