Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: Don't Fear the Reaper (Netherworld #1) by Michelle Muto

Don't Fear the Reaper (Netherworld, #1)
*Synopsis and Cover from Goodreads

Grief-stricken by the murder of her twin, Keely Morrison is convinced suicide is her ticket to eternal peace and a chance to reunite with her sister. When Keely succeeds in taking her own life, she discovers death isn’t at all what she expected. Instead, she’s trapped in a netherworld on Earth and her only hope for reconnecting with her sister and navigating the afterlife is a bounty-hunting reaper and a sardonic, possibly unscrupulous, demon. But when the demon offers Keely her greatest temptation—revenge on her sister’s murderer—she must uncover his motives and determine who she can trust. Because, as Keely soon learns, both reaper and demon are keeping secrets and she fears the worst is true—that her every decision will change how, and with whom, she spends eternity.

*Won a copy of this book from the author and Bookworm Babblings

Helpful Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Smashwords

My Review: 5 Must Devour!!!!!

After committing suicide with the hopes of reuniting with her dead twin sister Keely discovers that being dead isn't so easy. And neither is finding her sister. As she struggles with the loss of her own life Keely is forced to stay on Earth with no one but a reaper and a demon for company. Eternal happiness for more than Keely is on the line when she discovers that in order to move on from her Earthbound hell she has to face an ugly truth that will have her facing her fears and fighting for more than just her afterlife.

As soon as I started Don't Fear the Reaper I knew it was going to be awesome. The first chapter left me completely breathless, on the edge of my seat and biting my nails because from the minute Keely graced the page I felt connected to her. Her pain and anguish were so real that I felt it through Michelle Muto's words. 

And I fell even more in love with Keely throughout the book. I was happy to find a kind girl with a large heart under all the pain and sorrow and I was also happy to see that she wasn't the kind of girl to run away. No matter how afraid she was if her friends needed her she was there. Even for those she wasn't sure she could quite trust. And in the end despite knowing what was going to happen, I was happy to see Keely step up to the plate. 

Luckily for Keely, in her Earthbound purgatory she has friends. Well, the closest thing she can get to friends. Banning, a reaper--the reaper who took her soul--who is like a protective older brother and Daniel the demon with a conscious. And I loved them. They reminded me of brothers and they often bickered like brothers. Daniel provided that needed bit of sarcasm and humor throughout the story helping to remind me that even in death their can be a bright side. Banning is one of those characters that I just can't help but feel for. The losses and struggles that he endures make you route for a happy ending. Both of these side characters are strong and fierce warriors and are completely loyal. The trick is just finding out who they are loyal to. (Psst, I know, but I won't tell you). I know that if I were ever in purgatory I wouldn't mind having them at my side. Seriously I don't think there would ever be a dull moment!

I truly enjoyed the story that Michelle Muto weaved in Don't Fear the Reaper. She gave me just enough details and information to allow my imagination to run wild. And I was completely fascinated by her idea of the demon. I appreciated her different take on both the demon and the reaper and I thought it really brought fresh air to the whole realm of reapers. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to be swept up in a story that will leave you breathless and wanting more. Bring on the next adventure in the Netherworld Series!!!

Favorite Character Moment:

"My school's better than yours," Jordan replied, her voice quivering.
"My school's cooler, though." (kindle, 3795).
There are a number of reasons I chose this as my favorite moment in the book. Unfortunately I really can't get into any of those reasons here because that would give some things away, so you are just going to have to read it to find out why I love this moment so much! Sorry I know I am a tease. But you should read the book anyway.

"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time."

For the Love of Cupid (A Cupid Story Part 3)

First I want to say thank you for taking the time to read my little adventure. What started out as a little Valentine's tale turned into something much bigger. I had so much fun writing this and I hope that you had fun reading it. Not sure if or when I will ever write anything like this for the blog again. 

If you have not begun this Cupid journey yet then you can find them here: Part 1 and Part 2

Hope you enjoy and without further ado I give you the final installment.....

For the Love of Cupid

            Drake stood on a large hill overlooking the cemetery at the friends that attended Ana’s funeral. He was shocked at the number of friends she had made in her short time on earth. At first he was certain her death was a hoax, but the tears and anguish rolling of her friends was real enough to convince him.

            “How in the hell did this happen? She was supposed to be my Queen!” Drake roared shooting an energy ball at the tree across from him causing it to split in two.

            The mourners all jumped at the sound and Drake soaked in their fear glowing with power.

            Drake took a deep breath absorbing the rest of the fear and sorrow that the mourners oozed, “This is not over.” Drake stated glaring at Law his second in command and they both vanished.

            “Do you think he bought it?” I asked as soon as Rebecca came back from my funeral.

            “Well it was definitely one hell of a light display if you know what I mean?” Rebecca joked flinging herself on the couch nearest me.

            “That just means he’s angry. Drake may have a quick temper, but he is very smart. We can’t underestimate him.” I warned.

            “Don’t worry Ana, we’ll get Derek back.” She said squeezing my hand.

            I gave her a slight smile. “I know. I just don’t want to be too cocky.” I know what Drake is like. Smart as a whip, slick as an eel and sly as a fox and I knew there was no way he was going to give up that easy. He probably had scouts all over the magical realm searching for me. Drake’s arms reached far.

            “I’m not cocky. I just know we are going to find Derek and that we are going to kick Drake’s little Cupid ass off the throne.”

             “That my dear is cocky.” I said shaking my head at Rebecca as I left the room.

            “Ugh!” I screamed punching the mat.

            “You have to calm down Ana. Calm your emotions, steady your spirit and find your balance.” Marleek lectured for the thousandth time.

            “You know Marleek, it doesn’t matter how many times you say that, I still can’t get it!” I huffed getting up off the floor—again.

            “It really isn’t that different than using your Cupid magic. Only instead of drawing on emotions I want you to draw on spirit. Pull it close to you, let it wrap you up like a blanket and just when you are cocooned release the energy out of your hands. But first, you have to control your emotions.”

            I let out a frustrated breath, visibly shook myself and concentrated on the place deep inside where my spirit magic dwelled. “Spirit, I need you.” I thought. Instantly I felt a tingling crawl across my skin as spirit responded to my call. As the tingle crawled across my body the tingle increased in intensity. I shot my hand up as soon as my entire body was humming.

            A bright blue energy ball shot out of my hand and flew aimlessly passed Marleek.

            “Much better. Now we just have to work on your speed and then we can work on shielding.”

            “Still seems backwards to me. Shouldn’t shielding come first?” I asked.

            “I already told you. You need to know what it’s like to take a hit from an energy ball. Drake is ten times more powerful and more experienced than you. He won’t hesitate and he won’t show mercy. Now resume your fighting stance, we will finish off with some sparring.”

            And that was it—end of discussion.

            “You ready?” Rebecca asked placing two scimitar’s in the sheath on her back. I placed my two Katana’s on my back and took a good look at us in the mirror.

            We were both clad in black leather, tall black lace up boots—no heel, and armed to the teeth. I had my long black hair in a simple French braid while Rebecca had her fire red hair in two matching French braids. Talk about avenging angels. We were definitely a sight to see. A wicked smile lit my face.

            “Let’s get us a Cupid.”

            We went to the training room to wait for the others.

            “Rebecca, you have to promise me—that no matter what happens, that you will get Derek out of there.” I said.

            “Don’t worry so much.” She grinned.

            “Promise me.” I said firmly.

            “Okay, I swear, if anything happens to you I will get Derek out of there.”

            “Thank you.” I said as the rest of the team showed up.

            “Everyone clear on the plan?” Marleek asked. Everyone nodded. “All right, Ana—you’re on.”

            I took one more look at Rebecca, turned to light and vanished.

            I appeared just inside of Drake’s chambers. Drake was on his couch watching TV when I appeared.

            “Anastasia, aren’t you a sight for sore eyes.” Drake said lazily not attempting to get up.

            “And you’re not.” I said. Hiding my shock at his lack of surprise. This wasn’t right. He should be surprised to see me. I felt a tingle cross my spine and I instantly knew that this was a trap.

            “Don’t worry your friends will be here soon.”

            “Where is Derek?” I asked through clenched teeth.

            “What’s the rush, Ana, can’t we catch up on old times?” Drake taunted sitting up.


            “Oh, come on Ana don’t be like that. It was nothing personal.”

            “Bullshit! It was completely personal. You tricked me, used Derek and—you know what? No, no I’m not doing this!” I proclaimed shooting an energy ball into the cushion right next to him.

            Drake looked at the spot where my energy ball singed the cushion. “Oh someone has spunk. Sit down Ana and let’s talk. I will not ask again.”

            I sat on a small wood table furthest away from Drake facing the door. There was no way I was going to get cozy with him.

            Drake chuckled. “Fine have it your way. Now about Derek. I don’t have him anymore.”

            “I don’t believe you.” I stated trying to reign in my emotions. I was beginning to feel my emotions slipping. Cold fear gripping my heart.

            Suddenly alarms were blaring. Completely rattling my brains.

            Drake clapped his hands together. “Ah, I do believe your friends have arrived.” The doors swung open and in walked our three shifters and five hunters. All magically bound with their hands behind their backs. With what appeared to be magical halos around their heads. Each of them escorted by a member of Drake’s command. Drake strode over to my friends and inspected them.

            I sighed in relief when I noticed that Marleek and Rebecca were not among them. Thank the heavens there was still hope.

            “Now where were we?” Drake asked turning his attention towards me. “Ah, yes, Derek. Poor little Derek. You see I traded him with the Shifters. I just couldn’t take his begging anymore. So, I got rid of him. And who knows what they’ll do to him.” Drake taunted.

            “Fine. Then it looks like my problem is with them.” I said standing acting like I was getting ready to leave. “Now let my friends go and I will be on my way.”

            “Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. You see no one is leaving. As soon as you stepped foot in this room your power to vanish was bound. So unless you are walking out of here—which I doubt. You aren’t going anywhere.”

            I drew one of my daggers and threw it at the Cupid standing closest to the door. The dagger flew straight and true, hitting the Cupid right in the heart.

            The Cupid dropped. The rest of Drake’s command looked ready to spring on me, pulsing with anger. We all looked at Drake expectantly.

            “If that’s how you want it—fine. Kill them.” Drake said with malice as he threw an energy ball at me.

            I threw myself behind the couch, the cushions taking the heat from his magic. I stood up and shot an energy ball of my own at him, Drake easily stepping out of the way, one of his command taking the blow. I looked at my situation and knew that I was seriously out numbered. Drake and I both threw energy balls at the same time. They collided mid-air knocking both of us off our feet.

            I scrambled towards Drake’s desk. Knowing that was where the control panel was for the entire compound. But Drake must have sensed where I was going because the next thing I knew I was flying through the air as Drake picked me up by my hair and flung me towards the door. I tucked my head and shoulders in using the momentum to turn my landing into a flip bringing me gracefully to my feet. I looked at the battle raging on before me. Noticing that despite being bound my team managed to take out three of Drake’s command. But we were losing.

            I made my way back over to the desk when I realized that I no longer saw Drake. I paused looking for him when I felt his hands grip my arms. I couldn’t move.

            “That’s right, Ana. I still have power over you. Now you and I are going to take a little walk.” Drake hissed in my ear. Drake turned me around and pushed me towards the door. Automatically I began walking. It was weird and robotic. I fought it with every ounce of energy I had. Drake pushed me again. “Don’t bother fighting it.”

            We walked down Cupid headquarters main hall. I knew where we were, but no idea where we were going. This hall literally could take you anywhere.

            “Where are you taking me Drake?”

            “Some place where we can be alone.” Drake said pushing me again.

            “I know you didn’t trade Derek. I have spies too you know.”

            “I know. And your spies told you exactly what I wanted them to tell you.” Part of me began quake with fear. What if he was telling the truth and Derek wasn’t here.

            We turned down a narrow dark hall and I immediately knew where we were going—the dungeons. This had to be where he had Derek otherwise I was in real trouble. This most definitely was not part of the plan. Marleek and Rebecca would have no idea where I was, but luckily they will be able to help the others I thought in relief.

            Drake opened the door to a stone chamber revealing Rebecca and Derek both chained to the wall.

            My heart sunk and soared at the same time. On one hand I knew I was screwed and on the other I was relieved that Derek was still here—and alive.

            “Ana, don’t do anything he says. No matter what.” Rebecca pleaded through a busted lip.

            I winced just looking at her. She had taken one hell of a beating. The entire right side of her face was swollen and bleeding. It was hard to tell from what exactly.

            “Now Anastasia. Who are you going to save? Your best friend Rebecca?” He said running his finger primed with magic down the left side of her face leaving a wide gash in her cheek.

            Rebecca screamed out in pain. “Bastard.” She spit with venom.

            “Or your love Derek?” Drake spat as he placed his hand thrumming with magic on Derek’s chest. Derek screamed with agony and I nearly fell over in pain. He had been through hell. His face was sunken and bruised and his entire body riddled with new and old wounds caused by both magic and blades.

            Derek opened his one good eye and looked at me with an amazing amount of love. Even after all that he had been through, he still loved me. I would have hated me, I did hate me. It was my selfishness that got us into this mess in the first place.

            “I am so sorry Derek. Sorry to bring you into this, sorry that Drake is such a pansy that-“ I cried as Drake slapped me across the face using the full force of his magic to bring me to my knees. I tasted blood on my tongue and spit it out.

            “Don’t push me Ana. Even I have only so much patience. Even for you.” He spat bending down so he was whispering in my ear. Putting all my body weight on the balls of my feet I shot myself up cracking Drake in the nose.

            “Son of a--you broke my nose.” He roared grabbing his nose. He spit out the blood that had made its way into his mouth and looked at me with pure hatred. He reached his arm back and shot an energy ball right for Derek.

            Marleek appeared between Derek and the energy ball his body absorbing its magic.

            “Now that’s not nice Drake. Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” Marleek said as he shot an energy ball at Drake knocking him against the stone wall.

            I scrambled over to Derek and Rebecca using my magic to free them. Rebecca helped me get Derek on his feet as we made our way towards the door.

            “Marleek?” I asked.

            “Go, I will be right behind you.” He said kicking Drake in the side.

            I nodded as we made our way out of Cupid headquarters.

            “You can see him now.” Marleek said as he came out of Derek’s room.

            I entered Derek’s room and was happy to see that his wounds had fully healed and his face was back to normal. I drank him in memorizing every detail. When I met his eyes he smiled lighting up his entire face.

            “Hey beautiful.”

            My face flushed with heat at his sultry voice. “How are you feeling?” I asked.

            “Great considering. So you’re an Angel huh?”

            I walked over to his bed and sat down next to him. “Guess so.” I replied nervously.

            “Should have known you were out of my league.” He teased grabbing my hand.

            “I’m not out of your league. You’re out of mine. I don’t deserve you, I never did.” I said silent tears streaming down my face.

            Derek wiped my tears and kissed me gently and with so much love I almost completely lost it.

            “It’s okay Ana. Marleek already told me. I know we can’t be together. I know about the deal you made to save my life. I will be eternally grateful and will never, ever forget you.” He whispered resting his forehead on mine.

            I placed my hand over his heart. “Know that my heart will always belong to you. And I will never forget you, you are eternally mine.” We kissed each other passionately, putting everything we felt for each other in that kiss. There was so much longing, desire, trust and love between us my spirit magic soared inside of me.

            “Time to go Ana.” Marleek said through the door.

            We kissed each other one last time. As I was walking out the door Derek said, “At least I can say I dated an Angel.”        

Well that's it for Anastasia, hope you liked her tale! Let me know what you think in the comments, I would love to hear from you!!

"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time." 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Multiple Series Love?

Okay, so yesterday on Top Ten Tuesday we listed out the authors that we would buy anything from, even a roll a toilet paper. Okay maybe not toilet paper, but maybe if they wrote a book on it. Anyway, after writing my list I got to thinking about how many authors I love, but don't seem to love all their work. (You can check that list out here: Auto Buy Authors).

You know those authors that produce an amazing series with characters you absolutely love and adore, but you just can't find the love for their other work? Yeah those authors. That's what I want to talk about.

Do you have any authors that you love, but have a hard time getting into their other work? I know I do. First let me reiterate the fact that I love these authors and would buy anything from them in regards to that series or those specific characters I just don't seem to like everything they write. You know that whole can't please everyone. Yeah well that.

And yesterday I got to thinking why? Why is it that I love their one series and not their others?

Well of course I have some theories.

First I noticed with these authors the series I love is usually a long series, meaning more than ten books. Second, the series is based on one central character. And third, their other series is usually completely different than the series that made me fall in love with them in the first place. (Now I think I need to mention here that I have yet to find this problem in any YA or Fantasy, Paranormal or the likes). Those of you who read suspense, thriller, or mystery novels will know what I am talking about. A series in this genre has a tendency to last a long time and the story is not continuous.

I love characters, if you haven't already noticed. A great book has to have good characters. And whenever I read a book I get attached to the characters. Every. Single. Time. But in my experience once I dive into a series, especially one that is long, I get ultra attached to the characters, the story and the way it is written. And I have a really hard time letting that go and immersing myself in other great works by the author.

I know it is probably all in my head, but I have talked to other people about this and realized that I am not alone! Other's have this problem. But I noticed that usually it only occurs when one get's attached to a long series.

So, has this happened to you? Do you fall in love with one series by an author and find it hard to fall in love with another series by the same author? Or are you one of those lucky people who will love anything by that author no matter what?

Do you get so attached to a series and its characters that you have a hard time letting go? Have you ever forced yourself to read something just because it is by an author you love so much?

I would love to hear your thoughts on I would love to know that I am not alone here!!

"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I would Automatically Buy

Top Ten Tuesday is an incredibly awesome meme created by The Broke and the Bookish join the fun!

Top Ten Authors I would Automatically Buy

1. M.R Merrick of course you all know how much I loovvve The Protector Series!!! Ever since I picked up Exiled, I was hooked. The way he builds world's in which I can imagine traveling and characters I feel connected with, make me come back for more! And I also love the little stories M.R. Merrick writes on his blog, so needless say I would buy and devour any book that he publishes....EVER!

2. Jacob Gowans  so far Jacob Gowans has two series and I have devoured all the books in each series. Jacob Gowans is another author I was grateful to have stumbled across while cruising the kindle store. He has an amazing way of creating worlds that are incredibly believable whether set in the future or the past.

3. Sherrilyn Kenyon ever since I discovered her amazing Chronicles of Nick series I have been consumed with anything that Sherrilyn Kenyon writes. And am pretty sure will be for the foreseeable future.

4. Nikki Jefford I first discovered Nikki Jefford in my search of all things witch-y! Completely hooked by her series I have now devoured all of her books including her first book venturing into the realm of vampires, Aurora Sky! She reminds me why witches should never be trifled with and puts a unique spin on the vampire hunter!

5. C.A. Kunz is great duo of authors that I can't get enough of! I have devoured all the books currently available in both of C.A. Kunz's series, The Childe and The Modified. Both are great stories and I am looking forward to devouring anything else this dynamic duo cooks up!

6. Jennifer L. Arementrout though I have only recently discovered Jennifer Armentrout, *hangs head* but now that I have, I have devoured every book in her Lux series and am ready to make quick work of the rest of her creations. And I anxiously await all future endeavors!

7. Steven Luna ever since I stumbled across Joe Vampire and fell in love with Steven Luna's humor and sarcasm I haven't looked back. The series is amazing and will definitely make you laugh out loud and keep you coming back for more! He is a great short story teller and writes for Dumb White Husband. He is always funny!

8. Steven Montano is an author who I can always count on to take me on a dark adventure and give me dark demons and characters. Steven Montano has a way of giving you that dark adventure you never knew you wanted. I am quickly devouring his Blood Skies series and can't wait to see what other incredibly imaginative things he has in the works.

9. Michael Connelly now here I feel like I have to say that despite my love for Michael Connelly I do not love all his series equally. But I will buy and devour any book he publishes under his Harry Bosh character. Michael Connelly does a great job of telling the story of an L.A. Detective.

10. Andrew Peterson from the minute I picked up his first book First to Kill, I have been in love with Andrew Peterson's incredible ability to weave a story so full of action, adventure and suspense. I have devoured all the Nathan McBride books and will devour anything that he publishes!

"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time."

Friday, February 22, 2013

Joe Vampire (Character Time #6)

As far as characters go there is no character like Joe. Sure he is a vampire, as his name says, but he is not your everyday garden variety vampire. Are there such things as garden variety vampires?! Huh, oh well. Either way Joe is different. First of all Joe does not sparkle. EVER! Second, becoming a vampire did not give Joe god like looks. And third, he writes a blog! 

You see before becoming Joe Vampire, Joe was well Joe, an average guy, with a less than stellar life. And he certainly didn't ask to be turned into a vampire so when it happened and he discovered what it really meant to be a vampire, he did what any warm-hearted person.....I mean cold-hearted vampire would do, he started a blog. But it wasn't just any blog, it was a blog about the cold, hard facts of being a vampire. 

I have to say that I loved his blog and his approach. You see Joe didn't sugar coat anything, in fact there were times when I was covering my eyes saying too much information, that is too. Much. Information! But despite Joe's urge to over share, I do have to say that this improved with his blogging comeback in The Afterlife , I found him to be absolutely hilarious!! Seriously laugh out loud funny! 

You see Joe doesn't just blog, he blogs with style, he does it with humor, sarcasm, and cussing, lots of cussing, but he's working on that! There is just something about the way he writes that is so real, that you can't help but connect with him. It doesn't matter that he's a vampire because Joe blogs about more than vampirism, he blogs about life. The ups and downs, the happy times and the not so happy times. Oh sure his life involves vampirism more than most, but you put that aside and he is still just Joe, the guy trying to make it through life and find his happy ending. 

On the outside, Joe is that guy/vampire that you might pass walking down the street and might not even notice, but you put him on the internet, and boy does he shine! In fact there is this one post where he talks about what happens when you shine as bright as him.....totally have to read it! Anyway, when Joe is on his blog he is no longer the average man that you pass walking down the street. He is the man/vampire that persevered through unbearable circumstances and came out a better man and vampire because of it. 

And I for one can say, that Joe can write my life story any time! 

So if you like funny, sarcasm and vampires then you need to check these books out! I promise you will laugh hysterically!!

                  Joe Vampire    Joe Vampire: The Afterlife
                       Goodreads | Amazon                                 Goodreads | Amazon

For more information check out Steven Luna's Website

"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

O' Where Art Thou Cupid (A Cupid's Story Part 2)

If you all remember, and I am sure that you do, last week was Valentine's Day. And in honor of the great holiday of love I decided to write a little story to excite the love juices in everyone!! So last week if you stopped by you were treated or tortured with my storytelling with A Cupid's Story the short story I wrote about a Cupid desperate to feel human love. But to be honest I didn't get to tell the whole story. That story definitely did not end the way I had envisioned in my mind, so by demand of the readers and my desire to have it not end that way I decided that I had to write another part to the story. So now I will treat or torture you with the second part to this Cupid story. I hope you all enjoy!!!

That night I went to bed the happiest woman on earth. I think I was glowing I was so happy. I guess you could say I was as giddy as a school. I know it sounds cliché but there really is no other way to put what I feel into words. I have been waiting for one hundred and eighty-five years to feel this and there is just no way to describe it.

I rolled over and gazed upon Derek. The mortal man who stole my heart—who set me free. In sleep he appeared almost statuesque, I know he looked good enough to be immortalized in stone. I grinned to myself happy that I had found him. And with that thought sleep took me to a dreamless sleep.

I stretched after what was probably the most restful night sleep I had experienced since becoming mortal. Usually my nights were plagued with nightmares of being ripped out of the mortal realm and being forced to serve as Drake’s queen. I smiled to myself knowing now that it will never happen. Derek saved me—his love saved me. I smiled to myself and rolled over to greet him only to find his side of the bed bare.

Thinking nothing of it I got out of bed and took a shower, after all I did have to go to work. In fact so did Derek, he has a ten o’clock class. That’s probably where he went. I thought to myself.

I arrived at the University just in time to teach my class so I didn't have time to stop in and say hi to Derek. I got my students started on their exam and sent him a quick text, “Hey sweetie, missed you this morning J Lunch?”  

I moved about the class walking between desks looking over shoulders to see if my students were on the right track when Jessica walked in. I looked at her and I instantly knew that something was wrong. I felt it in my gut.

My heart sank as I made my way over to her.

“Have you seen Derek today?” Jessica whispered so we didn’t disturb the students.

“No. When I woke up this morning he was gone. Why?” I whispered with urgency and fear.

“Apparently he didn’t show up to teach his class this morning. And Dean White saw me in the hall and asked me to fill in for him.”

This was definitely not like Derek. He was always on time and he never missed a class. Hell he never even cancelled them. And immediately I knew, Drake.

I placed a small smile on my face as a way to assure Jessica, but it hurt to do so. “Don’t worry, I’m sure everything is fine.” I said flatly.

Jessica looked at me with concern and disbelief. She didn’t believe those words any more than I did. I placed my hand on her shoulder and gave her a squeeze, as much for my reassurance as it was for hers.

My mind was spinning with thoughts—none of them good. I knew Drake was behind this and I should have known better than to trust him. He betrayed me once what on earth made me think he wouldn’t do it again? Stupid! I thought. I couldn’t imagine what Drake was doing to Derek. All I knew was—I was going to get him back, no matter what and no matter what the cost.

I steeled myself and started heading back to the front of the room. As I passed Jessica she mouthed “Are you okay?”

I nodded my head afraid that if I said anything I would cry or scream. Jessica didn’t know anything about who I was and there was no way I was going to pull her into this too. I swallowed the fear, pain and anger that threatened to consume me and painted a smile on my face.

“I am sure everything is fine. You know now that you mention it, I think Derek said something about going to visit his parents, he must have just forgotten to cancel his class.” I suggested.

Jessica looked taken aback and for a second I wasn’t sure she was going to believe me, “Well, then you better tell him to cancel his other classes and call the Dean, cause she is pissed.”

“I will. Thanks for letting me know Jessica.” I whispered letting her know that the conversation was over and with a shrug Jessica left.

Class was passing much too slowly. It felt like time was going backwards. All I wanted to do was hunt down Drake and make him regret ever betraying me. I was so angry that I was shaking. As soon as the last student turned in their exam I fled the classroom and went straight home.

“Drake you bastard, show yourself!” I yelled flinging my bag on the couch. I stood in the middle of the room seething. I knew Drake was here and I knew he could hear me. He was probably laughing at my display of anger. “I know you’re here Drake!”

Deep laughter suddenly filled the room. The sound reverberating off the walls making it sound like there were a thousand Drake’s in my living room making it so there was no way to tell where the sound was coming from. I turned in a slow circle. The last thing I wanted was for him to sneak up on me.

“You rang, my queen.” Drake said appearing behind me. Close enough that I could feel his breath on my neck.

I gritted my teeth, rolled my eyes and turned to face Drake.

“Where’s Derek, Drake?” I asked with loathing.

“Derek?” He asked with humor in his voice.

“Don’t play with me Drake. I know you took him. You just couldn’t stand the fact that I found someone who actually loves me.” I imagined my words were daggers that sliced through his cold dead heart as I spit them at him. Unfortunately I don’t have that power. I have no power. Obvious down side to being mortal.

“Ouch.” Drake said placing his hand over his heart feigning hurt. “I love you.”

“You are incapable of love. For a cupid you have the coldest heart I have ever seen.” I shot at him with hatred.

Drake’s eyes hardened and I could tell I hit a nerve with that one. I swallowed hard wondering what he was going to do to me to make me regret those words.

Drake stepped closer to me clearly violating my personal bubble. He was taller than me by over a foot and I found myself staring at his hard chest almost touching it with my nose. “You have no idea what I’m capable of.” He said through gritted teeth. “But I would love to show you.” He said as he grabbed me by the arms and kissed me hard and deep. The kiss was full of anger. I stood still as a statue worried if I resisted he would take that as a sign of encouragement. But the kiss only softened and it was full of longing.

A longing that I knew too well—a longing that would have broken my heart if he didn’t have Derek.

I finally placed my hands on his chest and pushed as hard as I could. Drake dropped his hands and stepped away from me. For a second his features softened and for a brief moment I thought he might actually be sorry. But his face was back to being hard as stone before I could even blink.

“Where is Derek?” I pleaded in almost a whisper. Afraid of disturbing him again.

Drake gave me an evil grin and was gone. I didn’t bother looking for him either. I don’t know how I knew it, but I knew he was gone.

I fell to my knees and cried to the heavens.

“Derek I am sorry, so, so sorry. I will find you, I promise. Just hang in there.” I vowed through my flowing tears.

I sat on the floor until my tears stopped. Picking myself up off the floor I vowed not to shed another tear until I had Derek in my arms. I hardened my heart and locked away my emotions preparing for the battle I knew was to come.

“Rebecca?” I called out. “Rebecca can I please speak with you?”

Warmth instantly spread throughout my body and my spirit rose up to meet the angel that was descending upon me.

Rebecca appeared in a beautiful ball of golden yellow light. The light touched every part of the room yet it wasn’t so bright that it hurt your eyes.

As soon as she entered the room she embraced me in a fierce hug. “I am so sorry Ana.”

“I take it you know then?” I asked coming out of the hug.

“Of course, it is all over the magic realm how Drake betrayed a Cupid and stole her love. And you are the only Cupid I know that longs for a mortal love. So what can I do to help?”

“I need you to convince Marleek to give me my powers back.” I stated with conviction.

“Ha, Marleek? You mean the Marleek as in fallen angel Marleek?”

“Of course, do you know of any other Marleek’s?”

“Girl you would have better luck convincing the moon to stop rising than Marleek giving you your powers back.” Rebecca stated.

“But I have to try. Look, just get him here. I will do the rest.”

Rebecca shook her head. “I hope you know what you are doing.” She said as she turned to light and vanished.

“Me too.” I whispered just as her light faded.

Marleek paced around my living room. I thought my carpet was going to catch on fire from the friction of his body.

“Are you sure about this? Because once I do this there will be no turning back?”

I hung my head. I knew there was no other way and I would do anything to get Derek back.

“Yes I’m sure. So do we have a deal or not?” I asked stepping in Marleek’s path.

Marleek stopped and looked at me as if he were evaluating a painting. “Yes. We have a deal.” He said holding out his hand.

I hesitated for a second before I grabbed his hand. A small smile spread across Marleek’s face at the same time pain erupted all over my body. It felt like a thousand swords had been thrust through me at once. I fell to the ground as a high pitched sound pierced my skull causing my ears, nose, eyes and mouth to bleed. I would have been panicked if I could feel anything besides pain. I began to see spots as I began to fade out. I saw my blood drip on my elaborate oriental rug mixing with the fibers as if it were part of the tapestry before I hit the floor and allowed the blackness and pain to take me away.

Well I hope you enjoyed part 2 of this little story....tune in next week for the final installment! Please let me know what you think, I am dying to hear from pun intended!  

"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Review: Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)
*Cover and Synopsis from Goodreads

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

Helpful Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Website

My Review: 5 Must Devour

As soon as I picked up Under the Never Sky, the story of Aria and her struggle to survive in the wasteland after being betrayed by her own people had me hooked. Soon Aria discovers that things aren't the way she was raised to believe, oh sure it's dangerous, but some of the dangers aren't the ones she was warned of. Determined to make contact with her mother Aria travels the desolate wasteland with little hope of survival. That is until she crosses paths with a savage named Perry. Needing Aria as much as she needs Perry they strike a truce that will lead them both down roads they never saw coming.

I fell in love instantly with the world that Veronica Rossi created in Under the Never Sky, this alternate world where no one ages and everything is artificial was easy enough to imagine and creative enough to excite my imagination. 

As were her characters. From the minute I started this book I was in love with Aria. She didn't seem like the typical member of Reverie society. Aria was curious and questioned things often not accepting things at face value. She was tough, incredibly smart and deeply caring. I loved her--everything about her. In fact I don't think there was a single time I wanted to choke her like I do most heroines. And Perry, well I absolutely loved Perry. He was definitely my favorite character, incredibly smart, strong, loyal, fierce, but also bull headed and quick tempered. I think that Aria and Perry really provided balance for each other. I also enjoyed the side characters in this book, especially Roar who was a lot like Perry but had more of a sense of humor and was a little more laid back. Veronica Rossi put a lot of care and thought into of all of her characters and it showed even in the treatment of the smallest characters.

You really got a sense for who the characters were, no matter how small their role was in the book. You could tell that Veronica Rossi wrote this book with the series in mind. The story was wonderfully written and flowed so well that before you knew you it you were half way done. Under the Never Sky is definitely a book you can't put down, will give you adventure, will take you to other places and will make you fall in love. An absolute must read and all in one sitting if you can, oh and make sure you have your copy of Through The Ever Night ready to go because you won't want this adventure to end!! 

Favorite Character Moment

"But Perry couldn't do it. He couldn't stay down. He didn't know how to give up." (Hardcover, 2010, p. 355).
Being that Perry is my favorite character I just had to choose a quote that shows what I think he is all about. And Perry is fierce and loyal and never backs down from a fight, even when he is out numbered, and this moment really demonstrates that--even more when you get to read everything else that goes with it!

"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time."

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Review: Black Scars (Blood Skies #2) by Steven Montano

Black Scars (Blood Skies, #2)
*Cover and Synopsis from Goodreads

Something ancient has awoken. Primordial and wholly evil, a living shadow emerges from a prison made weak by the magical cataclysm called The Black. Now the Sleeper stalks the land in search of its old enemies, leaving a trail of madness and destruction in its wake.

Eric Cross, a Southern Claw warlock, has been sent to find the Woman in the Ice, the only known means to stopping this evil. Aided by a grizzled ranger and a band of wardens and inmates from a sadistic prison, Cross’ mission will bring him into conflict with an array of foes: the barbaric Gorgoloth, vampire shock troops out of the Ebon Cities, and a cadre of mercenary nihilists called the Black Circle.

On a mission that will take him from a lost temple once ruled by insidious wolf sorcerers to the vicious gladiator games of the vampire city-state of Krul to the deadly ruins of an ice city, Cross will play a pivotal role in an ancient conflict whose outcome will determine the future of the world.

Return to the world of Blood Skies in this exciting military fantasy adventure!
Helpful Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Website

My Review: 5 Must Devour

The world is still at war and Eric Cross is directly in the middle of it. Eric is in search of the one thing that can stop the new evil that has awoken, the Sleeper. But while on his search he becomes the target of this ancient evil. Now in a race against time, Eric and his group of mismatched miscreants have to beat the evil to the Ice ruins that hold the secret to saving them all, the Woman in the Ice. And he will be forced to do things he never thought he could and go places he never wanted to go as Eric's skill as a warlock and Southern Claw soldier are put to the ultimate test. 

I have to say that I love the hero in this story, Eric Cross. He is definitely not your typical hero. He's not the biggest, strongest, most powerful, the best fighter or best looking. All in all he is pretty average, but it is the way he handles himself when put into seemingly impossible situations that amazes me. This is where he becomes the true hero, this is where he shines, where his smarts and tenacity pay off. When most would back down or run for the hills, Eric takes charge, hardens himself and is the first on the line. Always willing to risk his life before anyone else's. In Black Scars Eric is no longer the timid warrior we saw in Blood Skies. Hardened by battle and loss Cross becomes just the hero the Southern Claw needs.

And I loved the characters that surrounded Eric in Black Scars, especially the mismatched band of miscreants he relies on to find the Woman in the Ice. With my favorite being Kane, the fierce warrior and often funny inmate whose fate got tied to Cross. I loved to hate Danica and often wished that I could jump in the book and choke her, but she proved to be a warrior that I didn't mind seeing by Eric's side. I think Danica and Eric balance each other out and could make a pretty unstoppable team. And as usual Steven Montano does not fail to deliver amazing dark creatures. Of course bringing back his incredibly dark and haunting vampires that remind us of to be afraid of creatures that go bump in the night. 

Black Scars, in true Steven Montano fashion was a dark fantasy where the heroes were put up against impossible odds, great loss and evil so dark even the vampires shudder. The story is so well written that you don't even realize when it has sucked you in, delivering you to that dark place you never knew you hungered for, and brings forth monsters and creatures that would haunt the minds of the innocent. 

Favorite Character Moment:

"Everyone has scars. And yet here I sit, scarred and beaten...and coming back for more." (kindle, loc. 10666).

I chose this line from Eric because I think it really defines who he is as a character and shows his fierce dedication to what he does. 

"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Feature and Follow #9: Letter to Chase Williams

So what is feature and follow you ask? Why it is this awesome meme hosted by  Parajunkee and Alison Can Read; that gives you the opportunity to meet as many bloggers as possible!!! Stop by either blog for the details on how to participate.

I am pretty excited about this weeks Feature and Follow. Because this week is an activity, but not just any activity......

Activity: Write a letter to your favorite character. Rant, rave or gush.....just pretend like they are real and you just want to let them know a "few things." -Activity courtesy of author, Kelly Walker.

As soon as Parajunkee announced the topic for this week I was giddy. I absolutely love this idea and I immediately knew the character I was going to write to. This character stole my heart about a year ago and has taken me on some incredible journeys. He is one of my all time favorite characters.....Chase Williams from the Protector Series by M.R. Merrick and this is what I had to say.


I know that your life hasn’t been easy. Heck I know who your father is. I know what he is, I know what he has done. I know of all of your struggles. I was right there with you. When you were exiled and hated the world, I was there. When you met Rayna and struggled with accepting what you had been raised to hate, I was there. When you were given the powers you thought you would never receive and were chosen to be the Protector, I was there. And when you lost the thing you treasured most in this world. I was there, your pain was my pain. Your tears were my tears.

Your anger was my anger, your disappointment was my disappointment and your happiness was my happiness. I felt it all. You took me with you as you traveled worlds in search of ways to stop the evil that was determined to rule the worlds. And I was with you as you struggled with everything that being the Protector means.

And now that you are filled with loss again, I am here. I was shouting at the heavens when you were dealt this devastating blow. When we were dealt this devastating blow. That pain cut deep.

I know that you are scared. And I know that you blame yourself. For everything, not just this thing. And I know you are mad at the world. And I totally understand that. Any other person would have collapsed under all this pressure.

So, as you face your biggest challenges I ask that you keep in mind what you are fighting for. I beg you to remember that you are not to blame for any of this. I know that you might want to lash out, you might hate everyone and everything and that you will want to pull away and hide from the world. That you might even want to quit. But please don’t. This is your destiny.

If I could take your pain, I would. I would help you carry that weight because that’s what friends do. That’s what you would do if you were in my shoes. Because that is the kind of person you are. No matter the crap you have been through you will do anything for those you call family. I want you to remember through all the pain, hate, loss, anger, blame and hatred that you are brave, kind, loyal, funny, strong, dedicated, determined, loving and a fierce warrior. But I also want you to remember that you have felt happiness, joy and love and you deserve to feel them again.

But above all else I ask you to remember that you have friends. Loyal friends, who would do anything for you, who don’t want to see you hurt—friends who need you and want you to be happy. They don’t blame you and neither should you.


A loyal friend

So is there a character you would write a letter to? Or one you wouldn't? Share it, I would love to hear from you......

"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time."

A Cupid's Story (Short Story)

Today on the blog I want to share with you a short story that I wrote. Being the hopeless romantic that I am and in honor of Valentine's Day I give you a love story......

A Cupid's Story

As the couple embraced I couldn’t help but think of all the couples I was responsible for matching. After nearly two centuries of being a Cupid my number was far too great to count. Besides it’s not like I keep track of them or anything. Okay, so maybe I do a little. But only the ones that last, the one’s I live vicariously through.

And I could tell that this couple was going to make it. It was in their eyes. You see the truth of love is
always in the eyes.
A sigh escaped my throat, but there was no worry of someone overhearing me because as a Cupid I couldn’t be seen. For the past one hundred and eighty-five years I have gone unseen, unnoticed and untouched by mortals. Oh how I wish for what these couples have. To have even a shred of what they share, even for just one day. It would truly be the ultimate reward.

“I would give up anything for that.” I stated with longing.

“Anything huh?” a deep voice asked from behind.

I froze. I knew that voice, it was the voice of the head Cupid, Drake.

“Drake. What, they let you out of your cage?” I asked trying to hide my nerves.

Drake caressed my cheek. “Oh Anastasia, you know how I long to give you that.”

My cheeks reddened with anger and embarrassment. Most Cupids would be flattered to have Drake’s attention. Not only was he the head Cupid, but he was also the picture of angelic. From his golden curls, his chiseled body and liquid sapphire eyes most girls would be a puddle at his feet. But I knew the real Drake. I knew that he could never love the way I desired—not like a human.

I would just be his play thing until he got bored. I firmly removed his hand from my cheek. “Now you know how that worked out the first time? Or do you need a little reminder?” I said with venom.

Drake immediately stepped back and I had to smother a chuckle, but I couldn’t help the grin that spread across my face. It appeared he did remember.

“Oh, I remember very well Anastasia.” He grimaced. “Now about your little wish.”

“What about it Drake? You know as well as I do that you will never let me leave.”

“Ah, that is where you are wrong Ana. You see I am going to grant you the one thing your heart desires. Your chance to find mortal love.” Drake paused. “I will give you six months to find a mortal who will confess his love for you. If you are successful, then I will release you of your lifetime of servitude.” He said flatly.

“And if I’m not successful?” I asked distrust thick in my voice.

A wicked grin spread across his face, “Ah, Ana always worried about the what if’s in life. Very well then. If you don’t succeed then you will come back to me and serve by my side as queen.”

I opened and closed my mouth completely taken aback by his demand. “Fine, but I have a few demands of my own.” I said through my anger.

“Of course you do.” He mocked.

“When I go down, you will not interfere with my life in any way. Or in the life of any mortal I court. Also you will send me down with a complete background a college degree, a job, everything I will need to survive in the mortal world.”

Drake closed his eyes and breathed deeply. “Fine.” He hissed. “Deal. As soon as you kiss me the deal will be done and you will be mortal.”

I should have known something like that was coming, but it still shocked me. I steeled myself and stepped into him intending to give him the cold peck he deserved, but when I was close enough he grabbed me by the waist, pulled me to him and kissed me with lips so full of passion, heat and anger that he left me reeling. When he let go I stood alone. I was completely dazed, my lips tingled from our kiss. Who knew he could kiss like that.

I shook myself out of my stupor and took in the world around me. Sure it was the same world I had been watching but now everything seemed much more alive.

I picked a direction and headed where my heart told me to go.

Three months later….

I have officially been a mortal for three months now. And it has been the best three months of my very long existence. So far Drake has held up his end of the bargain. I have to say he set me up quite nicely. I am a professor of Literature at the local University and live in a beautiful condo on the beach. I have met many friends, but unfortunately I am no closer to finding my mortal love. With half my time left I know I should have been freaking out, but as a Cupid and as a hopeless romantic I will always believe in happily ever after. I know I will get mine. I just have to be patient—within reason anyway.

I was sitting in my office grading student essays when my best friend Jessica stormed into my office full of excitement.

“Oh my gosh, have you met the new Gothic Lit Professor? He is such an ass—tonishing specimen. I would like to sink my teeth into him.” She wiggled her eyebrows at me as she grabbed one of the student essays off my desk and began to read, “If I were Juliet from the famous Shakespeare tragedy I would, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah……how do you read this dribble?”

I leaned forward snatching the paper out of her hands. “Not everyone can be as talented as you.” Jessica was a very popular and talented fantasy author. Her specialty, stories about Cupid. Ironic huh?

“It is a gift.” She said leaning back in her chair. “So?”

“So what?” I asked.

Jessica huffed. “Have you met Mr. Delicious?”

I laughed. “No, I have not met Dr. Hunter.” I replied with emphasis on Dr. Hunter.

“Well you need to. How long has it been since you had a date?” She asked with one raised eyebrow.

I shook my head. I was so not going to answer that question. Because the truth was that I had never had a date in my whole one hundred and eighty-five years.

“We are not starting on that again, are we?” I sighed.

“Yes, we are starting on that again. Come on Ana you can’t let all your hotness go to waste. I know the way the college boys drool over you. You may not see it, but trust me every woman around you does. I bet your female students hate you.” Jessica said with a laugh.

I rolled my eyes and was getting ready to reply when someone knocked on my door.

“Come in.” I replied.

“Dr. Moon?” The man asked as he entered the room.

For a moment I sat in complete awe at the man who stood before me. He was definitely everything Jessica said he was. He had rich dark brown hair just long enough that he had to sweep it out of his eyes from time to time. Perfect olive skin, a firm jaw and a bottom lip that just begged to be bitten. I shook my head bringing myself back to the room.

“Sorry, how rude of me. Yes I am Dr. Moon, Anastasia Moon. You must be Dr. Hunter?” I asked rising, offering him my hand.

He stepped forward and took my hand. “Please call me Derek. Anastasia—pleased to meet you.” When he said my name our eyes met and I was startled to see that they were so gray they were almost silver. My breath caught and my heart stuttered.

Jessica cleared her throat and smiled like the cat that ate the canary. We slowly let go of each other’s hands as if we were afraid we would never find each other again. It almost pained me to let go.

Over the next two months Derek and I were inseparable. When we weren’t working we were together. I don’t know what it was, but we were instantly connected. Tonight we sat on my couch cuddled up watching our favorite show Once Upon a Time. We were both huge fans of fairytales and really loved the twists the producers put on the old stories.

“You know I don’t know what my life would be like without you.” Derek said as he drew hearts on the back of the hand that he held. He brought our clasped hands to his lips and kissed my knuckles, feather light. Then he kissed just below my ear, lingering long enough to breathe me in. He left a trail of kisses along my jaw that left me completely breathless and when he reached my chin he kissed it and rested his forehead on mine. “Anastasia, from the minute I met you, I was enchanted. Not just by your physical beauty, but by the beauty of your soul. I love you and will always love you.”

My body grew hot with his words, “I love you too.” I whispered as I leaned in and kissed him.

My heart soared and my soul sang. I was free. Free to live a mortal life, free to love a mortal man. I smiled at the thought…..freedom. 

                                    Check out Part 2 Here: O' Cupid Where Art Thou

Happy Valentine's Day!!

"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time."