Monday, April 30, 2012

Sharing Your Universe

One of my Crescent Moon Press friend and colleague's book released today, and I am sooo excited to showcase Taste on My Little Page of the Universe.  You can find Kate at Enjoy!!!

by Kate Evangelista
Purchase Print
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel
Publication Date: May 2012
Cover art by Liliana Sanches

At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn't realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.


Copyright © 2012 Kate Evangelista
All rights reserved — a Crescent Moon Press publication

I mentally stomped on the intimidation their perfection brought into my mind and said, "Excuse me."

The group froze, startled by my words. The girls had their brows raised and the boys stopped mid-speech, mouths agape. They stared at me with eyes the shade of onyx stones.

I smiled and gave them a little wave.

The boy a step ahead of the rest recovered first. His stunning features went from shocked surprise to intense interest. He reminded me of a hawk eyeing its prey. I gulped.

"A Day Student," he said, his eyes insolent and excited.

Something about the way he said "Day Student" made my stomach flip. "Excuse me?"

They snickered. The boys looked at each other while the girls continued to stare, muffling their laughter by delicate hands. I seemed to be the butt of some joke.

"You broke the rule." The boy's grin turned predatory.

The students formed a loose semi-circle in front of me. My gaze darted from face to face. Hunger filled their eyes. The image of lions about to chase down a gazelle came to mind. I mentally shook my head. I was in the mountains not the Serengeti for crying out loud.

I took a small step back and cleared my throat. "Can any of you give me a ride back to the dorms?"

The boy wagged his forefinger like a metronome. "Ah, that's unfortunate for you."

One of the girls pinched the bridge of her nose. "Eli, you can't possibly—"

"It's forbidden, Eli," another boy interrupted, pronouncing the word "forbidden" like a curse.

The nervous murmur at the pit of my stomach grew louder. Six against one. Not good odds. Instinct told me to cut my losses and run. Bad enough I faced expulsion, now it seemed like weird, beautiful people who'd suddenly appeared on campus wanted to beat me up. No, scratch that. Judging from the way they studied me, beating me up wouldn't satisfy them. Something more primal prowled behind their looks.

I definitely wasn't going down without a fight. Years of self-defense and hand-to-hand combat classes had me prepared. While other children from rich and important families got bodyguards, I got defense training. But I think my father meant for my skills to go up against potential kidnappers, not against other students who may or may not be crazy. Oh God! Maybe I stepped into a parallel universe or something when I reentered Barinkoff.

"None of the students are supposed to be on campus," I said. Then, realizing my mistake, I added, "Okay, I know I'm not supposed to be here either. If one of you gives me a ride back to the dorms, I won't say anything about all this. Let's pretend this never happened. I didn't see you, you didn't see me."

"We're not ordinary students," Eli answered. "We're the Night Students."

He'd said "Night Students" like the words were capitalized. I didn't know Barinkoff held classes at night. 

What was going on here?

Eli smiled with just one side of his mouth and said to the group, "She's right, no one will have to know. We're the only ones here. And it's been so long, don't you agree?"

The rest of them nodded reluctantly.

"What's been so long?" I challenged. I fisted my hands, ready to put them up if any of them so much as 
twitched my way.

"Since the taste of real flesh passed through my lips," Eli said. He came forward and took a whiff of me then laughed when I cringed.

"Flesh." Yep, parallel universe.

"Yes," he said. "And yours smells so fresh."

Someone grabbed my shoulders from behind and yanked me back before I could wrap my mind around the meaning behind Eli's words. In a blink, I found myself behind someone tall. Someone really tall. And quite broad. And very male.

I realized he wore the same clothes Eli and the other boys did. Not good. He was one of them. Although… I cocked my head, raking my gaze over him. He seemed born to wear the uniform, like he was the pattern everyone else was cut from. My eyes wandered to long, layered, blue-black hair tied at the nape by a silk ribbon. Even in dim light, his hair possessed a sheen akin to mercury.
I looked down. The boy's long fingers were wrapped around my wrist like a cuff. His fevered touch felt hotter than human standards, hot enough to make me sweat like I was standing beside a radiator but not hot enough to burn.

"I must be mistaken, Eli," the boy who held my arm said in a monotone. "Correct me. Did I hear you say you wanted to taste the flesh of this girl?"

A hush descended on us. It had the hairs at the back of my neck rising. How was it possible for the atmosphere to switch from threatening to dangerous? Unable to help myself, I peeked around the new guy's bulk. Eli and his friends bowed. They all had their right hands on their chests.

"Demitri, I'm sure you misheard me," Eli said.

So the guy standing between me and the person who said he'd wanted to taste me was named Demitri. I like the sound of his name. Demitri. So strong, yet rolls off the tongue. Definite yum factor.

"So, you imply I made a mistake?" Demitri demanded.

"No!" Eli lifted his gaze. "I did no such thing. I simply wanted to show the girl the consequences of breaking curfew."

"Hey!" I yelled. "Don't talk about me like I'm not here!"

Demitri ignored my protest and continued to address Eli. "So, you threatened to taste her flesh." His fingers tightened their grip around my wrist. "In the interest of investigating this matter further, I invoke the Silence."

All six students gasped, passing surprised glances at one another.

Before I could ask about what was going on, Demitri yanked me down the hall toward the library. But why there? Oh, maybe we were getting my things. No, wait, he couldn't have known about that. Everything was too confusing now.

Eli and the others didn't try to stop us when we passed them. Demitri's cold command must have carried power. Handsome and powerful, never a bad combination on a guy.

We reached the heavy double doors in seconds. He jerked one open effortlessly. I'd needed all my strength just to squeeze through that same door earlier. To him, the thick wood might as well have been cardboard. I raised an eyebrow and mentally listed the benefits of going to gym class.

"Why are we here?" I asked after my curiosity overpowered my worry. I'd almost forgotten how frightened I'd been right before Demitri showed up. I wasn't above accepting help from strangers. Especially from gorgeous dark-haired strangers with hot hands and wide shoulders.

Demitri kept going, tugging me along, snaking his way deeper into the library. I had to take two steps for every stride his legs made. I tried to stay directly behind him, praying we didn't slam into anything.
He stopped suddenly and I collided with him. It felt like slamming into a wall.

"Hey," I said, momentarily stunned. "A little warning would be nice!"

He faced me, and I gasped. His eyes resembled a starless night, deep and endless. Their intensity drilled through me without pity, seeming to expose all my secrets. I felt naked and flustered beneath his gaze.

"You could have died back there," he warned.

A lump of panic rebuilt itself in my throat.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sharing MY Universe!


I'm thrilled with my cover for Crimson Sunrise! Hope you love it as much as I do...

Crimson Sunrise…

Saari Mitchell attends a Tueri conference in Las Vegas, Nevada to strengthen her bonds with Dhelis Guidry and Brogan Vincent—and see if they can make their three-sided relationship work. But when Saari and her vampire brother Mag’s lives are threatened, her trip to paradise soon becomes a surreal fight for survival.

Dhelis and Brogan’s psychic abilities are no help in finding Saari. Desperate to save their mate, they call in favors from the psychic and preternatural community, but the information leads only to more questions. Is the threat against Saari personal or part of a larger plan that threatens every human and Tueri’s existence?

Crimson Sunrise is the second novel in the Tueri Fated Souls Series.

Said of the first novel in this series, Moonlight Bleu:

“Moonlight Bleu by Renee Rearden is one of those ‘blow your socks off’, totally awesome, amazingly entertaining and, completely wonderful stories that make you want to yell about it, at the top of your lungs, from every roof top you can get to! Rearden’s talent is fresh and brings a new face to the world of the paranormal genre.

            ~YzhaBella’s BookShelf

“Renee Rearden has exploded onto the paranormal fiction scene with this debut novel—Moonlight Bleu! The concepts in this novel are fresh and creative, and I look forward to seeing future developments…from an exciting new author to watch!”

            ~Digigirl’s Library

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sharing Your Universe

Today I'm helping celebrate with my good friend Sasha Summers. I LOVE her new cover and can't wait to read the first installment in her Loves of Olympus Series!

Without further ado, I give you Medusa...

It's said love can change a person. Medusa wasn't always a monster...

Medusa is ruled by duty, to her Titan father and the Goddess Athena. She's no room for the tenderness her warrior guard, Ariston, stirs. When Olympus frees her from service, her heart leads her into the arms of the guard she loves... and curses her as the creature with serpent locks.

Ariston goes to war with a full heart... and dreadful foreboding. He learns too late of the danger Medusa faces, alone, and a Persian blade sends him into the Underworld. But death, curses, nor the wrath of the Gods will keep him from returning to her.

Poseidon will use Greece's war to get what he wants: Medusa. He does not care that she belongs to another. He does not care that she will be damned. He is a God, an Olympian, and she will be his.

"This tragic and beautiful retelling of one of the world's oldest stories tackles the eternal battle between duty and happiness. Medusa, A Love Story broke my heart then filled in the cracks with joy. Sasha Summers is simply a mesmerizing new talent."

~Stephanie Dray, Author of the critically acclaimed Song of the Nile

Medusa, A Love Story book trailer:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Reviewing Your Universe

Celtic Storms by Delaney Rhodes
Celtic Steel Series, Book 1
ARC provided through NetGalley

Rating: 2 Stars

After Darina O’Malley’s father dies, she learns she is to wed Patrick MacCahan. Though she is adverse to the idea, her clan depends on her—and they need a man to lead them. Bringing a husband and additional soldiers into the family is also necessary. The O’Malley clan is cursed. No males have been born into their clan for over 20 years.

Patrick MacCahan is the oldest son of the MacCahan clan. He’s a large, handsome man, a trained soldier and talented blacksmith, but is scarred from the death of his mother. He believes his damaged right hand and inability to communicate without stuttering make him an unsuitable husband for any woman.

The news of Laird O’Malley’s death spreads beyond their borders to the Burkes, a long-feuding clan of the O’Malleys. Old vendettas and plots for revenge threaten to destroy the O’Malley clan. Darina and Patrick must find common ground and establish their relationship if they are to survive a dangerous secret that’s been kept in order to ensure the future O’Malley laird’s safety.

First, let me say I loved the cover. It led me to believe I was probably going to read a historical novel with paranormal elements. Well, I did—sort of. The general idea for the plot is, I think, as I’ve summarized above. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite follow that path of logic.

As a reader, we’re introduced to Patrick. He is a grown man. He’s handsome. Has learned to fight as well as any soldier—in spite of­­ an injury he received as a young man. That’s a laudable trait, a testament to his character for determination. He also suffers from night terrors and stutters. These are the result of watching his mother die in a horrific and tragic manner. Again, psychologically acceptable. I viewed these handicaps as being issues Patrick would overcome as part of his character arc.

In the process of learning these things about Patrick, all of the information is delivered in large chunks of back story. Details are given about everything in a scene, and while some details are important, too much of the story was lost in extraneous things that didn’t add to the story.

Darina is portrayed as a strong, independent 17-year old woman. She stands second in command to her father, but cannot lead the clan because she is a woman—yet the O’Malley clan is the wealthiest clan in Ireland. Each of the sisters possess a different talent that makes them the best at what they do in Ireland. They hunt, sew, weave, mediate, fight…even wear pants on the docks to work, as there aren’t enough men to do “male” oriented jobs. In short, the O’Malley clan is perfect—except for the curse. They can’t have male children.

Then there’s the paranormal element of druids and magic introduced into the storyline. The curse is a spell cast over the O’Malley clan by Odetta Burke, a spurned female from the Burke clan. Odetta isn’t a druid, but she’s learned to use the spells and wreak havoc with her power hungry bitterness.

Darina has also been trained in the ways of the druids and can speak with her mind to her sisters. Interesting…and mighty handy I would imagine. Though Darina denies her druid powers to others. When Patrick arrives, he is able to speak with Darina through their minds as well. Now this is a big development in the story. But Darina doesn’t freak out or ask how or why…just gets angry at him for being in her head.

Patrick was also portrayed as a man that never spoke with women and rarely spoke with men. He didn’t like to communicate because of his stutter. Then he meets Darina and is immediately talking to her in her head and in person. He’s smooth and seductive and there was no building of a relationship between Darina and Patrick. We just arrived at the “I’m into you and I know you’re into me” stage without any real development between their two characters.

Then we have the O’Malley secret. Braeden McTierney is an orphan that’s fostered with the MacCahan clan. He was accompanied by a nurse named Mavis—except Braeden is not an orphan. He’s an O’Malley. The rightful heir and laird of the O’Malley clan. Mavis is really Raelyn Burke, Odetta Burke’s sister. Yes, this is a spoiler, but these are great twists in the storyline. Unfortunately, what were very interesting elements got lost in the shuffle of confusing scenes, head hopping and unclear points of view.

Finally, I must address the ending. As a reader, I love to read a series. An overarching conflict is woven into every novel of a series obviously. However, each individual book should have its own plot filled with conflicts that are resolved. I read the entire novel, and the conflicts were not resolved and the book ended with a major cliffhanger. It left me very frustrated and disappointed. I’m sad to say, unless a different approach is taken with subsequent books, I will not be reading the rest of this series.