Book Review Witch Hunt of the Blood

Author Krista Walsh and I “met” when our stories were pubbed in the Day of Demons anthology by Anachron Press last spring. I was super excited for her when she shared that she was working with best-selling author Devin O’Branagan (along with a few other authors) to create a compilation of novellas based on Devin O’Branagan’s novel, Witch Hunt.

Devin was kind enough to give me a copy of Witch Hunt of the Blood to review.

Starting on page 1, I was sucked into a vivid historical world. Immersed in WWII England, I followed along the lives of the Hawthorne witches, sharing their joys, feeling their pain, and suffering their tragedies. The stories continue from there, and they are all just as strong.

When I read paranormal (and I read it a lot), the focus often becomes about the characters powers and how it impacts their lives. What I find different about this anthology is that I feel like I get to know the characters first. As a result, I get to know each person, well, as a person. The fact that they are witches isn’t necessarily secondary, but it’s part of the whole.

Another way to look at it is that most paranormal (at least the stuff I’ve read) focuses on the paranormal world and the characters become further drawn into it, leaving their original (and dare I say, normal?) world behind. In this anthology, we see the characters living in the “real world,” as it were, and their powers are a part of it.

I’m so glad I came across this anthology.

Here’s the blurb:

Five novellas based on Devin O’Branagan’s bestselling novel, Witch Hunt. 

The anthology begins with O’Branagan’s own novella about the Hawthorne matriarch, Vivian. She and her fellow British witches work together to prevent a Nazi invasion during World War II. Then there is Colonial maiden, Bridget, who struggles with the guilt of failing her family in Salem, 1692. Her younger sister, Prissy, mysteriously disappears and finds another magical world. Julia, torn by family loyalties, love, and her spiritual quest, pays a huge price to continue the bloodline. And Miranda uses her powers against the great influenza outbreak of 1918 – but finds the ultimate foe is prejudice against her kind.

Discover what was left out of Witch Hunt and revisit your favorite characters with these exciting novellas. The story isn’t done until the battle’s lost and won.

Witch Hunt of the Blood on Amazon

Witch Hunt of the Blood on Goodreads

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Anne Michaud, Author of GIRLS AND MONSTERS

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I’m so stoked to have author Anne Michaud here today. We’ve done a little interview we’d like to share with you! Below you’ll find information for her upcoming YA novel, GIRLS AND MONSTERS, and a GIVEAWAY!!!! 😉

Welcome, Anne!

What inspired you to pick up the pen (or keyboard) and start writing?

This vicious need to tell stories, it gnawed at my insides until words poured out, shaping into characters, plots and twists, incidents and feelings. And then I got addicted. The rest is history, recorded in a bunch of magazines, anthologies and my new book coming out.

Hahaha, it is a vicious need, isn’t it? What is your favorite kind of story?

Just take me away, make me forget the bills to pay and the noisy street outside my door. I want to escape, to live through somebody else’s mind and heart, to see things differently. I do lean towards the dark and gritty, much like I do.

An escape–I can totally relate. And dark is FAB! What draws you to Young Adult fiction?

It’s Suzanne Collins’ fault, her and The Hunger Games. I used to think YA was for kids, with heavy lessons on what’s wrong and right or just plain romance. I was wrong, I repent, and I’m making up for lost time.

That’s a great series. And an excellent point. YA fiction hits a lot of BIG issues, doesn’t it? Who do you think enjoys YA fiction more—teens or adults?

As a kid, I read adult books and as an adult, I read kids books – go figure. I’m thinking both enjoy it, but on a different level: teens want these stories to happen to them and adults want to reshape their pasts. Or maybe it’s just me.

LOL! I did the same–read grown-up books as a kid and YA as an adult. I like your theory, too. Shifting gears, what’s your favorite kind of monster?

A strong flaw, a human quality hidden deep under the fur and scales, something anyone can relate to: I love a monster with some kind of humanity. It doesn’t matter where It comes from, as long as there’s a connection with me, it’s love. Kinda.

Oooh, nice! How did Girls and Monsters come about?

I had a bunch of great stories that were never picked up by magazines or anthologies, so I decided to group them into a collection with two things in common: girls kicking some monster butt. I knew I did it right when my beta readers reacted to it.

That is SO awesome. How did you decide to do a collection of novellas?

I just love the story length: there’s hardly any down time in the plot, the characters have to be sharply defined, and the second act moves forward at top speed. As a reader, I enjoy the commitment of a lesser time frame, as well.

I really love novellas for those same reasons. To wrap up, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given (either in regards to writing, or even life in general)?

Do what you love or you’ll be miserable – it applies everything in life, too.

AGREED! Where can readers find you on the web?

My blog: http://annecmichaud.wordpress.com

Twitter: @annecmichaud

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/annecmichaud

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3011844.Anne_Michaud

Thanks for coming, Anne. I loved hearing (err, reading) your thoughts. 🙂

Ok, folks, now for the giveaway info!

 

Giveaway!! Softcover copy + The Monster Collection Skellies, 5 pieces handcrafted by the author: GIRLS & MONSTERS Giveaway

***Winner announced during the LIVE CHAT on APRIL 30th 9PM east http://www.darkfuse.com/events.html

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Kerri Cuevas Deadly Kisses

I “met” Kerri a couple years back. We swapped writings for beta reading, so I got an early look at Deadly Kisses. I liked the characters and story then and totally love them now! Congrats, Kerri, for such a great debut!
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Book Summary:
Aiden Grant is seventeen, has a killer kiss, and a boss who used to be President, back in the old days. You see, Aiden is a grim reaper and his kiss welcomes the newly dead. But Aiden’s pleasant grim reaper lifestyle is in jeopardy. And it’s not only because Honest Abe keeps throwing out history lessons with reaping assignments, just to confuse him. It’s because Aiden’s next assignment is to reap the soul of Bee, the only girl he has ever loved.When Aiden’s kiss of death fails, intertwining their souls, Bee is still very much alive and they are both in trouble. The ancients want Bee, who has special powers of her own, and they’ll do anything to get her.

Some rules are meant to be broken—even if that means Aiden must bargain with his own soul to save Bee. Who knew the afterlife could get so complicated?

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Rafflecopter Giveaway (click the link and it’ll take you to the Rafflecopter form):
Author  Bio:
Kerri Cuevas was born and raised in Rhode Island. She moved to New Hampshire with her husband, three kids, cats and a rabbit named Hercules in 2005. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing chickens on her small farm or searching for the ultimate mac-a-cheese recipe.Kerri went to college for Early Childhood Education but now writes books for young adults full-time. Her storytelling stems from watching too many horror flicks as a teen, but she no longer needs to sleep with the lights on.

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Author links:

 

My review:

Aiden’s voice is clean and clear. As a reaper, he is set with the task of bringing souls across. Carrying the guilt of his friend’s death, he takes on the yoke of a reaper’s life, denying himself heaven. It just so happens he has to reap the sister of his friend.

And it just so happens that she can see reapers.

Aiden is tossed headlong into an action-packed adventure fraught with danger and he has to choose between sacrificing himself or the girl he’s in love with. If he chooses wrong, they both may be sacrificed.

Deadly Kisses is definitely a book worth reading. I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Looking forward to your next book, Kerri! 🙂

ENDURE LIVES!

First, a follow up on last week’s Poison post. Friends of Bridget Zinn have asked authors to join in on the poisonbook.tumblr site to share their poison and I’m sharing my poison today. There’s a lot of great entries!

Now, onto the NEWS.

Guys. GUYS. I’ve been bursting at the proverbial seams in waiting to share the news.

Are you ready?

*drum roll please *

In January, I submitted my YA dystopian, ENDURE, to my editor, Rhiannon, at Etopia Press. A few short weeks later, she replied with…

An offer to publish it!

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!

There’s so much story to tell in ENDURE, that it will be published in TWO BOOKS!

That’s right.

ENDURE will be book one and EVOKE with be book two.

***SQUEE!***

I’ve already been slicing and dicing, dividing the manuscript into bits and bandaging it with new plot lines and action.

Looking forward to finally getting to share this story with you guys.

I’ve got some (unedited) blurbs for both…

ENDURE (Endure Book One):

For decades, immortal Vie have rabidly hunted Anemies like seventeen-year-old Justin and his sister. Their blood is a drug—and a scourge. Justin’s blood causes the Vie to age, a powerful threat, and yet a priceless hope for the Earth’s downtrodden humans.

When Justin’s sister is kidnapped by the Vie, he vows to rescue her. He strikes a deal with the human resistance, but they’re nothing but a cult with delusions that a messianic Anemie will free them all.

In a race to find his sister before she dies, Justin learns that not all Vie are evil, and not all humans are good. Trapped with choosing between saving what’s left of humanity and saving his sister, Justin can’t decide which option is going to get him killed first.

EVOKE (Endure Book Two):

Seventeen-year-old Justin has escaped the long reach of the immortal Vie, Nathan Abarron. Along with a freed human slave, Cara, he now faces the wilds outside the city wall. Dotted with pockets of unfriendly and paranoid Anemie communities, the wilds are just as dangerous as the city.

When Cara gets injured, Justin must search for the very group he wants to avoid. Lucky for him, an ally of his father recognizes him and guides him through the tenuous ropes of forest-dwelling Anemie society.

The fragile relationship shatters when Justin’s secret gets out—his blood can age Vie. It’s the weapon that all Anemies have been waiting for and the Anemie leader plans to use every last drop.

Book Review Darkness Comes This Way

I’m a sucker for vampires. I don’t care if they sparkle, if they are ugly, if they are moody, whiny, or even grumpy. I especially love ’em if they’re HOT, but that goes without saying, right?

I met author Pixie Lynn Whitfield on Twitter and we decided to exchange books for reviews. Here’s her take on Shifting Pride (it involves My Little Pony. WIN.).

Luck was in my favor because her book, Darkness Comes This Way, is about VAMPS! YAY!

Zarah is a Guardian vampire, part of a group of immortals who keep humans safe by killing Rogue vampires. (Let me tell you, I’d very much enjoy that job, LOL!) She’s a kick-ass heroine with a cold exterior. But she’s got a tender heart inside.

She’s paired up with Draven, another Guardian, and they’re both charged with redoubling their efforts, because the Rogues are becoming more powerful and more deadly.

What I love about this story is that Zarah and Draven dislike each other and that tension kept me interested. Despite their butting heads, they are able to form a strong partnership and they work really well together–something that’s difficult to create, IMHO.

Another bit I liked was that Zarah ends up having to face her past head on, and she risks exposing her secret as a result.

The action is non-stop, the twists frequent, and the tension high. All must haves in my book.

The downside: I’d like to see more editing for streamlining. That being said, Pixie Lynn is a strong writer and I fully expect her skills to grow. I’m gonna keep an eye on her for her next projects!

I give Darkness Comes This Way 4 out of 5 stars.

Pixie Lynn Whitfield’s Blog

Darkness Comes This Way on Amazon

Darkness Comes This Way on Goodreads

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Rushed party TOMORROW and imareader Author Kindle Fire Giveaway

I’m SUPER STOKED to be co-hosting a RUSHED party with New Adult Paranormal Romance author Lynn Rush TOMORROW, Tuesday, March 12 @ 8:00 PM EST! Please be sure to hang out with us on Twitter–there will be prizes, chatting, and fun, fun, fun! 😀

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Kathy at I’m A Reader, Not A Writer has organized a FABULOUS author hosted giveaway. Read on for all the deets!

 

Kindle Fire HD Giveaway!

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HD (US Only)

Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

Sponsoring Authors

The Stone Guardian by Theresa McClinton

Blood Oath (Gabby Girls Adventure, #2)Return of the Dragon Riders: Book Two of the Dragon Stone Saga (Dragon Stone Saga, #2)Hidden HeartA Tale of the Other Kind (Therian, #1)AuraPrison NationFamily Magic (Hayle Coven, #1)The Conduit (Gryphon, #1)Shifting PrideFire Within (Guardian Witch #2)Fall of Sky CityReflectionThe Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope (Kailmeyra, #1)Kiss Me, I'm Irish (Time For Love #1)Grace DollThe Stone GuardianLegend UnleashedInnovera Yakov: The Journey of A Thousand EyesThe GiftedFor What It's WorthForbidden Temptation of a VampireOwlet (Society of Feathers, #1)Cascade Brides: The Complete SeriesTwenty-Five Years Ago TodayAlexander Drake's Extraordinary Pursuit

Giveaway Details
1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).
Ends: 3/31/13

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Horror Author Catherine Cavendish Guests

My pub sista at Etopia Press, Catherine Cavendish, is guest posting today about Paranormal Horror. This lady is an EXPERT, for realz. I dig Catherine’s work and this post captures her style of horror perfectly. Before you start reading, make sure no one is sneaking up on you. 😉

Take it away, Catherine!

Paranormal Horror – It’s All In The Mind 

Well, OK, not always. It just depends on your particular preference in this broad school of a genre.

Years ago, you never heard the term, ‘paranormal horror’, it was just, simply, Horror. Generations of teens dived under bedclothes, scaring themselves sleepless with Dennis Wheatley and the Hammer Horror Omnibus. Frankenstein’s monster lumbered over the landscape. Dracula sank his fangs into unsuspecting maidens.  And as for The Mummy –  well, you couldn’t keep him in his tomb for long. Horror was scary, and when it came to the big screen, there was lots of screaming and Fay Wray wriggling her legs frantically, as she struggled in King Kong’s masterful embrace.

Copy of The Mummy

Nowadays, horror has diversified into many sub-genres – from the ‘slasher’ (Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday 13th) to the ‘found footage’ shock-fests (Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity) and a host of others in between. If you enjoy being scared, then you’re bound to find something to suit your mood and desire – from the wholly explicit to the subtly disturbing and, with writers such as Stephen King, a heady mixture of the whole spectrum.

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My preference is to write the kind of story that creeps up behind you, taps you on the shoulder and breathes in your ear (when there’s nobody but you in the room). I don’t want to place a bloodbath in front of you, I want your imagination to run riot, your heart to beat a shade faster and your knees to knock a little as you start up that dark staircase. Alone. In an empty house. Where there should be no sound, except that of your own breathing. In. Out. In. Out….

Crash!!!

What the hell was that?

You grab the banister. A shadow flies past you. A ghost?

You flatten yourself against the wall, struggling to breathe. Your heart thumps painfully in your chest. In the distance you hear a plaintive wail. Like the cry of a lost child.

Only there’s no child in this house…

There’s just you, remember?

You – and Jemima, your Siamese cat who has just knocked the books off the shelf at the top of the stairs and is loudly protesting that you’re late feeding her.

Sigh of relief. That’ll teach you to read a Paranormal Horror story at night. On your own, with most of the lights switched off and a hungry cat to feed. She’s waiting for you now, downstairs in the kitchen.

You turn around and proceed down the stairs. Your heart rate slows to normal. Your breathing settles down.

And in the darkness behind you, a pair of red eyes blink.

Don’t have nightmares – but I hope you’ll enjoy my latest paranormal horror. This one is a ghostly tale called The Second Wife and here’s the blurb:

Emily Marchant died on Valentine’s Day. If only she’d stayed dead…

When Chrissie Marchant first sets eyes on Barton Grove, she feels as if the house doesn’t want her. But it’s her new husband’s home, so now it’s her home as well. Sumptuous and exquisitely appointed, the house is filled with treasures that had belonged to Joe’s first wife, the perfect Emily, whom the villagers still consider the real mistress of Barton Grove.

A stunning photograph of the first Mrs. Marchant hangs in the living room, an unblemished rose in her hand. There’s something unnerving and impossibly alive about that portrait, but it’s not the only piece of Emily still in the house. And as Chrissie’s marriage unravels around her, she learns that Emily never intended for Joe to take a second wife…

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The Second Wife is available now from:

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca  

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes and Noble

Kobo 

You can find Cat here:

www.catherinecavendish.com

http://www.facebook.com/CatherineCavendish

www.goodreads.com as Catherine Cavendish

http://twitter.com/#!/cat_cavendish

Review of The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life AND Paranormal Reads Info

Ok, so I’m totally scared of zombies and often avoid reading about them because I inevitably get nightmares. On the other hand, I’ve seen author Jen Naumann’s tweets about this story and was curious enough to forgo my usual rule of avoiding zombies and gave it a go.

I have to say the title captures the tone of this story PERFECTLY. The main character’s voice is strong and clear (always a good draw for me). And her perception of the world going to crap lent a comedy-like vibe to the tale—another thing that I totally dug. To be clear: It wasn’t goofy, stupid comedy. At all. It was the kind of comedy that made the story a blast to read.

Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of scary parts, heart-wrenching parts, gory parts, and enough action to keep this action junky satisfied.

Plus the ending totally left me begging for a sequel!

All in all, I’d give this book 4 out of 5 stars. Nice job, Jen! I’m a fan! 😉

Jen’s book on Amazon

Jen’s Amazon author page

Jen’s blog: paranormalya.blogspot.com

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I’m SO excited to featured on Paranormal Reads tomorrow, Jan 22. They’re a FAB group on Facebook. Check it out! 🙂

About Paranormal Reads:

Discuss books, give reviews and give recommendations. This place is for Paranormal book lovers!!

We also ENCOURAGE authors to post anything about their books! There is no need to ask or apologize for posting something about your book!! We are an AUTHOR FRIENDLY page and love all books an authors! Thank you 🙂

How to find Paranormal Reads on the interwebz:

There is also our goodreads to see what were reading:
http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7102096-paranormal-reads

Our blog to see our short reviews:
http://paranormalreadsreviews.blogspot.com/

And our Twitter to tweet with us:
https://twitter.com/#!/ParanormalRead1

Our Website:
www.wix.com/paranormalreads/paranormalreads

A Review of NEVERLOVE

Author Angela Brown reviews SHIFTING PRIDE on the Indie Elite today. Please check it out! 

I’ve reviewed her debut YA para rom NEVERLOVE.

There’s a lot of reapers out there in the YA paranormal romance genre and I like them. Neverlove has a unique spin on what I’ve seen so far—WIN!

The story starts with a bang and keeps going right until the epic conclusion. The alternating points of view between the three main characters allowed me to see more of the bigger picture while also seeing both sides of the story. It was fascinating, thought-provoking, and educating all in one.

In this world, there is conflict between the Cleansers (a group who fight to save souls) and Harvestors (a group who consume souls for the devil). And love is a luxury that no Cleanser or Harvestor can afford.

But love is so irresistible!

Chaos ensues as the characters struggle to maintain their values and ideals in the face of love. What’s most striking is the growth that the characters go through because of it.

I’d rate Neverlove 4 out of 5 stars.

Well done, Angela! Can’t wait to read more.

Neverlove on Amazon.com

Neverlove on Goodreads

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