Monday, April 20, 2015

Wonderland: Taken by Passion by Jaymie Holland Excerpt & Giveaway

After being cheated on yet again, full-figured Alice O'Brien no longer believes she’ll find her Prince Charming. She resolves to enjoy men, but refuses to involve her heart.
When she literally tumbles down a rabbit hole, she finds she has left her familiar home city of San Francisco. She has landed in a strange and beautiful world, where she meets a powerful and dominant shapeshifter, Jarronn, and his equally fierce and irresistible brothers.
By the draw of a card foretelling his kingdom’s future, Jarronn has deliberately lured Alice to his realm in hopes of averting a terrible danger threatening his people. He has every intention of saving his kingdom with his and Alice’s bond of passion, and nothing will stop him from making her his Queen of Hearts.

Jarronn nodded toward the deck. “Pick a card.”

Alice reached for the deck and slid out a card. When she turned it over, she caught her breath. The card had a K at both the upper left and lower right, with a heart at each of the opposite corners. A painting of Jarronn was at the center.

She cut her gaze from the card to Jarronn. “It’s you.”

He nodded. “My mother designed this deck centuries ago to represent the future of the Kingdom of Tarok.”

Alice’s eyes widened. “Centuries ago?”

“Yes.” He nodded. “Long before my brothers and I were born.”

Alice was having a difficult time absorbing that revelation. Heck, all of this was hard to swallow. “How did she know what you would look like?”

“She had the sight, but only when she painted,” Jarronn said. “Kalina has a similar gift. However, she is a sorceress and my mother was not.”

“Kalina told me there are four kingdoms and that you are High King.” Alice clamped her mouth shut as she realized Kalina might have told her something Jarronn hadn’t wanted her to know yet.

He nodded. “That is true.”

When it was obvious he was not angry that Kalina had shared that information Alice relaxed. “Please tell me about the four kingdoms.”

Jarronn knew this would take some explaining, but telling Alice about his kingdom had been his plan when he came to her this evening.

“On their deathbeds, our parents divided the Kingdom of Tarok into four kingdoms and renamed them. We had been prepared at a young age to take on these roles when the time came.”

Alice looked at Jarronn’s face on the King of Hearts card as he continued. “As eldest, it fell to me to be High King over all four kingdoms.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
About Cheyenne (writing as Jaymie Holland)

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cheyenne McCray’s books have received multiple awards and nominations including three Romantic Times Reviewer’s choice awards and three nominations. Chey has over 90 published novels and novellas since her first novel was published in 2003.

Some of Cheyenne’s awards:
*RT Book Reviews magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice awards for Best Erotic Romance of the year, Best Paranormal Action Adventure of the year, and Best Romantic Suspense
*Three “RT Book Reviews” nominations, including Best Erotic Romance, Best Romantic Suspense, and Best Paranormal Action Adventure.
*Golden Quill award for Best Erotic Romance
*The Road to Romance’s Reviewer’s Choice Award
*Gold Star Award from Just Erotic Romance Reviews
*CAPA award from The Romance Studio

Cheyenne grew up on a ranch in southeastern Arizona. She has been writing ever since she can remember, back to her kindergarten days when she penned her first poem. She always knew one day she would write novels, hoping her readers would get lost in the worlds she created, just as she experienced when she read some of her favorite books.

Chey has three sons, three dogs, and is an Arizona native who loves the desert, the sunshine, and the beautiful sunsets. Visit Chey's website and get all of the latest info at and meet up with her at Cheyenne McCray’s Place on Facebook! (

Feel free to contact Chey at

Or check out Chey writing as Jaymie Holland:

Buy Link:

Jaymie will be awarding $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Bittersweet by Michele Barrow-Belilse Excerpt & Giveaway

To save the Faery world and her mother’s life, seventeen year old Lorelei sacrificed everything, and the dangerous bargains she made in Nevermore had lasting repercussions. Now safely back in her own world, Lorelei seems the same to her high school friends and her supernatural boyfriend, despite the dark magic growing within her. Love across dimensions is complicated, especially when an invisible veil between the two worlds is sealing, threatening to separate Lorelei and Adrius forever.

Determined to find a solution, Lorelei resorts to exploring her new found powers. But when her friends fall ill, and her healing touch only makes things worse, Lorelei can’t help but wonder if she's responsible.

Nightmares from the Nevermore tighten their icy hold when someone arrives determined to destroy Lorelei’s world, starting with those closest to her. Once again she’s forced to choose between her family… her friends… and a love that was ill-fated from the start.

“One kiss and now you believe you love this creature? Preposterous. I will not have it. She has you hexed. Bewitched from your right mind. That is the only reasonable explanation to account for such impudence. Such lusting can only be derived from dark magic. It seeps from her pores, can you not feel it?” Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness surveyed me with cold disdain before refocusing her wrath on her son. 

“I would never do that,” I blurted. “I’d never use magic to force someone into loving me.” Venus and I were very different that way.

Mab snarled. “Do not address me unless I have given you permission to do so,” she said. “I am the queen of this court. And you are nothing more than a whelp on the verge of losing her life.” Her cutting glare flicked back to her son. “I cannot allow this. You traipsing across lands following this…” she waved her hand in my direction. “It is madness. I prayed that after you'd taken a taste you would have been satisfied, satiated of such empty hollow carnal delights and moved on to saner tasks. Like serving your mother.”

“You removed me from your court, Mother. I no longer serve you,” Zanthiel replied evenly.

Mab’s voice lowered, and grew sickly sweet. “My darling, it was but to show you your love for me. Your loyalty lies within you still. It merely needed a subtle reminder.”

“By way of banning me from my home, and resigning me to live among thieves, shadows and the dead. It is an odd way of demonstrating motherly love.”

“There are many expectations of you. You cannot fulfill your duty with your mind blinded by your heart. This unhealthy obsession has you transfixed, Zanthiel. Can you not see? She has you immobilized.” Her voice grew louder and the rafters latterly shook. “And to what end?”

She looked at me, but I wasn’t certain she wanted me to answer, so I remained silent. I studied the chains enclosing Zanthiel’s hands and ankles. Could I break them open, dissolve them? What if something went wrong, and I hurt him instead? No, it wasn’t the right time. I glanced over at her statuesque guards, their skin blue from decades of cold. Two of them were studying me with a vile mix of curiosity and hunger. One caught my eye and he ran a bloated tongue across his chaffed lips. My stomach turned over.

“I am hers for as long as she requires my assistance. It has always been that way. Fated by prophecy. You know this to be true, Mother.”

He was having trouble speaking and yet his expression held that same icy glare. By looking at him you’d never know what pain he was in. But I knew him on a deeper level. I was beginning to see through his fa├žade, like a smokescreen of glamour, I saw behind the mask. The fear and loathing and the inexplicable suffering as the iron ate into his flesh like acid.

The queen’s eyes narrowed and grew impossibly colder. “Why have you come? Surely you did not expect a grand and hospitable welcome. What purpose drew you into my court to face imminent death? Do speak now, whelp,” she said with sudden impatience. “And know that if you are caught lying I will cut out your tongue and feed it to the trolls.”

I shuddered, having no doubt she actually would. “We have a… request.”

I glanced at Zanthiel, blood seeping from the iron chains binding his wrists and ankles. I couldn’t let him continue to suffer. The poison would eventually seep into his bloodstream and kill him. Then she'd direct her wrath at me.

I took a tentative step forward, not fully convinced I wouldn’t be cut down where I stood, for being so bold.

But she leaned back against her throne and tapped a broken fingernail impatiently. “You have my full attention. Come out with it. What is this request of which you speak?”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A dreamer at heart, Michele Barrow-Belisle has always lived with one foot in this reality and one foot in another, one of her own imagining. So it follows that she would grow up to write about the characters from those enchanting worlds she knows and loves so well. A fan of all things romantic, her young adult novels are populated with scintillating witches, vampires and fey.  Her bestselling debut book series Fire and Ice (Faerie Song Trilogy) was optioned for a major motion picture this year. Michele resides in southern Canada with her hubby and son who indulge her never-ending obsession with reading, writing and most importantly… chocolate. 


Website: (join my mailing list)
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$10 Amazon/BN GC
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Prison of Hope by Steve McHugh Creating Characters & Giveaway

Long ago, Olympian gods imprisoned the demon Pandora in a human—Hope—creating a creature whose only purpose was chaos and death. Remorseful, the gods locked Pandora away in Tartarus, ruled by Hades.

Now, centuries later, Pandora escapes. Nate Garrett, a 1,600-year-old sorcerer, is sent to recapture her and discovers her plan to disrupt the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, killing thousands in a misplaced quest for vengeance.

Fast forward to modern-day Berlin, where Nate has agreed to act as guardian on a school trip to Germany to visit Hades at the entrance to Tartarus. When Titan King Cronus becomes the second ever to escape Tartarus, Nate is forced to track him down and bring him back, to avert a civil war between those who would use his escape to gain power.

Creating Characters:
I’ve always enjoyed character creation. Being able to create a whole new person and have their lives laid out before you is an experience unlike many others. In my case with the Hellequin Chronicles series, my main character Nathan (Nate) Garrett is 1600 years old. That gives me a lot of life to plot.

Nate has lived in my head for about 10 years now in one way or another, and over that time he’s formed from a relative shadow of a person to a fully-grown entity. I can switch his voice on and off in my head like it was nothing, I can do the same with several of the main characters of the series. When you have someone stuck in your head for so long it doesn’t take a huge amount to know what they’d do in any given circumstance.

It’s easier for me to create characters now that it was when I first had the idea of this series all those years ago. New characters, both minor and major, come and go with each new book, so being able to give a glimmer of an idea a personality, history and reason for their role in the story is important to figure out the kind of person I’m dealing with. Admittedly, these aren’t always pleasant people, and sometimes it’s difficult to figure out why someone wants to do something horrific, but once it clicks, whatever unpleasant person I need quickly finds their role in the story.

There is one slight problem I have with character creation. Actually it’s two, but I’m trying to get better at one of them.

The first problem, and one I’m trying to get better at, is hair. I have a tendency to just write whatever colour comes to mind when creating someone, but that has in the past created a lot of people with one hair colour. It’s something I’m now quite mindful of.

The second, and more problematic of my issues, is naming. I can pick the names of planets, realms, weapons and pretty much anything else I can think of without too much fuss, but names, names are a different matter. Even minor, almost inconsequential characters will drive me nuts with their name choice. A major character might have their name changed two or three times in the same script when I realize they don’t sound like a Peter, or they don’t look like a Mary. It’s infuriating, and it’s also something I’m trying hard to get better at, but I still find myself annoyed that I’ve spent an hour reading names trying to find the one that fits.

Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to figure them out without trouble, but then that means I won’t get to learn new and weird names when I go searching… so maybe, I should just be happy that my brain is never happy and let it get on with things.

The power collected by the runes would have returned to me until I’d regained my strength. Breaking the runes had changed that. On the plus side, it meant getting my missing energy back much more quickly; on the minus side, it turned the car park into a damn bomb.

The remaining magic exploded outward like a nuclear shockwave. Windscreens and headlights shattered, tires blew from the pressure, and the lights and windows at the front of the restaurant rained down glass over the ground. The blast picked me up like I was made of paper and threw me aside. I felt a crunch as I collided, back first, with something hard. Pain rocked through me, and then, just as quickly as the magical energy had rushed outward, it stopped and all rushed back into me as if it were attached on an elastic band.

The final thing I remembered before passing out was that I cried out in pain.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Steve’s been writing from an early age, his first completed story was done in an English lesson. Unfortunately, after the teacher read it, he had to have a chat with the head of the year about the violent content and bad language. The follow up ‘One boy and his frog’ was less concerning to his teachers and got him an A.

It wasn’t for another decade that he would start work on a full-length novel that was publishable, the results of which was the action-packed Urban Fantasy, Crimes Against Magic.

Steve McHugh lives in Southampton on the south coast of England with his wife and three young daughters. When not writing or spending time with his kids, he enjoys watching movies, reading books and comics, and playing video games.

Steve McHugh will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 
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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dead Handsome by Laura Strickland Excerpt & Giveaway

Clara Allen needs a husband in order to keep a roof over the heads of her assorted dependents, a roof her nasty grandfather will re-appropriate unless she is married by her 21st birthday, only a few days away. Strong-minded, unwilling to take orders from any man, she decides to solve her problem by raising a murdered prisoner from the dead and marrying him. She expects an empty-headed puppet; she certainly never dreams he’ll be so devastatingly handsome.

Liam McMahon doesn’t recall much about his life before his hanging in the prison yard, other than being Irish. He does remember the kiss Clara bestowed as she brought him back to life. Every time he looks at her, his desire gets out of hand. But his former life is chasing him down like a steam engine, and when a couple of mad geniuses decide he’d make a fine experiment, he wonders if he’ll live long enough to claim Clara’s heart or if he’ll die all over again.

“Untie me.”

This time she ignored the request.

He rasped, “Please.”

“A few more minutes.”

“Are souls tied up in heaven, then?”

“My good sir, you are not in heaven.”

“No?” Confusion gripped him, dark and terrible. He strained against his bonds.

She bent closer.

“Miss Clara, be careful,” said the other woman.

“But the angel—Clara—disregarded her. Gaze fixed on his, she demanded, “Do you remember your name?”

He shook his head.

“Tell me,” she said again, very slowly this time, “exactly what you do remember.”

Very hoarsely now he said, “Noose. I died.”

“Yes,” she told him implacably, “and I brought you back to life.”

’Twas just a terrible dream. Surely he’d got hold of some bad liquor somewhere. Half the fellows who ran these saloons made their own drink in a shed out back. A man might have some wicked dreams after drinking that. Because the lass with the pixie’s face—Clara—could not possibly have claimed what he thought.

“Shut the boiler down, please, Georgina.” When she spoke, he could hear so much in her
voice. She sounded calm, yet she wasn’t. False calm, as if she schooled herself fiercely. Yet she was but a wee slip of a thing. Not an angel, then.

The pounding in his ears that he’d taken for his heartbeat ceased abruptly. But his heart carried right on thudding in his chest.

Alive, sure.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Born in Buffalo and raised on the Niagara Frontier, Laura Strickland has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. To her the spunky, tenacious, undefeatable ethnic mix that is Buffalo spells the perfect setting for a little Steampunk, so she created her own Victorian world there.  She knows the people of Buffalo are stronger, tougher and smarter than those who haven’t survived the muggy summers and blizzard blasts found on the shores of the mighty Niagara.  Tough enough to survive a squad of automatons? Well, just maybe.

Laura will be awarding a pair of hand-crafted, Steampunk-style pierced earrings - US only - to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a hand-crafted book mark, US only, to a randomly drawn host.
The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 
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Monday, April 6, 2015

Talisma by Marie Mohn Excerpt & Giveaway

Thrilling fantasy, dramatic twists and a stirring love story!

Why did Kaja – a bearer of good fortune – suddenly run out of luck? Shadow creatures lurk in the dark, one misfortune leads to the next, and her fear of being claimed by the aristocrats increases by the hour. Furthermore, she is torn between her seaman and the wild wood wanderer, before whom all warn…

Can she escape her superior opponents? And how will her heart decide?

The gods obviously had lost their minds! Otherwise, such a disaster would never have happened to the twins Kaja and Liana. It objected to every law of nature! Nevertheless, on this fateful spring morning fifteen summers ago, indescribable misfortune came over the two, although they were considered bearers of good fortune from birth.

Kaja would never understand why, of all people, Liana suffered such a fate. Her sister had always been the sunshine of the family. She herself, however, had a lot of nonsense in her head and preferred to stray through the streets of their hometown, Donn, with the other kids to play adult pranks. A carefree seven-summer-old she floated through her life, grounded only by Liana. In return, she always scattered the worries of her sister and protected her from the unpleasant sides of the outside world.

On this terrible day Kaja longed to shield her sister, as always. Panic threatened to overwhelm her and she almost choked with fear, but she fought relentlessly against her mother, Namea, whose arms prevented her from moving. She had to get to Liana and convince the crude footmen of the Earl to take her instead of her twin sister! Liana didn’t deserve such a lot, and Kaja knew it was her job to prevent it!

Kaja trembled with fear for her sister. She closed her eyes and saw black spots blur Liana’s pastel-green contours. Despair and pain darkened her view. Her heart was pounding. Panicked, she tore open her eyes and watched through the narrow gap in the closet door as a fat, bearded bloke abducted her sister.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
As a fantasy writer, office manager and optimist Marie Mohn lives with her husband and her son happily in the heart of Austria.

Born in 1985 as the daughter of two authors, she was naturally fascinated by the magical world of books since childhood, devouring one book after another, and soon began to write herself.

Creativity and joy interlink closely in her opinion and she loves to enjoy – besides her own life – invented worlds and adventures.

The German version of “Talisma” has already been successfully published in 2014. It has plenty of great reviews (average rating at Amazon 4,9/5). 

"Talisma" has been published on 25th February 2015. It offers thrilling entertainment with a sarcastic heroine, new figures in the world of fantasy (wood wanderers, bearers of good fortune and shadow creatures) and a stirring love story.

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Marie will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour and three randomly drawn commenters will each receive an ebook copy of the book
The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway