Friday, December 15, 2017



The Empyrean Gate: Part I
Z. Rockward
Publication date: November 28th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

In space, no one can fill your awkward silences for you…
At the turn of the 23rd century, Liam Boyer’s parents led the construction of the Empyrean Gate, an intergalactic spaceway to an advanced civilization with the technology to fix Earth’s environmental crisis. But when an extremist named Kin sabotages the Gate on opening day, he tears apart the two worlds—and Liam’s family. In the three decades since then, Liam has dedicated his life to bringing Kin to justice and seeing the Gate rebuilt.
Yona Kabul works on one of Earth’s trash satellites, assigned to salvage and recycle anything she can from the landfill before it’s fed to the sun to be disposed of forever. Just before her satellite’s suncineration, Liam arrives in pursuit of Kin, who has come to dig up a long lost weapon with the intent of using it to destroy the Gate once and for all.
When Yona is recruited to work with Liam, he has no intention of letting her slow him down. But the more she proves herself, the more he begins to see her value, in more ways than one. Soon they find themselves on a path with unpredictable twists, dangerous turns of the heart, and unimaginable stakes. Can they stop Kin before he shuts the door between the two worlds forever and dooms Earth to environmental disaster?
EXCERPT:
Liam fought back up, thrashing as a cord tightened around his arm. He slipped out his limb in time and climbed through the landslide to the mouth of the cave, closing before him. He managed to clear the rubble when his leg jerked back. A vine of cables coiled around his knee and up his thigh, while a layer of netting reached around his other foot, pulling him under like a monster swallowing its prey.
He tried to claw his way out but a wave of debris came over him. The pressure bore down on his physical armor, his last line of defense as his forcefield flickered out. He fought to take a breath, gasping against the crushing of his chest. A plastic sheet unfolded above him like the wings of a suffocating angel. The pit collapsed in a slow fold above him, obscuring his view of the stars.
He couldn’t die here. Not now. Not yet.
A woman shot out from behind the plastic sheet, shredding it with a bright laser machete. She slung aside clumps of plastic and sliced through the web tangling him.
She extended her hand to him. “Come on!”
Liam grabbed her hand and she fired the boosters on her boots to hoist him up. They whipped back, dregs of plastic clinging to his armor.
“Your armor,” she yelled. “Take it off!”
He hesitated. Her gaze was bright but steady under her helmet, her eyes hot pink. She was as if from another world. On a fantastical whim his mind wondered if she was an Empyr, somehow on this side of the universe—but he knew that wasn’t possible. She could only be human, and her request was inconceivable.
He kicked his feet, his limbs straining with the pull. “I’ll get torn apart!”
“You won’t make it out otherwise.” She tightened her grip. “Trust me on this. I’ve got you.”
He was now pulling her down with him, but she held on, steady and strong. She’d taken the risk to follow him down here, into the jowls of death. He realized that if he could trust anyone, he could trust her in this moment.
He released his armor, keeping his helmet but shedding the rest like molted skin. She pulled him free as the plastic crushed and swallowed the human-shaped shell he’d left behind. They vaulted above the crest of plastic, the pit stretching below them, an irregular, jagged landscape alive with agitated hunger.
He couldn’t see his ship—or Kin’s—anywhere.
They cleared the perimeter and descended near a hoverbike, the woman setting him delicately on his feet before landing herself. Her helmet unfolded into her collar, revealing a bun of purple hair atop her head.
“Second rule of the plastic pit,” she said, guessing his thoughts. “Always park out of its reach.”
His contacts scanned her face and identified her as Yona Kabul, the steward assigned to this satellite.
Liam retracted his helmet. He brushed away the bits of plastic stuck to his person. She was untouched.
“What’s the first rule?” he asked.
“Never enter the plastic pit.”


Author Bio:
Z lives in the wild west and marvels at the weather every day. She likes pole dancing, drawing, and feminism. She tries to avoid cliches but sometimes can’t resist.




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by ShootingStars Reviews 3:00 AM No comments


The Only One
Necie Navone
(Brothers of Camelot, #1)
Publication date: December 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The first in the Brothers of Camelot Series: The Only One
Can a man whore whose motto is “One and Done” keep it in his pants long enough to win back the trust of his childhood sweetheart?
Drake, otherwise known as Fitz, was dealt a tragic hand from the beginning. Pain and rejection melted away when a little girl with huge brown eyes, strawberry blonde curls and an explosive personality, walked into his new home and his heart.
Inseparable as kids, she’s literally ripped from his arms when they’re teens. Convincing himself he’s unworthy of her, he closed himself off to all future relationships, refusing to open his heart to anyone else. If only she would come back to him.
Isabella, with her unique personality, is the polar opposite of her rich socialite mother, with a determination and drive to be more than just someone’s country club showpiece.
She returns to her childhood town to start her own business, and prove she doesn’t need her mother, or a man, to feel complete. Thanks to her first love, her father’s betrayal and a slew of bad relationships, she’s locked her heart away, hidden behind her smile and sweet disposition. She’s found peace in her memories of Drake, hoping he’ll finally contact her, or maybe she’ll find the nerve to contact him.
Can their long-lost love be rekindled or do they need a little help from their friends?
EXCERPT:
Just as I set the milk in the formerly empty fridge, Drake grabs me from behind, turning me to face him. There’s a twinkle in his eye as he lifts me into his arms. Spinning, he sets me on the huge island as if I weigh nothing at all.
Even as high as the counter is, he’s still just a tiny bit taller than me. At least we’re closer to eye level. Grabbing his tie, I pull him closer, getting lost for a moment in those forest green eyes, I’ve dreamt about being with him like this forever.
“And just what are you doing, putting me up here?”
“You have no idea what you do to me,” he growls. Yes, growls. “I want to taste you so much, Bella. Can’t wait to see you in my shirt, in my bed. Hold you in my arms.
“So many nights I’ve spent in that bed, alone, thinking of calling you, imagining hunting you down and dragging you back to me. But stupidly, I decided to wait, give you the chance to call me, to come back to me,” Drake confesses.
At a loss for words, I continue to gaze into his eyes. Drake leans forward and slides my hair over my shoulder. My breath hitches as he trails kisses from my shoulder, up my neck, to behind my ear.

Author Bio:

Her Motto in life:
You are as young as you believe you are,
so refuse to grow old.

Necie's a married, mother of five boys. She was born and raised in Nashville, TN. But she now calls Northern California home.

She has always dreamed of being a writer but thought that dream was impossible because she suffers from severe dyslexia.
But with her determination and the love and support of her friends, she is making her dream a reality.


She'd love for you to join her on this voyage.
To share with you, 'The Brothers of Camelot'.
They've been living in her head and her dreams for years, clambering to get out.

Let the journey begin...

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by ShootingStars Reviews 2:30 AM No comments

Thursday, December 14, 2017



Playing Dead
Bronson Palmer
Publication date: November 7th 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

In the halls of Andrew Jackson High School, Jenaiya is a nobody. Less than a nobody. She’s practically invisible. An awkward, shy freshman, she very rarely gets any attention at all, unless she’s being harassed by the school’s multitude of bullies. In short, she’s not anyone’s idea of a hero.
But in ‘Age of Z,’ a post-apocalyptic multiplayer zombie game, she’s a gun-wielding, fast-talking GOD. She’s one of the top ten players in the online dystopia, and she doesn’t suffer fools lightly. It’s just the way she plays, and she likes it that way. She can become the person she wishes herself to be in the real world.
However, when the game gets overrun by trolls and n00bs who threaten to destroy the game by turning it into yet another online shooter, Jenaiya cannot sit still and let that happen. The very existence of the game is on the line, as people leave in droves, and she gathers a rag-tag group of players to fight back against this new kind of ‘brainless’ horde. They have wildly different personalities but one goal: rid the game of the real monsters.
Jenaiya will have to outsmart her enemies, outplay the bullies, and return ‘Age of Z’ to its former glory. Otherwise, it’s game over, and she’ll have to confront the real world that awaits her on the other side of the computer screen.
Meet Jenaiya. She’s a survivor.
By Bronson Palmer
Meet Jenaiya. She’s the tough, flawed, sometimes misguided protagonist of ‘Playing Dead.’ A meek freshman at a particularly rough high school, Jenaiya spends most of the book trying to negotiate all the different areas of her life, from her online identity to her relationship with her family and her sexual identity. She’s not a simple character, and this is not an easy story to tell. It would be easy to make her an empty vessel for the events inside ‘Age of Z,’ but it was my goal to provide the audience with a believable, real character to identify with so each victory and defeat felt that much more credible.
When the novel begins, Jenaiya leads a fairly ordinary but unenviable life in Nashville. She hates school, because the school she attends is a haven for miscreants of all types. It seems as though everyone around her is a villain of some kind, and she is a constant target of their attacks. Her only refuge happens to be her favorite video game, ‘Age of Z,’ where she’s able to unleash her adolescent rage on an unsuspecting public. It provides insight into how Jenaiya feels the world really should run. She values fairness and fair play, loyalty, and integrity.
However, in the real world, beyond the confines of a digital asylum, rather than doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, she also gets caught up in the idea that “the ends justify the means,” which lands her in a whole heap of trouble. When it comes to bullies, especially teenage ones, it’s oh so tempting to fight fire with fire, but that usually ends up making things worse, as it does in ‘Playing Dead.’ Jenaiya wants to level the playing field for everyone, from the jocks to the dreamers and the jokers to the drama queens, but that’s not entirely how the world works, so the fuse she lights early in the novel eventually explodes right in her face.
Her digital world is rocked when her favorite game — really, the only game she plays — is trounced by new players who treat ‘Age of Z’ like your everyday, run-of-the-mill, cookie cutter first-person shooter. To Jenaiya, ‘AoZ’ is so much more than that. It’s a post-apocalyptic game, sure, but the world is built around relationships. See, in ‘Age of Z,’ players wander a vast wasteland in search of supplies. They can be found in buildings, abandoned cars, but the best place, by far, to hit the item jackpot is another player.
Only, players are tough to kill, and it’s much easier to work cooperatively with that person or negotiate peacefully to trade supplies. Think ‘FallOut’ without all the headshots. The game is loosely based on the experiential ‘sandbox’ games which have become popular over the past few years. Games like ‘Minecraft,’ ‘H1Z1,’ and ‘DayZ’ inform the gameplay, so if you’ve played those titles, you understand that the strategy lies not in quick-twitch mouse-and-keyboard murder sessions but in how you interact with the world and the other players.
What Jenaiya understands inherently, the new players do not, and it frustrates her. Being an African-American loner, Jenaiya feels yet another thing she loves get co-opted by society at-large, and rather than allow it to happen, she decides to fight back. She’s willing to befriend all of the different warring factions within ‘Age of Z’ to make that happen, if she has to. But she refuses — absolutely refuses — to give up on this game until she’s dead and gone.
That’s where the portmanteau character MICHONNEN_KNIFE comes in. I make a few sly references to ‘Fight Club’ throughout the book, and though the tone of ‘Playing Dead’ is nowhere near a Palahniuk novel, MICHONNEN_KNIFE is the Tyler Durden to Jenaiya’s normal Jack character. Where Jenaiya is meek and accommodating, MICHONNEN_KNIFE is uncompromising, and Jenaiya basks in every opportunity to live in that digital construction’s skin.
As a bonus, I decided to get a faux-D&D player card designed to show the audience just what MICHONNEN_KNIFE (+1 if you can guess both references embedded in the name) has to offer Jenaiya. Hope you enjoy perusing it, and if you’ve dug this blog post, you can get lots more obscure references throughout the whole of ‘Playing Dead.’

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by ShootingStars Reviews 3:00 AM No comments


Blaze 
Sierra Cross
(Spelldrift: Coven of Fire, #4)
Publication date: December 13th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

The demon is still out there.
Tenebris—the monster who killed my parents, violated my mind, and destroyed my coven sister Callie—has gone into deep hiding. I won’t rest until I find him and personally take him down.
Luckily the vampires have a bead on him, and they want me along for the demon-hunting ride. But with his brand new skinsuit and the magic amulet he stole from a witch, Tenebris is more powerful than ever. I’m not dumb enough to go up against my mortal enemy without the Coven of Fire at my side. The vampires, however, flat-out refuse to let my “non-traditional” coven in on the job. It seems that no one in the magicborn community respects us, no matter how many lives we save or how many sacrifices we make.
Callie was one sacrifice too many.
So screw the vampires. Forget working within a system that won’t accept us. Matt, Asher, Liv, and I may be misfits, but we’re a coven. And our coven is not complete without Callie. Somehow, we’ve got to track her down and find a way to save her. Then, we’re going to avenge our loved ones and take down Tenebris once and for all…but we’ll do it as a coven. As a family. One witch for all and all for one, no magicborn left behind.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
Every day of the blitz, Enigmatic Books is giving away FIVE free e-copies of the Spelldrift Coven of Fire Books 1-3 bundle on their Facebook page. Enter HERE!
For a limited time you can grab RISE, the first book in the Coven of Fire series, for just 99 cents!
EXCERPT:
“I’m sorry, Director,” I said. “Something’s come up. I’m afraid I can’t get on that plane.”
Bonaventura spun and sucked in a breath in that almost soundless way only a vampire could. He’d already thought I was a flaky amateur, now he probably thought I was a nutcase. Even Matt and Asher were looking at me like I’d lost my mind. I could really see how it might look that way.
Didn’t matter. Callie was my coven sister, and she needed us to save her. Family first.
“So am I to understand,” Bonaventura’s voice dripped with condescension, “that after begging me to help with the amulet, insisting you be present when Tenebris is killed, you’re now refusing to accompany me?”
“Believe me, if it weren’t absolutely necessary, I wouldn’t do this.” My magic was begging to come to my fingertips. But starting a brawl with a vampire seemed like one of those “poor life choices” they’d warned me about in middle school.
Bonaventura composed himself with a smooth exhalation, then turned to Liv. “I suppose you’ll have to do.” Another finger-snap. “Let’s go.”
“It’s a coven matter that has come up,” Liv said. “None of us can go.”
“We’ll send you the deactivation spell,” I said, not caring in the least that I was giving up the only leverage we had with the Director.
If Bonaventura could’ve killed me with a look, I’d be bleeding out right now. I’d seen what he’d done to Wes, his own son. I got the feeling he was picturing doing worse to me. “Not an option, Ms. Hill.” The terminal dropped ten degrees in an instant. “One of you two witches will board the plane. Or I will release you from your pitiful existence.”
Strange what a difference a little blood could make. More than scaring me, those words hurt. I’d disappointed him. I took a deep breath and shrugged off his compulsion. Vampire mind tricks aside, I owed no loyalty to Bonaventura. And as badly as I wanted to take Tenebris down, I needed to do this more. “If you want to try,” I said, “have at it.”
Matt, Liv, and Asher had already flanked me, ready to fight at my side even if they didn’t fully understand. Bonaventura’s crew did the same for him. The Director narrowed his eyes, looking at each of us in turn. I couldn’t decipher the calculations he was making behind those ice blue eyes. “Know this, witch—and this goes for your whole coven—when our paths cross again it will not be a friendly encounter.”
My heart was racing. Did I really want to make the director of the Council Suprema my enemy? But what choice did I have? We had to follow up on that phone call. We had to find my coven sister. “If that’s how you want to play it.” I hoped there’d be a way to make things right with Bonaventura later.
The Director turned on his heel and all the other vampires followed suit. I watched as they disappeared through the gate door.
“Alix, luv.” Asher turned to me, his voice sweet as saccharine. “Be so kind as to tell me why I just voluntarily incurred the wrath of the one of most powerful vampires in the northern hemisphere?”


Author Bio:
Spells and skyscrapers. Warriors and warlocks. Coven secrets and forbidden romances. Sierra Cross lives for urban fantasy, for modern magic and the bold supernatural beings who stalk our contemporary world. Her Spelldrift universe stars kickass witches and their heroic guardians, as well as vampires, shifters, mages, Fidei, and the dark demonic forces that threaten them all.

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by ShootingStars Reviews 2:30 AM No comments

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Kyla Summers has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime to get her cosplay business off the ground, and only one thing stands in her way. She needs someone to take over the auto shop, and there’s only one person she can think of to call…

Jericho Salomon hasn’t been back in his home town since he joined a biker gang and rode off nine years ago. When his best friend’s kid sister calls begging for help, he knows that he owes the family a debt and he intends to pay. This is easier said than done once he finds that the kid is all grown up…

She needs a pair of skillful hands. He needs to keep his hands off. When sparks begin to fly, can they keep things strictly business, or will their hearts get hopelessly tangled? No more games, it’s time to play for keeps.


Goodreads page:

Cathy Yardley  needs to get out more. When not writing, she's usually lurking on social media, playing Elder Scrolls Online, or watching D-list movies and adding to her unnatural mental store of character-actor trivia. She's a fangirl of Supernatural, Doctor Who, SherlockLOTR, and too many others to name. She lives with her family in Seattle. They are considering performing an intervention for her addiction to pop culture.

Social Media:
Twitter handle:  @cathyyardley

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by ShootingStars Reviews 10:09 AM No comments

Title: I Burned Down His House
Series: Love at First Crime #3
Author: Jessica Frances
Rating: 

She burned his house down, so he lit a fire between them that she could never extinguish.

So, I burned his house down.
It was an accident.
I mean, technically, the dog did it.
Well, the dog helped me to do it.
Did I mention it was an accident?
When circumstances mean I suddenly have a new housemate,
A man who is my ultimate fantasy,
And my entire world is turned upside down by new friends,
And a dog who likes to get me into trouble,
I have to wonder how my life got so crazy.
Add in my neighbor, who is under investigation;
Some unfinished business from the past, which just won’t go away;
Interfering family, who don’t know when to stop;
And mixed signals, making me wonder if fantasies really can come true,
And you have my new, hectic, crazy life.
But, when things take a dangerous turn,
And lives are on the line,
Will we all make it through in one piece?
Or is everything destined to crumble down around us?
Who would have thought that burning down a house would change everything so much?
Then again, as some people say: there is nothing quite like love at first… crime.
 

    

Teagan has been helping out her hot neighbor for six months. And when she goes over one night to take care of the dog she ends up burning down his house. Now, she offers him a place to live with her. And her huge crush is getting out of control. 

This book was funny, and I liked how Teagan got along with everyone. But I felt like this story had more emotion with Teagan and her friends than it did with Teagan and Joey. I really didn't "feel" anything from their relationship, and I don't even understand how they liked each other. 

Other than that I liked this one and I thought it was interesting, funny, and sweet at times, but that was really all there was to it. 
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by ShootingStars Reviews 9:57 AM No comments

Title: Everlasting Covenant
Series: Dying Covenant #3
Author: Amanda M. Lee
Rating: 

Deep down inside, Zoe Lake-Winters knew that she hadn’t yet bid goodbye to Covenant College. The realization that the final fight will be fought at the place she thought she would never see again isn’t lost on her. 
Still … she has no choice. Her family comes first and she’s out of options. 
Another attack on Sami Winters forces Zoe and Aric to embrace the inevitable. They pack up their kid and courage and join together with friends to return to a forgotten campus located smack dab in the middle of Michigan … and a dark forest full of secrets and trouble. 
Evil has always dwelled at Covenant College, and Zoe is determined to make sure she eradicates it … one way or the other. Her former roommates Kelsey and Paris are along from the ride, and a few familiar faces pop up to lend a hand, too. 
It seems that someone is putting The Academy back together, and all of the hunters can only agree on one target: Sami Winters. She’s the key to a really big puzzle and everyone wants her power – even if she hasn’t fully manifested it yet. 
Aric and Zoe have to join forces one last time with everyone they know and trust to fight the evil that pervades Covenant College if they expect to live happily ever after. The fight will be dark, dirty, and dangerous. No one is safe. 
So, strap in for adventure, because this battle will mark the end of it all … one way or another.

    

Zoe and Aric are going back to Covenant College and they are going to burn it to the ground once and for all. The whole gang is going back including their daughter Sami. Sami will have to learn some hard truths about her parents lives before her, and how she is going to have to deal with her powers as well. 

Zoe and Aric will do whatever they have to to finally end the threat from Covenant College. 
This book was really good. I was hoping there would be a little bit more to the end, but this one was really good. And I adored how the story sort of went full circle. I couldn't believe that Paris still stood up for Brittany though. That was annoying, and other than that I really enjoyed this one a lot. 
This is the end of this series and the spin off series as well. 
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by ShootingStars Reviews 9:50 AM No comments

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