Monday, December 30, 2013

Thomas's Muse Review

Welcome to my review of
Thomas's Muse by Kris Austen Radcliffe.
Four years ago, for a brief moment, Sammie Singleton became the muse of an artist she didn't know. The moment vanished, and now Sammie spends her nights with a different man.
 
Her life is black and white. But she needs food for her soul to feel alive.
 
She needs color. She needs art.
 
Everything changes the moment she meets Thomas Quidell. Brilliant and talented, Sammie quickly realizes Tom is her artist--and the man she's been fantasizing about all these years.
 
Tom offers her more than a lifeline. He opens her eyes to a new life. Vibrant, loving, fulfilling. But is she strong enough to take a chance?
Buy it at Amazon  B&N

Review:

Kris Austen Radcliffe gave me a peek through the looking glass of what it would be like to live with a male model. Sadly but truly she imploded my dreams of having my own man candy, now I don’t really want one LOL.  I can so see a male model behaving like Rick did and I would probably start lopping things off of him but hey that is just me. 
Enter Thomas, OMG I am in love with him! He is hot and has a great body but mostly he is thoughtful and a gentleman in every way. He is so great with his nephew Bart and hey, handsome cat (Kris knows who I speak of) loves him too. Once you read the book, you will find out about the great smoldering love affair that has been steaming under the surface and they didn’t even realize it!  I love that about this novel.
Sammie is a bit messed up or broken however you view it. She is living with Rick but neither of them are in love, it is more of a convenience and easy hot sweaty sex thing than anything else. Rick treats Sammie like he can control her and dictate their sexual experiences, it is ALL about him.  Sammie just doesn’t believe there is anything out there for her and doesn’t want to be alone and so she stays. 
I won’t breakout to much of the story because then I would ruin it for you.  But believe me; Kris Austen Radcliffe is broken into a new contemporary romance series with a great first book.

Yes each chapter switches perspective, but they are “Labeled”… pay attention and you will love it. I love see the situation for each person’s point of view. Thomas’s thoughts made my grin like an idiot through the entirety of the book
I adore Bart the little nephew, he is sweet and amazing.  He won my heart.


As a child, Kris took down a pack of hungry wolves with only a hardcover copy of "The Dragonriders of Pern" and a sharpened toothbrush. That fateful day set her on a path traversing many storytelling worlds--dabbles in film and comic books, time as a talent agent and a textbook photo coordinator, and a foray into nonfiction. After co-authoring "Mind Shapes: Understanding the Differences in Thinking and Communication", Kris returned to academia. But she craved narrative and a richly-textured world of Fates, Shifters, and Dragons--and unexpected, true love.

Kris lives in Minnesota with her husband, two daughters, Handsome Cat, and an entire menagerie of suburban wildlife bent on destroying her house. That battered-but-true copy of "Dragonriders"? She found it yesterday. It's time to pay a visit to the woodpeckers.


ONLINE LINKS:
• Website: 
http://www.sixtalonsign.com/novels/
• Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKrisAustenRadcliffe or my profile account, if you want to see the snarkier me:  http://www.facebook.com/kris.austenradcliffe
• Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KrisRadcliffe
        Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/krisradcliffe BUY NOW LINK:
• Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Thomass-Quidell-Brothers-Austen-Radcliffe-ebook/dp/B00GX9VRKE/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
• B&N  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thomass-muse-kris-austen-radcliffe/1117508416?ean=2940149103911

 

The Accidental Witch by Jessica Penot

Welcome to my Review of
The Accidental Witch by Jessica Penot.
 
Phaedra Michaels is a small town psychologist who is beginning to lose hope. Two of her patients at the local hospital in Dismal, Alabama have just killed themselves, she’s still reeling from her divorce and what turned out to be a disastrous marriage, and her father has died, leaving her without any notion of who her real mother is. 
 
Just as Phaedra decides to commit herself to a serious drinking problem and an eating disorder, or two, a mysterious spell book arrives in the mail. Feeling desperate, Phaedra uses it to cast spells to save her fading patients. Suddenly, good things start happening.  Phaedra’s patients begin to get better and she even starts dating the sexy doctor from the hospital.
 
Phaedra is so happy she doesn't notice the small things that start to go wrong in Dismal, or the dark creatures slithering out of the shadows near her house. When Phaedra finally realizes her spells have attracted every card-carrying demon from hell, she has no choice but to accept help from a slightly nerdy, 500 year-old warlock with a penchant for wearing super hero T-shirts and a knack for getting under Phaedra’s skin. Now, if only she could get the hang of this witch thing, she might be able to save her town.   
 
My Review
What a great premise for a book and a series!!! I love witches and magic stories.

The idea that she is a born witch and never knew it is genius! Then when a book of spells shows up at her new house and she gives it a try as a joke it actually works!!!

But watch out for the backlash is all I am sayin. Even good intentions have repercussions. This is a huge lesson in reading the manual first when you try something new.

It really gets exciting when she needs to fix all the problems created by her reckless magic. You are going to love it!
 
Jessica Penot is a writer and therapist who lives in Alabama with her children, husband, corgis,
and other strange creatures.  She is the author of Haunted North Alabama, Haunted Chattanooga and Circe.   
 

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The Knifes Edge Review

Welcome to my review of the Knifes edge by Matthew Wolf..

When legends come to life the world trembles from a single name. Ronin. Once-heroes from a different age, they wield elemental powers… wind, water, fire, stone, forest, sun, moon, flesh, and metal.

At the same time, a young man discovers his best friend with a sword in her stomach, and dark wings sprouting from her back. Guards rush onto the scene, accuse him of the act, and he is forced to flee. In a new world without his memories, Gray must find his way amid legends and darkness, as he wrestles with an elemental power inside himself.

A power all too similar to the infamous Ronin…

Buy Links   Amazon
 
 
My Review
Loose yourself in the next great epic fantasy.
This first novel has all the ingredients necessary in the recipe for a bestselling Fantasy.
1 Pound amazing new world (Daerval)
1 cup of adventure
A dash of magic
1 cup villains
A liberal handful of heroes
Stir well with plot twists
Frost with surprises.

Bake at 426 pages of Best Seller!
 
 
Matthew Wolf is the author of the Ronin Saga. Or maybe he's a Ronin. Either way, he's involved somehow. Aside from epic fantasy, he enjoys woodcrafting, outdoors, a bit of a health nut (Kale is good!), and trains in Kung Fu.
 
His childhood of traveling the world and studying Old English and Japanese influenced the schemes of the Saga, and the world of Daerval. He is a graduate from UCSB with a Literature degree with a specialization in Medieval Literature and Japanese.
 
 
 
ONLINE LINKS:
• Website: www.roninsaga.com
• Blog: www.roninsaga.com (same)
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/roninsaga
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/roninsaga
• Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/book/show/17886307-the-knife-s-edge



Monday, November 25, 2013

Bakers Dozen by M Will Smith My Review

Rose Baker is both shocked and infuriated to find that her brother Judd has been the ringleader of a conspiracy to promote political assassinations over the years.  These assassinations were of Rose’s political idols.  In the violent argument that ensues, Judd falls and is fatally injured.

Certain that his dozen co-conspirators will never face the justice they deserve, she hatches a plan to make sure that they do.  Traveling the four corners of the country, she takes them out, one by one.  Always a step ahead of the conspirators and the authorities, who never suspect a seventy year old well-dressed woman to be involved in such acts, they have no idea who to look for.
Along the way, Rose begins to suspect that the conspiracy is much deeper than the thirteen men, so decides to pursue it to wherever it leads.  FBI detectives Chuck and Cathy, who picked up on the murderous rampage midway through Rose’s march across the country, are slow to put the pieces together but finally catch up with her near the end.

Baker’s Dozen is about political hatred and retribution in the extreme, and how idealistic beliefs can permanently distort one’s perspective regardless of which side is involved.
Buy it at      Amazon      B&N
My Review:
A wonderful book, full of well developed characters. My interested was held until the very end and I look forward to more from M Will Smith. I love that the person taking on a vigilante vendetta is a senior citizen and woman to boot.

Mr. Smith retired early from a job as a transportation planner in the Pacific Northwest and went sailing by himself.   He lived on the sailboat for ten years and sailed up and down the West Coast from Seattle to central Mexico.   During that time he wrote a number of novels while in anchorages or marinas.  However, he did not publish them, so they sat for over ten years on floppy discs.  Last year his wife discovered them and after reading one insisted that he publish it.  After considerable editing, he did so through his daughter’s publishing company, Red Frog.  Since then, he has published two others and is currently in the process of publishing another.  Thus far he has not actively promoted any of them.

He has two daughters who live in Los Angeles.  His wife is the primary editor and cheerleader for his books.  They live in the Phoenix area in the winter and spend summers in the White Mountains of Arizona.  A book club in the White Mountains read the first book, Baker’s Dozen, and received it very favorably.    They have three small dogs.   The dogs are a joy to them, but are apparently making the local vets wealthy.






 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thankfully Naughty Giveaway hop


What a delightful idea.....to be Thankful and oh so naughty at the same time *huge grin*

My giveaway is an Amazon gift card for you to buy the naughty thing of your hearts desire.

Winners may be USA or International.

Use the Rafflecopter for chances to win and have a ton of fun!



 
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Monday, November 18, 2013

Review of "Give Me Hope" by Zoey Derrick

Welcome to my Review of Give Me Hope by Zoey Derrick.  Book 2 in The Reason Series.

An Angel is he...

From the first moment he saw her, MIKAH BLAKE was seized by an inexplicable need to protect Vivienne Callahan, a fragile but fiery young woman who’s awakened a slumbering power within him. With his encouragement, Vivienne has begun to turn her life around, and things seem to be heading in the direction of a slow but certain happily-ever-after. But that happy ending is side tracked by a rising evil that is determined to destroy her.

When her dark past comes back to claim her, Mikah is caught in a whirlwind of events that lead him down a path he was born into but never understood. Until now.

Can Mikah save Vivienne?  Will his love be enough? Will he be able to control his angelic powers and use them to protect his newfound love?


My Review

Give Me Hope picks up right where Give Me Reason left off.  Now you can breathe again after the cliff hanger at the end of the first book *grin*

Give Me Reason did an incredible job of setting the stage, presenting the characters and the back story. Give Me Hope gives us the budding romance and the revelation of what Mikah is.  This is a shock to both the readers and the character himself. Give Me Reason is very much Vivienne’s story and Give Me Hope is from Mikahs point of view, but not a repeat of the first book like some authors have done.  The story very much continues forward but with Mikah as the main character. You are just going to fall in live with Mikah, he is so SWOON WORTHY!

Pay very close attention to the small things that are said and the innocent touches that are given, you can follow these bread crumbs for clues into book three (Give Me Desire) which will be published very soon.  I can hardly wait for what Zoey Derrick has in store in Give Me Desire!

Like the first book, I read this cover to cover in one sitting.  Sleep is really over rated when a series like this presents itself.
 
Buy It Now Amazon
 
It is from Glendale, Arizona that Zoey Derrick, writes stories as hot as the desert sun itself. It is this passion that drips off of her work, bringing excitement to anyone who enjoys a good and sensual love story.

 

Not only does she aim to take her readers on an erotic dance that lasts the night, it allows her to empty her mind of stories we all wish were true.
Her stories are hopeful yet true to life, skillfully avoiding melodrama and the unrealistic, bringing her gripping Erotica only closer to the heart of those that dare dipping into it. 
 


The intimacy of her fantasies that she shares with her readers is thrilling and encouraging, climactic yet full of suspense. She is a loving mistress, up for anything, of which any reader is doomed to return to again and again.


ONLINE LINKS:
• Website WWW.ZOEYDERRICK.COM
• Facebook WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ZOEY.DERRICK
• Facebook WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ZOEY.DERRICK.1
• Twitter WWW.TWITTER.COM/ZOEYDERRICK
• Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7060851.Zoey_Derrick
• Amazon Page http://www.amazon.com/Zoey-Derrick/e/B00CNZYGZU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
 
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"Secret and lies" by Christine Amsden

Welcome to my review of "Secrets and Lies" the second book in the Cassie Scot series.

Cassie Scot, still stinging from her parents’ betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn't letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them. To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness. Book 2 in the Cassie Scot Mystery series.


My Review: 
Wow where do I begin? I feel awe at Cassie's deductive abilities and strength and bravery but My heart breaks for her as well. Cassie continues to solve all kinds f crimes and mysteries in this second book. She is amazing to follow as she works out what is going on and who the bad guys are. The way she can outwit them is just awesome. She is constantly having to go head to head with Evan because he wants to wrap her in bubble wrap and keep her safe and she will have none of it. 

The part where my heart breaks for her is in the way her parents treat her and also the constant struggle for her and Evan. In this second book I really dislike Cassie's parents A LOT. I can not go into what they do because that would ruin it for you to read the book yourself. But they really made me angry several times and at this point I still have not forgiven them. Maybe in the third book that will change. 


 There is a huge secret revealed at the end of the book so be prepared to have your socks knocked off. 


I really need book three!!


Buy it   Amazon   B&N



Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.
At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. 
In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.
Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.
ONLINE LINKS:
Website http://christineamsden.com/wordpress/
Blog http://christineamsden.com/wordpress/?page_id=200
Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-Amsden-Author-Page/127673027288664
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1030664.Christine_Amsden
Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/117845642477854934607/posts


Friday, November 15, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

It's that time again! Another Feature and Follow hosted by Parajunkee Alison Can read. This is a great way to find other blogs and for other blogs to find you. This is a "follow for a follow" type meme so make sure to comment on the blogs that you've visited to let them know how you're following (GFC, RSS, Linky, g+, Networked blogs, etc...) so they can do the same. Oh! and you must also follow both hosts as well (requirement to play)  Alison Can Read & Parajunkie Make sure to pay attention to the post and read it all the way through as each host has a question for all who participate to answer in the comments section of the blogs that you visit and follow. Thanks for joining in and have fun making new friends!
Leave a Comment and Follow me and I will Follow you back.

Q: Are there any book to movie adaptations where you think the movie is better than the book?

 

A:  I can not think of any movies that were better than the book.  Because of the require to squeeze a novel into 90 minutes so much is always cut out.  There have been movies that are equally good such as the Harry Potter movies but that is about as close as it gets.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Black Song Inside

Welcome to my Review of Black Song Inside by Carlyle Clark
Atticus Wynn and Rosemary Sanchez, newly engaged private investigators, have seen the dark and violent side of life. Nothing, though, has prepared them for an explosive murder investigation that threatens to tear their relationship apart as they struggle to solve a case that could leave them in prison or dead.

Atticus’s manipulative ex-girlfriend bursts back into their lives wielding a secret about Rosemary’s family that she exploits to force the couple into investigating the execution-style slaying of her lover. The case thrusts Atticus and Rosemary headlong into the world of human trafficking and drug smuggling, while rendering them pawns in Tijuana Cartel captain Armando Villanueva’s bloody bid to take over the cartel.
The Black Song Inside is a vivid crime thriller rife with murder and madness, melded with gallows humor and the heroism of two flawed and compelling protagonists who, if they can save themselves, may learn the nature of redemption and the ability to forgive
My Review:
Action, Thriller, Fast-Moving, Gritty, so many one word adjectives to describe this wonderful book.
Clark’s vivid and descriptive writing will have you to the point of feeling like you are watching a movie instead of reading a book. I love books that are so easily visual, they draw me in and I lose track of time.

Awesome characters! I love that the hero and heroine are not perfect.

Rosemary Sanchez is Atticus’s fiancĂ©e and she has lost a leg in the Iraq War. Like many vets, she still suffers PTSD, but she does not use it as a crutch or excuse.
Atticus Wynn Has a wonderful dry sense of humor which lightens the rest of the story.

The one secondary character that stands out for me is the Priest (not a good one), I won’t spoil it for you so when you read the novel just remember the Priest.
Atticus’s ex-lover blackmails him into helping her and all hell breaks loose. You can take the story from there.
 
Buy It here       Amazon          B&N
 

Carlyle Clark was raised in Poway, a city just north of San Diego, but is now a proud Chicagolander working in the field of Corporate Security and writing crime and fantasy fiction. He has flailed ineffectually at performing the writer's requisite myriad of random jobs: pizza deliverer, curb address painter, sweatshop laborer, day laborer, night laborer, security guard, campus police, Gallup pollster, medical courier, vehicle procurer, and signature-for-petitions-getter.

He is a married man with two cats and a dog. He is also a martial arts enthusiast and a CrossFit endurer who enjoys fishing, sports, movies, TV series with continuing storylines, and of course, reading. Most inconsequentially, he holds the unrecognized distinction of being one of the few people in the world who have been paid to watch concrete dry in the dark. Tragically, that is a true statement.
ONLINE LINKS:
• Blog: http://carlyleclark.wordpress.com/
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Carlyle-Clark-Author/419886691449737
• Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Carlyle_Clark
• Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18318659-the-black-song-inside
• Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Black-Song-Inside-ebook/dp/B00DLOZ1LK/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379038054&sr=1-1


Monday, November 11, 2013

Cover Reveal Give Me Hope

Welcome to the Cover Reveal of Give Me Hope 
by Zoey Derrick


An Angel is he...

From the first moment he saw her, MIKAH BLAKE was seized by an inexplicable need to protect Vivienne Callahan, a fragile but fiery young woman who’s awakened a slumbering power within him. With his encouragement, Vivienne has begun to turn her life around, and things seem to be heading in the direction of a slow but certain happily-ever-after. But that happy ending is side tracked by a rising evil that is determined to destroy her. 

When her dark past comes back to claim her, Mikah is caught in a whirlwind of events that lead him down a path he was born into but never understood. Until now. 

Can Mikah save Vivienne?  Will his love be enough? Will he be able to control his angelic powers and use them to protect his new found love?
Buy It Now  Amazon   Barnes and Noble   

It is from Glendale, Arizona that Zoey Derrick, writes stories as hot as the desert sun itself. It is this passion that drips off of her work, bringing excitement to anyone who enjoys a good and sensual love story.
 
 

Not only does she aim to take her readers on an erotic dance that lasts the night, it allows her to empty her mind of stories we all wish were true.
Her stories are hopeful yet true to life, skillfully avoiding melodrama and the unrealistic, bringing her gripping Erotica only closer to the heart of those that dare dipping into it. 
 
 

The intimacy of her fantasies that she shares with her readers is thrilling and encouraging, climactic yet full of suspense. She is a loving mistress, up for anything, of which any reader is doomed to return to again and again.


ONLINE LINKS:
Website WWW.ZOEYDERRICK.COM
Facebook WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ZOEY.DERRICK
Facebook WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ZOEY.DERRICK.1
Twitter WWW.TWITTER.COM/ZOEYDERRICK
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7060851.Zoey_Derrick
Amazon Page http://www.amazon.com/Zoey-Derrick/e/B00CNZYGZU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Review of Enhanced by Courtney Farrell

Welcome to the Review for "Enhanced" by Courtney Farrell.  Enjoy the first chapter provided for your pleasure. If you were a fan of the television show Dark Angel you will really enjoy Enhanced!

 Michelle was born into the Institute’s eugenics program, where doctors breed people like livestock. One powerful man decides which children grow up, and which disappear. Culls are dumped in the slum outside Institute walls, and those kids never come back. Michelle has survived every purge, and she’s about to win a luxurious life as a breeder. When her brother and her boyfriend are both mysteriously culled, despite their high scores, she goes over the wall to find them. Alone in the ghetto, she’s in trouble until handsome, streetwise Dillon stakes a claim to her. She’s mortified because the Enhanced see Norms as little more than animals. But the doctor is using the missing boys in a twisted experiment, and she needs Dillon’s help to stop him. Michelle must rescue the boys, but a plague is spreading, the doctor is after her, and Dillon isn’t thrilled to help her find her lost boyfriend.
My Review:
So what would happen if the human race found a way to genetically design the next generation into the enhanced group, the (for lack of a better word) dumbed down worker bees, and the unenhanced or norms. Courtney Farrell gives us a very possible and almost horrific view of how heartless the human race could become. Oh lord please do not let us become so idealized that we loose or souls and hearts. 
 
What a fantastic and creative brain you have Courtney. It was so real it was blood chilling to realize this could actually happen.  Great writing like this always pulls me in.
 
Buy Now:   Crescent Moon Press    Amazon     B&N
Enhanced: Chapter 1 

     The door slammed open and a team of white-coated technicians filed grimly into the classroom. Michelle Atherton automatically relaxed her face into the expressionless mask Enhanced offspring used to greet any bad news, but under her desk, her fingers gripped each other hard enough to hurt. The techs lined up against the wall, arms folded and jaws set in identical hard lines. They stared over her head, refusing to make eye contact with anyone. Doctor Williams came in last, rolling a gurney outfitted with sturdy nylon straps. He parked it behind the last row of chairs, and teenagers twisted in their seats to stare. Pressure rose in Michelle’s throat like a scream, but she didn’t dare make a sound.
     Williams dismissed Professor Cole with a perfunctory twitch of his jowly chin. In agonizingly slow motion, the old teacher set the stack of standardized tests down on her desk and walked stiffly from the room. Williams closed the door after her. The click of the latch made Michelle flinch.
    “Seth Atherton,” Doctor Williams said.
     Blood rushed from Michelle’s head.
     Michelle’s seventeen-year-old brother stood up. “Sir?”
    “You have been selected for a…procedure.” Williams motioned Seth to the gurney. “Come with us.”
    “What procedure?” Seth’s voice sounded calm and polite, as always, but everyone knew what he was thinking. People selected for procedures didn’t always come back.
     Williams didn’t answer–not that anyone expected him to. At the doctor’s gesture, a couple of male technicians stepped up and locked eyes with the rangy dark-haired boy. The bigger one, a swarthy young man with thighs like tree trunks, pointed Michelle’s brother toward the gurney. Seth stood his ground.
     He turned to Doctor Williams. “I’ll cooperate, sir. You don’t need the stretcher, I can walk.”
     Technicians drifted from the wall like wraiths, slowly surrounding him. Michelle’s head felt like it floated a little way above her body, as if somehow it wasn’t quite connected. Objects in the room had bright edges, and the coats of the technicians gleamed in brilliant, painful white. Her brother’s strong hand gripped her shoulder, but she didn’t remember getting out of her chair. He pulled her close and leaned down to whisper.
   “Michelle.” Seth’s eyes were so dilated that they almost looked black. Narrow rings of indigo surrounded the reflective pools of darkness. “Don’t do this. You have a chance to grow up here, become a breeder. I…I just can’t watch you walk out the gate alone.”
    She stared at him with wide eyes, and slowly nodded. Seth inclined his head in that unconsciously noble way of his, and the technicians fell back, making room. His fingers gripped Michelle’s arm. Pain dimly penetrated her nightmare, so she let her brother walk her a couple of steps and press her back down in her chair.
    “Stay here, Michelle. I’ll be fine.”
     Michelle blinked hard at the tears that threatened to shame them both. “Sure. You’ll…be fine.”
     Seth nodded once and turned away. He strode to the gurney, climbed aboard and stretched out on his back. With sharp metallic clicks, technicians ratcheted down the straps.
     They rolled him away.
     The teens sat for a moment in stunned silence before the whispering began. “I can’t believe they’re culling him!” Sylvia blurted.
    “That’s not how it’s done,” Jeanette said disdainfully. “They didn’t line us up at the gate, and besides, with his scores, that’s not going to happen.”
    “Maybe they don’t like his attitude,” said Seth’s best friend Brian. “The way he plays the system.”
     Michelle glanced sharply at the big blond-haired senior. “You mean the way you both—”
    The door opened again and the technicians came back in with a second wheeled stretcher.
    Carissa’s face blanched as the technicians marched toward her. “It’s me, I knew it.”       The tawny-haired girl stumbled out of her chair and squeezed behind Brian’s broad back, like that could save her. He murmured to her softly and reached up to cover her hand with his.
    “Brian Halstead,” the swarthy tech said, flexing his thick shoulders in an unspoken challenge. Carissa’s breath caught audibly in her throat.
     Brian stood up slowly, with the oiled grace of a predator. “Yes, sir.”
     He emphasized the word a little and the tech’s eyes narrowed. Nobody called technicians sir. A little smirk played along the corners of Brian’s mouth. He took a step or two toward the gurney, but hesitated by Michelle’s chair until she looked up.
    “For Seth,” Brian whispered, giving her a wicked little smile.
     Michelle sat up straight and scanned the white-coats. Doctor Williams had gone, leaving a bunch of low ranking techs to deal with Brian alone. Big mistake. What’s he going to do?
     As Brian sauntered down the aisle, people in the back of the classroom scooted out of their chairs and clustered in front by Professor Cole’s desk. That should have alerted the technicians, but it didn’t.
    “Clearly, there’s a reason that they’re only technicians,” Jeanette Morley said, right out loud, and her girlfriends giggled.
    “Get on the stretcher,” the burly technician growled at Brian.
     Brian grinned. “Thanks, but I’m not interested in participating.”
    “It’s not optional.”
    “That’s not the way I see it.” Brian cocked his head and waited until the tech made the mistake of grabbing his arm.
     “I turned eighteen last fall,” Brian said, and the guy let go fast. It was too late.
      With both hands, Brian lifted the stretcher off its wheels and slammed its edge into the man’s stomach. The swarthy one went down, along with another white-coat with the bad luck to be standing next to him. Techs swarmed the big blond-haired teenager, trying to overcome him by sheer numbers. Michelle cheered along with the rest of the class when Brian made a hole in the drywall with some guy’s head, but a petite female nurse snuck up behind him with a syringe.
     “Look out, behind you!” screamed Carissa.
      Brian slumped horribly to the floor, and four white-coated men lifted his body onto the stretcher. They rolled him away while Michelle wrapped her arms around herself and shook. After the last technician filed out, Doctor Williams stuck his head in, surveyed the damaged wall with a slightly sick expression, and then closed the door like a dog owner making sure his pets didn’t get out.
      Jeanette laughed until her face turned pink. “Did you see how Brian set that up? The Conclave can’t touch him for that!”
     “What!” Michelle snapped.
     “Don’t you get anything, Michelle?” Jeanette rolled her eyes. “Brian’s eighteen. Technically that makes him an adult, whether he’s finished high school or not. With the scores he gets, he outranks every technician at the Institute. He doesn’t have to follow their orders.”
      “So when he wakes up from whatever sick experiment they’re doing on him, they can’t punish him any worse. Sure, that’s just hysterical, Jeanette. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much.” Michelle abruptly fell silent when the door opened once again.
     This time, when they came, they came for her.
     Michelle trembled on the exam table in the Genetics Clinic. A puncture wound in her leg slowly dripped blood onto the polished floor, but she ignored it. Technicians were testing the biopsied muscle segment, and Norms existed to clean up the mess. A child sobbed softly on the other side of the wall.
      Don’t go. Doctor Salomon could walk in any second, Michelle told herself, crumpling her disposable hospital shift in sweaty hands. But he won’t, another part of her mind whispered, the buried part that knew exactly what Salomon was doing in the room next door. He’s not finished with her yet. Michelle fidgeted on the paper-covered bench, trying to repress the thought. She smoothed away the telltale wrinkles in the horrible white paper poncho, but they’d be able to tell. They could always tell.
     Michelle tucked her chin and wrapped her arms across her flat stomach, as though she could hide under her veil of long dark hair. The antiseptic scent of the clinic always twisted her guts into a knot. Suddenly she pushed off the table, landing barefoot on the freezing cold tiles. Crimson droplets of blood marked her passage toward the door, but the bleeding quickly stopped. In another hour the wound would be completely healed. She hesitated, calculating the odds. Can I go find Seth and get back before Salomon does? Not likely. But if I don’t, I’ll go crazy.
      Michelle eyed the closed door, considering escape. But escape was only for the losers who got culled. Brian claimed that would be a relief, but he tried as hard as anyone to avoid it. No one knew what happened to the culls after they were dumped in the slum. They probably live out there like kings, ruling over the Norms. Even a cull could out compete them.
      In a savage motion Michelle tore off her paper shift and let the fragments drift to the floor. Glaring surgical light reflected off her sleek muscles, golden skin, and the flawless features of her face. She snatched up her clothes as fast as she could. A child’s shrill scream paralyzed her with one leg in her pants.
      Doctor Salomon’s voice rumbled through the wall, taking that quietly insistent tone he used with little girls. “Be quiet, Jennifer, or I’ll bring one of your sisters in here instead. Is that what you want?”
     Michelle took a ragged gasp as everything she’d tried so hard to forget flooded to the surface. She yanked on her clothes and skidded across the floor in her socks. The door had been locked from outside. She rattled the doorknob frantically, but no one came. The child next door got louder, and something in there crashed to the floor. The little girl’s hysterical pleading shifted into a high-pitched scream. A man bellowed, followed by the unmistakable sound of someone being slapped hard with an open hand.
      “Help, help!” Michelle pounded on the door and twisted the doorknob so hard that the metal itself sheared and broke off in her hand.
       She half expected to hear nurses’ running feet, but no one came. Without thinking, she kicked the door open, bolted into the hall and slammed a shoulder into the closed door of the next room. It unexpectedly flew open, and Michelle tripped over an overturned chair just inside. She crashed to the floor and whipped her head around, but the doctor was already gone. A red-haired girl about nine years old peered over the edge of the exam table. A sore pink handprint stood up across the child’s face. Blood speckled the front of her little paper poncho.
     Michelle scrambled to her feet, feeling stupid. She reached gently for the child, who flinched away. “Jennie? Sara? Which one are you? Um, sorry,” Michelle trailed off, embarrassed. Everyone else seemed to be able to tell the triplets apart.
     “I’m Jennie.”
     “Easy, Jennie. I won’t hurt you. You’re bleeding.”
     “It’s not my blood,” the little redhead said, her blue eyes flashing defiantly. “I bit him.”
      Michelle couldn’t help laughing, but she stifled the sound behind her hands. Around here, anyone could be listening. “Good. He had it coming, I’m sure.”
      The child slid off the table, clutching her paper shift tightly to her chest with both tiny fists. “He told me he had to check and see if I had cancer, you know, inside.”
     “Oh, that’s--” Michelle cut herself off before blurting, “just what he used to tell me.” Instead she said, “That’s not true. The Enhanced can’t get cancer, sweetie. That flaw got bred out generations ago.”
     Jennie bit her lip, trying not to cry. “He lied.”
     Michelle squatted down to get on eye level with the little girl. “Yeah, he did. So tell your mom right away.”
    “They showed her the gate when I was a baby.” An angry tear escaped down Jennie’s cheek, but she flushed and quickly wiped it away. Michelle politely pretended not to notice.
      The little redhead crept in to whisper. “You shouldn’t try to help me. You know what he’ll do.”
      Michelle went cold, imagining the consequences. “I know, but I heard you scream, and…”
      Jennie surprised her by giving her a hug. “Don’t be stupid, Michelle. It’s bad here, but it’s worse Outside.”
      Michelle walked down the hall alone, feeling like a prisoner about to face the firing squad. A couple of young male technicians chatted outside the surgical suite. They’d know she had no business in there, and with her genetically enhanced IQ, getting lost wasn’t an excuse. She smiled a little, trying not to look guilty as her heart pounded. Their eyes roamed over her body, but they stepped aside to let her pass. Michelle was an Atherton, after all, the daughter of not only one, but two members of the Conclave. That made her royalty here. At least until my first citation for noncompliance.  
      Michelle glanced over her shoulder at the men, pretending to check them out. They winked and leered, and laughed when she blushed. She bent her head over her papers as though double-checking a room number and pushed through the double doors. She held her breath, expecting them to stop her. They didn’t. Michelle slowed her stride at the receptionist’s desk, hoping Seth’s mysterious procedure would be listed on the computer there. A young female receptionist sat behind the clear plastic counter. The brunette’s short legs and pudgy body gave her away as an Augment, a Norm enhanced only enough to qualify her for a job. Augments instinctively obeyed orders from Enhanced adults, but not from the kids. Am I old enough? Will she tell me?
     Salomon’s petulant voice came from an office opposite the receptionist’s desk, making Michelle forget all about the little brunette. “You’re worthless, Williams! I can’t leave you alone for a minute. That’s why you’re still a technician, so stop asking.”
      The door opened and Michelle ducked around a corner, but caved in to the temptation to peek. Doctor Salomon emerged, trailed by Doctor Williams, the eternal technician. The unfortunate man took shallow breaths, sucking in his tubby stomach, but it still made him look like a Norm.
      The small white-haired director poked a bandaged finger at Williams’ face. “All you had to do was remain in the room, but apparently that was too complicated for you. Those damages are coming out of your paycheck. Now I’m late for surgery, and you’re assisting.”
     “Thank you for the opportunity, sir,” the balding technician said. His eyes remained downcast, but a note of hope crept into his voice.
      Salomon’s overpowering cologne drifted around the corner and stung Michelle’s throat. It smelled like pain. She pushed off the wall and hurried away. Ahead, a line of Enhanced offspring waited for Augment security guards to inspect their documents. She abruptly changed direction and rushed down another corridor, fighting down panic. Sweat began to soak through her blouse, and her breath came in rapid gasps. Orderlies scooted out of her way, and one of them flicked his wrist, activating his implanted cell chip. Is he calling security? Michelle fought against the wave of irrational terror, but had no hope. She dodged a couple of white-uniformed nurses and gave in to the impulse to run.
       Anxiety disorders sometimes manifested in kids selected for extremely high IQs, and doctors doggedly rooted out the flaw. Most of the other carriers had already been selected for procedures. Speaking their names was forbidden, so it felt safer to forget them. Michelle brought their faces to mind in a desperate bid for self-control. The little brown-haired girl who used to cry on the high ropes course–that one never made it past fifth grade. The freckle-faced seventh-grade boy who got eliminated when he refused a two-on-one sparring match in karate class. The images of the lost slowed her headlong rush, but not quickly enough.
     A group of students crowded the hall around the corner. Michelle careened sideways, slammed a hand loudly against the wall, and plowed right into Jeanette Morley, of all people. Beauty wasn't the goal at the Institute, but Jeanette sure acted like it was. The team that designed her pulled out all the stops, giving her a slender, sculpted body, large breasts, and blonde hair that cascaded down her back. Looks weren’t supposed to count here, but they did, especially when it came to influencing people.
      The blonde shoved Michelle away and then started ripping her a new spleen. “Yeah, instead of arriving on time, go ahead and run us all over, you cull. God, Michelle, you’re so…Normal. No wonder you have no friends.”
      “I’m her friend,” Carissa said softly, stepping between Jeanette and Michelle with a visible effort.
      “Thanks, Carissa,” Michelle told the mousy girl, trying to be kind. “I’m your friend too.”
      “Low-ranks and recruits.” Jeanette gave Carissa a critical once-over and rolled her eyes. “Like they count. I guess, if that’s the best you can do.”
      Jeanette’s younger brother Todd wove through the crowd, slipping easily between the muscular boys. On him, the genes that gave Jeanette her delicate beauty just looked scrawny. “Hey, Michelle. Worried you’d be late?”
      “Um, yeah.” Michelle peeled a sweaty curl off her forehead and looked back down the hall. No one followed, and she felt like an idiot for losing control.
      Todd took her by the elbow and guided her to the wall. His touch calmed her pounding heart. “This test isn’t for freshmen,” he murmured, almost inaudibly, but she heard him through her bones. “What are you doing here?”
      She didn’t answer. His eyes searched hers as he lightly lifted the truth from her mind. “Oh. Living dangerously.”
      “Get out of my head, witch!” Michelle snapped, way too loud, but Todd only laughed in that wheezing nerdy way of his.
       He put his mouth to her ear and whispered. “They’re in outpatient surgery, room seven.”
      “Thanks! I’ve got to go, I’m not supposed to…” Michelle faltered and fell silent.
      “Obviously,” Todd smirked. “Get going before the wrong people notice.” He shot a fast glance at his sister, who clustered with her followers.
       Michelle turned away and stepped on someone’s foot. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said, and then saw who she’d crunched. A green-uniformed Norm hurriedly pulled his laundry cart out of her way. Sniggers broke out among the teens and Michelle blushed. One didn’t speak to Norms, except to give instructions. Apologizing to them was unheard of. They were little more than animals, and they wouldn’t understand.
       “My fault, Miss,” the small black-haired Norm mumbled, eyes respectfully downcast. A muscle on the young man’s jaw clenched and released, and he cast a glance of veiled hatred toward the smirking crowd of kids. Michelle wouldn’t have thought a Norm would know when he was being laughed at, but this one obviously did. A flush of anger rose to her cheeks, but her glare didn’t stop her classmates’ giggles. Suddenly she hated them too.
       “It wasn’t your fault!” Michelle blurted, startling the pimple-faced boy into meeting her eyes for a second. “I ran into you.”
       The entire hallway fell silent as the Normal teenager flushed under the scrutiny of dozens of impossibly beautiful Enhanced. Michelle shrugged apologetically, and the worker surprised her with a wry grin. Mentally kicking herself for attracting attention, she slipped around a corner and walked away.
       One advantage of breaking rules when no one else did was that authorities never expected it. In the outpatient surgery wing, nurses and orderlies bustled everywhere, but no one noticed one girl standing against the wall. Michelle peeked through the tiny window in the door of room seven. Her brother sat rigidly on an exam table. Seth’s handsome face remained impassive, but he kept running a hand through his hair, making it stand on end. He stopped when Salomon walked in. Williams followed, carrying a tray shrouded under a blue surgical cloth. Instead of asking, the chubby technician just put a hand on Seth’s chest and shoved him down on the table. Two thick nylon straps pinned the boy on his back. Salomon chose a gleaming silver scalpel from his tray.
       Seth averted his eyes from the scalpel and spotted his sister standing in the doorway. A flicker of fear crossed his face, quickly masked. The doctor bent over the boy’s arm and made a quick incision without bothering to numb it first. Seth’s night-blue eyes glazed with pain, but he didn’t even twitch when the doctor pulled the edges of the incision wide and used a couple of stainless-steel clamps to hold it open. Michelle couldn’t look at the blood dripping down her brother’s arm, and focused on his dark eyes instead. They looked strange to her, too old for his young face.
       When Salomon turned away to open an incubator, Seth mouthed something at her. It took Michelle a moment to make out her brother’s words. “Go! Before you get one too!”    
 “One what?” she mouthed back, just as Salomon returned to Seth’s side. The petite gray-haired man now wore a surgical mask, and he cradled something carefully in his gloved hands. He glanced up and Michelle recoiled just in time, jerking back around the corner. That did it. A suspicious middle-aged nurse strode toward her, elbowing aside some low-ranking aids and a Normal janitor. Clutching her fake documents to her chest, Michelle fled.
Courtney Farrell was once a molecular biologist, but her habit of daydreaming destroyed far too many experiments. As it turned out, writing down the movies behind her eyes was a lot more fun than lab work. Courtney is the author of fourteen nonfiction books for young people, mostly on social and environmental topics. She lives with her family on a Colorado ranch where they support a barn full of freeloading animals, including a fat draft horse and a bunch of crazy chickens. Enhanced is her first novel.
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Monday, November 4, 2013

Review of Winter Swan's

Welcome to my Review of Winter Swans by Danica Winters 
 A curse that forbids her to love…A child that he must keep secret…An attack on the culture she holds dear…And a battle that could get them killed…
Single dad and professional poker player, Chance Landon, hates the world after his ex-wife is found dead in a cheap apartment in rural Idaho.  On a lone-wolf crusade to find the killer, he instead learns that he is the father of a strange little girl who carries secrets that only a woman like his ex-wife can answer. 
When his ex-wife’s killer learns about his daughter’s abilities and decides to come after the young girl, Chance enlists the help of the beautiful and deadly swan-shifting nymph, Harper Cygnini, who helps to teach him the truth of his daughter’s condition.  Chance soon realizes that he alone can’t save his daughter from the sadistic killer and he finds himself in a battle between his head and his heart.  Will Chance gamble on a future that involves falling in love—which may well cost him his life—or is that one bet his is unwilling to take?  
My Review 
I love it when you can read a book in a series and it can also read as a stand alone. I have found myself in the middle of a series without knowing it and wondering what the heck was going on.  Excellent job Danica!  I will now go back and read the first 2 and do it happily :)

Harper is devastated by the loss of her sister. Now she needs to find her ex brother in law Chance which leads her to Las Vegas. There they deal with a teenage nymph with all the normal and not so normal issues, loan sharks, and more. From there the story gets very interesting :)

This is a sweet series, and oh so easy to read. Danica has developed wonderful characters that you will love.
Buy it at      Amazon 

Author Danica Winters
Danica Winters is a bestselling author who is known for writing award-winning books that grip readers with their ability to drive emotion through suspense and often a touch of magic. When she’s not working, she can be found in the wilds of Montana testing her patience while she tries to understand the allure of various crafts (quilting, pottery, and painting are not her thing).  She always believes the cup is neither half full nor half empty, but it better be filled with wine.

Paranormal Romance Fans for Life Blog: http://paranormalromancefanforlife.blogspot.com/

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