I’m actually kinda looking forward to this one! Snow White and The Huntsmen. It sounds and looks like an interesting “re-mix” on the Snow White fairy tale and is obviously an adult version in that it’s a lot darker in tone. I got a good laugh when I read in one of the comments: “so Hancock’s wife hires Thor to hunt down and kill Bella”. Pretty funny if you think of it that way! 😀
What movies are you looking forward to?
So I’m pretty sure everyone here knows that Tori & I are fans of both the Twilight series of books and the movies. 😀 Tori sent me the link yesterday for the new movie trailer for Breaking Dawn Part 1 and, WOW! I can’t wait to see it!
Today we have Paranormal Romance author Susan Phelan here to celebrate the upcoming release of her new novel, The Last Watch, which will be out on September 19th. She’s written up a great guest blog and included a couple of excerpts to whet our appetites for more. At the bottom of the post I’ve included a link to Susan’s Countdown Contest to win your own copy! Let’s give Susan a warm welcome as it’s her first time visiting us here at SVR. 🙂
“ Writing Evolution” leads to new Paranormal Suspense THE LAST WATCH
I’ve discovered that, throughout their career, a writer will undergo several periods of growth and evolution in which they organically begin gravitating toward a different style of writing or genre. Of course, the journey of the artist, in which the art form (in this case, writing) reflects our ever changing experience as a
person on the planet is a given. But some other reasons for this sometimes quite subtle shift can be biological (we are getting older and therefore view things differently) or circumstantial (certain events have permanently altered our feelings and thoughts).
If we’re smart, we won’t fight the tide, desperately trying to force our creativity back into the nice, neat already established category it had previously fit into. Rather, we will embrace our “strange” new tendencies along with the unknown direction they are pushing us toward, blindly trusting in the power and ultimate “rightness” of going with the creative flow that inspires us.
I know of whence I speak because to date, I have already experienced two writing evolutions.
The first time, I abandoned the paranormal romances I’d previously penned to write a series of erotica books under a secret pseudonym. The basis behind that premiere literary shift was simple: I had felt too confined by the strict constraints and restrictions of the romance category at the time and longed to write in a kind of no-holds-barred manner while still focusing on the romantic interaction between the characters. A natural writing evolution followed suit.
Two years later, my writing evolved again. In retrospect, I can now see I changed because I was starving for something. Really ravenous. For what? I didn’t know. I only knew that I wanted to be gripped by a story line, really drawn in and held tight by it without the distraction of an explicit, torrid love scene (or two or three). The attraction between the characters would be there —oh boy, would it be there— but there would be something so much more urgent and important than the hero and heroine hopping into the sack.
From this creative craving came THE LAST WATCH.
A suspenseful thriller/paranormal /mystery, THE LAST WATCH satisfied all my needs of the moment. I was intrigued by the intricate cast of characters and how they all fit into the puzzling mystery; I was titillated by the understated passion between the Detective Jude Madison and Libby-Leigh Bryon; I was shocked and scared by Lennox’s dark drive; I was compelled to complete the book to see what happened next; I was warmed and satisfied by its resolution.
This latest writing evolution has led to the desire to share intense, nail-biting tales about provocative characters in a new and thrilling way. I think I’ve accomplished that with THE LAST WATCH and I sincerely hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Until its release on
September 19, 2011, here are a couple of excerpts from THE LAST WATCH.
THE LAST WATCH Excerpt #1
Donovan Frost watched as the final glass auto-lock door of the correctional facility glided soundlessly open, even as the buzz of the entry and exit alarm rang in his ears.
It had been a long time since he was a free man. On one hand, the idea of being on the outside was a little scary. But on the other, it was nothing short of exhilarating.
“See ya,” the administrating police officer said from behind his bullet-proof booth.
Frost slipped him a sidelong glance.
Not if I see you first.
With a deep breath, he stepped through the doorway and out into the heat of the early morning sun. Tilting his face up to the sky, he closed his eyes, smiling at the feel of the strong rays on his skin.
The soft thud of the door sliding closed behind his back brought Frost’s eyes open with a jerk. Fifty or so yards straight ahead, a cab was idling by the curb that bordered the facility’s front parking lot. Turning his head, he gave the institution one last look.
Clinton Correctional Facility.
For the past fifteen years, the maximum security prison had been his home. Situated in the Adirondack village of Dannemora, the state penitentiary took its name from its setting in Clinton County. However because of its remote northern location near the Canadian border, it was more commonly referred to as “Little Siberia.” Opened in the late 1800s, the expansive complex now had a capacity of 2900. Its current population was 2846.
Make that 2845.
In addition to a regular assortment of various ethnic gangs, Little Siberia housed some of the nation’s most notorious mobsters, axe murderers, gangster rappers, and kidnappers through the years including the likes of Lucky Luciano and Tupac Shakur.
And up until a few moments ago, Donovan Frost.
The vicious killer had a reputation that preceded him wherever he went. Including the big house. And it was big.
Beyond the façade and administrative building of the development, the massive north yard on the left half of the prison compound was split into
two sections that contained courts for basketball, handball, football and weight-lifting. The entire area was bounded by a perimeter wall that, from the air, looked like a huge concrete T.
T for trouble.
The outdoor zone was the location of more fights and murders than any other place in the prison. Frost himself had been in a few scuffles there
throughout his incarceration, including one that damn near killed him. To the right of the unofficial fight site was a grassy slope on which stood the inmate-built Church of Saint Dismas. In Christian tradition, Saint Dismas was the “good thief” crucified alongside Jesus who vowed to repent his sins.
Frost pivoted back around and headed for the taxi, glancing down at the contents of the plastic ziplock bag he carried. In it, there were the
usual personal items: a wallet, identification, a razor, a watch, a cell phone, keys. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Even the lone paperback novel tossed into the pack didn’t look out of place. Evidently well-read, its spine was white with countless cracks and its pages were dog-eared and tattered. Indeed the book appeared to have been pored over so much that even the lettering on the jacket was hard to read. Nevertheless, Frost’s eyes moved across the embossed type out of habit. An unnecessary practice.
He knew every word on, and in between, its covers. The front was plain black and blank except for the single image of a green-scaled lizard and the words: Chameleon By Libby Leigh Bryon
Frost climbed into the backseat of the cab and set the package beside him. The cabbie looked at him in the rear view mirror.
The driver’s eyes widened as he whistled softly.
“From here? That’s going to cost you a pretty penny.”
“There’s a $200 tip in it for you if you get me there by ten.”
The cab lurched forward and sped out of the lot.
Taking out the cell phone, Frost dialed a number he had long since memorized. After three rings, an overly polite female voice answered.
“Good morning, Dr. Gossin’s office.”
“This is James Seymour,” Frost said. “I’d like to confirm my appointment today.”
“Was that for a consultation?”
“One moment, please.”
Canned music, irritating in its affability, floated down the line before the receptionist returned.
“Oh yes. Here it is. You’re scheduled for rhinoplasty, jaw, chin and cheekbone augmentation, and blepharoplasty at ten a.m.”
“What was that last one?”
“Blepharoplasty? That’s the eyelid surgery.”
“Right. See you then.”
Frost clicked off the phone and settled in. Stretching his legs out under the seat in front of him, he lay his head back against the rest. It would be a three-hour trip. Might as well get comfortable. Tilting his head to one side, Frost glanced at the bagged book
amongst his personal belongings once more.
With a dry, raspy sound, he started to laugh.
THE LAST WATCH Excerpt # 2
Jude appeared in the doorway of Hannah’s bedroom. Even before he spoke, the look on his face told Libby the situation had changed for the worse.
“Stokes is here. That means Lennox is too.”
“Stay here,” Jude hissed. “And stay low.”
In a flash, he disappeared around the corner.
Before Libby had a chance to crouch down, a shot blasted through the window sending a spray of glass against her back as she reflexively twisted around, shielding Hannah with her body. But that wasn’t all that hit her.
The bullet caught Libby high in the thigh. With a grunt, she fell back on the bed pulling Hannah on top of her. Hannah started crying. “Ssssh, it’s okay honey,” Libby said, grimacing. Scooting forward to the edge of the cot, she slid them both down onto the floor. The pain in her leg was excruciating.
“Mommy, you have a boo-boo,” Hannah cried, pointing to the dark stain on the leg of Libby’s jeans.
“Sit here. And don’t move,” Libby whispered as she placed Hannah on the floor beside her. Crawling over to the closet she reached up, grasping at the several of David’s neck ties that hung from a wooden hanger.
Another shot rang out splintering the hanger. Pieces of it, along with the ties, fell to the ground. Libby grabbed one of the lengths of silk and along with the longest bit of wood she could find, quickly fashioned a crude tourniquet around her thigh. Hannah was crying softly she worked.
Dragging her injured leg behind her, Libby clawed her way back to collect Hannah in her arms, her gaze moving to the shattered window and beyond.
The morning sun was hot. Intense. Blinding.
Libby squeezed her eyes shut as she thought of Jude.
The light might not kill him but it would weaken him even more. And without food for the past 48 hours, he was already in bad shape. When combined, Jude would have less strength than a mortal man and that meant only one thing:
He could be hurt.
For a second Libby flat out panicked. She was in no condition to help Jude but she didn’t want to leave him to fight the battle alone.
Not in his current condition.
But she wouldn’t leave Hannah.
“Get in the closet,” she grunted, setting Hannah down on all fours and pushing her toward the large walk-in space. As they crept along the floor, a volley of gunfire and loud shouts rang out in the backyard below. Hannah scrambled in first, quickly turning around, screaming as another series of shots sounded much louder.
This time, in the house.
Scurrying in after Hannah, Libby closed the closet door behind them. It creaked a little as the outer latch caught, sealing them into the dark, musty space.
Libby pulled Hannah close and cuddled her against her chest, stroking her hair.
“Not a peep,” she said softly.
And there wasn’t.
Not from Hannah.
Not from Libby.
Not from anyone else.
From that point on, there was only silence.
A deafening sickening silence that stretched out endlessly.
That is, until the footsteps.
Thank you Susan. 😀 Yes indeed, I want to read more! How about you guys?
Here’s the link to Susan’s Countdown Contest. Go on over and enter to win a copy of The Last Watch on the release date of September 19th, 2011. Leave a question or comment for Susan as she’ll be popping by through-out the day to reply.
OMG! I just saw this yesterday and I am so stoked to see it! I had to share. 😀
The cover of Daughter of Smoke and Bone – the trilogy of urban fantasy crossover novels by award-winning author Laini Taylor – has just been unveiled
Daughter of Smoke and Bone will launch on September 29th. The book tells the story of an angel who fell in love with a devil. It did not end well.
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.
Meet Kaoru. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters and demons that delight and enthrall those around her; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages – not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that colour.
Her life straddles two worlds: the human and a place that is Elsewhere. She has never really known which one is her true home, but now the doors to Elsewhere are closing . . .Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out..
Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton
“Teagan Wylltson’s best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures–goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty–are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn’t worried. Her life isn’t in danger. In fact, it’s perfect. She’s on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She’s focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.
Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn’s a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he’s crazy or he’s been haunting Abby’s dreams, because he’s talking about goblins, too…and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby’s right. The goblins are coming.”
I quite enjoyed this book. Kersten Hamilton has written a grand adventure with danger, suspense and a touch of romance thrown in. The characters are rich and full of personality. I also loved the sidhe, goblins, shape-shifters and the world building. Teagan and Finn are great together! I loved Teagan’s grandma, she’s a spitfire.
I like that Teagan has a good head on her shoulders and knows what she wants in life. Her younger brother Aiden was, as any child his age, blatantly honest and provided some comic relief with his observations. What can I say about Finn? He’s the perfect match for Teagan and I look forward to seeing how this relationship develops in the next book.
I’m not sure if this book is classified as Young Adult or Middle Grade. I personally think that it might be a bit scary or dark for a younger readership, but it’s an awesome book for teens. Just my opinion though. The evil fae villain that Ms. Hamilton has throughout the story is truly cold, cruel and other-worldly. The folklore weaved into the story was great!
Buy Tyger, Tyger at:
Find out more about Kersten Hamilton and her writing at her website!
I am really excited to have author J.K. Beck here today guest blogging! The first book in her new Shadow Keepers Series, When Blood Calls is in stores now, with the next book, When Pleasure Rules, due to hit shelves on September 28th, 2010. You can read my review of When Blood Calls HERE. Let’s give J.K. a warm welcome because a) she’s awesome, b) I’m convinced she can leap tall buildings in a single bound because she had to practically bend over backwards to get me this post in time right smack dab in the middle of a chaotic move and c) shhh, don’t tell but she’s a best selling author also known as Julie Kenner! Oh yeah, and she’s also giving one lucky commenter a copy of When Pleasure Rules. 😀
J.K. – What would you do if you could slip into someone’s head and get their thoughts? Would you be tempted to use the information for blackmail? To win in the stock market? To make life better for yourself and those you care about?
And what if taking that information could cause harm to another?
It’s an interesting dilemma, and it’s what Lissa, the heroine in my second Shadow Keepers book, is faced with. In WHEN PLEASURE RULES, we meet Lissa, a succubus with a secret skill—when she takes a bit of soul, she also takes thoughts. It’s a skill she’s had throughout all her lives, though she has little memory of the past lives. In this life, she’s used the skill to gain entrance into men’s heads in order to use that information in her quest to rescue the girls she protects from harsh masters. But when the PEC learns of her unique—and illegal—talent, they decide to make the most of it, setting her up as a confidential informant to take information from a werewolf, Rand, who’s recently come to town…and may be behind a series of brutal murders.
The idea of a woman who could get into the heads of men was interesting enough—couple that with Lissa being forced to do it in order to save herself and the women she protects, and it made for a fabulously fun story to write, especially when Rand, dark and dangerous himself, was tossed into the equation.
As you can probably tell, the Shadow Keepers books are set in a paranormal world. Specifically, the books are centered around a paranormal judicial system charged with the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed by the shadow beings.
I’ve had a lot of fun with the books, and with the characters and creatures that inhabit them—vampires, werewolves, daemons, succubi and more!
You can find excerpts, enter contests, or just poke around at the series website, www.theshadowkeepers.com, read my blog at www.jkbeck.com, or see the series book trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KZ2Dv1TSi4 And be sure to friend me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/authorjkbeck) and follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/jkbeck)!
Leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of When Pleasure Rules! Talk about anything, or tell us what you’d do if you could poke around in someone’s head!
Thanks J.K.! I know that I’ll be rushing out to grab a copy of When Pleasure Rules as soon as it hits shelves. 🙂
J.K. Beck has been gracious enough to supply an autographed copy of When Pleasure Rules, book 2 in the Shadow Keepers series to giveaway to one of my readers! Contest is open to Everyone.
For one entry: Please leave a comment with the answer to the question. (+1 entry)
For extra entries:
- Subscribe to my blog, Sidhe Vicious Reviews, through the links at the top right hand side of the blog, and let me know in your comment. Be sure you verify your subscription through the email you’ll receive or it won’t count. (+1 entry)
- If you’re already subscribed, you’ll receive two extra entries, but be sure to let me know in the comments if you’re an old follower. (+2 entries)
- Post a link to this contest on your Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, GoodReads, LibraryThing, or on your blog and send me the link either in the comments or by email and you’ll get an extra entry for each place you add a link to. ( add 1 entry each for however many links you’ve done)
- Follow me on Twitter, Add me as a friend on FaceBook, GoodReads, MySpace, Chapters Community or LibraryThing. (add 1 entry each for however many places you followed/friended me)
- Follow J.K. Beck on Twitter or FaceBook (add +1 for each)
- Contest is open to Everyone and will run through October 3rd until 11:59pm. The winners will be posted here on October 4th.
- Please leave your email addy in your comment for me to contact you if you’ve won, but post it like wilmaflinstone(at)boomshakalaka(dot)com so you don’t get any spam. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 7 days, a new winner will be drawn from the eligible comments. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator. Good Luck everyone!
Please leave your links in one comment if possible. Thanks!
“Sara Constantine is one of the country’s most tenacious prosecuting attorneys—and she’s just secured a well-earned promotion. At first she’s thrilled. Then she finds out her new job involves prosecuting vampires and werewolves. And nothing prepares Sara for the shock she receives when she meets the first defendant she’ll be trying to put away: Lucius Dragos, the sexy stranger with whom she recently shared an explosive night of ecstasy.
When Lucius Dragos kisses the beautiful woman sitting next to him at the bar, he’s only hoping to blend into the crowd and avoid the perceptive gaze of the man he’s following…and planning to kill. But what starts as a simple kiss to secure his cover ignites into a fierce hunger that leads to an all-consuming passion. Charged with murder, Luke knows Sara will do whatever it takes to see him locked away—unless he can convince her that he’s not the monster she thinks he is. And that might mean making the greatest sacrifice a vampire can make.”
First of all, I am in love with this cover! Yes, the man is smokin, but what also works for me is the combination of colors, the crescent moon in the background, the cool glow coming from the ring, the lettering and the wisps of smoke. All together they combine to make for a really stand-out cover that really draws the eye, which is exactly what a cover should do. Mission accomplished!
Second, I could not put this book down! After having read a whole bunch of paranormal romances and urban fantasy, it’s a rare find that basically keeps me flipping pages all night, long past reasonable expectations. When Blood Calls was one of them. (Plus, Lucius Dragos is my new fictional boyfriend now, but that’s neither here nor there). I really liked the compelling characters that J.K. created and the world in which she places them. Full of plot twists and turns, romance, suspense, action and danger.
When Blood calls is the first book in J.K. Beck’s Shadow Keepers series and after reading it, I say Bring On The Shadow Keepers! I haven’t been this excited about a series since I first started Kenyon’s Dark Hunters, Phoenix’s Makers Song series or Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. It’s a wonderful blend of both paranormal romance and urban fantasy which is in itself, intriguing because of the many layers woven into it. This book will remain on my “Keeper” shelf and this series has now become an “auto-buy” one for me.
Buy When Blood Calls at:
Find out more about J.K. Beck and what she’s working on at her website!
I’m going to have a go at this weekly event which was started by Jill over at Breaking The Spine.
My first week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:
Jaguar Warriors — Book 2
October 26, 2010
“A solitary hunter with no regard for the human world, Jagger Castille is a shifter living on the edge. It will take the woman who calls him enemy to give him a reason to live.
Jagger is a creature of the night—Skye Knightly soars in the sun. Natural adversaries, they have been joined by destiny in a mission entrusted to Skye’s family centuries ago: Nothing less than the salvation of the Earth.
Wounded and bitter, Jagger sought escape in the solitude of the jungle, driven by a need to disappear forever… until a mysterious shifter who calls to his soul and feeds a yearning long forgotten, pulls him from his dark path. A courageous warrior, Skye’s passion is equal to Jagger’s own—but can she trust a man on the edge? A man whose secrets are as devastating as her own?
Each is the other’s sole hope for survival. But a dark and twisted truth is leading them toward the ultimate sacrifice for a love they may never live to claim.”
I read the first book in this series, His Darkest Hunger, back when it hit bookstores in June and I was hooked! Awesome Paranormal Romance? Check. Super sexy alpha male jaguar-shifter and female protag that you’re rooting for the whole time? Check. Am I ready to read about more great romance between engaging characters in this world that Juliana Stone has created? Why yes, yes I am! 😀