Showing posts with label Paranormal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paranormal. Show all posts

Preview ICED by Karen Marie Moning Before It Goes on Sale 10/30/12

Karen Marie Moning fans have been waiting for this...ICED is almost here! Karen and her publishers are well known for keeping advanced copies and reviews off the web so that readers get the full experience of the book without spoilers, so I'm super excited that they are sharing a free preview excerpt with us! Happy Reading! Sabrina Iced: A Dani O'Malley Novel (Fever Series) by Karen Marie Moning

First Grave on The Right - Cute Book Trailer & Giveaway!

I've heard fantastic things about this book and have the audio version I'll be starting soon so look for a review in the next week or so. What I think is awesome is that this is one of the few book trailers that was worth watching - very funny, cute and really does set the tone for the book.

Check it out and tell me what you think. Oh, and has anyone read or picked up this book yet? If so let us know about it!


Macmillan Audio is giving away an audio book copy of First Grave on The Right and a T-Shirt on their FaceBook page - Click here to check it out!  

Welcome Guest Author Marie-Claude Bourque & Comment to Win!

MCB-photo-verysmall Why I find Snape Sexy: My Love Affair With Sorcerers.

I think my love affair with sorcerers started when I was a kid and read (and reread) a French historical series called Angélique by Anne and Serge Golon. Set in the 17th century, the series featured a heroine whose one true love was her first husband, a count and alchemist who was left limping after a brush with the inquisition and that she believes dead for a big part of the series until she is reunited with him after many adventures. He was older and wise and yes, very sexy.

Later in my teens, I fell for a powerful wizard from the first Dragonlance series written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. This wizard, called Raistlin Majere, is physically weak but extremely powerful. And maybe that is why I love wizards and sorcerers so much, it’s their powers that make them so alluring.

There is a great scene in one of the Harry Potter movie where Snape dramatically enters the classroom, his robes billowing behind him as he closes the window shutters with one hand gesture. I love that scene. So much power! How can I not fall for Snape there! I know, he’s a little creepy, but I always fell for the underdog. When Harry Potter screams his Patronus charm and yells Expecto Patronum in the dark forest, in yet another very intense scene of a Harry Potter movie, I can see how enticing he will become as a man.

It’s no wonder I chose to make my ANCIENT WHISPERS heroes sorcerers. Not only they possess this incredible magical power, but also, because I can do what I want in the word I created, these men are tall, strong and extremely handsome. Most were warriors in their time and learned magic as they became immortal in order to find their lost soul mates who are now reborn in modern time.

Replacing wizard robes with long coats that hide the magical components needed for their spells and the enchanted dagger that cuts through various dimensions, these sorcerers are everything I always dreamed of, strong, sexy, and powerful, very powerful. They make a woman want to hide in their arms, absolutely protected from anything within the safety of their coats, their masculine scent enveloping them like an overwhelming yet enticing shadow.

When I started to write about my sorcerers, each deadly, haunted by a tortured past, I hadn’t read any modern romance with wizard, sorcerer or alchemist hero. I am sure they exit and I’d love to find more. Just last month I discovered Jim Butcher’s series the Dresden files. When I read on the book cover that it was like a wizard Robert B Parker book, I knew I had to read the series (I’m a Robert B. Parker addict). I bought the first one and wasn’t disappointed. I’m waiting impatiently for the next ones in the series that I just ordered,

AncientWhispers-original-medium So here is my challenge to you readers, please give me some recommendation of wizards, sorcerers or magic-user romance that, like mine, is set in real world modern time. I am currently happy reading the Dresden files, but I need something else to read next!

Please give me a suggestion and I’ll give-away a signed copy of ANCIENT WHISPERS to a lucky commenter!


Marie-Claude Bourque is the American Title V winner and author of ANCIENT WHISPERS, a sensual gothic paranormal romance filled with sorcerers and Celtic priestesses in search for eternal love in modern time. She worked as a climate research scientist, a scientific translator and a fitness expert until she turned to fiction writing. She draws her inspiration from the French legends of her childhood and a fascination for dark fantasy.

ANCIENT WHISPERS, a Dorchester –Love Spell release is available now wherever books are sold. Find more at and don’t forget to enter the contest for her month-long virtual release party at

Welcome Guest Author Laura Bickle – EMBERS: A VERY New Take on the Goddess of Love Myth

embers-250 I’ve heard so many great things about EMBERS, the new release from Laura Bickle, that I couldn’t believe I got the opportunity to host her here at Cheeky Reads. Look for an upcoming review of EMBERS and be sure to enter the giveaway below!

Take it away Laura!

I've always loved reading about powerful heroines, women who are in charge of their own story. I grew up reading Robin McKinley's heroines, like Aerin in THE HERO AND THE CROWN, who slew their own dragons. I was even sympathetic to the legend of Medusa - in my eyes, she was a tragic figure who turned all her lovers to stone. Myths are rich in stories of women who have attempted to balance power and love. I quickly learned that writing a powerful heroine is a whole different kettle of fish than reading about one.

One of the myths I was drawn to was the myth of Ishtar. Ishtar is the Babylonian goddess of love, war, and sex. Her love was known to be fatal. In the Epic of Giglamesh, Giglamesh tells her:

“Listen to me while I tell the tale of your lovers. There was Tammuz, the lover of your youth, for him you decreed wailing, year after year. You loved the many-coloured roller, but still you struck and broke his wing… You have loved the lion tremendous in strength: seven pits you dug for him, and seven. You have loved the stallion magnificent in battle, and for him you decreed the whip and spur and a thong... You have loved the shepherd of the flock; he made meal-cake for you day after day, he killed kids for your sake. You struck and turned him into a wolf; now his own herd-boys chase him away, his own hounds worry his flanks."

One of the most famous myths about Ishtar involves her descent to the Underworld, in pursuit of the soul a lost lover. She descends through the gates of hell, shedding her weapons and clothing as offerings, until she reaches Ereshkigel, Queen of the Underworld. Ereshkigel poisons Ishtar, dooming her to the Underworld. She can only be freed if someone will take her place.

Ishtar returns to the surface of the earth, in the company of demons, to find someone to take her place. She finds that her husband, Tammuz, has not mourned her. In a fit of rage, she sends him back to the underworld in her place, with the demons.

The myth fascinated me, the idea of a mythic heroine who was a love goddess, who could also be so ruthless. She wasn't like any of the other love goddesses I'd studied. Ishtar didn't recline prettily on a fainting couch, twirling her hair and awaiting her destiny; she picked up her sword and fought for who and what she wanted. I was eager to recast a bit of her in a modern image.

“You have the eyes of Ishtar.”

This is what the heroine, Anya, of EMBERS, is told. She doesn’t want to believe it. She’s got enough on her plate: by day, she’s an arson investigator on the trail of a serial firebug. By night, she works with a group of ghost hunters as a Lantern, a medium capable of seeing and devouring spirits. Anya’s responsible for keeping her fire salamander familiar, Sparky, from chewing on electrical cords. And she’s confused by her feelings for a fellow ghost-hunter, Brian, attempting to keep her distance.

A serial arsonist, Drake, tells Anya that she has the Babylonian goddess’s terrible gaze. He should know -- he’s a fellow Lantern, the only other one she’s encountered. And he tells her that she has much more than Ishtar’s gaze…

A character patterned after the Ishtar archetype was a challenging one to write. She’s not the usual heroine who always makes the morally-correct choices. She has a dark side, and she must struggle with it. She’s somber, angry, and is confused about her feelings. Though she’s emotionally armored, she’s very human. She loves, and aches to be a part of something larger than herself. But she’s an outsider: she’s apart from the world of humans, and even the ghost-hunters don’t fully trust her powers. Like many of us, she wants to be understood. And the only person who fully knows what she is, what she’s capable of, is another Lantern: Drake, the man determined to burn a city to the ground.

As Ishtar did long ago, Anya finds herself in the company of demons. While attempting an exorcism, Anya absorbs an ancient Babylonian demon, who works to possess Anya. The demon manages to gain a toehold in Anya’s own darker impulses, driving her into the arms of evil.

Like Ishtar, Anya must surface from the Underworld victorious, rescuing the souls she’s descended to rescue. And she must decide which sacrifices to make, who will remain in the Underworld behind her.

Anya is more human than Ishtar. She's reluctant to use her power, and tangled in her own feelings of guilt. But, still, she has some of the imprint of Ishtar upon her, the desire and the power to act on it. I think that there's something inherently interesting about how people deal with power and love that gives them a story, something to struggle against.

Check out more about Laura and EMBERS at these links:

laura-bickle Website:
Link to the first chapter of EMBERS :

Laura has graciously offered a copy of EMBERS to one of our U.S. readers today! Tell us, Do you like your heroines powerful? Love the characters who struggle with the the underworld? Is there another myth you love seeing rewritten into modern stories? Tell us and enter to win!

Author Interview: 10 Questions with Ashley Ladd

crazyinlove_800 I’m excited to introduce Ashley Ladd, the author of Crazy in Love, a new Erotic Short Romance story from Total-E Bound. Ashley was nice enough to sit down and answer a few questions for us and I hope you enjoy the interview!
Make sure to scroll down after the interview to enter to win a copy of Crazy in Love!
Your newest release Crazy in Love features Kacey and Heath, a married couple who seem to have lost that spark. Can you tell us more about how they got to this point and what readers can look forward to in Crazy in Love? Heath is a young, hot shot attorney who's putting all of himself into his job. He loves his wife but is rarely home. When he is home, he's too tired or too busy working from home to pay attention to her. Thus Kacey feels neglected. When he rejects her advances and is annoyed when she tries to talk to him, she begins to think he doesn't love her anymore. She's ready to leave and start over.
When Kacey claims the ghost of her crazy great-grandfather is threatening to kill her, and her friend tells Heath that Kacey thinks he's fallen out of love with her, he finally realizes he has to take drastic measures to keep the woman he loves and save his marriage.
Characters really make a story for me, so I always love to ask authors what three words would you use to describe your hero? Passionate, work-aholic, sexy
What three words best represent your heroine? Genealogy buff, cat-lover, flirty
What was your favorite part of writing Crazy in Love? Any particular scenes or plot twists you couldn't wait to write? (Ok - we understand, no spoilers allowed!) My favorite part was researching the history, getting the dialogue and medical terms right, and creating a crazy ghost.
The ghost of Kacey's great-grandfather plays a central role in Crazy in Love. Where did your inspiration for the character come from? Have you ever been visited by a ghost? No, I've never been visited by a ghost but my younger daughter used to think a ghost visited her at night when she was little. She thought it was the ghost of my mother, but my daughter was only four, so she couldn't really explain why she thought so. I've had other adult friends who think their houses were haunted, too. One of them told me to put a half full glass of water next to my daughter's bedside at night to keep the ghost away.
My family history inspired this story. It's amazing how many fascinating stories are in the pages of genealogy. This is my second story inspired by our family genealogy. The first was in an anthology that is sadly out of print. But that story was a lot of fun to write, too.
You've authored over 40 books. How do you keep it fresh and what are your favorite stories to write? I'm having fun with ghosts and time-travels in particular. I love throwing a character out of his or her time and comfort zone and see how they cope out of their element.
As per keeping stories fresh, I think I'm succeeding. This year for instance, my stories include a vampire on a mission to save her world, Kacey who's being threatened by a crazy ghost, Colleen who gets whisked back in time to the 1970's and gets a second chance to get things right, a cougar story (older woman, younger man), a story that features military issues (I'm ex-Air Force), a genie story (this one's on submission), and one that involves the inner workings or a reality show. Ideas are everywhere. There's another dysfunctional ghost in the reality show story.
AlwaysABridesmaid_w2864_300[1]Speaking of how prolific you are, you also have another new release out titled Always a Bridesmaid. Can you tell us a little more about it? Certainly. AAB as I call it for short, is a contemporary category type romance. Breanna is summoned home to be her sister's maid of honor. Unfortunately, as much as she misses her sister and father, home holds too many painful memories thus she's been avoiding town for the past eight years, or rather, she's been avoiding her ex-fiancé Troy Youngwolf. He broke her heart when he eloped with her best friend and had a child with her. But Troy is now a widower, single father, and the town's sheriff instead of the town's bad boy. As her sister's wedding guests and parties cause trouble in town, Troy keeps showing up to keep peace in the town much to Bree's dismay.
Always A Bridesmaid is available here.  
I love asking authors what they're reading and if they have any new books or authors they would recommend. Any you want to share with us? This year's Christmas present from my hubby, a Cooler e-book reader is filled with books. Also my dresser has a large stack of dead tree books. What I can see from here are books by: Tawny Weber, Cathy McDavid, Trenae Sumter, Holly Jacobs and Merline Lovelace. At least one of the books on my Cooler reader is also by Merline Lovelace. I'm in the middle of Holly's book entitled "Unexpected Gifts".
Obviously, I enjoy reading Merline's books. I also very much enjoy books by Sheryl Woods, Holly Jacobs, Brynn Paulin, Stephen King, and Stephen White.
Where can our readers find you next? I was recently interviewed at Bookworm Nation and Molly Daniel's blog.
Next week starting on March 29th, I'll be guest blogging all week at and I’ll be the featured guest blogger at Long and Short Reviews.
June 2010 I'll be at Lori Foster's Readers & Writers Event in Cincinnati.
Lastly, would you give our readers a little sneak peak excerpt from Crazy in Love? Absolutely! I hope you enjoy it.
Excerpt From: Crazy in Love
A mixture of awe, disbelief, enlightenment, and grief washing over her, Kacey Carlisle poured over her great-great-grandmother’s pension claim records. The ancient handwriting was almost illegible in places yet it was clear—her grandfather, August, hadn’t left his wife and family as the descendants had believed all these years. Her grandmother, Emma, had kicked him out.
Emma had sworn under deposition she’d feared for her life after August had returned home from the Civil War, physically and mentally ill. Other acquaintances had also testified under oath that
August had suffered from crazy spells, that he’d thought spirits were chasing him. Others claimed August believed Emma to have been unfaithful. For sure, he’d been a tortured soul.
Kacey’s head spun so she took another sip of her soda as she tried to make sense of her readings. Clearly, there were two sides. Still, she sympathized with Emma. Her own husband, Heath, while not insane or abusive, had been ignoring her for a long time and so her thoughts had turned more and more to divorce. It broke her heart, but she could no longer deny it. Heath had fallen out of love with her. If she paraded naked before him, he’d only tell her to quit acting silly and stop blocking the TV.
Oh, yeah. She empathized with her ancestor. Men could be real shits. Who needed them?
Her heart cracked a little more. Who was she fooling? She still loved her husband, desperately, madly. Insanely. At least, they didn’t have kids who would get hurt.
Miffed at herself, she chewed her lower lip. So it would seem she was insane, too. Who would hang on when the situation was so hopeless?
Only a crazy person. Maybe she’d inherited Grandpa August’s crazy streak.
”It’s late. Come to bed,” Heath muttered on a growl. Barefoot, he padded through the hall and scowled at her. He scrubbed the heel of his hand over the beginnings of new stubble on his chin. “I’ll lose my job if you keep me awake all night. I won’t be able to function at work tomorrow.”
Thank you for having me over, Sabrina. I really enjoyed chatting with you. Ashley
You can find out more about Ashley and follow her at the following sites:
Tell us, have you ever been visited by a ghost? If not, who would you want visiting you from the beyond, or would you rather the ghosts leave you alone? Let us know and you could win a copy of Crazy in Love, compliments of Ashley!

Sins of The Flesh Blog Tour

Cheeky Reads is excited to be a part of the Caridad Pineiro blog tour. To kick things off I thought it would be fun to check out the book trailer for Sins of the Flesh, Caridad's newest release.

Did that pique your interest? How about a fun excerpt?

The day the music died, Caterina Shaw did as well.

Not physically, although she understood the death of her body was inevitable. She had come to terms with that reality some time ago. She had even managed to deal with the blindness caused by the tumor eating away her brain. But then the pain had
become so great that it had silenced the music, stealing away the only thing that had made life worth the anguish.

“You understand this treatment is new and uncertain,” Dr. Rudy Wells explained, his voice smooth and comforting. The touch of his hand, warm and reassuring, came against hers as it rested on her thigh.

“I understand,” she said and faced the direction of that calming voice.

Another person abruptly chimed in, his tones as strident and grating as a badly played oboe. “We’ll begin with laser surgery to remove the bulk of the tumor followed by two different courses of gene therapy.”

Two? she wondered and sensed Dr. Wells’ hesitation as well from the tremble that skated across his fingers. He removed his hand from hers and said, "Dr. Edwards believes that we can not only shut down the tumor growing in your
brain, but possibly regrow the portion of your optic nerve that the tumor

Caterina’s only wish when considering the experimental treatment had been to stop the pain so that she could play her cello once again. So that her last months would be filled with the vitality her music provided.

It was through her music that she lived. That her mother lived, Caterina thought, recalling the passion she had felt as a small child when her mother had played the piano for her; the way her mother’s fingers had coaxed life from the keys much like she now did with a stroke of her bow and the deft touch of her fingers on the strings of her cello.

Or at least like she had up until the cancer had put an end to her music, bringing her life to a close. Except now she was being told something different.

Caterina had never thought about eliminating the tumor. Every prognosis so far had been that she was terminal. Now these new doctors told her not only that might she live, but that she might actually see again too. She didn’t dare believe that she would be able to get her old life back completely, as well as her sight but . . .

“You think I’ll be able to recover? To see again?” Caterina asked, needing to be sure she had understood correctly.

“The risks are great, my dear,” Dr. Wells urged gently.

“But you qualify for the human trials because of the advanced state of your illness, Ms. Shaw,” Dr. Edwards added, annoyance at his partner evident in the staccato beats of his voice.

Her advanced state which could possibly bring death even with this treatment, Caterina thought. Not that she feared her end. What she did fear was letting the pain in her head rob her of the one thing she could not live without.

Her music.

She knew without hesitation that it was worth any risk to regain that part of her. To drive back the illness so she could play her cello once more and reanimate her heart for as long as she had left if the treatments couldn’t stop the tumor.

“What do you need me to do?”

Copyright 2009 Caridad Pineiro

Now, I'm pleased to introduce Caridad!

People always ask how book ideas come to me, but in actuality, I usually get the ideas for the characters before the idea for the plot. When it came to SINS OF THE FLESH, Caterina’s character popped into my head first. I knew I wanted her to be vulnerable, but strong. I wanted her to be elegant and creative. I used to be a musician and that career seemed perfect for portraying those attributes.

As for Caterina being vulnerable, it came to me that she would have to be ill and with that suddenly came the idea for something else – a radical gene therapy.

Because I wanted that aspect of the book to be accurate, I did research into how gene therapies were being done, how DNA was replicated and tested, and how foreign genes incorporated into humans could be seen.

I discovered lots of interesting things, like that there were ways to replicate tissues perfectly with certain amphibious genes and that you could make people/animals glow in the dark by introducing fluorescent protein markers. These are real life things that some might see as “fiction” in the book.

As for the real “fiction” – Caterina’s skin changing capabilities and altered eyesight – I totally played around with what might happen if foreign DNAs were introduced into a human body.
Which I guess makes me think about what traits people might want to get by receiving foreign DNA. Would they want to be able to change their skin colors in order to hide? Or have extra-sensory vision to help them see through walls?

If I could have a special power, I would probably choose to have super strength. I’m protective by nature and would like to be able to take care of other people with my super strength. Kind of like Wonder Woman.

How about you? If it was possible to combine foreign DNA into your body, what traits do you think you would like to have?

Answer one of these questions or leave one for myself or Caridad and you'll be entered in the drawing to win one of five copies of Sins of The Flesh!

Bonus: +1 Entry for being a Follower, +1 for Tweeting this contest (leave your twitter name or the link in your comment).

Only comments that answer one of the questions or ask additional questions will be entered to win. Sorry, contest open only to US and Canada per the publisher.

Book Review: Hex in High Heels by: Linda Wisdom

Book Review: Hex in High Heels
By: Linda Wisdom
4 Heart Review
Disclosure: Book Provided by Publisher

Feisty witch Blair Fitzpatrick has had a crush on hunky carpenter Jake Harrison forever - he's one hot shape-shifter. Just when Blair thinks the relationship is really starting to sizzle, Jake pulls back - the last thing he wants to do is involve Blair in his dysfunctional family dynamics.

Jake's nasty mother and brother are after him to return to his pack, and a bunch of unruly elves start causing all kinds of chaos. Blair is trying hard not to unleash the ultimate revenge spell, but when Jake's enemies try to force him away from her, Blair is pushed over the edge. No one messes with her boyfriend-to-be, even if he does shed on the furniture!

I had a fantastic time reading Hex in High Heels! Although this was not the first book in Linda Wisdom's Hex series, it was super easy to fall right into the story of "feisty witch" Blair and Shapeshifter Jake's story. Linda weaves a wonderful world were magical creatures exist within our midst and she shows both the light and dark side within that world - all while keeping it hexy and sexy! I now have a new series to go back and enjoy from the beginning!

My love of a good witchy paranormal has been mentioned before, but I can never say it often enough - there is something be-spelling about them for me! I enjoy both light and dark witch stories, jut will say my favs are always those with humor and sass. Hex in High Heels has humor and sass to spare...along with some great sex appeal and fantastic pacing.

This book is a perfect example of how secondary characters can add to a story, without taking away from the hero and heroine. From the other witches that pop in and out, to the Elves, ghosts and gargoyle, Linda's secondary characters are hysterical fun and I hope we see them in other books. I wasn't particularly drawn to the fuzzy bunny slippers, but maybe I'm missing something from the earlier books?

The storyline about how there are thirteen witches banished from the witches academy in 1313 is very creative and I can't wait to see what clues or tidbits about that we'll get in the other books. It definitely has my interest piqued to find out more of the story and how powerful these thirteen witches really are.

My one wish for the story was to see Blair use her magic a little more and to see a better glimpse at how powerful she supposedly is. I did feel that she was saved a little too much by other powerful beings instead of using her own powers.

If you're a fan of crazy, funny witch heroines who are sassy and...dare I say it...CHEEKY, then I think you'll really love Hex in High Heels and the Hex series from Linda Wisdom. It's a perfect Halloween treat!

Friday Halloween Party Sneak Peek!

1105980_78689099 Fall is my favorite time of year as it welcomes in all of my favorite festive holidays including Halloween! I’m not a scary-slasher kind of Halloween girl, I’m more the spooky, witchy, fun kind! So, I thought it would be fun to celebrate Halloween with a day full of fun surprises this Friday.

So what’s in store?

I’ll be featuring special guest author Lyn Armstrong, who write erotic historical romances about Celtic witches. Lyn is a blast and I know we’ll be giving away an autographed copy of the first book in her Celtic Witch Series and she’ll be giving details on how to enter her super-fun and witchy Halloween contest.


On top of that, I’ll have some surprise fun giveaways throughout the day to random comments just for hanging out with me and Lyn and getting revved up for a fun weekend!

I’ll also be doing some special giveaways on twitter all day Friday. So, if you don’t follow me there you should be sure to follow me before Friday! It’s


It's witches, warlords, shifters, vampires and lots of treats this Friday at Cheeky Reads – be sure to stop by!

Book Review: Dark Legacy By Anna DeStefano

Book Review: Dark Legacy
By: Anna DeStefano
Dorchester Publishing
2 Heart Review as Romance
Disclosure: Book Provided by Dorchester Publishing

“Die!”scream her nightmares. The voice is her sister's, the compulsion stronger than any ordinary dream.

Maddie Temple can't go through this again. Her twin has been in a coma for the last ten years. Their psychic link was severed. At least, that's what she thought.

But there's a lot Maddie doesn't know – about the 200-year-old curse on her family, about the shadowy group that wants to exploit the Temple twins' powers for themselves, about the sexy psychiatrist offering to help her. The only way to find the answers and avoid being pulled into the abyss of madness is to trust her heart and confront her dark legacy.

As many who've read this book have mentioned, this book defies being placed into one genre or another. There is suspense, romance, sci-fi and paranormal elements to this complex story. It's not a traditional romance. If you are looking for something different that is very light on the romance then you might want to check this out.

Although the story takes off right from the start, it was hard for me to get pulled into this book because I just couldn't buy that there was ever anything between Maddie and Jarred before Sarah started influencing Maddie. This makes the risks that Jarred takes throughout the book to be very hard to believe. In my opinion, if you can't see the relationship between Maddie and Jarred, then the rest of the book falls flat.

In fact, I never came to feel deeply for any of the characters and I thought the slight love story that was included didn't have any sparks. Again, I question whether Maddie and Jarred had any real feelings for each other. The relationship seems too forced, probably because of the intensely fast pacing of the story, but it still needed something more for me to buy into the story.

Dark Legacy works much better as a suspense story and I would have enjoyed it more if it had left out the slight try for romance. I really felt the forced romantic elements took away from what was a very well written paranormal suspense. As I mentioned, the pacing is furious as the story unfolds and Anna fills every second with intense scenes and emotions. She keeps the suspense at the highest level throughout the entire book and you race through the story.

But, it left me wanting more. I wanted a more believable romance tied into the story and I hope that the next book provides that. I was also left feeling like I didn't really like any of the characters except Jarred – and even he got on my nerves because I couldn't figure out why he would risk his life for Maddie. The rest of the characters all leave you wondering if they are pure evil, or what they are looking to get out of each other.

This book got a huge amount of hype online and I was so looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately, because the romance didn't work for me at all, it clouded how I felt about the book as a whole. Add to that not having any likable characters and this just wasn't a book for me.

If you go into it just for the paranormal suspense and don't always need to relate/connect with characters, then you might be able to enjoy it since the language and pacing are very good.

Welcome Guest author Jamie Rush & Enter To Win!

Welcome Guest Author Jaime Rush!

What, are you psychic or something?

I grew up on stories about ghosts and my mom's psychic experiences, so I never questioned that psychic stuff was real. Yeah, there are a lot of people who fake their abilities for money, but I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about people who truly have a gift…or a curse, depending on how they see it.

My earlier books (written as Tina Wainscott) played with themes such as body switching, near death experiences, twin connections, cellular memory, and psychic connections. I love that it could be real. It's on the edge, accessible to all of us. Who hasn't had a whoo-whoo experience? A knowing? If you haven't, someone you know has, I'll bet. Just recently a man I met, upon hearing what I write about, recounted an out of body experience he'd had. People who see a relative's spirit in the night and discover they passed over. I have had knowings.

When I was 19 and doing temp work, every time I saw a Toyota Supra, a sports car way out of my current financial picture, I knew I would have one. It baffled me, frankly. (Hello, between jobs, 19 years old) When I heard on the local rock station that they were hosting a hand-a-thon and the winner would get a brand new Toyota Supra, I didn't hesitate to enter. Without that knowing, I probably would have, considering it was a competition where twenty-eight people put their hand on the car and whoever was the last person standing won it. I had to enter, and I kept that knowing with me hour after hour, hallucinating, people dropping off in fugue states and sleeping right there, even when it came down to me and one other guy, and he tried giving me the evil eye. Seventy-four hours later, I won that car. It was the same with getting published, knowing I would meet a great guy, and recently, lingering when the light turned green instead of gunning it (I still have a Supra). The car in the right turn lane came into my lane and would have hit me if I'd been in my usual spot.

I believe we all have the ability to expand past our five senses. What could be more fascinating, more mysterious, than the human brain? Our soul? We are amazing creatures. If we don't get in our own way, think of the things we can accomplish.

It was interesting to find how tested psychic abilities are. There have been some interesting and compelling data, though you can't just produce results on command. Our own government even created a program that used gifted people to remote-view (psychically spy) on our enemy, which was primarily the USSR at that time. Several agencies had custody of this program, best known as Stargate, over twenty-four years starting in 1971. The Soviets were also pursuing paranormal means for spying and warfare.

It was this program, in fact, that inspired my Offspring series. The government had also given one of their own people LSD without his knowledge to see if it would make him more susceptible to interrogation. It only made him hurl himself out a hotel window to his death. My mind started playing the writer's What If? Game. What if the government created a program that employed people with different, and potentially dangerous, psychic abilities? What if these people were given a substance that enhanced those abilities, but ultimately made them crazy and so they had to be terminated to protect the program? What would happen to their Offspring, who might have inherited both the ability and possibly the insanity as well? What if the man behind the original program began searching for the Offspring, to either use them for a new program or terminate them? And thus, my group of Offspring began forming, joining together to find the truth about who they are and who killed their parents. Different people, outcasts, fierce, loyal, banding together to survive.

OUT OF THE DARKNESS is book two of the series, and I've tried hard to make sure new readers are caught right up to the action without an information overload. In a flash, Zoe Stoker goes from tattoo artist to target of an assassin. All her life she's felt like a freak, and now the Offspring, people who also have remarkable psychic abilities, are her only hope. The enemy grows more dangerous…and so do her feelings for one sexy loner as she gains command of her powers and loses control of her heart.

I have another way to honor you, reader, writer, bookseller…everyone. I'm giving you the opportunity to be in a book. Yes, you can have your name in a nationally-published book! All you have to do is fill in your name and email address in the form at my site. There is no contest, no "lucky" winner. You're all winners to me. Tell your friends! Post it on your blog! Names will be included in my third book of my Offspring series, TOUCHING DARKNESS, scheduled for summer 2010. See for details.

I also host my Kick Butt First Line contest for readers and writers. Shocking, suspenseful…make us want more! Cash prizes! Contest runs from September 15 through November 1, 2009.

Thanks Jaime! She's been nice enough to offer a copy of Out of the Darkness to one lucky reader! So tell us, have you or has anyone you know, had a whoo-whoo or psychic moment? Leave your comment below and I'll choose a random winner on Friday Oct. 9th. Good luck and Happy Reading!

You Put a Spell on Me - I'm Guest Blogging Today @ The Daily Dose

Come on over to The Daily Dose today for my guest post on why I love the modern witch story in Film, TV and in books. I'd love for you to visit me there and chat about your favorite witch stories and what you love about them!

Hop to see you there!

Welcome Special Guest Toni Andrews - Win a Copy of Cry Mercy!

UPDATE: The Winner of a Copy of Cry Mercy!! Send an email to cheekyreads @ (without the spaces) with your mailing address and I'll get it to Toni!!

Today I'm pleased to welcome author Toni Andrews on the blog! Toni writes a wonderful first-person paranormal series and I'm delighted she is stopping by Cheeky Reads on her book tour and she's been nice enough to offer a copy of Cry Mercy to one lucky reader! Just make sure to leave a comment and you're entered to win!

Toni was nice enough to sit down and answer some questions for us, but first I thought you might want to check out this book trailer for Cry Mercy, Book Three in the Mercy Hollings series from Toni Andrews:

Welcome Toni and congrats on your new release Cry Mercy!

Since it’s the third book in your Mercy Hollings Series would you tell us a little bit about the series and your heroine Mercy?
The Mercy Hollings series is Urban Fantasy without “creatures;” no vampires or demons or werewolves—just people, but with a twist. Mercy has some special talents, including the ability to compel people to obey her. That sounds pretty cool, until you think about it for five minutes. Sometimes it gets away from her, especially when she loses her temper. Which she frequently does.

The first line of the first book is “I’ve never been certain I’m human.” Mercy was abandoned at birth and then given up by her adoptive parents when, as an adolescent, she began displaying some unusual abilities. She’s spent her life keeping people at a distance.

Now she has the closest thing she’s ever had to a normal life. But, all too often, it feels like her new world is just a carefully constructed house of cards. Some big wind is always coming along to blow it down.

If you were to describe Mercy in three words, what would they be?
Guarded. Loyal. Flawed.

You write in first person, which is hard for many writers but you do it so well! What drew you to first person and how do you think it helps your story resonate with readers?
I like to say that, as a writer, it’s never my goal to have you notice my words. I want you to NOT notice when the phone rings.
To really draw a reader into a story, you have to create a connection between the reader and the point of view character or characters. To do that effectively, you get the reader into the character’s heads, so that they experience the story along with them.
In my workshops, I teach point of view and character voice using a method I call “Walk Like John Wayne,” which is a line I stole from La Cage Aux Folles. It means to get into character the same way an actor would, who was playing the part on stage—to BE your point of view character. Then, write the story in first person, even if you’re going to change it later.
I write all first drafts in first person, even those that have multiple point of view characters and are eventually going to end up in third.

The Mercy series has quite the cast of eclectic characters - are any of them based on people from your life?
Some of them have characteristics of people I know, but my core characters are works of fiction. The more minor the character, the more likely he or she is based on someone I’ve met. Rocko from Beg for Mercy is absolutely based on an obnoxious man who used to hang around the area where I worked in South Miami. Mitzi, the diner owner from Cry Mercy, will be familiar to people who have lived in Balboa for long enough to remember the woman on whom she is based, although her name as been changed.

You books have received some great reviews. What’s one of your favorite comments or quotes from a fan or review?
I can’t recall a specific line, but I always like to hear that I’ve done an effective job of using the setting as an element in the story. This is something my favorite authors do, and it pleases me to know I’m getting the hang of it.
Also, I’m happy that people seem to relate to Mercy, even while recognizing her flaws, and that they appreciate the ethical struggles that come from having her special abilities.

What books are you currently reading or are in your TBR pile?
I’m reading Serpent in the Crown by Elizabeth Peters. I need to get caught up with Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. Jodi Picoult’s newest book is on my shelf. Also, Rachel Vincent’s Prey and Black and White by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge. James Lee Burke has a new book out in August, too, with a new character—I’m always impatiently waiting for his next release.

You also produce a television show titled “So Many Books.” Can you tell us a little more about that?
Like most writers of popular fiction, I’ve been frustrated by the difficulties of getting publicity. So I started my own show. I interview one author or writing group each episode, and they get to really talk about their book and their process. It’s a lot of work, but fun, too.

What should readers look for next from you?
More Mercy Hollings books, of course. I’m working on a women’s fiction novel that my agent calls Sex in the City meets The First Wives Club, and I’ve got a contemporary romance circulating as well.

Thanks Toni! Don't forget to leave a comment below and you'll be entered to win a copy of Cry Mercy!

Toni's web site:
Where to send your Self Addressed Stamped Envelope to get a signed book plate for your copy:
Toni's Blog:
Toni's TV show:
Cry Mercy Trailer:
Book Rx, Toni's "Book Doctor" service:

Links to purchase the book:
Mira Books (discounted while they last!) Link: UK Link: and Noble: Books (Canada): Romance (Australia)

Book Review: Desire Untamed by Pamela Palmer

Book Review: Desire Untamed
By Pamela Palmer
Avon Books
Releases: June 30, 2009
4 Heart Review
Read an excerpt!

They are called Feral Warriors – an elite band of immortals who can change shape at will. Sworn to rid the world of evil, consumed by sorcery and seduction, their wild natures are primed for release...

Kara MacAllister's quiet small-town life is transformed forever the night a powerful stranger rips her from her home, claiming she is the chosen one – the key to his survival. Spiriting her away into the rain-soaked night, Lyon reveals a truth Kara can barely credit. She's immortal, and the only one who can save his race.

But only when their lives are threatened by an ancient evil will Kara and Lyon realize they have found a love they would risk their immortal souls to claim...and a fierce primal desire that could never, ever be tamed.

The first of a new series called the Feral Warriors, this SMOKIN' HOT book does a fantastic job of setting up Pamela's new paranormal world. She didn't bog the story down in setting up the details, instead she let them unfold as the story progresses. You learn new insight alongside the heroine Kara as she discovers her destiny.

I'm very happy to say this book includes many types of shape-shifters. Normally, one particular breed is the main type of shape-shifter in a series, but the Feral Warriors series features characters of all sorts and that makes it much more interesting.

Also impressive was how Pamela made her sex scenes work as central plot points throughout the book. Many great romance writers have said that the sex in their books should move the story forward and have a purpose (well, a purpose beyond just getting it on – lol), and Pamela understands this well. That's not to say her scenes aren't hot – they most definitely are!

I understand that the names of the feral warriors being variations on the name of their animal forms does make it easy to identify them, but this was the one thing with the series that bothered me. Pamela does offer insight that the men take on these names after they discover they are Feral Warriors, but it still seems hokey to me. I felt a little like it was a cheat sheet to the characters instead of having to flesh out all the personalities (which there would not have been room in this book to cover them all, so this does actually work well with the story). But, I should stress that's just the feeling I had reading the book and I could see others not having an issue with this at all.

I'm really excited about this series and can't wait to get my hands on the next Warrior - uhm, I mean the next Feral Warrior book :) - Obsession Untamed releases in August and Passion Untamed comes out in September.

REVIEW: In Over Her Head by Judi Fennell

In Over Her Head
by Judi Fennell
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Available in June
3 Heart Review

He lives under the sea

Reel Tritone is the rebellious royal second son of the ruler of a vast undersea kingdom. A Merman born with legs instead of a tail, he's always been fascinated by humans, especially one young woman he once saw swimming near his family's reef...

She's terrified of the Ocean

Ever since the day she swam out too far and heard voices in the water, marina owner Erika Peek won't go swimming for anything – until she's forced into the water by a shady ex-boyfriend searching for stolen diamonds and is nearly eaten by a shark. Luckily Reel is nearby to save her, and he discovers she's the woman he's been searching for...

Before she knows it, Erica is off with Reel on a series of wild underwater adventures to retrieve stolen treasure, battle the mother of all sea monsters, and defy a death edit from the kingdom's high council. But even if they get out of their madcap mission alive, how will they find a way to stay together when she hates the water and he can't survive on land?
As a debut novel, Judi Fennell's In Over Her Head was a refreshing read with great dialogue and a hero I would consider worth losing your legs for. It's fun and imaginative with plenty of sexual sparks igniting even under the sea. If you're looking for a fun summer read, take In Over Her Head with you to the beach and see if you aren't tempted to wade a little further out to search for your very own merman!

Did you love the story of The Little Mermaid? If so, this is the perfect grown-up romance for you! Judi's undersea world is a delight, and her sidekick characters add the perfect touch of comic relief. I especially enjoyed sidekicks Chum and Ernie the pelican and their suggestive one-liners. The mythology is highly creative, and you'll find the bit about dolphins to be particularly inventive.

My one issue with this book would have been for “The Incident” to have had more substance. Judi plays up this event as being such a huge hindrance to Ericka and a major hurtle to her loving Reel, but when the full details are revealed later in the book I honestly felt a little let down. It's a testament to the outstanding dialogue and engaging characters Judi created that this didn't ruin the story for me. In fact, would easily have been a 4 Heart Review! I can't wait to read the rest of Judi's series since I expect she'll just get better and better! Check out her upcoming books here.

If you are looking for a fun, quirky paranormal with steamy love scenes and wise cracking sidekicks then this is a good bet for you. See you at the beach!

CHEEKY REVIEW:The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers

Dangerously Demonish...Magically Sexy...Fantastic Fun!

The Dangerous Book For Demon Slayers
By Angie Fox
Love Spell Paranormal Romance
4 Heart Review

Confession: I love paranormal romance – the kick ass heroine who saves the day while being smart and sassy is totally part of why I started Cheeky Reads. In my mind's eye, I picture myself as the girl who can always give the sassy comeback to any quip. In real life? Well, let's just say I try really hard, but my sassy girl tendencies run more to the quirky and comedic.

Which might be why I can't resist paranormal romances that make me laugh out loud. Give me MaryJanice Davidson, Kim Harrison, Judi McCoy, Katie MacAlister and a whole slew of others to read and I'll disappear for days. Not to say I don't crave the darker side of paranormals – I have my own love fest with those as well, but that's for another post.

Angie Fox's newest, The Dangerous Book For Demon Slayers sounded like perfection. Reluctant but spunky heroine just learning her powers? Check. Awesome talking animal sidekick? Check. A supporting cast of characters that provide laughs at all the right places? Check. A brooding paranormal love interest that lets the heroine fulfill her ass-kicking destiny? Triple Check.

Angie Fox brews the prefect spell of a wickedly sexy romance, hilarious high jinks, and the sense of mystery and danger that comes from protecting a paranormal world. So good I read it in one sitting, Angie Fox's Demon Slayer Series is now on my permanent gotta have it list!

Even if you've never tried a paranormal before, don’t miss The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers!

Check out Angie's website where you can learn your Biker Witch name and find out if you're part Demon Slayer. Check mine out in the top left corner - I'm 65% Demon Slayer!

REVIEW: The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers By Angie Fox

Dangerously Demonish...Magically Sexy...Fantastic Fun!

The Dangerous Book For Demon Slayers
By Angie Fox
Love Spell Paranormal Romance
4 Heart Review

Confession: I love paranormal romance – the kick ass heroine who saves the day while being smart and sassy is totally part of why I started Cheeky Reads. In my mind's eye, I picture myself as the girl who can always give the sassy comeback to any quip. In real life? Well, let's just say I try really hard, but my sassy girl tendencies run more to the quirky and comedic.

Which might be why I can't resist paranormal romances that make me laugh out loud. Give me MaryJanice Davidson, Kim Harrison, Judi McCoy, Katie MacAlister and a whole slew of others to read and I'll disappear for days. Not to say I don't crave the darker side of paranormals – I have my own love fest with those as well, but that's for another post.

Angie Fox's newest, The Dangerous Book For Demon Slayers sounded like perfection. Reluctant but spunky heroine just learning her powers? Check. Awesome talking animal sidekick? Check. A supporting cast of characters that provide laughs at all the right places? Check. A brooding paranormal love interest that lets the heroine fulfill her ass-kicking destiny? Triple Check.

Angie Fox brews the prefect spell of a wickedly sexy romance, hilarious high jinks, and the sense of mystery and danger that comes from protecting a paranormal world. So good I read it in one sitting, Angie Fox's Demon Slayer Series is now on my permanent gotta have it list!

Even if you've never tried a paranormal before, don’t miss The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers!

Check out Angie's website where you can learn your Biker Witch name and find out if you're part Demon Slayer. Check it out in the top left corner - I'm 65% Demon Slayer!

Review: Kiss of a Demon King

Kiss of a Demon King

By Kresley Cole

Pocket Romance Books
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-8094-2

ISBN-10: 1-4165-8094-8

This is the first of the Immortals After Dark series that this CheekyGirl has read, and I'll definitely be catching up with the whole series after reading Kiss of a Demon King! Since Cole does a masterful job of making her world easily accessible, new readers should feel free to jump right into this series. Look for a future review of the previous Immortals After Dark books coming soon!

From New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole comes this spellbinding story of a demon king trapped by an enchantress for her wanton purposes – and the scorching aftermath that follows when he turns the tables and claims her as his captive.

His Obsession...Sabine, Sorceress of Illusions: the evil beauty who surrenders her body, but not her heart.

Her Downfall...Rydstrom Woede: the ruthless warrior who vows to keep her at all costs.

They were never supposed to want each other this much...With each smoldering encounter, their shared hunger only increases. If they can defeat the sinister enemy that stands between them,
will Sabine make the ultimate sacrifice for her demon? Or will the proud king lay down his crown and arms to save his sorceress?

From the opening chapter that weaves the tale of Sabine and her sister Lanthe's back story, to the introduction of our hero Rydstrom, Cole sets up a finely crafted tale that delivers some very erotic scenes and a story that will leave you highly satisfied and eager to return to Cole's world!

Cole entertains with a fully fleshed out world presenting the reader with multiple layers and intriguing character facets at every turn. She does an excellent job of showcasing her secondary characters to fill you in on both previous stories and piquing your interest in future ones.

Sabine is a complex character that readers will either immediately fall for – as I did- or she will grow on you even those she contends she's pure evil! Her true character reveals itself as she faces new surroundings and tries to understand her feelings for Rydstrom. He also undergoes a transformation as we see him deal with unexpected desires that conflict with his notorious straight-laced persona.

I had only one small issue with Kiss of the Demon King. Cole does quite the build up to Sabine and Rydstrom having sex, including taunting us with long drawn-out and exquisitely written dialog, only to drop Rydstrom's fantasies and fetishes once the two start accepting their tied fate. Since much is made of his fantasies in the first half of the book, it seems out of place for Sabine not to fulfill those desires.

Even with the ease of erotic moments between the two main characters, this was a fabulous read and I highly recommend it to CheekyGirls looking for an awesome paranormal romance or a new world to discover!