Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Progeny Series Tour: Book Trailer and Giveaway

Title: The Progeny
Series: The Progeny Series, #1
Author: Ashlynne Laynne
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Erotica, Vampire/Wiccan
Publisher: Novel Concept Publishing
Pages: 364


Book Description:
No fate other than the one I choose.”

The timeless creed, and tattoo, bore by the Rousseau’s— a vampire clan with the purest bloodline of any vampire family. Out of this clandestine group came one who was different, yet the same: Ascher-a half-bloodling— half- human, half vampire.

Ascher questions the purpose for his existence and which world he truly belongs to: the human world or the vampire world. Two months from sealing to Ursula— a prearranged union to a woman he abhors — he’s at his wit’s end. He knows if he calls off the sealing, the Romanian clan will strike with deadly force, but he cannot see eternity with a cold empty shell of a woman like Ursula.

Just when he thought life was complicated enough, he meets Shauna— a beautiful, bi-racial human Wiccan — and immediately develops an unshakable attraction to her. She makes him feel alive and vital despite his origins and Ascher makes a decision that turns his immortal world upside down.

Title: Blood Bonds
Series: The Progeny Series, #2
Author: Ashlynne Laynne
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Erotica, Vampire/Wiccan
Publisher: Novel Concept Publishing
Release Date: July 2012
Pages: 320


Book Description:

Forever. For always. For eternity.”

The ties that bind two hearts are powerful. For Ascher Rousseau and Shauna McCutchin, it’s more than just a blood bond. Their union is that of vampire legend. Their love is a predestined prophecy foretold centuries ago.
It’s a week before Ascher and Shauna's sealing and the couple is making final preparations for their eternity, but Ascher's ex has other plans. Ursula is hell-bent on revenge—revenge fueled by lover's scorn and her father's death—and she begins breeding a fresh army of newborn darklings to do her bidding.
When Ursula finds a new weapon—an ally with the capability to dismantle the Rousseau clan— Ascher and Shauna's bond is tested and they must stand together against Ursula or lose each other for eternity.

Book Trailer Link:

Watch the book trailer here.


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Monday, July 30, 2012

Ill Fated from the Beginning

Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser

Summary: Never before has the life of Marie Antoinette been told so intimately and with such authority as in Antonia Fraser's newest work, Marie Antoinette: The Journey. Famously known as the eighteenth-century French queen whose excesses have become legend, Marie Antoinette was blamed for instigating the French Revolution. But the story of her journey begun as a fourteen-year-old sent from Vienna to marry the future Louis XVI to her courageous defense before she was sent to the guillotine reveals a woman of greater complexity and character than we have previously understood. We stand beside Marie Antoinette and witness the drama of her life as she becomes a scapegoat of the Ancien Regime when her faults were minor in comparison to the punishments inflicted on her.
The youngest daughter, fifteenth out of sixteen children, of Austrian empress Maria Teresa and Francis I, Marie Antoinette was sent on a literal journey by her mother from Vienna to Versailles with the expectation that she would further Austrian interests at all times. Yet, Marie Antoinette was by nature far from interested in state affairs and much more inclined to exert a gracious, philanthropic role, patronizing the arts especially music, as royalty would come to behave in the nineteenth century. Despite this the French accused her of political interference and wrote scandalous tracts against her, mocking her lack of sophistication. Meanwhile, longing for a family and the birth of an heir who would have cemented the Franco-Austro alliance, the French queen had to endure more than eight years of public humiliation for her barren marriage before the delivery of her first of four children.
As these problems unfold, AntoniaFraser also weaves a richly detailed account of Marie Antoinette's other, more poignant journey: from the ill-educated and unprepared girl who sought refuge in pleasure as a consolation into a magnificent, courageous woman who defied her enemies at her trial with consummate intelligence, arousing the admiration of even the most hostile revolutionaries.
Brilliantly written," "Marie Antoinette" "is a work of impeccable scholarship. Drawing on a wealth of family letters and other archival materials, Antonia Fraser successfully avoids the hagiography of some the French queen's admirers and the misogyny of many of her critics. The result is an utterly riveting and intensely moving book by one of our finest biographers.
Review: A very thorough and very informative biography of Marie Antoinette although the book suffered from being rather dry at times. 
Marie Antoinette really is a fascinating character during a fascinating time in history. Marie Antoinette is much misaligned, both by the people of her time and people today. It's a bit harder to decide exactly how many of the rumors were actually true. It was a time of upheaval, famine, and starvation so it is no surprise that many people were eager to blame someone for their problems and the royal family is very visible. Plus, Marie Antoinette was a foreign princess and her loyalties and motives were always being questioned.  
I honestly feel that she was a little doomed from the start. It was not a good situation for her to be in and I do not think she was adequately prepared for her role as queen. Fraser provides a wealth of detail and information about Marie Antoinette. This book was a good read, but it could get rather dry at times. I believe Fraser views Marie Antoinette as being more innocent than she actually was. Sure, she wasn't as bad as people made her out to be, but I cannot believe she was as innocent as she was portrayed by Fraser.

Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that are interested in Marie Antoinette's history or the French Revolution.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey. This meme lets you show fellow readers what you have read, what you are reading, and what you will be reading.

I have not read too much this week.

Recently Read:

Currently Reading:

To Read:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Burly He-Man and a Spineless Lady

The Chief by Monica McCarty

Summary: Scouring the darkest corners of the Highlands and Western Isles, Robert the Bruce handpicks ten warriors to help him in his quest to free Scotland from English rule. They are the best of the best, chosen for their superior skills in each discipline of warfare. And to lead his secret Highland Guard, Bruce chooses the greatest warrior of all.
The ultimate Highland warlord and a swordsman without equal, Tor MacLeod has no intention of being drawn into Scotland’s war against the English. Dedicated to his clan, the fiercely independent chief answers to no one—especially not to his alluring new bride, bartered to him in a bid to secure his command of the deadliest fighting force the world has ever seen. The treacherous chit who made her way to Tor’s bed may have won his hand, but she will never claim his heart.

Although her husband’s reputation is as fierce as his manner, Christina Fraser believes that something softer hides beneath his brutal shell. But the only warmth she feels is in their bed, in glorious moments of white-hot desire that disappear with the dawn. When Christina’s reckless bid to win her husband’s love goes awry and thrusts them into danger on the eve of war, Tor will face his ultimate battle: to save his wife and to open his heart—before it’s too late.

Review: A not so romance tale of two people forced to marry with plenty of moping and drama.

I have never read anything by the author, Monica McCarty, before, but I do so love Highlanders and it seems all she writes about are Highlanders so I was willing to give it a shot. Unfortunately, The Chief was a letdown, although I never expect too much from romance novels. A good chunk of the novel was about politics and MacLeod training men so that they could fight against King Edward. While I didn't mind this fact, the training was rather boring to read through and I didn't get much of a sense of their personalities and teamwork. 

I know Christina did what she did for the good of her sister, but she was a rather spineless character. All she wanted was for MacLeod to love her because her life wouldn't be complete without her love. She was mopey whenever he was gone from the castle for a few days. He was the damn chief! He ran the castle and had responsibilities. He can't be with you every damn moment. I must admit to wanting to shake some sense into her. MacLeod was a burly he-man who had decided emotions were bad. He was about as emotionless as a stick. I honestly didn't believe the romance between Christina and MacLeod. Sure, there were some tender moments, but as a whole, I just didn't buy it. I will read the next in the series because there are nine other Highland Guards and I hope the others have better romance stories than MacLeod.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those who enjoy historical romance, especially romance involving Highlanders.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Whole Lot of Nothing

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Summary: Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. 

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

Review: A disappointing sequel to Hex Hall with a love triangle and very little action.

It's been a while since I read Hex Hall, but I do remember that I enjoyed it. It was an enjoyable young adult supernatural school book. Unfortunately, Demonglass did not live up to the first book. I was a little lost when I began the book since it had been so long since I had read Hex Hall, but the book did a good job of catching up the reader without resorting to obvious info dumps. 

The book had a surprisingly lack of action. Most of Sophie's time was spent in the mansion and wondering around the grounds. There was plenty of moping and pining for Archer. I don't know why she has any feelings for Archer since he seems to be the standard unattainable hot guy who also wants to kill her kind. Cal was slightly better, but seemed to have the personality of a log. Sophie was a bit too sarcastic for my liking. I'm plenty sarcastic, but sarcasm has a place and should not be over used. The only real action happened at the end of the story, but what led up the ending has me intrigued enough to read the final book in the series.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that have read the first book and I would recommend the series to those that enjoy young adult supernatural fiction.

Interview with Rafael Chandler, Author of Hexcommunicated

Today I will be interviewing Rafael Chandler, author of Hexcommunication.

What are your favorite book(s)?

It's a long list, but here are my top three:

Imajica, by Clive Barker. I didn't know what to expect from this novel, but what I got was the strangest of fantasies and the most epic tale of magic and reconciliation that I've ever read. Gorgeously written.

It, by Stephen King. Of all his novels, this is the one that I return to time and again. Pennywise is easily the strangest of all entries into the Lovecraftian Mythos, and one of the most horrific.

Neuromancer, by William Gibson. Completely changed my view of what science fiction could be like. From the opening sentence, I knew that I was reading a very powerful novel: bleak, nihilistic, and frighteningly believable. And Molly Millions, the street samurai with razor-sharp finger-blades -- who doesn't love her?

Who is your favorite author?

Clive Barker. I've read all of his novels and short stories, and I'm anxious to read The Scarlet Gospels. His turn of phrase is intoxicating, his characters are powerful, and I'm blown away by his take on werewolves ("Twilight at the Towers"), vampires (The Thief of Always), and fairies (Weaveworld). And let's not forget, this is the man who gave us Pinhead.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from everyday life; I simply superimpose the supernatural over everything I see. When I read about terrorist attacks, I imagine werewolves hunting them down. When I'm waiting for a flight at the airport, I envision severed hands crawling over screaming passengers. As I navigate a busy street in a crowded city, I see Cthulhu toppling buildings, swatting steeples, crumpling trucks.

Friends, family, and strangers take on supernatural qualities: fangs, tentacles, claws, a hunger for flesh, a thirst for blood. I see a car and I imagine it flipped over with a writhing obscenity trapped inside, surrounded by flamethrower-wielding werewolves.

How do you get into video game writing?

A few weeks after graduating from college, I saw an ad for a job testing video games. I quit my position as an editor with a major company, took a huge pay cut, and started testing video games for Electronic Arts. Sixty-hour work weeks, no benefits, low pay, and the best job in the world. I had some real good times and made great friends. Then the studio shut down.

I took another editing job, as you do when you've got a degree in English Lit, and while trying to scheme my way back into the video game business, I self-published a role-playing game called Dread: The First Book of Pandemonium. It was fairly well-received, and it got me a job interview at Ubisoft, where I wound up working as a writer and designer for the next three years.

But all roads lead to Rome: for someone interested in video game writing, it's possible to transition from another medium (such as writing fiction, comic books, TV, or film). Or one may well enter the industry as a designer or producer or programmer, and later migrate into a role focused on narrative.

The key is to remember that jobs are scarce: a 100-person studio may employ dozens of programmers and artists, but only one writer. Therefore, you've got to keep your expectations realistic, and you may need to relocate to another part of the world for work.

What was your favorite aspect of working on video games?

I love the idea that the participant is going to be interacting with a story that I've created. A host of challenges are created by this opportunity, and creating an immersive experience requires the writer to be disciplined, organized, and methodical in her or his approach to the narrative. I've developed an appreciation for spreadsheets, folder organization, and good note-taking.

Also, I've been lucky enough to work on several high-profile titles. It's insane to think that millions of people have been exposed to my writing.

Another thing worth pointing out: free beer. At work. No joke. That's how we do it in the video game industry.

What made you decide to self publish?

I've worked with major publishers before (as a nonfiction author), and for Hexcommunicated, I never even considered pursuing the traditional-publishing route. For me, complete ownership and control of every aspect of this novel was critical. I had no desire to give anyone else the ability to alter my plot or characters, or to select the cover artwork, or to manage the approach to marketing, or to change the book's price.

The PDF version of my latest role-playing game, Spite, sold for $6.66. I really doubt any publisher would have come up with that price point, but given the subject matter (hunting and killing angels), it seemed appropriate.

I started self-publishing 12 years ago, with the release of my first role-playing game, so for me, the issue of self-publishing's legitimacy was put to rest a while back. I've bought indie novels, and traditionally-published novels, and you get the good and the bad in either case. Same goes for movies and RPGs and music and video games.

What was the hardest part of writing a full length novel?

It was a challenge to control the flow of information. Introducing readers to the world of Hex Division, and the Force Amplified Entities (FAE), required me to develop a back-story, but I was then required to parcel it out, rather than dumping it in slabs of exposition. I learned to integrate the details of a complex world without slowing down the action or interfering with character development.

Why do you love horror and vampires?

Horror has always fascinated me. I grew up on a steady diet of late-night slasher movies on HBO while the gum-cracking babysitter skimmed gossip mags. I read horror novels by Stephen King and Clive Barker, and I listened to heavy metal music with lyrics about demons and serial killers.

I'm enthralled by the predatory nature of vampires: they bite, they feed, they kill. Sure, there's variety: some vampires seduce, others simply attack and mangle; some are polite, some are feral. But they're all hunters, and to them, we are a source of sustenance. It seems such a horrific way to die: to be consumed by another living creature.

Personally, I prefer my vampires to veer towards brutality and animalistic hunger. My favorite depictions of vampires include novels like Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot and Richard Matheson's I Am Legend, comic books like 30 Days of Night, and films like Near Dark and Blade 2.

Tell us about your new novel.

Nick Tepes is a federal agent with Hex Division. He's also a vampire. He likes fried chicken, beer, and breaking necks.

Nick's having a hell of a night. First, he's sent to find and kill a rogue vampire. Then he gets word that a psychic has foreseen Nick's death: in eight hours, a beautiful woman is going to kill him.

It gets worse: the Al-Hazred terrorist network, who were responsible for the horrific attack on the city of Providence, have now targeted Nick's hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina. According to the psychic's vision, Nick will be murdered just after the terrorists complete their attack.

The Hex team has one night to prevent this prophecy from coming true, but the psychics of Hex Division are never wrong.

Hexcommunicated is an urban fantasy thriller featuring Fearwolves, Soultergeists, Lovecraftian horror, vampire-versus-zombie action, and a ferocious romantic subplot between Agent Tepes and the woman who may well prove to be his own assassin.

About the Author

Rafael Chandler writes video games. His titles include MAG, Final Eden, SOCOM 4, Rainbow Six: Lockdown, Gangstar Rio: City of Saints, Deep Black: Reloaded, and Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation. He's also the author of The Game Writing Handbook, which was a finalist for the 2007 Game Developer Front Line Awards. When not writing novels or video games, he designs tabletop role-playing games, including The Books of Pandemonium, Mall Jongg, and the upcoming Necrotroph. He lives in North Carolina. For more information, please visit http://www.rafaelchandler.com, or find him at Amazon.

Blood Bounds Tour Release Blitz Day: Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Blood Bonds
Series: The Progeny Series, #2
Author: Ashlynne Laynne
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Erotica,
Publisher: Novel Concept Publishing
Release Date: July 14th 2012
Pages: 320


Book Description:

Forever. For always. For eternity.”

The ties that bind two hearts are powerful. For Ascher Rousseau and Shauna McCutchin, it’s more than just a blood bond. Their union is that of vampire legend. Their love is a predestined prophecy foretold centuries ago.
It’s a week before Ascher and Shauna's sealing and the couple is making final preparations for their eternity, but Ascher's ex has other plans. Ursula is hell-bent on revenge—revenge fueled by lover's scorn and her father's death—and she begins breeding a fresh army of newborn darklings to do her bidding.
When Ursula finds a new weapon—an ally with the capability to dismantle the Rousseau clan— Ascher and Shauna's bond is tested and they must stand together against Ursula or lose each other for eternity.

Book Trailer link:


Shauna wavered dizzily as her sister’s words resounded in her head. She’d endured his ridicule and constant put downs for most of her teenage life. She’d begged her mother to move in with her when she left, but she decided to go back with him. Shauna thought back to the day she left—the last time he’d ever lay a hand on her. Unable to control the rage, she shook violently.

Shauna!” Katy shouted. “Are you okay? Do I need to call Ascher?”

Shauna said nothing as she stood in silent shock, the repressed memories flooding her. Suddenly, she saw herself lying in the floor, her father standing above her cursing and screaming. “Son-of-a-bitch!”

The window flew open.

Ascher!” Katy screamed, as she grabbed hold of her sister’s arm in an attempt to comfort her.

The floor shook beneath their feet and the walls vibrated with her ire. The memories washed over her, bringing the fury and wiping her mind clear of everything else.

The picture of Andreas Rousseau fell from the wall as the room continued to quake with her anger. A crystal vase of red roses flew across the room, shattering into glass powder. Shauna released an ear-piercing scream, as a crash of thunder boomed outside.

Shauna?” Katy gasped as she now cowered in the far corner of the room.

Talking about their childhood really chafed Shauna. She knew that she’d have to bring closure to it for her sanity, but all she could think about when she thought of Gregory McCutchin was blood, destruction and fire. She wanted him to hurt as much as they did and to pay for what he’d done.

Goddesses as her witness, she’d make him suffer. “He will pay for what he’s done.” Her voice was shrill, menacing and multi-layered—like the voice of a demon in a horror movie. “Goddesses be my witness, he will pay with his life!”

Ascher yelled, “Shauna,” as he furiously attempted opening the locked door.

Katherine, dearest, are you okay? Can you get to the door?”

No, I’m afraid to move!” Katy replied.

Stay out of here,” Shauna ranted, her mind hurling the desk at the door.

She’s raging,” Katy shrieked. “It’s really bad!”

Shauna’s determined mind was insistent on keeping them out. She pointed towards the heavy wooded bureau, sending it flying across the room, wedging it on top of the desk and against the door.

Gabe!” Katy called out with a freaked out look on her face and fear in her voice. “Oh God, Shauna. No.”

The bed levitated above the ground, hovering and twisting in the air before she made it zip out through the glass balcony doors.

Dizzy and dazed, Shauna’s body slumped, falling to her knees.

Shauna!” Katy screamed again.

Closing her eyes, her head pounded with pain as Shauna furiously chanted, asking for guidance and strength to control her rage.


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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Beginnings of Bloody Mary

Mary, Bloody Mary by Carolyn Meyer

Summary: The story of Mary Tudor’s childhood is a classic fairy tale: A princess who is to inherit the throne of England is separated from her mother; abused by an evil stepmother who has enchanted her father; stripped of her title; and forced to care for her baby stepsister, who inherits Mary’s rights to the throne. Believe it or not, it’s all true. Told in the voice of the young Mary, this novel explores the history and intrigue of the dramatic rule of Henry VIII, his outrageous affair with and marriage to the bewitching Anne Boleyn, and the consequences of that relationship for his firstborn daughter. Carolyn Meyer has written a compassionate historical novel about love and loss, jealousy and fear--and a girl’s struggle with forces far beyond her control.

Review: A good introduction to the Tudors and an enjoyable story of Mary's formative years.

Since this book is written for young adults, Mary is portrayed very much like a child and teenager throughout the book. I cannot picture her acting like she did at many points throughout the book, but it does make sense for a young adult book. Mary is portrayed as a very innocent, very good person. As a few reviewers have mentioned, it is hard to reconcile the Mary in the book to Mary as queen. It does show how the uncertainty in her early life and how she was treated would affect her as an adult. 

This book covers a lot of time and skimps on a number of important events. It also leaves out much of Mary's religious beliefs and convictions, which were a big part of what made her become Bloody Mary. I remember a few mentions of going to Mass. Religion would have been a huge part of her life and it should have played a bigger role. The other characters in the book were quite one dimensional and did not play much of a role in the story. I plan on reading the other books in the series.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy historical fiction, young adult historical fiction, or the Tudors. 

Chain Reaction Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Chain Reaction
Series: Phenom League, Book 1
Author: T. C. Archer
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Words: 65,000

Book Description:

Former Chicago Detective Jordan Pierce put his life on hold in order to protect America's secret weapon against the Nazis, The Manhattan Project. But he can't protect himself as his humanity is eaten away by a mysterious disease that destroys him, while at the same time makes him more powerful than any man he's ever known. Jordan finds out how much the disease has devoured his soul when he falls in love with the woman who might destroy America and tear apart his last shred of humanity.

Buy Links:


A moment later, I halted in front of the closed door where Dr Nichols waited. The name painted on the glass read: Dr Enrico Roma, the alias of the great scientist and Nobel Prize laureate Enrico Fermi. The alias didn't fool anybody but the ignorant. Light shone through the milky glass window. I blew out a breath. The last thing I wanted to do was interrogate a hysterical woman.
I opened the door and stopped dead at the sight of a shapely blonde leaning against Fermi's mahogany desk. I stared as realization sunk in that the Veronica Lake look-alike standing there was the same egghead pictured in her personnel file. The glasses she'd worn were absent and, despite the red-rimmed eyes and drawn expression, the single overhead light warmed the creamy complexion that had looked bland and colorless in the photo.
Thick blond hair slid across her face in a broad wave and flowed down slim shoulders. Suddenly, I understood the reasoning behind the functional bun in the picture. Despite the legs that mesmerized a man all the way down to the high heel straps, the tweed skirt and blazer she wore emphatically stated the bombshell figure was off limits. But the moment a man laid eyes on her luxurious hair all bets were off. My breath caught with bloodlust as I drew in her scent from across the room.
Gray-blue eyes stared from behind the drape of blond hair. Her gaze flicked to my waistband and I realized she'd glimpsed the colt holstered beneath my suit jacket.
"You wear your gun like a gangster," she said.

I startled. Her voice, low and sultry, held a shaky note, but I knew the remark was payment for my staring.
"This incident requires I carry a weapon." My drill sergeant used to berate any reference to the word gun. "Your gun is between your legs, son. Your pistol or rifle is called a weapon."
She continued to stare and guilt stabbed at me. She'd discovered a colleague who'd been brutally murdered, and I stood in the doorway gawking at her. I swallowed, feeling like a school kid.
"Dr Nichols, I'm Agent Pierce, head of nightshift security." Her fingers tightened around a lace handkerchief gripped in her right palm. I didn't want to step closer, but had to. Her pheromones were making my blood, or what was left of it, crave an infusion from her veins. "What happened?"
Her gaze dropped to the hankie and she began working the fabric with both hands. "I was working late and needed Leon to come to the lab. I couldn't get the Geiger counter to calibrate. I knocked. When no one answered, I opened the door and…" Her eyes swung up to meet mine. "So much blood." Her gaze remained locked with my eyes as if demanding a response.
"I'm sorry," I offered. "I thought you were assigned to dayshift."
She swiped at the corners of her eyes with the handkerchief. "I switched shifts yesterday so Leon and I could calibrate the new equipment."
I nodded. The scientists worked a twelve hours on, twelve off schedule seven days a week. We were in a race against Nazi scientists while men died in Europe, North Africa, and the Pacific. "Did you notice anything unusual tonight?" I asked.

"Hear anything strange on the way to Dr Heinrick's office, pass anyone in the hall?"
She shook her head. "Maybe he's still here." Something in the way she stared at—through—me,
searching for answers and fearing what she might find, threatened to tip me off balance. "The murderer is gone," I replied in a level voice.
"How do you know?"

"A hunch," I said, and meant it.

"Why kill Heinrick?" she said. "Why not Compton or Fermi? But Heinrick…" Her voice trailed off.

"Are you saying Heinrick didn't know anything worth killing for?"

"I suppose we all know something worth killing for. Each scientist on this project is top in his or her field. But the project will go on without Heinrick. If we lost Oppenheimer, or Fermi, the project would be delayed, if not brought to a standstill."

"Did you enter Heinrick's office?" "No, I took one look and ran."
The response, given without hesitation, or guile, made me wonder if this woman ran from anything.
"This was the first office I came to," she said.

Her story made sense, and my instincts said she was telling the truth. I had learned to trust my sixth sense, especially the last eight months. This ability was another one of those things I couldn't explain, like being conscious of the way her pheromones where working on me double-time.
"Are you staying in the dorm?" I asked. She nodded.
"I'll have someone escort you there."

Desire to go with her shot to the surface with the heat of a volcano. I pictured white skin, full breasts, and blond hair between perfect thighs. I forced my breathing to remain even, and the swelling in my shorts abated. I'd never experienced such sudden, intense lust. If I escorted her back to her room I would drink her blood—and God only knew what I would do to her afterward. My pulse jumped with the thought of her warm blood flowing past my tongue down my throat… and her tight walls closing around me as I entered her.
"I have to complete my measurements before the day shift," she said. I jarred from the erotic thought. "There's not enough equipment to go around," she added.
I nodded. "Of course."

Clipped footsteps sounded almost noiselessly on the linoleum floor of the hallway and I recognized McHenry's walk two seconds before Dr Nichols's eyes shifted over my shoulder.

I glanced back to see him standing in the open doorway.
"The general wants to talk to you."

A measure of sanity reasserted itself. I had to get away from her, now. "Could you escort Dr Nichols back to the lab?"
His expression lightened. "No problem." He stepped aside and motioned toward the door with an open hand. "Dr Nichols."
She cast me a farewell glance and headed toward the door. I tried tearing my eyes from the gentle sway of hips as she walked past, but couldn't, and felt the heat swell to the surface again. I had to find one of the small rodents whose blood I drank to keep my thirst for human blood at bay, or go back to Heinrick and hope the congealed blood in his decaying body would make me forget the craving. Rising desire twisted my insides and I feared even Heinrick's dead blood wouldn't work against the warm, pulsing blood of Dr Nichols.

About the Author:

T. C. Archer is comprised of award winning authors Evan Trevane and Shawn M. Casey. They live in the Northeast.

Evan puts his Ph.D. to good use by writing about alternate realities, and Shawn channels the mythology and philosophy she studied during her wasted youth into writing about exotic places and times.

Evan and Shawn write romantic sci-fi, paranormal romance and romantic suspense.

Find the Author:

Website | Facebook | Twitter: T.C. Archer@TCArcher | Blog | Goodreads


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Monday, July 23, 2012

Big Deal Vol 2: Lesson in Betrayal Blitz Day: Excerpt

Big Deal Vol 2: Lesson in Betrayal by Katsura and Yuramei
Fergus and the gang return in another passion-packed, erotically charged black comedy-yaoi caper complete with hot full-color illustrations, that will have you on the edge of your seat right up until the very last page.

After the dust has settled on the disastrous bank robbery that almost spelled the end of one of the sawn off shotgun wielding wise guys, there is the little matter of dividing up the loot. Every man is eager for his cut, but there’s just one problem. It seems that one of the greedy gangsters has helped himself already!

Was it the scar faced Rasputin, who’d been left alone with the lolly and an age old grudge? Could it have been the bed hopping bisexual Judas MacGregor’s pierced and perfect protégé, Vinny? Or has Vinny been too busy finding out just why the yakuza-like bodyguard, Cain, is known as The Legend?

The beautiful brothel keeper, Mikhail Majewski, is keeping a low profile while all of this mayhem has been going on. He’s not answering Fergus Campbell’s numerous texts and phone calls. Has he absconded with the readies? Or is he just a little bit tied up at the moment?


If you are trying to avoid something, like say for instance, you wish to lose weight and feel that to cut out chocolate would help you get into that size ten sooner, it is never wise to assume that you could sample some of the sweet confectionery and not want more.

Mikhail Majewski was the owner of a successful brothel and for most his life lived under the impression that there was really no such thing as love. Then straight out of the blue it seemed, he fell head over his fancy heels for Fergus Campbell, a local gangster who also happened to be married. Now, it did not bother Mikhail at all that Fergus was already taken, as although many men claim their marriage to be over whilst in the midst of starting an affair, for Fergus this age old excuse was actually true. Fergus was married to a neurotic young alcoholic named Hugo. A needy little psychopath with a penchant for meddling.

Perhaps bizarrely, Mikhail had a hand in the rescue of the relationship between Fergus and his husband. The brothel keeper found love to be such a stressful state of being and knew that Hugo needed Fergus more, so it had just seemed like the right thing to do.

But as he stood outside of Fergus’s club, The Flying Garter, he told himself over and over again, he was only there as a friendly gesture. He would see how Fergus was, ask politely after Hugo and then he would leave.

He lifted his chin resolutely, then hastily pulled an ornate little mirror from out of his pocket. He checked his features before he applied some powder to his already perfectly made up face. To describe Mikhail as effeminate would have been an understatement. He wore as much make up as a woman would, perhaps even a little more and arranged his platinum blond hair in angelic curls around his quite beautiful face. Today, much like all days, he dressed from top to toe in white. Even his high heeled boots were white, the gold buckles on the side of them an echo of the many gold chains that he wore and the multitude of pale jewelled rings on his fingers.

A few tentative steps brought him towards the door to the establishment, where Rasputin, Fergus’s bodyguard and doorman, opened it for him without his needing to knock on the red painted wood. Of course, a club owned by a Campbell would have security cameras trained on the entrance. So had Fergus observed Mikhail’s cautious arrival? He dearly hoped not. Rasputin was a fearsome looking individual with a long scar that ran up one cheek and straight though a rather milky looking useless eye. Mikhail, however, had met him before and was not so taken aback by his appearance.

“Come on in, Mr Majewski.” The brutish sounding man held the door to let him pass and Mikhail walked into the club with as much confidence as he could muster. His heels clicked sharply on the dark wood of the floor, creating an assertive echo that in no way reflected how he actually felt.

Fergus sat at the bar with a newspaper in his hands, a coffee cup at his side. No steam rose from the cup so it appeared that he had let it go cold and Mikhail stared at him, battling with the urge to just to walk back outside again, climb into his limo never to return. Although he was without a doubt a violent man, Fergus was extremely handsome. He had dark collar length hair, grey eyes and naturally tan skin. A small amount of perfectly sculpted stubble accentuated his strong chin and framed his attractive mouth. He wore a crisp white shirt and Mikhail let out a helpless sigh as he noticed how the finely toned muscles of the broad back and arms underneath still showed through.

Clearly overhearing the sigh, Fergus turned his head a fraction. His eyes widened in recognition, then he turned fully, a warm smile on his lips. “Mikhail!” He got up from his seat and walked towards him and Mikhail had the sudden compulsion to embrace him but he knew that Fergus wouldn’t like that. Not such an open display of affection in a public place.

“Hello, Mr Campbell.” Mikhail extended his hand and as Fergus reached to clasp it in his own, the smile slipped from his lips.

His eyes betrayed a touch of sadness. “Mr Campbell is it now?” He nodded slowly and his fingers still held Mikhail’s in a gentle grip. “I suppose I really do deserve that. So what can I do for you, Mr Majewski?”

Mikhail angled his head and looked at him sorrowfully. “No please, Fergus…I meant nothing by addressing you as Mr Campbell…I just…I was not so sure that you would want to see me and—“

“Mikhail, please.” Fergus took him firmly by the elbow and led him to the private office next to the bar. Even though Mikhail still felt rather awkward, he had an inward thrill at the touch of the other man’s strong hand.

As soon as they reached the privacy of the small room, Fergus first closed the door, then he took both of Mikhail’s hands and he held them in his own. “Do you know that I have been frantic with worry about you? Wondering why I didn’t hear from you? You just…you just decided yourself that you were going to leave me to Hugo and you never even wondered if that’s what I wanted?” He stared into Mikhail’s eyes, his expression one of obvious loss and Mikhail looked back at him imploringly.

“Fergus, it was for the best. Hugo needs you.” He wanted to continue but Fergus shocked him by allowing Mikhail’s hands to drop from his grip. Fergus began to pace around the room and Mikhail was unsure of what to do. At a zoo in Poland, Mikhail once saw a male cheetah that had been separated from its mate and newly born young. The dangerous looking predator could see its family through the bars but could not touch them. Clearly this was a precaution in case the animal decided to kill the cubs. Fergus reminded Mikhail of the poor creature as he prowled back and forth, his mind clearly in some kind of turmoil over their enforced separation.

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Katsura is an avid collector of Asian Ball Jointed Dolls (BJD) and when not writing she is cuddling her favourite boy, Judas and buying him new things.
She enjoys writing black comedy and yaoi, which she works on with talented artist Yuramei, and is a huge fan of British comedy, especially vintage movies. She has had her comedy scripts performed in and around the stand up scene in Glasgow, the city in which she was born.
Katsura lives in Scotland, and likes nothing more than to travel up north and look at the hills.


Yuramei is predominantly an artist but also writes her own Yaoi fiction. She currently lives in Germany and enjoys playing action games, smoking, BJD, drinking coffee and being a slave to her pet cat.