Sunday, June 30, 2013

Review-Airion Return to Zire


Title: Airion: Return To Zire

Author: J.S. Council

Series: Airion Series

Genre: Young Adult Epic Fantasy

Publisher: Self Published

Formats Available In: Paperback,Ebook (HTML, Kindle, Epub, PDF, RTF, LRF, Palm Doc, Plain Text (download), Plain Text (View)

Blurb: Aside from his outward appearance, Kobi is a normal thirteen-year-old boy. Living with his mother, his father, and his identical twin brother, Raili, with whom he spends most days at the cove watching dolphins and whales feed, he is happy with his life just the way it is. But his fourteenth birthday is coming and Kobi has no idea how much his life is about to change.

When Raili is pulled through a puddle in the floor of their second floor bedroom by a monster armed with poisonous, spiked tentacles, Kobi goes in after him. What he finds isn’tRaili, but a new world all together, buried beneath the ocean. With a bounty on his head that has been there since he andRaili’s birth, Kobi will have to learn to fight or die before he can be reunited with Raili again. Everything he knew to be true was a lie.

People he loved and trusted are not who they seem. He isn’t the normal boy he thought himself to be. A transformation is coming. Raili is gone. Blood is shed. Traitors lurk, waiting for their chance. War is inevitable. The fate of the world of Airionrests in his hands. The Wiseone speaks. Failure is certain.

Book Links:


My Review

I have to say I really enjoyed this story. I wished I'd known this was part of a series then the ending wouldn't have been such a surprise. The action captured my attention in the first few paragraphs with Rick and Kimi protecting an orb from a ruthless band of thieves. 
We later see Rick and Kimi as parents to 13 year old twins Ralli and Kobi. 
Although there were some editing issues, grammar, punctation and misspellings that pulled me from the story, the plot was very engaging. I do wish the point of view changes were smoother, but the author did a fab job of building a water world that kept me entertained and coming back for more. 

About The Author:

“Although I didn’t fully commit to making writing my life’s work until my sophomore year of college, I have always been a writer at heart. I was the only student in class to get excited about school papers, even asking to write a few for extra credit on occasion. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a degree in Creative Writing – Fiction. After graduating, I moved to Japan where I wrote most of my debut novel, Airion: Return to Zire and all of my second novel Airion: Light and Dawn – the first two of a four book series. Japan was a peaceful place to just sit and write, but life in Japan was also filled with adventure. However much I loved it there, I had to return home to do what I love most. Write.”

Social Media Links:


“If the Cellians just wanted us dead, why didn’t they just killRaili instead of taking him?” asked Kobi.

“That is the question, isn’t it?” said Kaiyen slowly. “If they only wanted to use his power, wouldn’t they have taken them both?”

“Not necessarily,” said Rick, fist to his chin. “Having both would probably be too dangerous to risk. They may have been afraid of being destroyed from the inside if they worked together to free themselves. Even with one son of the prophecy, they could cause considerable damage, or so they may think.”

“But Raili would never do that though,” Kobi protested. “Dad…I…I mean, Black Master Rick. You know Raili; you know he wouldn’t do anything like that.”

“It may not be his choice,” said Kimi. “The Cellians can be very persuasive.”

Kobi’s heart sank. “What would they do to him?” he asked, not wanting to hear the answer.

“Whatever they had to,” said Kaiyen. “That is why we must focus on a plan of rescue, before Raili Saio acquires the powers they seek.”

“On our fourteenth birthday,” said Kobi.

“Yes,” said Kai Ventra. “Almost all Airians change on their fourteenth birthday. Along with the natural changes they undergo, such as growing gills, they also acquire unique individual skills, allowing them to thrive more than most others in that ability. These abilities can be anything from designing exceptional clothing to controlling the elements.”

“The stronger the ability, the harder it is to control,” saidKaiyen. “No doubt Cella is depending on this.”

“It won’t work,” said Rick.

“Agreed,” nodded Kaiyen. “But there is another matter that must be discussed, if I may.” Questioning eyes turned to Kaiyen. “Lady Sara,” Kaiyen continued after a swift nod from the King. He was addressing the old woman seated beside Kimi, “have you seen anything in your Kubec about a traitor in Zire.”

Whispers filled the room. “You go too far, Captain,” said Bran.

“What are you saying,” said the advisor to Bran’s left.

“Silence,” said Sai Thayne. The talking ceased instantly. The King’s questioning eyes fell on Kaiyen then turned to Lady Sara. “Wise One?”

“This man possesses a tainted heart,” said the old woman, her eyes gazing into the diamond block. “His treachery dives deep.”

“Do you know who this man is?” asked Kaiyen.

“I see not his face nor his rank,” said Lady Sara, her brow creased and her hands resting on the Kubec. “However, he knows all that we know and some we do not.”

“It is as I thought,” said Kaiyen, “Zire’s traitor has resurfaced.”

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Release Blitz: Rocky Road

Title: Rocky Road

Author: Susan Lohrer

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Publisher: 5 Prince Books

Formats Available In: All eBook formats & Print

Release Date: June 6, 2013

Digital: ISBN 13:978-1-939217-62-2  ISBN 10:1-939217-62-8

Print: ISBN 13:978-1-939217-61-5  ISBN 10:1-939217-61-X

Purchase Link: (Available June 6)

Blurb: Physical therapist Nancy Anne Robertson has her sights set on her dream promotion. Problem #1: she’s engaged to one of her patients, and if her secret gets out, she’ll lose her job altogether. Problem #2: her ex-fiancé is back in town, shooting for the same promotion. Complicating matters are two mothers (and one fiancé) with alarming secrets, an autistic brother with a penchant for wandering off at the most inconvenient times, and four rings—the fake diamond kind, the stolen kind, the sticky wax kind that belongs under a toilet . . . and maybe, just maybe, the kind meant to make a girl say I do.


Wouldn’t someone who really wanted to get married be a little more careful than this? Not that Ancy doubted Mark’s intentions. He was he One. And she wouldn’t nag him about it.

Honestly though, severing most of the nerves in his hand should’ve been enough for one week—but no! He had to go and whop himself on the head too. It wasn’t like Mark to be this accident-prone, and he’d been  getting worse over the last few months. Working too hard so he’d be a good provider, no doubt. that’s just the kind of guy he was. She smiled, visualizing him in a black tux.

Focusing on her impending nuptials usually distracted her from thinking about whether she’d make department head. And lately, her im-pending groom had been more than enough distraction.

She checked the temperature of the paraffin tub. “This’ll feel a little hot, but it’ll help with flexibility.” He grimaced as she dipped his right hand into the warm wax. Then he gave her bum a squeeze with the left  one. “Quit it before someone sees us.”
Since he wasn’t dragging his feet—that much seemed obvious—why couldn’t he stay in one piece long enough to put some professional distance between them?
“Mark, you’ve dropped a wall on your head, nailed your foot to the floor, and dislocated your shoulder. Are you trying to get out of our wedding?”

Whoops. She bit her lip and glanced over her shoulder. Outpatient Physical Therapy was crowded in the afternoon. he last thing she needed was for someone to overhear her in a lover’s spat… with her patient. That would not only prevent her promotion to department head, it would end her career. Instantly. Working quickly, she covered the warm wax with a plastic bag, then slipped a padded mitten over the whole thing to lock in the heat.

If only there were a simple way to get around the patient-therapist dating taboo. But because her specialty was post-traumatic hand rehabilitation, she was the therapist most qualified to care for Mark’s injuries—so she and Mark were forced into secrecy until he regained the use of his hand. “Well, couldn’t you try to be just a little more careful?” She kept her voice to a low hiss. “At this rate, I’ll be ninety by the time we even set the date.”

“Aw Ancy, a few more weeks and this thing will be as good as new.” He grinned and held up his thickly swaddled hand.

Yeah, right. She’d treated her share of injuries. his one was far from pretty, even though she hadn’t seen it until after the surgery. His poor body.

“Please just be more careful. I want to wear my ring on my finger, not on my necklace where no one can see it.” She displayed her perfectly healthy left hand, its third finger perfectly naked. Did Mark have any idea how hard it was on her to keep this a secret? And not just from the department—from Jen, her best friend in the whole world.

Though she was the one best qualified to treat Mark, Jen—perky, sexy Jen—could have treated his injuries. But then Jen and Mark—not that she didn’t trust him—but why create temptation by throwing her beefcake fiancé into the capable arms of her best friend? Besides, every difficult PT case brought her another step closer to becoming department head. She couldn’t risk losing that kind of security, not when she almost had it in her grasp.

“Promise me you’ll be careful.”

“You worry too much.” He looked so hot when he gave her that wink that said she could count on him no matter what.

“Mark, I’m serious.” She added a stern, professional note to her voice as Doris Ridgewood, the department head—who was due for retirement any second—passed by. 
“You have to take some time of work to rest. If you don’t, you’ll never regain full use of your hand.”

Doris nodded approvingly and continued on her way.

Mark leaned close. “It’s kind of exciting, don’t you think, Ance?”

“What is?” She checked her watch. Almost time to unwrap the hand and work on scar mobility.

“Knowing you’ll be mine to have and to hold.” He waggled his dark brows meaningfully. “His hand is going to make a full recovery, and you know what I’m gonna do with it.”
She could feel the blood rushing from her extremities, and probably from a few vital organs, straight to her face.

Jen, between patients, was walking past. Had she overheard Mark’s titanically not-suitable-for-work innuendo? She slowed. Cocked her head. Pivoted on her heels. Ancy’s promotion slithered down to the pit of her belly as Jen marched up to her and pulled her aside, a thunderstorm brewing in her eyes. “Is this guy giving you a hard time?”
Fresh guilt welled up inside Ancy, and she was sure her cheeks were as red as if Jen had targeted her with a laser pointer. Jen didn’t have a clue, and it made Ancy feel like a big, fat liar.

“I um, got something in my eye.” Jen shot her a strange look. But it was the only thing Ancy could think of on such short notice. She turned away and pretended to wipe at her face. When she looked again, Jen was with another patient. Ancy had never kept a secret from her best friend before, and she was starting to hate the way it made her feel.
Maybe she should tell Jen and just get this whole thing of her shoulders. But then Jen would be obligated to tell Doris, and Ancy wouldn’t blame her if she did. And she’d lose her job. Her watch’s second hand swept up to the 12.

Back to Mark. The mitten, the bag, and the wax came of, and she began to manipulate his hand through range-of-motion exercises, bending and stretching all his fingers, careful not to apply too much pressure to the still-healing surgery scars. His hands were muscular. Strong hands, dependable hands. the hands of a man who would stand by her through whatever life threw at them. And he wouldn’t leave her the way Steve had. he way her father had left her family.

“Nice technique, Ancy.” Doris’s voice behind her shoulder made her flinch. The woman didn’t approach like a normal person, she appeared. Ancy had never once heard her coming. “Young man,” Doris said, skimming over the floor and coming to stand beside Ancy, “our Miss Robertson is highly qualified in her specialty. She’s one of the best.”
Wow. It wasn’t every day Doris handed out a compliment like that. Could it reflect an intention to recommend Ancy for the promotion?

“Of course, Fidelity General Hospital is soon to be blessed with a second, equally qualified therapist. He’s one of our alumni. Your case might prove especially interesting to him.” She glided away, and Ancy pictured Doris as a young, heavy-browed girl balancing a book on her head.

Her mind was racing. “Mark, do you realize what this means? It’s the answer to our problems.” Because an equally qualified therapist who didn’t have her seniority could take over Mark’s case without threatening her  promotion. Then the bit about the alumnus sank in.

“Ouch, let go!” Mark’s face contorted.

Ancy loosened her grip immediately and banished the unsettling thought from her mind. “I’m sorry.” She returned to her work on his hand and whispered, “You can switch to the new therapist, and we can come out in the open.”

She pulled the curtain halfway around the bench for a little more privacy before starting to work on Mark’s other injuries. These weren’t as serious as the one to his hand, and while she concentrated on deltoidius, trapezius, and rhomboideus major and minor, she couldn’t help but notice Mark’s build on a more superficial level, which was part of the reason she’d pulled the curtain. Half the staff would be drooling over him if they saw his bare chest.

As it was, all she could manage to say to him when she finished the examination was, “Looks good.”

The curtain behind her swished open, and the scent of Obsession for Men filled her mind with images from the past.

Steven Stone.

Steve and her, training together, working together.

Steve, the only guy who’d ever made an effort to understand her autistic brother and had never made fun of him.

Steve and her, in his fossil fuel–burning Mustang….

Steve… the second and last man who’d walked out of her life. A wall slammed down in her heart.

It couldn’t be him. She made herself turn around. Her arm brushed The paraffin tub, and liquid wax sloshed over the sides. A distant splash marked its landing on the floor.
Her heart did that funny flipping thing that made her breath catch in her throat.
It was him.

About Susan Lohrer:

Susan Lohrer grew up all over western Canada and lives in BC with her husband, their two children who are still at home, three dogs, and far too many aquariums. She believes life is always better with a healthy dose of humor.

How to contact Susan Lohrer:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kink Me Up with Em Petrova

As an erotic romance author, I spend a LOT of time thinking about sex. In fact, there are days I live, eat, breathe, and watch sex. I’m always looking into fun new ways for my characters to connect. To me, realism is best, though. I could read about the sexiest BDSM ever but deep down, I know I’ll never play in that way. Yet I’m not exactly vanilla.

I know a lot of you fall into this category. Let’s call ourselves Dark Chocolates—decadent and rich. So what happens when your partner is milk chocolate or even cookies and cream? Well, we have to spoon-feed him bits of dark chocolate at a time to get him accustomed to it.

How do you ask for more kink?

  1. Play teacher. Let him walk in on you draped in a silk cloth. Then ask him to tie you up with it. Make sure you have a safe word—always! If either of you are uncomfortable, it’s not going to be a good experience.
  2. Read a hot book. I happen to know an author who writes scorching hot sex. *wink* Read a passage aloud to your lover or let him read over your shoulder. Bounce your foot while reading and say, “Listen to this, babe.”
  3. Turn on the tube. Yep—instead of connecting by turning off the TV, tune in to a sexy flick together. Find something that pushes both of your boundaries and ask what makes him hot. 
Communication is everything! Read on for a sexy excerpt of my latest release in the Rough Boys series UNTOUCHED, now available from Ellora’s Cave
Mason choked the engine of his chainsaw and adjusted it until it was purring. Much like Eva last night.

The vibrations of the saw ran up his arms and through his shoulders. He squinted up at the treetop, assessing it once more. Never could be too careful. Loggers died every year. Even those with a ton of experience like him had accidents.

He tried to shift his night with Eva from his mind so he could focus on bringing down this white oak. The top was heavy on the right side but he didn’t want it to fall that direction. If it did, it would take out a solid thirty-incher that could be cut in a second wave.

He wanted this particular tree to shoot the gap he’d cleared to the left, which meant some fancy saw work was needed.

The wind was nonexistent and the air still after his regular faller, Tommy Cook, had just felled a tree. Two hundred yards away, he was busy select cutting too.

Mason approached the tree and set his saw blade at an angle. The teeth cut through the thick bark and wood like a hot knife through butter. He pulled the blade back and dug in again, drawing the saw upward to cut a wedge from the trunk. Wood dust showered his arms and coated the backs of his gloves. It burned his nose and he sniffed deeply, loving the scents of the sap and the pull of exertion in his veins.

Using the point of his saw, he tapped the notch he’d cut. It dropped to the forest floor soundlessly, disappearing into the shallow drift of snow around the trunk. Circling the tree, Mason set his boots precisely, prepared to jump back in the event that the log kicked out.

Then, glancing around quickly to ensure no one was within distance of this tree, he set the blade at an angle on the backside of the cut. As the trunk was severed in two, it tipped. Cracking and popping noises sounded even through his hearing protection. He felt the smile of satisfaction spread across his face.

With a scream, the white oak plummeted, the top branches ripping through the limbs of other trees, brushing them in farewell. It slammed to earth with a resounding wallop.

A cheer went up from across the clear-cut. Mason looked up to find Tommy sending him a wave of camaraderie. He cut the power on his saw and thwacked his hands against his thigh to dislodge the sawdust from his gloves. The cracked brown leather gloves had been his father’s and one of the only things Mason had saved of the man’s personal possessions.

He’d found them on a high shelf in the entryway. Drawing them down, he’d brought them to his nose and inhaled the tang of leather and sawdust. Both scents he associated with his dad.

He set his saw on the fallen trunk and pulled off his glove. A shock tore through him as the sweet aroma of Eva’s arousal struck him. He’d spent all night loving her. Even this morning he’d fingered her to completion before allowing her to climb from his bed. Christ, he could hardly wait to get home to see if his sheets smelled of her.

He’d barely kept himself from begging her to stay longer. Returning her to Osborn’s house to pick up her little car had spurred that deep possessiveness in him again. Osborn had come outside to harass them about where they’d gone. Mason had put a stop to it, but not before Eva was as flushed as a Christmas rose.

He brought his fingers to his nose and inhaled. His balls clenched instantly at the scent of her he caught there. He’d promised to call her later tonight, but he felt like a goddamn teenager, dying to pick up the cell and call her now. Immediately.

What was she doing? Now that he knew she had a child to care for, he envisioned her in several different scenarios—the boy nestled on her lap as she read a story or seated on the floor building a block tower with him.

Why hadn’t he seen it before? She wore her motherhood like she displayed her femininity. She was always caring for people. Even hand-feeding Osborn a tartlet last night.

Mason wanted to jump in his truck and race to her house right now, and that scared the hell out of him. He’d never known such longing, even with his ex-wife. Eva and his ex were like heartwood and rotted wood though. One was strong and beautiful, something wood connoisseurs prized. Mason knew heartwood when he saw it.

Trouble was, he wasn’t going to stick around Salzburg Springs for long. He’d already contacted the company he’d left when his dad died a year ago and been told he always had a job with them. In fact, they wanted him as soon as possible. His roots weren’t firmly entrenched in western Pennsylvania, but they were plunging deeper after last night.

He mentally kicked himself. He never should have toyed with Eva. She deserved much more than a bachelor with a bent for rough play in bed.

Fires flared in him at the memory of her response to that heavy hand. She’d come unglued when he pinched her nipples so hard. And her skin had lifted to him when he tugged on her hair. How far could he push her?

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment for a chance to win book 1 of The Rough Boys series—Blown Down!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hearts in Exile-New Release


Title: Hearts In Exile

Series: Tallenmere (stand-alone)

Author: Mysti Parker

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

Publisher: Melange Books

Formats Available In: All eBook formats and Print

Release Date: June 3, 2013

Blurb: Somewhere, hidden in the waters of the Southern Sea, lies an island unlike any other. Within the amber glow of its pyrogem-laden cliffs, legend says the very heart of the dragon god Drae keeps the island, and its occupants, alive.

Loralee Munroviel, daughter of Leogard's High Priestess Arianne, had no idea what she would face when she arrived by boat ten years ago and was left alone in exile. All she knew about Draekoria's inhabitants was written in one tattered notebook. Now, her life revolves around keeping Drae's descendants happy. Never in her life did she imagine being a Dragon Keeper.

Captain Igrorio Everlyn, known as Sir Robert to his unit of Holy Paladins, has faced his share of hell, battling the evils of Emperor Sarvonn's tyranny and the dark god Tyr's abominations. But none of that compares to the ten years of hell he's been without Loralee, presumed dead.

One freak storm changes everything. Now the two of them must fight to re-establish the delicate balance of the island before the dragons take things into their own hands. Through it all, they discover the secrets that kept them, and their hearts, exiled for a decade.

Excerpt From Chapter Three:

After a shipwreck, Sir Robert wakes up in a strange cottage, only to find Loralee, the love of his life, whom he thought had been dead for a decade… 

“I don’t understand. What is this place?”

“It’s an island. Very few know of its existence.”

I shook my head, trying to clear the fog of this confusing dream come to life. “But, why would you be here, and why would you be sorry? Unless…”

The words wouldn’t come. My racing mind pitched in to help. Unless she didn’t want to marry me after all.

Wrenching pain I’d kept tucked inside broke free, and I clambered to my feet. Loralee followed suit, backing herself into the small dining table. 

I tried, but could not hide the bitter anger in my words. “How could you do this to me? Do you have any idea what I’ve been through?”

Her eyes widened. She clutched the table with one hand and her robe with the other. “What you’ve been through? I didn’t want this. I was forced here.”

“What do you mean, forced here? Where are your shackles?” My voice roared through the little cottage as I gestured around me with one arm. “Where are the bars? This looks like no prison I’ve ever seen.” 

Her voice cracked the air, rivaling with my own. “I was betrayed, forced into exile. Don’t you understand? I never wanted to leave you. I never wanted anything so much as I wanted you.”

Pacing away, I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I had to calm myself, to let the weight of this discovery, the improbability of her explanation to sink into my water-logged brain.

I couldn’t bring myself to look at her just yet, so I stared at my bare feet instead. “Why didn’t you tell me, write to me?”

“I tried. I begged the supply ship crew to bring my letters to you. They always took them, but never brought one in return. I suspect they destroyed them, but I had no way of knowing.” She sucked in a shaky breath as though trying to hold back her tears. “I never stopped loving you.” 

Turning back to face her, I felt like a mindless beast. Here I was, raging against the love of my life when she’d all but been brought back from the dead. 

“Loralee.” I eased toward her. She cringed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Without a word, I leaned in and pressed my forehead to hers, allowing myself to breathe in her scent for the first time in a decade. We stood suspended like that for a while, lost in time, and emerging from a purgatory neither of us had imagined ten years ago. I would have been content to stand like that forever, but Loralee burst into tears and wilted to the floor.

I followed her down and opened the quilt to wrap us both inside. I held her tight while she cried. 

While I cried.

I finally got enough breath to speak again. “What did you mean by forced here? They told me you were…” I couldn’t say it, not with her warm and so very alive against me.

“I know.”

The weight of it all came crashing down on me. “This is my fault, isn’t it? You’re here because of me.”

She made no attempt to wipe her cheeks, but shook her head and stared at the rafters as though entreating the gods. “No, it’s not your fault. Not at all. There is so much to explain, I don’t know where to start.”

I couldn’t comprehend any of it, so I focused on the here and now. “You found me on the shore?”

She nodded.

“The crew, Francis…did you find anyone else out there?”

“No, I had Xax-, I mean, no, I searched but didn’t find anyone else.”

The familiar weight of grief squeezed my chest, and a few more tears escaped before I could stop them. 

She pulled me close and whispered, “I’m so sorry. I know how much you loved him. We all did.”

“We all grieved for you. You’ve been here…all this time?”


“By the gods, Loralee, I’ve missed you so much.” I put my wet cheek against hers and pressed my lips to her soft skin. “Part of me died the day I thought you… please…just tell me how you ended up here.”

Loralee took a few deep breaths and finally pulled away from me. She caressed my cheek and smiled weakly.  “I’ll make us a pot of tea. And then, I think we should start at the beginning, back to the Great Plague and when we first met. Do you remember that?”

Smiling past the sadness, I covered her hand with mine and closed my eyes. “How could I ever forget?”

About Mysti Parker:

Mysti Parker (pseudonym) is a full time wife, mother of
three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger's Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and the second in the fantasy romance series, Serenya's Song, was published in April 2012. The highly anticipated third book, Hearts in Exile, has already received some great reviews. The Tallenmere series has been likened to Terry Goodkind's 'Sword of Truth' series, but is probably closer to a spicy cross between Tolkien and Mercedes Lackey.

Mysti's other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, and Christmas Lites II. Her flash fiction has appeared on the online magazine EveryDayFiction. She has also served as a class mentor in Writers Village University's six week free course, F2K. 

Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder's Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.

Tallenmere Series:

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