Category: New Adult

New Release - Academy of Assassins

Academy of Assassins

 

I’m thrilled to announce the release of my new urban fantasy series: 

Academy of Assassins – An Academy of Assassins Novel : Book 1

 

I think the cover artist, Amanda Kelsey, did a fantastic job, don’t you?

 

Here is a little blurb for you: 

 

ONLY ONE THING STANDS BETWEEN HUMANS AND THE DEADLY SUPERNATURAL WORLD…THE ACADEMY OF ASSASSINS.

 

Abandoned as a child and unable to remember her past, Morgan was raised as a hunter, one of an elite group of fighters sworn to protect humans from the dangerous paranormal creatures who invade our world…creatures such as herself. Her life changes the day she’s summoned to the Academy of Assassins, a school that trains witches and hunters to eradicate paranormals who prey on humans. Her first assignment—find and eliminate the killer who is using the Academy as their own personal hunting ground. 

 

As Morgan delves deeper into the investigation, she will need to dodge assassination attempts, avoid the distraction of romantic entanglements with the devilishly handsome security expert, Kincade, and his maddeningly overprotective teammates, while keeping the volatile magic in her blood concealed from those who would use it for their own purposes. When the danger increases and the school is threatened, Morgan must unearth her missing memories before someone finishes the job they started so long ago—killing her and unleashing a plague that will consume the world.

 

An Academy of Assassins Novel : Book 1

divider

I’m really excited to see what everyone thinks of Morgan and her crew of assassins! 

Since it’s Halloween, I couldn’t resist including an excerpt where Morgan and her men clear out a warehouse infested with gremlins!

 

Excerpt: 

A shadow flew overhead. When Morgan tipped her head back, she saw a dozen creatures no more than two feet high leap the fifteen feet across the aisle. She threw a blade, managed to hit one, but her weapon bounced harmlessly off its hard, reptilian hide. They scampered up the shelving and disappeared into the boxes as her blade clanked harmlessly to the ground.

 

There appeared to be three different varieties. The majority of them were varying shades of green, covered with warts and black, oily spots. Those were the males. The younger ones were a light tan, slightly smaller, but no less deadly. A couple had bright yellow bellies, but no less hideous. They were the females. Their eyes were pure red, their black pupils narrow slits. Some had distinctive stripes, while others were marked with scars, whether from battle or decoration, she wasn’t sure.

 

One evil little critter, slightly bigger than the rest, glared down at her from his crouched position, his scars prominent on his body, a bold slash gouging deep ruts across his face. He was the commander, battle-hardened and vindictive about having his space invaded. His large ears were thin and leathery, swiveling to catch even the slightest sound, the left one kinked where it had nearly been torn off. His claw-tipped hands were wrapped around the metal grates of the shelving, his arms almost as long as his entire body, which made climbing and running on all fours easier.

 

This one appeared to be covered with some kind of goo that dripped down the shelves. The ammonia smell was nearly enough to knock her out. Tuffs of scraggly hair struck up from the top of his head. He sneered, revealing dozens and dozens of bloody, razor-sharp teeth.

 

He lifted his hand and gave her the finger, then quickly ducked behind the boxes with his mates.

 

Both sides of the shelving erupted in giggles.

 

“We’re sitting ducks down here. We need to head up.” She peered at Draven, and he backed up a step, as if reading something in her expression. Morgan smiled grimly. “How do you feel about being bait?”

 

He grimaced, then glanced up at the top of the shelving thirty feet in the air. “Better than I feel about being an acrobat. You’re faster than I am, more flexible.”

 

Morgan sheathed her weapon. When she went to retrieve the one that had fallen, he grabbed her arm. “No undue risks. Don’t let them draw you away. Yell if you get into trouble.”

 

“Understood. Go. I’ll let them follow you, then climb.”

 

Ryder hesitated a moment longer, clearly not wanting to leave her alone, then huffed out a resigned sigh. “Kincade is going to kill me.”

 

With that cryptic remark, he turned on his heel and ran down the aisle, whistling a jaunty tune. While a few remained behind to watch her, the majority clearly saw her as no threat, and clambered across the boxes in pursuit.

 

Not wasting a second, Morgan leapt up, grabbed the edge of the third shelf and began to climb. Angry chittering erupted above her, and she spotted four gremlins arguing, appearing distress when she didn’t collapse on the floor, weeping in terror at the sight of them.

 

When they fell silent, the hair on the back of her neck stood on end. She leaned back to get a good look at them, unnerved to find the four of them staring down at her with yellowish eyes and malicious smiles that didn’t bode well.

 

Two clambered down, one lashing out at Morgan’s hands and arms, aiming his claws for her face, while the other one dove for her legs. She swung at the one trying to gouge out her eyeballs, but it scampered out of arm’s reach. The second one latched onto her legs like a deranged monkey, using his teeth and claws to gnaw at her leathers like she was his own personal chew toy.

 

“Son of a bitch.” Pain shot up her leg as he began to shake his head, his teeth sawing back and forth, and she wondered if the little beast was trying to tear out a hunk of her flesh or rip her leg off altogether.

 

Not to be outdone, the first gremlin lunged for her face. Morgan swatted the claws away, and nearly lost her balance in the process.

 

All the while, the two remaining on top ripped open the boxes and began lobbing metal spoons at her, one going so far as to bean her on the head when she didn’t dodge fast enough.

 

“Enough.”

 

She never realized something so small could bedevil her so much.

 

She reached out, ignoring the claws digging into the fleshy part of her hand, snagged the toothpick-like leg of the nearest gremlin and flung the creature as far as she could. The gremlin gave a scream of anger as he flew through the air before splatting across the floor, leaving a black smear behind him, his little body ending up a twisted mess.

 

Then, to her consternation, he lumbered to his feet and limped off, dragging his damaged leg behind him, leaving a trail of dark ooze.

 

The monster on her leg gave a scream of rage and renewed his attack.

 

“Get.” She brought up her leg and slammed the creature into one of the metal posts. “Off.”

 

Slam.

 

“Me!”

 

The critter clanged against the metal like a gong, then dropped like a rock to the ground, landing with a surprisingly solid thud for something so small. He turned and hissed at her with evil eyes, quickly dragging himself under the shelving, and Morgan couldn’t help but shiver at the malice.

 

And received another bash across the back of her head, reminding her she still wasn’t alone. As she reached the top, one leaned over and screamed, the high-pitched sound threatening to make her ears bleed.

 

Not to be outdone, Morgan screamed back at him in frustration.

 

The gremlin was so startled, his mouth snapped shut, and he staggered back, hastily covering his ears.

 

Of course.

 

Their large ears meant they were sensitive to even the slightest noise.

 

Morgan snatched at the next spoon aimed for her head and beat it against the metal. The creatures cowered, grabbed their ears, twisting away to escape. In seconds, they turned tail and ran.

 

Morgan breathed a sigh of relief and dropped the spoon.

 

If there had been more of them, they would’ve overwhelmed her, using their sharp teeth and claws and whittled her flesh down to bones in a matter of minutes.

 

A deep foreboding tore through her chest, until she thought her heart was being ripped out. “Draven.”

 

 

Academy of Assassins

 

I hope you enjoyed meeting the Assassins. To find out what happens next, be sure to visit Amazon.com:


 

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween!


Spiderweb

Review: Ancient Magic (Dragon's Gift: The Huntress Book 1) by Linsey Hall

I’ll admit the cover is the first thing that caught my attention on this book. It lured me into peeking at the blurb. Magic and dragons and griffins…Sold! What a perfect read!

 

 

Title: Ancient Magic (Dragon’s Gift: The Huntress Book 1)

Author: Linsey Hall 

Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Bonnie Doon Press via NetGalley

Release date: April 2016

Pages: 199

ASIN: B01DTVV18G

 

Rating:

 

DESCRIPTION:

Cass Clereaux is good at two things: finding treasure and killing demons. Lying low is a close third—but not because she wants to be good at hiding. Cass is a FireSoul, one of the unlucky few to inherit a piece of the dragon’s soul. Being born with the dragon’s covetousness should be a sweet gig—she has the power to find and steal any type of treasure, including the powers of other supernaturals.

 

But it doesn’t come without a price – stealing powers requires that she kill, and others would destroy her if they discover what she is. In a world full of magic, hiding her powers is the only way to survive. Finding magical artifacts and killing demons are the only ways to pay the bills. It’s a dangerous job when you can barely use your magic, but that’s one of the things she likes about it.

 

When Aidan Merrick, the most powerful shifter in the city, hires her to find an ancient scroll, she doesn’t want to take the job. His immense amount of power reminds her of too much of murky memories from a past she can’t remember. But she doesn’t have a choice. The scroll will reveal what she is. And if anyone finds out, she’s dead.

 

REVIEW:

Cass and her sisters don’t remember their past, only that someone was hunting them, so they do their best to live under the radar. Cass is a FireSoul, a person born with the ability to steal powers of another supernatural…the catch? Stealing their powers kills them. Hated and reviled, FireSouls hide themselves for fear of being imprisoned or outright killed—it doesn’t matter if they’re innocent or not. Cass is a treasure hunter who uses her dragon gift to find things she covets most. When Aiden Merrick hires her to find a magical scroll, she almost turned him down. He was too powerful, too male. Worse—the dragon part of her she keeps hidden urges her to claim him as part of her hoard. Unfortunately, if anyone gets their hands on that scroll, her secrets would be revealed and could cost her everything…even her very life.

 

Cass is a hoot! Her quirky personality and wry humor pulled me right into the story. The worldbuilding is unique, the characters so well written that they came alive off the pages. I love Aiden’s and Cass’s unique abilities. Cass doesn’t hold back in battle and can really kick ass. Aiden is strong enough to let Cass take charge, but knows when to step in and pull her out of trouble. From the very first time Cass and Aiden met, sparks fly. Aiden’s refusal to back down is very enduring, his patience matching her stubbornness perfectly. Though they fell for each other a bit too quickly, they felt like the perfect couple. The only draw back was Cass seemed to have two modes—thinking about battle (I loved all the action!) or thinking about Aiden (which became a little repetitive). Overall, a fantastic read. I can’t wait for book two!

 

Review: Cast in Honor (The Chronicles of Elantra) by Michelle Sagara

I’ve been following this series for years. The fantastic world building and wonderful characters in this series have always kept me coming back for more. Not to mention that the covers are just gorgeous!

 

 

Title: Cast in Honor (The Chronicles of Elantra) 

Author: Michelle Sagara 

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Mira via NetGalley

Release date: November 2015

Pages: 432

ASIN: B00URIDJB2

 

Rating:

 

DESCRIPTION:

In the aftermath of a vicious battle between darkness and light, the city of Elantra has emerged victorious. But Shadows continue to haunt every corner of its streets… 

 

Elantra stands strong, but countless numbers of Hawks, the city’s staunchest protectors, were lost in the brutal attack. Humans, Barrani, Aerians, Leontines—none of the races emerged unscathed from the defense of the city. Homes were lost, families were scattered…and the outcast Barrani Lord Nightshade is missing from his castle in the fiefs.

 

Yet as the chaos surrounding the battle begins to wane, Private Kaylin Neya’s duties must resume, despite her grief. Called in to investigate a triple murder in a quiet part of town, Kaylin and her companions are soon embroiled in a case that is anything but routine. Evidence of the deadly Shadows that still threaten the city leads to hints of ancient, forgotten magics…and everything can be traced directly to Ravellon, the heart of the Shadows and the darkness they contain.

 

But it is there that Lord Nightshade will be found—if he still survives.

 

 

REVIEW:

In the aftermath of battle, the city of Elantra tries to rebuild itself, but crime does not stop. Private Kaylin Neya is assigned a suspicious triple murder that involves the Shadows and magic. She is led on a merry chase through Elantra to gather clues, while struggling to keep her friends alive. If she can’t uncover the mystery behind the murders, the future of Elantra will crumble and turn to dust.

 

Usually, I like to give a little summation of the story, but not a lot actually happens in Cast in Honor. The characters move from one scene to the next, but they end up discussing the same issues over and over. Danger looms throughout the whole book, but nothing really develops. When the action finally starts to pick up, the story slows to a near stop, buried under all the details. I love Kaylin Neya and her magic, but her lack of direction and confusion has been over explained in the last few books. I want action and adventure and the thrill of the story that I fell in love with at the beginning of the series. Michelle Sagara does get points that Severn finally admits his feelings for Kaylin, but the one line at the end of the book felt much too little, too late. The book could’ve been cut in half and read so much better. Though I’ve been disappointed in the last few books, I’m not sure I’m ready to call this series quits yet. If I didn’t like this series so much, maybe I wouldn’t be so disappointed.

 

Previous books in the series:

 

 

Review: Dark Heart of Magic (Black Blade Book 2) by Jennifer Estep

In the last few months, I’ve been craving books that can transport me to a new world using unique twists that I haven’t seen a hundred times. The Black Blade series, with their quirky, beautiful covers, aren’t your normal paranormal genre, and I think that’s why I found myself so drawn to them.

 

 

Title: Dark Heart of Magic (Black Blade Book 2)

Author: Jennifer Estep

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Kensington via NetGalley

Release date: October 2015

Pages: 368

ASIN: B00TE7O9AC

 

Rating:

 

DESCRIPTION:

Something Wicked This Way Comes . . .

As a thief, I stick to the shadows as much as possible. But when the head of the Sinclair Family picks me to compete in the Tournament of Blades, there’s no escaping the spotlight—or the danger.

 

Even though he’s my competition, Devon Sinclair thinks I have the best shot at winning what’s supposed to be a friendly contest. But when the competitors start having mysterious “accidents,” it looks like someone will do anything to win—no matter who they hurt.

 

As if I didn’t have enough to worry about, mobster Victor Draconi is plotting against Devon and the rest of my friends, and someone’s going around Cloudburst Falls murdering monsters. One thing’s for sure. Sometimes, humans can be more monstrous than anything else…

 

 

REVIEW:

Lila has always been a loner, using her skills as a thief to make a living. Much to her surprise, those skills are a prized commodity to the Sinclair Family. The one-time job of keeping Devon Sinclair alive ends up stretching into a long-term commitment. The Tournament of Blades happens once a year, and all the Families participate in the much celebrated contest. Much to her horror, Lila has been chosen as one of the contestants to represent the Family, stealing her anonymity in one fell swoop. But what should be a friendly contest turns into a nightmare when people start dying. Lila must use all her unique Talents to survive and bring the killer to justice or she and her friends might end up as the next victims.

 

I like how Lila uses her Talents to get out of trouble, not waiting for anyone else to come to her rescue. She’s not only clever, but confident in her abilities to take care of herself and those around her. I love that her use of her Talents  stay consistent, and that she relies on her wits to stay alive. I enjoyed the romantic tension between Devon and Lila. His confidence in her is sweet, and something she’s not used to receiving. He’s a good match to Lila, strong enough to stand back and allow her to take the lead when the situation warrants. This book suffered a little from the middle book syndrome. A lot of high-tension scenes ended up petering out without any physical confrontation. By the end of the book, I found myself missing all the monsters. These are both minor things in my overall enjoyment of the book. If you like a unique twist to your paranormal world, you’ll enjoy the Black Blade series.

 

Previous books in the series:

 

Stacking The Shelves [29]

StackingShelves

Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, is all about sharing the book you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.

 

The cold really kicked in this week if the frost on the vehicles are any indication. The trees are half bare after a few windy nights. Fall is officially here.

My husband knows my quirks very well, so when he learned that there was a nighttime zombie paintball run, where you can choose to ride in either an Army hummer or a S.W.A.T. bus with mounted paintball guns, he came home all excited and told me. I’m not sure we’ll go, but doesn’t that sound like fun!?!

 

A miracle happened…I’ve managed to restrain myself somewhat this week and only purchased a few books. Here is what I picked out this week:

 

All of these books were $0.99 or $1.99. *double-yay*

 

I picked up two print books last week. Aren’t the covers lovely?!

 

Have you read either of these yet?

 

Here are a few free books I managed to snag this week as well:

 

I’m excited to start reading! What books did you get this week? Have you read any of these?