30 April 2013

Barrage: Count's Last Mistress

Good morning, and welcome to the blog today! This posting is a barrage for The Count's Last Mistress, by Bess Greenfield. She's giving an e-book of this one away, so be sure to go here and enter! You can also find the schedule for this tour here.

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She set out to expose his true nature, but the secrets revealed were her own…

In the aftermath of war and revolution, cavalry officer Olivier Valencourt, the comte de Chaumenay, only wants peace. But his discovery of his deceased brother’s child in a Montmartre hovel leads to a battle of wills with the lovely but evasive American struggling to provide for him. Determined to gain custody of his nephew, Olivier sets out to win the audacious bohemian’s trust with patronage and patience, but her courage, wisdom, and innocent sensuality divert his agenda.

Painter Jeanne Delancy has good reason to despise the portrait-worthy count before she ever meets him. She believes he’s the man who seduced and deserted her friend long ago. Unfortunately, the talented and persuasive Olivier is hard to dislike or resist in person.

Conflicted by loyalty to her missing friend and her duty to the abandoned six-year-old she’s vowed to protect, Jeanne feels obligated to give the war hero the opportunity to prove he’s worthy of knowing his son. But the independent woman who thinks herself immune to temptation underestimates Olivier in many ways and reveals far more than she ever anticipates. While the strong-willed opposites struggle to reconcile their deepest longings, dangerous alliances and scandalous secrets threaten a tragic repetition of history.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

The door opened, and the impersonal explanation he’d memorized vanished from his mind. He’d expected to see the lithesome, titian-haired beauty he’d known long ago in Burgundy. Instead, he encountered a petite brunette in a paint-smeared smock. There was also paint in one of the corkscrews of hair which had fallen free of her chignon. Something about the woman arrested him though he deemed her unconventionally pretty at best with her wide forehead, long nose, and dainty mouth. Perhaps it was her reaction to him. He could sense the frantic beating of her heart, and her golden brown eyes telegraphed wariness.

He regretted causing her distress and hastened to explain himself. “Good afternoon. I am Olivier Valencourt.” He bowed instinctively. “I’m looking for Claudine Ardaut, and I was informed she lived here. Is she at home?”

The young woman swallowed and hesitated, clearly debating her reply. “I am not familiar with anyone by that name.”

Her French was grammatically correct, but her accent revealed her as American. It surprised him to find a foreigner in Paris now. It was unlikely that she’d come here recently. The ruins of landmarks and homes and the mass burials of the executed made Paris a tourist destination only for those with a morbid taste for tragedy. She must have come before the war. There had been little warning when France declared war against Prussia. Many foreigners found themselves trapped inside the barricades along with working-class Parisians without the resources to leave.

“I was given this address by a reliable source,” he persisted. Instinct told him she was lying.

“Are you implying that I’m lying to you?” she asked in her slow, unnatural-sounding manner of speech.

“Certainly not. I was merely hoping you might know some little detail which would enable me to find her.”

Absently, she touched her face, leaving umber fingerprints upon her cheek. He felt an irrational urge to wipe the paint from her smooth, fair skin. She was pretty by any standard, he decided.

“Why are you looking for this woman? Has she done something wrong?”

“No. I’ve come on a personal matter.”

If anything, she looked even more defensive. Her enormous eyes filled with censure as if she knew what he’d done and the ramifications. The guilt he’d been trying to suppress for weeks finally assailed him. If only he’d kept his opinions to himself, so many lives might have turned out differently.

Her evasiveness maddened him. He only wished to complete his mission and be done with the whole matter, and she was keeping him from accomplishing that. He’d overcome far more challenging obstacles than a reticent female. He’d been good at persuading women at one time though he could scarcely recall those years now. Searching for some way to draw her out, his glance fell upon her voluminous smock. Sometimes the best strategy was the most obvious one. “You are a painter, I see. I recently came into possession of some property and could use some new art for decoration. Do you have anything for sale?”

She frowned, instantly suspicious. “Nothing is finished.”

“I know how you artists are. Nothing is ever completed to your satisfaction.” He took a step toward the threshold. “Why don’t you allow me to be the judge?”

She held her ground. “I’m certain my style would be too modern to suit your taste.”

She folded her arms about her waist, and his eyes were instantly drawn to her small form. She possessed a better figure than he’d thought, full round breasts and a tiny waist. A strange sort of agitation arose inside him. With astonishment, he recognized the sensation as lust. He hadn’t felt desire for so many months he’d feared he might never regain that part of his nature. Though he felt reassured that all was in working order, the inappropriateness of his irrational attraction irritated him. “And you know my taste.”

She surveyed his uniform from his polished boots to his fitted jacket with its neat rows of small gold buttons and black braiding. “You are an officer of some sort. A military man. I would guess you are conservative and view art primarily in terms of investment.”

He’d never given a second thought to art, but he didn’t appreciate her making assumptions about him. “There you are wrong. As it happens, I prefer more modern pieces. Besides, your refusal to let me judge your work only makes me more curious about it.”

About the Author
Bess Greenfield grew up in Pittsburgh and graduated from Cornell University and University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Before coming to the conclusion that she should pursue her passion and become a novelist, she worked as a journalist for several newspapers, as a lawyer, and as a waitress (disastrously). She is a lifelong aficionado of romantic literature and currently lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, three children, and overly affectionate chocolate Labrador. When she is not dreaming up and researching new stories or driving her children somewhere, she enjoys traveling, walking in the forest, and adding to her growing collection of native Virginia plants. For more information about Bess Greenfield and her books, please visit www.bessgreenfield.com.

26 April 2013

Barrage: Message From Viola Mari

FRIDAY! Oh, my goodness, what a week it's been. Today's blog post is for a barrage of Message From Viola Mari by Sabrina Devonshire. Enjoy!

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World-renowned oceanographer and meteorite specialist Marissa Jones uncovers evidence that a comet cloud will soon destroy Earth. When aspiring writer and her best friend Jennifer begs her to take a Saturday morning sci-fi writing class, Marissa reluctantly agrees. Writing her real-life story as fiction gives her an astonishing new perspective on the anomalous set of craters she discovered off the La Jolla Coast.

But this favor for her friend stirs up more than scientific results…writing teacher Justin Lincoln goads her constantly and taunts her with his irresistible curly blond locks and steely physique he knows only too well make women drool. Marissa teeters on the edge of anger and raging attraction for this irritating man. But it’s a terrible time to let lust call the shots when the world’s about to end and Marissa’s the only one who can save everyone.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains explicit sex scenes and/or situations and adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

5 Stars from Ellen Cross—“Marissa Jones is a young Oceanographer and Metorite specialist, with a poor track record with men. Driven by her best friend, Jennifer, to join a sci-fi writing class, Mari is forced to suffer the frustratingly personal attention of her beyond mouth-watering, yet insanely irritating teacher, Justin Lincoln. One look at Justin, and Mari doesn't know whether to follow her body's desire to kiss him, or satisfy her mind's urge to punch his lights out. Mari's research into the mysterious craters on the ocean floor, leads her to the discovery that the earth's end is approaching in a cataclysmic event that will claim all life. With no-one willing to believe her research, Mari is left with not only the fate of all mankind in her hands, but a best friend to keep happy, a sexy man to figure out, and a book to finish writing. Simple huh? Sabrina Devonshire has exploded into the sci-fi genre with "A message from Viola Mari". Her beautifully descriptive style with the delicious splashes of witty humour throughout, are a delight for the senses. “Message from Viola Mari” will keep you guessing right up until the very last page.”

5 Star from Dean C. McMillin—“Marissa Jones is an oceanic geologist specializing in studying ancient meteorite impacts. She's tough and serious with little need for anything else in her life ... But, when her best friend talks her into enrolling in a creative writing course, she falls hard for the instructor, Justin Lincoln, much to her embarrassment. Marissa can't believe that she's so attracted to the hunky writing guru. She has to get over her own insecurities and accept the truth of his love ... At the same time, she is uncovering an ancient secret that might mean doom for humanity ... Unless she can find a solution and decipher what she believes is an alien message of hope. Investigating ancient underwater meteorite impact sites with Justin, Marissa becomes involved in life-threatening intrigues in a conflict that leads to an action-packed climax. This was an offbeat novel which I found to be a quick and easy read. The characters were sympathetic and relatable, and writing was clear, the story briskly paced. The story veers quite heavily into science fiction territory near the end, which is set up very well earlier in the book. Overall, a fun, light read.”


Wise Jane suggested we carpool to the first class. She knows me too well. If we weren’t travelling together, I would have called her an hour before class, saying I’m so sorry, but I’m not going to be able to make today’s class. Then I would moan that I’d been stricken by the most dreadful menstrual migraine, my tooth ached or my garage door wouldn’t open.

We strode into the building and sat at adjacent desks arranged in a semi-circle around what I presumed was Professor Justin’s desk. I feigned sending text messages, occasionally glancing up to check out my classmates. Two elderly women walked into the room together and sat side by side, their shoulders hunched over their desks, their legs crossed. Several college-aged students sauntered in, including a Hispanic girl with a flawless olive complexion and long iron-straightened hair. Another girl with a tiny heart-shaped face and a miniature body to match it wore makeup so thick, I wanted to ask if she’d spread it on with a knife. A handsome man with a football player’s physique dropped into a chair. He looked like Jennifer’s type. His curly dark hair looked like it hadn’t seen a brush for days and a five o’ clock shadow darkened his face even though it was only nine in the morning.

Three of us comprised the professional crowd. We wore too many wrinkles to belong to the Hello-Fresh-Face collegiate crowd but looked far too stressed-out to be retired. I was the one with lines etched into my forehead, while Jennifer had bitten her nails down to the quick. The balding man sitting beside me nervously plucked hairs from his brows. It was Zoloft we needed, not a writing class. But Jennifer just didn’t get it.

Justin Lincoln’s entrance broke into my people-watching moment. His tall physique was lean and muscular, and damp unruly blond curls fell below his shoulders. Either he had washed his hair recently or he’d just worked out. Maybe an episode of intercourse dampened his hair, I thought, before I covered my flushed face with my hand and pretended to study papers on my desk.

Once my face cooled, I cautiously glanced up. He wore knee-length khaki shorts with threads hanging loose, a black crew neck T-shirt and a pair of Brooks running shoes. California was way more casual than the East Coast, but this guy gave a whole new meaning to the word. Maybe next week, he’ll show up in his underwear. The image made me laugh, which sent several pairs of eyes looking my way, so I coughed to make my burst of psychotic behavior appear less awkward. When Jennifer glanced at me curiously, I shrugged.

He pulled a stack of papers from his black backpack and introduced himself. “I’m Justin Lincoln.” He continued speaking and walked toward me. The gold flecks in his emerald green eyes captivated my attention. I blinked and tried unsuccessfully to look away from him.

Just when I expected him to drop the pile of papers on my desk and say take one and pass them around, he handed a sheet of paper directly to me. As he did, our fingers touched. A warm tingle flowed up my arm leaving me feeling light headed. When I glanced up, his gaze lingered on mine for longer than necessary. As my pulse raced, my once reasoning brain began thinking like a love-sick teenager. The calm and collected scientist that I am, I allowed the paper to slip from my quivering hands. Blushing, I snatched it from the floor.

I’m a research scientist at one of the most prestigious oceanographic institutions in the world. So why can’t I hold onto a simple piece of paper?

Once Justin finished passing out papers, he reviewed the syllabus line by line. The rubber soles of his shoes squeaked as he paced. Every other week, we would bring in copies of our work for the class to critique, he explained.

Justin’s eyes followed me over the top of his black rectangular reading glasses as I leaned over and whispered, “What the hell did you get me in to?” into Jennifer’s ear.

“Is there a problem, um…” He glanced through his pile of papers before saying, “Miss Jones? Or do you mind if I call you Marissa?” How the hell did he know my name?

About the Author
Sabrina Devonshire, an avid swimmer most of her life, can usually be found near or immersed in a body of water. If she's not seeking an endorphin rush in a pool, lake or ocean, she's often encouraging people to work out or writing a book or magazine article. She also loves traveling to off-the-beaten-path places where phones and electronic devices tend not to work well. Peru and Belize are two of her favorites. Sabrina lives in southern Arizona with her husband, two children, and fluffy dog, Sugar.

Connect with Sabrina Devonshire

25 April 2013

Review: Curse of The Ice Dragon

Happy Thursday! Today's post is a review of Curse Of The Ice Dragon by Tara West. Enjoy!

The author is also awarding a prize to a randomly drawn commenter from this tour, so be sure to enter as often as you can to win an e-book from the Whispers Series. You can find the tour schedule here.


From the bestselling paranormal author of The Whispers Series comes a new fantasy saga.

Born with mark of the Mighty Hunter, Markus has the skill and strength to feed his people, but not to confront his own tyrannical father. Shamed by his cowardice, Markus releases his frustration on the forest creatures.

The village prophet warns that Markus's reckless ways will bring down The Hunter’s Curse, and for every animal Markus kills, his loved ones will suffer the same fate. When the warnings go unheeded, the Sky Goddess unleashes her ice dragon. Now Markus must flee the dragon without killing it or his beloved brother will die.

Markus's flight takes him to the lands of the mysterious Ice People. There, the beautiful maiden Ura helps Markus learn the compassion and courage he needs to face the wrath of the Goddess, but the final confrontation will not be without price, as Markus must choose between the life of his brother and the fate of the girl he loves.


I rarely pick up fantasy novels. They've never really gripped me on the written page so much as in the epic movies we all know. This one, though, held me from start to finish.

The book opens on the birth of Markus, the hunter meant to save the village from certain starvation. His brother, Alec, is a sickly child and suffers the wrath of their father, but he vows to help Markus retain compassion in his life, and not become a mindless killer. I won't delve too far into the plot lines of the story, as the reader should give this book a chance and discover the beauty of it themselves.

I was impressed with this book. West has delicately woven relationships that will survive through dragons and curses, and echo real issues most of us face every day. Each character was expertly fleshed out, and the dynamics throughout are amazing. I recommend this story, and I'll definitely be reading more of West's novels.


Markus gazed in horror at Lydra sitting perched at the cusp of the glacier, blowing a long curtain of ice in front of her. With a deep intake of breath, the beast’s chest ballooned before she blew out another stream of ice, frost dripping off her fangs with each hiss of air. She was making the path thicker and impenetrable.

She was building a bridge across the glacier! Looking up from her perch, Lydra leveled Markus with a crimson, sinister glare.

Swallowing a lump of fear, Markus struggled to breathe through his constricting lungs. This was no dumb animal. Nay, Markus was the fool. He had considered himself safe on this glacier, but he had proven himself to be no more intelligent than an elk.

Lydra did not try to traverse the ice bridge on clumsy legs — she used her belly instead. The shimmery scales that coated her distended stomach must have been smooth as well, for she slid seamlessly along the surface. When she reached the end of the bridge, she stopped herself with the tips of her long fangs and stood up before blowing yet another bridge of smooth ice across the glacier.

Turning, Markus picked up speed, knowing that with his weighted, frozen feet, he put himself at greater risk of falling through the ice. But he had no choice. The dragon would be upon him before he crossed to the mountain. With his quickened pace, he narrowly missed several crevasses. The dragon had come so close to him now that he could almost feel its frozen breath at his back.


A former Texas high school teacher, I enjoyed coaching the writing team and even the hectic deadlines that came with running the school publications. After taking a break to raise my baby girl, I now work from home as a novelist and a part-time graphic designer. In my spare time, I love to read, exercise and spend time with my family and friends.

I would love to hear from my readers!

Blog: tarawestauthor.wordpress.com

Email: tara@tarawest.com

Facebook: tarawestauthor

Twitter: tarawestauthor

Website: tarawest.com

24 April 2013

Review: Halo of the Damned

Happy Wednesday! I actually had to look at my calendar to confirm the day, that's how this week has been dragging along. Today's post is a review for Halo of The Damned. Enjoy!

By the by, this author is giving away a fabulous peacock necklace, pictured here. For more chances to win, leave comments everywhere you can! Here's the schedule.


A chain of advertising agencies, a new breed of humans, and a fallen angel to worship... Andel Talistokov is known for his slick advertising agencies across the globe. He is a fallen angel that uses advertising as a weapon for Satan's work. His growing power emboldens him to break several of Hell's Commandments. Furious with his arrogance, Satan commands him to return to Hell after finding his own replacement. Yezidism, an ancient angel worshiping religion, quietly expands throughout the West. Armaros appears as a guest of honor during their ceremonies. He mates with young women to produce nephilim, a mixed race of humans and angels. They are alone and unprepared for their supernatural power. Joanna Easterhouse, a recovering drug addict, steps out of prison shortly after her mother's fatal accident. She and her sister, Kim, unravel their mother's secretive past. Intrigued, they learn their bloodline is part of a celestial legacy. Both worlds collide. Halo of the Damned is a horrifying tale that weaves research together with suspenseful twists and turns.


Halo of The Damned delves deep into the celestial conflicts between angels and the fallen. Armaros, operating advertising firms under the name Andel, has been tasked with using tv and internet advertisements to bring more people to the underworld. He's broken a few rules, including fathering many children, and is ordered back to hell.

The story opens on quite a horrifying scene as Andel kills one of his daughters and crawls over to her body to eat her flesh. I don't think I'll be forgetting that one anytime soon. Joanna, a recovering drug addict just released from prison, comes under his employ, and she quickly realizes she's able to read Andel's thoughts. This is quite unnerving, coupled with the finds of her mother's secret life after her death. I won't reveal more, to keep the plot secrets secret, but I really enjoyed this novel.


The next day, Kim packed up her own drawing of her mother’s carved wall, the scroll, and the piece of metal. Her excitement put her in a giddy mood. Once she was parked and in front of Loyola’s entrance, Sandra met her in the foyer and escorted her back to the Arts and Science College. Sandra took Kim to their lounge and introduced her to six other professors who were equally interested in seeing her finds. All of them specialized in fields that had to do with the ancient world.

Kim began with unveiling her own copy of the symbols she drew from her mother’s basement. “I appreciate all of your attention. Can anyone tell me what this is, and even possibly what it means? Each symbol was copied down in the order it was etched into the wall,” Kim said.

One professor immediately took the paper and made a copy. This made Kim uncomfortable. He asked, “Where did you find this?”

“Again, none of that matters,” Kim defensively repeated. Her daughter’s omen chimed throughout her brain. The man intuitively put up her defenses.

“Doctor Nrogbi’s English is somewhat limited. He’s not trying to be pushy or rude,” Sandra explained.

“This is Angelic script, also known as Adonite language, alphabet of the Ark, or even Enochian. It’s the first written language of this world. Angels used it to communicate with God. The first humans also used it before the Fall,” Doctor Nrogbi lectured.

“Before what fall?” Kim asked, very confused. How could Maria have known all of this?

“Before Adam and Eve sinned. Before they were kicked out of Eden. It pre-dates Hebrew, Sanskrit, Aramaic, and other ancient languages. It’s very sophisticated and difficult to translate. These symbols look like a key, invocation, or lyric. Let me get something off my bookshelf.”

While the doctor frantically flipped through several of his books, other professors rattled off bits and pieces of their own views concerning the script. Kim learned that Enoch didn’t name the language, but his name was chosen for it thousands of years later because of his communications inside of Heaven.

The professors spoke of John Dee, a famous mathematician, cartographer, and seer of Queen Elizabeth I. He had a revelation about angelic script and later recorded it. Sir Edward Kelley, his colleague, also witnessed the revelation and recorded additional symbols called Keys or Calls. Their legitimacy had been debated for centuries.

“Ah, I found it. What you have here is a Key. Angel script is read left to right. These symbols together are sort of like a prayer. A rough translation in English means, ‘Forever fallen is forever damned, until one can unlock from within.’ I wish I knew where you found this. The context would help cypher the meaning,” Doctor Nrogbi stated.

“Anyone have an inkling to what the passage could mean?” Kim asked.

“I can only guess that fallen is either man, as in Adam…or possibly angels, as in the Fallen that waged war with Satan against God. He and all his angels were cast down and forever damned. However, there is a loophole suggested-‘unlock from within.’ Don’t know, just a guess,” answered Doctor Barry Lowenstein, an ancient comparative literature professor.

“Kim, you said you had a few more items to show us. Can we see? The anticipation is gnawing away at all of us!” Sandra exclaimed.

“Okay, I have a scroll that might be of some interest,” Kim answered as she gingerly took it out of her purse and laid it down on a long table. All the professors’ jaws dropped in astonishment. They all hovered over the scroll, whispering theories of what it might be. Doctor Nrogbi quickly grabbed his cell phone and began taking photos. The rest of the professors followed suit.

“Tanned animal hide, probably lamb or ram, of the highest quality for ancient times. This must be dated as far back as 500 B.C., maybe even a 1000 B.C. We need to carbon-date this. It’s in perfect condition. What was this stored in?” Doctor Lowenstein questioned.

“It came in a box. I didn’t bring it with me,” Kim replied, feeling suffocated and wanting to leave.

“We could use a combination of steam and chemicals to remove the seal so that it doesn’t break. That way we could read the scroll. Can you leave this with Sandra for the next couple of days?” asked Doctor Litner, an art history professor and expert in document preservation.

Can you bring in the box? Can you take us to where this was found? Can you leave this for display? Can we take this to the Smithsonian? Can you, Can you, Can you...Kim’s head was about to explode. She wasn’t about to disclose the ornate metal she still had in her purse.

“I’ll call Sandra and we can do this another time. Thank you all for your help,” Kim abruptly announced. She packed up her things and rushed out of the university. Not paying attention, she almost got hit by a car. Once in her Lincoln Navigator, she calmed down. Rush hour traffic on the Eisenhower Expressway gave her time to process.

Dina Rae is a new author here to stay.  As a teacher, she brings an academic element to her work.  Her three novels, Halo of the Damned, The Last Degree, and Bad Juju weave research and suspense throughout the plots.  Her short story, Be Paranoid Be Prepared, is a prequel of sorts to The Last Degree, focusing on the James Martin character.  In the spring of 2013, her latest novel, Halo of the Nephilim, will be released.  Dina also freelances for various entertainment blogs.

Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago.  She is a Christian, an avid tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on several conspiracy theories.  She has been interviewed numerous times in e-zines, websites, blogs, newspapers, and radio programs.  When she is not writing she is reading novels from her favorite authors Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Brad Thor, George R.R. Martin, and Preston & Childs. 


19 April 2013

Barrage: Black Swan

Happy Friday! I can't even believe it's Friday today. Somebody pinch me. Today's post is a barrage for Black Swan. Enjoy! By the by, Blogger seems to be behaving like a petulant, bothersome toddler this morning, so I'd like to apologize in advance if there's a formatting problem. Thanks!

The Order of the Black Swan (Collected Tales, Books 1-3)

by Victoria Danann
Contemporary Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Publisher: 7th House
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count: 313,000 words

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Discover a world of adult fantasy where modern day knights of a secret society interact with an alien, a witch, a demon, a psychic, a berserker, a most unusual vampire, werewolves, elves, and fae. Fairytales intersect adventure, romance, and emotion proving that true love can find you in the strangest places, even when you're least expecting it, even when you're far, far from home.

These are single titles presented in a bundle, the first three installments of the serial saga presented in anthology form. Included are:

Book 1, My Familiar Stranger: Romancing the Vampire Hunters. (Nominated for best paranormal romance of 2012 by the Reviewers' Choice Awards.) Released April 2012. 241 reviews on Amazon. 663 ratings on iTunes.

Book 2, The Witch's Dream: A Love Letter to Paranormal Romance. Released October 2012. Only available on Amazon. 111 reviews.

Book 3, A Summoner's Tale: The Vampire's Confessor. Released February 2013. Only available on Amazon. 56 reviews.

All three of the single titles have been in Amazon’s TOP 100 in their category EVERY DAY since release.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Book Trailers

5.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Adventure you will not put down, By Christine Merritt
This review is from: The Order of the Black Swan COLLECTED TALES, Books 1-3 (Black Swan Anthology) (Kindle Edition)
“This series is written beautifully and with intelligence. Reading them together is the way to go - one story ends with the beginning of the next book picking right up where the last ended. I've read the three books separately MORE THAN ONCE. Having the three bundled together is brilliant.

I have rated the books in the series as they were published my number one read of 2012 and the best book I picked up in 2012. That is saying something, considering that my Kindle has over 900 books on it and I have read them all. The price is way too low for the three books - so consider it a bargain, read it and enjoy every moment. Whether you are a romance reader, a paranormal reader or contemporary chick lit reader, I promise this book will suck you right in from the first page.”

This review is from: The Order of the Black Swan COLLECTED TALES, Books 1-3 (Black Swan Anthology) (Kindle Edition)
“While you can read these books as stand alones, this series is best read in order as they're the continuing story of one group of the people of the Black Swan unit. There's travel from other dimensions, a new outlook on vampires, elves, sexy warriors, romance, what more could you want? Each book is a bit different from the others as they deal with the lives and loves of these people and the trials they encounter. It's a great series by a new writer.”

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Series!!!, By Cynthia J
This review is from: The Order of the Black Swan COLLECTED TALES, Books 1-3 (Black Swan Anthology) (Kindle Edition)
“I received a complimentary copy off the series for review, and simply could not put it down! The story grips you from the first page, and keeps going non stop. The characters are well developed and she manages to seamlessly weave fantasy, sci fi drama and romance into a very good read. I found myself tearing up at times, laughing out loud at others. I highly, highly recommend this series, can't wait for the next!!”

About the Author
For the past fourteen years, Victoria has illustrated and authored Seasons of the Witch calendars and planners and written several non-fiction books. She owns 7th House Publishing and contributes to its enterprises. In addition to art and writing, she plays Classic Rock music (keys, rhythm guitar, vocals) and manages one of Houston's premier party bands. Married. Four children.

UPCOMING PROJECTS: The fourth book in the serial saga, Moonlight: The Big Bad Wolf, will release on the full moon May 25th.

Connect with Victoria Danann

18 April 2013

Review: Unraveled

Happy Thursday! Friday is just around the corner, and that means the weekend is almost upon us! Today's post is a review of Unraveled by . Enjoy!


Sixteen year old math whiz, Autumn, spends her days reading about serial killers and dreaming of becoming an FBI Profiler. She never dreams her first case will be so personal. Her world is shattered when she comes home from school and discovers her murdered sister’s body on the living room floor. When the initial evidence points to a burglary gone wrong, Autumn challenges the police’s theory because of the personal nature of the crime. Thinking that finding the killer will bring her family back together, she conducts her own investigation using her affinity for math and forensics, but her plan backfires and her obsession with the case further splinters her family.  When her investigation reveals the killer is someone she knows, Autumn offers herself up as bait and sets a dangerous trap to unmask his true nature and to obtain a confession for her sister’s murder.


Unraveled is about a young girl named Autumn, and her journey through grief as she tries to find out who killed her sister and why.

When we meet Autumn, she is panicking and staring down at the body of her dead sister. Celeste has been stabbed multiple times, and cannot be revived. Autumn comes under fire for a potential role in the murder, but as they eye her, she's using her near genius to try and figure out who the real killer is.

I enjoyed this book. The first chapter was rather exhausting emotionally, as we're thrown straight into the murder, but it was interesting to watch Autumn grow from the experience. Her conflicts with her parents gave her doubts, but she pressed onward. I thought her romantic interest, Caedon, was especially sweet, going to sit with her beneath her favorite tree to read. I'd recommend this read to anybody who enjoys YA.


Susan grew up in South Texas, about ten miles from the U.S.-Mexican border. As a child she spent the summers in Mexico with her grandparents and extended family. During these vacations, she frequently created mysteries for her siblings and cousins to solve. These mysteries were her first stories. Nancy Drew soon became her childhood hero and inspiration to write mysteries for young adults.

Her greatest joy is her daughter who is quite the storyteller and likes to come up with the characters’ names for mom’s stories.

When she’s not writing or studying, you can find her looking after her personal mini-zoo which consists of two fish, one thief of a dog, and some hermit crabs.

Susan loves estates sales, traveling, spending time with her family, and discovering new books at the Columbus Metropolitan library.

Susan graduated from the University of Texas, is currently pursuing an MFA from Seton Hill University, and dreams of one day owning a touch screen murder board like the one on her favorite TV show, Castle.


“Autumn, yesterday you had told us that when you arrived home the front door was open. Is that correct?”

I leaned in toward the voice recorder on the table and said, “Yes.”

“Are you positive about that? We interviewed some of the neighbors, and none of them saw an open front door at your house?” No doubt Mrs. Jimenez had told them that. Now that she was retired, she had nothing better to do than watch her neighbors. I wondered if she had mentioned seeing anything to Detective Kasanoff. Maybe she saw something unusual that day, a stranger in the neighborhood, a suspicious car, anything.

“The door looked closed, but when I touched my key to the lock, it opened.”

“Do you know who was the last person to leave the house that day?” I looked over at my parents. Mami had her head buried in her hands. She shouldn’t be here, hearing about all of this. Papi had his arm around her and gave me an encouraging smile.

“I was.”

“What time did you leave that morning?”

“About 8:00 a.m.”

“Did you leave through the front door?” I didn’t like where this was going.

“Yes, and I locked it behind me,” I offered before he had a chance to ask the question.

“How can you be sure? Look, I know how it is. It’s easy to get on autopilot in the morning. You do the same thing every morning, you get into a routine.”

I looked him straight in the eye and said, “I don’t forget things, Detective. I know I locked the door that morning.” He studied me for a moment and flipped through his papers.

“That’s right. Here it is. You’re some kind of math genius. You almost made the US Math Olympiad Team last year.” I wanted to reach across the table and strangle him. Someone had butchered my sister in my own living room, and he was reading up on how I’d choked on a freaking geometry question during last year’s Math Olympiad final round and failed to make the team?

“I’m gifted, Detective. I’m not smart enough to be a genius.” He broke into a smile. The first I’d ever seen from him.

“Is there really a difference?”

“Yes, about five IQ points.” He wrote something down.

“Let’s move on. You said you had come home because you’d left your math questions on the kitchen table that morning. Is that correct?” “Yes.”

He lifted the folder up and produced some papers that were protected in a plastic bag. He placed them in front of me. “Are these the questions you were referring to?”

I looked at my parents, and both of them had their eyes glued to the plastic bag in front of me.

Without touching the bag, I looked at the front page and saw the first question. It was the Bernoulli equation question that Celeste had asked me that morning over breakfast.

“Yes, those are the ones.”

“Care to know where we found them?” What did he mean? I’d left them on the kitchen table when I went to brush my teeth after breakfast.

“On the kitchen table?” I asked, trying not to sound sarcastic.

“No. In your backpack. The backpack we found at the scene yesterday.” He looked over at my parents this time. My eyes grew wide, and my mouth fell open.

“Mr. or Mrs. Covarrubias, did either of you put these math papers back into Autumn’s backpack after breakfast?” Papi left for the bakery every morning at 5:30 a.m. so he wasn’t even home. Mami had left right after Celeste and I had eaten because she had a dentist appointment. Maybe Mami’d seen the papers and stuck them in my backpack. Celeste had left about ten minutes before me. Her boyfriend Voss had swung by to pick her up. He did that every day.

“Mami, did you put the papers in my backpack?” Her eyes were swollen, and I swear she was two seconds away from passing out. Her gaze wandered around the room until it fell on me. She shook her head. My heart sank.

“Then it had to be Celeste. She must have put them in there.”

“Her fingerprints weren’t found on the papers.” How was that possible? The oils from her hands would have been transferred onto the paper if she’d stuck them in my backpack. It couldn’t have been her then. That left no one, and I had no answer. That wasn’t good.

“Autumn, look, I’m going to be honest with you. There are some things that just don’t add up here. We have witnesses that say you and your sister were arguing at school that morning and that she looked very upset. Care to explain what that was all about?”

I could feel the cell doors closing in around me. This was a witch hunt, and I was about to be burned at the stake.

My parents were staring at me, begging me with their eyes to explain what was going on. The question mark stabbed my heart. They knew that Celeste and I hardly ever fought. The last time had to have been when I’d accidentally given her a black eye when I was five and was trying to learn to hit a baseball.

I looked at the detective and said the only thing I knew to say. “Detective Kasanoff, I want a lawyer.”