Friday, July 21, 2017

Xpresso Tours Presents: Witchbreed by R.L. Martinez


In the Blood
R.L. Martinez
(The Witchbreed Series #1)
Published by: Lakewater Press
Publication date: March 21st 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
A snake. A lion. A return.
In a time when magic is feared, Lady Oriabel Dominax has no choice but to conceal her healing powers while she cares for her father’s struggling estate. One touch of the Witch’s Tree shows her visions of witches hung and burned at the very hands of the people for whom she cares, the people who love her. But with the arrival of a new lord, a man hiding secrets of his own, falling in love might be one wrong move too many.
Incarcerated for an unspeakable crime, fearless warrior Lady Ottilde Dominax is plagued by mysterious dreams of her sister’s death. When a hooded figure offers her the chance of escape, although untrusting, she does not hesitate. Racing across nations to reach Oriabel, her journey is cut short by an encounter with a wedowyn, a formidable beast which she has no chance to overpower alone. Though it is not death that greets her, but something far worse.
Blackmail, betrayal, and murder are only the beginning as a darker magic is awakened. And someone has plans for the Dominax twins, plans more terrifying than anything they could ever imagine.
--

Beneath the Skin
R.L. Martinez
(The Witchbreed Series #2)
Published by: Lakewater Press
Publication date: July 21st 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Abandoned, betrayed, and wanted for murder, Lady Oriabel Dominax is a witch on the run. The deadly magic now awakened inside her is hungry, and it is all Oriabel can do to control it. With no choice but to trust strangers as her guardians, she quickly discovers not everyone is who they say they are and the very magic she fears might be her only weapon to protect those she loves.
Since rescuing her sister from certain death, Lady Ottilde Dominax’s only goal is to keep Oriabel safe and alive. Not an easy task when both the enemy and their so-called allies are hunting them. Placing all her trust in the very man who held her prisoner, Ottilde must open her heart and mind to a future she could never have predicted, a future guided only by love and survival.
Life, death, and tragedy lie ahead as the Dominax twins set out on a perilous journey to safety. But knowing they are mere pawns in someone else’s game means fighting for family is all they have left.


Author Bio:
Being a stay-at-home mom is probably the hardest job Robin’s ever had (and that’s after working at places like Goodwill, MCL Cafeteria, and Captain D’s). Her house is never clean! No matter how many dishes she does or toys she picks up, her two little ones come right behind her and make a whole new mess. Anyway, this is the first time she hasn’t had some sort of job outside the home since she was fifteen. Kinda scary!
Now that her kids have both started all-day school, she can fling herself into the stories that constantly swirl inside her head. One of the main reasons she writes is to read books that she wishes other people were writing. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, two small sons, two naughty canines, and a mouse-killing cat.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Movie Review: Cure for Wellness

The Cure for Wellness is a horror/sci-fi flick that takes place at a sanitarium in the Swiss Alps.  A young stockbroker is somewhat blackmailed into getting his colleague Pembrooke back from Switzerland and to New York City in order to sign off on a lucrative deal.  The young man is given the run-around from the moment he gets to the Swiss hospital.  

The young stock broker leaves the hospital and then returns after getting into a car crash. His leg is broken and he is forced to stay at the sanitarium for a few days.  He also needs to take Pembroke back with him.  There is (of course) no usage of cell phones and the Internet.  The hospital looks like a spa for rich, eccentric people.  The stockbroker soon learns there is much more going on.  The patients are being used as some kind of an experiment that involves water.  The hospital has an urban haunted legend that goes with it-a baron who marries his sister.  Soon the stockbroker figures out that he is more of a prisoner than a patient.
My Review: This movie wasn't exactly scary.  It was more of a slow-drip kind of uncomfortable creepy.  I loved the dental procedure the stock broker had to go through.  The music was haunting.  The acting by the entire cast made my skin crawl.  But the real star of the movie was the plot.  Great story telling through the script and the camera shots.  I loved everything, especially the eels.  It worked on every level.  I paid 6.99 for on-demand, but would have gladly been content if I had to pay the full 10.00 ticket price at the theaters.  This is a real treat for horror-lite/sci-fi fans.  5/5 Stars

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Book Review: Brad Meltzer's House of Secrets


I bought this book because I like Brad Meltzer's TV show and thought I would like his novels.  House of Secrets is about Jack Nash who hosts a TV show much like Brad's-a documentary style investigation about conspiracy theories and historical mysteries. Jack recruits his seven year old son, Skip, to co-star on the show after the ratings start to tank.  
As the years roll on, Skip and his sister, Hazel, lose their father in a deadly car accident.  They begin to suspect foul play.  A mystery involving Benedict Arnold and his Bible comes into play.  Hazel, who was in the car with her father, cannot remember anything due to a mild form of amnesia.  Clue by clue she unlocks her old memories as well as her dad's secret past.

My Review: Meltzer has a page-turning style that sucked me in right away.  I really liked the history about Benedict Arnold.  I also liked his tongue and cheek style about the main character's TV show.  The irony is not lost.  
For the most part, the story meshed.  There were a few moments that confused me, but then I tend to read at night and then fall asleep.  I recommend this book to all history and mystery lovers.  I will definitely be buying another Meltzer book.  4/5 Stars

Goddess Fish Presents: The Reluctant Debutante by Wendy May Andrews

The Reluctant Debutante
by Wendy May Andrews


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GENRE: Historical Romance (Regency)

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BLURB:


The Duke of Wychwood seeks retribution from the Earl of Pickering. When he finds out the earl has a beautiful young niece, the duke thinks to involve her in his feud, but is shocked to discover he is attracted to her.

The orphaned niece of the earl, Lady Victoria, serves as governess to four of his children and is made to feel like an interloper in her own home. A chance encounter with the duke affords her the opportunity to enter Society, but to take it means risking what little security she has.

Revenge and love don't sit well together, to have a future can they learn to give up the past?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt One:


Opening page – first time hero sees heroine

“Who is that ravishing creature entering the devil’s lair?” Bryghton Alcott, the fifth Duke of Wychwood, asked his friend, his gaze arrested by the slender figure climbing the stairs to a midsize townhouse as they rode past.

Turning in his saddle to gape at the young woman, Lord Lynster grinned, thrilled to know something his powerful friend did not. He turned back to face the duke. “You don’t know who that is?”

“Would I be asking you if I knew?” Bryghton said, with a wry twist to his lips.

His left eyebrow tilted at a somewhat haughty angle, the young baron finally answered with a touch of dramatic flair, “That, my good fellow, is the devil’s niece, Lady Victoria Bartley.”

“Really?” the duke asked, incredulity now echoed in his voice. “How did I not know that the devil had a niece? Surely this information could be used to my advantage.”

“I have no idea how you could have researched your enemy so thoroughly and yet not know that he is living in his niece’s house. I never thought to mention it since it seemed to be a matter of common knowledge. Of course, the lady was a child when the devil inherited her father’s title, so I suppose you took no note of her existence.”

Alcott’s face held a far-away expression for a few moments before his gaze sharpened on his friend’s face. “You said the devil is living in her house. What do you mean?”

“The earl only inherited what was entailed. The previous earl doted on his only child and left everything that was unentailed to his daughter, including the London townhouse we just rode past. The new earl, the young lady’s uncle, is her guardian until she gains control of her own fortune. As such, he and his family live with Lady Victoria when they are in Town. She lives with them in her former home when they are in the country.” Alfred, Lord Lynster, “Fred” to his friends, looked at Bryghton with a touch of anxiety, unsure of how his friend would use this information to his advantage. “The young woman faced much tragedy at a tender age, losing both her parents in that terrible carriage accident that made the devil the earl.”

“Yes, and no doubt she could use a friend, being stuck in the same house with Bartley and his family as she is,” concurred the duke, his handsome face darkened by a sinister cast.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Best-selling author, Wendy May Andrews, has been in love with the written word since she learned to read at the age of five. She has been writing for almost as long but it took her some time before she was willing to share her stories with anyone other than her mother.
Wendy can be found with her nose in a book in a cozy corner of downtown Toronto. She is happily married to her own real-life hero, who is also her best friend and favourite travel companion. Being a firm believer that every life experience contributes to the writing process, Wendy is off planning her next trip.
She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website (wendymayandrews.com), on twitter, Instagram or Facebook.


Website & Blog:  http://wendymayandrews.com
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/WendyMayAndrews
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/WendyMayAndrews

Buy Link:


Giveaway: 



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Monday, June 26, 2017

Goddess Fish Presents: Harper's Place by Sheryl Winters

Harper’s Place
by Sheryl Winters


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GENRE: Romance

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BLURB:

Harper Grey is fed up with over-bearing men. Her father wants to sell the family hamburger joint to her brother because a woman could never make it successful.

Harper knows she has the same flair for business as her mother, and sexy Navy SEAL Patrick O’Brien dares her to prove it to the world.

When duty calls and Patrick must leave her side, will Harper be strong enough to make her dream a reality?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:


Aunt Adelina’s dining room hasn’t changed in years. The same flower embroidered tablecloth adorns the long, low kitchen table. The material is only slightly yellow with age and protected by a heavy plastic covering. The hard, low-backed captain chairs have me squirming in my seat. Across the table from me, Tony and Dad shovel Aunt Adelina’s spinach lasagna into their mouths as if this were their last meal.

“So how’s the job hunt going?” Tony smirks. “I sent you that link for the secretarial position at my company didn’t I?”

I am here only for Aunt Adelina and her free food, I remind myself even as I twist the bread on my plate into tiny pieces onto my plate. “Was that the email I deleted?” I reply in a voice as sweet as maple syrup. I also blocked your fool-ass account.

“Now Slugger,” Dad says with a heavy frown. “I know Tony meant well. He tells me things have been rough since you quit Just Burgers.”

That is so not how I remember it. “My life isn’t rough. It’s gotten considerably better, and I didn’t quit, you fired me so you could shut down Just Burgers instead of letting your daughter run it remember?” I drawl out the ‘r.’

Uncomfortable silence reigns at the table, only broken by the crunching of a dinner roll by Aunt Adelina. In contrast, Uncle Ed’s hand is extended in the air with a roll clutched tight in his fist.

Dad clears his throat but not before shooting a dagger-filled look at me. “Harper, about that. I counted on you to help me with the cleaning of the store. You know my arthritis acts up in the winter and—”

I leap to my feet. “Yes, and I expected to be treated as part of the family and not just a helper when it’s convenient.”

“Who wants another garlic roll? Here, pass this around.” Aunt Adelina thrusts the basket into my hands. The basket has traveled the table so many times tonight I’m amazed it doesn’t have its own airline miles.

“It’s a good thing you closed the store, Dad.” Tony shoots a sly glance in my direction. “It was more than time for you to get out of that money pit. Wintering in Florida will be the best thing that ever happened to you.”

Tony shovels another piece of lasagna onto his plate, and I fist my hands at my side.

“Tony, are you sure you want that big of a piece?” The words erupt from my lips before I can stop them. “You’re getting kinda chunky, especially around the middle.”

“What?” Tony’s head jerks up. He straightens and sucks in his breath as if it will make his beer gut disappear.

“That’s one thing I admire about Patrick. He works out every day. My boyfriend picked an active job.” I glance at Tony’s midsection. “And you. You picked a job where you will get progressively fatter. By the time you’re forty-five, we’ll be picking out your coffin.”

Aunt Adelina coughs into her napkin. 

“Listen, Harper, just because I finally got Dad to see reason, doesn’t mean that you need to take it out on us. Dad closing down shop and not selling to you was for your own good, you know,” Tony says. “We thought about it carefully, weighed the pros and cons.”

“My own good! You are a sneaky toad of a brother. You have no clue what’s for my own good because you take the safe road, always! I’ve got half a mind to—”

“Enough arguing.” Aunt Adelina’s thundering voice has the entire table turning toward her. “It’s time for pie.” She grabs my arm and tugs me toward the kitchen. “Young lady, you will help me.”

“I’m not serving Tony. He’s fat enough,” I say over my shoulder loud enough that the sneaky toad will hear me.

“Harper Elizabeth Gray! Enough squabbling with your brother.” Auntie releases my arm and grabs up a pie knife, pointing its blunt end at me. “You will pretend to be nice if it kills you. We are a family and we will act like it.” She slices into the lemon meringue while I continue to stew. “Now give this to Tony.” Aunt Adelina slaps a full plate of pie into my hand and pushes me toward the dining room.

“Fine.” I hesitate, turn and grab another plate she’s dished up, and slide that pie on top of Tony’s. Grinning, I scoop up an extra spoon of whipped cream, smothering both pieces. Ooo… With my free hand, I locate auntie’s secret stash of chocolate chips and sprinkle some on top just for the hell of it. What is it about Tony that makes me feel like a ten-year-old again?

Aunt Adelina groans. “Child, you’ll be the death of me.”  

Tony accepts his piece, but not after giving me a pointed sneer. I pat my much slimmer stomach and smile as wide as I can.

I no sooner reach the kitchen than another slice of pie is shoved into my hand. Dutifully, I begin passing plates around the table again. When everyone has been served, I clear the table of dishes and escape to the quiet of the kitchen. The silence of the small room is a pointed relief. Twenty more minutes to the gift opening. Five minutes of Dad and Tony glaring at me over matching pink bow ties. Fifteen more minutes to clean up the living room and say my goodbyes. One hour to the subway and I’ll be home by midnight.

I can do this!

Filled with irrational anger, I begin scrubbing away at the plates. Stupid men and their inability to do any amount of dishes.

“Well, now, little girl. It’s not like you to slam things and run away.” Aunt Adelina drops an empty pie plate on the counter. “You want to tell me what’s going on? You didn’t break up with that nice young soldier of yours did you?”

The bitterness I’ve been keeping inside, the many days of stomping the pavement looking for a backer, the many nights of trying to come up with just the right words to convince bankers to loan me cash crashes down on me. “How come you’re not mad because they let Just Burgers go instead of helping me buy it?”

“Oh, honey.” She picks up a dish towel and dries off the plate I hand her. “Why should we be mad? It’s just the way the world is.”

“Chauvinistic you mean?”

“This whole thing reminds me of when your mom and dad started that damned money pit of a restaurant. Elizabeth had her heart set on some name and your father just wouldn’t give in. He was like that over the salad bar she wanted so bad. She would have been so ahead of her time.” Aunt Adelina pats me on the shoulder. “Your father loves you, baby girl, don’t ever forget that. It’s not his fault that he could never see the forest for the trees. Some men are like that. So damn fool stubborn they just can’t admit when they are wrong.” She dumps the empty ham platter into the soapy water. “So are you still committed to this dream of yours?”

I lift my chin. “I need time to regroup. I know what you’re thinking, that I’m wasting my time at the corner station, but it’s money coming in. I’ve been turning in resumes on my days off. I was told I needed experience, a backer, and capital.” Thank you, Mrs. Anderson. “I plan on working on one thing at a time.”

Can she hear the desperation in my voice?

Aunt Adelina sighs as she puts a plate into the cupboard over her head. “Well, the gas station is good honest work. That reminds me, I found something of your grandmother’s that I wanted you to have.” She peers around the corner, lifting up piles of mail off the counter. “Now where did I put my handbag?” She leaves the room and comes back a few moments later, her large black purse swinging from her arm. “I have to remember to clean this out. Do you remember that house Grandma Alicia lived in? That big rambling structure?”

“Yes.” Mom hated having to sell the house after Grandma died. She and Aunt Adelina split the profits in half. And Dad and Mom used her share to start Just Burgers. Aunt Adelina used hers to buy her home.

Aunt Adelina pulls out a photograph and hands it to me. It’s the three of them standing in front of that old house. Aunt Adelina, Mom, and Grandma, three of the toughest, hardest working women I know.

“Put that on the mantle.” She pats me on the shoulder. “Then you look at it every day. That’s a picture of women who know what good, hard drudgery is. You work at your gas station if you have to, to make ends meet, but don’t you dare ever give up.”

I finger the photograph. These women would never give up, but this is so hard. “I’m scared I’ll never get a loan.”

“You’ll get it, Harper. You just need faith. Mountains aren’t moved in a day. You just keep trying and I’ll just keep being proud of you.”

The photo bends in my hand and I carefully smooth it out. “Aren’t you afraid I’ll fail? What if no one ever believes in me the way you do, what if—”

The palm of her hand shushes me with one movement. She pulls me in by the shoulders with a gentle squeeze. “Enough. You are Harper Gray. The strongest, smartest kid I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. You come from a long line of strong women. Now hand me that dish. We’ve got to get these done or we’ll never get to opening those presents.”

Breathe Harper, remember you are a professional. You meet hot guys every day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I never set out to be an author. Only a storyteller. Some days I succeed better than others.

Links:

Website: http://sherylwinters.weebly.com/
Blog: http://sherylwinters.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sherylwinters123
Twitter:https://twitter.com/WintersSheryl

Buy Links:

Roane Publishing: https://www.roanepublishing.com/product-p/hp-01.htm
Amazon  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XT6VPHK
Amazon (UK)  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XT6VPHK
Barnes and Noble  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1126040154
Kobo Books  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/harper-s-place
Smashwords  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/713416
Bookstrand  http://www.bookstrand.com/harpers-place

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Sheryl will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Review: Wonder Woman

The Wonder Woman movie begins with a young Diana who lives on an island of all women.  Her mother is a queen and she gets trained to fight.  Later on, she is told that she needs to fight Ares, the god of war.  After saving a man whose plane crashes on her island, Diana brings him back to England and then sets out to fight during World War I.

My Review:  The first half of this movie was excellent.  I found Diana Prince's childhood very entertaining.  There were many references to Greek mythology that drew me in.  I also liked the scenes of Diana and the soldier she saved returning to England and getting ready to find Ares at the heart of the war.  The movie fizzles out a little towards the end when Wonder Woman fights Ares during the war.  I also didn't understand why a Native American Indian was in the cast when it took place in France.  Wonder Woman's outfit was not like the one Linda Carter wore back in the day.  The new Wonder Woman has a gold German eagle that is sewn on the top of the costume.  Someone got the symbolism wrong.  The special effects were great and the actress was gorgeous.  There were a lot of spectacular action scenes.  I recommend watching this in a theater.  4/5 Stars

Thursday, June 22, 2017

XPresso Tours Presents: Shades of the Gods by Erin Hayes


Shades of the Gods
Erin Hayes
(Elysium Legacies #1)
Publication date: September 27th 2013
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Mythology
Caught between life and death, all Callie wants is to live again.
Homicide detective Callie Saunders knows that death isn’t all pearly gates and angels. After being hit by a bus, she finds that it’s the ancient gods and goddesses of Greek mythology who are in charge of everything.
So when Hades offers her a deal, she accepts. If she wants to be brought back to life, she’ll have to figure out who is trying to kill his son. But if she fails, both her soul and the world will be destroyed.
With the odds mounting against her, it’ll take everything she has within her to wake up from death. But the rules are constantly changing. And someone wants her to stay dead.
(This book was formerly titled Death is but a Dream. The covers and titles have changed for The Elysium Legacies, but the content is still the same.)
99¢ for a limited time only!
EXCERPT:
“You’re blackmailing me,” I sneered at him, fury raging within me at the realization. “You want me to do something in return before you allow me to wake up.”
He raised his hand in a gesture of supplication. “Not blackmail,” he assured. “I’m looking to employ you for a time.”
I recoiled. “Employ me? As what? Muscle? Is this the Underworld’s version of the Mafia?” Now that I thought about it, Hades did remind me of a mob boss. He even looked like some I knew. “I don’t play that, sorry.”
Hades grinned. “I want to make a deal with you, Callista. You find out who is trying to kill my son. Give me a name and a motive. And I’ll restore you to life.”


Author Bio:
Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.
She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she's an award-winning New York Times Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.
You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

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Xpresso Tours Presents: Witchbreed by R.L. Martinez

In the Blood R.L. Martinez (The Witchbreed Series #1) Published by: Lakewater Press Publication date: March 21st 2016 Genres: Adult, ...