book reviews · Bookish

Smoke in her Eyes by Anna Belfrage (Review)

Happy Thursday! Today I am on the blog tour for Smoke in her Eyes by Anna Belfrage which is out now in both Kindle and Paperback editions. It is also available as part of Kindle Unlimited! I received a copy of this book for my participation in the tour.

First, can I just take a second to say how absolutely beautiful the cover is for this book? It’s absolutely stunning. Though I admittedly have a thing about moons… but yeah. b e a u t i f u l.

Smoke in her Eyes is the second book in The Wanderer Series by Anna Belfrange. It’s a tale of a guy who has been searching for his beloved for 50 life times and his lover, Helle. Helle can’t see her past lives, she just sees snippets and glimpses of them, however, her partner Jason, he remembers everything, including the pain of searching for her for so many lifetimes. Finally they are together! But will they live happily ever after? Not if Sam Woolf has anything to say about it.

Sam Woolf is this books bad guy, and he is a right rotten sort. He wants to destroy Jason and make Helle his own. He’s entitled and jealous and just generally horrid. Himself and Jason have some paranormal abilities, special abilities he has no qualms about using to meet his own ends. He’s also written so incredibly well. It’s easy to hate him.

Then there is Juliet. Jason’s lover from a past life. Someone he still cares deeply about. Juliet is putting a huge strain on Jason and Helle’s relationship, after a horrible accident, she’s in the hospital and Jason wants to be by her side because she has no one else. I really feel for Jason here. It’s understandably tough. Will he and Helle make it through? Will Sam Woolf get his way? You’ll have to read it and find out.

Smoke in her Eyes is a beautifully written book about lovers who have finally gotten together after actual lifetimes with some spicy, steamy scenes that are tastefully written. Anna Belfrage has created an incredibly immersive world and intriguing characters. Her world building lead me to feeling like they were almost part of MY world. The only thing I’d say is while this can be read on its own, I think you should read the first book in the series prior for a better understanding of what brought the characters to this point and their own world.

About the Book

Six months ago, Helle Madsen would have described herself as normal. Now she no longer knows if that terms applies, not after her entire life has been turned upside down by the reappearance of not one, but two, men from her very, very distant past.

Helle Madsen never believed in mumbo-jumbo stuff like reincarnation—until she came face to face with Jason Morris, a man who purportedly had spent fifty lives looking for her. Coping with being reunited with the lover from her ancient past was one thing. Having Sam Woolf, her vindictive nemesis from that same ancient past join the party was a bit too much. Suddenly, Helle finds herself the reluctant heroine of a far-flung, time-transcending epic story, one in which pain and loss seem to play a very big part.

This time round, Jason and Helle are determined to make it to the happily ever after. Unfortunately, Sam Woolf will stop at nothing to crush them. That ride into the golden sunset seems awfully far away at times…

About the Author

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a professional time-traveller. As such a profession does not exist, she settled for second best and became a financial professional with two absorbing interests, namely history and writing. These days, Anna combines an exciting day-job with a large family and her writing endeavours. 

Her first series, The Graham Saga, is set in 17th century Scotland and Virginia/Maryland. It tells the story of Matthew and Alex, two people who should never have met – not when she was born three hundred years after him. With this heady blend of time-travel, romance, adventure, high drama and historical accuracy, Anna hopes to entertain and captivate, and is more than thrilled when readers tell her just how much they love her books and her characters. There are eight books in the series so far, but Anna is considering adding one or two more…

Presently, Anna is hard at work with her next project, a series set in the 1320s featuring Adam de Guirande, his wife Kit, and their adventures and misfortunes in connection with Roger Mortimer’s rise to power. The King’s Greatest Enemy is a series where passion and drama play out against a complex political situation, where today’s traitor may be tomorrow’s hero, and the Wheel of Fortune never stops rolling. 

If you want to know more about Anna, why not visit her website, http://www.annabelfrage.com/

Twitter @abelfrageauthor

Author page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/annabelfrageauthor/

Bookish · Uncategorized

Not All Heroines Wear Capes (Guest Post)

calculated contagion

Today, I’m on the Blog Tour for Calculated Contagion by K.T Lee. I’m pleased to have a guest post from the author to share with you.

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While all of the books in The Calculated Series feature strong heroines, writing Calculated Contagion was a great opportunity to showcase an often-overlooked type of strength through the character of Dani Christensen. Dani is a vaccine scientist who is accomplished in her field but doesn’t necessarily have the type of background that would prepare her for a life of fighting crime. Instead of the traditional thriller hero/heroine who packs their own weapon and has a set of self-defense skills we would all envy, Dani Christensen’s strength is internal. It is subtler but just as critical to her team’s success.

Calculated Contagion opens with Dani presenting her vaccine research to a broad, international audience. However, it quickly turns into a nightmare when she is kidnapped and taken to a remote encampment for reasons she doesn’t understand. Dani is a scientist who works with technical facts all the time – she knows the odds of making it back home are slim. Still, instead of accepting her circumstances, she finds a way to remove herself from the larger group to increase her survival odds. Getting away from her captors opens a window for a CIA officer who has been monitoring the suspicious group to get her to safety. The tentative trust they build during their escape evolves into formidable teamwork when they join the rest of his team and their FBI allies.

Even as Dani battles the mental trauma of her experience, she finds a way to keep helping the CIA, particularly when she realizes her kidnappers have followed her back to her lab. Because Dani is the daughter of the company CEO, the assumptions others have made about her talent have built in her a quiet but solid resilience. Dani isn’t as boisterous or outgoing as Dr. Ree Ryland, an engineering professor and friend of the FBI who joins the investigation. She isn’t as enthusiastic about fighting crime as the spunky, high-energy Alexis. However, Dani’s thoughtful introspection and determination bring their investigation to a critical inflection point – one that will make her kidnappers realize that underestimating their intended victim’s inner strength will be the mistake that ultimately leads to their downfall.

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About Calculated Contagion (The Calculated Series: Book 2)
:
Dani Christensen is a vaccine researcher who has spent her career proving she is more than just the daughter of the company’s CEO. However, as her accomplishments in contagious disease research grow, the wrong people begin to notice. When Dani is isolated from her colleagues at a well-regarded conference in Europe, she is kidnapped and taken to an isolated camp in the Carpathian Mountains.

CIA officers Cam Mitchell and Tyler Scott are sent to observe a suspicious group of armed men in rural Romania. When Cam sees Dani being brought into the camp against her will, he and his partner rescue her and bring her safely back to the United States. The CIA initially believes Dani was kidnapped for ransom, but they soon realize her kidnapper has followed her back to her lab. Now, the CIA must work with their allies in the FBI to catch Dani’s kidnapper before he releases a potentially deadly contagion for his own political gain.
Calculated Contagion is Book 2 in The Calculated Series. All books in The Calculated Series may be enjoyed as standalone novels or as a series.

About K.T. Lee
K.T. Lee is a writer, mom and engineer who grew up on a steady diet of books from a wide variety of genres. When K.T. began to write the kind of books she wanted to read, she mixed clever women and the sciences with elements from thrillers (and a dash of romance) to create The Calculated Series.

Social Links:
Twitter: @ktleewrites
Instagram: @ktleeauthor
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ktleewrites
Website: https://ktleeauthor.com/

Calculated Contagion is out now in both Kindle and Paperback formats.

Bookish · Uncategorized

Busted – Michele I. Khoury: Excerpt (#LoveBooksGroupTours)

Impacted by the recession, twenty-four-year-old artist Gina McKenna is down to her last few dollars and days away from living in her car when a successful businessman buys a painting and commissions another. As their relationship evolves, she’s seduced by his charm and mesmerized by his luxurious lifestyle until she discovers he’s a drug kingpin. As her world turns upside down, she struggles to survive vicious brutality. 

Miguel Lopez is a cocaine supplier with a weightlifter’s physique and ‘the rules do not apply to me’ attitude. Maniacal and ruthless, he has no qualms about killing anyone who interferes with his distribution network, including Gina. 

Dedicated to eradicating illegal drugs, DEA Special Agent Bobby Garcia spent months and hundreds of thousands of dollars working undercover to buy his way up a dealer chain to identify the moneyman. When his fourteen-year-old daughter overdoses on cocaine, he traces the blow to Lopez. As Bobby’s mission becomes personal, he makes emotional decisions, which negatively impact civilians and his job. Unable to let go, he risks his career to orchestrate the biggest drug sting in Southern California. What happens isn’t what he expected. 

When a deputy district attorney meets Gina at a party, he is smitten. As his attraction grows, so does Gina’s involvement with the DEA’s case, of which he is the designated prosecutor. Mindful of his professional ethics, he tries to stifle his feelings. 

Sex and violence permeate the twists and turns of this cautionary tale about choosing one’s friends well.

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Today, I am excited to be able to share an excerpt with you from Michele Khoury’s debut novel: Busted. I hope you will love it! You can find Michele on Twitter @MicheleKhoury.

 

Chapter 1 Gina: Movie-Star Smile

September 2018

The next afternoon, Gina lugged her easels and canvases to the greenbelt in Heisler Park, determined to sell her paintings during the Thursday Evening Laguna Beach Art Walk. All day, she’d pinned her hopes on a prosperous local or a tourist buying an ocean scene. Taking a deep breath, she repeated her mantra for the hundredth time: “I will be successful.” She just wished she didn’t feel so darn vulnerable.

When she reached the bluffs overlooking the Southern California coastline, the May Gray had burned off, and the late afternoon sun cast an orange glow on the glassy water below. As she inhaled the salty air, she imagined the French Impressionists leaving their stuffy studios to paint outside and establishing the plein air style she embraced. Just thinking about her craft lifted her spirits.

“I’ll be successful,” she told herself again. But what if I’m not?

Where else could she live? She’d tried renting a bedroom or sharing an apartment, but no one wanted her messy oils stinking up their environment. When she’d found the converted garage with the broom closet-sized bathroom, a mile from the ocean in Corona del Mar, she’d been ecstatic. If she had to relinquish her studio apartment, then what would she do? Was couch surfing her future? She would in a pinch, but hated to impose. What was the alternative? The street? No, no way. Then where? Her car? In a million years, she never expected to live in her old tiny Toyota. Her stomach churned like the ocean’s waves.

She propped up the tripods on the grass along the snaking sidewalk. While arranging the canvases, she scanned the area. There were families with frolicking children and couples picnicking, but no artists. Perfect. No competition.

A middle-aged policeman strode up.

“Hello, Officer.”

“Are you selling these?”

His accusatory tone caused her to hesitate. “Yes.”

“There’s an ordinance against transacting business in the park.”

She gasped. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” She and other artists had sold there many times.

“Laguna Beach doesn’t want street vendors competing with the galleries. There’s a $250 fine.”

Oh, no. How in the world would she pay it?

Loud voices captured their attention. Thirty yards away, a Hispanic man with a weightlifter’s physique and a tiger-face tattoo on his back shoved a taller, leaner guy wearing a white suit. The well-dressed man held balled fists by his sides and shouted. Red-faced, they looked as if they’d brawl at any moment.  

As the cop sprinted toward the quarrel, he called over his shoulder, “Let this be a warning.”

Relieved at not being fined, she found herself captivated by the unusual brawl in the upscale city.

The officer intervened. Within a few seconds, the well-dressed guy’s demeanor changed and his body relaxed. He must have made a witty comment because the cop chuckled, shook his head, and walked away. A minute later, the thug stormed off. The white-suited man headed in her direction.

Detesting violence, she shivered at the negative energy and returned to stacking her canvases.

A buff bronzed man power walked past. In one hand, he held the leashes of two white standard poodles, a Golden Retriever, a black Lab and a German Shepherd. Unlike her, he was in control.

Yeah, like she could control the sinking economy. So if she couldn’t sell in the park, where else could she solicit business? She needed professional exposure, like an exhibit. She decided to pursue the local galleries and envisioned having a marketing piece professionally printed. Realizing she couldn’t afford it, she’d create it on her computer and produce it on her printer instead.

Selling had never been this difficult. She was fourteen when she’d made her first sale, and her art teachers had called her a prodigy. During college, as well as the last couple years, income from her art had supported her. She prayed the dry spell ended soon.

Want to keep reading? Grab your copy of Busted, over on Amazon! Available in both Paperback and Kindle editions