Sunday, October 8, 2017
Nothing can stop true love. Not time. Not even the devil himself.
1805. Laurent. Indentured servant. Desperate to escape a life that is falling apart.
2017. Beast. Kings of Hell Motorcycle Club vice president. His fists do the talking.
Beast has been disfigured in a fire, but he’s covered his skin with tattoos to make sure no one mistakes his scars for weakness. The accident not only hurt his body, but damaged his soul and self-esteem, so he’s wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of violence and mayhem where no one can reach him.
Until one night, when he finds a young man covered in blood in their clubhouse. Sweet, innocent, and as beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, Laurent pulls on all of Beast’s heartstrings. Laurent is so lost in the world around him, and is such a tangled mystery, that Beast can’t help but let the man claw his way into the stone that is Beast’s heart.
In 1805, Laurent has no family, no means, and his eyesight is failing. To escape a life of poverty, he uses his beauty, but that only backfires and leads him to a catastrophe that changes his life forever. He takes one step into the abyss and is transported to the future, ready to fight for a life worth living.
What he doesn’t expect in his way is a brutal, gruff wall of tattooed muscle with a tender side that only Laurent is allowed to touch. And yet, if Laurent ever wants to earn his freedom, he might have to tear out the heart of the very man who took care of him when it mattered most.
My Dark Knight #2
Love or hate. Life or death. No inbetween. No compromise. No rules in love and war.
Knight. Party monster. Handsome Savage. Doesn’t do monogamy.
Elliot. Obsessive. Intense. Uncompromising.
Newly single, Knight is done with relationships. All he's interested in is bringing down The Count, an Internet personality who is tarnishing his family name. An opportunity to crush him comes when the audacious clown shows up at the Kings of Hell MC clubhouse to film for his YouTube channel. But when Knight meets Elliot, the man behind The Count, he no longer knows what to do with him.
Knight has never seen a more pathetic creature than Elliot. He’s also never met anyone who needed him more. Skinny, messed up, and a bucket of trouble as thick as tar, everything Elliot does seems to be a wordless death wish. No matter how much Knight hates Elliot’s alter ego, under the makeup and theatrics hides a fragile young guy with a passion for history, and Knight can’t help but catch Elliot every time he falls.
Elliot has bad taste in men. Always hopelessly attracted to violent brutes, his favorite is a long dead serial killer. But he gets more than he’s bargained for when he seizes an opportunity to meet the man of his dreams. The ghost is manipulative and dangerous, offering Elliot all he’s always wanted, for a price he can’t possibly pay.
Elliot is faced with an impossible choice between two men.
One alive, one dead.
One carnal and honest, one drizzling sweet, poisoned promises into his ear.
One unwilling to commit, the other promising an eternity together.
And Elliot doesn’t settle for half-measures. He craves a love that is all or nothing, passion that will consume him, and desire to burn him alive.
Elliot is ready to either get that, or die trying.
Themes: enemies to lovers, protector, cruelty, motorcycle club, alternative lifestyles, demons, tattoos, impossible choices, deception, crime, self-discovery, healing, black magic, gothic, commitment, ghosts, possession
Laurent & the Beast #1
Original Review May 2017
Paranormal, romance, motorcycle club, what's not to love? Laurent and the Beast is an amazing tale with a little bit of everything. I will say that I debated on appropriate tags, should I use paranormal, supernatural, or science fiction? Despite there being a science fiction element with time travel, I went with paranormal because of the how and why Laurent went from 1805 to 2017. No matter whatever category you decide on, just know that you will have read an incredible story that sucks you in from the very first word.
I have read some time travel stories before, not a vast amount but definitely a few, more often than not the main character is going back in time so when Laurent moved forward more than 200 years I expected mentions of automobiles, electricity, and clothing. I was surprised but delighted to see the author reflect on little things that most of us take for granted such as light switches, refrigeration, bathtubs, and especially Laurent's fascination with plastic. These might be small scenes that don't seem very significant to most but to me they stood out and made it all the more realistic, well as realistic as time travel can be, and showed the attention the author made to details which is always an important factor to me when dealing with historicals, frankly it can be a make or break moment and in this KA Merikan work it is without a doubt a make it moment.
Despite the many differences between Laurent and Beast there is actually many similarities and the chemistry is off the charts. This is a tale that will make you cringe but warm the heart, will make you hate a few but love even more, and short circuit your brain a time or two but when you hit that last page you will be begging for more. Luckily for us, there is more to come and frankly I'll be waiting in line when book 2 comes out. Although I have featured their work on my blog before this is the first time I've read anything by the duo that makes up KA Merikan but Laurent and the Beast will definitely not be the last.
My Dark Knight #2
Original Review August 2017
Knight is a biker with an unusual and unexpected hobby, love of history and more specifically his family genealogy. Elliot is a man with an unusual passion for past serial killer William Fane, who was killed by Knight's ancestor Laurent Mercier, who just happens to be the significant other of the club president and Knight's best friend and is here after a pact with a demon. When Knight and Elliot but heads over the Fane/Mercier connection will it turn into more and what will happen when the truth comes out?
As I have often said, I am a series lover and when I'm reading one that has a different couple as the focus of each installment, I rarely love the new ones as much as the original. Well, I can safely say that as much as I love Laurent and Beast from book 1(conveniently titled Laurent and the Beast) there is something about Knight and Elliot that put them ahead in my heart. Perhaps its my love of history and genealogy that tipped the scale or perhaps its because Elliot is so innocent even if a bit disturbed in his love of the murderer Fane.
Speaking of Elliot's naive passion for the murderer William Fane, well I don't personally understand it but as a Wisconsinite where we have had more than one serial killer, I have heard about that kind of fixation before so it didn't take me completely by surprise. I loved how KA Merikan presented it, yes it's disturbing but not over the top, which in my opinion takes talent considering it's a paranormal story where over the top can be the norm.
As for Knight, he can be gruff but he's honest and direct. Now gruff and direct is expected of a biker story but not always honest and certainly not a genealogy lover. As a genealogy lover myself, I found his passion to be a great draw and loved how it gave him and Elliot an immediate connection even as they are at odds about Fane & Mercier.
I found My Dark Knight to be an amazing read that had me on the edge of my seat. I warred with loving and hating both Knight and Elliot at times, okay maybe not hating but I certainly wanted to knock some serious sense into both of them. I loved how even though Knight and Elliot are the focus of the story we got to see Laurent and Beast too and learn even more about Fane, which I didn't think I could hate more after book 1 but yeah, its possible. Simply put, book 2 of Kings of Hell MC is amazing and perhaps fun is not the right word considering the content but its definitely enjoyable and I am eagerly looking forward to Jake's story in book 3: On Your Knees, Prospect.
K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.
They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.
Laurent & the Beast #1
My Dark Knight #2
Title: Vein River
Author: Kellie Honaker
Release Date: October 1, 2017Summary:
The locals of Vein River fear the covered bridge and avoid it at night at all costs. They say she hangs in the darkness, her long silk nightgown drifting in the breeze. She swings from a noose, her toes rat-tat-tatting across the hood should someone drive beneath her.
As legend goes, if you receive her withering kiss, you either die, get sick, or go stark raving mad. Your only chance of pardon is to kiss her dangling feet and beg for mercy.
The fate of the town rests on the shoulders of Annie Forrester, a sixteen year old girl with psychic powers.
Only Annie will have the strength to enter the bridge and face the evil head on.
Kellie is the author of Grandfather Hollow and The Web Weaver, two short story collections available through Amazon. When she isn’t rescuing animals or fueling her book addiction, she’s busy mastering the art of becoming a hermit and a writer. Kellie incorporates her pets into her stories at every opportunity. In fact, her author picture features Salem, the kitten who makes his debut in Vein River. Even though the fictional Salem is robust and into mischief; the real Salem is blind. It doesn’t slow him down though. He still manages to climb his cat tree and catch the wayward fly. Once his bug-catching duties are over, he lounges around with a French Bulldog named Dumplin’.
Title: Halloween is Murder
Author: Carolyn Arnold
Series: McKinley Mysteries #11
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Mystery
Release Date: October 3, 2017Summary:
Beware of all that goes bump in the night…
Sean and Sara McKinley are excited about the haunted house they’ve set up as a Halloween charity fund-raiser, but things take a ghoulish turn when the reporter covering their story is found dead. With the media keeping mum about how she died, Sara’s curiosity is piqued, and she convinces Sean to take on the investigation through their PI firm.
But this case is not without its challenges. The police are actively investigating it, as well, and it’s not even clear that the woman was murdered. It will take a little cloak-and-dagger, dress-up, and finesse for the McKinleys to get to the bottom of it, but they aren’t the kind to give up.
As they troll for leads and work through the skeletons in the reporter’s closet, they unearth a few suspects, but they’ll need to carve out the whole truth if they’re going to find her killer. If they do so fast enough, there might even be time for a little trick-or-treating.
SHADOWS OF NIGHTSARA WAS CALLING YOUR SOURCE from her home office one last time. That’s what she told herself anyhow. She’d lost count of how many times she’d called them, but she had always met with a busy signal. And there it was again…
She lowered the receiver to its cradle. One could be certain that the station had plenty of rollover lines, so it had to be other people calling in about Chloe’s death, too. Other crazy people like her wanting answers. At least, she was sure that Sean thought she was crazy, but she had a niggling sensation in her gut that they needed to look into Chloe’s death.
Maybe it was because she and Sean were surrounded by murder wherever they looked and wherever they went. Even when they were supposed to be relaxing on their honeymoon, a case had found them. And the inclination to view any death as suspicious was embedded in her psyche from years working as a homicide detective with the Albany PD. Sure, Chloe could have died from natural causes, an accident, or even suicide, but it was also just as likely that someone had caused her death intentionally. To quiet her mind, Sara had to find out which scenario applied to Chloe. And if her calls weren’t making it through, there was another route she could take.
She flicked on the monitor, pleased that she had the habit of leaving her computer on most of the time. She brought up an Internet search engine and typed in Chloe’s full name and Your Source. This brought up pages of results. The first entry was a post from the television station entitled, DEATH OF LOCAL REPORTER CASTS DARK CLOUD OVER ALBANY. Sara clicked to open the link.
Scanning down the page, she found she was no closer to knowing what had happened to Chloe. There was no cause of death listed, but rather, the piece read like an obituary with a recap of Chloe’s career accomplishments and brief mentions of her personal life—she had a sister and had died single. That was it. Somehow it seemed like a sad summation of a twenty-five-year-old woman’s life that had been cut so short. There was so much that Chloe had yet to experience, and Sara hoped that Chloe had at least known romantic love at some point in her life.
Sara returned to her search results and clicked on many of the other links, but they were more or less copycats of the statement Your Source had published.
“A nice and fun, old-fashioned mystery. Halloween is Murder was a very well-written and fast read with great characters and a fun mystery with a resolution that I did not see coming.” –The Reading Café
Ask anyone who loves Halloween and they’ll probably tell you their favorite part about it is dressing up. When you put on a costume, you can be whomever—or whatever—you want. It’s liberating! On top of that, it’s likely that there are all kinds of goodies lying around the house.
When I was a girl, I loved playing Barbie. I loved dressing her up and assigning her whatever life story I wanted. And, man, did I enjoy it! Maybe for a little too long, in fact. I kept playing into my early teens! At the time, I felt like some sort of freak. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted this news to get out to the kids at school. They probably would have called me a baby or something like that. So I kept this part of my life a secret, and I justified my addiction by pinning the blame on my sister, who is six years younger than me—she needed someone to play with!
Now that I’m older—much, much older—I look back and find this aspect of my past amusing. I realize that it’s absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about, but it shows me that I’ve always loved telling stories and acting them out. No wonder I became an author!
In the grand scheme of things, Halloween is very similar. The holiday allows people of all ages to participate in this fantasy, if only for one night. But as an author, I get to experience Halloween every day of the year. I become someone else every time I sit at my desk and immerse myself into the worlds of my characters. I get to delve into their minds, to know their thoughts, their feelings, their personalities, their lives. And I get to share my imagination with my readers. Now that’s a real treat!
Speaking of, I’m going to grab a small bowl of candy corn and gummy peaches and get to writing. Happy Halloween!
Romance. Humor. Murder. Are you looking for a murder mystery without all the graphic violence and foul language? Something that you can enjoy in an afternoon and walk away feeling good about afterward? How about a dash of humor and romance? If so, meet former detectives Sean and Sara McKinley. When a billionaire leaves them all his money, they no longer have to work, but they find themselves sticking to what they’re good at—solving murders. Undercover, off the books, and around the world, they’ll get to the bottom of things…and romance it up along the way.
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.
Halloween is Murder #11