Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Virtual Tour - Pride of a Viking (The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors’ Kin, #5) by Sky Purington

Pride of a Viking
The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors’ Kin, #5
by Sky Purington
Date of Publication:  July 9th 2017
Cover Artist:  Tara West
Genre: Time-Travel Fantasy/Shifter Romance
 
The Book Junkie Reads . . . Review of . . . PRIDE OF A VIKING (The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors’ Kin, #5) . . . Taking that chance to find out what you did to cause so much pain, sorrow, grief, destruction. Going back was the only way to move forward. Just don’t go there. You know. Don’t go.

Erica gets pulled back in time. To a time that she would gladly forget ever happened. But she knows that would not be the best course of action. She needs to face all that the past has in store for her. Kodran has to step back to find what went wrong. And just maybe fix more than one problem.

This one was a mixture of pain, pleasure, joy and sadness, familiar and not. I love visiting the past with these Viking Ancestors. Each have their own story to tell in a different way. Romance, fate, mates, time travel, shifters, and so much more. There are journeys yet to be taking. Romances yet to be explored. Open your mind and take that step towards yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors’ Kin series:
Rise of a Vinking – The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors’ Kin, #1
Vengeance of a Viking – The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors’ Kin, #2
A Viking Holiday – The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors’ Kin, #2.5
Soul of a Viking – The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors’ Kin, #3
Fury of a Viking – The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors’ Kin, #4
Her Wounded Dragon – The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors’ Kin, #4.5
Pride of a Viking – The MacLomain Series: Viking Ancestors’ Kin, #5

BLURB
Two men tore Erica’s world apart in another life. One was the man she loved and the other the enemy. Now both are back, and it’s up to her to make sure an ancient blood feud doesn’t destroy everyone she cares about. That means steering clear of her dragon mate. But sometimes memories are too strong and the past too powerful. Or so it seems when she slips back in time and ends up on an unexpected journey with a man she was determined to forget.

Having confronted who he once was and what he did in a previous life, Kodran Sigdir sets out to seek answers. He needs to better understand his part in an age old war and to keep his distance from Erica. They should remain apart. Yet destiny seems to be drawing him back to her. How he once felt. All he gave up. Could things go differently this time? Or will the risk to their people be too great? Find out as Erica, Kodran and their kin go up against the enemy one last time in Pride of a Viking, the epic conclusion of Viking Ancestors’ Kin.
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“Are you sure Hallstein was your mate in another life?” His eyes held hers as he spun her so that they were facing each other. “Do you have memories of your time with him?” He shook his head, spoke through clenched teeth and worked hard to keep rage from taking over as he caught glimpses of what she had endured. “He did things to you, Erica. Terrible things. Things that make no sense given you were Maeva…his mate.”
She leaned back, clenched her jaw and averted her eyes. “Yes, he was my mate. I’m sure of it.”
“Then why can’t you look at me when you say that?” He tilted her chin until she had no choice but to meet his eyes. “What aren’t you telling me? What’s the missing piece?” He frowned. “Because something’s not adding up.”
“It doesn’t…you just...” She frowned as well. “You need to let this go. You need to let me go. It’s the only way this is going to work. It’s the only hope we have.”
“And where am I supposed to let you go to?” He glanced around to remind her where they were before his eyes returned to hers. “Because it’s out of my control, yes?”
“You know what I mean.”
“Do I?” He stepped a bit closer and never removed his fingers from her chin. “Because as far as I can tell you want me to believe you desire Hallstein when that’s the furthest thing from the truth. I think you’re trying to push me away so that you can somehow save everyone all on your own.”
Because he was remembering his last life, he remembered what Maeva had looked like. While they shared the same tall, lithe build with curves in all the right places, he found Erica more stunning in this life. Her eyes were varying shades of striking green that seemed to shift with her mood, and her warm skin tone was luminous. He wanted to feel her soft skin against him. Touch every last inch of her.
She went very still as their eyes held. Or so one would think if they couldn’t detect the slight tremor that went through her. Shivers that only translated to another dragon. He also noticed that she had gone from momentarily vulnerable to completely closed off despite her physical reaction.
“You’re good at that,” he murmured, shifting even closer to see if he could bring out that tremor even more. “Trying to be strong for everyone else all the time. How long have you played that part?” While he should have remained compassionate and thankful, his inner dragon was flaring. The jealousy that reared whenever he thought about her in the enemy’s arms. “How long have you been playing the part of a woman trying to convince Hallstein that you’re his? How long have you been—”
“No,” she cut him off, yanked her chin away and narrowed her eyes. “What I’ve done to help our people is not because—”
“Because you’re meant to be together?” he cut her off just as readily, as he turned things around on her. “Because you’re not, are you?” He shook his head and narrowed his eyes as well. “You’re not supposed to be with him.” His voice dropped to a whisper as the truth hovered just out of reach. Like a memory he was right on the verge of remembering. “You never were, but something happened…”
Something he needed to understand, so he thought fast. If one thing had been proven true with his kin and their mates it was that intimacy seemed to speed up their mental connections. So why not get things moving in that direction?
It seemed Erica followed his line of thought because a moment later she started to move away but he caught her. With an arm around her lower back, he yanked her against him, cupped the back of her neck and kissed her.
The moment he did, everything changed. 
Buy Links:
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Author Info
Sky Purington is the bestselling author of over twenty-five novels and several novellas. A New Englander born and bred, Sky was raised hearing stories of folklore, myth and legend. When combined with a love for nature, romance and time-travel, elements from the stories of her youth found release in her books.

Purington loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at Sky@SkyPurington.com. Interested in keeping up with Sky’s latest news and releases? Visit Sky's website, http://www.skypurington.com to download her free App on iTunes and Android or sign up for her quarterly newsletter. Love social networking? Find Sky on Facebook and Twitter.
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Friday, July 14, 2017

Virtual Tour - Survival Instinct (Instinct, #3) by Janie Crouch


*100% of proceeds until July 16 goes to Cystic Fibrosis charities 
– with a special $0.99 price. 
Survival Instinct
Instinct, #3
by Janie Crouch
Releasing July 11th 2017
Self-Published


The Book Junkie Reads . . . Review of . . . SURVIVAL INSTINCT (Instinct, #3) . . . On your toes. On the run. On your mark. Get set. Go!!! Chloe was in the fight for her very life. She was fleeing the voices in her head. Someone wanted her. The suspense of it all. One hellva turn after another. This one had it coming from all sides. A broody protector, Shane. A spunky, take nothing petite spit-fire, Chloe.

I could understand these characters. I could see their minds. Feel their fears, discomforts. Anticipate the rise in threat, danger. Become consumed by the plot as it unfolded bit by bit with the bite of fear, murder, kidnapping, threats, and stalker. Pager turner for sure.

Instinct series:
Primal Instinct – Instinct, #1
Critical Instinct – Instinct, #2
Survival Instinct – Instinct, #3

Blurb
The voices in her head have decided to kill her. 

Most people joke about hearing voices in their heads. For Chloe Jeffries, they’re real. And as the creative force behind one of the most popular shows on television, she has used the constant flood of voices in her mind to her advantage: fuel for entertainment.

But now one of the voices has decided it wants Chloe all for itself.
Ex-Special Forces soldier Shane Westman just wants to make it back to Wyoming to begin to heal from the horrors of war. The last thing he needs, even as a favor for a good friend, is to take on bodyguard duty of a flighty television writer. But once he does, he realizes there are threats at play he doesn’t understand. And the woman who has somehow begun to thaw his frozen heart is in desperate danger from a menace they can’t see, but is always close.
The voice that will never allow Chloe to escape alive. 

*100% of proceeds until July 16 goes to Cystic Fibrosis charities – with a special $0.99 price. Help us stomp CF! Plus, buy Survival Instinct before July 16 and get a free ebook by Janie not available anywhere else! More details here: http://www.janiecrouch.com/si-pp-0717
 

Chloe Jeffries looked over at her creative team. The Days End team was tired. Worried. The stalker had seen to that. Not to mention all the new bodyguards had definitely put a damper on the creative energy usually surrounding the show. But the new guy coming in definitely wouldn’t.
 “The studio is sending in a security expert to coordinate security around here and to investigate our friendly neighborhood stalker,” Chloe told them. “We’re supposed to give him access to anything he needs. I’ve been assured that he will fit in just fine and will not hamper our artistic energy in any way. We won’t even know he’s here.”
“Like that guy walking towards us who definitely doesn’t scream I’m-a-Navy-SEAL or anything?” Travis’ eyebrow was raised so far it looked like it had found a new home in his hairline.
Chloe stared at the man in question. Didn’t seem able to turn away from him even if she wanted to. His long legs were encased in perfectly creased khaki pants, a collared light blue shirt tucked in—also perfectly—at the waist. His broad shoulders were covered in a tailored suit jacket under which Chloe was willing to bet all of this year’s salary lay a shoulder holster for a gun. His posture screamed military. The way he carried himself — the set of his shoulders and lift of his chest.
Alert. Deadly. Ready.
But impressive as his body was, it was his face that drew her more. There was nothing pretty about him. His face was rugged to the point of being harsh. His jaw already holding some stubble even though it wasn’t even yet lunchtime. And she had no doubt Mr. Military Man had shaved this morning, unquestionably during his perfect morning routine. His dark hair was cut close to his head, as if he couldn’t quite decide whether to keep it military short or go for a more relaxed style.
His eyes were hidden behind aviator sunglasses, but Chloe knew he saw everything. Knew he saw her and that if she stopped him right at this moment, blindfolded him and asked him to tell her where everyone was, he’d be able to do so with astounding accuracy, even though there were more than a dozen people milling around that he hadn’t looked at directly.
This man was the epitome of cool, calm, and collected. She could feel the former radiating off him. Wanted to close her eyes and sink towards him. Her brain, always under such constant onslaught with the thoughts of others, and particularly the one voice that had been searing through her mind so agonizingly lately, wanted to bask in this man’s ice. Wanted to douse herself in it.
But she couldn’t. Because while she had no doubt this man would be able to organize the hell out of security and unquestionably catch the stalker and freeze him with his ice-beams after leaping tall buildings in a single bound, there was no way he wasn’t going to hamper the creative energy of the set. Energy that Chloe relied on not only to make Day’s End the greatest show on television, but to keep her own sanity.
He was already sucking in her energy and they hadn’t even spoken yet.
Ten seconds later he was standing directly in front of Chloe with his perfect hair and jaw, perfect shirt tucked into his perfectly pressed pants.
“I’m Shane Westman with the Linear Tactical. We’ve been hired for security,” he said, taking off his sunglasses. Chloe wasn’t a bit surprised to find he had perfectly icy blue eyes. “I need to know who’s in charge.”
There was no way this Shane Westman could stay. No possibility Chloe could allow it.
He was too perfect. Too distracting. Too everything.
He may keep them safe from the stalker but who would keep her safe from him?
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Award-winning romantic suspense author and 2017 Romance Writers of America RITA finalist Janie Crouch recently relocated from Virginia to an American military base in Stuttgart, Germany with her hubby and four kids. She loves travelling, adventure racing, and movies of all kinds. 

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Friday, July 7, 2017

SPOTLIGHT w/GUEST POST - UNMISTAKEN IDENTITY (Fanboys, #1) by Marie Johnston


Too bad secret identities only last forever in comic books.

Unmistaken Identity
Fanboys, #1
by Marie Johnston
Releasing June 21st 2017
Self-Published
Blurb
Mara Baranski is living the fangirl’s dream, running a comic book shop that supports her and her ailing mother. She is even given the chance to buy the building—for a dollar. That is, until her dear friend and landlord dies before the sale goes through. Now Mara has forty-five days to clear out her shop or convince the resentful son of the old owner to change his mind—if she can only corner him long enough to ask.

Despite being abandoned by his father years ago, Wesley inherited all of his dad’s assets and ambition—but not his gullibility. When the tantalizing woman at his nightclub turns out to be the woman who scammed his lonely father, he seizes the chance for a little revenge. But after using a fake name to get close to his target, Wes is soon coming up with excuses to keep his identity secret a little longer.

As the forty-five days count down, Mara’s loyal customers swoop in to help save her store. Even more, her handsome new boyfriend is making her believe in happy endings again. Too bad secret identities only last forever in comic books.
 
She had to hunt Wesley Robson down tonight, didn’t want to waste more time on her search. As it was, the night would be too short for decent sleep. Saturday was game day at her comic book shop. Participants showed early and played intensely for hours. Board games, card games, electronic games. She would jump in and play them all, or run around the store helping customers.
It was her favorite day of the week, but still a long one.
What did Wesley look like, anyway? She would’ve seen him if she’d been able to go to the funeral. By the time she’d found out about Sam’s sudden death, though, he’d been gone and buried. There had to be a picture of his boy online. Just as she pulled out her phone to do a search, someone settled onto the barstool next to her.
“Macallan 12.”
The deep voice resonated through her bones. She almost groaned. He had the rumble of a rugged man, a primal mating call in her opinion. Admittedly, her last few dates had put the “boys” in fanboys, not men who knew their way around a woman.
She peeked at him from the corner of her eye. Her fingers tightened around the stem of her glass.
Holy hotness, Batman! He reminded her of one of her favorite superheroes. Jet-black hair, sky-blue eyes nearly glowing under the club lights, wide shoulders. If he wore a cape and had a large S on his shirt, she’d sit on his face. She’d still consider it, given his charcoal slacks and white-striped shirt, which likely had been cinched by a tie all day. The first two buttons were undone and his sleeves were rolled up. What was that style called? Industrial hot-as-hell businessman.
“What’s your poison?”
She shot him a surprised glance. He gestured to her already half-empty glass.
What had the bartender said it was? “I think it’s named after some rapper.”
He chuckled with genuine humor. “Are you here with the bachelorette party?”
When hell froze over. “No.”
The bartender leaned over the counter to hand him his drink. “The lady said she was looking for the owner.”
Stay out of it, dude. Wait, he knew the total package next to her? Maybe the new arrival also knew the owner. “Do you know Mr. Robson?”
His eyes crinkled with his smile. Even the man’s teeth were perfect. “Why would you want to find him? I’ve heard he’s an ass.”
She rolled her eyes. “Tell me about it.”
Hotness savored a long sip of his…whatever a Macallan was. “You’ve gotta tell me what he did to you.”
The pink bangs that framed her face dropped into her eyes. She feathered them away. His gaze traced from her hand to her dual ponytails, the plain brown hair streaked with pink. Instead of blond highlights, or lowlights, or whatever stylish women did, she’d chosen pink—because it was fun and girly. One of the few splurges she allowed herself.
Her hair often drew attention, not always the flattering kind. But she enjoyed his. “He’s shutting down my store. Tearing down the whole damn building. ‘Upgrading.’” She gave the last word air quotes.
His right eye twitched and he stared at her for a heartbeat. Humor drained from his expression and his gaze narrowed slightly.
Her heart rate increased at being the object of such scrutiny. She wanted more, but she also felt like she’d done something wrong.
Finally, a grin curled his full lips. “That bastard.”

Buy Links:
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MY GUEST POST FROM MARIE JOHNSTON
I titled my book Unmistaken Identity because the hero, Wes, knew exactly who Mara was and purposely tried to fool her. So she was wasn’t exactly mistaken about his identity, but was misled. I thought this was a fun premise to work with. I wish I could say I’ve been mistaken for some epically awesome person, but it’s never happened.

My husband, though… When my oldest daughter was about two years old, she started calling her Ken doll her Daddy doll. This Ken had black hair and blue eyes like my husband, so I could see how she connected the two, but that was as far as the resemblance went. But then she’d point at men in pictures and say Daddy. Cover models on magazines: Daddy. Superman: Daddy. Any man with dark hair and awesometackular abs was Daddy.

I thought it was cute, but started to wonder… Why wasn’t she pointing out female models as Mommy? Why weren’t her brunette Barbie dolls called Mommy dolls? One day, when my “Runner’s World” arrived in the mail, my daughter pointed to the attractive cover model wearing nothing but athletic shorts and an impressive six-pack and said, “Daddy.” So, I found a magazine with a dark-haired woman on the front asked her if that was Mommy.

“No.”

 Sigh… I tried. Moving on…

Much like Wes did in the first scene of Unmistaken Identity, I’ve also introduced myself as someone else. I do this rather regularly, in fact.

Hi, I’m Marie Johnston.

For over a decade, coming up with ideas of pen names was fun and by the time I actually wrote a book, I knew what my pseudonym would be. I thought of using my real name, but I wanted the separation between my personal life and my business. Marie Johnston is, essentially, my business name. Only instead of introducing myself as So-And-So from Company Name, I can simply say “I’m Marie Johnston.”

But let me tell you—The first time I had to introduce myself as my pseudonym was weeeeiiiirrrrd. I went to my first writing conference last year and every time I said “I’m Marie” I thought someone was going to jump out and yell “LIAR!!!!”. It was odd enough to get used to signing all my emails as Marie, but person-to-person is something I’m still not used to.

My critique group is across the country from me and when we meet, which isn’t often enough anymore, they Facetime me. One time, one member tried to get ahold of me and since me and my family can’t figure out the mystery of keeping our phone accounts separated, she got my husband on Facetime. When she asked for me, she got a gruff, “I don’t know anyone named Marie.” 

So, there are few hurdles when going by a different name than normal. If I had to develop another pen name again, I’d probably keep my real first name. A lot less weirdness that way. Until then, “Hi, I’m Marie Johnston.”

Author Info
Marie Johnston writes paranormal and contemporary romance and has collected several awards in both genres. Before she was a writer, she was a microbiologist. Depending on the situation, she can be oddly unconcerned about germs or weirdly phobic. She’s also a licensed medical technician and has worked as a public health microbiologist and as a lab tech in hospital and clinic labs. Marie’s been a volunteer EMT, a college instructor, a security guard, a phlebotomist, a hotel clerk, and a coffee pourer in a bingo hall. All fodder for a writer!! She has four kids, an old cat, and a puppy that’s bigger than half her kids.


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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

SPOTLIGHT w/GUEST POST - LGBT SCI-FI ROMANCE - The Finder by J.E. Lorin

The Finder
by J.E. Lorin
Date of Publication: March 15th 2017
Cover Artist: Everpage Designs
Genre: LGBT Sci Fi Romance
 
BLURB
At the age of sixteen, August Goodson developed a strange and mysterious power overnight: he can find people. Victims of murder, suicide, kidnapping, accidents, and rape; August can find them all, usually dead, but sometimes still alive.

Nine years later finds August volunteering his services to the police. He's still smarting from the loss of his long-time love Dante, who cheated on him with his best friend, and harbors a deep crush on the incredibly handsome, and oh-so-straight, Detective Luke Williams. But there are bigger concerns on August's mind: a serial killer is loose in the city, one whose victims are a little too much like him for comfort.

When August finds a living victim who may be one of the serial killer's, he's drawn even deeper into the case. Will he make it out alive, or will he soon be the one in need of finding?

Buy Link: Amazon




Help me.
My eyes popped open to a pitch black room. For a few seconds, I lay where I was, sprawled on my back in my own bed. I wasn’t sure yet whether the voice I’d heard was real or whether I’d dreamed it. The room was unusually silent. My tiny studio apartment was normally filled with the sounds of the downtown street below. Not now, though, so I figured it must be late. Even the drunks had gone to sleep. Everything was still, quiet; I convinced myself I must have been dreaming. Just as I closed my eyes, I heard it again.
Help me.
Groaning, I rolled onto my side. With one hand, I groped for my cellphone on the end table, knocking something off in the process. Whatever it was, I didn’t hear it break, so I shrugged it off. I’d figure it out later. My hand landed on the phone. I picked it up, pushing the button to light up the screen; it was only three-thirty in the morning. I groaned again. I really didn’t want to get out of bed but it had to be done; the voice wouldn’t go away on its own. I could ignore it, but that had never worked out. I refused to go through that again.
Grumbling, I clambered out of bed and snatched the jeans I’d shucked off only a couple of hours before. Being sort-of psychic can be a real pain in the ass. I never know when a voice is going to call to me. It could be like now, in the middle of the night. It could be while I’m at work, which means I have to have a flexible job. Or it could be during the middle of sex, which makes relationships difficult, especially since I don’t like to tell people about what I can do.
Having a psychic ability is also weird. It doesn’t always work and I have no idea of the full extent of it. Sometimes I can do something useful, like avert a crime or a death. Most times I just find dead bodies. I know it’s a turn off. Most people, I figure, don’t want to get with a guy who’s basically a cadaver dog.
Buy Link: Amazon
 
GUEST POST FROM J.E. LORIN ON WHY SHE LOVES SCIENCE FICTION
I love science fiction.

I’ve been reading and watching it since I was a kid. Rather than “outgrowing” it, I’ve found myself increasingly invested in sci fi as I’ve gotten older. I own costumes for both Star Trek (generic medical officer from the more recent films) & Star Wars (Obi-Wan). I’m currently watching a Top 100 sci fi movie list (nearly done). And of course, I write sci fi romance. It’s a huge part of my life. But the question is, why?

What’s so appealing about sci fi?

The thing I like most about sci fi is the creativity. It places no limits on imagination. When you write sci fi, or even when you read or watch it, you can build that world in any way you desire. No one can say, “Hey, that’s not realistic!” because who’s to say what is or isn’t realistic in that particular universe? Sci fi is transportive. It can take you to other places, other times, helping you to forget your worries for a little while.

And yet, at the same time, sci serves an important, more serious, purpose: to help us work through societal issues in a comfortable setting.

I think that’s what is really clever about science fiction. It’s no coincidence that interest in sci fi seems to peak during times of great upheaval, such as during the Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s/early 1900s, or during the early Atomic Age of the 1950s. It’s not just about imagining a better, or different, future. It’s also about exploring our feelings about the chaos we’re currently experiencing.

For example, as part of that sci fi movie list I mentioned above, I recently watched the 1956 version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” It was very clear pretty early on in the film that the body snatchers were an allegory for Communism. It was a way for those filmmakers, and their viewers, to work through their fears about the “Red Scare” without ever having to say those words. Star Trek has always done this very well, addressing issues such as racism, homophobia, oppression & inequality, in a way that never calls out a specific contemporary group or person. In this way, sci fi gives us a safe space to express and work through our anxieties.

Add a little romance to that, and I think you’ve got the makings of a very appealing book or movie. You’re using your imagination and exploring ideas in a protected, comforting environment, all while watching two characters fall in love and work their way toward a happy ending. Personally, I love a happy ending. While I may put my characters through the wringer—I’m fond of endangering them—they will always come out on the other side as happier people.

If, like me, you enjoy creativity and love, then sci fi romance really is the best of all worlds.


Author Info
J.E. Lorin was born and raised in Michigan. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Germanic Studies from Indiana University, she lived in six different states before landing in the San Diego area, where she resides with her husband and their cat and dog. Her mission is to write interesting stories that just so happen to have a little sex in them.
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