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Tiffany M. Oharriz

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Tipsy-Ink Publishing. Author. Editor. Photographer. Klutz

Tipsy-Ink Website Blog

Tiffany M. Oharriz is a klutz of a girl that lives in Miami, FL and goes by the nickname Tipsy.

I've been reading and writing since childhood, sometimes unnintentionally annoying those around me with my ability to become immersed in a book, whether it be one of my own or another author's masterpiece.

I'm currently working on a series of YA supernatural books titled ‘The Birth Curse Series’ set to be released in late 2014, early 2015 and a chick-lit novel titled 'Knock Me Off My Choos' 


"Keep your heads held high and your hearts to the sky"

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To Catch Her Death Review and Giveaway!!!

Posted on November 8, 2013 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (2)


To Catch Her Death

A Grim Reality Novel

Book One

Boone Brux


Genre: Paranormal Humor

Release Date: October 17, 2013

Publisher: Red Hot Publishing

 

ISBN: 9781938601125

ASIN: B00G09XSBS

 

Pages: 250

Word Count: 60K

 

Goodreads Rating: 4.57

My Rating: 5

 




Book Description:


What do you get when you cross a hockey mom with the grim reaper? Me, Lisa Carron.

 

If being a depressed, frumpy, widowed mother of three wasn’t bad enough, I just discovered I’m a grim reaper. I know what you’re thinking. Wow, that’s kind of sexy and full of awesomeness. Hardly. Oh, and my clients? Stupid people. Like I don’t get enough of that from the living.

 

Since Alaska is big and angels of death are few, I’ve been partnered with reaper extraordinaire, Nate Cramer. He’s strong, silent, and way too good looking for my recently widowed state. Oh, and he reaps violent criminals, so that should be interesting.

 

Forget the danger and the hours of self-analysis it will take for me to find my reaper mojo. My biggest problem? Hiding it all from my overly attentive family and nosy neighbors. Now that’s going to take a miracle.

 

My Take On The Book:


This was an absolutely perfect read for Halloween. I loves, loved, LOVED this book. It was short but it was also enthralling which is an absolute must for the short reads. I’m not even sure I can begin to describe my love for this book but I can try.

 

First and foremost, the cover. The cover art was pretty much amazing. Ever since ‘The Mercy Thompson Series’ my love for cover art, not just beautiful pictures but art like graphic art something hand crafted, has grown immensely. So once I saw this bright blue graphic novelesque cover with a white haired lady and this awesome title, I tabbed it. The cover haunted me as I cooked dinner that night and once I’d finished I rushed to my computer to read the synopsis. I was hooked. I love all things paranormal, it’s my go to genre and this book has just that. But it also is chalk full of real and vulnerable characters, another love of mine. Our main character Lisa is all too real as is her grief and downward spiral. A widowed mother of 2, barely getting by and a grim reaper to boot. Epic.

 


The Great (Pros):


 

  • Vella. What’s not to love about her she’s a country bumpkin with a heart of gold. She’s the ideal best friend especially for someone like Lisa.

  • Nate. I loved to hate him and I hated to love him. He pushes Lisa to the extreme but even in his worst of times, he doesn’t come off as cruel. I got the feeling that there was more to his not wanting her to be a grim reaper. Plus he is yummy.

  • GRS. Um hello, can anyone else say genius. When I read GRS – Grim Reaper Services and had a full on laugh attack.

  • Lisa Carron. I just love her spunk. She always tries, and she may not get it right but at least she’s trying. Her reasoning for her actions are downright hilarious and her story is really heart felt. BTW Carron, Carrion clever Ms. Brux very clever. And if I read too much into that well then kudos to you for unintentionally making that connection.

  • Ghosts. The way they passed was really cool and a new take on the whole Angel of Death spiel. It was one of the best parts of the story and the porters were pretty cool too. Sure I got the heebie jeebies when they made their debut but they also got a nice little chuckle out of me too.

 

 

The Not So Great (Cons):

 

 

  • Next of kin. I wasn’t quite sure how being a reaper worked. Sure, I understood the basics like how they did their job but how were they picked to be reapers or better phrased… how did they gain their ability? Is it something that they are born with or is it a family thing and if so, she was his blood relative so wouldn’t one of their children get that nifty little gift?

  • The Kids. Now, now before you attack me, I love the kids. They were some of the best written characters so it’s not the children themselves that bothered me. What I didn’t like was how confused all their names made me, not to mention there were twins involved. I had to reread the scenes with them a couple of times just to make sure I was picturing the right character lol. I know parents do that, name all their kids with a theme in mind, a letter a flower, the seasons but darn it, it’s confusing. So I guess that more of a personal problem on my part and not so much on the author lol.

  • Her Husband. Sigh. The mysterious disappearance of money, yeah that irked me. Where did it go you slimeball? Ok so he could have been an awesome person, noble and what not but as far as I’m concerned until there is an answer as to what he was up to he’s dirt. Truthfully I wouldn’t be surprised if he had cheated on her… maybe with the beautiful Willow, ok maybe I’m pushing it but whatever.

 

5 Quills

 

This is a definite must read. So what if it’s not Halloween anymore. It’s a paranormal read that makes you laugh and give you a new out look on Grim Reapers. If you liked the show Dead Like Me then this is a book for you, if you didn’t well give it a try anyways. I don’t think you’ll be dissappointed


  A Short Excerpt From ‘To Catch Her Death


“You’re not welcome here.” He took a step forward and I slapped my hand against the wall, blocking his path with my arm. If he was a grim reaper then maybe he couldn’t enter my house until he was invited—like vampires. “Be gone.”

He smirked. “I’m not a vampire.”

“I know you’re not. There’s no such thing.” I rolled my eyes, trying to give the impression I hadn’t totally been thinking that. “What do you want?”

Give me ten minutes. Then I’ll leave and never bother you again.”

It sounded too good to be true. “Never ever?”

“I promise.”

He didn’t do any kind of scout’s honor hand gesture, so I didn’t know if I could completely trust him. “Ten minutes.”

In that amount of time, he could have me sliced up and vacuum sealed, but what choice did I have. I spun and walked into my kitchen. The idea of he being a grim reaper was the lesser of two evils made me want to laugh. Not in a haha, ironic isn’t it way. But a deeply disturbed things keep getting weirder and weirder way.

His footsteps followed. I cursed myself. He’d probably leave big, stupid dirt marks all over my sparkling floor. I scooped up my glass and turned to face him. My upbringing forced me to offer him a drink. “Would you like a glass of wine?”

>He held up a hand and shook his head. “No, thank you.”

Hmm, very polite—for a killer. I pulled out the chair and sat, indicating he should do the same. I sipped slowly, wishing it was something stronger. “Okay, speak.”

He lowered himself into the chair and propped his elbows on the table, leveling a stare at me. “You are a grim reaper.”

So you’ve said.” I took another drink and set down my glass. “Are we done?”

“Hardly.” He eased back and sized me up, his gaze narrowing. “All right then, you explain what happened at the Holiday station this morning.”

I considered giving him Vella’s explanation, but those reasons sounded even more ridiculous than reaping a soul. I decided to change tactics. “Let me ask you this. Why do you think I’m a reaper?”

“We recently lost one of our own and you came on our radar as the next reaper in line.”

“Lost one of your own?” I didn’t like the sound of that at all. “You mean one of your reapers died?”

He shifted in his chair. “Yes.”

“That’s a bit ironic isn’t it? The angel of death dying.”

He shrugged. “We’re mortal, tools for the greater good of mankind.”

I refrained from telling him how much of a tool I thought he was. “Isn’t the grim reaper immortal?”

“You watch too many movies.”

That was true but I didn’t confirm his statement.

 

Author Bio

 

As a bestselling author, Boone Brux’s books range from high fantasy to humorous paranormal.


A former nanny, Boone has lived all over the world, finally settling in the icy region of Alaska, where she writes full time. Always looking for the next adventure, it’s not unusual to find her traversing the remotest parts of the Alaskan bush. No person or escapade is off limits when it comes to weaving real life experiences into her books or blogs.

  

Website  Blog  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads

 

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Release Day Blitz: Silent Oath Excerpt and Review on Book 1 & 2

Posted on October 18, 2013 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (2)



 photo SilentOathBanner450x169_zpsd6266f0d.png

 


Locked Within
Locked Within Trilogy
Book One
Paul Anthony Shortt


Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Publisher: WiDo Publishing

 

ISBN: 978-1937178253
ASIN: B009GL6XAK

 

Pages: 200 pages

 

Goodreads Rating: 4.42
My Rating: 4.5

 

Book Description:


The supernatural realm and the mundane world have existed side by side since the dawn of time. Predators walk the streets, hidden by our own ignorance. Once, the city of New York was protected, but that was another age.


Now a creature emerges from the city’s past to kill again, with no one to hear the screams of its victims. The lost and the weak, crushed under the heels of the city’s supernatural masters, have given up hope.


But one man finds himself drawn to these deaths. Plagued by dreams of past lives, his obsession may cost him friends, loved ones, even his life. To stop this monster, he must unlock the strength he once had. He must remember the warrior he was, to become the hero he was born to be.


His name is Nathan Shepherd, and he remembers.


My Take On The Book:

 

Nathan Shepherd is literally your average Joe at the start of the book. Your average Joe with an unusual hobby that is. This book not only entertains but fascinates. From the go, I couldn’t put that dang thing down. Author Paul Anthony Shortt did a marvelous job turning a normal person with a normal 9 to 5 job into a hero, a protagonist everyone can get behind. It’s a fast paced rollercoaster ride that leaves you hanging by the edge of your seat. I’m pretty sure you’re not going to want to put this book down once you


I loved the idea of reincarnation and past lives and I believe whole heartedly that Mr. Shortt managed to do what many could not, make you believe. While reading this story you are aware that it is just that, a story. But it is written so well, you are able to envision almost every aspect of the book. To be quite honest, I never expected to enjoy this book as much as I did. The story was something out of a movie but thankfully it wasn’t written that way. You get the imagery you need without the awkward writing that sometimes (most times) accompanies those types of books. The characters were strongly developed and almost real. So let’s do a really quick pros and cons list of this book, you’ll be surprised… trust me, I was lol.


The Great (Pros):

 

 

  • Nathan Shepherd. Literally, the coolest HUMAN hero I’ve read to date. I can’t stress how much I enjoyed reading about someone normal for a change. Sure he had some pretty cool odd ball attributes but he was mortal and faulted and that to me was awesome! It’s not every day you get to read about a character that not only kicks ass but gets his ass kicked. He makes mistakes and that’s alright in the end because he doesn’t really mope on them but uses them as a learning experience and tries not to make those same mistakes over and over.

  • Libby and Rolland. I loved these two from the moment they stepped foot on the page and each interaction after just made my love for them grow.

  • Katherine O’Reilly. Badass chick who kicks ass and isn’t accompanied by your usual bitchy attitude while kicking ass.

  • Cadence and Cynthia. Cynthia is hands down my favorite character is this book simply because of her loyalty. She is smart and sweet and loyal to a fault. Cadence on the other hand isn’t someone I would typically like but she was written in a way that made it possible to do so. She makes no real excuses for why she does what she does, she just does it. Sure she’ll explain it to you if she deems you worthy of such but other than that not really. I liked that she wasn’t all whiny and trying to make anybody like her.

  • The Vampires. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good vamp romance book but one of the reasons I liked this book so much is because the author takes you back to a time where vampires and bad and they are scary. It was refreshing to say the least. I hated the vampires in this book, they were so evil and mean, but I loved that I hated them.

  • The Setting. I’m not really a fan of books that take place in a big city like New York simply because they are usually overrated but once again this book blows that notion outta the water. I loved the vibrant city life and the blending of the supernatural world with this world. But mostly I loved how Mr. Shortt explains it all, in the span of a couple of sentences in one chapter he explains the way humans are oblivious to the world around them and why all without droning on and on and annoying the living day lights outta you.

  • Michael Shepherd. Hands down, he’s gotta be the coolest dad around. His character though not prevalent throughout the story, is basically what molds Nathan into the man he is. He’s a strong and caring character and he’s exactly the support the main character needs.

  • Lack of romance. It was refreshing to read a book that while it had some sort of couple aspects, the story did not dwell on those parts of the story. Paul Anthony Shortt made sure to focus on the important, the story of Nathan and what makes him who he is.

 


The Not So Great (Cons):


 

  • Laura. I absolutely abhor Laura. Her character was the equivalent of nails on chalk board. I disliked her from her first appearance on page, not while he wistfully stares at her picture but the real deal, when she first speaks. It did not get better over time, she only served to piss me off more and more.

  • Ben. Originally, I liked his character. He seemed like a cool dude and someone Nathan could depend on and for the most part he was. It was only towards the end of the story that his character started to grate on my nerves and prove to me what a horrible judge of character I am lol.

  • The mysterious dude in the cloak. I can’t delve too deep into this topic because it would definitely give something away but I wish we could have learned a little more about him and what his role in everything was.

 

 

4.5 Stars/Quills

 

All in all, this was a very entertaining read. Nearly perfect really. Something I would definitely recommend to anybody that likes Urban Fantasy stories. So make sure you’ve gotten your copy because the sequel is sure to please.

 

Continue Reading for Silent Oath (Book Two) Review and Excerpt

 

Silent Oath
Locked Within Trilogy
Book Two
Paul Anthony Shortt


Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: October 18, 2013
Publisher: WiDo Publishing


ISBN: 978-1937178369
ASIN: B00F8KAVIS


Pages: 300
Word Count: 80,000


Goodreads Rating: 4.00
My Rating: 4.00

 

Book Description:


Hope has returned to New York City. Nathan Shepherd leads a small band of dedicated fighters against the Council of Chains and the city's supernatural masters. But it's not enough. Because from the shadows of Nathan's former lives comes an old enemy, one who knows terrible secrets that Nathan has not yet remembered, secrets that could undo everything he has fought for.


Nathan's only chance to uncover the memories of his previous existence, and to conquer these new forces of evil, lies in Elena DeSantis. A woman he has fought beside in past lifetimes. A woman he has loved.


Together, Nathan and Elena are the only future the city has.

 

My Take On The Book:


Mr. Shortt has done it again. I loved the way he let you see the other characters perspectives, he didn’t just follow Nathan. Refreshing to say the least. Honestly, he had me hooked from the first page. I loved just about every second of this read. You not only get to see how much Nathan has grown as a person and as the hero but you get a glimpse at every other character’s growth as well. And the new characters were completely welcome as were the twists.


The Great (Pros):


 

  • The Characters. I loved them, seriously every last one of them. Yes even Laura! She’s still vile and Ben still makes my skin crawl but they were all perfectly executed.

  • The Plot. The plot was spot on. I loved all the twists and unexpected turns. I felt overwhelmed but in a good way. I felt as if I were right there with them.

  • Katherine O’Reilly. Yep that’s right she gets her own shout out in this review as well as the last. I loved her immensely. She makes another debut in this book via Nathan’s memories and man is she awesome. She just further proves my point about how human these characters are. Sure she could kick your ass from here to next Sunday and probably won’t break a sweat or a nail for that matter but she is faulted and completely real. Something heroines lack. And the author made sure you understood that in both her character and her successor Nathan.

  • The revealing of the creepy mysterious cloak dude. Jessh, did that leave me winded. Okay so I really can’t delve into this topic, like AT ALL. But I will say for a villain he’s pretty awesome. Definetly not someone I’d wanna mess with and his story was just too freaking awesome! There is still much to be discovered about his past lives and that of Nathan but yeah you guys are in for a surprise when you read this one.

  • Elena. She is soooooo much like Katherine it’s ridiculous. Weird in a way since she’s basically the reincarnation of Katherine’s Malcom but I guess that’s what made them perfect. I loved her dynamic with every character and her own group. It helped with story progression so major kudos to the author.

  • Keros and Varia. Maybe I’m just a sucker for romance but wow their story gives you chills. ::sigh:: one word ‘Love’

 


The Not So Great (Cons):


 

  • Romance. The romance or lack thereof in this one is unnerving. You see through the story and the author’s writing that its supposed to be there but it just fell a tad flat and that in itself is why it dropped that .5 the previous book had. I know in book 1 I said I liked the lack of romance and I still stand true to that but in this book, the synopsis tells you he has a love interest being introduced, one from his past so you just expect a bit more. You also expect a bit more chemistry, no I’m not saying I expect them to strip and get down with the get down (well maybe just a little) but still the romance was lacking that spark.

  • The Villains. While I loved the plot and I loved all the baddies that go with it… I’m ashamed to admit, I got a bit lost with all the bad guys and their evil plans and ulterior motives. It was too much for my romance deprived mind! I had to reread a couple of passages to wrap my head around everything.

 

 

4 Stars/Quills

 

All in all this book is a gem. Well the whole series is thus far. I can’t wait for the final book. I’m literally going to be left biting my nails (my nail lady will hate me and I’m sure she’ll charge me double) till it’s released. When it comes out, I’m gonna be on that like white on rice. I feel invested in the characters and their story which is definetly a good thing. So in my honest opinion Paul Anthony Shortt is one heck of a writer. So ahem, why are you still on my page reading this instead of buying these books and reading them instead!

 


CHAPTER ONE EXCERPT


Nathan Shepherd opened his hooded coat and quietly drew his sword from its sheath. Scanning the doorways and rooftops for movement, he ventured through the alley, dark puddles rippling under his boots.

Nathan watched the doorways and windows for movement. The creature Nathan was hunting, a vampire named Garth, had been too greedy. The smiling face of a young woman was burned into Nathan’s memory, and the story of how her body was found, what had been done to her, buried in the corner of a newspaper like she didn’t matter. Vampires didn’t have to kill their victims, they just liked to. Garth would pay.

Someone screamed. Nathan followed the sound to a back street and took cover, stealing a quick glance around the corner. He saw two figures running. The lead was a small, rail-thin boy; late teens as far as Nathan could make out. He had a good head start on the pale, bald man hurtling along behind him. Even so far away, Nathan could make out the feral eyes and hear the snarls. That’s him. He lowered his sword and waited.

First the skinny kid ran past. Nathan counted a beat and swung his arm out from around the corner, clotheslining Garth. The vampire hit the ground. The boy he was chasing looked back, then tripped, careening into a trashcan.

“Evening, Garth.” Nathan stepped over him. “Been looking for you.”

The vampire wasted no time on words. He twisted and kicked Nathan’s legs out from under him before leaping to his feet and running toward the boy. Nathan pulled a small throwing knife from a slot in his leather utility harness and flicked it at Garth. The knife lodged in Garth’s back. He turned and snarled. “You’re pissing me off.”

“Good,” Nathan got to his feet. “I was beginning to worry I’d never get good at this.”

Garth sprinted down the alleyway. Nathan swept his sword in a low arc, cutting across Garth’s stomach as he passed. The vampire’s speed threw him off balance, and he let his guard drop. Garth lashed out with black claws across Nathan’s arm. The coat’s armored lining protected him from serious injury, but Garth followed up with two rapid punches to his face.

Tasting blood, Nathan thrust his sword out, running Garth through. He took Garth off his feet with a kick to the knee. Holding Garth down with his foot, Nathan lifted his sword and brought it down on Garth’s neck. It was not a clean cut, but it was enough.

The body began to dry up and broke apart into dust while Nathan backed away, taking in deep breaths. Sloppy. Too many mistakes. If Nathan didn’t get those under control they’d get him killed eventually. At least his hands didn’t shake afterward anymore.

Nathan turned to the boy that Garth had been chasing, who was still lying on the ground.

“You . . . ” The boy stood slowly. “You’re him, aren’t you?”

Nathan nodded. “What’s your name?”

“Eric.” The boy clutched a gray courier bag to his chest like his life depended on it.

“Why was the vampire after you, Eric?”

“He wanted my bag. I’m in the trade.”

The trade. It meant the boy wasn’t just aware of the supernatural; he was an active part of the hidden world. Probably someone’s apprentice.

“Where’s home?” Nathan asked. “Close?”

Eric nodded, “My dad’s store is half a block from here. Baum’s Curiosity Shop.”

“Get going.”

Eric began to go, but stopped and turned. “Thank you, sir.”

Nathan nodded a goodbye and closed his coat again before making his way out of the back streets.

Would my parents be proud of me? It wasn’t the first time Nathan Shepherd had wondered that over the last nine months. His mother, Louise, had taught him to look out for those in need. Strength isn’t in your fists, she used to say, it’s in the way people take care of each other. His father, Mike, was a firefighter. He’d spent his life saving people. While Nathan could recall any moment in his life with perfect accuracy, the image of his dad, tall and broad-shouldered, walking out the door in his uniform, held a special place in his heart. The first hero a little boy ever had. The one person he could always rely on to save the day. After being injured by a vampire named Eli, Mike had chosen to save Nathan instead of getting himself to a hospital. He died while Nathan was fighting a soul eater, a monster that fed on the essence of mortals.

I never got to say goodbye.

His coat pulled at him in the light spring breeze. It had taken him five nights to track this one down. The Council of Chains had started to get cautious. Although it made his work more difficult, it meant they were starting to be afraid.

I’ve saved lives. That would make his father proud, wouldn’t it?

Nathan picked up some coffee on the way back to his truck, a dark green four-door flatbed pickup. He may have gotten over the shaking hands, but the hollow feeling in his stomach and brief dizzy spells told him his adrenaline was wearing off. He checked the time. Ten fifty-five. The coffee warmed Nathan’s throat as he drained the cup. He scanned the streets before climbing into the truck and starting the engine. No matter which station Nathan turned to, the radio announced increased gang violence. He really needed to get his hands on a police scanner. Mainstream media could only provide so many leads on supernatural attacks. Let the gang members kill each other. The cops could handle that themselves. Nathan had more specialized concerns.

Live jazz music flowed into the street as Nathan pulled up outside Hook and Ladder. His father, Mike, had dreamed of opening this place. Nathan waved to Sam Kinnon, a tall man with short blonde hair, tidy stubble, and shirtsleeves rolled up over thick-muscled arms.

Sam’s father had been a friend of Mike’s from his old fire fighter company. After an encounter with a vampire one night when they were closing up, Nathan revealed the truth about the supernatural world, and Sam admitted that he’d dreamed about past lives too.

“Done?” Sam leaned in to the car window.

“Garth’s dead. I’ll let the family know tomorrow. How’re we doing?”

“Business is good. The more vampires and ghouls you kill, the more folk feel safe here. But the Council sent people out again.”

“Who?”

“Some bruiser named Lucius.”

Lucius was a vampire. Nathan knew him by reputation only, but he had become the head enforcer for New York’s official ruler, Vincent Dorian.

“They’re sniffing close, boss. We need to be careful.”

Nathan rubbed his eyes. “I just need the support of a few more outside conclaves. Then they won’t be able to touch us.”

“They can kill you for this, can’t they?”

“Violating the treaty? They can do worse than that, if they have proof.”

The East Coast Treaty forbade reborn from entering the city. Nathan was free to stay because he hadn’t been involved in the war fought against the Council over fifteen years ago, but inviting others to New York was treading dangerous ground. Even employing Sam was technically a violation.

“You coming in?” Sam shifted uneasily as he changed the subject. “Band is good. You’d like them.”

Nathan shook his head. “Not tonight. I want to get some rest. Big day tomorrow. After the funeral I’ve also got to meet the people from New Orleans.”

“I thought Chicago was tomorrow?”

“No, their guy canceled.”

“Again? That’s the third time this month.”

“Apparently Chicago’s a busy town. Someone named Murphy is meant to fill me in when they get a chance.”

“All right. I’d better get back to work. See you later.” Sam went inside. Seeing the people through the doorway, drinking and dancing together, Nathan realized how long it had been since he’d had a night off. The band was playing an Artie Shaw cover. Sam was right; they were good.

Nathan parked his truck in the small lot tucked behind the bar and took two large sports bags out from under the tarp in the back.

The second-floor apartment had an external entrance up a winding set of metal stairs that rattled as Nathan climbed them. He’d been meaning to get them looked at for a while.

Inside the apartment was well kept. The previous tenant had decorated it with light earth tones and left behind several comfortable couches and a bed. Nathan stepped in to a small hallway that led to the stairs on his left and the door into the main room on his right. The main room spread out in a wide open plan with a kitchen area and breakfast bar in the far corner opposite the doors for the bathroom and bedroom. Bookshelves lined the wall, containing collections of novels and arcane texts Nathan had sourced from occult dealers. On one shelf, over a stereo and sitting between Mike’s jazz CDs and Nathan’s collection of classic rock, sat a small frame. Inside the frame rested the medal Mike had been awarded for rescuing half a dozen people from a burning building. Mike had been severely burned in the incident, forcing him into early retirement.

Nathan set his bags down next to the standing maps and charts arranged around his computer desk before hanging his coat on a hook on the wall.

Nathan left his sword propped against the wall. An ancient weapon he’d wielded in more than one lifetime, the hilt was decorated with the stylized image of a phoenix surrounded by flames. He left his leather utility harness on an armchair and went to the bathroom to check on his arm.

A gray reflection looked back at him in the mirror. Black marks hung under his dark blue eyes. Sleep hadn’t exactly been a major priority for a while. Just something he did as needed between patrolling the streets and looking for his next target. At least the broken nose he’d suffered fighting that ogre a few months ago had set well. His nose hadn’t lost its smooth line, angled like a hawk. A haircut might have been in order. His russet mop was far too unruly when allowed to grow out. And he needed to shave.

Nathan rubbed his eyes and took some antiseptic ointment from the medicine cabinet before removing his light long-sleeved t-shirt. The shirt was ripped a little, but he could patch it later. His coat would need some repair work too. It was already starting to look like the skin of Frankenstein’s monster, but the padding in the lining had saved his life several times. Nathan hated seeing the coat get damaged though. It had belonged to his father. Of course, that was before members of the underground-dwelling people known as The Lost had modified it for him, adding secret pockets and armor.

The cuts on his arm were light and had already stopped bleeding. Still, he wiped them down with some antiseptic, ignoring the sting. With that done, Nathan checked on the thick stripe of reddened, waxy flesh between his neck and right shoulder. The memento of a vampire bite that was treated both to purge the venom and to remove the scent of the vampire that had bitten him. Eli. Every time he looked at the scar he saw Eli’s sneering grin and the knife going into his father’s stomach. Killing him hadn’t made the pain go away.

Nathan flexed and rotated his arm, testing the skin around the joint. Still a bit stiff. He put on a fresh sweater and went to his map of the city, all stuck with color-coded pins representing recent numbers of attacks by supernatural predators. He kept a stock of blue pins for any time he managed to put one of them down for good. Nathan pressed one of the blue pins into the spot where Garth had died. That made 17 since he’d started his mission. Looking at the sheer volume of other pins, Nathan tried to tell himself that this was not a losing battle.

It was only a matter of time, he kept repeating to himself. Time and determination. Then one day he’d be ready to take on Dorian and topple the power of the Council of Chains for good. One day.

After booting up his computer and checking the news feeds for more reports of unexplained incidents or mysterious disappearances, Nathan sat back in his chair, feeling himself sink into the leather. He looked up at a collection of sketches pinned to a board on the wall. Faces of men and women dressed in styles from throughout history gazed back at him. Some pretty, some handsome, some homely. Some smiled while others frowned in anger or sadness. All young, between their late teens and early thirties. Nathan had known them all. Although he could recall their faces in perfect detail with a moment’s concentration, he still liked to look at them. Thoughts of killing and death faded away, sore muscles eased and Nathan drifted to sleep. 

  

Author Bio

 

A child at heart who turned to writing and roleplaying games when there simply weren't enough action figures to play out the stories he wanted, Paul Anthony Shortt has been writing all his life. Growing up surrounded by music, film and theatre gave him a deep love of all forms of storytelling, each teaching him something new he could use. When not playing with the people in his head, he enjoys cooking and regular meet-ups with his gaming group.

 

Paul lives in Ireland with his wife Jen and their dogs, Pepper and Jasper. Their first child, Conor William Henry Shortt, was born on July 11th, 2011. He passed away three days later, but brought love and joy into their lives and those of their friends. The following year, Jen gave birth to twins, Amy and Erica. 

  

Paul's first novel, Locked Within, was released on November 6th, 2012, by WiDo Publishing. Silent Oath is the second book in this urban fantasy trilogy.

 


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Open Flame by Lacy Danes Review & Giveaway!!!

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (1)



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Open Flame

Dragon’s Fate Book 2

Lacy Danes

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: September 24, 2013

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

 

ISBN: 978-1-61921-746-1

ASIN: B00CZ8MCHO

 

Number of pages: 118

Word Count: 32K

My Rating: 3.5 to 4


Samhain Publishing | Kindle | Kobo | Nook

 

Book Description:


Between hate and lust lies heaven, hell… and smoldering love.

 

Like his brothers, Madoc is a dragon born by blood magic. Unlike them, he has only once bitten a human in a near-hopeless quest to find his eternal mate. Watching that woman die nearly destroyed him.

 

Now he works to invent a watch that will rewind time. When he attends the Spectacle of Time in Paris, though, he finds a woman who shakes the foundation of his world and crumbles his ferocious control.

 

Ever since the black-haired man with the red crescent on his cheek ruined her family, Fina has hated him. When she runs into him in Paris, she is determined to show him just how much. Instead, overwhelmed by the desire to both kill him and bed him, her body betrays her and she melts in his arms.

 

Sparks fly, and—when his teeth sink into her skin—she ignites. But she can’t run far and fast enough to avoid the burning truth. She is now part of Madoc’s dangerous world, body, soul, and fire.

 

Warning: This novel contains explicit sex, time-shifting, distance-hopping, a super-hot dragon, and a woman who can take the heat.

 


Short Excerpt:

http://www.lacydanes.com/books/open-flame/#read-an-excerpt

 


My take on the book:



Ok Ok, I have to admit I was conflicted about my review of this book.


On the one hand, I loved it. I loved the concept of Dragons, the fact that each dragon wields a particular magic of their own and the integration of vampires. But on the other hand, I was a tad disappointed with how the story unfolded. Book one of this series, Waterfall was permanently added to my fave book list not long ago when I read it, it was chalk full of steam and so much je ne sais quoi which I felt was missing a bit from Open Flame. It was a good read, a really good read. I loved the characters as much if not more than book one but and this is a really big but, I felt like this story and its characters might have done better if featured in a longer novella or full length novel. Now maybe I’m being partial due to my disappointment in the book’s ending (not the way it ended but well its ending read the pros and cons for a better explanation) but I’ll stand by my observation. I didn’t feel there was enough of a story, everything felt rushed this time around and that was my confliction while reading this story.


Once again Lacy Danes was a genius with words and imagery so that was a major plus in my opinion so the story wasn’t lacking there. The world was vivid, almost tangible. Ms. Danes has a unique way with setting a scene and I believe wholeheartedly that this book captured that. I’d probably make more sense if I broke it all down for you guys.



The Great (Pros):

 

 

  • The Characters. I loved Madoc and I really liked Fina. She was just the right of spunk and woman. She made me mad and made me laugh at her utterly ridiculous monologue (this is of course meant it the best sense. Ms. Dane’s writing was superb so I’m not calling that ridiculous in the least.) She was strong which seemed like a great fit for Madoc. Madoc was just the perfect mesh of sexy dragon goodness and lost puppy.


  • The Prologue. This part of the story was simply and to the point. A perfect intro to the story and a great way to allow readers the opportunity to jump into the series even without reading book one. It allows the book to stand on its own giving the reader the option of picking up the first book if they so choose. I recommend reading both though ;)


  • Hudson. He deserves to stand on his own and not fall into the category of characters lol. He was so conflicted and his story tugs at your heart strings but his ability to put that behind him and still be such a great friend to Madoc makes you giddy and swoon. He truly is a great friend to Madoc and in turn Fina, not to mention he is pretty funny in his witty remarks.


  • The Magic. The magic of this world, the creation of Lacy Dane’s brilliant mind, has to be one of my favorite aspects of this story. She crafted the world ‘magically’ and it shows in the way she penned it.

  • Lacy Dane’s Writing Style. It makes you breathless. As I stated before the characters were well loved and amazingly constructed. The world, The Spectacle of Time, The distance hoping just leaves you yearning to read more.

  • Carmen. She was just so well written. While she doesn’t appear in the book much, she kinda has a knack for stealing the spotlight when she entered on the page. I can’t delve to seep into this, for fear that I would give away some of the story.

  • The Epilogue. It literally leaves you hungry for more. It has so many redeeming qualities. You have a slight moment of fear but mainly it ends the book on a relatively happy note and you with a smile on your face.

  • Zir. I don’t know why but I just love that word. It’s different, weird even, but a perfect fit for a group of males who are indeed Dragons. Am I the only one wondering how she came up with that?

 


The Not So Great (Cons):


  • The word elemental. I know this might sound silly but I have this pet peeve about repetition. The word in my opinion was used way too much in the first chapter. It was elemental this and elemental that and I couldn’t stop the sigh of frustration that escaped me while reading it. Then it completely disappeared and I calmed only for it to return again and frustrate me once more.

  • Ilmir. He’s one of the brothers, his element air and I wanted to like him, I really did but I couldn’t. At least not till the epilogue. I couldn’t stomach his brash attitude or the way he was with Madoc. He was so cold and demeaning. It just irked me to no end.

  • The length. As I stated before, I felt this story would have done more with a little more meat. I felt like it was rushed. Not enough action. There were two baddies for Fina/Madoc to deal with other than the obvious resistance from Fina described in the book summary and neither of them were to my liking. I felt like one was rushed through and the other was added as an afterthought and dealt with poorly by the characters. This was probably my biggest deciding factor for my rating

 

 


3.5/4 Stars/Quills

 

All in all, I would recommend this book for many readers especially those who like books set in the past, those who love romance and those who love supernatural books. If you read ‘Destiny Kills’ or ‘Mercy Burns’ by Keri Arthur and loved it then this is definitely the book for you.



About the Author:


Lacy Danes made a New Year's resolution to write a hot, historical romance. A year and a half later, she achieved her goal. She lives in Portland OR, where besides writing she enjoys horseback riding, gardening and savoring a great martini while watching the world go by.

 

Visit Lacy online:

 

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Scars of the Bifrost Review, Interview and Giveaway

Posted on September 28, 2013 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)


Scars of the Bifrost
The Scars Saga
Book One
AJM Mousseau


Genre: YA Paranormal/ Sci-Fi Romance
Release Date: April 10, 2013
Publisher: Dauntless Hawk Ink


ASIN: B00CBCB8NS


Pages: 301 pages


Goodreads Rating: 4.78
My Rating: 5



Book Synopsis:

 

Freya Catten has lived on the fringes of society her entire life, growing up in hiding with her mother in the deepest, wildest places left in North America—the national parks and forests. Freya's mother taught her how to live off the land, away from civilization—mysteriously warning her of the dangers of getting involved with society and leaving traces of her DNA behind. But five years ago Freya's mother abandoned her, leaving Freya to survive on her own.

 

Freya knows how to stay alive, whether she's hiding in the forest or running on the city streets. She changes her appearance often and owns nothing but her backpack filled with survival gear and a necklace that had been her mother’s.

 

But, keeping one step ahead of Social Services isn't her biggest fear. Freya's true terror lies with The Takers—strange men who rappel from silver cords out of the deep blue sky from nowhere. They snatch up their victims then evaporate without a trace. Freya holds a dark suspicion—that the Takers are really after her, and they are closing in.

 

Freya realizes that if she is to ever have a normal life she must first find her mother and answer the questions that have kept her in hiding. Along the way, she meets Theron Hawk—a rugged teenage soldier from a war-torn country—and finds herself truly trusting someone for the first time in her life.

 

As secrets are uncovered, and Freya comes closer to solving the mysteries surrounding her life, her blood and the priceless necklace that lays at her throat, the scars of the Bifrost will threaten to rip apart Freya's very existence.

 

SCARS OF THE BIFROST is the first story in The Scars Saga and is a Young Adult science-fiction/fantasy/paranormal romance novel infused with wilderness survival, urban fantasy, dystopian elements and mythological realism.

 

Amazon

View The Trailer

 

 

My take on the book:


I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised with this book. Too many books now a days, end up as a carbon copy of another story with the same characters dressed up in different clothing. Luckily that wasn’t the case with ‘Scars of the Bifrost’. Author A.J.M. Mousseau has a unique ability to tell a story with a fresh take on the young adult’s genre, weaving a world unlike many others. It was an honestly pleasing read with ups and downs and characters that captivate and enthrall you. I loved it from the go. Within a couple of minutes of reading I found myself unable to put down my kindle, so much so I should say that my blog may have suffered from it. The characters were strongly developed, and while you do find yourself questioning bits and pieces of the story, their story, nothing really goes unanswered. So here’s my break down on the good and the bad.


The Great (Pros):


  • The world AJMM created so masterfully. I loved the scenery in this book; she literally took me on a literary adventure. I felt as if I was right there experiencing some of the scenes with Freya.

  • The Characters. I know I mentioned above that those characters were greatly developed and I meant it. I loved A.J.M. Mousseau’s characters, from the good down to the bad. Sure I wanted to rip the face off said villain, but isn’t that how you know that the author has created a note worthy opponent for your hero? Truthfully, I can’t say that any character’s storyline really irked me. Freya is pretty awesome and Theron is Ah-maze-ing, two of my favorite main characters as of yet. I loved Piper, she was just too cute and Scarlett was oddly reminiscent of my own aunt. I loved Jesse even when he seemed to be that brooding over protective guy you tend to get annoyed with. I can’t get into too much detail involving the characters cause I might give away some of the plot points but just know that I could spend hours discussing this book and those characters.

  • The Science and Mythology. Really guys, this author did her homework before penning this masterfully written story. She breaks things down for us readers in a way that’s informative, not condescending. The mythology was woven into the story so well I found myself getting chills at some points.

  • The Cover Art. Seriously this cover art is so amazing and fits the story. It was one of the main reasons I found myself drawn to the story and one of the reasons I decided to read it. Even though it’s not a full facial shot it helped me to imagine Freya in my mind.

 

 

The not so great (Cons):


  • The ending. Don’t get me wrong the ending itself was pretty cool, but a tad anti-climactic. I saw it coming and that really bugged me when I went to turn the page and found I had reached the end. I wasn't expecting that ending for a book that in my opinion worked so hard and succeeded in proving it was NOT like the rest. But this was a small faux pas that I can overlook. Truthfully only because I know, as a writer, that it is meant to keep readers on the edge of their seats and keep them hooked and tuned in for the next installment in the series. The ending gives the author a plot to work with so like I said bearable.

  • Predictability. I know, this might seem to conflict with my earlier statement to the contrary and for the most part this book was a breath of fresh air. But there was one moment in the book other than the aforementioned ending that I can’t delve into because it definitely is a major plot point, that I totally knew without a shadow of a doubt would happen. As the author continued, I pushed the thought to the back of my mind and hoped that it wouldn't play out that way… but it did.

 

That’s my list and my take. My advice, go to amazon right now and buy your copy before the next installment is released because it’s a read that’s well worth your time. If you like Hunger Games and Percy Jackson or really anything Young Adults and Sci-Fi then this is definitely the book for you. Personally I’m super excited for UNLOCKING BRISINGAMEN, Book 2 of The Scars Saga and I can't wait to read it. I’ll be sure to post a review as soon as I have.


 

***Make sure you check out the interview I did with the author and get a quick sneak peak into the book with the excerpt located below.

 

 

5 Stars/Quills



Tipsy-Ink Interview with A.J.M. Mousseau author of

Scars of the Bifrost


  • How did you come up with the concept for the story?

I dreamed the opening of the first chapter through the bookstore scene. I woke up feeling like I couldn’t believe how real it seemed. I told my teenage daughter about it and she said, “Wow, that’s so cool! You should write a book.”

 

  • What is your writing schedule like and what do you do/need to prepare?

I write by the seat of my pants! I try not to, but it always seems to happen that way. I am still navigating the learning curve of owning my publishing business – Dauntless Hawk Ink – and marketing, scheduling, touring, promoting, making relationships with readers and writer’s groups… there is so much to do. But I make sure I get a certain amount of that under my belt and in my brain before I go into my writing, because then I feel clear to focus on the characters. And as for preparation, I use college-ruled notebooks with different colored ink pens to write. Some characters get different colors or I’ll use them to enhance the moods I’m portaying.

 

  • What authors and books influenced you the most?

This is a great question! I’m usually asked what my favorite book is (that’s like asking what my favorite body part is!). Rick Riordan, Margret Peterson Haddix, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, Neil Gaimen and Jean Craighead George are a few authors who have really appealed to me over the years and influenced my style.

 

  • Who were your inspirations for the main characters of Freya and Theron?

There weren’t any. Freya and Theron came to me of their own accord. Even when I tried to picture them as known celebrities – it never truly matched the identities in my mind. Maybe someday when the movie rights are purchased a brilliant casting director will be able to find the perfect Freya and Theron <3.

 

  • How did you come up with the name Theron and what can you tell us about him?

I LOVE Theron! He is such a sympathetic character! I struggled with not writing in his point of view in Scars of the Bifrost, but I knew for the mystery sake of the story it just couldn’t be done ;). But I am very excited to be writing the second book in The Scars Saga from both Freya and Theron’s pov! Theron’s name means Hunter – and that was perfect for his task! I also wanted something that hinted at Norse myth as a male companion for Freya, but I didn’t want it to be so obvious. Theron is very close to Thor and you can even make Thor out of Theron, but Theron is a strong powerful name that stands on its own. Theron Hawk is an orphan who has been raised as a child soldier in a vicious place that is modeled after the brutal ancient city-state of Sparta. He is strong, resourceful and a tough fighter. He also was never allowed to experience his own emotions or show them where he grew up. While he is with Freya he learns to understand himself, to feel, and to come to grips with his many painful memories.

 

  • How did you come up with the idea of Takers?

I fell asleep one night and watched the dream unfold. I saw a girl about seventeen years old waking up to her fake foster parents – really just her employers – arguing about whether or not to turn her into the authorities for a reward. She got out of the house and ran to her friend who worked at a bookstore that was a teen hangout. She was afraid and knew she had to get out of there fast! On her way into the van that could take her away, a hole opened in the sky above the bookstore and a horde of men in suits rained down from silver cords. She had an intimate fear of them as she watched them grab victims and disappear – then they came after her. When I woke up, I knew they were the Takers and would play a pivotal part in the story.

 

  • What can you tell us about the Guardians?

Brave, bold and bad-ass! These are teens and adults who are devoted to stopping the Takers. They work under the government’s radar and are monitoring the Takers’ every move, trying to find an opportunity to stand in the Takers’ way. But it hasn’t been easy for them, and their actual skirmishes with Takers have been next to nothing! Frustration brews for them. I am excited that the Guardians really get to shine in the second book, Unlocking Brisingamen.

 

  • What made you want to become a writer?

I’ve always been a writer. I have written poetry (as a teenager), songs, and short stories. I love words. I love words that flow and the puzzle of discovery as you piece them together to create a beautiful whole.

 

  • What’s your biggest challenge as an author?

Time. Time to get all of my ideas down, not rushing, but just allowing myself to enter the characters’ worlds, their emotions, minds and actions. Music helps me a lot with this, to slow down and observe. I also have lots of children  so sometimes I feel that pull of divided time.

 

  • What’s your biggest distraction?

Ha! My favorite distraction – my beautiful kids! Second distraction – if someone puts on a movie I’ve not watched or is one of my favorites.

 

  • In 150 words or less, give everyone reading a rundown of your book and why they should read it.

Readers of Scars of the Bifrost are transported into a high octane adventure, swooning romance and worlds they never imagined! It is a wild ride that will stay with them long after the last page.

 

  • How did you come up with the title of your book?

This is another tough question! I knew I wanted the Norse mythological words to play a prominent role in each title of the trilogy. The Bifrost needed to be the first book. It’s the story that cracks it all wide open, but simply “The Bifrost” just didn’t ring true for me. I wanted something with grit. This isn’t a retelling of a Norse tale, it just has elements of one. I really meditated on the story and characters and skimmed through my thesaurus. When I found scars, I knew I had hit on something. Freya and Theron were both scarred due to the invention of the Bifrost. That was my title.



A Short Excerpt from Scars of the Bifrost


I turned in another direction to escape when I felt my backpack being grabbed from behind.

“No!” I screamed as I struggled against the inevitable, like an animal caught in a snare.

My attacker spun me to face him as if I were nothing more than a rag doll. He looked like a hot young actor who was supposed to be attending a red carpet event in Hollywood instead of a thug pulling off a kidnapping—they all did in their dark blue suits.

I instantly planted my knee into his groin, but my kneecap met with a hard armored shell. I peered up into his hardened face and stunning purple irises as a wide sinister smile spread across his face. I tried reaching for the hunting knife at my hip, but before I could get to it he grabbed hold of both of my arms and pinned me against his body. I was embraced in some grotesque lover’s dance.

My hat was pushed off of my head as my cheek was crushed against him. I could feel the armor across his chest and stomach under his clothing.

He began to tie me up with the silver cord. I wriggled my arms up and, thinking quickly, pulled a bobby pin from my braided hair. You can do a lot of damage to an assailant by jamming a bobby pin into their ear canal. I plunged the bobby pin hard into the tender opening and slammed it with the palm of my hand, forcing it in as far as it could go. The Taker howled in pain and dropped me to grab at his injured ear.

I pitched myself to the side and away from him as he got tangled in his own cord and disappeared.

I scrambled to my feet but my foot slipped, tearing at the earth beneath me. Instantly, I was hoisted by my upper arms into the air by a tall, fierce-looking Taker. He looked like he had seen what I just did to his buddy and was going to kill me for it. The hate on his face was intimidating and palpable, while his grip held me like a vice. I couldn’t take a breath.

My mind panicked as I thought, This is it, the fight is over.




Author Bio:


I am an author and university student. I live in a recreational vehicle -- by choice -- with my awesome husband, four amazing kids, and huge, fluffy, 85 pound golden retriever named Titan. I write and do school on line as we travel throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is incredible to live in a new place every few months (sometimes weeks) and to see everything! We have lived this clan and tribal lifestyle for two years now and have been to over twenty national parks and forests. They gave me a lot of inspiration for Freya's


Unlocking Brísingamen, the next book in the Scars Saga, will be released very soon!


Connect with A.J.M. Mousseau

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***The Giveaway!!!***

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