Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Soul's Kiss Blog Tour" target="_blank">Creative Prose Publishing
launched their imprint this year dedicated to representing all genres of clean fiction from middle grade through adult.

One of their first offerings is the paranormal romance" target="_blank">A SOUL'S KISS
by Debra Chapoton. Chapoton is a best-selling international author.

When a tragic accident leaves Jessica comatose, her spirit  escapes her body. Navigating a supernatural realm is tough, but being half dead has its advantages.
Like getting into people’s thoughts.

Like taking over someone’s body.

Like experiencing romance on a whole new plane - literally.

Jessica learns an amazing truth as she struggles to return to her body before the doctors pull the plug, only she can’t do it alone. Now the only two people willing to help Jessica’s splintered soul are the two she’s hurt the most. They must find a way to guide her soul back to her body ... before it’s too late.

Here's what's being said about" target="_blank">A SOUL'S KISS

“Sensational, satisfying and surreal. A thrilling tale, beautifully imagined and carefully crafted. A must read 'coming of age' novel. I hope to see more of Chapoton in the future.”
~Lucy Morris," style="color: #a64d79; text-decoration: none;">Lucy Reads

 “Very intriguing. With elements of friendship, romance, and the supernatural, A Soul’s Kiss is a fun novel with a good message and perfect for fans of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay.”
~Paola Benevides," style="color: #a64d79; text-decoration: none;">Don’t Fold the Page

 “A unique novel filled with engaging characters that captivate our heart as well as the imagination. An emotional ride loaded with intrigue, secrets, romance, and the paranormal that hooks the reader till the very last page.”
~Mandy Sickle," style="color: #a64d79; text-decoration: none;">The Reading Diaries

"A Soul's Kiss is a compelling story of a group of teenagers struggling to find their place in the world. It's a fresh reminder that what we think we want isn't always what we need and that sometimes what we need was right in front of us all along."
~Ashley Gafford," style="color: #a64d79; text-decoration: none;">Wholly Books!

"Ms Chapoton created living characters and gave us a gripping story. One word: awesome!
                                                                 ~Hira Mushtaq," style="color: #a64d79; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: right; text-decoration: none;">Views and Reviews

Get your copy today!
," target="_blank">Paperback," target="_blank">Nook

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bad Karma in the Big Easy Blog Tour

Best-Selling Author Serves Up Creole And Crime With
Bad Karma In The Big Easy!
(Portly & Proud) Andy Broussard Mysteries
Bad Karma in the Big Easy:
Louisiana Fever:
Sleeping With the Crawfish:
New Orleans Requiem:
NOW JUST $0.99 on AMAZON!! :) Astor + Blue Editions is proud to present a heart-pounding new thriller by D.J. Donaldson, Bad Karma in The Big Easy! Available at all major book retailers (ISBN: paperback 979-1-938231-32-2, ePUB 978-1-938231-30-8, ePDF 978-1-938231-31-5; Mystery, Thriller; paperback $12.99, ebook $5.99). Best-selling mystery author D.J. Donaldson (New Orleans Requiem, Louisiana Fever) invites readers back to the Bayou with his latest New Orleans adventure Bad Karma in the Big Easy.Plump and proud medical examiner Andy Broussard reunites with gorgeous psychologist Kit Franklyn as they face off with their most gruesome foe yet. A killer lurks in The Big Easy, his victims found among the many bodies left in the wake of the devastating Hurricane Katrina. But with the city’s records destroyed, and the police force in complete disarray, Broussard must take matters into his own hands. Soon, he and his courageous sidekick, Kit, find themselves on a dangerous and labyrinthine journey through the storm-ravaged underbelly of the ever-mysterious and intensely seductive city of New Orleans; leading them to a predatory evil the likes of which they’ve never encountered. Written in his uniquely brusque style, Donaldson’s Bad Karmacombines hard-hitting, action-packed prose with a folksy, sweetly Southern charm. Add Donaldson’s brilliant first-hand knowledge of forensics and the sultry flavor of New Orleans, and the result is a first class forensic procedural within an irresistibly delectable mystery that will leave fans hungry for more. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Don is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology. His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound healing and taught microscopic anatomy to over 5,000 medical and dental students. He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland Terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s backyard garden. PRAISE FOR D.J. DONALDSON “D.J. Donaldson is superb at spinning medical fact into gripping suspense. With his in-depth knowledge of science and medicine, he is one of very few authors who can write with convincing authority.” – Tess Gerritsen, NY Times best-selling author of the Rizzoli & Isles novels "With each book, Donaldson peels away a few more layers of these characters and we find ourselves loving the involvement." – THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL (MEMPHIS) “Donaldson has established himself as a master of the Gothic mystery.” – BOOKLIST WHAT CRITCS SAY ABOUT LOUSIANA FEVER "Delivers...genuinely heart-stopping suspense." – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY "Broussard tracks the virus…with a winning combination of common sense and epidemiologic legerdemain." – NEW ORLEANS TIMES PICAYUNE "This series has carved a solid place for itself. Broussard makes a terrific counterpoint to the Dave Robicheaux ragin' Cajun school of mystery heroes." – BOOKLIST "A dazzling tour de force...sheer pulse-pounding reading excitement." – THE CLARION LEDGER (JACKSON, MS) "The autopsies are detailed enough to make Patricia Cornwell fans move farther south for their forensic fixes...splendidly eccentric local denizens, authentic New Orleans and bayou backgrounds...a very suspenseful tale.” – LOS ANGELES TIMES "Keep(s) the reader on the edge of his chair and likely to finish in one sitting." – BENTON COURIER (ARKANSAS) WHAT CRITICS SAY ABOUT NEW ORLEANS REQUIEM “Lots of Louisiana color, pinpoint plotting and two highly likable characters…smart, convincing solution.” – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review) “An…accomplished forensic mystery. His New Orleans is worth the trip.” – NEW ORLEANS TIMES PICAYUNE “The tension will keep even the most reluctant young adult readers turning the pages…” – SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL WHAT CRITICS SAY ABOUT SLEEPING WITH THE CRAWFISH "Action-packed, cleverly plotted topnotch thriller. Another fine entry in a consistently outstanding series. " – BOOKLIST "With each book, Donaldson peels away a few more layers of these characters and we find ourselves loving the involvement." – THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL (MEMPHIS) "The pace is pell-mell." – SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS "Exciting and…realistic. Donaldson...starts his action early and sustains it until the final pages." – BENTON COURIER (Arkansas) "A roller-coaster ride…Thoroughly enjoyable." – BRAZOSPORT FACTS "The latest outing of a fine series which never disappoints." – MERITORIOUS MYSTERIES

They reached the store’s kicked-in front door a few seconds later. Flashlight on, Broussard went in first, Kit following closely.
Inside the store, they played their flashlight beams around the dank interior. At first they saw nothing but mud-caked floorboards and walls pockmarked with starbursts of mold, then Kit’s light picked up a chain hanging from the ceiling. Following it up, she saw it was attached to a large screw eye. Walking her beam back down the rope, she discovered a large metal hook on the other end. By now, Broussard was looking at it, too.
“What do you suppose that was used for?” Kit said.
“Hangin’ somethin’.”
But Broussard had already turned away to see what else might be found. His light located some twisted chrome rods and a pair of loose wheels that together, were probably once a rolling wardrobe trolley. It didn’t take much detective work to arrive at that conclusion because the chrome wreckage was lying on a clot of muddy clothing. With Kit supplementing his light with hers, Broussard walked over to the clothes, knelt, and began pulling at the matted, muddy mess to see what kind of clothes they were.
The first piece to come free was apparently a dress. He reached down and worked another edge free.
A much brighter light than either of the ones they carried suddenly blasted them from the doorway. They both turned to see who was there.
“Look,” a mocking voice said. “Looters. I don’t think there’s a lower form of humanity than people who would take advantage of a catastrophe for personal gain. We should instruct them and set them on a better path.”
“The woman’s a major babe,” a second voice said.
With the light shining in her eyes, it was hard to see through it, but Kit thought there were only two of them.
Were they carrying guns? She couldn’t tell. If she reached for hers and pointed it at them, the natural response would be for them to start shooting. If she was going to produce the Ladysmith, better to just start blasting away with it. But what if they weren’t armed? And maybe they’re just kids. Could she live with killing an unarmed kid? Damn it.
The two moved inside. The one with the light shifted it onto Broussard. “What are you dressed up for old man, Halloween?” the second voice said. “Couldn’t you afford a real tie?”  
“I’m the medical examiner,” Broussard said. “I do a lot of my work bendin’ over examinin’ the dead. I found early in my career that a long tie gets in the way. Kind of like what you’re doin’ right now.”
With the light out of her face, Kit played her own light over the two so she could see their hands.
“Ohhh, get him,” the second thug said. “He ain’t scared. But you oughtta be old man.”
The thug slipped his hand into his pocket and brought out an object. There was a snicking sound and Kit’s light caught the glint of a knife blade. She saw no guns.
Before she could reach for the Ladysmith, she was grabbed in a bear hug from behind, pinning her arms. Her flashlight clattered to the floor. Instinctively, she threw her head back, hoping to drive her skull into her captor’s face, but he must have been expecting that because he moved his head to the side.
“Your hair smells great,” he said breathing into her ear. “I’ll bet your pussy smells even better.”
His breath curled around to the front of her face and went into her nose. Though the odor in the store was bad, his breath was worse. One of his hands slid down between her legs and his fingers began probing.
She stamped on his right foot as hard as she could. But her soft deck shoes didn’t have any effect. She drove her left foot back into his kneecap. That didn’t accomplish anything either. Running out of options, she leaned into him and drove herself backward. He gave ground and they began to move, slowly at first, then faster as she continued to dig in. They hit the back wall a moment later with a thud. She heard the air rush out of him, but he didn’t loosen his hold.
The guy with the knife advanced on Broussard.
“He likes unusual ties,” the guy with the light said. “Cut his throat and pull his tongue through the opening. See how that suits him.”
Kit watched with horror. They were both in trouble, but it was Broussard she was worried about. They were going to kill him and she couldn’t do anything about it. If she could just get free for a second... She struggled in the grip of the geek holding her, but he was too strong.
Broussard shoved his flashlight into his back pocket. Fists raised, he edged forward in a crouch to meet the guy with the knife. The thug moved in closer, his hands making circling motions, trying to confuse Broussard about the direction the attack would come. He lunged.
With surprising quickness, Broussard knocked the knife hand to the side with his left hand. He took a step forward and  brought his right fist around in a looping motion that caught the thug hard on the side of the head. Stunned, the thug staggered sideways, turned, and fell on his ass. But he didn’t drop the knife.
“I could be wrong, but I think you missed him, Chato,” the guy with the light said. “Try again.”
Chato got awkwardly to his feet. Grinding his teeth and growling, he charged again. This time he swung the knife from Broussard’s left to his right in a huge underhand slicing motion. Broussard leaned back so the knife barely missed his face. He grabbed the thug’s arm and used the momentum of the guy’s charge to spin him around. Broussard then sent him sprawling onto the floor with a kick in the glutes.

The guy with the light played the beam over his embarrassed lackey, then turned it back onto Broussard. “You’re not an easy mark, I’ll say that for you, old man. And I’ve enjoyed your performance. But now it’s time you were dead…”  

Friday, April 25, 2014

Silver Tongue Book Review

Belin Vaulatrix is an earl's daughter betrolled to the king's son. Great, huh? Not for Belin. She'd rather run away than marry the prince. He's spoiled, boring and pudgy. Unfortunately Belin's plan to escape disguised as her maid backfires when she is kidnapped by a band of "hired knives." Apparently someone has been kidnapping servants and orphan children all over the land of Shalendorf. Belin picked the wrong disguise and finds herself herded underground into hundreds-of-years-old mines to dig for scrap lunas, a form a currency. But there aren't enough lunas to be worth anything. Belin suspects something is not right and she's determined to find out what. But she must keep her identity secret to do so.

I really enjoy Evelyn Ink's writing style. She brings you into a world that she knows well and expertly navigates you through a worthwhile adventure. The characters are relatable and entertaining. The setting in this companion novel to Ill-fated brought the story to life. The Grendel mines where Belin finds herself is full of rich history, mystery and breathtaking beauty. The description of the Grendel's artistry and architecture was well done. I wouldn't mind reading stories about the Grendels as well.

The pacing slowed for just a bit right after the kidnapping, but quickly returned and kept the adrenaline going through the end. The only thing that threw me off a little was the concept of Belin being "silver tongued." There is little actual conversation where she uses this gift. Most of the time it just says that she was able to persuade and calm or convince someone without actually showing her doing this. Other than that, I think it is a great read. I wasn't even disappointed about not seeing Leila and Sam again. Although I wouldn't mind reading more of their adventures, Belin and her friends led me on a good adventure as well. I enjoyed reading about the land of Shalendorf. I highly recommend Silver Tongue for fans of Evelyn Ink, steam punk and adventure.

Rating 4/5

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Whip Smart Excerpt

Whip Smart: Lola Montez and the Poisoned Nom de Plume

“Why don’t the two of you have a contest?” one of the wags said, proud of himself for such an audacious suggestion, and looking around at his chums like a large water spaniel that’s just dropped a duck at its master’s feet.
Oh, my, this wasn’t what I’d expected — I’d simply wanted to come, be alone, and blast several dozen bullets at something inert that, in my mind’s eye, had acquired an unnecessary monocle and a high, giggly laugh. The other sportsmen, however, were very excited by this new idea and clapped Beauvallon (whose dark face began looking decidedly stormy) on the back several times.
“I will not fight a woman,” he said finally, “and that’s an end to it.”
“I will fight you, if you like,” I rejoined, before I even knew that the words were forming. The others hurrahed, and one of them dashed off to find a fresh target.
“This is absurd, gentlemen,” growled Beauvallon, before turning to me. “Forgive them their crassness, mademoiselle. I am the best shot in Paris, everyone knows this. They are simply setting you up for laughter later.”
“Is that so?” I wondered whether this might be true — and perhaps they’d all been there the night before, at the Opéra? Perhaps, too, they’d all read and snickered at the reviews that cut me to ribbons, that insulted my very soul. I tossed my hair away from my shoulders, then straightened them. “Let us put it to the test.”
“I can’t advise it,” said another man, stepping up. “Do you remember me, Mademoiselle Lola? At the Jockey Club that night? We spoke for a little bit — you were with Eugène Sue.”
“Of course,” I said, recalling that the red lips and the mustache belonged to the Italian, Pier-Angelo.
“Fiorentino,” he nodded, with a shy smile. “I enjoyed your performance last night. Never mind what they say, it’s just to sell papers.”
My brain fizzed suddenly. He meant well, I’m sure, but I could feel it coming, that rising surge that occasionally overtakes me. I never know when it will happen. It’s been the same ever since I was a little girl. A surfeit of restlessness? — a lack of familial care or reprimand when young? I have no idea. I fight against it, but most often to no avail. It is an uncontrollable phenomenon borne out of a concatenation of conflicting emotions: a volcanic eruption of molten fire, and I must follow where it leads me or I will burst. I bent my head and reloaded, swiftly. To my left, I could feel Beauvallon’s indignation mounting. Bueno. 
Ready, I raised my head and my arm. “I like a challenge. Do you?”  
And I fired into the target, just as the weedy sportsman who’d retrieved the new one was setting it in place. The bullet went true, straight to a bull’s-eye; the man leaped to safety, tumbling as he went.
Parbleu,” Beauvallon muttered under his breath. I looked over in time to see him reload at speed, aim and fire again. The weedy fellow stood up, dusting off his knees, and raised his hands in the air.
“Shall I check, Beauvallon? For God’s sake, don’t either of you shoot me.” He loped across to the target, peered at the centre, then turned and cried, “Yours followed hers! No second hole!” 
Incredulous whistles and murmurs from all the others, who raced over to examine the thing for themselves. Beauvallon gave me a smile from his very brown face; his teeth sparkled white, his tongue very red, where I could see the tip of it sticking out between those teeth. “Satisfied?”
“Not quite,” I answered, then called, “A fresh one, if you please.” The weedy chap and another dashed around, searching. I could see someone else joining us at this point; it was Grisier, the master marksman and instructor, the one who’d given the nod to my membership.
“What’s this then, Beauvallon? Is the lady giving you a run for the money?” And then there were new hoots and hollers, as everyone else realized they could be betting on this, and the wagers began flying around the room at top speed.
“A change of pistols, I think,” Beauvallon said.
“Do you agree?” Grisier asked me.
“Very well.”
“I shall bring two,” Grisier promised, “and they shall be fine ones. Duelling pistols.”
This gave me pause. I hadn’t often handled large ones such as those the duellists used, and didn’t think this fresh test was terribly fair. I hadn’t counted on the gentlemanly nature of Master Grisier, however. He did indeed bring duelling pistols, but they were smaller and lighter than I’d expected. “Choose the one you want, Mademoiselle Montez,” as he held them out for me, in their case. I indicated the one on the left. “I shall load the two, and you shall see me do so,” Grisier told us. “Of course,” he added with a twinkle in his eye and a glance at us both, “you are firing at the target, not at each other.”
During the loading, Beauvallon and I regarded one another. Beneath the dark colour of his skin, I could sense that he was blushing — with anger, I assumed. No matter. I squared my shoulders again; everyone was watching me with great attention, and I drank that in. They didn’t believe I could do this and were wishing me well — but I believed I could, and then they’d see. Grisier handed me the pistol I’d chosen, and gave the second one to my opponent.  
Then I said, “Monsieur Beauvallon goes first, if you please.”
Absolute silence, absolute shock! 
Fast as a striking snake, his arm shot out and the target was despoiled.
“Bull’s-eye!” the weedy one chirped with glee.
I raised my arm, took aim. Beside me, Beauvallon cleared his throat loudly. I dropped my arm, glared at him coldly. “Do you mind?”
“Yes, I do.” Very softly, under his breath.
I took aim swiftly then, and shot. Weedy one dashed forth and peered, searching in and around the centre, then — unbelievably! The cheek of him! — his head dipped and darted, checking the outer rings, and finally the sawdust-covered floor and paneled walls. Some of the others began to titter and mutter behind their hands. Fiorentino called, “What are you doing, man?”
“I’m just making absolutely certain,” El Weedo reported, then turned to face us with face ablaze. “That shot followed Beauvallon’s, as well. The lady aced Beauvallon’s bull’s-eye, if you can credit it!”
Men rushed in from all directions, and I found myself lifted into the air and galloped around the shooting gallery upon their shoulders, Fiorentino following and yelling at me, “Never fear, all of Paris shall soon hear of this! I’ll sell the story to the highest bidder, and make us all happy!”
By the time the jolly sportsmen had set me down, apologizing and patting my crumpled skirts, my chestnut-haired opponent had vanished.