Plenty by Kelly K. Lavender

plentyCan a gritty, dark, intense Horror Thriller be both suspenseful and meaningful? Yes, Plenty proves the point.

When Camille volunteers for the youth outreach program in the small town of Prosperity little does she know that she has put herself in harm’s way. Sheriff Griffin, the program leader, and his son, Grant, lord over an empire of criminal activities ranging from – illegal drugs, robbery, murder, political corruption and pornography. In short order, Grant becomes Camille’s lover and introduces her to life as a recreational drug user. After Camille weathers a brutal beating by Grant’s disapproving Dad, she turns to her newly-widowed, fiery friend Jennifer for help. What can two downtrodden women do to rid a tortured town of its misogynistic Machiavellian sheriff and malevolent mayor? Plenty.

Plenty, the powerful flip side of Fifty Shades of Grey, captivates as a spine-tingling suspense novel about the risky yet all-important road to self-actualization and happiness. For readers who abhor the objectification of women and sex kitten or sex kitten-for-a-sadist dynamic, Plenty offers a plethora of promise. Plenty holds special appeal for resilient, smart, resourceful women who rescue themselves and the men who love them. Plentyinfused with spice, a lot of naughty-never nice. Not for the faint of heart or for those seeking a slow, tame sleepy time story. Action-packed Plenty jets along at a jolting James Bond pace.


It was the coloring of the cover that first grabbed me on this book, but I’m so glad to have picked it up. Plenty was a fantastic mix of mystery and modern day heroes. There is a lot of darkness here, especially within the characters. Camille has endured some dark times, but is hell bent determined for that not to get her down.

I really enjoyed the time jumps within the story and thought that added a lot of dimension to the narrative. Everything came together really nicely, even by the midpoint of the book and continued to build from there. The pacing of Camille’s story is a big part of what had me frantically turning pages to find out what happens next.

This story is not shy when it comes to grittier moments, sex, violence and any number of elements that would not be suitable for younger readers.

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Blog Tour: The Rabbit Ate My Flip-Flops + Excerpt

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Excerpt

I’m putting my iPod back in my pocket when Libby grabs my arm and just about knocks it right out of my hand. “Would you watch it?” I snap.

“Drew, what is that?”

“What is what?”

That!

I glance up. There’s a small, battered cardboard box sitting in the ditch on the side of the road, about ten feet ahead of us. “It’s a box. In the ditch.”

“No, can’t you hear that sound?”

“What sound?”

“That sound!”

I pull out my earbuds. At first all I can hear is a squirrel chattering in the woods beside us and a car roaring by on Arbutus Ridge Road behind us. Then I hear it: There’s a sort of a scrabbling, scratching sound coming from inside the box, interrupted now and again by a loud THUMP!

“I’m scared.” Libby clutches my arm.

“Oh, Libby. Don’t be such a baby. It’s probably just a rat.” Mom and Dad are always complaining about the rats getting into our garbage. Last summer Dad even found a giant rats’ nest in his tool shed. He had to call the exterminator to get rid of them. “Come on.” I peel Libby’s fingers from my arm and start walking again.

She doesn’t budge.

“Come on,” I say.

“I don’t like rats.” She shivers. “Their tails are creepy.”

“Libby, come on.” I grab for her arm.

“No!” She swats my hand away. “You have to chase it away. I won’t move until it’s gone. Make it go away, Drew.”

“It’s just a stupid rat.”

Libby crosses her arms.

It’s pretty clear Libby isn’t going anywhere until the big scary rat inside the box is gone. I throw my hands up. “Fine!”

Grabbing a stick from the side of the road, I eye the box. It’s just a plain old brown cardboard box, the flaps folded closed on the top. The scrabbling sound has stopped. Maybe Libby’s shrieking has scared whatever it is away. I take a few steps towards it. Then another. And another. Just as I’m reaching out with the stick to pry open one of the flaps . . . THUMP!

I yelp and jump back.

Libby giggles.

“Shut up!” I snap. “Chicken.”

Libby sticks out her tongue at me. “You’re the chicken.”

THUMP! THUMP!

Whatever’s inside is much bigger than a rat. My stomach tightens. Now I’m not sure I want to see what’s in the box. I glance at Libby. She’ll never let me live it down if I wuss out now. I take a deep breath. Then I tear the flaps open, kick the box over, and jump back—far enough back, I hope, to be out of the reach of Godzilla-sized rat teeth.

Libby gasps. “A bunny!”

“A what?”

Crouching on the ground next to the overturned box is a small, caramel-coloured rabbit with huge ears.


rabbit 2About the Book

You can’t bring a rabbit camping. That’s what eleven-year-old Drew Montgomery’s grandparents say when his annoying little sister wants to bring their pet rabbit, Tiny, along on the trip. And Drew agrees. It’s bad enough that he will miss the release of the coolest video game of the year while he’s stuck in a cramped travel trailer for a week with his grandparents and sister. But Tiny is certain to cause trouble. Plus there are bears and eagles in the woods. And what if Tiny gets lost?

But Libby smuggles the rabbit into the trailer anyway. Now Drew’s got to keep Tiny out of trouble. And that’s not easy to do with Libby always letting him out of the cage and a pair of rabbit-hating bullies ready to let their dog chomp him if he gets too close.

Top it off with never-ending rain, bloodthirsty mosquitos, a broken toilet, stinky outhouses, angry squirrels, terrible food, and an eye-gougingly boring “schedule of activities.” Drew is about ready to take the rabbit and hitchhike home before disaster really strikes.

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Blog Tour – Antidote

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antidote coverLife sucks, and then you rot. No one knows how Dermadecatis is contracted, but its existence has changed everything for 18-year-old Lena, in this riveting debut from Taylor Hondos.

No contact with other people.

Masks must be worn in public at all times.

Four months ago men, women and children alike began to rot from the inside out, and the world as we know it changed forever. Life goes on, but now everything revolves around the need to survive and find a cure for Dermadecatis, the disease that Lena Alona’s father discovered.

Unfortunately for Lena and everyone else who is desperate to survive, her father’s secrets died when he did.

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Review

Antidote is the debut novel from Taylor Hondos, and in a few ways… you can tell. But hear me out, because I really enjoyed this story and will absolutely be on the lookout for more from this fantastic debut author. Yes, there were places in the book that were a little clunky, and maybe some overused story elements, but throughout the entire story, from beginning to end Taylor’s (and by extension) Lena’s voice was so fresh. This didn’t feel like yet another dystopian novel that had been churned out to appease the masses. There was so much to enjoy here and I’ll be recommending this series to quite a few of the young readers who come through our doors in the coming months.

It took a little while for the story to get going, but once the plot started to come together I couldn’t put this down. (A big thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a copy of the book). Dermadecatis is one creepy disease, and the society that has come together around it is dynamic and vibrant… while also being creepy. Hondos has obviously spent a lot of time considering how this new civilization would work. No one is willing to take any chances, and there is no clear cut line of good and evil, something I always love in a story!

As for the characters, I did enjoy Lena but hope we’ll get to really get to know her a bit more in coming books. Kaley was an early favorite of mine, though I can’t really point to why. And of course, we have to talk about Jared. He’s actually a big part of why this story managed to seperate itself from the mass of similar titles. I love Jared! I will love Jared until the end of time! I know he and Lena had kind of a bumpy past, but he was one of my favorite parts of the story.


About the Author… Taylor Hondos

taylorProfessional life-contemplator, book enthusiast and coffee drinker. Taylor Hondos lives in North Carolina with her family and dog, Blackie. When she am not writing, you can find her reading in the corner, searching endlessly for new books to read or binge watching Sex and the City. “Antidote” is her first novel.

Learn more at – http://www.taylorhondos.com/ 

Walking the Edge by Zee Monodee

walking the edgeWalking the edge
The next step might be the last…

A woman without a past
Left amnesiac after an accident, Amelia Jamison’s instincts slowly rise from the depths of oblivion to question her life as the wife of a cold, manipulating, and distant man. Wisps of a dream show her another man she may have known intimately, but is he a memory, or a figment of her imagination?

A man with too much information
After many aliases, today Gerard Besson is simply a police commissaire in Marseille. When a mysterious woman starts to follow him, he is suspicious. But things aren’t what they seem, and as he reluctantly gets closer to her, dredges of his painful, buried past spring to light and make him question her identity.

Each seems to have led two different lives
But neither is prepared for what awaits them when they cross the fine line between knowing your true self and that of your alter ego.

Danger is the name of the game, and as it catches up with them in the French Provence, both know they better be ready for the inevitable fall.


I don’t know why I’ve been avoiding the combination of romance with Mystery/Thrillers for so long, these books are so much fun! Amelia makes for such a perfect action hero, and this was a fantastic adventure from beginning to end. If you love anything spy related, you’re going to want to read this book (and probably the rest of the series).

Now as much as I loved Amelia (and Gerard… and Amelia and Gerard together!!!) what really made this book shine for me was the plotting and pacing. Once you pick up Walking The Edge, you won’t be putting it down any time soon. It did take me a while to figure out what was going on, but once I was in I was ALL in. There were at least three parts (that I can remember) that I was completely blown away by what happened.

I hope to be reading more from Zee Monodee (what a cool name!) soon. It looks like she write across the whole spectrum of romance so there will always be something new to check out!

The Old Creek Bridge by Sarah Kettles

cover74254-mediumWhen Jack Snyder was forced at age ten to deal with the tragic and explosive death of his moonshine-making grandaddy, he didn’t. Instead, he became a self-made pariah, keeping only his monstrous temper for company.

Now plagued by shame and a desperate desire to escape his small town, Jack lashes out at everyone. Everyone, that is, but his high school English teacher, his mama, and the adorable Kelly Green. Through a combination of academic success and the support of these three women, Jack pushes aside his emotional volatility and—much to Kelly’s chagrin—finds a way to escape: college.

That is, until his daddy gets sick. Jack is forced to surrender his dreams of escape and rely on the most unlikely of helpers, the only other person in town with a reputation as bad as his: his grandaddy’s common-law wife. With the town now truly rejecting him, he’s left with one choice: confront his hatred of home and the self-loathing that led to it, or spend the rest of his sorry life alone.

Review
Despite a somewhat hard to follow blurb (that also maybe gave too much of the plot away), this was a really dynamic story that made for an interesting read. Jack hasn’t had an easy life by any stretch of the imagination and his journey throughout The Old Creek Bridge was unlike any other story I can think of.

I did find the pacing to be a little slow in parts, but the writing was strong enough to more than keep things interesting.

Suspended in Dusk by Simon Dewar

duskDUSK

A time between times.

A whore hides something monstrous and finds something special.

A homeless man discovers the razor blade inside the apple.

Unlikely love is found in the strangest of places.

Secrets and dreams are kept… forever.

Or was it all just a trick of the light?

Suspended in Dusk brings together 19 stories by some of the finest minds in Dark Fiction:

Ramsey Campbell, John Everson, Rayne Hall, Shane McKenzie, Angela Slatter, Alan Baxter, S.G Larner, Wendy Hammer, Sarah Read, Karen Runge, Toby Bennett, Benjamin Knox, Brett Rex Bruton, Icy Sedgwick, Tom Dullemond, Armand Rosamilia, Chris Limb, Anna Reith, J.C. Michael.

Introduction by Bram Stoker Award Winner and World Horror Convention Grand Master, Jack Ketchum.

This cover sent an absolute shiver down my spine, and the stories inside did much of the same. This was an absolutely fantastic horror anthology, with additions from many must read authors. Almost every one of the stories had me frantically turning pages, quite a few were delightfully spooky, and one or two were downright shocking. And since you never knew what you were getting into, every reading experience was an absolute delight. I’m especially going to be looking out for more from Angela Slatter, Anna Reith and Toby Bennett.

I’ll certainlly be recommending this book in the coming pre-Halloween weeks.

Joy to the Worlds

cover72562-mediumWhat do you get when you mix mystery and speculative fiction, then toss in

the holidays for good measure? A mobster Santa, genetic hanky-panky,

Victorian villages, time-travelling detectives, a Krampus, eerie bell

spirits, and more-this collection of short cross-genre fiction is the

perfect counterpoint to traditional holiday reading!

Joy to the Worlds brings together eight short works that explore mysteries

across time and space. Ranging from dark dystopian worlds to comedic

retro-futures, four diverse writers find new ways to combine these disparate

worlds.

Whether you enjoy science fiction, fantasy, mystery, Christmas, noir,

gothic, or folktales-this collection has something for you.

The holidays plus spec-fic… yes please! I was tempted to hold off reading this book until closer to Christmas, but I couldn’t do it. I needed this book in my life. And the good news is… Joy to the Worlds did not disappoint! The bad news is, I want more! Way more.

Now, if I had to pick a favorite story from this collection, I’ll have to choose… a tie between Maia Chance’s Odysseus Flax & the Krampus (very dark and twisty!) and The Ringer’s by Raven Oak (great character building). And all of the stories exhibited great imagination and writing, with a hint of holiday… sort of. Granted in some cases the holiday connection was a little up in the air, but I think they pulled it off well. There was never any need for these to be all feel good, tis the season type stories. In fact, I would have enjoyed the collection a lot less if that had been the case. This book was unlike any other holiday collection out there, and that’s why I loved it.

Is it Christmas yet?

Contract of Defiance by Tammy Salyer

contractSpectras Arise Trilogy #1

When all other options run out, never let go of your gun.

Winner of the 2010 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Contest for best action/thriller. Finalist in the Kindle Book Review 2012 Best Indie Book Contest for science fiction/fantasy.

In a few hundred years, the Algol system becomes humanity’s new home. The question is: Is it a better one? When a crew of arms smugglers botches their latest job, Corps-deserter and crewmember, Aly Erikson, is separated from her brother, the only person she can trust, and left behind to fight for her life. In the aftermath, as she tries to piece together what happened, a crew of roughneck settlers pressgang her into a dangerous mission in the heart of Corps territory. Time is running out to get back everything she’s lost: her crew, her brother, her options. But no one is taking her gun.

Contract of Defiance is the first book in an exciting new space opera series, and I’ve gotta say, I’m so glad I stumbled across this book on NetGalley. I’ve already recommended this to a couple of my sci-fi loving book friends.

I won’t go too far into the plot because it is pretty darn involved. I expect, if I ever have the chance to read the next book, I’ll be rereading this one first. The world building is great, with a lot of familiar elements but enough of a new take that it never felt stale. The pacing also keeps you guessing, and there are only a handful of quiet moments.

My biggest issue was that it took me a long time to keep track of all the characters and really figure out who everyone was, but once I caught on I really enjoyed the various dynamics between the characters. Curious to see what happens next!

Cover Reveal – The Worlds Traveler

Happppyyy Monday! I’ve got an exciting cover reveal today. This is the first I’ve done in a while, but I loved all of the blues in this cover too much not to participate.

9780988421349

From award-winning author, M.L. Roble, comes a story about a boy, his map, and an adventure.

Life on the run from a madman named Martin gets in the way of everything.

For fourteen-year-old Phillip, it means having to stay hidden, unable to use his gift of moving through maps to search for his missing father.

But the arrival of a stranger named Delroy brings unexpected opportunity, for Delroy is a man with the ability to travel worlds hidden within our own, and he was sent by Phillip’s father.

Now Phillip will do everything he can to find his dad, even if it means tricking Delroy into helping him, or a quest through those hidden worlds.

Even if leaving home means Martin can now find him.

Available for pre-order at a special pre-order price of $2.99! Take advantage of it now at Itunes, Barnes and Noble, & Kobo.

Follow in the adventures of Phillip Stone and Natalie Bristol from the award-winning book, The Magician’s Doll!

Overexposed by Adrianne James

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overexposedIn the tiny town of Willowspring, just about nothing ever happens except for layoffs, hockey games, and your average melodramatic teenage angst.

But that was before.

Vi, Ashley, and Macy are just trying to make it through the school year without one more humiliation when they team up for a simple photography assignment: create a story through a series of photographs. Can’t be too much trouble, right?

Wrong.

The shutterbugs happen upon Willowspring High School’s darkest secret. When everything around them starts to crumble after trying to do the right thing, their only hope is to stick together.



About the author
adrianneGrowing up, Adrianne couldn’t get her hands on enough books to satisfy her need for the make believe. If she finished a novel and didn’t have a new one ready and waiting for her, she began to create her own tales of magic and wonder. Now, as an adult, books still make up majority of her free time, and now her tales get written down to be shared with the world.

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