Friday, June 28, 2013

Branded Release Day Blitz!!!

Title: Branded

Author: Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki
Release Date: June 28, 2013
Genre: Mature Young Adult/New Adult, Dystopian
Blitz Host: Lady Amber's Tours
Book Description:
Twenty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.
The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.
Chapter One

I’m buried six feet under, and no one hears my screams.
The rope chafes as I loop it around my neck. I pull down, making sure the knot is secure. It seems sturdy enough. My legs shake. My heart beats heavy in my throat. Sweat pours down my back.
Death and I glare at each other through my tears.
I take one last look at the crystal chandelier, the foyer outlined with mirrors, and the flawless decorations. No photographs adorn the walls. No happy memories here.
I’m ready to go. On the count of three.
I inhale, preparing myself for the finality of it all. Dropping my hands, a glimmer catches my eye. It’s my ring, the last precious gift my father gave me. I twist it around to read the inscription. Picturing his face forces me to reconsider my choice. He’d be heartbroken if he could see me now.
A door slams in the hallway, almost causing me to lose my balance. My thoughts already muddled, I stand waiting with the rope hanging around my neck. Voices I don’t recognize creep through the walls.
Curiosity overshadows my current thoughts. It’s late at night, and this is a secure building in High Society. No one disturbs the peace here—ever. I tug on the noose and pull it back over my head.
Peering through the eyehole in our doorway, I see a large group of armed guards banging on my neighbors’ door. A heated conversation ensues, and my neighbors point toward my family’s home.
It hits me. I’ve been accused and they’re here to arrest me.
My father would want me to run, and in that split second, I decide to listen to his voice within me. Flinging myself forward in fear, I scramble up the marble staircase and into my brother’s old bedroom. The door is partially covered, but it exists. Pushing his dresser aside, my fingers claw at the opening. Breathing hard, I lodge myself against it. Nothing. I step back and kick it with all my strength. The wood splinters open, and my foot gets caught. I wrench it backward, scraping my calf, but adrenaline pushes me forward. The voices at the front door shout my name.
On hands and knees, I squeeze through the jagged opening. My brother left through this passage, and now it’s my escape too. Cobwebs entangle my face, hands, and hair. At the end, I feel for the knob, twisting it clockwise. It swings open, creaking from disuse. I sprint into the hallway and smash through the large fire escape doors at the end. A burst of cool air strikes me in the face as I jump down the ladder.
Reaching the fifth floor, I knock on a friend’s window. The lights flicker on, and I see the curtains move, but no one answers. I bang on the window harder.
“Let me in! Please!” I say, but the lights darken. They know I’ve been accused and refuse to help me. Fear and adrenaline rush through my veins as I keep running, knocking on more windows along the way. No one has mercy. They all know what happens to sinners.
Another flight of stairs passes in a blur when I hear the guards’ heavy footfalls from above. I can’t hide, but I don’t want to go without trying.
Help me, Daddy. I need your strength now.
My previous desolation evolves into a will to survive. I have to keep running, but I tremble and gasp for air. I steel my nerves and force my body to keep moving. In a matter of minutes, my legs cramp and my chest burns. I plunge to the ground, scraping my knee and elbow. A moan escapes from my chest.
Gotta keep going.
“Stop!” Their voices bounce off the buildings. “Lexi Hamilton, surrender yourself,” they command. They’re gaining on me.
I resist the urge to glance back, running into what I assume is an alley. I’m far from our high-rise in High Society as I plunge into a poorer section of the city where the streets all look the same and the darkness prevents me from recognizing anything. I’m lost.
My first instinct is to leap into a dumpster, but I retain enough sense to stay still. I crouch and peek around it, watching them dash by. The abhorrent smell leaves me vomiting until nothing remains in my stomach. Desperation overtakes me, as I know my retching was anything but silent. My last few seconds tick away before they find me. Everyone knows about their special means of tracking sinners.
I push myself to my feet and look left, right, and left again. Their batons click against their black leather belts, and their boots stomp the cement on both sides of me. I shrink into myself. Their heavy steps mock my fear, growing closer and closer until I know I’m trapped.
Never did I imagine they’d come for me. Never did I imagine all those nights I heard them dragging someone else away that I’d join them.
“You’re a sinner,” they say. “Time to leave our society.”
I stand defiant. I refuse to bend or break before them, even as I shiver with fear.
“There’s no reason to make this difficult. The more you cooperate, the smoother this will be for everyone,” a guard says.
I cringe into the blackness along the wall. I’m innocent, but they won’t believe me or care.
The next instant, my face slams into the pavement as one guard plants a knee in my back and another handcuffs me. A warm liquid trails into my mouth. Blood. Their fingers grip my arms like steel traps as they peel me off the cement. The tops of my shoes scrape along the ground as I’m dragged behind them until they discard me into the back of a black vehicle. The doors slam in unison with one guard stationed on each side of me, my shoulders digging into their arms.
Swallowing hard, I stare ahead to avoid their eyes. My dignity is all I have left. The handcuffs dig into my wrists, so I clasp them together hard behind me and press my back into the seat, unwilling to admit how much it hurts.
Did they need so many guards to capture me?
I’m not carrying any weapons, nor do I own any. I don’t even know self-defense. High Society frowns on activities like that.
The driver jerks the vehicle around and I try to keep my bearings, but it’s dark and the scenery changes too fast. Hours pass, and the air grows warmer, more humid the farther we drive. The landscape mutates from city to rolling hills. They don’t bother blindfolding me because they escort all the sinners to the same place—the Hole. Twenty-foot cement walls encase the chaos within. There’s no way out and no way in unless they transport you. They say the Hole is a prison with no rules. We learned about it last year in twelfth grade.
To the outside, I’m filth now. I’ll never be allowed to return to the life I knew. No one ever does.
“All sinners go through a transformation,” one of the guards says to me. His smirk infuriates me. “I’m sure you’ve heard all kinds of stories.” I don’t respond. I don’t want to think about the things I’ve been told.
“You won’t last too long, though. Young girls like you get eaten alive.” He pulls a strand of my hair up to his face.
Get your hands off me, you pig. I want to lash out, but resist. The punishment for disobeying authority is severe, and I’m not positioned to defy him.
They’re the Guards of the Commander. They’re chosen from a young age and trained in combat. They keep the order of society by using violent methods of intimidation. No one befriends a guard. Relationships with them are forbidden inside the Hole.
Few have seen the commander. His identity stays under lock and key. His own paranoia and desire to stay pure drove him to live this way. He controls our depraved society and believes sinners make the human race unforgivable. His power is a crushing fist, rendering all beneath him helpless. So much so, even family members turn on each other when an accusation surfaces. Just an accusation. No trial, no evidence, nothing but an accusation.
I lose myself in thoughts of my father.
“Never show fear, Lexi,” my father said to me before he was taken. “They’ll use it against you.” His compassionate eyes filled with warning as he commanded me to be strong. That was many years ago, but I remember it clearly. My father. My rock. The one person in my life who provided unconditional love.
“Get out,” the guard says while pulling me to my feet. The vehicle stops, and I’m jerked back to reality. The doors slide open and the two guards lift me up and out into the night. A windowless cement building looms in front of us, looking barren in the darkness.
The coolness of the air sends a shiver up my spine. This is really happening. I’ve been labeled a sinner. My lip starts to quiver, but I bite it before anyone sees. They shove me in line, and I realize I’m not alone. Women and men stand with faces frozen white with fear. A guard grabs my finger, pricks it, and dabs my blood on a tiny microchip.
I follow the man in front of me into the next room where we’re lined up facing the wall. Glancing right, I see one of the men crying.
“Spread your legs,” one of the guards says.
They remove my outer layers and their hands roam up and down my body.
What do they think I can possibly be hiding? I press my head into the wall, trying to block out what they’re doing to me.
“MOVE!” a guard commands. So I shuffle across the room, trying to cover up.
Five of us sit in the holding room. One by one, they pull people into the next room, forcing the rest of us to wonder what torture we’ll endure. An agonizing amount of time passes. I lean my head back and try to imagine a place far away. The door opens.
“Lexi Hamilton.”
A guard escorts me out of the room, and I don’t have time to look back. As soon as the door closes, they pick me up and place me on a table. It’s cold and my skin sticks to it slightly, like wet fingers on an ice cube. Then they exit in procession, and I lie on the table with a doctor standing over me. His hands are busy as he speaks.
“Don’t move. This will only take a few minutes. It’s time for you to be branded.”
A wet cloth that smells like rubbing alcohol is used to clean my skin. Then he places a metal collar around my neck.
Click. Click. Click.
The collar locks into place, and I struggle to breathe. The doctor loosens it some as I focus on the painted black words above me.
The Seven Deadly Sins:

Lust Blue

Gluttony Orange

Greed Yellow

Sloth Black
Wrath Red
Envy Green

Pride Purple

“Memorize it. Might keep you alive longer if you know who to stay away from.” He opens my mouth, placing a bit inside. “Bite this.”
Within seconds, the collar heats from hot to scorching. The smell of flesh sizzling makes my head spin. I bite down so hard a tooth cracks.
“GRRRRRRRRR,” escapes from deep within my chest. Just when I’m about to pass out, the temperature drops, and the doctor loosens the collar.
He removes it and sits me up. Excruciating pain rips through me, and I’m on the verge of a mental and physical breakdown. Focus. Don’t pass out.
Stainless steel counters and boring white walls press in on me. A guard laughs at me from an observation room above and yells, “Blue. It’s a great color for a pretty young thing like yourself.” His eyes dance with suggestion. The others meander around like it’s business as usual.
I finally find my voice and turn to the doctor.
“Are you going to give me clothes?” A burning pain spreads like fire up from my neck to my jaw, making me wince.
He points to a set of folded grey scrubs on a chair. I cover myself as much as I can and scurry sideways. Grabbing my clothes and pulling the shirt over my head, I try to avoid the raw meat around my throat. I quickly knot the cord of my pants around my waist and slide my feet into the hospital-issue slippers as the doctor observes. He hands me a bag labeled with my name.
“Nothing is allowed through the door but what we’ve given you,” he says.
I hide my right hand behind me, hoping no one notices. A guard scans my body and opens his hand.
“Give it to me,” he says. “Don’t make me rip off your finger.” He crouches down and I turn to stone. I don’t know what to do, so I beg.
“My father gave this to me. Please, let me keep it.” I smash my eyes shut and think of the moment my father handed the golden ring to me.
“It was my mother’s ring,” he’d said. “She’s the strongest woman I ever knew.” With tears in his eyes, he reached for my hand and said, “Lexi, you’re exactly like her. She’d want you to wear this. No matter how this world changes, you can survive.” I turned the gold band over in my palm and read the engraving.
You can overcome anything… short of death.
“You’re going to take the one thing that matters the most to me?” I say, glaring into the guard’s emotionless eyes. “Isn’t it enough taking my life, dignity, and respect?”
A hard blow falls upon my back. As I fall, my hands shoot out to stop me from smashing into the wall in front of me. The guard bends down and grabs my chin with his meaty fist.
“Look at me,” he commands. I look up and he smiles with arrogance.
“What the hell?” He staggers a step backward. “What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with your eyes?”
“Nothing,” I respond, confused.
“What color are they?”
“Turquoise.” I glower at him.
“Interesting,” he says, regaining his composure. “Now those’ll get you in trouble.”
Reality slaps me across the face. I have my father’s eyes. They can't take them from me. I twist the ring off my finger and drop it in his hand.
“Take the damn ring,” I say. I walk to the door. He swipes a card and the massive door slides open to the outside.
“You have to wear your hair back at all times, so everyone knows what you are.” He hands me a tie, so I pull my frizzy hair away from my face and secure it into a ponytail. My neck burns and itches as my hand traces the scabs that have already begun to form. Squinting ahead in the darkness, I almost run into a guard standing on the sidewalk.
“Watch where you’re going,” he says, shoving me backward. His stiff figure stands tall and I cringe at the sharpness of his voice.
“Cole, this is your new assignment, Lexi Hamilton. See to it she feels welcome in her new home.” The guard departs with a salute.
“Let’s move,” Cole says.
I take two steps and collapse, my knees giving out. The unforgiving pavement reopens the scrapes from earlier and I struggle to stand. A powerful arm snatches me up, and I see his face for the first time.
Buy it here!!!

Author Bios:
Abi Ketner Is a registered nurse with a passion for novels, the beaches of St. John, and her Philadelphia Phillies. A talented singer, Abi loves to go running and spend lots of time with her family. She currently resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband, triplet daughters and two very spoiled dogs.

Melissa Kalicicki received her bachelor’s degree from Millersville University in 2003. She married, had two boys and currently lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Aside from reading and writing, her interests include running and mixed martial arts. She also remains an avid Cleveland sports fan.

Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.


Website and Blog

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Octavian's Undoing Review and Promo Post

Octavian’s Undoing by Airicka Phoenix
Book Name: Octavian’s Undoing
Series Title: Sons of Judgment Series
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Publisher: Airicka Phoenix
Release date: June 24, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Warnings: Sexual Content, Language
Formats: eBook & Paperback

*This review contains spoilers*
I had the pleasure of reading Octavian's Undoing by Airicka Phoenix, one of my favorite authors. I started reading around 8 PM last night and had to force myself to go to sleep at 3:15 AM because I didn't want to put it down. When I woke up this morning, I finished it without even getting out of bed or putting my contacts on, which was probably a hilarious sight - me with my Kindle in my face as I squinted with one eye open to read the last 20% of the book. Yep, it was that good.

Our main characters are Riley Masters and Octavian Maxwell. I loved both, and Airicka did a fabulous job creating genuine characters that readers can relate to, even though its a paranormal book. Riley is a nineteen year old girl who was abandoned by her mother and forced to drop out of college to take care of herself and her unemployed bum of a father. She finds a job at a reclusive restaurant/bar named Final Judgment after returning a wallet full of cash that she found at a visit to the post office. Little does she know, the bar is a gateway between Hell and Earth, and the family that guards it are paranormal demon hunters known as Casters. The eldest son, Octavian, is totally against Riley working there, despite their immediate attraction to each other, and he has a good reason why. We find out that Riley is Octavian's mate, which is almost unheard of because she is human and he is not. Humans are forbidden to Casters, so the fact that Riley is Octavian's mate presents many problems, including not being able to touch each other without risking Riley's life.

One of the things I loved was that Octavian and Riley didn't drop the l word right away, even though their feelings for one another are apparent as their relationship develops. Their devotion to one another is what everyone wishes to have in real life, and they have moved to one of my all-time favorite book couples. The fact that Riley actually took time to think about her choice to be with Octavian and plunge herself into the world of Angels and Demons, including the danger it would put her in, is refreshing. Many books have the heroine making rash, dangerous decisions in a span of hours without even thinking when it comes to the hero. Octavian is fierce, protective and loyal, and has become one of my top book boyfriends. Not to mention that he's smoking hot with the perfect touch of smart-ass.

This is Airicka's first NA novel, and while I wished there were more steamy scenes, the ones that were present were well-written and tasteful. The story more than makes up for the lack of sex(can you blame a girl for wanting more Octavian?)and I can't wait to see what happens in the next Sons of Judgment book.

4 stars


No good deed goes unpunished.

Riley Masters learns this the hard way when she finds a wallet and decides to do the right thing. But returning it will cost her much more than she bargains for.

Abandoned by her mother, raised by an indifferent father, Riley has accepted the fact that she would be alone always. She has no idea that a single act of kindness would propel her into a world where creatures that shouldn’t exist guard the human race from the demons that lurk in the shadows. That it will cost her the lives of those she loves while unearthing a destiny she never imagined with a man who is forbidden to love her. She finds passion, romance and the family she’d been searching for her entire life, but at what cost and what is she willing to sacrifice to find answers and happiness?

Octavian Maxwell has always known his place. He is a Caster, a Son of Judgment. His job is to protect the mortal world from the creatures plotting to destroy it. Instead, his world is shattered when a human girl walks into Final Judgment, a girl he has been searching for his entire life, a girl he is forbidden to ever touch. Being with her will break the oath he’s sworn to never love a mortal. But his heart has already found its mate and it refuses to let go.


“I know.” The two words ghosted against the skin of her neck, sending goose bumps down her spine. “But I want to touch you. I want to put my hands all over you. I want to kiss every inch of you and taste you as you come apart in my arms. I want to feel you wrapped around me with nothing but my name on your lips and the sheets a tangled mess beneath us. I want…” He exhaled heavily into her ear. “I want. I want. I want!”

It was purely the hard surface at her back that kept her from sliding in a puddle at his feet. Her body thrummed. Her knees quivered. She was so hot it was a wonder she hadn’t exploded.
“Do it, Octavian” She ghosted the tips of her fingers along the hem of his shirt. “Touch me.”

He growled low in his throat, his forehead dropping another inch toward her shoulder, his hair tickling the side of her face. “Be my angel, Riley, not my siren. Don’t tempt me.”

Moistening her lips with a sweep of her tongue, Riley glided her fingers over his belt, tracing the strip of leather to the silver buckle in the center. She felt rather than heard his deep inhalation and the tremor that raked his powerful body. Driven by his surrender, she used two fingers to walk over the square carvings etched into his abdomen, biting her lip to stop the grin that pulled when he groaned.

“I want to be both for you, Octavian,” she whispered, letting her lips brush the curve of his shoulder.


Buy Octavian's Undoing for only $1!!


Airicka Phoenix is the best-selling author of The Touch Saga, The Dare Trilogy and Games of Fire with short stories in Whispered Beginnings: A Clever Fiction Anthology and Midnight Surrender Anthology. When she's not hammering away at the keyboard, she can be found banishing pirates or crawling through the attic looking for lost treasure with her kids. She loves baking, gardening and reading. She also likes to travel and take pictures of everything she comes across. When asked, Airicka describes herself as a sarcastic basket case that has an unhealthy addiction to chocolate, old movies and really bad jokes. She loves to laugh, make friends and write. If she could have one wish granted, it would be to spend one day as a fly-on-the-wall inside Stephen King's mind. If she could have two wishes granted, she would ask for a castle dedicated entirely to her overwhelming collection of books.

Connect with Airicka:
Twitter - @AirickaPhoenix
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Other Novels: Touching Smoke ~
Touching Eternity ~
Games of Fire ~

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Tabatha Vargo's Wicked Hope Cover Reveal!!!!

Title: Wicked Hope
Author: Tabatha Vargo
Release Date: Fall 2013
Genre: Paranormal / Fantasy Romance
Presented by: As You Wish Tours

There isn’t anything that Mage McPherson wouldn’t do for love, including steal someone’s spirit. After Adam is tragically lost to her, Mage discovers a spell that can bring him back. But things can never be that simple, and she learns the hard way that there are always consequences when it comes to magic. Adam isn’t quite the Adam she remembers and now whatever he feels, she feels...times two.

Adam Westcott knows three things. One, Mage McPherson is the love of his life. Two, thanks to Mage’s wonder spell they are now somehow physically connected. And three, there’s a part of him, right next to the heart that beats for her, that wants to kill her. The only option is to run, but it’s impossible to run away from yourself. The inner struggle within himself makes for a hard fight when yet another dark magic comes to call.

Sometimes it’s not evil that you must defeat, sometimes it’s love, and when the line between love and hate is at its thinnest, there’s no telling what can happen. But Mage won’t lose hope, even if destiny is being a witch.

He’s here, just inside the electric-blue doors that mark the entrance to hell. I can sense him. The part of me that lives inside him calls to me. The connection is so strong that it takes my breath away. For a brief moment I begin to hyperventilate. Even if it wasn’t a matter of life or death, I’d still want to be here more than any other place on earth. Here, in a back alley of the city of sin.

I’m pulled towards him, so I waste no more time and push the doors open. The stench of lust and cigarette smoke invades my senses. The distinct smell of pheromones and overly sweet perfume mixes in for a very nauseating scent.

He’s knows I’m here. He can sense me the way I sense him and even though I can’t see him, I feel his eyes on me.

The loud techno music is distracting as I make my way through the crowded room. Half naked women rub themselves like horny cats against silver poles. One in particular catches my attention. She bends with the music allowing her platinum hair to fall over before she shakes it back and forth. She runs her hands up her knee high boots before throwing her head back—platinum locks thrashing around her narrow face. She looks down at me from her mini stage and mirror eyes flash with her overly seductive smile.

I turn away quickly and my eyes land on him. The moment I see him, the side of his mouth twitches into an evil smirk. Adam would never smile at me that way, and yet, there he is.

Tabatha's been writing since she could pick up a pencil. Her first publication was a little poem in her elementary school paper, from that point on she was hooked. When she was a teenager, she traded in her girly magazines for personalized writing notebooks.

At nineteen, she met her own personal prince charming and writing took a back burner for a while. She's now married to that prince and the mother of a beautiful seven-year-old princess/rock star. Once her daughter was born, writing came back into her life, and she finished her very first novel, Wicked Fate, in May of 2009.

She's now pursuing her English degree and she hopes to one day teach while continuing to write.

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Signed Copies of Envisioned Available for Purchase!!!

I now have paperbacks of Envisioned available for purchase!!! There is a button on the right of my blog where you can enter your personalization and buy using PayPal. The cost is $20 flat, with all fees and shipping within the Continental U.S. included! You can also email me at, and I will send you an invoice! Once payment is received, I will contact you to let you know when I will be shipping your package.