Saturday, October 3, 2015

Stacking The Shelves #44

Welcome to
Stacking The Shelves!!

This is a weekly event hosted by 

As the title implies, this is all about
sharing the books you're adding
to your shelves, be they physical or virtual.
For the complete rules, and to link up,
just click on the link above.

Here's this week's haul!!   

Kindle Freebies!!
(And one Cheapie!!)
 Click on each cover to link up to each
book's Amazon page.

Drawn into a world she thought impossible, Lexia’s innocent night of partying leaves her dazed, confused and asking questions she’s not sure she wishes to know the answers to. Attacked by vampires, Lexia’s ability to defend herself triggers events she can't escape. Before long, she struggles to keep up a façade around her friends and family.
Then, there is Lincoln. Finding herself irresistibly drawn to him, Lexia senses he desires something more dangerous than a simple romance. Lincoln has secrets and what she learns changes her life forever.
A story of love, loss, and, betrayal, Lexia and Lincoln’s lives will never be the same again.


Constantly moving as she grew up, Taylor had learned the hard way how to blend in wherever she went. But when she moves to VanCamp University for her freshman year of college, she immediately finds herself as the center of attention of nearly everyone she encounters. From the charismatic and mysterious Evans twins, to her quirky, clingy roommate Hannah, it seems that the people in Taylor's new college life have no intention of letting her be the wallflower.

It's not just blending in that Taylor has to worry about, though. At VanCamp University, there is more to the staff and students than meets the eye. While trying to adjust to her new life on campus, she finds herself in a world where fairy tales and reality collide, where gargoyles and leprechauns mingle with humans and vampires, and where nothing is as it first appears.

And as she discovers the truth of her own unusual heritage, Taylor learns that fairy tales are just the beginning.

Isolated because of what she is—because of the power she holds inside—Astrid longs for contact with another human being. Her well-intentioned mother locks her away from society in order to protect her from an evil that seeks to use Astrid's abilities for his own means. But the resulting loneliness drives Astrid deeper into the shadowwalk—a power she is forbidden to use, a magic that lands her directly into the arms of the Shadow.

This short prequel to the ShadowLight Saga offers a revealing glimpse into the history of the beautiful and mysterious warrior maiden known as Swan, called Astrid in this prequel. It takes place a few moons before Bonded begins and is a self-contained novelette of approximately 10,000 words.

Includes bonus chapter preview of Bonded, Book One of the ShadowLight Saga.

** Resounding Truth is number 2.5 in The Resounding Series, a novella to give the readers a glimpse into the world of the Resounding Lycans. The prequel that started it all released in late spring 2015, kicking off the 8-book (plus multiple novellas) series. ***

Derik has been the Alpha of the Graybacks since the death of Drucilia’s father, his murder still weighing heavy upon Dru. With fierce determination and an iron fist, the new Alpha has successfully kept them alive and fed, but the threat of Hunters and Vampires creeps ever so close. With his eye on Dru as a prime candidate for his mate, he demands more than she’s willing to give and blazes a trail of rage across the pack at her denial.

They have waited for a savior, for someone to come and take power from Derik and the time draws near. Dru’s sister Karis can see deep into the future and makes it known that a white wolf will be their redeemer, but will he be too late? With the Queen of the vampires thirsty for an accord in blood and the head Huntress of the Circle of Elders seeking the white wolf with fever, things get tense and complicated far before the resounding truth is uncovered.

Seventeen-year-old Lady Guinevere holds the crown to an ancient kingdom. Without brothers to ascend the throne, marriage to her will assure any man the right to rule.

Arthur Pendragon has won his power through battle. His legions have elected him their king and protector but he seeks to legitimize his claim to High King through marrying Guinevere.

Lancelot, a valiant knight with a broken past, is driven by his desire to protect those in need. He’s joined Arthur’s forces because he believes in Arthur’s dream of peace for a war-torn country.

But Lancelot possesses something that Arthur can never win…Guinevere’s heart.

QUEEN’S HONOR is told from the point of view of a young Guinevere as she is caught between the responsibility of her crown and the desires of her heart. This fantasy romance is imbued with Celtic lore and magic, as Guinevere discovers she holds an ancient power--a power of the old ones, the Druids. But without anyone to guide her to develop her power, she finds herself caught in a web of the ambitions of those more powerful than her. Queen's Honor puts a fresh spin on an age-old tale of love and honor.

Betrothal is a novella (about ½ the length of a novel). Queen’s Honor will be told in episodic books meant to be read in a few hours each. What’s an episodic book? It’s formatted like your favorite television show or a miniseries where an overall story is broken down into smaller, self-contained stories. Each novella is a story by itself, yet the continuing characters will return for new stories that tie to an overall story-line. For those who don’t have time for longer books, this is a great shorter read, while those who love longer books will get the benefit of more episodes and a deepening story through multiple episodes. 

Some werewolves walk the world forever in search of their mates. Gabriel Danes was one of the lucky ones--Joy Sutton appeared in his path one night six years earlier. Unfortunately, she came along too soon, leaving him with a painful choice: succumb to temptation and rob a young girl of her innocence, or suffer through season after season until she'd experienced enough of the world to know what she would have to give up if she decided to accept his bite.

Joy didn't need four years at a university in Miami to teach her anything about the world, but she went anyway because Gabriel Danes wanted a woman, not a girl...and because it was just too painful to watch him live his life around her while she yearned helplessly for what he wouldn't give. Now she's home, and she's done. Just done.

But when Joy tracks Gabriel down to let him know she's moving to Florida for good, his tightly-leashed control snaps--and Joy realizes she did learn something during four years of college.

She learned how to claim her mate.

**This bbw paranormal romance novella is a complete story with a happy ending!**

What do you think of my haul
this week?
Please leave your link in
the comments so I can come over
to your blog and see yours!! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

2015 Halloween Reading Challenge

I can't believe that Fall is already turning the nights cooler and shorter, and stores are bringing out Halloween costumes and spooky decorations! It's the time of year when shadows lengthen, and the moon looks very mysterious....

This year, I decided to check around and try to find a Halloween-themed reading challenge; I've never participated in such an event. Well, I found one, and I'm joining in!

Here are the rules of the challenge, as posted by the hosting blog,  Reading Every Season.

How the Halloween Reading Challenge Works:

  • This is a design-it-yourself challenge. I want you to choose your own reading goals. This is a low-pressure challenge meant to be fun.

  • The books can be horror, thriller, supernatural, mystery, or Halloween-themed. This means they should be about serial killers, murders, ghosts, demons, witches, monsters, vampires, etc. 

  • When you have reviewed a book, you are encouraged to come back to this post (at Reading Every Season) and add the link to your review in the comments.
Additional Rules:

  • This challenge runs Oct 1 - Oct 31.

  • You may sign up anytime during the challenge. 

  • I won't be creating different levels. Read as few or as many books as you want. 

  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks. 

  • Books may be YA, adult, nonfiction, mystery, chick lit, romance, etc. but must be horror, thriller, mystery, supernatural, or subjects that have to do with Halloween. 

  • You may reread books. 

  • Books may count towards other reading challenges. 

  • Use the hashtag #Halloween2015RES

  • If you could be so kind, please place the Halloween Reading Challenge banner on your blog to help spread the word. 

  • Please link back to this blog (Reading Every Season), post about it on Facebook, Tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word.

  • You may sign up using your blog, YouTube channel, Goodreads, Twitter, etc.

So those are the rules! I really like the fact that there is no set number of books to read! This means there's no competition, and I really like the sound of that!

A Night's Dream of Books 2015 Halloween Reading Challenge List

 Since I'm not into heavy horror books
(such as those by Stephen King), 
the books I'll be reading will be in the
paranormal romance/urban fantasy genres.

Be sure to sign up for the challenge at

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Book Review: Tryst, by Elswyth Thane

Elswyth Thane
Hardcover, 256 pages
Aeonian Press, Reprint Edition
January 6, 2014
(first published 1939)
Classics, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Paranormal Romance

Book Synopsis: When Sabrina Archer, a lonely girl of 17, moves with her father and aunt away from their city flat in London to the lavish summer home of Nuns Farthing for her father's work, she has nothing to do but explore the English country home. Finding a locked room at the top floor of the house, Sabrina picks the lock one afternoon and subsequently spends many days trying to discover the identity of the man who used to enjoy the personal study. He seems glamorous to her and it is inevitable that she falls in love with him. But can this obsession end happily?

There are forgotten literary treasures that should be brought out into the light of day, and enjoyed by new generations. This beautiful, poignant novel is one of them. First published in 1939, it has been reprinted several times, but is now unfortunately out of print.

The first time I read this book, I was around 17 myself, and I found it in a local library. I've never forgotten it. A few years ago, I bought one of the reprint editions available, but somehow lost it..... So I bought another one on Amazon, fortunately, at a very reasonable price. When a reader does something like this, you can be sure that the book is an extra special one!

I recommend searching for this novel in local libraries, as I'm sure they will have copies available. This is a not-to-be-missed story!

Sabrina Archer is a bookish young girl, so I was able to relate to her immediately. I was delighted to discover, right along with her, a great book collection in that mysterious, locked room. However, there's something more than just books in the room, as Sabrina gradually learns. A man's entire life and personality are in that room. Sabrina is at first fascinated and intrigued. As time goes by, she begins to fall head over heels for a man she's never met....

Hilary Shenstone is an equally compelling character. He is described, by Alice, one of the other characters in the novel, as "the last of the romantics". He is a man of high ideals, as well as a man who feels things deeply. In fact, I was a bit surprised when he didn't turn out to be a writer or poet, because he certainly had the sensitivity of either. 

Hilary and Sabrina are true soul mates.  But fate played a cruel trick on these two....Hilary died in India, while on a secret mission for the British government, before he and Sabrina ever met. 

Still, they were somehow meant for each other, and, by some mysterious circumstance, found their way to each other. 

Hilary died wishing for England, for Nuns Farthing, the house rented by Sabrina's father, a university professor who is mostly oblivious to his daughter's emotional needs, and her flighty aunt, a spinster who dotes mostly on her obnoxious dog, Bella.

Hilary's final wish comes true, and he finds himself transported back to London. From there, he eventually finds his way back to Nuns Farthing, and finally meets Sabrina, who totally enchants him.

This is a very intimate novel in the sense that Thane gets inside her main characters' heads, exploring their emotions, thoughts, and spiritual longings in a very detailed way. In contrast, the reader doesn't get to know the rest of the characters as well as Sabrina and Hilary. Simply put, the other characters are shallow, except for Mrs. Pilton, the housekeeper, whose reticence hides a world of deep thoughts and emotions.

The characterizations and social environment in this novel are perfect. In many passages, Thane reminds me of Jane Austen; she's an acute observer of all the foibles of human nature, and of the English society of the time. This is all the more remarkable because she was an American writer, born and bred. 

Although she reserves the most complete portrayals for Sabrina and Hilary, the other characters are well brought to life, too. They serve as a marked contrast to the two lovers. All the other characters in the novel are rather self-centered, too, interested only in achieving their own goals, some of them even at the expense of others.

George Shenstone is certainly totally different from his brother. There is no depth to him; his emotions are limited to whatever information his senses give him. He's only interested in whatever pleasure he can get in the here and now. And he certainly doesn't share Hilary's ideals and scruples. 

His mother tells him, while he's visiting her one day, that she has always preferred him over Hilary. She has her own reasons for this, all tied to her marriage, which had not been a happy one.

Alice, Hilary's girlfriend at the beginning of the story, is not a good match for him, something she's just starting to discover when we meet her. She is a rather materialistic person, with none of Sabrina's gentle, shy, bookish nature. In fact, she is as much a contrast to Sabrina as George is to Hilary. 

As for Sabrina's family, they are comical and pathetic at the same time. Alan Archer, Sabrina's father, is a university professor intent on doing research on primitive man for a book he plans to write. This is his overriding concern, and he seriously, and unwittingly, neglects his own daughter. 

His sister, known to Sabrina as Aunt Effie, is a silly woman who also allows the opinions of the society of the time to influence her own thoughts and opinions. She, too, fails to see just how special Sabrina is. 

Both siblings mean well where Sabrina is concerned, but are unable to give her the emotional and spiritual support she so desperately needs. Nor are they able to enter her intellectual world, for Effie is not interested in books, and Alan is exclusively interested in his research, and will only read books and articles related to it.

So Sabrina is left very much to her own devices. She is also by nature a solitary girl, since she has found no one to share her inner concerns.

Until Hilary arrives, that is.

Hilary is the only person in her life who really understands her, who really knows her, in fact. He shares her worldview -- one of high ideals and lofty goals. Unfortunately, since he is a ghost, he is unable to help Sabrina live the life she was meant to live. She can only sense his presence, but can neither see nor hear him, although he does speak to her. He's already tried speaking with his friends in London, with his own family, but, of course, no one can hear him.

It's just beautiful to become totally immersed in this novel, to see how Sabrina and Hilary care so much for each other. In spite of the obvious communication barrier that makes their relationship a difficult one, they become inseparable, and their final destiny is to be together.

Perhaps the novel's most fascinating aspect is that the romance of the two protagonists is solely based on the compatibility of two souls, to the exclusion of any physical passion. This type of romance might not be for everyone, especially those who enjoy reading so-called "bodice-rippers" or more sensual romances. However, this novel will be very satisfying to those who, like me, enjoy reading about the emotional development between two lovers, even at the occasional exclusion of the physical aspect. After all, if there's no union or compatibility at the inner level, all the fire and passion on the physical level will never be enough to sustain a relationship.

While the beautiful, graceful prose style of this novel categorizes it as one written for adults, I would say that, because the female protagonist is only 17, it would be a great read for YA fans. Perhaps the only problem would be that the writing is clearly more along the lines of an older classic, and thus, might bore some readers. I certainly was never bored, however.

This is a very sweet, touching, and totally wonderful, beautiful book, one that, again, is unforgettable. It saddens me to know that no major studio has ever decided to turn it into a film. Why no one thought of doing so, at the time of its original publication, is beyond me. I would have loved to see this as a black-and-white movie, made in the forties or early fifties. I'm not sure who could have played these characters, but I am sure that it would have been a great movie!

There are two movies by the name of "Tryst"; one was filmed in 1994, and the other in 2005. Neither one has anything to do with this novel. Unfortunately, this jewel of a book has still not been filmed.

Read this novel so you can be carried away by a love that transcends even the barriers of death, a love that will make you feel nostalgic, happy and sad, all at the same time.


Elswyth Thane was born on May 16, 1900, and died on July 31, 1984. She was an American romance novelist from Burlington, Iowa. Her original name was Helen Ricker, which she later changed to "Elswyth Thane". 
She was not only a novelist, but a journalist and screenwriter, as well. 
Thane is most well-known for her series of historical novels, all set in Williamsburg, Pennsylvania, although later books were set in cities such as New York, Richmond, Virginia, and England.
She married the naturalist and explorer, William Beebe, in 1927.
Tryst is considered her most romantic novel.

Online Links

Waiting On Wednesday #142: Ashes In The Sky, by Jennifer M. Eaton

This is a weekly event hosted by
It showcases future releases which
we book bloggers
are eagerly anticipating!!

Here's my choice for this week!

Ashes In The Sky
 (Fire In The Woods, Book 2) 
Trade Paperback, 331 pages
March 15, 2016
 Science Fiction,Young Adult Fiction

After inadvertently saving the world, eighteen-year-old Jessica Martinez is ready to put adventure behind her and settle back into the familiar routine of high school.

Though when she's offered an opportunity to photograph the inside of an alien space ship, Jess jumps at the chance. After all, she'd be crazy to turn something like that down, right?

Spending time with David on the ship has definite advantages and the two seem to pick up right where they left off. But when Jess discovers a plot to sabotage David's efforts to establish a new home for his people on another planet, neither David's advanced tech nor Jess's smarts will be able to save them.

ASHES IN THE SKY is an action-packed, romantic Sci Fi adventure that will leave readers screaming for more.

Why I'm waiting on this one!

I love the science fiction genre, and especially 
the YA variety! This one has a GORGEOUS cover, and, with romance thrown into the mix, 
what more could I possibly ask for?
If only I had a time portal to take myself
to March, 2016......

What do you think of my choice?
Leave your link below, so I can
come check out your pick(s)!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Stalked by Flames, by Susan Illene: Mini-Review/Excerpt

Welcome to the Stalked by Flames 
blog tour, sponsored by
Bewitching Book Tours!!

For my stop, I'm featuring a mini-review & excerpt!

Stalked by Flames
(Dragon's Breath, Book 1)
Susan Illene
Trade Paperback, 484 pages
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
August 19, 2015
Dystopian Fiction, Paranormal Romance,
Urban Fantasy

Bailey Monzac has just graduated college and is leaving town for her parents’ ranch in Texas when a massive earthquake unleashes the unthinkable on the world: fire-breathing dragons.

Chaos erupts as people flee for their lives, and Bailey survives only because she is somehow immune to the dragons’ flames. In the midst of the mayhem, Bailey is helped by a shape-shifting dragon named Aidan, who recognizes Bailey is a dragon slayer and will be an essential ally in the power struggle between—and within—the dragon clans.

Natural disasters intensify and dragons lay waste to the world as civilization all but collapses amid the loss of electricity and running water. Roving gangs prowl the debris-filled streets, and Bailey and her friends manage to find refuge in the university library. As her relationship with Aidan deepens during private training sessions, Bailey must learn to harness her newfound skills or see everything she knows and loves destroyed.

Stalked by Flames is a gritty urban fantasy about a woman’s journey into a dark new reality she never could have imagined.

When I began reading this short excerpt, I was immediately catapulted into the story! In just a few sentences, the author had my heart pounding with excitement, and I was just waiting for the moment when her kick-butt female hero would defeat the dragon! Although the scene has remained inconclusive, obviously there's more coming, and Illene has whetted my appetite for it!
Besides, I find her plot very original -- it's a combination urban fantasy with dystopian fiction, something I've never seen before.
I know I won't be able to put this one down!

The dragon stomped toward me on all four legs, steam puffing from his nostrils. His nose was as big as both my fists put together. I grabbed a brick off the ground and clutched it in my hand. Maybe I should have tried to run—a normal person would have—but being attacked by dragons had spiked my adrenaline.
Whenever that happened, it was as if another side of me took over. I became someone who fought and stood her ground. More than once my stepfather had marveled at my ability to compartmentalize fear and think clearly when in danger. My mother hated it. She feared it would get me hurt or killed someday.
I grew up on a ranch outside of Dallas where we had a lot of land. When I was ten years old, I’d decided to go out fishing by myself. Along the path to a nearby pond, I stumbled across a rattlesnake. Most people would have run screaming, especially a girl my age. I chucked a heavy tackle box at the thing. That didn’t kill it, of course, but it immobilized the snake’s body long enough for me to beat it to death with my fishing pole.
That’s how my stepfather had found me. Hovering over a mangled snake and pondering whether to get my tackle box back. It had blood and guts all over it. Killing a poisonous snake was one thing, touching icky stuff was another.
Now I had an honest-to-God dragon coming at me and once again I refused to panic. I needed to weigh my options. With my back against a wall, there was nowhere to go before he’d reach me, but there had to be a way out of this mess. Did the dragon have a weakness I could exploit? Something to buy me time until I could get to a safe place?
I glanced at my brick—it was all I had. A heat-seeking missile would have been preferable, but no one had told me we were about to get invaded by mythical beasts, so I didn’t have one on hand. I looked up at the sky and wished a bolt of lightning would strike my opponent. The storm wasn’t close enough to make that a possibility yet. Not that I’d get that lucky.
The red-scaled dragon lumbered closer, less than ten feet away. His gaze still didn’t show any signs of wildness or rage in it. The tilting of his head made me think he was curious more than anything. It’s what stayed my hand as he lowered his head to sniff at my legs. The heat emanating from his breath warmed the skin on my calves.
I stared down and noted once again that my jeans had been burned off to my upper thighs. The sandals I’d been wearing earlier were missing, too. How had I lost half my clothes? There weren’t any signs of burns, only scratches and bruises.
The dragon inspected all of this as his head inched upward. His hot nose tickled the skin of my thighs and he let out a puff of steam near my crotch. Okay, that was just a little too uncomfortable. I smacked his nose.
“Back off!”
He shook his head and let out a snort, then reared onto his hind legs. Flames licked up his body, consuming him. Standing only three feet away, there was no escape from the heat. I scrambled along the wall sideways, putting as much distance between us as I could. What had just happened? Did smacking dragons in the nose trigger some weird reaction?
The flames narrowed and became brighter. Then a dark shape emerged within them that had me tripping over my own feet to get away. It looked demonic—like something straight out of Hell. There was standing my ground and then there was being stupid.
I spun on my heels and took off down the sidewalk that lay between the library and the building next to it. A growl echoed down the corridor—a really angry one. I passed by bushes and benches that provided no cover from a menacing dragon and kept going. There were plenty of paths to take up ahead if I could just get past the library. The damned building seemed to extend forever.
Through the racing of my heart, I caught heavy footsteps behind me. They didn’t clomp the same way as the dragon’s and sounded more like boots on pavement. Glancing back, I saw a man with feral yellow eyes wearing strange clothing. The red dragon was nowhere to be seen. Shivers raced down my spine as I realized this guy’s attention was focused solely on me and he was racing toward me fast. Where had he come from? 

Susan Illene served in the US Army for eleven years and worked as a human resources specialist and an Arabic linguist. She served two deployments to Iraq, and after leaving the army, she studied history at the University of Oklahoma. She and her husband currently live in Oklahoma with two high-maintenance cats doing their best to help her write her books. 


You can access the complete 
tour schedule by
clicking on the button  below!