My interview over at The Art and Craft of Writing Creatively is HERE

Purchase my book Images of America: Detroit Lakes HERE

Monday, September 30, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (Sept. 29, 2013)

What is Stacking The Shelves all about?

We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you’re anything like me, you are probably hoarding books and even though you are excited about your latest book arrival, it might be a while before you get to review it and Stacking The Shelves is a good way to express your undying enthusiasm for those titles!

How to participate? Just head on over to Tynga's Reviews and sign up!



Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Beginnings + The Friday 56: Darkness Rises by @DianneDuvall

Book Beginning hosted by Rose City Reader is where I share the first sentence (or so) of the book I am currently reading, along with my initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

Etienne stared down at the house across the street and watch shadows writhe and dance on the closed curtains.
~pg 1 Darkness Rises by Dianne Duvall ARC

I have been a huge fan of Dianne Duvall's Immortal Guardian Series and this one so far is just as good. If you haven't tried this series yet I recommend it...:D

The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice. The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader and find any sentence, or a few (no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.

The dour immortal's face actually lightened with a smile. "You weren't the nuisance. Your brothers were."
~pg. 56 Darkness Rises by Dianne Duvall ARC

Krysta is used to getting the drop on vampires. Her "special abilities" aren't much, but the plan is simple--she plays helpless pretty young thing to lure them in. Then her shoto swords come out and it's bye-bye, bloodsucker. Until one night she finds herself with an unexpected ally. He's a vampire, all right, but different. Mysterious. Handsome. And more interested in saving her skin than draining it.
√Čtienne has been an Immortal Guardian for two hundred years--long enough to know that Krysta is special. He can't stop thinking about her long legs, even more than her short swords. Then he discovers the vamps she's exterminating have friends in high places, and the Guardians are in danger too. He'll have to accept Krysta's help to save them. The stakes for a mortal are high. But the cost to his heart might be higher. . .

Dianne Duvall earned a BA in English from the University of St. Thomas (Houston) and currently lives in Texas with her husband. Information on her books and the latest news can be found on her website. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review: The Taker by @almakatsu

Series: The Taker Trilogy, #1
Publisher: Simon &Schuster
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal

With her blend of history and fantasy, Alma Katsu comes blazing out of the gates with her first novel. The best aspect of this novel is the fact that the fantasy part of the story is very obtuse. You don’t really know what the main character, Lanny McIlvrae is except that she is immortal. With Lanny’s beginnings told in flashbacks to Dr. Luke Findley, the reader is drawn into this story of doomed love and dark desires.

Dr. Luke Findley has hit rock bottom. His wife has left him and he feels trapped in the small Main town of St. Andrews. When he clocks into his night shift he never dreamed he would find himself on the run with a mysterious woman named Lanny who was brought in by the police as a murder suspect. As Lanny explains her life, from her humbled beginnings to why she murdered the only man she has ever loved, Luke finds himself falling for this petite damaged woman.

Even though this story says it is a love story, I didn’t feel there was much romance between these pages. This love story is what I stated above, doomed love. From Lanny’s childhood crush on Jonathan that turns into an obsession to her dark tormented relationship with Adair, the man that gave her immortality. Lanny’s life is full of darkness and sadness.

I would definitely recommend this story to anyone that liked Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. The world building is exceptional and has the potential to be an amazing trilogy. It will consume the reader until the very final pages and leave you desiring the next installment. I am so glad that I took the advice of my local bookstore employee and picked this one up. I think I found a new author to add to my favorites list!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Darkness Rises by @DianneDuvall

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 Teaser #1
Fire licked its way through Krysta's veins at the soft contact.
Teaser #2
What the hell am I doing?
~pg. 95 Darkness Rises by Dianne Duvall ARC

Monday, September 23, 2013

Virtual Book Tour + Giveaway: Fever by Tina Smith

Eternally Cursed to Love & Not Purely Desire…

Temperatures rise as the flames of longing still burn in the thrilling sequel to Wolf Sirens Forbidden. The legend continues. Apollo, god of deadly plague, conspires to undo his sister’s legacy. The wolves exist between two worlds, one in the town another in the forest.

Prophecy says hunters and wolves are cursed to a mutual attraction. Increasingly, each successive slayer becomes more alluring to the wolf. The predestined enemies struggle, to both resist and contain their fierce rivalry in a conflict powerful enough to tear two worlds apart.

A shadow has fallen over the heartlands of myth and reality. The chosen is reborn broken-hearted, in the scorching embers of grief. Devastated, Lila trains tirelessly as the assassin. She must submit to deliver justice and protect the innocent of Shade.

But is it love or revenge which motivates her?

Will the huntress or her heart prevail? Breaking away from the call of destiny and fearing betrayal, Lila makes a desperate escape in search of her lost beloved. The intensity between two ancient enemies ignites. The history of the wolf pack is revealed as devotion and desire in the underworld reaches fever pitch.

If The Bite Doesn't Get You, Then the Fever Will 

About the Author 
Tina Smith is an herbalist, dog lover, Piscean and mother with a fondness for strong female protagonist's. A love of the fantasy genre and the deep exploration of dark and evocative subjects inspired Wolf Sirens Forbidden. The sequel Fever further unfolds the tale of the heroine femme fatale, on her journey in the underworld between the lands of myth and reality. 

Comments about the book: 
“Rich, complex, and deeply fascinating. Smith’s creation stands apart from other books in the genre. Wolf Sirens has raised the bar for paranormal romance.”- Kevis Hendrickson, author of Rogue Hunter

"Smith weaves a thrilling and beautifully crafted tale that sinks its fangs in and refuses to let go."- Michael Alexander, author of The Vessel

“Fever does not disappoint! Tina Smith captures her readers on the first page and leads them on a fast-paced journey full of suspense and adventure as heroine, Lila, struggles towards the truth.” - Beverley Eikli, author of A Little Deception

Purchase Link

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Steve McHugh

The Long Journey
 by Steve McHugh

Writing a book takes time. Yes, I know that’s not exactly news. 100,000 words don’t just magically appear on the page, while we all sit back and drink stupid sounding cocktails out of expensive crystal glasses.

Crimes Against Magic, my first book, took me about 2 years to actually write. Maybe a bit longer, but that’s roughly right. This was mostly down to the fact that I re-wrote it about 4 times from scratch, as the first 3 attempts were shockingly bad.

I think it was Stephen King who said that the first 1 million words we write are shit, which should mean awards and movies made for my books any day now, as I probably wrote at least half that amount on CAM alone.

Anyway, I digress, writing a full-length novel is a time consuming act that means late nights, the forgoing of a social life and learning how to sleep at your full-time job, while trying to look busy.

But the fact that 47North have picked up my first 3 books of the Hellequin Chronicles to publish, Crimes Against Magic and Born of Hatred in September and then With Silent Screams in Feb 2014, means it was all worth it.

But without one set of people I never would have self-published the first two books last year to acclaim and I never would have had 47North asking to work with me, and I wouldn’t be here right now extolling the virtues of Beta readers.

They’re in pretty much everyone’s acknowledgements; they’re certainly in mine. Beta readers are the people, who read through an early draft of your book and point out what does and doesn’t work.

Sometimes they’re called crit readers or maybe minions, if you’re feeling particularly pompous, but the fact is that you send your book to them all fresh-faced and with a song in your heart, and when you get it back you realize that actually you still have a lot to do. And that’s the best thing in the world for a writer.

You see we get too close to our work. We read it though and think it’s funny and exciting and possibly even insightful. Our beta readers trowel through the words and hopefully tell you what does and doesn’t work. Editors do this too, but your beta readers get it well before that stage.

So, as I’ve said, every writer should have them. Every single writer. But let’s say you don’t have any, let’s say you’re all alone with your band new book. Well, first of all, join a writing group. That should really be the very first thing any aspiring writer does.

Being around other writers, having other writers critique your work makes you better. It’s a simple fact. From there you’re likely to find Beta readers, it’s how I did it. I met other writers and asked if anyone was interested and then gave the book to the people who answered.  Then when someone else asks the same question, if you have time, you put your hand up. Because apart from having people critique your work, you doing the same to others will improve your writing too. Since then, they’ve read pretty much everything I’ve written and quite frankly they’re indispensable.

So, here’s you to, Beta readers. You make us better writers. And long may it continue.

Steve McHugh lives in Southampton on the south coast of England with his wife and three young daughters. When not writing or spending time with his kids, he enjoys watching movies, reading books and comics, and playing video games.



It’s been almost ten years since Nathan Garrett woke on a cold warehouse floor with nothing but a gun, a sword, and no idea of who he was or how he got there. His only clue … a piece of paper with his name on it. Since then, he’s discovered he’s a powerful sorcerer and has used his abilities to work as a thief for hire. But he’s never stopped hunting for his true identity, and those who erased his memory have never stopped hunting for him. When the barrier holding his past captive begins to crumble, Nathan swears to protect a young girl who is key to his enemy’s plans. But with his enemies closing in, and everyone he cares about becoming a target for their wrath, Nathan is forced to choose between the life he’s built for himself and the one buried deep inside him.

Crimes Against Magic is an Urban Fantasy set in modern day London with Historical flashbacks to early fifteenth century France. It's book one of the Hellequin Chronicles, a series about Nathan (Nate) Garrett, a centuries old sorcerer.


There are some things even a centuries-old sorcerer hesitates to challenge… 

When Nathan Garret’s friend seeks his help investigating a bloody serial killer, the pattern of horrific crimes leads to a creature of pure malevolence, born of hatred and dark magic. Even with all his powers, Nate fears he may be overmatched. But when evil targets those he cares about and he is confronted by dire threats both old and new, Nate must reveal a secret from his recently remembered past to remind his enemies why they should fear him once more. 

Born of Hatred, set in modern London with historical flashbacks to America’s Old West, continues the dark urban fantasy of Crimes Against Magic, the acclaimed first book in the gritty and action-packed Hellequin Chronicles.

Amazon  /  Barnes and Noble


Two winners receive both Crimes Against Magic and Born of Hatred.
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