Can’t Hide From Me by Cordelia Kingsbridge Blog Tour Review

Hi! I’m Cordelia Kingsbridge, and I’m pleased to welcome you to the blog tour for my novel Can’t Hide From Me. Thanks so much for checking it out!

Krav Maga

My second biggest passion in life after writing is Krav Maga, the Israeli self-defense system originally developed for the IDF. It’s a much more recent passion – I started practicing about a year ago – but I was hooked from the very first night. I knew then and there that this was something I would dedicate myself to for years to come.

Though I began practicing Krav Maga for my own health and safety, it’s had a beneficial secondary consequence – it’s making me a better writer. As an author, I’ve always been drawn to the thriller genre, with its adrenaline-laced slugfests and shootouts. Yet, like many (most?) people, I had never been in a real physical fight. When it came time to write fight scenes, I always did exhaustive research, reading dozens of articles on various martial arts techniques and watching endless videos on YouTube. But at the end of the day, there’s no substitute for real-life experience.

Now I know what it feels like to be choked from behind. I know what it feels like to take a punch, and to land one. I know how it feels to nail someone in the groin with a good hard kick (albeit with protective gear), to have a knife slashing towards me, to be shoved face-first into a wall by a surprise assailant. I leave my Krav Maga classes exhilarated and covered in bruises, and I’m able to bring those experiences into my writing. As I continue gaining new knowledge and skills, my goal is to make the fight scenes in my novels increasingly vivid, visceral, and authentic.

Of course, there’s a danger inherent in learning any new skill, which is the unconscious assumption that other people are as familiar with its terms and techniques as you are. I ran into this a couple of times in the fight scenes in Can’t Hide From Me, where it became obvious that I’d written some parts of them in ways that would be confusing to a person who didn’t practice Krav Maga. Breaking down and reframing those elements in clearer, more explicit language was a great challenge, and a necessity that I’ll keep in mind as I move forward with my next book.

Krav Maga is an excellent discipline for authors in particular, because it’s a practical system that’s grounded in how to survive common real-life attacks. Techniques are always taught in the context of when, why, and how to use them in various scenarios. Right from the very first level, Krav instruction includes discussion of strategy, tactics, situational awareness, use of the environment, and other important details that go far beyond how to throw a nice side kick or block a punch. So if there are any thriller/mystery/action-adventure authors out there looking for inspiration for their fight scenes, I can’t recommend Krav Maga highly enough. Besides all of the good things it’ll do for your writing, it’s also the most fun you can have while wearing a groin protector!

About Can’t Hide From Me

Charles Hunter’s team is on a mission to extract an unidentified ATF agent from an undercover job gone wrong. All they’ve got to go on is the rendezvous location—until Charles recognizes the ex he hasn’t seen in years. Their “simple rescue mission” is about to get a lot more complicated.

For Ángel Medina, adjusting to life after his cartel nightmare is hard enough without confronting memories of a failed relationship. All he wants is a fresh start. But when a violent stalker lashes out from the shadows, Ángel realizes his nightmare is far from over.

As the stalker’s obsession escalates and bodies start dropping, Charles and Ángel are thrown together in a desperate search for the culprit. Tempers flare and old passions reignite, drawing them back into the same turbulent relationship that once ended in disaster.

But the stalker isn’t letting go—and the next strike might hit straight through the heart.

About Cordelia Kingsbridge

Cordelia Kingsbridge has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, but quickly discovered that direct practice in the field was not for her. Having written novels as a hobby throughout graduate school, she decided to turn her focus to writing as a full-time career. Now she explores her fascination with human behavior, motivation, and psychopathology through fiction. Her weaknesses include opposites-attract pairings and snarky banter.

Away from her desk, Cordelia is a fitness fanatic, and can be found strength training, cycling, and practicing Krav Maga. She lives in South Florida but spends most of her time indoors with the air conditioning on full blast!

Connect with Cordelia:


To celebrate the release of Can’t Hide From Me, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Riptide Publishing gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 8, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


Can't Hide from Me

4.5 stars
I love stories about trained tough guys (cops, military, etc.) working together and going to bed together. Something about all that intelligence, strength and alphaness just really ‘does it’ for me.
Ángel’s confidence is so attractive. I admire how he owns each part of himself. Charles has a beautiful heart. He’s always concerned for others. Their relationship isn’t perfect. It’s realistic.
Can’t Hide from Me’s action level is high throughout, and some parts get pretty suspenseful. There are also off-the-chart-hot sex scenes. I figured out the direction things were headed before the end, but I still loved the entire ride. I highly recommend it to those who like thrillers, mysteries and M/M romance.

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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Dawn of Forever by Jewel E. Ann Review Blitz #giveaway

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Jack & Jill’s dark & uniquely funny story concludes in
Dawn of Forever by Jewel E Ann!  

Find out what happens!  



’til death do us part. 

Aric James Monaghan promised Jillian Knight Portland. With a heavy heart and a light bag, she travels to the West Coast for the man she loved. In a blink her worlds collide, holding her hostage to a past filled with lies, deceit, and revenge. 

Four Caskets
Two Bodies 
It all started with a boy and a girl—their tragic love story is shared through the eyes of the enemy. 

Every word fades dreams and shatters memories as life slips away. Jillian needs a Knight, Jessica needs a miracle, and together they need a savior. 

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Tugging off her shirt, she smiled. Gone were the compression bras; she didn’t burn them, but they were hauled off with the trash shortly after the infamous refrigerator sex. Lace, satin, and underwire took their place.
“What you’re doing right now feels more intimate than anything you’ve ever done to me with your mouth.”
“We’ll see about that.” He wet his lips, eyeing her white lace bra. Approval glimmered in his eyes.
She removed the rest of her clothes, eager to be in his arms. He took a step back as she moved toward him.
She froze. Her hands searched for a place to be: hanging idle at her sides, covering her breasts, shielding her neatly-shaven pussy?
“Repeat after me.”
“What?” Her voice squeaked with disbelief.
He grinned as his ego gobbled up her confidence. “I’m beautiful.”
Ryn squinted.
“Say it.”
She sighed. “I’m beautiful.”
“I’m taking back every bit of confidence that bastard took from me.”
It would never happen like that, but someone who hadn’t been in her shoes could never understand. However, she loved the naked man standing before her for saying it.
“I’m taking back every bit of confidence that bastard took from me.”
“I’m worthy of happiness.”
That one hit harder than it should have. She’d never given happiness much thought.
“Say it.”
“I’m … I’m worthy of happiness.”
“I’m going to marry Jackson Knight and love him in spite of his multiple fucked-up personalities.”
“Say it.” His voice carried a rare pain and vulnerability.
“I’m going to marry Jackson Knight…” she stepped closer and rested her hands on his chest “…and I’m going to love Every. Single. One. Of his fucked-up personalities.”
“I’ve had a shit day,” he whispered, brushing his thumb along her cheek. “Until now.”
She nodded slowly, then looked up at him. “I’ve had a shit life … until now.”
“Touch me,” he said.
“Everywhere. Make me feel human again.”

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Haven’t read this series yet?

Jack & Jill Series Reading Order

End of Day (Book One) $0.99 SALE for DOF release day
Barnes & Noble:

Middle of Knight (Book Two)
Barnes & Noble:

About the Author
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Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.
With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.
After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.
When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.


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Dawn of Forever (Jack & Jill, #3)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the way this series has gone, I had no idea what to expect with this last book. I was correct in feeling that way. It totally went places that I did not see coming.
Through all the books, relationships have been a central focus—Jude and Jessica with their parents; Jessica and Luke; Jude’s inability to commit; Jackson and Ryn; Jillian and A.J. There are so many important points of focus. DOF adds more connections and angles into the mix. I adore the romances. Luke goes above and beyond. He’s so devoted and nerdy hot. A.J. is strong and giving. Jackson and Ryn together is a swooning situation, especially for us ladies who aren’t spring chickens anymore. The sweetest of all for me is the love Jackson has for his sister.
The past and present collide in a big way in this final installment. The storyline is given from multiple characters’ POV in past and present. Everything is explained, but it’s a winding trail on the way to those conclusions. Old information comes to the surface. People die. Some scenes slide toward dark, and some are beautiful.
Dawn of Forever is full of shocking scenes, heart moments and unforgettable characters. I definitely recommend it.

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents 

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Catch a Tiger by the Tail Blog Tour Review

Hello all! Thank you for joining me on the second stop of the Catch a Tiger by the Tail blog tour, celebrating the release of book 6 in the THIRDS series out February 5th!
Music features heavily in the THIRDS series, whether through Dex’s obsession with 80s music, karaoke night at Dekatria, or a tender scene between characters. All of the THIRDS books have playlists which I listened to while I was writing and represent a good deal of what’s happening in the book. Catch a Tiger by the Tail is no different. Although Calvin and Ethan aren’t as enthusiastic about 80s music as Dex, they still very much enjoy listening to a few tunes. They’re more into Alternative, R&B, and Rock. Here’s the Catch a Tiger by the Tail Playlist:
  1. This Kids Not Alright – AWOLNATION
  2. Colorblind – Counting Crows
  3. Sweet Dreams – Beyoncé
  4. My Tiger My Heart – The Boy Least Likely To
  5. Casualty of Love – Jessie J
  6. I’m Gonna Do My Thing – Royal Deluxe
  7. Make You Feel my Love – Adele
  8. Shiver Shiver – Walk the Moon
  9. Love Me Harder – Ariana Grande, The Weekend
  10. Stand by Me – Ben E. King
  11. Renegades – X Ambassadors

All my THIRDS playlists can be found on Spotify here. You can also find the playlists on THIRDSHQ.


CatchATigerByTheTail300Genre: Gay Paranormal Romance, Shifters
Length: Novel, 216 Pages
Published: Feb 5th, 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Ebook ISBN-13: 9781634769099
Paperback ISBN-13: 9781634769082

Calvin Summers and Ethan Hobbs have been best friends since childhood, but somewhere along the line, their friendship evolved into something more. With the Therian Youth Center bombing, Calvin realizes just how short life can be and no longer keeps his feelings for his best friend a secret. Unfortunately, change is difficult for Ethan; most days he does well to deal with his Selective Mutism and Social Anxiety. Calvin’s confession adds a new struggle for Ethan, one he fears might cost him the friendship that’s been his whole world for as long as he can remember.
As partners and Defense Agents at the THIRDS, being on Destructive Delta is tough at the best of times, but between call-outs and life-threatening situations, Calvin and Ethan not only face traversing the challenges of their job, but also working toward a future as more than friends.




Charlie_Cochet_by_madison_parker150Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.



Feb 1st – Prism Book Alliance 
Feb 4th – It’s About the Book 
Feb 5th – Man2Mantastic 
Feb 9th – Diverse Reader 
Feb 10th – Joyfully Jay 
Feb 11th – The Novel Approach 
Feb 12th – TTC Books and More


Catch a Tiger by the Tail (THIRDS #6)

4.5 stars

I’ve loved every book in the THIRDS series including this one.
The main couple in Catch a Tiger by the Tail is Calvin and Ethan. They have been best friends since they were children. I adore best friends to lovers stories, such deep and layered love. C&E aren’t just best friends. They grew up almost like family. Even their mothers became best friends. First Ethan gave me the feels when I saw inside his head. Expressing himself is sometimes such a burden, but Cal’s faith in him gives him courage. He wants so much to be strong in return. Then, I saw the real Cal. He has always been the strong one for everyone. It’s tough to pick who I love more.
If you’re missing the other guys, don’t worry. The whole gang is very present in this installment. The heart and humor floating in the air when the team is together are joy overload for me. I can’t get enough of their interactions. Romances, friendships and family relationships get those emotions flowing.
Of course, THIRDS has drama to manage in the outside world also. There’s still something going on in the overall series, a big unknown with pieces in each book. Several instances of citizen unrest fall on the shoulders of the gang as well.
One of my favorite scenes is the Felids Gone Wild bit while they’re moving. It ticked me so much. The sex scenes are super yummy, hot and sweet. And that ending! I can’t wait for the next installment.

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents 

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Best Laid Plans by Stylo Fantôme #TopReads2015 Interview

Best Laid Plans is one of my top reads for 2015. Stylo was so kind as to answer some questions (Marc & Kingsley even dropped by a bit). Also keep reading for an excerpt from Stylo’s upcoming novel The Bad Ones.


* Smuggle diamonds from Liberia to Morocco
* Make the trip in three days
* Don’t get caught
* Don’t kill each other
* Don’t have sex with each other
* Don’t fall for each other
Stick to the plan

This is the story of what happens when an unlikely bond is formed between enemies, causing tensions to rise, and igniting a chemistry that threatens to burn them both. Together, they’ll learn that sometimes even the best laid plans can fail.

If this NOVEL were a MOVIE, it would have an R rating from the MPAA. Contains: Violence, Grisly Images, Strong Language, Nudity, and Graphic Sexual Content


My Favorites:
Drink – margarita on the rocks
Vacation Destination – Paris
Actor – Toss up between Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio
Fragrance – Dulce & Gabbana Light Blue
Sandwich – BLT – no tomato, with cheese (so is that a BLC?)

Marc Favorites:
Drink – Tecate, ice cold
Vacation Destination – Pemba Island
Actor – that one guy in those Matrix movies
Fragrance – does Irish Spring soap count?
Sandwich – Philly cheesesteak

Kingsley’s Favorites:
Drink – Manhattan
Vacation Destination – Bangkok
Actor – Sir Laurence Olivier
Fragrance – Colonia Intensa by Acqua di Parma
Sandwich – AM Crunchwrap (Taco Bell)


Were you surprised by how instantly popular Kingsley was since he wasn’t the main male lead?

Not really – I had an inkling that he would be liked as I was writing him, and then beta readers just fell in love with him, so I kinda saw it coming.

You use locations around the world, various weapons and sometimes touchy subject matter.  How much time do you spend doing research before actually writing a book?

It really depends on the book. Like Degradation, there were little things – google mapping Boston and Weston was it. But for Best Laid Plans, HOURS were spent looking things up and reading articles. I probably spent more time researching than I did writing.

You often have characters doing things considered immoral or illegal, but they still come off as good people.  Do you find walking that line difficult?

Oh yes. I use my own moral compass (which really says a lot about me!), and if something makes ME uncomfortable, I shy away. Yet at the same time, what is “okay” for me is NOT okay for other people. I just go with my gut and usually stick to what I’m particularly okay with. It’s a very fine line, and of course everyone’s is different, but I always try to stay juuuuust inside the right side of it.

Have you ever written a story, scrapped the entire thing and started completely over?

Yeah – Out of Plans. There’s chunks of text from the original draft, but probably like 95% of it is completely new material. It’s a hard decision to make – writing 80,000 words takes a very long time and a lot of work. I’d almost rather pull out my fingernails than start over.

What do you do for inspiration when you’re having trouble finding story ideas?

I rarely have trouble thinking of ideas for stories – I have easily a dozen that are already started. It’s keeping the idea going that’s hard. When I hit that wall, then I turn to music or my critique partner for the most part. I’ve gotten a lot of ideas while traveling, and listening to music.

Do you have any advice for anyone trying to write a book?

Oh lord. Grow a THICK skin, that’s what I always tell people. Thicker than whatever you think you’d need. And always write what YOU want to write – there’s no recipe for success, so it’s pointless to try and write what you think people will like. Just write whatever is inside you.

What projects are you working on for 2016?

All sorts of stuff! I have a book coming out in April, “The Bad Ones”, a dark romance. I’m considering putting the Kane books into a box set for the summer – I always try to do something for Degradation’s publish-birthday and would maybe include some extras, like scenes from Sanders’ POV. I would like to write Kingsley’s book this year, though I can’t guarantee that it would get published in 2016. And then I have some super secret stuff I have planned, too, but I’m gonna let that all unfold on its own  😉


The Bad Ones © Stylo Fantome 2016

“Why are you here?” she asked, her voice a slow drawl.
“You know why I’m here. Is this what you’ve been doing while I’ve been gone? Acting like a fucking idiot? Is that why you came in here?” he demanded, ignoring the large man who kept looking at them. Dulcie’s laughter fell away.
“No. No, that’s not why I came in here,” she answered in a soft voice.
“Then why?
“I came here because I like to fight.”
“Have you ever even been in a fight?”
“No, but I’m about to.”
Without another word, she picked up her beer and slammed the bottle against the side of his head. Liquid and glass showered down all around him, and he could feel where the bottle had sliced him at the edge of his hairline. A couple of girls standing near them shrieked, but He didn’t move a muscle. Just stared down at her.
“What the fuck is goin’ on here!?”
The fat man who’d been eyeballing Dulcie steamed up to them. She smiled, but didn’t look away from his glare.
“My friend was being rude,” she explained in a breathy voice. “I think he needs a lesson.”
“Look here, fella, I don’t know who you think you are, but here, we treat our ladies with respect, so apologize for whatever -”
His fist broke the man’s nose before he could finish the sentence. Pandemonium erupted. Girls started screaming. A woman started pounding on his back, but when he looked behind him, Dulcie was yanking the girl away by her hair.
And that’s all it took. Fights broke out all around them and the bar turned into a mosh pit. He was tackled from the side and he rolled around before pinning his attacker to the ground. He laid into the man, not stopping till he’d knocked the guy out, then he slowly climbed to his feet.
He’d somehow wound up in the middle of the dance floor. People were fighting all around him, he couldn’t see anything, so he moved to where a table had been left standing and crawled on top of it. When he stood up, he could see the whole bar.
Dulcie was still in the same spot as before, but she’d moved to kneel on a bar stool, keeping herself relatively out of harm. Her eyes were scanning the room, clearly looking for him, so he jumped down from his table and stormed towards her. She saw him before he reached her and she hopped off her stool, meeting him halfway.
There was turmoil all around them. A pair of screaming girls, their hands locked in each others hair, crashed between them before falling to the ground. One of the bartenders was banging a bat on the bar top, screaming for order, while the other was on the phone, calling the police. He was bleeding from a cut on his lip, he realized, and he spit blood and saliva onto the floor. But he didn’t say anything, just stared down at Dulcie, into her large amber eyes, and finally he smiled.
“I missed you,” he blurted out, and she smiled back.
She grabbed his hand and pulled him out of the bar. Once outside, she broke into a run, and he jogged to keep up with her. She’d lost her phone in the scuffle, but had somehow held onto her keys, and she let them into her car.
He didn’t ask where they were going, just leaned back in his seat and held a hand over the wound on his head. After about five minutes, she reached across his lap and opened her glove box. She dug around inside for a second, then pulled out a bandana and handed it to him. He took it and pressed it against his cut.
“So that’s what you do on Saturday nights? Start bar fights?” he asked after about fifteen minutes. She burst out laughing, but it wasn’t the hollow sound from earlier. The cackle she’d been giving him in the bar. This was warm and real and it thawed some of the ice in his heart.
“No, not usually,” she finally answered.
“Then what the fuck was that about?”
She stayed silent, and he noticed their speed increasing. They were racing down the highway, zipping around other cars. Then she took a deep breath and finally answered him.

“I wanted to see you bleed.”

Crazy woman living in an undisclosed location in Alaska (where the need for a creative mind is a necessity!), I have been writing since …, forever? Yeah, that sounds about right. I have been told that I remind people of Lucille Ball – I also see shades of Jennifer Saunders, and Denis Leary. So basically, I laugh a lot, I’m clumsy a lot, and I say the F-word A LOT.
I like dogs more than I like most people, and I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink. No, I do not live in an igloo, and no, the sun does not set for six months out of the year, there’s your Alaska lesson for the day. I have mermaid hair – both a curse and a blessing – and most of the time I talk so fast, even I can’t understand me.
Yeah. I think that about sums me up.
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Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents 

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Out of Plans by Stylo Fantôme Release Week Event Review

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Release week event for Stylo’s OUT OF PLANS, the much anticipated sequel to Best Laid Plans #RunningOutOfTime

Buy the Book
* Find Marc
* Don’t find Marc
* Take down a Russian Bratva boss
* Don’t have sex with Kingsley
* Find Marc
* Take down a Colombian drug lord
* Don’t fall for Marc again
* Kill every –
This is the story of what happens when best laid plans fail, and a vengeful woman is forced to find her own way once again. A bond broken, trust shattered, and too many lies to keep track of find Marc and Lily all out of plans and running out of time. Can they find their way back to each other before trouble finds them first, or is it really the end of their journey?
If this NOVEL were a MOVIE, it would have an R rating from the MPAA. Contains: Violence, Grisly Images, Strong Language, Nudity, and Graphic Sexual Content.


Shock wasn’t a big enough word to describe how Lily felt, looking up to find Marc staring at her in that ballroom. Anyone else. It literally could have been anyone else – her father, Mickey Mouse, Hitler, and she would’ve been less surprised. Marcelle De Sant wasn’t real, anymore. He was a figment of her imagination, something that usually only appeared late at night, when she was alone and missing a more dangerous time in her life. Besides, wasn’t he supposed to be in Brazil!? Wasn’t he … anywhere she wasn’t? Wasn’t he not quite this good looking!? It’s unfair that such a dick can be so good looking. Dancing with her was bad enough. They’d fought, as had always been in their nature, but it wasn’t the same. She hated him. He’d lied to her, and he’d manipulated her, and he’d abandoned her. Told her she wasn’t good enough, then told her to go home. She loathed him. And yet, his arm was around her, and his eyes were so blue, and she’d missed him so much. Rat bastard. And of course, along with fighting, their other old friend made an appearance – bad luck. Next thing Lily had known, she was being dragged upstairs and shoved into a bedroom. There was arguing. There was kissing. So really, it was just like old times. The bedroom door swung open, but she barely registered it. Marc’s hands were moving over her body, pressing down on her breasts. He moved one lower, sliding it over her hip and around to her ass, pulling her away from the wall and into himself. She ran her hands down his chest and worked them under his jacket, smoothing around to his back. She bit into his bottom lip and that earned her yet another groan, followed by his tongue filling her mouth. Acting a part, acting a part. Not enjoying this at all. Nope, nooooope. People were in the room. Someone was barking questions in Spanish. Marc ignored them, and the hand on her ass suddenly moved and grabbed her thigh, yanking her leg up to his hip. She made a big show of pulling his belt apart, all while his mouth moved down her neck, leaving sloppy wet kisses in its wake. His hands were back at her chest and buttons flew as he yanked open her blouse. One hand went down the top of her tank, and suddenly Lily didn’t care that they had an audience. Marc was touching her again, that was all that mattered. “Excuse me!” a voice barked out. “You cannot be in here. You go now.” Marc’s free hand began rooting around in his pocket, and he pulled out a handful of pesos. He held them out to the nearest guard. “We go in twenty minutes,” he panted, shoving the money into an open hand. “Twenty minutes? Jesus, that’s disappointing,” she gave a husky laugh, then moaned when the hand on her breast squeezed. “Alright. Twenty minutes. We come back, and you leave room,” they were warned. But neither of them could answer, as their mouths met again and their tongues moved against each other. Her mind had registered the length of time since he’d left her, but her body didn’t notice it at all. It recognized his touch as if they’d been together just the day before; like no time had passed. It made it all even worse. Her brain had done a good job of pretending it was over him. But her body had longed for him for six months. Had missed him. Hadn’t understood why he’d left. That thought brought her to her senses, and Lily abruptly shoved him away. They were both breathing hard. Marc’s pants were undone and Lily’s blouse was hanging open. Her matte red lipstick was smeared across his mouth and chin. She took a deep breath and smoothed her hands over her hips. “Okay, we need to figure this out, right now,” she told him. “Alright,” he agreed, though he seemed a little dazed. She resisted the urge to smirk. “I didn’t come here for you. Nothing I’ve done in the last six months has been for you,” she lied. “You’re not a part of this. You were never a part of this, except for a couple weeks in Africa. I will not let you ruin this for me again, De Sant. When we walk out of this room, you’re going to leave the house, and I’m going to finish this job.” Marc’s daze wore off and he glared as he put his pants back to rights. “I’ve been a part of this since the moment you opened that safe, and you know it. What do you think I’ve been doing this whole time? Fucking vacationing? I’m not exactly getting paid for this shit.” “No one asked you to do any of this shit. You just took it upon yourself. You just ran away and decided to solve a problem that wasn’t even any of your business.” He flinched and Lily smiled. “I thought you’d understand,” he grumbled, glancing in a mirror that was behind her. He yanked off his bow tie and used it to wipe at lipstick around his mouth. “Then you thought wrong.”

stylo button
Crazy woman living in an undisclosed location in Alaska (where the need for a creative mind is a necessity!), I have been writing since …, forever? Yeah, that sounds about right. I have been told that I remind people of Lucille Ball – I also see shades of Jennifer Saunders, and Denis Leary. So basically, I laugh a lot, I’m clumsy a lot, and I say the F-word A LOT.
I like dogs more than I like most people, and I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink. No, I do not live in an igloo, and no, the sun does not set for six months out of the year, there’s your Alaska lesson for the day. I have mermaid hair – both a curse and a blessing – and most of the time I talk so fast, even I can’t understand me.
Yeah. I think that about sums me up.
Book 1 – Best Laid Plans
*on SALE from 12/15-12/17 for $0.99!
stylo sale


Out of Plans (The Mercenaries, #2)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved the first book and wondered if this one would measure up. Of course it does!
Lily undergoes a bit of a transformation between when we saw her last and who she is now. She was absolutely a lot tougher than I will ever be, but she was no where near able to pull off the task she set out to do. She spends several months doing nothing but training and comes out the other side on a whole new level. I like how she still has her moments of doubt and the capability of showing heart despite her rougher exterior.
Kingsley is the person she seeks out for help. He has major combat skills. Before this point, I only knew him for the cool outward persona he gave. After getting to know him a little better, I see he has hidden layers including all the pain he’s in. Lily is like a balm for his soul, in my opinion. I really hope to see more of him in a future book.
Marc has never gotten over Lily. He left her in hopes of protecting her from the lifestyle, and now he’s taken up her fight as his own. His emotional growth path is just as deep as the changes Lily and Kingsley are going through. Marc has to accept things for what they are. He looses a little of his alpha broodiness while still retaining his warrior prowess.
There’s a bit of building up and information giving in the beginning, but after the action really gets started, it doesn’t stop. These three are on a mission and set to go at all times. I would truly love to see it all played out in film. I don’t know how the author came of with some of the scenes. They will definitely keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Although everything is as explosive as any action movie I’ve seen, it’s delivered in a believable, fact-checked kind of way. The characters are all total badasses with amazing expertise, but they aren’t immortals. They bleed and hurt, and they can only use what is available to them.
Marc, Lily and Kingsley are very damaged people who push all of their hurts into being powerful. Individually they are awesome, but together they are a formidable sight to behold.
This novel is an instant favorite for me and a must read in my opinion.

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents 

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UNRAVELED by Dina M. Given Blog Tour Review


Title: UNRAVELED (The Gatekeeper Chronicles, #2)
Author: Dina M. Given
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: August 31, 2015


Emma Hayes, a mercenary turned monster hunter, finds herself the secret savior of Earth as she attempts to battle creatures, called Monere, and keep unsuspecting humans safe.
Emma already has blood on her hands, and the tide of Monere keep coming. She quickly learns that not all battles can be won with a gun and she must decide whether to take up Sharur, the magical battle axe, which may trigger a latent and terrifying magical ability within her.
Emma’s monster hunting skills also catch the attention of a government operative who enlists her help to discover the identity of another hunter. This investigation leads Emma deep into the heart of a supernatural organized crime Syndicate, and all of her notions about the evil nature of these creatures are called into question when she meets The Syndicate’s leader.

Can Emma unravel the true nature of the Monere and come to terms with her own magical ability before the next gateway opens, threatening the future of humankind?

His light hair was longer than usual and mussed from the excitement of the evening. A stray lock fell across one brilliantly green eye, the color of a lush rainforest. His body tensed, showing off every taut muscle through his thin T-shirt.
He was beautiful, but he didn’t know it, or if he did, he had never used his looks to his advantage. I had never seen him flirt, throw around an enticing smile, or pin someone with a smoldering stare. Although he could certainly do it, he probably thought that kind of influence was a form of cheating. He could be such a Boy Scout, but it was charming and made him trustworthy, and to trust someone was more important than a bad boy attitude any day.
This man sitting before me had sacrificed his own safety several times to save me. His job had initially been to keep an eye on me for Alcina and the Mage Council, and kill me if need be. Not only did he defy his orders, but he did so spectacularly when he saved my life in Citi Field and sided with a shifter to ensure my escape. He defied his people and his prejudice for me.
The sultry air in the subway car seemed to grow warmer and closer as these thoughts smoldered low in my belly. A rush of longing and gratitude swept through me. Alex must have sensed it because he chose that moment to lift his head, and our eyes locked. His expression reflected everything I was feeling, and I was consumed by a desire to see whether the Boy Scout would ever explore bad boy territory.
I stood slowly, as if trying not to spook a nervous horse that was on the precipice of bolting, before lowering myself onto the futon next to Alex. His eyes followed my every movement, sweeping across each curve of my body. His expression didn’t change, but his body stilled, all of that nervous fidgeting coming to a grinding halt.
I slid so close to Alex my thigh rubbed against his, and he reacted like I had electrocuted him with my touch, his leg jerking at the sudden sensation, but he didn’t move away from the physical contact.
“Thank you,” I said so softly it seemed as though all of the upholstered fluff in the room had absorbed the sound.
“For what?” Alex asked, his eyes now resting on my leg where the clothing had burned away to reveal the newly healed, creamy skin.
“For everything,” I said with a small laugh, and he looked up then met my gaze. “Seriously, you saved my bacon a few times now, and I don’t think I ever thanked you. I know you didn’t have to do it, and I know it went against your orders. You put yourself at serious risk for me.”
His warm hand slipped into mine, and I embraced the unexpected touch, wrapping my fingers around his. “Emma, no matter what happens I want you to know that you mean everything to me. You always have. Even though I may have lost my way, that truth will never change. I need you to believe that.”
The burning sincerity in his eyes was proof enough.
“I do,” I said, squeezing his hand gently for emphasis. It felt a lot like he was saying good-bye. Maybe all of this was just too much for him.
Tears sprung to my eyes, unbidden, and I turned away to hide them. Alex hadn’t missed them, though.
With his free hand, he cupped my chin tenderly and turned my head to face him again. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.” He looked on the verge of tears himself.
“You didn’t. It’s just that… Well, there haven’t been very many people in my life who have cared enough to want to help me, or to try to save me.” Even though I didn’t know exactly what Alex had meant by his last statement, I felt compelled to let him know I wanted to be there for him too. “If you ever do lose your way, I promise I’ll help you find it again.”
Our gazes were locked together in a need for connection. I became hyperaware of the sensation of my thigh pressed against his and the comforting touch of his hand in mine. My leg shifted minutely, as if it had a mind of its own and wanted to increase the sensation of that subtle touch, calling attention to it. It had the desired effect.
Alex watched me through heavy lids, and I could suddenly feel the air thicken with anticipation. We were so close. All I had to do was lean in a couple of inches.

I wasn’t sure if I moved, but Alex’s eyes darted to my lips, which I licked unconsciously. He sucked in a hard breath as his own lips parted, and I could see his muscles bunching under his thin T-shirt as his body prepared to move toward me.

Purchase your copy today!
  Unhidden (The Gatekeeper Chronicles, #1)

Unhidden FOR WEB

It’s not always easy to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys, especially when your heroine is a trained killer and she may be falling in love with her evil hunter…
Emma Hayes, a former military Special Forces Operative turned mercenary-for-hire, finds her tightly controlled world turned upside down when she is attacked by horrible monsters.
Emma must use every skill in her arsenal to stay alive as she tries to solve the mystery of why she has been targeted. Her list of enemies keeps growing – from Zane Shayde, an evil Mage, to a secret branch of the US government – and she doesn’t know if there is anyone left she can trust.
To complicate matters further, Emma is inexplicably drawn to Zane in a way she doesn’t quite understand, even knowing her life is forfeit if captured. Who is he and why does he have this affect on her? How can she fight a being that calls to her, body and soul?

Emma is left haunted by questions, doubts and fears as to why she has been targeted, when they will come for her next, and how she will possibly be able to survive against an enemy she doesn’t understand.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

About the Author

Dina Given
Dina Given lives in rural New Jersey – home of farms, horses and the largest hot air balloon festival in North America – with her husband, two crazy kids, and one rescue dog. She is an exercise enthusiast and avid lover of food and wine (hence the need to exercise). Dina also works full time for one of the largest healthcare companies in the world. She attributes her ability to juggle family, work and writing to her obsessive, hyper-focused, Type A personality.  
Connect with Dina



Unraveled (The Gatekeeper Chronicles, Book 2)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love the action vibes that come from this book. Reading it got me totally pumped. The first novel established how formidable Emma’s adversaries are and how she’s totally up to that challenge. Just as in Unhidden, Unraveled is full of monsters and aliens. Some are the traditional fantasy like dragons and vampires. Others are more sci-fi such as brain-sucking parasites and creatures wearing humans.
To me this book gives a little more of the emotional side of Emma. The most important people in her life are being used against her because they’re one of her few weaknesses. In my opinion, she seems to worry more about her actions this go around.
Several new characters and lots of background knowledge are introduced into an already explosive atmosphere. Questions of who’s really bad or good and what’s the actual source behind certain outcomes arise. Although, it’s more action than romance, there’s a bit of a love triangle going on also.
Fans of urban fantasy should definitely try this series. If you enjoyed the first installment, this one is just as volatile and fun. I’m looking forward to book three.

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


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BEST LAID PLANS by Stylo Fantôme Blog Tour Review


* Smuggle diamonds from Liberia to Morocco

* Make the trip in three days

* Don’t get caught

* Don’t kill each other

* Don’t have sex with each other

* Don’t fall for each other

Stick to the plan

This is the story of what happens when an unlikely bond is formed between enemies, causing tensions to rise, and igniting a chemistry that threatens to burn them both. Together, they’ll learn that sometimes even the best laid plans can fail.

If this NOVEL were a MOVIE, it would have an R rating from the MPAA. Contains: Violence, Grisly Images, Strong Language, Nudity, and Graphic Sexual Content 

Is my left hand good enough? I should’ve trained more with it. Maybe I can get it to my right hand quick enough. Fuck. How quick is he? Fuck! Did he see me moving!?
“You back stabbing thief,” she hissed. She slid her left hand even closer to the side of the trunk.
“Keep ’em coming, sweetheart, I’ve got fifteen bullets here that are just itching to have a purpose in life. Maybe I’ll start by putting one in your right foot, then move up to your left knee. Maybe when I get to your -”
In almost one fluid motion, she reached her hand underneath a flap of material that was hiding a pistol, while at the same time twisting her body and driving her elbow straight up. She caught him in the side of the face with a sharp crack. His hand moved off of her head and she rolled around, whipping her gun into her right hand as she snapped upright. He came around at the same time, shoving his arm straight out and pointing his gun into her face. Her own firearm was pointed right at his throat.
Shit, now what.
They glared at each other for a moment.
“You have two seconds to walk away from this situation,” she breathed, stepping back from the bumper, not lowering her gun. Marc kept his barrel trained on her forehead as he matched her step for step.
“Not gonna happen, princess. Maybe youshould walk away, you’re in over your head,” he cautioned her, his tone snide. She smirked at him and kept moving, trying to put some distance between them and the car.
“Really? This ‘princess‘ just outsmarted you, twice, in less than five minutes. I think you’re in over yourhead, so back the fuck off,” she growled through clenched teeth.
“Kitty has claws, I like it. But can she pull the trigger?” his tone was questioning as he cocked his head to the side.
That enraged her almost more than anything. More than his deceit. More than his treachery. More than his violence. The disrespect. He’d always treated her as an equal before – now he looked at her and spoke to her like she was a cockroach.
“Try me,” Lily snapped back.
He stared at her for a second longer, then did just that – he let his gun lower and he strode forward, pushing past her as he made his way back towards the vehicle. She was stunned.
“I’m taking this car!” he called out. She whirled around, keeping her gun raised.
“No, you’re not! Stop right there!” she demanded. He held up his middle finger.
“Go ahead and sto-”
Lily fired a shot, right over his head. He froze in place mid-stride, then turned his head to the side so he could see her.
“I’m warning you,” she cautioned him. He chuckled, but still didn’t move.
“You don’t have the balls to shoot me.”
She lowered her gun a couple inches and fired again, directly between his legs. The bullet pinged into the sand at the edge of the road, right in front of him. When she sighted back on his head, he looked decidedly less confident.
“In two minutes, you won’t have balls, either.”
Lily didn’t want to shoot him, she really didn’t. She’d never killed anyone before, and didn’t want to start with Marc. She was saving that damnable act for someone very specific. She didn’t want to condemn her soul to hell for some piece of shit traitor. Some liar. Some con man.
“Look,” his voice was low, his teeth clenched. “I need what’s in that trunk. Whatever deal you have with Ivanov, I can make you a better one.”
“And if I let you take that car, I’m dead. Not winning me over,” she replied.
“No, you can just disappear. Drive off into the sunset, find the nearest plane to take you back to L.A., or wherever you’re from. Somewhere safe,” he suggested.
“Not from L.A., and you have one more minute before I blow your nuts off.”
“How did a sweet thing like you get caught up with Ivanov?”
“’Sweet thing‘ just threatened to shoot you in the testicles. Thirty seconds.”
“Okay! Okay, just take it easy. Maybe we can work out a deal. I’ll split them with you, half and half. Just take them out and we’ll divide them up.”
“Do you really think I’m stupid enough to fall for that?”
“Was worth a shot.”
“Ten, nine, eight, seven, six …,” Lily began counting down.

Character Inspirations

Marc is very heavily based on Tom Hardy from “Mad Max: Fury Road” and Lily is Jessica Chastain. Kingsley Law’s look is entirely based on Jude Law.
Who do you picture the characters like? Would love to see your dream cast!

Author Interview
1  This is very different from your previous work – what was your inspiration behind BLP and what kind of research went into writing this book?

I love love LOVE action movies. I wanted something kind of gritty and raw, but I didn’t want it to be something that’s been done, I didn’t want drugs or hitmen. So I went with diamond heist and mercenaries. I wanted Marc to sort of have that John McClane “Die Hard” feel, very “IDGAF and I’ll say whatever I want, no matter how un-PC”, and I wanted Lily to be beyond badass, almost an anti-hero in her own right.

SO MUCH research went into the book, I had no idea what I was getting into – I just started writing, and then I got to the scene where Marc was in the shower, towards the beginning, and after I wrote it I sort of had a “wait a minute …” moment and realized there was a distinct possibility they wouldn’t have running water. So I started researching Liberia. My mind was blown. So many things in the story changed after that point. I constantly had Google open in one window and Google Maps opened in another window. Virtually every place they go in the book is a real place. For example: when a hotel is described, it is based on a real hotel I found on Trip Advisor and then cross referenced on Google Earth. EVERYTHING was like that. Half of my brain lived in Africa for two months.
2  A list of 5 reasons why fans/new readers should pick up this book

1. It’s different and it pushes boundaries, which I think everyone could do with a bit of, now and then
2. They might learn something they never knew about a different country, and learning is good
3. It’s a departure from my other works, but still has the erotica base that is my preferred genre (a.k.a. lots of steaminess haha)

4. It literally takes you on a journey
5. The summer is almost over – can’t end it without one last blockbuster big action flick!
3  What are you working on next? Can you give us a teaser/hint to book 2 in this series?
Book two is already written, it just needs to go through rewrites and edits and then it’s beta time! Next, I’m caught between two stories that I really want to work on – one dark, kind of going back to my Kane Trilogy roots. Weird love and crazy sex and uncomfortable emotions. The other is more romantic. Still angsty, more of the love-hate, will-they-won’t-they vibe. I don’t want to give anything away – it’ll be in a popular subgenre, but with a distinct twist, as I like to try to do with all my stories. Which will come next, I’m not sure, depends on which will speak to me the most. I hope to have something publish ready by March 2016.

Out of Plans teaser

“You once said you would help me. Well, I need help,” Lily said.
“Of course, love. At your service,” Kingsley bowed his head.
“I want to learn everything. I want to be just as good as you. Just as good as him,” she added.
“Making you better than him will be easy, darling, but better than me? That’s impossible,” he teased. She rolled her eyes.
“And no flirting. Flirting is what got me into trouble in Africa. No flirting. No relationship. No sex,” she stressed. “Deal?”
“What deal? Sounds like you’re offering nothing in return,” he laughed, shaking her hand.
“Exactly. Sounds like a hell of a deal to me.”
“Dear god, you’ve already picked up on De Sant’s awful sense of humor. We have so much un-training to do,” Kingsley sighed.
“Whatever it takes. You train me, and I’ll help you in any way you want, with anything,” she offered.
“Mmmm, any way I want, huh,” his voice dropped low while his eyes wandered over her body.
“Look here, Law, I meant what I said – you touch me inappropriately even once, and I’ll break your hand in ways it can’t be fixed,” she warned him. He smiled and leaned close again.
“Ooohhh, I love it when you talk rough,” he hissed, sliding his bottom lip between his teeth.
“You won’t love it so much when I back it up with action. Now let’s get out of here.”


Buy Links
On Amazon Exclusively – also available in Kindle Unlimited program for free. $0.99 release price will be good through Sept. 8th – then it goes up to $2.99.

About the Author
Crazy woman living in an undisclosed location in Alaska (where the need for a creative mind is a necessity!), I have been writing since …, forever? Yeah, that sounds about right. I have been told that I remind people of Lucille Ball – I also see shades of Jennifer Saunders, and Denis Leary. So basically, I laugh a lot, I’m clumsy a lot, and I say the F-word A LOT.
I like dogs more than I like most people, and I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink. No, I do not live in an igloo, and no, the sun does not set for six months out of the year, there’s your Alaska lesson for the day. I have mermaid hair – both a curse and a blessing – and most of the time I talk so fast, even I can’t understand me.
Yeah. I think that about sums me up.
The author is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card and 2 ARC copies of Out of Plans (when the ARCs are available and ready)

Stylo Fantome’s BEST LAID PLANS Release Week Event Giveaway


Best Laid Plans (The Mercenaries, #1)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I want to marry this book and have its babies.
And the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Breakout Artist Author goes to Stylo Fantôme. Seriously! Only a little over a year ago she came out of nowhere with a fresh story, and it wasn’t a fluke. The awesomeness just keeps coming! Best Laid Plans is not like anything most of us have been reading. It is essentially a romance, but it’s actually so much more. Action! Action! Action!
BLP has a rich background. It isn’t just the guy, the girl and the relationship struggles. There are several countries, dilemmas, people, props, ideas. . . It’s obvious that the author really researched her material. What goes into being a mercenary? What’s it like to go in a store in a certain country? How does the land and weather differ from place to place? Every weapon, every conversation, every move—it all feels realistic.
If you’re like me, you appreciate when a character isn’t wimpy, but often, the alternative is so unbelievable. BLP has badasses you can really sink your teeth into. They’re tough as nails, but they’re not invincible or overinflated.
Marc is a mercenary. If you’ve got the dime, he’s got the time. He’s a thief and a murderer, but he’s big on honor. Marc is 6 feet of sexy, gruff warrior. Lily is a transporter. It’s her job to get highly desirable and stolen goods from point A to point B. She’s super strong and brave in this male-dominated environment; yet, she still retains her femininity. Law is a supporting character. He’s a more refined version of Marc for when a sleeker approach is necessary.
This story is full of great dialogue, steamy sex, car chases, shootouts, fistfights and exotic locales. I enjoyed every single second, and I cannot wait for the next book in series.

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


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