Archive | October 2013

Displaced by J.F. Jenkins

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Displaced by J.F. Jenkins

Series: The Achlivan Cycle

Release Date:  ?

Publisher:  Self-Published

Pages / File Size: 362 Pages

Source:  I received a copy of this book by the publisher

Tags: Sci_Fi

Blurb:

Chevelle Donahue thought going into work would be just like any other boring day at the mall. Sure, there was her annoying co-worker Wicken Sanders, and a promotional visit from teen heartthrob Timber Hudson, to watch and keep her entertained. But who was she kidding? Working retail was lame no matter what happened.
A terrorist attack changes everything – an attack from aliens of all things. The patrons are given two options: comply or else. Complying means giving in to a new set of rules and changing her entire life. “Or else” means she has no chance of going home again.
She must figure out the truth behind why the aliens are holding everyone hostage. In doing so, she risks her chance at freedom – but by the time she learns what’s really happening, she might not want it.

Review: I read the blurb of this book and didn’t know if it was really what I normally read or not. I went ahead and took a chance. It isn’t what I normally read but by the end I really enjoyed it.

Chevelle  is in college and works at the biggest mall that anyone would ever want to work at. She doesn’t know what she wants to do yet so she just takes some classes. That can’t be said for her co-worker Wicken. He is always telling her about the women he is with and that he is working several jobs so that he can afford to go to school. She knows that some famous person is in the mall because she can hear the screaming of teenagers. She finds out that it is Timber Hudson. He is a great actor but when he comes into the toy store that she works in he is dressed up as a nerd and to say that Wicken and Timber don’t get along is saying a lot.  When they hear people screaming and running they know something is going on.  All of a sudden they hear a voice and they g o to the break room.

They are in the back of a store and they have a six year old girl that was in the store. When the voice of an alien comes over and tells them that they have a certain amount of time to come to a certain place without trying to get away and they will be treated very nice. Little do they know they will be taking to a spaceship by aliens called The Achlivan’s. Nothing is as it should be. They know that they aren’t being told the whole entire truth. Chevelle and Timber is put together to be a couple. Wicken tried to get away because he thought he could get away and ends up in the pit. There is a certain thing you have to do and certain rules you have to follow.

I got really caught up in this story. I liked the characters and the story line. I wasn’t sure because I thought it took a little bit to get into at first. There were so many interesting things going on in this book and you don’t start finding out what is really going on until almost the end of the book and the way it ends make you want the next book. I thought everything was starting to go good with everyone and just all of a sudden it starts taking a turn. Now I will be checking all the time to see when the next book comes out. I will say that if you like books that have aliens in them and you just want something different then this is the book for you.

Favorite Quote:

hearts 4Flames 2

Reviewer: Crystal N.

Purchase links: http://www.amazon.com/Displaced-The-Achlivan-Cycle-ebook/dp/B00DTLOZ30/ref=sr_1_sc_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1383105722&sr=1-3-spell&keywords=J.F.+Jenkens

Review: Crystal N. Displaced by J.F. Jenkins

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Happy Halloween! How about some spooky reads?

Ghosts and goblins and witches Oh MY! What to read in this spooky season

Like a good ghost story? Try Joya Fields, Hauntings at Inner Harbor series
41iJMsOJS4L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_When by-the-numbers accountant Rob Morrison, a skeptic of all things paranormal, moves into a new apartment and discovers it is haunted by the corporeal ghost of a beautiful woman, he must hastily reconsider his beliefs and revisit his painful past.

With no memory of her time on earth, Angie Barsotti doesn’t understand why she’s compelled to visit the same apartment every night as a ghost caught between two worlds. If she’s to have a chance to move on, she needs to find the missing pieces of her life and death through the man who lives there…if only he’d believe in her.

Together they struggle to find the truth about her death and stumble upon a very pleasurable way to time travel, hopeful they can prevent her death. But someone doesn’t want them to discover the truth. And if she’s human again, will she have any memories of her time as a ghost…and more importantly, will she remember the man who helped her find her way?
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After losing her father and brother in the line of duty, Missy Prescott vows never to get involved with anyone who has a dangerous job. Blessed with a golden voice, she takes a job as a disc jockey with her own late-night lovelorn dedication show on a popular radio station in Baltimore.

Blake Decker has never had a family. He has come to count on the only family he knows—his brothers on the police force. He’s a one-night-stand kind of guy when it comes to relationships.

Betty McAllister, the caring woman who used to live in Missy’s apartment, is now a ghost. She refuses to cross over until Blake—whom she viewed as her own son—is happily in love. She thinks Missy is the perfect girl for him.

Missy and Blake need to keep each other at a distance as they work together to help Betty find a way to cross over. But when danger lurks, will Missy and Blake lose everything?

A Ghost and a Witch, Carrie Ann Ryan’s
charmed spiritsBook 1 in the Holiday, Montana Series
Jordan Cross has returned to Holiday, Montana after eleven long years to clear out her late aunt’s house, put it on the market, and figure out what she wants to do with the rest of her life. Soon, she finds herself facing the town that turned its back on her because she was different. Because being labeled a witch in a small town didn’t earn her many friends…especially when it wasn’t a lie.

Matt Cooper has lived in Holiday his whole life. He’s perfectly content being a bachelor alongside his four single brothers in a very small town. After all, the only woman he’d ever loved ran out on him without a goodbye. But now Jordan’s back and just as bewitching as ever. Can they rekindle their romance with a town set against them?

Warning: Contains an intelligent, sexy witch with an attitude and drop-dead gorgeous man who likes to work with his hands, holds a secret that might scare someone, and really, really, likes table tops for certain activities. Enough said.

Not ghosts, but some seriously spooky para normal, Sharon Buchbinder’s
obsessionA year after a barbaric childbirth, complete with a near-death experience and an encounter with her guardian angel, Angie Edmonds is just happy she and her son, Jake, are alive. She’s finally in a good place: clean, sober, and employed as a defense attorney. But at the end of a long work day, she finds herself in a parent’s worst nightmare: Jake has been kidnapped and taken across the Mexican border by a cult leader who believes the child is the “Chosen One.”

Stymied by the US and Mexican legal systems, Angie is forced to ask the head of a Mexican crime syndicate for help. Much to her chagrin, she must work with Alejandro Torres, a dangerously attractive criminal and the drug lord’s right-hand man. Little does she know Alejandro is an undercover federal agent, equally terrified of blowing his cover–and falling in love with her

Some witchy women” Regan Hasting’s Vision of Magic series:

51+fXzDyENL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-71,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_In the ten years since magic has reemerged in the world, witches have become feared and hunted. For weeks Shea Jameson has been haunted by visions of fire. When she unintentionally performs a spell in public, she becomes one of the hunted. Her only hope is Torin, a dangerously sensual man who claims to be her eternal mate.
51Adt7xP4-L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-71,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Every witch has a destined mate, an Eternal who will serve as her guardian and complete her powers. Once the first of the coven has awakened, the witches must race against time to join with their Eternals and protect the relics that will prevent the destruction of the world….

Deidre Sterling is tired of being used. Her mother, the President of the United States, uses her as a prop for the television cameras. And men only pursue her for political connections. Determined to stand for something, Deidre throws herself into causes like the fight for witches’ rights, but ends up stepping into the line of fire.

Finn has waited eight centuries for his mate—united they will be a powerful weapon. Unfortunately, she wants nothing to do with him. Even after gunfire awakens her powers and a kiss from him engulfs them in flames, she refuses to take the final step. But as the world burns and her duty becomes clear, she realizes that some passions are worth paying the ultimate price….
513dbkWGffL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-71,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Teresa Santiago has awakened her abilities to summon lightning but is unable to control her power-or her attraction to Rune, her Eternal protector and destined partner. Now, Teresa and Rune must locate a missing artifact of unimaginable power before it unleashes the forces of darkness on the world. But with enemies both mortal and magical on their trail, Teresa and Rune discover that only through sacrifice will love conquer all…
Christine Feehan’s Drake Sisters series:
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Welcome to Sea Haven. Here you can discover the very latest news about my Drake Sister Series. Having ten sisters (and three brothers), I found it impossible to resist writing a book about the magic of sisters. I love this town, the occupants, and especially the seven sisters. I hope you enjoy your visit to Sea Haven!
One of my favorite series of all time, Jean Johnson’s Sons of Destiny series:
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So here are just a few of my favorite spooky reads. What are yours?

Cover Reveal ~ Dicker ~ Aubrey Brown

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by Aubrey Brown

Synopsis:
Anna Snowe knew she was destined to marry a duke. Her father drew up a contract, creating a dicker between four families. Her sisters, year after year, marry as Anna waits for hers. Rumors and cuts from his society break poor Anna’s heart and leave’s her wanting to stay unwed.
The duke travels through embittered cold when his missives go unanswered. He needs to marry Anna before New Year’s Eve, or he will have to pay back her dowry ten-fold and then face disgrace. However, Anna is not to be found. He ensues a chase during the winter Holidays.
When he does come upon his bride, he is immediately enthralled by her beauty. After a time of seduction, Anna relents and marries her duke.
Troubles begin to brew as David denies his feelings for his wife. Anna leaves once again heartbroken to Wales to seek solace with her family. Secrets are revealed, leaving David in want of his wife. With his heart on his sleeve, he runs yet again for his wayward wife. Will a simple dicker keep them together or will true love prevail?

Want a Little Magic in Your Life? ~ Wish Club ~ Kim Strickland

WishClub FInalCoverWish Club
by Kim Strickland

BLURB:
Claudia, Lindsay, Gail, Mara, and Jill are about to find out that the old adage is true—they really should be careful what they wish for. At first their book club was like any other: talking, drinking wine, and maybe even discussing the book they’ve read. But when they read a novel about witchcraft and jokingly try one of the spells . . . it works. Naturally the women are freaked out at—they’re not witches! But what could be the harm in lighting some candles and making little wishes? Everyone has wishes—the perfect man, more time to yourself, a little extra cash . . .

When their book club morphs into “Wish Club,” the ladies find their real gift is for conjuring trouble. Their wishes start going awry, and they find themselves in strange, hilarious, and in some cases even dangerous predicaments. But as they search for someone who might be able to help, each of the women begins to discover that she may have the ability to make her own wishes come true.

BUY LINKS:
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Wish-Club-A-Novel-ebook/dp/B000QXCZWM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1382650433&sr=8-2&keywords=down+at+the+golden+coin

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wish-club-kim-strickland/1100265740?ean=9780307394330

Also available as an iBook in the iTunes store.

EXCERPT:
Chapter One

Claudia climbed the uneven wooden steps to Gail’s Victorian wondering if anyone else would show up, wondering if maybe, from now on, Book Club might be just herself and Gail. She pressed the doorbell and waited, staring at the sorry-looking ears of Indian corn hanging on The door.

A harsh wind blew in from the lake, which was visible during the day at the end of Gail’s Edgewater street. It would be cool, Claudia thought, to live this close to the water. Although Claudia suspected the real reason Gail loved this neighborhood was because it reminded her of her edgier days. Tonight the lake at the end of the street was invisible, a black void, and Claudia hugged herself against the chill.

“Hey! We were beginning to wonder if you were going to show up.” It wasn’t Gail, but Lindsay who opened the door.

“Am I late?” Claudia looked at her watch as she stepped inside. It was only ten past seven. Her eyes met lindsay’s. “You mean everyone’s here?”

Lindsay closed the door and stepped around Claudia. “Everyone,” she said, popping her eyebrows as if to say, I told you so. She reached out her hand for Claudia’s coat, which Claudia took off and handed over, staring past Lindsay into Gail’s living room.

All five Book Club members were there. Everyone.

***

With wineglasses in hand, they took their seats on the two couches in Gail’s front parlor, Lindsay managing to snag the high-backed, Queen Anne chair in between them. Claudia suppressed a smile; even subconsciously Lindsay thought she was the queen bee. And it was, of course, Lindsay’s voice that quickly broke through their chatter. “I’m so excited about what happened last time. I think this group has a lot of positive energy.”

Well, that took less than thirty seconds, Claudia thought.

Gail set a tray of vegetables, fruit and cheese down on the coffee table and stood her nearly six-foot frame up to full height. She ruffed her spiky white-blonde hair with one hand, her dark roots showing, almost as long as the blond ends. “Tonight,” Gail gave Lindsay a look before she turned toward the kitchen, “I think we should try to focus our energy on the book we’ve all come here to discuss.”

As she watched Gail, Claudia twirled the ends of her own dull brown hair, the same color as Gail’s roots. Although she had to admit the idea of being able to work magic had its appeal–like maybe it could give her the courage to do something new with her boring hair— Claudia wasn’t sure she wanted Book Club to change. She thought, like Gail obviously did, that Book Club should probably continue to be Book Club and that the previous month’s digression into the occult should remain an anomaly.

“Oh, I loved the book.” Mara hugged her copy of Home to her chest. “I just cried and cried at the end.” She shook her head and sniffed when she said this, as if she were going to reenact her tears. Mara had a large face, a fat-woman’s face. Claudia was always a little surprised whenever she noticed the tiny body beneath it. “It was so lovely,” Mara continued, sniffing, her cheeks flushed. “Sad, but lovely.”

“What about his wife and that other woman—they stay friends?” Jill asked from her seat on the couch next to Mara, the two of them contrasting against each other like fire and ice: Jill’s cool elegance, Mara’s warm frumpiness.

Jill was fabulously turned out tonight in her trademark black Prada. Combined with her long black hair and fair skin the outfit made her blue eyes leap out, the effect of which, Claudia was certain, Jill was not unaware.

“I find it hard to believe they stay friends,” Jill continued, “especially after all that.”

“They were friends for a long time,” Gail walked back into the room carrying another tray, this one full of pastries and chocolates. “They were friends since way before he came along.” She put the tray on the table and took a seat on the couch next to Claudia.

“Well, I hope I don’t have any friends like that,” Jill said, biting the head off of a broccoli floret.

Claudia pushed her glasses up higher on her nose before she spoke. “She doesn’t leave Joseph in the end, because Joseph is her home. She came home and he was there, where she was at home, and so, she decided to stay…where she felt at home and comfortable…you know, at home. With him.”

“That’s just the kind of insight we expect from our English teacher.” Lindsay’s sarcastic comment got a laugh from the group.

Claudia made a face at her. Thanks a lot.

“Well, there’s no place like home.” Mara giggled.

Lindsay used a wicked-witch voice to add, “And your little dog, too,” and it made Claudia realize just how much Lindsay resembled not the Wicked Witch of the West, but the Good Witch, Glinda, with her heart-shaped face and her perfectly curled shoulder-length blond hair. It wasn’t hard to imagine Lindsay with the gold crown, either, enveloped in a cloud of taffeta. She even had a proclivity for pink.

“I was hoping it would take longer than this before we started quoting witches.” Gail rolled her eyes and tossed her copy of Home down onto the coffee table.

“I got some books about witchcraft.” Mara watched for their reactions as she spoke, her eyes rapidly moving from face to face. “I’ve been reading them since—well, since, you know. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I really think there is something to it, something to what we did last time.”

Lindsay clapped her hands together. “See? See? I’m telling you, there is.”

“I need a drink.” Gail got up and walked to the dining room, where the bar was set up.

“Gail, now, come on.” Lindsay sat with perfect posture at the edge of her chair. She turned her entire body to face Gail. “You know we really should talk about this. It’s unhealthy to keep things inside and all repressed.”
Claudia watched Gail’s face contort as she repressed a comment, probably one concerning the healthiness of too much therapy.

“I just don’t think we should put any weight on what happened last time.” Gail paused. Wine burbled into her glass in the silence. “I think we all had a little too much to drink and we got all caught up in ghost stories and witchcraft and what-not.”

“I’m with you,” Jill said. “I don’t think we can take credit for stopping the rain or putting out that candle. It was just a coincidence. All that chanting was just silliness. I mean, honestly.”

Gail nodded her head and flipped the palm of her free hand up to the ceiling. Exactly, her face said as she walked back from the dining room to join them.

“But what if we did do it?” Mara asked. “Wouldn’t it be a shame if we just stopped and never found out if that chant or spell or whatever it was actually had worked some magic?”

Mara could be like a terrier at times. It was a feature about her they all found simultaneously annoying and endearing. Mara could belabor a plot point or character trait to death, like that time at a previous meeting when she’d kept insisting Ignatius Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces was not crazy. When Mara argued, Claudia could almost imagine her teeth grinding into the book jacket while she thrashed it around in her mouth, an image reinforced by the fact that Mara’s curly black hair was turning to salt and pepper: in other words, terrier gray.

“Don’t you want to explore this at all?” Mara continued. “I can’t believe you’d just let it drop, forget about it like it never happened. Think about what it could mean if it did happen. I think we need to look into this, just a little bit. To make sure. Wouldn’t it be magnificent if we really could use our energy to make changes? And I’m not just talking about clearing the skies for the squash festival like in The Kitchen Witches, either. I’m talking about helping each other.

“These witchcraft books I’ve been reading, they talk a lot about controlling your reality—and your destiny—and it doesn’t have as much to do with eye of newt and hemlock as it does with harnessing and controlling your own energy and using it for good.”

Hmmm. Working magic. Controlling your destiny. The idea was beginning to grow on Claudia. Perhaps bringing Mara into this group would turn out to be one of her better ideas.

“I’ve read about this before, too,” Claudia said, adjusting her glasses again. “It’s in a lot of New Age literature. They talk about how women used to always meet for healings and to pray for good fortune, and to celebrate, but how, as our society became male-dominated, this stopped, and the women who did this became labeled as witches—because the men were afraid of their power as a group.” Claudia, happy she’d found her voice again, pressed on. “It’s why thirteen is an unlucky number. It’s the number of moon cycles and women’s cycles in a year.
It’s all related.”

“Well, the book I read,” Gail said, “was written by some crackpot from the sixties. He said you could use lemon and salt to break the effects of a negative psychic attack, you know, like the evil eye.”
The women looked at Gail.

“What?”

No one said anything.

“What?” Gail asked again. “I don’t get to go out and buy a book on witchcraft? I just wanted more information, that’s all.” She stopped. “It was a used book. It’s not like I’m buying into this or anything.”

“Who else bought a book about witchcraft this month?” Lindsay had her hands on her hips, her ringleader pose. She looked first at Claudia, who shook her head “no,” and then Jill, who did the same. She reached down into the large Vuitton bag next to her chair and pulled out two books of her own. Mara took three books out of her tote bag. Lindsay looked up at Gail.

“Well?”

Gail sighed,then got up and went to get her used 1960’s crackpot book.

Lindsay set a huge Benton’s Grimoire on the coffee table. “I am absolutely intrigued by witchcraft.” She started flipping through the grimoire’s glossy pages.

Gail’s eyes met Claudia’s. Here we go again.

“Lindsay,” Gail said, “I don’t think I have the patience or energy to endure another one of your trendy obsessions. Remember that Japanese Tea Ceremony? And I know I don’t have the time to endure whatever the witches equivalent might be.”

“But this is different,” Lindsay said, pulling the grimoire off the table and onto her lap, sinking back into the wings of her chair. She looked over the book, her chin lifted slightly off to one side.

Claudia could tell Lindsay wasn’t really reading. In fact, she was pretty sure Lindsay’s eyes couldn’t even see the pages, the way her eyebrows had pulled together in a look of bemusement. Everything about her seemed to ask, That Tea Ceremony wasn’t so long, was it?

“What I think Gail means is,” Claudia raised her eyebrows at Gail, “she’s not ready to buy into witchcraft or any whole new belief system, based on one controversial night and some anecdotal stories in some books.” For all of

Lindsay’s bravado, Claudia knew inside lay an extremely sensitive soul. “Gail? Am I right?”

Lindsay flipped a page of the grimoire.

Claudia clenched her jaw and thrust her chin toward Gail, widening her eyes.

“Right,” Gail said.

“It’s not like I’m trying to convert anybody.” Lindsay looked up from the pages. “I just find the whole subject fascinating, that’s all. I think this is something I want to explore for myself. If some people want to do it with me,” she looked at Mara, “well maybe that would be fun, too. I’m not trying to change anyone’s belief systems or anything. I’d never force someone into doing something they didn’t want to do.”

Claudia and Gail exchanged a glance again and this time Lindsay caught them. “Would you two quit doing that?”

“What?” Gail feigned innocence, and Lindsay glared at her, angry, but then she rolled her eyes and shook her head. “I don’t know why I put up with the two of you.”

“Because we put up with you, dear,” Gail said. “You know we love you Linds, it’s just—”

“—we’re not always as open to trying new things as you are,” Claudia finished. “That’s all.”

“How about this,” Mara said. “Why don’t we try it one more time and see what happens. If it doesn’t work, then the subject is closed and we never bring it up again.”

“Oh, I don’t think that’s such a good idea.” Jill’s blue eyes were wide. “I think I’d really rather we didn’t.”

“I think we need to settle this.” Lindsay leaned back into her chair, crossing her arms and legs.

“But it’s not even raining.” Jill looked pained.

“Not a rain spell.” Mara shook her head. “Just any other spell. To see if it works.”

“And what if it does work?” Jill asked. “What then?”

Mara looked surprised at the idea, then giggled. “I guess I never thought of that.”

“What exactly is it you want to try in my house?” Gail asked.

“Well, I was thinking we could try one more spell, just like the last time—only this time we do it for something else.” Mara looked hopefully at Gail.

“My kids are upstairs. I don’t think I really want this to—”

“It’s not like we’re going to sacrifice a goat in your living room,” Lindsay said.

Mara flashed a horrified, you’re-not-helping, look at Lindsay before turning back to Gail.

“I just thought we could try a chanting spell again. You know, light a candle, hold hands, say a few words.”

Gail looked around the room. “In that nineteen-sixties nutcase book I read, the guy really believed he was under psychic attack from evil forces all the time.”

She looked at Claudia as if she were expecting some support, but Claudia shrugged.

She’d liked what Mara had said about harnessing their energy, about using it to help each other. What if this group did have some magic in it? Like Mara said, it would be a shame to waste it. And what if they could use it to help each other? What could be the harm in that?

Gail persevered. “The guy said he knew it was an evil spirit that put a thought into his head telling him to drive his car off the road. He said he had to race home for his lemon and salt.”

But no one said anything. Gail was outnumbered. She looked at Jill, who shook her head and rolled her eyes.

“Oh jeez-o-peet,” Gail said. “Fine. If this is what it’s going to take to get this nonsense out of your systems, then fine. We’ll try it. I’m going to make sure the little ones are asleep.”

She started walking toward the stairway, then turned back around with an afterthought. “By the way, what exactly is it you want to chant about tonight?”

Mara looked sheepish. “Well…I was thinking maybe we could chant for Tippy.”

“Tippy?”

“My cat.”

Gail sniffed in a big breath as if she were about to say something, but instead, she turned around and headed up the stairs.

***

A Christmas tree candle, the only green candle Gail could find, burned in the center of the coffee table. The top couple of tiers had melted down and now it leaned a little to one side, making it look more like a Christmas bush than a Christmas tree. In the dark of Gail’s living room, the women stood in a circle around it, holding hands and an image of Tippy in their minds’ eyes, bathing him in a healing circle of white light.

Tippy was a longhaired black cat recently diagnosed with diabetes. He couldn’t jump anymore, and sometimes he walked as if he were in acute pain, although the veterinarian had assured Mara he wasn’t, that he walked on the backs of his footpads because of some neurological condition brought about by the diabetes. This weird walk always seemed to miraculously disappear when it came time for his daily shot of insulin. After six weeks of chasing him around the kitchen with a syringe in her hand, Mara was willing to try anything else.

In the same way they had the last time, Mara and Lindsay worked up a short chant. They used the novel they’d read for their October meeting, The Kitchen Witches, as a sort of template for their spell, copying the structure and phrases, changing a few words here and there to fit their specific, diabetic-cat needs.

The plan was to psychically bathe Tippy in white protective light, then douse him with green, the color of healing, then follow up with some red, the color of blood, since they couldn’t find, in any of their books, a color that corresponded to the pancreas.

“Now change the light to a green healing light.” Lindsay directed the group visualization as they held hands around the grotesquely morphing Christmas tree candle. “Okay, now change it to red, the color of energy and strength.”

After a minute or so, they began the chant, hesitantly at first, then as they repeated it, gradually stronger:

We call upon the ancient power, in this time and in this hour.
We ask please heal the cat, Tippy.
It is our will, so mote it be.

Gail started popping her eyebrows up and down every time they said “Tippy” and “it be,” accentuating the ridiculousness of the rhyme. After a couple of times through, a laugh she’d apparently been trying to suppress escaped out of her nose as a snort, which caused the giggles to infect Jill, too. Both of them tried to conceal their mirth, which was only made harder by an angry terrier glare from Mara.

They finished chanting just like they had at the last meeting, with their arms up over their heads and heat pulsing through their connected palms.

After they dropped their arms down, Claudia bent over the table to blow out the candle.

“Wait!” Lindsay waved her hands. “Don’t blow it out. Remember we need to let the candle burn all the way down. To help ensure the spell will work.”

“Oops.” Claudia stood back up. “I forgot. Sorry.”

“Thank you everyone.” The light freckles on Mara’s translucent skin ran together, covering her nose and cheeks, and she had bright red blotches on her face and neck as well. “I really appreciate you indulging me today. I hope I didn’t embarrass you too much.” She gave a nervous giggle. “Thanks.”

“You’ll have to let us know how Tippy does,” Lindsay said.

“Oh I will. At the next Book Club.”

“Speaking of which,” Gail picked her copy of Home up off the table. “Is there anyone here that still wants to talk about the book?”

The group let out a groan.

“Then maybe we should pick out a book for next time,” she said. “That is, if you still want to pretend this is a book club.”

***

Gail finished cleaning up in the living room after everyone left. There were a few crumbs on the carpet and on the dark green damask of one of the couches, but that would have to wait until morning. She was tired and Emily, her early riser, would be up at six.

The blob that had been the Christmas tree candle burned alone in the center of the coffee table. She leaned over it to blow it out, then stopped herself and stood back up.

She went to get a plate from the kitchen and came back to the living room, cautiously picking up the candle to slip it underneath. There was so much melted wax it almost sloshed out the weak flame, but the flame survived, a tiny circle of light burning courageously in the center of the darkened room.

BIO:
Kim Strickland is the author of two novels, Wish Club and Down at the Golden Coin. She also writes a blog, A City Mom, at http://www.ChicagoNow/acitymom.com, A Chicago Tribune website. Kim received a B.S in Journalism with an English minor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also received her pilot training at the University of Illinois’ Institute of Aviation.

A native Chicagoan, Kim still currently lives in Chicago with her husband, three children, two cats and one dog. When she’s not being a mom or writing, she flies as a First Officer on Boeing 767’s, which means, every once in a while she gets to eat an entire meal sitting down.

For more information and updates about Kim Strickland visit her at http://www.kimstrickland.com, find her on Facebook on her Kim Strickland Author page and follow her on Twitter @acitymom.

I’d like to thank Kim for sharing her book Wish Club with us. Not to date us, but Kim Strickland is a High School Class mate of Tamara and me. We’re a talented group! 😀 So grab a little magic for your life-pick up Wish Club!

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Decadent Tour ~ Hexed and Vexed ~ Rebecca Royce

Hexed-and-Vexed300x450Hexed and Vexed (3 flames) Fantasy, Contemporary, Erotic Romance

Olive White has had a terrible six months. It’s not bad enough that years earlier she earned the nickname “Worst Witch In Witching School,” she is now being forced to watch the love of her life, Campbell Bane, marry her sister Cindy. And she’s being asked to do so in a pink, puke-colored bridesmaid’s dress. Vexed doesn’t begin to describe how she feels.

Her powers pick the wedding as the perfect moment to turn on, zapping both her ex and her to a magical island not found on any map. Someone is bound to find them, but perhaps Olive can get some answers, once and for all.

When Campbell falls ill, she uses her considerable skills to save his life, but can she believe him when he tells her he still loves her and always has? Was he hexed, or is it all a flimsy excuse for breaking her heart?

Available:
http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=824&osCsid=a5m3vh680ufvss28svfqsmgs54

~Excerpt~

“Tell me again how we ended up here. And speak slowly so I can understand every word you say.” A muscle clenched in his jaw.

“Well.” She might have preferred Campbell not bringing up her tendency to rush through speech when she felt nervous. “I think I may have, completely unintentionally of course, zapped us here.”

“You. Zapped. Us. Here.” He nodded in between each word like he needed to make sense of all of them individually before he could move on. He ran a hand through his dark hair. Strands she herself had once caressed on a nightly basis before he’d gone and decided to marry her sister, thus destroying her life.

“Exactly.” She hitched up her pink monstrosity of a dress and walked toward the inviting waves. The sea air tingled against her skin.

Campbell grabbed her arm. “Olive White, you’ve never successfully performed one spell. Not even one.”

“Yes, you would know that since you were with me every single time I bumbled one. The worst witch in witching school.” She hated that phrase and obviously, she’d made a spell work. Even if she hadn’t meant to. Maybe she could finally lose the nickname.

“Yes.” He smiled at her, letting her arm go. For a second, she saw his brown eyes sparkle like they had when he used to look at her, in the days before the whole world had shifted sideways. But then as fast as the adoration had appeared it vanished. “Well, since you can suddenly make the gift of the ancestors work, zap us back.”

Campbell tapped his foot on the sand like she should hurry up and get the job done. She stifled a laugh, covering her mouth with her hand, at the image he portrayed.

He still wore his tuxedo. In the sand.

Dark hair, dark eyes, and dressed in a designer tuxedo, complete with a black bowtie that had to have been Cindy’s idea, he stood on the beach looking like a fish that had suddenly found itself in a bird’s nest. He really didn’t belong in his current habitat. At least not dressed like that.

Olive covered her mouth to hide her smile. Campbell always fit in wherever he went and even though it seemed mean to laugh, especially because it was her fault that he’d landed on the beach, she couldn’t help but find amusement in how uncomfortable he appeared. After her months of pain, he deserved the hours ahead of him.

He stood waiting for her to answer his declaration. Her sister’s fiancé wanted her to bring them back immediately if not sooner.

“I can’t undo the spell, Campbell. And I’m not sorry about it. Not even a little bit.”

Author Bio:

As a teenager, Rebecca Royce would hide in her room to read her favorite romance novels when she was supposed to be doing her homework. She hopes, these days, that her parents think it was well worth it.

Rebecca is the mother of three adorable boys and is fortunate to be married to her best friend. They live in northern New Jersey and try not to freeze too badly during the winter months.

She’s in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and tries to use all of these elements in her writing. She’s been told she’s a little bloodthirsty so she hopes that when you read her work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. Rebecca loves to write series because she loves to see characters develop over time and it always makes her happy to see her favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In Rebecca Royce’s world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

Book Spotlight – Dragonfly Moments – Kathy Bosman

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Blurb:
Seven years earlier, a young and serious Tessa Calitz wrote a letter to free spirit Ryan le Roux promising her undying love. As time passed she forgot about that letter…but Ryan did not.

When he walks back into her life, Tessa is in a relationship and busy setting up her art gallery in Johannesburg. She has plans to start a family, and the arrival of Ryan throws her for a spin. He is the worst thing that could happen to her dream of stability…or is he?

When everything she clung to starts to crumble, Ryan is right beside her to inspire her to greater things. But her compulsion for having marriage and children on her terms alone pushes Ryan away–until she falls in love with an orphaned baby.

What can Ryan do to make Tessa realize that being with him is what her heart has longed for all along?

Excerpt:
You’re making a mistake, Ryan. Coming in here and trying to bring up the past. It’s too late now. I’m committed to Mark and have found a life for myself. You never wanted me then. You loved Annie.”
“I didn’t love her. I loved you. And you promised forever….”
His voice was resigned, and then he winked at her as if to dispel the tension. It did no such thing.
The letter at the back of the sketch had promised she would love him forever, hadn’t it? She had believed she would never love anyone as much as Ryan and that he showed her what true love was.
“You never loved me.” She dropped her gaze onto her lap. “We were just good friends.”
Pushing up her chin to pretend that her heart wasn’t zinging with emotion, she started to walk toward the one wall to adjust a painting. He grabbed her hand. She tried to pull away, but he firmly pulled her close.
Heat and energy radiated off him and his manly scent encompassed her. Even his breath was a sweetness she wanted to drink in. She took in the shape of his face, his mouth which drooped slightly to the left, his skewed jaw line and the prominent cheek bones. His eyebrows were dark and perfectly shaped, and he had such long eyelashes. Yanking her burning hand away, she made sure her back was facing him.
“I was blind to the true treasure. All the time when I was going out with Annie, I really wanted you, but I couldn’t do that to her—dump her for her best friend. I’ve loved you for years, Tess. I’ve been trying to find you. No other woman has measured up, and I’ve had several relationships. And you’ve become so beautiful.”
She faced him, her mouth partially open, devoid of words. He’d loved her? Why didn’t he tell her then before it was too late?
His gaze followed her from head to foot, and heat branded her face while a spark ignited her body.
“But I wasn’t then. You thought I was ugly. You must have because Annie was so beautiful and you never looked at me.”
“I did. Besides the kohl and black clothes, you were adorable, especially in your pajamas.”
Tessa wasn’t usually one to blush easily, but fire lapped up her whole face and neck. “But the way you used to look at Annie. She had the most stunning legs. Long and muscular.”
Ryan smiled. “You have better legs than Annie.”
She pulled back. For a moment, he had her in a trance. Maybe she should leave Mark and pursue this. Jump right in. No, of course not. Who was Ryan now, anyway? She hardly knew him. He could disappear again. Mark cared for her and he was the perfect match to build a family. That’s all she needed.

Buy Links:
Decadent Publishing:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

All Romance Ebooks:

Smashwords:

Barnes and Noble:

Author Bio

Kathy loves reading and writing even more. She homeschools her three children, one a teenager, so in between unsuccessfully explaining the difference between subject and predicate or how to divide fractions, she enters an imaginary world of troubled and passionate characters whose stories take over the page. Kathy lives in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, where the summers are hot, the winters cool, and bugs thrive. Her first published novel, Wedding Gown Girl, came out in 2012 with Astraea Press. She belongs to the Romance Writers of South Africa Group (ROSA) which has been her greatest support and inspiration the last few years.
Connect with Kathy Bosman online:

Website and blog: http://www.kathybosman.com
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/KathleenBosman
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathleenLBosman

New Release ~ Review ~ The Way Home by Cindy Gerard

51Pj8Xu-EFL__AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-48,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_The Way Home
by Cindy Gerard
Release date: October 29,2013

Blurb:
Killed in Action – the most dreaded words imaginable for a soldier’s wife. Jess Albert has been living with them for four years, since the death of her husband in Afghanistan. Finding blessed numbness in routine, she doesn’t dare to look ahead, any more than she can bear to look back. Then Tyler Brown, a former special-ops warrior, shows up at her small general store in Minnesota North Woods, jarring her back to life. Jess knows better than to fall in love with another man who places duty to his country before love of his wife- but there’s no denying the longing and the hope for a future that Ty makes her feel.

A world away, a man ravaged by years of captivity and torture, a man with no memories, finally escapes- clinging to life and sanity in a hostile land. In his darkest hour, he awakes in a lantern-lit cave to find a woman at his side. Dark-haired and dark-eyes, her touch is caring, despite the resentment he hears in her voice and sees on her face. Rabia is bound by honor to save the lost American soldier in her keeping, this broken warrior from a war that has brought so much devastation to her land. But is it honor igniting her compassion for her enemy, or is it something more?

While a Black Ops team plans a daring rescue mission to bring the solider home, two women on opposite sides of the world walk a dangerous path between betrayal and honor, and must find for themselves where to draw the lines between duty and love.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cindy Gerard’s latest novel is a heartwarming, richly emotional, action-packed story about homecomings- just in time for the holidays.

Available at Amazon

Allyson’s Review:
Oh Wow! The way Home was heartwarming, touching but heartbreaking as well. Cindy Gerard did not disappoint with this book. I went through a roller coaster of emotions from laughing to crying. This powerful book told the story of Jess, whom husband died 4 years earlier in Afghanistan and her trying to move on and solider waking up in Afghanistan with lots of injuries and no memory, only to be taken care of and hidden by Rabia and her Father, with the risk of death for all of them.
Ty walked into Jess’ s Life on a mission, asking to barrow her guns. The chemistry between the two was powerful but she wasn’t ready to open her heart to someone else whom was dedicated to their country. Ty shows up again at her General Store in North Woods, Minnesota. Ty wants more but Jess is scared. I loved Ty’ s character he was truly selfless, strong, protective, loyal, understanding, caring, funny and romantic. Jess was tough, brave, caring, loyal, and supportive, Jess loved with her whole heart and would move heaven and earth to help those she loved, even if it meant sacrificing her happiness.
I admired Rabia, she selflessly risked her own life to help a wounded soldier. She stayed up taking care of him to the best of her ability. Knowing that if they were ever caught, the Tali-ban would kill all of them. The Way Home was a wonderful story of Love, Lost and Found. I can’t say enough good things about this book, is definitely a Must Read. I was given an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
hearts 51Flames 3