Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More TV Do-Overs! (X-Files and Once Upon A Time)

I had so much fun talking about how Hawaii Five-O needed to be redone that I couldn't resist my thoughts on what other shows I would change. 

The X-Files

When the show started out, Fox Mulder was haunted by the memory of his sister Samantha’s abduction. He grew up to become an FBI agent who saw conspiracy theories and aliens everywhere- and he just might have been right. He was reluctantly partnered with Dana Scully, equally brilliant but far more skeptical. Scully could hold her own against Mulder, but this was his show.

And then it wasn’t, for a couple of reasons:
  • Gillian Anderson, the actress who played Scully, became pregnant with her first child in the middle of the first season. To accommodate it, the writers made Scully disappear and then recover from her abduction in a hospital bed. Where was she? Kidnapped by aliens- Mulder was right!- and then her eggs were harvested for an ongoing cloning experiment. From that point on, The X-Files was as much Scully’s show as it was Mulder’s.
  • Gillian Anderson was a better actor than David Duchovny, who played Fox Mulder. While Emmy awards tend to be even more controversial than others, the academy got it right when they gave one to Anderson for her role and not Duchovny. She had more range, dramatically and comedically, than he did. Ultimately, she was the better choice to build a show around, but the premise was his character.
  • Some of the ways they chose to enhance his character were unfortunate. Mulder was the odd duck because he saw conspiracies, so then the writers made him weird, geeky and sometimes kind of lame. Putting someone in an odd situation is one of the quickest cheats to make them more interesting, but ultimately it doesn’t hide the original problem of a weak center.
"The truth is out there." "I *want* to believe you. Maybe you should try that again."

Actors aside (although never, really, when you’re talking about television), The X-Files created a world in which ghosts, aliens, vampires, psychics, witches and the Loch Ness monster were real, human beings could be the biggest monsters of all AND there was a big conspiracy. The only problem was that they didn’t seem to know what that conspiracy was themselves, but somehow the audience was convinced that the ultimate answer was going to be awesome. The truth was out there, but they needed to make it up as they went along. That’s exciting the first season or two, but after that your viewers start asking, no, seriously, what’s the real story? By the time we got to the very last episode, the writers put in a throw away line to explain that Samantha had died years before and was being cloned. I guess they didn't care anymore. That's okay; the viewers didn't either.

Therefore, my Do-Over recommendations are pretty simple: if I were going to redo The X-Files, I’d decide what, specifically, the conspiracy was first before I started leaving dead bodies and limbs in elevators, hallways, car trunks and the former Soviet Union and started weird scientific experiments on moving train cars. I’d also have cast a lead actor who wouldn’t be outshined by the person who was supposed to be his sidekick.

Once Upon A Time

This show had such great potential: Snow White, Prince Charming and all of their kingdom’s memories are wiped out by the Evil Queen and they’re sent to a World Without Magic (that would be our world, for the record), but not before Snow White gives birth to and Prince Charming successfully hides their newborn daughter Emma. Her destiny is to find and rescue them, and twenty-eight years later the son she gave up for adoption- who just happens to have been adopted by the Evil Queen- shows up with a magical book of fairy tales to make sure she does just that. Emma is extremely skeptical, but her dormant maternal instincts kick in and she ultimately breaks the curse. Is that all? Nope. Her parents get split up again- mom gets sent back to the Enchanted Forest, and dad is still in our world- we meet Captain Hook (he’s misunderstood- and hot) and we find out that the real reason the curse was placed was so Rumpelstiltskin could get back to his son Baelfire/Bae- who grew up to become Neal, the father of Emma’s son Henry!

The Rumpelstiltskin line of the story has remained pretty strong. When Henry was kidnapped by a mysterious magical force last year, we discovered that his abductor was Peter Pan- and that Peter Pan was really Rumpelstiltskin’s father! Good old fashioned family drama with a touch of magic- perfect.

Would that the same thing could be said for the fraught story between Snow White and the Evil Queen, aka Regina. The Queen hates Snow because as a child she inadvertently caused the death of her true love, Daniel; no, actually, Regina’s mother Cora killed Daniel after she killed Snow’s mother, Eva, and she did all of this to put Regina on the throne; no, actually, the miller’s daughter Cora really hated Princess Eva because she humiliated her in front of the court of her future husband Prince Henry; no, actually, Cora hated Eva because Cora was all set to marry Leopold when Eva outed her as already being pregnant with Zelena, whom she abandoned at birth and grew up to be the Wicked Witch of Oz.

"Why do we hate each other again?" "Let's ask our moms."

"I've sort of forgotten..."

Wait, what? None of that makes sense. Eva wouldn’t have outed Cora AGAIN to Henry’s father when those two later became betrothed? Leopold wouldn’t have recognized her years later when she arranged for him to meet her daughter Regina? You know what that’s a sign of? Someone making up a story as they went along.

My suggestion: Make a storyline bible and stick to it. And when you decide you want to integrate someone from another fairy tale or legend, be a little more creative.

What are you dying to rewrite? Hit the comments! And then jump over to my good buddy Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba's blog tomorrow to see what she'd like to change. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

TV Do-Over Blog Hop, the Hawaii Five-0 edition

When Caroline Fardig announced that she was hosting this blog hop, I raised my hand faster than Welcome Back, Kotter's Horshack. And because it's Caroline, we both *knew* I'd have to write about Hawaii Five-0...
Yes, I watch Hawaii Five-0. No, I’m not ashamed (too much). 
Understand, I come by Hawaii Five-O honestly. My father was a fan of the original in the Seventies, and I watched along. Steve McGarrett was VERY serious, and Danny Williams aka Dann-O was his trusted right-hand man- and that was all I really knew, except that it was set in Hawaii. 
I was very excited when it was announced a few years ago that CBS was bringing back the show, and when I found out that Grace Park, an actress from Battlestar Galactica, was going to be playing a role previously played by a man, I was ecstatic. 
Let’s just say the execution has been a letdown. There’s a lot I would do differently. 
  • Layoff the Bromance. Alex O'Loughlin is in great shape and he can keep a straight face; Scott Caan has great comedic timing. Neither of them have a lot of dramatic range. The answer the producers came up with is to make them *the* bromance of prime time television. I admit, for a few minutes, it can be cute, but after that...please, no. When I see them squabbling about, well, nothing for more than ten minutes, I know that the writers needed a lot of filler for that episode. Suggestion: make the crimes- and the criminals- more interesting and spare us five minutes of their banter.
McGarrett and Dann-O smirking- of course
...these two are less amused, possibly because they have more to do
  • Develop the female characters. Oh my god! I sent a message to Caroline the day after one of the episodes featuring Jorge Garcia. He plays a brilliant but very paranoid high school acquaintance of Chin Ho’s, Jerry Ortega. He’s a great actor, but he’s a minor character. However, within ten minutes of his appearance I thought he was infinitely more interesting than Catherine Rollins, played by Michelle Borth. We know that Rollins is hyper-competent, sexy and loyal to Steve, but...that’s really it. There was virtually no character development for her, and neither was there for Lori Weston as played by Lauren Graham (although she did get to drop the occasional one-liners). The women who were interesting- Jenna Kaye (Larisa Oleynik) and Malia Waincroft (Reiko Aylesworth)- were killed off. Of course. Suggestion: next time you hire an actress, make her character interesting.

What's the point of making a core character if a woman if you're not going to develop that character? Other than putting her in a bikini?
  • A little gravitas. One of the early episodes lingered on Steve and Catherine waking up in bed together. It wasn't graphic at all- hello, this is CBS- but it was silly. I remarked to my husband that we never saw Jack Lord, the original McGarrett, in bed with anyone. My husband replied that he would have closed the door. Indeed. It's not about intimacy on television- done well, it's great!- but sometimes I want McGarrett to be a little more in charge and even a little more aloof. Suggestion: watch the old show and see what they did for Lord.
  • More Wo Fat! Wo Fat from the original series was dangerous and ruthless, but he didn't get his own hands dirty. The modern Wo-Fat doesn't mind killing people with his own hands. He's just as brilliant, and he has a long reach. There's also a connection between his family and McGarrett's- he ordered the hit on McGarrett's father and McGarrett's mother killed one of his parents- but he clearly wants something *more* from McGarrett. Suggestion: as the show enters its fifth season, it should think about its end game. Figure out what it is Wo-Fat wants, and make sure we see a lot of him.

Both versions of Wo Fat are pretty badass, but the one from the Seventies might schmooze you a little before he killed you.
  • More Chin Ho! I wasn't a Lost fan (I'm sorry, I just couldn't make the commitment), but it didn't take long for me to know that Daniel Dae Kim is the best actor on the show, hands down. The episodes that heavily feature him are among the best in the series, and his presence in a scene usually elevates everyone in it...when it doesn't highlight how much work they need to do. Suggestion: give Chin Ho more to do.

Eerie coincidence: Daniel Dae Kim and Kam Fong Chun both played the role of Chin Ho Kelly- and they were both good actors. Weird!
  • Enough with the bikini shots. Yes, Hawaii has beautiful scenery and beautiful beaches, but please, stop putting everyone in bikinis. Everyone's too thin and it's just weird. Suggestion: focus more on Honolulu's downtown.
  • Stop making it the 21st century equivalent of The Love Boat. It's not that older actors aren't good actors; it's that you might as well put a sign on them that says "Special Guest Star to appeal to CBS' dominant demographic" every time they walk into a scene. Most of the people they've cast *are* good actors, so why have most of their story lines felt so silly? Darryl Hannah as a flaky real estate agent, Dennis Miller as a shock jock, Melanie Griffith as Danno's mother (REALLY?!) and, most painfully, Eli Wallach as a World War 2 veteran were wasted opportunities. Those actors should have been given more to do. Their best use to date so far has been Ed Asner as a ruthless jewel thief who originally appeared in the 70s show (the flashbacks were awesome). Now if only they hadn't felt the need to make him funny too... Suggestion: when you've got a diamond, let it shine.
 Thanks for reading! What would you do differently, or H5-0 or any other show? Let me know in the comments below, and then do me a favor and hop over to Laura Chapman's blog tomorrow to find out which show she's dying to change.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Vincent Mallory Edgerton (Semya Slotin Mystery Book 4) (Review) by Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba

Semya Slotin is brilliant, loyal and brave (or is it reckless?). Hyper-competent and self-sufficient, she'd get through life just fine with her best friend/partner-in-crime Polliannah Koch. But she doesn't have to; the perfect man for her is out there, and his name is Vincent Mallory Edgerton.

Vincent is also smart, loyal and brave, but just as cocky (being born into a loving, uber-privileged family can do that to a guy). But his family does try to give back, hence the creation of FREGG, a secret crime fighting organization that doesn't answer to any government but occasionally gets tapped on the shoulder by one. Vincent is the second generation and one of their best assets...so it takes something as serious as an attempted hit on him to make his superiors (including his father) put him on a deep undercover assignment. Vincent is pretty sure the next two years are going to be hell- until tying up some loose ends puts him directly into a beautiful detective's path. Just one problem: the gorgeous woman who's seemingly made for him is related to the people who put the hit on him. Make that two problems: she doesn't know. One more: he can't tell her.

Think I just gave away the plot of the book? That's just the sideshow; the real work is tracking down a missing person, and that investigation quickly reveals something much more nefarious. Good thing Vincent is so experienced...so how come Semya keeps getting the scoop first?

I loved this; fast-paced, international reach, and a case that had personal meaning for the detectives (and an issue that's shockingly prevalent across the world). Semya shows real vulnerability for the first time in this series; she's earned the right. (But even at her most vulnerable, she still manages to do some damage...) But I still have questions: Why is Semya's adoptive mother sniping at Vincent's father, and why did Semya's biological mother go to him before Semya was born? How come her biological father was never told about her? What isn't Vincent's father telling us? Finally, where is Vincent now? I am waiting impatiently for the next book to answer those questions!

Recommended for lovers of mystery and romantic suspense.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Current Impressions by Kelly Risser (Book 2 of the Never Forgotten series) (New Adult Paranormal Romance)

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Title:  Current Impressions
Series:  Never Forgotten #2
Author:  Kelly Risser
Published:  July 18th, 2014 by Clean Teen Publishing
Word Count:  approx. 82,000
Genre:  NA Paranormal Romance
Recommended Age:  13+
After an emotionally draining year, Meara Quinn is not the same carefree and innocent girl. Graduation is over. Taking a leap of faith and temporarily separating from her one love—Evan—Meara joins her father on a journey to learn more about who she is.
Too bad life is not all starfish and seashells. Meara gains magical abilities, but she’s forced to undergo intense training so she knows what to do with them. Her father chooses her aunt and Kieran as her trainers. And Kieran—a powerful male who’s not from their clan—has the unnerving ability to infuriate and intrigue Meara at the same time.
While Meara begins her new life, Evan endures with her memory and the knowledge that he will see her in July when his internship begins. Although excited about gaining real world experience, it’s the thought of seeing Meara that really drives him. Unfortunately, Evan finds it hard to focus on anything when he’s suffering from vivid nightmares and screaming headaches.
When Meara and Evan reunite, everything seems to fall back into place. The summer appears to be perfect. Then two of her father’s guards are found dead, and foul play is suspected. The façade melts away. Someone is targeting them, and Meara must discover who it is and why. She turns to Evan to help her, but when he gives her the hot and cold treatment, she’s left feeling alone and confused.
As the puzzle pieces move into place, will Meara be able to solve the mystery in time to save her clan and her relationship?
Current Impressions Excerpt  – Evan’s Dream
Bits of blue flashed in the corridor as she ran. The rest of her dress blended into the shadows. She’s fast, Evan thought and struggled to keep up with her.
“Meara, wait!”
She turned a corner. When he lost sight of her, the walls began to close in and pain pierced his brain. He clasped his head and ran. She was here. He would find her.
He turned the corner and once again caught the flash of blue ahead. He sped to catch up. She was quicker than he remembered. She ran with a strength and grace he never noticed. Still, he was faster, stronger. She glanced back over her shoulder as the distance closed between them. He reached out with a hand to grab her arm. His fingers grew into talons and cut angry, red strips into her flesh.
“Get away from me,” she screamed. She sunk to the floor and wrapped her arms protectively around herself. Thin, red trails coursed down her arm. With the realization that it was his fault, his veins frosted over. He did that. Hurt her. Hadn’t meant to. Hands. What happened to his hands?
He held them out. They shook, but they were only hands, not talons. Had he imagined the whole thing? No, or her arm would be fine.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“Just go away,” she cried. She hung her head, her hair falling in a riot of curls. It couldn’t hide the tears that shone on her cheeks or the fear in her eyes.
“Meara, it’s me.” He moved to crouch before her. She shot up and pressed herself against the wall, turning her face away from him.
“I said get away from me!” she screamed.
Her scream cut through him, doubling the piercing pain in his head. What the hell was the matter with her? Why was she afraid of him?
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About the Author:
Kelly Risser knew at a young age what she wanted to be when she grew up. Unfortunately, Fairytale Princess was not a lucrative career. Leaving the castle and wand behind, she entered the world of creative business writing where she worked in advertising, marketing, and training at various companies.
She’s often found lamenting, “It’s hard to write when there’s so many good books to read!” So, when she’s not immersed in the middle of someone else’s fantasy world, she’s busy creating one of her own. This world is introduced in her first novel, Never Forgotten. Never Forgotten, a YA/NA Fantasy, will be released by Clean Teen Publishing in the Summer of 2014.
Kelly lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children. They share their home with Clyde the Whoodle and a school of fish.
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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
Giveaway Details:
There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • Reader's choice of Clean Teen Publishing eBook and bookmark swag pack. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

River of Bones by Angela J. Townsend (YA Horror) (Book Trailer, Giveaway)

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Title:  River of Bones
Author:  Angela J. Townsend
Published:  October 30th, 2013 by Clean Teen Publishing
Word Count:  approx. 50,000
Genre:  YA Horror
Content Warning:  Light gore
Recommended Age:  12+
When seventeen-year-old Dharma Moore moves to Bayou country so her scam artist mother can work as a Paranormal Investigator, she discovers that more than ghosts haunt the abandoned plantation they now call home.
Centuries ago, a voodoo curse was placed on the swamp waters surrounding the old plantation by a murdered slave. This terrible curse ensnares Dharma with its deadly effects. To save herself, she must face the terror of the haunted waters, find the dead woman’s skull, and convince the slave’s soul to release her from its torments. When Dharma discovers an ancient secret that links her to the property—a secret kept from her by her own family—she realizes that the curse is more personal to her than she ever imagined.
To survive, Dharma must accept the help of the locals, and put her trust in the handsome gardener, Wolf Bodine—who is the only one crazy enough to come near the plantation. With his help, Dharma must learn to embrace the truth and accept that magic is not only real… but that it can be very, very deadly!
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About the Author:
Angela Townsend was born in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Missoula, Montana. As a child, Angela grew up listening to stories told by her grandparents, ancient tales and legends of faraway places. Influenced by her Irish and Scottish heritage, Angela became an avid research historian, specializing in Celtic mythology. Her gift for storytelling finally led her to a full time career in historical research and writing. A writer in local community circulations, Angela is also a published genealogical and historical resource writer who has taught numerous research seminars. Currently, Angela divides her time between writing, playing Celtic music on her fiddle, and Irish dancing.
Angela’s first novel, Amarok, was published through Spencer Hill Press in 2012. Her newest novel, Angus MacBain and The Island of Sleeping Kings, was signed for publication with Clean Teen Publishing and released in September 2013. Her most recent young adult horror novel, River of Bones, is scheduled to release late October 2013.
Angela resides on a ranch, in rural Northwestern Montana, with her two children Levi and Grant.
Movie Poster:
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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
Giveaway is International
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Shadows of Fate (Urban Fantasy)

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Title:  Shadows of Fate

Series:   Shadow Born Series #1

Author:   Angela Dennis

Published:  April 8th, 2014

Publisher:  Samhain Publishing

Word Count:  87,000

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Content Warning:  Sexual content and mild violence

Recommended Age:  18+

Redemption lies beyond the veil between truth and lies.

After witnessing her husband’s brutal murder, Brenna Baudouin lost control of her Shadow Bearer powers and wreaked havoc on her home world. Her penance: one hundred years policing hordes of supernatural misfits that spilled onto the Earthly plane after a cataclysmic war.

She’s on a routine exorcism run when she learns she’s been assigned a new partner. But there’s something about this Shadow Bearer that sparks her suspicions. Particularly when people closest to her start turning up as piles of ash.

Gray Warlow holds tight to the glamour that allows him to get close to the woman on whom he plans to wreak vengeance for betraying his people. Yet as he skillfully manipulates his way past her distrust, he begins to see her not as the heartless monster he was led to believe, but a strong, vulnerable woman.

As they work to put together the pieces of a killer’s macabre puzzle, an attraction deeper than blood and bone flares between them. And they must reveal their deepest secrets to avoid becoming the final targets.

Warning: A thrill ride of supernatural proportions. Contains violent battle scenes, nail-biting suspense, crazy hot sexual tension, and enough twists and turns to make your head spin.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Excerpt from Shadows of Fate by Angela Dennis:
Copyright © 2014 Angela Dennis All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Her gaze stretched to the bar. Beneath the glittering liquor bottles and burnt oak, a bottle of Jack in one hand and Grey Goose in the other, stood her target. Dirty blond hair brushed past his eyebrows, the rest tied back in a rubber band. He seemed innocent enough. As he flipped a glass bottle behind his back, muscles rippling on his shirtless body, magic seeped from his skin. It flowed around the women stretched across the bar, their assets on display as well as their lust.
Thankfully, he didn’t get much bang for his buck. This one was weak. Newly possessed, the demon hadn’t had time to gain a strong enough lock on the victim’s body. This shouldn’t take long. The piles of paperwork she had left on her desk might even get done tonight.
She pushed through the crowd, stripping her leather duster off her shoulders as she went. The black corset underneath, paired with tight leather pants, flattered her figure. She turned heads, especially the demon’s. She released the hair tie at the back of her neck. With a quick shake, her burnt copper curls slid down to her waist. She stopped at one of the tiny tables and threw her coat across the barstool.
Eyes closed, she pretended the music was something more aesthetically pleasing as she stepped onto the dance floor, keeping her mark at the forefront of her mind. She felt his eyes on her body as she swayed to the music. Hips gyrating to the heavy beat, she pulled on her glamour to blend in with the other dancers as she let her magic wrap his body. Losing herself in the music, she let him watch her move, feeling his desire amp. His energy vibrated as he made his way through the crowd, his power wild.
His hands draped her hips and he pulled her to him, his magic sliding over her body. Darkness tinged her aura, but she shrugged it off. Dealing with demon magic never got easier, but his wasn’t powerful. Grinning, she wrapped her hand around his neck, pulling him close until her lips brushed his ear. His burning skin jumped against her touch.
They stilled for a moment as the DJ switched tracks. “Think you could get me a drink?” she breathed, brushing a hand down his bare back. “I’m thirsty.” She grinned as he nodded, eager, the demon jumping beneath his skin.
“Anything for you, darlin’.” He wrapped a possessive arm around her waist, moving her toward the bar.
“What’s your poison?”
“Whiskey. Straight.”
A grin played on his lips. “My kinda woman.”
Pushing past the other bartender, he grabbed a bottle of Jack and poured her shot. She caught it as it slid across the splintered wooden bar. Tossing it back, she reveled in the slow burn of the liquor. It was an old favorite. Just cause she was working didn’t mean she couldn’t treat herself.
She tossed back a second shot, thankful she didn’t have the ability to get drunk. Giving the demon her best longing look, she leaned forward. “Thanks. I needed that,” she murmured. “What’s your name?”
Leaning forward, she traced a finger down her cleavage. “Do you think you could give me a ride home, Zed?” she asked. She bit one finger in a nervous gesture, knowing he was buying it. “My friend went home with some guy and left me here. I can wait.”
His eyes flashed, and she knew she had him.
“Sure.” He glanced at the other bartender. “Give me a second. I got off an hour ago.”
Sure you did, she thought.
A few seconds later he was back, pulling on a t-shirt as he walked. The gesture was surprisingly human. With the demon hiding inside, the brimstone dancing in his blood would keep his body uncomfortably hot, eventually burning him alive from the inside out. It may be the middle of winter, but he would never feel the cold.
He held up his keys as she rose to meet him. “My truck’s out back.”
She moved closer, letting him drape an arm over her shoulder. “Let me grab my coat.” The duster was where she had left it. She draped it over her arms as she turned on her psychic link with Xavier. The mage accepted, and Brenna turned to the demon, knowing Xavier was watching through her eyes. At this point, the mark’s lust was so inflamed he wouldn’t notice the slight change of color in her irises.
Wrapping her free arm around Zed’s waist, she led him through the mass of patrons to the exit. As they stepped into the wintry air, she noticed the bikers again. They stood beside their Harleys, watching her warily as she passed. She worried the tension might give her away, but Zed was oblivious.
She led him over the cobblestone to where Xavier waited. As they closed in on the shadows, she could feel Zed’s eagerness spike.
The darkness moved over them, hiding them from prying eyes. Xavier’s power sang in the night, a compass pointing her to the van. Leaving Zed to follow behind, she moved to the gray van and pressed her back against its side. Zed moved toward her, all pretense of humanity stripped away. The graceless stride betrayed his hunger as green scales peeled away his skin and his eyes turned to blood red slits.
Brenna waited until he was on her, scales chaffing the sensitive skin of her face, then she dropped her glamour. The demon jerked back as her magic wrapped around his body, but it was too late. In one swift movement, she pulled the blade strapped to her back free and ripped the already tattered t-shirt away from his chest. Shifting her body weight, she slammed him against the vehicle even as his body mass grew, the demon pushing its way to the surface. One hand held Zed steady, the other slipped beneath his jeans to feel the skin of his hip.
“A little to the left,” the demon growled, body shaking, titillated despite itself.
He shifted his weight and slammed her against the brick wall behind her. His body pressed hard against hers, he ran a scaly tongue across her cheek. “You don’t have to get hostile, darlin’. I don’t mind if you like it rough.”
She let her power surge and kneed him in the crotch. Sparks flew as her spell sent him flying against the van. Keeping him in place with a holding spell, her fingers found the rune carved on his hip. She ripped away the denim as she tried to control the squirming demon.
“A little help?” she called out. She had pulled back the spell. Her full body weight was pressed against the demon, but he was starting to get free. Her magic had to be focused on breaking the possession; she couldn’t waste it restraining Casanova.
She released the demon as Xavier stepped from the shadows and slammed it against the van again. Subdued, the creature glared at them, its red eyes filled with hatred. Another hard slam dazed the creature, but only for a moment.
A flick of her hand and the back of the van opened. Xavier shoved Zed inside. As soon as he was strapped into the harness, Brenna ripped off his jeans. His hips now bare, she was able to see the rune carving, fresh as she had hoped.
Her ceremonial blade pulsed in her hand as she charged it with her energy.
Zed spit at her. The saliva sizzled across the corset, burning a hole in the leather.
Damn. That had been one of her favorites.
“Stuff something in its mouth. I need to concentrate.”
“Deal with it. Even in the harness this thing is a bitch to restrain.” White lines creased Xavier’s eyes, and Brenna worried his injuries were more severe than he let on.
Zed’s fingers began to work the trappings of the harness, but Xavier pulled him back, one arm around his scaly neck. In an explosion of power, Zed pulled free, knocking Xavier into the side of the van. Saliva dripping from his fangs, Zed growled at Brenna, and snapped the other wrist free. Jumping across the van, he pinned Brenna beneath him. Spittle fell from his lips, scorching its way across her skin. She pressed her palm against his face and pushed with all her strength, ignoring her burning flesh. Then, suddenly, he was gone.
Getting to her feet, she saw Xavier had strapped the beast back into the restraints. “You got it?” Once she started, she wouldn’t be able to help him anymore. All of her energy would go into the exorcism.
“Yeah. Hurry.”
A sharp giggle jarred Brenna’s attention. Looking up, she caught Hilda peering through the glass from the front seat. “If he passes out, I can help.”
“This isn’t a game.”
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About the Author:

Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex. When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books.
Giveaway Details:

There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

  • $15 Amazon gift card
  • ecopy of  Shadows of Fate
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Vincent Mallory Edgerton (Sémya Slotin Mystery Series #4) by Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba (Romantic Suspense/International Thriller) (New Release, Excerpt)

DNK says: I am going to brag here and tell you that I received an advanced copy; it's AWESOME! Vincent and Semya are now one of my favorite fictional couples, period.

Book Info-
Title- Vincent Mallory Edgerton
Series- Sémya Slotin Mystery Series #4
By- Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Length- 78,000 / 280 pages
Genre- Romantic suspense / international thriller
Release Date- July 16th, 2014

+18 mature content
The pursuit of peace is not always pacific.

Vincent Mallory Edgerton had always been an efficient FREGG operative. It was his family legacy and his pride. He had always loved his job, even when he had to leave everything behind for his safety and become Josh Heinz.

Every love story has a beginning.

Sémya Slotin had been coasting through life solving one mystery after another. While in Hawaii, her young protégée disappeared. When Sémya met Josh Heinz, her mind kept telling her to stay away from the handsome stranger with the hypnotic light brown eyes but she found herself inexplicably drawn to him. He awakened something in her and she was unable to resist him. It never happened to her before. Who was that man?

In Hawaii, Vincent had to work covertly with the sexy bold sleuth. Sémya’s beauty and intellect completely enthralled him, but his passion and growing love for her also changed him. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to finally win her trust and keep her safe, causing him to unleash events that would shape the rest of their lives. From the moment their gazes locked, Sémya and Vincent sealed their fate.

Note: This book is part of the series and is not a standalone. You might be able
to enjoy without reading Bird of Prey and The Plot Thickens first BUT I really advise to read Polliannah Got Married! first.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Following Zippy by C.B. Burdette (Young Adult) (Excerpt, Giveaway)

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About the Author:
C.B. Burdette grew up a gypsy at her parents hands. With a dad in the Air Force, she was able to experience life on the road, soaking up culture. After spending 6 years working as a model, she realized that the industry wasn’t much of what she was looking for in life. More often than not, C.B. felt like Jo Stockton in Funny Face and escaped into the world of film, where work is based on something more than beauty, something she could truly emote through. Between spending 12 hour days on set, and tending to her daughter and cat, C.B. escapes real life through writing fiction.
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Title:  Following Zippy
Author:   C.B. Burdette
Published:  July 2014
Word Count:  67,000
Genre:  Young Adult
At fifteen most guys only have to worry about the style of their shoes, or mustering up the courage to talk to the pretty girl sitting across the room. Gabe Perkins isn’t most guys. After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, he begins to make friends with a girl so ethereal that he starts to question his own sanity.

Excerpt from Following Zippy:

“Look at those fish,” she said, diverting her attention towards the creek. “What about them?” I asked her. “They’re just swimming along. Living. Breathing. I wonder,” she said as she nudged her shoulder against mine, “If they know what purpose they serve.” “Well, they probably don’t.” “Why’s that?” “Because, they’re fish?” “Don’t think so low of the marine species.” “Zippy, they’re little minnows. They’re so little they probably only live a few months. Why worry about their place in life.” “I don’t know. Something of the simplicity of them is nice though, you must admit.” She gleamed ear to ear, “Imagine, if you were a little minnow, swimming down the creek.” “Oh, crap.” “What?” “I have no clue. Do you really think there’s something out there that really cares about this little fish. Or even, you know, something out there that is looking down at us, talking about us like we’re little fish. Just tiny little minnows swimming down a stream, unsure of what fate lies ahead of us?” “I do.”
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • 2 signed print copies of Following Zippy
Giveaway is open for US, Mexico, Canada, UK shipping destinations.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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