Top of the Bay Book Signing 2016 Recap and Giveaway

Okay, I know I mentioned in my AAD recap that I was done with conventions for a while, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a local signing.

Top of the Bay Signing Authors
Top of the Bay Signing Authors

The Signing

Honestly, this was a small local event that only lasted for a couple of hours, but I did have a good time. It was really nice to make a few new friends and to see the beautiful Oldsmar Public Library.

Many of the authors decided to chip in and participate in a giveaway for the readers who couldn’t attend. Take a shot at finding a new author or two to follow, and win some fun stuff in the process!

About That Giveaway…

If you couldn’t make it to the signing, I have a wonderful prize pack just for you!

Everything you see below could be yours. Win everything you see in this picture, complete with cherry-picked promo and swag, just as if you had come to the signing yourself!

Please be sure to visit the participating authors on Facebook and Twitter (and buy their books) to thank them for playing along! Remember, this giveaway is supposed to be fun–think of it like a scavenger hunt, where the object is to find new authors to follow and great books to read.

I do want to point out that I’m including an author in this giveaway to follow who has not yet released any books. Show her some love! Christa Ann’s got a western romance and a paranormal shifter romance series coming soon.

Enter To Win This Top of the Bay Goodie Bag! (U.S. Only)

Top of the Bay Giveaway Prizes
Top of the Bay Giveaway Prizes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Unfortunately, as costs of shipping outside the U.S. are prohibitive, this giveaway is U.S. only.)

Please be kind, pay it forward, and tell your friends who couldn’t make it to the con about this special giveaway so they can play along at home, too!

The Authors and Their Books

Due to new constraints on Facebook rules about page likes, I am not including “liking” or “visiting” FB pages as entries in the giveaway as it’s too easy to click over without actually doing anything on the author’s page. However, I do want to give you the option to visit and check out the websites and Facebook pages of all of the participating authors so you can follow them if you choose, thank them for providing all of these fantastic books and swag, and see more about their books and what they write.

Participating authors and books are listed below. Authors with a * beside their name have signed their book(s). You’ll find the covers of all books included in the giveaway below the author list are linked to Amazon so you can check them out or purchase if you don’t want to wait for the results of the giveaway.

* Jess Haines (SMOKE AND MIRRORS): Website · Facebook · Twitter
* Lia Davis (FORGOTTEN VISIONS): Website · Facebook · Twitter
* Milly Taiden (WOLF PROTECTOR): Website · Facebook · Twitter
* Sheri Lyn (SAFE HAVEN): Website · Facebook · Twitter
* Bob Dixon (A TOUGH CALL): Website · Facebook · Twitter
* John Hope (SILENCING SHARKS): Website · Facebook · Twitter
Christa Ann: Website · Facebook · Twitter
* Tamara McHatton (VIVA LAS VEGAS! [Anthology]): Website · Facebook · Twitter
* Cassidy K. O’Connor (WICKED WONDERLAND RETREAT: Part 1): Website · Facebook · Twitter

**Note: Clicking on these images will take you to the Amazon page for the book. I am an Amazon Affiliate and will get a small commission if you purchase anything upon clicking the links.**
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P.S. Ready for a bonus giveaway? Head over to this post to check it out!

Posted in Contests & Giveaways, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Book Review – WRONG SIDE OF HELL by Sonya Bateman

Author: Sonya Bateman
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Series: Deathspeaker Codex Series
Book Source: Purchased

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads

Back Cover Copy:

“The dead never bothered me. That honor was reserved for the living.”

I thought I was human. Apparently, I was wrong.

I didn’t even know there were non-humans. Others, they’re called. Fairies, vampires, even the bogeyman… they’re all real. At least, that’s what the werewolf told me when I saved her from the cops.

Did I mention that I saved a werewolf? And those weren’t just cops trying to kill her — they’re a deadly cult with the sole purpose of capturing and exterminating Others. Especially me.

My name is Gideon Black, and I’m not human. I am the DeathSpeaker.

And I am so screwed.

My Review:

Short Version: Did you like my books? Good. Drop everything and read this series right now. Come back to fangirl with me when you’re done.

Long Version: Don’t mistake Gideon Black, Deathspeaker and Smart Ass Extraordinaire, for Gideon Last-name-unknown, Necromancer and Smart Ass Extraordinaire in my books. There are some other similarities. Bateman sets her books primarily in New York and uses the term “Others” in the same way I do. I like her sense of humor–it reminds me a great deal of my own. *g*

The humor, world-building, and story are all excellently crafted. It kept me enthralled from page one, and didn’t let up–right through to the last page of the last book available right now, CITY OF SECRETS. I devoured this entire series over a long weekend.

I Regret Nothing

The twists, turns, and a hero who pulls himself up by his own bootstraps while also accepting help from his friends made this a delight to read. Not to mention that the hints of romance were only that–hints. It never overtook the plot, which is such a rarity in urban fantasy that it feels like finding a unicorn. Even five books in, it’s still all about the action and the familial and enemy relationships over the romantic.

I don’t mean to deviate from reviewing the first book, but I think that all that bears mention.

The pacing starts out quick and takes on a feverish speed as Gideon does everything he can to figure out why the heck the dead have started talking to him, and come to grips with the reality of supernaturals–Others–living alongside him. Maybe wanting to kill him. Maybe… being one himself?

Man, this was fun and refreshing. I loved this take on necromancy and the fae, as well as taking the humans as bad guys trope and turning it up to eleven.

Could there be more detail and characterization? Sure, but that unfolds over the course of several books. I like that Gideon is very self-reliant, but not to the point of stupidity. He’s resourceful, and even when he takes his lumps and gets dragged straight into Hell, he always finds a way out that doesn’t stretch the bounds of believability (except maybe for A – how quickly Gideon accepts the supernatural, and B – how quickly a certain someone goes from “DIE FOUL HUMAN” to “Oh, yo, we’re all good now. *brofist*”).

I’m not sure it’s possible to write a perfect story that pleases everyone, but I can tell you that this one pleased me. It hit a lot of high notes and ticked off a lot of the “things I like” check boxes in urban fantasy. It’s dark, gritty, and tackles some truly horrible subject matter. There are some true atrocities being committed–but they all get answered for.

This is my reading catnip, people.

Give this one a try. If you like fast-paced, action-packed urban fantasy, you can’t go wrong with this series.


Series Order:

1. Wrong Side of Hell
2. Fields of Blood
3. Realm of Mirrors
4. Return of the Hunters
5. City of Secrets
6. Prison of Horrors (Coming Soon?)

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The Authors After Dark Giveaway Might Be Over, But Don’t Despair…

Because here’s another chance to win something awesome and get to know even more amazing authors!

Take a chance at winning 1 of 35 prizes in the September Back to School Giveaway while getting to know 34 talented authors! Prizes include a $240 Amazon Gift Card and 34 Kindle EBooks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By: Prisca’s Promo Group

Posted in Contests & Giveaways | Tagged | Leave a comment

Authors After Dark Savannah 2016 Recap (With Bonus Engagement Photo!) and Giveaway — Over 50 Books, Tons of Swag, and More!

As always, Authors After Dark was a fabulous, fun-filled convention that I’m missing already! If you don’t want to sort through all my pics and ramblings about it, you can skip down to the bottom of the post for the giveaway.

The Road Trip

This year, I did something very different. While I’m no stranger to driving across state lines to get to conventions, this is the first time I’ve done it with someone else for such an extended trip. Ryan and I made a decision: we would go on a paycation and visit with family and friends, first up to Delaware for the state fair where Ryan works as a vendor, and then to Savannah, Georgia for Authors After Dark. We’ve been on the road for a month, and I have to tell you, as fun as this trip was, I am so glad to be home!

FYI: After this I’m taking a break from the con circuit until Coastal Magic in Daytona in February, 2017).

Along the way, we got to see lots of friends and family, as well as a bunch of weird tourist attractions, abandoned buildings, and strange things at the fair.

The Force Was With Us During This Trip
The Force Was With Us During This Trip


This Had to Happen
This Had to Happen


Awwww, Yeah!
Awwww, Yeah!


Baby Gators
Baby Gators


We're Officially In The Country
We’re Officially In The Country




I Will Love Him and Squeeze Him and Hold Him and Call Him George
I Will Love Him and Squeeze Him and Hold Him and Call Him George



Looka Da Teeny Pony! So Cute! His/Her Name Was Stormy.
Looka Da Teeny Pony! So Cute! His/Her Name Was Stormy.


I Almost Caved In To The Siren Song of Cuteness And Took One Home -- Almost...
I Almost Caved In To The Siren Song of Cuteness And Took One Home — Almost…


I do want to thank Chuck and his mom, Troy and Sarah, and C.J. Ellisson for being fabulous hosts and all around wonderful people for giving Ryan and I a place to crash on our trip. Thank you, guys! Can’t wait to see you again!

The Engagement

I’d like to say I didn’t see it coming, but I totally did. On August 3, 2016, Ryan Bluestone did me the honor of asking for my hand in marriage–and I said YES!

The Ring... Pop
The Ring… Pop


When I have more time, I’m going to save what’s left of this delicious ring in a shadow box.
While you might think he was channeling Deadpool, I’ve actually been telling him for a while that he could give me a twist tie or a Ring Pop and I would be just as happy. We stopped at a sketchy Southern buffet on our way down to Georgia and they had a pile of them beside the register.

Southern Buffet Full of Ring Pops
Southern Buffet Full of Ring Pops


His reasoning for doing it then, he told me, was that we not only didn’t kill each other over this trip, but I agreed to come with him back to the Delaware State Fair again next year, which is a sign this relationship is meant to last.

Yes, we are very silly, and yes, that really was the ring he used to propose to me. Strawberry, mmmmm! We’ve been talking about getting married for quite a while, and he actually said yes to me first (sorry, baby, but you know it’s true!), but after this crazy road trip we decided to make it official. The real ring will come later.

The Convention

Once again, I was thrilled to attend Authors After Dark!


I’m deeply saddened to report that this was their last year, but it’s been a good run, and I had a fantastic time in Savannah. You might recall my last trip there for an AAD in 2013.

We arrived late on Wednesday night, but that didn’t stop us from re-visiting (or, in Ryan’s case, introducing him to) our tour guide, Nicodemus from Beyond Good and Evil Tours. There’s no better way to get to know the city of Savannah than to learn about it’s sordid, ghost-filled past from such an insouciant, knowledgeable guide.

We're Off To A Good Start
We’re Off To A Good Start


Ghost Tour
Ghost Tour


Ghost Tour
Ghost Tour


Ghost Tour
Ghost Tour


Ghost Tour
Ghost Tour


Ghost Tour
Ghost Tour


Ghost Tour
Ghost Tour


Ghost Tour
Ghost Tour


Ghost Tour
Ghost Tour


Ghost Tour - Nicodemus, Me, and Ryan
Ghost Tour – Nicodemus, Me Showing Off The One Ring, and Ryan


I Came Back to the Cemetery During the Day And Spotted A Ghost Squirrel
I Came Back to the Cemetery During the Day And Spotted A Ghost Squirrel


As for AAD, I sat on two panels this year (Dragons and the Young Adult panel) and had a fantastic signing. While I did enjoy talking about YA novels, I had more fun talking about dragons and some of the authors who truly inspired me as a kid, like Anne McCaffrey, Patricia Wrede, Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey, and the DragonLance novels.

It was so awesome to meet Sherrilyn Kenyon in person, and sit on a panel with her, too! Not to mention making lots of new friends, like Lily Vega, Cait Reynolds, and Auriella Skye, and seeing old pals like Jenny Trout, Leanna Renee Hieber, Julie Morgan, Marianne Morea, Joey W. Hill, and career readers like Donna, Ann M., and Erinn P. I know I’ve missed a few, but you’re all amazing. Love you, ladies!

Our Hotel
Our Hotel


Savannah After Dark
Savannah After Dark


My Charity Gift Basket
My Charity Gift Basket


I Don’t Recall This Attendee Being Invited


One Of The Panels (Urban Fantasy, I Think?)
One Of The Panels (Urban Fantasy, I Think?)


My Fellow Dragon Panelists (Before Sherrilyn Arrived)
My Fellow Dragon Panelists (Before Sherrilyn Arrived)


Dragons Panel - Sherrilyn's Here But Now Andrew Stepped Out. D'oh!
Dragons Panel – Sherrilyn’s Here But Now Andrew Stepped Out. D’oh!


Our Packed Dragon-Loving Audience - Standing Room Only!
Our Packed Dragon-Loving Audience – Standing Room Only!


AAD Gathering
AAD Gathering


Author Lily Vega
Author Lily Vega


Isn't Her Swag Awesome? I Love the Duckies!
Isn’t Her Swag Awesome? I Love the Duckies!


Ryan, Me, Lily Vega


YA Panel
YA Panel


This Wouldn't Be A Proper AAD If I Wasn't Pulling Off A Boobilicious Corset
This Wouldn’t Be A Proper AAD If I Wasn’t Pulling Off A Boobilicious Corset


Ryan Approves
Ryan Approves


These Cocktails Weren't Fooling Around - Ryan Was Defeated By The "Adios Motherfucker"
These Cocktails Weren’t Fooling Around – Ryan Was Defeated By The “Adios Motherfucker”


Andrew Grey and Jenny Trout Serenading Us
Andrew Grey and Jenny Trout Serenading Us


Ryan Tried Another Ring, Courtesy of Andrew, But We Decided It Gave Us Seizures And Needed To Go
Ryan Tried Another Ring, Courtesy of Andrew, But We Decided It Gave Us Seizures And Needed To Go


I Am So Ready For This Signing
I Am So Ready For This Signing


The Signing
The Signing


The Signing
The Signing




I Gave Out A Ton of These Little Beauties
I Gave Out A Ton of These Little Beauties



Me with Reader


After the signing we had the fantasy ball. I usually like to dress up for that, but I got too tired after to get dressed. That didn’t stop me from taking a ton of pics of all the beautiful dresses and costumes!

Everyone Needs More Bejazzled Facehuggers In Their Life




























These Win The Costume Contest, Hands Down
These Win The Costume Contest, Hands Down


Also, yes, I’m a total sellout and joined the Poké-craze. Let me tell you, that hotel was a hotbed of Magicarp and Dratini, and I regret nothing.

Dat Sexeh Beast
Dat Sexeh Beast


This barely scratches the surface of everything I saw and did (and what Pokémon I caught, hehe) while I was there.

About That Giveaway…

If you couldn’t make it to the AAD Convention, I have not one but 5 (yes, FIVE!) separate prize packs just for you!

Everything you see below will be split into multiple prize packs. Yes–you’ll even get an official Authors After Dark Convention swag bag, complete with cherry-picked promo, swag, and a random selection of the physical books you see in the picture, just as if you had come to the con yourself!

Please be sure to visit the participating authors on Facebook and Twitter (and buy their books) to thank them for playing along! Remember, this giveaway is supposed to be fun–think of it like a scavenger hunt, where the object is to find new authors to follow and great books to read.

These giveaways are intended to go to people who really wanted to go but couldn’t make it this year or don’t otherwise have the means to get their hands on these books. If you attended Authors After Dark, be sure to tell your friends about this giveaway so they have a shot at winning all of the wonderful things you brought home from the con!

Enter To Win Authors After Dark Prize Packs! (U.S. Only)

Enter to win books, books, more books! There is an eclectic mix of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, contemporary romance (new adult, cowboy, sweet, etc.) and more. These stories vary from saccharine to melt-your-panties hot. There are shot glasses, pens, pins, magnets, even a T-shirt! Whatever the flavor of books or swag you enjoy, there is something in here for you!

AAD 2016 Savannah – Giveaway Prizes! Check Out All Dem Books, Yo. Sorry, Collection of Dexter DVDs in the Background Are Not Included.


Each winner will get at least 10 paperback books (minimum 3 signed by the author[s]). First two paperback books are winner’s choice; remaining books will be picked by me so everyone gets a little of everything. One RANDOM winner will receive the Abigail Barnette audiobook and one RANDOM winner will receive the Linda Mooney ebook on CD. All winners will receive a signed copy of my latest release, SMOKE AND MIRRORS.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Unfortunately, as costs of shipping outside the U.S. are prohibitive, this giveaway is U.S. only.)

Please be kind, pay it forward, and tell your friends who couldn’t make it to the con about this special giveaway so they can play along at home, too!

The Authors and Their Books

Due to new constraints on Facebook rules about page likes, I am not including “liking” or “visiting” FB pages as entries in the giveaway as it’s too easy to click over without actually doing anything on the author’s page. However, I do want to give you the option to visit and check out the websites and Facebook pages of all of the participating authors so you can follow them if you choose, thank them for providing all of these fantastic books and swag, and see more about their books and what they write.

Participating authors and books are listed below. Authors with a * beside their name have signed their book(s). You’ll find the covers of all books included in the giveaway below the author list are linked to Amazon so you can check them out or purchase if you don’t want to wait for the results of the giveaway.

* Jess Haines (SMOKE AND MIRRORS x5): Website · Facebook
* Kerry Adrienne (ARTIST’S TOUCH and SCULPTOR’S DESIRE and BEFORE THE RAIN and COME UNDONE [Anthology]): Website · Facebook
* Louisa Bacio (THE BIG ONE): Website · Facebook
Abigail Barnette – aka Jenny Trout (FIRST TIME – Audiobook): Website · Abigail: Facebook / Jenny: Facebook
Chance Carter (BAD BOY DADDY): Website · Facebook
Lynn Charles (CHEF’S TABLE): Website · Facebook
* Emily Cyr (PUSH AND PULL): Website · Facebook
* Lia Davis (SUNSTONE’S FIRE: CURSED IN STONE): Website · Facebook
* A.L. Davroe (NEXIS: A TRICKSTERS NOVEL and FOR YOUR HEART): Website · Facebook
* Eliza Gayle (BAD KITTY): Website · Facebook
* Landra Graf (RAVEN PIRATE ASSASSIN SPY): Website · Facebook
* Dirk Greyson – aka Andrew Grey (DAY AND KNIGHT): Website · Facebook
* Cat Johnson (NIGHT WITH A SEAL): Website · Facebook
Gina Kincade & Kiki Howell (COWBOY BOOTS AND HANDCUFFS): Gina: Website · Facebook / Kiki: Website · Facebook
* Lori Handeland (IN THE AIR TONIGHT [*error – signed to “Susan”]: Website · Facebook
* Amy J. Hawthorn (PROTECTING KATE): Website · Facebook
* Kathryn M. Hearst (NAUGHTY BEDTIME STORIES: SECOND CHANCES [Anthology]): Website · Facebook
* Leanna Renee Hieber (THE ETERNA FILES): Website · Facebook
* Joey W. Hill (TAKEN BY A VAMPIRE): Website · Facebook
* Lisa Hughey (VIEW TO A KILL: THE NOSTRADAMUS PROPHECIES): Website · Facebook
* Melanie James (GERTIE’S PARANORMAL PLANTATION and COOKING WITH THE CRAZY LADY AUTHORS [Anthology – multiple signatures] and FUR EVER YOURS [unsigned]): Website · Facebook
Krista Lakes (SALTWATER KISSES): Website · Facebook
* Evelyn Lederman (NIGHTSHADE): Website · Facebook
* Sheri Lyn (GOATED BY THE GODS: DEITY DATING BOOK #1): Website · Facebook
* K. Margaret (ENDLESS NIGHTMARE: THE ORIGIN OF A DEMON): Website · Facebook
* Gracen Miller (PANDORA’S BOX): Website · Facebook
Linda Mooney (THE BATTLE LORD’S LADY – Ebook on CD): Website · Facebook
Julie Morgan (REDEMPTION: CHRONICLES OF THE FALLEN): Website · Facebook
* Marianne Morea (HOLLOW’S END): Website · Facebook
* Cara North (THE ART OF ETHAN): Facebook
* Tonya Plank (SASHA: BOOK ONE): Website · Facebook
* A.D. Roland (HELLBORN): Website · Facebook
* Colette L. Saucier (ALICIA’S POSSESSION): Website · Facebook
* Char Sharp (THE KISS OF LIFE): Website · Facebook
Milly Taiden (MATCH MADE IN HELL): Website · Facebook
* Lily Vega (GOING ALL IN x2): Website · Facebook
Cree Walker (WHISPER ON A SCREAM and WILLING SACRIFICE): Website · Facebook
* Jamie A. Waters (THE TWO TOWERS): Website · Facebook
* Catherine Winters (MADNESS): Website · Facebook
* Roxanne Witherell (MOUNTAINSIDE RESORT): Facebook

**Note: Clicking on these images will take you to the Amazon page for the book. I am an Amazon Affiliate and will get a small commission if you purchase anything upon clicking the links.**

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Interview With Guest Author Rebecca Chastain

Happy Saturday, my lovelies! Today I have guest author Rebecca Chastain here to tell us about herself and her books (which sound totally awesome and are on my TBR pile during my road trip this weekend).

Interview With Author Rebecca Chastain

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

What are the unique rules of magic in your Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles? In other words, tell us a little about your world.

The Gargoyle Guardian universe is stuffed with magic and mythical creatures, and every human has the ability to work elemental magic. The heroine, Mika Stillwater, is a midlevel earth elemental with a specialty in quartz, one of the most common forms of rock. It isn’t much to make her stand out, but she’s determined to hone her skills and become a master craftswoman so she can leave behind her dead-end quarry job. Everything is going according to her master plan until a desperate baby gargoyle bursts into her life, begging for help.

Plunging into the city’s gritty criminal underworld, where gangs of fire elementals terrorize the streets and black magic is bartered to the highest bidder, Mika must jeopardize everything she’s worked for to save the baby gargoyle—and herself.

You now have two urban fantasy series going. What makes the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles different from your Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer series? Is there any crossover?

All the action in the Gargoyle series happens against a backdrop of a version of the United States as it might have looked if magic had always existed and the industrial revolution had never moved beyond steam engines. Admittedly, despite extensive world building to flush out the setting, the references to the United States that made it into the story are subtle—there’s a Lincoln River, Victorian homes, and a general feel of a 1900s American city. I think it’s enough to give the reader a sense of familiarity without getting bogged down on alternate history details.

In contrast, the Madison Fox novels are so firmly planted in this world and the present day that Madison lives in my former apartment, works out of an office building that looks suspiciously like a place I used to work, and protects in my hometown city. Where the magic in the Gargoyles universe is distributed among everyone, only a few lucky (or unlucky, depending on who you ask) people have magic in Madison’s world. Madison’s magic is also more intimate: She uses her soul to fight evil.

The two series have different feels, too, dictated by the nature of the main characters. Mika is grounded and focused, with a huge heart, and while she faces some grueling challenges and deadly situations, the tone remains sweet and determined. Madison is a lot more sarcastic and impulsive (and oftentimes clumsy), which lends itself to a lot of humor in the midst of all the action.

Between your two series, you’ve covered a lot of paranormal creatures. Which are your favorite to write about and why?

Sounds like someone familiar! Source: Tumblr

That’s a tough question. I tend to fall for personalities as much as species. I’m a huge fan of gargoyles. (What, you’re not surprised?) In my novels, gargoyles are always some form of quartz, always have wings, and can enhance magic in others. They are also loyal, intelligent, and have a strong sense of right and wrong. In book one, Magic of the Gargoyles, the gargoyles are all young and small enough to carry, and I would happily adopt a thousand if I could!

My favorite creatures in A Fistful of Evil (Madison Fox, book 1) are imps. For those like Madison who can see them, imps look like adorable inky black chinchillas…until they prepare to feed. With an insatiable hunger for souls and barely enough brains to navigate their bodies, imps are the antithesis of gargoyles. However, cute and evil don’t get to mesh very often, and I enjoy the juxtaposition.

If your house was on fire and you could take only three items, what would they be? (Assuming your loved ones and pets are safe, of course.)

  1. my backup flash drive
  2. a blue recliner that has been in my family literally since the day I was born
  3. all the love letters my husband has written me over the last two decades

What are you currently working on?

With the final installment in the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles trilogy just released, I’ve turned my attention to Lured, a novelette in the same universe. It takes place after the trilogy, featuring all the fan-favorite characters. I’m using the novelette as a bribe: I’ve promised readers that once Curse of the Gargoyles (book 2) reaches 75 reviews on Amazon and Secret of the Gargoyles (book 3) reaches 50 reviews, I’ll release the novelette for free. The decision to write Lured was two parts selfish—it gave me an excuse to play in the Gargoyle Guardian universe a little longer and, like all authors, I LOVE getting reviews—and one part pure gratitude for my fans who embraced this series.

Magic of the Gargoyles

To help a baby gargoyle, Mika will risk everything.

Mika Stillwater is a midlevel earth elemental with ambitions of becoming a quartz artisan, and her hard work is starting to get noticed. But when a panicked baby gargoyle bursts into her studio, insisting Mika is the only person she’ll trust with her desperate mission, Mika’s carefully constructed five-year plan is shattered.

Swept into the gritty criminal underworld of Terra Haven, Mika jeopardizes everything she’s work so hard for as she attempts to save the baby gargoyle from the machinations of a monster—and to stay alive…

From the imaginative mind of international bestselling fantasy author Rebecca Chastain, Magic of the Gargoyles is a spellbinding adventure set in a world full of elemental magic and adorable gargoyles that is sure to enchant young adult and adult readers alike.

Author Bio:

Rebecca Chastain is the internationally bestselling author of the Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer series and the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles, among others works. She has found seven four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. Writing stories designed to amuse and entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years old. She lives in Northern California with her wonderful husband and three bossy cats.

Catch up on the whole series!

The Guardian Gargoyle Chronicles:

1. Magic of the Gargoyles
2. Curse of the Gargoyles
3. Secret of the Gargoyles

Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer Series:

1. A Fistful of Evil
2. A Fistful of Fire
3. A Fistful of [whoknowswhat] (Fall 2016)

Thanks again for stopping by, Rebecca! I’m looking forward to reading your books!

Posted in Guest Post, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review – THEY MOSTLY COME OUT AT NIGHT by Benedict Patrick

Author: Benedict Patrick
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Series: Yarnsworld Series
Book Source: Purchased

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads

Back Cover Copy:

TheyMostlyComeOutAtNightHe locked himself away from the dark, but in the Magpie King’s forest nowhere is safe…

Lonan is an outcast, accused of letting the monsters that stalk the night into the homes of his fellow villagers. Now, he will not rest until he wins back the heart of his childhood love and reclaims the life that was stolen from him. However, locked safely in his cellar at night, in his dreams Lonan finds himself looking through the eyes of a young prince…

Adahy has a destiny, and it terrifies him. How can he hope to live up to the legend of the Magpie King, to become the supernatural protector of the forest and defender of his people? But when the forest is invaded by an inhuman force, Adahy must rise to this challenge or let the Wolves destroy his people.

Watching these events unfold in his sleep, Lonan must do what he can to protect his village from this new threat. He is the only person who can keep his loved ones from being stolen away after dark, and to do so he will have to earn back their trust or watch the monsters kill everyone that he holds dear.

They Mostly Come Out At Night is a Dark Fantasy novel from Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series. If you like Neil Gaiman and Patrick Rothfuss then you will love this captivating, dangerous world in which ordinary people struggle to find their place in a land ruled by stories.

Start reading today to discover this epic tale of dreams, fables and monsters!

My Review:

Did I read someone else’s book? I look at the reviews on Amazon (all 5*) and Goodreads (4.7) and start to think perhaps I am too jaded or picky.

The cover drew me in. It’s unique and interesting, and it certainly matches the content in style, but is of far higher quality than what is behind the cover.

I’ll be honest. I thought the story was good but had a very hard time with this book primarily because of editing errors and a couple of moments that had me scratching my head.

On the one hand, this gets a solid 5 stars for creativity. The style and thought that went into building the folklore was undeniable. I applaud the author’s nods to some existing fairy tales and folklore, and putting his own spin on them. He had a deft, clever had when it came to crafting the meat of his story.

Honestly, that was the best thing about this story. I quite enjoyed how, between each chapter, there was a brief deviation into a historical tale told in a very Brothers Grimm style that had some bearing on what was going on in the main story. Each mini-tale built a better understanding of Lonan’s world and how the peoples in it came to be as they are.

On the other hand, the book had numerous errors that threw me right out of the reading experience again and again. “Alright” is a nonstandard word that might be fine for use on Facebook or Twitter, and I’ve certainly thrown it around in casual conversation myself, but it should never be used in a published novel in place of “all right”. There were frequent missing commas before addressing a person, and a scattering of somewhat jarring homonyms (“an orgy of blood and grizzle” is not quite the same as “gristle,” for example). The repetition was tiresome, and most of the female characters were cardboard and flat, existing only as foils for the main character or his rival, with little personality to show for it. I only wish Patrick had spent as much time on characterization and attention to editing as he obviously did on crafting his world.

Also, I gave a serious side-eye to a scene where Lonan sets the cottage on fire to save the people in the basement. No injuries from a collapsing, burning ceiling? Nobody dead or passed out from the toxic gases and lack of oxygen? …well. I don’t know, I’m no firefighter, but that seemed more than a bit off to me.

The ending was also a little rushed, but the journey to get there was satisfying. Choosing a traditional not-so-happy-ever-after fairy tale ending was a good choice for this book. I actually quite liked how it all turned out, though I thought the final battle could have used a little more attention to clarifying details.

It’s not the usual high fantasy fare, and I think it’s worth a read despite the flaws. It’s got action and intrigue a’plenty, and as I mentioned, a great deal of creativity went into creating this world and its history. Discovering the magic and beauty and danger of it was truly a pleasure.

Despite my rating and my criticisms, again, I want to point out that this is a good story–good enough that I am open to reading the next book. There is a lot to like about the world that has been built. If you don’t get jarred out of a story easily by editing errors, you may find yourself more immersed in this one than I was.


Series Order:

1. They Mostly Come Out At Night
2. Where The Waters Turn Black

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I’m Off to See the Wizard! …Or Go To A Con. One of Those. Also, A Couple of Giveaways and A 99¢ Sale!

Smoke and Mirrors Sale

Hey there, party people! I’ve got some news for you. First, if you haven’t already grabbed a copy, for a brief time (July 1 -5) I’m making SMOKE AND MIRRORS available for only 99¢, so grab it while it’s hot!

For the first giveaway, head over to my friend C.J. Brightley’s website for a chance to win a Kindle Fire! How awesome is that?

I’m also participating in a giveaway for a $120 $175 Amazon gift card and a ton of ebooks. Keep an eye out, it’s starting soon…
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lastly, I’m headed to Authors After Dark Aug. 3 – 7, 2016 in Savannah, Georgia! I’m both thrilled and bummed about this. I’m over the moon because Ryan will be coming with me for his first convention, and I haven’t been to AAD in what feels like forever. I’m bummed because this is AAD’s final year.


If you want to come, the con organizer is doing something absolutely amazing and is offering some last minute free registrations to the convention itself. The only catch is that you MUST stay at the hotel for the convention ($135/night + $21/day for parking if you bring a vehicle).

Don’t miss out on your last chance to be part of some outrageous parties and great times with wonderful people. If you’re interested in taking advantage of a free registration, give me a holler and I’ll hook you up. Let me know if I’ll see you there anyway–I’m making some plans for a ghost tour on Wednesday night if you want to join me. I hope to see some of you lovelies there!

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Book Review – CATASTROPHE by Liz Schulte

Author: Liz Schulte
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Sekhmet Bounty Series
Book Source: Purchased

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks / SmashwordsGoodreads

Back Cover Copy:

CatastropheI have learned a few things in my life. If you can’t wear clean underwear, don’t wear any at all. Never trust a vampire. Secret ruling councils should generally be avoided. Finally, and this is the most important, very few people are ever what they seem.

However, it wasn’t always easy to live by these rules. Like, when said secret ruling council demanded my appearance and then did the worst thing they could possibly do, inflame my curiosity. Asking me to go to New Orleans to investigate a series of werewolf attacks, I couldn’t say no to that.

The first problem was werewolves had been eliminated from the Abyss so it was impossible that they were killing anyone. The second fiasco was that more vampires were in this city than ever before, including the one who was intent on ruining my life. And the third complication was I couldn’t tell anyone else about my mission or I would forfeit my freedom to the council.

Some missions are easy. Others are a Catastrophe.

My Review:

This story was so much fun! I loved it.

It doesn’t cover much in the way of new ground, aside from a heroine who is somewhat unusual from the usual UF wizards and witches. Femi is a Sekhmet–a descendant of the Egyptian warrior goddess Sekhmet.

Metropolitan Museum of Art NY - Source (Used Under Creative Commons License)
Sekhmet Statue at the Metropolitan Museum of Art NY – Source (Used Under Creative Commons License)

I didn’t really see much in the way of her abilities reflecting her lineage, but I loved how true she was to her cat-like curiosity throughout the entirety of the story. Some things were repeated a little often, such as the info about her extra lives and yes, we get it, she’s a Sekhmet–but she had a spunky personality that she stayed true to throughout the book.

That doesn’t forgive her very foolish actions in the beginning of the story (signing a contract to solve a case you know nothing about with dire consequences for some very major things–like going to your other supernatural buddies for help–is far too TSTL in my opinion) or some characters acting in a way that doesn’t fit their profession (I don’t buy Detective Dempsey ignoring the blood so early in their relationship) but it still kept me engaged and wanting to know more.

One thing I really wish had been given more personality was the setting where the bulk of the story took place. I love New Orleans with a passion and with urban fantasy in particular, it’s often important to make the setting as much a part of the story as the characters. Much of the time, when they were in the city, it honestly felt like it could have been Anycity, USA. The swamp scenes were described just fine, but specifically when they were in town, I didn’t get much of a NOLA feel.

Also, Femi’s continued attraction to and trust in Thomas made no sense to me. Aside from the little gaffe in the beginning, she seemed like a reasonable woman. Considering everything else going on, there were some things later in the story that really didn’t make much sense but I suppose had to be done to further the plot since three people snarking at each other in a confined space can only be entertaining for so long, I’m guessing.

My last nit about this is that it could have used a closer eye on the editing. There were few typos, but there were three or four times where something in the sentence structure was out of place, like an incomplete or changed thought that got twisted around into something meaningless or was apropos of nothing. Also, a phone call was made to Corbin when he was at a location where he should not have had cell service according to a statement made earlier. The little things…

That didn’t kill the experience for me. This book was just what I needed when I read it, and even though it’s clearly making nods to things that happen in other books from other some other series by this author, there is enough information not to get lost along the way. If anything, it intrigued me enough to want to look into the other books by this author.

I don’t want to ruin it, but if you can turn your brain off and enjoy the action, it’s a fun ride with a great twist. I liked it a lot, and I recommend it if you’re looking for some action, snark, adventure, and a few chuckles along the way.


Series Order:

0. Catatonic
0. Sweet Little Lies
1. Catastrophe
2. Catacombs
3. Catapult (Coming 2016)

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Book Review – CONJURING DESTINY by Brooklyn Ann

Author: Brooklyn Ann
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Brides of Prophecy
Book Source: Author

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks / Goodreads

Back Cover Copy:

Conjuring DestinyFamous rock star, Xochitl Leonine, has dreamt of a world with two moons where a black cloaked man beckons her. One Halloween night, she meets the mysterious stranger of her dreams… literally… and their shared dance becomes a rendezvous in a place of endless night.

Zareth Amotken has no idea how important Xochitl’s heavy metal band is to her. As an immortal sorcerer, he doesn’t care. He has one goal: to find the prophesied savior of his world. Her voice holds the power to bring back his world’s vanished sun.

Xochitl’s compassion urges her to help in any way she can. Yet learning the mysteries of her past causes conflict with her future in music. Her destiny in his world and her obligations to her band pull her in opposite directions. How can she long for one while the other is so dire?

As Zareth introduces her to his people and teaches her to control her powers, she aches for his enchanting kiss. Zareth tries to resist, for their passion will unleash serious consequences, both political and magical.

As the time to fulfill her destiny draws closer, she must choose between her heart, her duty, and her friends. The wrong choice could ruin everything.

My Review:

I loved this book so hard. I’ve been following the Brides of Prophecy series since the beginning, and if you haven’t read them yet, you should go fix that. They’re fun, sexy, fantastic stories with a new take on vampires, elves, magic, and other fun critters you’ll see along the way. However, I think you could jump in with this book, and not lose too much. There are hints at events and a brief mention of previous characters, but this feels very much like it can stand on its own.

On that note, in this third installment, we finally get Xochitl’s story. I hardly know where to begin!

Xochitl is the lead singer of a metal band–you might notice Brooklyn Ann has a thing for those in her other books–who knows she doesn’t fit in. She can conjure purple fireballs at will (“Oooh! Dem special effects!” her fans and bandmates think) and has never felt completely at home around humans. Bullied and harassed when she was young, she formed a core group of friends who all happened to have musical talent. Thus, the band Rage of Angels was born.

When she meets the intriguing sorcerer, Zareth, he whisks her away to another world locked in a state where they are cursed with a blanket of darkness over the land, never to see the sun–until the prophesied Lioness of Light (guess who) unleashes her mighty roar.

As the one destined to end that eternal night, Xotchil does an admirable job of tackling every new challenge thrown in her path. Her relationship with Zareth, though it may have started in dreams, progresses into a sweet, sensual romance that is both sexy and believable. It’s also quite fascinating how there are unexpected consequences to their actions, and this leads into Ann showing her writing chops as she deftly introduces new cultures and beliefs along the way.

That is probably the one thing I liked best about this story. Aside from being about the romance, there was a great deal to be seen about this new world and how the people in it lived. They were not just there for story support, there were actual challenges and politics involved which delved beyond more than just surface fantasy magic wand-waving.

The villain, Stephan/Steve, seems like an incompetent jerk on the surface, but by the end of the book he becomes far more of a threat than I would have credited given his bumbling attempts to capture Xochitl earlier. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say that it is deeply satisfying to finally see him get his comeuppance.

Brooklyn Ann has created a rich, fascinating new world in this story, and I am excited to see where she takes it from here.


Series Order:

1. Wrenching Fate
2. Ironic Sacrifice
3. Conjuring Destiny

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Release Day for #AmWriting – A Collection of Essays to Benefit The Wayne Foundation

#AmWriting Ebook CoverKnowing what you know now of writing, publishing, and putting your art out into the world, if you could go back to the day you sat down to start typing in your very first manuscript, what words would you offer to yourself? Words of encouragement? Words of advice? Caution against certain pitfalls? Would you change anything about how you got to where you are today?

The publishing community is so much bigger than it was before the self-publishing boom and it continues to grow exponentially every day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a handbook or support group. #AmWriting is a collection of letters written by authors from all different corners of the publishing community. The letters provide words of encouragement or advice to those just starting out or those who have become discouraged in their art. At Pure Textuality PR, we believe in supporting each other as a community, and we felt this project would be a good way to bring writers together and maybe give some new artists just the right nudge to keep going.

100% of the net proceeds of #AmWriting will be donated to The Wayne Foundation, a charity dedicated to offering aid and services to young women victimized by illegal sexual exploitation and the sexual trafficking of minors. For more information about The Wayne Foundation, you can visit them on the web at

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Who is involved???

#AmWriting has a great list of more than 60 authors, including NYT bestselling author Jeaniene Frost!

A.D. Ellis
Amy Joy Lutchen
Andrew Jericho
Ashlynne Laynne
Becky Flade
Beth Dolgner
Brandy Dorsch
Brenda J. Pierson
C.L. Foster
Cassia Brightmore
Cecilia London
Cherron Riser
Cithara Patra
Courtney Houston
Crystal Dawn
E.J. Stevens
Elizabeth Sharp
Ella Col
Emily Cyr
Emma Nichols
Erin Hayes
Erynn Crittenden
Felicia Starr
Gabbie S. Duran
Geri Glenn
Harlie Williams
J. Nichole Parkins
J.B. McGee
J.M. Gregoire
Jamie Summer
Jeaniene Frost
Jess Haines
Jessica Cage
Jody Pardo
K.c. Stewart
Karina Espinosa
Kasey Belle
Katie Kenyhercz
Kendall Grey
Kory M. Shrum
L A Cotton
Leyla Kader Dahm
Louisa Lo
M. Never
M.L. Steinbrunn
Mary Crawford
Michelle Mcloughney
Mike Gonzales
Misha Carver
Misha Elliott
Muriel Garcia
Nicole Zoltack
Pamela K. Kinney
R.A Mizer
Rachel Walter
Rebecca Sherwin
Renee Dyer
Sara Dobie Bauer
Serena Kearney
Shakuita Johnson
Shannon Bell
T.J. Michaels
T.L. Manning
Tracie Podger
Xandra James


About The Wayne Foundation


Board of Directors | Financials | Podcasts

Mission Statement

The Wayne Foundation is committed to spreading awareness of CSEC (Commercial Sex Exploitation of Children) DMST (Domestic Minor Sexual Trafficking) occurring within the United States.

Vision Statement

The Wayne Foundation’s vision is for a world without child slavery. We are dedicated to providing direct assistance to those victimized by exploitation.

Drop in Center

The Wayne Foundation operates the third drop in center in Florida recognized by the Department of Children and Family Services. It is located in Charlotte County Florida, and serves clients throughout Southwest Florida. Our target clientele are young women aged 13-25. Our DIC is equipped to provide daily services that include, but are not limited to: Food, New Clothing, Access to Shower, Media Center, Mental Health Assistance, SNAP/ Medicare Benefit sign-up/renewal, Family Counseling, Education Assistance, and Transportation To and From the Center.

Shelter Services

The Wayne Foundation continues to have the goal of providing shelter services to young women victimized by exploitation or trafficking. This is our primary long term objective.

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