Review of Undertow by Amber Lynn Natusch + Giveaway

Undertow COVERFROM GOODREADS:

How far does a girl have to run to escape a lifetime of pain and loss at the hands of Alaska’s notoriously unforgiving Bering Sea? Twenty-seven-year-old Aesa Fredriksen thought landlocked Columbus, Ohio would suffice, and it does until the fear of regret drives her to return to Dutch Harbor in a final attempt to make amends with her nearly estranged father. Intent on salvaging the wreckage of their relationship, she reluctantly agrees to join him—the only family she has left—as he heads out to fish for king crab, forcing her to brave the very waters that pulled him away from her as a child. The waters that stole her mother’s life.
When the day finally arrives for the Norwegian Queen to sail off into an uncertain future, Aesa can’t help but fear the worst. Beyond the violent swells and impending storms, there is far more than death and danger awaiting her on her journey: love awaits her too.

Decker, a young but seasoned member of her father’s crew, is a force of nature as strong as Aesa, He’s her perfect match, and even she can’t deny it. But he too is a man of the sea, and with memories of tragedy and abandonment etched so deeply into her mind, can she overcome her demons and let him in or will she drown in her darkness, forever caught in its undertow?

Goodreads

Amazon

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Find out more about Amber Lynn Natusch

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Review

First, let me say that I am a huge fan of Amber’s work. Her Caged series is one of my all-time favorite urban fantasy series. That series (like Undertow) was so incredible well written, but it was Amber’s ability to write such deep and relatable characters that moved Caged to that next level for me.

Undertow– Wow. I will start with the setting; Dutch Harbor, Alaska. At first I thought, oh no! King crab fishing? *cue theme music for Deadliest Catch* But, I loved that this contemporary romance novel had such an unusual setting. I’ve read romance novels set all over the world… never near or on a crab boat. And let me tell you, I could not put Undertow down! This novel was a page turner from beginning to end with nail-biting suspense and such cringe-worthy scenes that even though I know what happened– I won’t read those scenes again. They felt THAT real to me. And I loved all the characters THAT much. *shivers*

Nine years ago Aesa ran from all she’d lost, her father, and the Bering Sea that did nothing but take from her. She returns with the intent to mend the broken relationship with her father, but is not anywhere near ready (emotionally) to walk into her childhood home and face it all. On the surface she seems ready– she’s a doctor now, she’s got a handle on her anger, and she’s matured. Part of what makes her so relatable is that old wounds bring her right back to where she was emotionally nine years ago. Aesa has a death grip on her anger. If she’s angry then she doesn’t have to feel pain. And she thinks her anger is justified.

Aesa is cold at times, neurotic about order, and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Where they are safely on that side. Where she won’t be hurt. Where there is no fear. Where it doesn’t matter if that person leaves and never comes back.

But it does matter; Decker matters.

Decker has a past. He’s learned from it, and it doesn’t define him. He is a fisherman through and through, but  unlike anyone Aesa has ever met. And by anyone, I mean he is the first person she’s let past her walls in nine years. And now that he’s there, there’s no way in hell Decker is going to let Aesa push him away to protect herself.

“You can’t live your life through the eyes of the past forever. You’ll never be able to move forward with that fear tethered to you, holding you back. Whatever it is that haunts you, you need to learn to either accept it or push past it. You’re too strong to let it bring you down. Don’t drown yourself in the sorrows of what has been.”

I’d recommend this book to anyone. I wasn’t surprised that I loved Undertow as much as I did, given how over-the-top in love I am with Caged. And just a quick side note: Fans of Caged, Amber gave a shout-out to creatures that react to a full moon. WHOOT! Or at least my Team Cooper heart took it that way. 😉

star

Giveaway

1 winner will receive a $50 amazon gift card + plus an ebook copy of Undertow

2 winners will each receive a $25 amazon gift card + plus an ebook copy of Undertow

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc2e0c24/

ALN author picAbout Amber Lynn Natusch  If you’re dying to know more about me, allow me to put you at ease. I’m a sharp-tongued, sarcastic cancer, who loves vegetable smoothies, winter storms, and the word ‘portfolio’. I should NEVER be caffeinated, and require at least eight hours of sleep to even resemble a human being. At thirty-four, I just now feel like I can keep a straight face while saying the word “rectum” (which is actually a huge lie because I just laughed out loud while reading this to my husband). I live with my iPod firmly affixed to my body, drive too fast, and laugh/cry at inappropriate times. I’m obsessed with urban fantasy… When I discovered that genre, I knew I had found my tribe. Now I write in that world because that’s what the voices in my head tell me to do. And they are very, very loud.

Let The Countdown to Greed by Fisher Amelie Begin!

We’ve talked about Fisher Amelie’s Vain on this site a few times.

Vain is book #1 in The Seven Deadly Series

Here is a post on Vain

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Okay. Let’s take a minute and talk about novels with a strong message. If you’re anything like me, you don’t want said message shoved down your throat. I also don’t care for epiphanies based on another character’s actions/reactions. This rings false to me and ends up having the opposite effect.

We’ve all eye-rolled our way through a few, or twenty.

Not so with Vain. It’s raw, brutally honest, and our girl, Sophie Price SLOWLY becomes a better person. Correction– she becomes the woman she was meant to be. AND NOT because of a guy’s devotion and love and shit. No. Although the swooning in this book had me in tears.

This story is a journey in self-discovery.

And I can’t stress enough that you NEED to read this book. Vain is $2.99 on Kindle Amazon right now.

Moving on…

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Greed is book #2 in The Seven Deadly Series

Nice cover, eh??

That’s Spencer Blackwell. Not sure what the horses are about. But they certainly do add to that 8-pack and any images that may or may not be running wild in my head.

From Goodreads:

“Gather ‘round, love, because I want you. I want what you have, I want what you don’t have, I want more of what I already have. I want. But if you so much as ask for something in return, go ahead and walk away. Know if you want to play in my world, it’s every man for themselves and the weak become mine. Leeches will be obliterated because I make it my job to destroy them. I protect what’s mine and I take what’s yours…because that’s what I do. I want.

My story will not endear me to you and, frankly, I could care less if it does because I’m in this for the money and nothing else. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a corrupt, money hungry, immoral asshole from Los Angeles. I’m every man’s worst nightmare and every girl’s fantasy.

I’m Spencer Blackwell…And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most coveted guy to the guy no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”

Expected release date is Oct. 29th 2013

This is author Fisher Amelie

8d14c20c2a2e0a7e9d9ad9_L__V395751581_SY470_Fisher Amelie resides in the South with her kick ace husband slash soul mate. She earned her first ‘mama’ patch in 2009. She also lives with her Weim, ‘Jonah’, and her Beta, ‘Whale’. All these living creatures keep the belly of her life full, sometimes to the point of gluttony, but she doesn’t mind all that much because life isn’t worth living if it isn’t entertaining, right?

Fisher grew up writing. She secretly hid notebooks and notebooks of dribble in a large Tupperware storage container in her closet as a kid. She didn’t put two and two together until after college where it suddenly dawned on her, “Hey, I like writing”. She’s a bit dense. “No, I’m not.” “Yes, you are. Put down that Oreo, your butt can’t take any more.” “You’re rude.” “Yeah, yeah.” Anyway, she likes to write and has finally beaten her self-esteem into submission enough to allow herself to be scrutinized under the ‘other readers’ microscope. “No! No! Not a cover slip! Last time it gave me a ra….” (mumbling)

****

Yeah, she looked familiar to me too…

It’ll drive you nuts, so I will go ahead and tell you– she’s not the hottie actress who sucked face with this guy in the movie, The Happening. 😉

Mark-Wahlberg---Shooter-mark-wahlberg-245155_933_1400

When I first saw her picture I had this itchy feeling– like I needed to hate on her for some reason. Turns out my stabby feelings were misplaced, Fisher looks just like an actress who touched Mark Wahlberg’s chest.

Greed, mark it as “want to read” on Goodread!! 

Buy Vain!!

And no hating on Fisher, I’ve confirmed that she’s suffered the same deprivation as the rest of us and has never seen Mark’s Calvins in person.

* Group Hug *

Cover Reveal And Teaser UNDERTOW by Amber Lynn Natusch

 UNDERTOW BY AMBER LYNN NATUSCH

Undertow COVER                     

 

BOOK BLURB:

How far does a girl have to run to escape a lifetime of pain and loss at the hands of Alaska’s notoriously unforgiving Bering Sea? Twenty-seven-year-old Aesa Fredriksen thought landlocked Columbus, Ohio would suffice, and it does until the fear of regret drives her to return to Dutch Harbor in a final attempt to make amends with her nearly-estranged father. Intent on salvaging the wreckage of their relationship, she reluctantly agrees to join him—the only family she has left—as he heads out to fish for king crab, forcing her to brave the very waters that pulled him away from her as a child. The waters that stole her mother’s life.
When the day finally arrives for the Norwegian Queen to sail off into an uncertain future, Aesa can’t help but fear the worst. Beyond the violent swells and impending storms, there is far more than death and danger awaiting her on her journey: love awaits her too.

Decker, a young but seasoned member of her father’s crew, is a force of nature as strong as Aesa, He’s her perfect match, and even she can’t deny it. But he too is a man of the sea, and with memories of tragedy and abandonment etched so deeply into her mind, can she overcome her demons and let him in or will she drown in her darkness, forever caught in its undertow?

 

TEASER:

“What do you want?” he asked, cocking his head slightly to the side. For whatever reason that tiny movement set something off in me and I knew why my heart had won. I wanted him. I wanted him for all that he was and all that he promised to be.

“You,” I said with slightly more power behind the words that time. He smiled at me in a devilish way, like he had won the game I hadn’t known we were playing. “That wasn’t so hard to say, now was it?” His voice was playful, covering an almost palpable passion that hid just below the surface. He was holding on by a thin thread himself, his immense self-control dissipating rapidly. “Say it again…”

“I want you,” I replied with a purr, joining in with his little game. Judging by the response my words garnered, I had won.

 

About The Author:

ALN author pic

If you’re dying to know more about me, allow me to put you at ease. I’m a sharp-tongued, sarcastic cancer, who loves vegetable smoothies, winter storms, and the word ‘portfolio’. I should NEVER be caffeinated, and require at least eight hours of sleep to even resemble a human being. At thirty-four, I just now feel like I can keep a straight face while saying the word “rectum” (which is actually a huge lie because I just laughed out loud while reading this to my husband). I live with my iPod firmly affixed to my body, drive too fast, and laugh/cry at inappropriate times.  I’m obsessed with urban fantasy… When I discovered that genre, I knew I had found my tribe. Now I write in that world because that’s what the voices in my head tell me to do. And they are very, very loud 

 

Author Links:

 

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5399219.Amber_Lynn_Natusch

FB: https://www.facebook.com/AmberLynnNatusch

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AmberLNatusch

Blog: http://amberlynnnatusch.com/

I am a huge Amber Lynn Natusch fan! Her paranormal series, Caged is one of my favorites!

To learn more about that series, check out these posts I’ve done on the characters from Caged.

https://gabidaniels.com/2013/09/13/paranormal-week-caged-can-you-run-with-wolves-and-giveaway/

https://gabidaniels.com/2013/09/09/paranormal-week-those-are-some-badass-chicks-plus-a-huge-giveaway/

Paranormal Week; Villains We Love To Hate

Villains we love to hate?

No, I’m pretty sure I hate them. And the “L” word has no place in this post! I wish these villains a slow, painful death. But why? Damn good writing is your answer.

Villains make trouble for our main characters. They also kill or seriously wound side characters we almost loved, and some we didn’t give two shits about, but dammit… now we do. Because we needed another reason to hate on the villain and create pay-back and/or killing scenarios in our heads.

Getting back to my “it’s the writing” comment. There are a thousand and one different things that make up an excellent villain. For me, to make the villain believable, you need two things; unpredictability, and being able to (most of the time) out smart the main characters I love.

If those two things aren’t there, well, so you’re a dude with a grudge who is not nice. *yawn*

And therefore something else in the story is lost; Stakes. If I don’t believe that the villain is psycho and cunning enough to really, truly cause my peeps harm… then I’m bored. Worse! I nit-pick everything. Suddenly the protagonist is a total dumbass. And the hero is good for nothing more than the kissy-face scenes. And even those don’t do it for me now.

I love me a vicious, calculating, delusional villain. Here are a few of my favorites. And please, if you have a few that aren’t listed here… by all means give them a shout-out in the comments below.

Blake from the Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

What a douche.

Blake is a new kid in town. California surfer, throw-back T-shirt wearing, I-don’t-care-about-my-hair-but-yeah-I-know-it’s-perfect hair, and he’s mysterious.

I liked Blake at first. I thought — Oh yeah! What is Daemon going to do with this guy who has the hots for Katy? Here we go, a delicious love triangle I get to fret over!

And what’s this? He’s… not… normal?… oh God! Ha, ha, ha! Now we are on a new and yummy level! Blake has powers! So– Blake hotness taken up a few notches, Katy’s blind trust, and one pissed off Luxen who refused to make Katy his girl. Oops.

Aside from the love-triangle drama are the “real” problems. Keeping alien secrets, making sure the government agency that controls the Luxen don’t find out Katy was changed when Daemon healed her… and oh, yeah. The enemy alien race is after them all.

Well, crap. It all sucks. To make matters worse, Katy can’t control her new powers.

Powers… that seem… just like Blake’s. And guess who swoops in to save the day? Yep, Blake.

But hold up

Daemon doesn’t trust him. My douche radar is up too…

Then it happens, betrayal on a crushing level. Death, kidnapping, secrets exposed. But Blake has a reason. He too was healed by a Luxen. And once a Luxen heals a human they are tied together. If one dies, so does the other. Blake’s other half is held captive by the agency and tortured as a way to blackmail Blake into doing what they want.

And they want Katy.

Side note: I hate Blake on so many levels that Katy & Daemon’s rationale for NOT killing Blake (his other half will die) doesn’t even fly with me anymore. In my mind, I’ve made it ok, cause maybe, I don’t know, he’s on life support or whatever. It’s possible.

Valentine from The Mortal Instruments Series

This Shadow Hunter takes delusional to a whole new level of, GTFO!! He did what!!?? 

City of Bones 9

We meet Valentine in City of Bones. I love what Cassandra Clare did with Valentine… he had been talked about, fretted over, and finally, FINALLY we meet him. By this point I’m so jacked up over him, that when he drops the twist of all twists on Clary and Jace…

*can’t mention his name without a pic. *

Jamie-Campbell-Bower-in-The-Mortal-Instruments-City-of-Bones-2013-Movie-Image

I believed Valentine. He is so sick and evil, he would totally do what HE SAID HAPPENED after Jace was born.

Fast forward…

Many books later and my hatred is like nothing I’ve felt before while reading a book. What he did to Jace by the lake… the look on Jace’s face (VALENTINE RAISED HIM AS HIS OWN!)… Clary laying helplessly by (paralyzed)  & WATCHING! She couldn’t talk! Valentine took her voice too with his demonic spells and runes! SHE COULDN’T EVEN CALL OUT TO JACE!

Oh. My. God.

WORST FRICKIN’ 20 MINUTES SPENT READING… ever. The anticipation was maddening, I was hysterical, and literally made deals with God in my head for it all to work out.

Have any of you seen the movie?? Jace on the motorcycle in leather pants!!! That is all. 🙂

Abaddon from Fallen by Laury Falter

I talked about Maggie in the Badass Chicks post.

I mentioned the Fallen that were after her. Well, meet Abaddon, their leader. Straight -up psycho of the first order!!

Here’s one thing about the fallen in the Guardian Trilogy. The clock starts ticking the second the fallen die on Earth, because they will fall… again. And find you in minutes. *chills*

And his goal for hundreds of years? Maggie. The pleasure Abaddon  takes in torturing Maggie, Eran, and the rest of their angel friends is just, well, it leaves you with a feeling that you don’t know how far it will go. The creep-out factor is at a level that I am certain with every turn of the page Abaddon will show AGAIN and sever wings or string up my precious Eran and watch as demon creatures take bites.

I love Eran! I love his cabin in Heaven by the lake.

I love how nervous he was when “human Maggie” (his wife in former lives) came to the cabin for the first time.

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Abaddon is a sociopath, one with powers. As I stated in the beginning of this post, we need stakes!! AND boy, do you get ’em with this trilogy!

Ryker from Shadow of Wrath (Sins of the 7) by L.W. Patricks

What a f#cking bastard!!

Shadow of Wrath is a dark dystopia, but there are some paranormal elements in it. So, I’m calling it a cross-over. 😉

In this book it is kill or be killed for the children in Ryker’s arena. Like Hunger Games meet the Gladiator.  The crowds bet, Ryker sets up boys for sure death to make sure the odds are in his favor.

In this world Ryker is in charge, and his delusional, psychotic ass actually thinks he’s doing it all for the greater good of every person who works for him, he enslaves, he kills. And let’s not forget the human trafficking.

Oh God, my hate for this guy… I would like to introduce him to my Louisville Slugger!

The one boy who he controls but can never fully get under his thumb, is Dog. Death Match survivor, friend to slave girl Allegra, and one way or another… Dog decides that Ryker will pay.

We come to the villain I couldn’t wait to tear apart before I got the interview questions back. So Kristin, who does reviews for this blog, was more than happy to do Brennus for this post. Then she sent it. It’s long. She cut the word count and it’s still long. 🙂 We cut a deal, she could keep THE WHOLE Brennus-hate session in here if she finally reads Divergent.

Here it is. THANK YOU SO MUCH Kristin!

We are first introduced to Brennus in book two of the Premonition Series, ‘Intuition’.  Evie feels his presence before she even sees him and not in that heart fluttering butterflies in the tummy good way.  No, what she feels is a bone chilling sensation that tells her something isn’t right. When she looks around for the source of this threatening (evil) presence she spots a tall “man” with short, black hair, pale skin and green eyes who is almost angelic looking.  Heart pounding, wings twitching in her back, instincts telling her he’s not human.  Armed with only a letter opener and the knowledge that she’s most likely f#cked, she makes a last ditch effort to escape.  But like all obsessive stalkers, Brennus has other plans; he has her harpooned in a net, slices her Achilles tendon so she can’t run off and punches her into unconsciousness so he can drag her to his underground lair.

And this, my friends, is where s#it gets real.  You’re either swooning or burning with rage over what Brennus does to Evie in the name of love (obsession).

The swooners' Brennus

The swooners’ Brennus

Kristin's Brennus

Kristin’s Brennus

Brennus makes it clear to Evie she will never be leaving and his undead people eating minions are instructed to stop her if she tries to leave.  And the added bonus, she will be by his side, as his queen, for all eternity.  (How nice of him to not give her a choice.) But first she must be turned into a Gancanagh.  If she doesn’t give up her soul willingly, he’ll force it out of her by any means necessary.  Evie, being the badass she is, flat out refuses.  This act of defiance earns her another punch in the face and a nice set of shackles and chains.  (Seriously, THIS is an act of LOVE?)   

Now it’s time for Evie to be shown to her cell with no windows and a dirt floor where she will rest uncomfortably, without food and water, for days.  When water is finally offered to her, Evie refuses to drink it; she’s wise to what Brennus is doing. (Fist pump).  Once Brennus realizes Evie would rather die than spend an eternity with him, as an immortal monster, he replenishes her fluids via an IV and lets her out of her cell.  She’s allowed to bathe, which of course, Brennus must supervise. (like a creeper).  Once she’s clean, she’s relocated to Brennus’ bedroom where he so graciously rips off her underwear and dresses her in skimpy lingerie.

With nothing left of her dignity, Evie is now forced to “show her skills” by fighting one of Brennus’ minions.  However, she is allowed to wear a pair of boxer briefs for this.  Evie begs Brennus not to make her do this.  Brennus chooses Keegan to fight for team Gancanagh.  They are given knives and told to square off.  Keegan slices her up good and vows to cut off her wings.  Brennus watches.  Evie, fearing for her life, slits his throat.  While everyone is distracted by Keegan bleeding out on the floor, Evie makes a run for it but she’s caught before she can get away.

Evie, shaken by the fact that she killed someone, begs Brennus to help her.  Does he offer her comfort?  No.  He bites her and drains her until she’s unconscious.  When she wakes up she learns she will lust for the blood of the Gancanagh who bit her.  This hunger?  Yeah, it’s really, really painful.  Evie, not wanting to be turned, refuses to knock back Brennus’ blood offering, thus choosing death.  Brennus, the humanitarian he is, bites her again.  Although this time, he’s generous enough to leave her conscious so she really feels the pain.  It’s the final push over the edge.  He finally broke her.

“When I bit her, it caused her extreme pain.”

  “Yeah, ya love her—ya sick freak.”

Thank you, Russell.  You took the words right out of my mouth. (exploding fist bump)

And this is just the beginning of Brennus’ efforts to claim Evie.  As his obsession grows, his actions intensify and he will not rest until he has made Evie is his queen.

Dear Brennus…..

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Signed, TEAM REED

»«

As a proud member of TEAM REED, I must end a Brennus post with something REEDcentric.

What's this?  Could it be a Reed and Evie angel baby.....I'm down with that.

What’s this?
Could it be a Reed and Evie angel baby…..

I’m down with that.

Can’t get enough of the Premonition Series?  Share your thoughts with the phenomenal  Amy Bartol.
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Paranormal Week; Who Is Your Hero?

WHO IS YOUR MAN??

I have a few…

If you have a man that wasn’t in this post, tell us about him. I tapped into my inner teenager in this post and dedicated songs. If you’ve got a song you’d like to share, please do!

Please see this post from yesterday on Sean & Cooper from the Caged series. I gave them their own post because unlike the rest on this list here– I had never talked about them before.

Aiden St. Delphi

From the Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

aiden

Aiden is a Pure– meaning Pure Blood descended from the Gods. He is also a lethally trained Sentinel and sworn to protect the Pures, Half-Bloods (half-Pure, half-human), and humans from our world’s secret problem; Daimons

Our Aiden lives and breaths Sentinel. He follows the laws of the Covenants. He will stop at nothing to ensure those laws are not broken… One of the laws is that under no circumstances is a Pure to be with a Half-Blood. The cost of breaking such a law is death.

So when Aiden and few other Sentinels are sent on a side mission to find Alex, a run-a-way Half-Blood, well, things start to get complicated. Said a different way… Aiden falls in love.

” In front of me, he walked right through the flames, looking every bit like a diamond hunter should. The fire did not singe his pants nor his dirty shirt. Not a single dark hair was touched by the blaze. Those cool, storm-cloud-colored eyes fixed on me…”

It was him– Aiden St. Delphi.”

Aiden’s presence could mean one thing only: the Sentinels had arrived.” “Our eyes met , and then he looked over my shoulder. ‘Get down.’ “

Gavin Blake

From Gail McHugh’s Collide and Pulse

*hold up Gabi! Those aren’t paranormal books!*

My love for Gavin is on a paranormal level and that’s good enough for me.

Gavin Blake has the perfect life. Comes from a wonderful family, uncle of the year, more money than he will ever spend, toys, and an endless stream of women who know the drill; It’s just sex.

Although that last part makes him sound like a pig, he’s not. Our Gavin had his heart broken years ago and swore off relationships. That is, until Emily walks into his life. Suddenly a wife, kids, and happily ever after is the way to go. Only there’s one problem– Emily has a boyfriend, and he’s one of Gavin’s friends.

Gavin tries to stick to guy code.

But luckily for us, he fails and starts his must-make-Emily-mine campaign.

As they get to know each other as “friends” Gavin starts to notice a pattern of Emily accepting, making excuses for, and blaming herself for her boyfriend’s abusive behavior. Instead of running for the hills OUR Gavin does his best to show Emily her worth.

He fails at this too. Emily grew up with an abused mother and doesn’t realize she’s repeating the pattern.

One night they play a game of bottle caps. Simply tossing bottle caps into a container. Just the two of them.

Every time after that when Gavin sees Emily, he slips her a bottle cap. The bottle caps represent the past, they let her know she is on his mind, they are something between them that is secret and a promise that even though she is not “with” Gavin… Emily is in his heart.

She keeps every one.

Then this happens:

“Gavin stared at Emily. She could feel his cold and pain-stricken gaze slide over her. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a bottle cap and fingered it in his hand before flicking it at her…” *Things happen* “Slowly lifting her head, Emily found Gavin staring at her. His beautiful face looked weary, broken, and defeated…”

My knee-jerk reaction, while reading this, was wanting to punch Emily in the face for breaking our Gavin. He gave so much of himself, loved so hard and so deeply. I wanted my happily ever after, for it all to work out– for HIS love to be enough.

What I realized was that Emily needed to love herself first. And no amount of patience on his part would help until she helped herself.

*sigh* The swooning in book two was taken to epic proportions. The every-other-guy-fictional-or-real-is-ruined kind of swooning. And guess what? Our girl, Emily deserved it!

Kristin did an awesome review of Pulse find it here.

Jace Wayland

From The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Before we talk about our Jace. Let us take a moment and relive that kiss to end all kisses in book #2 City of Ash.

You know the scene! The Queen’s court, she makes Clary and Jace go to the no-no zone during the most twisted twists of all time!!

Yeah that one. Might as well get a visual on that. HMM?

imagesCAPMBSE3

GAH!! LOOK at the way he is staring her down. That’s SO Jace. Please also note his Runes. You do know what Runes are, don’t you?

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*whispers* Hey Jace– I have a rune too. Just saying…

tumblr_m7ao1sZonZ1rah497o6_250

Shadow Hunter, wounded, saved, loved, sheltered, exposed, and walls broken down just enough to let Clary in.

Nicholas French

Running Home by Julie Hutchings

Who is that? Brace yourselves, folks, because I’m going to tell you exactly who he is. But first let’s get a visual on Nicholas, shall we?

And a teaser too!

RH new

Whaaaaat… !!!!!!

Holy Licky- face Batman 

*wipes drool, wishing Nicholas were licking me*

Nicholas French is a vampire. He has secrets. He has demons. He wants to shelter Ellie from a world that is destined for her. A world that he has no choice but to bring her into. Or does he? 

Nicholas and Ellie have a supernatural bond. She can see visions of him, and he can speak to her in her mind. Nicholas fears their bond will change when and IF she does… and all he wants is hold tight to what they have now. I sat down for an interview with Nicholas, find it here.

Reed Wellington

From Amy Bartol’s Premonition series.

I have never swooned so hard over a character in a paranormal book. Reed is a Power Angel on Earth– His mission? The Fallen. His love? Evie. His abs? Out of control. His skills? Lethal. His patience level with Evie? Never ending while she constantly finds herself in compromising situations with other (OLD FLAME) angels.

What it all comes down to is this: Right or wrong, fate or not — Reed Wellington’s love for Evie is eternal and pure.

Here’s a link to a profile I did on Reed

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Let’s spend some time discussing book #5, Iniquity

FIRST: This guy new gu Amy talked about! So, we know he isn’t a love interest for Evie. *wipes brow*

The anticipation is KILLING ME!

After the teaser Amy posted, I may end up on a side team. Better said, a back-up team, a just-in-case team, a please-forgive-me-Reed team.

TEAM XAVIER

Whoa… *slaps one side of my face and then the other*

It’s no good, I still think Xavier may make my list. Damn you Evie and your memories!

 Reed is not going to be down with this new development ( and we’ll be blessed with snapping wings, possessive growls, and oh god! Reed is going to tear this place up!)

*vividly recalls the shower scene* Shut up, you did too.

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Zee is going to loss his shit (in his calm, collected manner that is both scary and sexy as HELL!)

Russell will go off half-cocked and make things worse (It’s all good. We still love Russell)

And you just know that BRENNUS will be in the mix with his spells and clickity clicking and.. I really hope Brennus gets cured somehow and gets his soul back.

 *please note that Brennus is not highlighted– I’m petty like that.

Daemon Black!

“Did you hear?”

“No. what?”

“There’s aliens on Earth!!!”

“shut it…”

“No, I’m serious! Look at this picture!”

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“See??!!…”

“Good God! Beam me up!”

From the Lux Series by Jennifer L. Arnmentrout

DAEMON BLACK Supply list:

pens, shirt, milk, popcorn, mirror (optional, since he knows how hot he is)  

We have come to the end of a long list of favorites. And who better to end it with then the world’s sexiest alien?

Jennifer L. Armentrout is all over my blog this week for a reason– her characters are so damn well-rounded they seem real. And Daemon Black is my favorite of them all. Here’s the things about Jennifer’s paranormal books. One paragraph. That’s all it takes and you want to make Luxen and/or Pure (AIDEN!) babies. Okay, maybe not to that extent but you’re hooked.

What happens when you knock on a door and the god-like creature that answers it is cocky, a total ass, and shirtless? If you’re Katy, and have the best pokerface, you throw attitude right back and walk away.

Daemon Black is a Luxen, an alien race that blends in with humans. He pushes people away to keep this secret, and spends months pretending not to be interested in Katy.

But we know the truth about his love for his Kitten, don’t we?

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For the love of Daemon babies (in sets of three 😉  ) everywhere– if you have not started this series, please do so. The last book in the series, Origin blew my mind. EVERYONE agrees it was the best of the series.

Click on the link for a review by Vilma’s Book Blog

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Paranormal Week; Interview With A Vampire

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His name is Nicholas French

and I want him to suck my blood you are about to add him to

your all-time favorite book boyfriends list!

He’s at the TOP OF MINE!

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????   His eyes were the warmest shade of brown, like melted dark chocolate, swirls of caramel throughout… They looked so intently into my own, I felt bare. Until I heard that voice, that rich, husky, velvet voice speaking to me, thank God to me. Wait, to me?” — Ellie

Running Home by Julie Hutchings

I am so excited to sit down with Nicholas French, Shinigami ( badass vampire) for an interview.

Nicholas French  opens the front door of his cabin and before I can swoon, the scent of baking brownies hits me. I close my eyes and take it in, repeatedly sniffing the air, wondering how it is possible that I am able to smell all his delicious… am I destined to be a Shinigami? Oh my God! Am I his next Unmei Fumestu?!?

“Gabi?”

I open my eyes and Nicholas smiles. “I’m actually baking brownies.”

“Oh, right. Of course.”

*****

GD—Thank you for agreeing to do this interview with me, Nicholas. Is Ellie here?

Nicholas — *looks around* *leans in* She’s not, but she can still hear us, if you know what I mean.

GD— You have a wonderful home here, secluded in the woods. Do you own any other homes?

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Nicholas — I’m sure I’ve got something out there I’ve forgotten. I’m a better visitor. I’m in Japan a lot, but I don’t own the temple. Not in the traditional sense, only in the sense that I OWN it. *throws arm over back of chair*

Don’t check out his pecs, don’t do it! *checks out pecs*

GD—For those who don’t know what a Shinigami is, will you tell us about them?

Nicholas — What the hell, I’ve done it once. We’re the vampires you’ve never heard of, the ones who save you from yourselves. We feed on chosen humans, the unmei nashi, the ones with “no fate.” Because if we didn’t, their ends would be catastrophic, and our own wouldn’t be much better. They’re chosen for us. We do fate’s dirty work. Like a bunch of regular heroes, we are.

GD— From what I hear, you are a rare vampire with special gifts. *looks out kitchen window at the falling snow,  wishing Nicholas would take me for a walk and shield me from the weather with his bubble orb*

Did your master in Japan shared any stories with you of other powerful Shinigami? And Ellie already seems to have gifts, what do you think this might mean for her?

Nicholas — If there’s a vampire to know, I know them, or more accurately, they know me. None are as powerful as the Master himself, of course, and he’s told me all the stories he thinks I need to know. But no one’s story gets me like Roman’s. And he may not have the power I do, but his powers are more important. *Bites lip* You want to hear about Eliza, do you? She’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Anything I’ve ever seen. She’s going to change our world, but even I don’t know how. The things she can see…. I can’t begin to think what it means. I don’t think the Master knows any more than we do.

GD—I’m nervous about Lynch. All this time I thought he was a total psycho, incapable of real emotions, then… well, you know. *sigh* With the unfortunate turn of events do you think he will target Ellie?

Nicholas — *frost spreads from his fingertips down the arms of the chair* He wouldn’t dream of it.

Oh dear God… *closes eyes* He just did his frost thing in front of me! COMPOSE YOURSELF, GABI!

GD—Are you still planning a trip to Japan? If so, will you be staying with Ellie?

Nicholas — *Looks down, face darkening* Eliza has her plans to go, and nobody will stop her. And she’ll never be out of my sight, never again.

GD—Can Shinigami have children?

*Nicholas stretches his arms over his head and his tight, long sleeved shirt rides up, revealing a sliver of skin just above his jeans. Holy hell, can he read minds? No, I’m confusing him with a different vampire. He can sense emotions? Oh my God, I can’t think straight! La, la la. Do, do, do. I’m not envisioning anything inappropriate having to do with this table*

Nicholas — They’d be great looking if we did. *smirks*

GD— God, yes!! *shakes head* Wait, I mean, yes. Yes they would be… great looking. Our children. THE CHILDREN!! Ha, ha. It’s not like I want Shinigami babies. Um…

I gotta get out of here before I make any more of an ass out of myself!

Thank you for the tea and brownies, Nicholas. And for doing this interview.

Nicholas — *leans forward, elbows on knees* Like you could have kept me away.

*****

I read Running Home and let me assure you, this book does not disappoint. It’s unlike any other vampire book I’ve read and seriously… you throw ancient Japan in the mix and I’m done for.

Below is a scene from Running Home. Ellie, who is human, was attacked and her bottom lip is bleeding. There’s all kinds of delicious sexual tension between them, but up until this scene, they hadn’t kissed.

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You can win a signed paperback or one of 7 ebook copies in these giveaways

click on the images and follow the links to giveaways

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FROM GOODREADS

“Death hovers around Ellie Morgan like the friend nobody wants.  She doesn’t belong in snowswept Ossipee, New Hampshire; she doesn’t belong in the frigging gift shop she works at, she doesn’t belong with people that death will always take from her, and she definitely does not belong at this black tie party with Kat. But that is where she is, and where he is. Nicholas French, the man who mystifies her with a feeling of home she’s been missing, and impossible knowledge of her troubled soul.

Nicholas followed an abomination that is one of his own, but soon finds fate has driven him to New Hampshire as more than a bystander. He reveals himself to Ellie as being of the Shinigami, a heroic vampire order that “save” their victims from more tragic ends. He knows why Ellie is human repellent, and why physical agony grips them when apart. The Shinigami are cornered into isolated human lives, plucked out when they have no one left to be created for their higher purpose.  Ellie is destined to be a legendary Shinigami, and Nicholas her creator.

Nicholas and Ellie’s fates intertwine closer when his latest victim in waiting turns out to be the only person who tethers her to this world, Kat. Fate will not be ignored, and in the only real choice Ellie has made in her life, she must determine a horrifying path; let the vampire who would make her a hero wither to shreds or sacrifice the life of her closest companion.”

Only $3.99 on Kindle!! (if you can’t wait for the giveaways to end 😉  )

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Interview with Author Elizabeth Arroyo

We are very excited to have Elizabeth Arroyo here

author of The Second Sign!

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Kindle edition on Amazon is $3.99

“Bred to believe in the war between angels and demons, Gabby has come to the conclusion that love is responsible for war, jealousy, and all the other deadly sins she can think of. So when she’s exiled to the middle of nowhere for getting kicked out of her fifth school for fighting, she doesn’t expect to meet Jake. Much less fall in love. 

But Jake is quickly drawn to the eerie beauty of her violet eyes while Gabby is unsettled by their undeniable connection. 

When a demon guardian comes to collect her soul, she refuses to give it up. She’s not a demon. She can’t be. Her father and twin brother are angels. The demon gives Gabby twenty-four hours to decide her allegiance and then starts killing her short list of friends, leaving a message behind: She is the Second Sign.

As Gabby and Jake begin to unravel the mystery behind the Second Sign, she learns Jake may be the key to saving her soul. But it means a sacrifice has to be made that will change their lives forever.”

******

*That sacrifice DID change everything and I can’t get book #2, The Second Shadow, in my hands fast enough!*

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The Second Sign was released earlier this year by Sapphire Star Publishing. How much has life changed since becoming a published author?   Life hasn’t changed all that much. I have deadlines now, but everything else remained the same. I still have a day job, spend as much time with family as I can, and have loads of housework.

This book is a dark young adult paranormal romance. Some scenes were so raw and graphic I felt, at times, that I was right there and marveled at the darkness that came out of your brain. Did you debate taking out or taming down some of the horror in The Second Sign?

I marvel at the darkness in my brain too. =)  It’s kinda scary, really.  After writing one of the graphic scenes, I did pull back to evaluate how far, or how dark, I wanted the book to be. I realized that it was going to be dark and those scenes were important to show the nature of demons.  I did tame down some of the scenes, especially the scene at the Crossroads where most of the murders took place.  We wanted to keep it as “dark” and not venture too far into “horror” territory. 

One thing that is hard to pull off in a romance novel is “love at first sight”. Elizabeth, you pulled it off! Jake and Gabby DO have something between them at first sight. However, neither of them can figure out what and it seemed believable and acceptable within the paranormal setting. AND THAT ENDING! WHOA. What is in store for Jake and Gabby in the next book in this series?

Thank you! I was worried about the insta-love between them, but it was an important part for the story. Gabby and Jake are confused about their feelings for each other because it isn’t a “normal” attraction, and they both can feel that. The reader finds out the reason behind their visceral attraction in book two.

The ending…it is so hard for me to write “happily ever after.” Let’s just leave it at that. =)

While book one focuses more on Gabby’s changes, book two focuses on Jake. We see his progression deeper into what he’s become, his purpose, and how he’s connected to Gabby. We also have some great sidekick characters in book two that I fell in love with.  And of course, we have loads of action and mayhem.

You are from Chicago. Me too.

Awesome!

Cubs or Sox fan?

Oh, you are bringing it on. I’m a Southsider. Sox all the way, baby. =)

*** Oh, I’m bringing it all right! 😉 I will admit to owning a Sox World Series champs T-shirt. BUT, it’s my go-to top when cleaning with BLEACH ***

Deep dish or stuffed pizza? Give a shout out to your favorite pizza place.

Deep dish. Connie’s Pizza is my favorite.

What do you think of people who put ketchup on their hot dogs? (It’s ok if YOU do. My daughter is also an offender. I will still buy anything you write)

Oh, no!!!  My daughter is excused too.

How far along is book #2 in this series and will you PLEASE give us a hint?

Book two has a title: THE SECOND SHADOW. I’m so excited! We are currently working on the cover and I’m working on the edits.  It is currently scheduled to be released September 5th.   I haven’t written the blurb yet.

I can say that we meet Jake and Gabby four months after the events in Maine. Gabby is struggling with her change, and Jake is coming to terms with what he did over the summer.  

As the Harbinger, Jake heralds the apocalypse and Hell’s gate begins to dissolve. But he still has free will. All he has to do is let go of his past and learn to accept who or what he is.  

But what will he choose?

**inserts wicked laugh**

What else are you working on right now?

I’m currently pitching a YA supernatural thriller.

Thanks for the interview, Gabi!

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Elizabeth spent most of her younger years as an avid reader with a wild imagination which led her to write her first manuscript at the age of fourteen. Her fascination with the paranormal was influenced by the vivid ghost and demon stories her father told her as a child, scaring the crap out of her. It also led her to ask the “what if” question that propelled her down the path of the fantastical.
But, life got in the way. Elizabeth completed a Bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice at Northeastern Illinois University and works in the community strengthening families. Her love of stories held, and in 2008 she found herself back into her storytelling roots and began writing again. Since then she’s published a short story in SQ Magazine, countless musings on her blog – Chandara Writes, and completed three manuscripts.
In 2012, Elizabeth signed with Sapphire Star Publishing to release her debut novel, THE SECOND SIGN, a Dark YA Paranormal Romance, slated for an early 2013 release.
Elizabeth resides in Chicago with her family, a household of kids, and the bliss of chaos. The good kind.

I’d like to add here that Elizabeth is sweet, funny and an all around awesome person. I devoured The Second Sign and The Second Shadow focusing on Jake? Yay!!

Thank you so much Elizabeth!