Sunday, June 21, 2015

#Giveaway ~ The Designed by Kate Tailor (The Designed Series #1) ~ #Sci-Fi #Paranormal ~ #Review

The Designed by Kate Tailor
(The Designed Series #1)

Publication date: January 26th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction

What if the next new drug was you? Raleigh’s body produces a drug that could define the future of medicine if the dangerous world surrounding it doesn’t kill her first.

Eighteen-year old Raleigh Groves can sense disease in others and is suffering from her own unexplained illness as well. After years and dozens of doctor visits, she has given up hope of ever finding a cure, let alone a diagnosis. Then she meets a man who explains that her talent and curse are linked. Her body produces a drug, Lucidin, which allows her to sense others. She’s rare, and the drug she makes is coveted.

Rho has spent the last few years on the run. The Lucidin that is racing through his system makes him a target. Surrounded by addicts and dealers on one side and scientists and doctors on the other, he has to rely on his wits and his team to stay one step ahead. So far he has stayed afloat, but some of his brothers haven’t been as lucky.

As Rho and Raleigh collide they must face the perilous world of Lucidin together. Nothing is black-and-white and Raleigh must decide where her alliances lie. Sometimes the hardest heart to sense is your own.


Kate Tailor lives in Boulder, Colorado. She has a background in molecular biology and pharmacology. Writing has been a passion of hers since she was young.

Author links:

My Review
I have to say that this is one of the best books I have read in awhile. I was hooked right from the start. We start with Rho, and him trying to escape, we do not know why or anything, but we just feel we need to root for him. There is not alot with Rho, but enough to really like him.

Raliegh is the main focus of this book, and I really liked her too. I loved her strength, and how she didn't take crap from anyone. I loved how her "problem" ended up making her very strong.

This book is a sci-fi with a touch of the paranormal, which I love.

I do not want to say too much, but want to say its written extremely well, and an awesome read. I didn't want it to end.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend.

I was given a copy of this book for my honest review.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chapter 1
Rho opened his eyes and tried to focus on the whitewashed brick wall to his right. His sense of time had become muddled, and he suspected that he’d lost some days altogether. Initially, he’d held on to a vague hope that he’d be able to mark time by the moon—which he occasionally glimpsed through the paper-thin curtains—but he soon understood that even that small endeavor was impossible. He was rarely conscious long enough to establish the time of day, and a bright morning could give way to the darkness of midnight in the blink of an eye. The sun slipped through the window during the day, but in the pitch black of night the only light emanated from the vitals monitor and the dials on his IV. As his eyes followed the small tube that ran down from the IV bag to the needle that pierced his right arm, he noticed that the white wall was splashed with vivid magenta and tangerine hues. At least he could be certain that it was morning.
All his life, Rho had prided himself on his powers of recollection. Now, any observations he’d made were difficult to remember. He tried to go over what he knew. Every time he awoke he was lying in this small room, and the soreness of disuse was creeping into his muscles and joints. As far as he could tell, he hadn’t been moved from the bed. His mouth was dry, and he hadn’t had anything to eat or drink. He’d been here for what he considered a long time—far too long to stay alive without eating or drinking—and he realized that the IV bag must contain nutrients and a very strong sedative. Two-man teams sometimes unintentionally roused him when they were checking his vitals and replacing the IV bag. And based on the colors on the walls and the slant of the light, it seemed that they only appeared at sunrise and sunset.
Rho looked over at his left arm. His port was connected to tubes running to and from an extraction machine. The machine whizzed periodically, sounding as harmless as a hair dryer, but Rho knew better. He’d heard about others being drained to death. It wouldn’t be the strong sedative or foggy reality that would end him. The greedy extraction machine that siphoned the Lucid from his blood was the real threat.
Lucid was the street name for the complex hormone scientifically known as Lucidin. It had quickly come to define Rho’s life, and it was why he’d been captured in the first place. Lucid makes controlling autonomic functions—such as heart rate and blood pressure—as easy as controlling breathing. But that was just one of the properties that made it so coveted. Lucid was a weapon as much as anything else, and Rho knew it could be his salvation…as long as they didn’t take every last drop of it from him.
Yesterday, they’d extracted too fast and Rho’s body had given up its fight to live. Death claimed him, but only for a minute. His captors brought him back to life with an electric jolt from a defibrillator. Rho’s death was unpleasant but quiet, and he thought that if his jailors had any respect for him at all they would’ve let him die. He’d heard one of the men—presumably a doctor—conclude in a gravelly voice that if they were going to preserve him for a while longer they’d have to drain him more slowly and reduce his dose of sedative. Like an elephant hunted for its tusks, he was going to die because of his captors’ insatiable need for Lucid.
The decision to slow extraction and reduce the sedative afforded Rho extended moments of alertness—and a small reserve of Lucidin. He turned his head to the vitals monitor. A little heart in the corner was blinking in rhythm with his heartbeat while a line graph displayed the peaks and dips. Two numbers divided by a line showed his blood pressure. Utilizing the Lucid that the extraction machine had yet to rob him of, Rho lowered his heartbeat and blood pressure. His goal was to keep his vitals hovering just above unconsciousness until the morning team had come and gone. This gave him something to focus on besides the past, the dismal-looking future, and his growing concern that his brothers would suffer the same wretched fate.
A two-man team arrived just as the sunrise was giving way to a sunny, cloudless day. The doctor looked at the readout of Rho’s vitals, and the other man walked over to the extraction machine.
“Damn! He’s doing worse,” announced the doctor in his gravelly voice. “We’ll have to slow the extraction and reduce his sedative a bit more.”
“What? Are you serious?” screeched the assistant. Lowering his voice, he said, “We already did that yesterday.”
“Yes, we did. But if we don’t do it again we could lose him…too soon.”
“I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. No, I don’t,” said the assistant as he removed the vials of Lucidin from the extraction machine and delicately placed them in a case.
“He can’t harm us when he’s in this state,” the doctor assured him. “Anyway, the longer we keep him alive, the richer we’ll be. You like that don’t you?”
“Fine, if you insist. I’ll do it,” agreed the assistant.
Rho felt a pang of joy—his plan was working. He had to concentrate to keep his heart from kicking up a notch. After replacing the IV bag and adjusting the extraction machine, the men left.
Rho took a long breath and sighed with relief. Unlike most prisons, his had no bars or locked gates. The drugs and fatigue were enough to trap him in his own body—but not for much longer. He would make his escape today. His captors were unlikely to lower the extraction and sedative dose any more than they just had, so he had to make his move. He would do it tonight, when the second team came to check on him.
Today was the first day in a long time that he was aware of each and every moment. He darted his eyes across the room. A small seagull was preening itself on the windowsill. One of the guards had once asked why there weren’t bars on the window. The answer was that the drop would likely kill Rho, and even if he survived the current would pull him under. Occasionally he’d heard people speaking in French, and he figured that he must be somewhere along the French coast.
Knowing that he could die while making his escape, he savored the hours. Part of him wanted to reflect on his life, but he pushed those thoughts out of his mind as soon as they arose. Those thoughts too closely resembled grieving, and he wasn’t about to grieve the life that he was fighting to save….
The sunset was particularly beautiful. Mauve and azure hues playfully painted his room, as though Mother Nature wasn’t aware of the suffering he endured. Maybe she was aware of his suffering—and glad to see it. After all, he was an affront to her.
Rho heard voices as the evening pair opened the door to his room. Of all the teams, Rho was most familiar with this one. These two talked the most, and the young man had once taken a phone call in the room, but he was swiftly reprimanded by the old man. The young, unsure little attendant asked a lot of questions, and although the old man seemed to be aggravated by his companion’s inquires, he always answered.
“The morning crew said he was doing poorly,” the old man said in a sure, deep voice.
“They turned down the machine again. He’s not giving us as much Lucid,” noted the young man as he retrieved the vials.
“From the look of his vitals, he’ll only last a few more days.”
“He’s going to die, isn’t he?” asked the young man. Despite his current job, he wasn’t the heartless kind.
“The world will be better off. He’s dangerous. They’re monsters…all of them. Don’t let his angelic looks fool you. He’s the devil.”
Rho wasn’t sure if the last part was true, but the part about him being dangerous certainly was.
The young man put away the vials of Lucidin. He was clearly troubled by Rho’s situation, and he didn’t respond to the comment. As he leaned over to change Rho’s catheter bag, Rho jerked, causing urine to spill out.
“Oops!” exclaimed the young man.
“You need to be less clumsy,” the old man scolded.
“It’s all over the place. I’ll have to clean him up.”
“Yes, you will!” barked the old man as he walked around the bed and unfastened the leather restraints that bound Rho’s arms and legs. “Get fresh sheets and clothes out of the hall closet…and a sponge and soap,” he yelled as the young man hurried out of the room.
The old man disconnected Rho from the vitals monitor and extraction machine and began to undress him. This was the opportunity Rho’d been waiting for. He didn’t need a machine to sense the old man’s heart. It had a stent and it wasn’t strong—not that it mattered. Rho willed it to stop. The old man grasped at his chest, giving Rho a haunted look. A moment later, he fell dead to the floor.
The young man dropped everything as he stepped inside the room. Without giving Rho much thought, he mumbled a curse under his breath and rushed over to position the old man for CPR. Rho knew that the young man was strong and stressed. His lungs were taking in deep breaths…until Rho stopped them from contracting. The effect was akin to drowning on dry land—like a fish left to flounder in the sun—and he was soon slumped over the old man. It was unpleasant for him, but unlike the old man, he would live.

Rho struggled to sit up. His muscles had atrophied from lack of use. Crawling out of the bed was painful, but he managed to get the phone from the young man’s pocket. He sent a text message and then quickly deleted it before return the phone to its pocket. Rho whispered a prayer, even though he wasn’t sure if people like him deserved a God. Then he pulled himself over to the window, opened it, and jumped.

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Darkest Reaches (Spiritual Discord Series #3) by Brandy Nacole #Giveaway - #Paranormal - #Review

Darkest Reaches
Spiritual Discord Series
Book 3
Brandy Nacole

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Publisher: Ponahakeola Press

Date of Publication: April 30, 2015

Cover Artist: CCRBookDesigns

Book Description:

Kayson and the other fallen angels have risked their lives to keep Sabrina safe as she recovered from a Hell hound’s bite.  Just when she began to improve, Hell was unleashed as the hounds attacked, and kidnapped Sabrina. 

Now, only days after the fight between the fallen and the hounds, Kayson is determined to find Sabrina and bring her back from Hell.  The only thing standing in his way is a dangerous fallen angel named Iraja. 

Iraja has the means to find Sabrina, but he doesn’t do favors without a price. 

Sabrina is now facing the nightmare she’s been running from since being turned into a vampire a century ago: her eternal condemnation to Hell.  Knowing her only chance of survival may rest by playing nice and turning Hell hound Falon against Lucifer, Sabrina gives into the bitter darkness and now has to fight to remember the good soul she truly is. 

But when she discovers the role her and the innocent human Emma are forced to play, will her fear get the better of her, and will she be lost forever?

In the third installment of the Spiritual Discord series, the will to survive is tested, worst fears become a reality, and for one, betrayal becomes the only option. 

Available at Amazon and Lulu
About the Author:

Gemini Brandy Nacole is a writer of urban fantasy books.  She is the author of the Shadow World series and the Spiritual Discord series published by Ponahakeola Press.  A reader from a young age, Brandy has always loved folklore and stories of beings that go bump in the night. 

Brandy lives in Arkansas with her husband, three never stopping kids, two snooty cats, two very lazy bearded dragons, and one mellow turtle.  She is a member of the Ozark Romance Authors in Springfield, Missouri.  Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending her time outdoors wheeling, hiking, playing amateur photographer, and enjoying a good laugh. 

Author Links

Tour Giveaway
2 Spiritual Discord swag packs

$10 Amazon GC

My Review

I had a bit trouble getting into this one as I had trouble remembering the 2nd book, and to me, you really need to read the previous ones and remember, lol. That being said its still a great book. Once my memory was jogged a bit, it was easier to grasp.

I enjoyed some of the new characters that came into this. I also was glad to see some returning characters too. Not too happy with the hints a love triangle to possibly come, hopefully I am wrong on that, I am not a big fan of the love triangles.

I felt really bad for Sabrina, she had to work hard to hold onto her humanity. Being in hell after she was kidnapped is not a fun time for her, that's for sure.

Overall its a great read and continuation on the story. Its fascinating, and I do highly recommend. Especially if you have read the previous books.
I give it 4 1/2 stars out of 5

I was provided a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.


The foul smell coming from the demon washing my arms would make any sane person want to vomit. And her smile. Good lord what does she do, chew on rocks for fun? They’re broken off at uneven angles, some worse than others. And what exactly were those rocks covered in, tar? The black stains, not only on her teeth but on her gums as well, makes me wonder.
She smiles at me again when she notices me staring.
“No need for that, I’ve already gotten a nasty eye full.”
She smirks and goes back to her duties of washing off the blood that covers
Not wanting to look at her face anymore, I gaze at the cave’s ceiling. God, the amount of bodies they have thrown at me the last few days (or has it been months?) makes my skin crawl. Every single human they brought me to feed from had their throats slit from ear to ear, causing blood to cover their bodies. It had been easy to refuse the feast that was being laid at my feet. They were all full of some sort of dark poison, or dark something. I could smell it in the air, although I’m sure they thought I wouldn’t notice because of my bloodlust.
After refusing the first few, Lucifer—aka Lou—ordered his demon henchmen to hoist the bodies from the ceiling. He thought this would give me no choice but to drink the tainted blood. Unfortunately for him, I had tucked my chin against my chest and did my best to keep the blood from getting anywhere near my face. Once the bodies were drained, the demons would discard of them, but would leave their blood dripping from me in hopes I would go into a frenzy. No such luck. Yet.
Each time it is getting harder and harder to refuse. My body craves what it’s deprived of, and I fear of what will happen to me if that need wins out. I have no idea what is in their blood, but it’s foul—like the demon in front of me now. Why Lou is playing such games, is beyond me. He has the power to do whatever he wants without hanging a mouse in front of the snake. And with me in no shape to fight back, he could easily get the job done. So why all of this?
The demon girl tosses the now blood-stained rag into the bucket, sending soap suds and water all over the rock floor. “Therr, you cleeean,” the demon girl slurs, her words hard to understand.
Intelligence and beauty seems to be lacking in this neck of the cave. “How much longer?” No need to emphasize on exactly what I mean. Any answer she gives me, whether for the next torture blood drip or my death, will suffice.
“Maser will be hare ssssoon.” The demon bends over to pick up the bucket, her long stringy, grease caked hair dipping into the tinged pink soapy water. It’s not an effective wash, but in her condition, it’s better than nothing.
Meeting with Lou again is an answer I was hoping not to hear. He may be toying with me now, but I know something big is going to happen soon. It has to. I may not know everything about his so-called master plan to turn Emma and I into one of his drooling mutts, but I do know they didn’t tie me up just to play this starving game. This isn’t the big torture session. This may just be for sport. Who knows with these creeps?
Once the demon is gone, two hounds come to stand—or rather, sit on their haunches—at the entrance where I’m being held. The rock room is small, with no other furnishings except for the chains holding me to the wall. Thankfully, Lou allowed enough slack in the bondages for me to sit down. Between the bloodlust, trying to use persuasion on the demons who came in, and the hollow feeling in my chest when I think about Kayson, it’s enough to have me collapsing in a heap every time I am left alone.
The helpless feeling that likes to take over when I’m alone with my thoughts starts to set in. First, my chest begins to tighten. Then my vision begins to darken, as my limbs grow numb and useless. What is going to happen to me? I don’t want to become one of Lucifer’s drones to command, to torture for all of eternity. I need to find a way out of here.
I promise that with every ounce of will I have left, I will try to survive. But I also promise that if something happens to you, no depth in Hell will keep me from coming to get you.
Kayson’s promise echoes through my mind and causes my muscles to tighten even more. The last thing I want is for Kayson and the others to come rescue me and get captured in the process. But no matter my fear for them, I can’t but help allow my mind to wander, and imagine Kayson storming through Hell with his sword raised high, his muscles straining as he fights the hounds and pushes his way past their defenses. The look of relief on his face, even though it’s not real, makes me smile. I can almost feel him scooping me up into his arms and carrying me out of this nightmare.
The daydream shatters as a scream fills the hall, before being silenced by a slamming door. God, I hope Kayson has the sense not to come down here. As much as I wish for my fantasy to come true, I’d rather not have to face the reality of what would actually happen if he did try. The images that fill my head of the blood spilt causes my stomach to heave.
The improbable chance of Kayson finding his way into Hell is the only thing that puts my mind at ease. It’s not easy, and from what I remember, there’s only two ways in—besides being an evil bastard and dying of course, that’s a sure-fire way. But Lou isn’t going to be sending out welcome invitations anytime soon, and with Falon being on his short leash, Kayson’s chances are slim and none. And even if Falon wasn’t under the watchful eyes of Lou’s minions after he disappointed his Master by not staying to fight Kayson until the death, there’s no way he would help Kayson into Hell.
With the peace of mind that comes with knowing Kayson is safe and unable to fulfill his promise, my thoughts scatter. My mind races with so many questions, scenarios, and fears, I can’t grasp any to focus on. Will Kayson move on and continue to fight for the half-bloods? What sort of torture will I endure for the rest of eternity? If I’m turned into a hound, I wonder if the transformation is painful. Will I be able to eat food again? What if I have to fight Kayson and the others one day? A broken cry escapes me as I remember the desperation on his face as he tried to reach me before Falon shimmered us down below. I could never fight Kayson or any of the others. Will Falon treat me as any other hound or will he hold a special malice toward me? 
Speaking of Falon, I wonder where that mutt has been hiding these past few days. I haven’t seen him, and from what I understand from the whispers of the others, they haven’t either. It still astonishes me that Lou would leave his Alpha hound in such pain. The dagger I put through his chest had left him looking a little pale. After glancing over Falon’s wound, Lou had dismissed him. His punishment for not fighting the fallen to the death was going to be to suffer until the wound healed on its own. What a way to show appreciation to those who put their lives on the line for you.
The look of surprise on Falon’s face when I spoke out on his behalf reminded me of the same disbelief in Kayson’s eyes when I extended my hand to help him. A moment of kindness can go a long way; just look at Kayson and me. Maybe if I remind Falon of that moment, he will show me a little mercy if I’m forced to become a hound. Hopefully, it won’t come to that. Becoming a vampire was bad enough, but to become a hound is unthinkable.
Sometimes we are forced to do things we don’t want. Time to prepare yourself girl; you’re in for some disappointment. 
My fingers tighten around the chains and I close my eyes as that deep voice dripping with cold malice fills my thoughts. Malach had been right that night he whispered those words in the dark, before sinking his teeth in my neck. Things are forced upon us we don’t want and no matter how hard we try, nothing can stop it from happening. I had lashed out against Malach but it had been to no avail. Unlike that time, I will fight like hell until my last breath is drawn before I give in to being a hound. I won’t fall limp from fear. I won’t let something else I don’t want be thrust upon me by force.
The hounds blocking the entrance part, and in comes a slimy looking beast. Not in the literal sense, he isn’t covered in scales or dripping with scum. The look in his eyes is what gives his slimy, evil intent away. Whatever he has planned for me he’s obviously going to enjoy. Perfect.
His stride is calculated as he slowly stalks toward me. Sharp, metal-looking fingernails extend out of each finger and clank with every step he takes, causing my nerves to twitch. Dangling from those sharp points on his right hand is a key. My nervousness spikes. Where is he going to take me? Hope shifts within me and I begin to calculate my chances of escaping before he gets the chance to lay a finger on me.
First I gauge my strength, which isn’t much since I’ve deprived myself of nutrition. Second I plan my attack. First I’ll try to persuade demon boys mind. If that doesn’t work, a chain wrapped around his throat should do the trick. Once free, I’ll have the hounds to contend with. A quick sweep of the small space confirms my fears, I have no weapon to defend myself.
But I’m not going down without a fight.
A desperate plan forms in my mind just as the slime bag reaches me. A slight upward turn of his lips gives way to one creepy smile as he outstretches his hand and begins to unlock my right chain. Once I hear the lock click open, I jump into action. Whipping my left hand around his head, I wrap the chain around the demon’s neck, pull it tight, and hold on for dear life. The demon gurgles, his claws tearing at his own skin as he tries to free himself. It does no good. As he struggles, I wrap my legs around his waist and knock him to the floor.
Unfortunately my escape plan is interrupted, just like I feared it would be. The hounds that had been blocking my door come in the room, jaws snapping as their growls echo from the thick stone walls. The hound on the right lunges and lands on my back. I lose my grip on the demon as I roll onto my side to avoid the attack from the hound on the left.
With a quick intake of breath, the slime bag is on his feet and advancing toward me, a wicked secret dancing on his lips once again. Great, I probably just made his day. Before he can get a grip on me, I’m jerked back by the hound on my right. His claws dig into my leg as he swipes at me, the depth of the wounds going to the bone. 
Suddenly, my attacker is gone and the hound’s whimpers fill the room. The hound backs away toward the exit, his head down, teeth exposed, and he growls his frustration at demon boy. I wonder why they’re backing off. Maybe they know I’m not just some toy to be played with. Probably not. I take note of the double gash scar above the hound’s left eye. Oh, me and this hound will have our chance, and next time, I won’t be the one being tossed around.
I start to ask if anyone is able to speak besides me, when suddenly I am picked up by the neck. Before I can even utter my surprise, my face is shoved into the rock wall of the cave. The impact explodes against my cheek, but before the shock or pain can really set in, my head is brought back and I’m once again thrust into the wall, again and again. Finally, my vision swims and the last thing I see is slime bucket’s pleased smile as I fall into his arms.

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