Blitz | Shadow’s Lyric by C.A. Worley

Shadow’s Lyric
C.A. Worley
(Crossing Daggers, #1)
Publication date: June 1st 2020
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

It began with a blood oath.
It ended in bloodshed.

When twenty-one-year-old Lyric is told by her father, Gabrian, she will be crossing into the Otherland as payment for a favor he owes the Shadow Lord, she thinks her life is over. In truth, it is just beginning. Years of training as a soldier and an uncanny ability to learn pretty much anything give Lyric the tools she needs to survive her new reality—and it totally helps that her new lord and master is sex incarnate.

Draven has long awaited Lyric’s arrival, and not just because he needs her to track a powerful weapon stolen by an unknown adversary. He believes he has everything firmly in hand, despite the subterfuge he foolishly agreed to some twenty years back. When Draven’s enemies and lies of omission both threaten the fragile bond he and Lyric are forming, he refuses to allow anything to stand in the way, not even the razor-sharp blade of Lyric’s favorite sword.

WARNING: This novel contains tons of bad language, the occasional smackdown, and a good deal of inappropriate humor–sometimes all at once.

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EXCERPT:

Draven was waiting for me in the hall when I exited my quarters. Something about the way he was casually leaning against the stone, with his arms and legs crossed, made him look especially yummy.

His nostrils flared right as his silver eyes took on an ethereal glow. I turned into a startled rabbit, frozen in his high beams. The oxygen between us heated, increasing in weight. Suddenly I felt hot, my mouth dry.

“I know how we can wet it,” he rumbled, pushing off the wall and crowding my personal space.

Stupid shield!

In my defense, it was hard to concentrate on anything when Draven was looking at me like he was about to eat me alive.

“Do you have any idea what you did to me out there?” he accused.

“I didn’t do anything to you.”

Draven grabbed my hand and flattened it on his crotch. My fingers reflexively squeezed, like they had a mind of their own. A dirty, naughty, whorish little mind of their own. A thrill shot through me and my adrenaline kicked in.

Well, hello there, nipples. Are you trying to tear through my shirt? Looks like.

“I’m not sure I’ll be able to watch you best them again and again, but that’s exactly what you’ll do, isn’t it, Angel?”

“You—you liked that? It was just me losing my temper.”

Squeeze.

I was somebody else at that moment. Someone whose hand had no problem fondling big packages.

“No, it was so much more,” Draven contended.

Squeeze.

This time he released a satisfying exhale. I was affecting him. I liked—scratch that—I loved how I was affecting him. I felt powerful. Desired.

Despite any misgivings over the Shadow Lord’s intentions, I wanted him with an irrational craving bordering on obsession. I wanted this male I hardly knew. Wanted him enough that I was standing in the hallway, after getting pissed on by a gargoyle, stroking him through his leathers.

We were having a conversation about what I did on the archery range while I was giving him a handy. Damn if I could get my stupid fingers to let go. I knew Draven wanted me. I didn’t understand it, but he’d made it very clear. The proof was throbbing in my palm.

The question was, what was I going to do about it? Probably what I always did when someone pushed me. I was going to push back.

“Did you follow me up here for a quickie, Draven?”

Ohmysweetjesus, I seriously just said that out loud. Another person was inhabiting my body. Probably a prostitute’s ghost.

“What would you do if I said yes?”

My heart sped up, thinking of the answer, picturing it vividly in my head.

Shield, Lyric. My control around you is tenuous at best, and the images you’re projecting are telling me you’d be more than okay with me locking us up in your room for a few hours while I take up residence in the cradle of your thighs.”

I bit my lip, which I guess was code for go ahead and do me because Draven had me pinned to the wall with my legs around his waist faster than I could blink. So distracted by this exalted male, I hardly noticed the discomfort of my swords getting sandwiched between my back and the cool stone.

“Maybe just a taste, then,” he bade, his mouth so close to mine I was breathing his exhale.

I waited, then quickly realized he was waiting for me to decide. My sensitized skin felt tight. My core ached. I hungered. Gods, how I hungered.

These stirrings had always been dormant in me. One second in Draven’s orbit had awoken the carnal side of my being, the demon side which should have always had an appetite for pleasures of the flesh.

Mateus and the other demons in our clan had no issue finding a warm body for just a night. Getting naked with the humans whose names they’d not remember was commonplace.

I’d grown into adulthood believing I was lacking in this, convinced my halfling chromosomes had dampened those instincts. I had lived in the presence of hundreds of males my entire life and not one of them made me feel any amount of sexual desire, not even Mateus. Only Draven made me feel this way and had since the second I’d stepped into his world.

Lyric,” he growled.

I involuntarily tilted my pelvis, groaning at the faintest touch of sweet friction. Draven shook, holding himself in check. For me. He was holding back for me.

It was heady stuff having any sort of power over the biggest and baddest Shadow in the land.

My soul pushed energies out and when his magics pushed back, I was lost. I could no more stop this than I could stop a rising tide.

My hands flew to his hair, grabbing two fistfuls. I yanked him the rest of the distance, holding him to me, unable to get close enough.

Unlike our first kiss, this one was raw. Primal. All teeth and tongue and desperation. I loved it. Locking my legs behind his back, I ground against him.

“Fuck, Lyric.”

His curse added to my impulse to behave badly. I’d bet he was a dirty talker in bed. Not that I had much experience with that, but I did have satellite television in my room back home. One can learn a lot from soft porn.

“Have to … make you … come,” he gritted between kisses.

Oh, yes, please!

Draven’s mouth drifted down the column of my throat. He kept one hand under my ass and the other slid under my shirt, then under my sports bra. I threw my head back when he reached my nipple, pinching and pulling. All the while he continuously rolled his hips into me.

Shadows started moving around us. Just like in my dreams, they slithered against my limbs, humming with vibrations. I froze.

“Draven?”

“Shh. It’s just me,” he whispered, licking my collarbone. “I need your mouth, but I want to taste and touch you everywhere. Let me show you how I can do both.”

“Uh—”

His lips were on mine again, the tendrils of darkness taking over his scorching kisses below my ear and down my neck. The maelstrom of sensations obliterated any hesitation I might have had. It was like there were three Dravens making out with me against the wall.

He dropped his other hand back to my rear. Magics skated under my clothing, across my breasts, feeling like electric fingers.

When he started lifting me up and down against his rigid cock, I moaned. The movement was chafing, holding me in that narrow space between pleasure and pain. That foreign storm, the one I’d only ever experienced in my dreams where a shadowy figure played my body like a master, built with the force of a tsunami.

Electric currents slithered down my abdomen, under my pants, and settled atop my clit. Holy fucking shit. They increased in intensity, alternating with his jerking hips. Every part of me was covered in his essence.

The only place he wasn’t was the one place I knew we both wanted him to be. Conjuring the image of Draven moving inside me, imagining his weight pinning me down as he thrust between my legs, the dam finally broke.

I cried out in pleasured shock, unable to hold it in. On and on it went with those electric currents prolonging my ecstasy until I was nothing more than a drooping form Draven had to hold upright.

My body went limp, my head dropping to his shoulder. He was still hard and I wondered if we should do something about that, though, maybe not out here in the hall.

Draven kissed my neck then straightened. Pulling gently on my hair, he tilted my head enough to see my face.

“You’re exactly as I knew you’d be,” he said.

“How’s that?” I puffed, still somewhat winded.

“Passionate. Wild. A force to be reckoned with.”

I blushed hard. Make-out session against wall? No problem. Complement from the Shadow Lord? Total embarrassment.

“Yes, well, you’re nothing like I thought. None of this is, aside from the atmospheric differences.”

“What did you think I’d be?”

“Cold. Scary. Murdery.”

He fought a smile. “I’m not sure murdery is a word, but I can be—and often am—all three. Though, not to you, Lyric. Never to you.”

Emotions rolled through me, plucking a haunting tune on my heartstrings. I wasn’t sure I was ready to identify what I was feeling.

He spoke to me as he might speak to a lover. He showed care for me, concern even. He’d fucking bought me a set of katanas and a personalized flask, things I’d treasure far more than any gift of flowers or jewelry.

“Draven …”

His lips pressed softly to mine. I knew my shield had been annihilated, so he was catching everything. It was grossly unfair.

“It’s okay, Angel. This was all I needed, for now. You come beautifully, by the way.”

If I flushed any further, I was going to have an aneurism.

Draven lowered me to my feet, brushing back the stray hairs that had fallen out of my ponytail during our hallway tryst.

“You might want to shower and change again, unless you want everyone to know what we were doing.”

“They’ll still catch traces, anyway, won’t they?”

“Probably.”

Lamerson’s words about my worth got stuck on repeat in my mind. “I don’t want them to think I’m, that I’m …”

“That you’re what?”

“That that’s why I’m here, all I’m good for.”

I waited for the regret to seep through my pores. When it didn’t, I chalked it up to the endorphins still pumping through me. Surely, I’d regret this by morning.

Draven pushed open my door and nudged me inside. “Then go rinse off, get dressed, return to the training area, and kick someone’s ass.”

Oh, gods. Draven got me. He sooo got me. How could I possibly keep my panties dry when the Shadow Lord was over there getting me?

I was in over my head.

Author Bio:

C.A. Worley is the alter-ego of Romance Author Cass Alexander. Where Cass tends to focus on humor in her publications, C.A. loves to write fantasy. She chose to write under the two different monikers so as to not confuse (or tick off) her readers.

C.A. currently resides in the Midwest, but was born and raised in the South. She spends her days working from home and her evenings are spent shuttling her kids to and fro. Her dinners are subpar, but she makes a mean dessert.

When she’s tired of living her sons’ travel sports schedules, C.A. enjoys a glass (or four) of wine. She needs the liquid courage to click the publish button for her fantasy romance novels.

Her motto is, “Be Brave,” and she tries to live it every day. It takes a healthy dose of courage to get through this thing we call life.

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Review | Out of Body

A small-town librarian witnesses a murder at his local deli, and what had been routine sleep paralysis begins to transform into something far more disturbing. The trauma of holding a dying girl in his arms drives him out of his own body. The town he knows so well is suddenly revealed to him from a whole new perspective. Secrets are everywhere and demons fester behind closed doors.

Worst of all, he discovers a serial killer who has been preying on the area for over a century, one capable of traveling with him through his dreams.

This book definitely went places I was not expecting it to. I didn’t know much going in except that it had to do with sleep paralysis and out of body experiences, but it definitely took a lot of twists and turns from there. From the very start unexpected things are happening to the main character, Owen, whose life is rather mediocre and unexciting. He goes through a traumatic experience and suddenly his life becomes much more active and full of adventure. Each night he learns more things about people and the world as it lives at night, as well as what dwells in the dark.

The writing flowed well and the descriptions were fledged out, but I did feel that the story might have benefited by being a little longer. When the climax happened it felt like everything suddenly happened all at once and was wrapped up rather quickly. I would have liked a little more in depth into the ‘big bad’ and what their actual purpose was, rather than a sudden climax and conclusion. Still it was pretty fast paced and an enjoyable read overall.

Thanks so much to Tor.com for sending me an ARC of this book, it’s expected to be released July 28th. Happy reading!

Cover Reveal | Lyrics and Curses by Candace Robinson

Lyrics & Curses
Candace Robinson
Published by: Filles Vertes Publishing
Publication date: November 10th 2020
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Lark Espinoza could get lost in her music—and she’s not so sure anyone in her family would even care to find her. Her trendy, party-loving twin sister and her mother-come-lately Beth, who’s suddenly sworn off men and onto homemaking, don’t understand her love of cassette tapes, her loathing of the pop scene, or her standoffish personality. For outcast Lark, nothing feels as much like a real home as working at Bubble’s Oddities store and trying to attract the attention of the cute guy who works at the Vinyl shop next door—the same one she traded lyrical notes with in class.

Auden Ellis silences the incessant questions in his own head with a steady stream of beats. Despite the unconditional love of his aunt-turned-mother, he can’t quit thinking about the loss of his parents—or the possibility he might end up afflicted with his father’s issues. Despite his connection with lyric-loving Lark, Auden keeps her at arm’s length because letting her in might mean giving her a peek into something dangerous.

When two strangers arrive in town, one carrying a mysterious, dark object and the other playing an eerie flute tune, Lark and Auden find that their painful pasts have enmeshed them in a cursed future. Now, they must come to terms with their budding attraction while helping each other challenge the reflection they see in the mirror. If they fail, they’ll be trapped for eternity in a place beyond reality.

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Author Bio:

Candace Robinson spends her days consumed by words and hoping to one day find her own DeLorean time machine. Her life consists of avoiding migraines, admiring Bonsai trees, watching classic movies, and living with her husband and daughter in Texas–where it can be forty degrees one day and eighty the next!

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Review: Moonstruck Vol 1

Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it’s up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it’s too late.

I didn’t know much about this except that a lot of people I follow thought it was adorable but I had definitely heard enough to want to pick it up. Let me just say that I am so glad I did! The art style is so whimsical and beautiful, the style and color palette just perfect for the setting and story. I loved the mystery and overall storyline and really feel like it is a good start to the series. I definitely would like to see more in the series and learn more about the characters and their backstories. These characters have such great relationships, but also their own insecurities and I would love to see more expanding on that.

Happy reading!

Review: Doctor Mirage

Paranormal detective Doctor Shan Fong Mirage had the ability to see and talk to the dead. Except the dead have gone silent, their spirits mysteriously vanished, including Hwen, her deceased husband. Now, Doctor Mirage must face the most challenging question of her life: Is she dead but doesn’t know it?

From Eisner Award-nominated writer Magdalene “Mags” Visaggio (Eternity Girl) and artist Nick Robles (Euthanauts) comes a gripping supernatural mystery to penetrate the veil between here and the hereafter. Collecting the complete five-issue DOCTOR MIRAGE limited series.

I was really intrigued by the synopsis I read for this and the cover alone was probably enough to draw me in. I had no idea it was reboot, but knowing that now I can say that it would be great for someone who was new to the character or someone who was familiar. I loved the vibrant artwork and colors, though there was some text that was a little harder to read – I’m sure this would be different if it was actually in my hands and may have been because I was reading it on a screen.

The story itself was a crazy ride, as you would think when considering the characters may or may not be dead and if they are dead may have to get out of it, so there were tons of twists and turns to the story. Overall it was a really enjoyable read and I’m eager to see what comes next.

Happy reading!

Review: Battlefield Ghosts

A Confederate general peers out to sea: is he still guarding against a federal naval attack? A plaintive cry echoes at Antietam: did modern schoolboys meet the famous Irish Brigade? A collection of compact histories of important American battles — and the cries of the spirits that echo over the fields.

I love books that center around ghost stories in different regions, but this one unfortunately wasn’t one of my favorites. It was more of a historical book than a ghost story book, which is fine if that’s what you’re looking for. With each story I do recognize that you have to set up the story, but most of them only had a couple paragraphs at most about the ghost stories while the rest told the tale of the battles and people that fought in them.

Another thing that kind of affected my reading experience was that there were stories from both the Revolutionary War and Civil War, which isn’t a problem, but I had wished that they were in chronological order or separated into two sections. I was constantly having to double check which war things were happening in as some of them occurred in similar locations.

I am always down for a book of ghost stories and this one definitely had a number of very interesting experiences, it just wasn’t quite what I was expecting. If you’re looking for something much more historical detail heavy with a little bit of ghostly experiences, then you’d probably love this one as it does have a lot of great detail and is well written.

Happy reading!

Review: The Claiming

A ghostly apparition appearing along a dark and lonely stretch of highway. A ritual bound in blood. A race against time against a deadly supernatural force.

Kendra Garrity’s twin brother, the only person she has ever loved, will be dead at dawn.

Gwydion has done the unthinkable. He has triggered The Claiming, an ancient ritual that can turn an ordinary person into a witch. But power comes with a terrible cost. Now he hovers in a state near death, trapped in the underworld. At sunrise, he’ll be lost forever. And something dark and unnatural will rise in his place.

Kendra is the only one who has any hope of saving the brother she loves, the brother who once gave up everything for her. But in order to rescue him, she must enter into a terrifying mirror world populated by nightmare creatures and controlled by demons. If she fails, she will be trapped there forever. And if she succeeds, it might mean giving up everything she has ever known.

This book definitely ticked all the boxes when it came to buzzwords that I would enjoy and general feel. It was definitely on the spookier side and the writing was beautiful in so many ways. The descriptions are rich and suit the story perfectly.

You spend the whole story wondering about people’s motivations and learning things little by little. Finding out some of the history of the town and just what lays beneath the surface was great and definitely makes me want to read more in this series.

I will say that woven in to this story there are definitely some trigger worthy topics, there’s talk about abuse, rape and more, so if those are subjects you can’t handle then this one may not be for you. All in all I really enjoyed this one and it definitely fit my craving for something darker and mystical.

The Claiming is out now if you want to pick up a copy. Happy reading!

Review: The Cold is in Her Bones

When I first heard that this book was a take on Medusa, I was instantly intrigued and wanted to check it out. Things based on mythology always pique my interest as that’s one of my buzzwords/favorite concepts. This book did not disappoint on the Medusa aspect for sure.

After the prologue (which gives us a glimpse of events in the past) we follow Milla, who is sheltered and lives a quiet life outside of the village with her parents and brother. As the story unfolds we learn about the curse that the village lives under where young girls get afflicted by a “demon” and get taken away. We then continue to follow Milla as she does everything she can to learn more and to help those she cares about.

This book opens up great conversations about the extremes that some religious beliefs can go to and what happens when people react harshly out of their fear. In some ways you could draw some parallels to stories such as those written about the events that happened during the Salem witch hunts. There’s also a lot of talk about oppressing females if they don’t act the norm or perfectly obey. I felt that these concepts were subtle enough to not be overt, but still there.

Overall I really enjoyed this read and loved how the story unfolded. I would recommend picking it up if you’re looking for something mythology based or perfect for the spooky season.

Happy reading!

Review: The Babysitters Coven

Title: The Babysitters Coven
Author: Kate Williams
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: September 17th, 2019

When I first read the concept of this book, I wanted to read it immediately. Babysitter’s Club meets Buffy? Yes, please! While the book did meet that brief, there were some aspects that I didn’t love. I really enjoyed all of the great pop culture references (Labyrinth, Buffy, Harry Potter and more) as well as some of the discussion surrounding difficult issues such as Esme’s mom’s condition and how the town/school treated her because of it, as well as her internal dialogue about her worries and fears. Esme’s voice/point of view is rather harsh at times, which could be considered unlikable or polarizing, but for the age of the character it is understandable.

I do wish that some things had been a little more descriptive. At times the relationships between people didn’t seem to be as close as they were described. Also, a lot of the characters (granted, more minor characters) could have used more description to differentiate them from each other. That being said though, this was mostly with characters that only appeared a few times and I’m sure that if they show up in future books they will be fleshed out more.

The last half of the book was jam packed with action and went much faster than the 1st half, which I really enjoyed. There were definitely a lot of twists and turns that were surprising, but there were also many twists that were pretty predictable. There were times that I had a hard time liking Esme and Cassandra (mostly Cassandra) because of their decisions, but I could see some of those things being addressed in future books. In that respect this book set up future conflicts really well.

All in all I did enjoy this book and as I said the last half was really quick paced and enjoyable. If you’re looking for books that have great pop culture references, lots of mystical and paranormal content and babysitters who have to protect the world, then you’ll probably enjoy it. It was definitely a fun book with a lot of quirks and capers.

The Babysitters Coven is out now from Delacorte Press, so be sure to pick up a copy if it’s something that is up your alley, Happy reading!

Review: Case of the Shinigami by KC Hunter

When I saw this book available to me on Book Sirens I was immediately intrigued and excited to pick it up.

Case of the Shinigami is a prequel novella to the Kana Cold series and it a great introduction to the characters. Though it is short it is a great setup for what will be a paranormal series. This book is about Kana and her partner AJ as they tackle a case where a small child is being terrorized by an unseen force.

Glimpses of Kana’s personality and references to her past are few at first, but as the story goes on you start to learn some of the things that have shaped her and motivate her. She’s not the most likable person, doesn’t deal well with people and has a quick temper, but there are reasons that are slowly revealed.

I will definitely be picking up the first full book in the series as I feel like things that happened in this prequel will be playing a part in the series as a whole. This is creating a beginning to what looks to be an interesting and thrilling series full of adventure.

Be sure to check out this prequel and the series as it comes out if it sounds like it is up your alley, happy reading!