Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Guest Post: The Six Scariest Short Stories for Halloween by Rob Blackwell

I hope everyone will help me in welcoming Rob back to the spine. Rob Blackwell is the author of one of my favorite series.

 A Soul To StealBand of Demons (The Sanheim Chronicles, Book Two)
I have a simple rule for what makes an excellent short story: the good ones haunt me.
I’ve read hundreds of books and even more short stories, and I’m sad to say that I don’t remember all of them. But the truly exceptional ones stick in my mind. They’re the ones I find myself thinking about time and again, sometimes years later, until eventually I break down and re-read them.
Of course, no one can make a definitive list of the best short stories for Halloween, but as a conversation starter, I’ll declare several that I think are some of the scariest, most haunting stories I’ve ever read. I encourage you to leave a comment to tell me what short stories you love.
6)The Black Phone” by Joe Hill
I’ve never been able to look at a black phone—or black balloons—the same way after reading this story. I admit I was skeptical of Hill, knowing him only as one of Stephen King’s sons, but his exceptional collection of short stories, 20th Century Ghosts, won me over. Like his father, Hill has a knack for scary stories mixed with pathos, humor and great characters.
Although I enjoyed all of the stories, “The Black Phone” has proven impossible to forget. It starts with a boy being taken by the Galesburg Grabber, a serial kidnapper, and doesn’t let up from there. The story is absolutely gripping. Will the boy get free? Who is the kidnapper talking to upstairs? And what’s with the strange phone in the middle of his room, the one that’s disconnected and broken, but somehow starts ringing? In just 20 pages, Hill proves to be his father’s equal in writing a story that won’t let you go.
5) “Prey” by Richard Matheson
Matheson is better known as the author of “I Am Legend,” a novella so good it’s been made into three different movies. Buried in the back of that collection, however, is a short story, “Prey,” that packs a wallop.
Amelia buys a small Indian doll, which claims to have the spirit of a hunter called “He Who Kills” trapped inside of it. But when the chain restraining the spirit falls off, Amelia finds out how deadly the little curio can be. In any other hands, this story could be “Child’s Play,” a movie about a psychotic doll that plays for laughs. But “Prey” is a chilling masterpiece as Amelia quickly realizes the thing is hunting her—and driving her insane. The ending of the story is shocking.
4) “Limbo” by Lucius Shepard
Shepard’s “Limbo” is tucked away in an anthology about ghosts called The Dark, edited by Ellen Datlow. It’s one of the strangest horror stories I’ve read, but also one of the best.
A burnt-out former mobster named Shellane takes shelter at a remote lakeside resort. Although he pledges to keep his distance from everyone, he is fascinated by Grace, the enigmatic woman he sees taking long, aimless walks. Her stories of abuse and mistreatment by her husband galvanize Shellane, but is Grace really all she seems? And how far will Shellane go to protect her? The story’s twist ending ensures that this is a story you won’t forget.
3) “Jerusalem’s Lot” by Stephen King
A prequel to the better-known “Salem’s Lot,” this short story is one of the best that Stephen King has ever written—and that’s a long list. Part of Different Seasons, one of many collections of King’s shorter works, the story is told through a series of letters and inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
Charles Boone inherits his ancestral home in 1850 near Chapelwaite, Maine, and quickly becomes obsessed with its dark history. The people in the village think his house is cursed, and Boone’s efforts to prove them wrong uncover far darker secrets than he is prepared to face.
The coda at the end of the story, written years later by a descendent, is classic King, and hints at the same awful sequence of events occurring all over again.
2)The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe
If you haven’t read this already, you should stop what you’re doing and go read it now. If you have, you should re-read it.
Poe has many terrific tales, including “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” and the poem “The Raven,” but “Amontillado” is second to none.
It’s the story of a man out for revenge on a fellow nobleman, so he lures him into a secluded wine cellar and seals him in with brick and mortar. What makes it all the more enticing is that the reader is never entirely sure why Montresor is killing Fortunato, beyond a vague reference to an insult some time earlier. Must have been some insult to bury him alive.
What works isn’t just the slow machination of impending death, but the characters themselves. Montresor is quite likeable for a cold-hearted killer, and positively cavalier in his over-the-top and grotesque scheme. Meanwhile, Fortunato is sufficiently annoying that the reader doesn’t really feel sorry for him. The result is a book where the reader almost feels complicit in the crime itself.
1)The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving
Anyone who reads my novels A Soul to Steal or Band of Demons will figure out pretty quickly just how much I love “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”
It’s not just the best short story for Halloween, it is arguably one of the best short stories of all time.
While that may be a bold claim, consider this: it was originally published in 1820, but it remains just as popular now as it was then. Part of that is because it features such classic characters and vivid descriptions. The characters still seem recognizable today. Ichabod is the know-it-all school teacher, Katrina, the coquettish flirt, and Bromm, the town jock and bully.
It also features one of the best villains of all time. The concept of a headless horseman is prominent in German folklore, but Irving uses him to great effect here. In the story, he’s the ghost of a Hessian soldier searching for his head, which was removed by a cannonball. Irving writes that he rides “like a midnight blast” and terrorizes the surrounding area.
He’s also one of the few ghosts to carry a sword and a flaming pumpkin. In short, he is damn scary.
Best of all, the story never makes it clear whether he’s even real. The ending is purposely ambiguous—either a real Headless Horseman captured poor Ichabod or Bromm simply dressed up like the phantom and ran the teacher out of town. This is a great kind of ghost story because the reader can believe whatever he or she wants and debate it among friends.
Perhaps as a result, I read it every year and always enjoy it. It’s the perfect story for Halloween.
What are your favorite short stories for Halloween?
More about Rob
Rob Blackwell

Rob Blackwell is the author of A Soul to Steal and its sequel Band of Demons, which prominently feature the Headless Horseman in a whole new storyline and mythology. Both have been Kindle bestsellers in Amazon’s ghost category and have been described as the “perfect read for Halloween.”

Get in touch:

Review: Band of Demons by Rob Blackwell

Band of Demons (The Sanheim Chronicles, Book Two)

Title: Band of Demons
Author: Rob Blackwell
Print Length: 358 pages
Source: Author
Goodreads   Amazon

The highly anticipated sequel to the Kindle bestseller A Soul to Steal
The past is always at your heels…

Quinn O’Brion and Kate Tassel, two community journalists, tapped into a dark power last Halloween in order to stop a vicious serial killer. But they are still grappling with their new abilities—and wondering if what they unleashed may soon consume them.

While they confront what they have become, a new threat is hunting them—a force that could destroy their whole town.

Band of Demons continues the epic story of The Sanheim Chronicles, a trilogy that blends mystery, suspense and urban fantasy.


Rob Blackwell blew me away last year with his first novel in the Sanheim Chronicles series, A soul to Steal. I can remember reading A Soul to Steal late at night getting totally creeped out by every little noise I heard, but I just could not stop reading because I had to know how it was going to end. Then when I finished I knew I had to continue this series.

I was so excited when Rob contacted me about Band of Demons! As it got closer to the time I was going to start reading it I got the *oh know, what if it’s not as good as book one woes.* Does anyone else do that? Anyway I soon found out that I had no reason to worry.

What I loved:

OK, so for many of us who read all the time by about half way through the book you are reading you have a good idea of what is going to happen. Band of Demons kept me guessing! Especially in the case of the character, Kieran. Kieran drove me insane! (but in a good way) I could not decide if he was good or bad, and he really kept the story line going. I also loved the continuing growth of Kate and Quinn. These two are doing all they can to learn what is happening to them and how to use their new abilities, but they have the obstacle of not many ways to research.

Oh, have I mentioned how intense this was! Rob does an amazing job of building the story. I looked up at one point after I started reading and realized I was half done. Between the action and the (crap, what is going to happen next) suspense, I could not put it down.

This is the perfect Halloween read!!!

What I didn’t like:

The ending! No, I’m not saying the ending sucked. The ending was a little on the epic side, but HOW am I supposed to wait another year to see what happens next???

Happy Reading Everyone,

Put your kids to bed, sit down with their Halloween candy and read this series!

Recommended for:

Other Books in This Series
A Soul To Steal

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Maralee Lowder

I hope you will all help me in welcoming Maralee to Spooking The Spine Today!

Morticians_Wife button 300 x 225

The Mortician’s Wife is about as good a book for Halloween as it gets. First of all, it has an evil mortician. And it has his beleaguered wife. Along with a little girl who sees and hears things other people don’t. And, oh yeah, it has the old building itself—which just happens to be very haunted!
Although the story is fiction, the building is not. And the haunting is about as real as a haunting can get. Yes, it is still going on—quite actively, I might add. Here are some of the things that are absolutely true about Dunsmuir’s Old Mortuary.
Yes, there was actually a mortician’s wife. And she did continue living a solitary life in the old building for four decades after her husband’s death. And, according to her, there were ghosts that haunted the house. In fact, she was so frightened of the ghosts she slept in a tiny alcove that was only large enough for her single sized bed. It was her belief that this was the only place where the ghosts would not get her during the night. She continued living this way until she had become completely mentally unhinged and was ultimately removed against her own wishes.
The book, The Mortician’s Wife, came about by my wondering why a woman would force such a life upon herself. What compelled the woman to live alone in a building that she believed contained evil spirits? Had she done something so vile that she believed she must be punished by imprisoning herself there for all those years?
And, if there were evil spirits then, are they still there today? I don’t have a lot of answers to the mysteries surrounding the old mortuary, but I do know that there are still spirits living (or “un” living?) there. But it does seem that they are more playful than evil. At least the current owners, who are living in the house, believe to be true. But lately, they have begun to wonder…

More about The Mortician’s Wife and Maralee Lowder:

clip_image002The Morticians Wife
Maralee Lowder

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Taylor Street Books
ISBN: 13: 978-1480011229
Number of pages:194
Word Count: 71000
Cover Artist: Tim Hewtson
Amazon   Goodreads
Book Description:
“I have spent the night in supposedly some of the most haunted buildings in America. I have met people who could fairly be described as evil incarnate. I have been to the Old Mortuary in Dunsmuir. It is gorgeous but I wouldn't spend a single night there.” Kathleen McKenna, author of horror novels 'The Wedding Gift' and 'Family Matters'.
Five miles from the new age Mt. Shasta City, the sleepy Northern California town of Dunsmuir plays host to a nightmarish house – the Old Mortuary – where the mortician's wife spent four decades alone, and some say insane, sleeping in an alcove off one bedroom where she believed the evil spirits of the house could not get to her, harboring terrible secrets.
With the steady flow of dead bodies through the basement and the murderous events upstairs, this is the story of how the Old Mortuary of Dunsmuir became one of the most haunted houses in America as a result of the personality and misdeeds of one man, Horace Carpenter, whose eternal soul most certainly does not rest in peace, as many will attest, and probably never will.


Maralee Lowder found so much pleasure in reading such a wide spectrum of romance genres, she has never been able to write in just one. Her novels run the gamut of contemporary, historical, humorous, horror, paranormal and suspense.
Look for the sequel to "The Morticians Wife" coming soon

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Happy Reading and Good Luck!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway by Liesel Hill

I am so excited to have Liesel as a part of Spooking The Spine! I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have:

October is one of my favorite times of year! Halloween is so fun and festive and there’s just so much going on! It’s also a fun time for the obsessive reader! This year, I put aside several books I was reading or planning on reading so I could focus on Halloween reads for the month of October.

For me, Halloween themes include monsters such as vampires (the kind that are monsters rather than sparkley boyfriends) zombies, ghosts, ghouls, and even a few serial killers. Anything spooky qualifies. So far, I’ve read Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake and The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin. Both were awesome! Now I’m reading Bloodlust by Gary C. King, a true crime novel about a sadistic serial killer who targeted prostitutes in the eighties. It’s all kinds of disturbing!

I also like to try and read one of the classics during the month of October. Either Bram Stoker’s Dracula (still the cold standard for vampire stories, even a hundred plus years later), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (a bit more difficult to get to, but moving as ever), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (a surprisingly compelling classic) or the immortal Edgar Allen Poe. (The Masque of the Red Death was always my favorite, though I do think Berenice is more disturbing.

I definitely don’t get to all the classics each year (usually just one) and I think I’ll read about my buddy Dr. Jekyll this year right after I finish Bloodlust. I also have a collective 36 books on various Halloween-themed shelves on, so obviously I won’t get to all those either.

Halloween is just a fun time to kick back and reads some awesome spooky stories. Any other time of year, if you told someone you were reading about Jack the Ripper, they’d look at you like you just announced you were going to grow a pair of pants in your back yard. But in October, they just smile and nod knowingly. They might even make their thumb and forefinger into a fake gun and point it at you while they click their tongues. They just get it. It’s October, after all!

So, what are you reading this Halloween? I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card you can use to pick up a few spooky reads (or whatever kind you want. :D) To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below. For the most entries leave a comment telling me what the scariest book you’ve ever read is.

My answer to this? Probably Patricia Cornwell’s portrait of Jack the Ripper. It’s entitled Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper—Case Closed. You’ll find it in the true crime section.

Happy Halloween, Everyone!
About Liesel
Liesel K. Hill

Author blurb:

Liesel K Hill is an award-winning author with a degree from Weber State University. She writes across three genres: scifi/fantasy, historical fiction, and crime drama, and has had at least one book picked up for each genre, though none is actually out yet. She comes from a large, tight-knit family and lives in northern Utah with two of her sisters and her niece.

Hill Front Cover

In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.

After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.

In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.

If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away...

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stacking The Shelves #11

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is a post for bloggers to share what books they've received to review, bought, won, borrowed or were gifted.

For a Tour Stop


When her mother mysteriously vanishes from the small town of Plains, Montana, 12-year-old Lucky Bird’s childhood comes to an abrupt end. Left to defend herself against her suddenly abusive grandmother, Marian, and forced to endure the twisted predatory games played out by Marian’s lover, Lucky soon finds herself trapped in a nightmare.

Even when she manages to escape, the outside world can’t take away the brutal images of her past. Still haunted by her mother’s disappearance and the trauma that followed, Lucky is easily led down a path of self-destruction—a path that only the intervention of a young stranger and his family can guide her away from. But first, Lucky will have to confront her demons, and the dark truths kept hidden.

I love the bag and journal I Am Lucky Bird came packaged with. I have read awesome reviews for this recently and will be on tour for I Am Lucky Bird in December with a giveaway.
Thank to BookSpark PR!

That’s it for me this week! I am trying to keep my book receiving low until I go to YALLFEST in a few weeks. Also I want to be able to stop everything and read ICED when it comes out!!!

If you have not entered Spooking The Spine WEEK #4 Book Depository Giveaway GO ENTER!!!

What did you get this week???
Link me in the comments below, and let me know if you are a new follower! I would love to follow back:)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sweet Peril Cover Reveal!

Are y’all as excited as I am about this?!?!?!?!


Anna Whitt, daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a claim. She’d been naive about a lot of things. Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.
When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?
Release Date: April 30, 2013 from HarperTeen

Get to know the author!

Wendy Higgins was born in Alaska, grew up an Army brat, and lived all over the United States before settling in the Washington, DC area. She attended George Mason University for her undergrad degree in creative writing, and Radford University for her masters in curriculum and instruction. Wendy taught 9th and 12th grade English in a rural school before becoming a mother and author. She now lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son. Sweet Peril is her second novel.

I think this cover is AWESOME!!!
So, what do you think???
Let me know below.

Happy Reading,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guest Review: Vampires Destined Series by Rachel Carrington (Vampire Cursed, Vampire Forgotten & Vampire Betrayed)

Hey y’all I was so excited when Carin sent me an email letting me know she was going to be reviewing three novellas. I love a good novella when I’m trying to figure out what book to read next! Now I will give you to Carin.

Vampire Cursed

Cursed to live alone. Existing as cold, soulless vampire. His life is no longer his own.

Nathaniel, Duke of Lehr, has been waiting for someone to love, a woman to break the witch’s curse that holds him captive within the walls of his own home. For only unfettered, unconditional love will sever the ties binding him to a reality he abhors.

Abby’s been drawn to Castle Lehr for a long time. She wants an interview with the elusive owner, a chance for a big break in journalism. But the story isn’t one she can write about in the newspaper.

One moment, one connection, is all it takes for Nathaniel to realize his heart will be forever bound to Abby’s, but could she ever trust a vampire much less love one?

Author Excerpt Vampire Cursed

“It is a pleasure to meet you. Welcome to my home.” The Duke bowed low and taking Abby’s hand, pressed a kiss against her knuckles. She shivered at the touch, while his voice mesmerized her—pure silk.
“Thank you for your hospitality,” she finally managed to say.
“The pleasure is all mine. Come. We have much to discuss.” He placed his hand on the small of her back, and heat spiraled low in her abdomen.
Entranced, Abby couldn’t think of one eloquent word to say. To think, thought, that this was the man she would be interviewing intoxicated her. She’d get to sit across from him for at least an hour, hoping she could form a coherent thought.
“Would you like something to drink? Perhaps a glass of sherry?” The smooth, cultured tones were infinitely polite, charming. Still, she felt the hairs on the back of her neck rise.
Abby had always been one to trust her instincts, and something told her to ditch the interview and get out of the castle now. This time, she ignored the still, small voice. Right now, she couldn’t think of anywhere else she wanted to be.
“No, thank you. You have a beautiful home.” Almost as beautiful as you are.
The Duke smiled. “Thank you. I have to admit,” he poured himself a glass of an amber-colored liquid, “I was beginning to think you were not coming.”

For my contribution to Spooking the Spine I went with a perennial Halloween favorite with a new spin, I am reviewing the 3 Novellas that currently make up the Rachel Carrington's Vampire Destined series. 
First in the Series is Vampire Cursed
This is the story of Abby a journalist who thinks she is getting her big break by interviewing the owner of the Castle Lehr and Nathaniel, Duke of Lehr a vampire that has been cursed to never leave his home, unless he can find love. 
Do you believe in love at first sight? In destiny or fate? All of this seems to be at work when Abby and Nathaniel meet. Throw in an evil witch who cursed Nathaniel because she wants him for herself and you have all the ingredients to make this fun, romantic and quick read.  The story was good and the characters likable it seemed however that this story was slightly rushed. Overall a nice quick read that you can enjoy.
Vampire Forgotten

Forgotten in the mountains of Romania. Forced to live a life he didn’t choose. Suffering the daily pain of loneliness. Spending an eternity without the touch of a woman’s hand.

Though damned as a vampire, Rhad Valentine has been given what some might call the gift of psychic sight. He sees it as a constant reminder of real life going on without him—a life he cannot live.

Mischa Bonovich is on a desperate mission to find her missing sister, Rianna. Led to the mountains of her homeland by the faint call of Rianna’s voice, Mischa needs Rhad’s gift and his strength.

Wild hunger, both foreign and welcome, drives Rhad to his knees. He’d never held a woman so soft. Kissed one so responsive. And in spite of his inner protests, he’ll do anything to help her. Anything to feel just one more touch of her hand.

In the dark forests of Romania, Rhad’s desire won’t be quenched until he tastes what only Mischa can offer, but first, he must save her from a man who has nothing to lose. A man who holds a deadly secret that could tear Mischa from Rhad’s arms before love can happen.

Author Excerpt Vampire Forgotten:

“You do not remember how you arrived at my front door last evening?”
The smoothly cultured tone of his voice painted a picture of Tuscany, fine wine in crystal goblets, and a soft concerto playing in the background. But those eyes, they conjured up an entirely different image. Silk sheets, hot, sweaty nights, and tangled limbs….in a room so dark she couldn’t see her hand in front of her face.
Feeling only slightly guilty for her wayward thoughts, Mischa pushed the tangled mass of curls out of her face and shook her head. “I don’t remember much before waking up in a bedroom I don’t recognize.” She clutched the comforter tighter. “Without my clothes.”
The half-smile became a full one. “Then you really do not recall your arrival.”
Mischa was sure she didn’t want an answer to her next question, but she asked anyway. “What do you mean?”
“You arrived wearing very little. Nothing more than a scrappy piece of lace and high heels.”
Her heart increased its rhythm. How in the hell could she have arrived without her clothes? “You’re lying.”
Dark eyebrows rose. “I assure you I do not lie.”
“Why don’t I believe that?” Every man lied. It was in their genes. And why couldn’t she remember how she’d left the hotel room? Maybe that would tell her how she’d come to lose her clothes.
He seated himself on the edge of the bed. “I have no idea since we have not met before now.” He touched her knee through the thickness of the blankets. “Or have we?”
She drew her feet to one side of the bed away from his reach. “No, we have not met, and please don’t touch me.” Though her lips made the request, her mind refuted it. Please touch me. Caress my leg, my thigh, and…
Heat splashed her skin. She pressed one hand against her cheek, and her palm burned. What was happening, and why was Rhad Valentine staring at her lips like he wanted to feast on them?
Second in the series is Vampire Forgotten
We meet Rhad Valentine a vampire who seems to be forgotten in the mountains of Romania finds an unconscious Mischa Bonovich on his door step. Mischa has come to Romania to find her younger sister who has gone missing. She finds herself at Rhad's castle with no knowledge of how she got there but quickly realizes that he is who she came  looking for to help her locate her sister.  
We have shaman, ghosts, vampires and killers making this a mini thriller as much as a touching romance. This novella seemed better developed than the first, was a little longer and a lot more spicy in the romantic scenes between Rhad and Mischa.  We also have the element of a missing sister and a rich mobster type looking to find Mischa's grandfather to give the story more excitement and depth. 
Vampire Betrayed

Damned to be a creature of the night. Disillusioned by the promise of love which can never be his. Betrayed by his own and the woman he loves.

Joaquin never intended to fall in love, especially not with a mortal. A human could never understand his kind, the torture of his daily existence, but his heart doesn’t follow his head. And he finds love in the arms of a woman who knows nothing about his true existence.

After just three short months, Arian believes she’s has found the man she would risk everything for. Then she learns the truth. A dark, twisted truth that becomes the catalyst for a life-changing decision when she believes a sorceress’s lies.

Once together, Joaquin and Ariana now find themselves on the opposite ends of the battlefield. Vampire versus hunter. Each destined to kill the other. Neither able to forget the magical nights, the feel of skin on skin, or the sounds of whispers in the dark.

In a world of betrayal and lies, love is crushed, but Joaquin isn’t ready to give up. And when he discovers the true nature of Ariana’s change, he has to save her before she realizes what she has become.

Author Excerpt from Vampire Betrayed

The night embraced him. Joaquin welcomed the darkness, needing the silence to confront his demons. Images haunted him, forever stamped in his mind.
The lights of Paris glittering over Ariana’s silky blonde hair. Slumberous violet eyes looking up at him as he lay atop her. Traveling the world, covering it from corner to corner, in just a short amount of time. Making love in every city. Every country.
They’d shared much more than just a bed. Their lives had become entwined, neither wanting a day to go by without a touch, a smile, or a kiss. There had been a desperate hunger to spend as much time as possible with one another.
And now, all of that was gone.
Perhaps he should have told Ariana the truth, but he’d known what would happen once he did. He placed his hand over his chest, that spot where his heart used to beat until he was savagely attacked one hundred and seventy-five years ago. He still remembered it as if it had happened yesterday.
Coming from out of the darkness, the vile creature had caught him off guard, but Joaquin took back control days later. After he’d risen, it hadn’t taken him long to track down his sire.
The vampire who had created him never killed another innocent. Joaquin had made sure of that, but it didn’t change what he’d become.
The leaves crunched beneath his feet, a reminder that fall had arrived. The air was crisp and cool, the scents a mixture of pine and just the hint of rain.
“Damn it, Ariana.” He pressed his spine against the gnarled trunk of an old oak and searched through the darkness with night vision an owl would envy. Though he was alone and hundreds of miles away from her, he swore he could smell her perfume, that intoxicating blend of spice and jasmine.
His hands curled into fists, and curses littered the air. He’d broken the rules, allowed himself to get close to a human. That was the warning his sire had given him in a last ditch effort to remain alive. He’d offered advice like a father might. Joaquin had still killed him, but he now understood what the bastard meant.
Interacting with humans was risking the chance of exposure, opening himself up to the possibility of discovery and to vampire hunters, but it was so much more. With Ariana, he’d opened himself up to agonizing pain and a reminder that he didn’t belong in her world.
The third book in the series is Vampire Betrayed 
Joaquin and Ariana are the lovers in vampired betrayed, Joaquin should have told Ariana he was a vampire before she found out on her own. Ariana felt betrayed and even after they had three wonderful months together loving and having a glorious time she couldn't accept that he had lied to her. She soon found herself listening to the lies of a Sorceress,  with a grudge, who fed her lies and twisted her broken heart, turning her into a vampire huntress.  How can love survive betrayal, lies, black magic and the death of innocent vampires? 
This was by far the best written and the most filled out novella of the three. In it you can feel the love, the anguish, the betrayal  and the need for revenge. This novella had a full story that had several plot twists and overall was the best read of the group. 
While written as a series, each book is complete and stands alone. The characters do not cross over in the novellas and they are only tied together by the fact they are all about vampires. I enjoyed the quick read they all were and over all I would say that if you have a short time to fill, waiting at the doctors office, a hour or two before bed or you just want something quick to give you your vampire fix then these novellas fit the bill. 
Happy Reading,
About the blogger

I have been a blogger for many years but just started my book blog, I am an avid reader and read most anything but have a special place in my heart for the paranormal and romance. I started reading at 3 years old when I picked up the Readers Digest and started to tell my mom the story, I have been reading ever since. You can follow me at my Blog, My Reading Obsession, Twitter, or Facebook.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review : Building From Ashes by Elizabeth Hunter

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Click the above image to go to the rest of the tour, and to enter to win a signed paperback!

This is the one I’ve been waiting on!

Building From Ashes (Elemental World, #1)

Title: Building From Ashes
Author: Elzabeth Hunter
Release Date: October 23, 2011
Source: Author

For a thousand years, powerful earth vampire Carwyn ap Bryn has served others. God. His family. His friends. But tragedy and loss disrupt his peaceful existence, causing him to question everything he has committed his eternity to.

Brigid Connor has known about vampires since they rescued her from a painful childhood. But not even their vast elemental power can save her from the demons that torment her.

As loyalties are tested and new paths are forged, a lurking danger slowly grows in the Elemental World. Carwyn and Brigid will learn that even secrets revealed can come back to haunt you when you least expect it.

A continuation/spinoff of the Elemental Mysteries series. The timeline in this books stretches from BEFORE A Hidden Fire starts (so you see a little character history) until AFTER A Fall of Water finishes. As I’m sure lots of you could tell, Carwyn had quite a few things going on in his life that didn’t make it into Gio and Beatrice’s story. So Building From Ashes explores that storyline and also sets up the Elemental World for some new adventures...


Oh my fun quick witted Carwyn, I have loved you since I first met you in A Hidden Fire so long ago… But honestly I had no choice, how do you not fall for a smart, fun-loving, full of life, thousand year old vampire with a strange love of horrible Hawaiian shirts. Oh and did I forget to mention completely loyal! The man…err.. vampire has served as a catholic priest for almost all his life, and he will do absolutely anything for his family. He is selfless and sweet. So yeah, I LOVE you Carwyn.

Ok, enough fangirling I need to write this review!

You know whenever you have great love for a character, (book boyfriend) *cough, cough* you want their story line to flow and always ring true. I also always want them to have a love interest (if the character has a love interest) that matches them, and love that is believable. That is what I got in Building Form Ashes.

Brigid has had a very difficult start to life. She tries to deal with things in her own way, but that only gets her so far. Thankfully she has the support of her family (Carwyn’s children have raised Brigid since she was taken from her own horrible parents) to become a strong, independent woman. Though Brigid is one tough cookie she has a hard time keeping Carwyn from rattling her nerves whenever he is around.

What I LOVED about Building from Ashes:

This is not some insta-love, one look at each other and I have to have you kind of story. Nope! Carwyn and Brigid unfold their feelings slowly, and it would not have worked any other way because of all that they are both going through in their separate lives. That is what I love about Hunter’s writing. Yes, this is about a vampire but the love story is totally believable.           

Building From Ashes is what I have been waiting for ever since I read A Hidden Fire! Carwyn is one of my favorite of Elizabeth's characters and it was wonderful to read his story. The way Elizabeth Hunter weaves the past and present to deliver this story as a whole is genius. The big bonus is how BFA entwines with all of the Elemental Mysteries series. Yes, you can read this as a stand alone! But I love that I got this story from every direction having read the Elemental Mysteries series before starting Building From Ashes.

A few of my favorite quotes:

Generations come and generations go, but the Earth remains forever.
Carwyn is an earth vampire.

A heavy weight settled over her heart and any hope she had of Carwyn leaving the priesthood ended. Just as quickly, she brushed her own feelings aside. They were facing a new, incredibly dangerous threat, and she was acting like a love-sick schoolgirl.

“I take things seriously when they need to be.”
Her eyebrows raised, she examined him. The look in his eyes was unfamiliar.
Raw. Vulnerable, in a way. “I know you do, Carwyn.”
He blinked and looked away. Then rose to come stand beside her. “Can I help?”
“Why do men always offer to help when the job is almost finished?”
He grinned and grabbed two plates. “We’re smart that way. Why ruin the rare
pleasure of watching a woman see to your needs?”
Now why did that make her skin heat? He was talking about food. Wasn’t he?
Brigid shoved back the other images that sprang to her mind.
She was definitely going to hell.

Happy Reading,

This is out. Go get it!

Recommended For
Older teen and up: For violence, sex, and drug use.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mark Tufo’s Haunted Blog Tour: Stop 2, Giveaways, & More

Hello fellow ghosts and ghoul hunters! Welcome to Mark Tufo’s Haunted Blog Tour. The Haunted Blog Tour will be a ten day chill fest that will take you from one Haunted Blog to another! Today is the second day of our Haunted Blog Tour...our host for this adventure, THE SPIRIT CLEARING’s Michael Talbot. Along the tour you will have a chance to win Michael’s twisted story and have the chance to win some very exciting prizes. At our last stop via we were introduced to Michael Talbot our host for this Haunted Blog Tour! Let us check back in with him...
“Are you an expert on the paranormal?” A woman possibly in her mid-thirties asked me, it was difficult to tell as she was dressed all in black like the specters we were looking for.
“Umm well I’ve had a bunch of paranormal experiences, so kinda.” I answered.
“Jack I told you this was a waste of money, ‘our guide’.” She said contemptuously to her traveling companion and by his whipped dog expression I figured Goth girl was his wife. “doesn’t know anything.”
“Yes, dear.” He said to his wife as he nodded in commiseration with me.
“Well, this is the lobby.” I said as we strode through the oversized double doors.
“Sheer genius.” She said sarcastically.
“Something’s wrong mister.” My little point man said to me.
I knew that was the case just watching the words come out of his mouth, mainly because I could see them. Yeah it was October in Pennsylvania, but it was a relatively balmy 50 degrees. Even in the dimming light I watched as goose bumps traveled down the length of his arm, as if the dead were caressing him.
“Whoa.” He said in a soft exclamation, the air had got so cold his words crystallized into ice and tinkled to the floor. Or that might have been me tinkling tough to say, I was plenty scared. “Neat trick mister!” Peppy Pete said.
“Yeah, yeah, good stuff.” I said as I rubbed my hands together.
“You guys have a good time.” Dwayne said as he pushed me in over the threshold. Nearly clipping my heels as he rapidly closed the door.

Answer Today’s Question in the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win one of the Spooktacular Prizes!

What State’s penitentiary is the group touring?

(But wait!  There’s more!  Leave a meaningful comment on the post for a chance to win an eBook copy of The Spirit Clearing by Mark Tufo!)

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About the Author

Mark Tufo is the author of several books, including Indian Hill, Indian Hill 2: Reckoning, and Timothy. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he is a former member of the U.S. Marine Corp. Mark lives in Maine with his wife, three kids and two English bulldogs.  You can find Mark at or on Facebook.

About the Book

After a horrific accident Mike wakes to find himself blind in one eye. He now sees things that others can’t and nobody will listen to him.
That is until he meets Jandilyn Hollow. Will she be able to pull him out of the depths of his despair?
Can love transcend even death?

A special thanks to Parajunkee and Mark Tufo for participating in Spooking the Spine! 

Check out all the stops in the tour!
10/22 Book Me!
10/23 Bending The Spine
10/24 Librarian Mouse
10/25 Booked & Loaded
10/26 BookSpark
10/27 Romancing the Darkside
10/28 Books Are Magic
10/29 The Happy Booker
10/30 BookHounds
10/31 Unabridged Bookshelf

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Spooking the Spine Week #4 Giveaway!!!

Spooking The Spine 2012 button

This weeks question and my answer:

Book of your choice up to $10 US from Book Depository.
To enter fill out the Rafflecopter below. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Stacking The Shelves #10

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is a post for bloggers to share what books they've received to review, bought, won, borrowed or were gifted.
For Review
Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem

Stuck in her family's apple orchards, Kat's got plenty of work to do and only pesky Jeremy to help. But when Jeremy convinces her to run away, Kat will discover that nothing---and no one---in her life is quite what it seems. Wonderfully reimagined, this is the magical tale of Snow White as you've never read it before!

Release Date: December 11th 2012

Blood and Moonlight (Moonlight, Book 1)

Moonlight Trilogy Book One.

Though she shares the bloodlines of both Fae and Wolf, Kiara Morrigan O’Conaill refuses to claim her place in the Fae courts or submit to the animal within. Witnessing the murder of her Fae mother two years ago drives her back into those worlds, to search for answers and revenge.

Devlin McClure lives for one thing—the Pack. When their leader, the Cadeyrn, disappears, desperation sends Devlin to the last person he should be asking for help—the Cadeyrn’s estranged daughter, Kiara.

Kiara and Devlin are drawn to each other by fate and destined to embrace the very thing that threatens to rip their worlds apart. Now, Kiara will have to decide which is stronger, blood or moonlight?

Release Date: August 11th 2012

Release (The Protector, #3)

After uniting the shifters and calling in reinforcements, Chase has to face his toughest challenge yet: learning to control his emotions. But as tensions rise and his powers grow, controlling his emotions becomes the least of his problems.

Terrorized by a multi-shifter who is hell-bent on turning him, Chase questions just how far he’s willing to go to stop his father. Meanwhile, Tiki’s virtuous nature has placed him in the middle of Vincent’s past, leaving Chase to oppose a senate of vampires and defend a demon he hates.

Trying to balance his friends, his enemies, and his inner demons, Chase is left searching for answers about the Mark, his destiny, and where he can find the next soul piece. Stopping Riley is his top priority, but as more obstacles arise, he finds himself doubting all the decisions he’s made - especially regarding Rayna.

One thing is for certain: Chase has finally realized that he doesn’t know anything. The light doesn’t always quell the darkness, the monsters don’t always stay in the shadows, and the past doesn’t always stay in the past - sometimes, the demons inside are the hardest to fight.

Release Date: December 10th 2012

I purchased


What if you suddenly discovered your own powers were beyond anything you'd ever imagined...

Samantha Logan's childhood home had always been a haven, but everything changed while she was away. She has a gorgeous new neighbor, Malcolm, who introduces her to the amazing world of the dream-walking, shapeshifting Amoveo clans...but what leaves her reeling with disbelief is when he tells her she's one of them...

And shock turns to terror as Samantha falls prey to the deadly enemy determined to destroy the Amoveo, and the only chance she has to come into her true powers is to trust in Malcolm to show her the way...



Kerry Smithson's modeling career ensures that she will be admired from afar, which is essential since mere human touch sparks blinding pain and terrifying visions.


Dante Coltari is hired to protect Kerry from those who know who she is--or more importantly what she is--and want her dead because of it. Nothing could have prepared him for the challenge of keeping her safe. But, strangely, his lightest touch brings her exquisite pleasure rather than pain, and Dante and Kerry have an otherwordly connection that might just pull them through.


Enjoy a taste of The Amoveo Legend in Sara Humphreys’ riveting paranormal romance short story expanding on the world of the Amoveo—beautiful, secretive shapeshifters whose very existence is threatened by an age-old enemy and warring factions within the clans.

In this free promotional tale, Boris Zankoff is a shapeshifter from the Tiger Clan who wants no part of the burgeoning civil war among the Amoveo, But when his human mate lands on his doorstep in desperate need of his help, apathy is no longer an option.

This one is free y’all!

Have you read any of these???
What is new to your shelf this week?
Happy reading,

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cover Reveal: Wicked Beautiful (Drake #1) by Richard Denney

OK y’all, I want you to tell me what you think









For brother and sister, Ethan and Emma Drake, their world is about to get flipped upside down when they discover a vicious warlock is after their power and they are descended from dark blood. When they attempt to uncover their spine-chilling heritage, Ethan is tempted by the dark magic that lies within him... Can Ethan and Emma figure out how to save each other from becoming a dark witch and save their lives at the same time? DISCOVER THE OUTCOME AND JOIN ETHAN AND EMMA AS THEY RACE TO SAVE THEIR LIVES AND FALL IN LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES. The first in the DRAKE novella series by the author of "Mara".

Richard Denney

Richard Denney resides in Texas. He enjoys reading, writing, ghost hunting, watching horror movies, sexy boy hunting, and staying on Goodreads until his eyes burn of exhaustion.

Happy Reading,