Oct 31, 2012

October RAK Wrap Up!

Book Soulmates

Hello All! This is my October RAK Wrap Up! 
I hope you all got goodies too!

I received Kindle editions of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Masque of the Red Death, and Partials, all from Sarah at Sawcat's Book Blog
I also received a Kindle edition of Alice in Zombieland from Barbara at Basia's Bookshelf.
(links for books got to Goodreads)

To return the favor, I sent Sarah a Nook edition of The Passage.

Happy RAKing everyone!
Do you want to join? go to BookSoulmates.com

Oct 30, 2012

Blog Tour: Giveaway! Excerpt & Review -- Mark of the Witch by Jessica Gibson


Mark of the Witch (Boston Witches Book 1) by Jessica Gibson

Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 10: 1475119836
ASIN: B0087GFJ9Q

Number of pages: 192
Word Count: 51,520

Cover Artist: Russ Turner Photography
Barnes and Noble
AmazonPaperback
 



Synopsis:

Magic flows through Jillian Proctor's veins as surely as blood, but so far her life outside Boston has been peaceful. William Morgan blows into Jilly's life like a hurricane, unleashing her magic and sending her out of control.


Unknowingly, William brings an enemy who only wants to posses the power of the witch. Jilly must learn to harness her magic before she loses it - and everything in her life is destroyed.

Mark of the Witch (Boston Witches Book 1)Mark of the Witch by Jessica Gibson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Background: Jilly and her sister Caroline came into their powers in their early teens; Jilly was of complete acceptance while Caroline renounced everything and eventually left to be on her own. Now about 20 years later, Caroline is having problems at home and decides it would be best to visit her sister. Upon arriving, Caroline and Jilly start to mend their friendship as sisters and then all hell breaks loose. A stunning man enters Jilly's life, a mad witch is out to get her, and Caroline is finally learning how to be herself.

Review: I am not sure where to begin with this review, because for the first 50% I was enthralled with the witches and their lives and the play back and forth between their point of views, but then everything gets weird. Jilly is a very strong character while her sister seems a little confused and weak, but they contrast beautifully. The issue that I had with this book was the amount the author tried to throw in all at once- was it a story about sisterhood and coming to terms with ones rightful path? Was it a love story? Was it supposed to be about witches fighting for power? Well it tried to be all of those in only 192 pages.

Like I mentioned, the sisters relationship and contrast was enjoyable. Then it stopped transitioning between their POVs and just stuck with Jilly, now it tries to be a love story, and not the kind where love developer slowly but 'OMG we are meant for each other and I just met you' kind of love story. Well...then people are out to get Jilly for her powers... I mean really? Did you need all of those plot elements?

I feel like the author could have taken one or two of these elements and made them stronger and then progressed to the others in the rest of the series (which apparently this will be). I think that while the elements were enjoyable they were lacking in development and explanation.

I enjoyed this read for the witch aspect and it may be enjoyed by others as just a quick read, but I wasn't really feeling it in the last half.

View all my reviews

 

Excerpt


William watched her fingers move smoothly through her hair, with an odd expression on his face. Looking up, she found him staring at her, and smiled shyly. She had been so absorbed in telling him the dream that she had forgotten he wasn’t wearing a shirt; now that was all she could think about. She could almost feel the heat coming off of him, and she shifted a little on the bed. The look in his eyes was unmistakable now, and she got up quickly. She had stayed in his room far too long and he was wearing too little clothing for her comfort.

He got up as well and pulled her into his arms, kissing her so fiercely it took her breath away. Her head got a little foggy, and she was enjoying the feeling of his bare skin under her hands and the tiny jolts of electricity running all over her body. The voice in the back of her head telling her to get out was quickly being drowned out by the much louder voice shouting at her to stay.

As though he could hear her mental argument with herself, he pulled away and stepped back a few steps. “You should probably go,” he said in a husky voice. “If you don’t we’ll end up doing something we’ll both regret in the morning, and I don’t want us to end this before it’s even started.” He stepped closer, brushed his thumb across her swollen lips, and kissed her on the cheek. “I’ll see you in the morning, Jilly. Sleep well.”

    She hadn’t spoken at all; she just nodded her head to whatever he had been saying. She stumbled back to her room and collapsed back into bed, her body melting into the mattress as though all of her bones had gone missing. She slept like the dead until morning.

Tour Wide Giveaway
Prize: Kindle or Amazon Gift Card (Valued at Kindle Price)

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

About the Author:

Jessica lives in California with her husband and young son. She loves to read, and that love helped her to branch out into writing. Aside from writing, she runs an online event planning business called the Release Day Diva. In addition to novels, Jessica writes and maintains the blog Book on the Bright Side. Keep up with Jessica and her latest releases and events on her blog.

Find the Author

Website
Blog
Book Blog
Facebook
Twitter: jessicajgibson

 

Oct 28, 2012

Building the Book Pile #26

Photobucket
Welcome to Building the Book Pile! A Weekly meme inspired 
 here at Cover2CoverBlog.

Coming up this week on the blog...

 

 Blog Tour: Review-- Mark of the Witch
October RAK Wrap-Up
Blog Tour: Excerpt -- The Spirit Clearing 

What I got this week...

Time Between Us
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone from Random House Audio
(I have an ARC too so there my be a giveaway soon )


 Did you miss anything this week? 

Oct 27, 2012

Blog Tour: Excerpt -- Rogue's Pawn by Jeffe Kennedy


Rogue’s Pawn by Jeffe Kennedy Covenant of Thorns Series 

ISBN: 978-14268-9406-0
Publisher: Carina Press
 
AmazonBarnes and Noble

Synopsis:

This is no fairy tale…

Haunted by nightmares of a black dog, sick to death of my mind-numbing career and heart-numbing fiancĂ©, I impulsively walked out of my life—and fell into Faerie. Terrified, fascinated, I discover I possess a power I can’t control: my wishes come true. After an all-too-real attack by the animal from my dreams, I wake to find myself the captive of the seductive and ruthless fae lord Rogue. In return for my rescue, he demands an extravagant price—my firstborn child, which he intends to sire himself…

With no hope of escaping this world, I must learn to harness my magic and build a new life despite the perils—including my own inexplicable and debilitating desire for Rogue. I swear I will never submit to his demands, no matter what erotic torment he subjects me to…



Excerpt


“Enough,” a male voice said.

As if I’d ceased to exist, Tinker Bell blinked her eyes and regained her lovely self, face smoothing, shining once again in sunny elegance. Reboot and resume program. She gracefully stood and glided to the tray, set the bowl precisely in the center, lifted the tray and left the room without hesitation.

Booted footsteps crossed the room toward me. Act II, scene ii. Exit Nasty Tinker Bell, Enter God-Only-Knows-What-Now. My face was sticky with whatever the brothy stuff had been, my hair wet and fouled. I stank. I hurt. I was chained to a bed in a place so completely unknown I couldn’t begin to understand it. I tried to squeeze my legs closer together, but the chains seemed at the limit of their reach. The energy of my brief triumph evaporated, allowing tears to well up again.

Oh, please, please, please, do not cry. The threatening sting worsened. I closed my eyes and one tear leaked out. He stopped next to me, surveying me.

“You’re certainly a mess.” His wry voice was rich and smooth.

My eyes snapped open to glare at him through the blur. Fifty different smart remarks flew across my tongue, most along the lines that any failures of appearance on my part could be laid on the doorstep of someone besides myself. But even the buzz of the first word on my vocal chords brought searing agony. Relieved to have a legitimate reason for the tears, I almost welcomed the searing sensation.

“No, don’t try to talk—no one needs to hear what you have to say, anyway. Not that we can help it, since you think so loudly. And you have a decision to make. We have a quandary.” He began pacing, boots echoing against stone. “No one can heal you while you’re bound in silver and we can’t release you from the silver until you have yourself under control. Which will take a considerably long time—perhaps years of training—if you’re even able to accomplish it at all.”

I thought of the birds crashing in increasing cacophony with a small shudder.

“Exactly,” he confirmed. “And yes,” he said from the window behind my head where he seemed to be gazing out, “I can hear most of your thoughts—another reason to save trying to speak aloud.”

My stomach congealed in panic. Had he heard my secret thoughts? Don’t think of them, bury them deep, deep. Think of other things…like what? Think of home, think of Isabel. Isabel, my cat—Clive hated her. What would happen to her now? How could I not have thought of her until this moment? Abandoned, wondering why I never came home for her… And my mother—she’d be frantic. How long had I been gone? They could be all dead and buried, lost to me forever. The anguish racked me.

“Shh.” The man sat on the side of my bed now, heavier than Nasty Tinker Bell. He brushed the hair back from my forehead, then placed his long fingers over my brow and, with his thumbs, rhythmically smoothed along my cheekbones, wiping away the tears that now flowed freely.

I stifled a sob. I had cried more in the past day than I had in years. The sweeping along my cheekbones soothed me, melting warmth through my skull. The rhythm became part of my breathing. Deep breaths. Smooth, easy. The awful tightness in my chest gave a little sigh and released.

“Let’s try again, shall we?” The man pulled his hands away. I could hear him brush them against his thighs. Soup, tears and blood. Yuck.

My eyes cleared enough for me to see him. Ebony-blue climbed over half his face. The winding pattern of angular spirals and toothy spikes swirled out of his black hair on the left side of his face, placing sharp fingers along his cheekbone, jaw and brow. For a moment, the tattoo-like pattern dominated everything about him. Ferocious and alien.

Once I adjusted, I could see past the lines. His face echoed Tinker Bell’s golden coloring. He could be her fraternal twin, with those same arched cheekbones. But where she was golden dawn, he was darkest night. Midnight-blue eyes, that deep blue just before all light was gone from the sky, when the stars have emerged, but you could see the black shadows of trees against the night. He shared Tinker Bell’s rose-petal mouth, but with a curious edge to it. I suppose a man’s mouth shouldn’t remind one of a flower, and there was nothing feminine about this man. Where she wore the pink sugar roses of debutantes and bridal showers, his lips made me think of the blooms of late summer, the sharp-ruffled dianthus, edges darkening to blood in the heat. His bone structure was broader than hers but still seemed somehow differently proportioned, his arms hanging a bit too long from shoulders not quite balanced to his height. Inky hair pulled back from his face fell in a tail down his back. One strand had escaped to fall over his shoulder and I could see a blue shimmer in its silk sheen.

He arched his left eyebrow, blueness in the elegant arch, repeating the deep shades of the fanged lines around it.

“Shall we?” he repeated.

I stared at him. What was the question?


About the Author:

Jeffe Kennedy took the crooked road to writing, stopping off at neurobiology, religious studies and environmental consulting before her creative writing began appearing in places like Redbook, Puerto del Sol, Wyoming Wildlife, Under the Sun and Aeon. An erotic novella, Petals and Thorns, came out under her pen name of Jennifer Paris in 2010, heralding yet another branch of her path, into erotica and romantic fantasy fiction. Since then, an erotic short, Feeding the Vampire, and another erotic novella, Sapphire, have hit the shelves.

Her contemporary fantasy novel, Rogue’s Pawn, book one in A Covenant of Thorns, will be published in July, 2012. Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and frequently serves as a guinea pig for an acupuncturist-in-training. Find her on Facebook and Twitter (@jeffekennedy) or visit her at her website.

Oct 26, 2012

Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway!-- At First Touch by Mattie Dunman





At First Touch (First Touch Series, book 1) by Mattie Dunman

Genre: YA/Paranormal

ISBN: 9780615659725
ASIN: B00873W5ZA

Number of pages: 267
Word Count: 87,543

Cover Artist: Deirdre Robertson


Synopsis

Liz Hannigan has been on the run since she was twelve years old.

Her mother is dead. Her father has lost his job. And thanks to an experimental procedure, Liz is now able to ‘download’ the contents of every brain around her with a simple touch. Forced to hide from both the federal government and a darkling group of morally deficient scientists known as the Coalition determined to exploit her abilities, she moves with her father to the bucolic coal town of Pound, West Virginia.

But the hunt for Liz and her abilities hasn’t ended, and her hopes for peace are shattered when she inadvertently downloads the enigmatic Carey Drake, whose unusual good looks and charm conceal a secret as shocking as her own. Stunned by the knowledge that she has found someone else who has extraordinary abilities, Liz finds herself drawn to Carey, discovering a deep attraction, and dares to hope for the first time she might find love.

But when an agent of the Coalition begins stalking her, Liz must find a way to work with the government agency she most mistrusts as she strives to build a longed-for normal life and take down the agent who has tracked her down. Caught up in a struggle to save herself and those she loves, the girl who sees all is blind to true danger until it is too late.

Excerpt


I was out on the main road and about twenty minutes into my run when I heard the sound of a motor gunning and the beep of a horn. I slowed my pace and turned around to see Preston’s truck chugging along about two hundred yards behind me. His head was out of the window and he was screaming at me; I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but I felt pretty confident that it wasn’t complimentary.
I came to a stop, wondering if I should do something. I wasn’t really concerned; it wasn’t as though he would run me over or anything, but the blind hatred on his face made me a little nervous. Finally, I decided to ignore him and let him get his fill of throwing abuse my way and then drive on past.  Picking up the pace again, I resolutely faced forward, pretending that the continued screeching behind me was a trick of the wind.
Suddenly the engine gave an almighty roar and I heard the unwelcome sound of squealing tires. With only a second to register that I had vastly underestimated Preston’s anger and mental instability, I swirled around in time to see the grille of the truck just a few feet from my face. I made to jump out of the way, but all my knowledge and stolen tricks didn’t make me fly, or move faster, or be any less breakable than any other human being. I knew in that moment how useless my ability really was. In the face of the giant metal monster brimming with torque, my mind was of no matter, it just screamed out with the desire to live, to keep going.
There was a blow like a train hitting me, but strangely there was no pain, and I was moving faster than I could have imagined away from the truck and into the field next to the road. I was sure that the truck had hit me and I was just flying through the air to my death, by some fortunate stroke lucky enough to be spared the pain of impact. In another instant the movement had stopped and I realized I was being held in a pair of strong arms against a rock-hard chest.
Carey looked down at me, his eyes frantic. “Are you alright? He didn’t hit you, did he?”

“N-no,” I stuttered. Having downloaded Carey I was aware of his incredible speed, but there’s something very different about knowing something theoretically and experiencing it firsthand.
He put me down gently in the grass and I just sat there, too dumbfounded to speak.  Even as he anxiously surveyed me for damage, we heard the rending scream of out of control tires and the heavy metal sound of Preston’s truck crashing into something.
“I’ll be right back,” Carey said and then I blinked and he was gone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Mattie Dunman is a lifelong resident of "Wild & Wonderful" West Virginia, and has dreamed of being a writer since she first held a pen in hand.
Mattie has pursued several useless degrees to support this dream, and presently enjoys teaching (or tormenting, as the case may be) college students the dying art of public speaking. She spends most of her free time writing, but also indulges in reading and traveling.
She is the proud owner of an adorably insane American Eskimo named Finn, and a tyrant cat named Bella, who take up more of her attention than they probably should.
Please visit Mattie's website at www.mattiedunman.com 


Oct 25, 2012

Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway-- Mrs. B's Guide to Household Witchery


Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery: Everyday Magic, Spells, and Recipes by Kris Bradley


Genre: New Age/ Wicca
Publisher: Weiser Books, an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC
ISBN: 978-1-57863-515-3

Number of pages: 224
Word Count: 49,000
Cover Artist: Jim Warner
Amazon   B&N

Synopsis: 

For domestic goddesses everywhereadd some magic and fun to those mundane household chores with Mrs. B.'s Guide to Household Witchery. Whether you're sweeping the floor, making a meal, or cleaning out that junk drawer, domestic witch Kris Bradley, creator of the popular blog, Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom, will show you how to create spells and magic to bring happiness and balance into your home.
Bradley offers ideas and solutions to make the most out of everyday items, activities, and obligations. From Anchovies to Broccoli, and Wine to Yeast, from sweeping the floor to blow-drying your hair, you can change your outlook on life with a pinch of knowledge and a dash of magic! The book includes simple rituals, spells, and ways to connect with the spirits that watch over your home and family. Includes an appendix of herbs and a complete materia magica from the kitchen pantry.
Mrs. B's Guide to Household Witchery features:
        Room by Room: How to create magic while you cook, set up a family altar in the living room, or do a junk drawer divination
        The Elements for the Domestic Witch: a primer on the 4 elements and how to balance them in your home
        The Domestic Witch's Herbal: Magical uses for every herb and food in your pantry, as well as instant magic with prepackaged spice mixes
        Simple Sabbats for the Busy Witch: simple ways to celebrate the passing of the seasons
Magical Recipes: More than 100 recipes and spells

Excerpt

Introduction
When I started on my path as a Pagan, I read book after book after book. With no Internet and no idea where to even think of finding another Pagan or group to learn with, putting information together for myself was the only thing I had back then. I was strongly drawn to anything based on the domestic part of magic and deity: gods and goddesses of the hearth, kitchen witchery, recipes of all sorts. Over the years, I worked out a system that allowed me to include magic in my everyday life as a wife and stay-at-home mom. With three kids, a houseful of pets, and not a lot of money, these methods had to include things that were already in my home and that could be done in a short amount of time. I came to consider this collection of methods “domestic witchery,” and I eventually started a blog called Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom, where I shared my ideas and thoughts on the subject.
This book contains the basics of it all, though I do not consider it a “101” book. While I hope it will help point the way to beginners who are interested in taking a domestic path, it’s based on the idea that readers have a general knowledge of magical practice and Pagan religious traditions already. This book won’t teach you how to be a Pagan, but it will hopefully lead you to some ideas on creating a house filled with magic and give you a broader view of what it means to be domestic. And though it mentions the holidays that I personally take part in, I believe that many of the ideas in this book can be incorporated
into any spiritual practice. I hope you enjoy!

What Is a Domestic Witch?
Domestic witchery is a magical practice based on bringing magic and deity
into the mundane of everyday domestic life. It’s the realization that even the simplest household chores can be transformed to influence the energies in our home and lives; every chore can honor our families, deity, and ourselves.
Does that mean working like a slave to carry out the every whim of our families? Or turning into the stereotypical 1950s housewife with a pristine house, dishpan hands, and a smile plastered on her face (not to mention a flask tucked into her apron)? Not at all. Many domestic witches do set their sights on being similar to that fifties mom in the sense of being available to their children, taking pride in their home, and cooking family meals. They are attempting to restore things that have started to get put on the back burner in this busy, often chaotic world. However, being a domestic witch is still about being a modern witch who works as an equal to their partner and with their chosen deity to make a warm, welcoming environment in their home. For those who choose to be parents, it’s also about bringing up healthy, happy children who are self-sufficient, self-assured, and who have a well-rounded spiritual upbringing.
Can a man be a domestic witch? Sure! Any man who wants to create a home that is a haven can work with magic to create the place he craves. Whether single or in a partnership, there is no reason why today’s modern male can’t take on the role of creating a magical household. Male domestic witches take pride in their homes, their land, their families. Domestic witchery is all about a love of caring for their hearth, home, family, and the deities who oversee them—not about gender!
In this book we’ll explore deities that traditionally watch over the home, find out ways to use your ceiling fan as a tool of the element of Air, learn to mix up a prosperity oil straight from your kitchen cabinet, and much more!
SIMPLE SABBATS FOR THE BUSY WITCH: simple ways to celebrate the passing of the seasons

Samhain—October 31

Though many look to October 31 as Halloween, Pagans from around the world call it Samhain (Sow-en), a time to remember their ancestors and to celebrate the start of a new year. This period is well suited to practicing divination, working on transitions of all sorts, candle magic, protection magic, and working with or contacting those who have passed on.

October is often one of the busiest months of the year in a Pagan household.
The fun of Halloween, creating costumes for the family, school events, and getting the household and property ready for the coming cooler weather keep us hopping. Sometimes there are not enough hours in the day to breathe, much less to plan a way to honor the season. Here are a few simple ways to celebrate.

Ritual: 5 Minutes Alone

This simple Samhain ritual lets you honor those who came before. If you have a few extra moments, add your favorite form of divination and see what the coming year will bring!

Items Needed:

• Your ancestor altar
• Lighter or matches
• A glass of apple cider
• A small snack, such as gingersnaps or a sliced apple

1. Sit before your ancestor altar and take a few deep breaths. Think about those who have passed on—their struggles and how they’ve affected your life. Think about how blessed you were to have them in your life.

2. When you feel centered and ready, light the candle on your altar and say,
I light this candle in honor of Samhain and to recognize the changing season. I
honor the Lord and Lady and my ancestors and give them thanks. On this night,
when their spirits walk among us and magic is in the air, I ask my ancestors for
their blessings and ask them to watch over my family and home. So mote it be.

3. Sit for a moment or two. Drink your cider and eat your snack, being sure to leave some on your offering plate. Let the candle burn for as long as you safely can.

Small Group Ritual

This ritual is just the right length to do with a friend or two, your partner, or the whole family. Just gather round and share the time together.

Items Needed:

• A candle
• A lighter or matches
• Scraps of paper
• A pen or pencil for each participant
• Your cauldron or other heat-safe container
• Cider and cups
• A plate of cookies

1. Gather everyone, and sit down somewhere comfortable with all of your ritual items. Begin with a simple deep breathing exercise to get everyone centered.

2. When everyone’s ready, light the candle and say,

On this fall night of Samhain, we celebrate the turning wheel. As the seasons change, so goes the cycle of death and rebirth. Tonight we mark the death of the old year and the birth of the new. We make these pledges to ourselves and to the Lord and Lady.

3. At this time, each person should write down any resolutions that they’d like to make for the new year or any plans for new beginnings that they’d like to put into motion.

4. Go around the circle, and one at a time each participant can choose whether to share what they’ve written out loud. The paper is then lit on the flame of the candle (younger participants should be assisted by an adult) and placed in the cauldron to burn.

5. When everyone has finished, pass around the cider and cookies and enjoy each other’s company. Everyone should save a sip of the cider and a bit of his or her cookie. When it’s time to finish up, take the cooled ashes outside and bury them in the ground. Leave your food offerings nearby.

For the Kids

There are usually more than enough Halloween activities going on in October for the kids. But how do you get them to understand what Samhain is really about? Create something fun to draw their attention while you count down the days!

Grab some orange construction paper and cut out thirty-one pumpkin shapes; number them 1 to 31 on one side. On the other side, write a short fact about Samhain, or paste on a picture of a loved one who’s passed or share a fun fact about that person. If you like, staple or tape a small treat to each pumpkin, such as a piece of candy, a coin, a small Halloween eraser, or something like that. Starting on October 1, find a place to stash the pumpkin where you know your child will find it. Pack it in their school lunch, stick it in their sock drawer, or prop it up by their toothbrush. On Halloween morning, tape the last paper pumpkin to a real pumpkin and help them carve a face in it so that it can guard your home that night.

 

 Tour Wide Giveaway: One Print Copy of Mrs. B's Guide (US)

About the Author:

Kris Bradley is the magic behind the popular blog Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom (2500 readers). She helped establish The Sisterhood of the Triple Goddess coven in Keyport, NJ and is a legally ordained minister, in addition to being a witchy wife and mother. Her work on domestic witchery has been featured in PaganParenting.org and as a national column for Examiner.com. She lives in Keyport, NJ.

Find the Author