Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Publishers Choice: Holy Socks and Dirtier Demons

Publishers Choice: Holy Socks and Dirtier Demons
Barnes & Noble:

A thirty-something ex-soldier, a narcissistic angel, a Zen-spouting Buddhist, and a demonic feminist search for a kidnapped Baby Jesus in an attempt to stop the coming revelation.

     I drove the Gremlin through the deserted streets of Newark, New Jersey, with trepidation. Lilith, in the seat next to me, flexed her fingers on a big-ass gun, a .50 caliber Smith & Wesson Magnum 500 big-ass gun. This gun could take out a brick wall, three bodies, and a cow if fired right.
     “It’ll be okay.” I glanced at her for the tenth time, reassuring her more than myself. After all, I had nine lives and a moronic angel to watch my back. What did Lilith have? Me. Yep, she was good as fucked.
     “Stop saying that!” The crack of her palm against my jeans clad leg emphasized her desire for me to shut up. “Let’s just find the child and get the hell out of here.”
     While that was my plan, I couldn’t help but think it would be nice to know who pulled the strings. Neutralize that threat, and I’d have no more worries.
     The obvious answer was Satan, but why? And why now? The Alpha and the Omega guaranteed one thing, real estate prices in hell were about to skyrocket.
     “Pull in there.” Tapping the Jesus GPS planted in the dashboard of her Gremlin, Lilith grinned, and then pointed to a dark underground parking garage in the worst section of the city. Even the cops refused to stumble around down there.
     I did as she asked, braking hard as we slipped through the concrete structure. “You’ll be able to track the kid?”
     She nodded, pulling the Jesus GPS from the dashboard. It resembled a cell phone but thinner. We exited the car, taking a minute to adjust to the stench of New Jersey, and car exhaust. Once we got our bearings, she booted the GPS up, and blinked at the glaring beaming of light that burst from it.
     I jumped back, afraid of being burned by the whiteness. The light circled the car, and exploded into fifteen different glowing pinpoints.
     One of the beams shot through my chest. An odd feeling, sort of like a caress, but amplified by a couple thousand volts. It wasn’t exactly painful, but it also wasn’t a feeling I’d want to repeat. The light winked out after a few seconds, and I felt saddened by the departure.
     “What the hell was that?” I rubbed at the place where human had met flashlight.
     “Have you ever heard the saying: God works in mysterious ways?” Lilith smiled, and pointed the tracking device into the air. The beam changed from a stream of white lights into one beacon of blue. “He’s close.”
      A trace of sulfur swirled around us. “He’s not the only one. Move it.” I pushed Lilith toward the underground elevator, but it was too late.
Five demons appeared. Pishachas, or Hindu demons by the look of them. Bulging veins, red eyes, and the stench of curry swirled around them like a chorus line in a Bollywood musical.
     “Liyliyth.” They danced in unison, tails wagging. “We missed you.”
     “Friends of yours?” I gestured to Lilith and pulled my nine-millimeter.

Monday, June 15, 2015

New Prints in Old Calico Review from TRS

New Prints in Old Calico
Jennifer Lynn
Time-travel romance
Champagne Books
ISBN: 978-1-77155-128-1
May 2014
Amanda Bradshaw’s life consists of working at the New York Public Library, volunteering at the museum and spending the rest of her time in her apartment reading or watching old movies. Her favorites are Westerns when men protected the women they loved with everything they had.
Amanda is excited to be helping with the Old West display as the school teacher at the museum but the mysterious new curator gives Amanda an uneasy feeling. When his outright scrutiny becomes uncomfortable, Amanda intends to confront him about it. With all the courage she can muster, Amanda faces this mystifying man…..and falls straight into the Old West.
While Amanda is confused about what happened, Matt Mallory knows exactly why he brought her there.
This author has put together a time travel romance that is imaginative and the cast of characters is wonderful. The classic western characters are all here; the rancher, the school teacher, the boarding house owner, the saloon owner, the Marshall, the cowhands. They all make the story come alive. One of my favorite characters is Chili Bob, the ranch cook. His take on what his boss should do is very entertaining.
The dialogue and story flow with only a bump or two that do not distract the reader from what is going on. Sometimes an author messes up the dialogue by trying to be too precise with the dialect. Not so with this author. I didn’t have to try and figure out what everyone was saying.
I normally read spicier romances but this one peaked my interest so I decided to give it a shot. I am so glad I did. If you want romance with a touch of sexy to it, this is the book for you. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was romantic, lively and fun. Just the thing for a lazy afternoon read.
Overall rating: 4hearts
Sensuality rating: Mildly Sensual
Reviewer: Theon

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Interview with Julie Eberhart Painter

Audra Middleton, one of our awesome authors, hosted her CBG colleague Julie Eberhart Painter on her blog. Here is a little taste of their chat:

"The laughs continue here on my blog, with more humor author interviews! Today Julie Eberhart Painter is my guest.

Thanks for joining me today, Julie. Why don't you start by telling us, what is your favorite style of comedy?

Puns/plays-on-words and irony. Or there’s nothing like the shaggy dog stories; those run-on funny tales where the listener starts to laugh in anticipation. My favorite example is a delightful Irish folk song called “Why paddy won’t be in to work today”. It incorporates exaggeration, physical humor and disbelief. We heard it sung in a Irish pub. 

You can see it coming. Paddy is a construction worker responsible for carrying bricks to the top floor of an ongoing building site. He’s a bit lazy, Paddy is, figures out (erroneously) that he can use the pulley method for bringing them up so he doesn’t have to make so many trips carrying them a few at a time. Paddy completely forgets to factor in his own weight. 

He is in for the “ride of his life,” suffering numerous injuries, but always hopeful and then apologetic. So as Paddy sustains blow upon blow and fails at every “good” idea he thought would save him effort, we see graphically why Paddy won’t be coming into work today or for a few days more …" 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Amber Prelude Excerpt

Amber Prelude
An Amber Gifts story
By Kevin B. Henry
Fantasy/Steampunk Mystery

When it’s sunny with a chance of time travel, where would you go if the world was at your feet and an assassin was on your trail?


Mitchell's story continues by taking us to the very beginning, to the first jump in time he ever made.

Mitchell didn't really believe the story the Man told him-- take a sip and speak a year. He whimsically chooses a historic event to witness. Little does he know he will become part of that history. Faster than you can say Teithwyr Amser, Mitchell is chasing a bona fide assassin not only across America but across centuries.

Mitchell travels from the America he knows to France and Africa through decades and centuries he is unfamiliar with. While he chases authentic villains, he makes historic friends, all in an attempt to set history back the way he remembers.

1963: New Mexico

“Excuse me?”
I had considered myself stuck in this year; that I’d live the next few years of this decade and die at the beginning of the next. I was comfortable knowing when I was going to die. I had been ready to die before I received the vial. It had never occurred to me I could jump a second time.
“Yeah, you can go anywhere else you want. Just stay on this side of your birthday.”
“You’re kidding me,” I said feeling stunned, but new possibilities were slowly creeping toward my brain. The canvas of my life just got much larger.
“Son,” Gil said in amusement, “I was in 1911 Detroit before I came here to find you. I was watching the Tigers play. Cobb was in the middle of a forty game hitting streak. It was a glorious series to see. Of course the man was a real piece of work, but a hell of an athlete.”
“Ty Cobb?”
“Yep, Cobb and Joe Jackson will duke it out during the season for the batting title. Cobb would win eventually, but at the time I left there wasn’t much difference between them.”
“How is any of this possible?” I knew a little baseball. I knew about Shoeless Joe and everyone knew who Cobb was.
“It’s time travel, son. The vials work the same for everyone. Put some drinkable water in it, then drink it, say the year you want to go to, and you’ll go there. You said 1963. You landed in New Mexico. If you had said 1863 you would have landed somewhere else. I picked 1918 once and landed in Chicago.”
“This just isn’t possible”
“Welcome to a whole new world, son. Fifteen hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat. And yesterday, you knew that time travel was impossible. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.”
I paused. “You realize you just quoted a Will Smith movie that won’t exist for over 30 years, right?”

“Love that scene by Tommy Lee Jones. It’s the best one in the whole movie. Ever see him in that Ty Cobb movie?” Gil smiled.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Jack Kane and the Statue of Liberty Excerpt

Jack Kane and the Statue Of Liberty
By Michell Plested and J.R. Murdock
Steampunk Fantasy

Jack Kane, self-declared protector of 1896 New York, must solve the mystery of exploding ships and thwart the diabolical mastermind with plans for America’s overthrow.


He ground his teeth together. “If one of you don’t tell me in the next minute what I want to know, I shall have you both killed. Is that understood?”
“Yes, sir,” both henchmen said in unison.
Felonious looked at them. They looked back.
“Not as such, sir,” Minion one said, his voice barely audible.
“I’m sorry,” Felonious said. “I didn’t quite catch that.”
Lenny sighed. The breeze almost knocked Felonious over. “No, sir. We didn’t sink it because the other ship hit the explosives and blew up. There was nothing left to blow up the French ship with. I tried to move the bomb, but all I managed was to get caught up in the blast myself.”
Felonious turned his back to the men and stared out the window. “You mean to tell me I give you two one thing to do—blow up the dirty French dogs and their abomination of a statue—and you can’t even get that right?”
He paced. “I thought I had the right men for the job when I hired you two. Now I find out I was wrong.” Felonious spun about the room, speaking to himself—the only person he trusted. “I was so certain you two were the right men. But if I was wrong, what am I going to do? I can’t have you two going around telling the world I was wrong. What would people think?”
“Boss, youse wasn’t wrong,” Minion one said. “We are the right guys for the job. It wasn’t our fault the wrong ship hit the bomb. The current grabbed it and carried it into the other ship’s path.”

Felonious continued talking, ignoring that the goon had spoke at all. “What should I do with these two? Perhaps I should simply kill them. Isn’t that what happens to people who fail?”

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Unbalanced Excerpt

By Courtney Shepard
Paranormal Romance

The Order, more violent than any regime, more secret than any society, and more ruthless than any empire is on the hunt again.


In the Order’s dank dungeon cell, Asha awoke on the slab. How did she get there? She’d been crying on the ground, defeated and terrified. How could she even have fallen asleep? The place’s energy was off, dark and suffocating. Shame crept over her; she was acting like a pussy.
Father Sean would show himself, but being the coward he was, he hadn’t yet. He’d managed somehow, to mute, or pause her power, and she had to admit however he’d done it, it was impressive. Without her power, they had a better chance of getting whatever they wanted from her.
The lock clicked. Here we go. A man in black robes opened the door and held out a tray. She would have tossed it in his face, but he beat her to it. He threw it like a Frisbee, and the food sailed through the air, splattering her as well as the stone walls. Before she could get to her feet he slipped out and locked her door again.
She wasn’t sure what scared her more, black robes, or the white lab coats she’d expected. Unpleasant shivers of new fear crept over her skin.
Where was she?
Clay returned, and she watched him enter. His eyes were soft again, but hardened as he took in the mess.
“What happened here?”
He must’ve assumed she’d had a tantrum and tossed her food on the flood like a toddler.
He stepped closer and reached out. She backed away.
Stand your ground.
But she couldn’t and backed into the cold wall. The cold stone froze her skin through her clothes. She pushed away and slammed into Clay’s body. His arms wrapped around her. She stiffened, but didn’t pull away.
He lowered his lips to her ear and horrifying shivers rolled through her body.
“You scared me last night,” he whispered.
His breath tickling her skin was the first warmth she’d felt since waking up there.
Last night? What happened last night?
He touched her cheek with his fingers and rubbed his forehead against hers. She closed her eyes and tried to ignore the heat and tingling spreading through her. His lips pressed against her cheek, and her heart pumped faster as he moved lower.
He kissed her and electricity coursed through her. His lips were gentle, but the zap was strong.
Stop you fool.
She pushed back and swung. In his dazed stupor, she caught him unaware and cracked him hard on the jaw. She should have broken something, a tooth at least, but his head barely turned.
“What the hell are you doing?” she yelled.
He moved to the other side of the cell, and when he turned, he stood with his back against the wall. He stayed, and left, and then returned again, spending silent hours in her cell, fueling her rage. He wore his soldier persona when he entered, but it would fade over time and he’d be the handsome doctor again. His voice, stance, and eyes softened. He coaxed her to speak, to let him explain, but she ignored him.

It was her stupidity, her urges. Jesus. Whatever it was, it was her. She let down her guard. She fell for him when she knew better than to trust anyone.