Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blog Tour: Almost Forgotten by Carey Decevito (Rafflecopter Giveaway)

This virtual book tour is presented by Dark Scream Book Tours.

Welcome to The Wormhole and my stop on the tour.
It is my pleasure to feature Carey Decevito and Almost Forgotten.

Carey Decevito:

Born and raised in small town Northern Ontario, Canada, Carey Decevito has had a penchant for reading and writing for as long as she can remember. 

As an adult however, more than a decade had come to pass before sleepless nights plagued her with exhaustion, demanding that she put pen to paper (more like fingers to keyboard) and start writing again.

And the rest, as they say, is history!

A writer of erotic romance, this lover of food will throw in a bit of heat, a dash of sass, a pinch of comedy and a dollop of real-life experience in order to provide her readers with a story that will mess with their emotions from start to finish.

Family and friends are her lifeblood but Carey also enjoys conquering the outdoors, sports, travelling and playing tourist in Canada’s National Capital region.  When life gets crazy, she seeks respite through her writing and submersing herself in the latest addition to her library. If all else fails, she knows there’s never a dull moment with her prolific story-teller of a five-year-old daughter, her goofy husband and their two cats who she swears are out to get her.

With three published works under her belt, Almost Forgotten is the second of her The Broken Men Chronicles series.

About the Book:

Jake had it all: money, women, great looks.  For all intents and purposes, he was happy.  Or so he thought he was.

A series of women and an unexpected appearance by a ghost from his past caused him to re-evaluate his life.

Why had she come back?  Why was she standing in his firm’s boardroom with his opposing counsel?  But the burning question was, why did he give a damn after fifteen years?

She’d broken his heart all those years ago and Jake chose to live the life of a bachelor from there on out. Along with his fast-paced career, he ran a fast-paced social life.  It’s what worked for him.  Or he’d at least convinced himself it did.

The loneliness his large home presented the minute the housekeeper went home and the women that warmed his bed deserted him, left him wanting.  Could he have what so many of his friends already did: the woman, the family, the house with the white picket fence?

Maybe.  But just because he desired these things, things he’d sworn off ages ago, doesn’t mean that they were destined for him.  

One thing was for sure, with Danica back in town, Jake’s life was never going to be the same again.

Carey has joined us for an interview:

What are your earliest book-related memories?

You’re going to think this is weird but at about the age of five, I was an incredibly curious child.  With that said, my earlier memories for books were of climbing my parents’ built-in library shelves to get my hands on their encyclopedias and check out the pictures.  I guess my copy of My First Encyclopedia just wasn’t good enough for me anymore.  This is also where I found out my mother’s Harlequin romance novels were NOT picture books!

When it comes to reading, I was a regular at the town’s library where I checked out a lot of books about astronomy, the planet, and nature.  This was a Saturday tradition for my mother, sister and I which carried well into my teens.

When it comes to book ownership, I have my father’s mother to thank.  With every out-of-town shopping trip that took her to a book store (there were none where I grew up), she came home with at least one book for me.

I have to say that I’ve been blessed with family that have helped me garner my love for literature whether it be for entertainment or education 

How do you cope with writer's block?

I’ve been blessed with an abundance of ideas and never have had the misfortune of suffering a severe bout of WB.  When the ideas don’t flow, I’ve discovered that the wrong thing to do is to force creativity.  The block usually lasts longer and frustrates me.  Instead, I’ll pick up a book and read, I’ll hang out with friends and family.  In those instances, the less I think about writing, the better.  When the creative juices start up again, well…game on 

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a variety of projects right now.  This may be a tour for Almost Forgotten, the second book in my Broken Men Chronicles series but I’m working on the release of the fourth book as well as editing the fifth and final book of this series.  It’s fair enough to say that I’m a busy person and that you definitely should expect a lot more coming from me.

What is the most difficult part of the whole writing process?

Since I’m a one woman writing operation these days, I have to say that writing is by far the easiest part.  I love constructing something out of nothing—a blank screen being filled with words that plunge the reader into a new world, granting them an escape.

The hardest is the editing, the book covers, the promoting and all the in-betweens that come with doing it all.  It’s not for everyone but it does enlighten one as to how much work goes on behind the scenes just to get a book on the market and get it to sell.  I can tell you this much, there’s no such thing as millions overnight! 

What do you like to read?

I may write contemporary erotic romance predominantly but I enjoy reading mystery/suspense, thrillers and the occasional horror.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll pick up and read Cherise Sinclair, Nora Roberts along with James Patterson or John Saul and let’s not forget some of the classics like Poe or Shakespeare, better yet, a Canadian classic, Lucy Maud Montgomery or some Margaret Attwood.  I’m not big on sci-fi but I do like to give anything and everything a try before truly dismissing it.  You never know what you can be missing out on. 

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

My inspiration is drawn from so many different things.  From dreams, to life events whether personal or experienced through a friend or family member, it can even come from some random conversation at a check-out counter!  I love the variety of ways that ideas come and I tend to embrace rather than ignore them.  So if you see me sipping a Frappuccino at the local Starbucks and I have that faraway look in my eyes…well, you best well bet that chances are, the barista or some conversation I overheard on my way to my seat most likely got the hamster going in that head of mine.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?

I won’t tear down either side of publishing and self-publishing. Whatever works best for the author is what works best. I do however find that writers often give up on the traditional route of seeking out a publisher which would include and editor, a cover creator, a promoter and so on because they think (they’ll say “they know”) that they’ll never be picked up and go straight to self-publishing. That’s self-publishing for the wrong reasons. Some are so quick to get their work out on the market and think they’ll be rolling in the cash overnight. NOT SO! It takes a lot of dedication, patience, frustration, blood, sweat and tears, not to mention a long time, to make it worthwhile for most. Those who are quick out of the gate to self-publish without doing market research, the editing, the cover and so on are setting themselves up for failure. I’ve come across far too many books that have had editing issues over the last little while only to see those authors quit writing because of nasty critiques entailing their lack of presentation. I can’t say I blame them since some can be harsh but I can definitely say that they wouldn’t have suffered the sting of those words had they done their homework.

How did you decide how to publish your books?

I decided to self-publish, not because I was rejected one too many times by a publisher. To be frank, I looked into both options. I will also say that just because one person tells you that your work is fantastic, doesn’t mean you should be putting it out to publishers or self-publishing it.

I’m very critical of my work and as a child and in my teens, I never shared my stuff with anyone but the four walls of my bedroom and the occasional teacher if I wrote for a particular assignment. When I discovered an online venue where I could remain anonymous and have the public read and comment, I gained confidence in my writing. I kid you not, I had 2 novellas written within months (November to January). One of those is self-published today.

What I mean to say is that publishing isn’t for everyone. I’ve met writers who are comfortable sharing their work with the public for free off of these said websites I’ve spoken about, others that confessed they write but would never share, some that play around the idea of publishing and only enter contests but don’t pursue anything further, others who’ve been picked up by publishers and some, like myself, who’ve chosen the self-publishing route.

On most days, I love self-publishing because I get to learn the ins and outs, the “hard” way at times. Yes, I do have those moments where I would rather just write a query letter, a synopsis and tailor my manuscript, send it in and say yes to the highest or most reasonable bidder out there where publishing companies are concerned but I haven’t. I might…but that’s me wanting to see and experience both sides of the spectrum. No one knows what’s best for them unless they do just that. Again…live and learn!

What has writing taught you about yourself?

Writing has shaped the person I’ve become today and I continue to evolve.  Granted a lot of my characters had a bit of me in them, I do strive to create some characters with assets, traits, demeanors that somehow, I strive to emulate.

The major things that stick out though is how dedicated, passionate and stubborn I can be when it comes down to every facet of my writing, whether it be writing, editing, promoting, etc.  I just don’t know the meaning of quitting.

How do the people in your life seem to view your writing career?

The general consensus is that family and friends alike are very proud of my achievements.

Being a writer of contemporary erotic romance, I have to say that it took me a while to feel comfortable with outing my proverbial laundry but once I did, I never did once hear anything negative…unless you count my mother-in-law being unable to read my “spicy” scenes.

There have been times where writing seems to take over my life but thank God for a wonderful husband and daughter that put up with my sometimes obsessive nature to allow me to “get this next chapter done”.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?

I won’t tear down either side of publishing and self-publishing. Whatever works best for the author is what works best. I do however find that writers often give up on the traditional route of seeking out a publisher which would include and editor, a cover creator, a promoter and so on because they think (they’ll say “they know”) that they’ll never be picked up and go straight to self-publishing. That’s self-publishing for the wrong reasons. Some are so quick to get their work out on the market and think they’ll be rolling in the cash overnight. NOT SO! It takes a lot of dedication, patience, frustration, blood, sweat and tears, not to mention a long time, to make it worthwhile for most. Those who are quick out of the gate to self-publish without doing market research, the editing, the cover and so on are setting themselves up for failure. I’ve come across far too many books that have had editing issues over the last little while only to see those authors quit writing because of nasty critiques entailing their lack of presentation. I can’t say I blame them since some can be harsh but I can definitely say that they wouldn’t have suffered the sting of those words had they done their homework.

What advice would you give other writers?

Play hard, work hard, and DON’T give up!

By “playing hard” I mean enjoy how it feels to be writing something. Post it somewhere online where people can look at it for free. I know you’re thinking it’s ridiculous, you putting all of that time and effort into a book only to let it go for free. I truly have a point with this. If you post it on some site for free, readers discover it, they read it, they provide comments and feedback. It’s a great way to use the public eye as a soundboard, especially if you’re not sure if you have what it takes to appeal to the masses. You’ll make new friends, acquaintances, find some great free reads of your own and a client base that will support you if you make the jump to publishing!

By “working hard”, I’m talking about what comes after you’ve written your story. The first word that comes to mind…EDIT! I’ve written over a dozen books in the last 2 years (no, I’m not kidding). Not all of them are edited and I can promise you that chances are, not all of them will be published either. Editing is a crucial part of the puzzle here. No one wants to disperse funds on something that is filled with grammatical, punctuation, formatting and syntax errors. If you find yourself unable to “fix” your story, look into an editor. They can be pricey but if you find a great one, you’ll feel better. After all, your book is a reflection of you. Your name is on it, your blood, sweat, tears are in it. Those are your words, your thoughts and inspiration being presented to the public.

What I’ve come to realize, as a self-published author, is that hire out as much as you can within reason. Don’t go breaking the bank if you don’t have the right cash-flow. Hire an editor, use Beta readers (those are usually free since you give them a copy of your manuscript to read and comment on), learn to do graphics or hire that out so you have a fabulous cover, book trailers, banners and so on. Once those are tackled, you’re in need to work on media outreach. We’re talking Facebook, Twitter, a website or blog (or both but I’m warning you…if you’re the only one doing the work, you’ll feel overrun). From there, you’re looking for reviews, free and paid advertising and promotions, blog tours, using your personal connections (and this is where those people from that website you posted your story for free on, come in). If those freebie readers enjoyed your work, they’ll definitely want to read the new and improved version and they will support you. I’ve done it and reaped the benefits and I know countless others who have and have.

My final point…DON’T give up! Whether you’re self-published or you’re looking to be picked up by a publisher, don’t just submit to sometimes cruel criticisms–BUILD ON IT! One rejection isn’t going to kill you. If you’re lucky, you can speak about getting feedback. Your editor (if you hire one) can do that too and so can those friends, family, Beta readers, etc. I’ve edited a book over 20 times before and still wasn’t fully happy with it (okay, so I’m a little picky about my work…we are our own worst critics, are we not?) Keep at it! Submit to countless publishers but if you’re not interested and rather do the self-publishing, that’s alright too. It’s a matter of finding and discovering what is best for YOU! With that said, good luck to any of you aspiring authors out there as well as those of you who’ve made the leap!

What do you see as the biggest challenge today for writers starting out?

Oh what a field day I could have compiling a list for you on this one!

I think the biggest challenge for new writers is the age old question of “What the hell do I do with this?” when they’ve finally hit the save button on their final chapter.  Funny how the ending of writing that manuscript technically signifies the beginning!

For some, they’ve just written something that’ll most likely never see the light of day.  I myself was one of them for as long as I can remember.  Others will let it sit there, share it on an online venue where you can post your stories and read others’ works for free.  This too, I’ve done and I do love the premise of using these sites as somewhat as a kind of soundboard but don’t take the comments too seriously either.  If you’re gutsy enough, you’ll go through your manuscript with a fine-toothed comb, fix things up, make sure things flow smoothly, perhaps even get an editor to help you out with it too.  And finally, there’s the publishing stage.  Publisher or independent?

As a writer, this “what to do next” phase is my biggest challenge and speaking with several other authors, I have to say that I’m not alone with that sentiment.

Querying publishers and risking rejection after rejection…okay, perhaps there would be an offer down the road but the process leaves much to be desired.

What do you look for in a good book?

Contrary to a lot of folks out there, I don’t swear that a book is a good read strictly by their ratings or their reviews.  Or maybe I should say, based on the number of reviews.  If you’re as avid a reader as I am, you’ll notice that some authors have quite the large following compared to others whether they’ve been in the business for a while or are a newcomer.

Sure I’ll scope out books by review and rating, but I’ll also give the underdog a chance and I pay it forward by sharing my thoughts on the read too when I’m done devouring each page.

What I look specifically for in a good book is an intriguing plot, especially when it comes to romance.  I have to admit, I’m more of a suspense, thriller, criminology kind of gal which is funny considering most of my works happen to be romance with an erotic twist.  I love characters that engage my attention from the very first page, characters that send me on a ride that’ll toy with my emotions whether it be from hanging off the edge of my seat or swooning for the hero.  My favorite thing about a book, which, in my opinion makes it a good book, is the ability for me to take a few hours out of my day and disappear into the writer’s world.  It’s a great escape, one that leaves me with fond memories.  If in the end I can remember the book in a week’s time, it’s a definite recommendation.  Yes, I read that often…well, most of the time.

International Giveaway

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Blog Tour: Elective Procedures by Merry Jones

This virtual book tour is presented by Partners in Crime Tours.

Click HERE for more tour information.

Elective Procedures

by Merry Jones

on Tour July 2014

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense
Published by: Oceanview
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Number of Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-1-60809-116-4
Note: Excessive strong language

Purchase Links:


Elle Harrison has taken a leave of absence to mourn the death of her husband Charlie.
Her friend Becky takes her out to dinner to cheer her up and, on impulse, drags her into a fortune teller's shop. The fortune teller predicts that Elle will travel and meet a new man. She also says that Elle is surrounded by a dark aura that draws the dead to her.
Elle dismissed the predictions as hogwash. But then her friend Jen takes her, Becky and another friend, Susan, to Mexico where she is getting lost cost cosmetic surgery. Elle is attracted to and asked out by Jen's surgeon, Alain DuBois. And Elle finds a woman hanging onto the balcony next to hers by her fingertips. Elle tries to save her and fails, almost dying in the process.
All of the fortune teller's predictions have come true. And, as the week progresses, more of Alain DuBois' patients are gruesomely killed, Jen is attacked, Elle is nearly murdered, and the spirit of her dead husband Charlie keeps appearing to her.
Who is trying to kill Dr. DuBois' patients--And why? Who is trying to murder Elle? Why does she keep seeing Charlie--Is she nuts? Or is his spirit really trying to protect her?
ELECTIVE PROCEDURES makes a week in Mexico into a chilling page turner, full of twists and unexpected developments, as well as a face lift or two.

Read an excerpt:

Don't look down. Don't look down.
I kept repeating those three syllables, a singsong mantra to steady myself and get through time, pushing through seconds and minutes until it would be afterwards and this nightmare would be over.
Don't look down.
But I didn't have to look. I knew what was beneath me. I could picture what was lying six stories down on the concrete beside the kidney shaped swimming pool, near the mouth of the alligator water slide. Under the glowing light of sunrise, I imagined a widening crimson puddle. A clump of arms and legs. A shattered bone protruding through flesh. Tangled hair matted into a cracked skull.
Don't look down, I said again, and I didn't. Instead, I aimed my eyes straight ahead focusing not on the brick wall in front of me, but on the air surrounding my head. I stared into it, straining to see my aura, looking for stains, for splotches of darkness. Was it possible to see your own aura? Was there even such a thing? If there was, I couldn't see it, saw only inches of emptiness between me and the bricks, and, at the periphery of my vision, the railing. For the briefest moment, I had a lapse; I almost turned my head, almost looked down at my hand. Don't look, I chanted. Don't look. Looking would mean moving my head. And if I moved it--if I moved anything at all, I'd disrupt my balance and slip, and then, with a thud, there would be two blobs of bones planted beside the pool.
A pelican dive-bombed past me, the rush of air nearly knocking me over. I held my breath, holding steady. I called out again, hoping someone would wake up, but no one came. So I told myself to stay steady and thing of other things. Other times. I stared at the wall and repeated: Don't look down don't look down don't look down.

Author Bio:

Merry Jones has written the Elle Harrison suspense novels (THE TROUBLE WITH CHARLIE, ELECTIVE PROCEDURES), the Harper Jennings thrillers (SUMMER SESSION, BEHIND THE WALLS, WINTER BREAK, OUTSIDE EDEN, and this fall, IN THE WOODS), the Zoe Hays mysteries (THE NANNY MURDERS, THE RIVER KILLINGS, DEADLY NEIGHBORS, THE BORROWED AND BLUE MURDERS). She has also written humor (including I LOVE HIM, BUT...) and non-fiction (including BIRTHMOTHERS: Women who relinquished babies for adoption tell their stories). Jones taught college creative writing for fifteen years. Her work has been translated into seven languages, and appeared in many magazines, including GLAMOUR. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, The Authors Guild, International Thriller Writers, and The Philadelphia Liars Club. The mother of two grown daughters, she lives outside Philadelphia with her husband.

Catch Up With the Author:

My thoughts:
This is the second installment of the Elle Harrison book, the first being The Trouble with Charlie.  I was excited to receive and read another Merry Jones book.
In this story Elle is thrust into a mystery that keeps you hanging on page after page.  Filled with an interesting mix of characters, Elective Procedures is intriguing.  Emotions run strong as Elle and her friends are faced with murder, betrayal, and suspense.  
The characters are realistic and easy to invest in - easily leaving the reader wanting to be Elle's friend too.  The writing style is engaging and clean, making for a sit down and read cover to cover in one day kind of book.  I am looking forward to the next adventure for Elle.

Click HERE to go to an interview with Merry Jones.
Click HERE to go to my thoughts about The Trouble with Charlie.

ONE copy of Elective Procedure by Merry Jones

To enter you must only comment on this post.  
You must be 13+ and live in the continental USA to enter/win.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blog Tour: Khaki = Killer (The Color of Evil book 3) by Connie Corcoran Wilson

Khaki = Killer , the third book in the Color of Evil Series, picks up where Red Is for Rage left off, answering the question, “What happened to Melody (Harris) Carpenter?” 

Readers of Red Is for Rage, [Book #2 in The Color of Evil series], will remember that Melody was involved in a rescheduled UNI (University of Northern Iowa) football game, cheering for the Sky High Eagles. Rushed to the hospital with injuries suffered in a fall from atop the human pyramid [formed by fellow cheerleaders Heather, Kelly, Janice, Angie, and Jenny, Melody is hospitalized and fighting for her life as Khaki = Killer opens. 

The budding romance between Janice and Stevie continues to grow more serious, but Janice’s parents oppose her relationship with the son of the man who shot and killed so many townsfolk at the Homecoming game. There are more revelations about Earl Scranton’s motives, and other romance s develop (Tad and Jenny; Charlie and Andrea). 

When Heather Crompton and Kelly Carter mysteriously disappear, the tension in town ratchets to a fever pitch. The entire town is involved in the search. Retired police officer Charlie Chandler reorganizes the rag-tag team that helped find Stevie Scranton and bring him back to Cedar Falls, Iowa. 

In the background lurks Michael Clay (aka, Pogo), still searching for Tad McGreevy, still hoping to permanently silence “the boy who can see the future.” 

Tensions run high and the stakes run even higher in KHAKI = KILLER, Book #3 in THE COLOR OF EVIL series. 

My thoughts:
Another thriller from Connie Corcoran Wilson.  It's so hard to label her books as fantastic or great reads, as she tells tales that chill you to your soul - her skill at telling that story is the part that is fantastic and great.  She has once again brought us into the world where Stevie and Tad live.

Khaki = Killer takes over right where Red is for Rage left off, giving us what we were looking for at the end of that second book.  We are thrown back into their lives and are given another glimpse into the people they are becoming.  I was thrilled with Stevie's growth and how we get to see him as so much more than that abused and victimized boy. 

Connie's books bring out a strong emotional reaction.  The topics that she chooses are controversial and disturbing.  It takes a skilled writer to approach the ugliness of the world with enough sensitivity and understanding to produce a story like this one.

Again, I found myself shocked and horrified at the characters who portray humans who have lost their humanity thus becoming monsters, and by the reasons for it.  And again I am waiting for the next book for "that moment of closure." 

Check out my thoughts on the first and second books:

If you would like some additional information on the books or the author you can (also) check the dedicated<> (Book #1)
     <> (Book #2)
     <> (book #3)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Leopold's Wicked Embrace by Kym Grosso

This virtual book tour is presented by Bewitching Book Tours.
Click HERE for more tour information.

Welcome to The Wormhole and my stop on the tour.
It is my pleasure to feature Kym Grosso and Leopold's Wicked Embrace.

About the Author:

Kym Grosso is the author of the bestselling erotic paranormal romance series, The Immortals of New Orleans.  The series currently includes Kade's Dark Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 1), Luca's Magic Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 2), Tristan's Lyceum Wolves (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 3), Logan’s Acadian Wolves (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 4) and Léopold’s Wicked Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 5).

In addition to romance, Kym has written and published several articles about autism, and is passionate about autism advocacy.  She also is a contributing essay author in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum.

Kym lives with her husband, two children, dog and cat. Her hobbies include autism advocacy, reading, tennis, zumba, traveling and spending time with her husband and children. New Orleans, with its rich culture, history and unique cuisine, is one of her favorite places to visit. Also, she loves traveling just about anywhere that has a beach or snow-covered mountains. On any given night, when not writing her own books, Kym can be found reading her Kindle, which is filled with hundreds of romances.

Léopold’s Wicked Embrace: Immortals of New Orleans Book 5
Kym Grosso

Genre:  Erotic Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Independent – MT Carvin Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication:  April 5, 2014

Number of pages:  412 print
Word Count:  100,045
Cover Artist:  Cora Graphics

Book Description:
An erotic paranormal romance...
Seductive and lethal vampire, Léopold Devereoux, returns to the Big Easy to find a killer.  His search leads him to a beautiful and mysterious woman, who awakens desires and emotions that he’s long fought to keep buried.  After centuries of self-imposed solitude, the billionaire philanthropist struggles to restrain his growing thirst for the intriguing, lovely female who’s captured his attention.

Laryssa Theriot, an antiques proprietor in the Vieux Carré, agrees to help the commanding yet debonair stranger, who seeks her assistance.  She withholds her secret abilities, afraid to trust the man who threatens to unleash her darkest fantasies.  All the while, Léopold consumes her thoughts, testing her limits and bringing her to new levels of ecstasy.  As the menacing force that has stalked Laryssa for years finally catches up to her, she submits, putting her life into the hands of the dominant vampire who offers his protection.

Deep in the heart of New Orleans, they embark on a perilous adventure, forced to search for an ancient sacrificial relic that they hope will save their lives.  As they face formidable challenges, Léopold and Laryssa surrender to the passionate intimacy that possesses them.  After hundreds of years of denying himself love, will Léopold bond to the woman who has begun to crack the impenetrable shell around his heart?  As evil draws near, will Laryssa survive the demon that has come to take her soul?

Warning: This book contains several erotic love scenes and is intended for adult readers only.

Amazon US        Amazon UK        Amazon CA

BN      Smashwords     All Romance Books

Excerpt 1

Laryssa had heard the customer behind her, but the damn mirror wire wouldn’t seem to catch right.  It kept slipping and she cursed under her breath, hoping she wouldn’t drop it.  If she could just hold it up a minute longer, she could get it to hang squarely on the wall.  She fingered the hook that she’d just renailed into the wall and then moved her thumb over to the thin metal string.  With a final shove upward, she attempted to flick it into place.  But as the wire caught, it sliced into her flesh.  A sharp sting threw her off balance, and her pumps began to waver.  Shit.  Not again.
“Oh my God!” Laryssa squeaked as she fell backwards, fully expecting to crack her head open on one of the many sharp-edged desks that sat adjacent to where she’d been working.  As she felt strong male hands slide up under her ribcage, grazing her breasts, she gasped.  She wasn’t sure whether to thank the stranger or call the police, but as she turned her face to try to see him, she immediately recognized her rescuer. 
“It’s you,” she stammered, clutching his arms. Laryssa giggled nervously, realizing how once again she’d foolishly fallen in front of the sexy vampire.  And like last night, he’d caught her.  She couldn’t believe how clumsy she’d all of a sudden become.  She tried to relax and find her footing, but her heart was beating so fast that she could barely think.  What is he doing here in my shop?  How did he find me? 
Like a story book flipping pages, her mind whirled until she remembered what she’d done last night at the club.  She’d fought off the asshole who’d grabbed her at the bar.  The feel of his hands around her throat had forced her fear into overdrive.  The knife had only been a few inches away, but still too far.  Desperation had taken over as her power surged, calling the blade to her fingertips.  Jamming it into his neck was as instinctive as breathing.  Kill or be killed, she’d always choose the former.  She’d run into the alley, refusing to discuss it with management.  The only one who knew her was Avery and there was no way her friend would have divulged her identity to the vampire.  She’d be more likely to turn him into a three horned sheep before she’d squeal.  The only way the vampire could have found her would have been if he’d followed her home. 
A brush to her breast reminded her that she was still being held upright by him, and Laryssa felt her face grow red.  Arousal licked over her skin.  Cautiously, she rooted her shoes on the floor and turned around, steeling her nerves.
“I’m so sorry,” she said.
“My pleasure, mademoiselle, but I suggest you avoid heights in the future.”
Surreptitiously, she stole a glance at him, which reminded her how incredibly handsome he was.  His short dark hair was perfectly coiffed.  His white dress shirt hung casually over the waistband of his jeans.  Laryssa forced herself to look away, trying not to stare at the masculine features of his face. Straight nose, square jaw and perfectly kissable lips… lips that were smooth talking and way too articulate, teasing her with every word he spoke.  Beads of sweat broke out across her forehead.  It felt as if someone had turned up the heat, her skin was on fire.  She noticed his eyes were no longer on hers and had dropped to her chest.  They lingered only a second, and then he met her gaze and smiled.  She looked downward and noticed that several buttons had come undone in her fall, revealing the edges of her white lace bra.  Could this day get any more embarrassing?  Laryssa’s fingers shook as she buttoned her sweater.
“I’m so sorry.  I just…you just…I just…”  Great, first I’m a klutz and now I can’t speak.  She bit her lip, paused and then took a deep breath before starting again.  “Thank you for catching me.” 
“Again.”  Léopold watched her as she adjusted her clothes, wishing to rip the rest of the pearly buttons from their fragile seams. But he refused to let the beast within take what it wanted.  No, he’d find out what the hell she was before showing her his true nature. “Yes, thank you…again.”  She smoothed down her skirt, trying to pretend she hadn’t just fallen into his arms and let him feel her up in the process.  Business, think business.  Her pulse slowed and she willed herself to appear nonchalant.
“We met last night, remember?” he pressed. Léopold smiled and ran his hand over the colorful marquetry in rosewood that scrolled through a seventeenth century secretaire.  Interesting that she could deliberately control the flow of her blood.  It further piqued his concern about her species.  What was she?
Laryssa’s eyes met his, widening at the confirmation that he knew exactly who she was.
“Yes, yes I do.  But I’m afraid I didn’t catch your name.”  Vampire.  Big bad vampire.  Laryssa watched intently as he fingered the furniture, trailing his thumb over the symmetrical scenes as if he was caressing a lover.  
“Lovely.”  Léopold flashed his eyes to hers.
“What?”  Laryssa realized that he was toying with her, purposefully trying to make her nervous.
“I said, it’s lovely.  The neoclassical architectural structures.  The white marble top.  Doré bronze mounts.”
“Is there something specific I can help you with?”
“You get directly to the point?”  Léopold had intended to play with her a bit, throw her off her game.  Yet his little rabbit wasn’t frozen in the field like he’d anticipated.  No, she rebounded nicely, and now stood confidently like a wildcat, poised to attack. 
“I don’t really have time to waste.  So yeah, I’d like to know why you followed me from the club.  And I really want to know what you are doing in my shop.” 
Léopold merely laughed and crossed the room to admire a chair and matching settee. 
“Circa 1775?”
Laryssa walked over and placed her hand on the elegant Louis XVI chair.   “Yes.  How did you know?  It’s a very special piece.  It has the mark of Versailles Palace on it.”
“Indeed.”  Léopold sat in the chair, wrapping his fingers around its arms.  “Nothing but the best.  Fit for a king.”
“And I suspect you’d like being a king.” She put her hands on her hips, waiting for him to respond.
“Ah, a king I never was.  But I’ve dined with kings, and I can assure you that while they enjoy the extravagances of the rich, they often lose their heads.  Easy come, easy go.”
“Why are you here?” Laryssa brushed her hair back, attempting to regain her composure. “Are you looking for something specific?”
“Oui, pet.  But not an antique.  While I do enjoy shopping, this is hardly the time.”  Léopold lost the smile, allowing his eyes to pierce hers. “So I shall get to the point.  What are you?”
Laryssa lost her ability to rein in her pulse and her heart began to fiercely pump hot blood through her veins.  Her lips tightened, and she clenched her jaw.  How dare he ask about her?  What the hell did he want from her anyway? Dear God, she had enough issues with the darkness on her tail and now he was asking about her origins.
“What do you mean, ‘what am I?’ I’m the owner of this store.  Does that answer your question?”  Laryssa asked, her voice growing louder.  “Who are you?”

“Léopold Devereoux.  That’s who I am.  I can be your angel or nightmare, depending on the day.  So listen up.  What. Are. You?”  Léopold didn’t make a move.  He sat completely still, anticipating her answer.  

My thoughts:
I am a huge Kym Grosso fan, so the chance to read and review another of her books was thrilling.  She builds wonderful characters and sets them into a world that the reader falls into.  This story was just as good as the others.

I have been waiting for Leopold's story and am so excited that his time came.  It's as if I have an attachment to him even though he is fictional.  Laryssa is an incredible addition to the series and the perfect challenge for Leo.  The growth of their relationship throughout the story is both entertaining and intriguing - oh and so steamy (NOT a YA read).

Dimitri is another amazing character and his role in this story is not what I had anticipated, but I found myself alternately laughing aloud and shaking my head at his involvement. The development of Leo and Dimitri's friendship is heartwarming.  I can't wait for Dimitri's book.

The story pulls you in, holds you in your seat and keeps you turning the pages.  Filled with great friends, powerful emotions, steamy romance and fiery conflict - you will enjoy every page and be looking for the next story as soon as you reach the end. 

This book could stand alone, but you would be missing out on how the characters came to be where and who they are by not reading the series in order.


Kade’s Dark Embrace
Immortals of New Orleans
Book 1


Luca’s Magic Embrace
Immortals of New Orleans
Book 2

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Tristan’s Lyceum Wolves
Immortals of New Orleans
Book 3

Logan’s Acadian Wolves
Immortals of New Orleans
Book 4

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Monday, July 14, 2014

BLog Tour: Hide and Seek by Amy Shojai

Welcome to The Wormhole and my stop on the tour.

It is my pleasure to bring you:

Hide and Seek

by Amy Shojai

on Tour June 1 - July 31, 2014

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Published by: Cool Gus Publishing
Publication Date: January 2014
Number of Pages: 254
ISBN: 978-1621251477

Purchase Links:


A mysterious contagion will shatter countless lives unless a service dog and his trainer find a missing cat . . . in 24 hours.
A STALKER hides in plain sight.
A VICTIM faces her worst fear.
AND A DOG seeks the missing—and finds hope.
Eight years ago, animal behaviorist September Day escaped a sadistic captor who left her ashamed, terrified, and struggling with PTSD. She trusts no one—except her cat Macy and service dog Shadow.
Shadow also struggles with trust. A German Shepherd autism service dog who rescued his child partner only to lose his-boy forever, Shadow’s crippling fear of abandonment shakes his faith in humans.
They are each others’ only chance to survive the stalker’s vicious payback, but have only 24 hours to uncover the truth about Macy’s mysterious illness or pay the deadly consequences. When September learns to trust again, and a good-dog takes a chance on love, together they find hope in the midst of despair–and discover what family really means.

“Recommended for anyone who likes a 'bite-your-nails, hold-your-breath' kind of thriller." -- Dr. Lorie Huston, Cat Writers Association President

Read an excerpt:

Tommy Dietz grabbed the car door handle with one bloody fist, and braced his other hand against the roof, worried the carcasses in the back would buck out of the truck’s bed. Despite the precaution, his head thumped the muddy window. He glared at the driver who drove the truck like he rode a bronco, but BeeBo Benson’s full moon face sported the same toothless grin he’d worn for the past two weeks. Even BeeBo’s double chins smiled, including the rolls at the nape of his freckled neck.
The ferret thin guy in the middle snarled each time his Katy Railroad belt buckle chinked against the stick shift he straddled. Gray hair straggled from under his hat and brushed his shoulders. He had to slouch or he risked punching his head through the rust-eaten roof. Randy Felch’s snaky eyes gave Dietz the shivers even more than the freezing temperatures spitting through windows that refused to seal.
Three across the cramped seat would be a lark for high school buddies out on the town, but the men were decades beyond graduation. Dietz was in charge so Felch could either ride the hump or share the open truck bed with two carcasses, and the new Production Assistant.
Dietz stifled a laugh. Not so high-and-mighty now, was he? The man must really want the job. Vince Grady had turned green when he was told to climb into the back of the truck. Just wait till he got a load of the dump. Dietz remembered his first visit three years ago when he’d been out scouting locations. He wondered how the spit-and-polish Grady would react.
He’d hired locals for the rest of the crew. They needed the work, and didn’t blink at the SAG ultra-low pay scale, the shitty weather, or the stink. In this business, you took anything available when pickings were slim. Then the show got picked up and union fees grabbed him by the short hairs. Amateur talent screwing around and missing call times cost even more money, so he needed a Production Assistant—PA in the lingo—with more polish and bigger balls to keep the wheels greased. A go-to guy able to think on his feet, get the job done. No matter what.
If Grady wanted the PA job, he’d have to be willing to get his hands dirty, and stand up to BeeBo and his ilk. Riding in the open truck bed was illegal as hell, though here in North Texas even the cops turned a blind eye unless it was kids. This was an audition, and Grady knew it.
He had to give Grady props—he’d not blinked, but clenched his jaw and climbed right in when they collected him at his hotel. He’d been less enthusiastic after following the hunters most of the morning, tramping to hell and gone through rough country until his eyes threatened to freeze shut. Something drove the man, something more than a PA credit for piss-poor pay and worse conditions. Hell, something drove them all to work in this unforgiving business. Dietz didn’t care about anyone else’s demons as long as they let him feed his own.
Dietz craned to peer out the back to be sure the man hadn’t been tossed out the tailgate. Grady gave Dietz a thumbs-up. Probably wants to point a different finger, Dietz thought.
Grady wore the official Hog Hell blue work gloves and ski mask—dark blue background and DayGlo red star on the face—or he’d be picking his frostbit nose off the floor.
Prime time in the back woods. Dietz’s quick smile faded. Nothing about this trip was prime, not even the butchered Bambi in the back. Deer season ran November through early January, and it was always open season on hogs, so they were legal for any follow up film footage. The two deer hadn’t looked good even before BeeBo dropped them, but that’s what viewers wanted. Crocodile wrestlers, duck dynasties, and gold rush grabbers with crusty appeal and redder necks.
Nobody wanted actors anymore. Casting directors looked for “real people.” So he’d caught a clue, jumped off the thespian hamster wheel, moved to New York and reinvented himself as Tommy Dietz, Producer. He’d found his calling with a development company relatively quickly.
A movie star face didn’t hurt. Everyone these days had a little nip-and-tuck; it was part of the biz. He’d been selling his version of reality for years anyway, and always came out on top. He hit it out of the park on his third project. Hog Hell kicked off the next step with a Texas-size leap. He’d show them all, those who’d laughed at his dreams, calling him a loser. And he’d make them sorry.
The shabby pickup lurched down and back up again, and its engine growled and complained. Dietz was surprised the seat hadn’t fallen through the floor. The overgrown road the hunters called a pig path consisted of frozen ruts formed from previous tire treads. They damn well better not get stuck out here.
“Don’t worry, she’ll make it.” BeeBo talked around the stub of his unlit cigar. “This ol’ warhorse made the trip so often, she could drive herself. Ain’t that right, Felch?” BeeBo reached to downshift and Felch winced as the other man’s ham-size fist grabbed and jerked the stick between his knees.
Dietz sighed. Out the window, skeletal trees clawed the pregnant sky. Weird flocks of blackbirds moved in undulating clouds, exploding from one naked tree after another to clothe the next with feathered leaves. Spooky.
Thank God the icy weather stayed dry. Heartland, Texas had dug out of a record-breaking snowfall, and the locals hadn’t quite recovered. It put a kink in Hog Hell filming and they’d barely met the deadlines. Delay turned his balance book bloody with red ink.
Back home in Chicago they’d been hit with the same blizzard and so had NYC. But big cities knew how to manage winter weather. Apparently North Texas rolled up the sidewalks with even the hint of flurries. He wondered if BeeBo and Felch knew what to do in the snow, and didn’t want to find out. The thought of hunkering down overnight in the truck with these men turned his stomach.
Dietz adjusted his own ski mask. He’d folded it up off his face so the blue cap hugged his head while the red star painted a bull’s-eye on his forehead. He wore the official coat, too; dark blue and a bright hunter-safe star on the front and back, with the Hog Hell logo. The Gore-Tex fabric crackled with newness, and his blistered feet whimpered inside wet, dirt-caked boots. No way would he wear his new $300 Cabela’s, purchased for photo ops at the upcoming watch party. He had a gun, too. In Texas nobody cared if you carried. They expected it.
BeeBo’s preferred weapon, an ancient short barreled shotgun loaded with deer slugs, contrasted sharply with Felch’s double gun he’d had custom made last season. Felch shot 44 Magnums, and the cut down double barrel rifle boasted enough firepower to take out an elephant, or a charging feral boar hog.
They sleeved the guns in canvas cases stowed in the back of the truck, but the hunters cared far less about their own attire.
BeeBo and Felch would wear official Hog Hell gear at the watch party in five weeks, but not before. Dietz didn’t want them stinking up the outfits. Today they wore wash-faded coveralls, heavy work coats, earflap hats, clunky boots with thorn-tangled laces, and frayed gloves with fingertips cut out. A bit of peeling DayGlo tape formed an “X” on the back and front of each coat after Dietz insisted on the nod to safety, even though he knew the two hunters paid little mind to official start and end dates during hunting season.
That was the point of the original reality program Cutting Corners that focused on people forced to skirt the rules to make ends meet. The unlikely stars of a single episode, though, turned Felch and BeeBo into overnight sensations and birthed the new show after Cutting Corners tanked. The two hunters were experts at skirting rules. Dietz was no slouch, either.
In the truck bed, Grady swayed back and forth. He’d pushed up the ski mask enough to expose his mouth. White breath puffed out in a jerky tempo, and Dietz wondered if the man would pass out. If Grady took a header off the truck bed, the liability would kill the show. “Find a spot to stop, BeeBo. I think our new team member has had enough.”
Felch grunted. “No place to stop till we get there. Unless you want us to get stuck.” He grinned, but the expression never reached his eyes. “You don’t want us lugging that shit back to your hotel. The stink ain’t something you want close by.”
BeeBo guffawed. “Got that right. With all the hunters unloading, it’s what y’all might call a ‘renewable resource.’” He twisted the wheel and the truck bucked, jittering the decades old pine-shaped deodorizer suspended from the rear view mirror. “The critters take care of the stink pretty quick, though.” His hairless wide-eyed face was a ringer for the Gerber baby. “It’s around that next bend. You might even catch a whiff of Jiff by now.”
Dietz wrinkled his nose. The pungent aroma wasn’t assuaged by the air freshener that had probably come with the vehicle. He shielded his head from another thump, and squinted ahead through the crusty windshield. Wiper blades had torn loose on the passenger’s side and smeared the detritus rather than clearing the view. It didn’t bother BeeBo.
The trio remained silent during the final bump-and-grind through the trees. They pulled halfway into the clearing, and Dietz waited impatiently until BeeBo cranked the steering wheel, turned, and backed beneath a massive tree with pendulous clusters decorating the branches. Grady ducked, or he would have been scraped off by low limbs.
Several similar trees bordered the clearing, and another smaller truck squatted at the far end of the area. An elderly man stood in the truck bed and flailed tree branches with a long pole, while the woman dodged and weaved beneath to gather the resulting shower in a bucket.
“What’s that?” Grady wasted no time jumping off the truck bed. He gagged when the wind shifted.
“Nuts.” Felch unfolded himself from the cramped middle seat. “Pecan trees. They’re gleaning the nuts.”
Dietz’s stomach clenched. He pulled the ski mask over his lips and breathed through his mouth, imagining he could taste the odor that closed his throat. Neither Felch nor BeeBo seemed to notice the stench.
Grady wiped his watery eyes. The breeze paused and he gulped a less contaminated breath. “Pecans? To eat?”
The truck squeaked, rocked and grew two inches when BeeBo stepped out. “Back in town they’ll pay $8 to $10 per pound, once shelled. I got my daddy’s old commercial sheller—held together with baling twine and spit, but works okay. I only charge fifty-cents a pound to shell.” He shrugged. “Every little bit helps. It’s too early for most of the big-name commercial farms, but for the gleaners, if ya wait too long the squirrels get ‘em off the trees, or the pigs root ‘em off the ground. Pigs eat lots of the same stuff the deer and turkeys eat, acorns and suchlike. But they get ground-nesting bird eggs, too. Pigs’ll root up and eat damn near anything.” He jerked his chins at Felch. “Gimme a hand.” He lumbered toward the back of the truck and waited by the taillights.
Felch vaulted in the bed of the vehicle, and adjusted his gloves. He pointed. “Smorgasbord, y’all. Hey Slick, you might want to get video of this. Bet your big-city cronies never seen the like.” His yellow teeth gleamed. He bent low, and grunted as he pushed and tugged the black plastic bag to the tailgate, hopped down and joined BeeBo. Together they slung the truck’s cargo into the pit.
Yipping and growls erupted from below. Dietz stayed back, he’d seen it before. This stuff he wouldn’t put on the air. This’d be too much even for the hardcore viewers without the added value of aroma.
Grady covered his mouth and nose in the crook of his elbow. He edged closer to the deep trough, a natural ditch-like runoff that sat dry three-quarters of the year. Piles of gnawed and scattered bones mixed with carcasses in various stages of decomposition. A family of coyotes tried to claim BeeBo’s tossed deer remains, but was bluffed away by a feral boar.
Grady ripped off his ski mask, puked, wiped his mouth, and grabbed his camera with a shaking hand. He spit on the frozen ground and jutted his chin at Dietz. “So?”
Dietz smiled. “You got the gig.”
The damn ski mask dragged against his hair so much, the normally clear adhesive had turned chalky. Victor had removed the wig after dissolving the glue with a citrus-scented spray, a much more pleasant olfactory experience than the afternoon’s visit to the dump. A shower rinsed away any lingering miasma, but he gladly put up with the stink, the rednecks, and the sneers. The payoff would be worth it.
Until then, he couldn’t afford for anyone in Heartland to recognize him. His tool kit of fake teeth, makeup and assorted hairpieces kept him under the radar. For the price, nearly fifty bucks for a four-ounce bottle of adhesive, it damn well better hold the new wig in place for the promised six weeks. He rubbed his hands over his pale, bald head and grinned. Even without the wig, she’d be hard pressed to recognize him.
Muscles had replaced the beer gut, Lasik surgery fixed his eyes, a chin implant and caps brightened his smile. He’d done it all, one step at a time, over the eight years it took to track her down. He’d even changed his name and transformed himself into a man she couldn’t refuse.
He’d done it for her. Everything for her.
He dialed his phone. “I want to order flowers. Forget-Me-Nots, in a white box with a yellow ribbon. Got that? And deliver them December eighteenth. It’s our anniversary.” He listened. “Use red ink. The message is ‘payback.’ Got that? No signature, she’ll know it’s me.” He picked up a news clipping that listed the address, and admired the picture. She was lovely as ever. “Two-oh-five Rabbit Run Road, Heartland, Texas. Deliver to September Day. The name is just like the month.” He chuckled softly. “Yes, it will be a lovely holiday surprise.” He could hardly wait.

Author Bio:

Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant, and the award winning author of 26 bestselling pet books that cover furry babies to old fogies, first aid to natural healing, and behavior/training to Chicken Soupicity. She is the Puppies Expert at, the cat behavior expert at, and has been featured as an expert in hundreds of print venues including The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, and Family Circle, as well as national radio and television networks such as CNN, Animal Planet’s DOGS 101 and CATS 101. Amy brings her unique pet-centric viewpoint to public appearances. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed dog viewpoint thriller LOST AND FOUND.

Catch Up With the Author:

My thoughts:
Great read!  A wide variety of creative characters - and of course the fantastic animal characters (which are my favorites --- huge animal lover here!).
The story is fast paced, mysterious and thrilling.  I liked how the perspective changed in each chapter, adding to the intrigue and fleshing out the story and plot.
I wasn't sure what I was going to think of the book when I first met some of the characters, but found myself gripped by the story within the first 20 pages.
I had not read the first book in the series and found that although I enjoyed the story and it could stand alone, reading the first book would have enhanced the second.  A worthy way to spend an afternoon - I will be reading Lost and Found as soon as the opportunity arises.