**REVIEW** ~ The Ghosts of Ravencrest (The Ravencrest Saga Book 1), by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross

Modern Gothic

#Erotica #Horror #Paranormal

Adult/18+ Read

This is another lust filled and downright scary read from the pens of these two very talented authors! Prepare to be titillated and spooked as Ravencrest’s new governess finds that she is at the centre of a battle between good and evil which has been going on for centuries. Tina 🙂

Ravenscrest

Book Blurb

Darkness Never Dies …
Ravencrest Manor has always been part of the family. The ancestral home of the Mannings, Ravencrest’s walls have been witness to generations of unimaginable scandal, horror, and depravity. Imported stone by stone from England to northern California in the early 1800s, the manor now houses widower Eric Manning, his children, and his staff. Ravencrest stands alone, holding its memories and ghosts close to its dark heart, casting long, black shadows across its grand lawns, through the surrounding forests, and over the picturesque town of Devilswood, below.

Dare to Cross the Threshold …
Ravencrest Manor is the most beautiful thing new governess, Belinda Moorland, has ever seen, but as she learns more about its tangled past of romance and terror, she realizes that beauty has a dark side. Ravencrest is built on secrets, and its inhabitants seem to be keeping plenty of their own – from the handsome English butler, Grant Phister, to the power-mad administrator, Mrs. Heller, to Eric Manning himself, who watches her with dark, fathomless eyes. But Belinda soon realizes that the living who dwell in Ravencrest have nothing on the other inhabitants – the ones who walk the darkened halls by night … the ones who enter her dreams … the ones who are watching … and waiting …

Welcome to Ravencrest …
Who is the man digging in the garden beyond Belinda’s bedroom window? Who – or what – is watching her from the vents? From ghostly screams and the clutching bony fingers of death in the indoor pool, to the trio of gliding nuns in the east wing who come at Belinda with black blazing eyes, to the beckoning little girl in the red dress who died more than two centuries ago, Belinda is thrust into a world of waking nightmares where there is no distinction between the living and the dead, and there are no limits to the horrors that await. Witchcraft is afoot at Ravencrest and as unspeakable terrors begin to unfold, Belinda realizes that her beautiful new home is a keeper of tragedy, a collector of souls. And it wants to add her to its collection …

My Review 5 Stars!

Modern Gothic Erotica par excellence!

In The Ghosts of Ravencrest, the first book in The Ravencrest saga, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross have once agian excelled themselves with a super modern take on the gothic novel. The read combines toe-curling scenes of erotica with a ghostly goings on in a plot with an increasing sense of terror and mayhem, sprinkled with some irreverent humour. At the centre of the tale is the unsuspecting ingenue Belinda, the new governess at the mysterious Ravencrest Manor, who risks losing her innocence and her sanity as she unwittingly attracts the interest of the manor’s occupants, the living and the dead, with what threatens to be devastating consequences……

Ravencrest is no ordinary residence: the very fabric of the building was transported piece by piece from England, along with  the many secrets and memories from its bloody history, that still resonate today. The ghosts and spirits of the past not only reach out to Belinda in erotic dreams and terrifying nightmares but also as she goes about her duties working for the handsome and enigmatic widower Eric Manning. It seems that Belinda is a VERY special young woman, a fact that has enraged the evil adversary in the form of the uber controlling bitch that is Miss Heller, the manor’s administator and dominatrix!

I was totally absorbed by the depth and breadth of the plot and the characerisations of the manor’s current and former occupants – Miss Heller and Grant Phister, in particular. One minute I was titillated by the erotic scenes experienced by Belinda and others (cue medical play and BDSM) and the next I was on the edge of my seat reading about witchcraft, hauntings and  horror, before being  entertained by scenes of romance and humour. The character of Belinda grows in strength as the novel progresses and her importance in the interplay between good and evil becomes clearer  as the secrets of the manor and its occupants begin to reveal themselves.

The novel, book 1 in The Ravencrest saga, builds up to a terrifying crescendo and reaches a conclusion which satifies one of the issues at play, working well as a standalone. However, there are still many unresolved questions to answer about Belinda and the occupants of the manor, which I am looking forward to reading about in future instalments.

To sum up: a superb modern gothic which will delight readers of the genre. Indeed, the novels that these two authors are writing individually and together about the dark side of sunny California are truly inpired and I encourage you to find out more!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this book was given to me for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

If you would like to read my review of Alistair Cross’ The Crimson Corset, (the Vampires of Crimson Cove), which I read earlier this year, click on the title.

Connect with the Authors

http://www.tamarathorne.com/

http://alistaircross.com/

Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

 

 

Review Round-Up for our October reads

12087236_10154263570968696_5735409078405643180_oDear readers, we hope that you have enjoyed these autumn months, and that you celebrated Halloween in style. It would be great to see your Halloween photo’s!! This was my attempt (right) at being a vampiress at a much-loved friend’s birthday party – a friend who is absolutely hooked on Halloween, and then celebrated her birthday in style by going to New York and visiting Central Park at this real beautiful time of year!

And, how time seems to be sprinting by this year, with Thanksgiving only a few days away, and Christmas a few weeks!

During October we had 12 fab reads to review for you from Tim O’Rourke‘s Beautiful Immortals series 2 release to international best-selling author Catherine McKenzie‘s Smoke. We had a cheeky contemporary comedy horror short with Deborah Melanie‘s Vivian’s Vampire and the dark horror/sci-fi of J.G. Clay‘s Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor. Not to mention the many romances and paranormals in between. We hope you enjoy our selection of reads, as always.

Much love.

Caroline & Tina ❤

(As always, please click on the title and author for our full review)

Living the DreamLiving the Dream by Celia J. Anderson, contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: When dreams and reality crash and mingle, escape can be the hardest challenge of all.

Longing to get away from her troubled marriage, the opportunity to cross America by train seems like a dream come true for Vita Craythorne. But charismatic travel agent Moriarty Miles has other ideas; by replacing their mutual friend Jack on the trip, Vita has unwittingly set herself up as a guinea pig for Moriarty’s mind-blowing and potentially dangerous virtual-travelling project. His plan is to give clients the holiday of a lifetime without ever having to leave the comfort of their own homes. It’s exciting. It’s time-saving. It’s innovative. Maybe this trip is just what Vita needs? That is, if she can avoid becoming trapped inside her own, miraculous dream world.

Vampires of Maze 1Vampires of Maze (Beautiful Immortals, Series 2, Book 1) by Tim O’Rourke, paranormal romance, thriller adventure (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: From Tim O’Rourke #1 bestselling author of ‘Werewolves of Shade’ (Beautiful Immortals Series One) comes ‘Vampires of Maze’ (Beautiful Immortals Series Two) a vampire and werewolf romance with a twist.

Witch, Julia Miller, has been sent by the Wicce to bring an end to the war that rages between the Beautiful Immortals. Joining a pack of werewolves, Julia must travel with them to a land unknown to her. Here she will learn the horrifying truth about the dark secrets hidden in the town of Maze.

To stay alive, Julia will not only have to figure out who to trust but also who to love. For Julia’s worst nightmares are about to get a whole lot more terrifying as she heads into the war raging between the vampires and werewolves where even her own magic abilities won’t be able to protect her.

Into the UnknowmInto the Unknown by Lorna Peel, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: London on 3 September 1939 is in upheaval. War is inevitable. Into this turmoil steps Kate Sheridan newly arrived from Ireland to live with her aunt and uncle and look for work. When she meets Flight Lieutenant Charlie Butler sparks fly, but he is a notorious womaniser. Should she ignore all the warnings and get involved with a ladies man whose life will be in daily danger?

Charlie Butler has no intention of getting involved with a woman. But when he meets Kate his resolve is shattered. Should he allow his heart to rule his head and fall for a nineteen-year-old Irish girl while there is a war to fight?

Private conflicts and personal doubts are soon overshadowed. Will the horrors of total war bring Kate and Charlie together or tear them apart?

SmokeSmoke by Catherine McKenzie, contemporary women’s fiction, mystery drama, chicklit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: From the internationally bestselling author Catherine McKenzie comes an evocative tale of two women navigating the secrets and lies at the heart of a wildfire threatening their town.

After a decade-long career combating wildfires, Elizabeth has traded in her former life for a quieter one with her husband. Now she works as the local arson investigator in a beautiful, quaint town in the Rockies. But that tranquil life vanishes when she and her husband agree to divorce and a fire in nearby Cooper Basin begins to spread rapidly. For Elizabeth, containing a raging wildfire is easier than accepting that her marriage has failed.

For Elizabeth’s ex-friend Mindy, who feels disconnected from her husband and teenage children, the fire represents a chance to find a new purpose: helping a man who has lost his home to the blaze. But her faith is shattered by a shocking accusation.

As the encroaching inferno threatens the town’s residents, Elizabeth and Mindy must discover what will be lost in the fire, and what will be saved.

White HeatWhite Heat by Serge de Moliere, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A frigid wilderness. A blazing encounter.

In the frigid wilderness of Northern Canada, Carol treks through the snow, desperate to escape her violent and obsessed husband, Dugan. Unprepared for the harsh conditions, she soon finds herself trapped in the ice. She’s rescued by Josh, a loner who has fled society for his own reasons, and he brings her to his isolated cabin.

Carol and Josh are trapped together in the cabin as a snowstorm rages outside. Soon neither of them can fight their building desire, giving in to the temptation of shared heat and intimacy. Josh is nothing like the man Carol fled. He brings out feelings in her she’d long since suppressed.

But Dugan is hunting for her, and he plans to have his revenge on any man who dares share her company…

prettyPretty When You Cry (Stripped #3) by Skye Warren, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A new dark romance novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderlust and Prisoner…

I came from a place of dirt floors and holy scriptures. They told me the world outside was full of sin, and the first night I escape, I find out it’s true. Ivan saves me, but he does more than that. He takes me. He makes me his own girl.

My conditioning runs too deep. Ivan sees what I am.

That’s the thing about showing a mouse to a cat. He wants to play. And it’s terrifying, even for me. Because the only thing darker than my past is his.

Jace (River Pack Wolves 2) for Kindle_28Jace (River Pack Wolves #2) by Alisa Woods, NA paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: His wolf is out of control. She’s a wild thing that won’t be tamed.
Ex-Army Specialist Jace River has a lock on his bedroom door, but it’s not to keep anyone out; it’s to keep his nightmares from breaking loose. His wolf is an out-of-control killer, which means he can never risk shifting, never truly be part of his pack, and definitely never take a mate.

Piper Wilding works for the Army as a civilian, traveling the world for her work in counterintelligence and fighting the bad guys while bedding down the good ones. The best part? It keeps her far from her asshole father in Seattle, the rest of the Wilding pack, and the pressure to take a mate. Settling down isn’t her thing, and after what happened to her mother, Piper vowed she would never be tied down by magic or men again.

While Jace’s wolf keeps him Sleepless in Seattle, Piper returns home to find her missing kid brother. When she breaks into the River brother’s safehouse, sparks fly and claws come out. Her sexy skills threaten to bring out Jace’s wolf, and Jace’s good-guy hotness reminds Piper how tempting shifter men can be. They’re like fire and gasoline, and as they race to find Piper’s brother, the heat threatens to burn down all their carefully constructed walls. But falling in love has never been so dangerous—and being together means taking risks that neither might survive.

Jace is a complete novel with HEA, the second in the River Pack Wolves trilogy (all standalone stories, but best enjoyed if you read them in order!).

Contains scorching hot shifters, alpha military heroes, and sexy spy girls. Only readers over 18 should dive into the deliciously hot world of the River brothers.

BrakeBrake (The Redline Series #3) by Skye Callahan, dark romantic suspense (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Bitter feud between brothers, Colt and Devlin, speeds out of control.

From Colt’s pawn to Devlin’s captive, Aubrey is caught even deeper in their pact to destroy one another. Imprisoned in darkness, she fights for her life–and her sanity. Her only hope is a cocky and sadistic car thief who is already wrestling with his own demons.

Colt swore he’d never end up in this place again. That he’d never be held captive to heroin or rendered helpless by his brother to watch as another life is destroyed. He’s ready to tear the city apart to find Aubrey, but that’s only if his own mind doesn’t tear him apart first.

Lines have been crossed. Promises broken. Souls shattered. And the worst has only begun.

Note: If you’re looking for rainbows, butterflies, and happy endings coated in chocolate and caramel, turn back now! This story deals with dark themes and intense situations that aren’t suitable for sensitive readers. If you’re looking for an intense roller coaster of emotions and situations that will warp your sense of right and wrong and drag you through the debauched underworld of crime and deceit, then you’re in the right place.

This is a work of serial fiction, so it will be released in distinct parts with no resolute ending until the end of the series.

Watcher Lotus's Journey 2 cj pinardWatcher (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part II by C.J. Pinard, paranormal mystery romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: As hybrid vampire/faery Lotus’s journey has taken her from solving the vampire-committed murders in Denver to Las Vegas, she begins to learn a lot more about herself and the evil vampire of a father who has been searching for her for years. She has to make a decision on whether she’s going to run from Vlad or search for him and confront him as he continues to terrorize her dreams. She wonders if finding him will lead her to her faery mother, or if it will just lead to more death, destruction, and heartbreak.

With the relationship between her sexy neighbor, Drew, and her beginning to blossom, Lotus wonders if she should just give up the search and try to lead a normal life for once. She’s finally found a decent guy who is not only gorgeous, but seems to want to protect her. Something she’s never needed, but is now finding she wants. That is, until she finds out Drew’s got his own secrets.

This is part II of Lotus’s journey. Part III will be out in early 2016.

Dark CityDark City (Nick Harland, British Detective Series #4) by Bill Carson, dark crime (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A must read for all those who like to sit uncomfortably on the edge of their seats.

Dark City is the fourth book in the Nick Harland detective series. In this one we follow him on his most perplexing and disturbing case to date, as he tracks down a serial killer from the past.
The book begins with an elderly man being released from prison, after serving seventeen years for a double murder. A few days after his release a young woman is snatched from outside a London pub.

The police seem to be dragging their heels, so the family of the missing girl call on the services of the tough, uncompromising ex murder squad detective, turned Private Investigator, Nick Harland. During his initial investigation another girl suddenly goes missing, he then gets a tip off that Charles Thorpe had just been released from prison. Nick knows the killer, as he was the detective who put him behind bars when he was a detective in the murder squad. And so the hunt is now on for Thorpe, and Nick will not rest until Thorpe is found, and he promises that Thorpe will pay the ultimate price for his crimes this time around.

Much more can’t be revealed, as it would give too much of the exciting plot away.
This is a fast paced dark and gritty story, packed with hard hitting action, highs and lows, intrigue and tension. This story has characters, that are good, and sometimes very, very bad. Dark City is crime noir in the truest sense.

Vivian's VampireVivian’s Vampire (short story) by Deborah Melanie, contemporary paranormal comedy horror romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: She’s got a scythe, a severed head and she’s looking for love.

Waitress Vivian Shawcross loves a costume party. When Halloween comes along, she can’t wait for the spooky fun to start. However, a mix up over her costume and a road diversion, are just two of the mini disasters she encounters en route to her ghostly night out. Stranded in a remote English village, isn’t her idea of fun, but when a gorgeous vampire is thrown into the equation, Vivian discovers that her fun night out has only just begun. 

Tales of Blood and SulphurTales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor by J.G. Clay, dark horror sci-fi (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Eleven Tales steeped in Blood and reeking of Sulphur

There are cracks in the skin of Reality. Some are microscopic, others are as wide as a four-lane motorway. As the fault lines increase and widen, the door to our world shines like a beacon in the darkness, a warm and inviting sight to others beyond our understanding. When They cross over into our realm, The Tales begin……

A gambler taking one last desperate throw of the dice. A struggling writer making an unholy alliance. An eternal being fighting to stay alive in the financial capital of India. A man burdened with a terrible town secret. The Law Enforcers who must never cry. The End of Days live and direct from the rural heartland of England.

J.G. Clay takes you on a journey through the voids of Reality and into dark places where demons, mutants and inter-dimensional creatures taunt, taint and corrupt Humanity. Survival is not guaranteed, sanity is not assured and death lurks in every corner. These are the Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor; eleven twisted tales of terror and mayhem.

The blood is warm, the sulphur is burning, the tales will be told, the Apocalypse Minor is imminent!

**Halloween Horror Review** Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor #1 by J.G. Clay

We had the pleasure to meet horror author J.G. Clay at the Second City Signing author event in July. Since then I have been eagerly awaiting to read his eleven Tales of Blood and Sulphur in time for our Halloween Horror review!

jgclayCover-TOBSTitle: Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor (The Tales of Blood and Sulphur Volume 1)

Author: J.G. Clay

Genre: Horror

Date released: July 20th, 2015

Published by: Forsaken

Length: 214 pages

Blurb: Eleven Tales steeped in Blood and reeking of Sulphur

There are cracks in the skin of Reality. Some are microscopic, others are as wide as a four-lane motorway. As the fault lines increase and widen, the door to our world shines like a beacon in the darkness, a warm and inviting sight to others beyond our understanding. When They cross over into our realm, The Tales begin……

A gambler taking one last desperate throw of the dice. A struggling writer making an unholy alliance. An eternal being fighting to stay alive in the financial capital of India. A man burdened with a terrible town secret. The Law Enforcers who must never cry. The End of Days live and direct from the rural heartland of England.

J.G. Clay takes you on a journey through the voids of Reality and into dark places where demons, mutants and inter-dimensional creatures taunt, taint and corrupt Humanity. Survival is not guaranteed, sanity is not assured and death lurks in every corner. These are the Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor; eleven twisted tales of terror and mayhem.

The blood is warm, the sulphur is burning, the tales will be told, the Apocalypse Minor is imminent!

jgclay Excerpt Promo one The Smiling Men

REVIEW **** (4* rating)

Full of twists and surprises, Tales of Blood and Sulphur is mind-blowing and your head will certainly spin as you endeavour to seek all of the answers you are looking for, and then find yourself lost in another tale. This is definitely a dark, horrific and gory read for the mature reader. With it’s grittiness and violence it certainly has it’s moments of being seemingly real, yet written with profound sci-fi fantasy creativity, thus making for a fantastic dark horror.

With a mystical suspect, Null, being interrogated in the epilogue it soon becomes clear that there is a rare, eerie wisdom about him that gives you the heebie-jeebies. His tales will terrorise you and drive you to insanity. Be warned!

Have you ever sneaked out for a ciggy, looked at a patch on the lawn suspiciously, and found it to have grown with no explanation? Or, maybe you have walked home one evening after a few drinks, cutting across the bleak, dark, desolate park and heard noises – a voice ‘help me’? Then again, maybe you’d prefer to have a pint with the devil, listening to The Clash on the jukebox, and being encouraged to join his dark side whilst in an almost trance-like state? Perhaps you’re trapped in an apartment, with little or no food, caged in by zombies, and you need to leave for a few minutes to get some supplies? Or find yourself in a Dr Who-like scenario with creepily smiling cyborgs, with automated voices set, out to control and intimidate those who go against the new regime. If you don’t conform you won’t want to wait to see what will become of you!

Tales is a disgustingly gory read, with scenes of saliva, mucous, blood and many more bodily fluids having an important role in the horrific action scenes. Brains are squished, bones are cracked and blood runs extremely freely. Heads are taken off, skin is burned by flame and acid-like saliva, organs are shredded. I could go on. For a most frightful read, you may wish to read at night with little light, and you’ll feel the full power of this chilly collection.

I really enjoyed that, aside from the individual eleven tales, there is this running undercurrent throughout all of them. This really weaves each tale together, making for a brilliant, compact all-round read. Tales is written very well with so much information to take in and various situations with alien lifeforms, cyborgs, zombies and more. It is a read that fans of this genre will love as I am sure that there will be so much more to realise about each story with every read. It is definitely a keeper for any mature bookshelf, and one to be read again and again.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Author Bio

JJ.G clay 2015.G. Clay is definitely a Man of Horror. There can be no doubt. Putting aside the reverence he has for the horror greats, such as King, Barker, Herbert, Carpenter, Romero and Argento, there is another fact that defines his claim for the title of the ‘Duke of Spook’. He was born on Halloween night. By a quirk fate, it was also a full moon that night. Co-incidence?

Here at Clay Towers, we don’t believe in coincidences.

The 41 year old hails from the Midlands in the United Kingdom, is married with one step child and two dogs that bear a strong resemblance to Ewoks. Beyond the page and the written word, he is music mad and can hold down a tune on a bass guitar pretty well. He is an avid reader and also has an enduring love of British sci-fi, from the pages of the ‘2000A.D’ comic to the televised wanderings of Gallifrey’s most famous physician. Clay is also a long-time fan of the mighty Birmingham City Football Club and endures a lot of flak from his friends for it.

Author Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jgclay1973

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JGClay1

jg clay Excerpt Promo two Pete the Neat

Available from:

AMAZON

Kindle US : http://amzn.to/1TX8Jhu

Paperback US: http://amzn.to/1CZpm7F

Kindle UK: http://amzn.to/1RYqLlM

Paperback UK: http://amzn.to/1KoFNKP

Nook (Barnes & Noble): http://bit.ly/1CUUYMd

And Apple iBooks

jg clay Excerpt Promo three Writers Friend

Review Round Up Sept ’15

Hi readers, we do hope that you have been able to settle down with a great book, especially now that we are seeing the early autumnal leaves fall and the weather has now taken to a chillier feel! Yes, the warm sunshine from those September afternoons is truly behind us, and my favourite time to read is this time of year when pj’s become your best friend, along with a blanket, the sofa, a nice, warm beverage, and of course, a great book.

And so, for a few romantic read ideas, a little later than planned, we have our September reviewed titles for you to take a sneaky glimpse at and hopefully indulge yourself with! They consist of twelve titles mostly covering contemporary, chicklit, historical, erotic and comedy romances, with some paranormals and a revenge thriller!

If you’d like to share some of your cosy autumn/winter reads we would love to hear from you.

Happy reading! 🙂

Caroline & Tina ❤

As always, please click on the title/author for our full review posts!

Perfectly InnocentPerfectly Innocent (Audio Book) by Tamra Lassiter, contemporary romance, suspense (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Innocent or guilty—there’s nothing perfect about it.

Phoebe Davidson is a good girl who’s been through some bad times. Her life changed forever when she learned that her husband was living a secret life. Now, six years later, she’s just going through the motions of her life, afraid to let anyone in.

When a horrific crime occurs in her home, she meets Logan Matthews, a police detective working the case. When Phoebe herself is charged with the murder, can she trust Logan? Can she, and should she let him into her life?

Lotus daughter of darkness pt 1Lotus (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part I by C.J. Pinard, paranormal crime mystery thriller (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: 4 authors will each take a different daughter born from the Prince of Darkness, Vlad Montour. (Also known as Vlad the Impaler, an evil villain from history).

Blair – Chrissy Peebles
Jezebel – Kristen Middleton
Victoria – W.J. May
Lotus – C.J. Pinard

The Daughters of Darkness is a series of female heroines who may or may not know each other, but all have the same father, Vlad Montour.

Lotus
Don’t let the pretty name fool you. This daughter is no delicate flower.

Lotus grew up orphaned. Having no idea who her real parents were, she’s been drifting around the U.S. for over 100 years moving every 15 years or so since she just doesn’t seem to age. She’d figured out on her own that she had to be at least part vampire, as she needs to suck on a few blood bags a month to survive.

Working as a detective with the Denver P.D., Lotus is searching desperately for a serial killer who is murdering the homeless of the city. Except these are not ritualistic or thrill killings. These victims have been drained of blood and Lotus knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they have been committed by a vampire.

Her search will take her to Las Vegas, and that is where the true adventure will begin, when she finds out who has been searching for her.

This is part I of Lotus’s journey. Part II will be out in late October 2015.

Jaxson (River Pack Wolves 1) - New Adult Paranormal RomanceJaxson (River Pack Wolves #1) by Alisa Woods, New Adult paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Three brothers. Three Secrets. One hope to save the shifters of Seattle.
Former SEAL Jaxson River would give his life for his brothers and his pack, but if he doesn’t claim a mate soon, he’ll be forced to step down as their alpha. There’s only one problem: Jaxson’s dark secret would kill any mate he claimed. With someone kidnapping shifters off the street—and only Jaxson and his brothers, Jace and Jared, to stop them—now is not the time for his secret to come out.

Curvy Olivia Lilyfield is a half-witch orphan with a dark secret of her own. She wants to atone for it by doing good in the world, so when she finds a wolf being tortured in an alley, she doesn’t hesitate to help… even though wolves and witches mix like matches and TNT.

Olivia’s dangerous magic means she can’t let anyone get too close—but Jaxson can’t keep his hands off her, and his kisses are more than she can resist. As they race to save the disappearing shifters of Seattle, the true danger lies in loving each other. They’re playing with magical fire… and their secrets could end up destroying them both.

Jaxson is a complete novel with HEA, the first in the River Pack Wolves trilogy (Jace and Jared coming soon).

Contains scorching shifter sex, alpha military heroes, and sexy witches. Only readers over 18 should dive into the deliciously hot world of the River brothers.

Lady BlayneThe Delicate Matter of Lady Blayne (Intimate Secrets #1) by Natasha Blackthorne, erotic historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Catriona, Lady Blayne is recovering from a most delicate situation. Driven to the brink of madness by love for her late husband, a young man too ill to meet the demands of the marriage bed, she teeters on the brink of scandal. Now she must face the carnal temptation personified by her husband’s cousin and heir, James, the new Lord Blayne. His sensual appeal, contrasted with his iron will and stern self-mastery fascinates her. She can’t help but ask: what if sensual indulgence is the only way out of her darkness? However, she is not free to explore the idea. There are those who seek to control the young widow, keeping her imprisoned through emotional manipulation and physical coercion. With her growing restlessness, the very people she loves and trusts the most are becoming an increasing danger to her sanity and safety.

James is determined to protect Catriona—but he will not soften to her again. She rejected him once and James can’t risk losing his heart a second time. As heir to the Blayne baronetcy, he must marry a woman socially and politically appropriate. Such a scandalously self-indulgent lady as Catriona won’t do. Yet the pretty girl he once knew has grown into a beautiful, curvaceous woman that is every man’s dream.

Especially his.

Erotic Romance; Regency Historical; Elements of Sensual Domination, Spanking and Light Bondage; Rubenesque Heroine; Character-Driven Story with Angst and Strong Internal Conflicts; Standalone Long Novel.

Reader Advisory: The characters discuss issues of abuse which took place in the heroine’s backstory. Frank sexual language & period appropriate sexual slang and general bedchamber naughtiness. 

a59da-newaacoverAbigail’s Affair (Looking for Love #1) by Pat Spence, contemporary rom-com, chicklit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Reasoning that absence makes the heart grow fonder and attempting to force her married lover’s hand, 30 -year old Abigail Aske decides to visit an old friend in Australia.

But staying with a 6’2”Amazonian fitness freak proves something of a challenge, as does maintaining ‘no contact’ with Jake, not to mention resisting other tempting ‘offers’.

Set against a wonderful Australian backdrop, with a host of quirky, emotionally dysfunctional characters, Abigail’s Affair tells of a woman’s search for love and happiness, revealing the highs and lows of having an affair, and showing how the experience of travel becomes a voyage of self-discovery, with surprising results.

A story of love, lies, betrayal and hope…

For anyone who is having an affair, has had an affair or is thinking of having an affair, this book is ESSENTIAL reading…

rob watkins

How to Kill a Minority Shareholder and get away with it by Rob Watkins, revenge thriller (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Deb had worked and fought her way from council estate to a position that promised a comfortable retirement for her and her husband, Bob, and would make all their sacrifices over the years worthwhile. Her skill, dedication and knowledge had enabled her to take a failing, small family business she had joined a quarter century before and turn it into an international empire. She had made her boss and the shareholders multi-millionaires. On paper, even Deb would walk away with a few million when it came time to retire.

At the happiest and proudest point of her hard-working life, Deb’s evil boss, Ms Summer Ponsenbury, after twenty-five years of festering, hidden jealousy, shattered Deb’s world. With the help of her unscrupulous cohorts, Summer took everything she had promised. She destroyed Deb’s reputation, took her rewards, trashed Deb’s achievements and dumped her at rock bottom.

All concerned believed they were above the law. They were too powerful and too rich to have to worry about Deb getting justice. They thought no one would care… they were wrong. They had forgotten about Bob. The fight was just about to start.

Sinful Confessions (Cynfell Brothers #1)Sinful Confessions (The Cynfell Brothers #1) novella by Samantha Holt, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. The Cynfell brothers are the very embodiment of a sinful existence. But could the right woman change that?

Wrath

Locked behind the walls of Lockwood Manor, Julian Cynfell, the Marquess of Lockwood whiles away his days writing angry letters, drinking and sleeping. He never expects his solitude to be interrupted by a brazen American heiress.

An American heiress who is expecting a wedding.

Viola Thompson can’t believe her luck when the English lord she has been corresponding with for the better part of a year asks her to visit him. This has to mean an offer of marriage surely? Finally, Viola will prove to her family and friends that she is more than a ruined woman with no prospects. Not to mention she knows they will be a love match. No one could write such beautiful letters without being the perfect man.

But when she arrives in cold, dreary England to be faced by a foul-tempered, grizzled—albeit in a handsome way—marquess, her dreams of marriage are quickly dashed. Can she draw the lord out of his melancholy ways? And does she even want to remain in England while rumours of three dead wives circulate around Lockwood?

One thing is for certain, this American heiress has never been one to back down from a challenge—especially when not even the Atlantic Ocean could dampen the patent desire running between them.

The temptressThe Temptress by C.J. Fallowfield, contemporary erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: There’s just something about a French accent, something that conjures images of romance, sex and passion. There’s a reason French is called ‘the language of love.’

Lulu McQueen runs an exclusive honeytrap agency, to test the fidelity of rich men for their suspicious partners. While her business flourishes and her track record in the field remains unbroken, earning her the nickname of The Temptress, her personal life isn’t so successful.

A trip to Paris, years ago, led to the most erotic encounter of her life with Luc, a charismatic, dominant, irresistible Frenchman. For one night she experienced bliss on a scale she’d never encountered and fled in the morning, ashamed of herself, but her Parisian one night stand was burned into her memories and no one since had compared.

With no one available on short notice, Lulu steps in to lure Mrs. Le Grand’s rich husband, for an extortionately high fee. Lulu’s in for the shock of her life when she finds her mark at the hotel bar. Luc Le Grand still has a face and body to make Adonis weep. He exudes confidence, masculinity and raw sex appeal.

The question now isn’t whether Lulu can tempt him, but whether she can resist him, retain her reputation and secure her fee, or whether she’ll fall under Mr. Le Grand’s spell. Again.

Crimson coveThe Crimson Corset: The Vampires of Crimson Cove by Alistair Cross, modern gothic paranormal horror (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Welcome to Crimson Cove

Sheltered by ancient redwoods overlooking the California coast, the cozy village of Crimson Cove has it all: sophisticated retreats, fine dining, and a notorious nightclub, The Crimson Corset. It seems like a perfect place to relax and get close to nature. But not everything in Crimson Cove is natural.

When Cade Colter moves to town, he expects it to be peaceful to the point of boredom. But he quickly learns that after the sun sets and the fog rolls in, the little tourist town takes on a whole new kind of life – and death.

Darkness at the Edge of Town

Renowned for its wild parties and history of debauchery, The Crimson Corset looms on the edge of town, inviting patrons to sate their most depraved desires and slake their darkest thirsts. Proprietor Gretchen VanTreese has waited centuries to annihilate the Old World vampires on the other side of town and create a new race – a race that she alone will rule. When she realizes Cade Colter has the key that will unlock her plan, she begins laying an elaborate trap that will put everyone around him in mortal danger.

Blood Wars

The streets are running red with blood, and as violence and murder ravage the night, Cade must face the darkest forces inside himself, and perhaps even abandon his own humanity, in order to protect what he loves.

“Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, “The Crimson Corset” – a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.”
– Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD: INVASION and LUCID

“This drop-deadly tale of seduction and terror will leave you begging to be fanged … ”
– Tamara Thorne, international bestselling author of HAUNTED and MOONFALL

“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s got more hooks than a day boat out of San Pedro Harbor!”
– QL Pearce, bestselling author of SCARY STORIES FOR SLEEP-OVERS

hold me until morning

Hold Me Until Morning (Grayson Brothers #2) by Christina Phillips, contemporary erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

She’s the one girl he should never touch…

Cooper Grayson is supposed to hole up in a mountain cabin and protect his best friend’s little sister from the paparazzi for a week. That’s it. But Paris O’Connell isn’t a kid anymore, and it’s hard to remember this is strictly business when she bats her big green eyes at him…then crashes through all his carefully placed boundaries.

Paris loves a challenge. And gorgeous Cooper Grayson is the most dangerous challenge she’s faced yet. He ignores the sizzling attraction that keeps her awake at nights, and he doesn’t care about her fame or her contacts, only seeing her. When they finally kiss, Cooper leaves her bare. Exposed. His for the taking. And take he does…

For one incredibly hot week, Cooper fulfils her every fantasy. But when the real world crashes in, so does reality. And reality tells them there’s no way a Hollywood star and a bad boy from the wrong side of town could ever have a future together…

ItHappenedOneNight 500x750It Happened One Night (Adventures of Blind Dating #1) by Christine S. Feldman, contemporary rom-com (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Who has time for dating these days? Certainly not struggling entrepreneur Paisley Jameson, who has way too much on her plate to pay any real attention to her shriveling social life. And not mechanic Joe Spencer either, who has a lot on his mind with both the family business and family in general. But neither can say no to the beloved mutual acquaintance who wants to set them both up on a blind date.

Which is too bad, because they both kind of wish they had said no when they show up for the dinner date and realize they’ve met before–and not under happy circumstances.

But fate seems determined to prove that they’re not so wrong for each other after all, because in spite of the intentions of both Paisley and Joe to nip this whole unfortunate blind date thing in the bud and go their separate ways, events transpire to keep them together for an evening involving muggers, foot-chases, and even a high-speed trip to the ER–

And that’s all before dessert.

Dating: it’s not for wimps…

Rogue KnightRogue Knight (Medieval Warriors #2) by Regan Walker, historical medieval romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: “Mesmerizing medieval romance! A vivid portrayal of love flourishing amidst the turbulence of the years after the Norman Conquest.” — Kathryn Le Veque, USA Today Bestselling Author

York, England 1069… three years after the Norman Conquest

The North of England seethes with discontent under the heavy hand of William the Conqueror, who unleashes his fury on the rebels who dare to defy him. Amid the ensuing devastation, love blooms in the heart of a gallant Norman knight for a Yorkshire widow.

A LOVE NEITHER CAN DENY, A PASSION NEITHER CAN RESIST

Angry at the cruelty she has witnessed at the Normans’ hands, Emma of York is torn between her loyalty to her noble Danish father, a leader of the rebels, and her growing passion for an honorable French knight.

Loyal to King William, Sir Geoffroi de Tournai has no idea Emma hides a secret that could mean death for him and his fellow knights.

WAR DREW THEM TOGETHER, WAR WOULD TEAR THEM APART

War erupts, tearing asunder the tentative love growing between them, leaving each the enemy of the other. Will Sir Geoffroi, convinced Emma has betrayed him, defy his king to save her?

*Promo* Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor by J.G. Clay

Since our exciting experience at the Second City Signing we have been in touch with many of the authors in order to introduce our readers to their work. Our first promo post is for horror author J.G. Clay’s eleven Tales of Blood and Sulphur.

jgclayCover-TOBSTitle: Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor (The Tales of Blood and Sulphur Volume 1)

Author: J.G. Clay

Genre: Horror

Date released: July 20th, 2015

Published by: Forsaken

Length: 214 pages

Blurb: Eleven Tales steeped in Blood and reeking of Sulphur

There are cracks in the skin of Reality. Some are microscopic, others are as wide as a four-lane motorway. As the fault lines increase and widen, the door to our world shines like a beacon in the darkness, a warm and inviting sight to others beyond our understanding. When They cross over into our realm, The Tales begin……

A gambler taking one last desperate throw of the dice. A struggling writer making an unholy alliance. An eternal being fighting to stay alive in the financial capital of India. A man burdened with a terrible town secret. The Law Enforcers who must never cry. The End of Days live and direct from the rural heartland of England.

J.G. Clay takes you on a journey through the voids of Reality and into dark places where demons, mutants and inter-dimensional creatures taunt, taint and corrupt Humanity. Survival is not guaranteed, sanity is not assured and death lurks in every corner. These are the Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor; eleven twisted tales of terror and mayhem.

The blood is warm, the sulphur is burning, the tales will be told, the Apocalypse Minor is imminent!

jgclay Excerpt Promo one The Smiling Men

Author Bio

JJ.G clay 2015.G. Clay is definitely a Man of Horror. There can be no doubt. Putting aside the reverence he has for the horror greats, such as King, Barker, Herbert, Carpenter, Romero and Argento, there is another fact that defines his claim for the title of the ‘Duke of Spook’. He was born on Halloween night. By a quirk fate, it was also a full moon that night. Co-incidence?

Here at Clay Towers, we don’t believe in coincidences.

The 41 year old hails from the Midlands in the United Kingdom, is married with one step child and two dogs that bear a strong resemblance to Ewoks. Beyond the page and the written word, he is music mad and can hold down a tune on a bass guitar pretty well. He is an avid reader and also has an enduring love of British sci-fi, from the pages of the ‘2000A.D’ comic to the televised wanderings of Gallifrey’s most famous physician. Clay is also a long-time fan of the mighty Birmingham City Football Club and endures a lot of flak from his friends for it.

Author Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jgclay1973

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JGClay1

jg clay Excerpt Promo two Pete the Neat

Available from:

AMAZON

Kindle US : http://amzn.to/1TX8Jhu

Paperback US: http://amzn.to/1CZpm7F

Kindle UK: http://amzn.to/1RYqLlM

Paperback UK: http://amzn.to/1KoFNKP

Nook (Barnes & Noble): http://bit.ly/1CUUYMd

And Apple iBooks

jg clay Excerpt Promo three Writers Friend

**RELEASE BLITZ** ~ The Pentagram Child Part 2, by Stephanie Hudson

Romance/Horror

Stephanie Pentgram

As Keira and Draven reunite, it is but a bitter sweet moment as it is time they must put their loyalty on the line in the ultimate test of trust in order to seek the truth. But making it through the gates of Hell and back in one piece isn’t something they can expect or take lightly. As for one of our destined lovers, a fight for the other’s survival is something they will have to face alone. Will Draven release Hell on Earth for the sake of the woman he loves or let her go? Is one love strong enough to live through the end of the world or in fact, powerful enough to save it? Warning: This book contains a battle of wills like no other and an explosive mix of both new and old characters all coming together with one goal…To save a King’s soul.

The Pentagram Child Part 1 (Afterlife Saga Book 5)

US:http://amzn.com/B00R8OS70G

UK:http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00R8OS70G

Other Titles from Stephanie Hudson

Amazon buy links:

Afterlife Saga Book 1

US:http://amzn.com/B008EL3OU0

UK:http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008EL3OU0

The Two Kings (Afterlife Saga Book 2)

US:http://amzn.com/B009JSRCZ0

UK:http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009JSRCZ0

The Triple Goddess(Afterlife Saga Book 3)

US:http://amzn.com/B00BFEO70Y

UK:http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BFEO70Y

The Quarter Moon (Afterlife Saga Book 4)

US:http://amzn.com/B00H9VE2C0

UK:http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00H9VE2C0

Come on over and join the fun and do not miss out! Release Party Event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/895071503892031/

About the Author:

Stephanie Hudson has dreamed of being a writer ever since her obsession with reading books at an early age. What first became a quest to overcome the boundaries set against her in the form of dyslexia has turned into a life’s dream. She first started writing in the form of poetry and soon found a taste for horror and romance. Afterlife is her first book in the series of seven, with the story of Keira and Draven becoming ever more complicated in a world that sets them miles apart.

When not writing, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her loving family and friends, chatting for hours with her biggest fan, her sister Cathy who is utterly obsessed with one gorgeous Dominic Draven. And of course spending as much time with her.

Amazon|Facebook|Twitter|Website|Goodreads|Pinterest

Afterlife Playroom

Review Round-Up June ’15

Dear readers, Welcome to a our Review Round-Up for June. It has been a scorcher here in the UK over the last few days, and I do believe that many of us will welcome some rain to break up the humidity. That’s not to say that we want to turn down the heat in the books we are reviewing! This month in particular is dominated by romance, mostly dark and erotic, with Skye Warren’s Better When It Hurts (Stripped #2) and two titles from Christina Phillips’ contemporary erotic romances. For a little erotic fun, we also have Tied to the Kitchen Sink by Kay Jaybee.

However, for those of you that are looking for a paranormal fantasy, we can certainly recommend C.J. Pinard’s Soul Redemption (Rebel Riders #2) and Tim O’Rourke’s Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals, series 1, part 6), the final part of series one. For a deeper psychological thriller/horror there is also the growing success of Lynda O’Rourke’s Dwell (The Kassidy Bell trilogy, #2), which has it’s first book of the trilogy, Drug, reach the no. 1 spot on the Amazon Young Adult horror charts!

Lastly, there is also the amazing The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts, a dark historical psychological thriller that explores the state of a mind of a woman in the late 1800’s who has postnatal depression, yet at the time it was believed she was possibly mad. Influenced by her own personal experience, Rachel has explored this subject and set it in a time when very little was understood of mental states. It is one woman’s battle to realise her terrible truth and understand why. A very moving piece that has now been published by Penguin books in early June, and has been re-worked. Our review is of the original self-published version.

As always, we hope that our reviews influence your reading and that you enjoy them. (Please click on titles for our full review posts.)

Happy reading!

Caroline & Tina 🙂

Hold me until midnightHold Me Until Midnight (Grayson Brothers #1) by Christina Phillips, contemporary erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Scarlett Ashford needs a date for her father’s wedding. Only she doesn’t just need a guy in a suit—she needs a bodyguard. The only problem is that Jackson Grayson is big and gorgeous and way too sexy. So much so that Scarlett’s tempted to let this hot bad boy ruin her oh-so-good reputation…

Jackson doesn’t do relationships and he certainly doesn’t sleep with clients. Yet he can’t fight their inconvenient attraction, or how badly he wants Scarlett’s warm and wicked curves against his body. He wants her. Now. Even if it’s just for one night, and even if walking away the next morning isn’t as easy as he thought.

Besides, one hot and incredibly intense night between a bad boy and a pampered princess could never turn into something real…could it?

WadeInterviewing Wade (Executive Decisions #4) by Grace Marshall, contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: The Executive Decision Trilogy may be over, but the story continues in this addictively sexy fourth instalment by the best-selling Grace Marshall. Ambitious reporter Carla Flannery has been waiting to make her name – and when she gets the chance to interview Wade Crittenden, the mysterious genius behind Pneuma, Inc, she can’t believe her luck. However, Carla has made a lot of enemies in her work, and when Wade discovers she’s being stalked, he is determined to keep her safe, spurred on by his confusing feelings towards her. As situations turn deadly and dark secrets threaten to reveal themselves, lives and hearts are on the line as the interview starts to reveal far more about them than either ever expected …

Soul Redemption (Rebel Riders, #2)Soul Redemption (Rebel Riders #2) by C.J. Pinard, paranormal/urban fantasy, paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Faced with unthinkable changes, Nolan Bishop seeks to come to grips with his new version of mortality. While his relationship with Charity Sheridan was already rocky, he’s now facing a whole new set of challenges as they continue to try to find a balance to the love that has just begun to blossom between them. Meanwhile, her twin Eva has violent vengeance on the mind, and the succubus won’t settle for anything less than Nolan’s ultimate demise. Heading back to New Orleans at the request of the BSI, Nolan will have to face Joel Reichert, the old vampire whose oldest friend is now dead because of him. But is Joel really an enemy?

A new, young friend in the Rebel Riders group gives Nolan a much needed reprieve from the stress of his new way of life. While Archie and the Riders don’t really know the full extent of Nolan’s new problems, he continues to hide the horrific things he has to do in order to stay alive. Will Nolan come out better than he was before Eva tried to take his soul, or will he crack and break under the pressure once he realizes what the succubus has really done to him?

Mist RevealedMist Revealed (Elemental Desire #1) (re-edit of Mist Unveiled) by Nancy Corrigan, erotic paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A woman seeking answers…

Cat, a renowned scientist, embarks on a quest to uncover the source of the unknown deadly virus that claimed her sister’s life. What she finds is a man shrouded in mystery who manages the impossible—swaying her devotion from logic to passion. But Rune isn’t simply a lover. He’s a weapon, one that has the potential to save her or destroy her.

A man searching for treasure…

Rune, a child of the mist, awakens into a world hovering on the verge of destruction. Ragnarok is coming. His enemies have been released from their prison. And he’s discovered the one woman who can thaw his frozen heart. But the race to stop the final battle isn’t the time to fall in love. Or is it?

A discovery that will change everything…

Life evolves, and what was lost can be recovered. But the truth revealed isn’t the one Cat or Rune expects. The impossible has become reality. And two lovers must make a choice—adapt or die.

Author’s note: Mist Revealed was previously released as Mist Unveiled and has been reedited.

Better when it hurtsBetter When It Hurts (Stripped #2) by Skye Warren, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Five years ago we lived in the same house. He was the ultimate bad boy. And my foster brother.

Now he’s back. Tougher, harder, meaner. All of it aimed at me, because I was the one who sent him away. It’s payback time. He wants his pound of flesh, and I am helpless to say no.

the-medea-complex newThe Medea Complex (re-released/new edition) by Rachel Florence Roberts, dark historical psychological thriller (original review by Caroline)

Blurb: A deep and riveting psychological thriller inspired by true events of the Victorian era, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, what drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.

1885. Anne Stanbury wakes up in a strange bed, having been kidnapped from her home. As the panic settles in, she realizes she has been committed to a lunatic asylum, deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for an unspeakable crime. But all is not as it seems….

Edgar Stanbury, her husband as well as a grieving father, is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity and seeking revenge for his ruined life. But Anne’s future rests wholly in the hands of Dr. George Savage, chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital.

The Medea Complex is the darkly compelling story of a lunatic, a lie, and a shocking revelation that elucidates the difference between madness and evil….

Tiara’s Golden Submission & Veiled Romance by Evelise Archer, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

evelise archer 2Blurb (Tiara’s Golden Submission): On the cusp of turning fifty, Tiara, a submissive without a Dom or husband, desired to return to the lifestyle. Placing her destiny in the hands of Madame Eve and the 1Night Stand Service, will Tiara find all that she seeks? Or will a past love interfere with her future plans? 

evelise archerBlurb (Veiled Romance): Shane Wise is a Dom and part owner of a popular BDSM club in Rittenhouse Square, Club Rebellion. A tumultuous past has led him to an almost perfect present, except Shane has a secret. A secret that could destroy his reputation in the world in which he loves to live-BDSM.

Deacon Archer is also a Dom and part owner of Club Rebellion and he is in love with Shane Wise. Together Shane and Deacon must decide if the love they feel can withstand the scrutiny they fear, if their relationship is revealed.

Can two dominants truly forge a relationship? Will secret desires open up a new world and allow Shane to be the man he was intended to be or will veiled dominance get in the way?

Dwell (Kassidy Bell Series Book 2)Dwell (The Kassidy Bell trilogy #2) by Lynda O’Rourke, psychological thriller/horror (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Running from the shadows of Cruor Pharma, Kassidy Bell soon discovers that it’s not just the cleaners and police that are after her. With the drug VA20 slowly working its way through her veins, Kassidy has become an irresistible target to all those looking for somewhere to dwell.

Desperate to find a place of safety and somewhere to rest, Kassidy and the other volunteers set off in search of the Bishop’s house – the last place they know of that Max’s brother, Robert, may have headed for.

But who can Kassidy trust? Can she even trust her own decisions and feelings, especially when it comes to Doctor Ben Fletcher?

‘DWELL’ – Book 2 in the #1 bestselling paranormal thriller series by Lynda O’Rourke.

Kay JaybeeTied to the Kitchen Sink by Kay Jaybee, erotic (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Will can hardly believe his eyes when he receives the ultimate in birthday gifts. Karen, the girl of his fantasies, has been left tied to his kitchen sink’s taps, ready to be played with exactly as he chooses. Meanwhile, Becky is having a spank-filled first day in her new job, and a BDSM-curious male allows himself to be lured into a dominatrix’s lair by the tempting lyrics of a truly bad poem. Whether bound in ropes or handcuffs, as they are shackled to the bed, kitchen sink, or within the confines of a fetishist’s supply cupboard, the willing victims of Tied to the Kitchen Sink’s kinky S&M and BDSM action find their darkest and sexiest dreams coming true.

Daisys DilemmaDaisy’s Dilemma by Anne Stenhouse, regency historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Lady Daisy should be ecstatic when her brother, the earl, allows Mr. John Brent to propose. She’s been plotting their marriage for two years. However, she is surprised to find herself underwhelmed and blames their distant cousin, Reuben, for unsettling her.

Reuben Longreach wonders whether the earl understands the first thing about Daisy’s nature and her need for a life with more drama than the Season allows. It’s abundantly clear to him that Daisy and John are not suited, but the minx accepts his proposal nonetheless.

Meanwhile, Daisy hatches a plan to attach Reuben to her beautiful, beleaguered Scots cousin, Elspeth. Little does she know that Elspeth is the focus of a more sinister plot that threatens Daisy too.

Will Reuben be able to thwart the forces surrounding Daisy before she is irretrievably tied to John? Will Daisy find the maturity to recognise her dilemma may be of her own making before it’s too late?

Werewolves of Shade (Part Six) (Beautiful Immortals Series Book 6)Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals, series one, part 6) by Tim O’Rourke, paranormal fantasy (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: From Tim O’Rourke #1 bestselling author of ‘The Kiera Hudson Series’ comes ‘Werewolves of Shade’ a werewolf romance with a twist.

When the entire population of Shade go missing, investigative reporter Mila Watson knows this could be the big break she has been waiting for. Setting off into the mountains to the village of Shade, Mila soon learns that the village isn’t as deserted as she first believed it to be and that creatures lurk in the shades…

‘Werewolves of Shade’ (Part Six)

Note: This ends in a cliff-hanger. Part Seven will be published within the next few weeks.

For readers 16+

relinquish cover (2)Relinquish by M.N. Forgy, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: ***WARNING*** This novel contains explicit language, sex, drugs, violence, and sexual situations that some might find offensive. This book is intended for adults 18+ years of age.

In my world, there is no such thing as love. It is just a lie we whisper into our client’s ear. Love is foreign and hazardous. What I did not expect was to bare my soul to a man who is as egotistical as he is dangerous.

His name is Landon. Despite his blackened soul, he tried to save me, but what he didn’t expect was my torturous fate to catch up with me.

To your father, I’m the escort.

To your mother, I’m the whore.

To the legal system, I’m the prostitute.

In the end, I’m just the other woman.

I have no idea if I will continue to survive, if I will ever find my path aside from the gritty streets I know so well. There is a good chance I will wind up in the ditch like most women in my position. Surrendering to my fate is the only choice I have. I must relinquish it all.

Indulgence Front Cover 5-14-15 FINAL 150DPIIndulgence Anthology by Various Authors, dark erotic romances (reviewed by Tina)

Amity Cross, Royal Blood (Royal Blood #1) A hitman and a woman with an explosive secret collide in this thrilling romance. Will love be enough? Or are they doomed from the start?

Audrey Carlan, Angel Falling (Falling, #1) Socialite Aspen Reynolds is saved from death by country boy, Hank Jensen, who makes it clear he wants her in his life and his bed.

Cat Mason, Escaping Me (Shaft on Tour #1) Temptations, betrayal, and lies are all mixed with booze, tattoos, sex, laughs, and love as the Shaft takes stage after stage. Making friends along the way, Daisy must stop escaping herself. She must stop hiding behind a list and come to terms with what she really wants in life. Emotions and secrets unravel all around as Daisy learns to live the rough and rowdy life of taking Shaft on tour.

Cynthia Sax, Releasing Rage Joan sees the darkness in Rage, the sexy cyborg she’s been assigned to maintain. He’s big, angry, violent… and exactly the warrior she needs.

Deanndra Hall, My Last Dom A submissive who’s addicted to pain runs headlong into a Dominant determined to save her. But her ghosts could ruin their chances for happiness.

Jamie Salisbury, Perpetual Love Albert and Anne meet on his family’s ranch. Cupid’s arrow does it’s thing. The pair become inseparable. Anne’s father meanwhile has his own agenda.

JM Witt, Letting Go (Anchored Hearts #1) What happens when the girl who’s only read about BDSM meets a flawed Dom? Will their tortured souls find love amidst pleasure and pain?

Kelley Grealis, The Descendant (The Descendant Vampire Series, #1) Mortal death or eternal damnation? If those were your choices, which would you choose? Discover the vampire’s origin in The Descendant – A Vampire Tale of Biblical Proportions!

Laura Harner, Rescued (Three’s Allowed Book 2) With Elizabeth’s abusive ex intent on murder, Sheriff Graeme and security-mogul Michael join forces—but who will rescue them? One woman, two men, deadly serious.

Liz Crowe, Man On (Black Jack Gentlemen, #1) All eyes are on the fledgling Black Jack Detroit soccer team in its debut season. They must make a good showing in the league and with new fans. But player drama, club dynamics, and misplaced priorities may tear it apart before it even begins.

Nina Levine, Relent (Sydney Storm MC, #1) Will Evie relent in this second chance romance or has Kick left it too long to go after the woman who’s owned his heart forever?

Sandy Sullivan, Make Mine a Cowboy (Cowboy Dreamin’, #1) She writes fantasy cowboys for a living, but she never expected to find her own on the back roads of Hill Country, Texas.

Sharon Hamilton, SEAL Under Covers (Seal Brotherhood #3) Navy SEAL Armando Guzman is trying to help his sister clean up her life, but he is unprepared for the chemical attraction of his sister’s new best friend who he doesn’t know is an undercover cop.

Skye Callahan, Irrevocable (Irrevocable, #1) They stripped me of my life but never my will to survive. Descending into their darkness and making it my own became my only escape.

Theresa Troutman, A Special Connection Three friends who are as close as can be, in a moment of despair, share an experience that will forever change their lives.

**REVIEW & SIGNED PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY** Dwell (The Kassidy Bell trilogy #2) by Lynda O’Rourke

I have been eagerly awaiting the second instalment of the paranormal thriller/horror trilogy, KASSIDY BELL by Lynda O’Rourke. In need of help with her finances since her father died, Kassidy volunteers to help with a drug trial. But little does she know just what danger awaits for her around the corner. After a bloody and gory battle with volunteers and staff at the clinic who appear to be demonic, Kassidy and her friends are now on the run from the demons, ‘cleaners’, and the police, who are believed to be involved with the cover up of what is really happening at Cruor Pharma. Strap yourselves in for another suspenseful ride as the gang who survived face more horror! (Please scroll down and enter our giveaway for a SIGNED PAPERBACK copy of DWELL – Book 2 of the Kassidy Bell trilogy!)

“…. I….feel like I’m in a bad dream…. like I’ve stepped out of reality and into hell.” (From, Drug – Book One of the Kassidy Bell trilogy.)

Dwell (Kassidy Bell Series Book 2)Title: DWELL (The Kassidy Bell trilogy #2)

Author: Lynda O’Rourke

Genre: Psychological thriller, horror

Release date: May 30th, 2015

Released by: Ravenwoodgreys

Length: 187 pages

Blurb: Running from the shadows of Cruor Pharma, Kassidy Bell soon discovers that it’s not just the cleaners and police that are after her. With the drug VA20 slowly working its way through her veins, Kassidy has become an irresistible target to all those looking for somewhere to dwell.

Desperate to find a place of safety and somewhere to rest, Kassidy and the other volunteers set off in search of the Bishop’s house – the last place they know of that Max’s brother, Robert, may have headed for.

But who can Kassidy trust? Can she even trust her own decisions and feelings, especially when it comes to Doctor Ben Fletcher?

‘DWELL’ – Book 2 in the #1 bestselling paranormal thriller series by Lynda O’Rourke.

REVIEW

Lynda O’Rourke had us all gripped with her début, DRUG, the shocks and suspense, the fear and horror. And, she has done it again with DWELL. After cutting it fine and managing to escape the hospital, Cruor Pharma, Kassidy is now on the run from the demonic staff and the police helping to cover up what is happening there. It is certainly not a drug trial in the ‘normal’ sense that she believed she was volunteering for. Now with her veins filling up with the thick, black VA20, her body has survived and is the perfect host for a demon to ‘dwell’. But, Kassidy is also concerned about what will happen once her whole body is full of the stuff.

Max’s brother, Robert, had previously had the VA10 drug and had survived. The Bishop’s house was the last place they knew he was going to and Max was desperate to see his brother again. And so, Kassidy, Max, Raven and Jude aim to visit the Bishop’s house to find out if Robert had made it there, and where else he may have left for.

On their journey they stop off at, Kassidy’s friend, Heather’s flat to clean up. During which there are some scary scenes with plenty of dark horror. One scene happens when Kassidy is in the shower, and although her friends hear the sounds of a struggle, there is nothing else out of place to convince them it was anything paranormal. Kassidy questions what she has experienced but her gut still tells her it was real. The horror scenes are shocking and can make you a little jumpy due to their detailed descriptions that make them realistic, and making it a perfect read for this genre. The reader will certainly be on full alert reading Dwell.

The gang all share a little hope that being at the Bishop’s house, around holiness, will keep out the demons. However, things are not always as they seem. And, staying with the Bishop and Mrs. Gables was a little awkward and eerie. There was a dark atmosphere from the large, quiet but old home they lived in. It was unclear whether Mrs. Gables wanted them to leave or stay. She doesn’t seem too pleased of their arrival. And what is it with keeping the fires constantly lit in every room? Not to mention the amount of birds they have getting stuck in the chimneys, and the noise from the derelict third floor. The atmosphere of the house and of the dialogue between the characters is brilliant for creating the tension and fear of the reader.

Aside from the horror, Dwell is also quite an emotional part of the gang’s ordeal. Kassidy is frustrated, angry, scared and exhausted from everything they have all been through, what she has witnessed and what her mind is trying to understand about it all. Lynda O’Rourke‘s language and description is so powerful and moving at this point that the reader feels everything that Kassidy does as she reflects on what has happened to her and her friends. We feel her despair as well as her strength.

(Whilst her friends are taking some time to rest)“… Why couldn’t I rid myself of these awful images that were screwing up my head? Why wouldn’t my brain just shut down and give me some peace? I could feel myself filling with anger – frustration. I just wanted to sleep. I wanted to escape my own mind and sleep was the only place I could forget. I kicked out at the chair. It topple over – clattering onto the bare floorboards. I didn’t care if I woke the others. Why should they sleep so peacefully? I was fired up. Ready for a fight. I wanted to hit someone – anyone. I wanted to vent my anger. Make them feel the pain I was suffering – hurt them like I was hurting – spill their blood like mine had. I grabbed large clumps of my hair in both fists and yanked down hard, gritting my teeth. I wanted to scream at the top of my voice – yell so hard – go on some mad frenzy – smashing everything up that I came across. I wanted everyone to feel my pain.”

This also shows that sometimes the power of writing in first person is very strong. When the reader knows exactly what is racing through the characters minds it makes it so much easier to connect with and understand them. It brings out more realism and the reader can place themselves in the story, making the danger, the emotions and the action so much more intense. Lynda O’Rourke has used this brilliantly.

Kassidy hasn’t had a perfect life, with her dad being an alcoholic, now this, and so she reaches the point where she is beginning to feel completely broken. She doesn’t know what to do, she just needs someone, some comfort. There is a ‘moment’ between her and Jude as Jude’s character begins to show his more serious, sincere and caring side. However, Kassidy doesn’t really know what she is doing, and it is over before anything serious has begun. I loved this scene. It shows perfectly how Kassidy’s character is flawed, giving in with a moment of weakness. It is something that many of us can relate to or at least understand, making her more believable. It was also great to see the different side of Jude and see his character and his relationship with the others develop.

But, what of Doctor Ben Fletcher? He’s a host to an evil demon, yet he did help Kassidy to escape. Her true feelings, I feel, lie with him. But how can she possibly be anywhere near him? She knows that the true human person is still present inside of him, but the demon could change all of that. Is there still a part of her that wants to see him again?

“…If Ben… had no control over his actions or couldn’t remember the things he did, then could I really blame him for what had happened to me?”

Their hope of survival lies with Doctor Langstone, a demon, yet a doctor who was against the drug trials at Cruor Pharma and left because of them. Maybe he can offer answers, or will be drawn to the group from his demon side. Either way, there will be plenty more horror and surprises. I cannot wait to read book 3, Demon!!

A copy of DWELL was provided by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Dwell (The Kassidy Bell trilogy #2) by Lynda O’Rourke is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

GIVEAWAY

Lynda O’Rourke is kindly offering one winner a SIGNED PAPERBACK copy of DWELL (The Kassidy Bell trilogy #2).

For a chance to win all you have to do is type your name in the comments box at the bottom of this post. Alternatively, you can enter on our FACEBOOK page, again by adding your name in the comments of our post on DWELL.

The closing date is Friday 19th June 2015.

The winner will then be randomly chosen and e-mailed (or private messaged on Facebook).

Good luck to all entries! And, a big THANK YOU to Lynda for this great giveaway!

What’s more – DRUG (Book 1) is currently available at Amazon UK for 99p, and Amazon US for 99c. (Please note that prices are subject to change.)

You can find more info, along with my review, on DRUG (The Kassidy Bell trilogy #1) here.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

**Review with excerpts** Wherewolves by John Vamvas & Olga Montes

Wherewolves is a horror thriller, with a hint of paranormal, and was written as a screenplay in 2010 by John Vamvas and Olga Montes. They wrote the novel, edited by award winning Canadian author/poet Shelley A. Leedahl, to get the story out whilst waiting for it to hit the screens!

“SPARKLING DIALOGUE… THE WRITING IS SENSATIONAL.” Emmy and Peabody Award winning writer, William Mastrosimone

WhereWolves Cover - realisticTitle: Wherewolves

Author(s): John Vamvas & Olga Montes

Genre: Horror, paranormal, thriller, mature YA

Date released: February 17th, 2013

Length: 304 pages

Synopsis: Using a fun, explosive style, full of new slang and fresh dialogue, WHEREWOLVES is the story of a group of high school seniors, most “military brats”, who are headed for an army-type survival weekend.

The underdogs, Jeffrey and Doris, do not want to go as they fear for their safety among the disdain and cruelty of the popular students. Sergeant Tim O’Sullivan, their teacher, as well as their dysfunctional parents pressure them into going, but it is an unforgivable act by their peers that propels the pair to go. Likewise, Elie, a student resented because of his Arab roots, is even more determined to prove himself this weekend. In the background, a news report cautions of a wanted couple with alleged super-human strength supposedly brought on by a new drug on the streets.

In the woods, the students hike, hunt, camp, and soon act in unity as the forest brings them closer together. But does it? O’Sullivan leaves them alone for the night. The students bond, chant, tell campfire tales, and quickly lose their fears and inhibitions. HOO-AH! Though sexual tensions are high, it soon turns to violence and everything quickly turns sour.

When the kids start disappearing one after the other, the remaining begin to unwittingly “act like the natives” carving spears, ready to face whatever is out there. What has gotten into them?

Amid blood-curdling growls and gruesome deaths, the story’s underlying layers are revealed. We see how misconceptions, prejudice, greed, fear, and hatred bring out the worst and best in them.

WHEREWOLVES is a thought-provoking, intense, action-packed ride loaded with plot twists that will keep you guessing:

What is out there? Can it really be werewolves?

“KEPT ME ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT. GETS YOUR PULSE POUNDING.” Author and award winning investigative journalist, Victor Malarek

AMAZON REVIEWS:

“5 stars. A MUST READ!”

“5 stars. It reminded me a bit of Lord of the Flies versus Silver Bullet but only way cooler.”

“5 stars. Finally! A thriller that is unpredictable. A real page turner that expertly knows how to balance dialogue and description.”

“Chillingly terrifyingThis is one horror novel that will have you thinking long after you’ve finished reading.”

“5 stars. Great keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat writing! Love the depth of the characters.”

REVIEW

The reader is drawn in from the beginning. The first scene is full of fast-paced action and terror as a woman runs for her life, terrified she will get caught and killed by the hairy beasts that are following her through the trees. I love a story that has this much intensity at the start, gripping the reader before they have even begun, and Wherewolves certainly does that!

We are then later introduced to the characters of the class. It is clear early on that Doris and Jeffrey are teased quite a lot by their peers. They are viewed as the class geeks, making them a target for nasty comments and pranks. Their parents and teacher, Sergeant Tim O’Sullivan, make matters even worse for the two as they are pressured into taking part on a survival trip that neither want to go on. This would leave them being surrounded by a whole class of taunters, and who knows how far they’ll go!

Jeffrey and Doris are not the only two to stand out from the rest. Elie is also recognised as different due to his Arabic roots and does receive some racist comments. Some of the main characters take it upon themselves to ensure that Elie doesn’t make it to the trip.  The dialogue, jokes, mockery and bullying are certainly areas that anyone who has experienced High School will empathise with, and the strength of the modern-day dialogue will connect young and new adult readers (I would recommend 15ys+).

Once on their camping trip for their survival weekend the story begins to twist. The plot is unpredictable and doesn’t work out quite the way as expected. Is it a paranormal, or is it a teenage horror? Or both? There is the suspicion of the super-human reaction, brought on by a new drug, that has been mentioned on the news not too far from where the group are camping that may explain what is going on. But then again, amid the hills and trees, who knows what lurks about in the darkness just waiting for it’s next kill! Or, could it be that Elie has been pushed too far and decided to retaliate?

As one by one the class students are being killed the tension escalates to a higher level. The reader will have to keep on reading to find out what is happening, and who or what is being so savage. With so many class students to remember I did get a little lost keeping track of some of them as they disperse and run from these terrible beasts. This would be easier to follow if watching the screenplay and visualising them on stage or on screen.

I also felt that when reading the dialogue between the students early on it was very much like reading a script, albeit with a little more description. As a book this made the reader wait a little too long before the action really began to start up again. However, as a screenplay and watching it on stage I would imagine the atmosphere to be electric. The book may benefit in parts to a little more description and atmosphere building to create a more fluid read and even more tension.

That said, the authors do get their message across very clearly. Whilst there may be dangers out there in the world, we are a danger to ourselves. The way in which we treat each other, hold grudges, taunt and attack is sometimes the biggest beast of them all. Wherewolves shows how a group of people, some of whom can’t stand each other, can pull together during times of trouble in order to survive. And a message to the younger reader in particular is to not mistreat others. You never know who the bigger beast will be eventually, and you may need to pull together to beat an even bigger one!

Wherewolves is a lively story throughout, whether it be from the taunting and jeering between the students, or the action and horror. As it draws to an end you can really see the brilliance as everything comes together, and even areas that haven’t been explained earlier are covered later on. It is well worth the read, and I would imagine it would be fantastic to watch!

A copy of Wherewolves was provided by the author, Olga Montes, in return for a fair and honest review.

Wherewolves is available at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

About John Vamvas and Olga Montes:

John Vamvas and Olga Mendes“BANG-ON DIALOGUE. Vamvas and Montes make it look, sound, smell real.” The Edmonton Journal

“IMPRESSIVE TALENT in this writing/producing/acting team”, The Winnipeg Free Press

“Montes and Vamvas continue to demonstrate their skills with SWITCHBLADE-SHARP EARS FOR DIALOGUE and hard, thoroughly believable plot lines.” The Sunday Journal

“A SEXY and EXPLOSIVE style that pulls the patrons forward to the edge of their seats”, The Edmonton” Journal

“RAZOR-SHARP LINES” SEE Magazine

Together for over 20 years, John and Olga started as an acting team but soon began to write their own scripts through lack of finding two-person plays they could travel across North America. They wrote and toured four full-length critically acclaimed plays to packed houses across Canada and the United States, including, Bad Boy, which they performed Off-Off-Broadway at New York’s Creative Place Theatre in the heart of Times Square.

In 2001, they were approached to star in and rewrite the short film, Things Never Said in Playa Perdida, Playa won the audience award at the New York Short Film Festival in 2002 and tied first place at the Festivalisimo festival in Montreal.

WHEREWOLVES was written as a screenplay in 2010. They wrote the novel, edited by award winning Canadian author/poet Shelley A. Leedahl, to get the story out while they wait for it to hit the screens!

John Vamvas headshotABOUT JOHN VAMVAS

John Vamvas grew up in one of Montreal’s (Canada) roughest boroughs. His high school teachers always told him that he’d be in jail or dead by eighteen. Thank God for the Arts. Actor, playwright, screenwriter and now novelist, he has been writing with his writing partner/wife, Olga Montes, for over twenty years. He loves words, especially dialogue, and has a lot of fun coming up with new ways to say the same thing.

Olga Mendes headshotABOUT OLGA MONTES

Mother, preschool French teacher, avid reader, Olga dreamed of being a writer as a child and spent many high school lunch hours working on her writing with her English teacher. She has a college degree in Professional Theatre and a university degree in Spanish and French grammar and literature. She was on her way to becoming a translator for the UN when she heard of an open audition at one of Montreal’s biggest English theatres. She almost didn’t get the role, though, because the director and co-star, John Vamvas, was scared of falling in love with the actress and ruining the play. That was 1992. She and John have been writing and working together on stage, screen, and in life ever since.

LINKS:

Link to cover, author bios and pictures, book excerpt (first two chapters), synopsis, and reviews: www.wherewolvestheblog.com

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/WHEREWOLVES-ebook/dp/B00BHIPYQY, http://www.amazon.ca/WHEREWOLVES-ebook/dp/B00BHIPYQY, http://www.amazon.co.uk/WHEREWOLVES-ebook/dp/B00BHIPYQY

Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/422814

Twitter: @WHEREWOLVESfilm https://twitter.com/WHEREWOLVESfilm

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WHEREWOLVEStheFilm

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17540116-wherewolves

3 EXCERPTS:

EXCERPT 1:

Dilly runs. The deafening beat of her panting isn’t enough to drown out the monstrous growls and trampling that rumble behind her. Though she can’t see well enough to dodge the naked branches slicing into her, the full moon’s rays help her find the path. This way, the young woman tells herself, and takes a left. Now right! Her body veers. She slams her beaten shoulder against the thick trunk of a sugar maple. Ah, fuck! The pain electrifies her cells. Like sticking a finger in a thousand volt socket. She falls to one knee. Don’t you fucking stop! Move! Move! Move! She forces herself up and implores her feet to barrel forward.

There it is! The fallen stump that looks more like a giant claw! She makes a mad dash for it, hurtles over the trunk, lands on all fours, and snaps her head back. She gasps, “Yes!” eyes on the nest-like bundle cradled between the two lower branches of the tall yellow birch before her.

She can hear whatever is out there tearing through the brush.

She leans against the tree’s peeling, gray bark and kicks at the dead leaves on the ground. Come on! she screams in her head. And at last feels the line dig into her ankle. She yanks it back hard. Click.

A thunderous roar!

She throws herself to the ground and in the next instant, a burlap sack swooshes over her.

Slam!

A canine screech rips through the forest.

Dilly jolts, feels the ground, and snatches a heavy rock. She thrashes her head from side to side and strains to hear the danger, but hears only the sack’s long suspended rope creaking as it swings. She gets to her knees. A branch snaps, she spins to pitch the rock— Nothing’s there. “Breathe, girl, breathe,” she reminds herself. And inhales deeply. The prominent scent of balsam firs transports her to the weekend she spent with Brian in a cozy bed and breakfast last May. Her eyes well. Brian … She scans the beech, spruce, and birch tree outlines, caressing her ring—its diamond lost to the forest. We should have never … ahh … She brushes off tears. Be strong, she compels herself. She staggers to a stand and lumbers off.

A harrowing growl booms—her feet are in the air, her face smashes to the ground.

No! Nooooo!” she screams, as she’s dragged across the underbrush.

Pebbles, leaves, and branches cut into her. Her fingernails claw a trail into the earth as she tries to grip at something—anything—that will anchor her long enough to turn over and hurl the rock she still has gripped in her hand. A trio of saplings gashes her chin and she grabs onto them, jerking to a stop.

She fears she’ll be rent in two as she’s tugged savagely. But she doesn’t let go. I’ve got to … She tries to twist—turn my fucking arm … over …

Light shines through from approaching high beams. Distant, but just enough of a distraction. Yes!

She whips the rock.

A painful yowl!

Fuck you!” she bellows as she scrambles to her feet and darts for the auspicious lights. She pushes her way through a thicket of juniper shrubs, waving and hollering—”Hey! Hey!”—and scarcely manages to catch herself. Shafts of light from the oncoming vehicle reveal there is nowhere to go but down. Down a ridiculously steep hill, she discovers.

The charging footsteps close in.

Shit! She glances over her shoulder—Fuck!—and drops to the ground. She gropes the ridge, clasps a sturdy root, and slides over the edge. Splinters stab into her hands. “Ahhhh!” she squeals—Shut up!—and hangs on. She cocks her head east to west. I need … something … else … to grab on … to.

The thicket rattles and cracks.

She winces. No! The rocks beneath her feet crumble. Oh my God, oh my God. Don’t you fucking let go. Her feet dangle. The roots dig deeper into her palms. “Ahhhh!” She presses her mouth into the dirt and feels the earth above vibrate. A pebble bounces off her head.

Beastly snorts and growls turn into sniffing and heavy panting.

She holds her breath. Go away, go away, go away!

The noises above her suddenly fade; all she hears is an eerie, unsettling breeze.

Oh my God! She listens hard. They’re gone. Breathe, she reminds herself again. She inhales and looks down. The slope is too extreme. She needs another path. She waits a long moment—God help me!—takes another mouthful of air, then musters the strength to pull herself up. Please don’t be there. Please don’t be there. Please—Fiery breath steams her forehead, and a snarl swells into a ferocious roar.

Dilly glimpses the blur of black, indigo, royal blue below. And lets go.

EXCERPT 2:

Sir?” Elie asks—wondering, What does he want?

Your slip?”

Sir, I already gave it in, sir.”

O’Sullivan goes through the list in his hand. “Then why don’t I have it?”

Sir, I handed mine in last month, the day after you gave us the form,” Elie says, politely. “You told me to leave it on your desk, sir.”

Well I never got it.”

That’s impossible, Elie thinks, looking over at O’Sullivan’s desk and catching J.J. and Lance locked in on him, bumping fists. “Sir, maybe—”

Sir, maybe Osama here decided to chicken out, sir,” Lance throws in.

What you talking about, Willis?” Jonathan interjects. “Ahmed isn’t afraid of anything.” He bows in prayer. “He’s got Allah on his side.”

Shut up!” Elie says.

Jonathan turns to Lance, “Maybe Omar’s just got something better to do, like pray or 9-11 our asses again?”

You’re such an idiot, you know that?” Elie tells him. “I think you’ve been sacked one too many times.”

What do you know about football, Al-Qaida?” Jonathan says. “In your country, instead of strapping on shoulder pads to play ball you strap on bombs to kill all.”

I know that QB stands for quarterback, but in your case it means queer boy,” Elie retorts.

The class “oohs!”

Jonathan jumps out of his seat. “You shut your a-hole, A-rab.”

Elie stands, and blows Jonathan a kiss. “You like it when they pile up on you, don’t you, QB?”

Jonathan marches up to Elie. “You shut your sand trap, Habibi.”

Elie leans in, “Yeah, or what are you going to do about it?” The class turns deathly silent. He waits for Jonathan’s next move.

Go back to your country.” Jonathan reaches for Elie’s eyebrow—

O’Sullivan takes a step forward, but stops when Elie grabs Jonathan’s wrist.

This is my country, QB.” Elie pushes Jonathan’s wrist away. “And my name isn’t Ahmed or Omar or Al-Qaida. My name is Elie El-Hage. A proud American, born and raised in this country, and I would gladly give my life to protect it … just like my grandfather did, and my father is doing right now.”

Oh, yeah?” Jonathan turns and struts to his desk, “On whose side, Mohammed?”

EXCERPT 3:

There’s no such thing as werewolves,” Lance cuts in. “Just a bunch of shit made up to scare people,”

How do you know that for sure?” Zack asks, and pitches a stone into the fire.

“‘Cause I do,” Lance spits back.

Zack stands. “What if I told you that one of us is a werewolf?” He gazes at all of them. “Hmm?”

They eye him, frowning, open-mouthed. Jeffrey can feel his arms prickle.

I wouldn’t believe it,” Lance says, and pulls up his jacket collar.

Neither would I,” Billy Bob concurs, rubbing his knuckles.

Zack takes a step toward Lance. “Let’s just pretend that one of us is,” he says, “for real,” and then continues, in a low whisper. “Would you be able to sleep tonight?”

They all eye one another, wary, and many glances stop on Jeffrey and Doris.

Yeah, I wish, Jeffrey thinks.

What are you talking about? Who, motherfucker?” Lance scans the group. “Who?”

**REVIEW** Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #4) by Tim O’Rourke

As we begin this fourth instalment of the short story, paranormal fantasy series, Werewolves of Shade, we notice early on that the terror is turned up a few notches, sending fear to an incredible level. There is certainly more mystery to come, but with this added level of horror you’ll certainly be wanting to lock your doors and hide down under those covers as much as possible…

Werewolves of Shade (Part Four) (Beautiful Immortals Series Book 4)Title: Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #4)

Author: Tim O’Rourke

Genre: Paranormal fantasy

Release date: April 4th, 2015

Released by: Ravenwoodgreys

Length: 72 pages

Blurb: From Tim O’Rourke #1 bestselling author of ‘The Kiera Hudson Series’ comes ‘Werewolves of Shade’ a werewolf romance with a twist.

When the entire population of Shade go missing, investigative reporter Mila Watson knows this could be the big break she has been waiting for. Setting off into the mountains to the village of Shade, Mila soon learns that the village isn’t as deserted as she first believed it to be and that creatures lurk in the shades…

‘Werewolves of Shade’ (Part Four)

Note: This ends in a cliff-hanger. Part five will be published within the next few weeks.

For readers 16+

REVIEW

This is another winner for me, and yet more proof that Tim O’Rourke‘s writing is better than ever. To be able to pack a short story with so much emotion, mystery and horror, as well as to keep the reader informed of the plotline is amazing, and Werewolves of Shade has it all. In the latest instalment the horror is built up tremendously, the excitement is terrific, and the intensity is dark and profound.

One of the most surprising turn-ups is Clarabel, the twin sister of the recently deceased Annabel. Being the new teacher in the village, Mila is aware that Clarabel hasn’t attended school and she has never seen in her in the village before. After being given the reason that Clarabel has been absent due to illness, Mila’s suspicions still run high as it still doesn’t explain that there are ten seats in the class when surely there should be eleven?

Nobody had mentioned Clarabel before. Her intimate talk with Rush the previous evening doesn’t quite make sense now. He knew she was upset about Annabel’s death, they’d talked about it at length. Yet Clarabel was never mentioned! He’d also previously told her that the last school teacher had been some old woman, and yet now a younger Julia Miller has been mentioned. But why would Rush have lied to her?

Not only that but Mila is also left questioning her thoughts after a terrifying experience with the wolf who stands outside her cottage. She wakes the next morning unable to remember certain events, and so surely it must have been a dream? However, some evidence suggests that the ordeal was as real as it felt! Did she really see the wolf change shape? How did her nightie get torn to shreds? And, where did those scratches that make the full length of her back come from?

There are more twists to come as Mila tries to figure out if Rush has lied to her, and if so, why? Can she really trust gravedigger, Augustus Morten? And Calix – is he really as grotesque and annoying as he seems?

This whole instalment kept me gripped and on my toes, with some terrific scenes of horror, some scenes heightening in the heat level, and plenty of mystery as always with O’Rourke. That said, the biggest dread of all for Tim’s readers is the wait until the next instalment (due May 16th 2015)!

A copy of Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #4) was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

You can purchase Werewolves of Shade #4 at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Links to my reviews of previous instalments :-

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #1) – short story

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #2) – short story

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #3) – short story