Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chosen by Christine Pope Excerpt and Giveaway

Paranormal Romance
Date Published: February 4, 2015

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It began as a fever of unknown origin that its victims dubbed “the Heat,” but as it burned through most of the world’s population, it became known simply as “the Dying.” And for those left behind, the struggle has just begun….

In the aftermath of the Dying, survivor Jessica Monroe is protected and guided by the gentle voice of an invisible being she thinks of as her guardian angel. When she reaches the sanctuary he’s provided for her, however, she realizes that her unseen companion is no angel at all. The destruction of humanity was only the first step in a much larger plan, and now Jessica must struggle to discover her own role in a frightening new world where everything has changed.


Now was the time to say a few words, but nothing seemed to come to mind. I couldn’t even remember the Lord’s Prayer, or more than the first few words of the Twenty-third Psalm.
“The Lord is my shepherd,” I began, then shook my head. What came next? The lines were all jumbled together in my head, nonsense syllables that sounded like something straight out of “Jabberwocky.” And what did it matter, anyway? We weren’t a religious family; we went to Christmas Eve services some years and some years not, maybe Easter. I’d gone to Sunday school when I was really little, but my parents hadn’t even bothered with that when Devin came along.
For the longest time I stood there under the oak, the sun disappearing altogether, deep dusk falling upon the yard. Then I moved, and the motion-sensor light mounted to the side of the garage flashed on.
“I love you all,” I said finally, then set the Waterford vase and the football trophy on top of their grave.

After that, I went back inside and shut the door behind me. It seemed to echo in the unnatural stillness of the house, and I realized it was hardly ever this quiet — someone always had the TV on in the background, or there was music playing, or somebody talking on the phone. Now the quiet pounded against my eardrums, and I realized how big a three-bedroom, two-thousand-square-foot house could feel when you were the only one in it.

The only one in the world….

The thought whispered through my mind, and I did my best to ignore it. Surely if I were immune, and not just having extremely delayed onset for some reason, that meant other people had to be immune, too. How many? I couldn’t begin to guess. I didn’t know the mortality rate of the disease. Even if 99.9% of the population was dead, that would leave around a thousand people still alive in the greater Albuquerque area, if I was doing my mental math correctly.

I turned on the overhead lights in the kitchen, then went through the house, turning on all the lamps. Maybe that wasn’t the smartest thing to do — maybe advertising my presence would do more harm than good. But I couldn’t sit there in the dark, not after everything I’d been through that day. Besides, when I peeked out through the curtains, I saw mine wasn’t the only house on the street that was all lit up. Most likely the others just had their lights on because no one was around to turn them off, but it did make mine seem less conspicuous.

“Are you there?” I asked of the darkness. Even a voice that was only a product of my imagination was better than this deep, deep silence, the kind of quiet you should never hear if you lived in a big city.

No reply, of course. My gaze shifted to the remote control, still lying where I’d last dropped it on the coffee table. I didn’t quite dare to turn on the television, not after what I’d seen the last time around. I could only imagine how bad it must be by now.

But there was still the stereo, and all the CDs my parents wouldn’t get rid of, despite Devin and me telling them all that plastic just took up space and that they should just rip all their music off those CDs and then play it through Apple TV or something. And now I had to be grateful for their stubbornness, because that meant I could get up and choose something to blot out the silence. My father liked country, but old country, like Hank Williams and Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline, and my mother preferred classical. That sounded better to me right then, so I found her favorite, Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, and put that on.

It actually was better, with the sound of an orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy on the piano overriding that awful stillness. Or at least it was better until I realized that no one would ever play that piece live again, that there would be no more symphony orchestras or Arcade Fire concerts or anything, ever again.

“Oh, God,” I gasped, pushing myself up from the couch and running into the kitchen, where I turned on the faucet and splashed cold water in my face. As if that could begin to help. It was all too big to comprehend, so awful and enormous that I could literally feel the horror of it beginning to sink in, like some  noxious chemical seeping into my skin.

And then it was as though strong, invisible arms wrapped around me, bringing with them a soothing warmth. Unseen lips brushed against my hair, and I heard the voice again.

Be strong, my love. Be strong for just a while longer.

Just as suddenly, the presence was gone. I held on to the tile of the kitchen counter, feeling the cool surface beneath my fingertips. In that moment, I truly wondered if I’d lost my mind.

What other explanation could there be?

About the Author

A native of Southern California, Christine Pope has been writing stories ever since she commandeered her family’s Smith-Corona typewriter back in the sixth grade. Her short fiction has appeared in Astonishing Adventures, Luna Station Quarterly, and the journal of dark fiction, Dark Valentine. Two of her short stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Christine Pope writes as the mood takes her, and her work includes paranormal romance, fantasy romance, and science fiction/space opera romance. She blames this on being easily distracted by bright, shiny objects, which could also account for the size of her shoe collection. After spending many years in the magazine publishing industry, she now works as a freelance editor and graphic designer in addition to writing fiction. She fell in love with Sedona, Arizona, while researching the Sedona Files series and now makes her home there, surrounded by the red rocks. No alien sightings, though...not yet, anyway!

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Three ebook copies of Chosen

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Guardians of Terath: Seeking Sorrow Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Welcome to the cover reveal for Guardians of Terath: Seeking Sorrow by Zen DiPietro! This is a modern fantasy with sci-fi and romantic elements. It is being published by Soul Mate Publishing on March 25 and will be available for preorder on March 14th.

About the Book:

An earth-like world of high-tech humans faces the reality that their world is not as safe as they thought it was. Five people are thrown together to quietly get to the bottom of an unfathomable mana event that must stay quiet. If the population of Terath becomes aware of the truth, it will spark a civil war. That war would pit the majority of the population against the powerful minority with the ability to harness and manipulate mana. The resulting cataclysm would decimate the population and tear apart the foundation of society.
The five people chosen for this must reconsider everything they thought they knew about manaeven as they learn to trust one another’s abilitiesThey must embrace everything they never wanted in order to prevent the devastation of their world. One of them will be forever changed. Love will be denied, badassery will be unleashed, and Terath will never be the same. 
Even success comes at a price.

About the Author:

Zen DiPietro is a lifelong bookworm, a fantasy/sci-fi writer, a dancer, and a mom of two. Also red-haired, left-handed, and a vegetarian geek. Absolutely terrible at conforming. Particular loves include badass heroines, Star Trek, British accents, baba ganoush, and the smell of Band-Aids. Writing reviews, author interviews, and fun stuff at www.womenofbadassery.com. Very active on Facebook, Twitter (@ZenDiPietro), and Pinterest. You can also find her on Goodreads.


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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Review: The Hunt by Rachel Vincent

This short story was previously in the anthology Chicks Kick But

It’s been more than four years since Abby Wade survived capture and torture by a quartet of rogue shifters. Back then she was a scared kid, just trying to survive.

Now Abby is all grown up, and if she’s learned anything from training with Faythe Sanders, the world’s first female Alpha, it’s that she can take care of herself—and anyone else who comes along. So when her college roommate is abducted from a campsite deep in the Appalachian woods, Abby knows exactly how to get her back…

The rules of the hunt are simple. Kill or be killed.

Abby Wade is not ready to die

Hunt (Shifters #6.5)Hunt by Rachel Vincent

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved Rachel Vincent's Stray series and was absolutely tickled when I learned that she was continuing with this world. And I am so glad that it contained Abby. I hated what was done to her in the Stray series. In this very short story we get a glimpse of how she is faring now and I was pleased that even though she was still having nightmares and flashbacks she is getting better. I also like that we get a glimpse of Jace and I am impatiently waiting for another full size story of theirs which is coming February 23. I bought this with my own money and I can't wait till Lion's Share releases.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review: Want Me by Cynthia Eden

Want Me (Dark Obsession, #2)Want Me by Cynthia Eden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the 2nd book in her Dark Obsession Series and I personally think this one is the best of the bunch so far. Normally to me the 2nd book isn't as good as the first but in this series this was totally not the case. It was quite the opposite actually. As always the heat index between her characters Lex and Sophie was off the charts. I love to read suspense booka and though I usually think the suspense in Ms. Edens books is a little on the light side this one was different. Usually I am spot on in my guess on who the bad guy is. But in this book there was a time that she had me second guessing myself. But in the end I totally got it. I am hoping I know who the hero and heroine in the 3rd book are but will have to wait a little while to find out darn it. I must say that the prologue in this book squicked me out. That is my word for something that icks me out and sends chills up my spine. I give this book a soft 4 1/2 stars but rounding it down to 4 since we can't do 4 1/2. As always Ms. Eden delivered a good solid fun read but that is her norm. I was given this book via Netgalley for a fair and honest review.

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: All of Me by Lisa Renee Jones

All of Me (Inside Out, #6)All of Me by Lisa Renee Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved the way Chris and Sara's story wrapped up. The wedding was fabulous and I liked seeing the other what I call members of their family. Most of my questions were answered and I was left with just enough not answered that I will need to read Ella's, Mark and Crystal's, and of course definitely Tristan's stories. Like I wasn't going to already lol. Also liked that the Walker boys were intertwined with this series. Need to catch up on that series now. So many books so little time. May have to take a vacation just to read. I was given this book by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review and I give this one 5 stars.

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Review: Watch Me by Cynthia Eden

Watch Me (Dark Obsession, #1)Watch Me by Cynthia Eden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book. I didn't love it but I didn't loathe it either. The romance was fantastic as usual in her books. But the suspense was a little lacking. I nailed who done it the 2nd time I saw him in the story. But I am usually pretty good at figuring out the bad guy. The one thing in this book that made me give it four stars vs. five was that Chance was a tad too focused on who he thought was the bad guy until it almost cost him his lady and his life. And all this because Gwen had sleep with this guy. If you like lite suspense heavy with romance that is a fast good read please give this series a try. I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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