Finn Finnegan (Book One of the Adventures of Finn MacCullen) by Darby Karchut: Review

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Holy cats!!!  Today I am honored to offer you my review of Darby Karchut’s Finn Finnegan: Book One of the Adventures of Finn MacCullen.  I have been reading and reviewing Darby’s books for a couple of years now and I can honestly say she is in my Top Five of favorite authors 🙂  She is also one of the coolest people I have ever met and I am proud to say she has become a friend as well as a favorite author.  I do hope you all will enjoy the review and I would like to thank both Darby and Kendra at Spencer Hill press for allowing me to participate in this tour!!  Yes, there is a tour 🙂

Title:  Author: Darby Karchut Format: Paperback, 200 pages Published: March 12, 2013 by Spencer Hill Press  ISBN:  1937053326 (ISBN13: 9781937053321)
Title: Finn Finnegan (Book One of the Adventures of Finn MacCullen)
Author: Darby Karchut
Format: Paperback, 200 pages
Published: March 12, 2013 by Spencer Hill Press
ISBN: 1937053326 (ISBN13: 9781937053321)

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Synopsis:

Finnegan MacCullen: a thirteen-year-old apprentice with the famous Irish temperament.
Gideon Lir: a legendary Celtic warrior with a bit of a temper of his own.
Secretly, these blue-collar warriors battle the hobgoblins infesting their suburban neighborhood…when they are not battling each other.
Finn (not bleedin’ Finnegan) MacCullen is eager to begin his apprenticeship. He soon discovers the ups and downs of hunting monsters in a suburban neighborhood under the demanding tutelage of the Knight, Gideon Lir. Both master and apprentice are descendents of the Tuatha De Danaan, a magical race of warriors from Ireland. Scattered long ago to the four corners of the world, the De Danaan wage a two thousand year old clandestine battle with their ancient enemy, the Amandán, a breed of goblin-like creatures.
Now with the beasts concentrating their attacks on Finn, he and his master must race to locate the lost Spear of the Tuatha De Danaan, the only weapon that can destroy the Amandán, all the while hiding his true identity from his new friends, Rafe and Savannah, twins whose South African roots may hold a key to Finn’s survival.
Armed with a bronze dagger, some ancient Celtic magic, and a hair-trigger temper, Finn is about to show his enemies the true meaning of “fighting Irish

Source: ARC from Darby K. for a fair and honest review

My Rating: 4½/5 stars

My Review:

Someday I am going to write a totally professional, eloquently crafted, non-gushy review.  Today is not that day so pull on your rain boots ‘cause I am about to gush all over the place about the beginning of a promising new series by one of my hands-down favorite authors, Darby Karchut.  Let the gushing begin . . .

Finn (not bleedin Finnegan!) MacCullen is a bit lost: both of his parents are dead; he is generally overlooked or just ignored in his aunt and uncle’s home; he is often teased for being a half-breed and; he is due to begin his apprenticeship to become a Knight of the Tuatha De Daanaan if he can just find the home of his new master.  See? Lost.

Because of his very nature, it doesn’t take Finn long to find the home of his master, Gideon Lir, a hulk of a man with a fabulous Irish accent, a wretched training schedule, and a heart of pure gold!  Gideon makes it clear to Finn from the beginning, their mission is deadly serious and the training to become a Knight of the Tuatha De Danaan is rigorous, intense, and absolutely necessary.  For Finn, this knowledge and Gideon’s house feels like home.  When not training, Gideon helps Finn understand the long and fascinating history of the Tuatha, their relationship to Ireland and why the Knights are still needed in this most modern period.  Finn soaks it all up like a skinny sponge and while he often complains (loudly!) about the rigors of training he still completes his tasks (mostly) and works hard (most of the time) to become a help rather than a hindrance in battle.  You see, the Knights are charged with exterminating the Amandán, a super-stinky race of creatures who want possession of Ireland just as badly as the Knights do.  The Amandán are fearless, mouthy, hard to disable and even harder to kill.  As the plot unfolds we find out just how truly smelly and hard to kill the Amandán really are as Finn and Gideon fight side-by-side to destroy their enemy.  During the fight scenes we see what Finn is made of: he is a fierce fighter with a loyal heart and some stunning anger management issues.  Though he has a lot still to learn about the fine art of fighting, Finn never gives up and does everything within his power to protect Gideon.

As with all of Darby K.’s books, Finn Finnegan is driven by its fully developed and highly realistic characters.  Despite being members of an ancient, noble, and mythic race, Finn and Gideon are still very much a part of the human world making them relatable to the reader.  Finn and Gideon are joined by a cast of minor characters including Mac Roth, a mighty beast of a Knight who is one of Gideon’s oldest and dearest friends and the twins Rafe and Savannah Steel who live across the street from Finn and Gideon.  While Gideon warns Finn it is unwise and generally forbidden for a Tuatha to mingle with mortals, Finn is drawn to the twins and often disobeys Gideon’s orders to stay away from the Steel kids.  Rafe and Savannah are delightful characters who are easy to like, much to Gideon’s great displeasure. 🙂  These characters are some of the most realistic I have encountered in the world of fiction.  Karchut writes such excellent descriptions, dialogue, and interactions that her characters no longer feel like creations of the imagination on a page but real people, friends even.  Even if the plot sucked (which it totally does not) I would come back to this series again and again to check in on the lives of these people!

The Bottom Line: Finn Finnegan is fresh new read dealing with Celtic myth and legend, a subject often sadly ignored in popular fiction.  The short-term plot is wrapped up nicely by novels’ end but we are left with a ton of unanswered questions.  For example: Why does Rufus Steel (the twins’ dad) behave in such a shady manner?  What’s up with the Steel twins?  Although I am not sure even they realize the full extent of it, the twins know more about Finn’s world than they are letting on.  What secrets from his past is Gideon hiding?  Who is Iona and why does Gideon not trust her?  Perhaps most importantly, is Finn really the weapon of legend that can bring an end to the Amandán?

While this book is marketed for a middle-grade audience I find this designation both limiting and ridiculous.  Finn Finnegan is a fine story with excellent characters and fascinating subject matter that can and will appeal to an audience far and wide from nearly every age group.  Stop thinking about it and buy this book now!!

Darby K.  About the author and where to find her:

Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, teacher, and a compulsive dawn greeter. She lives in Colorado with her husband and owns more backpacks than purses. As she should.
Her YA books include GRIFFIN RISING (2012 Children’s Literary Awards Gold Medal, 2011 Sharp Writ YA Book of the Year), GRIFFIN’S FIRE (2011 Readers Favorite Bronze Medal for YA Fantasy), and GRIFFIN’S STORM (November 2012).  Her debut Middle Grade novel, FINN FINNEGAN (Spencer Hill Press) will be released March 2013. The next book in the Finnegan series, GIDEON’S SPEAR (Spencer Hill Press) will be released February 2014.   She has also co-authored a non-fiction book for teens entitled MONEY AND TEENS with her husband, author Wes Karchut.

Visit Darby’s website:   www.darbykarchut.com

Want to pre-order your very own copy of Finn Finnegan: Book One of the Adventures of Finn?

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Altered (Academy Series Book One) by Aubrey Coletti: Character Profiles and Giveaways

Altered Tour Banner (2)

Hi everyone and welcome to my stop on the AToMR Tours-sponsored tour of Altered (Academy Series Book One) by Aubrey Coletti.  Today I am pleased to offer you the biographies of the people who occupy the Altered world and two giveaways.  If you would like to check out the rest of the stops on the tour, just click here.

Happy Saturday to you all 🙂

Book CoverSynopsis:

When Toni, Joseph and Charlie arrive at their new boarding school, they are glad to leave their families – and respective problems – behind. Isolated as boarders, they meet a handsome senior with a personality like iced snake’s blood, teachers with a penchant for physical punishment, and four other outcasts who reveal that their being brought to the Academy wasn’t random at all. When the arrivals discover that their new school is engaged in “behavior modification” through electric shocks, isolation, restraints, and an ever-evolving set of methods to “fix” them, they declare war on their Academy. During their campaign of sabotage, they fight, hate, scorn, love, and begin to uncover the reasons why they were brought to the school. But as their war against the school escalates beyond their control, will they become the very things the Academy believes they are: dangerous, delinquent – and mad?

Character Profiles:

Toni White: Sassy, smart, and down-to-earth, Toni is often the member of the group to pull everyone back together when they start to fall apart. But for all her confidence and quick tongue, she has her own den of insecurities and secrets, and her true feelings are often more conflicted than they appear.

Charlie Persan: Intelligent, delicate, strange and uncertain, Charlie fights the fight of a brilliant individual trapped within a broken mind. While her heart is usually in the right place, her head sometimes runs in the other direction, and while her perception of others is laser-like in its accuracy, her perception of herself can shift like sand.

Joseph Valdez: Sarcastic and artistic, Joseph uses humor and his razor sharp wit to protect himself. But his boiling temper is balanced by his depth, and he’s generally much stronger and more aware than others expect.

Annabelle Cost: Tough, rough, and sly, Ann is often more comfortable playing the role of the ‘bad girl’ than expressing her true feelings. But when her walls come down, she is willing to do anything to fight for the few people she truly cares about.

Amina “Lieutenant” Jackson: Laid-back, clever, and contained when in control, Lieutenant veers between the cool, capable adult she wants to be, and the out-of-hand wild woman who emerges when her manic-depression gains the upper hand.

Melvin Stavos: Defiant and dark, Melvin refuses to buckle under the weight of outside expectations. However, it is easier to fight against the world than within yourself, and Melvin’s own inner demons may be slowly getting the best of him…

Anthony “Anton” Levant: As mercurial as a thunderstorm, Anthony’s personality seems to change at the drop of a hat. The only certainty appears to be his loyalty to his friends.

Want to buy your own copy of Altered (Academy Series Book One)?

Goodreads          Amazon          Barnes & Noble          Kobo

Want to try and win your own copy of Altered (Academy Series Book One) Your in luck!  There are two giveaways open for this tour; just click in the ‘copter links below and good luck to you 🙂

Giveaway #1: US Only ~ one print and one eBook copy of Altered (Academy Series Book One) are up for grabs.  Rafflecopter #1

Giveaway #2: US/International ~ one eBook copy of Altered (Academy Series Book One) is up for grabs.  Rafflecopter #2

Last but certainly not least, thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours for organizing this tour.

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The Crescent Chronicles #3: Found by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Title: Found (The Crescent Chronicles, # 3)Author: Alyssa Rose IvyExpected release date:  Summer 2013Genre: Paranormal RomanceAge Group: New AdultCover Designer: Once Upon a Time Covers; http://www.onceuponatimecovers.com/
Title: Found (The Crescent Chronicles, # 3)
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Expected release date: Summer 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Cover Designer: Once Upon a Time Covers; http://www.onceuponatimecovers.com/

Synopsis: Levi might be hot, strong, and have a cool set of wings, but it’s not enough to make up for keeping Allie in the dark.

 Allie’s tired of being left with more questions than answers. She’s tired of loving a guy who refuses to level with her.  Most of all, she’s tired of her life spinning out of control.

 Desperate to save Jess no matter the personal cost, Allie has to face the possibility that the only one she can trust is herself.

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Alyssa Rose Ivy  About the author: Alyssa Rose Ivy is a Young Adult and New Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

Giveaway: Along with the reveal of this gorgeous cover each blog has the option to give away ONE of Alyssa Rose Ivy’s eBooks.  The author will provide winners with a Smashwords coupon to receive the book.  RoloPoloBookBlog is opting to offer a giveaway for a single eBook copy of   The Crescent Chronicles #1: Flight.  Just click on the ‘copter link below and good luck 🙂

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Last but certainly not least, many thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours for organizing and hosting this cover reveal.

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Oxford Whispers (The Oxford Trilogy #1) by Marion Croslydon: The Art that Inspired the Trilogy and Giveaway

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Welcome to my stop on the AToMR Tours-sponsored Oxford Whispers tour.  In my day-to-day life I am an Art History professor so I am beyond stoked to be able to show you all the art that inspired Marion Croslydon’s Oxford Trilogy.  If you would like to check out the rest of the stops on this tour (and we absolutely hope you will) you can do so by clicking here.

Title: Oxford Whispers (The Oxford Trilogy, #1)Author: Marion CroslydonRelease date: October 8, 2012Genre: Paranormal Age Group: New Adult
Title: Oxford Whispers (The Oxford Trilogy, #1)
Author: Marion Croslydon
Release date: October 8, 2012
Genre: Paranormal
Age Group: New Adult

Synopsis: SOOKIE STACKHOUSE GOES IVY LEAGUE!
Madison LeBon is dead set against the dead. She has vowed to ignore her Voodoo-stamped heritage and the psychic gift passed down through her Louisiana family. The world of the living is where she wants to belong.
But her resolution shatters when the tragic lovers in a painting—the subject of her first history class at Oxford—begin to haunt her. The lovers warn her against their own nemesis, a Puritan from the English Civil War.

College becomes more complicated when Madison falls hard for Rupert Vance, a troubled aristocrat and descendant of one of the characters in the painting. With the spirit of a murderer after her, she realizes that her own first love may also be doomed…
FALL IN LOVE FOR THE FIRST TIME… AGAIN
{Upper-YA/New Adult – Recommended 17+}

Title: The Wounded CavalierArtist: William Shakespeare BurtonMedium: Oil on canvasSize: 36" x 41"Location: Guildhall Art Gallery, LondonImage Source: Wikimedia Open Source
Title: The Wounded Cavalier
Artist: William Shakespeare Burton
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 36″ x 41″
Location: Guildhall Art Gallery, London
Image Source: Wikimedia Open Source

The Art: For the first book, I’ve drawn inspiration  from a Pre-Raphaelite painting by William Shakespeare Burton, titled The Wounded Cavalier. It’s set during the English Civil War. I used to spend hours as a teenager staring at it on my bedroom’s wall. No Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt for me!

I can’t explain how the idea of threading the stories of the Cavalier, the Maiden and the Puritan with that of Madison and Rupert has come to me. I guess we’d call that creativity! But the Cavalier’s story is the first story I told to myself as a teenager. I kept wondering what happened to those three characters, what were their backgrounds, secret love and heartbreaks. I could feel it wasn’t a happy ending though. So through Oxford Whispers, I’ve managed to give them some kind of second chance and redemption.

The second book in the trilogy is titled Oxford Shadows. Again, I’ve used an artwork as a starting point for the plot. This time it’s music, a melody titled Greensleeves. It’s very famous here in England. One of the reasons is that Henry the Eighth is rumored to be the composer. He would have written that piece of music during his courtship of Anne Boleyn… But I put my own spin on it.

 No idea for the next and final installment though… Totally open to suggestions!

Marion Croslydon - author photo

About the Author: In addition to being an author, I work as an entrepreneur, wife and mother-of-one but spend a good deal of time with books, DVDs and listening to my mp3 player; all for the sake of inspiration, of course.  My debut series, The Oxford Trilogy, has been a blast to write because I can indulge in my favorite types of music: Country and English rock.  My main goal as a writer is to make readers dream bigger and cause their hearts to beat a little faster.  Since my writing is all about sharing dreams and stories, I love connecting with fellow readers and authors.

Where to find Marion Croslydon:

Blog          Twitter          Facebook

Want to buy Oxford Whispers (The Oxford Trilogy #1)?

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Want to try and win your very own copy Oxford Whispers (The Oxford Trilogy #1)?  Just click the ‘copter link and good luck 🙂 

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Last but certainly not least, thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours

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Cover Reveal: The Space Between by Victoria H. Smith

Title: The Space BetweenAuthor: Victoria H. SmithExpected release date: April 2, 2013Genre: Contemporary RomanceAge Group: New AdultCover Designer: Okay Creations; http://okaycreations.net/site/
Title: The Space Between
Author: Victoria H. Smith
Expected release date: April 2, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adul
Cover Designer: Okay Creations; http://okaycreations.net/site/

Synopsis: When Drake started the night at his father’s campaign fundraiser, he never imagined he’d end it being conned into buying drugs on the West Side. Losing high-stakes poker has its consequences, but he’d repeatedly face them just to hear Lacey Douglas sing. Drake sees Lacey light up the stage, and he has to have her. But his intentions for being on her side of town turn out to be the reason he can’t.

Chicago native Lacey has dreams of the opera, but life has its obstacles. Lacey has come to know her hardships as part of living in the real world and accepts them fully. When Lacey meets the intense and invigorating Drake, a fire is lit inside her, unleashing those dreams again.

Two paths that should have never crossed prove to create the exact pairing the other needs. But when their worlds take time to catch up, everything they have is tested. Finding the space between the two sides that challenge them will be hard, but it’s the only place that will keep them together.

The Space Between is a new adult contemporary romance.

author photo

About the Author:  Victoria H. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She puts it to good use writing romance all day. She resides in the Midwest with her Macbook on her lap and a cornfield to her right. She often draws inspiration for her stories from her own life experiences, and the twenty-something characters she writes give her an earful about it.

 In her free time, she enjoys extreme couponing, blogging, reading, and sending off a few tweets on Twitter when she can. She writes new adult fiction romance in the sub-genres of science fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary, but really, anywhere her pen takes her she goes.

Where to find Victoria H. Smith:

Blog          Facebook          Twitter          Goodreads

Links to find The Space Between:

Goodreads          Book Trailer

Last but certainly not least, many thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours for organizing this cover reveal.

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Angels’ Flight by Nalini Singh: Review

Format: ebook, 368 pagesPublished: February 28, 2012 by Berkley Sensation Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Angels' Flight Series: Guild Hunter 0.5, 1.5, 4.5, 4.75
Format: ebook, 368 pages
Published: February 28, 2012 by Berkley Sensation
Edition language: English
Original title: Angels’ Flight
Series: Guild Hunter 0.5, 1.5, 4.5, 4.75

Goodreads          Nalini Singh’s Goodreads page

Synopsis from Goodreads: In Angel’s Wolf a vampire becomes fascinated with the seductive angel who rules Louisiana. But all is not what it appears to be in her court.
In Angels’ Judgment a hunter must track one of her own gone bad, while surviving the deadly tests placed in her way by the archangels themselves. Unexpected backup comes from a stranger who might just be the most lethal threat of all…
Plus FIRST TIME IN PRINT
In Angels’ Pawn a vampire hunter faces off against two rival factions and the angel manipulating them both, and a vampire whose help is not entirely selfless…
And NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED
In Angels’ Dance an angel trapped in the mountain stronghold of the Refuge finds herself under siege by a warrior angel from a martial court.

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review: As much as I love the Guild Hunter series one would think I would have known about this collection of novellas.  Alas, I (thankfully!) stumbled upon it and devoured all four stories almost instantly!  Included in this collection are the titles Angels’ Pawn, Angels’ Judgment, Angel’s Wolf, and Angels’ Dance and for lovers of the series, these short stories are excellent companions to the series.  Each novella gives the reader an incredible amount of background information and a fully developed story about characters who will likely never be big enough in the Guild Hunter world to warrant their own full-length novel.

Angels’ Pawn features Ashwini, the semi-nuts Guild Hunter and Janvier, the three-hundred year old vampire Ashwini has hunted three times.  Sounds like she’s not very good at her job, huh?  While Ashwini is used to working alone and considered one of the best among the Hunter community, even she knows her limits.  Ashwini (and the Guild) have been contracted to “rescue” a kidnapped vampire.  The mission will take the Guild Hunter into the heart of the South where vampire and angel politics are as tricky and unpredictable as quicksand.  Ashwini knows she must tread lightly if she wants to come out alive so enlisting Janvier’s help seems the most logical choice given the nature of the contract.

Janvier and Ashwini have a bizarre relationship that involves a lot of chasing, tracking, and hunting though never actually catching.  As we discover in Angels’ Pawn the hunting, chasing, and tracking are more sport and entertainment than business for the two.  Because of their past associations with one another there is respect and definite attraction toward one another which leads Janvier to immediately agreeing to help Ashwini.  Though the two know they will be successful in their attempt to “rescue” the “kidnapped” vampire they also fully appreciate the inherent danger involved.  Though all the plotting, scheming, and killing we get to see Ashwini shine and Janvier play a far more serious role than we are used to from him.  We learn more about each character’s background, their motivations and desires as well as their intentions toward one another.  Janvier can be serious and deadly but he is also charming, playful, and sensual.  Ashwini is lethal, focused, and driven but also beautiful and sexy.  Her troubled background adds an edge of wariness that Janvier is committed to overcoming though he knows this will take time.  I very much enjoyed the deeper look into these two characters: Janvier is a delightful rogue and Ashwini is serious beauty with a dark past she is working hard to overcome.  While I don’t think these two will ever warrant their own book I do think we have not seen the last of them in the Guild Hunter world.

Angels’ Judgment: novella number two is, for all intents and purposes a prequel to the Guild Hunter series.  If you’re a fan of Guild Director Sara, then this short story is absolutely for you!  Angels’ Judgment details one of Sara’s last hunts before becoming the Guild’s Director; this is also the time she meets her future husband, Deacon.  The meeting of Sara and Deacon is anything but pleasant – there is a psychopath on the loose knocking off vampires.  The real problem?  The psychopath is likely a Hunter or a crazy bastard imitating a Hunter which is why Deacon has been called.  Known among the Hunter community as the Slayer, Deacon is a man of legend, the one called in to hunt and stop rogue Guild Hunters. Few have ever met the Slayer and being in his presence does little to calm Sara’s feelings about this case; the potential for taking out one of their own is high and something no member of Hunter community wants to be involved in.  Sara is, however a professional and with Deacon’s help she will do what must be done to bring the killer to justice.  Because of the length of this read, the action is fast, furious and seriously intense.  It is a wild ride from start to finish and even has some naughty bits thrown in to spice things up 🙂

I loved this particular novella!  I have always been fond of Sara in the regular series as she is practical, level-headed, loyal, and absolutely perfect as Guild Director.  Quite simply, Sara doesn’t take crap off anyone!  But, we have always only been given a limited amount of information about her; Sara has been a part of the plot as she relates to Elena and Raphael more than anything else.  Angels’ Judgment highlights not only Sara’s talents as a Guild Hunter but Deacon’s talents as both a Hunter and the Slayer.  The background story for both Sara and Deacon (especially Deacon!) is very interesting and kept me turning pages at a lightning pace.  Honestly, I didn’t want this particular story to end because Deacon is not only a sweet man but dead sexy and deadly with his weapons.  Oh, and he is the mastermind behind all the amazing weapons the Guild Hunters use – seriously, can this man get any hotter? 🙂  Deacon is instrumental in helping Sara take down the psychopath and vice versa.  You see immediately how good the two Hunters are together and how they perfectly balance and complement one another.  For fans of Sara and Deacon, this one is a must-read.

Novella number three is Angel’s Wolf and is the story of Noel and Nimra.  Fans of the series may recall (from book #2) Noel is the poor bastard who was beaten to within an inch of his vampiric life and left for dead within the confines of the Refuge.  Noel has been with Raphael for more than 200 years choosing to serve the archangel following the expiration of his 100 year Contract.  Noel’s rise within Raphael’s ranks of trusted companions was nothing short of meteoric right up to the moment he was left for dead.  Though fully healed and back in service, Noel feels he is being punished when Raphael sends him to the court of Nimra in the deep South.  Despite his intelligence and intuition, even Noel is unprepared for what he finds in Nimra’s court.

Nimara is a 500+ year old angel who controls a section of the deep South on Raphael’s behalf.  Though beautiful beyond belief and surprisingly human (she loves cats!!) given her age, Nimra has a nasty, nasty, nasty reputation and very few, even among the very old, have ever dared go up against her.   By far, Nimara has one of the coolest powers found among any of the angels and/or archangels in the Guild Hunter world.  And no, I will not tell you what that power is 🙂 Though generally absolutely capable of defending her court and her territory Nimra has discovered one thing she cannot defend against, an unknown assassin hell-bent on taking her out.  Disguised as Nimra’s new bedroom toy, Noel is given free rein to wander the court in an effort to determine who the would-be assassin is.  Loose lips, gossip and being thought of as nothing more than a harmless and temporary sex toy allows Noel to quickly determine who the perpetrator is.  Unfortunately the identity of the traitor is devastating for Nimra.  The intensity of the situation draws Noel and Nimra together and they quickly discover they can take comfort and strength from one another without sacrificing who they are as individuals.  In fact, the two understand almost immediately what a good and strong pair they are; they balance and complement one another.  Nimra’s strength and über-powerful abilities are tempered by her humanity making her one of the most endearing of all of Singh’s characters.  Though I am fairly certain Nimra and Noel’s story is complete, I must say it is sad to see them tucked away in the deep South and not making more appearances in the Guild Hunter series.

The fourth and final novella in Angels’ Flight is Angels’ Dance, the story of Jessamy and Galen.  Jessamy is more than 2,500 years as well as beloved and thoroughly well-respected throughout the angelic community.  Jessamy serves the angelic community as both teacher to the young and historian – there is nothing she doesn’t know about angelic history making her the perfect teacher for the breed’s young.  Jessamy is patient, kind, wise, and trusted absolutely by most of the Cadre of Ten.  On the outside Jessamy is calm, cool, and collected but for most of her 2,500 years she has held herself apart from everyone because of her deformity – Jessamy is an angel who cannot fly.  For Jessamy her inability to fly is a life-sentence: she cannot leave the safety of Refuge; she cannot have children for fear of passing on her deformity and; she certainly cannot fall in love as her deformity would be both a hindrance and embarrassment to her mate.  Galen is an oddity in the angelic world for he has chosen to transfer out of Titus’s court in order to become both weapon’s master and member of Raphael’s Seven.  Though new to the Refuge, Galen is not new to weapons work and training and quickly earns respect among other members of the Seven.  When Jessamy’s life is threatened Raphael is wicked pissed and Galen is called into action to protect Raphael’s former teacher.  What takes both Galen and Jessamy by surprise is their response to one another.  Though attracted to Galen, Jessamy is certain, based on his brutish nature and lack of manners that the man was raised by wolves.  Galen is insta-attracted to Jessamy and can’t seem to rein himself in around her.  During the course of their investigations the two learn to respect one another and reevaluate their personal positions concerning attachments and entanglements.  While there is a mutual respect and the two can work together, being together is a cat of a different color.  Both Galen and Jessamy are outrageously stubborn and this trait keeps them apart far longer than it should but when they do finally let down their respective barriers, the meeting is explosive!  Like Sara’s story, Jessamy’s story is a personal favorite and I was exceedingly glad to find it among the collection that makes up Angels’ Flight.

The Bottom Line: Angels’ Flight can absolutely be read as a stand-alone but I would highly, highly, highly  recommend reading it in addition to the “regular” Guild Hunter series.  This collection of novellas is a wonderful enhancement of a series I am already slutty in love with.  This book got me so fired up about the Guild Hunter series that after finishing Angels’ Flight I immediately went back and re-read the first two books in the series!  I can’t think of a reason not to recommend this fantastic paranormal series to mature young adults, new adults, and adult readers.  I’m not sure why you’re still here – you should be buying this book and the series, NOW!!

Want to buy Angels’ Flight?

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Reaper’s Novice by Cecilia Robert: Excerpt & Giveaway

NEW BANNER

Hello all and welcome to my stop on the AToMR sponsored Reaper’s Novice tour.  I am thrilled you stopped by today to check out the excerpt I have for you.  If you would like to check out the rest of the stops on the tour (and we certainly hope you will) just click here.  Following the excerpt you will find three, yes I said three giveaway opportunities.  Thanks for stopping by and happy Thursday to you 🙂

Format: Kindle Edition, 300 pagesPublished: January 10, 2013 (first published October 7, 2011) ASIN: B00AYPCP9KEdition language: EnglishURL: http://cecereadandwrite.blogspot.comSeries: Soul Collector
Format: Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published: January 10, 2013 (first published October 7, 2011)
ASIN: B00AYPCP9K
Edition language:English
http://cecereadandwrite.blogspot.com
Series: Soul Collector

Synopsis from Goodreads: 17- year- old Ana Maria Tei’s life has always been perfect: loving parents,  good grades, and a future so bright it outshone the sun. But now words like “separation” and “divorce” are sending her world plummeting to hell. Determined to keep her family intact, Ana plans a family-bonding trip from Vienna to Tuscany. Except fate has other plans. Ana’s parents and siblings are killed in a car accident on their way to pick Ana up from school.

Enter Grim, aka Ernest. He promises to relinquish the four souls if Ana agrees to trade her soul for theirs and serve a lifetime as his novice. In order for Ana to graduate from her Reaper’s Novice station to a Soul Collector graduate, Grim puts her to test. To her horror, she finds out becoming a Reaper’s Novice didn’t happen by chance.  It was preordained, and she is forced to make a choice:  save her family’s souls or come to terms with who she really is and complete the task set for her.

Excerpt:  As soon as my bedroom door closes, Rolf swings me around and backs me up against the door, his entire length to mine. He slides his arm around my waist, pulling me closer. He leans down, pressing his lips on my forehead. “Your dad doesn’t trust me.”

I slide my hands up his firm chest and slip them around his neck, tangling my fingers with the silky-soft hair curling on his collar. “I don’t think my dad trusts any boy in my room.”

He chuckles, his warm breath caressing the shell of my ear. “Good thing he doesn’t.” His voice is hoarse, tossing away any decent thoughts from my mind. “I’ve missed you.” My knees barely hold me up as his lips trail my jaw, in a slow torturous pace. His arms tighten around me, melding us together. Hiking to my toes, I push my body forward until all that surrounds me is his light sandalwood aftershave.

“Missed you—” His mouth covers mine, cutting me off. Every sound inside the flat fades. Everything in me veers forward, focusing on him, on his lips on mine, not caring that my parents could walk in on us, or my siblings down the hallway could barge in. His hands travel down the hem of my t-shirt, and under it, wrap around my waist and soon his fingertips whisper into my skin. And I’m burning. They hike farther up. Every nerve in my body narrows to his fingers. I’m sure if he stops, my body will shatter into millions of worthless pieces. And when they do move up to trace the outer line of my lace bra, my body trembles with the promise of combusting. A whimper bubbles up my throat, and I push myself further into him. If only I could get under his skin, then we could be one. He groans low as he pushes me against the door seeming as desperate as I am. I tighten my hold on him at the same time fumble awkwardly with his shirt searching for the path to his skin. As soon as my fingers touch his skin, his whole body trembles.

He lifts his mouth from mine, then buries his face in the crook of my neck, breathing hard. I clutch him closer, tighter, my breath mirroring his.

“Kissing you has got to be the most pleasurable thing in the world, Ana.” His voice is still rough, his breath deliciously warm on the nape of my neck. I couldn’t agree more. I mean about kissing him.

Author Photo

About Cecilia Robert: Cecilia Robert lives in Vienna with her two children, has an incurable obsession with books, anything romantic, TV and medieval architecture. When not working in her full time job, catching up with her two children, writing or reading, she can be found, knitting or crocheting, taking photos of old buildings.

 Where to find Cecilia Robert:

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Want to buy Reaper’s Novice?

Amazon          Kobo          Goodreads

Want to try and win some cool stuf??  Thanks to the author we able to offer three separate and unique giveaways for this tour!!  Each giveaway is open internationally 🙂  To enter, just click the ‘copter links below and follow the directions.  Good luck!

Giveaway #1: a chance to win one of two eBook copies of Reaper’s Novice.

Giveaway #2: a chance to win one of two $15 Amazon gift cards.

Giveaway #3: The swag!!  Up for grabs is a violin magnet, violin pin, and a beaded necklace/bracelet.  Check out the images below 🙂

Violin pin - giveawayBead necklace - giveawayViolin Magnet - giveaway