Vagabonda Reads

Bohemian in Thought and Deed . . .

Category Archives: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Review & Excerpt Tour: Hunted by Elisabeth Naughton

 

From New York Times Bestselling author Elisabeth Naughton, comes HUNTED,a new novella in her Eternal Guardians Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure to grab your copy today!

 

 

– ABOUT HUNTED

 

Erebus – Dark in every sense of the word, a skilled and lethal warrior, and sinfully sexy by design.

Since the dawn of modern man, Erebus was Hades’ secret weapon in the war between the immortal realms. Until Hades lost the minor god in a bet to his older brother Zeus. For the last hundred years, Erebus has trained Zeus’s Siren warriors in warfare and the sexual arts. But he’s never stopped longing for freedom. For a life filled with choice. And lately, he also longs for one Siren who entranced him during their steamy seduction sessions. A nymph he quickly became obsessed with and who was ripped from his grasp when her seduction training was complete. One he’s just learned Zeus has marked for death because she failed the last Siren test.

Before Erebus can intercede on the nymph’s behalf, she escapes Olympus and flees into the human realm. In a fit of rage, Zeus commands Erebus to hunt her down and kill her. Erebus sees his opportunity to finally go after what he wants, but he’s torn. Freedom means nothing if the Siren at the center of his fantasies doesn’t truly crave him back. Because defying the gods will unleash the fury of Olympus, and if he chooses her over his duty, whether she joins him in exile or not, the hunter will become the hunted.

 

– EXCERPT –

 

“I don’t remember my life with my family,” he said. “Just like Athena does with the Sirens, Krónos stripped my memories so I would never question my servitude to him. Then he bound any powers I had that were stronger than his. Unlike you, though, I’ll never regain those memories. What I know of my past came from Hades. After Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon overthrew Krónos, Hades kept me for himself. I was duty bound to serve him in the Underworld. He’s the one who told me of my past. And he made certain to point out how lucky I was to still be alive. But he didn’t do so to educate me. He did it so I would never be inclined to release Krónos from his prison in Tartarus, and so that I would never fall victim to Krónos’s lies and deception.”

Her mouth fell open, but it was the empathy he saw swirling in her spellbinding eyes that cut right to the heart of him.

He dragged his fingers back to her face and gently traced the sleek line of her jaw, mesmerized by her all over again because he never thought he’d ever meet anyone in the long years of his life who knew what it was like to be alone. “What Zeus did to you was wrong. What he did to your people was wrong. I know what it’s like to lose everyone and to be the last of your line. If I had known about your past…” His gaze dropped from her eyes to her lips. “If I had known, things would have been different. I never would have let you be hunted. After all you’ve been through, agápi, you deserve to be cherished and protected. Because you’re special. Precious. You are the epitome of rare and irreplaceable and unique, and I won’t ever let anyone hurt you again. I’ll do whatever I have to do to keep you safe. I vow this to you here and now.”

Shock rippled through her eyes, and then those eyes darkened to a warm deep blue just before she lifted to her toes and pressed her mouth to his.

 

 

 

– REVIEW –

“In the long, lonely years of his life, for brief, flickering moments, she’d been a light to his darkness . . . And he wanted that nymph back.”

Erebus

Hunted

Kindle Loc 367 of 2081

Tall, dark and devastating Erebus, a minor god in service to Hades (God of the Underworld), finds himself a pawn in a wager between Hades and Zeus. Zeus wins, of course. Erebus is tasked by Zeus to train Zeus’s Sirens in both martial and sexual arts. Of the hundreds Erebus trains, only one Siren, the flaxen haired Seraphine (Sera), finds a place in his heart. Upon receiving an order from Zeus to hunt down a renegade Siren, a shocked (and delighted) Erebus discovers that his prey is none other than Sera.  When she is captured by Erebus, Sera is torn between her own feelings for him, and her secret need to avenge the deaths of her people. Both Erebus and Sera come to acknowledge the undeniable attraction each has for the other, but the cloud of Zeus and his hand in their fate looms large. Their only chance for survival and a future together rests on Erebus and Sera revealing their inner secrets to one another — but can they forge a trust strong enough to defeat all those who hunt them down?

Elisabeth Naughton’s Hunted is offering 8.75 in her popular Eternal Guardians series, and is brought to us by the good people at 1001 Dark Nights.

A short (133 p.), sizzling read, packed with action and brimming with mythological characters, Hunted will delight fans of the series. The plot is fast paced, and the protagonists are well-written, solid characters. With precision, author Naughton weaves her mythological cast through this story. As Erebus and Sera face obstacle after obstacle, characters from the Eternal Guardian series appropriately appear to move the plot along. Hunted is not what I would consider a stand alone novella — it would benefit the reader to have some knowledge of the Eternal Guardian series. But having said that, Hunted is worth the read, if only to enjoy the magnificence of Erebus, the nobility of Sera, and the searing passion that exists between them.

Kudos to Elisabeth Naughton for another great romance her Eternal Guardian universe.

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

*ARC received from 1001 Dark Nights via Inkslinger in exchange for an honest review.*

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CAN | Amazon AU

 

Download the Free Kindle App

 

 

Elisabeth Naughton’s HUNTED – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

June 28th

I Smell Sheep – Review & Excerpt

My Nook, Books & More – Excerpt

Only One More Page – Review & Excerpt

June 29th

Oh My Growing TBR – Review & Excerpt

Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt

Reads All the Books – Review & Excerpt

June 30th

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog – Excerpt

Rainy Thursdays – Review & Excerpt

Reads & Reviews – Review

Vagabonda Reads – Review & Excerpt

July 1st

A Fortress of Books – Review & Excerpt

Susan’s Books I Like – Excerpt

The Romance Reviews – Review

July 2nd

A Naughty Girl’s Novel World – Review & Excerpt

Nerdy Dirty & Flirty – Excerpt

The Reading Cafe – Review & Excerpt

July 3rd

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

Celtic Dragon Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Obsessive Reading Disorder – Excerpt

July 4th

Ruby’s Books – Review & Excerpt

Shannonbookishlife – Excerpt

Sofia Loves Books – Review & Excerpt

July 5th

Books Need TLC – Review & Excerpt

Evermore Books – Review & Excerpt

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents – Excerpt

Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt

July 6th

A small girl, her man and her books – Review & Excerpt

Jax’s Book Magic – Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

July 7th

Angels With Attitude Book Reviews – Review

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

Vampire Book Club – Excerpt

WTF Are You Reading! – Review & Excerpt

 

– ABOUT ELISABETH NAUGHTON –

 


Elisabeth Naughton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. From Elisabeth: “I was never one of those people who knew they wanted to be an author at the age of six. I didn’t have imaginary friends. I didn’t write stories in my journal or entertain my relatives by firelight after Thanksgiving dinner. For the most part, I was just a normal, everyday kid. I liked to read, but I wasn’t exceptional at it. And when my teachers complimented me on my writing abilities, I brushed them off. I did, however, always have a penchant for the unique and absurd. And as my mother told me all throughout my childhood, I should have been an actress—I was a drama queen before my time.

“Years ago, my husband bought me Scarlett: The Sequel to Gone With The Wind. If you ever saw the book, you know it’s a long one. I sat and read that thing from cover to cover, and dreamed of one day being a writer. But I didn’t actually try my hand at writing until years later when I quit my teaching job to stay home with my kids. And my husband? After that week of reading where I neglected him and everything else until I finished Scarlett, he vowed never to buy me another book again. Little did he know I’d one day end up sitting at a keyboard all day drafting my own stories.

“My writing journey has not been easy. I didn’t just sit down one day, decide I was going to write a book and voila! sell my very first attempt. As most authors will probably agree, the path to publication is filled with hours of work, pulling all-nighters I thought I’d given up in college, sacrifices, rejections, but a love I discovered along the way I just can’t live without. Instead of a big, thick book to read by lamplight (I do read much smaller ones when I get the chance), I’ve traded in my reading obsession for a laptop. And I’ve never been happier.

“I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a wonderful family and fabulous husband who put up with my writing—and obsessive personality—even when life is chaotic. More than once my kids have been late to swimming or baseball because I needed just five more minutes to finish a scene. Their support and encouragement mean the world to me. I also have amazing friends and a support network I couldn’t survive without. So to all of you out there who have encouraged me along the way, sent me emails and fan letters, phone calls and congratulations, I just want to say, thank you. You make this whole writing gig that much more enjoyable. I truly wouldn’t be here without you.”

 

– CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR –

 

 

Website   Facebook   Twitter

Author Goodreads

Novella Goodreads

 

 

 

 

1001 Dark Nights Presents: Tricked by Rebecca Zanetti

tricked-tour-banner

 

TRICKED

by

REBECCA ZANETTI

 

– ABOUT TRICKED

He Might Save Her —

Former police psychologist Ronni Alexander had it all before a poison attacked her heart and gave her a death sentence. Now, on her last leg, she has an opportunity to live if she mates a vampire. A real vampire. One night of sex and a good bite, and she’d live forever with no more weaknesses. Well, except for the vampire whose dominance is over the top, and who has no clue how to deal with a modern woman who can take care of herself.

She Might Kill Him —

Jared Reese, who has no intention of ever mating for anything other than convenience, agrees to help out his new sister-in-law by saving her friend’s life with a quick tussle in bed. The plan seems so simple. They’d mate, and he move on with his life and take risks as a modern pirate should. Except after one night with Ronni, one moment of her sighing his name, and he wants more than a mating of convenience. Now all he has to do is convince Ronni she wants the same thing. Good thing he’s up for a good battle.

 

– EXCERPT –

 

tricked-cover

His muscles tightened as he held himself in check.

She stretched her neck, her body moving against him. “I feel so good.” Holding out her hand, she twisted her arm left and right. “Strong. Well, stronger than I just was.” She rubbed her palm along his whiskers. “That’s not all.”

Yeah. He felt it, too. Attraction. So he turned her to straddle him, feeling her body warm several degrees. “Let me know if I go too fast.”

She leaned in and settled her lips on his. “The first time I saw you, I thought wow. A real wow.”

Her breath brushed his mouth, and he stiffened to remain in control. “Is that a fact?” he asked, waiting for her to make a move. The last thing he wanted to do was frighten her, and he couldn’t tell how much stronger his blood had made her. If at all.

“Yes.” She nibbled at his bottom lip.

Magma boiled through his blood. “When I first saw you, I thought your eyes were the prettiest color I’d ever seen,” he said against her mouth. “Like a fine whiskey that has just caught the light.”

She kissed him, and he could feel her smile. “That’s sweet,” she whispered.

Yeah. That was him. Sweet. Nobody in his entire life had called him that. “I don’t want to rush you,” he said.

She tunneled her hands through his hair and hummed. “But we’re on a bit of a deadline?”

“Yeah.” The slight tug of her fingers hazed red over his vision. “Don’t know how long your extra strength will last.” Probably not very long. And there could be repercussions to her damaged heart from his blood, so they had to mate and now. He stood, easily holding her to him. “Bedroom.”

She wrapped her legs around his waist. “Um. Okay.”

 

– REVIEW –

 

“Will I get fangs?” she asked, her mind still reeling.

He snorted. “No.” By the door, he paused, turning to face her. “I’m the only one who can really bite, baby. Don’t forget it.”

Kindle Loc 446 of 1868

Rebecca Zanetti’s vampires are back, and dayum, they’re drool worthy.

Vampire Jared Reese has been estranged from his family for almost one hundred years and it’s time for him to reconnect.  In his past, Jared had enjoyed the life of a pirate — sailing the seas, collecting booty (cough, cough), pillaging — but modern times have forced him to sheath his sword (cough).

Happily reunited with his mother and two brothers, Chalton and Theo, Jared meets Veronica Alexander via Chalton’s mate, Olivia. Veronica is a psychologist, working with the local police force. Someone wants her dead,  and soon. To that end, this nefarious person has slipped the psychologist a deadly poison that’s slowly damaging her heart. Veronica literally has days left when she meets Jared.

Jared, gifted with supper-sonic vampiric hearing, picks up on Veronica’s stuttering heart. Gentleman vampire pirate that he is, Jared makes her an offer she can’t refuse: become his mate and his blood will not only heal her, but she’ll become immortal. There is, of course, a catch — there always is, isn’t there?

Tricked is newest novella in author Zanetti’s Dark Protector Series and is brought to us by the good people at 1001 Dark Nights. It is a stand alone story, picking up where Tamed ended, but you do not have to have read Tamed to enjoy this tale.

Let me say upfront — I love the canon Rebecca Zanetti has created for these vampires. Not frigid monsters lacking souls, doomed to wander the earth endlessly craving blood, Zanetti’s vampires are warm blooded, beer guzzling, meat-lover pizza eating males who drink only from their mates. They’re born with extra chromosomal pairs, so technically, these vampires are living creatures, not human, but compatible with our species. Powerful, protective, Jared and his fellow vampires are really superheroes with fangs.

With a rapid pace, Tricked is a deliciously hot tale of a vampire and his mate coming together. Author Rebecca Zanetti has created such interesting characters, and succeeds at running them through a maze of situations that keeps the reader mesmerized. No filler here, folks, just a well crafted tale of blood, lust, love and booty.

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

*ARC received from the author and 1001 Dark Nights via InkslingerPR in exchange for an honest review.

tricked-tour-teaser-2

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

 AMAZON US   AMAZON UK   AMAZON AU   AMAZON CA

 

Download the Free Kindle App

tricked-available-now

 

CLICK ON THE TEASER BELOW FOR YOUTUBE VIDEO!

 

tricked-tour-teaser-1 

 

– ABOUT REBECCA ZANETTI –

 

rebecca-zanetti-headshotNew York Times and USA Today Bestseller Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and contemporary romances. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Her current series are: The Dark Protectors, The Maverick Montana Cowboys, and the Sin Brothers series. Upcoming series are: The Realm Enforcers and The Scorpius Syndrome.

 

– CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR –

  

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

InkSlinger Blogger Final

Halloween Treats Bundle from Alexa Riley (Note: this bundle contains material previously reviewed on Vagabonda Reads)

 

– ABOUT THE BUNDLE –

 

It’s Halloween and we’re bundling our wickedly dirty books together just for you! And BONUS… We’re including a brand new shorty to get you in the spirit!

Raven Treat is an elementary school teacher with a secret crush on the uncle of a student. She’s been lusting from afar, but little does she know he’s been taking steps to make her his.

Jack Bates has been obsessed with Raven since the second he saw her. The Halloween school dance is his opening to make her his and make sure she never gets away.

Warning: Their story is fast, hot, and sugary sweet! Grab some candy corn and throw it in the trash… Then get some chocolate and snuggle up with this adorable read!


Bundle includes: Buy Me 3, Riding Red, Taking What’s Wicked and Halloween Treats.

GRAPHIC WARNING: TAKING WHAT’S WICKED contains material dealing with forced submission.  If you are not familiar with forced submission erotica, please do some investigating.

 

Click on the links to read my reviews of RIDING RED and TAKING WHAT’S WICKED
As HALLOWEEN TREATS is an anthology, the rating of this publication (⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 ) is based upon the aggregate rating for all four stories, as follows:

HALLOWEEN TREATS — ⭐️⭐️1/2

 

BUY ME 2 — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

RIDING RED — ⭐️⭐️⭐️3/4

 

TAKING WHAT’S WICKED — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


 

– REVIEW – HALLOWEEN TREATS

 

Elementary school teacher Raven Treat has a secret admirer. Well, maybe not so secret. His name is Jack Bates and he’s a successful architect in Seattle. Jack’s adorable nephew, Scott, is a student in Raven’s class. Little Scotty’s school happens to be near Jack’s office, so it’s no biggie for Uncle Jack to pick up his nephew from school.

One fateful day, Jack sees Raven and it’s insta-love on his part. Raven, a curvy, luscious lady, has noticed Jack, but thinks her chances with him are slim to none.  Little does she know that the fabulous apartment she’s currently renting at an unbelievably affordable rate is in a building owned by none other than Jack Bates.

Jack finally corners Raven and they agree to meet then next evening at the school’s annual Halloween Party. Jack stipulates that they’ll have dinner, too, and a shaky Raven agrees.  Little does Raven know that she’s the main entree . . . .

Halloween Treats is the smutty little story we’ve come to expect from team Alexa Riley. The sex is pretty explicit, but vanilla. Jack didn’t strike this reader as the usual testosterone-laden Alpha male (surprisingly) but what really did strike this reader was the use of the many, many well-worn tropes — the hottie, wildly successful Seattle architect, living in the high rise (hello, hello?), the naive teacher who lands the incredible living space that’s too good to be true — I could go on and on. And of course, the adorable little child who is ultimately the matchmaker.

Team Alexa Riley has written some deliciously, delightful, naughty Halloween stories (Taking What’s Wicked comes to mind), but were this not part of a Halloween Anthology, I’d suggest digging around for a better treat in Alexa Riley’s bag of goodies.

 

⭐️⭐️1/2

 

– REVIEW –  BUY ME 2 –

 

Mandy Burch has been at the beck and call of wealth casino owner Charles Townsend for the past thirty days. As a favor to the Cortez brothers, Mandy agreed to be Charles’ assistant, and boy, is she ever glad time is up on this assignment. Charles has been nothing but an obnoxious tool, and even though Mandy finds him attractive, she’s moving on. (Or is she?)

Mandy has an epiphany and decides it’s time for her to live a little, so she offers her virgin self up for none other that the Mistress Auction! (Go big or go home, right?) It turns out our Mandy has an ache that needs to be filled, so being auctioned off to the highest bidder is the answer to fulfillment (okay, well, sexual fulfillment . . .  maybe). Of course, the heavy breather, Charles, has been lusting after Mandy from the moment he laid eyes on her, so when he’s tipped off that she’s being offered up for the Halloween Mistress Auction, he’s all in.

Buy Me 2 is the second offering in Team Alexa Riley’s successful Mistress Auction Series and it does not disappoint. Charles is insta loving Alpha male obsessed with owning his mate, Mandy. Add to that mix, Charles is a Dominant, so handcuffs come into play.  Oh, and he’s a bit of a creeper/stalker, too.  So, readers — be prepared.

Buy Me 2 is an example of what Team Alexa Riley does best — it’s smutty, dirty quick read, meant to entertain and stimulate. As with most of their stories, Buy Me 2 comes with a STRONG GRAPHIC WARNING, as it contains themes of explicit sexual encounters, BDSM, and I’d even add kidnapping. A bedtime story for the grown ups, Buy Me 2 is not for the kiddies.

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*ARC received from the authors via Ardent PRose in exchange for an honest review*

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

goodreads-badge.png

 

– ABOUT ALEXA RILEY –

Alexa Riley is two sassy friends who got together and wrote some dirty books. They are both married moms of two who love football, donuts, and obsessed book heroes.
They specialize in insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read. If you want something SAFE, short, and always with a happily ever after, then Alexa Riley is for you!

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

 

ArdentProse_LogoMain.jpg

 

 

1001 Dark Nights Presents: Midnight Untamed by Lara Adrian

midnight-untamed-tour-banner

We are thrilled to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for MIDNIGHT UNTAMED by Lara Adrian, a novella in her Midnight Breed Series brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. Grab your copy of this sexy novella today!

 

midnight-untamed-tour-teaser-2

 

–  ABOUT MIDNIGHT UNTAMED –

 

midnight-untamed-coverThe mission was supposed to be simple. Infiltrate an enemy’s stronghold outside Rome and eliminate its leader. For a Breed warrior as lethal as Ettore Selvaggio, AKA “Savage”, stealth assassinations are only one of his many cold-hearted specialties. But the last thing Savage expects to find behind enemy lines—in his target’s bed—is a woman he once adored.

It’s been years since Savage last saw beautiful Arabella Genova. Years he’s strived to banish to his past, along with the fierce desire he once felt toward Bella . . . and the irresistible calling of her blood that stirs in him even now, despite the fact that she belongs to another male.

But when fate throws Savage and Bella together again in a race for their lives, will his long-lost love prove to be the one woman he can’t live without, or the perfect weapon to destroy him?

– EXCERPT –

 

Arabella knew better than to keep Massioni waiting. He’d sent her away to fetch her scrying bowl while he entertained his boot-licking cronies in the grand salon. They were gloating over a large payout from a shipment of Red Dragon to the States and the United Kingdom—a narcotic that destroyed the minds of their own kind, the Breed, creating blood-addicted monsters from just the smallest dose. They didn’t care that their sudden windfall came at the expense of both Breed and human lives. She had learned a long time ago that Vito Massioni’s greed knew no bounds.

Nor did his violence.

That her gift had helped him amass his growing fortune, and the power that came with it, made Arabella want to retch.

How often had she thought about giving him a false reading from her scrying bowl?

How many times had she dreaded that her visions would one day prove incorrect?

But she hadn’t deceived him, not once.

And, thankfully, her visions had never been wrong.

Either of those failings would come at the cost of innocent lives. Not her own, but the people she cared about most in the world. The only family she had left now.

It was those precious lives she held close in her heart as she walked over to the cabinet across the room and retrieved the hammered gold bowl she would need for her reading downstairs. In reality, her gift would awaken when she peered into any standing pool of liquid, but Massioni insisted she use the ridiculous carnival fortune-teller’s style bowl for dramatic effect whenever she performed a public reading.

Cradling the shallow bowl in her palms, she drew the empty vessel out of the cabinet. Her own face stared back at her in the reflection on the polished gold basin—but that wasn’t all.

Behind her stood the ominous shape of someone else.

A man.

Tall, immense.

An intruder dressed entirely in black tactical gear.

Bella sucked in a startled breath.

Fear streaked through her, but before her shriek could rip up the back of her throat, a broad palm came up to cover her mouth.

Oh, God.

 

– REVIEW –

 

What is not to love about a hot male vampire racing around in a Pagani?

Ettore Selvaggio (Savage) is a Breed — a vampire bred from the Ancient Sire. Needless to say, he’s hot, deadly, and, as most vamps are, brooding in his heart of hearts for his lost love, Arabella (Bella) Genova. It’s been ten years since they were parted, and during that time Savage has taken up with a group called The Order. The Order is the ruling entity of the vamps (they’re the good guys), based in Washington, D. C.

Savage finds himself outside Rome, in the middle of a covert operation to take down the Opus Nostrum (literally translated, Our Work) vampire terrorist organization. Opus Nostrum, headed by Vito Massioni, has been behind the distribution of a deadly street drug called Red Dragon, which, when ingested by vampires, turned them into base creatures — basically reverting the vamps back into bloodthirsty monsters.

About to detonate the explosion that will bring down the villa wherein Massioni and his cohorts are meeting, Savage recognizes a woman among  the terrorists —it’s his Bella. What is she doing there, and can he save her from the Opus Nostrum? Does she even want to be saved? You know this vampire wants answers, and he’s going to get them . . . .

Midnight Untamed by Lara Adrian is brought to us by the good people at 1001 Dark Nights, so it has to be quality material and it does not disappoint. A novella, Midnight Untamed is offering 17.5 in Adrian’s Midnight Breed vampire series, and it is a stand alone. This is the first Midnight Breed story I’ve read but it will not be my last — the plot line grabbed me right off the bat (pun intended) and the characters are memorable. I confess I love a good vampire story, fangs and all, and these vamps are written within true vampire mythology but with some interesting twists.

Savage and Bella’s storyline was predicable but it contained insanely hot vampire sex. (That alone sold me on this book.) As enjoyable as their story was, I found I was drawn even more to the promise of Scythe and Chiara’s story. Kudos to author Adrian for introducing characters into this plot without leaving the reader feel smothered in introductions.

This is a very quick but satisfying read. If you are a fan of vampire erotica, I recommend Lara Adrian’s Midnight Untamed — you will not be disappointed!

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*ARC received from 1001 Dark Nights via Inkslinger in exchange for an  honest review.*

 

CLICK ON THE TEASER BELOW FOR VIDEO!

SSUCv3H4sIAAAAAAAEAH1QPQvCMBDdBf9DyFxQcHN0cBPcxeGaHjWYJpJLKqX0v5s0CWYQt3sf945383bDGG+BpOBHNkcUsFTKk7PgpNGB3jeZx046YyWoSEZuWRVODpwnpBiRKQEO++BNZN4vd24JsyKsYtgIEj8heDftzkCPeL2pHOTb6LhIEqgUaDSeeNGX5k/oFc1L4c8w1N+INNxLXehRi2ktVZW1qBBS2Vuy8ufboR3q+qPs0FQYfCdN9YnRCFBx4VAli/B0M+R7ywdy/8iomwEAAA==

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU |  Amazon Canada

Download the Free Kindle App

 

– ABOUT LARA ADRIAN –

 

 

lara-adrian-headshotLara Adrian is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the Midnight Breed vampire romance series and seven award-winning, historical romances, previously released under the pen name Tina St. John.

Lara’s Midnight Breed series is available in hardcover, mass market paperback and e-book through Random House, and in limited edition through Doubleday Book Club, Rhapsody Book Club, Book of The Month, and the Science Fiction Book Club. Unabridged audio editions are available through Tantor Media, Random House Audio, Amazon, iTunes, etc. Lara’s new releases regularly appear on all of the key bestseller lists including the New York TimesUSA TodayPublishers Weekly, Indiebound, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc. There are more than 2 million copies of the Midnight Breed novels in print in the United States.

 

– CONTACT THE AUTHOR –

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

midnight-untamed-available-now

zinkslinger-blogger

 

 

Launch and Review – 1001 Dark Nights Presents: Kayden/Simon (Bayou Heat Novellas) by Alexandra Ivy and Laura Wright

KAYDEN-SIMON RDL Banner

KAYDEN/SIMON by Alexandra Ivy & Laura Wright, novellas in their Bayou Heat Series brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights, is here! Be sure you check out the trailer and excerpt below, and grab your copy today!

 

KAYDEN/SIMON

by

ALEXANDRA IVY and LAURA WRIGHT

 

 

– SYNOPSIS –

 

KAYDEN-SIMONENEMY TO LOVER

Kayden is obsessed with revenge after his parents disappeared when he was just a cub. Now the gorgeous Hunter has discovered the man responsible for betraying them – Joshua Ford – and it’s time for payback. Beginning with the kidnapping of Joshua’s daughter, Bianca. But last thing he expects is to be confronted with the horrifying realization that Bianca is his mate. Will he put revenge before his chance for eternal happiness?

 

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Sexy male model, Simon refuses to give up his exciting life in New York City to return to the slow heat of the Wildlands. For a decade, many pantera have tried to capture the rogue Diplomat and bring him home, but all have failed. Now it’s Tryst’s turn. The hard, brilliant, and gorgeous, Hunter is the ultimate tracker. But can the admitted beast-girl of the Wildlands capture her prey without losing her heart in the process?

 

– EXCERPT –

 

Xavier, the leader of the Geeks, winced at the noise assaulting his sensitive ears.

The center of the Wildlands was usually bustling with activity. It was the heart of the pack. The area where the Pantera gathered to enjoy meals and watch the cubs play in the dappled sunlight.

Over the past few weeks, however, it’d been crowded with the temporary shelters used by the various factions—Diplomats, Geeks, and Hunters—while the main headquarters was being rebuilt.

Standing at the edge of the clearing, the two males studied the roof being nailed down on the large, colonial-styled structure. The new headquarters would look a lot like the old one, although it would be larger, with the latest technology built in.

Xavier had just received an update from the electrician who was preparing to install the solar panels. He was a tall male with mocha-toned skin and brilliant blue eyes. He had powerful shoulders, a broad chest, and sharp features that were emphasized by thebuzzed cut of his dark hair.

Beside him was Raphael, the head of the Diplomats. He was equally tall, although his frame was lean rather than heavily muscled, and his blond hair was long enough to brush his shoulders. His eyes werejade, until his inner puma was aroused. Then they smoldered a pure gold.

The two alphas had been working closely together to not only repair the damage from the recent attack, but to reassure their people they were doing everything in their power to keep them safe.

Xavier was just filling in Raphael on the status of the electronic surveillance they were installing on the border of the Wildlands when he caught sight of the male

Pantera strolling toward him with a grim determination.

Kayden.

The younger male was a fellow Geek with short dark hair that always looked messy to Xavier, but his mate told him was mussed in a sexy way. Just as she claimed that Kayden’s neatly trimmed goatee was sexy. Whatever. Women were the strangest creatures.

 

🔥 CLICK ON TEASER BELOW FOR VIDEO 🔥

 

KAYDEN-SIMON RDL teaser 1

 

 

– REVIEW –

 

KAYDEN and SIMON, co-authored by Alexandra Ivy and Laura Wrightare novellas 21 and 22 (respectively) in the successful Bayou Heat Series, and are the latest offer from the folks at 1001 Dark Nights.

The Bayou Heat Series is a paranormal shifter romance series set in the Wildlands — somewhere in the bayous of Louisiana. The Pantera, the inhabitants of the Wildlands, are puma shifters.  Once thought to be the simply the stuff of legends and myth, discovery of the existence of the Pantera has caused them to be hunted down to near extinction — their DNA is used to create a serum that reverses ageing.

KAYDEN

What happens when you discover your mate is the daughter of the man who killed your parents?

Scientist Joshua Ford has been capturing and conduction horrendous experiments with the Pantera for years. Among his victims were the parents of shifter Kayden Segal.  Driven and determined to avenge their deaths, Kayden sets out to destroy Ford.  When he finally breaches Ford’s home, all he finds is Bianca, Ford’s daughter.  Kidnapping her, Kayden soon discovers that Bianca has Pantera blood — and it calls to him.  How is it possible that Kayden’s mate is the daughter of this madman?

KAYDEN is a quick and exotic read. New to this reader, it took a few chapters of Pantera lore and behavior to grasp the puma shifter universe. Once in it though, it can be said that the Pantera know how to bring on the heat. How can you not love a story about feline shifters when given this sort of material:

“Clearly her kitty wanted to play.”

(Bianca, having recently discovered her puma DNA, reacting to Kayden’s sand-papered tongue.)

Kindle Loc. 886 of 2224

SIMON

Gorgeous Puma Simon has been denying the Pantera in him for years, and with good reason. Now a hot and successful model, Simon refuses to be trapped in the Wildlands — that place holds nothing but horrible memories for him.  But the Pantera want him back, sending the gorgeous female Hunter known as Tryst to return Simon to the mystical bayous of Louisiana. When Tryst encounters Simon, the heat and attraction cannot be denied, but she has an assignment to complete.  Heated mating occurs between the two and given that neither Simon or Tryst allow their inner cats to emerge, it’s still wild and exotic and delightfully unrestrained.  Simon eventually faces his past and with Tryst as his mate, the Wildlands are again home.

Again, SIMON, like KAYDEN, is a fast and erotic paranormal read. Simon is quite the hot tom cat, and Tryst is an equally sensuous feline. (This reader is very pleased that the mates bite on another as a sign of ownership, as opposed to spraying musk.)

Both KAYDEN and SIMON are hot little reads, and given their premises, they are a fun and enjoyable escape into the paranormal realm of puma shifters.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*ARC received from 1001 Dark Nights in exchange for an honest review.*

 

KAYDEN-SIMON - Available Now

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon Canada

Download the Free Kindle App

 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHORS –

 

ALEXANDRA IVY

 

Alexandra Ivy - headshotAlexandra Ivy is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. From Alexandra: “I’m not exactly sure when I fell in love with books. Probably on my mother’s knee listening to her read Dr. Seuss to me. I do remember that I was barely old enough to cross the street by myself when I discovered the delights of the local library.

Could anything be more wonderful than spending summer days surrounded by stacks of Nancy Drew mysteries? Over the years I fell in love with Victoria Holt, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and J.R.R. Tolkien just to name a few. I read poetry, essays, biographies, and plays. In fact, I read anything I could get my hands on.

Years later (no, I’m not admitting how many) I’m still an avid reader, and my tastes are still as varied as they were in my youth, which I suppose helps to explain why I enjoy writing regency historicals under the name of Deborah Raleigh, as well as my contemporary paranormals as Alexandra Ivy. For now that is enough to keep me busy, but who knows what the future might hold!

I do have a few other loves in my life besides reading and writing, the most important being my unbelievably patient husband, David, and my two sons, Chance and Alexander. Without their constant support and belief in me, I never could have been able to follow my dreams. They are truly my heroes.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Website   Facebook   Twitter

 

 

LAURA WRIGHT

 

Laura Wright - headshotLaura Wright is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. From Laura: “Unlike many of my peers in the writing world, I wasn’t a writer or a reader until I left high school. During my youth I was into theater, song and dance, commercials and boys. I loved romance surely, but I had never read a romance novel until my late teens. With that said, I remember the day I did like it was a moment ago – my aunt gave me the Jude Deveraux novel, Knight in Shining Armor and I couldn’t put it down until the very last word. Then I went straight to the library and got another – then another until I’d read everything she’d ever written. After that, it was McNaught, Howard, Schone, Kleypas, and the Silhouette line, Desire. I instantly loved those emotional, sexy reads, so much so that I began to carve out ideas for my own stories, themes that were unique to me and moved me. In 1997 I enrolled in UCLA extension writing classes, met my mentor and critique partners and since have never stopped writing. I was committed then and I still am now; the need to tell my own romantic stories a full on obsession. My first manuscript was rejected, and though the second one was as well the editor who’d rejected it wanted to see something else from me. I had something (note to authors; always keep working, even after you’ve sent in a proposal) and sent it right away. The day I got the call telling me Desire wanted to buy Cinderella and the Playboy was the best day of my life. That is until I married my husband, and had my two beautiful children. But I must say, writing is much like motherhood – tough, grueling, surprising, delicious and for me, a dream come true.”

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Website    Facebook    Twitter

 

 

InkSlinger-Blogger-New

Review and Excerpt Tour: 1001 Dark Nights Presents: Dragon Fever by Donna Grant

Dragon Fever - Tour banner

 

DRAGON FEVER by Donna Grant, a novella in her Dark Kings Series brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights, is finally here! Be sure you check out the trailer and all the stops on the tour. It’s available now so grab your copy today!

 

DRAGON FEVER

by

DONNA GRANT

 

A yearning that won’t be denied —

 

Dragon Fever - coverRachel Marek is a journalist with a plan. She intends to expose the truth about dragons to the world – and her target is within sight. Nothing matters but getting the truth, especially not the ruggedly handsome, roguishly thrilling Highlander who oozes danger and charm. And when she finds the truth that shatters her faith, she’ll have to trust her heart to the very man who can crush it…

A legend in the flesh

Suave, dashing Asher is more than just a man. He’s a Dragon King – a being who has roamed this planet since the beginning of time. With everything on the line, Asher must choose to trust an enemy in the form of an all too alluring woman whose tenacity and passion captivate him. Together, Asher and Rachel must fight for their lives – and their love – before an old enemy destroys them both…

 

– EXCERPT –

 

It had been so easy to gain Asher’s attention. Then again, she had dressed the part. Though Rachel hadn’t expected such an immediate interaction with him, she was still pleased. She’d guessed right in what would draw his attention.

“Good evening,” he said in a smooth, deep brogue that she wanted to hate but couldn’t.

She nodded, smiling “Evening.”

“Ah. American.”

“Is that a problem?”

He was quick to shake his head. “No’ at all. I’ve several close friends who are married to Americans. I’m Asher, by the way.”

She took his hand. His long fingers tenderly wrapped around hers as his Scottish brogue fell from his lips. “Rae.”

“A curiously male name for a verra feminine woman.”

“It’s a nickname.” It was a trick of any good undercover journalist worth their salt to remain close to the truth in any scenario. Sharing an old nickname allowed her to use something other than her name, but still answer to it because she knew it.

“And your real name?”

She smiled flirtatiously. “That I save for those I deem worthy.”

One side of his lips lifted in a shockingly seductive grin. He leaned back in his chair casually, those bright green eyes of his studying her, as if by staring he might be able to see all the secrets she kept hidden away.

Rachel found herself gazing into his eyes. Never had she seen eyes such a dazzling green before. Even if she hadn’t known he was an immortal and a Dragon King, the truth of who he was blazed in those eyes of his.

“Your smile is fading. Why?” he asked, a small frown forming.

“Do you believe you can see a person’s soul in their eyes?”

“Aye,” he replied immediately.

 

– REVIEW –

 

“This was their planet. From the dawn of time dragons have roamed this world, ruling all. They could’ve easily killed the humans when they appeared, but they hadn’t. The Kings made room for them.”

Dragon Fever

Kindle Loc. 373 of 2125

Dragon King Asher longs for his home, Dreagan, nested in the Scottish Highlands. Reluctantly, he finds himself in Paris attending the World Whiskey Consortium, representing Dreagan Industries. Dreagan Industries distills the finest Scottish whiskey (yes, whiskey) known to man.

Rachel Marek has made her name in investigative journalism.  When presented video evidence possibly exposing the existence of dragons on planet Earth, Rachel jumps at the chance to break this story to the public.  Knowing that there will be a representative from Dreagan Industries at the Consortium, Rachel heads to Paris.  Once there, Rachel goes undercover as Rae in hopes of collecting evidence supporting the video. Her plan is to seduce Asher.

Rachel is a pretty cool customer,  Confident of her skills as a reporter and as a woman, very little rocks Rachel’s boat — that is until she encounters Asher in the flesh.  Dragon King Asher is a glorious specimen to behold — dark haired, green-eyed, complete with a devastating burr — he’s irresistible.

Neither Asher nor Rachel can deny the combustion they feel for the other, and this leads to some very fevered, scorching times between the two. But the path of true love and soul mates between the mortal and immortal is never easy, and such is the case between Asher and Rachel.

So what’s it like getting it on with a dragon? Hot — verra, verra, hot!

Dragon Fever is the latest offering from the folks at 1001 Dark Nights, and book 9.5 in Donna Grant’s deliciously hot Dark Kings SeriesDragon Fever is a stand alone novella, and you do not have to be familiar with the series to enjoy this tasty tidbit. There is a little cliffie concerning the overall plot of the Dark King Series, but story featured in Dragon Fever is complete.

A confession: this reader was a bit skeptical concerning dragon/human erotica, but can now report that she happily popped that cherry while reading this book. If you’re a lover of paranormal/fantasy erotica, enter the realm of Dragon Fever. You won’t be disappointed.

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

*ARC received in exchange for an honest review.*

CLICK TEASER FOR AMAZING VIDEO —

Dragon Fever - Tour teaser 1

 

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon AU

Download the Free Kindle App

 

Glass of whiskey on wooden background close up

 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

DONNA GRANT

 

 

Donna Grant - headshotDonna Grant is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the sizzling Dark King series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.

She was born and raised in Texas but loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her throughout the United States as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, and Scotland. Growing up on the Texas/Louisiana border, Donna’s Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding.

Despite deadlines and voracious reading, Donna still manages to keep up with her two children, four cats, and one long haired Chihuahua.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp| DRAGON FEVER on Goodreads

 

Dragon Fever - Available Now

 

 

InkSlinger-Blogger-New

Review and Excerpt: The Secret Language of Stones by M. J. Rose

TheSecretLanguageOfStones-Tour Banner

THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES is a stunning historical gothic romantic suspense published by Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, releasing on July 19th. Written to be a total and complete standalone novel, THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES is the second title in M.J. Rose’s The Daughters of La Lune Series. Sexy, compelling, and seductive, be sure to grab your copy today!

MJ TSLOS - HiddenRomanov-teaser

“The most powerful book I’ve read this year! Seductive, compelling, and beautifully written.” ~New York Times bestseller Melissa Foster

 

– SYNOPSIS –

 

 As World War I rages and the Romanov dynasty reaches its sudden, brutal end, a young jewelry maker discovers love, passion, and her own healing powers in this rich and romantic ghost story, the perfect follow-up to M.J. Rose’s “brilliantly crafted” (Providence Journal) novel The Witch of Painted Sorrows.

The Secret Language of StonesNestled within Paris’s historic Palais Royal is a jewelry store unlike any other. La Fantasie Russie is owned by Pavel Orloff, protégé to the famous Faberge, and is known by the city’s fashion elite as the place to find the rarest of gemstones and the most unique designs. But war has transformed Paris from a city of style and romance to a place of fear and mourning. In the summer of 1918, places where lovers used to walk, widows now wander alone.

So it is from La Fantasie Russie’s workshop that young, ambitious Opaline Duplessi now spends her time making trench watches for soldiers at the front, as well as mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives, and lovers of those who have fallen. People say that Opaline’s creations are magical. But magic is a word Opaline would rather not use. The concept is too closely associated with her mother Sandrine, who practices the dark arts passed down from their ancestor La Lune, one of sixteenth century Paris’s most famous courtesans.

But Opaline does have a rare gift even she can’t deny, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from stones. Certain gemstones, combined with a personal item, such as a lock of hair, enable her to receive messages from beyond the grave. In her mind, she is no mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message—directly to her.

So begins a dangerous journey that will take Opaline into the darkest corners of wartime Paris and across the English Channel, where the exiled Romanov dowager empress is waiting to discover the fate of her family. Full of romance, seduction, and a love so powerful it reaches beyond the grave, The Secret Language of Stones is yet another “spellbindingly haunting” (Suspense magazine), “entrancing read that will long be savored” (Library Journal, starred review).

 

– EXCERPT –

 

My mother was disappointed I wasn’t following in her footsteps and studying painting but agreed jewelry design offered a fine alternative. I knew my choice appealed to the rebel in her. The field hadn’t yet welcomed women, and my mother, who had broken down quite a few barriers as a female artist and eschewed convention as much as plain white handkerchiefs, was pleased that, like her, I would be challenging the status quo.

When I’d graduated lycée, I convinced my parents to let me apprentice with a local jeweler, and Timur often stopped by Roucher’s shop at the end of the day to collect me and walk me home.

Given our ages, his twenty to my seventeen, it wasn’t surprising our closeness turned physical, and we spent many hours hiding in the shadows of the rocks on the beach as twilight deepened, kissing and exploring each other’s bodies. The heady intimacy was exciting. The passion, transforming. My sense of taste became exaggerated. My sense of smell became more attenuated. The stones I worked with in the shop began to shimmer with a deeper intensity, and my ability to hear their music became fine-tuned.

The changes were as frightening as they were exhilarating. As the passions increased my powers, I worried I was becoming like my mother. And yet my fear didn’t make me turn from Timur. The pleasure was too great. My attraction was fueled by curiosity rather than love. Not so for him. And even though I knew Timur was a romantic, I never guessed at the depths of what he felt.

 

MJ TSLOS - EscapeIntoReading-teaser

 

Early reviews for The Secret Language of Stones by M. J. Rose —

“A dazzling mix of history, mystery and mystical arts . . . Rose’s paranormal historical bewitches from start to finish. Her amazing ability to make her story line believable and her extraordinary protagonist relatable result in an unforgettable psychic thriller.” (Library Journal (Starred review))

“An exciting mix of adventure, intrigue, and romance in this thrilling historical tale.” (Booklist)

“Haunting, spellbinding, captivating; Rose’s story of the power of love and redemption is masterful. More than a romance or ghost story, this is a tale of a young woman learning to embrace her unique qualities…So carefully crafted and beautifully written, readers will believe in the magical possibilities of love transcending time.”  (RT Magazine (Top Pick))

“Rose follows up The Witch of Painted Sorrows (2015) with Sandrine’s daughter’s story, set against the tragic yet exquisite canvases of Paris, the Great War, and the Russian Revolution, and offers fascinating historical tidbits in the midst of bright, imaginative storytelling and complex, supernatural worldbuilding. A compelling, heart-wrenching, creative, and intricate read.”  (Kirkus Reviews)

 

– REVIEW –

 

“ . . . A grand love, you wrote. Did you have a love that grand?” I asked him.

No. I never did. Did you?

“No, and I wouldn’t want to. It would be too painful if it failed.”

But to experience it once—even if it is painful—don’t you think it would be worth it? Wouldn’t you want to know what that kind of intensity is like? Wouldn’t you want to feel that deeply?

Opaline Duplessi to Jean Luc Forèt 

Kindle Loc. 2474 of 4432

Set in Paris during the last year of World War I, M. J. Rose’s The Secret Language of Stones is an enchanting and utterly absorbing story of the romance between the young woman, Opaline Duplessi, and her spectral lover, Jean Luc Forèt.

As a Daughter of La Lune, Opaline descends from a legendary family of witches, each female in the line gifted with specific powers or talents. It is while working as an apprentice jeweler in Paris that Opaline’s gift of lithomancy (the ability to connect with other realms through stones) comes into full fruition.

Using her talent to fashion talismans of remembrance for the grieving families of lost soldiers, Opaline discovers that the crystal talismans are speaking to her, sending her messages from those who have passed.  As quiet word goes out in Paris about the young psychic jeweler and her talismans, Opaline finds herself sought out by the mourners seeking one last contact from their departed loved ones.

One day a grief-stricken mother enters the jewelry shop, seeking Opaline. Denise Alouette has received notice that her son, Jean Luc, has been lost in battle. She commissions Opaline to create a remembrance talisman, giving Opaline a lock of Jean Luc’s hair and the dates of his birth and death. As Opaline starts to assemble the pendant, Jean Luc begins to speak to her through the stones.

Opaline begins to doubt her sanity — Jean Luc’s spirit is far stronger that any she’s encountered in the past. His persistence in seeking her out convinces Opaline that Jean Luc has a significant purpose in her own life. Keeping the finished talisman for herself, a guilty Opaline gives his mother a substitute pendant.

Following his direction, Opaline sets out to learn the facts of Jean Luc’s life, his passions, his dreams. During the course of their connection, Jean Luc’s spirit becomes increasing stronger and a heated romance grows between Opaline and her spirit lover — to the point of physical consummation. (And this reader leaves it to you to discover how the author brilliantly accomplishes this stunningly sensual feat.)

The Secret Language of Stones will captivate your imagination while it grabs your heart. The second novel the M. J. Rose’s The Daughters of La Lune series, it is a stand alone novel and does not required the reader to have read Rose’s The Witch of Painted Sorrows. The romance between Opaline and Jean Luc, centered amid the vestiges of a Belle Époque Paris suffering under German bombardment, combines the mystique of the paranormal with the grim reality of the cost of war.

Beautifully written, author Rose weaves her plot lines with golden threads — the secondary plots, strong and fascinating, could easily stand as their own story. The characters are carefully crafted and, given the story’s premise, completely believable. The rich attention to detail will leave you feeling as if you are taking a walking tour of Paris, whether it be through the halls of the Louvre, or amid the shadows cast by the tombs in the Père Lachaise. Rose generously gives her readers a little bit of everything — intrigue, sorcery, history — not to mention a breathtaking love story that will have the reader devouring every page, down to the very last word.

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

 

*ARC received from Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

 iBooks | IndieBound

MJ TSLOS Fb Ad 3-2

And Don’t Miss the First Book in The Daughters of La Lune Series, THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS!

 

WitchPainted_Rose

 

Amazon   Barnes and Noble

   iBooks    IndieBound

 

Daughter of La Lune Pendant
 Giveaway!

We’re celebrating the release of THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES by giving away a beautiful Daughter of La Lune pendant. Designed by Cadsawan Jewelry, the silver pendant contains a labradorite, a magical stone excellent for awakening one’s own awareness of inner spirit, intuition, and psychic abilities.

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

M. J. ROSE

 

MJ Rose - HeadshotNew York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization’s co-president.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Website TwitterFacebook 

 Author Goodreads Novel GoodreadsNewsletterPinterest

 

InkSlinger-Blogger-New

1001 Dark Nights Presents: Discovery Bundle Five

Bundle Five - RDL Banner

 

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Five! 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Five is brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. The Bundle contains 6 novellas, including 2 novellas from 1001 Dark Nights Discovery Authors, Angel Payne and Michelle St. James! This is one hot bundle. Grab your copy today!

 

1001 Dark Nights Discovery Bundle Five 

 

From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors Julie Kenner, Lexi Blake, Larissa Ione, and Elisabeth Naughton, and introducing Angel Payne and Michelle St. James

 Six Dark Tales. Six Sensual Stories. Six Page Turners.

 Every Dark Nights tale is breathtakingly sexy and magically romantic.

 

BUNDLE FIVE - coverCARESS OF PLEASURE: I’d thought that he was mine, the dark, arresting man who commanded not only my body but my heart. Dante had swept into my life, and I’d succumbed to the burn of passion in his arms. I’d believed we had a love that would last forever, but he’d shattered my dreams and broken me into pieces when he’d walked away.

ADORED: Mitch Bradford knows he’s not good for any woman—especially not his best friend’s sister. Laurel Daley knows what she wants, and her sights are set on Mitch. She knows he just needs a little polish to make some woman the perfect lover. She intends to be that woman, but first she has to show him how good it could be.

HADES: Cataclysm was kicked out of Heaven and is now a fallen angel. All she wants is to redeem herself and get back where she belongs. When she gets trapped in Hades’s Underworld prison domain with only Hades to help her, Cat finds that where she belongs might be in the place she least expected…

RAVAGED: Ari has one singular focus: revenge. His guardian brothers all think he’s dead, but he is alive and chipping away at Zeus’s Sirens every chance he can. When he abducts the wrong female and his identity is finally exposed, it will take the courage of one woman willing to stand up to a warrior who’s become a savage to rein Ari in.

NAUGHTY LITTLE GIFT: From the moment Mishella Santelle locks eyes with Cassian Court, she can see the man beneath the power…the bruised soul for whom hers has been destined. When six months of her life are bargained to Cassian in a multimillion dollar contract, Mishella is helpless against the reaction of her body and soul to this man.

THE SENTINEL: Determined to maintain the friendship that has been her rock since childhood, Diana Barrett resigns herself to keeping her distance from Leo Gage. Leo has worshipped Diana Barrett since they were kids, but she can never know that. When Diana witnesses a murder, she goes to the only person who has ever made her feel safe. Now Leo and Diana are on the run.

Bundle 5 now available  (1)

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK 

 

 Amazon CA | Amazon AU

 

BundleFive-St.James-teaser

 

Experience the 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Five Here…

 

 

Wedding, Beautiful Romantic Bride and Groom Kissing and Embracing at Sunset

 

– About the 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Five Authors –

 

J Kenner - headshotJulie Kenner

Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York TimesUSA Today,Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journalbestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures.

Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries.

J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats.

 

Lexi Blake - headshotLexi Blake

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband and three kids. She began writing at a young age concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.

 

 

Larissa Ione - headshotLarissa Ione

Larissa Ione is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. An Air Force veteran, she traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

 

 

 

Elisabeth Naughton - headshotElisabeth Naughton

Elisabeth Naughton is a New York Timesand USA Today bestselling author. From Elisabeth: “I was never one of those people who knew they wanted to be an author at the age of six. I didn’t have imaginary friends. I didn’t write stories in my journal or entertain my relatives by firelight after Thanksgiving dinner. For the most part, I was just a normal, everyday kid. I liked to read, but I wasn’t exceptional at it. And when my teachers complimented me on my writing abilities, I brushed them off. I did, however, always have a penchant for the unique and absurd. And as my mother told me all throughout my childhood, I should have been an actress—I was a drama queen before my time.

“Years ago, my husband bought me Scarlett: The Sequel to Gone With The Wind. If you ever saw the book, you know it’s a long one. I sat and read that thing from cover to cover, and dreamed of one day being a writer. But I didn’t actually try my hand at writing until years later when I quit my teaching job to stay home with my kids. And my husband? After that week of reading where I neglected him and everything else until I finished Scarlett, he vowed never to buy me another book again. Little did he know I’d one day end up sitting at a keyboard all day drafting my own stories.

“My writing journey has not been easy. I didn’t just sit down one day, decide I was going to write a book and voila! sell my very first attempt. As most authors will probably agree, the path to publication is filled with hours of work, pulling all-nighters I thought I’d given up in college, sacrifices, rejections, but a love I discovered along the way I just can’t live without. Instead of a big, thick book to read by lamplight (I do read much smaller ones when I get the chance), I’ve traded in my reading obsession for a laptop. And I’ve never been happier.

“I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a wonderful family and fabulous husband who put up with my writing—and obsessive personality—even when life is chaotic. More than once my kids have been late to swimming or baseball because I needed just five more minutes to finish a scene. Their support and encouragement mean the world to me. I also have amazing friends and a support network I couldn’t survive without. So to all of you out there who have encouraged me along the way, sent me emails and fan letters, phone calls and congratulations, I just want to say, thank you. You make this whole writing gig that much more enjoyable. I truly wouldn’t be here without you.”

 

Angel - HeadshotAngel Payne

USA Today bestselling romance author Angel Payne has been reading and writing her entire life, though her love for romances began in junior high, when writing with friends on “swap stories” they’d trade between classes. Needless to say, those stories involved lots of angst, groping, drama, and French kissing.

She began getting a paycheck for her writing in her twenties, writing record reviews for a Beverly Hills-based dance music magazine. Some years, various entertainment industry gigs, and a number of years in the hospitality industry later, Angel returned to the thing she loves the most: creating character-based romantic fiction. Along the way, she also graduated with two degrees from Chapman University in Southern California, taking departmental honors for English, before writing five historical romances for Kensington and Bantam/Doubleday/Dell.

Angel found a true home in writing contemporary-based romances featuring high heat, memorable alpha men, and the women who tame them. She has numerous book series to her credit, including the Kinky Truth series, the Cimarron saga, the Secrets of Stone series (with Victoria Blue), and the popular W.I.L.D. Boys of Special Forces series, as well as several stand-alone titles. The C Suite series launches in 2016.

Angel still lives in Southern California, where she is married to her soul mate and lives on a street that looks like Brigadoon, with their awesome daughter and Lady Claire, the dog with impeccable manners. When not writing, she enjoys reading, pop culture, alt rock, cute shoes, enjoying the outdoors, and being a gym rat.

Find Angel on her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

M St. James - headshotMichelle St. James

Michelle St. James is a pen name for critically acclaimed YA author Michelle Zink. Her first series, Prophecy of the Sisters (YA), was one of Booklist’s Top Ten Debut novels. Her work has also been an Indie Next selection and has appeared on prestigious lists such as the Lonestar List, New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age, and Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and translated into over twenty languages. She lives in New York with too many teenagers and too many cats.

Find Michelle on her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

InkSlinger-Blogger-New

Chapter Reveal: The Secret Language of Stones by M. J. Rose

MJ TSLOS Collage with magic quote

 

THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES is a stunning historical gothic romantic suspense published by Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, being released on July 19th. This is the second title in M.J. Rose’s The Daughters of La Lune Series and absolutely not to be missed! Check out the first chapter below then pre-order your copy today!

 

 

THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES

by

M. J. ROSE

 

 

As World War I rages and the Romanov dynasty reaches its sudden, brutal end, a young jewelry maker discovers love, passion, and her own healing powers in this rich and romantic ghost story, the perfect follow-up to M.J. Rose’s “brilliantly crafted” (Providence Journal) novel The Witch of Painted Sorrows.

 

– SYNOPSIS –

 

The Secret Language of StonesNestled within Paris’s historic Palais Royal is a jewelry store unlike any other. La Fantasie Russie is owned by Pavel Orloff, protégé to the famous Faberge, and is known by the city’s fashion elite as the place to find the rarest of gemstones and the most unique designs. But war has transformed Paris from a city of style and romance to a place of fear and mourning. In the summer of 1918, places where lovers used to walk, widows now wander alone.

So it is from La Fantasie Russie’s workshop that young, ambitious Opaline Duplessi now spends her time making trench watches for soldiers at the front, as well as mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives, and lovers of those who have fallen. People say that Opaline’s creations are magical. But magic is a word Opaline would rather not use. The concept is too closely associated with her mother Sandrine, who practices the dark arts passed down from their ancestor La Lune, one of sixteenth century Paris’s most famous courtesans.

But Opaline does have a rare gift even she can’t deny, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from stones. Certain gemstones, combined with a personal item, such as a lock of hair, enable her to receive messages from beyond the grave. In her mind, she is no mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message—directly to her.

So begins a dangerous journey that will take Opaline into the darkest corners of wartime Paris and across the English Channel, where the exiled Romanov dowager empress is waiting to discover the fate of her family. Full of romance, seduction, and a love so powerful it reaches beyond the grave, The Secret Language of Stones is yet another “spellbindingly haunting” (Suspense magazine), “entrancing read that will long be savored” (Library Journal, starred review).

 

– PRE-ORDER NOW –

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

 

– EXCERPT –

 

Chapter 1

July 19, 1918

“Are you Opaline?” the woman asked before she even stepped all the way into the workshop. From the anxious and distraught tone of her voice, I guessed she hadn’t come to talk about commissioning a bracelet for her aunt or having her daughter’s pearls restrung.

Though not a soldier, this woman was one of the Great War’s wounded, here to engage in the dark arts in the hopes of finding solace. Was it her son or her brother, husband, or lover’s fate that drove her to seek me out?

France had lost more than one million men, and there were battles yet to be fought. We’d suffered the second largest loss of any country in any war in history. No one in Paris remained untouched by tragedy.

What a terrible four years we’d endured. The Germans had placed La Grosse Bertha, a huge cannon, on the border between Picardy and Champagne. More powerful than any weapon ever built, she proved able to send shells 120 kilometers and reach us in Paris.

Since the war began, Bertha had shot more than 325 shells into our city. By the summer of 1918, two hundred civilians had died, and almost a thousand more were hurt. We lived in a state of anticipation and readiness. We were on the front too, as much at risk as our soldiers.

The last four months had been devastating. On March 11, the Vincennes Cemetery in the eastern inner suburbs was hit and hundreds of families lost their dead all over again when marble tombs and granite gravestones shattered. Bombs continued falling into the night. Buildings all over the city were demolished; craters appeared in the streets.

Three weeks later, more devastation. The worst Paris had suffered yet. On Good Friday, during a mass at the Saint-Gervais and Saint-Protais Church, a shell hit and the whole roof collapsed on the congregation. Eighty-eight people were killed; another sixtyeight were wounded. And all over Paris many, many more suffered psychological damage. We became more worried, ever more afraid. What was next? When would it happen? We couldn’t know. All we could do was wait.

In April there were more shellings. And again in May. One hit a hotel in the 13th arrondissement, and because Bertha’s visits were silent, without warning, sleeping guests were killed in their beds.

By the middle of July, there was still no end in sight.

That warm afternoon, while the rain drizzled down, I steeled myself for the expression of grief to match what I’d heard in the customer’s voice. I shut off my soldering machine and put my work aside before I looked up.

Turning soldiers’ wristwatches into trench watches is how I have been contributing to the war effort since arriving in Paris three years ago. History repeats itself, they say, and in my case it’s true. In 1894, my mother ran away from her first husband in New York City and came to Paris. And twenty-one years later, I ran away from my mother in Cannes and came to Paris.

In trying to protect me from the encroaching war and to distract me from the malaise I’d been suffering since my closest friend had been killed, my parents decided to send me to America. No amount of protest, tantrums, bargaining, or begging would change their minds. They were shipping me off to live with family in Boston and to study at Radcliffe, where my uncle taught history.

At ten AM on Wednesday, February 11, 1915 my parents and I arrived at the dock in Cherbourg. French ocean liners had all been acquisitioned for the war, so I was booked on the USMS New York to travel across the sea. A frenetic scene greeted me. Most of the travelers were leaving France out of fear, and the atmosphere was thick with sadness and worry. Faces were drawn, eyes red with crying, as we prepared to board the big hulking ship waiting to transport us away from the terrible war that claimed more and more lives every day.

While my father arranged for a porter to carry my trunk, my mother handed me a last-minute gift, a book from the feel of it, then took me in her arms to kiss me good-bye. I breathed in her familiar scent, knowing it might be a long time until I smelled that particular mixture of L’Etoile’sRouge perfume and the Roger et Gallet poudre de riz she always used to dust her face and décolletage. As she held me and pressed her crimson-stained lips to my cheek, I reached up behind her and carefully unhooked one of the half dozen ropes of cabochon ruby beads slung around her neck.

I let the necklace slip inside my glove, the stones warm as they slid down and settled into my cupped palm.

My mother often told me the story about how, in Paris in 1894, soon after she’d arrived and they’d met, my father helped her secretly pawn some of her grandmother’s treasures to buy art supplies so she could attend École des Beaux-Arts.

Knowing I too might need extra money, I decided to avail myself of some insurance. My mother owned so many strands of those blood-red beads, certainly my transgression would go unnoticed for a long time.

Disentangling herself, my mother dabbed at her eyes with a black handkerchief trimmed in red lace. Like the rubies she always wore, her handkerchiefs were one of her trademarks. Her many eccentricities exacerbated the legends swirling around “La Belle Lune,” as the press called her.

Mon chou, I will miss you. Write often and don’t get into trouble. It’s one thing to break my rules, but listen to your aunt Laura. All right?”

When my father’s turn came, he took me in his arms and exacted another kind of promise. “You will stay safe, yes?” He let go, but only for a moment before pulling me back to plant another kiss on the top of my head and add a coda to his good-bye. “Stay safe,” he repeated, “and please, forgive yourself for what happened with Timur. You couldn’t know what the future would bring. Enjoy your adventure, chérie.”

I nodded as tears tickled my eyes. Always sensitive to me, my father knew how much my guilt weighed on me. My charming and handsome papa always found just the right words to say to me to make me feel special. I didn’t care that I was about to deceive my mother, but I hated that I was going to disappoint my father.

During the winters of 1913 and 1914, my parents’ friends’ son TimurOrloff lived with us in Cannes. He ran a small boutique inside the Carlton Hotel, where, in high season, the hotel rented out space to a select few high-end retailers in order to cater to the celebrities, royalty, and nobility who flocked to the Riviera.

Our families first met when Anna Orloff bought one of my mother’s paintings, and Monsieur Orloff hired my father to design his jewelry store in Paris. A friendship developed that eventually led to my parents offering to house Timur. We quickly became the best of friends, sharing a passion for art and a love of design.

Creating jewelry had been my obsession ever since I’d found my first piece of emerald sea glass at the beach and tried to use string and glue to fashion it into a ring. My father declared jewelry design the perfect profession for the child of a painter and an architect—an ideal way to marry the sense of color and light I’d inherited from my mother and the ability to visualize and design in three dimensions that I’d inherited from him.

My mother was disappointed I wasn’t following in her footsteps and studying painting but agreed jewelry design offered a fine alternative. I knew my choice appealed to the rebel in her. The field hadn’t yet welcomed women, and my mother, who had broken down quite a few barriers as a female artist and eschewed convention as much as plain white handkerchiefs, was pleased that, like her, I would be challenging the status quo.

When I’d graduated lycée, I convinced my parents to let me apprentice with a local jeweler, and Timur often stopped by Roucher’s shop at the end of the day to collect me and walk me home.

Given our ages, his twenty to my seventeen, it wasn’t surprising our closeness turned physical, and we spent many hours hiding in the shadows of the rocks on the beach as twilight deepened, kissing and exploring each other’s body. The heady intimacy was exciting. The passion, transforming. My sense of taste became exaggerated. My sense of smell became more attenuated. The stones I worked with in the shop began to shimmer with a deeper intensity, and my ability to hear their music became fine-tuned.

The changes were as frightening as they were exhilarating. As the passions increased my powers, I worried I was becoming like my mother. And yet my fear didn’t make me turn from Timur. The pleasure was too great. My attraction was fueled by curiosity rather than love. Not so for him. And even though I knew Timur was a romantic, I never guessed at the depths of what he felt.

War broke out during the summer of 1914, and in October, Timur wrote he was leaving for the front to fight for France. Just two weeks after he’d left, I received a poetic letter filled with longing.

Dearest Opaline,

We never talked about what we mean to each other before I left and I find myself in this miserable place, with so little comfort and so much uncertainty. Not the least of which is how you feel about me. I close my eyes and you are there. I think of the past two years and all my important memories include you. I imagine tomorrow’s memories and want to share those with you as well. Here where it’s bleak and barren, thoughts of you keep my heart warm. Do you love me the way I love you? No, I don’t think so, not yet . . . but might you? All I ask is please, don’t fall in love with anyone else while I am gone. Tell me you will wait for me, at least just to give me a chance?

I’d been made uncomfortable by his admission. Handsome and talented, he’d treated me as if I were one of the fine gems he sold. I’d enjoyed his attention and affection, but I didn’t think I was in love. Not the way I imagined love.

And so I wrote a flippant response. Teasing him the way I always did, I accused him of allowing the war to turn him into even more of a romantic. I shouldn’t have. Instead, I should have given him the promise he asked for. Once he came back, I could have set him straight. Then at least, while he remained away, he would have had hope.

Instead, he’d died with only my mockery ringing in his head.

My father was right: I couldn’t have known the future. But I still couldn’t excuse myself for my thoughtless past.

The USMS New York’s sonorous horn blasted three times, and all around us people said their last good-byes. Reluctantly, my father let go of me.

“I’d like you to leave once I’m on board,” I told my parents. “Otherwise, I’ll stand there watching you and I’ll start to cry.”

“Agreed,” my father said. “It would be too hard for us as well.”

Once I’d walked up the gangplank and joined the other passengers at the railing, I searched the crowd, found my parents, and waved.

My mother fluttered her handkerchief. My father blew me a kiss. Then, as promised, they turned and began to walk away. The moment their backs were to me, I ran from the railing, found a porter, pressed some francs into his hand, and asked him to take my luggage from the hold and see me to a taxi.

I would not be sailing to America. I was traveling on a train to Paris. Once ensconced in the cab, I told the driver to transport me to the station. After maneuvering out of the parking space, he joined the crush of cars leaving the port. Moving at a snail’s pace, we drove right past my parents, who were strolling back to the hotel where we’d stayed the night before.

Sliding down in my seat, I hoped they wouldn’t see me, but I’d underestimated my mother’s keen eye.

“Opaline? Opaline?”

Hearing her shout, I rose and peeked out the window. For a moment, they just stood frozen, shocked expressions on their faces. Then my father broke into a run.

“Hurry!” I called out to the driver. “Please.”

At first I thought my father might catch up to the car, but the traffic cleared and my driver accelerated. As we sped away, I saw my father come to a stop and just stand in the road, cars zigzagging all around him as he tried to catch his breath and make sense of what he’d just seen.

Just as we turned the corner, my mother reached his side. He took her arm. I saw an expression of resignation settle on his face. Anger animated hers. I think she knew exactly where I was going. Not because she was clairvoyant, which she was, of course, but because we were alike in so many ways, and if history was about to repeat itself, she wanted me to learn about my powers from her.

I’d been ambivalent about exploring my ability to receive messages that were inaudible and invisible to others—messages that came to me through stones—but I knew if the day came that I was ready, I’d need someone other than her to guide me.

Years ago, when she was closer to my age, my mother’s journey to Paris had begun with her meeting La Lune, a spirit who’d kept herself alive for almost three centuries while waiting for a descendant strong enough to host her. My mother embraced La Lune’s spirit and allowed the witch to take over. But because Sandrine was my mother, I hadn’t been given an option. I’d been born with the witch’s powers running through my veins.

Once my mother made her choice to let La Lune in, she never questioned how she used her abilities. She justified her actions as long as they were for good. Or what she believed was good. But I’d seen her make decisions I thought were morally wrong. So when I was ready to learn about my own talents, I knew it had to be without my mother’s influence. My journey needed to be my own.

“I’m sorry, but I plan to stay in Paris and work for the war effort,” I told my mother when I telephoned home the following day to tell my parents I’d arrived at my great-grandmother’s house.

When my mother first moved to Paris, my great-grandmother tried but failed to hide the La Lune heritage from her. Once my mother discovered it, Grand-mère tried to convince my mother that learning the dark arts would be her undoing. My mother rejected her advice. When Grand-mère’s horror at Sandrine’s possession by La Lune was mistaken for madness, she was put in a sanatorium. Eventually my mother used magick to help restore Grand-mère to health. Part of her healing spell slowed down my great-grandmother’s aging process so in 1918, more than two decades later, she looked and acted like a woman in her sixties, not one approaching ninety.

Grand-mère was one of Paris’s great courtesans. A leftover from the Belle Époque, she remained ensconced in her splendid mansion, still entertaining, still running her salon. Only now she employed women younger than herself to provide the services she once had performed.

“But I don’t want you in Paris,” my mother argued. “Of all places, Opaline, Paris is the most dangerous for you to be on your own and . . .”

The rest of her sentence was swallowed by a burst of crackling. In 1905, we’d been one of the first families to have a telephone. A decade later almost all businesses and half the households in France had one, but transmission could still be spotty.

“What did you say?” I asked.

“It’s too dangerous for you in Paris.”

I didn’t ask what she meant, assuming she referred to how often the Germans were bombarding Paris. But now I know she wasn’t thinking of the war at all but rather of my untrained talents and the temptations and dangers awaiting me in the city where she’d faced her own demons.

I didn’t listen to her entreaties. No, out of a combination of guilt over Timur’s death and patriotism, my mind was set. I was committed to living in Paris and working for the war effort. Only cowards went to America.

I’d known I couldn’t drive ambulances like other girls; I was disastrous behind the wheel. And from having three younger siblings, I knew nursing wasn’t a possibility—I couldn’t abide the sight of blood whenever Delphine, Sebastian, or Jadine got a cut.

Two months after Timur died, his mother, Anna Orloff, who had been like an aunt to me since I’d turned thirteen, wrote to say that, like so many French businesses, her husband’s jewelry shop had lost most of its jewelers to the army. With her stepson, Grigori, and her youngest son, Leo, fighting for France, she and Monsieur needed help in the shop.

Later, Anna told me she’d sensed I needed to be with her in Paris. She had always known things about me no one else had. Like my mother, Anna was involved in the occult, one reason she had been attracted to my mother’s artwork in the first place. For that alone, I should have eschewed her interest in me. After all, my mother’s use of magick to cure or cause ills, attract or repel people, as well as read minds and sometimes change them, still disturbed me. Too often I’d seen her blur the line between dark and light, pure and corrupt, with ease and without regret. That her choices disturbed me angered her.

Between her paintings, which took her away from my brother and sisters and me, and her involvement with the dark arts, I’d developed two minds about living in the occult world my mother inhabited with such ease.

Yet I was drawn to Anna for her warmth and sensitive nature— so different from my mother’s elaborate and eccentric one. Because I’d seen Anna be so patient with her sons’ and my siblings’ fears, I thought she’d be just as patient with mine. I imagined she could be the lamp to shine a light on the darkness I’d inherited and teach me control so I wouldn’t accidentally traverse the lines my mother crossed so boldly.

Undaunted, I’d fled from the dock in Cherbourg to Paris, and for more than three years I’d been ensconced in Orloff’s gem of a store, learning from a master jeweler.

To teach me his craft, Monsieur had me work on a variety of pieces, but my main job involved soldering thin bars of gold or silver to create cages that would guard the glass on soldiers’ watch faces.

To some, what I did might have seemed a paltry effort, but in the field, at the front, men didn’t have the luxury of stopping to pull out a pocket watch, open it, and study the hour or the minute. They needed immediate information and had to wear watches on their wrists. And war isn’t kind to wristwatches. A sliver of shrapnel can crack the crystal. A whack on a rock as you crawl through a dugout can shatter the face. Soldiers required timepieces they could count on to be efficient and sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of combat.

Monsieur Orloff taught me how to execute the open crosshatched grates that fit over the watch crystal through which the soldiers could read the hour and the minute. While I worked, I liked to think I projected time for them. But the thought did little to lift my spirits. It was their lives that needed protecting. France had lost so many, and still the war dragged on. So as I fused the cages, I attempted to imbue the metal with an armor of protective magick. Something helpful to do with my inheritance. Something I should have known how to do. After all, I am one of the Daughters of La Lune.

But as I discovered, the magick seemed to only make its way into the lockets I designed for the wives and mothers, sisters and lovers of soldiers already killed in battle. The very word “locket” contains everything one needs to know about my pieces. It stems from old French “loquet,” which means “miniature lock.” Since the 1670s, “locket” has been used to describe a keepsake charm or brooch with a personal memento, such as a portrait or a curl of hair, sealed inside, sometimes concealed by a false front.

My lockets always contained secrets. They were made of crystal, engraved with phrases and numbers, and filled with objects that had once belonged to the deceased soldiers. Encased in gold, these talismans hung on chains or leather. Of all the work I did, I found that it wasn’t the watches but the solace my lockets gave that proved to be my greatest gift to the war effort.

 

old letters, french post cards and empty open book. nostalgic vintage background

 

Early reviews of The Secret Magic of Stones

A dazzling mix of history, mystery and mystical arts . . . Rose’s paranormal historical bewitches from start to finish. Her amazing ability to make her story line believable and her extraordinary protagonist relatable result in an unforgettable psychic thriller.” (Library Journal (Starred review))

“An exciting mix of adventure, intrigue, and romance in this thrilling historical tale.” (Booklist)

“Haunting, spellbinding, captivating; Rose’s story of the power of love and redemption is masterful. More than a romance or ghost story, this is a tale of a young woman learning to embrace her unique qualities…So carefully crafted and beautifully written, readers will believe in the magical possibilities of love transcending time.”  (RT Magazine (Top Pick))

“Rose follows up The Witch of Painted Sorrows (2015) with Sandrine’s daughter’s story, set against the tragic yet exquisite canvases of Paris, the Great War, and the Russian Revolution, and offers fascinating historical tidbits in the midst of bright, imaginative storytelling and complex, supernatural worldbuilding. A compelling, heart-wrenching, creative, and intricate read.”  (Kirkus Reviews)

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

M. J. ROSE

 

MJ Rose - HeadshotNew York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization’s co-president.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Website TwitterFacebook 

 Author Goodreads Novel GoodreadsNewsletterPinterest

 

InkSlinger-Blogger-New

Review and Excerpt Tour: Unchained by Elisabeth Naughton

UNCHAINED - Tour banner

Elisabeth Naughton’s UNCHAINED is a Fantasy/Paranormal Romance novella in the bestselling Eternal Guardians Series! You will not want to miss this one! UNCHAINED is a standalone novella, brought to you by the amazing team at 1001 Dark Nights. Be sure you grab your copy of this novella today!

 

UNCHAINED

by

ELISABETH NAUGHTON

 

 

– ABOUT UNCHAINED

 

UNCHAINED - coverPROMETHEUS – One of the keenest Titans to ever walk the earth. Until, that is, his weakness for the human race resulted in his imprisonment.

For thousands of years, Prometheus’s only certainty was his daily torture at Zeus’s hand. Now, unchained by the Eternal Guardians, he spends his days in solitude, trying to forget the past. He’s vowed no allegiance in the war between mortal and immortal, but when a beautiful maiden seeks him out and begs for his help, he’s once again powerless to say no. Soon, Prometheus is drawn into the very conflict he swore to avoid, and, to save the maiden’s life, he must choose sides. But she has a secret of her own, and if Prometheus doesn’t discover what she’s hiding in time, the world won’t simply find itself embroiled in a battle between good and evil, it will fall in total domination to Prometheus’s greatest enemy.

 

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

Amazon  Paperback

 

CLICK  PICTURE FOR AN AMAZING VIDEO —

 

UNCHAINED - RDL Teaser 1

 

 

– EXCERPT –

 

Her eyes were hypnotic, her voice sultry and so damn erotic he could go on listening to her talk about anything. Somehow he pulled his attention away from her perfect breasts and looked deep into her emerald eyes. “What realm? Tell me where you are flesh and blood at all times so I can find you.”

“That would break the rules. And if we are to see each other again, I can’t break them. As for what I want, though…” Her breaths grew shallow as she drew even closer and her gaze dropped to his lips. “I think this want burning inside me is the same one that brought you to this place.”

Her hand landed against the back of the chaise, and she angled her face up toward his. The heat of her body surrounded him, consumed him, infused him with need. He lifted his hand to her neck, felt the soft, silken flesh beneath his fingers, and was powerless to hold back.

His mouth lowered to hers as if they were magnets, drawn together by a force neither could resist. Her supple lips brushed his…warm, sweet, tender yet intoxicating at the same time. He had an overwhelming urge to take her, to claim her, to make her his own, but he didn’t want to do anything to spook her, and he was still so confused about what and who she was. So he kissed her slowly. Slid his fingers into her sleek hair. Held back from the passion he wanted to release.

She sighed against him. Brought one hand up to rest against his chest. Warmth circled the spot, shot sparks of electricity straight into his groin. Sliding his tongue along the seam of her lips, he coaxed her to open, to let him in, to give him a taste of what he’d been dreaming about for far too long.

She drew back quickly, breaking their kiss before he was ready. His hand dropped to her thigh as she looked to her right.

He didn’t care about whatever animal outside the gazebo had distracted her. He only wanted more. He reached for her. “Keia.”

“He’s back.” She pushed to her feet before he could kiss her again. Her gaze stayed locked on something to her right. “What is he doing back so soon?”

“He who?” A little of Prometheus’s lust faded when he saw the worry rushing over her features. He stood and reached for her. “Keia?”

She glanced his way. But this time he didn’t see heat in her gemlike eyes. He saw fear. True fear. “He’s not alone. I have to go.”

 

– REVIEW –

 

Prometheus is playing with fire — again.

(A little backstory: Prometheus, a Titan, angered the God Zeus by giving the gift of fire to mankind.  The infuriated and vengeful Zeus had Prometheus chained to a large boulder, where, for eternity, the Titan’s liver (yes, that’s liver, not lover) was to be eaten daily by an eagle. As an immortal, Prometheus was doomed to regenerate any injury to his body, so by night he would heal, by day he would be devoured anew. Prometheus escaped this damnation when he was rescued by the Argonauts.)

Present day —

Prometheus lives a life of solitude in a castle high on Mt. Parnithia — a castle once belonging to a dark sorcerer. When Prometheus begins to hear a beguiling feminine voice calling out to him, he thinks it to be a hallucination or perhaps the remnants of some dark magic left over from the former tenant.

Unable to resist the call of the female, Prometheus soon comes to realize that the voice is real, and its owner has a power over him that he cannot and does not want to resist. He seeks out the source of that siren’s call and discovers it belongs to a beautiful witch who calls herself Keia. Prometheus is immediately taken with the sorceress and his feelings for her reawaken the life force in him.

Keia is actually Circe, the most powerful witch in the cosmos, and Circe has an agenda. Like Prometheus, Circe has angered Zeus and her punishment is imprisonment in a cave on Mt. Olympus. Zeus, being Zeus, is not a “forgive and forget” type of God — everything has its price.  In Circe’s case, Zeus demands that in exchange for her freedom, Circe has to discover the location of the fourth and final element needed to complete the all-powerful Orb of Kronós. With the intact Orb of Kronós, Zeus will reign eternally over all realms and worlds. There exists only one person who knows exactly where that fourth element resides — Prometheus.

Circe sets about casting her spells to seduce the half-mad Prometheus, but soon realizes that Prometheus has cast the spell of love upon her. The attraction between Prometheus and Circe ignites into a consuming flame. Passionate embraces in an enchanted location, a capture, and more grotesque torture finally lead the lovers to a final confrontation on Mt. Olympus with the crazed Zeus. Back out come the chains, but for whom?

Unchained by Elisabeth Naughton is the latest offering in the 1001 Dark Night Series. A stand alone novella in Naughton’s successful Eternal Guardians Series, Unchained is an urgent, sensual love story filled with all the captivating fantasy and magic that could only arise from the ancient mythologies.  Author Naughton weaves her story, set in present time, around characters that grab the reader instantly. Prometheus, Circe and Zeus are so well written — a novella doesn’t seem to do them justice. Perhaps Circe will continue her whispering into the author’s ear . . . .

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

*ARC received in exchange for an honest review.*

 

portrait of a beautiful young woman with elegant long red shiny hair , hairstyle

 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

ELISABETH NAUGHTON 

 

Elisabeth Naughton - headshotElisabeth Naughton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. From Elisabeth: “I was never one of those people who knew they wanted to be an author at the age of six. I didn’t have imaginary friends. I didn’t write stories in my journal or entertain my relatives by firelight after Thanksgiving dinner. For the most part, I was just a normal, everyday kid. I liked to read, but I wasn’t exceptional at it. And when my teachers complimented me on my writing abilities, I brushed them off. I did, however, always have a penchant for the unique and absurd. And as my mother told me all throughout my childhood, I should have been an actress—I was a drama queen before my time.Visit Elisabeth Naughton’s website.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Website  Facebook  Twitter 

Author Goodreads Novella Goodreads

 

 

UNCHAINED - Available Now

 

 InkSlinger-Blogger-New

%d bloggers like this: