Saturday, December 16, 2017



Queen of Corona
Esterhazy
Publication date: December 15th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Queen of a Corona delves into the mind of a young American adult growing up in today’s multicultural society. It is a human look at contemporary existence “from the bottom of the barrel.” It tells the story of a high school senior who is running after a student protest ends in tragedy. She is ushered onto an airplane by her mother, headed back to the land of her ancestors for the first time in her life. Her journey is both a way of escaping a seemingly dead-end existence and a chance at rediscovering herself by stepping outside the confines of societal standards. Queen of Corona is a coming-of-age novel in a dangerous age, in the age of Trump and all the forces stirring with and against the American president.
EXCERPT:
I bet you thought I was going to fold. That I wouldn’t be able to resist that fine china-white powder resting right there in the sanctuary of my pocketbook.
But it stays tucked away the entire night, I swear. I ride my bike to the river to get some air. I sit down on the concrete bank and look out at the wilderness just across the water. At the narrow beaches spotted with bushes, fluo-green against the fading sky of late summer.
Here the riverside is wild, untempered. The bars along the water light up, the music gets louder. I go to the bar. As I’m standing in the endless line I can feel someone’s eyes on me. I count to five in my mind and I look up. Oh man, I think, here we go again. And I let myself fall into it one more time because I need anything to get myself out of this emotional hole I dug for myself.
At first, I’m confused. Because the face that is looking back at me is a face I know so well. A face so familiar and unfamiliar. A face I’d seen dozens of times, but not a face I’d ever called a friend. I stared at him as I tried to place him. He smiles back at me amused. The cogs in my mind begin to click. An actor. I know his face from the movies. That series on Netflix about the homicide detective addicted to porn.
I’m not drunk enough to get up the balls to sidle up to him all sassy and shit. But I don’t need to because he comes up to me. He looks me up and down and nods like he’s approving a shipment of the latest iPhone.
“Mind if I sit down?” he says in that Hollywood voice.
“Yes. I mean no. Why not.”
He says he’s here filming an episode where he’s chasing some jewel thief around Eastern Europe. He can’t believe I’ve never heard of his show. He doesn’t waste any time pouring me doubles out of the bottle the waitress brings over. He asks me if I want to dance and I follow him out to the dance floor. He’s a terrible dancer. He’s basically grinding against my pelvis and slobbering on me. Then he’s trying to get into my panties under my dress like we’re not out in the open and all these people aren’t looking at us. At some point, he grabs my hand and leads me towards the car he’s got waiting for him. I’m not good with cars, so I can’t say what kind of car it is, just that it’s shiny and black. The driver drops us off at one of the big hotels where he’s got a suite. He opens the door like he’s a sheik opening the palace gates. As if a hotel room that looks like millions of other hotel rooms around the world is going to make me go woozy with passion.
Pretty soon he gets back to his sloppy kissing. He’s got my dress off and he says he wants to fuck me like Charles Bukowski and I don’t know who he’s talking about.
I’m probably only fucking him because he’s famous, not because I really like him. What’s there to like in an arrogant middle-aged man with a paunch and a lazy eye? And what’s in it for him, fucking a girl young enough to be his daughter.
“Can I take a picture of you?”
I shrug and he takes it as a yes. He asks me to stop covering my breasts and to spread my legs. I feel horribly shy but it’s exciting at the same time to think this famous dude is going to be looking at my pictures later and reminiscing about our time together. But what if he posts them online? I should have said no. Julita tells me I’ve got a real problem saying no. I’m too much of a yes girl. A goddang people pleaser and where’s that been getting me? Not very far, eh? says the reasonable voice in my head. The other voice, the one that just wants me to take it easy and go with the flow, tells me that it’s fine. It’s just two consenting adults having a good time. Isn’t it?
We end up trusting celebrities almost implicitly, as if their fame is guarantee that they’re harmless. We trust them to tell us what’s fashionable and what’s not, how to eat and how to vote. And sometimes we let them fuck us just because they’re famous. And sometimes we let them get away with the worst.
He goes to take a shower and I walk around the room and look at the stuff lying around his room. There’s his passport on the table. I open it up and look at the picture, which looks nothing like him, he must’ve aged a lot in the past few years. I look at the birthdate and do the math. It turns out he’s 52, not 45 like he told me last night. I pick up my stuff and go straight out the door. I feel sick, not the throwing up kind, just the sick dismay of disappointment. Sick at how they think it’s okay to treat you like an empty shell of a person and then got the nerve to lie to you. I think this might be my breaking point. At last, you say.
I’m sobbing into my sleeve as I walk through the lobby and my mascara’s running all over the fucking place, so I sit down for a minute. In a flash, hotel security is coming my way and they’re asking me to leave and if I didn’t feel like a whore before then I definitely do now.
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by ShootingStars Reviews 2:30 AM No comments

Friday, December 15, 2017


Title: Seduction
Series: Curse of the Gods #3
Author: Jaymin Eve & Jane Washington
Rating: 

Willa Knight: Dweller? Sol? Accidental evolutionary hiccup?

Willa has never been a particularly useful dweller: she isn’t very good at chores, she isn’t very good at worshipping, she isn’t very good at not having opinions, and she isn’t very good with rules—but none of that matters anymore.
The rules are changing.
The dwellers are trying to make their own way in the world, and Willa can’t seem to help getting tangled up in their plans.
Luckily, she has the Abcurse brothers to help her out—until she doesn’t, and suddenly she’s alone again in a world on the brink of chaos. With the Abcurses gone, she’ll have to rely on her wits, and her sister Emmy, to stay under the radar and survive.
Because someone wants her dead.

But, really, what else is new?

This is a full novel, 90,000 words. Book 3 of 5 in the Curse of the Gods Series

    

The Abcurses are gone, and Willa is left alone to fend for herself. But when some Gods get in the way and other things start to play into her being hurt things get complicated. However, Willa may start to find out more about herself once and for all. 

This book was okay. I felt like it was sort of all over the place and there wasn't much to the plot line in this one, other than Willa finding out a little more about herself, and she finally put her foot down about certain things. 

Other than that it was funny, and interesting, but that was pretty much it. 
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by ShootingStars Reviews 1:02 PM 1 comment

Title: Double Trouble
Series: Wallflowers #2
Author: C.P. Smith
Rating: 

Book #2 in the Wallflower Series. Recommend you read Book #1 to follow story.

“ ’Tis better to never have loved and lost than to live with the regret of your stupidity.” ~ Sienna Miller, Wallflower

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, or in this case, Wallflowers to behave. Then again . . . 

Sienna Miller spent her whole life being the odd woman out. Shunned and misunderstood by her family, she finally has a chance for a new start thanks to Calla and Poppy, her Wallflower sisters. Now all she needs is a Prince Charming.

Bo Strawn is a cop with a troubled past. He’s stubborn and set in his ways until a certain Wallflower shakes up his life for good. Bo’s finally got a shot at happily ever after. That is, he’s got a shot if he can solve a mystery surrounding the Wallflowers and keep his headstrong woman off the back of a horse.

Rated mature for language and sexual content.

    

Sienna has some major family issues. She doesn't really believe that anyone would want her, and when Bo basically tells her he doesn't want her things start going crazy for her. But then Bo finally pulls his head of his ass, and decides that she is it for him, now he must do what he can to get her back. 

This book was okay. I didn't like it as much as the first one, but it was still okay. I felt like there should have been more between Sienna and Bo, but other than that I liked the story line and all of the crazy characters. And the ending really pulled me into the next book that is for sure. It is a major cliffhanger, and I'm so upset that the next book isn't out yet! 
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by ShootingStars Reviews 12:43 PM No comments


The Empyrean Gate: Part I
Z. Rockward
Publication date: November 28th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

In space, no one can fill your awkward silences for you…
At the turn of the 23rd century, Liam Boyer’s parents led the construction of the Empyrean Gate, an intergalactic spaceway to an advanced civilization with the technology to fix Earth’s environmental crisis. But when an extremist named Kin sabotages the Gate on opening day, he tears apart the two worlds—and Liam’s family. In the three decades since then, Liam has dedicated his life to bringing Kin to justice and seeing the Gate rebuilt.
Yona Kabul works on one of Earth’s trash satellites, assigned to salvage and recycle anything she can from the landfill before it’s fed to the sun to be disposed of forever. Just before her satellite’s suncineration, Liam arrives in pursuit of Kin, who has come to dig up a long lost weapon with the intent of using it to destroy the Gate once and for all.
When Yona is recruited to work with Liam, he has no intention of letting her slow him down. But the more she proves herself, the more he begins to see her value, in more ways than one. Soon they find themselves on a path with unpredictable twists, dangerous turns of the heart, and unimaginable stakes. Can they stop Kin before he shuts the door between the two worlds forever and dooms Earth to environmental disaster?
EXCERPT:
Liam fought back up, thrashing as a cord tightened around his arm. He slipped out his limb in time and climbed through the landslide to the mouth of the cave, closing before him. He managed to clear the rubble when his leg jerked back. A vine of cables coiled around his knee and up his thigh, while a layer of netting reached around his other foot, pulling him under like a monster swallowing its prey.
He tried to claw his way out but a wave of debris came over him. The pressure bore down on his physical armor, his last line of defense as his forcefield flickered out. He fought to take a breath, gasping against the crushing of his chest. A plastic sheet unfolded above him like the wings of a suffocating angel. The pit collapsed in a slow fold above him, obscuring his view of the stars.
He couldn’t die here. Not now. Not yet.
A woman shot out from behind the plastic sheet, shredding it with a bright laser machete. She slung aside clumps of plastic and sliced through the web tangling him.
She extended her hand to him. “Come on!”
Liam grabbed her hand and she fired the boosters on her boots to hoist him up. They whipped back, dregs of plastic clinging to his armor.
“Your armor,” she yelled. “Take it off!”
He hesitated. Her gaze was bright but steady under her helmet, her eyes hot pink. She was as if from another world. On a fantastical whim his mind wondered if she was an Empyr, somehow on this side of the universe—but he knew that wasn’t possible. She could only be human, and her request was inconceivable.
He kicked his feet, his limbs straining with the pull. “I’ll get torn apart!”
“You won’t make it out otherwise.” She tightened her grip. “Trust me on this. I’ve got you.”
He was now pulling her down with him, but she held on, steady and strong. She’d taken the risk to follow him down here, into the jowls of death. He realized that if he could trust anyone, he could trust her in this moment.
He released his armor, keeping his helmet but shedding the rest like molted skin. She pulled him free as the plastic crushed and swallowed the human-shaped shell he’d left behind. They vaulted above the crest of plastic, the pit stretching below them, an irregular, jagged landscape alive with agitated hunger.
He couldn’t see his ship—or Kin’s—anywhere.
They cleared the perimeter and descended near a hoverbike, the woman setting him delicately on his feet before landing herself. Her helmet unfolded into her collar, revealing a bun of purple hair atop her head.
“Second rule of the plastic pit,” she said, guessing his thoughts. “Always park out of its reach.”
His contacts scanned her face and identified her as Yona Kabul, the steward assigned to this satellite.
Liam retracted his helmet. He brushed away the bits of plastic stuck to his person. She was untouched.
“What’s the first rule?” he asked.
“Never enter the plastic pit.”


Author Bio:
Z lives in the wild west and marvels at the weather every day. She likes pole dancing, drawing, and feminism. She tries to avoid cliches but sometimes can’t resist.




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by ShootingStars Reviews 3:00 AM No comments


The Only One
Necie Navone
(Brothers of Camelot, #1)
Publication date: December 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The first in the Brothers of Camelot Series: The Only One
Can a man whore whose motto is “One and Done” keep it in his pants long enough to win back the trust of his childhood sweetheart?
Drake, otherwise known as Fitz, was dealt a tragic hand from the beginning. Pain and rejection melted away when a little girl with huge brown eyes, strawberry blonde curls and an explosive personality, walked into his new home and his heart.
Inseparable as kids, she’s literally ripped from his arms when they’re teens. Convincing himself he’s unworthy of her, he closed himself off to all future relationships, refusing to open his heart to anyone else. If only she would come back to him.
Isabella, with her unique personality, is the polar opposite of her rich socialite mother, with a determination and drive to be more than just someone’s country club showpiece.
She returns to her childhood town to start her own business, and prove she doesn’t need her mother, or a man, to feel complete. Thanks to her first love, her father’s betrayal and a slew of bad relationships, she’s locked her heart away, hidden behind her smile and sweet disposition. She’s found peace in her memories of Drake, hoping he’ll finally contact her, or maybe she’ll find the nerve to contact him.
Can their long-lost love be rekindled or do they need a little help from their friends?
EXCERPT:
Just as I set the milk in the formerly empty fridge, Drake grabs me from behind, turning me to face him. There’s a twinkle in his eye as he lifts me into his arms. Spinning, he sets me on the huge island as if I weigh nothing at all.
Even as high as the counter is, he’s still just a tiny bit taller than me. At least we’re closer to eye level. Grabbing his tie, I pull him closer, getting lost for a moment in those forest green eyes, I’ve dreamt about being with him like this forever.
“And just what are you doing, putting me up here?”
“You have no idea what you do to me,” he growls. Yes, growls. “I want to taste you so much, Bella. Can’t wait to see you in my shirt, in my bed. Hold you in my arms.
“So many nights I’ve spent in that bed, alone, thinking of calling you, imagining hunting you down and dragging you back to me. But stupidly, I decided to wait, give you the chance to call me, to come back to me,” Drake confesses.
At a loss for words, I continue to gaze into his eyes. Drake leans forward and slides my hair over my shoulder. My breath hitches as he trails kisses from my shoulder, up my neck, to behind my ear.

Author Bio:

Her Motto in life:
You are as young as you believe you are,
so refuse to grow old.

Necie's a married, mother of five boys. She was born and raised in Nashville, TN. But she now calls Northern California home.

She has always dreamed of being a writer but thought that dream was impossible because she suffers from severe dyslexia.
But with her determination and the love and support of her friends, she is making her dream a reality.


She'd love for you to join her on this voyage.
To share with you, 'The Brothers of Camelot'.
They've been living in her head and her dreams for years, clambering to get out.

Let the journey begin...

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by ShootingStars Reviews 2:30 AM No comments

Thursday, December 14, 2017



Playing Dead
Bronson Palmer
Publication date: November 7th 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

In the halls of Andrew Jackson High School, Jenaiya is a nobody. Less than a nobody. She’s practically invisible. An awkward, shy freshman, she very rarely gets any attention at all, unless she’s being harassed by the school’s multitude of bullies. In short, she’s not anyone’s idea of a hero.
But in ‘Age of Z,’ a post-apocalyptic multiplayer zombie game, she’s a gun-wielding, fast-talking GOD. She’s one of the top ten players in the online dystopia, and she doesn’t suffer fools lightly. It’s just the way she plays, and she likes it that way. She can become the person she wishes herself to be in the real world.
However, when the game gets overrun by trolls and n00bs who threaten to destroy the game by turning it into yet another online shooter, Jenaiya cannot sit still and let that happen. The very existence of the game is on the line, as people leave in droves, and she gathers a rag-tag group of players to fight back against this new kind of ‘brainless’ horde. They have wildly different personalities but one goal: rid the game of the real monsters.
Jenaiya will have to outsmart her enemies, outplay the bullies, and return ‘Age of Z’ to its former glory. Otherwise, it’s game over, and she’ll have to confront the real world that awaits her on the other side of the computer screen.
Meet Jenaiya. She’s a survivor.
By Bronson Palmer
Meet Jenaiya. She’s the tough, flawed, sometimes misguided protagonist of ‘Playing Dead.’ A meek freshman at a particularly rough high school, Jenaiya spends most of the book trying to negotiate all the different areas of her life, from her online identity to her relationship with her family and her sexual identity. She’s not a simple character, and this is not an easy story to tell. It would be easy to make her an empty vessel for the events inside ‘Age of Z,’ but it was my goal to provide the audience with a believable, real character to identify with so each victory and defeat felt that much more credible.
When the novel begins, Jenaiya leads a fairly ordinary but unenviable life in Nashville. She hates school, because the school she attends is a haven for miscreants of all types. It seems as though everyone around her is a villain of some kind, and she is a constant target of their attacks. Her only refuge happens to be her favorite video game, ‘Age of Z,’ where she’s able to unleash her adolescent rage on an unsuspecting public. It provides insight into how Jenaiya feels the world really should run. She values fairness and fair play, loyalty, and integrity.
However, in the real world, beyond the confines of a digital asylum, rather than doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, she also gets caught up in the idea that “the ends justify the means,” which lands her in a whole heap of trouble. When it comes to bullies, especially teenage ones, it’s oh so tempting to fight fire with fire, but that usually ends up making things worse, as it does in ‘Playing Dead.’ Jenaiya wants to level the playing field for everyone, from the jocks to the dreamers and the jokers to the drama queens, but that’s not entirely how the world works, so the fuse she lights early in the novel eventually explodes right in her face.
Her digital world is rocked when her favorite game — really, the only game she plays — is trounced by new players who treat ‘Age of Z’ like your everyday, run-of-the-mill, cookie cutter first-person shooter. To Jenaiya, ‘AoZ’ is so much more than that. It’s a post-apocalyptic game, sure, but the world is built around relationships. See, in ‘Age of Z,’ players wander a vast wasteland in search of supplies. They can be found in buildings, abandoned cars, but the best place, by far, to hit the item jackpot is another player.
Only, players are tough to kill, and it’s much easier to work cooperatively with that person or negotiate peacefully to trade supplies. Think ‘FallOut’ without all the headshots. The game is loosely based on the experiential ‘sandbox’ games which have become popular over the past few years. Games like ‘Minecraft,’ ‘H1Z1,’ and ‘DayZ’ inform the gameplay, so if you’ve played those titles, you understand that the strategy lies not in quick-twitch mouse-and-keyboard murder sessions but in how you interact with the world and the other players.
What Jenaiya understands inherently, the new players do not, and it frustrates her. Being an African-American loner, Jenaiya feels yet another thing she loves get co-opted by society at-large, and rather than allow it to happen, she decides to fight back. She’s willing to befriend all of the different warring factions within ‘Age of Z’ to make that happen, if she has to. But she refuses — absolutely refuses — to give up on this game until she’s dead and gone.
That’s where the portmanteau character MICHONNEN_KNIFE comes in. I make a few sly references to ‘Fight Club’ throughout the book, and though the tone of ‘Playing Dead’ is nowhere near a Palahniuk novel, MICHONNEN_KNIFE is the Tyler Durden to Jenaiya’s normal Jack character. Where Jenaiya is meek and accommodating, MICHONNEN_KNIFE is uncompromising, and Jenaiya basks in every opportunity to live in that digital construction’s skin.
As a bonus, I decided to get a faux-D&D player card designed to show the audience just what MICHONNEN_KNIFE (+1 if you can guess both references embedded in the name) has to offer Jenaiya. Hope you enjoy perusing it, and if you’ve dug this blog post, you can get lots more obscure references throughout the whole of ‘Playing Dead.’

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by ShootingStars Reviews 3:00 AM No comments


Blaze 
Sierra Cross
(Spelldrift: Coven of Fire, #4)
Publication date: December 13th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

The demon is still out there.
Tenebris—the monster who killed my parents, violated my mind, and destroyed my coven sister Callie—has gone into deep hiding. I won’t rest until I find him and personally take him down.
Luckily the vampires have a bead on him, and they want me along for the demon-hunting ride. But with his brand new skinsuit and the magic amulet he stole from a witch, Tenebris is more powerful than ever. I’m not dumb enough to go up against my mortal enemy without the Coven of Fire at my side. The vampires, however, flat-out refuse to let my “non-traditional” coven in on the job. It seems that no one in the magicborn community respects us, no matter how many lives we save or how many sacrifices we make.
Callie was one sacrifice too many.
So screw the vampires. Forget working within a system that won’t accept us. Matt, Asher, Liv, and I may be misfits, but we’re a coven. And our coven is not complete without Callie. Somehow, we’ve got to track her down and find a way to save her. Then, we’re going to avenge our loved ones and take down Tenebris once and for all…but we’ll do it as a coven. As a family. One witch for all and all for one, no magicborn left behind.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
Every day of the blitz, Enigmatic Books is giving away FIVE free e-copies of the Spelldrift Coven of Fire Books 1-3 bundle on their Facebook page. Enter HERE!
For a limited time you can grab RISE, the first book in the Coven of Fire series, for just 99 cents!
EXCERPT:
“I’m sorry, Director,” I said. “Something’s come up. I’m afraid I can’t get on that plane.”
Bonaventura spun and sucked in a breath in that almost soundless way only a vampire could. He’d already thought I was a flaky amateur, now he probably thought I was a nutcase. Even Matt and Asher were looking at me like I’d lost my mind. I could really see how it might look that way.
Didn’t matter. Callie was my coven sister, and she needed us to save her. Family first.
“So am I to understand,” Bonaventura’s voice dripped with condescension, “that after begging me to help with the amulet, insisting you be present when Tenebris is killed, you’re now refusing to accompany me?”
“Believe me, if it weren’t absolutely necessary, I wouldn’t do this.” My magic was begging to come to my fingertips. But starting a brawl with a vampire seemed like one of those “poor life choices” they’d warned me about in middle school.
Bonaventura composed himself with a smooth exhalation, then turned to Liv. “I suppose you’ll have to do.” Another finger-snap. “Let’s go.”
“It’s a coven matter that has come up,” Liv said. “None of us can go.”
“We’ll send you the deactivation spell,” I said, not caring in the least that I was giving up the only leverage we had with the Director.
If Bonaventura could’ve killed me with a look, I’d be bleeding out right now. I’d seen what he’d done to Wes, his own son. I got the feeling he was picturing doing worse to me. “Not an option, Ms. Hill.” The terminal dropped ten degrees in an instant. “One of you two witches will board the plane. Or I will release you from your pitiful existence.”
Strange what a difference a little blood could make. More than scaring me, those words hurt. I’d disappointed him. I took a deep breath and shrugged off his compulsion. Vampire mind tricks aside, I owed no loyalty to Bonaventura. And as badly as I wanted to take Tenebris down, I needed to do this more. “If you want to try,” I said, “have at it.”
Matt, Liv, and Asher had already flanked me, ready to fight at my side even if they didn’t fully understand. Bonaventura’s crew did the same for him. The Director narrowed his eyes, looking at each of us in turn. I couldn’t decipher the calculations he was making behind those ice blue eyes. “Know this, witch—and this goes for your whole coven—when our paths cross again it will not be a friendly encounter.”
My heart was racing. Did I really want to make the director of the Council Suprema my enemy? But what choice did I have? We had to follow up on that phone call. We had to find my coven sister. “If that’s how you want to play it.” I hoped there’d be a way to make things right with Bonaventura later.
The Director turned on his heel and all the other vampires followed suit. I watched as they disappeared through the gate door.
“Alix, luv.” Asher turned to me, his voice sweet as saccharine. “Be so kind as to tell me why I just voluntarily incurred the wrath of the one of most powerful vampires in the northern hemisphere?”


Author Bio:
Spells and skyscrapers. Warriors and warlocks. Coven secrets and forbidden romances. Sierra Cross lives for urban fantasy, for modern magic and the bold supernatural beings who stalk our contemporary world. Her Spelldrift universe stars kickass witches and their heroic guardians, as well as vampires, shifters, mages, Fidei, and the dark demonic forces that threaten them all.

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by ShootingStars Reviews 2:30 AM No comments

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