Book Review – CONJURING DESTINY by Brooklyn Ann

Title: CONJURING DESTINY
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.

4.5/5

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 http://waynefdn.org.

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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

cropped-header1

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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Book Review – KISSING VICIOUS by Brooklyn Ann

Title: KISSING VICIOUS
Author: Brooklyn Ann
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Hearts of Destiny
Book Source: Author

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / All Romance eBooks / Goodreads

Back Cover Copy:

Kissing ViciousAspiring guitarist Kinley Black is about to get her first big break—as a roadie for Viciöus, her favorite heavy metal band, and for the rock god she always dreamt might make her a woman.

THE ROADIE

At 15, aspiring guitarist Kinley Black wished she were a boy. At 16, after hearing Quinn Mayne sing, she wanted him to make her a woman. Now, at 22, her dreams have come true. Quinn’s band Viciöus needs someone to lug their amps around the country, to strive and sweat with the guys. She just has to act like one of them.

AND THE ROCK GOD

Quinn had to admit the new chick could pull her weight, but that didn’t mean his road manager made the right choice. Taking a hottie on a heavy metal music tour was like dangling meat in front of a pack of feral hounds—and Quinn could be part dog himself. But more surprising than her beautiful body are Kinley’s sweet licks, so that no man could help but demand a jam session. Quinn will soon do anything to possess her, and to put Kinley in the spotlight where she belongs. And to keep her safe and sound from the wolves.

My Review:

This is the story of Kinley Black, a woman who runs the a blog dedicated to the heavy metal music scene. When she has the opportunity to do an interview Quinn Mayne, lead singer of Kissing Vicious and the man of her dreams, some pretty wacky hijinks lead to her becoming a roadie and getting far closer to Quinn than she might ever have expected.

This is a fun romance with some bite to it. I liked the way the relationship built between Kinley and Quinn, and man, was that some hot stuff once they got down and dirty. *fans self*

However, I felt like there was too much repetition of the “Ehrmahgerd, Quinn Mayne! <3 <3 <3!!1!” theme. I might be completely off base, but rather than being so starstruck for so long, I would have expected the crush to evolve into something having more to do with him as a person rather than him as a public figure.

On the other hand, everything else was spot-on to me. I felt like the roadie life and information about how the technical aspects of how the band functioned were all believable and interesting. The way Kinley had to be “one of the guys” and pull her weight (and then some) was so familiar that it made me want to cheer every time she managed to thumb her nose at the naysayers. She worked so hard over the course of the story to be where she was that it truly was a joy to see her realize her dreams coming true.

Not to mention it was fantastic to see Kinley sticking to her guns when it really counted. There were times when Quinn got some serious side-eye on my part, but man, Kinley did a good job of staying true to herself no matter the circumstances. She is, in every sense of the word, a strong heroine.

This story was sexy and fun, and even though I know it sounds like I have some reservations about it, this is a nice little bit of escapist fiction that I recommend if you have any interest in the music scene or in contemporary romances. I’m looking forward to digging in to the sequel, WITH VENGEANCE, and seeing Kinley’s best friend get her own rock star-studded HEA!

4/5

Series Order:

1. Kissing Vicious
2. With Vengeance

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Smoke and Mirrors Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Hosted by Xpresso Book Tours, there’s a big blitz going around the blogosphere over the next few days!

SmokeAndMirrorsBlitzBanner

As part of the tour, I’m including an excerpt and a giveaway for a $10 gift card, a signed book, and this little guy! Isn’t he charming?

Dragon and Smoke and Mirrors

Enjoy this excerpt from SMOKE AND MIRRORS…

Viper made a soft hissing sound of irritation between his teeth, pulling back from her. “Cormac has no vision. I know what I want and I’m prepared to offer anything to get it. You have but to ask.”
Well. There was one thing. Her cheeks flared crimson and she squirmed a bit before stuttering out another question, swallowing back her embarrassment.


“You keep a hoard like a dragon, right? I don’t suppose you would consider loaning me a little? I swear I’d pay it back.”

His head tipped to one side, and he looked her up and down anew. She suspected he was just noticing her frayed cuffs and cheap shoes. He’d been so intent on getting whatever it was he wanted out of her that he hadn’t paid attention to the package it came in until now. When she caught the very slight curl of his lip, there and gone in a flash, embarrassed heat filled her cheeks.
Feeling both dirty and humiliated, she ducked her head. “Never mind. I shouldn’t have asked. I’m sorry, I don’t think I can do this.”

“Come now, I’m sure it’s not that hard. All it takes is a yes.”

“No,” she said, this time with a bit more vehemence. Cormac was right. There was something off about Viper, and never mind what a perfect ass she’d just made of herself. Worst of all, that flash of disgust showed he obviously had no respect for her. At least Cormac never made her feel tolerated. “Thank you for the offer, but I’ll find some other way of getting what I need.”

He slowly rose to stand, heaving a sigh as he settled back on his heels.

“That’s unfortunate. This would have been much easier if you had agreed.”

Kimberly would have asked what he meant by that, but the look in his eyes froze her in place.

His eyes burned a molten gold as he spread his arms, which were expanding and shifting at an alarming rate. Faster than she might have thought possible, he was growing, his clothing melting and skin disappearing under a layer of metallic scales. Nearby, people were noticing, shouting and screaming in fear as they stampeded in every direction to escape the shapechanging Other in their midst.

When he ceased growing, from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail, he was over thirty feet long, with a wingspan half again that size.

Kimberly sat immobile, unable to so much as squeak in terror as the beast before her lurched back to arch its neck and spread its wings, barbed tail lashing as it growled at her. One thick, talon-tipped paw lashed out, flattening her on the grass and squeezing the air out of her lungs. It gave an awkward, one-legged hop forward to catch its balance before clenching its claws to dig deep furrows in the grass and close around her waist and legs, pinning her.

Then those wide, ribbed wings began to flap, the sun playing off the tones of brass and copper and gold. The ground fell away, people scattering before the airborne monster.

And Kimberly could do nothing but pray, staring up at this great beast that had her in its claws.

She’d gotten what she’d asked for. Now she would have to pay the price.

Enter to win now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Or you can grab it (the book, not the dragon) from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, or All Romance eBooks. You can also add it to your Goodreads or LibraryThing shelves.

If you already read it, consider leaving a review! They really help. You can also sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Bookbub or Amazon to get alerts when the next book comes out.

Love and luck, my lovelies!

-J

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Book Review – THE DEVIL’S MOUTH by Matt Kincade

Title: THE DEVIL’S MOUTH
Author: Matt Kincade
Genre: Gritty Urban Fantasy/Horror
Series: Alex Rains Vampire Hunter
Book Source: Purchased

Purchase: AmazonGoodreads

Back Cover Copy:

The Devil's Mouth by Matt KincadeThe only things Alex Rains cares about are rock ’n’ roll, classic cars, and killing vampires—that is, until he meets Carmen, a tough-as-nails cop who’s hot on the trail of her missing little sister.

When the two join forces, they leave a trail of corpses across the desert as they race against the clock, hunting an ancient evil that’s preyed on the migrants of the American Southwest since the time of the Spanish conquest.

While Alex leads Carmen deeper into the deadly, secret world of vampire hunters and their quarry, a romance blooms that neither of them expected. But when it all goes wrong, Alex is forced to make a grueling choice.

An action-horror thriller from author Matt Kincade, The Devil’s Mouth is an adrenaline-fueled ride through the dark underbelly of America: a warped landscape of old motels, seedy roadhouse bars, and monsters lurking in the night.

My Review:

Short version: If you like vampire movies like From Dusk Till Dawn, or enjoy work by authors like James R. Tuck, you need this book in your life.

From Dusk Till Dawn and Blood and Bullets
Two Things That Go Great Together

Long version: This book. THIS BOOK.

I had so many things I meant to do the day I started reading it. All those things? Not done, because I could not put this sucker down. *rimshot*

Alex Rains is a new kind of cowboy with a Southern drawl, a way with guns and swords, and a hero complex that drives him to seek and destroy any vampire that crosses his path. His Pleasantville-esque obsession with old music and kitchy Americana knick knacks is as charming and quirky as his penchant for wearing cowboy boots and Stetsons with his ridiculous Hawaiian shirts.

His good ol’ boy nature clashes with the cold, heartless killer he becomes in an instant when on the hunt. It’s delicious. I love it.

The story starts with a bang. A young girl, trying to reach her older sister in America, hires a coyote (a person who specializes in smuggling people across the border from Mexico) to help her. Turns out this guy is in cahoots with a ring of vampiric human traffickers who use the coyote to find them slave labor and food who won’t be missed. Too late, the girl realizes just how much trouble she’s in when the vampiric driver of the truck that was supposed to deliver them to their new home decides to have a little snack before hitting the road.

Meanwhile, Alex, the vampire hunter, is on a stakeout. He’s forced to intervene when his prey gets a visitor–a woman named Carmen who is searching for her missing sister–and the vampire attacks.

Thanks to a lovely new scar on her neck, Carmen now believes that vampires are real. With Alex’s help, the two go on an epic adventure to save her sister.

There is so much to like about this story. So much.

These vampires are not cuddly teddy bears with fangs. They are brutal, vicious creatures–and yet, they are not simple caricatures of evil. Seeing how they draw humans into working for them is presented in a believable manner. The unfolding of the layers of greed, corruption, and secrecy surrounding the horrible deeds these creatures and their cronies have been committing is fascinating.

Yes, there is a great deal of violence and bloodshed (which is very well wrought, by the way), but there is also a lot of attention to detail. Despite the story having that summer blockbuster movie feel to it, the plot threads all flow together seamlessly.

The characters–even secondary ones–are all distinct personalities and voices. They all have clear motivations, even if it doesn’t seem like it in the beginning. In most cases, the characters are not simply parodies of themselves, and even when they do something stupid, they (mostly) walk into it openly acknowledging that they know they’re not making a wise choice. No matter what decisions they make or actions they take, all the characters stay true to their own personalities, as presented. Their ideals and quirks don’t just come and go to serve the plot, which might seem like a given, but often isn’t in a novel like this. It’s damned refreshing to have bad guys who are not just villainous to be villains, but because they have genuine flaws and motivations that make them stand out as people instead of cookie-cutter Bond villains.

Maybe they’re a giant walking bag of dicks, but even if you don’t empathize with their reasoning, at least you can understand why they’re such raging assholes.

Aside from the characterization, there is also a tremendous amount of detail that goes into every other aspect of the plot. From how Alex and the other vampire hunters network and get the tools of their trade, to how the vampire behind the human trafficking ring has had his fingers in every political and social pie since the Spanish conquest, there’s a rhyme and reason to it all.

The range of descriptions were also beautifully immersive and I really liked the little touches. For example, a scene where Alex and Carmen taste some wine–which sounds like a silly choice of scenes for me to talk about, I know, but is actually very important to the story–and how the flavors are described, as well as the bit with the raccoons later, is just so perfect. I might be completely off base, but to me, that–among many other things–was a sign of just how much care and thought and research went into crafting this novel, which I deeply appreciate.

The onion-like layers to this story as you unfold the secrets of the vampire network and Alex and Carmen’s past are brutal and delicious. It’s a fun, fascinating puzzle to watch unfold, and there’s a lot to like here. While there are a few typos and grammar errors that are knocking half a point off for this book for me, it’s still very much worth the read. It’s clever, fun, and action-packed, and as I mentioned earlier, it’s easy to get sucked right in. I strongly recommend it, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for future books by Kincade.

4.5/5

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May Madness Giveaway – Win A $185 Amazon Giftcard and Dozens of Ebooks!

May Madness Giveaway

PRIZES:
✓ $185 Amazon Giftcard
✓ 29 Kindle E-books (including my latest release, Smoke and Mirrors!)

HOW TO ENTER:
✓ Follow the instructions in the giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

✓ Or, if the widget isn’t displaying, go to the Rafflecopter website and check it out. Click the link ➝http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/77deea099/

Giveaway will run from May 1st 2016 ➝ May 14th 2016

Good luck to all who enter!

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Book Blitz for My Dear Friend, Brooklyn Ann!

 Today I am thrilled to be part of Brooklyn Ann’s book blitz for Kissing Vicious! I’m currently reading it so I can post a review in the next few days. Keep an eye out for my thoughts on this fun, sexy rock star romance!

Title: Kissing Vicious
Series: Hearts of Metal #1
Author: Brooklyn Ann
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: August 20, 2015
Blurb
Aspiring guitarist Kinley Black is about to get her first big break—as a roadie for Viciöus, her favorite heavy metal band, and for the rock god she always dreamt might make her a woman.

THE ROADIE

At 15, aspiring guitarist Kinley Black wished she were a boy. At 16, after hearing Quinn Mayne sing, she wanted him to make her a woman. Now, at 22, her dreams have come true. Quinn’s band Viciöus needs someone to lug their amps around the country, to strive and sweat with the guys. She just has to act like one of them.

AND THE ROCK GOD

Quinn had to admit the new chick could pull her weight, but that didn’t mean his road manager made the right choice. Taking a hottie on a heavy metal music tour was like dangling meat in front of a pack of feral hounds—and Quinn could be part dog himself. But more surprising than her beautiful body are Kinley’s sweet licks, so that no man could help but demand a jam session. Quinn will soon do anything to possess her, and to put Kinley in the spotlight where she belongs. And to keep her safe and sound from the wolves.

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK
Excerpt
“C’mon, baby, just let me feel ’em and I’ll let you through.” The leering roadie uncrossed his arms to reach forward.

Kinley choked back a groan of revulsion and stepped away.

Her pulse had been jacked up, her steps light with anticipation as she’d gone backstage to interview her favorite band. This interview would be her website’s biggest feature to date.

And now this asshole roadie was ruining her elation with his disgusting come-ons.

“It’s not the seventies anymore. Let me through.” She waved her laminated pass. “I have a scheduled interview.”

There. That was as diplomatic as she could be. It wouldn’t do to piss off the crew if she wanted to talk to the band, but this Neanderthal made it hard to be nice. With any luck, he’d back off and badger someone else. But considering those piggy eyes and that “Female Body Inspector” shirt, a woman would have to be desperate to allow his grimy fingers near her. The fact that a band as awesome as Viciöus had such a prick in their employ was beyond depressing.

She sighed. After she got her interview, it would all be worth it. Her ears still pounded from the glorious shredding guitar riffs, the throbbing bass, and the impossible speed of the drums. They had been gods on stage and now she was going to meet them.

“Sorry, sugar. Rules are rules. I gotta make sure the band’s getting Grade A titties.” With speed belying his sluggish appearance, he shoved those sausage fingers forward, reaching for her breasts. She swatted his hand away.

Fury boiled from her toes up. “If you touch me again, I’ll wipe the floor with your ass.”

The roadie’s laughter, like from a cheesy sitcom, rang in her ears. “Sounds kinky.” The moron actually stepped closer.

Kinley rolled her eyes. If it weren’t for this once-in-a-lifetime chance, she would have answered him with an uppercut. “A little help here?” she shouted, trying to salvage the situation.

The mass of gawkers muttered and looked in all directions, avoiding her gaze. Some asshole in the crowd yelled, “Show your tits!”

The roadie grinned and nodded in agreement.

“Thanks,” she muttered, embittered but unsurprised.

After what seemed like hours of dancing out of the caveman’s reach, a man approached. Her eyes widened. It was none other than Curtis Scrimm, lead guitarist of Viciöus.

He pushed his dirty blond locks from his face and grinned. “What’s going on?”

She struggled to meet his gaze while keeping one eye on the roadie. “I have a pass, but this guy’s molesting me and won’t let me through. Could you please tell him to stop?”

Kinley waved her laminate in case he hadn’t noticed. He leaned forward and gazed at it with squinty, glazed eyes.

Damn. If he was high, he’d be no help at all.

The roadie gave him a pleading look. “C’mon, Curt, she won’t play the game.”

Curt shrugged helplessly, eyes darting between Kinley and the roadie, then back at the swarm of groupies visibly panting after him. One already had her breasts bared.

“I’m serious,” Kinley growled. “I’ll kick his ass if he touches me again.”

Her harasser licked his lips. “Oooh. I like it when they fight.”

The guitarist shook his head, blinking at the roadie. “Harry, are you drunk on the job again? I thought Gaffer warned you. Besides, she doesn’t look like she has much anyway…” He trailed off as the groupies slinked closer, eyes feral with curiosity.

Kinley’s chest tightened with trepidation. Where were the other security guys? Where was the rest of the band?

The roadie reached for her again.

She jumped out of his way, stomach churning with anxiety. Then again, maybe it was a good thing the rest of the band wasn’t here to witness this disaster. The situation was quickly getting out of control. And it looked like she wouldn’t be getting her interview after all.

“I’ll fuck him up,” she stammered, flipping her braid over her shoulder. “I swear!”

Curtis chuckled, eyes roving over her body, visibly assessing her odds. Though she was tall and fit, she was lean, and the roadie outweighed her by at least eighty pounds. “Lady, if you can kick Harry’s ass, you can have his job.”

Her breath left her lungs. Kinley had been prepared to just break the roadie’s nose and walk out, but now the proverbial carrot had been dangled.

A chance to work for Viciöus? Hell, a chance to be back in music?

A wave of longing rushed over her to once more be part of it all. For that pump of adrenaline, the roar of the crowd, the heat of the stage lights—the soul searing passion of the music. To return to that life, even if only on the fringes, Kinley would do anything.

Beating this perverted scumbag to a pulp would be no hardship.

She dropped into a fighting stance and slightly relaxed her fists, the better to do more damage.

One last time, she tried for diplomacy. “As much as I’d love to work for you, it really would be better to call him off and let me—”

Harry’s porcine hand gripped her breast.

Kinley saw red.

Her fist connected with the roadie’s nose and she felt the satisfying crunch. He bellowed like a boar and blindly swung a ham-like fist.

Kinley easily ducked the punch and followed up with a knee to his gut.

He doubled over with an agonized groan but surprised her with an uppercut that thankfully missed her jaw and instead struck the side of her head. Kinley stumbled back, one ear ringing from the blow, the other echoing from the noise of her audience. Are those cheers or jeers?

Her mind struggled to unscramble. Another punch whistled past her head and she dodged it just in time. Her heel slammed into Harry’s kneecap and he went down shrieking.

This time Kinley didn’t give him a chance to recover. Her fists pummeled his face like the punching bag she practiced on in her garage.

Savage glee infused her with every strike. He collapsed after another blow to the jaw, but she wasn’t finished. Kinley raised her fist.

A voice rang out: “What the fuck is going on here?”

She froze. Quinn Mayne, lead singer of Viciöus, strode forward, his long black hair framing a chiseled, god-like face with green eyes foreboding as a hurricane sky.

Reality crashed down upon her. Suddenly, she could see how insane she must appear.

Author Bio
Formerly an auto-mechanic, Brooklyn Ann thrives on writing Romance featuring unconventional heroines and heroes who adore them. After writing historical paranormal romance in her critically acclaimed “Scandals with Bite” series and urban fantasy in her “Brides of Prophecy” novels, she now explores the chaotic realm of heavy metal music— a difficult world to find love in.

She lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with her son, her cat, and a 1980 Datsun 210.

Author Links
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Smoke & Mirrors and #AmWriting and A Death in the Family

It’s a silly blog title, isn’t it? Considering the gravity of the situation, I don’t mean to be blasé about it.

I moved to Florida a couple of years ago to be closer to my family. After I moved, I met a wonderful man who makes me ridiculously happy.

Me and My Darling, Handsome, Silly Man
Me and My Darling, Handsome, Silly Man

Ryan has an equally wonderful family who have welcomed me into their lives and for the most part everything has been… well… wonderful.

Except we’ve known for a long time that Ryan’s dad was terminally ill.

On New Year’s Day, Ryan’s sister found him collapsed and burning with fever. Since then, it’s been a roller-coaster of slow, painful decline as he passed through the final stages of liver cirrhosis.

Last night, that decline came to an end.

I’m sorry he was hurting so much. I’m sorry to see him go. I’m sorry for what it’s done to Ryan and Emily as they had to watch their daddy die by inches. But they got to spend time with him, and say their goodbyes. They got to tell him how much they loved him before he went.

Ryan, Fred and Emily
Ryan, Emily and Fred

I’m glad he’s no longer in pain.

I’ve spent a lot of time these last few months dropping everything to be as supportive as possible to this family. It’s been hard for me to sit by and see what it did to Fred, but even harder to see what it was doing to his kids. To the man I adore and want to spend the rest of my life with. It’s made it difficult for me to balance work and writing and everything else, but family comes first.

So I hope you’ll understand why it has taken me so long to get back on the road to publishing. Why it’s probably going to continue to take me some time to build back up some steam and get more books out.

But there will be more books. For as long as I have a keyboard available to me, I will always be writing something. Even if it isn’t meant for public consumption, even if it’s just to amuse myself, writing is my escape.

It’s publishing and marketing that takes more time, effort, and other resources than I currently have to spare.

However, I don’t want this situation to cast a total pall on my latest release.

Sometimes life is hard, sometimes it hurts, and sometimes bad things happen to good people. Life isn’t always about the good, but damn it, you need to keep soldiering on and living it anyway even when the ones you want to spend it with can’t always be there for you.

It’s taken a long time for me to get this story ready, but now that it is, I’m not going to hold it back–even though I might be taking a little more time than expected away from the social media and blog tours I usually tackle at release time. I need a little time to collect myself, so you may not see me being as vocal about this book as I usually am about my book releases–but don’t let my radio silence fool you. This story means a lot to me, and it’s one that’s very dear to my heart.

This book is dedicated to the man I love, the one who just lost his dad.

I hope you all fall in love with this story the way I fell in love with Ryan and his family. Unexpectedly, unabashedly, and with a dash of pulled heartstrings along the way.

Smoke and MirrorsSmoke and Mirrors

A girl who uses her illusions to fool the world into thinking she’s just like all the other magi.

A dragon who sees through her lies.

Together they just might survive a world that wants to control or destroy them both.

Kimberly may wield ultimate cosmic power, but even a mage has to pay the rent. No one will hire her for her magic talents until she’s got the credentials, so she’s stuck in a crappy rent controlled apartment with her mother, yearning for treats she can’t afford at her part time job in a café, counting down the days until she graduates the secret Blackhollow Academy school for magi. Only then will she have the certificate she needs to land her dream job in a coven. 

The problem? She needs a familiar to graduate. 

As an illusionist, she doesn’t have the ability to summon or create a familiar of her own. Her only option is to convince a supernatural creature to let her bind it instead. Since having a powerful Other at her beck and call would guarantee her a place in a coven after she graduates—and legendary treasure hoards are an added bonus—she thinks binding a dragon as her familiar will solve all her problems…

Because sometimes a girl needs a dragon, not a knight.

Coming May 1st, 2016. Now available for pre-order from:

(Coming soon to print!)

On a related note, I know I have not really made mention of this one yet, but I will also be in another book in the near future. They are still looking for additional authors to jump on board, too! Pure Textuality presents…

AmWriting

#AmWriting – A Collection of Letters to Benefit the Wayne Foundation

On June 7, 2016, Pure Textuality PR will play publisher once again, this time as we release #amwriting, a charity publication to benefit The Wayne Foundation.
And now, we need YOU.

#amwriting will be a collection of letters written by authors to their fledgling-writer selves:
Knowing 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. The book is to 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 go to benefit 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. The Wayne Foundation was co-founded by Kevin Smith, writer, director, podcastic guru, and (as I’m sure you’re all *very* sick of hearing by now) my artistic hero.

DEADLINE FOR LETTERS: May 16, 2016
NO MINIMUM OR MAXIMUM WORD COUNT.

_About The Wayne Foundation __

cropped-header1

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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Forget Waldo, I Found Gandalf. Also Garlic, and Chainmail For Your Boobs.

Over the weekend, I went to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Tampa. I had such a blast!

I’ll let the pictures explain.

Check it out, I found Gandalf!
Check it out, I found Gandalf!
Having a blast with my boyfriend's sister.
Having a blast with my boyfriend’s sister.
Those are some Cirque du Soleil-style shenanigans you're pulling off there, sir.
Those are some Cirque du Soleil-style shenanigans you’re pulling off there, sir.
This guy put's Jared Padelecki's hair to shame.
This guy puts Jared Padalecki’s hair to shame.
Source: http://www.aminoapps.com/page/supernatural/4984880/new-hair-commercial
Sorry Sam. Your hair has been outdone.
We also saw some great costumes out there!
We also saw some great costumes out there!
Isn't she perty?
Isn’t she perty?
Take me away to whatever fairy tale these people sprang from. Love those costumes.
Take me away to whatever fairy tale these people sprang from. Love those costumes.

I also enjoyed doing a little window shopping…

Silly fairies, stealing all dem brownies.
Silly fairies, stealing all dem brownies. I wish I knew who the vendor was, but I was a dummy and didn’t get one of their business cards.
Seriously though, how cool are these dishes?
Seriously though, how cool are these dishes? I think Yasmine Galenorn needs these in her life.
Same with these. Looka da shinies!
Same with these. Looka da shinies! From Waterhawk Creations.
Seriously, these things were works of art.
Seriously, these things were works of art.
Take a closer look. See what I mean?
Take a closer look. See what I mean?
Speaking of art, I am suddenly reminded of good times involving Cards Against Humanity and a lot of "Shut up, Hare!"
Speaking of art, I am suddenly reminded of good times involving Cards Against Humanity and a lot of “Shut up, Hare!”
"Take your chair with you!"
“Take your chair with you!” (Ahem, Stella, Mike, Julie.)

P.S. If you like that artwork, you should check out Deanna Davoli’s website. She has some really amazing prints, coffee mugs, jewelry, and more for sale.

I can't look at this and not think of Stella Price. I just can't.
I can’t look at this and not think of Stella Price. I just can’t.
CAM03734
Just like I can’t look at these without thinking of Leanna Renee Hieber.
Or these.
Or these.
But I'll take these for myself. Loves me some dragons.
But I’ll take these for myself. Loves me some dragons.
Or just this. *pets the precioussss*
Or just this. *pets the precioussss* You can order one of these, or one of the other pretties above, from Princessories.
Or, you know, I could get chainmail for my boobs. Some guys are into that.
Or, you know, I could get chainmail for my boobs. Some guys are into that. Get your own from Hair Flowers Etc.
At the end of the day, I think I'll stick with this.
At the end of the day, I think I’ll stick with this. Order your own tiara/necklace from Precious Plunder. Bluetooth behind-the-neck headphones not included.

I would be remiss if I left out the part about the garlic. I found a booth (silly me, not getting a picture of it) selling organic garlic products. Garlic seasonings, pickled garlic, garlic in olives, sauces–you name it. I’m usually hesitant about buying any package that uses the generic “spices” instead of spelling out exactly what the ingredients are thanks to my body going into meltdown mode whenever I have MSG, so I wasn’t going to buy anything from this booth. However, one of the ladies selling from it told me how they use all organic ingredients and that there is no MSG to be found, and even gave me a sample to see if I liked it.

Whoa, did I!

I used this…

Garli Garni Seasoning from Garlic Festival Foods
Garli Garni Seasoning from Garlic Festival Foods

…and produced this:

Steak, Sauteed Fennel, and Garlicy Roasted 3-Potato and Onion
Steak, Sauteed Fennel, and Garlicky Roasted 3-Potato and Onion

It tasted better than that picture looks. Which is kind of easy, my phone takes some crappy foodie photos. However, should you feel moved to duplicate my meal, here is how to do it.

Steak:

Ingredients: Thick cut of whatever type of steak you like (I prefer prime rib) left out of the fridge until at room temperature, salt and pepper, appx. 2 tblsp oil (I prefer sunflower – don’t use olive oil, it burns too easily)

Method: Important note before starting: At no point should you use a sharp, pointy object on your steak until after it is cooked and ready to be consumed. Until then, use tongs to handle and flip it.

Use an oven-safe skillet for this. Nothing with a non-stick coat or plastic/wooden handle or other thing that will kill you with toxic fumes and/or set your house on fire.  Stick your skillet in the oven and crank it up to 490°. Because 500° is just silly. Leave it in there at least 15 – 20 minutes, long enough for the oven to heat and the skillet to get hot all the way through.

While your skillet is heating, coat your steak in oil and add a little (I suggest coarse sea) salt and sprinkle liberally with pepper (fresh cracked, trust me, it makes a difference) on both sides. I’m serious, use more pepper than you think it needs, and use your fingers or a set of tongs to flip it over so you can get the other side. Trust me. I’m an expert.

Once your skillet has heated through, do not turn the oven off. Move the skillet to the stove top, put the heat on high, and toss the steak in.

Source: http://giphy.com/gifs/l7Ky808S5hA5O

Let it sear on one side until the edges start to come up a little, appx. 1 minute. Flip it over and sear the other side.

Next, put the skillet back in the oven (you didn’t turn it off, did you? Did you?!) and leave it in there for 2 minutes (you can turn the stove top off now). At the 2 minute mark, pull the skillet out and flip the steak, then put it back in there for another two minutes.

Pull out the steak, remove immediately to a plate (with tongs), and cover with tinfoil. Don’t you dare take a fork or knife to it yet. I’m watching you. Set a timer for 4 minutes. Now you can turn off the oven.

After 4 minutes, remove that tinfoil and take a bite out of some of the best damned steak you’ve ever tasted. See? I told you to trust me.

Sauteed Fennel:

Ingredients: 1 – 2 bulbs of fresh fennel, 1/4 – 1/2 medium onion, 2 – 4 tblsp butter, 2 – 4 tblsp olive oil, 1/4 – 1/2 cup water, salt and pepper to taste.

Chop fennel (if you’re not familiar how to prepare it, here’s a good tutorial, but don’t dice it) and onion into large, bite-sized pieces.

Melt butter in a skillet on the stove top on medium-high heat. Add olive oil before butter melts completely, and swirl to mix thoroughly. Toss in the fennel and onion, then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Add the water and reduce the heat to low, and cover (you can use tinfoil). Let simmer this way for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove the cover and turn up the heat to medium-ish, just to work off any excess moisture and maybe brown it a little. This shouldn’t take more than 4 – 5 minutes.

Garlicky Roasted Potatoes and Onions:

While I used a NuWave Oven for these, of course you can do this in a regular oven, too.

Ingredients: Appx. 1/2 – 1Lb potatoes (I used a small bag of tri-coloreds from Trader Joe’s, but you can use whatever type you like–I suggest Russet [red skin] if you’re not sure), 1/2 – 3/4 med. onion, appx. 2 – 4 tblsp. olive oil, and some of that Garli Garni seasoning from Garlic Festival Foods. Order from Pat the Garlic Lady.

Method: Preheat your oven to 450°. Chop your potatoes and onion into bite-sized pieces. Put into a baking dish and coat with oil, sprinkle with seasoning, and then toss that puppy in the oven.

Stir halfway through cook time (appx. 15 minutes). Continue to roast until tender and golden brown. Total time should be about 30 minutes. You can test done-ness by sticking a fork in the potatoes. If it goes through nice and smooth, it’s done. If it doesn’t, give it a few more minutes.

(Note: If using a NuWave, first *fistbump* for awesome, second, adjust this to: use lowest rack, cook at 450 for 12 minutes and stir, then put it back in for another 12 minutes. Bam. Done.)

Bon appétit!

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This Is What A Conversation With My Friends Looks Like

This is an actual email conversation I had with SILENT CRAVINGS co-author, E. Blix.


Me: SUBJECT: I started H&W #7.

I R TEH EXCITE.

Also, ugh, I forgot how much of a fucking mess I had her come home to in the last book. FFS, I hate when I write myself into a corner.

E. Blix: *SCREAMING*

Me: O_O

E. Blix:

Me:

E. Blix:

Me:


We’re such bastions of maturity around here, eh? It is not unusual for us to hold entire conversations via LOLcat and GIFs. #profeshnul

Thus concludes this glimpse into the glamorous life of an author. Carry on.

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