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text 2017-05-19 18:53
Guest Post: GenTech Rebellion Series by Ann Gimpel ~ Excerpt(s)

 

Top Ten Reasons to try the GenTech Rebellion Series

 

Thanks so much for inviting me back to your blog, Angela. Always a pleasure to be here. I’m not sure I can come up with ten hidden gems, but I’ll give it a shot.

 

1 – Genetic engineering. This is a topic I’ve always found fascinating. If we really could start human life in a petri dish, what would we do with that power? And how would the resultant humans respond? This is a major plot thread running through GenTech Rebellion. The government may have cloned humans, but it didn’t work out exactly like they planned.

 

2 – Science fiction is another interest of mine. It’s hard to write well because the science has to be spot on. The scifi aspect of GenTech is the genetic engineering noted above. It wasn’t quite as much fun as my single celled organisms that ran amok in Icy Passage, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

 

3 – Discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or any other factor never feels fair. My characters in GenTech deal with their feelings about cloned humans, and about how it feels to be different. They come up with some intriguing conclusions.

 

4 – Hate is a pretty strong emotion. Can you set it aside? If so, what internal changes do you have to go through? If one person within a group treats you badly, do you generalize your negatives feelings to everyone within the group? In many ways my books are like a grand social science experiment running close to the edges of sanity. I’m intrigued by how people relate to one another, so I build strong characters facing hard problems.

 

5 – There are lots of fancy “toys” in GenTech. Guns, helicopters, airplanes, lab equipment. Guess I’ve always been a closet James Bond fan at heart.

 

6 – Scraping all the rest aside: science fiction, action, and adventure, the GenTech books are romances. Love conquers all, even in the brave new world where clones are learning to co-exist with normal humans.

 

7 – This may well be one of the few series where I write more than three books. I’ve held with three, both for trilogy type books and for series books because of the difficulties both building in backstory without boring readers of the earlier books, and because it’s tough to keep alternative worlds fresh book after book. That being said, I decided it was only fair for all five of my cloned women to have their own book.

 

8 – Even though it took me a couple years to finish this series, there may well be one more book. Readers are already clamoring for Frank to have his own story. Who knows? It may well happen.

 

Well, I didn’t make ten, but eight’s not bad. Thanks again for hosting me.

 

 

GenTech Rebellion Series Backstory

 

Sometime between the interminable wars in the Middle East and 9/11, the United States moved forward breeding a race of super humans. Clandestine labs formed, armed with eager scientists who’d always yearned to manipulate human DNA. At first the clones looked promising, growing to fighting size in as little as a dozen years, but V1 had design flaws.

 

Seven years ago, a rogue group turned on their creators, blew up the lab, and hit all the other breeding farms, freeing whomever they could find. In the intervening time, they’ve retreated to hidden compounds and created a society run by men. Women are kept on a tight leash because the men fear if they discover their innate power, they’d launch their own rebellion.

 

 

Winning Glory

 

GenTech Rebellion 

 

Book 1

 

Ann Gimpel

 

Genre: Military Romance with a Science Fiction Edge

 

The line between hunter and hunted thins, blurs, and finally shatters.

 

Book Description:

 

After years as a black ops CIA agent, nothing surprises Roy Kincaid, yet his current assignment is close to a bust. How could his target—renegade genetic freaks—drop off the radar as if they never existed? Burnt out and discouraged, he hunches over a meal in a backwater diner when a half-frozen woman with the look of an abused runaway staggers through the door. On his feet in an instant, Roy kicks himself. His first instinct is to help her, make certain she stays long enough for the bluish cast to leave her lips. His second is to finish his meal and leave. The world is full of broken women. It’s not his job to fix them, but he can’t take his eyes off her.

 

Glory’s telepathic ability blares a harsh warning. Roy hunts those like her, but damn if he didn’t buy her dinner. Maybe she can fool him, just for tonight. Add a dry motel room to the meal. If she plays it very cool, he’ll never find out she’s on the run from the same group he’s targeted for death.

 

Enhanced genetics only go so far. A roadblock and her face on a Most Wanted flyer shatter her fragile truce with Roy. If her Handlers find her, they’ll kill her. If Roy finds out what she is, she’ll be worse than dead.

 

 

 

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Excerpt Winning Glory: 

…“Dessert, hon?” The waitress sidled back over to him, and Roy realized he was her only customer.

“Sure. What do you have?”

She rattled off a series of pies and cakes. He chose apple pie with a scoop of ice cream, and she left with his dinner plate. Roy slumped against the chair. He had to keep going. No choice. Not really. A good night’s sleep, coupled with the first adequate meal he’d had in a couple days might make a big difference in his attitude. At least he hoped they would.

He’d just begun on the pie, which had a surprisingly flaky crust, when a rush of cold air yanked his attention toward the door. A tall woman walked in. Long, dark hair caked with snow swirled around her, and she held her body tightly as if she were really cold. Roy glanced at her feet and was shocked to see a pair of tennis shoes with holes in them. Good God, had she been outside with such inadequate footwear? Didn’t she understand she could freeze to death? Even his stout boots didn’t do much to divert the cold.

Keeping her gaze downcast, she made her way to the counter and sat.

“Coffee, hon?” The waitress asked.

“How much is it?” the woman inquired.

“Two bucks.”

“Oh.” The woman’s shoulders drooped, and she swiveled the stool around, getting ready to go back out into the storm.

“No, you don’t.” The waitress’s voice sharpened. “I’ll stand you a coffee. You look about done in.”

The woman’s even features melted into what looked like relief before she turned back to face the counter. “Thank you. That’s really kind and I appreciate it. My wallet was stolen, and—”

“Never you mind.” The waitress patted the woman’s shoulder. “Bet you’re hungry too.” She poured hot coffee into a mug and handed it to the woman, who drew the steaming liquid to her lips.

“Maybe a little,” the woman ventured. She clasped the cup with fingers white from cold.

By now, Roy knew he was staring, but he couldn’t make himself turn away. There was something waiflike and alluring about the tall woman with long, black hair. Snow dripped off her, creating puddles around her stool. All she wore against the winter weather was a thick, gray sweater and worn jeans. No scarf. No gloves. No hat. He was close to certain her wallet hadn’t been stolen. She looked more like an abuse victim on the run to him. Maybe he could help her get to her intended destination, if it wasn’t too far out of his way.

He pushed his chair back and made his way to the counter. “Say—” he began, but she started and drew away as if she expected him to hit her.

I was right. Abuse victim for sure.

“I’m not going to hurt you.” He kept his voice low, soothing. “Order whatever you want, and I’ll pay for it.”

She kept her gaze on her hands clutching the coffee cup. “I can’t let you do that, sir. I’m all right. Truly I am.”

Without waiting for an invitation, he took the stool next to hers and called to the waitress. “Bring her the same meal I just had.”

“You got it, hon,” rang from the direction of the kitchen.

“You are not all right,” Roy said. “You’re thin as a rail, and you were shivering when you came in here. In fact, you still are. I’ll bet your shoes are wet clear through.” When she didn’t respond, he ploughed on. “Let me help you.”

She shook her head. “Don’t want your kind of help. It always comes with strings.”

“Mine doesn’t.”

He pushed a little with his enhanced mental ability to get her to look at him. If she did, maybe she’d see truth in his eyes. A shudder ran down her thin frame, but she dragged her gaze upward reluctantly. Roy felt bad for forcing her, but he didn’t have time to soothe her wounded places, which he suspected ran deep.

Eyes a shade of green he’d never seen inspected him. Long, thick lashes framed those eyes, and they were set in a face with high cheekbones, a high forehead, and black eyebrows winging a track over porcelain skin.

“Who are you?” The words tore from him. He hadn’t meant to say them. She was nervous as a feral cat as it was.

She shook her head sadly. “No one. I’m no one. You’ll forget all about me when you leave here.”

Something shifted in his mind, but he fought it. Before he could determine if something real had just happened or if he were imagining things, the waitress showed up with the woman’s dinner.

“Here you go, hon. Hope medium’s okay for that steak?”

“Fine, thank you.” Before the words were out, the woman picked up the fork and knife and shoveled food into her mouth.

Roy congratulated himself on a good call. Even though she’d been reluctant to admit it, she really was starving. He had no idea what she’d do tomorrow or the next day, but it wasn’t his problem. While she ate, he observed her from the corner of his eyes. In addition to being hungry and underdressed, she looked young. Maybe twenty. He’d be surprised if she were much more than that.

He shook a mental finger at himself. The country was full of abused women running from the men who used them as punching bags before they raped them. It was one part of law enforcement work he’d never understood: why the women kept going back for more.

“There are safe houses for girls like you,” he said, and could’ve kicked himself. What the hell was wrong with his mouth tonight? He couldn’t seem to keep words on the other side of it.

She stopped chewing long enough to glance at him. “What’s a safe house?”

“A place where women like you can go so whoever’s after you can’t get to you.”

“What makes you think someone’s after me?” Color splotched across her white cheeks.

Roy took a deep breath. “I was a cop for a long time.”

Her entire body tightened, and he wondered if he’d been wrong about why she was out in the storm. “You said was.” She swiped a paper napkin over her lips. “Are you still?”

“No. Not anymore.”

She took another bite, clearly thinking about what he’d said. “These people you think are after me. Could they still find me in a safe house?”

He wanted to lie to her, but didn’t. “Sure. Anyone can find anybody with the Internet and all, but the people who run the safe houses won’t let anyone who might hurt you inside.”

She drew her arched brows together and drank some coffee. “I’d have to go outside sometime. Work. Earn my way.”

He nodded. Those things were all true. He scratched his head and pushed too-long hair out of his eyes. “Sometimes, when a man is really persistent, there are ways of setting you up with a different identity in a different part of the country.”

Interest lit her features, and she cut up the last of her steak. “Where would I go to have that happen?”

“I’m not sure, but we could check with local agencies in the morning.”

A blank expression washed over her face, as if someone had shut out a light. She shot him a look she might have given yesterday’s overripe trash. “Morning, huh? You’re just like all the rest of them, mister. Means I’d have to spend the night with you.”

Roy winced. He hadn’t been thinking. Of course she’d make that connection. “No.” He shook his head emphatically. “I’d buy you your own room for the night. You can clean up, get some sleep, and we’ll regroup in the morning after breakfast.”

She narrowed her eyes, and he felt himself drawn into their depths. “My own room with a locked door?”

He nodded solemnly, willing her to believe him. If he could just do one decent deed, it would make up for the last two weeks of beating his head into a brick wall. Maybe it would give him enough juice to keep hunting for the scientists who were a bunch of Houdini fuckers.

“Mmph.” She started on her potato, taking large bites. In between them, she said. “I’m trying to figure out your angle. If I’ve worked my way around to believing you won’t hurt me by the time I’m done eating, I’ll accept your offer.”

It was the best he was likely to get. Roy stood. “Fair enough. I’m going to finish my pie.” It was sitting in a pool of melted ice cream, but he didn’t mind. “If you’d care to accept my help, just stop by my table on your way out. If you walk past, I give you my word I won’t bother you.”

“Deal.” She said around a mouthful of food. Swallowing, she twisted to look at him.

It felt as if she were staring straight through him, but Roy held his ground even after he identified a zing of power withdrawing from his mind. What the hell was she, anyway? When she returned to her dinner, he retreated to his pie, thoughts racing a mile a minute. What the fuck was he doing? If he were smart, he’d forget his offer, throw enough money on the table to cover both meals, and run like hell for his car.

There was something about the woman, though, an appeal that drew him, snared him, and wouldn’t leave him be. He ate mindlessly, not tasting the pie. He knew the feel of freak mind control. Was that it? Had he inadvertently stumbled onto one of them?

Impossible. They’re never by themselves, and whatever she examined me with didn’t feel quite right.

Plus, she didn’t resemble the ones he’d killed before. They had dark hair, but animal eyes. Amber, not green like hers. Of course they’d been men, but simple genetics argued they’d all look much the same if they came out of the same petri dishes.

Were there other augmented humans beyond those he already knew about? The thought fascinated and chilled him at the same time.

He scraped his fork over the plate and realized it was empty. Slugging back long-since-cold coffee, he dug for his wallet and extracted what he was certain would cover dinner, laying bills on the table and placing his empty mug atop them.

The woman looked almost done with her meal. What would she do?

What would he do if she walked by him and out the door? Would he be able to keep his promise and not go after her?…

 

 

 

Honor Bound

 

GenTech Rebellion 

 

Book 2

 

Ann Gimpel 

 

Dream Shadow Press

 

Genre: Military romance

 

with a Science Fiction edge

We have to trust to fight side by side, but love’s so unexpected—and so irresistible —it trumps everything.

 

Book Description:

 

Honor takes a huge chance and flees her compound one wintry night. A genetically altered woman, she has no memories from before her kin staged a rebellion seven years before. Because of her enhanced physiology, she finds a home working for the CIA alongside four other women just like her. There are still plenty of rules, but they’re different, and she’s figuring out how to blend in.

 

Milton Reins burns through women and marriages. After the third one implodes, he swears off hunting for a replacement. Running the CIA is a more than fulltime job. There’s no time for anything else in his life, which is fine until Honor comes along. Training in the gym throws their bodies together and makes him remember the feel of a woman in his arms. Milton aches for her, but she’s a freak—the CIA term for test tube humans designed by scientists.

 

Honor wants Milton with every bone in her body, but it’s a terrible idea, especially after she delves into his head and sees his ambivalence toward her kind. Need drives them together, but their differences create roadblocks every step of the way. Fueled by anger and fear, she shuts him out. So what if the sex was great, she’s done.

 

Or is she?

 

 

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Excerpt Honor Bound:

…“How about this?” Honor finished her drink and twirled the glass between her hands. “The other women and I are on top of things. We’ll make sure nothing…unexpected happens.”

“What if I pull rank and order Charity to stay here?” he demanded, not liking her answer.

Honor shook her head. “That’d be a bad idea.” After a pause, she added hastily, “Sir. With all due respect.”

Milton chortled. “You’re learning. Why is it a bad idea?”

Honor closed her teeth over her lower lip. “Like all of us, she’s finding her way. Figuring out where she fits in here. Even though we lived in the western United States, we may as well have been in Bangladesh for all the differences between living here and where we were after the rebellion.”

“You still haven’t told me why it’s a bad idea.”

“She needs to trust you. If you ride herd on her, treat her like the Nameless Ones treated us, she never will, and this…problem of hers will just get worse.”

Desperation flared, a glowing nimbus she nipped quickly, but he’d been paying close attention, plus he’d been inside her mind. Milton pushed forward with a combination of intuition and his augmented ability. “You’re worried it will get worse anyway.”

Her gaze skittered away. “Yes. No. Possibly. These things are hard to predict. Please.” She leaned forward this time and placed a hand over his where it lay atop his leg. “Let us handle it our way. I give you my word we’ll ask for help before it gets out of control.”

Her touch was warm, electric. Before he could stop himself, he set his other hand over hers, and turned the bottom hand upward, capturing her flesh between his. His mouth was suddenly dry, and his groin tightened with a rush of sexual energy so intense it stole his breath.

Words became a struggle, but he forced them out anyway. “Doesn’t sound very smart to me. Is there any chance she’ll switch allegiance?”

Honor’s eyes widened. “Oh hell, no. You mean fight for the Nameless Ones?” When Milton nodded, she was even more emphatic. “No. That’d never happen. She hates them just as much as we do.”

It was the main thing that had worried him: that he’d been playing host to a double agent—again. Some of the tension drained out of him, and he rubbed his fingers over Honor’s where they lay clasped between his.

“I really should go, sir.” She tried to pull her hand back, but he didn’t let go.

“Do you always do what you should?”

Honor looked away. “Not a fair question, sir.”

“Stop calling me that!”

“But you are my commanding officer.” Honor kept her voice soft, but the meaning in her words slapped Milton squarely across his forehead.

He released her hand. “Sorry.” He spoke stiffly. “I forgot myself. You’re free to go.”

The sadness he’d sensed earlier was back in spades. It flowed from her in slow, tired waves. He pushed, surprised when she let him inside her mind. Not far, but enough for him to view the loneliness she’d lived with all her life. Her only safety zone had been the dozen women in her dorm at the compound, and seven of them were dead. No wonder she needed to do everything possible to protect Charity.

Milton got to his feet and offered her a hand. She took it and stood too. “Thanks for helping me understand you a little,” he said.

“You’re welcome. Sometimes that way is easier than talking. Thank you for not insisting Charity stay here.”

“She’s important to you,” he said. “I didn’t fully appreciate how much you depend on each other until you allowed me into your thoughts.”

Milton didn’t know if he moved toward her, she toward him, or both of them simultaneously, but Honor ended up in his arms. He tightened his hold, enjoying the feel of her sleekly muscled body against his. She matched his six-foot height and fit perfectly in his arms. His cock hardened against her belly, and her eyes widened in surprise.

“Of course you’d be a virgin,” he murmured, stroking his hands down her back.

“We were off-limits to the Nameless Ones, but we talked about sex among ourselves.”

Arousal flashed deep inside him. Even though he knew he shouldn’t, he asked, “What did you talk about?” He cupped his hands around her high, firm buttocks and snugged her against his erection.

Desire apparently trumped discomfort, and she pushed against him. “Men. We talked about how penises get hard, and how one might feel inside us.” She licked her lips, and heat flickered in her eyes. “Sometimes we’d touch ourselves and mind link, so we could feel each other come.”

He’d never considered that possible use for his enhanced senses. The feedback loop from feeling what his partner felt right along with his own arousal intrigued him and made him hotter than hell. Honor pressed closer against him and kneaded his back.

Milton traced her full lower lip with his thumb. “Has anyone told you what a devilishly attractive woman you are?”

She shook her head.

He couldn’t resist the siren call of those lips. Milton angled his head and closed his mouth over hers. He kept the kiss tentative in case he wasn’t reading her signals right, but she ran her tongue over his mouth, tasting him. He licked, nibbled, sucked, and she kissed him back with growing fervor as her body radiated need. Her nipples hardened where they pressed into his chest, and she rubbed against his ridiculously erect cock.

About the time she pushed her tongue into his mouth, and he sparred with it, loving the taste of her, common sense intruded. He pulled back, his breath coming unevenly. He wanted to strip her clothes off, unwrap her, worship the amazing body he’d scuffled with in the gym, but tonight wasn’t the time. Not before a major offensive, and not with her in a direct line of command, with him functioning as her team leader. The women ended up his responsibility to remove Glory from reporting to Roy, but here was the same problem all over again.

Reluctantly, he placed his hands on either side of her head. “Honor, we can’t do this.”

“I know it’s wrong, but I’ve never been kissed before, and I…” She looked away. “…didn’t want it to end. I’m sorry, sir. I’ll do a better job of—”

“Goddammit, Honor. You’re not listening.” Frustration vied with desire and feeling like a shit for letting the situation get out of hand in the first place.

“Yes I am. You said what we did was wrong.”

“No, I didn’t, but the timing’s bad.” He paused a beat. “And you work for me, which means—”

“I know exactly what it means. I may have been sequestered in that compound, but I’m far from stupid.” She wrenched away from him and stumbled toward the door.

“Honor, please.”

She spun to face him. “This was a mistake.” Hurt carved furrows around her eyes. “I’m used to being by myself. Taking care of myself. Don’t worry. I won’t be a burden on you.”

“That’s not what I—”

She turned and fled out the door. Milton considered going after her, but recognized it was a bad idea. The attraction between them was so strong, there’d be no way to have a rational conversation.

Until they’d shared an orgasm or two…

 

 

 

Claiming Charity

 

GenTech Rebellion

 

Book 3

 

Ann Gimpel 

 

Dream Shadow Press

 

Genre: Military Romance

 

with a Science Fiction edge

What does it take to move past a lifetime of hating?

 

Book Description:

 

Charity’s luck never ran strong because her original configuration was unstable. Her handlers designed experiments to fix the problem, but only made it worse.

 

Sick to death of living under their thumb, she jumps at a chance to escape her compound. She’s no sooner settled in as a CIA special operative—a role where she can put her augmented mind and body to use—when her wobbly genetics escalate.

 

Tony’s a freak—a genetically altered human waging war against the government. He snaps up an offer of amnesty, walking away from his role as a genetic researcher to work for the CIA. When Charity collapses in a severe seizure, he labors to save her life, but nothing’s working. In a last ditch effort, he joins his mind to hers and discovers he wants her more than he’s ever wanted anything. Only problem is she hates every single male freak for how they treated women in the compounds.

 

Charity recovers from her medical crisis, but all she can think about is Tony. Furious, determined to never let anyone like him near her, she blocks him from her mind, but he seeps back in anyway. Loving someone like Tony is a huge risk, a gamble that could throw her already precarious genes into a tailspin.

 

Knowing all that, why the hell is she considering it?

 

 

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Excerpt Claiming Charity: 

…Tony dialed his night vision up another notch and paced Frank as they ran hard around Langley’s perimeter. After being cooped up for hours in a plane, both men needed to burn off some steam. As Tony ran, scenes from his computer-like brain flashed before him.

After his petri dish birth on one of the breeding farms set up by the U.S. government, he’d been groomed from adolescence to work as a genetic researcher. None of them attended school; their knowledge was downloaded directly from huge mainframes operated by government scientists. He lived a comfortable life at his breeding farm near Portland, Oregon, but it blew up in his face seven years ago. He was twenty-two then and knee-deep in research to perfect those like him. Each successive strain was a bit better than the last, but problems still cropped up.

He’d been close to a major breakthrough—at least he thought he was, but it could’ve been a dead end like so much of his research—when a cadre of renegade freaks, genetically engineered humans just like him, staged a rebellion. They hadn’t cared for the decision to scrap the earlier prototypes, so they blew up every breeding farm they could find. After that, they created hidden compounds, like the one in Keyser, West Virginia where Tony ended up.

He hadn’t bought into the violence, but there wasn’t a hell of a lot of choice once it began. Normal humans shot them on sight after the rebellion, so he went along with the program and moved his genetic research to his assigned compound. He didn’t have nearly the access to materials he’d had prior to the rebellion, but at least he was still alive.

“You’re pretty quiet, buddy,” Frank observed.

“Sorry. I was thinking.”

The other man snorted. “Always dangerous. About what? Did you come up with something we missed on those hard drives Milton swiped from our headquarters?”

“Nah. Wish it were that straightforward.”

Frank slugged him in the arm. “Watch that esoteric stuff. Our programming’s not designed for it.”

“Maybe not, but do you ever wonder what will become of us?”

“The probability of that line of thought producing something of value is—”

“Not what I asked,” Tony snapped. “We’ve thrown in our lot with normal humans, V0 as it were. We can’t undo it.”

“So? You and I discussed this before we showed ourselves and requested amnesty. We could’ve remained hidden. They would have found Charity without our help, and then they’d have left. We didn’t take that route. Are you having second thoughts?”

“Not really. We didn’t fit in with the other Nameless Ones—except it was a ridiculous moniker, since we had names, we just didn’t tell them to the women.” Tony slowed when they came to a perimeter fence and turned to face the other man. Because of the physical strength built into his genetics, he wasn’t even slightly winded.

Frank stopped and tossed his hood back. Shaggy black hair fell to his shoulders, and he examined Tony through his amber, animal-like eyes with vertical slit pupils. All the men looked very much the same due to shared genetics. Tall, rangy, muscled. Both of them wore regulation issue CIA field gear they hadn’t changed out of yet.

“What aren’t you saying?” Frank asked.

“Not sure. Except I’m feeling like a man without a country. We didn’t fit in there, but we don’t fit in here, either. They don’t trust us. I saw it in Milton’s eyes that night you and I saved Charity’s life.”

Frank grimaced. “Shit, bro. We’re machines. We’re not supposed to have feelings. Who cares if they trust us, so long as they continue to offer us a place to work and live? When did you fall off the wagon?”

Should I?

Tony weighed the advisability of confiding in Frank, but if not him, then whom?

“Talk, or I’m going back to my apartment. I’m fine when we’re moving, but I’m getting cold. Can’t be much more than fifteen degrees out here. In fact,” Frank sent a short blurt of power outward, “it’s eighteen point three Fahrenheit, but there’s a five knot wind, which brings the ambient temperature to—”

“Never mind that. I know it’s cold without a weather report. I have a problem that runs deeper than the humans not trusting us. They made a commitment to us, same as we did to them. The odds of them welching on the deal—so long as we don’t fuck them over—is under twelve percent.”

Frank furled his brows. “Okay. So you have a problem. Is it something we could hash out inside where it’s warm?”

“I think better when I’m cold.”

“Fine.” Frank gestured with a gloved hand. “Whatever it is, get it out, so we can chase down something to eat and find our beds.”

Tony unclenched his jaw. It was either spit it out or shut up. Running probabilities about Frank’s reaction wouldn’t alter his choices. He squared his shoulders and began to talk. “I spent a long time—hours—linked to Charity when she was so compromised. I was the one who sent my energy into her.”

“I haven’t forgotten. So?”

“I developed a fondness for her during that time.” Very unmachine-like feelings tightened Tony’s gut.

Frank’s eyes widened. “Oh ho! You want to fuck her. I’m not seeing where that’s a problem. The women were off limits to us at the compounds, but the CIA doesn’t have those kind of rules.”

The unmachine-like feelings intensified, and Tony felt his face grow warm. “Yeah, I want her that way, but it’s more than that. I like her. She’s a bitch, sure, but she’s fresh and funny and spunky. We drummed the spirit out of so many of the women, but not her.”

“Have you talked with her about any of this?”

Tony shook his head. “No.”

“Why not? Seems to me that’d be the logical place to start.”

A snort blew past Tony’s lips. “Yeah, huh? Problem is I got a pretty good look inside her head. She hates us.”

Frank drew back. “Why? She never even met us before she and her group attacked our compound.”

Tony shook his head again. “It runs deeper than that. She hates all of us men—for how we treated her and the other women. Even if that weren’t there, it must’ve been appalling for her when she discovered the V4s slaughtered the females in our compound. Her team planned to rescue them. The V4s figured it out and beat them to the punch.”

“Yeah, but none of that was personal—” Frank began.

“Try telling her that. I’m sure it felt goddamned personal. Christ! The women’s bodies weren’t even cold when Charity stumbled onto them.”

“I’m not sure Charity found them, but the women who did certainly told her about it.” Frank jerked his chin in the general direction of their apartment building. “Let’s get moving.” When Tony fell into step with him, he went on. “Seems to me you’ve really only got two choices. One. You suck it up and keep quiet. We weren’t exactly designed to have mates. All our babies were created in test tubes—even after the breeding farms.”

“That was because we were afraid the women would pick our brains during sex, discover how powerful they were, and demand equality.”

“It doesn’t matter why,” Frank replied. “Even though I was a minority, I never believed it would’ve been the end of the world if the women discovered their innate power, but they didn’t. Regardless, over time, we got away from intercourse as a primary source of procreation.”

“We’re getting off course. What’s my second option?”

“Sit down and talk to her. Tell her how you feel.”

Tony rolled the probabilities of how that would go through his brain. “Less than an eighteen percent chance she’d be open to it,” he muttered.

Frank didn’t respond, and they ran the rest of the way to their building in silence. Once they were inside, Tony said, “Thanks.”

“For what? I didn’t help much. See you tomorrow at zero seven hundred.” Frank turned down the hallway that led to his apartment.

Tony climbed a flight of stairs to his quarters and let himself in. If getting something going with Charity was such a crapshoot, why couldn’t he let go of the idea?

When the answer came, he didn’t like it much. He’d broken protocol to save her, blending his energy with hers in an intimate pattern that wasn’t in any of the manuals. Apparently she’d gotten under his skin during the process, and now he was stuck. When he wasn’t busy, she was all he thought about.

He stripped out of his heavy field coat and tossed it over a chair. The rest of his clothes ended up in a heap on the floor. Everything could stand a tour through the washing machine, but not tonight. He headed for the bathroom and a shower with his cock standing out like a ship’s prow. He was hard almost all the time now, despite jacking off two or three times a day. Hard because he wanted her.

Crap!

He pulled the shower curtain aside. Once he got the water going, he stepped over the high rim of the tub. Even though he tried not to, his hands found their way to his engorged flesh, and somewhere between the soap and hot water, he made himself come with visions of what he thought Charity’s perfect, naked body would look like plastered behind his eyes…

 

 

 

Loving Hope

 

GenTech Rebellion 

 

Book 4

 

Ann Gimpel 

 

Dream Shadow Press

 

Genre: Military Romance

 

with a Science Fiction edge

Trust is fragile. Hard to come by and easily broken.

 

Book Description:

 

Hope’s had her eye on Charlie for a long time, for all the good it’s done her. He’s not even aware of her existence—other than as a fellow agent working Black Ops for the CIA. Her friends, Glory, Honor, and Charity, found men to love, so Hope knows it’s possible. But the odds aren’t in her favor. Not in a world of normal humans where she’s a genetically modified aberration. Hell, even she refers to her kind as freaks. What man in his right mind would want one of those in his bed?

 

Charlie swore off women after his last marriage went down in drama-tipped flames fifteen years ago. His first mistress is danger. He fell in love with the adrenaline rush when he signed on as a Navy Seal right out of college, and he never got over the thrill of pitting himself against the impossible.

 

Hope caught his eye the night she escaped her compound, but years of ignoring anything resembling a feeling made it easy to ignore the attraction—until they’re paired on a mission. Her intelligence and resourcefulness impress the hell out of him, but her half-naked body, exposed after an animal attack, forces him to face feelings he was certain he’d buried for good.

 

 

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Excerpt Loving Hope: 

Hope blinked dirt out of her eyes and stifled a groan. She didn’t want to risk an energy flare looking for the others. Doing anything other than keeping her resources muffled was an enormous risk.

She took a mouthful of water from the canteen hanging off her field belt and swished it around her mouth. Time had passed since a blast hit her helicopter, knocking it out of the air. Maybe as much as an hour. Things happened fast after the bird was hit, and her team leader, Charlie McClaren, folded her hand around the ripcord on her parachute.

He’d all but pushed her out the open chopper door with exhortations to, “Watch out for the rotor, goddammit.”

A few other choice instructions were lost in the slipstream as she plummeted from the dying aircraft, her pounding heart stenciling fear from her head to her toes.

What was supposed to be a simple out-and-back mission had turned into something much more complex, never mind much more dangerous. She’d been expecting Charlie or Frank to materialize ever since she cut herself out of the tree her chute got tangled in, but neither man showed up.

She didn’t understand why. They couldn’t have landed very far away after the crash—assuming they made it out of the chopper intact. Too rattled by her first actual parachute jump, she’d neglected to watch for the other chutes, which would’ve told her the location of her teammates.

Were they dead? Or tripped up by the old growth forest?

She’d been careful chopping her way out of a particularly tall tree. Her caution ate up well over half an hour while she freed herself from where she swung thirty feet above the ground. She picked splinters out of her hands as she considered what to do next.

According to the GPS in her augmented brain, she was in a wooded corridor in north central Maine. She, Charlie, and Frank had been on a routine mission to pick up Cortexiphan, an experimental drug banned by the FDA, from a freak compound near Bangor. Not that they’d expected the freaks—a renegade group of genetically modified humans who wanted to take down the U.S. government—to just hand over the drug, but military planes had annihilated the settlement. No one expected it would be difficult to waltz in and locate the chemical.

Hope shook her head. Underestimating her people was always a mistake. The genetically modified were smarter, stronger, faster, and more capable of pivoting in response to adverse conditions than normal humans ever dreamed of being.

She sheltered in a thick grove of some sort of deciduous tree and leaned against one of them. Could she risk her communicator? Would telepathy be safer? Hope grimaced. Freaks had to be behind the attack on her chopper, which meant nothing was safe. Who else would shoot down a CIA chopper over U.S. soil?

She bit hard on her lower lip. She understood freaks—how they thought, what made them tick—because she was one. She’d escaped the compounds, though, and left that life behind.

“What do I do now?”

She started at the sound of her voice, not realizing she’d spoken aloud until she heard the words. A quick glance at the sky told her she didn’t have much daylight left to work with. Not that it mattered. She could always dial in her night vision, but it held a particular energy signature.

The flash of warmth in Charlie’s hazel eyes as he’d covered her hand with his, instructing her how to yank the ripcord, filled her mind. She liked him. A lot. But he barely knew she existed beyond her working under him. She’d made a few pathetic attempts at flirting, but he’d ignored her. Maybe her shy smiles were so subtle he hadn’t interpreted them the way she hoped, but that probably wasn’t it. She was a freak. He was a normal human, and a goddamned good-looking one at that. He could have his pick of women. No reason on earth to look twice at her.

Much like the genetically altered men she’d spent her life with, Charlie was tall and rangy, with dark hair and hazel eyes. He was addicted to danger the same as all CIA operatives. When twin fires burned in the backs of his eyes, it was all she could do not to throw herself into his arms and beg him to take her.

Here.

Now.

In front of everyone.

She tossed her head, muffling a snort. She knew next to nothing about men, sex, or love. Her entire primer on all things human was derived from hours of television and the Internet. Her other source of information came from pumping Honor, Glory, and Charity, three of her closest friends, about their relationships with CIA agents they’d hooked up with.

A branch crackled behind her. Hope lunged for her sidearm, thought better of it, and focused her mental kinetics. She didn’t loose anything—not yet. Power ran through her in high voltage jolts. Holding it in abeyance wasn’t easy, but she needed to know what she faced. The minute she targeted someone, her ability would glow like a beacon, alerting any genetically modified human in the area to both her presence and precise location.

“Hope! I’ve been hunting for you ever since the chopper crashed.”

Frank limped from behind a bush. He was well over six feet tall with heavy slabs of muscle providing superior physical abilities. Genetically modified like her, his shaggy dark hair brushed his shoulders, and his amber animal-like eyes with vertical slit pupils came close to radiating joy. Given Frank’s taciturn ways, that said a lot.

She siphoned off the lethal force dancing through her body an electron at a time. “Fuck!” She trotted to his side. “I almost killed you.”

A crooked grin lent him a boyish appearance. “I felt the energy build. Figured I needed to say something.”

Hope took a closer look. A wicked looking gash ran from below Frank’s right eye to his cheekbone, and his hands were abraded and bleeding. She ran a hand down his body, scanning for injuries.

Before she was done, he batted it away. “I twisted my ankle when I landed in a bramble thicket. It’s how I got so banged up—fighting my way out of thorns as long as my thumb. I’ve instituted a healing program. Should be better than new in a few hours.” Breath hissed from between his teeth. “Shit! After my last impromptu exit from a chopper, I promised myself I’d practice parachuting, but somehow I never freed up the time.”

“Yeah, well, I’ve never even come close to doing anything like jumping out of a helicopter. Didn’t like it much. Any idea where Charlie is?”

Frank shook his head. “I was hoping he’d be with you.”

“We may not have had all that fancy commando training, but I never would’ve guessed how easy it is to lose someone between an auto-rotating helicopter and the ground.”

“We have to locate him.” Frank narrowed his eyes, or he might have winced, she couldn’t tell. “You haven’t expended any power, or I’d have found you sooner. Charlie certainly hasn’t used any.”

“It’s not safe. Charlie must’ve figured that out.” She crossed her arms under her breasts. “Freaks did this, huh?”

He cocked his head to one side. “Who else? I’m surprised you asked. Their signature is all over it.”

Hope shrugged, feeling uncomfortable for missing something obvious. “Maybe it is. Once the chopper started going nuts, I kind of stopped thinking.”

He looked at her then. Really looked and ran his own scan of her systems before she could move out of range.

“I’m all right.” She took a few steps away. “If I weren’t, I’d have told you.”

“Needed to check for myself,” he said gruffly. “We have more latitude with two of us—but only if we’re able to tap into all of our abilities.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” She frowned, still not feeling a hundred percent.

His face settled into the patronizing lines she associated with Nameless Ones, genetically modified men who’d made her life hell when they lived in compounds. All of them—men and women alike—were products of genetic research originally hatched up by the U.S. government. Appalled by how they were treated, they staged a rebellion, and blew up the breeding farms. While women had been an integral part of the rebellion, they’d been relegated to second-class citizenry after a few years of living in hidden compounds. Their abilities were superior to the men’s, and the men had been frightened of losing the upper hand—

“It means we need to risk exposure to find Charlie. We can’t leave without him.” Frank’s words broke into her thoughts, and she shelved her foray into the past.

Hope set her jaw in determination and moved back to Frank’s side, so she could join her mental energy with his more easily. “Ready.”

“Before we do something that’s certain to compromise us, have you looked for him?”

 

 

 

Keeping Faith

 

GenTech Rebellion

 

Book 5

 

Ann Gimpel 

 

Dream Shadow Press

 

Genre: Military Romance

 

with a Science Fiction edge

The bigger the secret and the longer it’s been hidden, the harder it is to reveal.

 

Book Description:

 

Faith fled her compound one wintry night with four other genetically modified women. Glory, Honor, Charity, and Hope have all found men who adore them. Faith is happy for her sisters, but it’s lonely on her own. A man piqued her interest, but she ran the probabilities, and the odds of him ever being interested in her are thin. Tough and forbidding, Reginald was a field surgeon in the Middle East. He eats and breathes medicine. Besides, he’s married to the CIA. No wives in his past. Faith hacked into the personnel database to check.

 

Reginald Thomas agreed to run the CIA’s infirmary after a bullet nailed him in Afghanistan. He’s one of a handful of scientists who produced the original batches of genetically modified humans, and he’s laid low since their rebellion. The catastrophe rankles, but he hasn’t given up finding a fix for their genome problems.

 

A permanent bachelor for a host of feeble reasons, he’s substituted immersion in medicine and science for a personal life. Easier that way. And a whole lot cleaner.

 

The status quo might be sterile, but at least it’s trouble free. When Faith catches his eye, he fights his attraction to her, but it’s a losing battle. Loving her fulfills him, and he can’t walk away. What will happen if she discovers he helped create those like her? In a radical departure from his normal forthright manner, he buries that fact deep. If she never finds out, it can’t ever come back to bite him.

 

 

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Excerpt Keeping Faith: 

Faith walked slowly across the CIA’s extensive grounds. She’d just seen Hope and Charlie off at the terminal building next to the airstrip. They’d looked deliriously happy, and Faith was grateful Charlie’s near miss with death hadn’t left lasting problems. She stuffed her hands into her pockets, wishing she’d brought gloves. For once it wasn’t raining, but it was almost dark, and the wind had a bite to it.

Milton Reins, head of the CIA, had been there to wish Hope and Charlie well too. He’d also been chockful of instructions about the Gulfstream business class jet until Charlie reminded his boss he was qualified to fly it.

Not quite ready to return to her apartment building and all the new women who’d been assigned housing there, Faith wandered aimlessly. Glory, Honor, Charity, and Hope—women who were like sisters to her—had hooked up with men they loved dearly. It seemed like an impossible fantasy come true.

A few months back, they’d lived at a compound in Washington State, sharing a dormitory with seven more genetically modified women just like them. Glory’s bravery freed the five of them who’d been willing to trust her, and Faith blessed the CIA every single day for taking a chance on them as agents.

More women had joined their ranks during a raid they’d just completed in Maine. Twenty to be precise. It made her heart glad the women had been able to lay their reservations aside and take a chance on a new life. One where they’d be treated like human beings rather than slaves.

She really should hustle back to the apartment building and see if any of them wanted to go to dinner. Faith remembered her first days on the sprawling CIA campus. How lost and overwhelmed she’d felt. It had helped that Glory was already there. The least she could do was pass on the goodwill to the new gals.

“Faith. Hold up.”

She glanced over her shoulder at the sound of Frank’s voice, but kept walking. Frank was genetically modified too, but he’d been one of the Nameless Ones, men who’d made the women’s lives holy hell in the compounds. He was also a genetic researcher. Her friend Charity had fallen in love with Tony, the scientist Frank defected with, but Faith didn’t harbor fond feelings for any of the genetically modified men.

During the seven years the CIA had hunted those like her, they’d labeled them freaks. The tag stuck, and she still thought of men like Frank as freaks, but not necessarily her or the women.

How’s that for hypocrisy? She smothered a snorting laugh.

“What’s so funny?” Frank caught up with her.

Faith shrugged. “I was thinking about how the CIA calls us freaks, and I’m good when it means you. Less good when it means me.”

“Doesn’t matter what they call us,” Frank countered. “They took us in. Gave us homes and work. They didn’t have to. How’d Charlie look? I’d meant to check him over one last time before he left, but didn’t get there in time.”

“Like the old Charlie. None the worse for wear. Dr. Thomas was there. I’m pretty sure he had some of the same concerns you do, but Milton told him to go back to his infirmary.”

Frank hooted laughter. “Bet that didn’t go over very well.”

“No. It didn’t. The doc stayed until Charlie and Hope headed out onto the tarmac.” Faith narrowed her eyes. “You’ve gotten to know him pretty well, huh?”

“Who?”

“The doctor.”

“In a manner of speaking, yeah. After Tony and I pulled a rabbit out of a black hole and saved Charlie, the guy decided we weren’t just a bunch of uninformed quacks pretending we knew something about physiology.”

“You’re mixing your metaphors.”

“So?” Frank angled his unusual amber eyes with their vertical slit pupils her way. Like all the genetically modified men, he was tall and broad-shouldered with a rangy build. Unevenly cut jet-black hair hung to his shoulders.

“So, nothing. Just pointing it out. Um, did you want something? I really should get back to the apartment building. We have all those new women, and—”

“Yeah I did,” he interrupted in true Nameless One fashion.

Faith shook off irritation. “Whatever it is, hurry up.”

He tucked a hand beneath her elbow in a distressingly familiar gesture. “How about joining me in the cafeteria for dinner? Tony and I got done early tonight, and he’s spending the evening with Charity.”

Faith jerked away from his touch. “The new women are my first responsibility,” she said stiffly, wishing Frank would take the hint and leave. If he were human, he might’ve, but subtlety and picking up on social cues weren’t part of how any of them had been programmed.

“Bring ’em along.” He grinned rakishly. “You may not like me, but one of them might.”

Faith stopped walking and stared at him. “What the hell, Frank? Any woman in a storm?”

“Now who’s mixing metaphors?” He looked down his nose at her.

Faith felt her face heat. “I’ll be in the dining hall in half an hour or so. If you want to sit with us, that’s fine—so long as none of the women object. They’re much fresher from a compound than me, so they may well run screaming from the room if you get too close.”

Frank closed a hand around one wrist, effectively trapping her. “Get real, Faith. I wasn’t in your compound, but it wasn’t as if we flogged the women. You make it sound as if we were the devil incarnate.”

“To us, you were. You rationed everything from food to blankets to when we had to show up to have our eggs harvested.” She angled her head to one side. “The men in my compound ate what they wanted. They weren’t half-starved like us. I bet they had more than one blanket. And they had private rooms; they weren’t stuffed twelve to a dorm like we were—”

“You can stop now.” Frank held up his other hand. “I’m sorry. I felt bad I didn’t do more at the time, and I still do, but you living in the past and hanging onto hostility and bitterness isn’t wise.”

“Why not?” she demanded. “What’s the phrase? He who forgets history is doomed to repeat it.”

“George Santayana said that, but you’re living in a different world now. The odds are better than seventy percent the CIA will effectively quell the rebellion sometime in the next six months. V4 has proven unstable. God only knows how many freaks were made with that configuration, but they’ll implode, which will further thin their ranks.”

“Fascinating,” she muttered, “but I need to get moving.”

Frank released her wrist. “I’d like to get to know you better, Faith, but I won’t be heavy-handed about it. Give it some thought, and let me know.”

She took a step backward. “What about wanting to give the women a thrill by having dinner with them?”

“Eh, I just said that to see if you’d react. Be jealous or something.” He actually looked mildly uncomfortable when he twisted his mouth into a frown. “You weren’t, and I’m crushed, but I’ll get over it.”

Without waiting for a response from her, he spun and took off at a quick lope.

Faith ran hard the other way, heading for her apartment building. Her thoughts were a roiling mess. Charity may have managed to square hooking up with a nameless one, but Faith didn’t have it in her to overlook their years of horrific treatment. The women may not have been beaten, but they’d endured every other type of abuse.

Except sexual.

Intimacy was forbidden in the compounds. The reason Glory had run away was because a Nameless One tried to rape her. She’d used her kinetics to kill him, been scared half to death, and gone out a window in the thick of winter with only a worn pair of tennis shoes and a threadbare sweater. It was hard enough in Washington, but by the time she’d hitchhiked halfway across the country to Minnesota, the cold had almost killed her.

Frank was a hunk of a man. All the Nameless Ones were, but Faith couldn’t see herself letting her guard down long enough to allow him inside her hopes and dreams, let alone sleeping with him. The thought of physical intimacy with someone like him made her vaguely ill.

She reached her building and tipped her chin so the retinal scanner could trip the lock and let her in. She was capable of employing kinetics to spring any lock, but so long as she was here, she’d do things the CIA way. After she nodded to the security guard patrolling the lobby, she pulled open a stairwell door and headed for the third floor.

Faith employed telepathy as she hastened up the stairs to see which women might be interested in joining her for dinner in the cafeteria. By the time she got to her floor, seven of the new recruits waited for her, milling about in the hallway. Faith recognized three of them since they were part of a group assigned specifically to her for weapons and martial arts practice.

A thought struck Faith. “I never asked, and we mostly communicate via telepathy when we train, but did you ever swap out your identification numbers from the compounds for names?”

A woman from Faith’s group squared her shoulders. Like all the genetically modified women, she had long, thick dark hair and clear green eyes. The women had sleekly muscled bodies, and were both tall and strong. “Some of us did,” she replied.

Faith smiled grimly. “That was one of the concessions we insisted on in my compound. We got sick of numbers, so we named ourselves and refused to respond when Nameless Ones called us by our numbers. Tell you what. Before we’re done eating tonight, at least the seven of you will have picked names.”

“Sounds like a plan,” another of the women said.

“Tell us about Hope and Charlie.” Another pressed forward and clasped her hands together. “It seems like such a fairytale romance. Everything went well? They’re off on a honeymoon?”

“Well, they’re not exactly married, so honeymoon isn’t the correct word,” Faith replied. “But I watched their plane take off, and they did look happy.”

A collective ahhhhh surged through the group, and seven pairs of green eyes shone with delight for one of their kind who’d found happiness.

Faith could relate, and it made her both sad and angry. Up until she’d fled the compound, the thought of falling in love was just a fantasy. Something that happened in movies she watched on the Internet, but nothing that would ever happen to her. Frank’s invitation—and his obvious interest—nagged at the back of her mind.

No. I’d rather be dead than hook up with a Nameless One. Charity may have, but I’m not her.

“Dinner?” Faith urged to quell her churning thoughts and trotted back down the stairway. If they got there after eight, the steam tables would be closed. Snacks were always available, but they weren’t as satisfying as a hot meal.

The women trailed after her, chatting among themselves. They sounded carefree, another emotion that had eluded them in the compounds where they’d had to watch their backs every single minute.

“What do you think about goddess warrior names?” One of the women joined Faith.

“It doesn’t matter what I think,” Faith offered. “A name is important. It symbolizes who you are. Humans don’t get to pick their own names, but some of the research I’ve read indicates that people grow into their given names—for good or for ill.”

“So I should pick a name where I have an affinity for the woman, right?”

 

 

 

Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

 

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

 

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.

 

 

Website – Blog – Amazon Page – FacebookTwitter

 

 

Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/05/guest-post-gentech-rebellion-series-by-ann-gimpel-excerpts
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text 2017-05-17 13:05
Blog Tour: A Honeyed Light by Freddie Milano with Guest Post and Giveaway

 

Today’s stop is for Freddie Milano’s A Honeyed Light. We will have info about the book and author, and a guest post, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 

 


 

 

Kunal, relative newcomer to the strange town of Harmony, has his hands full preparing for Diwali. That should be enough to keep anyone's mind preoccupied, but Kunal can't really ignore that he's nearly thirty, single, and still buried in the closet. Out of town at a gay club one night, he bumps into Oscar, proprietor of Harmony's only sex shop, and figures his secret is now officially out. What he doesn't expect is a slow seduction, or to have to decide what it is he really wants in life.

 

 

 

 

Buy Link

 

  

 

Why I Write HEAs.

 

If you're a romance fan I don't need to tell you what an HEA is. But for those who are sick of having to Google acronyms and feeling old, it just stands for Happily Ever After.

An alternative is Happy For Now or HFN, which implies that while the story ends happily at the moment, in the future there may be a change in relationship status. If I write HFN, I rarely imply it, so almost everything I write front-faces as HEA.

Note those qualifiers. I never say never.

So why do I write HEA? There are a few reasons.

First, I'm sappy and love a happy ending. I was raised on Disney, so I'm a sucker for true love stories and everyone finding someone. (Note: that doesn't have to be romantic. Platonic relations can also be HEAs.)

The second reason is the more important reason to me, and it's something I directly address in my upcoming novella, A Honeyed Light. (More to come on that soon!) Queer media is on the rise,but when I was younger, it was really, really difficult to find queer books or movies that ended happily. Someone was killed for being who they were, for whom they loved. Someone contracted HIV, died of complications from AIDS. Someone was kicked out of their family and home, forced to live on the streets and often, that also ended in death or violence.

I clearly remember But I'm a Cheerleader, as one of the first movies I saw where despite the unfortunate decisions of the teens' parents (sending them to a conversion therapy camp due to their sexualities) love prevailed. It ended with a happy couple.

I was shocked and confused that this wasn't more common. Why shouldn't we have happy endings? So I started looking for more positive media, and found it in some anime, few books, and few movies. It wasn't enough. And I always follow the edict of 'Be the change you wish to see in the world." If I wanted more positive queer representation in the world, By gum, I was gonna put it out there myself.

So that's why I do it. And because often queer media tends to not include a lot of people of color, I make sure they have prime roles in more work. It's the representation I needed, so I'm doing my part to put it out there.

 

 

 

 

 
 
Freddie Milano lives with her partner-in-crime, two adorable and devilish cats, and far more ideas than she really has time to set down on (electronic) paper. She’s been writing since she could hold a pen, though most of the embarrassing stories thankfully never made in onto the internet, and can stay safely buried.
She loves wine, Korean pop music, tea, chocolate, coffee, mythology, and both video and tabletop gaming. An ESFJ surrounded by introverts, Freddie has learned the art of socialization in moderation. Besides, staying in just leaves her more time to write.
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may 24- CelticLady's Reviews

may 25- Paranormal Romance and Beyond

may 26- Mello & June

 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-honeyed-light-freddie-milano-guest-post-giveaway
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review 2017-05-08 07:05
Blog Tour w/Review - The Boy Friend

The Boy Friend by Mika Jolie

Date of Publication: April 25, 2017

 

 

 

 

Blurb:

 

According to the law of attraction, women and men can't be friends.  
 
Contrary to this myth, my friendship with Coriander Phillips does not rest on unrequited love or un-actualized lust. We've been inseparable since the day I pulled one of her pigtails and she punched me in the gut.  
 
She's hilarious, fun to hang out with. Together, we're like peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, wings and beer. A match made in heaven.  
 
She's the bomb.  
 
Did I mention she's smokin' hot? I've checked her out…maybe once or twice. Hey, I'm a guy.  
 
Seriously, no awkwardness, no secret yearning for our relationship to escalate beyond the purely platonic. I'm the boy friend—the loyal shoulder she cries on, the dispenser of coffee, sympathy, hugs, advice, and affection with no expectations.  
 
Until the invisible line between friends and lovers became blurry.  
 
Now I want more. I want her.  
 
All I have to do is convince her we can be more than friends.  
 
Right?  
 
If only it were that easy.
 
 

 

1

 
 
 

The Boy FriendThe Boy Friend by Mika Jolie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

Dean & Coriander AKA Cori are best friends. Yes, just friends. Only everyone around them either doesn't believe them, or thinks they should be together. How can one find a significant other in the middle of all of this?

 

Cori wants to settle down. Dean wants to be the best friend for her that he can be. So what if he is suddenly finding himself thinking of her all day and all night. Is this the time to take a chance? Would the future be brighter if they gave it a try?

 

This was a such a fun and easy read. I really love these characters. They truly care about one another. The sexy times between them are hot too. Such an incredible and funny book! I loved it and found it hard to put down. Sure hope we visit these characters again soon.

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

 

View all my reviews

 
 
 
 
 
 

The Boy Friend by Mika Jolie from Bibliophile Productions on Vimeo.

or watch the trailer on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPog98KiJaI

 

 
 
 

Guest Post w/Author Mika Jolie

Recipe Sharing – Salted caramel brownies

by Dean Conrad Morello

 

One of Coriander ‘Moonchild’ Phillips guilty pleasures is the combination of salted caramel anything. Tonight I’m baking one of her favorites—salted caramel brownies.
 
This recipe takes indulgent, fudgy chocolate brownies to the next level with a layer of salted caramel running through the center of each bite.  
 
INGREDIENTS:
 
200g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
 
100g chocolate70% cocoa solids
 
100g chocolate50% cocoa solids
 
397g can Carnation caramel
 
1 tsp flaky sea salt,
 
plus a little extra for the top
 
200g golden caster sugar
 
4 medium eggs, at room temperature
 
130g plain flour
 
50g cocoa powder 
 
 
PREPARATION:
  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease then line a 23cm square tray bake tin with baking parchment. Melt the butter in a medium pan, break in all the chocolate, then remove the pan from the heat and wait for the cubes to melt.
  2. In a small bowl, mix 175g of the caramel with 1 tsp sea salt – it will loosen up. Put the rest of the caramel in a large bowl with the sugar and eggs, and beat with an electric hand mixer or balloon whisk until even.
  3. Whisk in the chocolate and butter. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa and a good pinch of table salt, then sift this on top of the chocolate mix. Beat briefly until smooth.
  4. Pour half the brownie batter into the tin and level it with a spatula. Using a teaspoon, spoon half of the salted caramel on top of the batter layer in 5 thick, evenly spaced stripes. Spoon the rest of the brownie batter on top and smooth it out, trying not to disturb the caramel beneath. Top with the rest of the caramel in the same stripy fashion. Drag a skewer or tip of a knife through the caramel to make a feathered pattern on the top.
  5. Scatter with a little more sea salt, then bake for 25-30 mins or until risen all the way to the middle with a firm crust on top. When ready, the brownie will jiggle just a little when you shake the tin. Let it cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares.
**This recipe was swapped from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com
 

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

I want her.

 

She wants me.

 

Just not enough. Actually, she’s smart. We’re a bad idea. I’m well aware of that, except I like bad ideas. Exhaling, I scrub a hand over my face. This unrequited desire needs to be tucked away. I should have put an end to these crazy thoughts from the beginning, but I entertained them . . . like a playful pet. Now, my desire has grown into a ferocious animal.

 

Acceptance is key here. I need to accept that I’m the boy friend, without the perks, and move on. No need for unnecessary tension. Our circle is tight. Attraction, lust, are part of the human flesh. These wild horses of my mind must be tracked down, captured, and tucked away in the Do-Not-Touch Cori file.

  Find your copy of The Boy Friend at: http://mikajolie.com/books/the-boy-friend/  
 
 
 

About Mika Jolie:

 

She loves to hear from readers. Connect with Mika on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon.
 
Mika Jolie lives in New Jersey with her Happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. A sports fanatic and a wine aficionado, she's determined to balance it all and still write about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let's face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When she's not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, you can find her on a hiking adventure, apple picking, or whatever her three men can conjure up.

 

Find Mika Jolie Online:

 

Website -- Mailing List -- Goodreads -- Amazon -- 
 
 
Hosted by:
 
 
RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY:
**WIN (1) copy of The Boy Friend eBook**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

or click here for Giveaway

   

 7

 

 

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text 2017-05-05 14:05
Feature Friday for Karissa Laurel's Midnight Burning with Excerpt and Guest Post

 

Today for "Feature Friday" let us welcome the awesome Karissa Laurel with her book Midnight Burning the first book in the The Norse Chronicles.

We will have info about the book and author. Plus we have a great excerpt from the book and a guest post by Karissa.  

Make sure to check everything out and go and give her some love and add her to your TBR ;)

Happy Reading :)

 


 

Midnight Burning

 

Solina Mundy lives a quiet life, running the family bakery in her small North Carolina hometown. But one night, she suffers a vivid nightmare in which a wolfish beast is devouring her twin brother, who lives in Alaska. The next morning, police notify her that Mani is dead. Driven to learn the truth, Solina heads for the Land of the Midnight Sun. Once there, she begins to suspect Mani’s friends know more about his death than they’ve let on. Skyla, an ex-Marine, is the only one willing to help her.

As Solina and Skyla delve into the mystery surrounding Mani’s death, Solina is stunned to learn that her own life is tied to Mani’s friends, his death, and the fate of the entire world. If she can’t learn to control her newfound gifts and keep her friends safe, a long-lost dominion over mortals will rise again, and everything she knows will fall into darkness.

 

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Buy Links

 

 

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Get the other books in the series 

 

Moonlight Falling (prequel) 

 

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Arctic Dawn

 

Arctic Dawn (The Norse Chronicles, #2)

 

 

 

 

Chapter one

 

My brother, Mani, once told me Alaska was the first place he had ever travelled where he knew he was somewhere different—somewhere decidedly not home—before he ever set foot on the ground. I didn’t understand what he meant until now. Outside my airplane window, the glassy waters of Cook Inlet reflected a bright blue late-summer sky. Dark and looming, the Chugach Mountains encroached from the east. Far to the north, the ghostly, snow-crusted visage of Mount McKinley rose above the landscape, an ancient king, high on his dais, surveying his kingdom. By comparison, Mani and I had been raised somewhere a little more commonplace. Home was a small town in the foothills of North Carolina, over three thousand miles away. And this was the first time I had ever left it. I probably should have eased into long-distance travel in the same way I eased into a cold swimming pool—one toe at a time. A trip over the border into Gatlinburg. A weekend visit to D.C. But no, I had taken a plunge from the high dive instead, and boy, was I in over my head. The captain’s calm and assuring voice spilled across the cabin, announcing our approach and descent into Anchorage. Seatbelt signs chimed and flashed. A pair of flight attendants swept down the aisles, collecting trash and reminding passengers to raise seat backs and lock away tray tables. I closed my eyes, drew in a deep breath, and urged my heart to return to its regular pitter-patter pace, but it refused to obey. I breathed in again and trapped the breath in my lungs. Chill, Solina, I told myself. It’s only a week. I could survive anything for one week, right? And I wouldn’t be on my own. My brother’s best friend, Val Wotan, was at the airport waiting for me. Val had texted me a dozen times to make sure I hadn’t missed my connecting flights or fallen out of the plane somewhere over Canada. Val was expecting me, and I was a glutton for fulfilling others’ expectations. I also owed this trip to my brother, to the honor of his memory. How could I ever look myself in the eye again if I gave in to my doubts? If I didn't give Mani my absolute commitment? Val deserved my loyalty, too. In the few years I'd known him, Val had risen from casual acquaintance to something I wasn't quite ready to label, but just thinking of him made my heart beat a little faster, my breath come a little quicker. Val had earned my regard by being the sibling I couldn't be for Mani after he’d left home. He had watched Mani's back, made him welcome and comfortable in a strange and foreign place. He had even saved my brother’s life once. I chuckled, remembering how Mani had loved to recount the story of the raging bull moose—deep in a rutting frenzy and crazed by the need to mate with anything female and fight anything that wasn’t. Not long after Mani had first arrived in Alaska, he and Val had gone off on a backpacking trip. They came upon the moose on the edge of a meadow and caught it off guard. The moose turned its hostile gaze on Mani, lowered its rack, and charged. Stunned and uncertain how to react, Mani stood frozen in place and watched his life pass before his eyes. Meanwhile, Val calmly drew a .44 Magnum from the side pocket of his backpack and fired off a warning shot. The moose reconsidered his challenge and lumbered away into the woods. If only Val and his gun had been there the night my brother died. Then I might be coming to Alaska for an entirely different set of reasons. After an uneventful landing and a short taxi to our gate, the other passengers filtered out from the rows of seating and disappeared through the exit doors. The cabin emptied, and still I sat. My presence drew the attention of a flight attendant passing through on his way to the back of the jet. His sudden halt and surprised expression woke me from my daze. “Is something wrong, miss?” he asked. “Can I help you with anything?” I blinked and shook my head. “No. Sorry. I’m just... just...” He patted my shoulder. “First time flying?” It was a convenient excuse, and not a lie, so I took it. “Nerves got the best of me, I guess.” I rose and stumbled out of my seat. The attendant helped me collect my luggage from the overhead bin. I smiled and thanked him. “It’s no trouble,” he said. “And it was my pleasure.”

When Val met me at baggage claim, he swept me into a crushing bear hug, and I sank into the comfort of his strength. “God, Solina,” he said. “It's so good to see you.” Val Wotan was a towering mass of rough-and-ready Alaskan adventure. A shaggy mop of auburn hair swept over his brow, and a day-old beard shadowed his jaw. He looked as though he could withstand any challenge the wilds of nature could throw at him. Broad shouldered, workman's hands, ruggedly capable—he inspired my confidence. “It's good to see you, too," I said. "A lot better than the last time, right?" The last time Val and I had seen each other was at my brother’s funeral, four months ago. Since then Val and I had e-mailed or spoken on the phone weekly. Sometimes more. There were few others with whom we could share our common pain. Val leaned back and peered at me. “We were all in a bad place then." “To say the least.” The sympathetic look on Val’s face stirred up my grief. “I’m so sorry,” he said. “I miss him, too.” I swallowed my tears and swatted Val's shoulder. “Don’t get me weepy in the middle of the airport.” “Look around, Solina." Val gestured around the airport. "Everyone gets emotional at a homecoming.” “This isn’t home.” “They don’t have to know that.” A smile crept onto my lips. In return, Val rewarded me with a blazing bright one of his own, and it warmed my heart. The brotherhood Val bestowed on Mani had passed to me, like an inheritance. He told me when I started planning this trip that he’d be there for me in any way I needed. Before my brother’s death, I would have known exactly what to do with that offer, but now? Now my heart was bruised, raw, and full of grief. I didn’t know if there was room in it for anything, or anyone, else. It was so damaged and fragile. How could I risk causing it more harm? Someone cleared his throat nearby, and Val released me from the hug. He motioned to a man standing a few feet away, watching us with eyes narrowed and arms folded over his chest in an austere stance. “Solina, let me introduce you to Aleksander Thorin. Mani’s boss... and mine.” Val grimaced at that last bit. Modern-day Viking—that was my first impression of the man who had employed my brother for the past three years. Aleksander Thorin embodied the stereotype: icy blond coloring, an imposing physique, a subtle air of menace and threat. All he needed was a couple of braids woven through his long hair and a bearskin cloak instead of his blue flannel button-up. His dark eyes evaluated and dismissed me in one blink. Not much of a welcoming party, is he? “My Jeep is in the shop,” Val said. “Thorin offered to give us a lift." I nodded by way of greeting. “I didn’t mean to impose, Mr. Thorin.” “It’s no trouble, Miss Mundy," he said in a deep and rumbling voice. "Although I’m not convinced your coming here was the best idea. In fact, I’m pretty sure it's only going to stir up trouble.” His unsolicited opinion raised my hackles. What did this man, this stranger, presume to know about me or my situation? “I came here to close out Mani’s affairs. See to his personal things. My parents and I have put this off long enough.” “Thorin,” Val said, stepping between us. “Don’t give her a hard time. She’s not one of your tour guides.” “Of course.” Thorin relaxed his severe posture, unfolded his arms, and shoved his hands into his pockets. “I apologize, Miss Mundy. Let me make it up to you. Dinner and drinks—my treat.” Before I could misunderstand Thorin’s intentions, Val explained. “Boss Man’s hosting a get-together tonight. He does it every once in a while. Employee appreciation, you know?” Part of me wanted to refuse because I suspected Aleksander Thorin rarely heard the word “no” and I liked the idea of ruffling his cool demeanor. But doing so might have denied me the chance to meet my brother’s friends and co-workers, and that was one of my many reasons for making this trip. I curved my lips into what I hoped was an agreeable smile. “Sure. Sounds great.” # My brother had lived in the harborside village of Siqiniq, a good two hours’ drive from Anchorage along a highway that wound among evergreen forests, snowcapped mountains, and the gray-green waters of Turnagain Arm, Kenai Lake, and Resurrection Bay. Aleksander Thorin drove with single-minded focus and only spoke if directly addressed, but Val talked about inane things along the way and pointed out local attractions: a forlorn and solitary roadside moose, the Alaska Railroad (but no train), and Beluga Point (sadly lacking signs of habitation). Once we reached Mani’s apartment complex, Thorin eased his Range Rover into a space beside my brother’s old 4-Runner. He shifted into neutral but stayed behind the wheel, letting his SUV idle while Val helped me unload and tote my bags up to my brother’s apartment. Someone had shoved Mani’s things into haphazard piles when they painted and installed new carpet in his living room. The reek of fresh latex and acrylic burned my nose and obliterated any scent of my brother that might have lingered. “You okay here by yourself?” Val asked. “You’re probably going to run into a few ghosts.” I inhaled a shallow breath. “I’ll be okay. It’ll be nice to be in Mani’s place with his stuff. It’ll feel like he’s around somewhere, waiting to come home.” Val arched an eyebrow. “And you honestly think you can clean out his apartment, box up his stuff, and move on?” “It’ll be cathartic.” He frowned. “Or masochistic.” Val pulled out his wallet and rifled through the contents until he found a business card for Thorin Adventure Outfitters. He handed it to me. “I’m going to the store with Thorin. That card has the number on it. Call me there around seven, and I’ll come pick you up for the party. My Jeep should be out of the shop by then.” The card displayed Val’s name in tiny print beneath the larger, bolder letters that spelled out M. Aleksander Thorin, CEO. “Chief Ego Officer,” I muttered. “What?” I waved in a never-mind gesture. “I’ll see you later.” “Tonight,” Val said as he stepped past me into the breezeway.

I pressed the door closed behind him and went into Mani’s bedroom. In his closet I found his dirty clothes stuffed into a bulging hamper. After gathering a bundle of denim and cotton in my arms, I buried my face in the fabric. The organic odors of Mani’s skin filled my nose. Still breathing him in, I sank cross-legged to the floor and let the shade of my brother envelop me in its memories.

 

 

 

 

Midnight Burning: Character Interview

Name:  Solina Mundy    

Age:  Twenty-five

Occupation:  I’ve worked at my family’s bakery for most of my life. Wedding cakes, cookie bouquets, pastries, bread, muffins. You name it, I’ve baked it.

Physical Description:  About 5’5” with longish-blond hair. Slim but not scrawny. Golden brown eyes, or, as my dad would say, whiskey colored.

Likes & Dislikes:

 Likes: Books and reading. I took photography in high school, but never had much time to pursue it. Being outside as much as possible, especially on hot, sunny days. The beach.

                Dislikes: Being bossed around. Dishonesty. Lies. Wolves. Cold, ice, snow, darkness.

Relationship Status:  Single and satisfied. There’s no way I’m letting romance get in the way of finding my brother’s killer. Although, there does seem to be a sudden abundance of very good looking men in my life, lately, and they seem to be trying their best to distract me.

Typical Friday Night:  Nothing about my life is typical anymore. When I was home in North Carolina, I might go out with friends to see a movie or stay home and read a book. I rarely stayed up late because it was my job to open the bakery in the morning and that meant getting up at the crack of dawn. Now I can hardly keep track of the days, but I’m almost always doing something that involves looking for my brother’s killer or learning to defend myself against supernatural threats.

Drink of Choice:  If they put Diet Coke in an I.V. bag, I’d consume it intravenously.

Favorite Food:  Pretty much anything I didn’t have to cook for myself, but I especially love Chinese food and pizza.

Favorite Song: When I was little, my dad would put on his old Bill Withers’s record and dance me around the living room to “Ain’t no Sunshine.” I’ve had a special place in my heart for that song ever since. Who knew Bill Withers was a prophet and that we all should have been taking that song a lot more literally.

Choice of Transportation:  I drove an old Honda Civic back home in North Carolina, but since I’ve been in Alaska, I’ve been getting around in my brother’s ancient Toyota 4Runner.

Best Memory to Date:  I have a picture of me and my brother standing together in the surf at Kure Beach when we were little kids. It was one of the best days of my life—the sun was out, the weather was perfect, we swam and built sandcastles and fished. That night we set off fire crackers and ate so many steamed shrimp my stomach ached. Any time grief starts to overwhelm me, I think of that trip and my brother and how much fun we had, and I always feel better.

Words to live by:  "The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off."  ~ Gloria Steinem ~

 

 

 

 

Karissa and Bonnie

 

 

Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, chocolate, and super heroes. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. She loves to read and has a sweet tooth for fantasy, sci-fi, and anything in between. Sometimes her husband convinces her to put down the books and take the motorcycles out for a spin. When it snows, you'll find her on the slopes.

 

Links

 

Goodreads *** Facebook *** Website***Twitter***Pinterest

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Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/feature-friday-karissa-laurels-midnight-burning-excerpt-guest-post
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review 2017-04-20 17:12
ARC Review/Guest Post: Traci Douglass (Blood Vowed) ~ Giveaway/Excerpt
Blood Vowed (Blood Ravagers Book 3) - Traci Douglass

 

My Five Favorite Vampires and Five Reasons to Life Mate a Vampire 

 

Thanks so much for having me on your blog to talk about one of my favorite Otherworld creatures—Vampires! My hero in Blood Vowed, Rev, is a vamp and my fascination with these undead hotties began in high school when I read Anne Rice’s classic Interview With A Vampire. For months afterward, my friends and I were obsessed with Louis and Lestat and dreamed of finding a sexy bloodsucker of our very own. Alas, the only place I’ve found them thus far are in the pages of books or on film. And while it’s hard to pick just five, here are my top picks of the vampire variety:

 

  • Gary Oldman’s Dracula (Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992) – those hypnotic eyes, that sexy stare, and such style. Yum!

(photo credit: mightcontainspoilers.files.wordpress.com)

 

  • Louis du Pointe du Lac (The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice, 1976-present) – so broken and brooding and beautiful.

(photo credit: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com)

 

  • Eric Northman (True Blood, HBO, 2008-2014) – ruthless, powerful, devoted to those he cares for, and man does he look F.I.N.E. in the buff!

(photo credit: https://kamikazeegirl.files.wordpress.com)

 

  • Miriam and John Blaylock (The Hunger, 1983)—David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve as gorgeous undead creatures. Look at these two! What’s not to love?

(photo credit: https://davidbowienews.files.wordpress.com)

 

  • Damon Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries, CW, 2009-2017) – I have a fondness for gorgeous dark-haired men with blue eyes and major attitudes, so this gorgeous vamp is right up my alley.

(photo credit: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com)

 

And let’s see, five reasons to life mate a vampire?

 

  • Eternal beauty
  • Eternal passion
  • Eternal devotion
  • Eternal fun
  • Eternal companionship

 

Who could ask for anything more!

 

 

BLOOD VOWED by Traci Douglass is a dark and sexy ride with an otherworld ex-assassin on a mission to atone for the sins of his past, and the woman who holds both his only means of escape and the keys to his ultimate salvation. This exciting installment in the Blood Ravagers series is perfect for fans of BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD by J.R. Ward and IMMORTALS AFTER DARK by Kresley Cole.

 

Title: Blood Vowed

 

Author: Traci Douglass

 

Series: Blood Ravagers

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

Release Date: April 13, 2017

 

Publisher: Tule Publishing

 

Synopsis:

 

Reverend “Rev” Walker, expected some backlash after he foiled The Council’s attempts to overthrow the Blood Ravager Biker Gang. What he hadn’t expected was to wake up in the last place he ever wanted to see again—a dank cell of The Council’s Siberian dungeon. Drained and chained, he faces certain death if he can’t escape from the hellish prison. Now, his only means of escape depends on him accepting help from a fellow prisoner, a woman whose very existence is a lie and the only one capable of awakening Rev’s long-dormant heart.

 

Claire Deveraux is Dygarian, a race of shadow-shifters who have been slandered and hunted to extinction by The Council. But Claire has used her years of enslavement well, reading her captors’ secret texts and hearing their whispered secrets. Now, after being locked up for a crime she didn’t commit, she plans to use her knowledge of the dungeon’s maze-like interior to gain her freedom, or die trying. Then a new prisoner arrives, a man Claire has dreamed of and knows in her heart is her destined mate, if only she can break through his walls.

 

On the run and threatened from all sides, will Rev and Claire learn to trust each other and their growing feelings for one another before it’s too late?

 

Find out more at: Amazon | KoboB&N | Tule Publishing

 

 

 

Blood Vowed is book three in the Blood Ravagers series by Traci Douglass. It’s an adventure that’s full of suspense.

 

 

Rev has been in hiding from the Council for centuries. He has come a long away from being the Council’s Assassin. He wants to destroyed the Council and save and protect his friends in the Blood Ravagers gang. He was not looking, nor did he expect, especially with his sins, to find his true mate. Clair has been imprisoned with the Council her whole life. She is also a Dygarian, the last of her kind. All she wants is vengeance against the Council and the one who helped them destroy her people.

 

We finally get to see the elusive and evil Council. These three men have been using their powers not to uphold the supernatural world, but to control it and subjugate the supernaturals. Those that don’t get on their side soon learn the consequences.

 

Blood Vowed moved fast from the first to the last page. Rev and Clair have nice chemistry and their banter was enjoyable. There were secrets and pasts to overcome.

 

Just a few issues:

 

- The battle scene was lackluster. I was expecting more. Especially since we have been building up to this confrontation.

 

 

- I felt that one of the scenes, where the Council members parish, was taken from “The Darkest Seduction by Gena Showalter.” It was so close in similarities to when Krones dies in The Darkest Seduction.

 

- I found it odd that one of the Council members can just pull Clair anytime anywhere back to the Council headquarters. It didn’t make since this part; because she would permanently be trapped. Yet she escapes and they don’t pull her back until she has time with Rev. Then they keep pulling her back each time she escapes. My issue is if they can do this, then why did they wait the first time? It just felt silly and not thought out.

 

Blood Vowed was an enjoyable read. We get to finally meet the evil Council, change the future, and find love.

 

Rated: 3 Stars

 

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Barclay Publicity via NetGalley with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

Challenge(s): New Release Pick Your Genre (PNR) (2017)

 

 

 

Blood Bound

 

 

Book 1 is available at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo 

Check out my review on Blood Bound

 

Blood Freed

 

 

Book 2 is available at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo 

Check out my review on Blood Freed

 

 

Peering around Rev, Claire studied the new opponent. The thing was big and ugly and must’ve come running from the deepest crevices of the dungeons.  It launched itself at Rev, saliva dripping from its huge sword-like fangs as if it wanted to gobble the vamp up for dinner. 

 

This wasn’t her first run-in with the Council’s monsters who went bump in the night. There were others, many, many others that lurked in the shadows down here. In the past she’d always had a contingent of guards surrounding her when she’d come to clean, then later, she’d had the iron bars of her cage. Now, though, there was nothing between her and what looked like certain death. Nothing but a vamp she didn’t know and didn’t particularly trust, who was currently getting the thrashing of his immortal life from the looks of it. 

 

The need for self-preservation swelling inside her, Claire mentally reviewed the texts she’d read about hand-to-hand combat while she searched for a weapon. At last, she settled on a sharp shard of wood from one of the vicious roots that had died and assumed a battle stance. 

 

Time for a little payback. 

 

As she crouched and prepared to strike, Rev dodged from one side of the narrow passage to the other, slicing the tip of his makeshift rock dagger across the beast’s throat…only to disappear. Vampires were notoriously fast and Rev even more so due to his training.

 

Still, the creature remained on its feet, healing quickly and growing angrier. 

 

Rev reappeared in a flash and struck again and again, inflicting more damage each time. The creature tried to claw him, but Rev always seemed to duck at the perfect moment. Much as Claire hated to admit it, his masterful skill was impressive. He never seemed to make actual deadly contact with the monster or land a punch though. Why? She wasn’t sure, since the opportunities were there. 

 

Then the idea occurred that perhaps the whispered rumors of the other prisoners were true. Perhaps he had left his killer ways behind and now searched for redemption by turning only against the people who had made him what he was. That would certainly make sense, given what he’d told her about why he was here, why he’d sacrificed himself and his freedom.

 

Claire clutched her wooden stake tighter. No. Even if that were true and he had changed his ways, it would not alter his fate. She had nothing to her name now, nothing but her integrity and her vengeance. She would use him to keep her safe until she could fend for herself and then she would end him as she’d promised. 

 

The beast swiped a razor-sharp talon at Rev, nearly beheading him if not for his quick reflexes, and this time Claire jumped into the action. The assassin was hers to kill. No one else’s. “You have five seconds, creature,” she shouted. “I suggest you run. Fast.” 

 

At the sound of her voice, the monster narrowed its black gaze, growling, “Mine.” 

 

“Three seconds left.” 

 

Rev dove through the air and gouged out one of the beast’s eyes. Yelps of pain echoed. 

 

Retaliating, the creature slammed hard into Rev’s chest. Rev tumbled backward through the dark tunnel, disappearing into the shadows beyond. 

 

Slowly, Claire turned back to face the beast that had just signed its death warrant. “Zero.” 

 

 

 

Follow the celebration for a chance at the #giveaway and exclusive excerpts!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Kindle to one lucky winner and 2 runners-up will receive a signed copy of Blood Bound (or monetary equivalent if international).

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Traci is a USA Today Bestselling Author of Contemporary and Paranormal Romance. Her stories feature sizzling heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes and heroines who are smart, tenacious, and always give as good as they get. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and she loves animals, chocolate, coffee, hot British actors, and sarcasm—not necessarily in that order. SocialMedia-Banner00-angelsgp

 

Website and Blog – FB Author Page – Twitter – Goodreads – Amazon Author Page – Newsletter – Pinterest

 

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/04/arcreview-guestpost-traci-douglass-blood-vowed
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