Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Once Burned is for Adult 18+ Readers...


Book one in the Night Prince series

Book Trailer


She’s a mortal with dark powers…
After a tragic accident scarred  her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a  person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of  solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out  with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…
He’s the Prince of Night…
Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest  vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most  feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against  him – a beautiful mortal with powers to  match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them,  threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop  an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

Read the first 20% http://tinyurl.com/6sj2f53

 Jeaniene Frost

Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series and the Night Huntress World novels. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to nineteen different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling – by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her. Jeaniene is represented by Nancy Yost at Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

 Where to find Jeaniene Frost:

Where to purchase Once Burned

Our reviews
Kathryn's Review
Before I start this review, I want to give a little back story especially since our blog has only been going for 6 months and we haven't reviewed any of the Night Huntress books on here... Not because I haven't read them, in fact, that is why I am writing this.  I really want you to know that the Night Huntress series is one of my top 5 ALL TIME favorites!!! So, I LOVE this series, these characters, the world Jeaniene Frost created!!! Cat and Bones are phenomenal and during my journeys with them, getting the opportunity to meet Vlad at particular times has been a delight.  And now, Jeaniene has done even better and given us a glimpse in to his world and let's just say... Excited doesn't even describe it all...
So, with that said, let me tell you about my experience of Once Burned....
I was tickled when Once Burned came out and we at TSK TSK decided to also make it our Book of the Month on Goodreads.  I didn't jump right away in to reading it because I really wanted to savor this book and be ready for our discussion at the end of this month... And now, YES!!! YES!!!! YES!!!!! Definitely one of my favorite reads for the 2012 year...
I really liked Vlad in my brief encounters with him in the Night Huntress books, but having all the attention on him in Once Burned really heated up the connection with him for me.  I anticipated that this book would have been from his POV, but upon opening up the first page and starting that first chapter, I was surprised.  We are introduced to Leila and I enthusiastically wanted to know more about her.  She is strong, unique, passionate, and very determined that Vlad is not the guy for her... Which just made me laugh, because, we all knew she couldn't hold back from this sexy Romanian vampire...
As I dove in to this story, I was whisked away in to the troubles surrounding Leila and how they ultimately brought her to Vlad.  Thrust together, Leila learns how Vlad's enemies are always a threat.   But, what she finds out, as well as his enemies, is....don't mess with Vlad!! In the end, nothing but regrets will be had....
Overall, I LOVED Once Burned!!! I fell in to this story so easily and when it ended I felt lost having to leave characters that you genuinely connect with.  With so much action, steamy romance, snarky humor, and interesting storyline, Once Burned is a fantastic read. Even if you haven't read any of the Night Huntress books, you can easily pick up this book and not feel lost...
HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book and all of the Night Huntress series!!!

Shelley's Review
I want to start off saying that I haven't read any of the hugely popular Night Huntress series AND I have listened to Kathryn tell me how much she loves Cat and Bones for a few months now. So, I was excited to learn I could read this as a stand-alone and I'm so glad we picked it as our first BOM.  
This book was AMAZING! I loved every bit of it! Leila is a heroine much like my all time favorites; strong, smart, SNARKY and with a never give up or give in attitude. I love a character that comes in strong and still manages to show growth. She's brilliant. And a lot of fun to read. I could tell you a lot more about her, but why ruin the surprise? You really need to experience it all right along with her.
Vlad? Well, he's HOT and everything (and then some), that I imagined. I've had a huge fascination with Dracula and his history as Vlad the Impaler for as long as I can remember. I have history books, fiction and books on speculation of the possibilities. One of the things I enjoyed most about the book, aside from the fantastic characters, was how Frost threw in so much of the legend and history of Romania. To put a humane spin on the notorious villain was again, brilliant.
As I said, I loved everything about Leila and Vlad's story. This romance is SMOKIN! And it all begins at a very believable pace. Leila really has no choice but to fall for Vlad. He is the Prince of Darkness after all. Anyone not enthralled by this man must seriously have a screw loose.
That said, this is a very sensual tale with enough action to keep the restless and easily distracted fully engaged.
If it had been possible, I wouldn't have put it down until the very end. Even at that, I devoured it. I'm completely hooked and cannot wait to get more of these two.
Bonus: we get a small appearance from Cat and Bones. This was a real treat and definitely got me even more interested in going back to their beginning.
I highly recommend Once Burned to anyone and everyone with an interest in vampire and Dracula tales.
My new favorite Adult read of 2012! Thank you, Jeaniene Frost for such a phenomenal story. Now, how long do we have to wait for book #2???

We both give Once Burned



Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein

Hey everyone! Welcome to Tsk Tsk's stop on the Cold Fury blog tour. We've got a fun and revealing Q&A with T. M.. Settle in and get ready to laugh as you get to know a little of "this or that" about the author and his aversion to certain clothing and footwear...

Early bird or Night owl?  Early Bird (no choice, I have small kids)
Tea or Coffee?  Coffee, as strong and undiluted as motor oil.
DVR or Tivo?  DVR, because I feel silly saying ‘Tivo.’
Half full or Half empty?  Always half full!  Life is great!
Levi's or Wrangler's?  Come on, get serious – Levi’s.
Action or Comedy?   Combo.
Summer or Snow day?   Summer – the hotter the better.
Slippers or Socks?  The same people who wear slippers wear Wranglers, so yeah, socks!
Chocolate or Vanilla?  Pistachio.
Ballgame or Ballroom?  Ballgame, particularly baseball, specifically the Cubs or Yankees.
Roll-on or Stick?  Natural!  Just kidding – spray.
Necktie or bowtie?  No tie.
Alarm clock or Internal clock?  Internal, plus little kid voices.
Drive or Fly?  Fly, fly, fly!
Led Zeppelin or Nirvana?  Nirvana by a wide margin.
French fries or Baked potato?   Fries – baked potatoes fall into the slippers and Wranglers category.
Sleeping in or Working out?  Working out, always, every day.
Bicycle or Motorcycle?  Gotta say both on this one.
Ocean or Mountains?   Oceans, easily. 
Captain America or Captain Jack Sparrow? Captain Jack – see previous question.

Don't know about Kathryn, but I gotta say, I agree with most of those answers...especially the Levi's.
Be sure to check out below for the giveaway! And please check out the other stops on this great tour! Everyone has a got something special you don't want to miss!  Thanks for joining us and GOOD LUCK! ~Shelley, on behalf of Kathryn and TSK TSK What to Read.

T.M. Goeglein began his career as a writer of print and television ads for a host of advertising and media companies. As a screenwriter, he created both original scripts and worked as a script doctor for several production companies in Los Angeles. He was an original contributor to the Huffington Post  'Living' section, and continues to write for both the national edition and Huffington Post Chicago. Read T.M. Goeglein's stories on the Huffington Post.
His debut young adult novel, COLD FURY, will be published by Penguin/Putnam in 2012 and is the first in a trilogy; he’s currently working on the second book. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Laura, and two young children.


Website: http://www.tmgoeglein.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/TM-Goeglein/205572012847746
Twitter: @TMGoeglein https://twitter.com/tmgoeglein

Jason Bourne meets The Sopranos in this breathtaking adventure...
Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance--until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob).
Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat uncle, Sara Jane is chased and attacked at every turn, fighting back with cold fury as she searches for her family. It's a quest that takes her through concealed doors and forgotten speakeasies--a city hiding in plain sight. Though armed with a .45 and 96K in cash, an old tattered notebook might be her best defense--hidden in its pages the secret to "ultimate power." It's why she's being pursued, why her family was taken, and could be the key to saving all of their lives.
Action packed, with fresh, cinematic writing, Cold Fury is a riveting and imaginative adventure readers will devour.

Where to buy Cold Fury:

Now for the Giveaway!!  Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter and Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 27, 2012

Borrowed Ember (Fire Spirits #3) by Samantha Young

Everything in Ari’s life until this point has been borrowed.
Her human life with a man who wasn't her real father.
A love for a boy who needed more than her to be strong.
Kisses with a Jinn who refused to do anything but lend them out in moments of weakness.
And even her resolve, which seemed to fail her whenever she needed it most.

But Ari is done borrowing. She finally feels strong enough to make hunting Jinn not just a hobby to get her through her dismal situation, but to make hunting a permanent and necessary career. Her friendship with Charlie might finally make it onto real and steady ground if only she can save him from the trial on Mount Qaf. And her love for Jai could be eternal, if only she could gain control over the darkness of the Seal within her.

Ari believes all of this is doable. That finally she will truly own the relationships in her life and to a certain extent have ownership over her future.

But none of that matters when it isn't up to her…

…For high in the emerald mountains of Mount Qaf, the Sultan Azazil has been keeping secrets.
Even from the Jinn Kings.
Secrets that will change everything… and bring Ari to the crashing realization that once again…

… she’s borrowed something that will never truly belong to her.

Something that is desperate to be unleashed.
Something that could destroy them all.

Where to find more info:

Fire Spirits Blog

Shelley's Review
I absolutely LOVE this series! Each installment draws me in further and further. I get more and more attached to these characters, especially Ari and Jai. Aw, Jai! *fanning self* If only men in the real world had growth like this one. We'd all be a whole lot happier. Just sayin, guys.
Anyway...Sam wastes no time throwing us back into the action of the Fire Spirits. We meet up with Ali right where we left off. With everything up in the air and everyone's life at stake, this book has you on the edge of your seat the entire time. I couldn't read it in one (or two) sittings and man, I just really didn't want to stop reading until I reached the end, but alas life calls sometimes and you have no choice. That's not to say I didn't whine and complain. I. Did. Not. Want. To. Put. It. Down. So much happens in Borrowed Ember. Much of it heartbreaking and somewhat astonishing...Sam does not back away from tragedy and I think she may even enjoy torturing us as well as her characters. <I know you're reading this, Samantha!> But there is also some serious romance here. And it's HAWT! And heartwarming. And...well, yeah, it's good. And a little bromance. Yay, TREY!
So, needless to say it's another roller coaster ride. I laughed. I cried. I got angry, screamed and cheered. It was emotional, full of action, surprises and revelations. And I loved every word of it. I just can't wait to see what's in store in Darkness, Kindled.

Kathryn's Review
Ah, where do I begin?  I guess first I want to say that Sam Young is a brilliant writer and everything that I have read by her has been phenomenal.  So, now, I am now ALWAYS eager to get my hands on something she has published...
With that said, let me tell you about Borrowed Ember.  This is the third book in the Fire Spirits series and WOW!!! From start to finish, you are just blown away at everything that happens in this book. I was so excited when this book came out and being able to pick up with Ari because at the end of Scorched Skies, we were left wondering what was going to happen to Charlie, her best friend.  And YAY!!  Borrowed Ember picks right up from where Scorched Skies left off and in no time, we are thrust back in to the world of the Jinn.  So much happens in this book that truly you are glued to it throughout just to make sure you don't miss any details.  
Once we learned about Charlie, the turmoil heats up and we follow Ari through a series of events that is nail-biting, heart-wrenching, terrifying, yet at the same time having some fun, passionate moments with our hero of Borrowed Ember, Jai.  Oh Jai, he is the guy that every girl wants.  And the love story between these two fills your heart making you crave more when the book ends.
And sadly, yes, the book ends...and as I already mentioned above that I am now ALWAYS eager to get my hands on anything Sam Young has written, so, I am absolutely DYING to read Darkness, Kindled.  I LOVE these characters and falling in to their world.  It is unique, intriguing, fascinating, and it completely overwhelms you with a storyline so powerful, that you won't put it down.  
Borrowed Ember is a GREAT read.  If you haven't started this series yet, Go out TODAY and get Smokeless Fire, book one and get started....I HIGHLY recommend this series and of course this book!!!

We both give Borrowed Ember:


Friday, July 20, 2012

The Tiger Saga (books 1-3) by Collen Houck

 Tiger's Curse

Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

Shelley's Brief Thoughts:
This story has EVERYTHING! The 3 M's of good paranormal fiction; Magic, mystery, mythology. A reluctant, sweet AND snarky heroine. Swoon-worthy..ahem...men. A curse. An epic journey. And an ending sure to leave your heart aching. The fact that it all begins in MY hometown is just a la mode on the Marionberry cobbler...that's a very good thing.  

Tiger's Quest

Back in Oregon, Kelsey tries to pick up the pieces of her life and push aside her feelings for Ren. But danger lurks around the corner, forcing her to return to India where she embarks on a second quest--this time with Ren's dark, bad-boy brother Kishan, who has also fallen prey to the Tiger's Curse. Fraught with danger, spellbinding dreams, and choices of the heart, TIGER'S QUEST brings the trio one step closer to breaking the spell that binds them.

Shelley's Brief Thoughts:
Quest picks up right where the Curse left off. Kelsey is home and reflecting, trying to forget Ren, Kishan and their curse...moving on with college life. Of course we know that doesn't last long. Soon she is whisked off on another journey to help our tigers overcome their burden and become wholly human again. We learn much more about Kishan along with Kelsey and grow to love Ren that much more.
As the story progresses, the tasks become more difficult and they find they must meet their nemesis head on.
Tiger's Quest brings you more beautiful locales, history and mythology, stronger connections, more action, bigger adventures and packs a punch with a cliffhanger sure to have you grabbing for another box of tissues and cursing Colleen for leaving you hanging...again. Be glad you don't have to wait 6 months for next installment. It's beautiful torture. 

Tiger's Voyage

With the head-to-head battle against the villainous Lokesh behind her, Kelsey confronts a new heartbreak: in the wake of his traumatic experience, her beloved Ren no longer remembers who she is. As the trio continues their quest by challenging five cunning and duplicitous dragons, Ren and Kishan once more vie for her affections--leaving Kelsey more confused than ever.

Shelley's Review of Tiger's Voyage:
To begin, I have to say how excited I was to finally be reentering the world of Kelsey and her tigers. Even though I purchased Tiger's Voyage as a pre-order and rushed to have it signed, it was shelved and glanced at, and admired from across the room, as I began a journey in to the blogging world and became immersed in requests and obligations. Now don't get me wrong, I've thoroughly enjoyed myself and am grateful for all our opportunities, but I missed Ren terribly...and Kishan...and...well, you get the idea. So, when I was asked to be part of the upcoming tour for Tiger's Destiny (#4), I didn't hesitate and took this as my chance to catch up with the trio and I jumped in head first. That's really the only way to go...
This series is a constant whirlwind of action, adventure and heart wrenching emotional turmoil. The last book left us heartbroken as Kelsey and Ren suffered from love lost, regained and yet not fully attained. Tiger's Voyage begins right where we left off and immediately had my eyes welled with tears and my heart aching as they still struggled with the consequences of choices and sacrifices made...stepping into the tangled web of their love and readying for the next big adventure.
The usual cast of characters returns, including my favorite of Durga's gifts, Kelsey's near constant companion and protector-aside from the boys and Mr. Kadam, of course--Fanindra, the golden snake. She is a brilliant character. Many would not really consider her a character, but to me she has a heart and soul. She thinks and acts on instinct and always with Kelsey's welfare and the completion of the journey as her motive. She is as strong and beautiful and essential as the tigers and often there to help save the day. Ok, ok, I'll move on to the heart of our tale...
The places we travel on this voyage are unexpected and all at once exhilarating and terrifying. Knowing going in that there is always an Element that drives the story, this one being Water...and also knowing there would be dragons involved, I was still taken by surprise more than a few times...and fascinated. The dragons are amazing. The journey the trio must take in order to gain the items needed to help end the Curse, of course is centered around these creatures. They are powerful, clever and beguiling. I won't give details on them, it would take away from the mystery, but each has a unique tale and as always a test for our fearless friends.
But it doesn't stop there. There is the unresolved triangle of Ren-Kelsey-Kishan. Just when you think you know what Kelsey will do, something happens to change the course of things. I did mention it's a whirlwind...make that a typhoon or is it a hurricane? Whatever you want to call it, it keeps the emotions high and more than once I felt my chest crack and splinter as everything became more complicated. Ren's own situation is heartbreaking. And difficult to endure. Without question, I was frustrated with Kelsey's wavering feelings and indecision, but she makes some hard choices. Ones I'm pretty sure I wouldn't make--I'm far too selfish.
And what would the journey be without an appearance...a battle or two with their ultimate foe, Lokesh. He proves himself again a formidable challenger and powerful fiend. He is truly evil and will stop at nothing to gain what he sees as the grand prize in this never-ending game.
So what does this story have to offer you? Amazing creatures...real and mythical...games, challenges, battles--with enemies and those closest to our heroes and heroine (sometimes within themselves), great love and pain, humor and beauty and more of the rich history and mythology of Ren and Kishan's homeland. In essence, another wonderful installment that left me loving Ren (and Kishan) even more...and an ending that left me aching to find out what happens next.



We at TSK TSK What to Read are very excited to be one of the tour stops on the upcoming Tiger's Destiny Blog Tour.  Make sure you come back and check it out!!

 Tiger's Destiny

With three of the goddess Durga's quests behind them, only one prophecy now stands in the way of Kelsey, Ren, and Kishan breaking the tiger's curse. But the trio's greatest challenge awaits them: A life-endangering pursuit in search of Durga's final gift, the Rope of Fire, on the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. It's a race against time--and the evil sorcerer Lokesh--in this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the bestselling "Tiger's Curse" series, which pits good against evil, tests the bonds of love and loyalty, and finally reveals the tigers' true destinies once and for all.

Colleen Houck’s New York Times bestselling Tiger’s Curse series has received national praise with the fourth book, Tiger’s Destiny, debuting September 2012. Colleen is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, science fiction, and romance. Formerly a student at the University of Arizona, she has worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for seventeen years. Colleen lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.
Where you can find more info about Colleen and the Tiger Saga:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Darkness, Kindled (Fire Spirits #4) by Samantha Young


Check out the 4th book in the Fire Spirits series by Samantha Young....

Cover Art by: Claudia McKinney at Phat Puppy Art

Due to be released in Fall of 2012

For more info check out:

Haven't started this series yet???
Well, here are the books and links to purchase them... 

For the last two years Ari Johnson's life has been anything but normal, and on her 18th birthday, when her friends surprise her with a gimmick genie claiming to grant wishes, Ari discovers the truth. The tragic and strange occurrences surrounding her 16th birthday were not coincidental and her life is never going to be the same again.  Ari's real parents are not normal.  They are not loving.  They are not human. They are myth. They are Smokeless Fire. They are Jinn.

The White King has crossed the line, sounded the horn, sent out the wolves.
When blood is shed and life is lost the reality of Ari’s position as both hunter and prey finally sets in. It seems her father will stop at nothing to force her will to his own and distracted by Charlie’s latest mistake and her seemingly misguided attraction to Jai, Ari never thought to fear anyone else but the Jinn King.
Blindsided and attacked, Ari learns a new wolf has joined the hunt. A dark sorcerer believes he knows a way to bleed the power of the Seal and wield it as his own, and he is even less patient than The White King. The War for the Seal has only just begun… and it’s time for Ari to turn it on its head. It’s time for Ari to stop acting like the hunted.
It’s time for Ari to become the hunter.

Everything in Ari’s life until this point has been borrowed.
Her human life with a man who wasn't her real father.
A love for a boy who needed more than her to be strong.
Kisses with a Jinn who refused to do anything but lend them out in moments of weakness. And even her resolve, which seemed to fail her whenever she needed it most.
But Ari is done borrowing. She finally feels strong enough to make hunting Jinn not just a hobby to get her through her dismal situation, but to make hunting a permanent and necessary career.  Her friendship with Charlie might finally make it onto real and steady ground if only she can save him from the trial on Mount Qaf. And her love for Jai could be eternal, if only she could gain control over the darkness of the Seal within her.
Ari believes all of this is doable. That finally she will truly own the relationships in her life and to a certain extent have ownership over her future.
But none of that matters when it isn't up to her……For high in the emerald mountains of Mount Qaf, the Sultan Azazil has been keeping secrets. Even from the Jinn Kings. Secrets that will change everything… and bring Ari to the crashing realization that once again…… she’s borrowed something that will never truly belong to her. Something that is desperate to be unleashed. Something that could destroy them all.
For more action, drama, twisted wishes, passionate romance and dark kings… pick up a copy of Borrowed Ember, the third installment in the Fire Spirits series.

Significance series books 1-3 by Shelly Crane

Maggie is a seventeen year old girl who's had a bad year. She was smart and on track but then her mom left, her dad is depressed, she's graduating, barely, and her boyfriend of almost three years dumped her for a college football scholarship. Lately she thinks life is all about hanging on by a thread and is gripping tight with everything she has. Then she meets Caleb. She saves his life and instantly knows there's something about him that's intriguing but she is supposed to be on her way to a date with his cousin. But things change when they touch, sparks ignite. Literally. They imprint with each other and she sees their future life together flash before her eyes. She learns that not only is she his soul mate, and can feel his heartbeat in her chest, but there is a whole other world of people with gifts and abilities that she never knew existed. She herself is experiencing supernatural changes unlike anything she's ever felt before and she needs the touch of his skin to survive. Now, not only has her dad come out of his depression to be a father again, and a pain as well, but Caleb's enemies know he's imprinted and are after Maggie to stop them both from gaining their abilities and take her from him. Can Caleb save her or will they be forced to live without each other after just finding one another?

Where to purchase Significance

 In the sequel to Significance, Maggie learns much more about all the strange things that have happened to her and has to face many new ones. She learns something about herself, that she is something that the clans have been waiting for. She rebels against it but, ultimately must face it for her new family's sake and maybe even her life. Bish went from being her biggest supporter to her biggest pain in the butt and Kyle's intentions to attract her interest may not be so innocent. Caleb and Maggie face many new obstacles together as a couple and on their own. They fight to work through them but will one that should be a good thing be too much for Maggie to handle? Will she become who she has to be to save the ones she loves or will she crumble under the pressure as this epic love story continues.

Where to buy Accordance
In the third installment of the Significance series, we begin with Maggie and Caleb in the clutches of a new enemy; the Virtuoso council. Not only do they have to deal with the consequences of taking the lives of the Watsons and the council attempting to take Maggie away to keep their precious Visionary safe, but they must deal with Marla as well. All are determined to undermind, control and use Caleb and Maggie's rare gifts for their own uses, some wish to destroy them entirely. Then Maggie's father and Bish are threatened but the council forbids the presense of humans. Peter and the family fight and stand beside them every step of the way to save Maggie's father, to keep Caleb and Maggie together when the corrupted council is so set on keeping them apart and to stop Marla and whatever she has up her sleeve. Then Maggie has the shock of her life when she discovers something about her real father. It may change everything for everyone. Stay tuned as the story continues.

Where to buy Defiance
Barnes and Noble 
 Shelly Crane
YA author of the paranormal series Significance, Collide and Devour. I'm also a mom to two boys and a wife to the best guy ever. Throw in a love for candy corn and paperbacks and you get me.

Check out Shelly's website for more info about this series as well as others that she has written.  You can also find her on:

Kathryn's Review
Significance, Accordance, Defiance
I found this series about 2 months ago and with obligations just couldn't get to it yet... So, as I have gotten caught up with those obligations and started to look through the books I wanted to read, I saw Significance and knew I had to read it now... I have been wanting to read it for a while, every time I opened up my kindle and saw the beautiful cover screaming "READ ME"...
Soooo, now it was going to be...I have begun the Significance series...
There has been a lot of great reviews out there for Significance, Accordance, and Defiance and I just knew I was going to enjoy them too... BUT... I didn't just enjoy these books...I fell in love with them!!!  Had to read them back to back, completely immersed in each one, JUST TOTALLY ENTHRALLED!!
I mean, I just couldn't put them down... And when I absolutely had to put it down, all I could think about was how quick could I get back to these books... They plagued my mind and even writing this I am consumed with the world Shelly Crane created with the Significance series.
So what makes them so fantastic to me???  You are immediately drawn in...Right from the first page in Significance when we meet our heroine Maggie.  She is graduating and not sure about her future, we learn about her dysfunctional family and how it has caused such heartache for her, and how an ex-boyfriend that she just can't seem to let go of rattles her world.... But, graduation night she decides to change and then one fated meeting with Caleb and the world that Maggie knew was turned upside down!! And this topsy-turvy roller coaster ride that you are thrust upon takes you through all the emotions, trials, revenge, passion, and overall suspense that is wrapped up in the life of Maggie and Caleb.  I mean, it grabs you by the shirt collar and pulls you in making sure you that are so caught up in this tale of sweet romance that everything happening around you is just mute point... Because this story is ALL you need and it fills you completely...
I thoroughly LOVED getting to know Maggie and Caleb.. GAWD... I would love to have a relationship like theirs... So powerful, strong, connected, and passionate... And it is not just these two... All the characters are phenomenally written.  You feel everything, you want to be a part of that great family, and since you LOVE this family, you even get totally pissed off when the rival clan does their evil detrimental schemes. 
I CANNOT wait for Independence to be released and see the conclusion to this great series... I know it will be superb yet all the while I will be so sad to say goodbye to these interesting and fantastic characters!!
I highly suggest that you pick this series up... Shelly Crane is a magnificent writer and this series provides everything you could hope for... Suspense, intrigue, snarky humor, great relationships, action, and a love story that you will hold special in your heart...
Run out now and pick it up... You will not regret it!!!


If you can't get enough of these FABULOUS books and need something to tide you over til Independence is released, check this out:
 A Three Chapter Novella from Caleb's POV, located here 
or free on Smashwords

And finally....a look in to the conclusion of the Significance series with: 

In the fourth and final installment, Maggie and Caleb must tie up all the loose ends of their lives and make a way to be together completely on their own. With everything that happened with Bish and Maggie's father, she's almost reluctant to move on and move out. And now she must figure out all of this...stuff...with Haddock. But of course, nothing can stay simple for the Jacobsons. Enemies who were thought to be dissolved have decided to not go down so easily. And old flames come calling for more than just Maggie. Caleb is torn between leading his family and personal wants. Maggie is torn between Caleb and being the leader of their people. But neither will let what they need most to be pushed to the wayside. They are determined to make it all work, design a plan toward destiny, and make everything right again for themselves and their family.            
And then there's a wedding...
Expected Soft Release Date : End of the year, 2012 

Friday, July 13, 2012

No Good Deed by Bill Blais

Hi Tsk Tskers! We're breaking new ground today as we have our first interview and review for a male author on the blog...strange we know, as there are many good ones out there. We were asked to be part of the No Good Deed tour for the wonderful Bill Blais.
What we've got for you is a fun and informative interview with Bill--he was so great! We loved his answers and felt we really got to know what makes him tick. We hope you feel that way too.  Following the interview will be both of our reviews of his thrilling paranormal/suspense novel. A bit of a different read for us...more suspense than romance...still full of the paranormal stuff we love, including a strong, snarky and reluctant heroine. So, sit back and enjoy the ride as we introduce to you, Bill Blais and the world of Kelly McGinnis in No Good Deed.

Kelly McGinnis has spent her adult life trying to do the right thing, but as a newly down-sized mother of twins and the wife of a man living with Muscular Sclerosis, she also knows that trying isn’t always enough.
While interrupting a scene of police brutality, Kelly unwittingly releases a real, live demon. After she manages to kill the creature through gut instinct and blind luck, she is approached to join a secret group of demon hunters who reveal an underworld of monsters and magic. Kelly’s mill town upbringing proves an unexpected asset and the pay more than covers her husband’s treatments, but the work begins to undermine her sense of right and wrong as she struggles to maintain her ‘normal’ life. When she encounters Umber, a compelling incubus with an unexpectedly human story, Kelly learns that the truth is far stranger and more terrifying than she imagined.

About the Author
Bill Blais

  Bill Blais is a writer, web developer and perennial part-time college instructor. His novels include Witness (winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Fantasy) and the Kelly & Umber urban fantasy series. Bill graduated from Skidmore College before earning an MA in Medieval Studies from University College London. He lives in Maine with his wife and daughter.
Where to stalk the author:


Want to know more about Bill Blais???
Check out our interview with him below....

TSK TSK:  No Good Deed is written from Kelly's point of view. How difficult was it to write from a female's perspective?
Bill: Actually, not as hard as I expected it to be, but that was mainly because of something I read about Maya Angelou many years ago. Apparently, before she writes a book, she writes down every last thing she can think of about each of her characters, from goals and fears to quirks and tastes.

When I first read that, I was impressed with her dedication, but didn't think I needed to go through all that. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Years later, and much wiser (at least in that respect), when I started working on Kelly I wrote everything I could about Kelly, which inevitably moved outward to her family and such. This took a while, no question, but not a second of it was wasted effort.

Of course, it also helped that I used elements of people I've known in creating her character, giving me a foundation to work from. Their voices, attitudes and physicality all gave Kelly a more solid reality than I could have generated out of thin air.

TSK TSK:  Have you thought about writing a YA novel? What would it be about?
Bill: The short answers are 'Yes', and 'I can't tel l you', but the longer answer is that the desire to write YA didn't really hit me until I my niece hit that reading age and it got me thinking, but nothing really came of it for a while, since I was focused on these other books, until I was struck with something just as I drifted off to sleep, forcing me to turn the light back on and scribble away in my journal until I got it all out.

Unfortunately, it's been on the back burner while I've worked on several other stories that got to me first, but I've continued to return to the original idea, which is my best indicator that a story has legs. Now all I need is time. The plot has already been hashed out and roughly outlined, though, so I may well get a start on it in the next year or so, once Kelly & Umber 3 and All Prophets #2 are done.

Okay, so the longer answer was longer, but probably not much more satisfying. Sorry about that.

TSK TSK: If you could be any fictional character, who/what would you be?
Bill: There a bunch of flip answers, but the honest answer is none of them. I have an incredible life with an incredible wife and our incredible new baby girl. How could I possibly trade that away?

TSK TSK:  So you've jumped the Pond to Maine, is there anything you miss about London? Anything you don't miss?
Bill:  Oh, my. We miss almost everything, I think. London is a truly fabulous city. Yes, it has its problems (the last year has been a hard one, I know), but we enjoyed every moment we were there. We were ridiculously fortunate to live just down the street from the Notting Hill Tube Station, we did most of our grocery shopping in the mornings on Portobello Road (we got our very first Christmas tree together there!), and we jumped on and off the double-deckers to get to University during the week. Oh, and the scones! The Cornish pasties! The Indian food! Jogging in Kensington Park with William and Mary (the geese) and their goslings. The theatre (scared silly by the amazing The Woman In Black years before the movie)! The heartbeat-rumble of the tube in our sleep. The afternoon light on the white-stone buildings rising over the flat's adorable little backyard.

Um, yeah. We miss it.

Two things I don't miss, though: 1) the truly stunning amount of paper announcements plastered on every conceivable surface, and 2) blowing my nose and seeing black (sorry, you asked).

TSK TSK:  Do you plan for the future or take life as it comes? Has that changed since you daughter came onto the scene?
Bill: I'm a Libra, and these kinds of questions always catch me up, since we are always in search of balance but never quite reaching it. Generally speaking, I try to plan for the future (sometimes to excess), but I certainly have my 'as it comes' moments. If our new daughter has changed anything, it's only to make each of those sides more extreme. I am working hard to make my writing life into a productive occupation to help provide for our family, which sometimes distracts me from paying attention to the truly important stuff, like this

TSK TSK: What is your favorite thing about being a dad?
Bill:  The smiles of both my daughter and my wife. My daughter's smiles remind me of the wonder in the world, and my wife's smiles remind me how loved and fortunate I am.

TSK TSK:  What is the first thing you tell your students about yourself?
Bill:  "I'm probably not like your previous instructors." For most of them, it's downhill the rest of the way, as I talk about the importance of execution, and not just ideas, that I'm a stickler for grammar in academic writing, and, perhaps most heretical of all, that a 'C' means average work in my class. I'm not terribly popular.

TSK TSK: Do you know what you want to do when you grow up, or are you living the dream?
Bill: After I hit Algebra and gave up the foolish idea of being a math genius, I realized words were my arena. It took almost 25 years to make a serious, deliberate decision to follow through on it, but I'm working on that dream right now (thanks, in part, to the great folks on this tour, like you!).

TSK TSK:  Is there one book or author that inspired you to become a writer?
Bill: I suppose Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was the first time I thought consciously of writing a book myself, but I don't know

TSK TSK:  Is there a character in your book that you just don't like?
Bill:  Not really. There are some despicable (and actually horrendous) characters, but there are pieces of me in all of them. I suppose it's fair to say that there are parts of me that I don't like, but there's something about each character that strikes a chord in me. It doesn't mean I 'like' these characters, but it's kind of like saying I don't like being sick. If I were never sick, how could I possibly know what healthy was like?

(Like I said, I'm a Libra)

TSK TSK:  What or how long did research go in to writing No Good Deed?
Bill:  More than I expected, actually. I started the book because I wanted a real-life hero, so I couldn't skimp on the monsters, either. I did a lot of research into myths across cultures and times to give the terrors of this series more 'reality'. The same goes for

TSK TSK:  Are you an antique collector or do you like visiting auctions?
Bill:  Actually, I really know nothing about antiques. Or knew, anyway, before this book. The idea of using an antique shop seemed like a great synchronicity when I was putting together the outline, but when it came time to write those scenes, I realized, like the monsters, I didn't want to fake it here. That said, my research was entirely armchair-based (with the occasional splash of Antiques Roadshow, if I'm honest), so genuine antique dealers may well have issue with certain things.

TSK TSK:  Do you listen to music when you write or have a certain routine that you must follow?
Bill:  Music is very often an integral part of my writing. The exact music can vary, but I usually work well with moody movie scores (soundtracks can be good, but music with words can sometimes get in my way) like most of Hans Zimmer's work, played on loop. For high energy fight scenes, on the other hand, I often use a single song (Marc Broussard's "Home", for example), but also played on loop.
Thankfully, I have a space above the garage for my writing, so my wife and daughter are spared  the repetition.

TSK TSK:  What can we look forward to in book 2?
Bill:  Darker. Faster. Wilder. More terrifying and more personal. And, of course, more Umber.
To be honest, this is not the story I thought I was going to write. When I finished NGD, I thought I had a good setup for a long-term, episodic kind of series, but when I started thinking seriously about Hell Hath No Fury, the only storyline that worked, the only one that made sense, was one that took me completely by surprise and pushed things far ahead of what I'd intended.
Looking back, it was certainly the correct choice, but it wasn't easy.

TSK TSK:  What do you do for fun or any hobbies?
Bill:  I'm a homebody by nature (code for lazy), and I love puttering in the yard or around the house with my wife (and now our daughter!), but I need exercise and last year I participated in a couple mini-triathlons and a 100-mile bike trek, which were a lot of fun. I'm also (slowly) learning piano, and teaching myself French so our little girl will be bilingual (my wife already speaks it).

On to the Reviews...

Shelley's Review
Wow! What a roller coaster ride. No Good Deed starts off with Kelly struggling to keep it together as she loses her job to downsizing and fights to find a way to help support her family and regain her sick husband's health. Despite these struggles, Kelly has a family life most people would envy...loving and supportive husband,  sweet, happy and healthy kids--inspite of the occasional daredevil stunt or horseplay--all is well in her world. Except for Shawn's declining health and their now lack of a second income and health insurance.
An out of the ordinary and unbelievable circumstance finds her at a antiques shop, where she quickly discovers nothing is as it seems, all things are possibly and damn...the money is good. But it comes with a price and sacrifice. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Kelly is thrust into a world she never considered existed and she finds herself part of team fighting evil. Demons to be exact. But what are they fighting for? Where do these creatures come from? And...who are they really working for? Well, Kelly finds a few of her answers through sweat and tears and a lot of research. Still, she has a questions and concerns about what she's gotten herself...and her family into. She has to keep her real position a secret from everyone, including her husband--which of course brings on its own bag of guilt, yet she can't turn away from the opportunity to do everything she can to help her family and maybe do some good in the world.
But like I said, not all is as it seems. As Kelly gets more confident in her strengths and her position on the team, new circumstances and questions arise, leaving her more confused about her choices, her own actions and what her boss, Mr. Larocque and his team are really all about. The fact that most of this story centers around what hides beyond the guise of an antique dealership...how perfect a front is that...makes for an intriguing and entertaining leap into the unknown.
This story packs action, emotion and a whole mess of terrifying creatures into a whirlwind of a tale. We ride along with Kelly and feel her fear, her confusion and her need to protect those she loves. She has to make decisions we all hope we never have to make, quickly, and then deal with the fallout. And boy is there fallout...and regret and more guilt. But Kelly really has no time for that. She's got more to learn, strength to gain and a world to save.
No Good Deed is full of the horror we love, unexpected characters and twists that even in the end, leaves us wondering where the story will go next...how Kelly and her family will survive...will she continue with her team...and just who is this Umber that she has an unexplained connection to.
Blais gives us a heartfelt and brave look into the frightening world of demons, with a few lessons along the way. Dark, suspenseful and rich with description and knowledge of demonology--this is a tale told like no other. The fact that Kelly and her family are so lovable makes it a joy to follow her onto the darkness. And I'm anxious to continue her journey and find out what lies ahead and what role the mysterious Umber has to play in Kelly's future. If you like horror and suspense, No Good Deed is worth a look...but don't look too hard, what you find might just scare the hell out you...

Kathryn's Review
When I started No Good Deed, I wasn't really sure where it was headed.  I knew that it was centered around Kelly and how she had a normal life with struggles like anyone else, but just like real life, everything can change in the blink of an eye...Just like the title..No Good Deed goes unnoticed here....
And you are probably wondering what this change is that I speak of could be? Well, lo and behold, Kelly is introduced to the world of paranormal and a group of people that are contracted to round up these specific creatures.  
What makes this story so interesting is that you are living Kelly's life with her. Dealing with the everyday struggles that a person faces when making these tough decisions.  Does she tell her family what she is doing?  Does she keep doing it because she may ultimately die and abandon her family?  And you know what else is tough about this, she has a wonderful family.  But, the lure of a salary that can take care of her husband with his extensive medical bills makes the decision up for her.  
So, we follow Kelly through training, tutoring on the demons that she will encounter, and even on assignments that she has been thrust upon, all the while thinking that she is settling in to this new career...
Well, in walks a surprise character that now throws a wrench in to all that Kelly has learned.  Does she believe this person?  What will happen on her next assignment if she isn't sure about herself?  
These questions are all answered with an ending that I didn't see coming.  With suspense, mystery, action, and an interesting cast of characters, No Good Deed is a book that you will want to pick up and read today!!

We both give No Good Deed:



Want to get more....

Purchase the book on Amazon and Smashwords.

What did y'all think? Great guy, right?! We think so. And we hope we've enticed you to check out this first book in the Kelly and Umber series.
We want to thank Bill and Annabell of Illuminated tours, for asking us to take part in the tour. We appreciated and enjoyed getting to know Kelly and her team and look forward to finding out what happens in book two.
Thanks for stopping by!
Kathryn and Shelley
Tour Set Up By Illuminated Tours