Book Review: Pride’s Run by Cat Kalen

510iRoQ8o9LTitle: Pride’s Run
Author: Cat Kalen
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult, Werewolves
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 1st 2011
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Author Website
Review copy provided by Bewitching Book Tours.

Seventeen year old Pride is a tracker—a werewolf with a hunger for blood. Taught to trick and to lure, she is the perfect killing machine.
Kept leashed in the cellar by a master who is as ruthless as he is powerful, Pride dreams of freedom, of living a normal life, but escape from the compound is near impossible and disobedience comes with a price.
When she learns her master intends to breed her she knows she has to run.
Pride soon learns if she is to survive in the wild, she must trust in the boy who promises her freedom, the same boy she was sent to hunt.
With life and death hanging in the balance the two find themselves on the run from the Paranormal Task Force—officers who shoot first and ask questions later—as well as her master’s handlers.
Can Pride flee the man who has held her captive since birth and find sanctuary in the arms of a boy who has captured her heart? Or will her master find her first?

I’m usually not a big fan of werewolf stories, although I have to admit I enjoyed the Clair de Lune series as well. But werewolves just don’t give me the same vibe as vampires, fallen angels or even witches do. All alpha werewolves are the stereotype of a dominating, rough and forceful leader, and on top of that, I just don’t get the appeal of people being able to shift into wolves. I mean, it might be nice and all, but if I had to choose, I would say fangs top over werewolf shapeshifting any day. Wings do too, by the way. But it seems like Pride’s Run touched a soft spot deep within me. It casts off most of the stereotypes easily, and instead it installs its own werewolf lore, diverse and entertaining characters, and a background story so sad and disturbing I couldn’t help but like it.

Pride is a caged werewolf, locked up in the mansion of her master along with about a dozen other werewolves. They are treated badly, malnourished, beaten and kept in line by microchips and collars. Food is scarce, and whatever food they do receive, they are forbidden to share with their fellow wolves, although that is one of the rules Pride occassionally disregards. Her master is a cruel and vicious man who only cares about power and money. He even killed Pride’s mother when she tried to escape to find a better home for her child. But what makes Pride decide that enough is enough, is the fact that on the next full moon, she will be forced to mate with Stone, an alpha werewolf who obviously detests her. The master wants her to have puppies, because he’s convinced motherhood will dissolve all her thoughts of running away. Pride, however, isn’t about to let it get that far.

As luck has it, on her next assignment – she is forced to work as a mercenary for her master – she meets another alpha werewolf called Logan in a bar. Although Pride instantly feels attracted towards the hot alpha werewolf, she doesn’t trust him at all. He’s also the target she’s supposed to kill. But as they are both being attacked, Logan and Pride team up to make their way out of the bar and into the woods. Logan gets rid of Pride’s microchip and together, they run off. Although Logan acts nothing but cvilized towards Pride, and threats her more like a girl than like a wolf, she can’t bring herself to trust him just yet. Because now, after she’s escaped the clutches of her evil master, her survival is at stake. She’s certain the master will do everything in his power to track her down, and to kill her if needed.

I liked Pride. She’s an intriguing main character. As she often states herself, she acts and fights with her intelligence and her head, not with her heart, like many other wolves do. She has learned throughout life – and what a hard life it has been so far – to trust only on herself, to rely on her intelligence alone and to suppress any rebellious thoughts. Her only concern is her survival, and the survival of her fellow wolves. The fact that Pride doesn’t trust anyone, and that she’s genuinely surprised by the kind and considerate way Logan threats her works in her advantage, as it made me feel sorry for her even more. Although she’s technically a werewolf, the emotions and troubles she goes through can be compared to those of a regular human girl whose been held captive practically all her life. They have trust-issues and trouble believing anyone would threat them like a real human being. Pride’s personality is definitely complex, but that’s part of what makes her so fascinating, and what kept me to turn page by page of this book.

Logan, Pride’s potential love interest, well he’s definitely an alpha wolf with a heart. Instead of the regular dominating and forceful alpha wolves we usually meet when we read books about shapeshifters, Logan is actually a caring, loving and kind young man. He wants Pride to trust him, and the last thing he will ever do is take advantage of her. I liked how he could both take the lead and let Pride believe that she was the one in charge at the same time. I also loved how he told Pride he wants them to be equals. He really gets some additional points for that.

The other love interest – yes, love triangle going on here – is less straight-forward, and for some perhaps unexpected, although I personally saw it coming from say, chapter two. Stone, the alpha wolf who was held hostage by the same master as Pride, is madly and utterly in love with her. The fact that he pretends to hate her, is basically just a show. His plan was to help Pride escape the day of their supposed ‘mating’. I have to admit, that out of both potential love interests, I’m definitely on Team Stone here. Logan is nice and all, but Stone was willing to risk his life for her. On top of that, Logan has only known her for what, three days or something? Meanwhile, Stone has been there her entire life. He watched her grow up, they were playmates when they were younger, and it seems only logical that at some point in time he fell for her.

The story itself was amusing and thrilling. As Logan and Pride try to escape through the woods, the master sends his troops after them, and of course, his most skilled tracker now that Pride is out of that picture. Take a wild guess who said tracker is. Yes, Stone. As he’s forced to hunt down Pride, he must decide how far he’s really willing to go for love. Pride on the other hand, has to come to terms with the fact that yet another person might get hurt simply because he loves her.

I’m really impressed by this debut novel by Cat Kalen. I loved the characters and their relationship. Plus, for once, there’s a love triangle in a book that I don’t think is inappropriate, stupid or boring, so that’s definitely saying something. Pride makes for a wonderful and intriguing main character, and both her potential love interests, although different, each have their own set of unique, fascinating qualities. The storyline itself was fast-paced and well-developed. I can’t wait to read what happens next, in Pride Unleashed, which is coming in February 2012. Can I have a review copy, pleaaaaaaaase?

I recommend Pride’s Run to everyone who loves reading about werewolves or young adult paranormal romance. Even if you’re not exactly a fan of shifters, you should definitely give this book a try. Cat Kalen’s writing style is surprisingly persuasive, and her characters are highly addictive. My only request? I want some Pride/Stone love scenes!

This book counts towards the Speculative Romance Challenge, Go Indie Challenge and The Immortal Reading Challenge, category werewolves/shifters.

About the Author

Cat Kalen is a multi published author in the romance genre under two pen names, Cat is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie) pizza and watermelon. She has two teenagers who keep her busy with their never ending activities, and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan. Cat can never find balance in her life, is always trying to find time to go to the gym, can never keep up with emails, Facebook or Twitter and tries to write page-turning books that her readers will love.

A maritime native and former financial officer, Cat has lived all over Canada but has finally settled down in her childhood hometown with her family.

Cat Kalen | Facebook | Twitter


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Author Interview with P.R. Mason

The Books


The Interview


Thank you for taking the time to answer these interview questions!

Thank you so much for having me on your excellent blog. I appreciate the opportunity to connect with readers.

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

One of my earliest memories is of regaling a group of my childhood friends with a story I’d created. I believe it featured an excessive number of dragons. My love of story telling continued through my teens. However, my teenage writings were much too angsty and featured characters who whined a lot. I finished my first novel about five years ago, A GIRL, A GUY and a GHOST written under the name Patricia Mason. That book does not feature any dragons, but does have a somewhat whiny, discrimination-obsessed, vampire. Now I write steamy romance as Patricia Mason and YA urban fantasy and paranormal romance as P.R. Mason

2. How long does it take you to write a book?

Every book is different but, if I can get the beginning “right”, it takes about three months for me to write the first draft and about a month to revise. For Entanglements, I must have written the first thirty pages at least five times before arriving at a beginning that felt right. The basic plot points of the story were set but I just couldn’t open the novel in an exciting way. Once I found the right beginning, the whole story flowed and was written quickly. However, there were a few plot points that changed and were added along the way as the characters took over and decided what they wanted to do and not to do.

3. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Probably the fact that I usually need to leave my house and go to a coffee shop in order to write. If I stay at home, my cat overlords, or at least one of them, lies on the keyboard, sits on my lap, meows for treats, demands caressing…. you get the picture.

4. Where did you get the idea/inspiration for your main character, Kizzy Taylor?

Some stories start with the character and some start with the plot. With Entanglements, the idea for the plot came first and then I had to decide what sort of heroine would be caught up in what I’d envisioned. As I said earlier, I wrote the first thirty pages a number of times. The heroine of Entanglements, Kizzy, started out with brown hair but she was too whiney and not bold enough.

She didn’t fully form into a real person for me until I decided she had extremely curly red hair, which she straightened when trying to conform to societal expectations. Her personality soon followed and became as fiery as her hair.

Also, since the novel is an urban fantasy/paranormal romance, I wanted Kizzy, to be engaged in a hobby that reflected the feisty but reckless aspects of her personality. The hobby also had to lead her into a setting that would serve the plot, which by that time I knew would involve Kizzy’s accidentally opening a vortex to a dangerous alternate dimension. The hobby also had to fit with my hero, Rom, an athletic alpha male who is soldier-tough and bent on doing his duty.

The idea for the specific hobby that would fit my needs ultimately came from an anonymous Facebook posting on a page devoted to urban spelunking in NYC: “If you’re interested in going on a spelunk ask yourself these questions: (1) Am I okay with getting arrested? (2) Am I afraid of getting tuberculosis, inhaling intoxicants, etc? (3) Am I okay with getting cut up? (4) Do I know how incredibly dangerous and stupid this is?”

Since Savannah, Georgia—the setting—has a number of tunnels connected to nefarious activity or tragic circumstances, I knew I’d found the perfect hobby for my heroine. I’d found the hobby that would lead Kizzy into an abandoned building, through a reportedly haunted tunnel, and ultimately, into another world.

5. How did you come up with the idea for Entanglements?

I saw something on string theory on the Discovery channel. When I googled the concepts, I came across a quote from Einstein about the quantum mechanics theory of entanglements where he referred to it as “spooky action at a distance.” Scientists had discovered that a particle could be tweaked miles away from another and still cause the second particle to react even though there was no discernable connection between them. The scientists theorized that the two were “entangled” in an alternate dimension or universe of which they believed there are at least seven. Interestingly also, in the world of quantum physics, effect does not always follow cause. Sometimes they are reversed. I began to wonder what would happen if people or beings were entangled in alternate universes? And from this, ENTANGLEMENTS was born.

6. Who would you consider your favorite author and why?

I have so many favorite authors some of whom are: Jane Austen, J.R. Ward, J.K. Rowling…Wow I just figured out I have a thing about J names. But I think what they all have in common is that they are able to create a world and transport the reader inside to experience a way of life that is very different from their own.

7. Are you working on something right now? If so, what?

A sequel to Entanglements is in the works. RESISTANCE takes up the story of a fighter in the human resistance who, along with her alchemist/vampire hero, must defeat an army of soul sucking golems. I expect to release the sequel in March of 2012.

Right in the middle of working on the sequel, however, I became obsessed with the concept of predestination and the line between fate and free will. My father always came down on the side of 100% predetestination because he often had vivid dreams that foretold future events in his life. Some of these occurred years after the dream. So he thought every event in his life was “fated” to happen and his choices made no difference. I argued that choices had to matter. I always thought that his dreams were precognitive of an event that would happen if he continued on the path on which he was traveling at the time. And those dreams of events that never happened were forgotten because he changed paths. Anyway, these issues came to the forefront of my mind in relation to two characters and so I felt driven to write their story. The 11000-word paranormal romance novella FATED HEARTS is the result. It was just released. Here’s the blurb:

EVE has always played by the rules, afraid to take chances. HOLDEN wants to change that. She’s certain they’ve never met before…or have they? Holden seems so familiar, but who is he? What is he? Yesterday her biggest challenge was trying not to bomb on her SATs. Today, paranormal forces have transformed an ordinary high school dance into a test of fate vs. free will and loving Holden could be Eve’s end.

It’s available exclusively at Amazon. As a promotion, it will be FREE on January 24th and 25th. I hope you’ll check it out.

I definitely will check it out! Thank you for answering my interview questions!

The Author


P.R. Mason writes steamy contemporary and paranormal romance under the name Patricia Mason and young adult paranormal romance and urban fantasy as P.R. Mason. She escaped from the snowy Midwest winters of her youth by moving in 2001 to the strange and wonderful city of Savannah, Georgia to pursue her dream of being a novelist. Pat’s background is eclectic. She was an Assistant District Attorney and for a number of years was the owner of an antique shop which was home to a number of ghosts. Her home is ruled by two black cats, one of whom was rescued from the most haunted cemetery in the southeast.

Please visit You can also follow the author @prmason on Twitter.

Book Review: Entanglements by P.R. Mason

51Ktj1WJHsLTitle: Entanglements
Author: P.R. Mason
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Createspace
Publication Date: September 30th 2011
Goodreads | Author Website
Rating: 3,5 stars
Review copy provided by Bewitching Book Tours.

Buy the book on: Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) | Smashwords | B&N

Accidentally opening a vortex sucks!
Fifteen-year-old Kizzy Taylor is just hoping for an evening of fun when she joins her friends in a spelunking expedition through an under-city tunnel. But fun turns bizarre when Kizzy accidentally opens a vortex and her stepsister is swept through to an evil alternate dimension. The only way to rescue her stepsister is to reopen the vortex and go in after her. But will Kizzy be able to return home?

Entanglements starts with introducing us to Kizzy Taylor on what is probably one of the worst nights of her life. Her own father, the man who was supposed to love her and care for her, holds her at gunpoint, ordering her to jump off a bridge. She tried to save herself and her baby brother by running from her, but unfortunately he did fire and killed her kid brother in the process. Now, several months later, Kizzy is still suffering from survivor’s guilt, and struggling to keep on going with her life. She’s no longer the person she was once before, and her old friends don’t seem that appealing to her anymore either.

At school, Kizzy runs into a new guy, named Rom. He’s very strange, but also extremely attractive. Rom acts and talks like he walked straight out of the Roman Empire. Although Kizzy thinks he’s cute from the moment she meets him, she’s a bit wary as to why he talks and acts so strange. When he joins her and her old group of friends to go investigating abandoned houses in the middle of the night – their current target an asylum that has been closed for several decades – things start getting really weird. For starters, something sucks Kizzy’s arm straight into a wall. And then a vortex appears in the middle of a room, sucking her stepsister right in, transporting her to another dimension. It’s up to Kizzy to save her stepsister. That is, if she doesn’t get killed by the nightmarish creatures who escaped from the other dimension first.

I liked Entanglements. The heroine is especially interesting because she holds the middle between being stereotypical and being too weird for her own good. The fact that she’s still struggling from survivor’s guilt adds to her personality. As a reader, you feel instantly sorry for her and what happened to her. If the person who’s supposed to love you most tries to kill you, that’s simply terrible. Kizzy’s friends are intriguing characters as well. We have the stereotypical nerds and cheerleaders squads, but beneath those stereotypes we can find actual people with actual personalities.

Don’t get me started on Rom though. Rom is the whole reason why this book went from a 4 star rating to a 3,5. I just didn’t like Rom; I thought he was the weakest part of the entire story. For starters, he talks like he’s the reincarnation of Julius Cesar, and I’m not a big fan of that. If a guy came to me and began talking like he lived several centuries ago, that would rank highly on my list of turn-offs. The fact that Kizzy hardly seems to bother, even when she doesn’t yet realize who he really is, annoys me. It’s like saying: hey, although this guy is totally insane, he looks hot, so I’ll date him. I’m not a big fan of such behavior or thinking. The good part is though that the romance plot is a subplot, and it doesn’t take too much attention away from the main plot and action. Considering that I didn’t like the potential love interest from the start, I was glad that it only played a minor part in this story.

The storyline itself is interesting, to say the least. P.R. Mason talks about vortexes and travelling between several dimensions/universes. I thought the explanation for vortexes, although a tad bit scientific, was intriguing and original. The moment they were introduced in the story, I wanted to read more about them: what exactly are they and how do they work, etc.

I must also add that the writing pace was fast, and that the book sucked me in from the very beginning. That said, there were some things that could use a bit of work – the love interest, for example, and the relationship between Kizzy and Rom – and I also wished some of the side characters were better developed. Entanglements is really entertaining though, and I would recommend it to all people who enjoy young adult paranormal romance novels.

This book counts towards the Fantasy Challenge 2012, Speculative Romance Challenge and the Go Indie Challenge.

Tour Schedule: Entanglements

January 16, 2012 and January 17, 2012
Review + Author Interview on the 16th and a
Character Intv. on the 17
Breaking Bookshelves


Jan 18 Live Radio Interview
ParaYourNormal Blogtalk Radio
Wednesday at 3:30 pm PST (which is 6:30 pm EST)


Jan 18 promo and interview


Jan 19 Promo
Sapphyria’s Book Reviews


Jan 20 Interview and review
I Heart Reading.


Jan 23 Guest Blog
Fang-tastic Books


Jan 24 Guest Blog and Review


Jan 25 Interview
Sarah Ballance


Jan 30 Guest Blog
Book Flame


Jan 31 Guest Blog


Feb 1 Guest Blog
Fictional Candy


Feb 3 Guest blog and review
 The Bornean Bookworm


Feb 4 Promo
Flutey Words


Feb 7 Guest Blog and review
 Lissette E. Manning


Feb 9 Guest Blog
Mama Knows Books


Feb 10 Guest Blog
Bending the Spine


Feb 13 Guest Blog and review
SupaGurl Books


Feb 7 promo and interview


Feb 12 Guest Blog
Curling Up By The Fire


Feb. 15 promo spot & review
Reader Girls

Book Review: In My Dreams by Cameo Renae + Author Interview and Giveaway

112603551Title: In My Dreams
Author: Cameo Renae
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Createspace
Publication Date: April 30th 2011
Rating: 2,5 stars

It was happening again. The dreams. The nightmares. It was something seventeen year-old Elizabeth “Lizzy” Hayes thought she’d outgrown; dreams that would come true; detailed premonitions of how people would die. This time she dreams about her boyfriend, Michael Young, and soon discovers that he’s been found… dead.
Michael hasn’t crossed over because he was murdered, and now his murderer is coming for Lizzy. His spirit won’t rest until she is safe, and as a newbie spirit, the easiest way for him to make contact is through Lizzy’s dreams. When she dreams, it’s as if he hasn’t died.
Lizzy must learn to pull on her inner strength to survive horrifying events. Meanwhile, in the spirit world, Michael learns everything he can about his supernatural gifts to help. But will it be enough to save her?

In My Dreams tells the story of Liz (short for Elizabeth) who is desperately waiting for her boyfriend, Michael, to show up on their date for their fourth anniversary together. Unfortunately though, it seems as if Michael has stood her up. But then Liz has the strangest dream, and when she wakes up she gets the one phone call nobody should receive in their entire life: Michael is dead. They found his body in his car in a place where he had no business being, and it seems like he overdosed on drugs. The only problem is that Michael didn’t do drugs. He was your typical all-star goody-two-shoes boy and excelled in everything he did. On top of that, Liz starts dreaming about Michael, and in these dreams he slowly reveals what really happened to him. Now the person who murdered Michael is after Liz, and the only thing standing between Liz and this insane killer is the ghost of her deceased boyfriend…

Meh. Meh is the general emotion I feel about this book, because it could have been so much more, yet it doesn’t always deliver. It has the potential to be something remarkable, along the lines of the movie Ghost, if you will, but instead it ends up failing short of expectations. That’s not to say I wasn’t on the verge of crying occassionally throughout this book, because truthfully, it is an emotional rollercoaster. But on the other hand, I thought some scenes were too awkward, too rushed or too strange to bring out any emotion whatsoever except frustration. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a bad book by any means. The author does a remarkably good job telling the story, and her own emotional involvement with the story is clear from the start. The descriptions are beautiful and imaginary, the writing is fluent and effective, but sometimes the pacing is off. Sometimes the characters don’t act entirely human. And in a book with such a heavy emotional undertone as this one, that’s definitely not a good thing.

The weirdest thing for me was how Liz goes to work the day after she heard about her boyfriend’s death, and then laughs and jokes with her friend, Em. I sincerely doubt that anyone would be able to crack some jokes, or talk so casually, the day after their supposed love of their life died. In fact, these scenes could have been deleted altogether, if you ask me. They introduce us to the character of Lucy Crow, a native woman who hears message from the death, and who has been contacted by Michael as well. Lucy offers little or nothing to the story. She’s just there for this one random scene and then once more towards the ending. Her appearances are brief and unnecessary. I’m confident Liz would have been able to figure out everything on her own eventually. On top of that, these scenes portray Liz as being hardly emotional about her boyfriend’s death, something the rest of the book contradicts, making these scenes unbelievable as well.

I don’t want to be too harsh though. It can’t be easy writing about this topic, but those scenes just drove me crazy. The rest of the book does a good job keeping up with the emotions regular human beings feel in these circumstances though, ranging from immense and overwhelming sadness to wondering why they should go on if their beloved have passed away, and questioning the purpose of it all. When Liz is chased by Michael’s murderer, her fears and anxiety seem so real they practically drop off the pages. Those are some amazing scenes, but unfortunately they don’t make up for the rest of the story being rather bland.

We meet two side characters, Emily and Tyler. Both of them don’t have enough distinct personality traits to be very interesting. Because they don’t get a lot of time in the spotlight, I had a hard time connecting to them. Emily seems to be a social and fun girl, and she loves to watch paranormal movies and ghost shows on TV. But that’s really all I know about her, and that’s not an awful lot. I feel like more time should’ve been invested in this character. And yes, I know that I’m now contradicting everything ever said about books, but this book should have been longer. Period. At least that way I would’ve gotten to know the side characters a little bit better. The other character, Tyler on the other hand, is a very unbelievable and unrealistic character. Turns out that he went to do drugs and got in the bad crowd because he was in love with Liz, our main character who is suddenly being bombared in the Mary Sue role. Yes, because people start to do drugs all the time because they fall in love in high school and their big crush doesn’t return their feelings. Mind you, Tyler begins to grow romantic feelings for Emily half-way through this novel, making his claim utterly ridiculous. I might have believed it, if he didn’t turn around and fall for another girl instantly.

What else can I say? This book is severely suffering from missing-parent-syndrome. Liz’ dad left her when she was eight years old (or somewhere around that age, I can’t remember), and ever since her Mom turned into a raving alcoholic who is drunk 24/7. So Liz did what every other seventeen-year-old girl does, and she moved out to live on her own in her friend Emily’s cottage. Yes, because the alcoholic Mom added such a big part to this novel, or because Liz really had to live on her own for all these things to happen. In fact, this novel would have been a lot scarier and exciting if Liz had been living with her Mom at the time the serial killer named Buck came to pay a visit. Then we would have two people to worry about, and one of them would not be protected by forces of the beyond.

The pacing is off as well, as I already mentioned. Some vital parts are skipped over quickly, whereas other parts drag, especially the parts Liz spends with Michael in her dreamland world. Of course those are nice, romantic and cozy moments, but get on with the story already, will you? I mean, there’s a serial killer out there, and he’s out to get you.

Also, and I hate to admit it, but Michael is really stupid. I mean, he’s brave, kind, generous, yada yada, but he’s really stupid as well. Who in their right mind goes to play Mr. Righteous when a gun is being held to their head, or when they’re in a car with a serial killer? And if the problem is money, which he has lots of, why doesn’t he just give Buck what he wants? What does he think, that he can outsmart a crazy, drug-addicted, gun-carrying maniac? Does he even have any idea how selfish he is by wandering out in the middle of nowhere to help his friend Tyler, without even bringing the money along? Is he seriously so stupid he thinks he can just have a chat with someone pressing a gun to his ex-best-friend’s head? What is he, absolutely insane? I refuse to believe this is an act of heroism. This is an act of foolishness. And when Buck gives them a second chance to get the money, he should just have gotten the money. Him not doing so is an act of complete selfishness. Any idiot with half a brain would know the risk and consequences, yet he’s willing to put his poor parents and his loving girlfriend to the ordeal of him dying just to prove a point. That’s not being a hero. That’s being ignorant, stupid and selfish.

Oh, and let me talk to you a bit about Buck. Buck is the murderer/drug addict who Tyler supposedly owes money to. I have to hand it to Tyler, he doesn’t choose his friends very well. Buck also looks and acts like a bum. And…That’s all. That’s all we ever get about this character, as he claims one of the main roles and chases down Liz repeatedly, and then goes after her friends. I mean, he is our antagonist after all. Why did he become addicted to drugs? Why does he want to kill practically everyone he meets? Why does he need the money so badly – to pay for drugs, or has he got a debt himself? What brought him to this point in life? I might be the only one who had these questions haunt their mind while they were reading the book, but these are the kind of things I like to know, the things that shape the characters.

I liked the plot, from the murder on Michael to him trying to help Liz escape from a serial killer. It certainly had great potential, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to my expectations. The romance and love between Michael and Liz is what made me read through this entire novel, the rest of it left me feeling unsatisfied and annoyed. The dream sequences are too long whereas the action scenes are too short. The side characters are flat and boring. That said, Liz should also grow a backbone. She needs Michael for virtually everything, even for escaping the hands of a mad man. I mean, she could at least give it a try. But all of that kept in mind, I would have still given this book a higher rating, because I was quite impressed with the way Cameo Renae dealt with the romance between the two main characters. But that was until…

The ending. It has to be the most horrible ending I’ve ever read, or at least one of them. And I feel really bad saying this, because I don’t want to bash a book, but the ending seems like it’s taken out of the blue and misplaced. It’s not a suitable ending for this book. I don’t want to spoil things for you, so if you’re planning to read this book, you better not read the next few lines. But, right when everything it starting to look up as the bad guy stands defeated, a demon shows up with a contract Michael supposedly signed. Yes…This entire book evolves around ghosts and a human serial killer, but then the author decides, for the sake of filling another five pages, to just add a demon in the mix. I truly felt like ripping my hair out. The demon is then quickly defeated by…by an angel. Seriously. An actual, freaking angel decides it’s time to mingle, descends from the heavens, and just tears up the contract in a giant display of randomness. These acts are so completely random, unnecessary and stupid that I felt like bursting out in tears. How much better would the ending have been if these scenes were simply not written down? Or if they were, why not use book two to send Liz on a quest of her own trying to destroy the contract Michael made with the demon? Why bring an Angel down to help, like a deus ex machina?

I’m pretty sure a lot of people will enjoy this book. It’s young adult paranormal romance, and it’s good at the romance part. The love between Michael and Liz feels real and strong, and their bond is inspiring. It’s also good at the paranormal thing, because I absolutely loved Michael as a ghost, and his connection with Liz. It’s also pretty decent at displaying the emotions Liz goes through after finding out her boyfriend is dead, apart from the big going-back-to-work and hanging-out-with-friends fiasco. The descriptions from Michael’s funeral and Liz having dinner with his parents are heart-breaking and very touching. On the other hand, the action scenes are creative and thrilling as well. But that’s where it ends. Characterization could use some work – a lot of work actually – and some of the story elements are too random to be convincing. If you enjoy reaidng YA paranormal romance, you might want to take a look at In My Dreams, if you’re looking for a sad, emotional and heart-breaking love story. If you’re not a fan of those, you will probably not like this book either. I personally did enjoy it, and I might even be tempted to read a sequel since I have high hopes that the author’s writing and plot will only improve over time. But I wouldn’t blame you if you want to pass out on this one.

However, I have high hopes for the author, Cameo Renae. From what I gathered, this is her debut novel, and she did an impressive job. I have a feeling that, the more experience she has an author, the better her character-building, plot pacing, etc. will become and the better her books will be.

This book counts towards the Fantasy Challenge, the Speculative Romance Challenge and the Go Indie Challenge.

Author Interview


1) First of all, thank you Cameo, for answering these interview questions! I’m wondering how you came up with the idea for In My Dreams.
Thank you so much for having me!!! I didn’t really know what I was going to write until I actually started writing. In My Dreams started off because of a nightmare I had. That nightmare is actually the first part of Chapter 1 (of course with some extras). I really didn’t have a plan or outline for the story. I just started writing and the rest of the story just sort of came to life. I know… amazing. And believe me… now I keep lots of notes and outlines and descriptions of my characters and locations. In My Dreams was definitely my “learn and grow” novel.

2) In the book, protagonist Liz is visited by the ghost of her recently deceased boyfriend, Michael. Do you believe in ghosts? If so, have you ever seen one?
I actually do believe in ghosts or spirits, and YES… I did see one. I guess you want the story on that.
One night, after our son was born, he wouldn’t stop crying. I tried everything but he kept crying and crying, and I couldn’t figure out why. I finally took him into the living-room so my husband could get some sleep. After a few hours he finally settled down, so I turned off the TV and started to get ready for bed. I instantly had an eerie, cold feeling rush over me, like something was watching. I remember not wanting to turn and look down the dark hall behind me, but against my best judgment… I did.
A white mist appeared and was floating in the hallway. Every hair on my body stood on end. Suddenly the mist shot toward me. I froze, and gasped for air, feeling a heavy pressure on my chest. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t scream, and all I could remember doing was praying. It finally released me and I watched it shoot into the kitchen and dissipate into the refrigerator. Why there? Who knows? Maybe it was hungry?
So anyway… I ran through the hall and woke my husband.
Talk about a ghostly visitation! And why me??? I later found that the landlady’s mother had passed in the cottage. Maybe she wasn’t happy that I was there? If it was her, she was a BIG MEANIE!
We moved from the home a few months later, and since then I haven’t had any other horrible experiences. THANK GOD!!!
So the question is…
Do you believe in ghosts? Cause I do!

3) If you were a character in this book, which character do you think you would be?
Although Lizzy is the main character, I’d probably be Emily. Emily is like the kooky sidekick who has more of my character traits. I love watching paranormal shows, and my family thinks I’m goofy and quirky. Okay, okay… I’ll admit. I am a bit goofy… but fun!

4) Were there any other authors who influenced you during your writing career so far?
I know you’ve probably already heard this, but C.S. Lewis was my greatest influence. I loved his Chronicles of Narnia and read them time and time again.

5) Are you currently working on something new? If so, please tell us about it!
Yes, I am! 😉 I have a YA/Paranormal/Romance/Trilogy in the making. I finished the first book, and am in the process of finishing the second. This one promises lots of action, twists and turns, and emotions. Plus… it has SIX kick-ass, drop-dead gorgeous Guardians. (Angels that is.) I’m sorry… I can’t give away anymore. You’ll have to wait until it comes out! 😉


I’m also hosting a giveaway for two eBook copies of In My Dreams. The contest is open internationally. Thank you to the author for giving away these copies!

The contest runs from January 6th to January 31st.


Book Review: Eternal Hearts (A Darkness Within #2) by Jennifer Turner

11114576Title: Eternal Hearts (A Darkness Within #2)
Author: Jennifer Turner
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Dark Dreams Press
Publication Date: June 1st 2011
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Author Website
Rating: 3,5 stars
Review copy received for as host during the Eternal Hearts Tour.

Toni Tutoro just wants to go home. Banned from Chicago’s vampiric society after cutting a swath of violence through the city, she must now successfully complete an investigation for the Lord of Chicago to regain the right to live in her hometown again.To ensure Toni’s safety during her probationary period, Drake Black, a feared assassin, is secretly contracted to protect her. Even with direct orders to keep his relationship professional, and his own personal vow to never get involved with a female vampire again, Drake finds himself drawn to Toni in ways he can’t explain. But unbeknownst to him…he’s tied to one of the people who drove Toni to her night of destruction.
Drake’s legendary heritage holds the key to Toni’s survival and success, but will she be able to forgive his connection to the brutal night that robbed her of those she loved most? Will Drake be able to forget the betrayals in his past and risk taking one more chance? But most of all – can they find a way to reach each other in the darkness?

Read my review for Eternal Seduction, the first book in the series.
Read the interview with Jennifer Turner AND a sneak peek into Eternal Embers, Odin’s book!

Toni Tutoro’s reason to take revenge on the vampires who allegedly killed her entire family was totally understandable, and although even some of the ancient vampires feel for her, that didn’t keep her from being banned from her home town, Chicago, when breaking the Veil by killing vampires in public. Now, three years later, Toni is back in town, her presence requested by the very people who banned her in the first place. Unfortunately, the Vampire Lord of the city, Christian, has a very peculiar reason for wanting Toni in town: there’s some sort of werewolf plague going on, and he wants Toni to find out what the four-legged creatures are doing in vampire territory. Failing is out of the question. Meanwhile, we meet up with a familiar person from Eternal Seduction, Drake Black, a man torn and scarred by his long lost love for a vampire woman. While he was unable to let his dead heart beat for centuries, so to speak, with Toni around it does come pretty close. The two of them share an instant attraction, mainly because in Drake Toni finds the protector she seeks, and in Toni Drake finds the honest, reliable woman who would never manipulate him or hurt him intentionally. He can trust her, and it’s that trust he’s been craving for centuries now. It’s a match made in heaven…or somewhere a lot darker. As Toni goes on werewolf hunt, she is forced to face enemies from her past, the most prominent one being the woman who was at least partly responsible for Toni’s exile three years prior. As emotions run high, Toni and Drake must keep their cool…

Toni is a very…annoying character. Initially, I liked her. I felt for the tragic heroine who lost her family during an extremely violent crime, who was forced to flee her hometown for something as silly as taking revenge, and who is now finally able to return, only to learn that her return is only on the condition that she gets information involving the local werewolf population. However, my initial bond with Toni soon dissapeared into thin air as she went from one emotion to the other about as easily as another person takes a breathe. I mean, I don’t change my clothes as much as Toni changes emotion and partly personality as well, and I like changing my clothes two or three times a day. That’s just to give you an example of how much moodswings you have to get through in order to get to the essential plot. Toni just seems all over the place. I like her backstory, her basic personality, her ultimate goals, but I don’t like her extended personality, including the silly moodswings. I felt like slapping her and telling her to stick to one mood already. Even if it was just for a day, or even an hour. It’s exhausting to read about a heroine who’s either insanely happy, insanely sad, insanely scared or insanely angry, or everything inbetween. I like how the author tried to give her heroine a deep and meaningful personality with a lot of different layers, but whereas Jennifer Turner definately succeeded in this in Eternal Seduction, I think she went a bit over the top in Eternal Hearts. Toni is definately never going to be on my friend-list. Even for a traumatized fledgling vampire, she’s just a bit too moodswingy to make me appreciate her.

Drake Black is probably the opposite of Toni. Charming, powerful, but also cool and distant. At least that’s how he is towards everyone else, but oh no, not towards Toni. He instantly warms up towards her, and is all too eager to give her the place in his heart which long ago belonged to a traitorous vampire woman who supposedly scarred him for life. Well, great way to get over that…go for Mrs. Moodswing Extraordinaire. I know I’m being a bit sarcastic, but I couldn’t help but feel that Toni and Drake’s relationship was a bit rushed and a bit…unusual, if not implausible. Honesty alone isn’t going to cut in I’m afraid, not even for Toni, who is the epitome of honesty. This is the classic story of ancient vampire falling for highschool teenager on a bad hormone trip again, except that Toni isn’t even a highschool teenager, which makes this all the more annoying. I wanted Toni, but with a grown-up and adult personality, and perhaps then she would’ve been a nice match for Drake. Now I’m not so sure, and I actually feel kind of bad for the guy, who is thrown into a relationship with the equivalent of a hormonal high school teenage girl.

I liked the storyline, the plot twists and most of the supportive characters. One comment though is that, for a story as plot-driven as Eternal Hearts, the number of supportive characters was just too large. Some simply dropped by to say how much they missed Toni. Yes, and you’re important for the plot how? Your purpose in this life is what exactly? I mean, I’m all for supportive characters, but they ought to have a meaning. And you can say all you want about them getting larger roles in further novels, but if you cannot explain the reason of existence for one third of your supportive characters in this exact novel, then you simply have too many of them. I couldn’t even keep them apart! And I don’t like the name 8-Ball. Especially not for a vampire. I can’t help it.

Moving on, I have to say that another thing that bothered me about Eternal Hearts is how cliché it is. Eternal Seduction was practically a revelation – oh my god, someone can actually write paranormal romance without sounding totally cliché? And, did you notice the original and awesome vampire hierarchy, politics and history? And like, how it’s totally not predictable? Well, that sort of goes kaboom in the sequel. The story is still not predictable, mind you, but I missed Jennifer Turner’s impressive world-building skills, her interesting and original characters, and her unique and innovating take on vampire romance. Eternal Hearts is like a step back. A major step back. We’re thrown back into the realm of cliché, been-here-before stories of weak girl with annoying personality falls for insanely powerful, handsome and protective vampire with a dark side. Sounds familiar?

Well, now I’m officially done complaining. Because beside the fact that I’m not going to join a Toni-fanclub soon, and I’m not exactly cheering with self-made flags and fitting tshirts for Toni and Drake’s relationship, I still enjoyed this novel thoroughly. Eternal Hearts may not have pleased me as much as Eternal Seduction did, but it’s still an outstanding book in the genre of adult vampire romance, it has some kick-ass characters that’ll definately keep me reading (read: Odin…mmmhmm) and I would definately like to learn more about the paranormal world Jennifer Turner created for her Darkness Within novels. I can’t wait for book three in the series, Eternal Embrace, and I hope I get the opportunity to read it, even if I wasn’t as praising in this review as I was in my review for Eternal Seduction. Jennifer has a wonderful narrator’s voice, and she always comes up with a breathtaking, action-packed plot. I’m still impressed and eager to read more. Recommended to all paranormal romance fans.

Author Interview: Jennifer Turner

The Books

11114576Jennifer Turner
1. Eternal Seduction (A Darkness Within #1) | See my review.
2. Eternal Hearts (A Darkness Within #2) | See my review.

Toni Tutoro just wants to go home. Banned from Chicago’s vampiric society after cutting a swath of violence through the city, she must now successfully complete an investigation for the Lord of Chicago to regain the right to live in her hometown again.
To ensure Toni’s safety during her probationary period, Drake Black, a feared assassin, is secretly contracted to protect her. Even with direct orders to keep his relationship professional, and his own personal vow to never get involved with a female vampire again, Drake finds himself drawn to Toni in ways he can’t explain. But unbeknownst to him…he’s tied to one of the people who drove Toni to her night of destruction.
Drake’s legendary heritage holds the key to Toni’s survival and success, but will she be able to forgive his connection to the brutal night that robbed her of those she loved most? Will Drake be able to forget the betrayals in his past and risk taking one more chance? But most of all – can they find a way to reach each other in the darkness?

In this interview, not only was Jennifer kind enough to answer some of my questions (even the ones supposedly everyone asks, like: when are we going to have a book about Odin?) but she was also nice enough to add a spoiler for Eternal Embers (A Darkness Within #5), Odin’s book! Yay! Scroll down to the bottom of the interview to read the preview 😉

The Interview

1. Hey Jennifer! I’ve read both of your books: Eternal Seduction and Eternal Hearts. What made you decide to write paranormal romance in the first place?

Howdy! I’ve always loved vampires and otherworldly creatures. And the idea of being able to create my own world for not only vampires to play in, but other supernaturals as well, was just too tempting to pass up. 😉 Plus, the paranormal romance genre allows for a good dose of horror before the characters find their happy ending, and I can’t imagine ever writing a novel that doesn’t have at least a few mild horror elements in it.

2. The main characters in Eternal Seduction were Logan Ellis and Kerestyan Nelek. Logan is a homeless drug addict who has trouble emotionally relating to the world around her. That’s very unusual – and original – for a paranormal romance heroine. Why this personality for your main character?

The idea for Logan actually came to me while I was standing in the bookstore. I kept picking up book after book where the beautiful heroine had a high paying job/fancy house/college education, and I wondered what would happen if a heroine didn’t have any of those things. I wondered, what if she didn’t have a job, or a high school diploma…or even a home? Then I wondered, what if she isn’t what most people would consider pretty? What if, since she lives on the streets, she isn’t able to shower regularly and is really skinny because she isn’t eating the way she should be? Believe it or not, a lot of my ideas actually come from a good “What if?” session. And that’s exactly how Logan was born. 🙂

3. In Eternal Hearts, the main character is Drake, who we briefly meet in the first novel in the series. Why flip the perspective from Logan to Drake, and why make him the new main character?

Why flip perspectives? Because, to be completely honest, if I had to focus on the same character for more than one book I’d probably get bored and stop writing. 😉 Why make Drake the new main character? Well, there were a few reasons. One, of all the secondary characters in Eternal Seduction, Drake was probably the most emotionally prepared to find his match. Two, Drake lives in Chicago, and the majority of the series is actually set in Chicago. And three, he’s one of my favorite characters, and since he plays such an important role in Eternal Seduction…it just seemed natural to shift to him. 🙂

4. Although mainly dark paranormal romance, your novels also have a great deal of urban fantasy elements: New York City, Chicago, … Was this a conscious choice and if so, why go for the urban element?

The Urban Fantasy (UF) element wasn’t a conscious choice at all. Between you, me, and your readers…I still don’t know what the hell UF really is. 🙂 I’ve heard some authors and readers say UF is basically Paranormal Romance without the romance, yet I’ve heard others say it’s now a genre of its own, where the romance is left out but the hero and heroine constantly face dire circumstances together. Personally, I say if there’s a hero and a heroine, one of which is supernatural in some way, and they make googley-eyes at each other at any point during the story – it’s a freakin’ Paranormal Romance. 😉

5. I have to admit that, probably like a lot of people out there, I absolutely fell in love with Odin right from the start. Is he going to have a book dedicated to him sometime? And if so, when? Or do we find out more about him along the way in the other books.

I can easily say this is the question I get asked the most. 😉 Yes, Odin will definitely get his own book. His book, Eternal Embers, is book #5 in the series, and has a tentative release date of October 2012. But don’t worry, he makes appearances in nearly every book in the series, so even after his book comes out he’ll still be around. 😉

6. What do you love most about writing?

What I love most about writing is the challenge of bringing out realistic character personalities in a world that’s anything but. Creating complex characters that range from just-turned-eighteen to thousands upon thousands of years old, who’ve not only triumphed in their lives, but failed just as spectacularly, is probably what keeps me going when I swear I’ll never write another word. 🙂

7. What are you currently working on? Can you tell us something more about it?

Let’s see…I’m working on the final revisions for the third book in the Darkness Within series, Eternal Embrace, which will release this October. I’m also finishing up the first novella in the Ascension trilogy (Vouclade & Kasey’s story), Ascension: The Revelation – which I hope to release this summer (late August). I’m also working on the final revision of Eternal Desires, the fourth book in the Darkness Within series. And I just recently finished the first draft of Eternal Embers, the fifth book in the series…and probably the most awaited because it’s Odin’s story. 🙂 And I could tell you something about one of the stories, but I’d rather share. 😉

An *unedited* excerpt from Eternal Embers, Odin’s Story (book #5):

“You’re about as arrogant as one individual, human or vampire, could possibly be.”

Odin wrinkled his nose. He might have been crude every now and then, might have been boastful on occasion…but he’d never been called downright arrogant before. And the way she’d said it, how she’d sneered the insult at him, her lips curled like the universe itself agreed with her every word.

He narrowed his eyes and turned to stare at her. “You’re the last person who should be calling anyone, human or vampire, arrogant. You walk around with a chip on your shoulder like the world and everyone in it owes you something.” He motioned around them. “You’re the arrogant one in this room, not me.”

She returned his glare with a searing hatred he hadn’t felt in years. “You don’t know me. You don’t know whether this world owes me something or not. Don’t think I don’t know what your last name means, or what comes with it. You’ve been handed your vampiric existence on a silver platter. Bloodstained it might have been at times, but handed

nonetheless.” She uncoiled from the chair and stalked towards him, still keeping a good ten feet of space between them. “Tell me one time, give me one example of when something in your life wasn’t orchestrated or fixed by your precious father.”

“You think everything in my life’s been perfect just because Stefan Nelek is my Sire?” He took a moment to laugh. “You have no idea what it’s like to be a member of my family. I haven’t had anything handed to me. I’ve had to stand on my own on more occasions than I care to count.”

She didn’t back down. “Name one.”

He folded his arms over his chest. “Early autumn, year of our Lord 1109 A.D. I broke from the Napoli army and stopped to water my warhorse in a small fief outside of England. It’d been raining for a week straight, mud was caked on my horse, my armor…damn, it was all over everything.” He relaxed his arms when the memory burst to life behind his eyes, as though he was living it again. “But the rain had finally stopped. I remember looking up at the full moon and thinking it was nice to see something other than swollen black clouds. And the smell.” He closed his eyes. “Damp earth, crisp leaves, and smoky fires burning in the hearths of the tavern and homes scattered about. I swear that smell doesn’t exist anymore.”

He opened his eyes to see her standing a little closer, head tilted slightly. Her beautiful blue eyes had relaxed, no longer stinging his skin like red-hot daggers. “Continue.”

He nodded, surprised by her tone. The word didn’t sound like an order this time, but more of a request. “I handed the reins to a young boy who offered his service, then headed towards the tavern. I could hear the laughter and singing from down the street.” He smiled as the haunting melody drifted through his mind, but let it fade when the sound that followed sent cold tingles racing up his spine. “I was only a few feet away from the door when I heard her scream. It cut through everything. The terrified edge to it…the desperate, almost hopeless pitch. Before I knew it, I was running between homes, following the ghostly echo.

“In between two merchant’s storage barns, in this thin, dark stretch of ground, I saw three figures hunched over. At first I wasn’t sure what they were doing. I didn’t know if they were men or children, but when the tearing of cloth rent the air, mingling with muffled cries…I knew exactly what was going on.”

Odin shifted his stance and stared down at the carpet. “Her hair was tangled with chunks of mud, blood smeared across her pale shoulders. They’d torn the bodice of her peasant gown nearly in half. The skirt bunched around her waist. I’d no more than unsheathed my blade, ready to return all three men to whatever depraved God made them, when pain exploded in my back. I remember seeing the glint off the tip of the blade as it punched through my breastplate; remember the large arm circling my neck from behind, holding me back the way a parent holds a child. Effortless. Easy.

“I should have known he’d be there.” He fisted his hands. “Enemies, true enemies, always know where you are. They’re always watching, waiting for ways to lay you low.” He shook his head. “Demetrius. That bastard always knew how to draw my attention. He forced me to watch as his men defiled her. Kept his blade steady, skewering my chest as they abused her. The more I fought against his Ancient power, the more brutal his men were. Eventually…I just froze. For the first time in my life I was afraid to move. I was terrified of what they’d do to her next.”

Odin pressed the heels of his palms against his eyes as a nauseous feeling churned his stomach. He grazed a thumb across his bottom lip as a bitter smile spanned his mouth. “The scar on my bottom lip was his last gift to me that night. He told me to remember it. Told me that every time I looked at myself, he wanted me to remember I was just a Nelek Child…just a flawed copy of a relic who should have died millennia ago.”

He dropped a hand and raked the other through his hair. “I remember what he said…but I remember her even more. She couldn’t have been much more than fourteen. The image of her climbing to her feet after Demetrius and his men had vanished, clutching the scraps of her dress to her chest. The tears staining her cheeks, how the crimson fingerprints seemed to glow against the bare skin of her thigh. Every single shred of innocence her eyes should have held was gone. And it was my fault. I failed her. I should have been able to save her…at least help her.”

Odin fisted his hands again, so hard he felt his fingernails digging, burning crescents into his palms. “But in a moment where I wanted nothing more than to weep for her, for what I’d allowed to happen to her, she stood strong behind her tears. And what I remember more than anything, is hearing her say thank you before she disappeared into the night. I recall the sting of her quiet voice as she thanked me for helping her when—”

“When no one else would.”

Odin’s entire body tensed as the quiet voice from so long ago enveloped him. He slowly raised his eyes, finally realizing why the icy blue set staring back at him seemed so damn familiar. No mud tangled Dahalia’s golden hair this time, no blood stained her soft, pale skin…but those eyes, as tear filled now as they were then, hadn’t changed in nearly 900 years.

The Author

Jennifer Turner lives in Bowling Green, Ohio, with her husband, twelve year old daughter and two cats. She regularly claims one of the aforementioned takes far more work than the others to maintain – but she won’t share which one. She’s the middle child between two brothers, and the favorite child of her parents. Of course, that’s always subject to opinion. Jennifer began her writing career as a self-published romance author, but is now represented by Robert Gottlieb, Chairman of Trident Media Group. Visit her website.

Book Review: Eternal Seduction (A Darkness Within #1) by Jennifer Turner

5586134Title: Eternal Seduction (A Darkness Within #1)
Author: Jennifer Turner
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Dark Fantasy, Adult, Vampires
Publisher: CreateSpace, Self-Published
Publication Date: October 8th 2008
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | B&N
Rating: 4 stars
I reviewed this book as a part of a book tour. Review copy provided by the tour organiser.

After living on the streets of New York for over a decade, Logan admits her perceptions might be a little skewed. But twisted or not, there’s a satisfying irony in watching a well dressed vampire stand in the middle of a ghetto alley, windblown trash scraping circles near his feet. What she finds even more intriguing, is waiting for him to decide if he’s going to kill her.
Kerestyan hasn’t made up his mind. As the Lord of New York, he can’t let a drug addict, whose memories are packed with knowledge of vampires, run free in his city. It’s not the first time he’s been in this situation with a human, it’s just the first time he’s come face to face with one who doesn’t seem to care. And that’s what makes the decision so difficult.
What horrors could you witness before you went numb? How long would it take before you felt that way? What could make you care again?
Logan’s answers are simple: the worst humanity has to offer, almost thirty, and something she never expected.

Logan Ellis is the protagonist of this original and innovating book about vampire romance. It would be an understatement to say that Logan isn’t like your typical heroine, which makes her all the more interesting. She’s a passive character, traumatized up to the point that she just lets things pass her by unnoticed, even when topics as alarming as her own possible death are referred to. She genuinely doesn’t care, not about herself – her survival skills are greatly lacking, to say the least – her surroundings, the conditions she lives in, or the world around her. She’s a homeless drug addict without any real future waiting ahead of her. She adapts remarkably fast to altering situations, but feels no real emotion towards anything. Except when you mention to her that she should stop taking drugs. Then you get an emotion, although not a very good one. She basically has the personality of a zombie, walking through life so uncaring about herself or her surroundings that she’s not really living life. She’s practically on the verge of being a vampire herself, if you look at it that way. The interesting part though is that for Logan, it isn’t just an act, like I’ve seen countless of times in young adult books (this is not young adult, by the way, just searching for a reference) but which is basically just the main character acting touch and cool. Here, it’s not the case. At the roots of Logan’s numbness and her inability to actually live, are real traumas waiting to resurface any time now.

At her core, Logan is a traumatized, messed up young woman who struggles to take hold of her life and who, although claiming to take full responsibility for the way she’s living right now, has run away from her home years ago, and hasn’t stopped running ever since. Her taking-responsibility-act is just what the word says: an act. Deep in her heart she has issues she cannot come to terms with, and she has traumas she cannot deal with. Although saddening, this is what makes her interesting. She’s unlike most paranormal romance heroines, in the sense that she has real traumas rather than just a messed-up personality. A shrink would love tog et his hands on her, but unfortunately, she’s stuck without a shrink but with one insanely hot vampire. I guess that’ll have to do.

Kerestyan Nelek (difficult name, you have to admit that) is totally the opposite of Logan. For starters, he’s confident, strong, powerful, protective over those he cares about and he’s used to getting his way. Life itself seems to bend just so he can get his wishes. He’s also extremely handsome – no kidding – and did I mention that he’s a vampire? And a very old one at that? As far as luck goes, Logan can count herself lucky for running into this particular vampire the night she sees some fledgling vampires fighting in one of New York’s abandoned streets. Kerestyan is immediately intrigued by this thirty-year-old woman whose aura’s so dark and brooding the fledglings mistakingly ought her to be a vampire servant, and who acts so untouched by the events unfolding in front of her. On the one hand, he should kill her because she knows too much, but on the other hand he simply can’t bring himself to do it. Instead, he offers Logan a choice. It’s a choice that’ll change her life forever.

After we meet Kerestyan and travel with him and Logan from the gutters of New York to Kerestyan’s luxurious home, we are thrown into the world of of the paranormal, supernatural and increasingly scary. We learn that Kerestyan is the Vampire Lord of New York, and that he’s one of the last descendents of a millennium-old vampire bloodline created by Lord Stefen Nelek. Although Kerestyan seems quite alright, his brother Odin is quite the opposite. Sarcastic, mean and sometimes downright rude, it’s obvious that he cares a lot about Kerestyan and doesn’t want the latter to get hurt because of a heroin addict. Kerestyan’s sister Trinity is an interesting character as well, although I myself much preferred Odin. Trinity is dominating, confident and rather manipulative, but all in all, she’s likeable once you get past that. Anyway, if Odin ever gets himself a book, I’m totally getting that one. He deserves it.

I loved the unique way Jennifer Turner describes the vampire society. The hierarchy is very present, but it’s not just ‘every man for himself’ or ‘vampire royals and common vampires’. There’s an entire system in place, which feels unique, innovating and refreshing. It’s dark, mystical, scary and sometimes even downright terrifying, but it’s above all, very entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed entering this new and dark side to New York and other major cities in the world, with vampires practically ruling society and making sure humans don’t notice them. I loved the idea of clans battling each other, or cooperating on a rather loose basis. I’d love to learn more about this well-designed world and the characters living in it.

I also liked the character of Vouclade. I think there’s more to him than meets the eye, and I liked how he was so protective over Kerestyan as well. Lord Nelek was an interesting persona as well, although he did function a bit like a ‘deus ex machina’ when revealing Logan’s fears, weaknesses and traumas, and then made her practically forgive herself. I wasn’t too fond of that, but overall, I liked him. Very scary, uberpowerful vampire who’s been around since the beginning of time. I’m all for that.

One of the major comments I have about this book works two ways. Let me try to explain. The romance itself develops slowly, which I enjoyed thoroughly. Logan and Kerestyan’s attraction seems honest and real, and it takes a lot of time before Logan can admit to herself that she might have feelings for the alpha vampire. On the other hand, their sexual relationship doesn’t take that long to develop. Before I very well realized it, I was reading a hot and heavy scene involving both characters. It was a bit too early in the story to introduce this, in my opinion, and I found it quite shocking and not all that believable. I was releived to see both characters return to their original positions afterwards, and let things develop more slowly. I get writing paranormal romance, especially for an adult audience, and I understand that you need to have some ‘sexy stuff’ included for your audience to enjoy your book. I just don’t understand why in every book, regardless of whether the two main characters initially like each other or not, they get in bed with each other within the hundred-or-so first pages. I’d like to see a self-respecting heroine for once, who does not have sex with guys she barely just met. Granted, this does fit Logan’s personality as being an emotionless drug addict who cares little about her own body, but it still didn’t feel right.

If you’re a fan of sexy paranormal romance, then Eternal Seduction is a great choice. It doesn’t only offer romance, but it has a decent and captivating backstory, interesting characters with real-life problems and issues, humor, impressive world-building and some really hot scenes. I loved the pairing, and I’d like to read more about Logan and Kerestyan – although, if I’m being honest, I’d prefer to read more about Odin first. Jennifer Turner has a unique narrator’s voice that I thoroughly enjoyed as well. I recommend this to all adults who enjoy paranormal romance.

Author Interview: Michael Lee

The Book

10775739Title: My Frankenstein
Author: Michael Lee
Genre: Retelling Classics, Fantasy, Gothic Horror, Historical Fiction, Dark Romance
Read my review for My Frankenstein.

In a small village in early 19th Century young Eva is enthralled by the new young baron, Viktor Frankenstein. Viktor promises to transform the traditional little town into a beacon of science and gives the book loving Eva access to his fantastic library. Eva becomes his student and assists him in a secret experiment, though she is kept in the dark about its ultimate aim. Soon after that Viktor introduces Eva to his “cousin” Adam. Adam is horribly disfigured with stitches running across his face. Viktor claims he is mute and simpleminded, but Eva takes pity on him and sets out to teach him to speak.…

What follows is a combination of tragic romance and classic horror as Eva is pulled between Viktor, who grows jealous and takes murderous steps to ensure his secret, and Adam, who possess tremendous strength and rage yet deep inside is innocent and vulnerable.

In his debut fantasy novel, Michael J. Lee retells the classic story by Mary Shelley as a dark romance with steampunk overtones.

Author Interview

1) As the title suggests, My Frankenstein is a retelling of the classic Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. What inspired you to write about Frankenstein?

Frankenstein is one of those stories that makes up part of my “writer’s DNA.” It’s a tale I grew up with. I was going to write about it sooner or later because I loved the story so much. And it’s a wonderful story that can find new applicability with the times. I felt the time had come to revisit the story with fresh eyes.

2) I liked the character of Eva. With her intelligence, fast learning skills and rather naive (at least at first) attitude, she seems a perfect fit for Viktor. Whereas the original “Frankenstein” novel barely even mentioned love or other emotions, why did you choose to bring a romantic twist to the story?

That’s what really made the story come alive, the emotions and deep feelings the characters have. What really kicked this story into high gear for me was remembering something an actor once told me, “You can’t hate someone you don’t give a damn about.” That element of love that Eva brings to the story is the real spark that brings the novel to life.

3) I have to admit that Viktor, despite his many flaws, was my favorite character. There is something darkly romantic and tragic about a scientist too advanced for his era. Who was your favorite character to write?

Viktor. Writing a hero can be fun but creating a dark character like Viktor and making him work, for me that is the heart of writing. In his own mind, he’s a hero not a villain. He has a reason for everything he does. That makes him an active character. He’s very much alive. And he just creates tension and drama. He doesn’t even have to do or say anything. Just having him enter the room makes the drama up a notch. A character like that is a joy to write.

4) Are you currently working on a new novel? If so, can you tell us something about it?

Yes I am. It’s called From Russia With Blood. This is also a tale close to my heart. Frankenstein is part of writer’s DNA, so is Dracula and so is James Bond. And I think the two genres are really tailor made for each other. The first drafts are done. I’m just working on fine tuning and editing the story.

Thanks for answering my interview questions!

Thanks for having me!

The Author

Michael Lee is a script consultant, judge and entertainment blogger for The and has lived in Detroit, Connecticut, Ohio and Los Angeles.
Visit his website.

Book Review: My Frankenstein by Michael Lee

10775739Title: My Frankenstein
Author: Michael Lee
Genre: Retelling Classics, Fantasy, Gothic Horror, Historical Fiction, Dark Romance
Pages: 408
Rating: 4,5 stars
Review copy provided by Bewitching Book Tours.

In a small village in early 19th Century young Eva is enthralled by the new young baron, Viktor Frankenstein. Viktor promises to transform the traditional little town into a beacon of science and gives the book loving Eva access to his fantastic library. Eva becomes his student and assists him in a secret experiment, though she is kept in the dark about its ultimate aim. Soon after that Viktor introduces Eva to his “cousin” Adam. Adam is horribly disfigured with stitches running across his face. Viktor claims he is mute and simpleminded, but Eva takes pity on him and sets out to teach him to speak.…

What follows is a combination of tragic romance and classic horror as Eva is pulled between Viktor, who grows jealous and takes murderous steps to ensure his secret, and Adam, who possess tremendous strength and rage yet deep inside is innocent and vulnerable.

In his debut fantasy novel, Michael J. Lee retells the classic story by Mary Shelley as a dark romance with steampunk overtones.

In a small village in 19th century England, a young and quite naive girl named Eva has an undeniable passion for science and progress, and she even managed to make a lightning rod. While she is trying to attach the latter to the roof of the inn she’s living in, she nearly falls down, because the scene that’s unfolding in front of her – her best friend kissing the boy she has loved all her life – makes her so upset that she loses her balance. Luckily, two strange men enquire about her well-being before entering the inn. Although she finds the first man to be quite attractive, and he seems like a true gentleman, it takes a while before Eva figures out that this man is Viktor, the new baron of their village.

Much like Eva herself, Viktor is a scientist. Amazed by the girl’s intelligence, he agrees to teach her the sciences, from electricity and mathematics to biology and chemistry, along with the help of his friend, a Russian called Igor. Viktor is a man of progression, and he is determined to bring their village into a new era. What Eva doesn’t know yet, is that her love for Viktor might be dangerous, not only for her, but for her friends and the entire village as well.

Then, one day, Viktor does the unthinkable. He introduces Eva to his cousin Adam, who got horribly deformed in an accident. Whereas Eva is capable of looking past the horrific appearance of Adam, and even manages to teach him something, Viktor could not care less about the young and horribly looking man. But Eva feels like something is up, and Viktor isn’t telling her the whole truth. To protect not only herself, but Adam as well, she is determined to find out what the truth is.

I loved Eva as a character. She is intelligent, but hardly realises she is. She is charming, intuitive and caring, but no one seems to recognise these qualities in her, aside from Viktor then. Viktor is a progressive scientist, too advanced for his era, too innovative, modern and evolved for his century. He is the tragic scientist, the misunderstood genius, the evil mastermind who does evil in the name of progress and evolution. I was secretly hoping that, even when she discovered some of his more evil personality traits, Eva would still be able to love him. To see whether or not she did, you will have to read the book though. I can only say that I still did, that he and Eva are one of the most fitting, tragically romantic couples I’ve come across in literature, and that they really touched my heart. They are both very interesting, relatable and well-described characters. I can understand that not everyone will like Viktor’s personality, but I believe he truly intended to do good, but did everything wrong, and thus was more of a tragic hero than of an evil villain.

I loved the fact that the author takes the original Frankenstein story by Mary Shelley, and adds this darkly romantic twist to it. The idea is both original and interesting, and when pulled off successfully – as Michael Lee absolutely did in this novel – it can change your view on the original Frankenstein story forever. Now I can no longer imagine Frankenstein without thinking about Viktor and Eva and their mutual bond.

I also loved the fact that Viktor Frankenstein isn’t just interested in creating a human being out of corpses and bringing it to life. He brings progression and modernization to Eva’s village, from a coal mine to a hospital, and practically brings the 19th century, filled with scientific research, machinery and evolution, to this village that still seems to be stuck in the dark Middle Ages. I also enjoyed reading about the villager’s reaction to all that, about their rebellion against progress, about their battle for the old and familiar against the new and unknown.

My Frankenstein reads very easily. It’s a fast-paced novel, with a decent story behind it, excellent characterization and it also explores several interesting topics. Michael Lee’s writing style is very fluent, and the story is gripping from the beginning to the end. I would advise My Frankenstein to anyone who enjoys a good classic retold, or to anyone who liked reading the original Frankenstein story.

Author Interview: Fiona Dodwell + Giveaway

The Book

10660843Title: The Banishing
Author: Fiona Dodwell
Genre: Horror, Supernatural, Thriller
Publisher: Damnation Books
Review copy provided by Bewitching Book Tours.
Goodreads | Author’s Website
Read my review for The Banishing!

When Melissa first notices the change in her husband – subtle at first – she thinks it may be the stress of moving into their new home. Or working long hours. But soon he turns into something far darker, far more sinister.

Who or what is the dark shadow living beneath her husband? What is haunting him?

Melissa must quickly find the answer to these questions, because Mark is changing, and fast. Soon her fight will be for her life, as well as for her marriage.

The Banishing is a dark, disturbing novel exploring the world of demonic possession, spiritual oppression and domestic abuse.

The Interview

1) The Banishing is a supernatural horror novel, that vaguely reminded me of classics in the genre, like The Exorcist and Poltergeist. Why did you decide to write a horror novel, and what inspired you to write The Banishing in particular?

Well, I have been in love with horror since I was a child; I grew up reading horror books and watching horror movies from a young age, so it made sense to me that my own creative writing would be quite dark in nature. I think The Banishing was inspired by my fascination with possession. I have always been drawn to this frightening idea that we could be, at any time, taken over by an evil entity. I read many fictional studies and my ideas for The Banishing blossomed from there.

2) When you start writing a book, what does your writing schedule look like? Do you write mostly at night, daytime, whenever you feel like it, or…?

I don’t have a writing schedule, I generally seem to write when I feel inspired and in the mood. Because I love writing, that means I usually sit down to write most days. I won’t force myself to write if I’m not in a good place for it though: I wouldn’t be able to create good work that way.

3) Did you do some research on so-called “real cases” of hauntings before writing this novel, or is it all purely fiction? If you did some research, can you tell us a bit about your findings?

Well, The Banishing is fictional, nothing in my novel resembles real life. I relied on my imagination. However, I have read a lot of books over the years, factual accounts of hauntings and demonic possession, so some ideas have bloomed from there. As for my findings when researching the subject of hauntings and possession… it’s tough. I am open minded, and I believe there is more to this world than meets the eye. If I have learned anything from the things I have read and studied about these paranormal subjects, it is that many people across the world swear to having experienced something weird and unexplainable. These people are happy, healthy normal people like you or I, but they have been touched by unseen foreces. Many people’s testimonies of hauntings and possession all appear to have common threads of events/symptoms, which definitely gave me food for thought.

4) The message at the end of the novel is quite dark. We venture into the darkest corners of the human mind, and wonder what exactly we are willing to give up for the people we love. Without trying to spoil anything, why did you decide to put this twist at the end?

The ending of The Banishing is something people seem to love or feel upset by. I have had people say it’s one of the most original endings they’ve ever read, and had others say it upset and disturbed them. However, I love reactions like this! It means my story has provoked an honest, emotional reaction in people’s minds. I decided to make the ending of The Banishing this way because it felt right for the character. In Melissa’s case (my main character), she loves her husband so much, knows so deeply that he is a good, kind, soul, that she will literally give up the world in order to restore him to the man she knows and loves. The endings captures something about human nature, I think. I like to leave it up to the reader to decide what that message means. Is Melissa right or wrong for what she does in those last pages of The Banishing? I’d love to hear from readers to know what they think!

5) Are you currently working on another novel? If so, can you tell us something about it?

My second novel, Obsessed, is currently being considered for publication. I am also writing my third novel, The Shift, which is about a young man who, while fighting off low self-esteem from a broken down marriage and unemployment, starts to be visited by a spirit. The story takes the reader on a journey.. Who is the ghost? What does it want? What lies in the shady and shadowy past of the main character that keeps the ghost at his side?
It’s early days yet – I am only half way through the first draught!

The Author

Fiona Dodwell lives in the UK with her husband. She has studied an unusual mixture over the years, from film studies, theology and drama to psychology.

She grew up with a deep passion for horror, both in film and literature, and greatly admires the works of Stephen King, Susan Hill, Adam Neville and Bill Hussey.

She began entering fiction contests at a young age, winning several, and had some of her poems published.

Her first novel to be published, The Banishing, is a dark story exploring demonic possession and domestic abuse. She is currently submitting her second novel, The Obsession, for possible publication and is enjoying writing her third. Visit her website!

The Giveaway

Fiona was kind enough to offer 1 print copy and 1 e-book copy of her novel The Banishing for giveaway. The giveaway is tour wide, meaning you can enter at every tour stop! From all the comments left during the tour, two random winners will be chosen. The contest is open internationally.

Participating is simple: just leave a comment on this post, or on my review for The Banishing, or on both, if you feel like it. Good luck with the contest!

Click on the banner below to see the other tour stops!