Friday, 27 April 2012

BLOG TOUR!! Guardian by S.B. Rodgers

YAY!, another blog tour! I'm getting heaps of tour requests at the moment and my spots are booking up fast! Glad I had time for this one!


At the Other End

It’s been almost a year since Abby Shepard’s once-perfect life crumbled into little more than a nightmare. Dumped, bullied and abused, the seventeen-year-old has all but given up hope. Little does she know that her father died protecting a family secret; a secret that has the forces of good and evil battling to claim the power lurking just beneath her skin.

First Impressions Last

Intriguing blurb. Sounded like a good novel at the time I read the blurb and it was. We are interested and very curious at  what the family secret is. A great blurb actually, doesn't give too much of the book away without leaving us with the sense of curiosity.

Shhh....... Don't Tell:

Sample Chapter: 
Chapter 8

The sound of the hard soles of his tall leather boots striking the exquisite black marble floor reverberated through the hall. His steps were measured and confident, never faltering in their rhythm as he strode onto the raised platform, seven sets of eyes following his every movement. He turned, sinking gracefully onto his throne.
The moment his body made contact with the cold black and silver chair, the throne room came to life. The formerly dark, high-ceilinged hall was bathed in the warm glow of firelight from both the sconces on the wall and the marble oil wells that ran the length of the room. The flickering fire cast Lucifer’s face in a sinister light, alternately black shadow and red-orange glow.
He cast his eyes downwards on his council, his Seven Generals. “Well? Why was I summoned, Draven? I was in the midst of something” he smirked “let’s not keep her waiting, hmm?”
            Draven nodded, stepping forward. He bowed his head as he addressed his master. “My lord, if I may?” He stopped at the bottom step of the platform and swept himself into a deep, kneeling bow. His long, thick mane of black hair fell forward, revealing the angry diagonal scar that marred the length of his heavily muscled back. The scar was white and puckered in places, the lightness of it contrasting with his otherwise caramel coloured skin.
            Lucifer grimaced. He knew that scar, was there when the flaming sword had bitten deep into his second in command’s flesh and thrown him aside. The wars had not been easy on Draven; his skin, Lucifer knew, was crisscrossed with those white scars recording each of his wounds. The wounds from battles that had placed him higher and higher in his lord’s favour until he became Hell’s most decorated General, the Leader of the Seven, presiding over Hell’s armies; second only to Lucifer himself.
            “My lord, I apologize if I have overstepped my bounds by summoning you here. I have gathered the council before you because we feel that we have found a solution to our… most pressing dilemma.”
            Lucifer beckoned him forward wordlessly. Draven stood and moved up the steps to stand on Lucifer’s right side, towering over him. His height and muscular frame made him seem even more menacing than the King of Hell, but it was clear to all who the master was. “Our plan merely awaits your approval, my lord.” Draven said, staring straight ahead.
Lucifer leaned forward, a hint of a smile tugging at his lips. Trust Draven to come up with a plan, he thought satisfactorily. “Elaborate.”
            “We will find the girl and bring her to you.” A beautiful woman with curly blonde hair said excitedly.
“And exactly how do you intend to do this, General Astarte?” Lucifer drawled.
            Astarte squared her shoulders and spoke.  “We will send a small taskforce, one that will travel unnoticed and seek her out.”
 Lucifer considered this, turned his head to glance up at Draven. “And who do you have in mind, Head General?”
            Draven kept looking ahead stoically. “We have all agreed that Mammon would be best for the task.”
 Lucifer’s eyebrows rose involuntarily in surprise. “Your son?”
 “Yes, he’s very good at…harvesting the truth. And he holds substantial sway throughout the planet.”
            “Well, if you trust him, all of you, then I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to let him try.” Lucifer gestured offhandedly “Send him in.”
            The huge wooden double doors at the end of the hall swung open, pulled from the outside by unseen hands. A tall figure swathed in a flowing black cloak stepped forward, entering the chamber. A scuffling noise, out of sync with his movements came from somewhere behind him. The doors began to close behind him and he glanced between them and the throne. Draven addressed his unspoken question “Your dogs must stay outside.”
            Mammon dipped his head, turned and said a few quiet words, gestured with his hands a few times. The scuffling behind the doors ceased, with the exception of a few soft rustlings, and the doors were closed. He approached the throne, his face hidden by the deep hood of the cloak. Mammon bowed deeply, removing his hood when he straightened and stared expressionlessly into Lucifer’s eyes. Lucifer stared back, taking in the young man before him. He was the opposite of his father in almost every way, he thought with some amusement. Fair-haired, feminine featured and very, very pale; he certainly took after his mother, and though he had his father’s height he had a willowy, nearly delicate frame. Those eyes that bored into his so fearlessly were hardly coloured at all; they held the faintest trace of grey in the iris, adding to his ghostly appearance.
This could be interesting, Lucifer thought. “You feel that you are ready for this task?” He asked Mammon, who opened his mouth to reply. Lucifer held up a hand to stop him. “Before you answer, understand this: failure is not an option. The girl is a game changer, and she must not be harmed.” He hardened his gaze. “Neither mentally nor physically.”
Mammon nodded once “I understand, my lord.” He said, his voice smooth and emotionless. “I will complete this mission with the utmost delicacy.”
Lucifer dismissed him with a nod “You’d better. Now leave, Hunter. You may all leave.” Draven made to move forward, to leave with the rest of the council, but was halted by Lucifer’s hand on his forearm. “Stay for a moment.” He commanded in a low voice. He waited until the rest had departed and they were alone in the grand hall. “Are you sure he is ready?” Lucifer demanded, watching his subordinate’s square-jawed face for any sign of irresoluteness.
Draven’s mouth twisted slightly in discomfort as his eyes met Lucifer’s. “His methods may be brutal, even for a demon, but…his success rate is unparalleled. He will not fail.”
 “Very well. I trust you to brief him with all of the necessary details; I expect nothing less than complete success. I will not be pleased, should he fail.” Lucifer stood, turned and walked towards the hidden door in the wall behind the platform.
He had opened it when he stopped, looking over his shoulder at Draven. “Oh, and one more thing. He can kill the archangels themselves if he finds it necessary, I don’t care, but…If one hair on the head of that girl is harmed, when I’m through with him, your son will wish that he had never existed.”


Behind the 218 Pages:

A great novel by the sisters! Sometimes throughout the novel it felt like it didn't pull me in as much as it did some parts. The constant change in persona as well starts to get a bit too much, because as we start learning about one character, we instantly get changed to a whole new string of characters that are associated with one. So we start getting a little confused. It is still a great novel. The way that Abby's dilemmas are in fact, what we think should be like. Her life is terrible and we reach out to her, as well as try to find out why and exactly how she became like this. We get snippets throughout the novel as to her former relationship to Raf, as well as the Twins. We get very curious throughout the novel as to the secret that we hear about in the blurb as well as try figure out why Abby is so special.

We get so caught up in whether Heaven and Hell want her alive or dead. Half of Hell wants her dead, where the other half doesn't, and the same with Heaven as well. We get a new ring to Satan. We always think of Satan as a he. Yet in this novel Satan is a she, and she happens to be Lucifer's wife. In the very general male dominance of Heaven and Hell that we hear of constantly, this is a fresh breath as it's not just male dominated, we get a new spin on things where females are just as powerful and we actually hear about them in Heaven and Hell. We hear about some that are fearless and notorious warriros, as well as the likes of Satan (or Satinel).

There is a minor love triangle in this novel, between Abby with Raff and Gabe. But it is not THAT bad. It's bearable, for others like me that HATE LOVE TRIANGLES. So it does appeal to all audiences. If you love love-triangles, then you do get your dose. And if you hate love-triangles, then it is played out in a way that makes it a love-triangle, yet so much as it isn't infuriating.

Buy Me!

Amazon                               Barnes and Noble                        Smashwords


Author Bio:

Handy Hinty Links:

Blog                       Facebook                           Youtube                           Goodreads
Twitter: SBRodgers1

Take A Seat. Get Strapped In. Let's Go For A Ride:

1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
Nowhere! Guardian is our debut novel. However, Sara does host a popu-lish tumblr site which features her art; the Land of Fluff and Needles.

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?“Oh my God, we sold a book! Please, oh please don’t let them feel cheated out of their 2.99!” (Drops to knees and wails to the heavens…in unison…because there’s two of us!)

3. What inspired you to write this novel?Well one day at the cottage we were joking about dramatic young adult romance. We started pitching ideas back and forth about what kind of story we would write if we were authors and the idea just kind of snowballed from there. Characters just kind of walked up, introduced themselves and settled in for the long hall. Once we realised they weren’t going to go away anytime soon we decided that guardian was an audience-worthy story.

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?We haven’t really had anything like that happen yet. I hope we would be able to handle such a situation with grace. Constructive criticism is always welcome. Failing grace, there is always chocolate!

5. How long was the writing/planning process?We started writing Guardian before Sara went away to university. We thought we’d be able to keep working on it while she was also attending school but her schedule simply wouldn’t allow it. Three years later when she graduated we picked up where we left off and Guardian was completed after only four months of work. We then spent several month editing and collecting critiques from beta readers

6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?Sara created the Cover art for Guardian. But the first time I saw the Guardian cover is a moment I will never forget.

7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?Absolutely. Right now Sara is working on a YA superhero story entitled Legacy (cover art can be viewed on our blog and Becky is working on a YA Sci-Fi that will be finished by the end of April. We are also in the process of querying our young adult novel, The Adventures of Shiver-Me-Shingles and the Search for the Diamond Doubloon.

8. Top 5 books

    • Harry Potter everything! –J.K. Rowling
    • Neverwhere –Neil Gaiman
    • A Song of Ice and Fire –George R.R. Martin
    • The Fire Bringer & The Sight -David Clement-Davies
    • The Chronicles of Narnia –C.S. Lewis

9. Recommended booksThe Luxe series, Bone, Scott Pilgrim, The Hunger Games, Homestuck, American Vampire (for the more mature crowd), and anything by Sean Cullen, etc., etc., ETC.!!!

10. Why read your novel?If you like books were you will be laughing your head off on one page, cringing with anxiety on the next and swooning after a sexy supernatural man on the one after that, then Guardian is for you!

Want more of the tour? Check out these stops:

April 6 Guest blog
Mama Knows Books

April 8 Promo
Reader Girls

April 9 Interview and review
- Shera (Book Whispers)

April 12 Promo
the guardian of the crossroads

April 16 Promo Stop, review
The Readers Round Table Young and the Restless

April 20 Promo
Roxanne’s Realm

April 23 Guest blog
The Fairytale Nerd

April 23 Guest blog
This Author's Life

April 24 Guest blog

April 25 Promo
Chapter by Chapter

April 26 Guest Post
Ink Spots and Roses,

April 26 Promo and review

April 27 Review and Interview (<-- You Are Here)
Behind A Million and One Pages

April 28 Interview and review
Fictional Candy

April 29 Guest Blog
Fang-tastic Books

April 30 review and guest blog
Beverly @ The Wormhole

S.B. Rodgers is a pen name that stands for Sara & Becky Rodgers. Becky argued extensively that in the name of humour, the letters should be listed alphabetically, but lost out to her arch nemesis common sense. Sara and Becky met at the young ages of twenty-two months and zero days, thrust into each other’s lives by fate and situations beyond either of their control. They are sisters, frenemies and most importantly co-authors. It’s theorised that they were identical twin in a past life…not really but it’d be pretty cool. Their parents taught them that a person’s imagination is a precious gift and stories should be cherished. As a team the siblings bring very different skills to the table, each one’s strength perfectly complimenting the others weakness. They try not to take themselves very seriously and strive to look for the humour in life. Their partnership is one of extreme love and respect for each other, both as family and literary artists.
Sara is the younger of the two. She lives with one cat, five dolls and her potato head man collection in an orange room. Regrettably she is not Spiderman or Batman, but she is a card holding Pok√©mon master and that’s good enough for now. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She collects graphic novels and manga as well as all things written by the fantastic Neil Gaiman. When she is not reading or writing she is needle felting and posting her work on her popu-lish tumblr account: The Land of Fluff and Needles.
Becky is the classic girly-girl. Her blond hair and pink nails served as the perfect camouflage during school years were teachers undoubtedly took her day dreaming for air-headedness. To the contrary, she spent that time drifting in and out of imaginary worlds filled with fantastical creatures and memorable characters. Today she divides her time between working with animals as a certified pet stylist and typing away at new manuscripts. Among other things she describes herself as a Gleek, sci-fi nerd, smustle expert extraordinaire and above all she just “wants to believe.” She lives with her two German Shepherds-Abby and Odin-and is driven by delusions of grandeur.

Monday, 23 April 2012

BLOG TOUR!! Ruins of Noe by Danika Dinsmore

You're in for a treat today! Firstly, welcome to the Ruins of Noe blog tour!! YaY exciting. We have 2 reviews today, Brigitta of the White Forest (#1 Faerie Tales from the White Forest) as well as Ruins of Noe (#2 Faerie Tales from the White Forest)! Let's start, shall we?

Brigitta of the White Forest (#1 Faerie Tales from the White Forest)

Brigitta of the White ForestAt the Other End:

Brigitta is a young Water Faerie from the village-nest of Tiragarrow. She's confused, moody, and anxious about going through "The Change" as she doesn't see how destiny markings on her wings should determine her life's path.
A few days before the annual Festival of the Elements, Brigitta is flying an errand with Himalette, her tag-a-long sister, when a mysterious curse turns everyone in the White Forest to stone -- except for the two of them. The sisters have no idea why they were not cursed, but they do know if they don't turn everyone back in time for the festival rituals, the Hourglass of Protection will run out and so will its protective field around the forest.

First Impressions Last:

One of my first Middle Grade novels that I have reviewed. Ultimately, I was drawn to the cover most. Love the colours and the Silhouette of Brigitta and Himalette as well as the moon in the background. A very drawing cover that will pull many in (such as myself) to read the novel.

Behind the 220 Pages::

Scroll Rating


What an imagination. Dinsmore completely captivates us in the world of the White Forest. Leaving us with brilliant imagery of the surrounding land as well as a fresh intake on a new kind of faerietale. Even though it is a middle grade novel, we don't really find out about many of the small details that pop up in the novel that would help us understand more, as well as to bring us further into the world of the White Forest. We are told names yet not exactly what they, leaving us to guess what it is. In a way, this brings us further into the novel as we bring our own kind of thinking and our own kind of mind into the novel, so that it becomes special to us as the reader as it is to the main Realm.

Everything that happens in this book (adventures of Brigitta through out of the White Forest) brings the sisters together as well as brings out a kind of bravery in everyone. We find that we are either encouraging Brigitta and Himalette or telling them what to do in bad situations. Yet in the end it all works out some way and we are still propelled with the girls throughout all of the thicks and thins of their universe. Every strange character we meet along the way adds to the imagination of the world and everything that, not only is in the White Forest, but what is on the outside as well. This gives us a feel of their whole realm and not only of the Forest the Faeries are situated in. Although the names used in the novel are basically thrown at us from the very start, we get accustomed to them. However, some of the names I sometimes even had to stop for a second or two, just so I could get the correct pronunciation. Targeted as a middle-grade novel, this may be harder for younger readers to get a hold of, especially when they are so captivated by the world that they have to stop for a moment in order to be able to get a grasp of the name of either the food or the person etc. It takes them out of the rhythm they were in and the pace set to get the young readers really into the novel, to stop and think before they have to read on again.

Buy Me:

Amazon                                                      Barnes and Noble

Brigitta of the White Forest (Fishpond)


Ruins of Noe (#2 Faerie Tales from the White Forest)

The Ruins of NoeAt the Other End:

A child born with no destiny: one of many signs that the White Forest faeries have lost touch with the Ethereals, the Ancient Ones. High Priestess Ondelle is convinced by an old proverb that one faerie is fated to travel to the former home of the Ancients, the Ruins of Noe, to find the answer. That faerie, she believes, is Brigitta.

Ondelle and Brigitta set off to save their forest once again, but when they arrive in Noe they discover something they never learned from any faerie tale. Why had this dark secret been kept from them? Why in the name of Faweh had the Ancients left some faeries behind

First Impressions Last:

Originally I signed up for the blog tour for just this novel, when finding out it was the second in the series, I had to read the first as well. Once again, gorgeous cover that will appeal to middle-graders. However, this cover looked a little obviously photoshopped (Brigitta's silhouette on the Ruins of Noe background) whereas the first novel didn't. Excited about this novel and what it has in store after reading the first novel.

Behind the 252 Pages:

Scroll Rating

Such an adventurous little soul Brigitta has. Destined to be an Elder faerie, yet longing for adventure. In the first novel we see that Brigitta is jealous of her friends for having their destiny marking when she doesn't, as well as our spending time with her trying to figure out what she is good at that will spend the rest of her life doing. We hear remarks about her wings often in the first novel about how hers compare to those that are marked, as she longs for her wings to be marked. Yet now, that they are, she is still unsure about it all. It's quite annoying at times. Yes, it is something that you're going to be doing for the rest of your life, but don't complain about your own wings when you don't even know what your own destiny is that you want to fulfil! Ok enough ranting, next!!

We are broguht back from the first novel with the background knowledge of the Great World Cry (in which we hear about the city of Noe and a little on it's background. Brigitta, once again, is the heroine of the novel, in which she personally needs to deal with many challenges as well as adventures in order to save the White Forest once again. And, also again, she get a companion that makes her journey worse and more chaotic then if she would have traveled alone. In the first novel, she had to save Himalette numerous times. Now, in this novel, it is Ondelle that Brigitta needs to save. As a typical heroine, Brigitta saves the day! Although this novel is based for Middle-Graders, the second in the series seems to be matured more than in the first novel, in regards to the meaning behind the story as well as the lessons learnt. We start to move to the YA genre, which can lead to both Brigitta and the reader to a more mature level, like a transitioning novel.

Buy Me:

Amazon                                            Barnes and Noble

Want MORE of the Tour? Check out these stops:  

April 23rd Gina @ Behind a Million and one Pages (<-- You Are Here)
       24th Jade @ Ink Scratchers
       25th Phaedra @ Identity Discovery
       26th Nikki McCarver @ Close encounters of the Night Kind
       27th Elemillia @ Personal Literary Book Frenzy
       28th Vidya @ Books Are Magic
       29th Nikki @ Pretty Opinionated
       30th Anya @ House Millar
May  1st C. Lee McKenzie @ The Write Game (interview only)
        2nd Paula @ Book Stop Lover
        3rd Crystal @ Inspire
        4th Sheila @ Sheila Deeth
        5th Ana @ Book Spark

Saturday, 21 April 2012

BLOG TOUR!! Embrace by Cherie Colyer

Embrace (Embrace #1)
Behind 190 Pages
Released: 20 December 2011
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Buy Me: Amazon  |  Book Depository  |  Fishpond
At the Other End:
How far would you go to save the people you love?

Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve.

Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him.

Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own.

Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.

A little about myself: I write young adult grade novels. I love finding new stories that keep me up late reading. While my favorite genre is fantasy, if the book is beautifully written with characters that come alive I’m all over it.

My young adult paranormal romance EMBRACE (bk1) now available. 

Find Cherie:
Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

Brilliant. It sums up this book perfectly. It was short yet sweet and to the point.

Although we move fast through the book, we fell pulled to the end and through the pages. We also don't expect what happens in the novel. Mainly on how it becomes paranormal from what we start to think is a general YA novel. I love the way that was done! It suits both audiences, either YA readers or Paranormal readers. The one part of this that makes itpossible is through the blurb! Not many novels do this, and leave you in the dark AS WELL as making you intrigued in the novel itself, without giving away too much information. We get caught up in the story, as well as how fast Maddison and Issac's relationship is moving. At the start it bothers us, how they can move that quickly (especially Maddison), but as we continue, we realise where her feelings come from as well as why they developed so quickly. We don't understand it as much when we find out, but we are still captivated by it all.

We get propelled into the story so much that we don't stop to think and predict what is going to happen, and we start to go with Maddison. We feel like Kaylee at times, because we feel like Maddison's best friend. We understand her pain and we get to know about everything that she is going through on a different perspective as to what others would. We start to go along with Maddison's judgement and don't stop to think if it could be anyone else causing it all and just go with what she thinks. That is how much we get pulled into the story. That is how much we develop a relationship with the main character. That is it's own kind of Witchcraft.

We don't understand the title as much as we do when we finish the novel (or when we get around 3/4 of the way through). We can't help but smile at the realisation of the title and how much it suits the book's hidden tale. There's not much that I think the book missed, it included everything that it needed as well as leaving the novel on a good stone. I love at the end how, Cherie uses the memoir kind of tone in the last chapter. But the way that she uses that first and then after that it gets into the last bit of the novel doesn't really seem to suit in my eyes. I think the memoir bit at the start of the chapter should have gone last, as well as have a little tie in with the last of the chapter (that should have been first in my eyes). This in my opinion would have made the ending a bit more memorable as well as make it have that little extra edge as we find out about everyone and how it all turned out so that this is elft on our minds as well as Maddison and Issac's forever developing relationship.

We get shocked when we find out the truth about everything and everyone. We don't expect it, as well as the others behind the situation. In this moment, the underlying questions are answered and everything all comes together. The only thing in this chapter was that it only took a chapter. It was very dramatic and it could have extended longer, and still hold our interest and continue to pull us through as the rest of the novel had. This would have brought the book up a little further, but that factor doesn't bring the book down or anything, it just gives us the feeling that we want a little more. Other than that there's not that much else about the novel that isn't already said. Like the book, this review is short and sweet!
 ________________________________________________________________________ : April 9 – Review* : April 9 – Review : April 10 – Quote Battle* : April 10– Review* : April 11 – Review : April 11 – Review : April 11 – Review * : April 12– Review : April 12 –Writing Cave : April 12 – Review : April 12 – Review : April 12 – Character Tweets* : April 13 – Review* : April 13 – Review* : April 13 – Review* : April 14 – Review : April 15 – Dream Cast : April 15 – Review : April 16 – Review* : April 18– Review : April 18 – Review : April 19 – Playlist : April 19 – Review* : April 20– Review : April 20 – Review : April 20 – Review : April 21 – Review : April 21 –  Excerpt 1* : April 21 – Review (<-- You Are Here)

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Friday, 20 April 2012

BLOG TOUR!! Shafted by Kymber Morgan

It's time for another Blog Tour! Today there's also something special included, so kick back, relax and enjoy.

At the Other End:

Shafted (Bandit Creek Books)Is her love real or just a myth?

Returning to her summertime home of Bandit Creek, Callie Jamison discovers there’s a lot more involved to her grandmother’s legacy than a few cabins and some land, including a curse. The last thing she needs now is to fall in love.

Anteros, dark twin of Eros, is responsible for avenging unrequited love, a job that’s been a lot harder since his brother succumbed to ambro-fever and has been running amok shooting all the wrong people – including Anteros.

The clock is ticking, not only on his immortality and Callie’s free will, but their hearts as well. Soon they’ll each have to decide if the overwhelming attraction they feel is the real deal or if they’ve simply been ‘Shafted’ and it’s all a cruel illusion


Buy Me!

 Amazon                      Barnes and Noble                         

 Author Bio:
Living in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains and having grown up with her own link to mythology through a family legend, Kymber loves nothing better than taking her imagination out for a spin often asking, among other things, what if the myths and legends we grew up on were real.

Handy Hinty Links:

Website                           Facebook
Twitter: @kymbermorgan

Shhh....... Don't Tell:

An obnoxious sound polluted the air, loud enough to make Anteros wince. It took to the count of three to realize the annoyingly repetitive groan was coming from him.
That couldn’t be good.
Had he gotten drunk with Charon again? His brain cells were sluggish coming back online, but didn’t miss the cold cramp of muscles and aching bones currently housing him. Shit, he was probably on the crap end of another of his friend’s oh-so-hilarious practical jokes.
The last one entailed a term of servitude to the Furies before he was able to buy his way out of their lair. Given the nature of his indenture, time with them wasn’t all bad, but that wasn’t the point. No one wanted to piss off a woman created to rip a man’s soul from his still breathing body, let alone three of them, so wiggling his way out of that one had been tricky.
Was he on the banks of the Styxx this time? Why else would he be so cold? It wasn’t like the Underworld had an air conditioning problem or anything. Or worse, had the bastard dumped him on the shores of Acheron, the River of Woe?
A shard of dread lodged in his heart. In either case being a god himself didn’t mean there wouldn’t be Hades to pay – literally – and Anteros already owed his uncle too much after that last ill fated poker game. Contemplating the consequences made his head spin even worse.
A nudge in his ribs interrupted his conjecture, shooting a spike of warning up his spine. It really didn’t matter which of the Underworld Rivers he was languishing beside, anything corporeal enough to touch him was bad news. Here, only the damned, stuck without coin for the Ferryman, had substance. To them anything that might pay their way to the other side, especially some other poor sap’s soul, was fair game.
“Hey? Are you…”
Knowing surprise was his best shot, Anteros snaked his arm out and grabbed the prodding limb before it could drag him into the river. Charon had been his friend longer than either could remember, but there was no way he’d give a soul back, even Anteros’s, if he ever got hold of it.
With a hard yank and a yelp from the thing, he pulled his assailant down and flipped his body. Scissoring his long legs he trapped the other and pinned it beneath his superior mass. A wave of corresponding vertigo hit before his besotted brain caught up to the lighting fast movement.
Keeping his stomach in check wasn’t easy, but he’d be damned if some soul-sucking vagrant was going to drag his ass into in that disgusting water, especially hung over.
It took as much determination to open his eyes as it did to beat back the lingering nausea, but he clenched his teeth tighter and forced himself to blink away the blurriness. He needed to see what he was up against before the thing regained its equilibrium.
As his vision cleared, shock drove the remaining miasma away. The thing was hideous! Its upper body was bloated and lumpy, and there were stiff mangled strands where its face should be. Though much smaller than him and vaguely human in shape, it had enormous rubbery feet and red blobs instead of hands. Had they been cut off before the thing died?
Worse yet, it was making a pitiful noise, as though screaming with its mouth sewn shut. It was actually kind of pathetic. Deciding the thing wasn’t such a huge threat after all, Anteros began to lift his weight, planning to simply roll it back into the river where it belonged and be done with it.
Before he could get a good hold, the thing jerked violently under him and suddenly every molecule of air in his body evacuated in response to the worst explosion of pain he’d ever experienced in his life. Fireworks shot off, blinding him beneath his puckered eyelids and his breath burst painfully from his insta-paralyzed lungs. His beleaguered stomach filled with acid and his limbs gave out all at once, dropping him to the ground like a stone. Not in all his eons had he felt pain like this. Apparently he wasn’t the only one who could use the element of surprise.
The bastard had canned him!
“What the hell do you think you’re doing? Are you crazy? God I thought you were hurt. I just wanted make sure you were okay and you freaking attack me!”
With the bells of Hades ringing in his ears, it took a minute for Anteros to realize it wasn’t ‘Dead Soul Speak’ wailing at him, but what sounded suspiciously like the annoying screech of a mortal female.
What was a mortal doing here? He must still be drunk. That was it. He’d heard enough Ambrosia could make you think things were real, which must be true because he could swear the apparition fidgeting a few feet away was really there.
“I’m so sorry. Are you going to be okay? I didn’t mean to hurt you, but you caught me off guard when you grabbed me. Scared me, you know?”
Anteros braved another glimpse, cracking one eye open; yup, an ugly one to be sure, but a mortal female nonetheless. She hadn’t come any closer probably to stay out of range should he retaliate. Smart girl, but he could hear the genuine regret and concern in her voice.
“Mister? Hey really, are you going to be okay? Should I call for help? A doctor or something?”
His tongue might as well have been coated in cement for all the good it did him. “In fin, unky dorky. Kint you till? Jus gim me a sick to gatch my bret.”
“Excuse me I didn’t quite get that.”
He flopped over onto his back, hoping his lungs would remember what to do with the first full breath of air they’d gotten in what seemed like an eternity, and cleared his throat to try again. “I’m fine, hunky dory. Can’t you tell? Just give me a second to catch my….”
The last word formed on his lips, but as his eyes focused, he lost track of what he was saying. He was snared by a pair of green eyes fringed in enough frost to stick their edges together, giving them a disturbing mismatched shape. They were peering at him out of a blotchy pink face, complete with a hint of chapped lips, a runny nose and a mess of icicle spiked hair sticking out in every direction like some frozen parody of Medusa.
She was beautiful.
Huh? Where the Hades had that come from? What in the Nine Hells was wrong with him?
As though struck by a God-bolt, his memory came crashing back and with it the truth of how he ended up here.
He hadn’t been drinking with Charon at all. No, he’d been coming in after a particularly painful fix of another of his brother’s careless mistakes…. Suddenly the last piece of the puzzle clicked into place, filling him with an overwhelming sense of dread and anger.
The miserable little shit shafted him! HIS OWN BROTHER!
He’d barely entered his temple home on Olympus when something behind one of the marble columns had caught his eye. He lived alone, and rarely did any care to visit, so he immediately recognized the movement for the threat it was.
He remembered reaching behind his shoulder with one hand and bringing his black titanium bow to bear with the other, but not fast enough. Flickering torchlight caught a golden flash flying straight at – no, through – him. Anger turned to bitterness as the memory played across his mind.
As darkness pulled him under, Eros had emerged from the shadows, still holding his own glistening bow, a triumphant grin on his handsome face. Not a moment later their mother had materialized directly behind him, her face void of emotion, but her words had said it all.
“Perfect shot, my son, you’ve done well.”
He’d been shafted all right. The love of Psyche, Eros’s wife, had proven too much for his brother, causing his fall to ambro-fever, an irreversible condition many gods developed after an overload of what they personified. The result in Eros’s case was him periodically running amok, so drunk on love he couldn’t see, let alone shoot straight, willy-nilly nailing any poor sucker who got in his path.
It had fallen to Anteros as the God of Requited Love to run damage control by canceling out his brother’s diamond-tipped silver arrows with his opposing obsidian-tipped lead ones. Instead of being the final reckoning for those who deliberately preyed on the hearts of others, it became his job to save mortals suddenly in love against their will with people who would never love them in return. Anteros was the only one able to free Eros’s shooting-spree victims but it meant absorbing their heartache as his own to do it.
And what thanks did he get for spending the last several centuries drawing in and carrying the pain of all those hearts? His beloved brother, the one at fault in the first place, shot him - and on their mother’s orders no less! And not with just any arrow either. No, it had to be one of his thrice cursed golden ones. His fate was sealed.
Within twenty-four Olympian hours, roughly one week on earth, his heart would be hopelessly lost to the first creature to cross his path. Anteros’s eyes were involuntarily drawn back to the lumpy-limbed figure in front of him. He could feel the pull starting already. Hades Balls! He’d imprinted on the hideous creature with the rubbery feet and runny nose. A mortal! A groan escaped his pursed lips. Why a mortal and why’d it have to be so damn ugly?
Anteros’ heart bashed up against his chest wall and the last of his fog cleared. Zeus’s beard, they might as well have condemned him to eternal torture in the lowest levels of Tartarus as this.
He was doomed. With the use of a golden arrow, not only was his heart forfeit, his soul would soon be irrevocably tied to hers. When she died, she’d take him with her.
Not only had they ruined his life, they’d killed him by robbing him of his immortality!
Anteros couldn’t decide which was worse, the burning in his heart from the arrow’s path, the hole in it from the enormity of his family’s betrayal, or the fact he would never know a moment’s freedom from the monstrous ice encased mortal currently hoping from one foot to the other screeching like a banshee as she hovered over him.
“Hey Mister? I’m sorry, really. Oh gosh, what can I do? Can I help you up maybe? Do you need a doctor? Or is there someone else I can call?”
The concern in her eyes pulled on his heart strings and, to his horror, other things as well. Stupid arrow was working all right.
“Who are you? Can you tell me your name?”
Uh, tell her his name? Come to think of it, probably not. Hmm, let’s see, how did one explain such things to a mortal?
Hello, I’m a pissed off god who’s been shot with the equivalent of a super love potion slash aphrodisiac by ‘Stupid Cupid’ and you, you lucky thing, are now the target of my every superhuman desire. Something, by the way, that will build in potency to a point I’ll no longer be able to resist and will very likely jump all over you. Which really isn’t working for me because the second I do, the arrow’s magic will pierce you too - lovely little golden bugger that it is - and you’ll fall for me against your will. In turn, my immortality goes up in smoke and I’ll die the second you do.
Oh and since you asked, my name is Anteros, God of Love Returned, Dread Avenger of Unrequited Love, brother of Eros and son of Aphrodite and Ares. Let’s have sex right now. How do you like me so far?
Oh, yeah, that should go over real well.


Take A Seat. Get Strapped In. Let's Go For A Ride:

 1. Where have we seen you before?
Although I've written articles for various publications in the past, 'Shafted' is my first fiction release.

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
To use an analogy, for me, it's like a mother bird who's thrown her chick out of the nest for the first time. One minute her heart soars with her youngster, the next it studders as little wings wobble, only to fly high again as her fledgling catches the next updraft. It's both thrilling and nerve wracking at the same time.

6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?

I loved it right from the start. I was fortunate to work with a very talented cover artist, April Martinez, who understood what I was looking for right away. The hero is a god so I didn't want people to be able to see his face clearly, that way the reader could make up their own mind what he should look like.

 Several actually. I'll be releasing a series of shorts stories branching off from Shafted's world and away from Bandit Creek which will introduce a host of re-invented secondary characters from mythology. I also have a full length trilogy also related to this world currently on submission and another project that fits more in an urban fantasy category I can't wait to dig into, scheduled for release late this coming fall.

8. Top 5 Books 9. Recommended books
The Bandit Creek books and the work of the authors involved of course (grin). Anything by the above noted authors, along with Sabrina Jeffries, Lyndsay Sands, Victoria Alexander, Larissa Ione and whole bunch more I don't have room to list here. A great resource however for finding new authors is Goodreads.

10.Why read your novel?
I was recently asked what I thought made a good story and I answered:

'The author's passion. Let's face it, there isn't a single storyline out there that hasn't been done a gazillion times. A writer has to truly love their individual twist on a story in order for their unique voice to shine through and give in that 'certain something' that keeps readers turning pages alte into the night. At least that's what works for me, both as a reader and as a writer.'

When the characters in a book begin to step off the page and write their own story that's when you know that passion is there. 'Shafted' was written with that kind of passion. I had a total blast writing it and hope people have just as much fun reading it.

Thanks for having me here today!

Kymber Morgan

    • Outlander Diana Gabaldon
    • Daughter of the Blood Anne Bishop
    • How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire Kerrelyn Sparks
    • Fool's Errand Robin Hobb
    • Dark Prince Christine Feehan
7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?
3. What inspired you to write this novel?It was prescheduled as a February 1st release and being a paranormal romance naturally it lent itself to a Valentine's Day theme. However, I didn't want to write about the usual mythical characters for a Valentine's story, so instead of Eros/Cupid I decided to pick on his lesser known twin brother Anteros.

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?First it's 'ouch', then hmm, is there something to what they're saying? Finally, wow, someone took the time to read my work, and good or bad they felt strongly about it. Cool!

5. How long was the writing/planning process?
Shafted was written on and off along with two other full length projects, so it's hard to say for sure, but all in all it probably took around six weeks total.