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Welcome to Mommasez…., the blog that focuses on all things Literary and a little bit of Celluloid fun also.  To Navigate this site, use the circular buttons above this post. These buttons include Search, Follow Me, About Me, Freebie Downloads and MORE! Below are the tours, book blitzes, cover reveals and giveaways that I’m featuring this month. Thanks for stopping by!!!! (this is a sticky post–keep scrolling down for daily posts)

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Featured Giveaways

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Delish Mashed Potatoes

lineI mentioned in a previous post that I am a member of a great website called Crowdtap. For performing activities like answering questions, tweeting, and posting on my blog and facebook, I get a lot of free stuff. This month, I received a box STUFFED with Campbell’s products, along with the additional bonus of a tote bag, hand drink mixer, cutting board, and spatula. Very cool! So this month, you will see some posts where I illustrate how I used these new products by Campbell’s.

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Today’s recipe uses Campbell’s condensed soup, Creamy Poblana & Queso. Before I give the recipe out, I’m going to be honest with my readers…..I cook by the seat of my pants. Yes, I throw ingredients in a pot most of the time, lol. But fortunately for me, it works! And this new recipe that I came up with was actually incredibly delish!! As a side story, I will tell you how I came by my penchant for cooking on the fly.

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My mother told my siblings and I this story from the time we were wee bairns so it obviously stuck with me. My great-uncle back in the forties was a hobo. He traveled around on trains and randomly visited members of the family. My grandma would have a big pot of stew on the stove and he would throw loaves of bread, heads of lettuce, and anything else he could put his hands on in that pot of stew. Needless to say, my grandma was always FURIOUS when he did this. But my mom says the “Hobo Stew” always turned out awesome!

 
I was in the mood to cook a warm ‘comfort’ food last week. One of my childrens’ friends had brought us some packets of hamburger meat that were from a cow on their farm. I made my yummy meatloaf with this FRESH hamburger meat and was going to cook a packet of noodles for the kids as a side. However, my kids decided to have friends over that night and I was looking at feeding six kids ranging from 17 to 23. BIG appetites! I needed a BIG side dish!photo
Looking through the cabinets, I found three cans of whole baby potatoes. I emptied the liquid from the cans and dumped the three cans of whole baby potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl. I then added three tablespoons of butter, three tablespoons whipped dressing, and one cup of shredded cheddar cheese. I cooked this concoction in the microwave for about five minutes. I took the bowl out of the microwave and added one cup of milk, and the can of Campbell’s Creamy Poblano & Queso. I hand mashed and mixed the ingredients all together in the bowl until I had somewhat. Then I cooked the mashed potatoes for another minute or so in the microwave. I took it out, stirred it, and served it with the meatloaf.photo(1)
The kids loved the mashed potatoes. They had a very unobtrusive spicy taste from the Poblano (which is a chile) and creamy, due to the white cheese Queso. This soup mix was a winner!photo(2)line

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Josey’s Christmas Cookie Blog Tour and Giveaway!

 

JOSEY’S

CHRISTMAS COOKIE BLOG TOUR

BY
SHARON KLEVE
 

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5.0 out of 5 stars

A Lovable Story!

By Debby Lee

I loved this heartwarming Christmas story! .Josey was a workaholic who spent all her spare time at the office in order to cope with the tragic loss of her parents and being jilted by her fiance. I really felt for her. Clint was a handsome veterinarian Josey met at an animal rescue event who helped her buy a large slobbering dog named Cookie. Clint handled the animals with professionalism, sincerity, and great care. The two Morning Dove’s in the story, Harry and Beatrice, were desperate to see Josey and Clint get together in time for Christmas. If you enjoy sweet plots, whimsical animal themes, and stories that make you go “aaawww” this one’s for you.

Highly entertaining, highly recommended!

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SUMMARY:

In the blink of an eye, Josey lost the most important people in her life, her parents.

Can a hound dog named Cookie, a pair of mourning doves, and a passionate vet bring the holiday spirit back to Josey’s life in time for Christmas?

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EXCERPT:

As I stared at the pathetic dog in his diaper, I realized no one wanted the dog, they were just gawking at him. The sign said his name was Cookie, part Basset Hound and part Redbone Coonhound. I didn’t know anything about either breed. I did know he was very large and he was slobbering everywhere and he should have a diaper around his neck. I turned to continue my search and a felt a tug on my pant leg. I looked down and Cookie had a hold of my jeans. When our eyes met, Cookie’s eyes twinkled, just like Clint’s.

A glob of drool hit the top of my shoe. He let go of my pant leg and licked the goo off my shoe. I wanted to say, “gross,” but instead I said, “thank you.” I was hooked. His fur was a reddish brown and soft as silk. Not caring about drool or dog hair, I sat down on the floor next to Cookie, wrapped my arms around his neck, and finally felt at peace.

Another glob of drool hit the floor next to my butt. He looked sad, like that was a deal breaker and I’d leave him behind. I looked Cookie in his sad eyes and laughed. He pulled back his goofy lips and smiled back.

That’s when I heard Clint’s voice, “Well Josey, it looks like you found your soul mate.”

He laughed, but not at my expense.

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AUTHOR BIO:

KlevephotoSharon Kleve was born and raised in Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband. Sharon is a multi-published author of paranormal and contemporary romance. She loves romance. She loves reading romance, living romance, and especially loves writing about romance. She gets no greater feeling than watching her characters come alive in each other’s arms. Most of all, she loves giving her characters the happily ever after they deserve—with a few bumps and bruises along the way.

One of her favorite things to do is picking up a new book and sinking into the story, immersing herself in the emotions between the characters. She hopes to inspire her readers the same way her favorite authors have inspired her.

When not writing, she can usually be found either curled up in her recliner with her cat and a good book, or in the kitchen baking sourdough bread or bagels.

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AUTHOR LINKS:

Email: sharon.kleve@yahoo.com

Blog: http://authorsharonkleve.blogspot.com/

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/sharonrkleve

Facebook Timeline: https://www.facebook.com/#!/sharonkleve

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharonKleve

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/srkleve/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5399389.Sharon_Kleve

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sharon-kleve/56/ab/691/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Kleve/e/B006JAH14S

Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/sharonkleve

Library Thing: http://www.librarything.com/profile/SRKLEVE

Publisher: http://bookstogonow.com/

YouTube trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSg5xNSTl9U

Enter Contest Giveaway Gold Stars

GRAND PRIZES

……………………………………..

(1) $5.00 gift card

(2) Audio books or (2) eBook copies. Winner’s choice

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Dakota Wedding by Lisa Mondello

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Mondello, book 6 of the popular DAKOTA HEARTS western romance series.

Ian McKinnon was just getting steady on his feet, looking forward to the opening of the Wounded Veterans Center and a big McKinnon wedding celebration, when tragedy struck again. The soldier who’d saved his life while in the military has died. He’s charged with his most important mission: find his friend Carlos’s family in Mexico or become guardian and raise Carlos’s children. The only mandatory stipulation of his friend’s will was that Ian live under the same roof with Abby Townsend, a firefighter from Carlos’s firehouse. Abby knew the kids well and she could help ease them all through the transition of becoming a family. Okay, so Ian may not be daddy material, but he’d grown up with a whole lot of McKinnons running around. He could handle the kids just fine. The beautiful Abby Townsend was another story.

Abby took one look at Ian and shook her head with utter disbelief. What were her dear friends thinking by naming a man whose nickname was “The Hazard” as guardian of their three small children? She only needed to spend one year in Ian’s house in South Dakota. She had to either find Carlos’s family, or convince Ian that she was the better person to raise the children. Abby knows how hard it is to lose someone you loved. She’ll be there to protect the children in any way she can. But can she protect her heart from falling in love with a man known for taking too many risks…and risk heartbreak again?

DAKOTA HEARTS series:

Book 1 – Her Dakota Man
Book 2 – Badland Bride
Book 3 – Dakota Heat
Book 4 – Wild Dakota Heart
Book 5 – His Dakota Bride
Book 6 – Dakota Wedding

and coming in 2015, check for more Dakota Hearts books.

If you’re a fan of western romance, contemporary romance, stories full of angst and emotion, and sexy cowboy and military heroes, then you’ll enjoy the Dakota Hearts, Texas Hearts and Fate with a Helping Hand series of romance novels.

Order DAKOTA WEDDING:

http://bit.ly/1eRxzN6 https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=IDa5AgAAQBAJ
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Friday Reveal: Horror Business by Ryan Craig Bradford Reveal and GIVEAWAY

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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the first chapter for

Horror Business by Ryan Craig Bradford

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

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Armed with a passion for classic B-grade horror movies, a script co-written by his twin brother, and a wicked crush on his death-obsessed neighbor; hardcore horror fan Jason Nightshade must finish his student film.

But his plans are derailed when the children of suburban Silver Creek start disappearing – his twin brother among them. Battling a possessed video camera, a crazy zombie dog, a monstrous bully, and a frighteningly broken down family life, Jason embarks on a mission to find his lost brother so the two can write an ending for his story.

As any horror fan knows, saving the day won’t be easy, as Jason finds himself forced to face the real world where death isn’t just a splash of fake blood on a camera lens.

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Title: Horror Business
Publication date: February 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Ryan Craig Bradford

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Chapter 1

 Warm colors sharpen as the focus reveals an image of a boy. The boy sits patiently and stares at you. He giggles and sticks his tongue out as the image softens before settling on an appropriate focus. You recognize this boy because he looks a lot like me. A voice from offscreen tells the boy that everything’s ready, that he can begin whenever he feels like it.

Boy: What do you want me to say?
Offscreen: What’s your favorite scary movie?
Boy: Like in Scream?
Offscreen: Just answer the question.
Boy: What’s this for anyway?
Offscreen: Nothing really. Maybe a school project.
Boy: Fine. But a favorite scary movie? That’s like picking your favorite child.
Offscreen: Well, what are some of the ones you like?
Boy: I like ghost movies.
Offscreen: How come?
Boy: I think the only thing more frightening than opening a closet door and finding a knife-wielding maniac is opening up that closet door and finding nothing. If you take away all the monsters and serial killers, all we have to fear is ourselves. We create ghosts when there isn’t anything else left to scare us.
Offscreen: That’s deep.
Boy: Are we done yet?
Offscreen: Just state your name. You know, for legitimacy.
Boy: My name is Brian Nightshade and you’ve just tuned in to What I Think About Horror Movies.
Offscreen: Thanks.
The image goes black.

October

If we shoot a movie in black and white we use chocolate syrup. If it’s in color we use corn syrup with red food coloring.
So much sugar goes into blood.
Chocolate syrup was used for Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Corn syrup was used for The Evil Dead. It was my brother who told me that.
Death needs to be sweetened.
I pedal past a row of shuttered buildings on my way to the grocery store. The faux-cabin exteriors only deceive the tourists that flood our town during the summer and winter months. Most shops simply shut down during the fall. Silver Creek has been dead since Labor Day and will remain that way until Christmas.
I check over my shoulder, hold my breath, and swerve into the road. A gust of wind blows a swarm of dead leaves into my spokes, some of which get shredded. The others get caught between the wheel and the fork. I enjoy the gory death of the red and gold foliage. A minivan pulls up alongside me. I make eye contact with the driver, a middle-aged woman with a sour face. She shakes her head and speeds away. I flip her off.
I cut to the left and let the momentum take me up the slight incline of the parking lot. I set my bike against the rack and leave it unlocked.
There’s a cork bulletin board at the entrance to the grocery store—a place where people can advertise yard sales, community events, or lost pets. It’s covered with brightly-colored flyers. The flyers declare their purpose with bold, 20-point font.
MISSING CHILD
The parents who make the flyers use the most attractive pictures, as if that will get their children found faster. I feel bad for the parents with ugly kids. The faces look at you, smiles frozen with gapped and crooked teeth because they haven’t had the benefit of a good orthodontist yet.
Some of the kids have taken to collecting them like baseball cards. Sometimes you’ll see a grief-stricken parent replacing a flyer of their missing kid. It’s awkward.
Hot pink, neon green, electric orange. I look down to avoid them. The neon looks awful and inappropriately bright. Like they’re trying to sell something.
I think again of sweetened death.
The corn syrup is expensive. I check for a knock-off brand on a lower shelf, but it turns out I’m holding the knock-off. The higher-priced bottle’s label shows an abstract illustration of a farm and boasts 100% organic. Mountain prices for a mountain town. Silver Creek loves to spend money on products that make it feel rustic.
There’s barely enough money in my wallet to cover the corn syrup, and I briefly contemplate changing the movie to black and white. I’m sure we’ve got a shitload of chocolate syrup back at the house. It’s been so long since my family’s eaten ice cream.
But no, it has to be in color. I’m not fucking around with this one. It’s going to be my masterpiece.
I wait behind Marilyn Mackie while the cashier rings her up. Mrs. Mackie fills the aisle; her ass grazing the gum and breath mints on the display behind her. She stares ahead until the cashier—a similarly large girl with braces—tallies the total of her groceries. The sum is humongous, and I can’t wait to tell Steve about how much the Mac Attack spent on food the next time I see him. Mrs. Mackie snaps out of her daze and notices me. The recognition makes her gasp and she puts a hand to her chest. It’s like she saw a ghost.
“Hi, Mrs. Mackie.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, Jason. You startled me.”
I nod and look down at my shoes. I pass the bottle of corn syrup between my hands. Mrs. Mackie pays.
“How are your folks?” she asks.
“Oh, you know.”
“That’s good,” she says. “I mean, not good, but. …” She trails off. She exhales and her entire being deflates; her chin sinks into the comfort of her neck. “I’m sorry. It’s been hard for all of us.”
“It’s okay.”
The printer uncurls a receipt, and the checkout girl folds it three times before handing it to Mrs. Mackie. Mrs. Mackie pushes her cart of groceries forward while she reads the scroll of her purchases. I put the bottle on the conveyer belt and watch as it’s pulled toward the cashier. I wonder if she and Mrs. Mackie regard each other as past and future selves.
“You remind me of someone I’ve seen before?”
The checkout girl smiles at me and waits for my reaction. It’s not a question, really, but the upward pitch in her last word forces a glaring question mark. The white bands on her braces have turned yellow from neglect and she holds my corn syrup hostage while I think of a response. Mrs. Mackie looks up from her receipt. The terror returns to her face.
“Maybe it’s my brother. We’re twins.”
“Maybe. Or maybe someone famous?” She twists the bottle around in her hands. It’s disturbing the way she caresses it while she thinks. Her tongue sweeps her broad-set, braced teeth. I want to tell her again that it’s probably my brother who she’s thinking about, but I know that’s not true.
“Excuse me,” says Mrs. Mackie. “Are you new here or something? Don’t you know who he is?”
The checkout girl frowns and gives up. “I don’t know.” She sighs and chucks my syrup into a plastic bag. “They just tell us to be nice to the customers.”
She hands me the bag with a limp wrist. I take it without saying thanks. Mrs. Mackie, embarrassed from her outburst, waddles to the exit, and the automatic door swings open. I maneuver around her before she fills the doorframe and the electric eye senses my urgency. I jump out into the parking lot to feel the cooling-but-still-warm autumn air. I realize I’ve been sweating.
“Don’t listen to her. What does she know, anyway?” Mrs. Mackie calls out to me from the entrance of the store. She reaches into the pocket of her sweatpants and pulls a yellow flyer out, folded into fourths. “Things will work out, you’ll see.” She slaps the flyer onto the corkboard and tacks it in.
The automatic door closes slowly on Mrs. Mackie like a fade out.

***

My brother, Brian Nightshade, was the first to go missing.
Since then, Donny Yates was second, and then a week later it was Collin Stephenson. Bobby Islo, Andy Stoner, Clint Something and the girlish-looking Sean Fornier disappeared within a three-month span. Wendy Dee was the first and only girl to go missing so far. After her disappearance, the town’s cruel irritability toward these “runaways” was replaced by a surging fear of kidnappers and child-molesters. Every recluse and old person became a target for suspicion.
It’s funny how a girl can change things.
Greg Mackie was the latest one. He went missing last week.
Nine children so far.

***

I’m positive that The Lost Boys is the greatest vampire movie ever made, only because it’s the dumbest. Most vampire movies become bogged down by romance and other boring stuff. Or what Greg Mackie called it: moral ambiguities and penetration motifs. He was into that kind of theory stuff.
I lean my bike against the window of King Kong Video, Silver Creek’s only rental store. The clerk, a balding twenty-something, stares through the glass and frowns. He wears glasses and has a beard shaved to create a fake jaw line on his soft face.
A large portion of King Kong’s selection consists of VHS tapes. They don’t stock new releases, which is fine by me—I just download whatever I can’t find. New movies aren’t really scary anyway. I’m pretty sure the store stays in business because of their adult section, but it’s possible to find gems that only exist in analog: B-grade films with lots of gore and nudity. Some of them are actually okay.
“Please don’t lean your bike against the window,” the clerk says. “It could break it.” He’s got some pretentious foreign movie playing on the TV. Waves of an incomprehensible language float through the air. There’s a MISSING CHILD poster taped on the wall behind the counter. It’s Collin Stephenson, the third kid to go missing.
“You got The Lost Boys in?” I ask.
“Vampires?”
“Yep.”
The clerk tsks, but types the request into King Kong’s ancient computer system. He hits a key, and the machine lurches to life. It sounds like actual gears are carrying out the function. Collin smiles at me from over the clerk’s shoulder. It’s been a long time since Collin’s parents have printed any new flyers, making this poster somewhat of a collector’s item. I wander into the inventory while the computer thinks.
I peruse the horror section, admiring the artwork on movie boxes, noting which ones have the scariest screenshots on the back. Re-Animator 2 is a good one; Chopping Mall is all right but it has the best name of any movie. Frankenhooker is one of my favorites. I watched that twice in one night before.
When we were little, my brother and I were so scared of these boxes that we’d dare each other to look at them. Our mom made us stop when Brian started seeing monsters in the closet.
I pick up another box. The movie’s called Basket Case. On the cover, a claw pokes out from the rim of a wicker basket and a frightening set of eyes peer out from deeper within.
The movie is about two brothers: Duane and Belial. Conjoined twins. Doctors separate them at birth because of Belial’s monstrous appearance—like a tumorous mound growing out the side of Duane. Just a pile of skin molded into teeth and arms, really.
As adults, Duane carries Belial around in a wicker basket to exact revenge on the doctors that separated them. Because that’s what brothers do.
Last year me and Brian wanted to be Duane and Belial for Halloween, but we couldn’t agree on who got to be the deformed twin.
“Hey kid!”
I drop the box and catch it in mid-air before setting it back on the shelf.
“It’s out,” says the clerk. “The Lost Boys. Computer says so. Says it was rented two weeks ago.”
“Can I put a hold on it?”
“What’s the name?”
It’s annoying. I’ve been in this guy’s store nearly every weekend for the last two years and he still doesn’t know my name. Fuck his window. I hope my bike does break it. “Nightshade.”
The guy clacks away at the keyboard. His brow furrows. “Interesting. Says here that you were the last one to rent it.”
“What?” The clerk turns the ancient monitor toward me. The name NIGHSHADE reads out in green text. “I don’t have it.”
“Are you sure? You weren’t the one who rented it?” He slides his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “I’m pretty sure it was you.”
“I rent a lot of movies here, but not that one. I don’t have it.”
“Pretty sure it was you. I have a good memory, Nightwing.”
“Nightshade.”
“Mmhm.” A victorious breath. “I don’t know. Not my problem. It’s on your family’s account, so either find it or pay the fine.”
The cassette playing the foreign movie cuts out. Dialog becomes muddled. Lines of static roll down the screen and the picture jumps from left to right. The image freezes and a loud clicking comes from inside the VCR. Interior whirring speeds up until the machine’s mouth spews out the tape in long strands.
“Shit,” says the clerk with more resignation than annoyance. I leave without renting anything.

***

The main streets of Silver Creek eventually feed into the suburban neighborhoods where houses are modern and earth-toned. You used to be able to walk outside at night and watch your neighbor’s big-screen TV from the street. You could even hear the pummeling action through their surround-sound. Most everyone keeps their blinds closed now. I stand at the entrance of my own house, hand on the door. Vibrations from my parents’ expensive sound-system massage my palm in spurts. This evening’s attempt at twilight is filtered through haze; shadows look smeared. It’s as if a far-off volcano has spewed its evil, and dominant winds have brought the ashes of creatures to settle in the atmosphere over our town, a dusty swarm of spirits that dims the sunlight.
I turn the knob and push. The house is vaguely humid. Mom’s watching a show about historical hauntings. On the screen, some guys are using night vision cameras and EVP recorders to prove the existence of ghosts. They never find anything, but my mom’s completely addicted. She doesn’t even know what EVP stands for.
They’re playing back the audio recording, enhanced for home viewers. The result is a high-pitched squeal that drops out in rapid successions. The ghost hunters try to convince us that this pattern is a ghost saying, Get out of my house.
“Mom,” I say. “Hi!”
Mom looks up from the TV. The screech continues. She waves. “Jason. I didn’t see you.”
I fall onto the cushion next to her. She has no scent anymore. In fact, a faint antiseptic odor has overtaken everything, muting out any sense of home. It’s the smell of keeping yourself busy, keeping your mind off things.
Mom points to the screen. “This house. They say it’s the most haunted house in America.”
“Don’t they say that about all the houses?”
“Huh?”
On the screen, a stationary camera catches a door closing by itself. The creak is deafening.
I shout my question again. Mom laughs. The crew runs toward the camera. The night vision filter makes their eyes look simultaneously alive and soulless, like wild animals. The host’s fear—captured by the green filter—is by far the scariest thing about these shows, not the closing doors or muffled audio. Darkness makes everyone look feral.
The show cuts to commercials that are nearly twice as loud as the ghost show. I stand to leave. Mom grabs my hand, squeezes, and lets it go. A loving acknowledgement. A wordless I know, or I’m sorry, or another deep-meaning pleasantry. I leave her alone to watch her show.
I push through the kitchen door and into an overbearing cloud of smoke, like walking through a sweaty cobweb. The smoke detector buzzes; its alarm sounds weak from overuse.
A pot sits on the stove; flames reach up the side with demonic glee. I shut the monster down. There’s no water left, just burnt spaghetti stuck to the bottom. I turn the sink faucet on and put everything under the cooling rinse. The pot, relieved of its torture, gives off a heavy sigh and unleashes one last puff of steam into the air. I silence the smoke alarm by taking it off the wall and removing the battery.
My dad walks in, waves smoke away like he’s used to it. He opens the fridge and pulls out a diet root beer. He empties half of it in one gulp. A belch blossoms out of his throat, and I smell a day’s worth of closed-mouth.
“What’s with all the commotion in here?” He nods toward the disassembled smoke alarm in my hand. “That’ll kill us, you know.” He winks and finishes his soda.
“It was going crazy. Somebody left the food on the stove.” I pick the pot up out of the sink and show him the caked-together mass of spaghetti, brown and drowning in the tepid water.
“Wasn’t me,” he says and lets the room suffocate on scalding air while he opens another can.

***

We eat sandwiches that night. Peanut butter and honey. The ghost show is still running (some sort of marathon, I guess). We eat at the table, but all our heads are turned to the TV. I peel the crusts off my bread and dangle them above my mouth before dropping them in.
The screech of an EVP recording makes us all wince. I look over to my mom, and her eyes are hidden behind glasses reflecting the images of men running from invisible pursuers.
At the commercial, my mom turns the sound down.
“How was school?” she asks.
“It’s Saturday,” I say.
“That’s my boy,” my dad says. He crams a last bite of sandwich into his mouth.
“Can I spend the night at Steve’s?”
“Sure,” Mom says. “Whatever you want.”
“Oh!” Dad says. “Honey, did you know you left the pot on the burner today?”
Mom looks down at her sandwich as if it’s a piece of evidence. “Oh.”
“Yeah.”
“Sorry,” she says. “Must’ve forgot.”
Dad nudges me. “Must’ve forgot.” He chuckles. “Get it?” He says this like an inside joke. “Get it?”
“I knew I forgot something,” she says.
“Damn near burned the house down. Ask Jason.” He looks at me for approval. I stare at the crumbs on my plate.
“She must’ve forgot,” he says again with some mysterious emphasis. He mouths it to me while Mom watches the ghost hunters. I clear my place without asking to be excused. Mom turns the soundtrack up to ear-splitting levels. Dad grabs my wrist; he’s laughing so hard that the crumbs on his belly are shaking off onto the carpet. Tears stand in his eyes. I still don’t know what he finds so funny.
“Get it?” he keeps asking.

Horror Business

We didn’t fuck around when it came down to business: just like how the original Evil Dead was a better movie than Evil Dead II. Just like how the original Halloween was better than Friday the 13th, but still not as good as Nightmare On Elm Streets I and III. Just like how The Ring was good, but every other remake of a Japanese horror movie sucked. Just like how the Re-Animator might be the best comedy-horror ever made, and how there really hasn’t been a good vampire movie since The Lost Boys.
Like how we knew that the original Dawn of the Dead was filmed at the Monroeville Mall in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Like how it’s lame that you now have to say “the original” when talking about a lot of horror movies.
Like how we thought Pinhead was a good villain but Hellraiser was confusing.
How 28 Days Later is not a zombie movie, technically.
And how movies aren’t really as scary as they used to be.
Horror business was our business, and we didn’t fuck around.

 

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

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Ryan grew up in Park City, Utah. His fiction has appeared in Quarterly West, Paper Darts, Vice, Monkeybicycle and [PANK]. He currently lives in San Diego where he acts as Creative Director for the nonprofit literary arts organization So Say We All. He’s the co-editor of the anthology Last Night on Earth and founder of the literary horror journal, Black Candies.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter 

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

The book will be sent upon the titles release.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

thanksgiving-mums-graphicsfairy003bI am sure some of you have noticed that I’ve been conspicuously absent from my blog for the last month or so. The reason for this is that I have taken on a temporary second job that puts my work hours at 70+ a week right now. I have the bad habit of collecting stray kids, usually teens, and the grocery bill alone could bankrupt a single mom like myself, lol. So, by the time I’m done working both jobs, I am tired but there is still housework to be done. Unfortunately, my blog has had to take a backseat because of the two jobs and the four young people that have moved in recently. However, I’m going to try to get back into the swing of things and figure out how to juggle the two jobs and Mommasez…because I miss my readers, fellow bloggers, and authors!

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So, Happy Thanksgiving and look for more posts coming soon!!!

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Tweet Revenge by Rickard B. DeMille Review

Tweet Revenge: A Dawn Johnson Mystery

by Rickard B. DeMille

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Summary:

Not all criminals are brought to justice.

Sometimes Justice must be brought to them.

The first victim preyed on young girls. Justice visited and he fell prey to African Painted Dogs in a Texas Wildlife Park.

The last victim killed her baby with heroin. Justice administered the same fate to her.

The other victims suffered equally fitting and brutal deaths. For rookie FBI Agent Dawn Johnson, her first case finds her in a “hate triangle” between a boss that wants her gone, a bigoted Texas Sheriff that doesn’t want her at all, and a serial killer that taunts police, 140 characters at a time.

Rickard B DeMille, author of the International Amazon Best Seller HELLFIRE, brings us a new hero named Dawn Johnson, and a new villain called Justice. They engage in a brutal ballet of vengeance and death until . . .

Dawn joined the FBI for the wrong reasons, and her boss wants her transferred out. Rural county Sheriff Bubba Scates doesn’t want anyone messin’ with his investigation, especially a female, African-American, over-educated, caustic, independant FBI Agent. Dawn wants to get back to her private agenda, but no one gets what they want. Except Justice, who continues to execute people he feels have escaped justice from the courts. Justice gets his retribution, and uses social media to publicize his vengeance and taunt police.

However, once Justice has claimed his final victim, things really get interesting. Nothing is as it seems, and no one is certain to survive, as the manhunt concludes and the truth is finally revealed.

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My Review:

Tweet Revenge is an excellent police procedural mystery that has my favorite type of protagonist–the broken, misunderstood, misfit who carries deep and traumatic secrets with her. In this case, Dawn is not only trying to break the glass ceiling of the mainly male-dominated FBI, but she is also a woman of color. Two strikes against her. Add to this the fact that she was badly injured attempting a heroic bust of two robbers one hour after she graduated from the Academy and the veteran FBI agents now view her as a hot-head. Plus, she carries a painful secret around with her. A secret that has negatively influenced every aspect of her life since the “death” of her father. Dawn is intriguing and definitely a character that I would like to see more of.

The plot of Tweet Revenge is also a fun and creepy mystery revolving around a vigilante, aptly self-named Justice, who tweets his murders, step-by-step, mocking the ‘incompetent’ police along the way. Justice’ motives for the murders that he commits make a reader think about what actually constitutes justice in the American legal system. How do these criminals get off so easily? Why is the legal system so flawed? Are we, as citizens and neighbors, responsible for meting out justice ourselves? Where do you draw the line? Since I love mysteries that are well-written, thought-provoking, and offer sympathetic characters, I am giving this a Five Star rating! I plan on reading more from Rickard DeMille:)

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c02fa1132c540ad8986c07.L._V389418487_SX200_Author Bio:

Rickard B DeMille is a member of ITW, the International Thriller Writers Association. He is also a Co-Organizer of the Frisco Writers Group, and a member of the North Dallas Screenwriters.

After serving in the Marines Corps as a commissioned officer, author Rick DeMille started a career in information systems and currently manages the technology department for a small energy company in the Dallas area.

His interest in writing was revived when he wrote a Y2K guide which was distributed over the Internet by an outdoor supply company. He next began writing short stories, several of which were published online by websites such as BeWrite.com. His short stories won various contests, including those sponsored by ‘Darklines,’ ‘Eros and Rust,’ and Magellan Books from Australia who also included one of his short stories in the ADUMBRA anthology.

He self-published OF SINNERS AND LIBERALS, a humourous look at how liberalism would have changed history. He has also published his Masters’ Thesis, BIBLE STUDY: DEFENDING DANIEL. A reexamination of historical, linguistinc, and anthropological facts relating to the Book of Daniel from the Bible.

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Author Links:

Amazon                WordPress             Goodreads

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Stay tuned for the Cover Reveal for Tweet Revenge with an all new cover!

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Story Time with Mary Fan and Tash McAdam

StoryTime is a tri-annual event created by Glass House Press. All proceeds from the StoryTime events will be donated to SDDAS Spirit Fund, a nonprofit society dedicated to giving homeless animals the medical care they need. For more information, visit their website at sddac.com/donations.asp.

 

Summary:

In Mary Fan’s second novella from Glass House Press, a teen girl wakes up in an icy cell, alone and frightened. She has no memory of who she is or how she came to be there.

She does know that she must get out, at all costs. And that escape must start with remembering the simple things – her own name. Her place of origin. Her possible powers.

When a group of dark magicians reveal themselves to be her captors, she finds herself in the clutches of those who will stop at nothing to uncover the secrets locked within her lost memories. With her life fading under their merciless spells, the need to escape becomes dire.

But can she get out when she doesn’t even know who she is? Can she count on one unlikely ally for help? Or is it already too late for her, a girl without a name?

Tell Me My Name introduces the main characters in Mary’s new fantasy series, Fated Stars, with the first book, Windborn, due in late 2015.

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About Mary Fan:

Mary Fan is a hopeless dreamer, whose mind insists on spinning tales of “what if.” As a music major in college, she told those stories through compositions. Now she tells them through books—a habit she began as soon as she could pick up a pencil. Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil follows a well-received debut novel, a space opera titled Artificial Absolutes (2013), and is the first in the Flynn Nightsider series. Mary would like to think that there are many other novels in her bag, and hopes to prove that to the world as well.

Mary lives in New Jersey and has a B.A. from Princeton University. When she’s not scheming to create new worlds, she enjoys kickboxing, opera singing, and blogging about everything having to do with books.

Website            Facebook          Twitter

Summary:

Telepaths, torture, mindwipes … the Institute has it all, and they use each of their brainwashed children as weapons, the way they see fit. To control society, repress its people. To make certain that they stay in power, no matter the cost. Serena’s baby brother Damon is one of those children, and these days he’s so altered that he doesn’t even recognize her.

When it comes to getting Damon away from those who kidnapped him, there’s nothing Serena won’t do. Even if she has to kill him to save him. First, though, she must prove to her father that she has what it takes to be a soldier against the insidious threat of the Institute. Her first mission has to be perfect.

But with inaccurate intelligence, unexpected storms, and Gav Belias, people’s hero of the Watch, on the prowl, will she even survive? If she doesn’t succeed, they’ll never let her go after her brother.

And that would be unthinkable, when it was her fault that he was taken in the first place.

Slam is Tash McAdam’s first work with Glass House Press, and serves as a prequel to her series The Psionics, with the first book, Maelstrom, due in 2015.

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About Tash McAdam:

Tash McAdam’s first writing experience (a collaborative effort) came at the age of eight, and included passing floppy discs back and forth with a best friend at swimming lessons. Since then, Tash has spent time falling in streams, out of trees, learning to juggle, dreaming about zombies, dancing, painting, learning Karate, becoming a punk rock pianist, and of course, writing.

Tash is a teacher in real life, but dreams of being a full-time writer, and living a life of never-ending travel. Though born in the hilly sheepland of Wales, Tash has lived in South Korea and Chile and now calls Vancouver, Canada home.

Maelstrom, the first book in The Psionics, is Tash’s first published work. Visit the website or facebook for news, gossip, and random tidbits about Tash’s adventures.

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Crowdtap and my Pork Chop recipe

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I recently joined a website called Crowdtap that offers free samples and prizes in exchange for product advertisement. Last week, I received a coupon for a free jar of Ragu sauce. Since I’m not crazy about red sauce, I chose the Roasted Garlic Parmesan white sauce.

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I was asked to write a NEW recipe for this sauce but I’m old-school and from the Mid-West. We love pork chops in Missouri so I decided to try a dish with pork chops and white sauce. My kids and I primarily eat chicken and fish so this was a new endeavor for me. Going with my mom’s suggestion, I tried pounding the Pork Roast Butt first. I’m impatient so it didn’t get pounded very well, lol.

photo (1)Next, I dipped the chops in milk then rolled them in flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. You can add any spices that you like!

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After they were thoroughly covered with a coating of flour and spices, I placed them in a frying pan that had a small amount of oil in the bottom.  I fried the chops until the juices ran clear. Just to be safe, I used a knife to cut into the pork chop to make sure that the inside of the chop was now white.

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For sides, I would have liked to serve something healthy like asparagus or couscous but my kids wanted mashed potatoes and golden corn. So that’s what we had. In the picture, I pour the Ragu sauce over the pork chops and serve. In real life, I poured that sauce on almost EVERYTHING on my plate! I’ve got to be honest, it was delicious! It tasted like Alfredo with a slight aftertaste of garlic. Delicious!

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The Night House by Rachel Tafoya Excerpt and Giveaway!

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This week, we are revealing the first chapter for

The Night House by Rachel Tafoya

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

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Bianca St. Germain works at a Night House, a place where vampires like the aristocratic Jeremiah Archer, pay to feed on humans, and she doesn’t much care what others think of her. The money is good, and at least there, she’s safe. Bianca also doesn’t care that the Night House is killing her. All she cares about is: nauth, the highly addictive poison in vampire bites that brings a euphoria like no drug ever could.

But when Bianca meets James, a reclusive empath who feels everything she does, for the first time, she considers a life outside of the Night House and a someone worth living for. But Jeremiah has decided to keep Bianca for himself; he won’t allow her to walk away.

As she allows her feelings for James to grow, she struggles to contain nauth’s strong hold on her life. If they are to have a future, James must make her see what she’s worth, what she means to him, before Jeremiah and nauth claim her for good.

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Title: THE NIGHT HOUSE
Publication date: December 9, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Rachel Tafoya

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Excerpt

Enjoy Chapter One! Happy Reading!

The Night House
Rachel Tafoya

 

Bianca

It’s been one day since I last had nauth.
A chill is starting to set into my bones. As some giant carelessly spills orange and red over the sky, I hurry back to the Night House. This tiny black pillowcase that I call a dress is tighter than it should be, and I’m in heels that force me to walk on my toes. I never took ballet, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been walking on pointe since I came to Philly.
When I reach the building, the sun is long gone. My boss, Finn, waits behind the black double doors. I can’t see him, but I can feel him—or maybe I’m just used to his grimace greeting me. My shoes click against the stone steps. I love that sound. Sometimes I spend my days just listening to everyone walk by. The click, thud and slap of shoes are the real soundtrack of the city.
But the Night House is quiet.
Finn opens the door for me with a scowl. He could be beautiful like the others, if he tried, but he is the laziest vampire I have ever met.
“Bianca St. Germain.” His voice is bored, as usual. “You’re late.”
“Figured you’d rather I take my time than break my ankle in these shoes.” I breeze past him. The chilly night air follows me in, pawing at my back like a neglected pet.
“I can fix ankles,” Finn is still facing the door like I haven’t moved. “Your pitiful lack of manners, however … ”
I shrug him off. “It’s a couple of minutes, cut me some slack.”
“This isn’t high school, Bianca. You’re not a teenager when you’re in here.”
“Sorry, I’ll start investing in stocks or something. That’s what old people do, right?”
He huffs in my direction as I feel my way around the darkness. The whole place is pitch black until the thin hallway forks. To my left, pale blue lights beckon the customers. I go right, through the heavy curtain that leads to the girls’ rooms. Vampires with their night vision don’t need guidance, but I’m fairly certain every girl has tripped at least once down here.
The doors are nearly invisible except for the strips of space at the bottom where they don’t quite reach the floor. Those spaces cast light on my feet as I teeter past on these impossible heels. They’re new, and I’m still breaking them in, but I’ve never felt this tall before.
I hear scuffling and shifting behind those doors. The other girls hide in their rooms all day. They don’t understand why I still crave the sunlight, why I don’t make my room my little home and never leave until I’m called. That’s what Finn wants me to do, what the girls think I should do, but I would rather sleep on the cracked unyielding sidewalks of Philly than in the Night House. I would rather be homeless than call this place home.
When I find my room, I turn the knob and bump my hip into it. It opens with a groan. My door has been broken for at least three months. Finn keeps saying he’ll fix it, but he couldn’t care less and we both know it. Still, I keep bugging him. I can’t give up that easily.
My room is like two closets that had the walls knocked out between them. A bed is nestled in the corner. Most of my important stuff is underneath there, like sketchbooks, novels and accessories to hide my scars. One wall is dominated by a large mirror with huge lights, like an actress might have for her dressing room. Though I’m sure an actress would have working lights. I slump into the folding chair and rest my fish-netted legs on the dresser. Makeup and various beauty tools—eyeliner, lipstick, blush—lay scattered over it. This is the only time I can bear to look at myself. Right before I become another person.
I start with the lips. Blood red, the way they like it. Then I frame my eyes in black so that the green pops. I don’t need to do anything to appear pale. That one comes naturally. But I smooth my face with lotion and foundation, and then add rosy cheeks. When I unravel my scarf, I have to close my eyes. That way, when I open them, I can pretend it’s someone else’s neck covered with scars. Some crazy girl with her makeup on. The scars are nearly invisible, thanks to Finn and his healing blood, but I can still see clumps of white scar tissue, just a shade paler than my skin. I hate not being able to cover my scars with anything—makeup doesn’t taste good.
When I am done with makeup, I change out of my dress and tights and heels and put on an awful old corset. Each girl has at least one old-fashioned outfit because sometimes vampires prefer to live in the old days. We all have different specialties. My friend Alex is all about the 1950s. I got stuck in the 19th century.
Tonight, I have an appointment with Jeremiah, and he’s very old and very proper but he’s not above throwing a tantrum if I’m not perfectly in period. Jeremiah is a regular here. For a while, he used to switch between the girls until I showed up. He’s something of a collector, and when he found out I had AB negative, he became my regular. Apparently AB neg means something, or that’s what Finn told me anyway. It’s tricky having the same guy come by all the time because you start to know each other. That doesn’t make it easier. I wish they were all strangers. Unfortunately, I know Jeremiah very well.
So I put on this musty old dress with frills and lace and after it’s on, I am a dusty layer cake. I hate Jeremiah, but he pays nicely so I always get a tip from him. That means a new sketchbook, or maybe I’ll treat myself to a cupcake.
Finn knocks on my door even though it’s open. “Jeremiah is here.”
I stifle a groan and meet his gaze.
He gives me a once over. “Fix your hair.”
“One hundred strokes, right?”
“He’s in the Fire Room.” Finn leaves before I can say anything else.
I pick up my paddle brush and make my hair as flouncy as I can, but it’s thick and heavy and sits the same way no matter what I do to it. It could take hours to make my hair salon styled. Besides, it’s fine the way it is. Maybe not 1800s fine, but Jeremiah will have to deal. It’s not my hair he comes for, anyway.
I step out of my room, and I feel like I walked out of Sense and Sensibility. I like Jane Austen. She writes happy endings.
I hate Jeremiah.
The hallway takes me past all the doors which start to open, like night-blooming flowers. Alex flashes a smile. Her hair is full of curlers. Jessie tries to zip up her dress by herself even though we all know she can’t. Yvonne runs between her room and Jordan’s, trying to decide which shoes to wear. Both pairs are ugly.
I take the back way into the lounge, away from the front doors. One of Finn’s guys waits by the entrance. He is even less animated than Finn, which is hard to accomplish. He’s probably well paid with some name like Tank or Gunn. We both pretend this isn’t awkward, and he lets me through.
Yet another hallway lies ahead. Another thick set of curtains separates the lounge from the rooms, but I can see a bit of the blue lights on the other side. There, one of the luckier girls gets to pretend she isn’t vamp food in order to be the hostess, taking names. There, vampires sit idly on a long winding couch, tapping their feet, waiting their turn, while they ignore their thirst. There, Finn handles all the customers and tells them to be patient while the girls get ready. Then we can sneak into the rooms and appear like we’ve been there all along. We’ll ask sweetly, “What took you so long?” and they’ll blame Finn, but they’ll thank him later.
Inside the Fire Room, creatively named for being the only room with a fireplace, is where it starts. My hunger. It is different from the vamps’. It is a void, embedded deep in my veins, which can never be filled.
Nauth.
The word echoes in my head and sends chills down my spine.
I want it.
I want it now.
But I must be patient and distract myself by taking in the decorations in the Fire Room. It really seems like it was transported straight from some Victorian’s living room. From the stiff baroque curtains and the velvet couch, to the unused silverware sitting on the dark wooden table, I blend right in.
This is one big show for the vampires. The whole Night House feels like a movie set. I am an actress. Finn directs us. Still, I know it’s real. So I face the fire and let it warm my skin as I wait for everything to get too close.

 

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

Rachel Tafoya

Rachel Tafoya studied creative writing while at Solebury School and was published in their student run literary magazine, SLAM. She attended a writing program for teens at both Susquehanna University and Denison University, and the Experimental Writing for Teens class and Novels for Young Writers program, both run by NY Times bestselling author, Jonathan Maberry. Rachel is the daughter crime author Dennis Tafoya.

 

Connect with the Author:  Tumbler | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway

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The Devil’s Liege by Danielle DeVor Review and Giveaway!!

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Vampiric Virtual Book Tour:

The Devil’s Liege

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LARGE MASTER_THEDEVILSLIEGE_DANIELLEDEVOR

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Being a vampire isn’t all it’s cracked up to be- in fact, it kind of sucks.

After surviving his duel with Lilith, Mathias thought that he could relax. That is until he discovers that, Nossy, the new king, has been kidnapped.

When the investigating vampires seem to have no clue how to rescue Nosferatu, Mathias must step in. Everything is peachy until Mathias is named the next new king in order to stop the man behind Nossy’s kidnapping from taking over the throne.

Suddenly, his life is not his own again, and Mathias must make a choice: risk his life to find his friend, or sit back and watch disaster unfold.

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You can buy The Devil’s Liege at these links:

Amazon US     **    Amazon UK

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My Review

This book was both an entertaining and an interesting read. It was difficult for me to figure out what genres this book could be classified in exactly. Aspects of young adult, paranormal, and urban mingled throughout the pages. And as we all know, these are my top favorite genres because anything can possibly happen and the stories are almost larger than life. So I eagerly devoured this book to watch how author Danielle DeVor would create vampires and bats and devils.

I thoroughly enjoyed the inclusion of famous characters of myth and legend, such as Nostradamus, Lilith, Vlad, and Azazel who can all be found throughout literature. Adding a slightly more modern element to them was fun to watch as they still cavorted through Time and Humanity and Life causing havoc.

One aspect of the book I would have liked to see more of was short paraphrasing of what happened in Book One. I both love and dislike when there are people and events hinted at but not completely told about. Love because it is so exciting thinking that I will have ANOTHER book like this that will fill in even more of the story. Dislike because I’m that reader who has to know everything NOW, lol. Impatient:)

But I was suddenly happy and intrigued again as my idea of a vampire was horribly mangled into a more exciting and dangerous creation. Then, the winged and clawed creature got to solve a mystery and I was totally sold! I am going to have to go back and get Book One!

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Danielle DeVor

DanielleDeVorAuthorPhotoDanielle DeVor spent her early years fantasizing about vampires and watching “Salem’s Lot” way too many times. After living briefly in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she moved back to her hometown to write. When not writing and reading about weird things, you will find her hanging out at the nearest coffee shop, enjoying a mocha frappuccino.

Danielle has been on a writing roll this year! With the release of Tail of the Devil, Constructing Marcus and Sorrow’s Point she already has three books out.

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You can follow Danielle at these links:

Danielle on Twitter    *   Danielle on Facebook   *   Danielle on Goodreads

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 Giveaway

This Giveaway is open internationally. Must be 13+ to enter.

  • 1 Winner – $10 Amazon Gift Card, 1 signed bookmark each for THE DEVIL’S LIEGE  and THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL
  •  2 Winners – eCopy of THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL

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