Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Jacquie Biggar shares Summer Lovin'

SUMMER LOVIN'
Book 5 of the Wounded Hearts series



by


Jacquie Biggar

Cover Designer: Killion Group
Official genre of book: Contemporary Romance




Mitch Taylor and Rebecca Sorenson share a secret.

Rebecca’s job as secretary of Cascade Elementary, the same school she attended as a child, is rewarding. She has a great group of friends, many of whom are married now. And if sometimes she wished it were her up there in that sparkling white dress…

Except, wait—she did get to wear bridal white. Granted, it was a slinky party dress and the justice of the peace was Elvis in a gold lame jacket, but still, the deed was done.

She’d tied the knot.

Mitch Taylor doesn’t do regrets. It would be a waste of energy bemoaning the mistakes he’d made in his life. The end of his promising football career taught him nothing in life was a guarantee.

Like love.

What were the chances two people from the same po-dunk town in Washington would end up together in a nightclub in Las Vegas? A few too many drinks later, a hasty ceremony performed by the king of rock ‘n’ roll, and they’d been hitched. The night that followed lived on in his dreams, but when he’d woken the next morning she was gone.

Can these two mismatched lovers find a way past their mistakes, or will they keep their lonely hearts forever guarded?



Mitch’s gaze zeroed in on her lips and darkened. “You and me—later. I’m tired of waiting. It’s time we settled our past so we can move forward with our lives.” He leaned in and gave her a quick, hard kiss, their breath co-mingling and tasting of the coffee he’d stopped and bought for her.

Rebecca sighed and gave herself up to the moment, though in the back of her mind his words nipped and stung, warning her that it was going to hurt when he left. How did this happen? When did Mitch Taylor become necessary to her happiness?

God. She was in love with him.

Her mouth slackened. Mitch sat back and looked at her quizzically for a moment, then he turned away to help young Jasper, and she tried to pay attention, she really did. But, all the time he was asking Tommy what happened, and running gentle fingers over the injury, and she was smiling and murmuring reassurance, her heart was breaking into a million tiny pieces.




I live in paradise along the west coast of Canada with my family and love reading, writing, and flower gardening. Oh, and I can't function without coffee! Preferably at the beach with my sweetheart. :)

I write Romantic Suspense with tough, alpha males who know what they want until they're gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love.

I've been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoy writing romance novels that end with happy-ever-afters.



Saturday, June 25, 2016

D.E. Haggerty shares Bring Your Own Baker



BRING YOUR OWN BAKER
Book 2 of the Death by Cupcake series


by


 D.E. Haggerty


GENRE: Cozy mystery




Anna just wants to earn enough money on the side to buy into the bakery, Callie’s Cakes, where she works together with her best nerd pal Callie. The last thing she expects to see when she walks into Arthur’s apartment to do some moonlighting is a blood bath. Callie’s ready to jump into the investigation into Arthur’s murder, and she’s bringing another bakery worker, Kristie, into their hijinks whether Kristie wants to or not. But things aren’t as they seem. There are gang affiliations, illegal gambling dens, and ladies of the night to wade through. Will Anna and Callie discover who murdered Arthur or will Callie’s detective boyfriend and Anna’s self-appointed protector put a stop to such aspirations?


Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu, but make sure to bring your own baker, because Anna’s a bit preoccupied at the moment.


Warning: This is NOT your mom’s cozy mystery. Bring Your Own Baker may be a ‘clean’ read, but if gangs, illegal gambling, and pimps make you turn your nose up at your e-reader, you might want to skip this one. Although you’ll be missing some sizzling chemistry between Anna and her protector. Not to mention a whole bunch of witty dialogue.







I grasp the weapon in my hand and throw it with all my might at him. The weapon makes a ‘tee hee’ sound as it hits his stomach.


“Did you just throw a Pillsbury dough boy at me?” His voice carries a hint of humor. The Pillsbury dough boy was probably not the best item to grab from the kitchen to use as a weapon. Obviously, I’m totally losing it.


I inch backwards into the kitchen searching for a more appropriate weapon. Dag nab it! The knives are way over on the other side. I have no choice. Without taking my eyes of the man, I grab a perfectly formed and probably fricking delicious muffin from the tin and throw it at the intruder. Apparently, my fast ball needs some work as he just catches the muffin as if I merely lobbed it in his direction. He smiles and, not bothering with the paper liner, takes a huge bite.


“Mmmm…,” he groans around a mouthful. “This is really good.”


“Seriously?” I throw my arms in the air before planting my hands on my hips. “If you want my muffins, just come to the bakery. You don’t have to break in.” Uh oh, I nearly forgot that he broke in. I start backing up again, getting ever closer to those knives.


The man’s eyes narrow as he notices me shuffling my way towards the knives. He stalks me and, when he’s only an arm’s length away, reaches around me and grabs the knife block. He keeps his eyes steady on me as he places the block on top of the refrigerator. Somewhere I can only reach if I get out my step ladder.


“Who are you? And what are you doing here?” I may be terrified and my voice my stutter a bit, but I’m not backing down. Not. One. Bit.


“You’re a feisty little thing, aren’t you?”


“Who you calling little?” Apparently, I have no regard for my safety at all as I’m now goading an intruder.


The man chuckles. His smile shows a perfect set of teeth. Huh, not exactly what I expected from Mr. Piercings and Tattoos. “For a pink-haired pixie, you sure aren’t afraid, are you?”





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I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage every once in a while to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. Another job change, this time from lawyer to B&B owner, and I was again fed up and ready to scream I quit, which is incredibly difficult when you own the business. Thus, I shut the B&B during the week and in the off-season and started writing. Several books later I find myself in Istanbul writing full-time.


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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Liza Questions & Reviews Georgia Lyn Hunter's Tangled Sin


Today, I have the fabulous Georgia Lyn Hunter on my site. And I'm going to question her main characters and review her latest novel. Just see if I don't!


1) Riley, You seem very intense and looking for a fight when the story begins. Can you share why?
Guards. I intensely dislike them. I'm an immortal, I can keep my ass safe, but it seems some can't believe that I actually can.

2) Saia, what's going on between you and your mom? You two don't seem to get along at all.
Ugh, every time I turn around, she has another potential would-be husband for me …I think I'm a disappointment to her.


3) Saia, you meet a lot of paranormal beings during this story. Which did you like the most (other than Riley) and which did you like the least?
Ohhh, Riley… (A dreamy sigh)
Hmmm… not which, but whom. Ikaria, a demoness I met in Stygia. I like her a lot.
As for whom I least like—oh, my list is long. Do you have time to listen?
The forerunner is Denali—I utterly dislike that viper. Oh and there’s Erogus, that thing scares the heck out of me! Did you see the fangs on that giant-sized lizard?


4) Riley, Saia has proven to be a trouble magnet. Do you expect that ever to change?
He cuts Saia a grin: Nope, can’t imagine that changing.
She scowls and smacks his arm, then a grin takes over: Think of how much fun that would be for you?





Genre: Paranormal Romance
Tangled Sin
by
Georgia Lyn Hunter
BLURB:
In a world of encroaching darkness and carnal hunger, a deadly sin awakens…
Bound to a legacy he cannot escape, Riley is a demon unlike any other. With each passing century, his soul grows darker until the seductive trouble-magnet, Saia Sen-Grayson, stumbles into his path and throws his entire world off kilter. But danger has a way of finding him and destroying anything worthwhile in his life.
The biggest challenge in Saia’s life is evading her matchmaking socialite mother. Then she crashes into the sexiest man in her aunt’s building. One look into his striking green eyes and her fleeing days skid to a halt, except she gets more than she bargains in the sexy, tattooed bartender.
And neither can deny the burning attraction between them.
When his tainted past closes in on him, Riley’s forced to make the toughest decision ever to keep her safe. Then Saia’s hauled by a deadly adversary into his dark and treacherous world of Stygia—a place of old betrayals. Now Riley must face his past and accept his future in order to save the woman who belongs to him. And nothing will stop him from claiming her, least of all Saia herself.
But danger comes in many forms and the one least expected might be the sin that seals their fates once and for all…

Available At: 

EXCERPT 
  He had another damn tail on him!
Did the bastard really want to die?
Riley snagged a shot glass and filled the ordered green poison. With Satire’s jam-packed from the rush of tourists, it was the only thing nailing his feet to the floor from an all out fight. And this one was brave enough to sit in his bar and eyeball him for the past hour.
In this world, his kind tended to blend in with mortals and usually kept below the radar for a simpler life. But not this asshole. He had no idea he was dancing with death right now.
Already on edge, his body wound too tight as restlessness clawed at his psyche, Riley sent the absinthe sliding toward the demon down the counter. The male grabbed the thing and tossed it back like water.
The demon’s human girlfriend leaned against his arm and peered at Riley beneath her lashes. He met her sultry stare as he readied a line of shooters for a noisy trio of college kids.
Oh, yeah, his looks and badass rep were the perfect draw, got him the females. So easy to accept her invite but he wasn't interested in a quick backroom bang.
He was in need of something violent. Bloody.
A dark haze stole into his mind, knowing his damn past would never leave him alone. His fingers clenched. A loud shatter, and glass rained onto the scoured wooden counter. Blood and vodka ran over his hand, drenching the crystal fragments.
“Rile-man, you okay there?”
A six foot two hulking tattooed male with a buzz cut, appeared at his side. Zacarias. His friend, manager and sometimes bouncer.
A terse nod. He looked up from his bleeding hand, his gaze colliding with those of his watcher.
Anger unleashed, he scaled the counter in movements too fast for human eyes and was across the floor in seconds. Grabbing the dark-haired demon by his shirt, Riley shoved him against the red brick wall. “Why the fuck are you on my ass again? Do you want to die?”
All the demon guards hounding him in recent months were seriously pissing him off. No matter how many he sent back to the Dark Realm wounded or dead, more just took their place.
This idiot didn't even try to fight back. His gaze grew languid, his smile seductive. “No. But I know what I do want,” he purred, walking his fingertips up Riley’s chest.
The haze turned red. Riley slammed his fist into the demon’s gut. The male squeaked in pain. Startled gasps erupted from the customers. Before he could get in another shot, someone grabbed his arm and yanked him off the cowering demon, who hurriedly slunk away.
“What the hell’s wrong with you?” Zac snapped. “You want to draw notice, you’re sure going about it the right way. So the guy came on to you, it never drove you homicidal before.”
Riley elbowed Zac off. Not a guard—not a damn guard! He’d hit an innocent demon—one of those docile Otium demons who’d escaped the tyranny of the Dark Realm for a better life here. Fuck, fuck, fuck!
 “Get your damn self together,” Zac growled. “You don’t want to start an all-out fight in the bar. Go walk the streets, find something outside to kill, and cool the crap off.”
Breathing hard, Riley walked out of the bar and into the crowded street, the familiar reek of seafood enclosing him. Avoiding the noisy tourists and drunks loitering about, he cut through the back alleys in the French Quarter, rife with the stench of decaying waste, and headed for his apartment several blocks away.
Unable to expend the rage roiling inside him, he pulled out his cell phone from his pocket and made a call. A female answered.
“See you in ten.” He rang off.
Pandora was one of the few humans who knew what he was. She didn't want the ties either, just some fun time, and she was the perfect submissive when he needed that edge. Tonight, he was definitely in the mood for something darker.
The sounds of a roaring V8 engine split the silence, a blood-red Corvette Stingray came to a squealing halt in front of his building, the acrid burn of rubber stinking up the night air.
He scowled. “Damn maniacal drivers!”
The door flung open. A petite, but curvy female jumped out and flipped back yards of wavy, inky-black hair, giving him a tantalizing glimpse of her face. Her tan skin revealing her mixed-race ethnicity, her lush mouth flattened in a tight line.
Cursing, she kicked the tire then pressed her cell phone back to her ear. “I swear, Zayn, if you tell Mother you spoke to me, I will personally call all your girlfriends and tell them they aren’t the one…” She laughed evilly. The light, raspy sound grazed his senses with an unexpected sensuality, and had him slowing to a halt in the shadows.
“Yeah, that’s me, spawned from the devil, but Daddy wouldn’t appreciate the comparison…” She listened then snorted, impatiently pushing back her heavy fall of hair. “Liz loves me like her own. Stop complaining and tell Mother you haven’t seen me because I'm not coming to another boring party… Who?— Why would I care if Piers is back in town, he’s your friend…”
She marched alongside her car, hip-bumped the door closed as she listened, the streetlight casting a soft glow over her irate features. “Yes-yes, I'm always careful…” Despite her tart response, she cut a quick look around.
Riley stilled as her dark gaze skimmed past him then darted back to the spot where he allowed his form to blend in with the shadowy trees, the cover of night his camouflage. A frown marred her smooth brow.
She sensed him? How, he had no idea. Obviously, all her senses were in working order.
The faint reek of decaying swamp and sulfur drifted to him. Riley narrowed his gaze. They weren’t alone. And this little human probably couldn’t smell the bile-inducing stench of evil—had no idea how close to danger she truly was.
He willed her to get back in her car and leave. She did nothing of the sort. Instead, she popped the trunk, tugged out a large suitcase, and dumped it on the sidewalk. Then she sat on the thing and continued her call as if basking in the Maldives.
Un-flippin-believable!
Him, she sensed, but the evil drawing closer just flowed over her pretty little head.
For hell’s sake, did she not get a whiff of the damn stink?




Wow!

What a beautifully written, action-filled, paranormal!

I don’t normally read ‘demonish’ paranormal, but man was this fabulous.  I really liked that the human heroine is brave and kicks ass without any special powers. (She’s a trouble magnet, by the way).

I also loved the good demon Riley. He goes through hell in this book (literally), but his love for Saia never falters. (Note: explicit sex of the hot and sometimes kinky kind occurs).

Hunter’s world is so vivid and alive that you won’t be able to put the book down. At least I couldn’t. And after an adventure packed story, you get to top it off with a ‘Love conquers All’ happy ending.


Thank you, Georgia Lyn Hunter for making my day! 


***
 Author: Georgia Lyn Hunter

About the Author:

I’ve been creating stories from the moment I could string two words together. No matter the tale, it always has romance woven through them. Yes, I'm a hopeless romantic.

When I’m not writing or plotting new books, I like to read, travel, painting, or troll flea markets where I usually buy things I might never actually use because they're so pretty.

After working in a few jobs all art related, a chosen career as a fashion designer, then an art teacher, I finally found my passion four years ago: writing. There really is no other job I’d rather do.

Oh, and I hail from the beautiful country of South Africa, and currently live in the Middle East.

Author’s follow links:


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Liza O'Connor talks about the 3 fab ladies of the White Oak-Mafia series


Three strong women are willing to do anything, include taking on the Mafia, to preserve the last White Oak Forest in Iowa.



Helen has lived and protected the property for most of her long life, but she’s dying and needs to find a new caretaker. Her Mafia crazed sons wish to raze down the forest to make themselves billionaires. She locates an avid hiker in New Jersey with the love and money to take over the woods.



Megan is convinced her lottery win came with a curse. The day she receives Helen’s offer to buy her woods she also learns a serial killer has her in his sight, so she changes her identity, moves to Iowa, and buys Helen’s forest. While the Mafia Don, Benito Campinelli, would not order a hit on his own mother, Megan is fair game.



 Tess, the granddaughter of Helen, has lived with her grams since her father tried to force her to marry a Chicago Mafia Don when she turned sixteen. Under Grams’ guidance, she learned how to care for the forest. To protect Tess from being forced to sell the lands to her father, Megan turned the lands into a State Park with the caveat that Tess will become the forest manager once she gets her Master’s degree. Until then, she will assist the person in charge.

Together these women can take on anything, but what happens when Tess is on her own?



Unexpected Love

by 

Liza O'Connor



Contemporary Suspense/Sweet Romance


Blurb
Tess Campbell is a mafia princess who wants nothing to do with her dangerous family. She’d rather spend her life making Grams' forest the best state park in Iowa. 
Alistair Castile, aka Steel, is a British prince, his archeological career in ruins due to his promiscuous nature. He’s hired on as forest manager of Tess’s woods and quickly falls in love with the charming young woman, so different from the socialites of his world.
Only there are several serious barriers between them: Steel’s career cannot withstand another scandal and Tess’s father will kill anyone who gets in the way of his daughter marrying a Chicago mobster.



Excerpt for Unexpected Love
By the time Tess climbed in the car, she was perilously late. She drove the pot-holed road as fast as she dared, but she saw no chance of making up the time.
She arrived at the airport at 6:16 p.m.  “Please let the plane be late,” she said to the ceiling of her car. She wondered if God would realize she was talking to him. Since she hadn’t spoken to God since her mother died, he probably had no clue who she was.
By the time she parked her car and made it inside, it was 6:28, and according to the board, the plane had arrived at 6:02.
“Shit!’ she yelled and held up her sign with Dr. Castile’s name. She waved it about as she hurried to the luggage carousels. She rechecked the board to determine which luggage loop she needed to haunt.
She’d made it two-thirds of the way around the carousel when someone gripped her arm and turned her around. An annoyed, blond Adonis with long hair pulled into a ponytail, wearing tight jeans and a tweed jacket, glared at her. “Gads, woman! I’ve been chasing you through the whole bloody airport!”
His English accent reminded her of James Bond, but his attitude wasn’t nearly so polite.
“Shouldn’t you stand in one place and let your passenger come to you?” he demanded.
Dear God, this couldn’t be her new boss. Surely, Mr. Barkman wouldn’t send a hippie to Grams’ house. “Are you Doctor Alastair Castile?” Please say no.
He rubbed his temple. “Why else would I chase you all over the airport?” His gaze swept up and down, taking her in. “I must presume you are new to your occupation, and no one has taken the trouble to train you.”
Great, a misogynist. But he sure as hell didn’t look like a doctor. “May I see your passport please?”
“I beg your pardon?” His voice had a decided chill to it.
“To prove you really are Dr. Alastair Castile.”
“Surely, you jest.”
“You can either show me your passport or move on. You’re too young to have a doctorate, and you look more like a male model than a forest manager, so I’m thinking this is some stupid frat prank.”
 Tess turned to leave, but he grabbed her arm again. When she turned, an obnoxious smirk formed on his lips as he shoved his passport under her nose.
Opening the passport, she read Dr. Alastair Bastion Castile.
God knows her, all right, and he’s clearly pissed as hell.

About the Author
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.


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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Christine Hart shares In Irina's Cards Liza Reviews

IN IRINA'S CARDS

THE VARIANT CONSPIRACY


by


Christine Hart


Editor & Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Cover Designer: Covers by Ramona
Official Genre: NA Paranormal Sci-Fi Romance





In Irina’s Cards is the story of 19-year-old Irina Proffer who discovers a world of fringe genetic science and supernatural mystery. Following visions inspired by a strange deck of tarot cards, Irina learns of an amazing variation in her genetic code. She has the ability to see the past, present and future, in her life and the lives around her.

Irina sets out from her northern home for BC's coastal capital to get answers. She is drawn in by a powerful first love and a compelling, yet dangerous mystery. Working at Innoviro Industries and meeting other 'variants' brings Irina closer and closer to the dark truth about her origins. She finds herself at the heart of two overlapping love triangles as she scrambles to escape her employer's grip. At the close of the novel, Irina realizes she has merely scratched the surface of a frightening conspiracy on a global scale.



I’d like to set up this excerpt if I can. This section is taken from Chapter 4. Title character Irina is still coming to terms with the fact that ‘variant’ really means mutant with a noticeable gift or ability. We get a chance to see Irina having a vision. And we get a first glimpse at the aquakinetic, pyrokinetic, and impossibly strong variations in three other core characters.





We reached the end of the Harbour and the coastline opened up around the corner. I saw a sign for ferries to the US in front of a giant concrete breakwater and a pub decorated with a helm wheel and a mural with starfish and orcas. The hazy soft blues of the ocean and sky were broken by the jagged edges of American snow-capped mountains on the horizon. The seaside sidewalk had a mix of young families, dog-walkers, and spry seniors in trendy windbreakers.

“You know what they say about the people here in Victoria, right?” said Jonah, as he watched me watch everyone else.

“No, I can’t say that I do. More money than they know what to do with?”

“True, but not as bad as Vancouver. Ever heard of the saying ‘newlyweds and nearly deads’ or as my mom says, ‘God’s waiting room.’”

“Kind of a dark way to look at things, isn’t it?”

“My mom’s a dark lady, but hilarious. I hope you don’t mind, but I also invited Cole and his sister. You’ll love this little restaurant. It’s got awesome food and live music, but not too hipster-ish,” said Jonah.

Something dropped in my chest. If Cole brought his sister, we were just a group of friends going for dinner. I felt silly for having thought that we were going on a date. We turned another corner and Jonah pulled the car over next to a brick building with a 50’s style neon sign that read ‘Cymbals’ next to a caricature of a drum set. I followed Jonah through the wrought iron gate and looked up at the oak tree on the lawn next to the patio. Tiny fresh leaves and new buds covered the gnarled old tree. It was also home to dozens and dozens of sneakers, canvas shoes, skate shoes, oxfords – basically any kind of shoe with laces to tie together.

The air felt warm enough to linger, so I walked over to the tree and looked upward. I smiled. I reached up to one of the lower branches and touched one of the shoes. The yard and the tree melted away. I saw the face of a girl with faintly bluish skin and platinum hair. She turned and I saw two leather-like wings flex and relax. Her shirt had been cut to make room for her wings which stretched out past the frayed edges of the fabric. She was standing in a sewer or catacomb.

Faces milled around the winged girl. It wasn’t quite like a party, maybe more like a camp. An older lady standing next to the winged girl reached down to the ground. She pinched the concrete and plucked something, maybe a stone, off the surface. The stone wriggled. It was a camouflaged beetle, exactly like the one I’d seen on my first day in the city. She lifted the beetle to her mouth and I reeled back.

The yard outside Cymbals surrounded me again in a blink. Jonah stared at me. I noticed my arm had stayed raised beneath the shoes and withdrew it.

“Are you all right?”

I heard fear in his voice.

“Rubin mentioned that you were psychic, but I never knew what it actually looked like. I mean, I’ve never witnessed anyone ‘see’ something if that makes sense.”

“Oh, I … what does it look like? It’s still pretty new for me. I’ve always been alone when that happens, but I hadn’t even wondered what somebody watching me gets to see.”

“You looked sort of, gone. And then your eyes rolled back for a moment. I thought you were having a seizure.”

I looked around the yard and fortunately we were alone. Still, I didn’t want to keep talking about this stuff where we could be overheard. More importantly, what was Rubin doing sharing my personal information while giving me his best poker face?

“Let’s go inside. I’m hungry.” I didn’t much feel like sitting down to a social night anymore.

Cole waved from a table on the other side of the building. Sitting next to him, a girl with purple dreadlocks looked up from her purse and smiled.

The restaurant was full and the combined conversations created a loud chatter. Dim candlelight, a few glass chandeliers, and an antique-looking piano in the corner set a romantic atmosphere that sparked another twinge of embarrassment. On the other hand, the abstract and industrial mixed media wall d├ęcor had me looking around for art and film students. Aside from a few biker bars, the edgiest hangout I knew of in Prince George was an indie coffee shop – and it had only been open for a few years when I left.

We made our way around and between tables. Everyone in the restaurant looked like an artist or an intellectual. I felt like an ugly duckling in my plain, boring clothes, but I was glad for the first time since starting my new job that not all of the blue dye had gone from my hair. Jonah reached the table and pulled out a chair for me. We sat down and Cole scowled.

“Dude, what’s up with the timeline fail? We’ve been here for like, half an hour,” said Cole.

“Ignore his attitude. I’m Faith,” the girl said as she extended her hand to me and grinned happily. The flickering light glinted off a stud in her nose and a ring in her eyebrow. She wore dark makeup on her eyes and mouth. She had the same coffee brown eyes as Cole. I couldn’t tell if it was her features or the eyeliner and lipstick, but she looked striking in a bold, exotic way. As we shook hands, her gaze shifted over to Jonah.

We looked at our menus in awkward silence, waiting for a server, sipping our water. I sighed and put down my menu. I could feel Cole’s eyes on me as I watched Faith stare at Jonah, the only person still looking at his menu. I gave in and glanced back at Cole briefly with a small smile. This was all heading in the wrong direction. The time for tact expired along with my patience.

“So I take it we’re all mutants here,” I said casually.

Jonah sprayed water onto his menu and coughed. Cole looked at me urgently. Faith’s mouth made a small ‘O’ under her confused frown.

“Seriously, I came here, to Victoria, because I started having visions of this place and I wanted answers. All I’ve gotten is cryptic nonsense. Other than meeting you people, I’ve learned next to nothing. Rubin is all vague double-talk. It’s getting old. I want to know what you all know.”

Jonah looked at me and took a breath as if to say something. He decided against it and looked around our corner of the restaurant. Nobody paid any attention to us. He placed his hand over the droplets of water on his laminated menu. The water coalesced into puddles under his palm. As he concentrated on the small pool, it lifted off the menu and spread into a donut shape. The circle broke and the stream became a spiral, getting thinner and thinner until it evaporated into steam, absorbed into Jonah’s hand.

Faith’s frown turned into a smile as she looked at Jonah. She picked up one of the unlit candles on our table and pinched the wick between her thumb and forefinger. As she released it a flame sprang to life.

“Well, I’m not breaking this table, that’s for damn sure,” said Cole.

“That’s okay. I saw your street-fight with that bouncer when I first got to town,” I said.

Cole rolled his eyes, but I couldn’t worry about his temper. I wanted to keep talking about Innoviro and Ivan. “So, now that we’re making progress, albeit moving into some surreal comic book world, tell me what’s the deal with Innoviro. What the hell does this company really do?” I felt my adrenaline rise.

“I’m not risking my job so you can get a head start on whatever Ivan has in mind for you. You’re acting like there’s something bad going on here. He helps people like us.” Cole looked over at Jonah. “For some of us, being different is actually a health risk.”

“Dude, leave it alone!” said Jonah.

Faith frowned again. “You’ve met Rubin. He’s like a recruiter. He told you that much at least, didn’t he? He works with Ivan to find people like us and help, if they need it.”

“And what if I don’t need help?” I said.

“You may help others. We’re not all different in the same way. Some of us were born this way and some of us were … made,” said Faith.

“Ivan will talk to you about all of this soon enough. We’re really not allowed to and I think the reasons for that will start to be obvious. It’s not the kind of research the government likes. You can’t put this kind of stuff in a job posting and you definitely can’t chat about it at parties.” Jonah looked around the room again.

“So they’re doing tests on people.” I felt the unease in my gut churning faster. “On us.”

“It’s not like that. We are doing research and development work, but it varies. Sometimes we’re looking at mutation in other animals or plants. We look at weather and geography to understand how a person’s gifts are advantageous or dangerous, depending on where and how they live. Imagine me living in a desert, for example. And we’re not catastrophically testing on people. Sometimes we’ll take a small tissue or fluid sample from a person, but nothing barbaric,” said Jonah. “We’ve also got to make money. Innoviro takes research contracts from public and private firms doing anything from environmental research to mining and industrial development. Ivan keeps a low profile under the guise of confidentiality for his legitimate clients.”


“Are you guys even qualified for this? Or are you all older and more educated than you look?”


“Hey, we’re not screwing around here! Jonah and I were recruited directly from our graduate programs. I was working on a master’s in geology and Jonah had nearly finished his thesis in microbiology. Don’t you think research like this is best conducted by someone who understands it first hand? Could you imagine trying to convince a serious scientist to take this on, in lieu of a real career? You’d have to divulge every secret Innoviro has just to get them to believe the work can be done, let alone get a commitment.” The table crunched under Cole’s grip.


“And how about you?” I nodded at Faith, “Are you some kind of brain surgeon?”


“I’m an IT technician. I specialize in network administration and hardware integration.”


“Wow. I feel like a complete dunce.” I had nothing unique or meaningful to contribute to Innoviro. Nothing but a tissue sample.


“Don’t be intimidated. Remember that you were recruited for a reason. You probably won’t get to know everything the company does. We don’t discuss the details of our work with anyone but our supervisors,” said Faith.


“Lots of projects are shared on a need-to-know basis. But it’s not bad,” said Jonah. “You’ll understand more when Ivan gives you a full tour. Let it happen on his schedule.”


“I can go along for the ride here, but you’ve got to see how this looks from my point of view, getting drawn to a strange city by visions – which are an entirely new phenomenon to me. Have I mentioned yet that I got jumped the other night?”


“What?” said Cole and Jonah in unison.


“And you know why I didn’t get a look at him?” I said.


The boys had quizzical looks on their faces, but Faith looked anxious.


“Because there was nothing to look at,” I said. “Some enormous thing picked me up off the ground and threatened me.”


“You need to tell Rubin. Or Ivan, but not everyone in this restaurant.” Faith scanned the room tensely.


“No kidding.” I lowered my voice. “But since I don’t have a way to get a hold of Rubin, I have to keep my fingers crossed that he’s keeping tabs on me.”


“I’m sure he is. It’s his job to keep us safe,” said Jonah.



Amazon USSoulMate Publishing  Goodreads






The story begins with the common situation in which one of the ‘new adults’ decides not to go to college, but is a bit lost as to what they actually want to do.

To ensure the connection to the heroine, Irine, the story is told from her POV.

She leaves home, moves away, takes a mediocre job as a personal assistant. And soon discovers not everything in her world isn’t ‘normal’. She keeps seeing things.

Trying to make sense out of it all, she and friends search for those in her vision, and they find them.
Then people start dying including her mother and she discovers the ugly underbelly of the place she works.

This is a complex, intriguing story. My only complaint was the ending. Even in a series I like a satisfying ending even if it’s only good for the moment. In this case, the signs of further problems overwhelmed any sense of closure for me.

But all the fascinating story before has to count for something, so I give it a 4.5, rounding to a five.






Tell us a bit about In Irina’s Cards and The Variant Conspiracy trilogy.
I’d definitely classify this NA trilogy as a cross-genre story. They’re a racy blend of paranormal and sci-fi with a strong romantic sub-plot. The story follows a group of renegade mutants tracking an evil corporate conspiracy from the West Coast of North America into the Mojave Desert and hopping to London, Greece, Egypt, and Kenya. But why don’t I just share the blurb?

In Irina’s Cards is the story of 19-year-old Irina Proffer who discovers a world of fringe genetic science and supernatural mystery. Following visions inspired by a strange deck of tarot cards, Irina learns of an amazing variation in her genetic code. She has the ability to see the past, present and future, in her life and the lives around her.

Irina sets out from her northern home for BC's coastal capital to get answers. She is drawn in by a powerful first love and a compelling, yet dangerous mystery. Working at Innoviro Industries and meeting other 'variants' brings Irina closer and closer to the dark truth about her origins. She finds herself at the heart of two overlapping love triangles as she scrambles to escape her employer's grip. At the close of the novel, Irina realizes she has merely scratched the surface of a frightening conspiracy on a global scale.


How did you get started as a writer?
I’ve been a writer most of my adult life, but I didn’t set out to be. I went to university with law school in mind, but my first year English teacher encouraged me to be a writer. I didn’t embrace the change right away, but I took a few writing courses. I was 18 when I published my first story in the student newspaper. When I saw my byline in print, I was hooked!

I changed gears into a BA degree with an English major and Professional Writing minor, the latter of which was intended to prepare students for working at newspapers and magazines, as well as corporate communications departments and public relations firms. I figured out pretty quickly that journalism wasn’t my thing. I focused on communications instead. I didn’t switch to fiction until my mid-twenties, experimenting with children’s picture books and short stories before I hit my stride writing young adult. When I realized some of the themes and plots I wanted to explore were more mature than most young adult publishers would tackle, I started considering the new adult market. In Canada, new adult is still being incorporated into the publishing landscape, so the opportunities up here are slim. Fortunately I found an amazing home for The Variant Conspiracy at NY-based Soul Mate Publishing.


Is there anything you’d like your readers to know about you?
First of all I’d like my readers to know how grateful I am that they found me and gave me a chance. With a dizzying array of choices in contemporary fiction, I value every single reader who chooses to spend time with my stories and characters.

Second, I’d like everyone to know that my story ideas come from the heart. I want to entertain and inspire, but I also want my readers to think deeply about human nature, modern society, and the future of our world. It sounds heavy for NA fiction. Hopefully my work is fun at the same time!


What do you think makes a good story?
Above all, I think a story needs a rollercoaster plot. From there, relatable and likeable characters are critical. When I shape my story ideas – both novels and shorts – I think about the stories and characters from my favourite authors that really stuck with me over the years. Who are those favourite authors? To name just a few, I’ll start with contemporary authors like Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris, Suzanne Collins, J.K. Rowling, and Stephen King. Going back a bit farther, I love John Wyndham, Ray Bradbury, J.R.R. Tolkien, and H.P. Lovecraft. Although my personal list of amazing writers is miles longer, those are the really recognizable names that top my picks for master story-crafters.


What do you get up to when you’re not writing fiction?
I used to work in the corporate world, specifically marketing and communications. I did mostly business writing – from copywriting, blogging, and press releases to huge policy documents, instruction manuals, and contracts. These days I’m a mom to two toddlers, ages 4 and 1 at the moment.
I also have a bizarre habit of breaking stuff and making stuff for my Etsy shop Sleepless Storyteller. I take apart watches, computers, electronics, and vintage jewellery to create new wearable art. It sounds odd and it is, but turning trash into treasure is too much fun to stop at my own jewellery box. I had to start selling online to make room for new creations.



Located on BC’s beautiful West Coast, I write from my suburban Burnaby home staring at North Vancouver’s iconic Coast Mountains. I love writing about places and spaces with rich history and visually fascinating elements as a backdrop for the surreal and spectacular.


In addition to my undergraduate degree in writing and literature, my background also includes corporate communications and design. I am a current member of the Federation of BC Writers and SF Canada.


When not writing, I have a habit of breaking stuff and making stuff – in that order – under the guise of my Etsy alter-ego Sleepless Storyteller. I share my eclectic home and lifestyle with my husband, baby daughter and preschool son.


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