New Release: Stifled (Summoned #2), by Rainy Kaye

Stifled Release
Today we’re celebrating the release of STIFLED, book two in the SUMMONED series by USA Today Bestselling author, Rainy Kaye. A dark twist on genie folklore, SUMMONED follows a reluctant criminal as he unravels the mystery of the paranormal bond controlling him. In STIFLED, Dimitri trails an elusive jinn and finds himself in the middle of a community keeping dark secrets. The SUMMONED series is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.

Scroll down to pick up your copy of STIFLED, get SUMMONED for free for a limited time, and enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Stifled Final 2 PSDDimitri would like nothing more than to live a low-key life in Naples, Italy. His girlfriend, Syd, has other plans.

After three months of researching, she is positive she has found a jinn on a killing spree in San Diego, California. Since Syd gave Dimitri the one thing he thought was out of reach, he feels obligated to use his ill-gained talents for her cause.

A few hours back in the US proves that Dimitri and Syd didn’t quite make the clean escape they had thought. As they trail the elusive jinn, someone else trails them. What should have been a simple trip to confirm once and for all if the jinn are living among humans, instead reveals a community keeping dark secrets.

Unfortunately for Dim, the only way out is in.

Get your copy here!

Haven’t read book one yet? No problem! It’s currently FREE on Amazon.

summoned_cover_final_biggerTwenty-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told—literally.

Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker.

Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well.

When he meets Syd—assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd—he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri canít tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isnít the type to tolerate secrets.

Then Karl starts sending him away on back-to-back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karlís ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw comingóthe wish that will destroy him.
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about_rainy_kayerainykayeRainy Kaye is an aspiring overlord. In the mean time, she blogs at RainyoftheDark and writes paranormal novels from her lair somewhere in Phoenix, Arizona.

She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA. Someone told her she’s a USA Today Bestselling author. She thought there would be cake.

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New Release: Sorrow’s Edge (The Sorrows #2), by Danielle DeVor

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Hello Lovely Readers! Danielle DeVor twitched her fingers in my direction and cast me out of my own blog! Harrumph! The nerve. (Just kidding.) She writes about exorcisms, and she’s here today to tells us why, so I’ll just get out of her way.


DanielleDeVorI’ll admit it. I find it fascinating. The idea that prayers and words could force a demon out of a human body is amazing. Now, granted, the one performing the exorcism would have to strongly believe in what they are saying. But, it is still amazing. I greatly admire exorcists.

That being said, there are some things about exorcism that makes it difficult to write about. It isn’t so much the act of writing about it, but the acceptance. For many people, the idea of demonic possession and exorcism is so scary that they cannot even fathom reading a book about it.

To a certain extent, I understand that, but I have always been under the idea that it’s better to understand what you fear.

Does writing about an exorcism sometimes scare me? Sure. That’s when I know I’ve done it right. If I felt nothing, then I need to go back and work on it some more. Writing scary things should give the author just as many chills up and down their spine as the reader.

At least that’s my belief. But, when you write about something that is mostly unknown, you end up with a lot of questions too. What If the person being exorcised isn’t of the same religion as the exorcist. Does it still work? Near as I can tell, yes. But, without me getting to talk to an actual exorcist, I really have no idea. There is only so much written down about it in publicly available books. Now, if I could get access to it in the Vatican library… well…. That would be amazing.

About the Author:

Named one of the Examiner’s 2014 Women in Horror: 93 Horror Authors You Need to Read Right Now, Danielle DeVor has been spinning the spider webs, or rather, the keyboard for more frights and oddities. She spent her early years fantasizing about vampires and watching “Salem’s Lot” way too many times. When not writing and reading about weird things, you will find her hanging out at the nearest coffee shop, enjoying a mocha frappuccino.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Blog


 About Sorrow’s Edge:

Finding the truth can sometimes be harder than exorcising a demon…

Jimmy Holiday, defrocked priest-turned-exorcist, is trying to make sense of his life. With his on-again-off-again witchy girlfriend moving in, Lucy-the spirit from his last exorcism-hanging around, and a secret organization of exorcists hounding him, Jimmy is feeling the stress.

When a stranger calls in the middle of the night asking for help with a possession, Jimmy is puzzled. Especially when the dude on the phone says he got his number from Jimmy’s old mentor. Too bad his mentor has been dead for several years.

After a mysterious silver flask arrives at his doorstep, Jimmy is left with two options: either ignore the phone call and the flask, or listen to Lucy and travel to Arizona to solve the mystery before all hell breaks loose-literally.


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New Release! Christmas Star, by Christine Ashworth

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After a whirlwind courtship and surprise proposal, makeup artist Elle Houston is in a fairytale setting, awaiting her Christmas Eve wedding to a movie star. But when the resort’s chef starts cooking, Elle finds that more than her appetite is being tempted, and she realizes just how wrong fairytales can be…

Amazon | All Romance Ebooks

About the Author

Christine Ashworth grew up listening to the sound of her father’s manual typewriter as he wrote and sold over 300 novels. Now, to her delight, she’s the one writing novels. But as her dad is still writing away, she’s got some major catching up to do.

Christine is a romantic from way back, having first picked up Harlequin romances at the age of twelve, then falling in love with bigger books when she swiped her mother’s copy of Rosemary Rogers’ Sweet Savage Love. She’s happily married to an actor/dancer/guitarist/hippy, has two sons, and tends to her garden and her family in southern California. You can read about her cooking, gardening, and wine picks at her website at http://christine-ashworth.com.

Addie Bennet! Gimme Back My Blog!

Hello lovely readers. So, I’ve been doing a little bit of back and forth critique work with author Reese Monroe. (And by little bit, I mean that she rips holes in my work, and I rip holes in hers. All out of love. Swear.) Any how, while Reese and I were busy revising manuscripts, the “baby sister” of the Bound by Hades series snuck onto my blog! Ugh. The nerve of the little…. Well, she is cute. And she did bring the Shomrei hero dudes with her. So, I guess I’ll let her post stay.

Wendy

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ADDIE: Hi, everyone. Are you having fun on the tour so far? I know I am. I get to interview the Bound by Hades characters, so what could be better?

Today I have Justin and Theo. My big brother, Slade decided to crash the party last minute–and they say younger siblings are annoying….

SLADE: Hey, watch it, pip-squeak.

ADDIE: I think it’s going to his head that he’s the HERO of Claimed by Light. Yeah, he’s pretty awesome as a big brother and all, but…anyway. Did you see my post on embarrassing things about him? You so need to check that out.

But back to today’s interview. Theo, or should I call you daddy?

THEO: I’ll never tire of hearing that–or being that! Even if I have to chase my son to Egypt every other day.

ADDIE: It’ll be interesting see what happens with him. But what are you going to do with your down time now? I mean, you’ve not had much in … three books!

THEO: Guarding the Gates to Hades is never over. We might have a little reprieve now that we’d made it through this last adventure, so I think I’ll enjoy my wife. And my son. Actually try some of the fun human tourist-like things. I hear it’s a tradition to take your little one to Disney World.

ADDIE: That’d be sooo cute. I can just imagine you taking little Noah down the water slides.

JUSTIN: Right up until Noah opens a splice and vanishes in front of the crowds. **He slaps Theo** Dream on, Daddy.

ADDIE: What are you going to do to relax, Justin?

JUSTIN: I’m sure Yvonne and I can come up with a few things to occupy our time, now that Lucifer–er–now that our latest adventure has calmed down. See REESE, I can keep a secret!!

ADDIE: LOL!!  Reese warned me not to let you give away the plot, too. I was about to jump on you!

THEO: Can’t trust Justin with any type of secret.

JUSTIN: Well, duh, you can hack into my thoughts. Makes it kinda hard. What about you, Slade? What are you going to do?

SLADE: Hit the hot tub–often.

ADDIE: Okay, okay. I think it’s about time for the fast five.

JUSTIN: **claps his hands together** Bring it. Yvonne prepped me for it!

ADDIE: Favorite color right now.

JUSTIN: Pink **he winks**

THEO: Orange **he smacks Justin**

SLADE: Red

ADDIE: Favorite dessert right now.

JUSTIN: Fried Oreos

THEO: Apple Pie

SLADE: Fruitcake

ADDIE: Favorite time of day.

JUSTIN: Dusk

THEO: Dawn

SLADE: Dusk

ADDIE: Romance movie or action?

JUSTIN: Duh…. Action.

THEO: Action

SLADE: Action

ADDIE: E-Reader or Paperback

JUSTIN: Movies

THEO: Paperback

SLADE: What Justin said.

ADDIE: Guys are just plain impossible, aren’t they?

Thanks, everyone for following the blog tour. See you on the next stop! 🙂

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Claimed by Light (Bound by Hades #3)
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Release Date: September 15th, 2014

Forgiveness softens even the hardest of hearts…

College senior Slade Bennet is so close to his degree he can taste it…until his sister becomes tangled with a coven of demons and he must trade his soul to save her. But first he must kill the assigned target: a sexually charged beauty who ignites his protective instinct.

After the devastating loss of her Companion, the last thing Halena Girard can stomach is the emotional connection to a Mate. She lives for only two things: vanquishing demons, and seeking Artifacts rumored to lead to Lucifer’s downfall. That is, until she’s attacked by a…frat boy? Worse, a newly-demonic frat boy wearing the mark of her Mate.

Halena would rather kill Slade than give him her heart. Unfortunately, the only way Slade can find his sister and Halena the Artifacts is to work together. As they face the darkest of evil, Slade’s ability to crush Halena’s carefully erected walls might prove to be the most lethal battle of all.

Buy Links:
Kindle USA | Amazon Print | Kindle UK | Kindle Canada | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

lynnReeseOriginally from Minnesota, Reese Monroe currently enjoys living in the sunny Arizona desert with her husband of seventeen years and her loveable Shetland Sheep dog, Maddux. Monroe holds a degree in psychology from Southwest Minnesota State University and a master’s degree from the University of Iowa. When she’s not busy writing her next trilogy, she can be found pounding the pavement, training for her next endurance event.

Connect with Reese on Twitter (@Rush_Monroe), through Facebook (Facebook.com/LynnRushWrites) or her website ReeseMonroe.net.

Book #1 in trilogy: Forged by Fate

Buy Links: Kindle USA | Kindle UK | Kindle CA | B&N | Kobo | iBook

Book #2 in trilogy: Marked by Hades

Buy Links: Kindle USA | Kindle UK | Kindle CA | B&N | Kobo | iBook

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Book Review: Moth, by Sean Poindexter

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Moth, by Sean Poindexter
Ellysian Press
August 5. 2014
Dark Paranormal Fantasy

Social Worker Max Hollingsworth is no stranger to the otherworldly. But when he’s called upon to investigate a missing child protective services worker, he stumbles upon a deeper mystery.

Children are vanishing and no one, not even their parents, remembers them. Suspicion turns to Neo-Nazi vampires and humans running a child slavery ring, but the truth is far more sinister than even Max is prepared to handle. For help he turns to friends, old and new, but even they might not be enough…forcing him to turn to the least likely ally of all: an enemy who’s cruelty and evil was almost his end…and haunts him still.

He’ll be lucky if he makes it out of this one alive.


Think about a moth for a moment. He and his more popular cousin, the butterfly, both begin their lives as caterpillars, munching their way across the landscape until they’ve grown fat and happy enough to curl into a ball and go to sleep. And when they wake up, they are different animals. They are no longer forced crawl along on their bellies, as they now have great wings upon which they can seek out their hearts content in the air.

The princely butterfly pursues pretty colors and sweet tastes. The moth, geekier by design, prefers hanging out in the dark, which makes the bright lights it believes to be the moon easier to find.

Sufism has many poems about moths, one of which became a popular metaphor in western culture. A succession of moths dance around a flame, each getting closer and closer before returning to the others to tell what they learned. Each one is told by the eldest of them that they have no more, or no greater knowledge than the moth before him. That is, until the last thrusts himself bodily into the flame, allowing it to consume him. He, the eldest tells the others, is the only one among them who understood the gift of the flame.

In Poindexter’s novel, Moth, Max Hollingsworth’s reluctantly supportive girlfriend recognizes her lover for what he is: a moth to the flame, one obsessed with his job and compelled to pursue his cases even to his own destruction. The title is more than a nod to Sadie, however. From the first page to the last, and focused on the meth/child sex trade that flourishes along the US Interstate highway system, this novel is driven by needs, wants and sicknesses which become cocoons where character defining transformations take place. Just like in nature, the moths outnumber the butterflies 100 to one.

Sadie’s relationship with Max provides pockets of sweetness in an otherwise bitter plot. Outwardly, she is Goth, complete with piercings, tattoos, heavy make-up and attitude to match, which altogether makes her a odd surrogate for normal society, but that’s precisely what she is. Sadie’s primary role is to provide the one ounce of self-preservation that Max has, but she also anchors the reader in a place just outside of the action. What Max is experiencing is beyond normal. What he is doing is beyond his call of duty. What he has borne witness to is beyond belief for a rational human being. The most brilliant part of Sadie is that the author never uses her POV. She reacts to Max, and other characters, in a way that is powerful enough to keep her, him, and the reader from acclimating to the bizarre world in which Max spends most of his time.

Vampires are the primary creatures in this dark paranormal fantasy, but as far as vile antagonists go, they might just be physically harder to kill than their human counterparts. As an agent of Child Protective Services in Joplin, Missouri, Max meets people on a daily basis who are perhaps more heinous than bloodsuckers. At the very least when a vampire enslaves a child for food and sex, he can wipe his abuses clean. Not out of mercy, of course, but to simply cover his tracks and to remain below human radar. Human pedophiles brainwash their victims for the same ends, but in ways far crueler. I won’t spoil the details of how the author illustrated this, but I will say that he doesn’t pull punches.

Moth pushed every boundary of my reading comfort level and I would not recommend this book to just anyone. It’s inappropriate for young adults and I would give seriously caution to readers who are sensitive to child abuse. This novel is chock full for profanity, vulgarity, blood, violence, and scattered sex scenes (but only between willing individuals.) If any of that bothers you, none of this author’s books are for you, but especially not this one. While I typically avoid books described as this one is, I became enamored with Sean Poindexter’s voice while reading his the Dragon’s Blood Chronicles, and that gave me the confidence to trust him to take me into this story. I’m very glad that I did, firstly for the delightful cameo by quick humored dragon Garrett Terago, but also for the brutal honesty and raw emotion that bleeds on every page as Max survives his challenges only because he is too busy to stop for death.

★★★★★
About My Book Reviews

I believe in this book so much, I’ve posted this review four times.

Originally published on August 23, 2013, for Crescent Moon Press publication.
Republished September 28, 2013, for Ambrosia Arts publication.
Republished March 19, 2014, for Self-Publication by Author.
Republished July 31, 2014, for Ellysian Press publication.

My Blogging Lapse, RT2014 People-Watching, and Stuff

Nancy Brant asked me to participate in a writing process blog hop and I saw it as an opportunity to post something. I haven’t blogged in a while. It sucks, but there’s a reason for it that’s relevant to my writing process. For me, writing takes one road, and reading/reviewing/blogging/promoting take another. I am working on strategy to manage both at the same time, but I’m not there yet.

There are a few, very exciting things happening with my writing career. A few years ago, I would have found one of them greatly disappointing. The benefit of time, and rapid progress in the industry, is that what might have been a setback only three years ago is now a blessing, and not even a disguised one. I apologize for being vague. I’d love to tell the story, because I think it’s an interesting one, but I neither can nor should. Truly, it doesn’t provide much value for other writers, not even for those in a similar situation.

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Marie Sexton, Me, and Alanna Coco

I attended RT 2014 in New Orleans this year. I met great people, spent a lot of time with my childhood friend, Marie Sexton, and sat in on some insightful panels. However, the most valuable thing I took away from the conference is something I observed while people watching among the indie authors. The ones that are successful–which I will define as having name recognition with strangers (think Lilliana Hart)—had two things in common that most of the authors in NOLA lacked. One, they referred to themselves as “indie publishers”, and two, they don’t sit still. Their books are the sellable component of their personal businesses, which is kept afloat with various entrepreneurial requirements. Whereas many self-published authors are fighting to connect with readers to sell a book, these few are reading trade publications, making connections, and building brands. Their books are marketing them, rather than the other way round.

Clearly, it’s not a model for success that can be implemented overnight by a working mom with a daily 50-mile round trip commute, but it’s nice to have an attainable goal.

Right now, the bulk of my focus is on Glitch, book one of a YA Sci-fi series. As of this morning, Glitch is a working title, because a book with that title was released in the same genre back in February. The idea for “The Winter Son” trilogy came about from a desire to dabble in the war between angels, but make angels the bad guys. It was originally called “The Choir Boys,” and it was intended to be a paranormal romance featuring an immortal paramilitary operative, but my main character argued that he wasn’t old enough to vote, so changes had to be made. I finish books, but they’re never the ones I start.

I’ve been asked how my work is different from others in its genre. I think that’s a question better left to readers. There’s a literary concept called “suspension of disbelief” and basically, readers cannot relate to something perfect. The more incredible something is–wealthy, beautiful, and/or powerful—the more flawed it has to be. Take any superhero you like and weigh his/her strengths against weaknesses. You’ll find they balance each other out.

It might be a cop out, but I try to make my characters on the average side, more representable of the young adult population. I avoid hot heroes and girls with red hair and green eyes. I have smart kids who make dumb, and sometimes selfish decisions. My world building is largely contemporary, but as the story progresses and the surface is scratched, evidence of richer, darker, even alien worlds can be found beneath.

I never set about writing this way. It evolved over time. I’m half-Japanese, and having been raised in Wyoming, I have come to self-identify as a white woman. For half of my life, I was a practicing Mormon, but in my 20s, I discovered an atheist within. I’m Pro-Gun, Pro-Choice, Pro-Fiscal Responsibility, Pro-Diversity, and a straight ally of the LGBT community. My writing, I believe, is a reflection of me, and written for my 16-year-old self…a girl whose life was shaped by reading books that were over her head.

My writing process is one that needs to change the more I think about it. I work out ideas in notebooks, write scenes in Scrivener, edit on hard copy, and I get done when I get done. It worked well when I was writing for myself, but my goals have changed. One day, I hope to quit my job and write full-time, and spending two years to complete one book isn’t going to get me there.

I was supposed to tag in three other writers to post next Monday, but like I said…I have two roads at the moment. Finding authors to participate turned out to be on the other one. Instead, please check out these great new releases.

Summoned, by Rainy Kaye

The Devil Made Me Do It  (Book 2, Speak of the Devil Series), by Shawna Romkey

Endured (Book 3, Shadowed Love Series), by Kinley Baker

Cover Reveal: The Devil Made Me Do It, by Shawna Romkey

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The Devil Made Me Do It (Speak of the Devil #2)
By Shawna Romkey

Coming from Crescent Moon Press, June 2014

About the Book:

Lily is working with the angels to stifle the last of the demon outbreaks and to figure out how to stop the Silence of God, so life can get back to boring normality. But all hell breaks loose when she’s stolen from school and brought face to face with the devil himself. Lily has to find her way back home to Luc, crack the prophecy that breaks the curse silencing God, and figure out how she and Luc can ever really be together; but Lucifer has other plans for her that don’t include her ever getting out of Hell in tact.

SR-37-150x150About the Author:

Shawna Romkey, teacher by day, writer by night (or day or whenever anyone leaves her alone long enough to get some work done). Bestselling YA / NA paranormal author of Speak of the Devil. The second in the series, The Devil Made Me Do It, will release July 1.

Shawna is from Kansas City, Missouri, but resides in Nova Scotia in a house by the sea with her husband, two sons, and currently two dogs but that’s subject to change depending on the local homeless dog population.

For more info, check out her website at www.shawnaromkey.com.

Cover Reveal: Blood of a Mermaid, by Katie O’Sullivan

BloodofaMermaid_coverBLOOD OF A MERMAID
By Katie O’Sullivan
Coming from Crescent Moon Press, May 2014

About the Book:

Mermaid blood.

When Shea MacNamara fell into the ocean for the first time, he found he could breathe underwater. The son of a mermaid, the sea is in his blood. Literally. The best part of Shea’s new life? His girlfriend Kae, who also happens to be a beautiful mermaid.

But darkness lurks under the sea. When evil mermen kidnap Kae, the king reminds Shea that having royal blood means making tough choices.

An Arctic dungeon, a fiery plane crash, the legendary halls of Atlantis…and narwhals?

Having mermaid blood just got a lot more complicated.

Katie_OSullivanAbout the Author:

Katie O’Sullivan lives with her family and big dogs next to the ocean on Cape Cod, drinking way too much coffee and inventing new excuses not to dust. A recovering English major, she earned her degree at Colgate University and writes romance for young adults and the young at heart. Her editing column, “The Write Way,” appears in the Literary Women section of CapeWomenOnline magazine.

Living next to the Atlantic influences everything she writes. Her YA mermaid series begins in Nantucket Sound with SON OF A MERMAID, and continues the undersea adventures with BLOOD OF A MERMAID, coming from Crescent Moon Press in May 2014. Her latest contemporary romance from The Wild Rose Press is MY KIND OF CRAZY, a Cape Cod story of second chances and starting over.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Excerpt from BLOOD OF A MERMAID, by Katie O’Sullivan

Shea grimaced. He knew firsthand the damage wind could cause. He’d witnessed tornado destruction back in Oklahoma, when he’d lost his dad and their farm. Wind could be devastating. And deadly. He needed to focus on something else. Maybe curtains and wallpaper weren’t such a bad thing to talk about after all. “Tell me again about this lady who hired your mom to decorate? Why is it she can’t pick out her own curtains?”

Hailey laughed. “Decorating is about more than curtains, you troglodyte. It’s about creating a whole look and feel for a home.”

A deep male voice crackled through the overhead speakers in rapid Greek, followed by English. “Attention, passengers. This is your captain. Please keep seatbelts fastened as we try to steer clear of this turbulence and find a pocket of better air.”

“A pocket of better air?” Hailey shook her head. “What does that even mean?”

Chip leaned back across the aisle and grinned. “Maybe this air is broken?” The light streaming through Hailey’s window shifted as the plane changed direction and Chip’s grin faded. “It looks like he made a ninety degree turn. That seems kind of drastic.”

“I’m sure the pilot’s done this a million times,” Hailey snapped, looking out her window again. “Ooh, look at that lightning over there! It’s like a fireworks display!”

Shea resisted the temptation to look out the window. His stomach already felt queasy enough, and now a storm? A slow tingling sensation engulfed his toes. “How close?”

“Oh, look out there now,” Hailey interrupted. “Water spouts!”

Shea felt the blood drain from his face. “Water spouts? Like, tornadoes on the ocean?”

Hailey glanced back at him and gently patted his knee. “This isn’t Oklahoma. I’m sure everything’s going to be fine,” she said as she pulled the plane’s information card out of the seat pocket in front of her. “But I guess it never hurts to review a plane’s emergency procedures.”

As she removed her hand from his knee to point at the diagram, Shea felt the tingling course through his legs, zinging from his toes up into his stomach. It was as if some switch in his body had flipped into high gear. Sweat beaded on his forehead and dripped down his back. The air inside the airplane cabin suddenly felt like it was clinging heavily around him, as if it were charged with electricity and Shea was the only magnet on board. He’d felt this exact sensation before, back at Plainville High School.

On the day of the tornado.

ARC Review: Summoned (#1), by Rainy Kaye

summoned
Immortal Ink Publishing
Release Date: March, 2014
Dark Paranormal

Twenty-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told—literally. Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker.

Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well. When he meets Syd—assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd—he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri can’t tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isn’t the type to tolerate secrets.

Then Karl starts sending him away on back-to-back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karl’s ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw coming—the wish that will destroy him.

A dark twist on the genie folklore, SUMMONED follows a reluctant criminal as he unravels the mystery of the paranormal bond controlling him.

SUMMONED is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.

Note: SUMMONED contains strong language, naughty scenes, mature content, terrible wishes, mystery, violence, discomfort, explosions, and an apple.


Summoned opens with the kidnapping. Dimitri dislikes kidnappings. Murders are easier for him. He gets in, does the job, and goes home to wait for his next assignment. On this afternoon, he has a precocious nine year old and her stuffed bunny shackled in his back seat. He doesn’t know why his boss wants her, but tells himself that it’s for ransom and she’ll be home before bedtime. He never sees anyone that he brings to Karl’s desert mansion after security drags them from his car, which is why he goes immediately to a bar to forget the afternoon ever happened. While there, he meets Sydney, a sexy blond who’s supposed to meet a friend until she gets stood up. Easy hook-up. No strings attached. At least, that’s the idea at the time.

Dimitri Hayes is an astonishingly complex antihero. He’s a child, a monster, a victim, a sex-fiend, and a bad man’s puppet. His entire reason for existing is to fulfill Karl Walker’s violent wishes. Because the act of being summoned physically moves him, without warning, from wherever he is to a special room in Karl’s house, Dimitri’s life outside of work is incredibly limited. He can’t have a part-time job, make friends. His sex-life consists of one-night-stands that he rudely kicks out in the morning to ensure they don’t call back. He doesn’t like it, doesn’t want to do what he does, but he literally has no choice. The magical bond that tethers him to his master is cruel when challenged. As it stands, there’s nothing in his life worth the trouble. So he lies to himself about who his victims are to make them worthy of the fate he brings to their door.

Syd, a “rock star” he meets by chance, was supposed to help him forget his troubles for a few hours and get lost. Getting rid of her, and her insatiable sexual appetite, proves to be impossible. Despite Dimitri being a complete jerk to her, she keeps calling, texting, and showing up at his house, until she becomes something he can’t live with or without.

I was delighted by the evolution of Dimitri’s character over the course of story. We are introduced to a deviant, who is somewhat weak-minded and apathetic, and he grows into someone with a moral compass that finds its true North and holds onto it for dear life. (And not just his own.)

But don’t get me wrong, Summoned is not a romance. In fact, I was neither surprised nor disappointed by the blood bath at the end. (No, that’s not a spoiler. Surely you can guess by now that people die, and I’m not telling whom.)

If you’ve seen me around the Internet, you might have read four things about me. I like a) organic scenes, b) inquisitive characters, c) slow reveals, and d) snowballing climaxes. In Summoned, Rainy Kaye solidly hits a, c, and d, which makes it a story pretty much written just for me. Even throws in a puzzle and Pre-Muslim Arabia at total bonuses.

Still, the author gave me an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review, and the book is not perfect.  Some things are errors that I fully expect to be cleaned up before publication, because Immortal Ink cares about stuff like that. I also found details that I personally would have chosen to do differently, but Ms. Kaye didn’t actually write it just for me. It would suck of me to hold those against her, and I try hard not to suck.

I give Summoned 4.5 stars, and I round up. I recommend it to fans of dark paranormal that don’t mind mature content with their felonies and apples.

★★★★★
About My Book Reviews

A Greek Top Ten with VC Birlidis, Author of Muse Unexpected

My parents liked sci-fi and fantasy, ’70s guitar rock, scantily-clad girls with swords, and barbarians with steroid-grade muscle. (Looking at you, Conan.) They were big on symbolism, superstition, Chinese kung-fu theater, and movies that weren’t appropriate for kids but let my brother and I watch anyway. The Ancient World? As my very Italian in-laws would say, fuggedaboutit. I was going to love Greece (and Egypt, Israel, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, etc). After my mother saw Clash of the Titans with Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith, I really had no choice in the matter.

And that is what makes THIS guest post so exciting. VC Birlidis, author of Muse Unexpected, is here to tells us ALL about his ten favorite Greek characters ever. (Isn’t that cruel of me? I mean, how does a bona fide Greek guy sift through the awesomesauce to pick just 10?) Let’s see what he thinks!

Take her away, V!


ZieglerMedea

Medea

You can’t start a list of favorite Greek characters without listing Medea. She was beautifully flawed, strong,…well, actually completely mad. Now that’s irresistible.

Electra, the ninja assassin. I know… It’s a guy [thing] and she’s totally cool. Her being the love interest to Daredevil, yet her violent nature causes great conflict… it’s beautiful. I even liked the movie with Jennifer Gardner.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld – The super-villian all super-villian are measured by, from the James Bond novels. He is so over-the-top and beyond ridiculous that I can’t help but love him. (Wendy here. Blofeld was the inspiration for Dr. Evil and his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth.)

Another James Bond character who is so incredibly dynamic and tragically flawed is Electra King. She spends a great deal of the time playing the victim and yet she turns out to be the master-villian. Such great fun.

Hera, the vengeful wife of Zeus. So incredibly cruel, she makes most villains seem like Suzy Sunshine. There is a certain vulnerability with Hera that makes you think there is hope for her, and then she goes and attacks Perseus. Not very nice.

Dürer - Mort d'Orphée (1494)

The Death of Orpheus

Orpheus – He loved his wife so much he travelled to the Underworld to save her. And his lack of trust is the undoing of them both. Such a tragic love story and such a strong, committed husband.

Hades – Poor Hades. He’s sent to the Underworld to rule the dead. Talk about a bleak environment. Then he sees this beautiful woman, Persephone, immediately falls in love and drags her down to the Underworld. I’m assuming he did this in hopes that she would bring to his life some much needed beauty. And the poor God let his lust get the better of him because Persephone turns out to be quite the fish wife. I’m always one for the underdog.

Medusa – A tragic character, damned by the evil Athena for something out of her control. (She was raped by Poseidon in Athena’s temple.) I’ve often found it interesting that Medusa and the other Gorgons didn’t seek people out to murder. They were sought out by others to kill the “monsters”. the story of the gorgons appears to be an ongoing narrative of the value placed on women during ancient Greece times, while also demonstrating the jealousy felt woman to woman. It’s a narrative that unfortunately continues today, which makes Medusa one of my favorite Greek characters. It also drove me to place the Gorgons in a better, flattering light.

Nia Vardalos’ character Toula Portokalos from my Big Fat Greek Wedding. I felt her pain, growing up Greek and the craziness associated with it. Although I wanted to kill Nia after the 100th person asked me if adults were baptized in a baby pool. Dear lord!

Captain Birlis – An ancestor of mine, who is mostly unknown. While traveling in Greece with my Father, we visited a monastery that had an Icon of the Virgin Mary that was rumored to have cried. While there, a very small Nun was giving us a tour and she asked what our name was. My father said it was Birlidis, originally Birlis. My Pappous (Grandfather) had changed our last name when he came over on the boat. He felt Birlis wasn’t greek enough. She then told us about a Captain Birlis, who had a legend attached to him. He was a ship captain, during ancient Greece, who’s ship was sinking. (don’t know the reason why. I think it had to do with hitting hidden rocks.) the ship began to fill with water, and with impending death, they all kneeled down on the ship’s deck and began to pray. It is said the Virgin Mary appeared to them with the Baby Jesus in her arms, and told them not to fear and that she would help them. She dove off the side of the boat, yes, with the Baby Jesus, and all of a sudden the water stopped coming into the hole. It is told that a giant sea sponge had lodged itself into the hole, allowing the ship the time to make it back to land. In celebration of this, Captain Birlis commissioned a candle, the same size of the ship’s mast and donated it to the monastery in thanks of the Virgin Mary saving them. The candle remained intact, at the monastery until a major earthquake destroyed it, but apparently pieces of it are still kept at the monastery.


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Muse UnexpectedMuse Unexpected

“We’re Muses. Not vampires, not fairies, not werewolves. We’re Muses.” Sophie was sure her mother had reached an epic level of crazy. ‘We’re Muses?’ She thought Muses were lame, not to mention she found the idea ridiculous. However, Sophie couldn’t explain away her physical transformation that made Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries look like a bad Walmart make-over, not to mention why her mood swings triggered an uncontrollable ability to shoot powerful bursts of energy out of her hands.

Sophie soon realizes modern day Muses have evolved into powerful guardians of humankind, tasked with keeping mortals on the right path and the original Olympians locked away from the world. But old hatreds don’t die easily, especially for immortal enemies that have an eternity to plot and gather their forces. Well aware of the Fates’ foretelling of another Olympian war, and a young Muse that would rise up as a warrior and defeat them, the Olympians have vowed to either possess Sophie or destroy her. Either way, they will make sure everyone associated with their imprisonment will reap an eternal damnation in the Underworld, leaving the Olympians to restore Mount Olympus and force humankind into a future of never-ending servitude and misery.

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Praise for Muse Unexpected

“Ripe with conflict, skin-crawling creepy that is sprinkled with a wonderful sense of humor and a plot fraught with horrific danger in every step taken by Sophie, this book should be on the top of everyone’s must read list. Simply put, I loved it and can’t wait for book 2 to come out.” ~Olive (Amazon Review)

“I remember learning about mythology & Greek gods in elementary school….boring! Well, this fantastic book takes everything you thought about gods/mythology and turns it on it’s ear, sort of like “Wicked” did to the “Wizard of OZ”. At times funny at times gruesome and scary, this story definitely kept my interest. I loved the way the writer made the gods “human”. I also liked the subtle, blink and you’ll miss them hints sprinkled throughout the story. Don’t let the young adult genre scare you away. This is an engaging story that can be enjoyed by all. Can’t wait for the next one!!!!” ~Paula (Amazon Review)

Author V.C. Birlidis

V.C. Birlidis was born and raised in Miami, Florida and has always been involved in the arts. He attended the New World School of the Arts and was a member of The Miami Ballet.

Mr. Birlidis moved to Ohio to attend college where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications from Capital University. He currently is the Director of Marketing at one of the top midwest advertising agencies, SBC Advertising. He has freelanced as a writer for Outlook News and Tickled Pink Magazine, where he wrote a comical advice column named Ask V.

Five years in the making and inspired by the numerous Greek myths his father would utilize as demented bed time stories, Muse, Unexpected is Mr. Birlidis’ first novel. It is the first book in his Muse series.

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Excerpt

“Mom, step away from the mirror. Let me see what has happened to me.”

“But I need to explain first. It’s like this, some people may have a few additional doors open and because of those open doors, they have some extra abilities like being able to tell the future or being able to speak with the dead. Now, beings like us have the majority of our doors opened and our soul is expanded to allow us to do the things we can do. Otherwise, our soul would be ripped to shreds.”

Sophie’s arms shook; a searing heat building inside her as crackling electricity filled the air. “What has happened to me, Mom? I need to see.” She lifted her head; her eye’s meeting her mother’s. The heat was almost unbearable, burning in her eyes and moving toward her clenched fists. Her hands tingled and burned. She was sure they were going to explode.

Callie held firm. “Honey, calm down. You don’t have control of your emotions. It’s always difficult at first, but—”

Sophie was furious and she let whatever control she had slip away. Her eyes were burning through her mother, in an attempt to reach the covered mirror.

With a steady voice, Sophie said, “Let me see.” She shook her hands, in an attempt to shake off the heat pooling in them. Instead of feeling relief, the energy surged from her.

Callie threw herself out of the way, falling forward onto the floor as the energy burst hit the mirror, ripping the heavy curtains and massive iron rods off the wall and cracking the mirror from top to bottom. Sharp pieces of mirror rained down, as both women crashed to the floor.

“Ow!” The slivers of mirror glass sliced her palms. She grew silent watching the mirror-shards pushing themselves out of her skin. The cuts bled a little then stopped bleeding and healed before her eyes. She stood, afraid to move, trying to get her mind around what she was seeing.

“What the heck is wrong with me?” Sophie said, as she burst into tears.

Although a good portion of the mirror was destroyed, Sophie could still make out most of her reflection. She lifted her right hand and touched her face, realizing she was staring back at the girl from her nightmare. It was the girl who had pushed her into the grave.

This is more than just a little liposuction or a hair straightening. Am I a victim of an alien attack? Was this the work of body snatchers?

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/21/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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