Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Guest Spotlight: Scarlett Dawn's King Hall

As you know, some author friends and I worked together on a book group. One of the last book's we reviewed was Scarlett Dawn's King Hall, a paranormal new adult romance from Escape Publishing (yes, that's my home too!).

My Review:

It’s hard to write a review of this book without giving away spoilers, but I’m going to try my best...King Hall is the first in a coming series about the future leaders of four supernatural groups: vampires, shifters, elementals, and mages. I’ve heard people say that the concept of a “magical school” has been done before, but this book used that concept only to set the stage for the true story: the growing friendship (and possible love) between the future leaders. Dawn’s characters had genuine interactions with each other, as well as unique personalities that tweaked the existing and familiar fantasy/paranormal stereotypes. While this book ended on a cliffhanger, and it took a little bit for the action to truly reach a boiling point, it makes sense with the story and the series as a whole. This is one of those sneaky books that lulls you into a false sense of security before blindsiding you, and I believe readers will enjoy every minute of it.

My Favorite Quote from the Book:
Shifters are different than any of the other Mys groups in our forms of punishment since we’re animalistic in nature. I could have turned the charged around on her and sent her lying butt to prison, which would do me no good since I wanted her to tell the tale of how powerful I was, a little fear never hurting anyone. Or, I had the option to physically punish her, which relieved a bit of my tension. Only a bit.

The force of the blow busted her nose and her lying mouth. Decent trade, I thought.

Character Spotlight:
“You will apologize,” King Kincaid murmured quietly, but with steel in his tone. “Not only because she was someone he loved, but because you’ve just disrespected my Prodigy’s mother. I will not have you belittling her name in my house. By all accounts, she was a wonderful woman and mother.”- King Kincaid

Q & A with Scarlett Dawn:

1. If you could step into King Hall, which character would want to be and why? (from Magen McMinimy)

What character would I be? Hmm. I think I said this on a blog somewhere, and I’m still sticking with it (for now) even though it surprises even me.
He’s an Elder. A once King during the war. He’s seen so much and lived a life that…whoa…almost a spoiler there. *ahem* Let me try that again.
Cahal is a tough as shit character. That’s why I would like to be him. (Sorry, I know that’s elusive)
2. This may vary depending on the individuals, but at the time of King Hall, is there one group that is politically less stable than the others? (From M.A. Grant)
No. The four Mystical factions are run separately. Each King is his own man, taking care of his own people. They normally live separately around the world, at their “homebase”, and rule their worldwide people from there. They only come together for political functions/meetings, when there’s distress, and when it’s time to train their Prodigy’s to function together as a whole. Each group is separately stable while they do mingle as a Mystical community overall (survival).
3. If a mate dies, can the mys find a new mate, or it a one time thing? (From Brandy L Rivers)
No. There’s only one mate in a Mystical’s lifetime, no matter if they are a hybrid or not. Both powers of Lily’s, Vampire and Shifter, found their mate in Dominic. Dominic wears two different mate marks, one of a Vampire (a Vampire bite) and the other a Shifter (a Shifter bite).
4. This is a kind of random question, but King Hall makes me think of a sexy Harry Potter with the different groups. So, just for fun, if the worlds merged, where do you see your four main characters being sorted? Or are they all naughty Slytherin? (From Sarah Daltry)
Gawd…I’m at a disadvantage here because I (sorry Potter fans) haven’t read the Harry Potter series. But I have seen almost all the movies, so I’m going to take a stab at this question. 

Let’s see…
Yep. Every single Mys group would be Slytherin. Each one, while currently peaceful, has a dark side. A deep, dark side based purely on survival. In a sense, an evil part of them that only peaks when pushed…and it doesn’t even have to be a hard shove. A gentle pat could bring out their mischievous and power ego-stroking ways. They are “naughtiness” personified.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Flynn's Alaska

Red Moon, my debut release with Escape Publishing, takes place in Alaska. I moved here in 2011 and have fallen in love with the rugged beauty of the state; it's hard to imagine living anywhere else. Now, Alaska's pretty popular right now with tons of authors and reality TV shows, but while I was writing Red Moon I knew I wanted to be as accurate as possible when describing the area, local life, and the rich culture that exists here.

I've been taking tons of pictures of the Kenai Peninsula - my home and the setting of the book - so I could help you dear readers get a mental picture of the woods Flynn loves so much. These are just a handful of them...

A bald eagle overlooking the ocean at Seward, Alaska

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

The transition to fall is breathtaking

Fireweed at Chugach State Park


Chugach State Park

Chugach State Park

Juvenile bald eagle - Seward, Alaska

Views of the Kenai River during fall

Swans on the Kenai River during winter

Views of Skilak Lake, Alaska

Storm rolling into Seward, Alaska

Views from the Russian River, Alaska

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Guest Spotlight: Magen McMinimy's Immortal Blood

It's time to discuss my book group's review of Magen McMinimy's Immortal Blood, an erotic paranormal romance that flips the Fae world on its head.

My Review:

Immortal Blood is the story of Bain, a Fey warrior, and Izzy, a lucky event planner, who meet under less than desirable circumstances. When her luck is stolen by the leprechaun Zander, Izzy is forced to rely on Bain’s protection. As life in the human world becomes more and more dangerous, Bain takes Izzy to the Fey world; this was the point where the story really picked up for me because of the love story and the supporting cast. I’m not going to give away spoilers, but the black moment in this story and subsequent HEA were really worth the read.

I love fairy tales and mythology, and one of my favorite parts of the book was the original way McMinimy recreated the Fey world. There’s some impressive world building started in this book, and I can only assume it will continue as the series goes on. There are more layers to this book than a simple love story; it also focuses on politics, issues of racism, and the impact of different socioeconomic levels within the Fey community. Definitely check this book out, as well as the future books in the series!

My Favorite Quote from the Book:

Bain watched as the scrawny human put his hand on Izzy; it wasn't until he dropped his head to Izzy's ear that Bain moved from their table and to the dance floor. It had bothered him to see someone with their hands on Izzy, but he bit back his growl and kept himself somehow planted in his seat, but when the guy's lips moved close to Izzy's ear, and he saw her shake her head at him, he couldn't stay put any longer...

Izzy smiled and arched her brow.

Andy's eyes narrowed as they drifted between Izzy and Bain.

"Time to scamper off," Bain growled.

Character Spotlight:
One of the most intriguing villains in this book wasn’t the lovely Zander I’ve mentioned before…it’s actually Lady Esperanza, Bain’s mother. You’ll have to read the book to understand why, but I imagined her looking a bit like Helen Mirren - beautiful, regal, and with that unnerving hint of bad assness that comes out at times. Her first meeting with Izzy shows quickly how she feels about her son's relationship with a lowly human.

“Your kind…well, they fascinate me, they always have.”

Fascinate did not sound like a compliment at all, either, in fact it sounded like a dig.

Q & A with Magen McMinimy:

1. Were there any other series of paranormal/fantasy books that you believe inspired the creation of your novel? (from Scarlett Dawn)

Not really. Although I did love Mead’s Dark Swan series and I suppose there are some very loose comparisons that could be made.

I wrote my vampire series and I wanted to do something else, this whole book really came about as I wrote the very first scene which was in fact the scene where Izzy meets Bain and Uriah and she thought they were vampires. I wanted to branch out and do something a little different. I wrote a NA book a while back that features a lot of the Fae style creatures (Fairies, Nymphs, Dragons, Elemental Magic users and Mermaids) I loved the freedom with those characters and I wanted to play a little more with the idea on an adult level, where the only limitation would be my imagination.

2. Even though there’s “good” and “bad” fey in the Middle World, a lot of the motives of different characters don’t fit into those nice categories. Did you plan for that in your story, or was it something that developed as you got to know your characters? (From M.A. Grant)

That’s a great question and the answer is: I did not plan it. I wish I could say it was all part of my master plan, but it truth the characters just sort of formed as I wrote them, I knew who Bain was and I knew what kind of character Izzy would be, but the truth of the matter is that even though this is fiction, nothing is truly that black and white in the world.

I believe that some of the light characters are great examples of how power, status and appearance can corrupt ones sense of right and wrong.

I know part of this question pertains to Zander, who is definitely Dark Fae, though he may feel light-weight evil right now, there is a reason behind it

So ultimately while it wasn’t consciously done, I think my views of life not being quite as black and white as some might think probably seeped through on to these characters.

3.Besides making the drinker immortal, does the Immortal blood have any other interesting side effects? If so does it just depend on the person, and could it happen to anyone? (From Brandy L Rivers)

Ooh sneaky sneaky Brandy lol, since you’ve read Immortal Craving you have part of the answer to this question…

For the Fae who feed from the Immortal Three or the Immortal Four, it makes them Immortal and it heightens there powers, you’ll hear Bain and Kale in Immortal Craving refer to other Fae as lesser, it isn’t derogatory, it’s just that they (Bain and Kale) are heightened and most Fae are lesser then them because of the blood, it’s what makes them elite.

As far as if a human were to get their hands on the blood… well you’ll have to keep reading

4. Lately, the Fae are becoming such a major force in paranormal fiction. What drew you to them and why do you think it took people so long to get on board? (From Sarah Daltry)

I wrote a full series about vampires and then I started a shifter series and I had been playing around with the Immortal Characters (Bain and his Brothers) I was in a new bird of prey obsession and I wanted to write about these super sexy magnificent winged men, lol. I know it sounds funky, but that was what started it and I knew that in writing these characters I would benefit from delving into the Fae world because these guys are not angels, and I knew it was likely that’s how people would read them. I think Bain answered part of this question when he said:

“You humans need to expand your horizons; I’m f**king tired of being called a God damned vampire.”

We are obsessed with vampires and shifters, I think that’s a big part of why it’s taking so long to get our readers on board with the Fae world.

Purchase Links:
Purchase Magen's books through her website -

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Guest Spotlight: Sarah Daltry's Bitter Fruits

The second book my book group reviewed has actually been pulled until its rerelease on December 1st, but I'll still be able to share some of the information about Sarah Daltry's Bitter Fruits, an erotic paranormal romance, as well as her current release Forget Me Not.

My Review:

Bitter Fruits combines new adult paranormal romance with a heavy dose of mythology, setting up an exciting new series. And while the complex back story of the vampire race is worth the read alone, it’s brothers Alec and Caleb who really stole the show for me. The mistrust they have for each other, combined with the hope that they might restore their relationship was one of my favorite subplots throughout the book. With fun supporting characters and plenty of action and steamy scenes, be sure to add Bitter Fruits to your TBR list when it’s rereleased!

My Favorite Quote from the Book and Character Spotlight:

“Don’t deny what you feel; I feel it, too. It’s foolish to pretend there is nothing between us.” -Caleb

Q & A with Sarah Daltry:

1. I fell in love with the mythology in this book, can you tell me a little of where this plot line came from? (from Magen McMinimy)

This is going to sound funny coming from an erotica writer, I guess, but spirituality is extremely important to me. I absolutely love theology in every form. Like Nora, I don't identify with any religion in particular, but I've studied the major ones in depth. I've actually read the entire Bible twice (as in every word) and it's an unbelievably intriguing collection of stories. Historically, the world's dominant religions have made changes to doctrine based on social pressure and the needs of the age, NOT based on morality. We often forget that because faith is an emotional thing, but it's true.

This insanely long answer brings me to the story. I first heard about Lilith in college when Lilith Fair was starting up and it blew my mind. Now it's a well known story (it shows up in Mortal Instruments, Supernatural, True Blood, etc.). But like all myths, it has evolved and there are various interpretations of the story. I wanted to take the stories we know (without giving too much away) and think about other perspectives. What DON'T we know about the origins of man?

Finally, linking vampires to Cain wasn't really a big step. In fact, I used to dabble in tabletop role playing in college and I loved Vampire: The Masquerade. The entire game is based on the view that Cain was the first vampire. So I combined a lot of my interests and different experiences and came out with my version of it all.

2. How did they come across the information that if Lilith dies, everyone else dies with her? Where did this come from, since I doubt she would give that information out AND she was big bad, no others more scary, the "mother" of evil? (From Scarlett Dawn)

They learned it through research - at some point before Oxford - although we don't have the information as to how exactly. Lilith was a villain in this novel, but there are far more evil forces at work, and things grow far bigger and more epic in Book 2! Although Caleb and Alec think she was the mastermind behind everything, someone turned her before she turned them. You'll just have to wait to find out who it was.

3. I loved the different vampires. What were some of your influences for the different types? (From Brandy L Rivers)

Well, like I told Magen when I was answering her question, the mythology started with the role playing game Vampire: The Masquerade. I was a nerd in college and played a little and one thing that really stuck with me was the link to Cain. So that was the main focus. From there, I mostly researched other vampire-like creatures, or other names for vampires, and took a tiny bit from the myths about them. As far as what they all eat and such, that was all me. I thought about each type - and what they represented. I felt like they hungered for something different and I made it literal.

4. Since they've been through so many eras, what time period was Alec or Caleb's favorite? (From M.A. Grant)

Probably their favorite time period is now, given the events of the novel and the ending. However, outside of that and to be less boring than that, I imagine it was the Renaissance. Caleb and Alec had that little plague debacle, but I think it would have been a really interesting time for them. Considering their background, they would have loved to watch humanity struggle to make sense of the ruling Church and the way that art, science, and literature were branching out away from doctrine. I imagine they knew how many of the stories in the Bible were tweaked, since they lived through them, but of course, they are also still connected deeply to Heaven. (This comes up a lot more in Book 2.) So they personally would have empathized with human beings in a way they probably hadn't to that

Current Release:
Check out Sarah's current erotic new adult release Forget Me Not while you wait for Bitter Fruits!
Available for purchase at Amazon.

Lily had a crush on her brother's best friend, Derek for years - which led to their steamy night ten months ago in her bedroom. Now, Lily is going off to college and she and Derek are still going strong. However, when school starts, she realizes it's hard to maintain a relationship while also trying to live her own life. She and Derek find themselves falling apart and Lily has no idea where to turn.
Enter Jack. Everything about him is wrong for Lily and she knows it, but she can't stop herself from being attracted to him. When things implode with Derek, it's Jack who is there to pick up the pieces - and show Lily an entirely new set of experiences she didn't know she was missing.
Of course, Jack has his own problems and once Lily gets to know him better, she starts to wonder if she can handle all of Jack. When Derek reappears on the scene, Lily is forced to decide between two guys and herself. Can she find herself without losing the people who matter in the process?

See where it began in the short story, "Her Brother's Best Friend."

Purchase Links:
Visit Sarah Daltry's website to learn more about Bitter Fruits rerelease and the sales of her other books -

Find Forget Me Not at:
Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
All Romance

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Guest Spotlight: Brandy L. River's In Too Deep

Some author friends and I began a book club so we could read each other's books and share what we found with our fans on Facebook. This quickly became an awesome way for me to discover some great new books. I've mentioned some of the authors here on my blog before, but now I get to share the culmination of our weekly focus posts...And first up is Brandy L. Rivers's paranormal romance In Too Deep.

My Review:

In Too Deep starts the Others of Edenton series off with a bang—literally—as bad-ass Druid Fallon runs into beta werewolf Brody with her motorcycle as he escapes from some nasty vamps. The world-building continues from there, with the addition of more pack members, some fae, and Druids with tortured pasts. What I found most interesting about this book was the fact that we weren’t dealing with an alpha male…instead, Fallon plays the part of alpha female, while Brody takes on a different role. It was refreshing to see how this romance evolved, especially since it can be difficult to strike a balance between a man’s sweet and gentle beta personality, and his ability to flip the switch to something stronger and more aggressive when needed. Also, for those of you who are like me and enjoy spicy reads, there’s plenty of heat between these pages. I’m looking forward to catching the future stories of characters who played a minor role in this book…especially Sheriff Hayden Hunter…are you listening, Ms. Rivers?

My Favorite Quote from the Book:

Dacia shrieked, “Why the hell do you keep pulling his pants down?”

Fallon shrugged. “This is where he wanted the tattoo, so this is where it’s going.” She finished the last little bit and swiped a damp towel over the pattern.

There was a sudden charge in the air and Fallon knew it was coming from Dacia. The energy had the same feel as a poorly trained witch who couldn’t control their magic, only there was an elemental feel to it…

Fallon stood up and glanced back at Dacia, but kept her gloves on to avoid having to shake her hand. Obviously, psycho chick wanted a fight, but Fallon didn’t want to play.

Character Spotlight:
"[Fallon] forced her eyes up over [Brody's] sculpted chest and muscular arms to his face. Wow, she thought, he was gorgeous everywhere. His smoky blue eyes were wide and glued to her, his brow wrinkled, and his full mouth was set in a frown."

Q & A with Brandy L. Rivers:
1. Did you know going into the story that Fallon was going to be an alpha woman? (from Scarlett Dawn)

Fallon was absolutely always an alpha-woman. Maybe I was rebelling against a lot of the women in books needing saving. Most of the women I write are strong in their own ways, and most of them don’t need saving. They just aren’t as badass as Fallon in most cases.

2. Which group in your series do you think has the most power, and why? (From M.A. Grant)

Holy crap, that’s a good question. I don’t think any one necessarily has more power. They all have their strengths.

Druids are fast, have magic, and can shift into anything but they aren’t super strong physically.

Werewolves have the pack behind them but they are fairly fast and super strong. They are certainly a force to be reckoned with.

Vampires are strong, but they have speed and depending on the type have some tricks up their sleeves.

There are too many different kind of fae and they all have their own gifts. Take Dacia and Hayden, they are vastly different. Dacia has speed, fazes out of this realm to follow, and has some pretty wicked tricks you haven’t seen yet. Hayden can manipulate the earth itself, summon boulders from dust, and cause earth quakes, but that’s not all he can do. Just wait, you’ll see a lot more as the series continues.

Werecats have similar strength to the wolves, they are usually crafty, patient and more graceful, but they don’t work well together.

And Mages, well they have a hole political system, if you will behind them. They can do some pretty insane things, but most are sort of limited by their training. In theory, they can do whatever they imagine, but they’re trained so strictly that most don’t think outside the box.

3. Lots of books have the “bad boy” with the tattoos and piercings, however in, In Too Deep, Fallon is more of a “bad girl” so where do stand on tattoos and piercing outside of the written word and in the real world? (From Magen McMinimy)

I love them, I have uh… 5 tattoos. I wanted to pierce my nipples but my husband freaked at the suggestion and he didn’t freak in a good way. I think he assumes I’d go to a male piercer, but that might be weird. I was ready to go to a female piercer. In fact, Amethyst is a piercer, lol, I probably gave you way more than you wanted.

4. There is some discussion of Isaac and Brody and the process of bonding/mating. The weretiger, as a cat, doesn’t need a two way connection while Brody does. So – my question is: are you a dog person? Was this a commentary of cats versus dogs? Why did you pick a tiger? (From Sarah Daltry)

That’s a good question, Sarah. I’m not sure I have a good answer, but I’ll try.

I like both dogs and cats pretty equally. With the exception of little snappy dogs.

I guess I was thinking that cat’s are more solitary, they don’t need as much attention. So it made sense that the way werecats bond works totally differently than werewolves.

As for a tiger, I don’t know why I made Isaac a tiger. I made him pretty hateable in my book. Is that a word? Anyway, I love tigers, but I love most big cats. It’s just the way I saw him when he shifted.

Purchase Links:
Purchase Brandy's books through her website -