Tory’s Friday Ramblings (6/27/14) #klutz

Hey dere all. Last Friday in June, woot woot!

Klutz-Bomb Strikes Again

Last week I recounted my epic battle with the recycle bin (yeah, so did not win that one). Well, this week I was casually walking out of the kitchen at work when my foot slipped. I think. I have no idea why I suddenly started toppling forward. I heard a CRACK as I caught myself on the file cabinet ahead of me. And an ache. Which rapidly became true pain. I ended up going to the doctor doing the whole worker’s comp routine. Amusing, but true, my boss had no clue about w/c procedures because she didn’t remember anyone ever using it. Even the accountant had to dig through her files to find the information.

No break (per doctor, x-rays, and everyone who sees me walking), but I sure as heck twisted something. Me, being dumbass, impatient me, is walking on it without crutch or anything, but OMG, I forgot my pain medicine yesterday and wanted to cry half the day. It hurts bad. It’s radiating into the ankle and up to the tendon in my knee. Very weird. I go back today so hopefully doc can give me some thoughts/suggestions.

Children

Not much on them. They’re cute and annoying. Love them dearly. And Sam still sleeps weird.

2014-06-21 23.50.16Writing

Got almost nothing for you. I really don’t have much to talk about this week. Life’s quiet. I was hoping to get edits this week on Locked in Stone, but as of posting time, I got nothing. Sigh. Frustrating when someone who got their signed contract the same day as I did has already been through at least one round of edits and has a potential release time frame (in August no less) and I have no clue when my book might come out, or edits.

In Conclusion

Really didn’t have much to share this week, but I wanted to be faithful to you, my wonderful readers, and have a Friday post.

Have a great weekend! ONE WEEK UNTIL INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and BFF’s visit!)

 

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Entangled Select June Release Blast

Whether you’re looking for a romance that makes you laugh, makes you ‘walk the plank’, keeps you guessing, or stars your favorite paranormal, look no further. Select books have the single-title stories you crave, and the longer length you need to really get ‘lost’ in a great book. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books are coming next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, and like their Facebook page.
Today I’m happy to be featuring Select’s June releases:

 

 

Queen of Wands by Katee Robert

Available in Print and Digital!

Never in Mac Flannery’s wildest dreams did he imagine Jenny O’Keirna would be the
one sent for him. He sees beyond the mad grin the sexy princess of Hansarda
presents to the world, and that combination of vulnerability and wicked humor is a
siren call he can’t resist. But Sanctify is after them. On the run—and unable to keep
their hands off each other—Jenny and Mac devise an insane plan: kidnap the leader
of Sanctify, and stop this war once and for all. Unfortunately, they’ve just played
right into his hands…

 

Giveaway

 

 

Crimson Hearts by Heather McCollum

 

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!


Elena has spent her entire life hiding her family name while walking the thin line between lady and servant in a Protestant household. Highland warrior, Searc Munro, has secrets of his own. In a family of healers, his dark, killing magic must never be known. Teaming up as exiles, Elena and Searc head toward Edinburg to find refuge. Yet, with a series of ritual killings haunting the city and a traitor attempting to assassinate Scotland’s regent, suspicion turns to Searc. As word of another British heir reaches the country, the two must learn to trust each other before it’s too late.

 

 

By Jove by Marissa Doyle

 

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!

 

Going back to graduate school to study ancient languages and mythology is a dream come true for Theodora Fairchild. Falling in love with Grant Proctor is an added bonus. But then Theo discovers that being chosen for the prestigious program has more to do with who she is than what she knows. When evil forces threaten Grant’s life in an effort to tear the two apart, Theo must rely on her wits and wisdom to save her true love and survive the semester.

 

Curse of the Phoenix Bundle by Rachel Firasek

 

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!

Book One: The Last Rising

 

Saving souls without any hope for her own redemption isn’t how Phoenix Ice imagined spending eternity. Fed up, she decides her next death will be her last. But when she sacrifices her own life for a sexy Texan in a catastrophic plane crash, she has no idea the consequences will be so great. When the mysterious Ice comes into Turner Alcott’s life, he knows she’s the one. If he wants to win her heart, Turner must teach Ice how to forgive herself, and prove that love is the ultimate sacrifice.
Book Two: The Last Awakening
Ex-soldier Greyson Meadows desperately wants to be freed from the nightmares and guilt that haunt him. Arabella’s been gifted her mortality and long-gone voodoo magic. She must save her next soul within a week without using magic, or she’ll lose her power forever. When Greyson is confronted by a waif of a woman who forces him to face the truth about his past, he runs fast and hard. Now one will have to give up everything so the other can have peace, but will love’s magic withstand the loss?
Book Three: The Last Beginning
Though she’s always hated being a phoenix, Sadie has to admit immortality has its advantages. She’s seen and done more in the last 150 years than she’d ever dreamed of, but she can’t get past the fact that Osiris has done nothing but manipulate her and her fellow phoenixes. Sun god Osiris is ashamed of his role as ruler of the Underworld, but unless he can figure out how to save Sadie, that’s exactly where she’s going to end up. Permanently. He’ll help her the only way he can—even if it means she’ll hate him forever.

 

Sweet Revenge Release Day Blast and #giveaway

ZanettiFORGOTTENSINSRebecca

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I love Rebecca Zanetti!  Her next book, Sweet Revenge, comes out today in paperback and having read it, I say get this book!!! I reviewed the book here some months back, I believe.

Zanetti_Sweet Revenge_MM

The One Man She Can’t Have

Matt Dean was born to fight . . . and kill. A member of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be the perfect soldiers with an expiration date. Now, with time running out, he’s gone rogue in a relentless quest for the one person who can save them. His mission leads him to Charmed, Idaho . . . and to a beautiful woman with eyes like emeralds and a body made for pleasure.

The One Woman He Can’t Resist

Laney Jacobs knows the mysterious, handsome stranger is trouble from the moment he walks into her bar, looking for a job. She’s spent years running from her own past-the last thing she needs is a romantic entanglement. But Matt’s strong arms offer her protection and his gentle touch promises passion unlike anything she’s ever known. As lethal forces surround them, revealing explosive secrets about Matt’s past and putting everything-and everyone-he holds dear in danger, can he save them all before time runs out?

Excerpt 1

“You know you work for me, right?”

“Listen, lady”—red spiraled across his high cheekbones—“you hired me to bounce problems, which I can’t do if your sweet ass is in the way.”

Was that a fact? She took a deep breath and settled on the only solution other

than kicking him in the shin. “You’re fired.”

Both of his eyebrows shot up. “Excuse me?”

Satisfaction tilted her chin. Not much probably surprised Matt Dean. “You’re fired.” As an exit line, it nailed the situation. Unfortunately, the toned soldier stood between her and the door. Just who the hell did he think he was? “Now move your sweet ass.”

He slipped his hands into his pockets and leaned back against the door. As a move, it was intimidating. “Why am I fired?”

“You leave much to be desired as an employee.” She eyed him, assessing the situation. Nope. The guy might be commanding, but she wasn’t scared. He wouldn’t hurt her. “All you’ve done since being hired is flirt with customers, order me around, and kiss me.”

His chin lowered. “Which of those items is pissing you off the most?”

She narrowed her eyes as heat spiraled through her abdomen. “You can flirt with any dumb bimbo you want, and frankly, the kisses were all right. But ordering me around? Not a chance.”

“All right? The kisses were all right?”

Figured the man would focus on that. She forced herself to lift a shoulder. “Eh.”

His cheek creased, and his eyes warmed. “Maybe we should try again, then. See if I can do better.”

“No.” The spit in her mouth dried up. She hadn’t meant to challenge him… had she? “I don’t, ah, kiss fired employees.”

“So that leaves Smitty.” Matt grinned.

“Very funny.” The tension slowly drained from her muscles in response to his instant humor.

He exhaled slowly. “Listen, I’m sorry if I scared you.”

“You didn’t.”

“I’m also sorry if I was too bossy.” He rubbed a hand through his hair. “It’s just, after being in combat, orders come naturally. Seeing you, somebody so small near danger… well, it hits triggers. All sorts of triggers.”

She could handle him bossy or charming. But sweet and honest? She shook her head and gestured toward his hard body. “You’re just… too much.”

He chuckled. “If you give me another chance, I promise I’ll tone it down. All of it.”

She’d be a fool to let this guy get close, but she knew better than to make a snap decision based on one moment or one emotion.

She studied him. Earnest eyes, relaxed shoulders, apologetic half smile. If he was working her, he was damn good at it.

Yeah, she liked him. Not only the look of him, but the self-effacing humor and ease of saying he was wrong. Most Alpha guys like him never admitted to being wrong. He’d had no problem with it.

Plus, she needed a bouncer, and he could certainly bounce. The tickle at the nape of her neck promised something bad was coming, and facing it with a guy who wanted to protect her? Probably not a bad idea, so long as he understood the rules. While she wanted to convince herself she was making a business decision, there was no doubt her feelings for him went beyond personal. But she could handle her own emotions. “Fine. One more chance, but if you order me around again, you’re out of here.”

“Fair enough.” He opened the door.

Heat brushed her as she moved past him. “If I ever get lost in a snowstorm, I hope you’re there,” she muttered under her breath. The guy cascaded warmth.

“Huh?” Matt asked as he shut the door.

“Nothing.” She shook her head and headed back to the bar to get to work. What would life be like if she could flirt a little and even hope for a future? One with a husband and even kids? But there were no kids in her future.

She plastered on a smile and began helping Smitty with drinks. The weekend chef manned the kitchen to prepare bar food, so she didn’t need to cook that night.

The evening slid into closing time, and she shut the outside door with a sigh of relief. As usual, she double-checked the door locks and extra stoppers placed into the floor. The bikers had filled her till as well as the tip jars. “It was a good night.” She smiled as she tossed a bar rag toward Smitty.

He caught it and grinned, lines fanning out from his bloodshot eyes. “Cleanup was quick. Ready for inventory?”

“No.” She jerked her head toward the kitchen. “We’re done for the night and will do inventory another time. Go home and get some rest since tomorrow night will be busier than tonight, probably.”

He finished wiping down the bar. “You do look tired, boss. Feeling all right?”

“I’m fine.” The flush filling her face resulted from Matt’s loping in from the kitchen and not from any illness. “I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon.”

“Good enough.” Smitty nodded to Matt on his way out. “Night, all.”

“Night.” Matt crossed broad arms. “Did I hear something about inventory?”

“Yes. I’ve got it.” She reached under the bar for a notebook. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

His smile was slow and way too sexy. “We could get it done in half the time if we worked together.”

Well, at least he’d stopped issuing orders. She studied him for a moment. While she felt like she could sleep for a week, he looked up for running a few miles. Her eyes were gritty and her neck already ached, promising a headache would soon arrive. With her efforts in becoming part of the town and trying to learn how to make friends, she’d been working on accepting assistance and not being so alone. She really could use the help tonight, stubbornness aside. “Okay. Follow me to the storeroom.”

A small room with a sexy ex-marine after midnight? What could possibly go wrong?

Excerpt 2

Life would be easier if Matt could view the petite bar owner like a family member or even an employer, but as he watched her deliver another pitcher of tea to the women gathered around the table, he realized that was impossible. She laughed at something one of the women said, and his cock hardened. Again.

The woman had spunk, intelligence, and a heart-shaped ass. Of course he wanted her naked and sweating beneath him. That confused as much as irritated him. She was the exact opposite of what he usually looked for in a woman. Temporary, tough, and unemotional worked best, and the idea of being with someone soft and kind scared the shit out of him.

Laney was right to keep him at a distance.

The new phone he’d purchased early that morning buzzed, and he glanced down at his first text message of the day. Nate had texted that he was safe and would check in later. Relief relaxed Matt’s shoulders upon reading that his brother was all right. The guy hadn’t been out on a mission for years, and Matt had been worrying about him. Maybe Nate would finally heal from falling in love and being betrayed.

If anybody could throw a dose of cold water on Matt’s desire to pursue Laney, it’d be hard-assed Nate. He perceived only black and white, danger and safety. There was no safety in seducing Laney… for anybody. She wasn’t the woman Matt needed to find in Charmed.

Plus, as much as the idea turned Matt’s stomach, if he had to seduce the elusive Dr. Peters to secure her help, to save his brothers, he’d do it.

Of course, the family practitioner was the one woman who wasn’t sitting around the table. He’d paid special attention to the coroner and the veterinarian’s assistant, and the vet’s assistant was currently checking him out behind wire-rimmed glasses. Bright eyes showed intelligence and an interesting wariness. He shot her a smile.

Her cheeks pinkened, and she half turned to talk to the woman on her right.

Laney, sitting across from the vet, instantly shot a look his way, delicate eyebrow arched. He met her stare evenly, pleased when her high cheekbones filled with color. The fact that she kept his gaze with challenge in her eyes, even while blushing, pleased him even more. The polite thing to do would be to grant her a reprieve and look away.

Too bad he wasn’t a polite guy.

Laney should learn not to challenge him.

Her chair scraped back, and she muttered something to her friends and then calmly maneuvered around tables toward him, hips swaying… keeping his gaze the entire time. His shoulders went back, and his blood started to hum. Who was this woman so full of surprises?

She reached him, her eyes sparking in irritation. “Would you please stop turning the most successful businesswomen in town into simpering morons?” she whispered.

He blinked. Damn it. He focused down a foot at her irritated face. “What in the world are you talking about?”

Her body remained relaxed, but he could hear her heart thumping, and her expression was quickly transforming into anger. She kept her face angled away from the women at the table. “Stop smiling, stop flirting, and do your job.”

He lowered his face just enough to make her eyes widen. “You sound jealous.”

Ah. There was the fury. “I’m not, you jackass. Keep the charm in your pants, and stop flirting.”

Okay. He may have poured on the charm with the two women he needed to investigate, but he’d been trained in subtlety and covert action. “Why are you suddenly interested in what’s in my pants?”

Laney’s gasp heated him in all sorts of places. “If I have to tell you again to knock it off, you’re fired.”

The little spitfire had better be careful who she threatened. “So you want me unavailable to those women?”

Satisfaction filled her pretty face. “Exactly.”

“Okay.” He grasped her hip and covered her mouth with his. The kiss was hard, quick, and enough of a taste to make him crave more. He lifted away to gauge the shock on her face. “There. Now they think I’m taken.”

The air vibrated as her hand closed into a fist, and he shook his head. “You don’t want to hit me.”

“Why not?” she ground out.

For the first time, he let his mask slip so she could see the predator the government had created. “The second you make contact, I’ll have you on that bar, held tight, my cock pressed between your legs, my lips on yours until you beg for more. Even fully clothed, I may make you come—and I won’t care who’s watching.”

Her sexy mouth dropped open. Surprise and fury lit her eyes… along with desire. She tried to mask it, but he was an expert at reading people, and the woman was intrigued. “You egomaniac. I’m not remotely interested,” she whispered.

Surprising anger shot through him. “You want to threaten me? That’s fine. Challenge me? No problem.” He stepped even closer and into her space. “But don’t you ever lie to me. Ever, Laney.”

She pressed her hands against her hips, confusion blanketing her features. “We just met.”

The woman was correct. He had no right to demand a damn thing from her. For all she knew, he was a bad guy. But this once and with this woman, against all rational training and thought, he truly didn’t give a shit. He didn’t understand it, sure as hell couldn’t explain it. So he went with his gut. “Yeah, we did just meet. Those are the ground rules. Period.” He lowered his chin and waited for her to challenge him, anticipation lighting his veins.

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 Sweet-Revenge-Launch-Day-Blitz

Tory’s Friday Ramblings (6/20/14)

Happy Friday all. Two weeks until the 4th of July, woooot! The 4th’s uber-special this year ’cause I’m gonna get to see my bestest friend. She’s going north and stopping in for the day/night to hang! It’s been 2+ years since we saw each other in the flesh. Sooooo excited.

Politics

If you don’t want to be aggravated by political rants, please skip over this. I just need to blow off a little steam over something.

Obamacare. First, disclaimer – I’m not an expert on Obamacare, and I’m a beneficiary from some of its provisions (the pre-existing condition one). However, I don’t like the overall plan. My plan (for the first time) did go down, but several people in my office had their costs go up enormously. So I see people hurt/helped by it.

There was a big announcement this week about what people are paying and what the government is paying (on average, people who bought through the exchanges are paying approximately $76 and the government is picking up approximately $246). The comments in response to the thing ranged all over the place. But what I don’t get is where’s the outrage over the fact that the government is paying like 76% of the insurance costs? And where does the government get the money? From US!!!! Why aren’t people pissed about the fact that not only do they have to pay their own insurance, they’re getting taxed to pay it. No, instead, the comments tended toward “yaaay, they’ve got health insurance. About time.” Blah blah blah.

Don’t get me wrong. I want everyone to have medical coverage. It’s not a case of “I’ve got mine, screw everyone else.” But what I don’t want is to be paying for everyone through my taxes. Obamacare is doing nothing (yet…maybe that will change, but I have my doubts) to bring down costs. Hell, it’s continuing to drive them up. THere’s going to be a hell of a lot of sticker shock next year when insurers have to raise their prices to make up for what they’re losing this year since the right group (from what I understand, and I haven’t been following this quite as closely recently) didn’t sign up in sufficient numbers.

I’m sorry, but there NOTHING to celebrate about the fact that the government has to provide 75% of the cost of health insurance for large swathes of the population. Absolutely nothing.

Rant over (for now). But found this bumper sticker that I rather liked.

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On Children

My demon spawn twins are driving me crazy. They get up EARLY. And when I say early, I mean early. Yesterday, I was coming out of the bedroom at 4:47. Sam was already climbing over the gate. 4:47 AM! I told her no. She flipped out. She woke up Jackie, who promptly started screaming too. I ignored it for 15 minutes and then gave in. Bad, but I hate listening to them scream. All I want in the morning is my 35-45 minutes of aloneness and quiet. They destroy that when they get up before 5:30.

However, they’re really cute. Exhibits A, B, and C:

2014-06-14 11.53.31 2014-06-14 10.52.10 2014-06-14 11.53.35

It’s good they’re cute or I might go all Homer Simpson on them and strangle someone. ARGH!

Took the Shrimp to see How to Train Your Dragon Two last weekend. OMG, it was INCREDIBLE. I laughed, cried, and got all gooey over it. It is now one of my top all-time favorite animated movies. Probably my favorite non-Disney (topping Toy Story 3) and a close runner-up in all animated (behind Frozen). Toothless is ADORABLE and … wow. So many things I didn’t expect to happen in the movie happened.

Toothless-the-Dragon-toothless-the-dragon-21330546-312-327

On Writing

Not much to say. Toodling along with Sealed in Stone as you can see from the meter to your right. Hoping to get first round of edits on Locked next week.

On Life

I’m a klutz. We all know this. I went a couple of rounds with the recycle bin as I was taking it to the curb on Monday. Let’s just say the bin won. My whole right leg is bruised and scraped. I twisted my ankle, didn’t think it was a huge deal (once the initial OMG, I can’t breathe because I want to scream it hurts so bad pain passed), but I rested it for a couple of days. I went for a walk yesterday and spent the rest of the day in a LOT of pain and I feel like my foot and leg are all swollen. Ugh.

In Conclusion

That’s it for me this week. Hope you made it through my post. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tory’s Friday Ramblings (6/13/14)

Woot, Friday! Yay! Add in a full moon and Friday the 13th, and it’s lookin’ to be awesome, right? Hehe.

Random Rant

Every Friday, the local radio station plays the Movie Gems game, where they play a clip from a film and callers have to guess the movie. They win tickets to a newly opened movie. This week, the clip was from Sleeping Beauty, specifically the scene at the beginning just after Maleficient shows up and finds out her invitation wasn’t mislayed, just simply not issued.

Caller one’s guess: Maleficient. Makes sense, but anyone with a brain would know the woman speaking was not Angelina Jolie.

Caller two’s guess: Mary freakin’ Poppins! MARY POPPINS! The Mistress of All Evil, summoner of all the powers of Hell speaking, and the caller guesses MARY POPPINS?!, the mistress of all that is light and goodness and love?! I’m still flabbergasted 30 minutes later. MARY POPPINS as a guess after Maleficient speaks!?

Caller three got the answer right.

C’mon. Really. How do you go from the dragon-morphing Mistress of Evil to the nanny every kid would want?!

Anyway, moving on. Just had to share my aggravation.

On Writing

Sealed in Stone is coming along nicely. Having to do a lot of tweaking, but I expected that. My walks in the morning actually give me a nice chance to think, separated from everything but my own thoughts. If I want to get “Let It Go” out of my head (blast it Elsa, stop singing and creating your ice palace in my head), I have to consciously focus on something…anything…and Rory and Gabe give me a great object to focus on.

I may have to revise the end of Carved simply because I don’t know if I have the will to write the Madra/Matthew story that comprises Captured. Sigh. I just don’t know. Being in clueless territory is driving me up a wall. No clue if the rest of the series will be wanted, no sign of that question being answered any time soon, etc.

On Children

Let’s see – the Shrimp is still being a PITA. He’s developed some major attitude lately, though I guess the last day or so it’s been a little better.

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Summer camp SUCKS, and I’m scared of what it’s going to be like in 2 years when I have to put all three kids somewhere for the summer. Right now I just have the Shrimp to figure out a solution for (we do this six-week summer camp, one week home with Daddy, and then three weeks at either this awesome (but pricey) place or (most of the time) the girls’ daycare, but with all three kids? Yikes. Not sure how we’ll handle things then.

Pixie (Twin B, Sam, etc.) is such a little ball of energy. Non-stop go go go all day long. But I have to say she’s a lot of fun at times. And getting so good at the potty thing. She likes it, and she love the new little seat we got to stick on top of the big-person’s toilet (rather than the potty seat). It’s got the Little Mermaid characters on it.

20140611_061754And then there’s Blondie. Sigh. Double and triple sigh when it comes to potty training. On the other hand, she’s like a ray of sunshine a lot of the time. And her hair is getting so LONG!

20140611_061740I love my kids, make no mistake. No matter how much I grumble and get angry at/frustrated with them, I love them and honestly can’t imagine not having them in my lives. They’re so much fun when they’re happy. I got this great video of them in the kiddy pool that we bought on memorial day. Unfortunately, it’s apparently too big to upload. I think I put it on Facebook, and if I haven’t yet, I will. They love this slide that’s in the pool. Here’s a picture of the pool at least. That’s Mika, our Husky, wandering around in the background.

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In Conclusion

So, that’s it for me this week. Lots of fun in parenthood and writing. I’m probably taking the Shrimp to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 this weekend. He still sleeps with Toothless at night and he’s had that stuffy for 4 years now I think it is. It’s adorable.

What plans do you have?

#Review – Demon Creed by Paula Altenburg (#bookreview)

Demon Creed (Demon Outlaws #3)

Author: Paula Altenburg
Publisher: Entangled/Edge
Date of Publication: May 27, 2014
Description:

creedWhen the Godseeker assassin Creed investigates stories of children gone missing, the trail leads him to an isolated ranch that is rumored to be involved in the slave trade. The owner of the ranch orders the enslaved Nieve to find any weakness in Creed that can be used against him to stop his investigation.

But Creed’s secrets are buried deep. Or so he believes.

Nieve, who knows the intensity of an immortal’s allure firsthand, recognizes the demon in Creed at once. Fun-loving and irresistible to most women, Creed tries to keep his identity hidden, ease her fears and get to the truth the best way he knows how. Seduction.

But Nieve has her own secret—a demon who once tricked her and their half demon son who was sold into slavery.

In a race against the clock, she’ll do whatever it takes to get her child back, even if it means putting her trust in Creed.

My Thoughts:

This is book 3 in the Demon Outlaws series, but don’t let that concern you too much. You can pretty much jump right in and not be too lost. This series is set in the future (not entirely sure how far into the future, but at least a couple of centuries, though it’s lower tech than the modern world thanks to demon attacks) on Earth, though not the Earth as we know it, again thanks to the aforementioned demons.

The demons were just banished recently, but they left behind their offspring and can still interact in various ways. Nieve is the mother of such a child and the demon who fathered said child wants her back. Creed is (essentially) a gunslinger, though he works for the Godseekers (hiding the fact that he too is half demon) who are trying to eradicate half-demons from the world.

Sounds complicated? It is, but falling into the world is just part of the wonderful charm of this book. I felt completely absorbed into the futuristic/fantasy aspects of this book and I liked the interplay between Nieve and Creed. It wasn’t a rushed romance, or a forced one, in any way. It was enjoyable hearing references to our current world (Safeway, the grocery store, is specifically mentioned) and seeing how the world might reshape itself in the face of centuries of demon-rule.

There were references and events involving (I assume) characters from the first two books and their continuing stories. Even without knowing those stories, I was able to accept and understand everything.

So – since I obviously loved this book, why not 5 gargoyles? Simply because of the Nieve/child issue. I do not believe it was ever explained just how/why Nieve forgot. her. child. for a year! I don’t get it, I don’t understand it, and I’m willing to accept it, I just wish there’d been a coherent explanation for just how he slipped her mind for so long. Maybe one was offered and in my uber-fast reading (I couldn’t put the book down easily for any length of time), I missed it, but I don’t know.

Anyway, check out the book. I know I’m gonna put the other books in the series on my to-be-read list!

Thank you Ms. Altenburg for the book!

Book provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

#Review – The Last Scenario by Marcos Gabriel (#bookreview)

The Last Scenario

Author: Marcos Gabriel
Publisher: BelleBooks/Bell Bridge Books
Date of Publication: May 24, 2014
Description:

LastI’m just a high school biology teacher in southern California. I wrote a paper on bio-toxins in college. Nine months ago the government asked me to be the ‘ordinary citizen’ on a seven-member panel. For three days we brainstormed potential homegrown terrorist scenarios. That was all.

I thought.

“We’re the only two left,” John Ryder said, no emotion in his voice. “The others have been assassinated. If you want to live, you’ll have to come with me.”

Terrorists have adopted one of the team’s scenarios, and if they’re successful, it could claim a half-million lives. Samantha Waters and ex-Navy SEAL John Ryder are caught in the middle of a dark conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of power. They have to rely on each other to survive—and to somehow stop the nightmare scenario they imagined before it becomes a terrifying reality.

My Thoughts:

At first, I wasn’t sure about this book. I’m not the biggest fan in the world of the first-person voice, and I found the writing a little clunky at the beginning (and even later on). And then … the plot started moving, people started dying, and I couldn’t stop reading this book.

There’s a little budding romance between John and Sam, though that’s very low-key and there’s no HEA (romance-wise) that comes out of this book, though it looks like Sam wants there to be, tracking John down after the fact. But other than that, it’s straight-up thriller with a very different idea for a plot.

Oh sure, you hear all about terrorist attacks, even our own government plotting against us, but to have the scenario that played out in this book (that Sam and John were both involved in creating the terrorist plot) was definitely a different take. I was thrilled to discovery how the people were chosen to take part in the scenario-planning exercises, and the possibility that something along these lines (the botulism plot, not necessarily the fact that our government, or at least a small portion of it) could happen in real life certainly gave me little chills.

I can’t say enough positive things about this book. If not for the somewhat sloggy/murky beginning as we sorted through the initial events, I would definitely give this book 5 gargoyles. However, because of that, I’ll give it 4.5 and call it good (okay, awesome).

Thanks so much for letting me read this book!

Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review also posted today at The Royal Reviews on Blogger.

Brazen Release Day Blast (6/9/14)

If you like your heroes hot, the sex hotter, and a swoon-worthy romance to swoop in and save your happily ever after, Brazen has the story for you. Sinfully sexy soldiers. Alpha cops who demand control. Sweet guys with a naughty side in the bedroom. At Brazen, they’ve got the hero destined to melt your… heart. Visit the Entangled website, the Brazen Blog, follow them on Twitter, Like their Facebook page, and follow them on Pinterest.

Introducing Brazen’s June 9th releases:
 
The Wedding Dare Series

1 Wedding–4 Hot Stories

When four bridesmaids dare one another to find lust—or maybe even love—at the destination wedding event of the year, the groomsmen don’t stand a chance. But little do the women know, the men are onto their game, and sparks will fly alongside the bouquet.Four bridesmaids. Four groomsmen. Five New York Timesand USA TODAY bestselling authors. Long-carried torches, sizzling new attractions, and forbidden conquests will ensure a wedding never to be forgotten.

She’s the one that got away.
He’s the one she can’t forget.



Find out more!
     

He’ll own her from
the very first touch.

Find out more!

She has a plan.
He’s about to change it. 



Find out more!

     

How far can

one favor go…

Find out more!


Brazen has also put together a trailer with the Wedding Dare ladies reading their blurbs in their best announcer voices. Check it out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPmvtABZuxo

Don’t miss where it all began…

Dare to Resist by Laura Kaye



And follow the Group Tour


Plus don’t miss the epic lip sync off battle

 

 

 

But wait, there’s more… Lauren Blakely kicks off her new Firefighter series with Burn For Me.

She’s the one fire he can’t put out…



Find out more!



(Lauren is donating 10% of the release

   week proceeds to the National

Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund.)

  


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Tory’s Friday Ramblings (6/6/14)

Happy June, everyone! Welcome to the grand month of the beginning of summer! And…ugh, the weather’s definitely turned summerish here in Jacksonville. Heated up. Rumor has it the heat index puts us over 100 today (official temp predicted to be around 95).

On Writing

Well, I sort of skipped over Captured and started working on Sealed in Stone yesterday. Last year when I first started writing about my gargoyles, I started with Rory’s story and realized (ultimately) that I was starting the books with the wrong character. However, I did a lot of work on that book and I read through the 180 pages or so that I had of her story. While it will take a lot of editing, a lot of the story itself is actually usable – YAY!

On Children

Shrimp had his final Cub Scouts banquet on Monday. He didn’t get any awards, but I hadn’t expected him to since he’d gotten a bunch last month. Here’s me with him.

2014-06-02 19.04.20

Pretty cute kid, right? It was nice to get a pic with him where I wasn’t having to take it myself (which is a bit tricky). Today’s his last day of 2nd grade, woot woot! And I got stunned last night when he gave me this long piece of writing. He’s got issues with his handwriting and apparently his teacher made him do this long piece and slow it down so he got the letters right. OMG, it was PERFECT. No spelling errors, no sloppy letters I could barely make out…He says he doesn’t write that way all the time because it takes too long. I get his point, but still! Duuuude!

Girls are being…the girls. I no longer get an hour or so in the morning to write (hence why my reviews are getting backed up – I don’t have time to concentrate in the morning). As soon as I start typing on the keyboard, out comes Sam within 5 minutes. It doesn’t matter if it’s 5:10 or 5:45…she’s up within 5 minutes (usually less than that).

2014-06-04 18.05.34Look at them, so sweet. So innocent. Such holy terrors!

Summer Hair

Yup, I chopped my hair this week. It’s amazing the pile of hair that was on the floor when the stylist was done. I actually splurged and went to a regular salon (Daniel James Salon on Bay Street in Jax), rather than the cheapy chain stores. It was a wonderful experience. My head felt a ton lighter after they were done. Strange, but it feels good too. My hair’s not always up in a pony tail any more. I don’t need it up nearly so badly any more. Hubby was okay with it too – he apparently just really didn’t want me to have bangs again since, according to him, they make me look like a boy. I disagree, buuuut whatever. I decided against the bangs and the hair looks great.

2014-06-03 14.08.41

The House

I’m still in love with our house, despite a crisis on Monday (there was an issue with the water meter and we weren’t getting charged for water – resolved surprisingly quickly – it was all JEA’s problem, not anything we or the builder did). We’re gonna get bug service, have a lawn service, and all that. Blech. Houses are pricey but oh-so-worth it. I love my house.

In Conclusion

That’s pretty much it in Tory’s world! I’ll close with a shot of a shy animal caught in his natural habitat (aka Hubby in the kitchen!!!!! – yes, he’s real and I had to sneak snap the picture while I made it look like it was just of the girls hehehehe!).

2014-06-04 18.05.51

Mid-Week #Movie – Petals on the Wind

Petals

So, as you may recall, I discussed the Lifetime movie, Flowers in the Attic back in January. I discovered they were making the second book in VC Andrews’ Dollenganger series and was pretty excited because I enjoyed Flowers and wanted to see what they could do with Petals. I forgot it was on last Monday and recorded it over the weekend, finally getting a chance to watch it last night/this morning.

Well, I wasn’t completely disappointed, but I won’t say I was as pleased with Petals as I had been with Flowers. They skipped enormous parts of the book and changed many of the characters (Henny in particular wasn’t mute). Julian..god, that man was a jerk. A controlling, twisted, jerk.

And then there was Carrie. Poor, poor, tormented Carrie. My heart almost broke when the bullies locked her in the storage closet at the school. The actress playing her really did a great job. And the final shot of her laid out after she kills herself…ohhh, man. Poor Carrie.

I wish the grandmother had been in there more, but I liked the Cathy/Bart scenes. I thought the pair was good together. Cathy/Chris, on the other hand…talk about your squicky moments. Yeesh. I know it’s incest, it’s supposed to be icky, but…yick. Totally, totally yicky. Kudos to Lifetime for keeping that in there though.

Foxworth Hall was still too small, IMO. I always pictured it like one of the great manors from England and it’s just…tiny.

So, those are my very brief thoughts. Lifetime reportedly is going to do the other two books in the series and possibly My Sweet Audrina (now that is a bizarre book). Personally, I’d like them to do the Dawn or Heaven series, Heaven in particular if they can get the right casting for Heaven and Tony. Ahhh, Tony. Sick, sick, but all-too-attractive Tony.

Anyone else catch Petals? What’d you think? Any thoughts on them continuing to do VC Andrews adaptations? Talk to me! 🙂 See you Friday.