01 September 2012

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Forsaken by Kristen Day

Title: Forsaken (A Daughters of the Sea Novel)
Author: Kristen Day
Acquired: From author, for honest review.
Find "Forsaken":
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Once you’ve been touched by darkness, it never leaves you…

Abandoned by her parents as an infant; seventeen year old Hannah spent her childhood wading through countless foster families until being adopted by the Whitmans three years ago. Unfortunately, Atlanta’s high society wasn’t quite ready for Hannah…or the strange events that plague her.

Chilling visions of murder, unexplained hallucinations, and a dark, mysterious guy who haunts her nightmares all culminate to set in motion a journey of self-discovery that will challenge everything she’s ever believed; not to mention her sanity.

Sent to live at The House of Lorelei on Bald Head Island, NC for ‘kids like her’, Hannah quickly realizes things are not what they seem. Her fellow ‘disturbed’ teens are actually the descendents of mythical Sea Gods and Goddesses. And so is she.

But when Finn, the ghost from her dreams, appears in the flesh; her nightmares become reality and her dark visions begin coming true. Inexplicably drawn to him, she can’t deny the dangerous hold he has on her heart. The deadly secrets he harbors will ultimately test her courage and push the boundaries of her love.

She must decide if she is ready to embrace the ancient legend she is prophesized to be a part of. The fate of all the descendents will forever depend upon it.

31 August 2012

Promo: Dastardly Bastard by Edward Lorn

Title: Dastardly Bastard
Author: Edward Lorn
Pub. Date: May 2, 2012
Find "Dastardly Bastard":
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When war photographer Mark Simmons is sent to do a promo on Waverly Chasm, he assumes it’s a puff piece, a waste of his talents.

Widow Marsha Lake brings her son, Lyle, to help him heal after his father’s death.

Donald Adams, aka H.R. Chatmon, joins the tour to get away from a sticky situation.

Justine McCarthy consents to the hike to placate her boyfriend, Trevor.

For Jaleel Warner, the tour guide, walking the chasm is just part of his job.

Each of these people must face their darkest memories in order to discover and defeat the secret buried in Waverly Chasm.

MARK SIMMONS WAS SWEATING, WHEEZING, and feeling every bit of his five hundred pounds as he stepped off Corsican International Flight 600. The flight attendant at the gate asked if he was okay when he dropped off his seat belt extender. He waved her off with a limp wrist, staggering toward the seats just inside the departure area. He could’ve bitched about having to buy an extra seat to accommodate his size, but he’d fought that battle, and it never worked out in his favor.

Mark crashed into the plastic chair. The seat screeched and groaned while he tried to get comfortable. His massive rear end flowed over the edges, the steel armrests digging into his love handles.

“Look, Mom!” a little girl squealed. “He’s so fat!”

“Deborah!” The mother offered Mark a soft smile that might’ve said, “Kids say the darnedest things,” before turning to make a call on her cell phone.

The air conditioning from the vent above blew down like a saving grace. Basking in the chilly air, he felt the sweat on his face become gelid. He relaxed back into the hard plastic and worked on his breathing.

One… two… three… four…

He counted his breaths like an insomniac tallying sheep. The routine calmed him. It always did.

Fifteen minutes, and a count of twelve-hundred, finally returned some of Mark’s strength. He still had to walk to baggage claim, then to Hertz, before trekking out into the parking lot to get his rental vehicle. The twenty-hour drive into New York would give him plenty of time to rest. He didn’t need sleep.

He needed the road. When the higher-ups decided there was money to be made in sending their fattest journalist to cover the withdrawal of American soldiers from Iraq, Mark hadn’t refused, thinking maybe the time spent there would expedite a promotion. Four months earlier, before he had left for Iraq, he’d started Weight Watchers with the intention of losing fifty pounds in preparation for traveling to one of the hottest climates on Earth. That diet lasted all of two hours, ending in a refrigerator raid that rivaled the Bay of Pigs insurgency. Fallujah hadn’t been as hot as expected, so the failed diet hadn’t hurt him too badly, but most Iraqis studied him with a cautious glare. Mohammad must have spoken of the evils of fat people because those Muslims skirted Mark as if being obese were contagious.

Mark bent forward, using his belly as a counterweight, and pushed himself out of the chair. His hips caught on the armrests, but the forward momentum couldn’t be stopped, and he ripped a belt loop. Cussing under his breath, he looked up and found the little girl—Deborah, her mother had called her Deborah—staring at him. Her tongue lolled from her mouth, eyes crossed, fingers hooked inside her cheeks. She made one hell of a face. Mark smiled, but instead of contorting his own mug in response, he just flipped her off. The look on little Deborah’s face proved him the victor of their little battle.

It’s the little things in life, he thought as he shuffled toward baggage claim.

Deborah’s raised voice faded in the distance as she told her mother about how the fat man had just “made a naughty” with his finger.

~ * * * ~

Mark waited three hours for his single piece of luggage because someone had packed an ounce of Iraqi’s Finest Kush in her suitcase. Customs had a field day with the twenty-something woman, even dragged her off for a full-body. Mark figured he needed to change his career choice. Feeling up hot young females on a regular basis could serve him well. Being an overweight fifty-year-old with a whiskey drinker’s libido, he didn’t get much play. Sure, Private Johnson still stood at attention, but not for long. Doctor Patel said its functionality was being impaired by his gut. No shit. He couldn’t even jack off anymore. His dick-to-arm ratio was sorely impaired by the girth of his stomach, neither being long enough to reach around his rotund midsection.

Finally allowed to procure his belongings, he moved on toward Hertz. He mentally thanked the inventor of the moving floor contraption. The thing wasn’t quite an escalator—escalators, by definition, escalated—but dragged people along at a normal walking pace across a smooth section of floor. He didn’t know what the hell to call the tank-track looking device. A lazy person’s treadmill?

He overcame his body’s inertia and stepped off the treadmill, almost losing his balance in the process. He caught himself on the chrome banister at the end of the track.

Hertz was off to the left, set back into the wall like a bank teller’s booth. The skinny Goth girl behind the counter looked to be no more than fifteen or sixteen, but Mark settled on at least eighteen, as she would have to be able to sign paperwork for her customers. She had purple hair and a glimmering diamond booger attached to the outside of one nostril. Her black lipstick screamed Elvira.

“Can I help you?” Gothy asked when Mark approached the counter.

“I have a reservation.”

“Name?” she requested, readying her fingers over the keyboard.

“Mark Simmons.”

“Favorite color?”

“Excuse me?”

She snickered.“Sorry. Customer service humor.”

“Ah.” Mark didn’t get the joke, but he nodded politely all the same.

She asked for his address, license, and credit card information. He gave it all to her and waited until she updated everything before asking, “You do have a minivan, right?”

“Oh, sorry, really, but all I have is a Prius and a Kia.”

“Is the Kia at least an SUV?”

She sucked air through her teeth, whistling through a gap he hadn’t noticed. “No. It’s a two-door.”

“Did you happen to notice how big I am? How I waddle instead of walk? Jesus, if I chanced wearing corduroy pants, I’d start a darned fire. I can’t fit in either one of those cars… Melody,” Mark said, reading her name badge.

“I’m sorry.” She shrank away, smiling nervously.

“Oh, sweet Hey-Zues!” He slapped the counter, causing Melody to jump.
A man with a handlebar mustache, dressed in Hertz garb and looking very serious, stepped out from a door behind the counter. “Is there a problem, Melody?”

“No, Fred.”

“You sure?”

“I’m fine.”

“Yeah, because I’m not standing right here,” Mark scoffed. “Mind asking me if I have a problem, Fred?”

Fred put on his best customer service smile and came to the desk. “Can I help you, sir?”

“Yes, Fred. I need a bigger car than what Melody is offering me. I reserved a minivan.”

“The cars are first come, first served, Mr. Simmons,” Fred said, leaning over and looking at the computer. “I should have one back today, though. Right after five o’clock, looks like. Do you care to wait?”

Mark looked at the digital clock behind the duo’s heads and saw that it was just after four. He couldn’t believe it. He’d have to get used to the time difference again, but in reverse.

“I suppose I can wait around for an hour.”

Melody made that sucking sound with her teeth again.

Mark almost reached across the counter to slap her. “Now what?”

“That’s five… p.m.,” Fred corrected.

“Ah, fuck all.” Mark sighed, defeated. “Gimme the darned Prius.”

~About the Author~

Edward Lorn is an American horror author presently residing somewhere in the southeast United States. He enjoys storytelling, reading, and writing biographies in the third person.

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30 August 2012

Blog Tour: The Zombie Always Knocks Twice (Hollyweird #1) by E. Van Lowe

Title: The Zombie Always Knocks Twice (Hollyweird #1)
Author: E. Van Lowe
Pub. Date: Aug. 21, 2012
Find "The Zombie Always Knocks Twice":

Hollywood California, Swimming pools, movie stars… and now the risen dead

Hollywood can be a difficult place to grow up, especially if you’re Kristine Golden, a fifteen-year-old necromancer with a sworn duty to lay the risen dead back to rest and no desire to be in the movie business.

When handsome deadie Alex Romero swaggers into her life, Kris must keep her promise, despite her growing feelings for him. If that’s not enough to give a girl a headache, a murderous zombie comes knocking at Kris’ door, rocking her world and threatening her family.

Can Kris solve the mystery of the rampaging zombie before someone else winds up dead? Or will the walking dead take over Hollywood and turn it into… Hollyweird?

The man coming up the block toward us in the hooded sweatshirt stopped directly in our path, about ten feet away. The hood dropped revealing his face. The hair on the left side of his head had been shaved off revealing tiny bits of bony white scalp. Huge staples held his crooked jaw in place. There was a large indentation in his forehead from some sort of blunt force impact. His left eye was covered with a milky, white cataract, and the right drooped unnaturally into his cheek.
My breath caught yet again. Standing before us was a zombie.

‘LEAVE US ALONE!” the zombie screeched. Then he took off on a dead run and plowed into Alex with the impact a freight train.

Just great, I thought. Hollyweird—where the dead come out to play.

Zombies aren’t what the movies make them out to be—slow moving, brain dead, brain suckers. They’re the result of a raising gone bad. They can be strong, and fast, and very dangerous. Also, a bite from a zombie won’t make you a member of the living dead, although I’m sure it must hurt like hell.

The one that plowed into Alex was almost six feet tall and about seventeen years old. He hit Alex with inhuman force, propelling him backward. They slammed into a parked car that seemed to explode on impact. The twisting metal and shattering glass sounded like a horrible automobile accident. The car was totaled, and Alex was embedded into the passenger side, like a toy soldier into a wad of Play Doh.

“Oh, God!” I screamed.

Alex’s eyes were closed. He wasn’t moving… but the zombie was. He peeled himself away from Alex and the wreckage.

“Zombie!” I called at the top of my lungs. “I command you to tell me who raised you and what you are doing here.”

The zombie faced me, a puzzled look on his distorted face. It dawned on me he hadn’t known I was a necromancer until then—not that it made a difference. He wasn’t bound to me so he didn’t have to answer my questions. I was bluffing.

“LEAVE US ALONE!” He screamed in response. He started for me and a wave of fear rippled my gut.

“I command you to stay back!” I called, but my voice was cracking, my words lacked conviction. I took a few shaky steps backward. The zombie continued toward me.
Just then the sound of twisting metal snagged both our attention. Alex’s eyes were open, and he was separating himself from the wreckage. He shed the automobile with the ease of a snake shedding an old skin. He began advancing on the zombie.

“What’s going on down there?” We all looked up and saw three men, all Johnny do-gooders, running up the block in our direction.

“Leave her alone,” one of them called.

The zombie looked from the advancing men to Alex and me.

“Hhhhh!” Hot breath hissed angrily at us. Then he took off past us like a deer, bounding up the block. By the time the men reached us he was nowhere in sight.

“You ok?” one of them asked.

“Yes. He… attacked us?”

“What the heck happened here?” Another of the men asked. He was staring at the twisted pile of metal that used to be a Buick.

Before I could open my mouth, Alex launched into an explanation. “My girl and I were out for a stroll, and he was taking a sledge hammer to that car when we happened upon him. Guess it was some kind of vendetta. And when he saw us he decided to add us to the list.” The lie flowed from his lips effortlessly.

“Hey, aren’t you on that TV show?” the third man asked.

Alex smiled. “The Beloved. Yes. You watch it?”

“No, but my girlfriend does. She can’t get enough of you vampire guys.”

Any suspicions the men may have had about our presence on the street or Alex molesting me immediately vanished. Alex was a bona fide Hollywood star. I guess they thought all stars were boy scouts. Where have they been?

Several minutes and three autographs later the men were gone, and Alex and I were walking back to the party.

“You told that lie like you do it all the time,” I said.

“I’m a dead person among the living. I do do it all the time.”

That wasn’t what I was talking about, but I didn’t push it. He seemed annoyed. I guess being attacked by a zombie wasn’t an everyday occurrence for him either.
“If it makes you feel any better, I memorized the car’s plate number. I’ll take care of the damage,” he said, his words softening.

“Thanks. That does make me feel better.” I wanted to hold my tongue, but I couldn’t. “So, you have any enemies who’d want to send a zombie after you?”

“I don’t have any enemies. I’m a lover not a fighter.” The annoyance was back.

“Maybe you loved the wrong woman.”

“I’m dead. I can’t love any woman,” he replied. The words were seething with anger or pain. I couldn’t tell which.

“He said ‘leave us alone.’ Who’s us?” I asked.

“I don’t know!”

He was getting agitated again so I dropped the subject. But not without noting there was more to Alex than he was telling me. A vindictive zombie had been set loose in Hollywood. It was something I needed to look into along with the deadie from the diner. My, my, I was suddenly a very busy girl.

~About the Author~

E. Van Lowe, is an author, television writer, screen-writer, playwright and producer who has worked on such TV shows as "The Cosby Show," "Even Stevens," and "Homeboys In Outer Space." He has been nominated for both an Emmy and an Academy Award. His first YA Paranormal novel, "Never Slow Dance With A Zombie," was a selection of The Scholastic Book Club, and a nominee for an American Library Association Award. His Best Selling novels, “Boyfriend From Hell” and “Earth Angel,” are the first two books in the Falling Angels Saga. “The Zombie Always Knocks Twice” is the first book in his Hollyweird series.
E lives in Beverly Hills California with his spouse, a werewolf, several zombies and a fairy godmother who grants him wishes from time-to-time.

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28 August 2012

Blog Tour: Love Chosen by Marne Ann Kirk

Title: Love Chosen (The Fae Dragon Chronicles Book One)
Author: Marne Ann Kirk
Pub. Date: Mar. 2012
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Find "Love Chosen":
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For millennia, dragon and fae have peacefully co-existed, but the fae themselves have lived segregated and very different lives.

Now a malevolence threatens to separate them all permanently. Can a Queen's guard and a rebellious outlaw join forces to defeat this common enemy?

Tyler's touch sparks fierce desire, drawing Issie to him, but she despises his way of life and all that palace society represents. If he learns she wields majic to help the less fortunate escape the kingdom, he'll charge her with treason. Her punishment - death.

Issie is a sassy rebel who is constantly looking for ways to circumvent the conventions of their society. Tyler's head warns that she's a non-majical lower, beneath him. His heart sees by her inner strength and outer beauty. Only a binding love will lend them strength to save her life - their world.

27 August 2012

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Integration by Imogen Rose

Title: Integration (Bonfire Academy Book 2)
Author: Imogen Rose
Pub. Date: July 10, 2012
Acquired: From author, for honest review
Find "Integration":
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Second Haiku warning:

A boyfriend missing
A lover must pay in blood
A princess must die

Welcome back to Bonfire Academy.