Wednesday, February 21, 2018

XPresso Presents: Kristen Banet's A Life of Shadows


A Life Of Shadows
Kristen Banet
(The Redemption Saga, #1)
Publication date: February 15th 2018
Genres: Adult, Supernatural, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Sawyer Matthews knows how to put one foot in front of the other, to keep moving while the nightmares haunt her, and her own failures taunt her. She’s become a master at doing awful things with good intentions, terrible things for the sake of those who need her. She’s long given up on being the hero, trying to find peace in no longer being the villain.
When her past comes back and she finds herself caught by the International Magi Police Organization, she’ll have to revisit her own personal hells and finally confront the very monster that made her what she is. The very monster that has already killed her once before.
Will the “dead” Magi assassin Shadow finally come out of the dark to begin a fight for a redemption she doesn’t believe she deserves? Or will her nightmares drag her back into the shadows that have defined her life?
*This is an Urban Fantasy reverse harem series of full length novels where the leading lady doesn’t have to choose from her romantic interests. This series will have M/M content.
These books are rated for mature audiences, 18+ due to violence, language, and sexual themes.
This series deals with several triggering topics including, but not limited to, suicide, child abuse, rape, and PTSD.*


Author Bio:
Kristen Banet has a Diet Coke problem and smokes too much. She curses like a sailor (though, she used to be one, so she uses that as an excuse) and finds that many people don’t know how to handle that. She loves to read, and before finally sitting to try her hand at writing, she had your normal kind of work history. From tattoo parlors, to the U.S. Navy, and freelance illustration, she’s stumbled through her adult years and somehow, is still kicking.
She loves to read books that make people cry. She likes to write books that make people cry (and she wants to hear about it). She’s a firm believer that nothing and no one in this world is perfect, and she enjoys exploring those imperfections—trying to make the characters seem real on the page and not just in her head.
She might just be crazy, though. Her characters think so, but this can’t be confirmed.
Check out her social media to catch what's going on in the worlds inside her head. She drops teasers, new covers, and opens ARC reader slots through her Facebook group, The Banet Pride.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Xpresso Presents: Fire and Bone by Rachel A. Marks


Fire and Bone
Rachel A. Marks
(Otherborn #1)
Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
“Gossip Girl meets Percy Jackson in the glitz and grit of L.A….”
In Hollywood’s underworld of demigods, druids, and ancient bonds, one girl has a dangerous future.
Sage is eighteen, down on her luck, and struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles. Everything changes the night she’s invited to a party—one that turns out to be a trap.
Thrust into a magical world hidden within the City of Angels, Sage discovers that she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, with powers that are only in their infancy. Now that she is of age, she’s asked to pledge her service to one of the five deities, all keen on winning her favor by any means possible. She has to admit that she’s tempted—especially when this new life comes with spells, Hollywood glam, and a bodyguard with secrets of his own. Not to mention a prince whose proposal could boost her rank in the Otherworld.
As loyalties shift, and as the two men vie for her attention, Sage tries to figure out who to trust in a realm she doesn’t understand. One thing’s for sure: the trap she’s in has bigger claws than she thought. And it’s going to take a lot more than magic for this Celtic demigoddess to make it out alive.
EXCERPT:
LILY
I try to hide my shivering as I wait before the altar, in my position as the Bonding begins. Around me, shadows dance over the cairn walls from the restless flames licking up the ram’s body—the sacrifice on the pyre behind me—and the smell of sweat and burnt flesh smother the smoky air.
The King of Ravens paints an alarming image, standing almost naked across from me on the other side of the blood circle. He wears the corona radiata, the golden laurel-leafed crown, on his head of onyx hair. His short beard is neatly trimmed, combed with lavender oil for the ceremony. His sharp silver eyes study me beneath a heavy brow.
I try not to think about the past. Or future. I try not to think about what those hard hands will feel like on my skin when he seals this Bond.
I study the stone floor rather than look in those metallic eyes. I feel them on me, though, the same way they have been for the fortnight I’ve been here preparing for the ceremony. He hasn’t touched me; he’s only brought me gifts and insisted I sit with him beside the greatfire in the evening before he goes out for his hunt. Sometimes I smell him in the hallway outside my rooms. But he never comes in, thank the goddess. The scent of blood is heavy on him in those moments. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if he’d attempted anything.
After this is done, it won’t matter. My bed will be his. As will my life.
A druid walks back and forth behind me, tossing rosemary and lavender onto the pyre after each stanza of his spell. He calls to the wind from the east, he calls to the waters in the west, and he pulls the spirit of flame and earth into the cairn with us, asking the Penta to approve the Bond set to be made between the two most powerful Houses, as he pleads for a blessing from our mothers, Brighid and MorrĂ­gan, and thanks the Cast for their permission to seal the Bond between the two very different powers.
A female druid comes to my side with bowl and brush, beginning to paint my skin in blue woad, tracing patterns of knots and runes across my back, then baring my chest and continuing.
The king’s gaze follows the woman’s strokes, and when she’s finished, he raises his chin at me in approval but says nothing. What does he see when he looks at me? My wild copper hair? My simple features? The awkward birthmark just above my heart? I’m round of cheek and hips and not much of a beauty. But however I look to him, I will belong to him.
Determination is set in hard lines on his face, and I wonder if the torque on his neck is working properly. I can see his dark energy lifting in silver and black curls over his shoulders now. It should be tight inside his skin, as mine is. The iron shackle should be holding it in place so that we don’t harm each other in the first merging, before we can get used to the feel of each other’s powers.
The female druid moves to the king next and begins painting the woad in circles over his torso. The druid chanting behind me recites the final section of his spell, walking the ram’s-blood circle painted on the floor. He holds a rowan stick aloft, flicking rosewater over the king and then me as he passes by, mumbling, “A price paid, a covenant sealed, in earth and blood and ash, in spirit and flesh and fire.”
The price is my will, my soul, in payment for the life of the human prince that I took.
In the center of the circle, between the king and me, is an altar with two bowls set atop, one full of salt, one full of rye.
The iron union dagger rests between them.
I stare at it, imagining the blade cutting into my flesh. And I can’t help when my gaze moves to the king. I want to blink and make this moment a dream, perhaps find myself in the thicket with Lailoken, among the bluebells in the Caledonian wood.
I should run from this son of MorrĂ­gan, deny him, deny our mothers, and let the world burn. But my heart twists at the thought. I was running from duty when fate took my heart from me, when the prince succumbed to my fire’s will. It was the childish notion of freedom that tore him from me.
Now it’s time to accept my punishment for allowing the humans to glimpse our world. Time to atone.
The druid’s voice fills the room again. “When moon gives birth to stars,” he says, in a droning hum, flicking more rosewater over us with the rowan stick, “let this Bond be sealed in blood.”
My skin prickles with fear as the king takes the cue, reaching out to pick up the ceremonial dagger by the leather-wrapped hilt. I focus on not moving, not making a sound, as I watch him bring the blade to his chest, tip pricking his left breast. A drop of crimson pearls up at the spot.
With a slow hiss of breath, he cuts across.
Dark blood slides down his abdomen in a thick swath of red. “My blood with yours,” he says. And he turns the knife, holding out the hilt for me.
My hands clench into fists at my side, and I force my shaking limbs to still.
I breathe in slowly again. Then I reach out, taking the ceremonial dagger from him, careful not to touch his fingers.
I pretend not to care about the cage I’m about to be locked in. About the pain in my soul from loss, from the goddess Brighid abandoning me to this darkness, pain from the reality of everything in front of me.
I press the tip of the blade to the center of my chest, the point breaking the skin. I look into the silver eyes of the king in front of me. And consider my fate.
One deep plunge to the heart and the pain will end. One plunge.
One.


Author Bio:
Rachel A. Marks is a cancer survivor, a writer and artist, a surfer and dirt-bike rider, chocolate lover and keeper of faerie secrets. Her four kids and amazing hubby put up with her nerdiness with tremendous grace, even when she makes them watch Buffy or Smallville re-runs for days on end. She was voted: Most Likely To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse, but hopes she'll never have to test the theory.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Dina Rae's Latest, Greatest, and Free Novels

Today, Friday, Feb. 16, a few of my novels will be free.  Go help yourself to a download for your Kindle!


The Best Seller: Free through Monday, 11:59pm
Volume 1/2-Sci-fi, Nazis, aliens, genetics, codes, conspiracy
https://www.amazon.com/Best-Seller-Dina-Rae-ebook/dp/B01G2AKGMS/ref=sr_1_3_twi_kin_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518829880&sr=8-3&keywords=dina+rae

The Sequel, Free through Monday, 11:59pm
Volume 2/2-Sci-fi, Hitler, Reptilians, time travel, genetics

https://www.amazon.com/Sequel-2-Dina-Rae-ebook/dp/B076VXT46B/ref=pd_sim_351_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=TG09DHZ6QQXVYQYKPJE4


Halo of the Damned, Free through Sunday, 11:59pm
Horror, Enoch, Angel Cult, Mind Control, Fallen Angels, Nephilim

https://www.amazon.com/Halo-Damned-Dina-Rae-ebook/dp/B07931CK2Z/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Monday, February 12, 2018

Book Review: Origin by Dan Brown

Dan Brown's newest installment of Harvard Professor Robert Langdon's travels is a thriller/mystery about a tech giant who discovers the origin (hence the title) of creation.  The beginning of the book starts with Kirsch, the computer tech billionaire, telling three big-wigs of the three major religions world that their God is a fairy tale.  He then books an entire art museum in Bilbao, Spain, to make his announcement to the world via TV/Satellite broadcast.  This billionaire has a legion of "fans" who like him are complete atheists.  Langdon, a close friend and once teacher of this man, is not a complete atheist, but entertains the idea as well.  Just as Kirsch is about to prove God does not exist, he gets shot by a devout Palmerian.  
Palmerian Chursh split away from the Catholic Church.

As the story progresses, we are taken to Barcelona to learn about Antoni Gaudi and William Blake at the Segrada Familia Church.  Langdon and the Prince of Spain's fiancee are guided by an AI program that Kirsch built before he died.  One clue leads to another and soon the Palmerian hitman is trying to kill Langdon and the fiancee. 
SPOILER ALERT: In short, we learn that the Cardinal who was originally warned by Kirsch is not the killer and is also in love with the King of Spain.  The king also loves the cardinal, but it's supposedly platonic.  We also learn that the real assassin is the AI named Winston that is operating without its maker (Kirsch).  The origin of our species has a panspermia-esque ring to it.  Brown tries to save face by claiming the particles that just happen to make life must have some kind of creator.


My Review:  I am done with Brown.  Used to love him.  I regretfully looked the other way when he somewhat threw Christians and Jesus under the bus.  
Brown has a way of intellectualizing religion.  It's not that he's making fun of Christians, but trying to paint another picture of the Christian religion, especially Catholics-at least that is what I used to believe.  This book leaves no more excuses.  Brown is an obvious atheist who likes to write anti-God novels.  He insults Christians throughout the book in subtle ways by questioning their intelligence and pointing out the how ludicrous the Bible is.  To him, the Bible is a myth at best, and more like a children's bed time story.  Like I said, I am done.  In addition to all of his pot-shots at Christians, the book is awkwardly written and the ending is really lame.  No longer a fan.  1/5 STARS.




Thursday, February 8, 2018

Goddess Fish Presents: Revision is a Process...by Catherine E. McLean

Revision is a Process –
How to Take the Frustration Out of Self-Editing
by Catherine E. McLean

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GENRE: Self-Help, Self-Improvement, Non-Fiction

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BLURB:

A first draft holds the possibility of what will be a great story. Revision turns that rough diamond into a spectacular gem worth a reader's money and time.

Writers are individuals but to be a producing writer means creating a system to revise and polish a work so the reader thoroughly enjoys the story. REVISION IS A PROCESS is a guidebook for writers and authors that shows how a simple 12-step process can be tailored to eliminate the most common and chronic maladies of writing genre fiction. This valuable guidebook contains secrets, tips, practical advice, how-to's, and why-to's for taking the frustration out of self-editing.

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EXCERPT

From Section 1, An Overview of Revision is a Process

. . . revision is a process .  A logical, straightforward process where you don't try to find and fix everything at once. Instead, you break the monumental task into component parts and focus on only an item or two at a time.

Okay, so the reality is that creative people,  especially writers, hate logic and straightforwardness. And it's a fact that logic and creativity have always been at war with each other. After all, creativity gives a writer a high like no other. It's the fun part of writing and storytelling.

On the other hand, revising, rewriting, and self-editing are linear, logical, objective—and not fun.

But necessary.

Ever so necessary if one intends to be commercially successful in the writing business.

Here's something I've learned about writing and self-editing—a writer should find a middle ground. That means having the logical part of one's mind work with the subconscious imagination (the creative self).

It's about adopting a different view of self-editing—calling it a process—and diligently organizing that process into small steps that can easily be done. This gives a writer confidence that they have polished their story and increased its marketability.

I strongly believe, and have seen, that revision-as-a-process enables a writer to use both their left (logical) and right (creative) brain to become even more creative.

That's because the writer not only tailors a one-of-a-kind process but they also develop their own revision master cheat sheets. As a result, the creative subconscious (the imagination) becomes aware of the pitfalls and glitches that must be checked for, and subsequently, little by little, the creative self dishes up better first drafts with far fewer errors.



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Catherine E. McLean's lighthearted, short stories have appeared in hard cover and online anthologies and magazines. Her books include JEWELS OF THE SKY, KARMA & MAYHEM, HEARTS AKILTER, and ADRADA TO ZOOL (a short story anthology). She lives on a farm nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains of Western Pennsylvania. In the quiet of the countryside, she writes lighthearted tales of phantasy realms and stardust worlds (fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal) with romance and advenure. She is also a writing instructor and workshop speaker. Her nonfiction book for writers is REVISION IS A PROCESS - HOW TO TAKE THE FRUSTRATION OUT OF SELF-EDITING.

● Hub Website: http://www.CatherineEmclean.com

● Website for writers:  http://www.WritersCheatSheets.com

● Writers Cheat Sheets Blog: https://writerscheatsheets.blogspot.com

● Linked-In:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/catherine-e-mclean/7/70b/372 

● Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/catherine.e.mclean.5

● Twitter:  https://twitter.com/#!/CatherineMcLea7

● Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/catherinemclean

● Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/Catherine-E.-McLean/e/B00A3BVG6I/

● Link to buy REVISION IS A PROCESS at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0988587440

● Link to buy REVISION IS A PROCESS at Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/revision-is-a-process-catherine-e-mclean/1126295618


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One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

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The Bifurcation of Dungsten Crease

    Science Fiction Date Published: March 15, 2021 Publisher: Del Sol Press In the course of a morning, Dungsten Crease resurrec...