Month: March 2017

Ashael Rising _Blog Tour – Excerpt

Tour banner ASHAEL for JENNY

Ashael Rising Cover

ASHAEL RISING

By Shona Kinsella

BLURB

Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.

The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.

Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of the folk that were taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance.

When Iwan and Ashael meet and she invites him to stay in Oak Cam, neither of them realise that she is the one the Zanthar seek. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on Ashael’s shoulders.

EXCERPT

‘Lady Merelle, you sent for me?’ Meegrum said, entering Merelle’s chamber and looking around. ‘Where are your maids?’
‘I told them to leave.’ Merelle’s voice came from behind an elaborate screen on the other side of the room.
‘Your husband would not approve of us being alone, my lady.’
‘My husband is an oaf. What do I care for his approval?’ Merelle snapped.
Meegrum eyed the door, wondering if Varald was due to return soon. ‘Why did you wish to see me?’
‘How is Daven?’ Merelle stepped out from behind the screen, wearing only a thin, loose-fitting robe. Meegrum could see the shape of her body beneath it and quickly averted his eyes.
‘My lord is well. He is enjoying the celebrations,’ Meegrum answered, looking over Merelle’s shoulder.
‘You never could lie to me, Meegrum,’ Merelle said, stepping in close and allowing Meegrum to smell her perfume.
‘It is no lie, my lady. Only yesterday, Daven was laughing with joy.’
‘Was it at the expense of another?’ Merelle asked.
‘Did you have some reason for bringing me here, Merelle?’
‘Ah, there’s the man I know; no false courtesies.’ Merelle walked over to the sideboard and poured two glasses of wine. Her robe slipped as she handed a glass to Meegrum, exposing the skin of her shoulder.
‘Perhaps you should put on something more suitable before your husband returns.’
‘Varald has gone hunting with the king. He will not return until sometime this evening, no doubt drunk and poorer.’
‘And your son?’
‘With his bride.’ Merelle sipped the wine thoughtfully. ‘Have you given any thought to what you will do when Daven is gone?’
‘Gone where?’
Merelle tutted. ‘Now, now. We both know that he will not be successful on this campaign of his. He is too weak, too bitter. When he fails again, the king plans to execute him. What will you do then?’
Meegrum swallowed hard. He had faith in Daven and knew there was far more to his plan than Merelle was aware of, but to hear the future pronounced so baldly was difficult. ‘Of course my lord will succeed. But if he were to fail, I am sure the king would see me executed also. He has never had any love for me.’
‘Daven is your saviour and your curse. He allows you to use the Old Magic, granting you life despite your low caste. But in the doing, he has made you many enemies in the court.’
‘You tell me nothing I do not know. Do you have a point?’
Merelle leaned in so close that Meegrum could feel the warmth of her body. ‘Come and serve in my household. I will continue to allow you the Old Magic.’
‘Why would you do that?’ Meegrum scoffed.
‘I seem to remember that not all of you is small,’ Merelle said, grabbing the front of his breeches. ‘It’s been a long time since my needs were met.’
‘I cannot betray Daven,’ Meegrum said through gritted teeth, but already his body was responding to Merelle.
‘I seem to remember a similar conversation when I was his wife but it didn’t stop you then.’ Merelle began to undress him.
Meegrum looked into those grey eyes and saw his own desire mirrored there. ‘It is a dangerous game you play, Merelle.’
‘Then I hope you’ll make it worth the risk,’ she answered, stepping back and letting her robe fall to the floor.

BIO

IMG_20160313_132359

Shona Kinsella is a fantasy author who lives near the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, in the west of Scotland. She is a member of the British Fantasy Society where she writes reviews of indie books. Shona has a degree in Law from the University of Strathclyde where she learned a lot about narrative structure.; everyone loves a story.

Shona enjoys spending time outdoors and much of her writing is inspired by the environment that she lives in, at the edge of Scotland’s first national park. When she is not writing, she enjoys geocaching with her husband and children and reading as many books as she can get her hands on.

BOOK LINKS

www.unbound.com/books/ashael-rising
https://www.facebook.com/ashaelrising/
AUTHOR LINKS

www.shonakinsella.com
Twitter: @shona_kinsella
Instagram: shona.kinsella

Endless

Endless horizon,
I keep on searching for the end,
The pain, the suffering,
The hurt, the harm,
When will this end?
Those monsters gnawing me from inside,
When will they leave?
This ocean of ordeal,
When will it meet the land,
The land of fulfillment, contentment,
Of peace, tranquility,
Love and light?
When?
In this endless horizon,
I keep on walking,

Searching for the end…..

Above poem is in response to:

https://scvincent.com/2017/03/09/thursday-photo-prompt-horizon-writephoto/

Dead over Heels – Book Review

DEAD OVER HEELS
by Theresa Braun

Published
by: Frith Books

Publication
date: November 16th 2016


Genres
: Adult, Horror, Paranormal, Romance

SYNOPSIS

Veronica’s first date with Sebastian not only stirs up a powerful attraction, but also a series of supernatural events that will tear them apart.

After countless hours of dead end online dating, Veronica meets up with Sebastian at a reportedly haunted restaurant, since he knows she has a fascination with the paranormal. While enjoying their meals and each other’s company, they share a shocking supernatural experience. Their romantic connection is overshadowed by the ghosts of their own pasts that threaten to destroy their budding relationship. Veronica decides she must return to the restaurant to face her past and dig up more answers. Unfortunately, she realizes she must go back, this time with a reluctant Sebastian. In the end, they join forces against the evil that stands between them, but will they make it out alive?

REVIEW

​This short story opens with the narrator and her boyfriend sitting in a police station, then it goes back into the past, a month ago, their online meeting, and then a date. In the The River House restaurant, where they went for their date, they notice a couple, but the waiter firmly believes that no one was sitting on the table they were talking about. Then as their relationship proceeds, their past revisits, secrets are spilled and soon their lives goes topsy-turvy….

Dead over Heels story was actually- eerie-creepy-scary and thrilling. It kept me on the edge of my seat, almost throughout the book. Definitely it was a quite a engaging read. 

The story line was good, it was predictable at parts but mostly unpredictable. I even loved the predictable parts.

Though this story had a supernatural/paranormal angle, but it didn’t feel much unbelievable. The story just kept me so engrossed, with a pageturner effect that I somewhat didn’t get the time or desire to judge it’s believability.

“It’s not the way I wanted to spend eternity with the man I love, but it will have to do. At least we’re together. If only he could see and hear me. I won’t ever give up trying, though.”~Veronica

The climax, was chilling and horrifying, being true to the genre horror.

 The romance between the leads was sweet, a nice reprieve from the scary experience.

Overall I would say it was quick and engaging read that I recommend to all horror lovers.

LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🎐

(4 stars)

* I got this book through the Review Opportunity of Xpresso Book Tours*


Corrupt Me – Book Review

CORRUPT ME
By Jillian Quinn
(Philly Corruption #1)

Publication
date: January 17th 2017

Genres
: New Adult, Romance

SYNOPSIS:

Izzie Rinaldi has everything going for her. All she has to do is make it through her senior year of college, and then she’ll be off to law school, one step closer to assuming her position at the head of her family’s empire. After a chance encounter with the campus bad boy, Izzie can’t get him out of her head.

Luca Marchese, the smooth-talking son of the most notorious man in Philadelphia, is used to getting what he wants. He hasn’t forgotten the girl he knew as a child, and now that he has Izzie’s attention, Luca will stop at nothing to have her.

Luca’s defiance of the law turns Izzie on more than she cares to admit. She wants Luca to corrupt her in every way possible, despite his reputation as the king of one-night stands. Their attraction is undeniable, but their desire for one another isn’t enough for Izzie to overlook visits from federal agents and the potential ruin of her family.

Linked to Luca and a criminal underworld, Izzie discovers she’s more like him than she thought. But a future with Luca could mean swapping her diamond bracelets for a pair of handcuffs.

*Corrupt Me is a standalone novel that is the first book in the Philly Corruption series.*

REVIEW:

Luca Marchese, a Don’s son and Izzie, granddaughter of one of the richest man, know each other from the childhood. Back in the wine cellar they had their first kiss when they were still very young but soon after their families severed ties and and they got separated. They again meet eachother in the college, but Izzie kept her distance from him, because she is still a bit heartbroken and also because Luca’s manwhoring ways also came to Izzie’s ear. Also Izzie thought their families won’t agree if they start off anything between them. In senior year, Izzie bumps into Luca. Their attraction is undeniable and with Luca continuously pursuing her, Izzie may soon have to reconsider her decision to stay away from him…..

I would start off by saying that I liked both Luca and Izzie’s characters. Both had really strong personalities. Even though Luca’s father was a Don but he preferred to learn law and become a lawyer. Luca never wanted to be a criminal like his father. Izzie on the other hand, though she belonged to a rich household but she worked really hard to get into the college and also for the position in her family empire. She will never take any shit from anyone. I also liked her snappy comments.

I loved their love story. It was at place cute and funny, and at other times there were some really intense and passionate moments. I especially liked that part, where Izzie was drunk but Luca didn’t take the advantage of the situation, even when Izzie in her drunk state asked him to have sex with her.

For steam lovers, in the later half, there was also some really sexy in between sheets action.

“You are my family now. I’ve never felt like I was part of something, other than a company, until I met you. You are my everything. Without you, none of this matters to me .”~Izzie

This story also gives a kind of inside story of some big empires and how they work. I am not saying that whatever is told in this novel is the story of every other business empire, but is definitely for some. These big empires present their company as spotlessly clean but inside they can be really immoral and corrupt.

The last few chapters were especially very exciting with FBI behind Luca and Izzie’s grandfather and the only key to save them lies in Izzie’s hand, but there was a lot at stake for that key to be used. So how eventually things got sorted out, made the last bit interesting. Also some long kept secrets were spilled out and traitors in both sides were discovered.

Other than these I really liked some small characters like Luca’s mom, Mark, Luca’s friend among others.

Overall I would say I loved Corrupt Me and would recommend this book to all romance lovers.

LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🎐🔸

(4.5 stars)

*I got this book through the Review Opportunity of Xpresso Book Tours*


All That Glitters_Book Tour

~ All That Glitters by Liza Treviño ~

Book Tour – 1st to 10th March




Book Details:


Title: All That Glitters – A
Tale of Sex, Drugs and Hollywood Dreams

Author: Liza Treviño

Genre: Women’s Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Koehler Books 

Published Date: March 1, 2017

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1633933083

ISBN-13: 978-1633933088



Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon




Synopsis:

Alexandria Moreno—clever, sexy, ambitious and, at times, self-destructive. She blazes a path from Texas to Los Angeles at the dawn of the 1980s to make her dreams of becoming an A-list Hollywood film director come true. She and her best friend arrive in Los Angeles with little more than hope and the determination to make it big. Alex, a beauty as dark and mysterious as her scarred heart, stands at the bottom of the Hollywood mountain looking up, fighting for her chance to climb to the top. Will her quest to live fast and take no prisoners on her way to success destroy her in the end?


All That Glitters is a women’s fiction Jackie Collins-type saga that introduces a strong, driven Latina heroine at the center of a rags-to-riches story spanning a decade of action. Along the way, Alexandria walks the fine line separating ambition and self-destruction, and discovers that some sacrifices will cost her everything.


What early readers are saying:


“Treviño tells her story with wit, intelligence, and an undercurrent of sadness at the plight women face to make a name for themselves as human beings instead of strictly as women. Treviño may have cloaked her ideas in entertaining vignettes and snappy dialogue, but underneath is a bite that stays with you.”

— Jonathan Marcantoni, author and publisher of La Casita Grande Press.

“Liza has a way of taking you with her as she tells this very compelling story. She draws readers in with her as she describes scenes and characters with colorful detail and vivid imagination. This story is a testament to it’s title: it really glitters!”

—Reesha Goral, author, The Servant Boy

“With distant echoes of Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls in the background, Alexandria Moreno, the protagonist of All that Glitters, chases after the allure of Hollywood, all the time substituting pills, booze and sex for genuine happiness. It is only after she reaches success that she has an awakening leading her to realize the emptiness of her aspiration, and finally accepting true love. Kudos to Liza Treviño for giving us this unique image of the New Latina! I urge reading All that Glitters. You won’t regret it.”

—Graciela Limón, author


Read an Excerpt:



Los Angeles

Oscar Night, 1990
When did things start going wrong?

Alexandria Moreno gulped another swig of champagne from the bottle. She picked at its broken gold foil. It was the same stuff she used to buy back in the days when spending more than ten dollars on bubbly was an extravagance. Now she sat in the best limo money could buy, inching along the craggy hillside road waiting for her turn to put in an appearance at the first of many scheduled post-Oscar parties. She was obligated to dole out heartfelt hugs and kisses to any of the beautiful people who might want one. Tonight, everyone was going to want a piece of her. She was the girl of the hour.

Until recently, Moreno had been an unknown writer-producer. She rocked Hollywood, winning Academy Awards for Best Director and Original Screenplay for the lushly violent, low-budget film, Win or Lose. Moreno, widely considered a dark horse contestant in the Oscar race, was the first  woman to be nominated, and win.

Two golden statues for writing and directing lay on the limo’s floor and the vehicle glided to the top of Hollywood’s heights. Beyond the winding canyon road, the Los Angeles electrified grid shimmered like Moreno’s own personal cauldron of gold. She understood that more than just a movie had won tonight.

She had won.

So why doesn’t it feel better?

Why don’t I feel better?

Despite everything she’d done to reach this moment of glory, Alex understood that none of it mattered. Not one bit. No matter what happened to her, she was still alone and drinking the same convenience-store champagne.

“Want some of this blow, babe?” Nick sniffed and dropped his head back with a slight shake, giving the chemicals a little jumpstart in the brain he liked to say.

“No thanks,” she said, “I don’t want to mix tonight.” Alex turned her attention from the scrubby hillside to handsome Nick Sirianni sitting across from her, casually relaxed in his Armani tuxedo. Though he favored stiff Wall Street suits, Nick was always casually relaxed due to the fact that he was worth millions from a Hollywood Midas touch.

Alex heard Leonard Cohen’s gravel-rubbed, breathless voice floating faintly through the air, crooning his patented melancholy love proclamations, and she couldn’t help but let her eyes wander along Nick’s impeccably tailored suit. Her hands absently grazed the familiar bluish-purple marks on her wrists currently hidden under make-up.

Nick’s thin lips curled into a slow, understanding grin. “Fine, but I have some X for later, and I don’t care what you’ve taken already,” he said in a tone Alex had learned not to question. “I’ve got plans for you, babe.”

“I guess it’s gonna be a long night.”

“The longest ever.”

Alex could tell he had taken off. She absently twirled a lock of her black, shoulder-length hair.

“Hey,” Nick nudged her leg with his polished leather dress shoe, “let me see.”

“Not right now.”

“I’m not asking, Alley Cat. Let me see. And do it right.”

Alex locked eyes with him, but she relented.

She found the fold of her straight wraparound skirt of crepe and beading that draped to the floor. She peeled it back and uncrossed her legs beneath the gown, giving Nick a peek-a-boo of her

narrow ankle and high-heeled foot. She loosened her knees, proving to Nick she’d followed his instructions.

Nick looked her over and loosened his collar.

“Good girl,” Nick said and shifted toward her, the leather seat creaking beneath him. He knelt between her legs and softly traced the length of her pale grey stocking from her shoe, along her leg, up to the matching garter, and over her supple brown thigh exposed between the garter and its straps. Nick kissed her just above where the stockings ended. He breathed in deeply and peered up to her.

“I gotta have a taste, baby,” he said and dipped his handsome face between her thighs.

Alex sighed and sank back into her seat.

How did things get so out of control? Isn’t tonight supposed to be everything I’ve worked for? Everything I’ve sacrificed for? Or, what I’ve sacrificed everyone for?

Alex knew she had purposely cut off anyone who had the misfortune of ever giving a damn about her. And there were such people.

It certainly wasn’t Nick. She’d made her deal with this particular devil nearly a year ago. Things between them were comfortably tawdry. Nick owned her. She knew it. He knew it. They had an understanding.

A flicker nudged her: so many things that could have been. She took another swig of champagne, letting the alcohol’s fizz and burn push everything back into the darkness.

Alex registered Nick’s velvet tongue expertly stroking her crevices, and she couldn’t help but give him all the access he wanted. She felt him smile when she dropped her head back and settled deeper into the limo’s bench. The car halted forward and the lazy, swaying sax turned up the tension in Cohen’s sonic plea for love.

Alex peered beyond the cracked sunroof, searching the starless LA sky for some answers. A corner of the tinted sunroof caught her faint reflection and she saw a vacant-eyed, thirty two-year-old wasted stranger. She’d never known herself less than at this moment. Her passion for work was burned out and, even tonight, she couldn’t muster excitement. Now, everything was just a game requiring too much effort.

She shut her eyes tight and sucked in air sharply, breathing in the car’s mixture of broken-in leather and artificial lemon scents. She clasped at Nick’s broad shoulder, wringing the expensive jacket sleeve as if it were nothing more than a cheap cocktail napkin. After a moment, she relaxed.

Nick brushed a sweet kiss on her inner thigh before he returned the thin black crepe material of her skirt to its full length. He slid back to his seat across from her and smoothed his hair back.

“Damn, you taste good, honey.” He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

“We’re next in line, ma’am,” the chauffeur’s voice crackled through the intercom. The limo moved into place with a definite stop.

Nick grinned. “It’s show time, Alley Cat.”

The cool night air took Alex by surprise as she waded into the sea of people and flashing cameras. She staggered, unsure she could move.

“One foot in front of the other,” Nick said in his soft voice through her hair. “I’ll get you a drink once we get inside.”

Alex smiled serenely and nodded. She focused on the live band somewhere in the distance belting out a Sinatra standard. Her eyes found the majestic Griffith Observatory looming in the distance, hovering above the white party tents.

Inside, the camera flashes kept coming.

“And here we are,” Nick offered as he swiped a couple of champagne flutes from a roving waiter’s tray. “This should get ya right, babe.”

Alex took the glass automatically. Another bulb flashed near her and she saw blue sprinkles. She regained focus quickly, but then her stomach dropped. Across the room was the last person she wanted to see.

◊◊◊
Jamie Douglas stood out in any crowd. Angular looks punctuated by oceanic blue eyes, a naturally lean athleticism, and down-to-earth boyishness had made him a reigning movie star around the world for almost twenty years. And right now, Alex saw Jamie’s eyes find hers through the crowd. When they caught each other, a flash sparked between them like one of those popping camera bulbs. Jamie’s surprised look gave way to a lopsided grin; it was a look so familiar to her.

Alex registered Nick snake his arm around her thin waist and she broke her gaze from Jamie.

“Okay, Alley Cat, time for our victory lap.”

“Perfect timing,” she said.

Timing—everything always came down to timing. It seemed to her that her timing had always been off. Not crazy off, just that extra millisecond that pushed everything either too early or too late. And now, she understood that it was too late.

Suddenly, she couldn’t bear to go through with the whole charade of tonight. Maybe, she couldn’t even bear to go through with the whole charade of her life any longer. Just leave, a soft voice whispered inside her head. There’s nothing written you have to stick around. It’s practically programmed into your DNA that you’ll be checking out of this world early.

All at once, Alex understood that simple fact. She, Alex Moreno, would leave Los Angeles tonight as anonymously as she had arrived nearly a decade earlier. She knew that wasn’t an entirely accurate account of how she’d started.

Now I’m alone, and that’s just how I knew things would always turn out.
Author Bio:

Liza Treviño hails from Texas, spending many of her formative years on the I-35 corridor of San Antonio, Austin and Dallas.  In pursuit of adventure and a Ph.D., Liza moved to Los Angeles where she compiled a collection of short-term, low-level Hollywood jobs like script girl, producer assistant and production assistant.  Her time as a Hollywood Jane-of-all-trades gave her an insider’s view to a world most only see from the outside, providing the inspiration for creating a new breed of Latina heroine.




Catch Up with Liza Treviño on her Website

Glorious end

Spring means new,
Spring means life,
Spring means beauty in the facade of change.
New leaves grow,
Old leaves bow,
Replacement in full blow,
Taking cue from the season,
I wanna change,
Everything bad, everything not so good,
People holding me back,
People sucking me dry,
People, things everything.
This season for a change,
Let’s bring the change,
Make a new page,

A beginning with glorious end.

Above poem is in response to:

https://scvincent.com/2017/03/02/thursday-photo-prompt-spring-writephoto/

Giggle

Tonight I want to make you giggle,
Giggle, giggle till your head jiggles,
Giggle till your stomach aches.

Each time I see you my stomach lurch,
I wanna make love,
But not tonight,
Some Night definitely,
Tonight I just want to make you giggle,
Till your pain dissipates,
Till your despair precipates.