Monday, 20 February 2017

Review: The Vampire Mafia Complete Series By M.A. Wilder

  Title: The Vampire Mafia Complete Series
By: M.A. Wilder
Publication Date: January 1, 2017
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Five deadly love stories.
And one dark saga. 
This is August, New York, where the chaotic world of the supernatural will collide with unsuspecting, vulnerable humans.  

Trouble Notorious criminal Mickey McKennan is everything Nora Evers shouldn’t want. He’s power and sex in a suit with a rogue smile, and when they meet, her world tilts as she falls in lust—until that world halts when tragedy strikes. Nora’s life quickly goes from bad to worse, and she finds Mickey at every turn. Although his deadly secrets ensure that trouble follows him, she is drawn to him more and more. But, when her past haunts her present, Nora’s life is threatened, and she is unsure of who she can count on to help her survive.  

Beautiful Everyone has a price, and thanks to the captivating Simon Handover and his proposition, Penny Ames has discovered hers. She will just need to make it through one month with him before she can flee and never look back. But, with his Clark Kent good looks and Superman swagger, Simon is more of a threat to Penny than she realizes. While fighting not to lose her heart, she stumbles into a world filled with guns, gangs, and…vampires, and soon, she finds herself also fighting for her life.  

Collateral When Sosie Savage is taken hostage by the Vampire Mafia due to her father’s mistake, the only thing on her mind is survival—until her focus begins to shift as her captors, the D’Avignon brothers, vie for her attention. Powerful yet antagonistic, J.M. and Sebastien fascinate her. Where J.M. is destructive and dangerous, Sebastien acts as the savior with his kindness. With her feelings clouding her mind, Sosie struggles to set things right in the tangled web her father weaved. But, after the D’Avignon family receives threats from rival vampires while enduring run-ins with the authorities, she begins to question her allegiance to her own family and the life that she once knew.  

Vengeful Kidnapped and tortured with no end in sight, Beau D’Avignon is certain death is imminent. That is, until Francesca Slight intervenes. Sheltered daughter of the D’Avignon’s sworn enemy, she is now also the owner of Beau’s heart. With the animosity between the leading vampire families, their newfound love is not likely to survive, especially when the escalating war threatens all their lives. Frustrated with her father’s lack of action in the search for her missing family, Bellamy D’Avignon is determined to take the reins, but along the way, she crosses paths with someone from the opposite side of the law. He’s literally tall, dark, and handsome, and their connection is immediate and undeniable. But, when a life-altering threat hits and emotions take over, Bellamy makes a decision that will change their lives forever.

AJ Adams Review
I really enjoyed this!  I loved the way that it's one big story, told from different points of view. To come in and out of it is a lot of fun. Wish I'd thought of it!

I liked Collateral best because it has the classic pull between what we admire and what attracts us. But I think I'll read it again and then I may actually prefer Vengeful. Definitely I book I'll read again.

The characters were varied and nicely rounded. The writing flowed well, and the plot kept moving along. All in all, it's a lovely read. If you like mafia stories but you're also a vampire lover, this is definitely for you.

The only thing I wasn't too keen on was the sex in Beautiful. It was too abrupt a transition into Ds for me. I'd have made the girl an experienced sub and then it would have flowed smoother. But it's a tiny thing, and it didn't detract from the story.

“What are you?” I whisper, fear shaking my body as well as my voice.
The man crouches down beside me, his gaze hungry, his movements cagey. “Don’t you mean, who?”
I shake my head and wince, knowing, deep down inside, that I got my question right the first time.
The stranger smiles, and it terrifies me. I can tell by the look on his face that my terror thrills him.
Then, he says one word and one word only, “Vampire.” And it changes everything.

Smashwords -
M. A. Wilder is a wife, mother, and native New Yorker who writes in order to retain her title as a hipster. She is a stay-at-home mom by day and a crime fighter author by night. She is also rumored to be a full-time geek, a part-time fangirl, and an imaginary superhero.
Social Media Links

Saturday, 18 February 2017

AJ Adams & Storm Chase Interview with author Stefan McElvain

Cilla's Journey (Cosmetologist Extraordinhair Book 1)
by Stefan Angelina McElvain
85 pages

#erotica #scifi #paranormal


Stefan published her first story in January 2015 and currently has 11 titles for sale. 

AJ & Storm: What did you love most about this story? 
Stefan: My first seven stories had the same main character. So for this new series, it was building a new character, and adding touches to make the reader empathize with her as a cosmetologist. The story starts when Cilla is bored and decides to get out of the salon rut. She succeeds beyond her wildest dreams and explores new behavior avenues. I couldn't help myself and added a science fiction aspect. This element becomes more dominant as the trilogy progresses, and I had fun with time paradoxes in book three.

AJ & Storm: What is it you love most about writing?
Stefan: The story. I've been writing for about three years. My wife said I was spending too much time playing silly games on the computer and challenged me to write a story. I simply started with no outline. The characters decided what would happen, and I just captured their thoughts. Alex was the result. Within five months, I'd penned a further seven stories in the same series. I couldn't stop. It's as if the story takes over and has to get out. This creative rush, is what I love the most. I have a theory about writer's block. It's the conflict between the author's preconceived outline, and what the characters actually want to do.

AJ & Storm: What is it you dislike most about writing?
Stefan: Editing. To be honest, writing wasn't initially my passion. In my working career, I classified myself as a problem solver. It didn't require creating long documents. When I started writing, I had no discipline, and to be honest I'm still learning this trade. The result was I'd completed multiple manuscripts while I still trying to find a home for Alex. Finally, I found a publisher and discovered house rules. I also had a rude awakening when my editor returned my beloved manuscript.

To keep myself sane, I now write, finish, re-read, and edit. I then do something completely different. About one month later, I start serious editing and even read the passages out loud.

This part I find difficult, as the story can stop feeling fresh. It's also extremely time consuming.

AJ & Storm: Tell us about a mistake you made in writing or publishing and what it taught you.
Stefan: Show versus tell. My first rejection letter said interesting concept, too much tell and not enough show. The beginning's too slow and long. That was it.

I asked three English majors about show versus tell and got three different and contradicting explanations. The Internet wasn't much better. I finally internalized the following rules--tell the story from one character's perspective, and that head-hopping's a no-no.

This helped, but sadly I'd written a number of stories in the interim and had to rewrite large sections of god perspective, create more dialogue, and re-work thoughts. You now know why I dislike editing. Plus, don't get me going about commas!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Review: A Way Back Into Love By Veronica Thatcher

  Title: A Way Back Into Love Series: Love Series #1
By: Veronica Thatcher
Publication Date: February 15, 2017
Publisher: Notion Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Notion Press
Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain. People, irrational. But love…well, that makes everything complicated. And when you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned. Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life gets turned upside-down when she realizes she's in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken. Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns the man she left behind?


This is a classic love story with Emily loving Derek who ended up marrying Emma, Emily’s sister. Five years later Emily and Derek meet again and they reconnect.

First: I loved the cover. I'm hopeless at cover art and this one was so pretty!  Second, the premise was a good one, and I was also looking forward to reading something plain and romantic after reading so much dark romance recently.

This is a first novel, and it's okay but I think it needed another round of beta reading and editing.

I was a bit confused here and there with both sisters being “Em”. Really, one sister should have been renamed to Grace or whatever, because the similar names was a bit much. Also, the back and forth between cities and times could have been a bit smoother. I did like the way that the past was italicised, but with the changing third person perspectives, I wasn't sure something who was doing the talking.

What really didn't help was that the ARC had formatting issues. Some paragraphs came in huge clumps of text, and others were indented and very short. It was readable, but I did wonder if it contributed to some of the confusion. Anyway, ARCs are always plagued by little issues and I'm sure that the final copy is perfect. But for me, the lesson is to send nicely formatted ARCs to my own reviewers.

Overall, it’s a solid effort for a first novel and a light fun read overall. If you like classic romance, like Mills and Boon, you’ll enjoy this.  
Derek let out a frustrated sigh and ran his fingers through his hair. "Em…I mean that…It’s just this person you have become. The Emily I used to know didn’t hit on random guys at the bar."
Emily crossed her arms over her chest and gave Derek a glare. "Five years is a long time, Derek. Maybe I have changed," she said, "And besides, why do you care so much?"
Derek glared back at her as he replied harshly, "Oh, so you have changed so much over the last five years that now you throw yourself at random men like a…” he trailed off, not finishing his sentence.
Emily’s mouth fell open and her eyes widened as she let Derek’s words set in. She couldn’t believe her own ears for a minute. Had Derek really accused her of being a slut? She couldn’t believe it – it all felt like a nightmare.
"What did you just say to me?" Emily whispered, her voice sounding foreign to her own ears. "What did you just say to me?" Emily asked in a louder voice this time.
Derek didn’t say a word as he continued to look at Emily coldly.
Emily took a step towards Derek and narrowed her eyes. Poking Derek’s chest with the index finger of her right hand, she said in a soft yet acerbic voice, "You don’t get to call me a whore. You’ve no right to judge me. Do you hear me? You’ve no fucking right to judge me." The anger, the jealousy and the heartache combined with the alcohol she had consumed gave Emily a newly acquired courage. She felt more emboldened than she had felt in her entire life, and so, she didn’t hold back in letting out her pent-up exasperation. "You broke me," Emily continued, her words slurring slightly, "You broke me, but I am all glued up together now. And I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don’t get to call me a whore." Emily finished her diatribe, her breaths coming in short pants as a result of her outburst.
Derek looked into her eyes, the anger and bitterness in his eyes now replaced by confusion. "I broke you? What do you mean?" he asked in a bewildered voice, his eyebrows shooting up.
Emily stepped back from him and shook her head. "Oh, you know damn well what I mean. You know what, Derek? I’m done having this conversation with you. I’m so done with this conversation and I’m so done with you," Emily spat out angrily before brushing past him.
"Emily, wait," Derek said, catching her by her arm. "Where are you going?"
Emily spun around and gave him a bitter look before looking down at his hand gripping her arm. "Leave my arm," she said in a low yet threatening voice, "And why do you care where I’m going? It’s none of your business."
Derek didn’t leave her arm in spite of her warning and said, "Em, you’ve had too many drinks. You can’t drive in this condition. I’ll drop you home."
Emily jerked her arm free from his grasp and replied in a bitter voice, "Thank you, but no. I’m perfectly capable of getting myself home on my own. I don’t need you to drop me home. Do you get it, Derek Thorpe? I DON’T NEED YOU!" Emily yelled the last words, causing a few people to look their way.
Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one. When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favourite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them. She dabbles in a number of activities, including painting, karate, singing and dancing. She is a huge chocoholic – probably the biggest – and she is an ice-cream junkie too. She considers herself technologically handicapped forever and has no shame in admitting that. She also deems chocolates her boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey the love of her life, and Friends her life! Her first book, A Way Back Into Love, is slated for release in February 2017, and she hopes readers will enjoy it as much as she enjoyed writing it. You can reach Veronica through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad and Gmail.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Hunter by A.E. Fisher

I spent years running from my past. Then, when my past comes knocking in the form of dark, delicious sin, I find myself caught up in a man I shouldn’t. My son's uncle. A dangerous biker. Not to mention, an overbearing Alpha male.
Hunter is everything I need to escape from, yet I find myself wanting to stay. I know I shouldn't let myself or my son care for him, but I can't help wondering if maybe he's the one who can finally save me from my past.
The plan was simple. Find my nephew, bring him home, and raise him in the Black Angels like my brother would have wanted. But things never go as planned, like my nephew’s mother. My brother’s one-night stand.
Mallory is spicy and sweet; one second she is mouthing off to me, and the next, she is moaning my name. The longer I’m with her, the harder she is to ignore. But she is hiding something while desperate to escape me, though I have her in my grasp. I will find out what she is hiding, and when I do, she will have nowhere left to run.
Writing books had been a big part of my life for many years; whether it was writing in secret notebooks during class, writing amateur novels or posting stories online, I surrounded myself with it.
Of course, it has its up and downs, but I've never once thought that writing wasn't for me.
Because of that, I can share the worlds I discover in my head with the outside world, and although that might sound crazy to some, it's fine by me. So long as I can do what I love, I'm happy.
And every person who's happy as a result of my writing is a bonus for which, I'm forever grateful for.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Lucca by Sarah Brianne

Lucca was made the underboss, being what nightmares are made of.
Chloe was scarred by her past, learning too young that nightmares are real.
He has waited long enough to claim her soul, but he must take it from the devil first.
Her soul might have been better off claimed by the devil.
The only way to save her from her past is to delve into his.
The world as she knows it will come crashing down.
I’m the fucking boogieman.
I’m just a fucking freak.
Hey! My name is Sarah Brianne and after living for twenty-two years the characters in my head told me enough was enough and I have finally put pen to paper (or is it finger to keyboard?) to tell their stories. Since I was a little girl I have watched every chick flick I could get my hands on, then when I became older I discovered a whole new world of romance novels. To me there is nothing better then a tale of true love and those are the stories that have inspired me to write. Like everything else in my life I have put my own spin on two lovers destined to be together.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Author Interview: Brenda Whiteside

The Power of Love and Murder
(The Love and Murder Series Book 4)
By Brenda Whiteside
232 pages
Romantic Suspense, contemporary, suspense

Brenda published her first book in 2010 and currently has 9 titles up for sale.

AJ & Storm: What did you love most about this story? 
Brenda: I brought back a minor character from book one of the series. She was a pixie of a young woman nick named The Black Fairy because she dressed Goth. It's five years later, and she's matured. We find out she's hiding from the murderer of her family. I had a lot of fun with her double life. The hero is an ex-rock star fresh out of rehab. Being an old rocker and roller, I had a good time with his character too.

AJ & Storm: What made you choose your genre?
Brenda: I started out in romance, yet even then couldn't write it straight. I had to have some suspense. When I decided to pump up the action, murder was my choice. I don't write graphic murder. Please don't think that. I don't write about the actual act of murder. But someone is always in trouble and some do fall along the way.

AJ & Storm: What's the most challenging thing about writing?
Brenda: Carving out the time to write. And it's important to write every day. How do you cope? I don't beat myself up if I don't open my manuscript one day. In fact, during the holidays I'll go several days at a time. What I do is take any little time I can when the personal life gets hectic. If I can squeeze in even fifteen minutes to write, then I do.

Tell us about a mistake you made in writing or publishing and what it taught you.
Brenda: Readers can be a temperamental bunch! When I set out to write my Love and Murder Series, I didn't consider setting as a necessary part of a genre. My readers do.

The character in the first book was adopted as a baby after her parents were killed in a plane crash. Her quest to learn more about her birth parents leads to discovering she is about to inherit an Austrian castle. In book three, I sent her to Austria with her daughter. I didn't know that would disrupt my series for readers.

After the fact, I was told by a much more experienced author than myself, that I had written more of an International thriller than a romantic suspense. Since the other books take place in Northern Arizona, I should not have gone off to Austria. And truth be told, the Austrian book does not sell as well as the other Love and Murder books.

Stay consistent with a series. If the idea behind the series is to have each book set in a totally different setting, then that is consistent. But don't vary the setting or story line or whatever makes the book a series in any one book.

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Monday, 6 February 2017

The Pine Forest by Michelle Dare

One touch, one spark, two lives forever changed.
Pine and Azure. The war between the two kingdoms lasted far too long. Peace was finally established, but the survivors would never forget who fought on the front lines. Oliver Sage had a reputation for being a ruthless knight. He’d seen enough death to last a lifetime and worked on putting the past behind him, although not all would let him forget.
Addison was the only daughter of King and Queen Azure. With three brothers, she knew she’d always be protected, but she also wanted to learn how to take care of herself. She was strong, had a good heart, and wanted to be treated as an equal. Magical abilities ran in her family, and she had one no one knew of.
Oliver had given his heart to one princess, until the night he dreamed of another. Addison was the last woman he should desire, especially given who she was. However, what if she wanted him as well? They’d hated each other their entire lives, but suddenly couldn’t resist the desire which built between them. There were also those who didn’t think they should be together. Forbidden romance could only stay hidden for so long in the dark depths of the Pine Forest.
Book One
Michelle Dare is a romance author. Her stories range from sweet to sinful and from new adult to fantasy. There aren’t enough hours in the day for her to write all of the story ideas in her head. When not writing or reading, she’s a wife and mom living in eastern Pennsylvania. One day she hopes to be writing from a beach where she will never have to see snow or be cold again.