Michael F. Haspil
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: Tor Books
Goodreads Rating: 3.68
My Rating: 4.5
Police procedurals go supernatural in this gritty urban fantasy debut
Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, who was born in ancient Rome, once hunted evil vampires for UMBRA, a super-secret unit of the NSA. That was before the discovery of a blood substitute and a Supreme Court ruling allowed thousands of vampires to integrate into society.
Now, Alex and Marcus are vice cops in a special police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.
When someone starts poisoning the artificial blood, race relations between vampires and humans deteriorate to the brink of anarchy. While the city threatens to tear itself apart, Alex and Marcus must form an unnatural alliance with a vigilante gang and a shape-shifter woman in a desperate battle against an ancient vampire conspiracy.
If they succeed, they’ll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodier than any the world has ever seen.
My take on the book:
As a native Miami girl, I was pretty excited that this story took place in my hometown. Cities like Doral, Coral Gables and Wynwood helped add to the character of the story and give the setting a nice visual for me. As for the characters, I normally reach for books with female leads since I can relate to them more but the characters of Alex/Menakaure and Marcus were solid characters with well-developed backstories. I enjoyed the whole mystery aspect of the story even if I did see many of “twists” coming. I honestly found this story to be a breath of fresh air in the vampire genre. Adding a pharaoh turned reanimated mummy into the mix as the lead character as opposed to the vamp was a great move and helped make the story so interesting.
Throughout the story, I caught myself reading too much into Alex’s interactions with other characters and expecting a “romance” as I have come to expect this of many urban fantasy books, especially the ones with vampires in the mix. I was pleasantly surprised, that while there is a slight mention of relations, there is no actual romance in this book. Whether this story is a one off or part of a series I feel like that was a bold move to make and it paid off. Sure, Alex could go on to build romantic relations in future books if the author so chooses to continue these characters’ stories but the fact that it was not introduced in this one makes this story stand out from the others like it in this genre.
My only slight complaint was how Miami itself was portrayed. While I enjoyed the mention of these larger cities and it helped me to envision the setting while reading, I felt like there was too much focus on the bigger, more popular cities and gave the setting a staleness that I wish hadn’t occurred. I felt like facts were being spouted and less imagery was given which made some of the setting come off a dry. Some of it just didn’t read as true. But honestly it was not enough to distract from an otherwise stellar novel.
About The Author
Michael F. Haspil is a geeky engineer and nerdy artist. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he had the opportunities to serve as an ICBM crew commander and as a launch director at Cape Canaveral. The art of storytelling called to him from a young age and he has plied his craft over many years and through diverse media. He has written original stories for as long as he can remember and has dabbled in many genres. However, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror have whispered directly to his soul.
When he isn’t writing, you can find him sharing stories with his role-playing group, cosplaying, computer gaming, or collecting and creating replica movie props. Lately, he devotes the bulk of his hobby time to assembling and painting miniatures for his tabletop wargaming addiction.
Michael is represented by Sara Megibow of the KT Literary Agency and Adrian Garcia of the Paradigm Talent Agency.
He has collected and made replica movie props for over twenty years and enjoys the way a particular collectible lets an individual connect with a meaningful story.
He spends entirely too much time gaming or thinking (some might say ‘scheming’) about strategies and tactics in all kinds of gaming be it board games, computer games, or his passion, tabletop wargaming. He devotes the largest share of the gaming pie to Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game. He has collected and played Grey Knights, Space Marines, Tyranids, Dark Eldar, Necrons, and Space Wolves. Michael is a regular contributor to “The Long War” a premiere podcast and webcast dedicated to tabletop gaming, but especially to Warhammer 40,000.
Photo Content from Michael F. Haspil
Enter The Giveaway Here
5 Winners will receive a Copy of GRAVEYARD SHIFT by Michael F. Haspil
“I received a free copy of the book from the author/publisher for my honest opinion. I was in no way compensated for this review and all opinions are expressly my own”
The AFTER DARK Anthology featuring Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Angel and Kait Ballenger’s Shadow Hunter is being released in mass market paperback on December 31 and to celebrate we are giving away lots of goodies.
PLEASE BE SURE TO READ ENTRY RULES COMPLETELY!
In order to enter, you must email a picture, screen shot or attach a copy of your receipt from your purchase of either the MASS MARKET PAPERBACK or MASS MARKET EBOOK version of After Dark.
PLEASE NOTE: It MUST be the MASS MARKET format to be eligible for the giveaway.
Email your receipts to email@example.com
Two (2) random entrants will each receive a $100.00 gift card to Amazon.
FIRST 10 ENTRANTS:
will receive a giant SWAG pack that contains a signed bookplate plus bookmarks from Gena along with SWAG from 50+ authors, courtesy of Book Monster Promotions.
FIRST 50 ENTRANTS:
will receive a goodie bag from Kait that includes bookmarks, magnets, pens and other goodies.
FIRST 500 ENTRANTS:
will receive the first chapter of Immortal Hunter, Book #2 in Kait’s Execution Underground series for an exclusive peek.
You have until 1/10/14 to purchase your Mass Market edition and submit your receipt. Winners will be announced by 1/15/14.
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Harlequin HQN (December 31, 2013)
A Timeless Seduction
A Unique Temptation
And a Whole World of Dark Desires…
From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter….
The Darkest Angel
Winged warrior Lysander has been alive for centuries, and yet he’s never known desire—until he meets Bianka. Spawned from the bloodline of his enemy, the beautiful but deadly Harpy is determined to lead the untouched Lysander into temptation. He may try to evade her attempts, but even the most iron-willed demon assassin can resist for only so long….
And from debut author Kait Ballenger….
Vampire hunter Damon Brock’s newest assignment with the Execution Underground is Rochester, New York, a city crawling with the undead. But he isn’t the only hunter in town gunning for vamp blood. Tiffany Solow is fierce and ruthless when it comes to slaying the monsters that destroyed her family—and she works solo. But being alone is no longer an option when she meets the mysterious hunter who wants more than just her turf. Forced to unite against the local covens, the line between good and evil blurs when they must decide between their lifelong beliefs…and their newfound desires.
MASS MARKET EDITION AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW:
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On Tour with Prism Book Tours
What would you do if you held
infinite power in the palm of your hand?
Order of The Seers
(Order of The Seers #1)
Cerece Rennie Murphy
Order of the Seers begins with the journey of Liam and Lilith Knight, a brother and sister who are hunted by The Guild, a ruthless world organization that seeks to capture and exploit Lilith s unique ability as a Seer to envision the future. Soon after they are forced to leave their home, Lilith and Liam discover that she is not alone. Other Seers like Lilith are routinely kidnapped and enslaved by the Guild for the purpose of consolidating wealth and power around the world…
The Red Order
(Order of The Seers #2)
Cerece Rennie Murphy
The Quest to Control the Power of the Seers Continues…
see the future, honing their skills to become the ultimate threat against the Lost Seers. But the question remains – will the power of The Red Order be enough to defeat them?
The Red Order continues the epic battle for freedom which began in Order of the Seers, revealing the secret motives behind an organization that exists to exploit and a renegade movement that seeks to usher in the next phase in human evolution.
Cerece Rennie Murphy lives and writes just outside of her hometown of Washington, DC. In addition to completing the Order of the Seers trilogy, Ms. Murphy is also developing a children’s book series titled Enchanted: 5 Tales of Magic in the Everyday, and a 2-part science fiction series set in outer space.
Enter The Giveaways Here:
1 free ebook of Order of the Seers to giveaway at each blog post
(That’s alot of chances to win!)
Today is the release day of Twisted (Deathwind Triolgy #1) by Holly Hook!
Sixteen-year-old Allie isn’t like other girls. Instead of spending her summer break sitting around on the beach, she takes the epic vacation of a lifetime.
And she’s not disappointed. Just a few miles from the town of Evansburg, Nebraska, Allie meets her dream of seeing a tornado. In person. She can’t wait to tell her friends back home. Never mind that her parents are going to kill her.
But her dream soon turns into a nightmare, and a strange event leaves her shocked. Confused. When she returns home to Wisconsin, something’s…different. Allie now bears a curse so awful, it could destroy everyone and everything she’s ever known.
With her best friend, Tommy, Allie must return to the plains to find a way to reverse it. She enters a world that she had never imagined, where she becomes a pawn in a fight to save the people of Evansburg from her fate…or to destroy them.
My very first tornado touches the grass of the plains.
I stand next to the van, mouth dropping open, heart pounding. It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for, saved money for, begged my uncle to book us for the Wild Weather Storm Chasing Tours for.
Uncle Cassius swears next to me, equally in awe. It barely cuts over the wind rushing towards the distant funnel. Waves of grass bow down to the twister, whipped down by the surrounding air flying in to feed it. The perfect white cone stands out against the coal sky, slim and graceful. A skirt of dust spins around its base, signaling its dance through a field a few miles away.
“Beautiful!” Kyle, our storm chaser guide, snaps a photo for his website. He steals a glance at me and smiles. He’s all enthusiasm, joy that we’ve found our prey. “Don’t worry. We’re safe. It’s heading to the east. It’ll pass no closer than a couple of miles to our north.”
I want his job someday.
“I’m not scared,” I said, but my shaky voice betrays me. Who am I kidding? Kyle’s an experienced chaser–twenty years–but this is a real tornado. In person. Live. I never realized it would be this intense, this breathtaking. A hollow feeling fills my stomach like I’m plunging down the first hill of a roller coaster.
The tornado curves, almost like it’s leaning to the side for a better look at something. At us? It’s a silly thought, one that makes me laugh. The thunderstorm spins slowly above it, low and menacing. Thunder claps. It’s enough to remind me that the storm in front of me isn’t just beautiful. It’s a predator, entrancing like a cobra and ready to strike.
Good thing there’s no houses or buildings in its way. Only farmland stretches from horizon to horizon.
“Allie. Forget your camera?” Uncle Cassius slaps me on the arm, smiling. It’s a tense smile. So I’m not the only one with some nerves going.
I pull it out of my pocket and fumble with the slim case, fingers hunting for the button. The camera zings to life. Behind it, the tornado looms a bit larger, gaining strength and racing across the ground. More dust kicks up around the perfect white of the twister.
“Now I can really prove to everyone at school how crazy I am.” I give Uncle Cassius a nervous chuckle. The camera trembles in my hands as I catch the tornado in my view, click, and seal it in my memory forever.
I’m having the most insane summer vacation of my entire high school.
I lift the camera for another shot, backing up to squeeze the tornado into the viewport. I click another picture and lowered the camera again for another look.
My heart jumps.
The tornado looms larger, taller. Kyle holds his hand up to his face, squinting for a better view. Even Uncle Cassius goes quiet, stiffening and taking a step back towards the tour van.
All at once I understand.
The tornado has changed course.
Kyle turns. Real fear widens his features.
“Get in the van,” he shouts.
* * * * *
The one big thing I can recall from those first ten seconds is the roar, like a distant train growing closer. The wind whips my hair back, trying to pull me back out of the van. It feels like the twister’s right behind me already, coming down for the kill.
I slam the door on it. The funnel’s much bigger behind the glass, so much that I can’t see the top of it anymore.
Uncle Cassius snaps on his seat belt next to me. Kyle starts it up, punches the gas, and gets us back on the road to nowhere.
I toss my camera to the floor. My hands fumble with the seat belt. The van speeds up, slamming me into the seat. The specter of the tornado closes in, whipping across the field towards us. I’ve heard of tornadoes making sudden turns like this but I never realized it could happen this fast. It rips across the field, coming straight at us. My heart beats on a runaway course. My mind locks into overdrive. I feel like that news crew they always have on tornado shows, that one that survived by hiding under that overpass. Will Kyle make us get out and climb under one? They’re actually bad places to hide. That news crew got off lucky. Kyle knows better. He’s been chasing storms longer than I’ve been alive.
Only green and yellow spreads out ahead. No shelter for miles. Worse, no ditches. The radar on Kyle’s laptop is covered in ugly red and orange blotches like Nebraska has sores.
A hole of panic opens up inside me and for the first time, I regret coming on this vacation.
“Can’t you go faster?” Uncle Cassius leans forward in his seat, gaze hard, arms trembling.
Uncle Cassius never loses his cool.
Not even when I accidentally set his Persian rug on fire when I was seven and broke my arm at the age of nine.
Outside, the tornado grows so close that I could only see the bottom half of the funnel. The van bounces along every speed bump on the highway, every uneven spot. My stomach heaves. I’m going to be sick right here. It’s my stupid fault we’re in this mess.
“I don’t understand.” Kyle punches the gas harder, making the van jump. He turns his head like Linda Blair in the Exorcist, eyes widening. “The tornado should not be moving this way.”
He’s right. It shouldn’t. But it is.
The funnel reaches the road behind us, twisting harder, kicking up earth higher and higher. We’ve gotten out in front of it. I breathe a sigh of relief. Kyle and Uncle Cassius do the same. It’ll cross the road and forget all about us.
Kyle lets off the gas a little and the whine of the engine calms some. “We’re safe now. That was highly unusual. I’ve never seen a tornado turn like that in my career.” There’s a hint of an apology in his voice.
“Well, that was a close one, wasn’t it, Allie?” Uncle Cassius hugs me from the side.
“Yeah,” I say, willing my heart to slow down. At least I can think straight now. Can I even do another two days of this?
Wow, what a dumb idea this was.
But I still can’t resist another look at the storm. I turn as far as my seat belt allows.
My guts fall out of me all over again.
The tornado’s still on the road, bigger than ever. It can’t be.
The twister has turned again. It’s coming right up behind us. Rolling dust eats the entire highway. There’s tornado taking up the whole view of the back window. Dust rips to the sides. The bottom of its funnel spins with fury, big enough to swallow a house whole. Its roar screams against the outside of the van, shaking the seat, pushing the whole van to the side.
It’s no longer beautiful.
“Ohmigod,” I say, sucking in a breath. “Um…Kyle? Stomp on the gas. Just saying.”
“I know!” he snaps. His knuckles turn white on the steering wheel. The van lurches again but he maintains control.
“Allie, get down!” Uncle Cassius puts his huge hand on my back and pushes me towards the floor. The seat belt cuts into my throat.
What good is it going to do? If the tornado lifts the car–
I’m going to die.
I begged to go on this trip and now Uncle Cassius is going to die too.
The windows shatter with a deafening boom and the wind screams in my ears. AllieAllieAllieAllie…
I can’t breathe.
Uncle Cassius shouts something. Kyle yells. If I’m screaming, I can’t tell. The storm’s sucking it right out of me. Windy hands seize my arms, my legs.
My safety belt snaps, whipping against my leg. I cry out with the sting. The seat disappears under me.
The tornado’s ripping me right out of the van.
The world turns to a white and brown roar. The van’s gone. I have no time to cry out to Uncle Cassius before the world snaps to black and silence takes the place of all.
About Holly Hook
Holly Hook is the author of the Destroyers Series, which consists of five young adult books about teens who are walking disasters…literally. She is also the author of the Rita Morse series, a young adult fantasy series still in progress, and After These Messages, a short ya comedy. Currently she is writing Twisted, a spin-off of the Destroyers Series due out in December. When not writing, she enjoys reading books for teens, especially ya fantasy and paranormal series with a unique twist.
Thanks for stopping by,
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: November 25, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Covet
Goodreads Rating: 3
My Rating: 4
There’s a thin line between love and hate…
“I would lick that man up one side and down the other.”
Half-shifter and lead SPAC agent, Val Calhoun, has listened to women gush over the Don Juan of the precinct for the last four years. Yeah, Detective Britton Townsend is hot and has stunning blue eyes, but that foul mouth he saves only for her? What a waste of good looks. And no way does Val want that mouth anywhere near hers.
When the shifter community is threatened, Val is assigned to the case…and fails. So the High Council turns to the rogue shifter they’d sentenced to twenty years as a human–that same obnoxiously sexy Detective Townsend. And sends the two arch-enemies deep into the North Carolina Mountains-—together, and alone.
Being stuck in a tiny honeymoon cabin with Miss Castration and only one bed is definitely not Britton’s idea of a good time. But the High Council doesn’t take no for an answer. After his shifter abilities are restored, Brit is once again susceptible to the dreaded, irreversible bonding instinct, the Drall. Thankfully, all he’s ever felt for Val is intense loathing, no reason to worry. Right? All he has to do is solve this case pronto, and he can go back to his footloose Casanova ways. That is, if they don’t kill each other first. Or worse…fall in love.
My Take On The Book:
I don’t know if it’s just me, but books from Entangled are either a hit or miss. Luckily, this one was a hit hands down. I loved the blurb and the cover picture but I was reluctant to read it based on my past experiences with this publishing group. It was a last second decision and one I’m pleased I made.
The Great (Pros):
The Characters. I’m so happy that the books I’ve read recently all had well developed characters. The kind that stick around well after the story is over, that kind that keep you invested in their wellbeing. This book was no different. I couldn’t stop rehashing the events in the book.
The Romance. Well golly ::fans face:: this author sure knows how to bring the steam to paper or in this case, digital book page. The chemistry of the two main characters is off the charts. I love the progression from hate to love.
Britton. He deserves his own bullet simply on merit. He’s loyal, noble and strong and smexi. He was written and developed beautifully.
The Not So Great (Cons):
Repetitiveness. I have this thing, it really irks me. I hate when words or phrases are written or said too much. Unfortunately, this book has a bit of that. For ex. the constant use of the word Drall.
Tear Jerker. Way to take it to the extreme lol. Honestly this is really a con but I can’t very well add it to the pros list. Who likes to sob hysterically because of a book, not me. Truthfully though it ought to be in the pros simply because the author wove a tale that enthralled me from the very beginning.
I haven’t read the other 2 in the series but I just might, now that I’ve read this one. This book literally made me squeal and giggle. I had a constant mantra while reading it, “I love this book, I love this book, I love this author, I love this….” And then I cried for well over 20 pages and that mantra changed to “I hate this book, I hate this book, I hate this book, why? Why? Why?” In the end though, I was happy. It’s a solid shifter read. Well written and well crafted.
About The Author
Ever since Abby Niles picked up her first Sweet Valley High book in sixth grade and fell in love with Elizabeth and Todd, she’s been hooked on romance. By the time she reached high school, she was devouring meatier romances with pirates, cowboys and knights. She never imagined that those years of reading would one day lead to her becoming a published author.
In her late twenties, after having twins and becoming a stay-at-home mom, she started doodling stories to keep her sanity. Next thing she knew, she was actually submitting to publishing houses. And was immediately rejected. That didn’t stop her though. She found some kickass critique partners, honed her craft, and continued submitting.
And eventually sold.
Today, she juggles work, being a single mom, and writing. It’s not always easy, but hey, who said life was easy?
Abby is the author of the contemporary MMA romance, Extreme Love, the first book in her Love to the Extreme series. Fighting Love is scheduled to release in December of 2013 and Winning Love is scheduled for 2014. She is also the author of the dark paranormal romance series The Awakening: Aidan and The Awakening: Liam. The Awakening: Britton is scheduled to release in November 2013. Both series are with Entangled Publishing. She also has a geeky romantic comedy, Defying Convention, with Carina Press.
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1 $50 Amazon GC
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“I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion.”
Daughter of Isis
(Descendants of Isis, #1)
“Her mouth parted slightly, waiting for Seth to breathe life into her own body, just like in the story. She wanted him to awaken her senses.”
Their worlds collide in California’s high desert.
Excerpt From Daughter of Isis
About the Author
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Supernatural Thriller
Release Date: October 30, 2013
Publisher: Bellwoods Publishing
My Rating: 4 Stars
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/nM0QAA607yo
Follow the tour HERE
The Nolan morgue is more than just an ordinary funeral home.
When their newest employee uncovers a supernatural conspiracy connected to a string of child murders, she must use every shred of her intelligence to stop a new breed of serial killer and escape the morgue alive.
After graduating from the mortuary program at Mount Royal University, Camilla Carleton moves to a secluded town in the northern Yukon for her first job at a family-run funeral home. Her new employers, however, are the town’s most controversial citizens, and when strange occurrences begin happening around the morgue—including late night visits from children who were thought to be dead—she won’t stop until she uncovers the truth behind these paranormal events.
But unraveling the funeral home’s secret is just the start. When Camilla is faced with life and death decisions of her own, she must fight to undo a horrific chain of events while struggling to outsmart a serial killer, save her family, and escape the morgue alive.
My Take On The Book:
I was initially hesitant about reading this book, but after reading and re-reading the synopsis I decided what the hell and signed up for the tour. I’m really glad I did!
‘Come Little Children’ is an eerie, haunting and downright frightening book. There were parts that I found myself wanting to skim over, so it wasn’t a perfect read but it was close.
The Great (Pros):
- The Romance. While a prominent part of the story, it isn’t over the top or overpowering to the actual storyline. The characters had chemistry and at times their interactions make you or me in this case giggle like a schoolgirl lol.
- The Characters. Even the a-holes were well constructed. I didn’t have any scratch my head, what the hell moments in regards to their actions.
- The premise of the story. It was creepy and really creative so I really loved it.
- Peter. Swoon. A talented, ambidextrous, romantic artist. Loyal and passionate. What’s not to love about a man like that? He was a family man through and through. I want my own Peter 😉
- Camilla. She was an original type of character. A little on the weird side and definitely had some problems but I think that’s what I liked about her. Her differentness worked with this type of book.
- Abigail. I can’t say too much on this front except evil little Spawn of Satan. She was the perfect mixture of outward innocence and a vile child.
- The Ending. Tear jerker for sure. I really loved the ending of this book. It was different just like the rest of this story. There was just something so haunting about it. I kind of saw it coming but at the same time I didn’t. It was that will he won’t he moment and I loved it. I didn’t even mind the crying!
The Not So Great (Cons):
- Inconsistencies & Predictability. Really this is all that holds this story back from ah-maze-ing-ness. Like I said before this, was a near perfect read. Most of what I found I wanted to skim over were the bouts of information overload here and the lack of information there. The other parts were the predictable moments with the exception of the ending. It felt like the scenes in slasher flicks where you’re screaming “Don’t go in there” and they do it anyway.
I’d recommend this to any and all horror buffs. It pushes the boundaries of social norms. Leaving you to question your own morals and asking yourself what you would do in a similar situation. A stand up book and take notice book, worthy of your shelves.
About The Author
D. Melhoff was born in a prairie ghost town located an inch above the Canadian-American border. He credits King, Poe, Hitchcock, Harris, Raimi, and his second grade school teacher, Mrs. Lake, for turning him to horror.
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“I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion.”