Thursday, January 31, 2013


Welcome to Day One of the Five Days of Heather!
First off, I have to say that I absolutely adore Heather Hildenbrand!
Not only is she an absolutely fabulous author, but a truly great friend! She is absolutely wonderful, inside and out, and her personality is even more amazing than her gorgeous hair (impossible, I know ;) and I swear this is not a sonnet to her lol)
Today is the review for Dirty Blood (book one in the Dirty Blood series)!
Also, below the review and Moments from the Vault of What-The-Ef-ery is your chance to WIN some SIGNED PAPERBACKS AND SWAG! woot woot! I LOOOOOVE giveaways!

Dirty Blood

I killed a girl last night. I did it with my bare hands and an old piece of pipe I found lying next to the dumpster. But that’s not the part that got me. The part that scared me, the part I can’t seem to wrap my head around and still has me reeling, was that when she charged me, her body shifted – and then she was a wolf. All snapping teeth and extended claws. But by the time I stood over her lifeless body, she was a girl again. That’s about the time I went into shock… And that was the moment he showed up. And even now there are two thoughts that are so clear, they feel branded into my mind: One, Werewolves do exist, and two, I was born to kill them

Welcome to the world of Werewolves and Hunters where secrets run rampant, passion is unleashed, killing is as normal as eating lunch, and loving the wrong breed can cause total devastation!

In Dirty Blood, we're set up for major bouts of what-the-ef-ery, enjoying plot twists galore followed by 'ooooh I think this will happen' while b*tch slapped with 'wtf just happened?!? it wasn't supposed to happen like that!'

Tara is your average teenager with quirky best friends, an enemy in High School, overprotective mom, the works. Only problem is... she's not really human *cue creepy music*
And let me tell you something, she's flipping awesome! Like devil may cry, screw this I'm gonna beat some a*s awesome!

No matter how much she's outmatched, she seems to have the inane ability to pull magic from her a*s and instead of dying (like you would think she would when facing such ferocious opponents) she seems to bring some inner bada*s to the front and in turn kicks some hairy behinds ;)
Don't get me wrong, its not an all out, gung ho free for all with her standing on a pile of furry bodies. There's some really freaking close calls that will have you gasping for air and praying she makes it out okay.

Now, besides the violence (hehe I love me some violence) there is also some yummy romances ;)
First off, I HATE George. Not necessarily his character profile, but rather because I'm protective when it comes to Tara (yes, I know, she's fictional and I shouldn't be emotionally involved, blah blah blah bite me!), thus I'm part of the 'Do we hate George now?' party too.
Honestly, his character is a good one :) We all love to hate people, so I'm happy theres someone besides the enemy that I can love to hate.  He's honestly a decent guy, tho I broke all ties with him during the school dance scene (read the book, and you'll see why).

Wes, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
you nummy little fur ball you! (sorry Jeremy)
I have a thing when it comes to any hot male lead turning into something furry. Just want to rub up against them (down boy!)
Wes is basically a hot, lonely, broken mess with a huge dose of bad ass thrown in. Not comfortable with who he is and the fact that he's the only one (trying really hard here not to let loose any spoilers so don't mind the 'huh?' feeling you may have right now) he grows with a huge chip on his shoulder and doesn't necessarily want to love.  But that becomes rather difficult when he meets Tera, who very well may be his destiny (duhn duhn duuuuuhn).

Now, my favorite part about Dirty Blood isn't the violence or the looooove, its the snappy, witty comments coming from Tara.  Sarcasm wins, every time!  Tara is full of anger issues and tends to let her mouth fly without really thinking about it (which causes some awesome discussions, let me assure you).

So, before I run rampant and keep going and going and end up telling the entire story through my own words and get explicit about why I loved each part, lets take a break and enter into Moments from the Vault of What-The-Ef-ery!

'ah hahahahahahahaha perfect way to begin!
*bounces knee* say whaaaaaaa?
ooooooooh I hope she punches her!

*snickers* I love it!
protective much?
I need a trainer like that
omg omg omg omg!
are you flipping kidding me?
Now, my lovely readers, its time for the GIVEAWAY!
Enter for your chance to WIN a SIGNED PB of Cold Blood and some SWAG!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Come back tomorrow for more chances to WIN and to enjoy more WICKEDNESS! *evil laugh*


Tomorrow starts Day ONE of the Five Days of Heather! *happy dance*
For those of you who don't know, Heather Hildenbrand is the author of the Dirty Blood Series, Whisper, DreamKiller, Across the Galaxy and many more to come!
In the ongoing theme of my Spotlights, there will be a Signed PB Giveaway, along with some SWAG because Heathers that awesome!
So, prepare yourself for some fun because the first post will be up sooooon!


Welcome to the Cover Reveal of Willow Cross's Oceans of Red books!
They're freaking awesome!
Personally, I haven't read any of her books.... yet ;)
But I have them on my TBR list and may end up working on a spotlight for one of her series!
Without furthur ado, heres the covers!!!
By 2015 the streets of Los Angeles have been transformed from a thriving metropolis to a hostile world ravaged by demons bent on assimilating the human race. Standing between this total apocalypse of humanity and their chance for survival is 19 year old Remy Martin.

A warrior in her own right, trained to think on her feet and kill if the situation requires, she is flanked by her older brother and younger sister. Together, they devise a plan to take back the streets. Against the wishes of their father, who commands the resistance forces, they venture into unknown realms of the supernatural in a race against time with the fate of the entire world in their young hands.

Join them on their mission into darkness where death lies around every corner, it is virtually impossible to distinguish your enemies from your allies, and a single mistake could result in the annihilation of everyone you've ever known and loved.
To purchase your copy of Rise Of The Demons for Kindle, click HERE
Remy's saga continues as the siblings uncover a sinister plot to not only posses the human race, but to replace them entirely. Will she accept her destiny and learn to control the new-found power within her?
To purchase your copy of Demon Evolution on Kindle, click HERE
Social media networks for Willow:
Twitter: @willowcross


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Four Days of Garr! Day FOUR!

Today is the final day of the Four Days of Garr *sighs* I am truly sad to see it end.  It will be your last chance to enter the rafflecopter to win signed paperbacks, and also the last review *sobs*
Today is the review for:
Touching Evil

(The Leila Marx Novels)

By Amber Garr

                                                                    With one touch, Leila can see it all.
Leila Marx is trying to put her life back together after her fiancé is murdered. When Detective Garrick Pearson enlists her help with a difficult case, she is thankful for the distraction and the opportunity to use her talents as a touch clairvoyant. Leila and Garrick delve into the mystery behind a series of missing teenage girls and mummified corpses while discovering their own growing attraction to each other.
Conner Hoffman is an intriguing lawyer and striking half-demon who enters Leila’s life unexpectedly. Although her visions are terrifying, she is fascinated by his charm and his legacy. When it becomes evident that the murders are linked to a paranormal event, Conner introduces Leila to a world unbeknownst to ordinary society. She suddenly finds herself immersed in supernatural politics, sorcery, and danger as she becomes the killer’s next target.
Staying alive will mean relying on friends, accepting the unbelievable, and trusting in her heart again.
Hmm... what can I say about Touching Evil? It's quite simple really....
Seriously, this book took me completely by surprise.  At first, I was like, 'woot woot! Awesome psychological thriller with a psychic!', but then, as the story progressed and the plot thickened it became 'HELL F*CKING YES! THIS IS AWWWWWWESOME!'
I literally devoured Touching Evil, totally consumed with the story and the characters. The waves of b*tch slapping plots kept me continually on my toes.
And the bantering between the characters.  Bestill my beating heart, even during the most dire of circumstances, Leila's witicism and sarcasm had me wanting to laugh at the same time that my eyes were bulging from the intensity of the situations that the characters were in.
I'm rarely ever stunned speechless, and am literally prying the words form my mind.
I'm still flabbergasted, not really knowing what to say except for I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!
Hurry up and write more Amber! I'm dying here!
Read it, my wicked readers, you won't be disappointed ;)
And now, some lovely excerpts.

Excerpt 1
What does one wear when they commit the first felony of their life? I probably spent two hours going through my closest trying to find something criminal. It had to be black. Yes, definitely black. I finally settled on a turtleneck, spandex workout pants, and the only pair of black sneakers I’d ever owned. They were left over from my waitressing days and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were still in good shape, even if they did smell a little like grease.

I just finished pulling my hair back into a low bun, like spy girls do in the movies, when the doorbell rang. Conner was here and my heart fluttered instantly. Last night had been a lot of fun and I really enjoyed my evening with Garrick, but this was the first time any man had been to my house who wasn’t a part of the police force since Russ was killed. This was also the first time I’d ever had a half demon in the house, at least as far as I knew. After another quick glance in the mirror, I bounced over to the door.

And as soon as I opened it I realized how much of a dork I must have looked like.

There was Conner, in a regular pair of jeans and a college sweatshirt doing all that he could not to laugh at me. I glared up at him.

“What? No one told me what to wear so I had to improvise.” He started laughing but then choked it back down when I tried to close the door on him. His foot shot out and blocked my attempt.

“I’m sorry. You look good. Really.” He smiled fully at me and then bowed his head as he put his hands together in a prayer-like position. “May I have permission to enter my ninja warrior princess?” 

I could see his shoulders shake with amusement again and I refused to be embarrassed. With an exaggerated sigh, I walked back into my bedroom, leaving Conner to let himself in. I decided that he should wallow in uncomfortable silence for a while, although when I came back into the living room and saw him flipping through some of my illustrations, I realized he was unfazed.

“These are really good. You’re quite talented.” I stood there, leaning against the wall for a few seconds trying to judge if he was being serious or not. Just as I started to give him the benefit of the doubt, he arched an eyebrow my way and said, “A much better artist than fashionista.”

I threw the sweatshirt I had in my hands at him and stomped over to the kitchen. His laugh consumed the room and I was surprised to find a smile on my face as I opened the refrigerator.

“Should we take snacks?” I asked. We were going to drive to a spot close to the house and wait until it was clear. I’d been told that it might take several hours and I didn’t want the cambion getting hungry while we waited.

“Sure, if you want. Maybe some water would be good.” It was obvious that he enjoyed my lack of stake-out abilities. 

I grabbed one of my reusable grocery bags and filled it up with water, crackers, and Twizzlers. All of the essentials. I briefly considered grabbing a bottle of wine to control my anxiety, but decided against it in the end.

“So, are we ready to go?” I asked as I hoisted the bag on my shoulder and grabbed the sweatshirt back. He studied me for a moment and then pulled an object from his back pocket.

“Not until you put this on,” he said as he tossed something small and black at me. It was a ski mask, one of those ones that covered everything except for your eyes. I pulled it over my head and batted my lashes.

“Am I ready now?”

He laughed and took the snack bag off my shoulder. “Yes, Leila. I think you’re ready for a life of crime.” 


 Excerpt 2

“This conversation is over.” The last of my drink splashed on the table when I slammed down the glass. I watched with annoyance as my fiancé rubbed his hands through his dark hair and rolled back his head.

“Leila, we have to talk about this. I can’t stall my mother any longer.”

“Just tell her no,” I snapped.

“Please don’t be like this. You know I can’t do that.” He leaned forward and dabbed at the liquid sitting between us like neutral territory. “I don’t understand what the big deal is anyway.”

“And that is why I’m finished with this conversation.” Sitting back in my chair, I looked around the darkened bar only to find that we had an audience. I must have said that last quip a bit loud.

Russ sighed and imitated my defensive posture. “I’m only getting married once so I wish you would indulge her one request.”

One request? Was he serious? I loved his family, yet when it came to planning my wedding, I had to draw the line somewhere. This hadn’t been her only request and I’d been willing to give in up to this point. But I wasn’t going to exchange my dress because it wasn’t fancy enough for her friends, or whatever ridiculous reason she’d come up with this time. I wasn’t going to do it.

Russ must have seen the resolution in my face because he pushed back in his chair and stood with calculated theatrics. “I’ll see you at home,” he mumbled, then downed the rest of his drink.

“Where are you going?” I asked. We didn’t usually fight, but this circular discussion was weeks old. I hated how wedding planning disrupted the normal bliss of our relationship.

“To work. I’ll be home in a few hours.”

He squeezed around the small table, avoiding my touch. Normally that would have bothered me, but tonight I was glad I didn’t have to deal with his plethora of emotions on top of mine. Besides, I was already pretty sure I knew what he felt.

Thunder crashed outside and the skies opened up like a waterfall. Great. Now I had to find a cab in the rain. A nearby couple whispered to one another and then looked over at me. No doubt they were applauding themselves for not having a fight in public.

I gave them a quick glance and stood to begin my journey home to an empty house. As I did, I noticed Russ’ jacket lying on the floor in the corner by his chair. He’d want it back, so I reached forward to grab it.

Images filled my mind as I ran in the rain. My burning feet sent shards of pain through my body and my dress clung to me in places it shouldn’t. The quiet street shimmered with lights so dim they appeared to lose the battle with the storm. Dark shadows glistened on the asphalt hinting at the dangers prowling through the night.

I ran but felt like I couldn’t gain any ground.

Screaming for him with each step I took, I barely noticed my shoes had stayed behind with the serenity of my other life. The puddles grew, the murky water now swallowing my feet up to my ankles. There! That noise. Was that a gun shot?


 Excerpt 3


Elise and Gallus marched back into the room. An undersized old-fashioned doctor’s bag dangled in Elise’s hands. Made of aged leather, it had two small handles and a tension opening with a gold clasp. I felt pretty sure they didn’t make those anymore, so I wondered if this was a family heirloom. She dropped it onto the table on the opposite end from King.

“Okay. I don’t know if this is going to work, but perhaps with all of the magic and supernaturals in here tonight, we’ll get lucky.” Her voice had taken on a professional tone and I became instantly drawn into her show. “Just let me get set up.”

The bag opened with a snap and she began to pull out several objects. The first was a candle wrapped in black velvet. The large red cylinder must have consumed most of the space in the bag. She smoothed the velvet piece out on the table and placed the candle in the center directly in front of her. Next, she pulled out some type of dried herb that may have been sage, but really it could have been anything- I was no expert. Surprisingly, the only other object she collected was a lighter and after placing the bag on the floor, she lit the candle and the dried plant material.

Taking a deep breath in, she closed her eyes. I found myself doing the same although I couldn’t keep them closed for very long in fear that I would miss my first séance ever. She stayed in this trancelike stage for several minutes. Slowly breathing in and out, hardly moving at all. When she began to speak, it was quickly evident to me that she wasn’t talking to anyone in the room.

“Thank you for coming.” Pause. “Yes, I need your guidance tonight.” She shook her head. “Not going to happen no matter how many times you ask.”

The one-way conversation proved difficult to follow, but I think we understood well enough. Apparently she was asking someone for help. I remember she spoke about the spirit guides in the cemetery, so I assumed that one of them was the object of her exchange.

“No, I don’t have a name,” she explained to the empty space above the table.

“Miranda Jefferson,” Terez interrupted. Elise looked over sharply at her and then gave a curt nod.

“You heard her. Miranda Jefferson. Buried at Louden Cemetery, section 15, plot 84.” There was another pregnant pause. “No I don’t have a date.” But she looked questionably at Terez who shook her head. “No. No date of death.”

Another pause. Elise rolled her eyes in frustration. “Can you help me or not?” She quickly turned to look behind Gallus who stood at her side. “George,” she said in disgust. “I’m not having this conversation again. You’re dead, he’s not. End of discussion.”

Gallus looked over his shoulders uneasily as Elise continued arguing with the spirit. “He’s not dead dead.” She faced the candle again and snapped, “Well, at least he has a body.”

 Last chance for the giveaway!

Buy Links

 Amazon –click HERE
Smashwords - click HERE
Barnes and Noble - click HERE

Monday, January 28, 2013


Welcome to day 3 of the Four Days of Garr!
woot woot! *happy dance*
Today we are going to review
(Book Three of The Syrenka Series)
By Amber Garr
AND there will be another chance for you to enter to WIN SIGNED PAPERBACKS of the Syrenka Series! You don't want to miss it!

With power comes the responsibility to accept its
After the betrayal of those closest to her, Eviana Dumahl
struggles to cope with her new reality. Kidnapped, broken,
and confused, she is forced to engage in a war that will
alter merfolk politics forever. With her estranged father
leading the charge, Eviana has no choice but to stand by
his side. Her continued existence hinges on the acceptance
of the power growing inside her, even when that means
embracing the family’s dark lineage.
Kain Matthew will sacrifice the world for Eviana. And he
is not alone. As time runs out, her friends fight to save her
life and theirs. An unlikely alliance gives them the edge
they need to take a stand, although it keeps Eviana’s heart
trapped in the past. A new discovery explains some of her
previous mistakes, but it may not be enough to stop her
father’s plans. Merfolk, selkies, and water sprites work
together to save their kind, only in this final battle, not
everyone will survive.
In the striking series conclusion, Eviana will learn the true
meaning of power, sacrifice, and love.

Okay, so I've read alot of books, and I mean, a lot of books, but I believe I've never read anything that has had this much of a slaughter in it.  Don't get me wrong, even in my own series there is betrayal, death and destruction. But holy flipping monkeys I could never create such a beautiful bout of vicious slaying.  Talk about punching the breath from you! I bow down to your malicious nature Amber! *bows*

Anywho!  In the final book of The Syrenka Series, all love, passion, hate and power come to a climatic head that will leave you restless and slightly stunned.  Revenge is had, deaths are claimed, hearts are shattered, yet even through all of the brutal devastation, there is also the purest sense of hope that I have read in a long time.  It makes you want to cry while having that beautiful happy glowing bubble burn in your chest at the same time.

I'm thrilled, yet sad at the same time.  From the beginning I was conflicted about the boys.  I was never fully on a team, because all three of them had their own positive and negative traits. They're completely different when it comes to character traits, and there is plenty to love and hate about all of them, which makes choosing who you think should end up with Eviana rather difficult to pick.  While I'm happy with who she ended up with, I'm also sad because I was rooting for all of them.  Yes, I know it would have been weird to have her pick all of them, because lets face it, orgies are rather frowned upon in today's society *winks*, but still, the perverted thought remains.

I have to admit that I love Eviana.  I wasn't thrilled in the beginning with her, because I just wanted to slap her for being so childish.  It wasn't the annoying type of childish that makes you want to burn the book (which is completely blasphemous, so don't succumb to temptation if you ever feel that way), but more in the sense where you're yelling at her to grow the f*ck up and kick some a*s.
But now, I'm completely happy with her. Like standing on the sidelines waving pom poms happy. She has grown exponentially throughout the entire series, from working through her grief of loved ones being murdered, being forced into a position of power and finally taking control of who she is and the power she wields.  Does it feel a little to late? On some aspects, yes, but that's because I didn't want some of the characters to die off. Yes, it made for a more heart wrenching tale, but I loved them, and grieve them in my own bookish way.

So now, here I sit, writing out the review for you. Emotionally fluctuating between wanting to cry and wanting to cheer.  Maybe I'll just do my embarrassing laugh/cry (yes, I actually start laughing then in the middle start sobbing for no reason. I blame it on having children). I'm tempted to yell at Amber, but also tempted to give her a very dorkish high five on a job well done.  As you may have noticed, I'm feeling slightly bi-polar at the moment *evil laugh*

I seriously recommend reading this series.  There is something in all three of them for even the most pickiest of readers to fall in love with, and if those few still stick their nose up at it, I shall brandish my wooden spoon and beat you into submission! (wooden spoons can hurt if used properly you know).

Sooo prepare yourself, for here comes the Moments from the Vault of What-The-Ef-ery!!!!
*cue music*

Awe hell no!

Okay, its a prison... but its kind of a nice prison... minus the drugging and what not.

*eyes glisten* awe you poor thing! I hope she chooses you!

That boys ten types of psycho if he thinks she'll actually go for it!

Jesus H! I still hate those creepy things! *shudders*


He's gonna whoop some aaaasssssssss!

ah hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

wtf? NO WAY! Holy flipping monkeys!!!

Jeremy: 'Hey baby, you wanna...'
Me: *glares* 'no'
Jeremy: *sighs* 'well what do you want to...'
Me: 'I want you to leave me alone til I'm done reading'
Jeremy: 'You're choosing a book over me?'
Me: *shrugs* 'Wouldn't be the first time.'
Jeremy: 'Oh, so you're going to be like that?' *steals Kindle*
Me: 'Ooooh you did not just do that!'
Jeremy: *smirks* 'Yup, I did.'
Me: *battle cry* (commence tickle wrestling)

And now its time for some lovely excerpts!
Excerpt 1
When Graham and I surfaced back inside our coral-walled prison, we noticed that
someone had brought us two plates of food.  Without speaking to him, I pulled myself out of the
water and willed my legs to come back to me.  Considering our history, I might have had some
concern over Graham seeing me naked, but once again, I couldn’t muster up the energy to care.
“I see they’ve improved the food,” he commented.
“Doesn’t matter, I’m not eating,” I said without even looking at the plates.  Now that we
had the light from underwater, it made it easier to move about the room and identify what
Lucian’s cronies were feeding us.
“Nope,” I said as I finished pulling my shirt over my head.  When I turned around, I saw
Graham chewing on a piece of pineapple and sifting through the rest of the items.  Much to my
dismay, my stomach growled.  It was so loud that Graham chuckled.
“Perhaps your body wants some nourishment.”
“I don’t care.”
“Suit yourself, tart.”
I rolled my eyes and walked over to him.  The smell of the food was overwhelming and I
couldn’t help but look down at it.  “Don’t call me that,” I said but spoke more to the plate.  There
was some type of fish wrapped in a banana leaf and it smelled delicious.
“You’re drooling,” he teased.
“It’s probably poisoned.”
He bit into another piece of fruit.  “Well, I haven’t eaten anything solid in days, so I’ll
take my chances.”  Grabbing his plate, he sat down cross-legged on the floor and proceeded to
stuff his face.
Tempted, I fought the urge to give in.  I didn’t really know what the purpose of my
hunger strike was and how it would help get me out of here.  I guess I just wanted to be difficult.

Excerpt 2

I finished packing up the duffle bag full of knifes, hand grenades, and a couple of
Japanese short swords.  It was Julian’s weapon of choice, but I preferred to stick with my natural
abilities.  I’d been practicing my compulsion and my water control seemed to improve every day. 
It was like a switch had been turned on and I suddenly knew exactly how to manipulate the
element with very little effort.  The compulsion I would save for a few choice selkies if needed.
As if listening to my internal thoughts, Brendan appeared on the beachside deck and
knocked on the door frame.  Neither of us acknowledged his presence, so he walked inside and
sat down next to Daniel.
“I need to talk to Marisol,” Daniel said and quickly jumped out of his chair then
disappeared around the corner.  I would thank him for that later.
“Do you need any help?” Brendan asked.
After a full minute of silence, he spoke again.  “Abhainn will find her, right?”
I stopped filling the snack bag I was working on and took a deep breath.  Do I respond or
do I stay silent?  I decided to listen to my heart.  “Do you really care?”
As though I stabbed a sword through him too, Brendan recoiled in shock.  “Of course I
care!  I love her more than anything in this world!”
“If you truly did love her, you would have left a long time ago.”  My voice wavered with
anger and a thousand other emotions.  Apparently we were going to have this discussion and I
wasn’t fully prepared to filter my words.
Brendan jumped to his feet and leaned across the table toward me.  “You would have
loved that, wouldn’t you?  Having her to yourself.  Going through with a marriage she never
wanted.  It would have been perfect for you if I would have stayed in Washington, right?”
“Yes,” I said through gritted teeth.  “She would have had a chance to choose me.”
“She always had that chance.  I never stopped her.”  He moved around the edge of the
table so that we were looking at each other eye to eye.  I could see the lines around his face and
the grey tone of his skin.  He looked like hell and I smiled.  “What’s so funny?” he snapped.
Ignoring his question, I stared into his eyes.  “She doesn’t want you now.”
He sucked in air then turned away from me.  “But I need to help her.”
“No, you don’t.  We have this under control.”

Don't for get to enter for another chance to win and to come back tomorrow for the final Day of Garr!
Until next time, spread the wickedness!

Buy Links
Amazon- click HERE
Smashwords - click HERE
Barnes and Noble - Not posted yet.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Welcome back to the Four Days of Garr day Two!!!
Today we are reviewing
Betrayal: Book 2 of The Syrenka Series
by Amber Garr
Amber has graciously included excerpts from this book, and don't forget that you have another chance to enter to win SIGNED PAPERBACKS of The Syrenka Series! I loooove GIVEAWAYS!!!

Life as a mermaid can be suffocating.
Eviana Dumahl has returned home as a clan leader, an
orphan, and a heartbroken teenage girl.  Her parents are
dead and her boyfriend, Brendan, has decided that he needs
some time away.  While battling her inner turmoil, Eviana
is forced into the war that Lucian Sutherland has incited
amongst her own kind.  With the help of Kain, her friend
and formally betrothed, the two work together to prove that
they deserve their birthrights as young merfolk leaders.
When The Council requests a demonstration of Eviana’s
mermaid powers, she finds herself with an opportunity to
win back Brendan’s heart.  But her orders to train with a
repulsive merman and the presence of an attractive new
suitor challenges Eviana to embrace her leadership and
resist temptation. Lucian is after her, and no one seems to
understand why.  Loyalties are tested as the casualties
increase, showing Eviana that sometimes it is impossible
to delineate between friends and enemies.

Okay, So I'm seriously hating Amber right now.  The Syrenka Series has quickly become one of those books that you are dying to talk about, but you cant because you don't want to ruin the book for everyone.... but holy flipping monkeys! I want to talk about Betrayal soooo freaking badly!
Betrayal was non stop action, heartache, death and betrayals (good title ;) ) with moments of sweetness and heart warming moments that were quickly thrown against the outcropping by the tidal wave of devastation (hey now, its a mermaid book, have to use sea metaphors)
Since I can't blab about everything that threw me for a loop, I figured that I could do it in a roundabout way via
Moments from the Vault of What-The-Ef-ery!
I like him, but I  like the other one two, but I'm really rooting for the new one! I think they'd be fabulous together *happy dance*
Ha! You flipping bast*rd!
Omg did they seriously just send her back to that psycho? are they flipping crazy?
Okay, do not use mastiffs as a description of something that ferocious and terrifying... I love those doggies *pouts*
YES! Kiss her you fool!
Are you blind! She needs to go to stop it and I hope she kills the b*stard!
Awwwwww I can't believe he left :( But maybe now she can get with (someone whom I'm not going to name)
ahhhhh! I want to kill him! Yet I want there to be a happy ending with him! But I want to KILL HIM!
No. Flipping. Way.
So yes, this book has been fun! And I'm still biting my tongue and trying my damnedest not to type EVERYTHING that is running through my mind about this book because I can't spoil it for people. *bangs head against keyboard*
So this review is really really hard to write.
Okay, now with the relationships between the characters and the sort-of love triangle, lets just say that everything has become ten types of f*cked up... and I LOVE IT!
Kain may still be in love with Eviana... but he also may hate her.  Eviana may have feelings for Kain that she doesn't want to admit to, and she may keep trying to hold onto Brendan, even though it may be futile. Plus, lets throw in a new character! (whom I love thank you very much! Very cocky and roguish with a healthy dose of 'boy I don't know whether to laugh or slap you or kiss you... maybe a combo of the three).
Eviana's strength of character truly grows in leaps and bounds.  Gone are the days when she wishes and tries to hide from the injustice and cruelties of life.  She's becoming a true leader and refuses to back down, only hoping to save her 'family' and those who are cruelly used and abused.  Seeking a way to peace has never looked so hard, especially when the road is littered with blood and heartbreak.  But still, she may show moments of weakness (as anyone in their right mind would do. Hello! Holding everything in and never allowing a mental and emotional break is not only psychologically damaging, but physically as well and leads to complete and total psychological break, which can not only cause severe harm to a psyche, but can cause the person to cause harm to others as well.... sorry, was a psychology student ;) ) but she quickly moves on when her emotional release is finished and gets back to the business at hand. I'm seriously loving her character more and more.
There were many what-the-ef moments and tons of b*tch slapping twists. Unfortunately, this falls into the red area of 'spoilers', thus I can't talk about it...*sighs* ya'll are just going to have to read it and then we can have a book discussion. Trust me, you'll want to talk about it.
So, since that's all I can safely say about the book, lets move on to the EXCERPTS!

Excerpt 1
I wanted to punch him in the face.
For at least the hundredth time today, I swung my fist towards his infuriating smirk.  He
easily dodged it, of course, and proceeded to look down at me like a child.  “You’re getting
closer,” he teased.
Throwing my arms down in frustration, I shook my head.  “How am I supposed to learn if
you won’t even let me get a hit in?”
He laughed and resumed a fighter’s stance.  “How are you supposed to learn if I just stand
still and let you pummel me?  That’s not ever going to happen in the real world.  Now, try with
your legs.”
I rolled my eyes and shifted my feet so that my stronger right leg was in front.  Ideally, I’d
be having this battle underwater where my legs were not an issue.
“Protect your face,” he yelled at me and I lifted my fists up to nose level.  I could do this. 
He’d taught me how to incapacitate my enemies.  Just go for the knee. 
I faked a few smaller kicks, pretending to hesitate.  Then, like a ninja, I struck.  The
underside of my right foot was directly on target and I expected it to land a perfect hit to the side
of his left knee.  Only it didn’t happen.
Out of nowhere, he grabbed my ankle and I was suddenly airborne.  The world spun
around me once before I landed with a thud on my back, effectively knocking the air from my
lungs.  I even saw some stars floating by.  My training sessions were getting harder every day,
and after this debacle, I decided that it was time to quit.
A shadow moved above me and I used my hand to block out the rest of the sun.  Looking
up at his ominous figure I said, “I’m done.”
I heard another laugh rumble through my trainer’s chest as he reached down and grabbed
my arm.  In one swift motion, he pulled me up off the ground. 
“You would have broken my knee with that kick, Eviana.  I had to stop you.”  I glared at
him.  “What?” he continued.  “I’m not going to let you hurt me.  But you did well.  I knew that
you’d learn eventually.”
I jumped towards him as fast as I could, intending to get him in a choke hold.  My arms
slipped around his neck, but my body kept rolling over him as he bent forward and used my
momentum to toss me towards the ground.  In less than two seconds, I was on my back again
with a forearm pressing against my throat and my pride seeping away into the dirt.
“Ahh!” I screamed in frustration.  The annoying grin on his face told me that I would never
beat him in a fair fight.  Palmer was my cousin, my trainer, and also one of the numerous
protectors now living at my house.  We’d been practicing for the past two weeks and although I
couldn’t hurt him yet, Palmer reassured me that I was improving.

Excerpt 2
“Try that one next,” Daniel mumbled through a mouth full of bagel.
“Stop pointing!” I warned him.  The three of us were sitting on one of the benches in
Bennett’s Park that surrounded the largest playground area.  We probably looked young enough
that this wasn’t creepy, otherwise the adults would wonder why we stared and laughed at their
kids all morning.  I felt kind of bad but it was the only way I could practice.  “What should I
Daniel tilted his head in thought, and I could see the moment he got some demented idea. 
“Make him do the chicken dance!”  Kain snorted and I agreed with his sentiment.
“Daniel…,” I groaned.  “Really?”
“Yes, it’s genius because no one would be suspicious if an adult is dancing for a kid.  Plus,
you can try to give the command to just one person,” he pointed out.
“Okay, let’s see.”  I did my best to block out all background noises and focused in on one
of the few fathers who braved the playground scene today.  It wasn’t like I could find his mind
per se, but that’s what I was trying to do.  The more I practiced, the easier it was for me to
visualize every individual’s consciousness.  I directed my power towards the jumble of thoughts
that I figured belonged to the man and pushed the music into his head along with the command
to dance.  A wave of confusion swept over his face and he stopped fiddling with his daughter’s
coat.  He stood up and began to sway from side to side.
“It’s working!” Daniel squealed.  The man smiled down at his daughter and brought his
hands up to his ribs.  Flapping his elbows up and down like a bird, he began the chicken dance.  I
was so excited, I continued to push the command out towards him without realizing that I
touched a few other minds as well.  Nearly twenty parents and their children began dancing the
choreographed steps and I totally lost my concentration.
“Oh crap,” I moaned.  Kain and Daniel laughed beside me and I elbowed them both. 
“Humans are too easy.”  I was learning that the power of suggestion on a human’s mind was way
more potent than I could handle at this point.  Pushing out one command to one person with a
little too much force indirectly affected all of those around him.  Now half of the playground was
wiggling and twisting to an inaudible tune, and Daniel was in hysterics.
“Keep going.  This is too good,” he sputtered out in between giggles.  I ignored him and
yelled Stop! in my head to erase their urge to continue dancing. 
Within a few seconds, everyone stopped and looked around in confusion.  My friends were
laughing loudly and several parents glanced in our direction.  But they soon went back to their
normal business as though they hadn’t just been part of a flash mob.  Mermaid compulsion: got
to love it.
“Oh, you’re no fun,” Daniel chided.
I rolled my eyes at him and slumped back against the bench.  Sipping the latte we grabbed
on the way to the park, I looked around the rest of the scenery and tried to think about nothing. 
Not an easy task. 
“You try it,” Daniel said.  At first I thought he was talking to me, but was surprised to see
him looking at Kain.
“I don’t think so,” Kain said with an edge.
“No, he’s right.  You need to practice too,” I added.  Kain had the ability as well, although
for some reason mine had jumped from zero to extreme in one evening.  His power repertoire
was building slowly but he still had the skills necessary to manipulate minds. 
“You’re the one they want to see demonstrate,” Kain reminded me.
“So?  You’re a leader, too and the more control you have, the more people will respect

Enter for your chance to WIN!
To Purchase your copy of the Syrenka series:
Amazon – click HERE
Smashwords - click HERE
Barnes and Noble - TBA

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Four Days Of Garr: Day One!

Day One!
Today is the review and excerpts of Promises, Book One of the Syrenka Series by Amber Garr!
Aaaaand the beginning of a Giveaway! Can you say SIGNED paperbacks of the ENTIRE series PLUS a SIGNED paperback of TOUCHING EVIL? I can! *happy dance*
Oh, and did I mention its OPEN INTERNATIONALLY???? woot woot!

 So lets get this started!

Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the
ones you love.
When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with
the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan
leadership, she is forced to choose between the life
required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply
infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiancé
would make a wonderful husband except that she’s been in
love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they
were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and
her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond
anything she could have imagined.
A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana
unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a
twisted mastermind. With Brendan’s life on the line, she
has no choice but to involve those who she once
considered friends. Amidst encountering senseless
tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is
more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected.
Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her
friends, but also on her acceptance of a life that she had so
adamantly tried to escape.

(contains SOME spoilers)
Well break my heart why don't ya Amber? Jesus H you just had to put me through the ringer!
Okay, so when I first started reading Promises, I really wasn't swept up into the story. Yes, the storyline was interesting, but I would of loved to of had more details. Without the details, it made the beginning part fast, but lacking in a clenching way.
BUT, then we got to the good stuff ;)
I will never look at mermaids the same way again. Seriously, I've read about the lore of merfolk, some of the more common horror stories, and while Promises doesn't do all the blood and death and morphing that legend will have you to believe, it does have a rather fascinating yet horrifying twist. Mind control. (cue creepy music)
Nothing says 'I will command all races and destroy freedom' more than the ability to forcefully make people your minions. *evil laugh*
I loved the love in Promises. Karma seems to play a BIG role in Eviana's love life, and while the political standings on interracial mating is basically a taboo, she overcomes it... for awhile. Then Karma takes a HUGE bite out of her a*s, and everything that she ran from comes back to b*tch slap her in the face.  (yes, I realize I am relating her story as if she were real... but damn it she began to feel real)
For the first time, I didn't know whom I wanted to root for when it comes to the boys.  I'm still torn over who should win her, because I don't think she's entirely good enough at this point to have either one of them.  Yes, she has some awesome characteristics, but while Kain and Brendan have high values of loyalty, honor and duty, Eviana is sadly lacking in it and is rather petulant and childish.  Yes, she does show a growth in character throughout the book, and it is rather easy to put yourself in her shoes and understand why she would rather hide from the horrors of her new found role in life, but sometimes you just have to put your big girl panties on and deal with it.  It sucks giant hairy planet of the apes monkey b*lls, truly it does, but when you have so much riding on you and you are basically the key to the survival of the species, you just have to suck it up buttercup!
So in conclusion, since I know everyone just wants to skip right to the giveaway (you lil brats you): The beginning lagged, middle picked up, ending was flipping awesome, loved the characters, want to perform psychological therapy on Eviana to make her more capable of handling her role, aaaaaand I laughed, cried, groaned, beat my head against the table, threatened my kindle, but overall fell in love with the story!
NOW, here are some excerpts from Promises!

Excerpt 1
I barely heard her parting words as the screen door slammed shut.  My head was spinning
in desperation as the anger coursed through my bones.  “Get back in here Eviana!” she continued
to scream at me.  “We are not finished with this conversation!” 
I was already racing down the deck stairs towards the sandy beach, kicking off my shoes
and unbuttoning my blouse.   We are for now, I thought as my blood boiled with rage and
resentment.  I was going to be trapped!  How dare they?  This was not the eighteenth century
anymore!  I had rights!
I stumbled onto the sand, taking just a brief moment to savor the warmth and the feeling of
the grains massaging my toes.  My shirt came off and I started to unzip my jeans.  No one was
around.  But I wouldn’t care anyway.  The water was calling me and it was the only voice that I
could hear now.  With one pant leg off, I hopped along in my forward progression until the other
one was free.  My oasis was so close now that I could taste the salt in the air.  The sun broke free
of a cloud, stopping me for a moment.  It was late afternoon and the sunset was still a few hours
away, but the sky was already turning multiple shades of pink and orange; the coloration
reminding me of the inside of a brilliant conch shell.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.  I knew that there was going to be hell to pay
when I returned to the house.  Marguerite, my mother, had tolerated my rebellious behavior
when I was younger, giving me more freedom and second chances than anyone in our clan.  But
apparently now, at seventeen, I was an adult.  Adult enough to bear children.  Adult enough to
participate in clan gatherings.  Adult enough to navigate our youth through their transition
period.  But not adult enough to choose who to love. 
A slight breeze wafted off the ocean, bringing with it scents that filled my gut with
longing.  The freedom of the ocean.  Why couldn’t I just stay there forever?  A gull called
overhead, beckoning me to join him.  The splashing waves calmed my inner rage as they ebbed
and flowed in a hypnotic pattern.  A distant moan of a shipping vessel reminded me of our
history.  I opened my eyes to see that I was standing alone along miles of sandy beach interlaced
with large rocks and cliffs emblematic of the northern California coast.  So beautiful.  I stripped
off the rest of my clothes and ran into the ocean.
As soon as I was under the water, I could feel the transition begin.  My lower body ached
as the bones adjusted from a life on land to one at sea.  Both legs began to fuse together and
work as one.  My foot bones elongated while I prepared for the agony.  I was accustomed to the
changes now, but it was still a struggle of mind over matter.  Breaking through the surface of the
water, I grabbed one last breath before the final jolt of pain ravaged through my body.  I bit my
bottom lip and squeezed my eyes shut willing the moment to be over.  At last I felt an electric
tingle move from my hips to my toes as the hardened iridescent, scales appeared on the bottom
half of my body.  I opened my eyes to find that the internal transformation was complete as well. 
My vision cleared.  My lungs expanded.  I could hear for miles.  I was free.
So I swam.  I swam away from the shore and the house that I lived in.  I swam away from
my fears and obligations as though they could disappear with the distance.  I would temporarily
forget my responsibilities, my duties, and the argument with my mother.  In here, I wasn’t
trapped.  The sea was my true home.  I was a mermaid and this was my world.

Excerpt 2
My swim home was too quick.  I was lost in the elation of Brendan’s promise and thinking
about what I could take with me when I left my home.  Maybe one suitcase and my iPod; we
could always replace what we couldn’t carry.  Would we fly or drive?  Where would we go?
Brendan had promised to make all of the necessary arrangements soon, but I didn’t know if I
could wait to hear his plan.
Night was nearly here and the silhouette of my house looked bleak and menacing.  When I
reached our backyard stretch of beach, someone was waiting for me.  I sighed and picked up my
scattered clothing without acknowledging my guest.
“You are in so much trouble this time,” a whiney, nasally voice taunted.
“Shut up, Marisol and mind your own business.”  I began walking briskly back to the
stairs, trying to ignore my sister, but she followed closely at my heels.
“I don’t understand what’s wrong with you.  This is what we were born to do and Kain is
super rich and totally gorgeous.”  She tripped on one of the steps and stumbled into me.  I turned
with a glare so evil that she stepped away.  “He doesn’t deserve you.”
The words were sharp but I knew that they rang true.  Kain didn’t deserve someone who
couldn’t love him.  He was too good and too nice.  My sister was right, but that didn’t mean I
had to let her know it.
“You don’t even know what you’re talking about  Mars,” I snapped at her, using the
childhood nickname she loathed.  “Just mind your own business for once and leave me alone!”
Stomping up the stairs was probably a mistake.   Although I managed to lose one nagging
voice, two more were waiting for me at the top.  I looked into my parents eyes and could see
their growing disappointment.  The dark wood deck wrapped entirely around the raised first floor
of our house, and was large enough to hold a hundred people.  But there were only two of them
standing there now.  They were leaning against the railing on the far side with my father holding
my mother in front of him in a show of support and unity.  I rolled my eyes.
“Told you,” chirped Marisol as she dodged out of the way of my swinging hand.
“Eviana Anne Dumahl.  Do not strike your sister.”  My father’s harsh command sent chills
through my body.  I really hated it when he was this mad at me.  “And put some clothes on.”
I was standing before them completely naked and soaking wet.  Succumbing to the
grueling glares, I reluctantly pulled on my blouse using my arms to secure it to my body rather
than button it up.
“Where did you go?” my father asked in a lighter tone.
Before I could answer, my mother cut in, “You were with him weren’t you?”  She pulled
away from father’s arms and walked towards me with determination.  Her long dark hair flowed
around her perfectly smooth face.  The grace and confidence with which she moved still
astounded me.  Without looking into her eyes, I threw back my shoulders and stood my ground. 
Anything to defy her.
She literally sniffed me.  Her nose moved around my neck, my hair, and even my hands. 
There was no way that I could deny who I’d spent the last few hours with, and I wouldn’t try to
“I want to be with him.  Not Kain.”
My mother tsked at me in disgust and grabbed my face with her hands.  She was slightly
shorter than me, but her domineering personality was still intimidating.  Plus she was squeezing
my cheeks pretty hard. 
“You will not see that boy again, do you understand?  The Matthews have finally agreed to
conduct this marriage and you will respect your duties and your family.  This is very important to
our survival.  Can you even begin to comprehend what type of message your behavior is sending
I could see the frustration building in her eyes, and before I even realized what was
happening, my tears were spilling over.  I pushed her hands away and turned to my father.
“Please, dad.  Please!  Don’t make me do this!”  I waved my arm back towards the house. 
“Marisol would kill to have the chance to marry Kain and provide him children.  Why can’t she
just do it?”  I was hysterical now.
“Oh Eviana, please don’t upset yourself like this.”  He glided over to me and wrapped me
in an embrace.  His warm body and soothing voice kept offering me false hope.
“Stop babying her, Charles,” my mother snapped.  “She is almost eighteen now.  It’s about
time she started acting like it.” 
Marguerite, my mother and the Dumahl Clan leader, didn’t stop there.  “You and I had to
endure our arranged marriage when we were much younger than this.”  Turning towards me, she
continued, “I became a leader when I was your age.  I survived.  Charles and I survived.  And so
will you.  Stop acting like a spoiled brat and accept your responsibility!”
My mother walked away towards the deck’s edge to regain her composure and my father
sighed.  I knew what was coming next. 
“Eviana, you must do as you are told.  Kain is a nice young man with a good family.  And
from what I can see, he is already quite taken with you.”
The sobs were out of control at this point.  I really did hate to disappoint my father and
even my mother sometimes.  But this is not the life I wanted.  I suddenly realized that I wasn’t
crying because I’d have to marry Kain, I was crying because I knew that I had to run away. 
There was no other choice at this point.  Feigning total defeat, I pulled away and looked up at
him.  His middle-aged face could pass for someone ten years younger, but the wrinkles around
his eyes did little to hide his distress.  I’d probably been the cause of most of those lines.
“When is it?” I asked.
Both of my parents looked at me in shock.  They shared a glance between them, no doubt
trying to figure out if this was a trick.  My mother replied hesitantly, “The first of the month.”

AND NOW..... GIVEAWAY TIME!!! *happy dance*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

To purchase Promises on:
Amazon click HERE
Smashwords click HERE
Barnes and Noble click HERE

Friday, January 25, 2013


My fav people, Crazy Book Chicks, nominated me for this award *happy dance*
You got the Award, now what?

- I list 11 random facts about myself.
- I will answer the 11 questions asked of me by the person who nominated me.
- I will then nominate my 11 picks for the award along with my 11 questions for them to answer when they post a response.
- If you’re nominated, your name/link will appear at the bottom of this post along with your questions. Follow the same format; paste the award badge to your blog, give us 11 random facts about yourself, answer my 11 questions, and choose your nominees…but you cannot nominate the blog who nominated you.
11 Fun Facts ;)
1. I have to have an even number of  EVERYTHING. I'm OCD that way ;)
2. I have 3 tattoos, but want to get 11 more
3. I'm almost 26 and have never taken a vacation (but that will change this year! woot woot!)
4. I have had 4 kids in 4 years, thus I was pregnant for 4 years *falls over*
5. The feeling of velvet makes me cringe
6. My sarcasm is my best weapon
7. When I was in high school I was a state singing champion
8. I absolutely HATE the color monkey puke green
9. My first car was a lime green VW Beetle ;)
10. The sound of someone gagging makes me gag o.O
11. I prefer the realms of fantasy to that of reality
11 Questions

1. What is your favorite book? And why?
Yeah, that's not a fair question... geesh :P Ummm I'd have to say... The Giver by Lois Lowry. It was the first 'book' I read and it's the reason I'm a book addict now.

2. What is your favorite Band and or Song?
My favorite band would have to be Disturbed.

3. Are you a night owl or an early bird?
I have four kids, so I don't know the meaning of sleep lol.  Put me under the category of 'insomniac' ;)

4. Who is someone you admire and look up to, and why?
           My step brother Merle had leukemia from the age of 2 until he died at 11.  He went through 6 remissions and 7 relapses. On the 7th relapse he went catatonic and died.  Regardless of how sick he became because of chemo and radiation treatments, he was always happy and never bemoaned the fact that he was sick.  He just always wanted to be a regular kid and refused to let anything get in his way.  Because of his courage and how no matter how bad things got for him he always remained positive, he is still, to this day, the one person I emulate myself to be like.

5. Are you a casual dresser or one who likes to dress up?
             lol my daily wear is basically yoga pants and a tshirt.  Only on occasion do I dress up anymore.  I doubt my kids would care either way ;)

6. Are you allergic to anything?
             I'm allergic to sulfonimides.  It sends me into antifilectic

7. If you could go to any beach in the world where would you go and why?
            Any Jamaican beaches! Don't really have a reason why, except for Jamaica's awesome!

8. If Stranded on a desert island, what 3 things would you bring with you?
             Hmmm... a knife, a bundle of rope, and the biggest book I could find ;)

9. IF you could meet ANY famous person who would it be and why?
            Sean Connery.  I don't care how old he gets, he's still flipping hot!

10. What is your Favorite Car?
            Any  BMW convertible

11. Do you prefer warm hot weather or cold weather with snow?
      I'd have to say warm weather. I hate the cold and snow (yet I live in southern Indiana, go figure) and I have a tendency to get automatic frost bite with exposure to cold temps (yay me!)
11 QUESTIONS for my nominees!
  1. What is your favorite genre?
  2. What was your favorite year?
  3. What is your favorite book?
  4. If you could live in any era, what would it be and why?
  5. What would you do if you won a million dollars?
  6. If you could fix one problem with humanity, what would it be?
  7. What was your favorite class in school?
  8. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  9. What is your favorite comfort food?
  10. If you had the choice to pick between being blind or being deaf, which would you choose and why?
  11. What is your favorite color?
Have fun guys!