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Friday, October 28, 2022

Trouble with the Cursed: The Hollows, Book 16 by Kim Harrison

About the Book

Rachel Morgan must keep her friends close—and her enemies closer—in the next Hollows novel from number one New York Times best-selling author Kim Harrison.


Rachel Morgan, witch-born demon, has one unspoken rule: Take chances, but pay for them yourself. With it, she has turned enemies into allies, found her place with her demon kin, and stepped up as the subrosa of Cincinnati—responsible for keeping the paranormal community at peace and in line.

Life is...good? Even better, her best friend, Ivy Tamwood, is returning home. Nothing’s simple, though, and Ivy’s not coming alone. The vampires’ ruling council insists she escort one of the long undead, hell-bent on proving that Rachel killed Cincy’s master vampire to take over the city. Which, of course, Rachel totally did not do. She only transformed her a little.

With Rachel’s friends distracted by their own lives and problems, she reaches out to a new ally for help—the demon Hodin. But this trickster has his own agenda. In the end, the only way for Rachel to save herself and the city may be to forge a new understanding with her estranged demon teacher, Al. There’s just one problem: Al would sell his own soul to be rid of her....

REVIEW And COMMENTARY




I have spent the better part of three months reading the Hollows series. Kim Harrison’s world is utterly fascinating. I enjoy books with a variety of supernatural characters that interact in creative ways. Demons, elves, weres, vampires, pixies, and fairies are all present, but the familiar tropes are changed just enough to make them feel like a fresh idea. I dig the imagery for the magic incantations, spells, and the like in the Hollows series. I am an avid audiobook reader, which is how I absorbed this series. However, the previously mentioned descriptors make me want physical copies so I can bookmark and investigate them. To ensure authenticity, at the very least, the author did some detailed research.

I was glad the series did not end at book thirteen. At that point, Rachel helped make things better for all the species in her life, but I appreciate more resolution with the vampires and demons. And I have a tough time saying goodbye to characters. I reread books a lot.

In Trouble with the Cursed, vampires are at the forefront, which feels right. It is funny, I read a lot of urban fantasy/paranormal romance, and when I look for a new series, I tend to avoid vampire novels. My first foray into the world of romance was with vampires, and I think I overloaded myself. Now When I see a vampire in what I am reading, I think, Oh boy, here we go again. And almost every time, I end up thoroughly enamored with them. Then I realize, again, some of the most enjoyable series I have experienced are primarily about vampires. Maybe that proves they have earned my approval and that they are worth my time? Or that I am a sucker forever? Anyway, I am very fond of Pike. Actually he won me over in American Demon but he's way more fun now, not quite so cranky and stressed out. Pike and Rachel are very effective when working together. The two have several hilarious interactions, and they kick some serious butt. He will make an excellent ally. Kim Harrison, if you kill him, I'm going to be very mad at you.

Trouble with the Cursed made me anxious. I tend to get frustrated when the protagonist takes too long to figure out what is going on, especially when things turn grim. I get Rachel wants to see the good in people, but sometimes it's not to her benefit, which is a crucial plot point. I spent a lot of time cursing the way things unfolded. Out loud. And at a raised volume. Fortunately, most of my listening occurs during my long commute. In the end, it did make Rachel’s success more satisfying, and if an author can get that much emotion from me, I must be invested. Which is a terrific thing.

It goes without saying but at times some of the betrayals, and the chain of events that develop because of them, really bother me. There are serious consequences that are prevalent in Trouble with the Cursed. I do not want to feel sympathy for the bad guy, but sometimes I cannot help it. Moral ambiguity makes things feel more authentic. Life does not always give you a truly happy ending. There are situations when you have to choose between the lesser of two evils.

I do have a few past novel things to get off my chest. WARNING, major spoilers are below. If you have not read the series STOP NOW and GO TO THE BEGINNING IMMEDIATELY. You will not regret it!

I must admit, Rachel took a while to grow on me. In the first few books, I had a tough time trusting her. Or at least her outlook on certain things. There was a point she claimed things such as (and I am paraphrasing) X is such an awful thing to do, I would never ever do that. And I started to realize within the next book or so, she would be doing the very thing she was so against. Does that make her a terrible character? No. It means that she is open to changing her mind, which is positive. But it did become an issue of “the lady doth protest too much.”

Nick. Sorry, I must. Now I do not in any way support what he did. But… Rachel was completely unfair to him in A Fistful of Charms. Unfair. Did she sit down with him and talk about it? No. She got angry and cut him off while calling him names. Good form, ha. Did Nick violate Rachel's trust? Yes. Did Nick know where Rachel and Al’s relationship would go? No. Should Rachel have forgiven Nick? No. Was Nick a jerk thief? Yes. But a rational adult conversation might have saved a lot of violence, and maybe Nick’s life, in the end. I know hindsight, but this whole situation still really, really, really bothers me.

This leads me to Trent. At the beginning, this guy was a big stinking jerk, wasn’t he? I cannot tell you how many times I thought, I really want to like this guy. Wait, what the heck did he just do? I guess I don’t like this guy. I was so pleased when he decided on a better path, which laid the foundation for Trent and Rachel's relationship. Theirs is the most satisfying type of romance for me. Not necessarily the from hate to love part, although that can ramp up the anticipation. I enjoy a good slow burn, a bond that develops while people experience their lives, grow, and become better versions of themselves.

My favorite book so far is Ever After.

I am delighted that I finally listened to my work friend and read the Hollows series. I will now purchase future books on release day. Without fail. I already preordered the next one, which is more than six months away. Now the long wait…

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Battle Born For You (Tell All Secrets Book 2) by Layla Lochran Blog Tour Stop: Battle Born for You Playlist and Review

 

We're excited to share with you the second book in Layla Lochran's Tell All Secrets series, BATTLE BORN FOR YOU! This second chance romance and continuation of Alexander and Liliana's story is available in eBook, Paperback, and Audiobook formats, grab your copy on Amazon today! 



Tell All Secrets Playlist



Greetings lassies! Music plays a large role in this series, so what better way to dive in than by creating a playlist you can interact with whilst you read. The order it’s listed in coincides with the plot from the beginning of Painting Her Fate and continues throughout Battle Born for You.

Check it out on Spotify. >>>  https://tinyurl.com/spotifyphfbbfy 


From Green Day, to Five Finger Death Punch, to Andy Grammar, and everything in between, each song plays tribute to the characters in the scenes they’re mentioned in. They tell of the emotion, the despair, the agony, and the love in that moment. A song can speak many words, captivate the listener in the adventure; they are stories in of themselves. Absolutely beautiful.



ABOUT THE BOOK



Battle Born for You
by Layla Lochran
(Tell All Secrets #2)

October 24, 2022

Alexander: Stumbling upon the one person you're missing in your life only to screw up and watch her walk away. It's Soul crushing. Heartbreaking. What Lili doesn't know is this Marine's endurance is untamable. I've been beaten down, now it's time to rise, or submit and lose it all. Do I succumb to the darkness and welcome the silence? My sunshine is shrouded in ominous blackness; the trust she placed on me now vanquished. She's gone and I fear my demons will find their way out.
Knock, knock. Poetry is my expression, only now that life is grim. I'm no longer in control. I do not want to hurt those I love, but I cannot keep afloat. I'm drowning, calling for help; the gun is in my hand and I'm eager to pull the trigger.

Liliana: He betrayed my trust and now my skeletons are out of the closet for all to see. If any of my secrets fall in the wrong hands, chaos would follow. I knew I could never love, so why does this hurt so? The monster is at the forefront of my mind, enjoying the game. Time to play. Can I trust Zander and his mates with their vow of protection? If I have learned anything, you should never question a Marine's promise. With music as my emotion, the songs playing behind the locked door tell me of a broken man's world. Sometimes it's the hero that needs saving, this be one of those times. Do not fret, Alexander, I'm going to save ye.




Paperback

Narrated by Joe Arden and Stella Hunter 


Other Titles by Layla Lochran

Painting Her Fate – Book 1 

Pre-order More for Me, Book #3 in the Tell All Secrets series – Coming 03/13/2023
Narrator announcement coming soon!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Layla Lochran is an international bestselling author best known for her Tell All Secrets suspenseful romance series and the Ambrota Defenders paranormal romance series.

Layla resides nestled in the woodlands of Western New York with her son and adopted pet, Kit Kat. School life is her passion, writing romance gives her satisfaction. She enjoys her family, musical instruments, festivals, and takes pride in being a volunteer LGBTQ+ youth counselor and advocator of Love is Love.  

Where you can find Layla Lochran…

Website Facebook Instagram Twitter TikTok BookBub Pinterest Blog Goodreads | Email – laylalochran@gmail.com 

Tour-Wide Giveaway


To celebrate the release of Battle Born For You, Layla is giving away a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card to one reader during this blog tour! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form found in this post. Follow along with the Blog Tour for more chances to win daily. Good luck!




a Rafflecopter giveaway



REVIEW

PTSD and severe trauma has made it hard for Zander and Lili to find pleasure in life, much less make it easy for them to give themselves over to love. In Painting Her Fate, we see Lili’s steps to trust another with the demons from her past and let love in, In Battle Born for You we see Zander’s journey to do the same.

There is no doubt the couple fought long and hard against painful memories alone and they desperately need to feel safe and loved. As with Lili, Zander has a tough time of it, which is heart wrenching. He discovers Lili grounds him in the present and makes the pain bearable in the same way he did for her. The bond between Zander and Lili, and the fact their built trust can conquer feelings of inadequacy and silence their monsters, feels truly authentic. 

One thing I will say, some parts of the story felt slightly disjointed, Zander and Lili’s confrontation in the beginning especially. Then part of that conflict isn't really resolved and it feels like something big to just leave hanging. Maybe that resolution will come later, with an upcoming story. Meeting the people surrounding Zander and Lily, I am definitely on board to see where life takes them in the Tell All Secrets series. 

Also worth noting the audio narration for Battle Born for You is fantastic. This is a huge deal for me since I am an avid audiobook listener and bad narration can ruin the experience. With Battle Born for You that was not an issue.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

The Akseli (Aldebarian Alliance #4) by Dianne Duvall: Blog Tour Stop Author Scary Movies to Watch on Halloween and Review

Hello! Thank you for joining us! I’m happy to be here today, celebrating the release of THE AKSELI.  If you like action-packed sci-fi and paranormal romance with strong heroes, kick-ass heroines, loveable secondary characters, and lots of camaraderie and humorous banter, I think you’ll really enjoy Simone and Janwar’s story.  It’s a fun escape that follows a fierce warrior who leaves her vampire hunting days behind on Earth and embarks upon her first adventure in space. 


Speaking of vampire hunting, Halloween is just around the corner.  In addition to eating far too much candy, I always celebrate Halloween by indulging in horror movie marathons.  I love scary movies.  But many horror movies produced today are heavy on the gore with little in the way of suspense.  So today, I thought I would share a few movies that kept me glued to my seat and managed to give me the deliciously anxious feeling that horror movies used to inspire.  LOL

Scary Movies to Binge Watch on Halloween

COUNTDOWN


When a nurse downloads an app that claims to predict the moment a person will die, it tells her she only has three days to live. With the clock ticking and a figure haunting her, she must find a way to save her life before time runs out.

THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE


A father and son, both coroners, are pulled into a complex mystery while attempting to
identify the body of a young woman, who was apparently harboring dark secrets.

OUIJA: ORIGINS OF EVIL


In 1967 Los Angeles, a widowed mother and her daughters add a new stunt to bolster their sรฉance scam business by inviting an evil presence into their home, not realizing how dangerous it is.

AS ABOVE SO BELOW


When a team of explorers ventures into the catacombs that lie beneath the streets of Paris, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead.

THE DESCENT


A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.

THE RUINS


A leisurely Mexican holiday takes a turn for the worse when a group of friends and a fellow tourist embark on a remote archaeological dig in the jungle, where something evil lives among the ruins.

___________________________


What about you? What are some of your favorite scary movies that left you looking over your shoulder?

Thank you again for joining us. If you’d like to read a fun preview of THE AKSELI, you can find one here.

I hope you’ll enjoy Simone and Janwar’s story!
I hope you’ll enjoy THE AKSELI!

The Akseli by Dianne Duvall Release Tour October 9 th - 15 th , 2022

Personal Assistant to New York Times Bestselling Author, Dianne Duvall

Email: crystal@dianneduvall.com
Website: https://dianneduvall.com/

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Akseli
(Aldebarian Alliance #4)
by Dianne Duvall
Release Date: October 11th , 2022

New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall brings readers the next stand-
alone novel in a thrilling new sci-fi romance series full of action and humor.
Simone has hunted and slain psychotic vampires night after night for hundreds of years and desperately needs a change. When the leader of the Immortal Guardians offers her an opportunity to guard ten mortal women who are venturing to another planet, she dives right in and finds traveling into space and meeting amazing alien races just as exciting as she'd hoped… until an enemy attacks. Simone saves everyone she can before she's thrust into an escape pod and the ship explodes. Alone, fearing some—if not all—of her friends have been killed, she vows to seek vengeance.

Despite his fierce reputation and propensity for violating the law, Janwar has formed a friendship with strait-laced Prince Taelon of Lasara. When the prince's ship is destroyed, Janwar joins the massive Aldebarian Alliance-wide search and rescue mission and soon locates the Gathendien ship that launched the attack.  An odd thing happens, however, as he and his crew stealthily approach it.  The lifeforms inside begin to perish, two or three at a time in quick succession.  Much to his surprise, someone else has reached the ship first: one of the very Earth women he hoped to rescue.

Fascinatingly fierce, Simone bands together with Janwar and his crew to search for her missing friends and wreak havoc upon those who wish to harm them. She also widens eyes, drops jaws, and sparks laughter and mischief as she banishes the warriors' world-weariness and makes each day seem like a new adventure. The friendship that grows between Janwar and Simone swiftly deepens into love. But the enemy warriors they face are tenacious and boast more weapons in their arsenal than the alliance knows. Can Janwar, Simone, and such a small crew vanquish them?

TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAY: To celebrate the release of The Akseli, Dianne Duvall will be giving away a Prize Pack to (2) two separate readers (US only please) AND a $25 Amazon Gift Card to (2) two separate readers! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form found in this post. Follow along with the Blog Tour at DianneDuvall.com for more chances to win daily. Good luck!


REVIEW

The Askeli is the latest installment of the Aldebarian Alliance series.  This world continues to develop in fascinating ways, and although every book can be read as a standalone, I am a true believer in experiencing the entire journey. The world of the Gifted Ones and Immortal Guardians is a great lead up to the Alderbarian Alliance, so definitely read them all if you can.  Simone and Janwar’s story is true to form for Dianne Duvall, I was immediately drawn in by them.  Her characters are always highly charismatic, genuinely honorable, and extremely compassionate.  I love that I can laugh out loud with them in addition to feeling great empathy for the difficulties they must confront.   Simone and Janwar are an arresting couple, they respect and trust each other and feel like they truly belong together.  And boy can they kick some serious butt.  I would highly recommend this to any lover of a great sci fi fantasy romance with amazing action. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Release Day Blitz: The Akseli (Aldebarian Alliance #4) by Dianne Duvall

 

THE AKSELI, the next novel in Dianne Duvall’s exciting new sci-fi romance series full of action, adventure, and happily-ever-afters is LIVE! Grab it now on Amazon!



ABOUT THE BOOK


The Akseli
(Aldebarian Alliance #4)
by Dianne Duvall 

Release Date: October 11th, 2022
New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall brings readers the next stand-alone novel in a thrilling new sci-fi romance series full of action and humor.

Simone has hunted and slain psychotic vampires night after night for hundreds of years and desperately needs a change. When the leader of the Immortal Guardians offers her an opportunity to guard ten mortal women who are venturing to another planet, she dives right in and finds traveling into space and meeting amazing alien races just as exciting as she'd hoped… until an enemy attacks. Simone saves everyone she can before she's thrust into an escape pod and the ship explodes. Alone, fearing some—if not all—of her friends have been killed, she vows to seek vengeance.

Despite his fierce reputation and propensity for violating the law, Janwar has formed a friendship with strait-laced Prince Taelon of Lasara. When the prince's ship is destroyed, Janwar joins the massive Aldebarian Alliance-wide search and rescue mission and soon locates the Gathendien ship that launched the attack. An odd thing happens, however, as he and his crew stealthily approach it. The lifeforms inside begin to perish, two or three at a time in quick succession. Much to his surprise, someone else has reached the ship first: one of the very Earth women he hoped to rescue.

Fascinatingly fierce, Simone bands together with Janwar and his crew to search for her missing friends and wreak havoc upon those who wish to harm them. She also widens eyes, drops jaws, and sparks laughter and mischief as she banishes the warriors' world-weariness and makes each day seem like a new adventure. The friendship that grows between Janwar and Simone swiftly deepens into love. But the enemy warriors they face are tenacious and boast more weapons in their arsenal than the alliance knows. Can Janwar, Simone, and such a small crew vanquish them?

AVAILABLE FOR ORDER

๐—ฒ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ


audiobook


Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series, the Aldebarian Alliance sci‐fi romance series, and The Gifted Ones medieval and time‐travel romance series.  The Lasaran, the first book in the Aldebarian Alliance Series, was a #1 Audible Mover & Shaker. The Segonian, the second book in the Aldebarian Alliance Series, was a Barnes&Noble Top Indie Favorite. Audible chose Awaken the Darkness as one of the Top 5 Best Paranormal Romance Audiobooks of 2018. Reviewers have called Dianne's books "fast-paced and humorous" (Publishers Weekly), "utterly addictive" (RT Book Reviews), “extraordinary" (Long and Short Reviews), and "wonderfully imaginative" (The Romance Reviews). Dianne's books have twice been nominated for RT Reviewers' Choice Awards. And her audiobooks have been awarded the AudioFile Earphones Award for Excellence. 

Dianne's books have all appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and/or Kobo Bestseller lists.  The first book in Dianne's The Gifted Ones series, A Sorceress of His Own, is a prequel of sorts to Darkness Dawns. A USA Today bestseller, A Sorceress of His Own is a medieval romance with paranormal elements that was awarded the AudioFile Earphones Award for Excellence and was an Audie Finalist. The second book in the series, Rendezvous With Yesterday, is a time travel romance that won the GraveTells Readers' Choice Award for Best Historical Romance. 

In addition to writing romance, Dianne has completed a one-act play (comedy) and teamed up with an award-winning screenwriter to write a spec script for a new situation comedy. Several of her poems have also been published in anthologies. 

When she isn't writing, Dianne is very active in the independent film industry and has even appeared on-screen, crawling out of a moonlit grave and wielding a machete like some of the psychotic vampires she creates in her books.

For the latest news on upcoming releases, contests, and more, please visit DianneDuvall.com or sign up for her Newsletter. You can also find Dianne online . . .

To celebrate the release of The Akseli, Dianne Duvall will be giving away a Prize Pack to (2) two separate readers (US only please) AND a $25 Amazon Gift Card to (2) two separate readers! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form found in this post. Follow along with the Blog Tour at DianneDuvall.com for more chances to win daily. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 23, 2022

Painting Her Fate by Layla Lochran: Blog Tour Stop

 

We're so excited to share with you this new suspenseful military romance release from author, Layla Lochran! PAINTING HER FATE is now available in eBook, Paperback, and Audiobook format, grab your copy today on Amazon




About the Book


Painting Her Fate
by  Layla Lochran
Tell All Secrets #1

Release date: September 19, 2022
Liliana: I’m a lass from London setting my life on track. My past left me trapped inside my mind, screaming. Can you hear it? I thought I’d be this way the rest of my days, then I found my passion.
To make the world a better place.
This artist is ready for new adventures only just as things are set in play, they spiral out of control and the one person who means the most may not survive. As my world careens, strong arms envelop me the same time sweet whispers lend their comfort. Only now monsters lurk within the shadows waiting to strike. Will I come out unscathed?

Alexander: Coming home from a war I could not win left me wounded, weak, and misplaced in my small town. This Marine is a far cry from who he once was. I have accepted my fate and thought I could move on. 
If only it was that easy.
Now two years home, I know this isn’t the man I’m meant to be. War changes a person and this one is on the brink of losing it all. Until one cry for help. A fiery vixen with a mean reflex. She’s perfect, too pure for me. Lili deserves much better than this broken shell I have become. Only once I have her, I can’t let go.

eBook:

 Paperback: Amazon 
Audiobook (Narrated by Joe Arden and Stella Hunter): Audible



๐Ÿ“š Pre-order your eBook copy of Battle Born for You (Tell All Secrets #2) today! ๐Ÿ“š



EXCERPT:


“Are you sure you’re, okay?” She leans in close to me and I can’t help but breathe her in. It’s light and intoxicating. Like a gentle rain with summer flowers. My eyes close at this momentary bliss. Heavenly. “Oh, that’s it.” Her tone and temper take on a tinge of Scotland, a fierce woman ready for battle, “you need a hospital.”
She continues like I didn’t speak, “If I need to drive us there, then so be it. Give me your keys.” Her commanding tone snaps me back to reality.
She holds her hand out to take my keys. I shake my head, dumbfounded. She’s bold, I’ll give her that, but I am the only one who drives my truck. I don’t even let Ford drive this.
Not a chance.
“No, I’m fine.” I mutter through clenched teeth, my pride taking a hit at showing my
vulnerability. There is no way to hide the pain from her.
Her brows draw together, and her arms cross under those enticing full breasts. Her
body is a temple with curves just begging for me to explore. Other parts of my body
seem to take notice.
takes this one as more of the shoulder pain. If she only knew.
“If I cannot drive your truck, and you refuse to drive to the hospital, I will gladly call the ambulance back and they can take you- I’ll have them strap you to the gurney.” She pulls out her phone, ready to make the call, “make your choice.” Her eyes blaze with promise. She isn’t bluffing.
Feisty and demanding as hell. I like that. I huff a grunt that comes out as a chuckle,
then I turn the key and the truck roars to life.
“You win. I’ll drive.” And just like that, I submit to this woman. 


About the Author



Layla Lochran is an international bestselling author best known for her Tell All Secrets suspenseful romance series and the Ambrota Defenders paranormal romance series.

Layla resides nestled in the woodlands of Western New York with her son and adopted pet, Kit Kat. School life is her passion, writing romance gives her satisfaction. She enjoys her family, musical instruments, festivals, and takes pride in being a volunteer LGBTQ+ youth counselor and advocator of Love is Love.  

Where you can find Layla Lochran…
WebsiteFacebookInstagramTwitter | TikTokBookBubPinterestBlogGoodreads | Email – laylalochran@gmail.com 




Tour-Wide Giveaway



To celebrate the release of Painting Her Fate, Layla is giving away one $20 Amazon Gift Card to one reader during this blog tour! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form found in this post. Follow along with the Blog Tour for more chances to win daily. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


REVIEW

Painting Her Fate by Layla Lochran is a great book one of the Tell All Secrets series.  We meet Lili and Zander and discover they both have severe trauma in their pasts.  As they both continue to find ways to cope and live, they find a renewed longing for inner peace and an attraction to one another that they cannot ignore.

 

“Insta love” in a story can often seem forced, but for this couple it feels authentic, living with what they do every day that is potentially the only thing that could gravitate them together.  It is clear they are meant for one another, and Lili and Zander make a very charming couple with lovely artistic souls.  As Lili and Zander continue to struggle, which at times can be pain staking to witness, I long for them to find their serenity.  

 

Be aware, this book could be a trigger for some, but it gives the reader warnings when it is at its worst.  Also, the story does end on a cliffhanger so you will have to wait for the next book to get the full story.  I believe Lili and Zander’s ending will be worth waiting for.