Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vampire Romance Feature & Guest Post: Reluctantly Undead Book Tour & Giveaway


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 7/16/14 – 8/13/14
Genres: Paranormal Romance

Ember Winterstone is not having a good night. She wakes up in a dumpster. Her neck hurts where her date used her as a meal. Vampire hunters chase her, and the other vampires think she is the real queen, especially since she is a day walker, eats food, drinks almost no blood, and stands up to Zophia, the psycho vampire queen.
Ember’s problems have just begun.
Her mother has kept a couple of major secrets from her, the two men who make Ember drool refuse to claim her, and the psycho vampire queen decides Ember must die.


The night I died, I woke up into a world I thought only existed in the warped minds of screenwriters in Hollywood and romance authors who wrote about the dark, tortured soul looking for his or her soul mate. I mean, get real. Vampires and werewolves are stuff of myth and legends.  Right?
Wrong. Wrong! WRONG!!
Vampires are REAL.
How do I know this?
The night I died, I woke up as a vampire. But of course, leave it to me to screw up the whole process.
Okay, I am rambling. Sorry about that, and I am sorry for apologizing, and I—you get the idea.
By the way, I’m Ember. Ember Winterstone.
I know what you’re thinking. Ember the Vampire. I guess you are waiting for me to burst into flames. Ha. Ha.  The jokes are not funny. I did not pick my name. That honor is my parents’ fault; or rather, it was my mom’s fault. I do not know much about dear old dad. Mom doesn’t have any pictures and she never said much about him other than he was special and he had duties that came before their love, but he loved us very much and wanted us to be happy.
I guess it was her way of making excuses for a deadbeat dad.
Then, my mom married Henry Taylor when I was ten.
She said I wasn’t happy because I didn’t have a father and it was her job to make sure I had one.  I think mom was lonely. Memories don’t keep you warm at night. Anyway, I ended up with a weird stepfather and an even weirder, older stepbrother.
I don’t have a lot of time this afternoon, lots of things to do to prepare for the Halloween Ball, but I need to get my story down on paper.
First, I am a reporter. My job is to tell stories, to get the facts into print so people can read it. Second, I want to be the one telling my story so it is accurate. So many biographies have errors or they make the person sound more heroic than the person really was. Third, it gives me a way to sort out the details and make some sort of meaning from everything that has happened to me. Call it a therapeutic activity, if you want.
Where does my journey begin?
That’s easy.
It began on the day I died and woke up.

Buy Links:

About the Author:
Rayne Rachels lives in Texas with her husband and two very demanding cats. When she isn’t creating stories, she can be found reading and honing her photography skills. Rayne enjoys taking road trips, especially to the coast where she fishes every chance she gets. She also enjoys visiting flea markets and playing poker.

Author Links:

Guest Post by Rayne Rachels:

I love paranormal stuff!

I grew up listening to the ghost stories my mom and grannie told. The stories were scary, and I loved them.

In junior high, I got to sit up every Friday night and watch the Friday Night Late Movie with my mom. Every week was a different genre—gangster, musical, drama, horror--all mainly from the 50s and 60s with a few early 70s thrown into the mix. I loved them all, but the horror movies were my favorites--Frankenstein’s Monster, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Mummy, The Wolfman, and Dracula.

They were fabulous, but the vampire movies were my favorite. It was probably because by this age, I had already read Bram Stoker’s Dracula. (I was a weird child who started reading at an early age and proceeded to read everything I could get my hands on. The school library was my best friend.)

A few years later, I discovered the book called Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice. I was hooked. Then I discovered the paranormal romance books. I was in heaven. The monsters were finally not monsters and they were getting the girls.

Over the years I have read:
Argeneau Vampire series by Lynsay Sands
Dark series by Christine Feehan
The Protectors series by Teresa Gabelman
Immortality Bites series by Michelle Rowen
Broken Heart Vampires by Michelle Bardsley
The Undead series by MaryJanice Davidson
Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris
House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast
Love at Stake series by Kerrelyn Sparks.

My Kindle and shelves are filled with paranormal books, and not just the vampire genre. But it’s not just the books l love. I love the movies and television series too. Lost Boys is still one of my favorite 80s vampire movies.

Vampires are dark, mysterious, and dangerous. They can potentially live forever. They are the ultimate bad boy. That is why we love them.

Enter to win one of two $10 Amazon gift cards! Open internationally. The giveaway will run the length of the tour. Enter through Rafflecopter.

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True Blood Season 7 Episode 6 Promo/Preview "Karma" Sneak Peek

True Blood Season 7 Episode 5 Recap

So now we're halfway through the last and final season of HBO's True Blood, and I've had several WTF moments. 

This far along in the season, I really would have expected to see a lot more romance, and I'm not talking about James and Lafayette. 

The season started out with Sookie together with Alcide (something I really wasn't feeling), and the rest of the episodes seem to just be falling flat. 

But I digress. 

Here is my basic summary of this episode. 

- They end up having an impromptu party at Sookie's house to honor Alcide and Tara

- Andy Bellefleur proposes to Holly... As if we didn't see that one coming. 

- Sookie goes upstairs with Arlene to remember Tara - Doesn't this remind you of the scene after her grandma died?

- James hooks up with Lafayette. In turn Jessica hooks back up with Jason.

- Eric and Pam have went after Sarah Newlin. 

- It's revealed that Bill has Hep V.

So with my two favorite love interests for Sookie both infected with the Hep V, I have to wonder what will happen next? It seems like the major contenders are being eliminated. I can only hope that the last five remaining shows takes a major turn for the better.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Horror Fiction Spotlight: Wisconsin Vamp by Scott Burtness - Giveaway


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 6/25/14 - 7/23/14

Genres: Fiction, Horror, Comedy  

“Midwestern nice” is hard to pull off when you’re a bloodthirsty monster.
Poor Herb isn’t even sure how he got vamped in the first place. With no one to guide him, Herb fumbles into his newfound abilities, courting disaster with each bumbling step. Sure, there are some perks. The local stripper wants him, he can do this whammy mind-control thing, and he is getting a lot better at bowling. But he can’t drink beer, the bodies are piling up, and his best friend Dallas is getting suspicious. When Herb and Dallas go for the same girl, keeping his dark secret becomes the least of Herb’s concerns.
Booze, billiards, babes, blood, bake sales, bowling, bar fights and karaoke. Who would’ve thought that being undead would make life so interesting?

Red tears flowing freely, he sat in the middle of the carnage, trying to sort-out just how in the hell he managed to get half a petting zoo into his house. The phone rang and rang again, causing Herb’s head to swing in a dazed circle, bringing his eyes to bear on where the phone stuck out from beneath most of a dead grouse.
Um, hello. You’ve reached the Knudsen residence. Um. The Knudsen, Herb, I mean me, well it’s a recording of Herb. Me. Oh crap. Does this rewind? Uff dah. Aaah crap. Oh, ok. Sorry! Can’t take your call! I’d sure love to, and I hope I can take your call again. Later. When I call you back. Um. Ok den, thanks! So wait for the beep… um, the beep. It should be this one. Oh for chrissakes…” Beeeep!
It had been a long time since Herb had listened to his answering machine greeting, and found himself wondering when the suave and self-confident message he remembered had been replaced by a drunken Ole impersonator.
Herb? Herb! Are you there? Why aren’t you at work? Ronnie’s furious and Hector is exhausted ‘cause he’s been here since like five o’clock last night.” Lois’s voice floated from the tinny speakers of the RadioShack machine, leaving Herb in awestruck wonder. She called me, thought Herb. She’s worried about me and she called. A smile cracked the caked blood around Herb’s mouth as he leaned toward the voice.
Ronnie’s making me call since you haven’t picked up your phone all morning. He’s been calling and calling and thinks you’re trying to ruin him or something. You’d better call back or get your ass in here pronto, ok Herby? Seriously, it’s like 10:45 in the A. M. Just…”
Herb knocked the remains of the grouse off the phone and grabbed the receiver. “Lois! Hi, Lois. Um. Wow. Hi there. It’s Herb. Me. I’m Herb. Um…” Herb squeezed his eyes shut, slowly pounded his forehead on the lifeless grouse and took a deep breath.
So. I’m here. You called. Me. Lois. Um, how are you?”
How am I? Oh just peachy, thanks so much for asking. It’s busier than heck here but our morning cook has apparently decided to take the morning off, which means the exhausted overnight cook can’t leave since Ronnie only knows how to make Rice-A-Roni.”
That’s what I said.”
No, Ronnie calls it ‘Rice-A-Ronnie.’ He ah. Adds cilantro, dill, some mayo. He thinks it makes it fancier.”
Roni, Ronnie, whatever. Hector burned his hand when he dozed off near the deep fryer half an hour ago. Seriously, I don’t know what your deal is, but you really gotta get to work.”
For a few treasured moments after the phone was slammed into the cradle, Lois’s voice flittered on Cupid-wings through the fog in Herb’s brain. Gone were the dead animals, the blood-soaked couch, the gore-spattered Brett Favre bobble-head doll. Even Lady, Jerry and Pam’s poor little pug, flew from his conscious mind like dandelion fluff on a warm summer breeze. Herb bobbed in a sea of bliss, looking at the phone that had recently held her angel voice. Gently setting the receiver down on its cradle, he caressed it with a grimy finger.
A red 11 blinked at him from the answering machine, a stark reminder of the ten angry Ronnie’s and one blissful Lois waiting for his attention. Herb quickly stumbled to his feet, hit play and delete in rapid sequence, turning Ronnie’s messages into a staccato of angry reproachment.
Come on, come on!” Jittering with anticipation, he hit play, delete. Play, delete. Reaching the final truncated message, he stopped, quivering in anticipation, and gently, reverently hit play. Lois’s voice again filled his senses, buckled his knees, and sent him sliding back to the floor. Oblivious to the fact that he was sitting in a half-congealed puddle of blood, Herb smiled, contentment incarnate. She had called him. Called his phone to talk to him. And she was waiting for him. All he had to do was get in the Pinto, go to work and…
Reality crashed down like kitchen knives from an overturned drawer.

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About the Author:
Scott lives in the Midwest with his wife, Liz and their Staffordshire Terrier, Frank. Raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he spent many summer weekends in rural Wisconsin where a friend’s dad had about 50 acres of wooded land near a small town. Those magical summer days of Scott’s youth were spent shooting pop cans with a .22, playing Frisbee golf amongst the trees and sticking the collected wood ticks to rolls of duct tape on the fridge. Wisconsin came to represent idle days and entertaining nights, simple times complete with good friends and beef jerky.
Years later (1998 to be exact), Scott had made a mess of college and moved to Chicago, IL. For six years, Scott drove back and forth between Minneapolis and Chicago. More than once, he wondered what it would be like to just take the next exit, drive north into the woods and settle down. He dreamt of running a small bar or bowling alley, living in a little rambler in the trees, and amassing a daunting collection of cassette tapes and flannels. Somewhere in those musings, the seeds for Wisconsin Vamp were planted, although Herb Knudsen wouldn’t appear for many, many years.
Scott moved to Los Angeles, CA in late 2003. He quickly realized that only people who had written a screenplay were allowed to live in L.A., so he set about whipping one up. Looking for some easy subject matter, Scott catalogued the things he enjoyed. Drinking, bowling, karaoke, pining for cute waitresses and funny horror flicks topped his list. After not nearly enough consideration, Scott wrote half a screenplay about the things he enjoyed, set in the northwoods of Wisconsin and featuring a very atypical vampire named Herb.
Since he didn’t finish the screenplay, he was politely asked to leave L.A. Returning to Minneapolis with his wife, he converted what he had to novel format. The rest is, as they say, is available for the reasonable price of $2.99.

Win one of three autographed copies of Wisconsin Vamp, each will include a Wisconsin themed postcard from the main character, Herb. This giveaway is restricted to USA only, please! Enter through Goodreads.


    Goodreads Book Giveaway  

        Wisconsin Vamp by Scott Burtness    

          Wisconsin Vamp      


          by Scott Burtness      

            Giveaway ends July 23, 2014.          
            See the giveaway details             at Goodreads.          
      Enter to win

True Blood Season 7: Episode #3 - Alcide Dies by a Human (Sookie's Decision) Death or Vampire?

And Sookie makes the decision to let him go

True Blood “Fire in the Hole,” Episode 73 Recap

When the True Blood spoilers about season 7 started leaking, one of them was about several important characters getting killed off. They sure weren't kidding. On last night's episode another key character met their end, and this one really shocked me.

Spoiler alert. If you haven't seen episode 7~3, don't keep reading.

For those of you that have seen it or those that just can't wait to see what really happened - Alcide dies.

Sookie comes up with this half-cocked plan and she runs to Bill to put it in motion. While they are together she basically tells him that Alcide loves her more than she loves him and she doesn't know how much longer she can take it. 

We should have seen that this scene was leading up to something big. It's a problem she doesn't have for long because Alcide dies and True Blood says goodbye to another major character.

I have to admit I was not a fan of the whole Sookie-Alcide love affair, but I never expected them to kill him off. Alcide's character was just a little too much for me. I can't put my finger on it, but there was just something I found unattractive about him... Not physically, but with his character. 

So now I have to wonder where they are going with this. I really would love to see Sookie end up with a Vamp. Please let her end up with Eric or Bill. Please. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

True Blood Season 7 Episode 1

It's finally here. Tonight was the kick off night for the seventh season of True Blood, and it didn't disappoint! 

Seeing this new episode just reminded of all the reasons why I love this show, and how much I'm going to hate it when it's gone. HBO has really taken us on quite a ride, and I have to admit I'm going to miss it when it's over. 

I remember reading a few months ago that some major characters were going to meet the true death this season... And it would seem that they weren't kidding. Tara (Rutina Wesley) met her end in the fight against the Hep V vampires, and her death hit hard, at least for me. 

Tara was one of those characters that had really been through hell. It felt as if she was always being knocked down. Something great would happen in her life, a door would open, but it would never end well. Something great would happen then something horrible and the door would always ended up shut.... And even though the show is ending, we weren't able to imagine Tara getting this great happy ever after. So it's sad to see her go.

And the whole Alcide - Sookie thing, I never really liked. Alcide is a gorgeous male, we all know it, but I just don't feel the chemistry between the two of them. It should be interesting to see who Sookie ends up with in the end.