Stake-Out (Paranormal Detectives Book One) by Lily Luchesi

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Detective Danny Mancini is on a case, following a murder suspect. When he catches him, he finds out that the perp isn’t even human: he’s a 200 year old rogue vampire!

The department doesn’t believe him, and puts him on early retirement, despite his many years of service to the Chicago Police Department, which sends him into a downward spiral.

Two years later, Danny gets an invitation from the beautiful, young and very attractive Detective Angelica Cross to join a secret branch of the FBI to help her track down Vincent, the wayward vamp.

But renegade werewolves, meddling immortal witches and Danny’s strange visions of a life lived a century ago with Angelica make things more difficult than it should be.My Thoughts mk3From the beginning it is easy to care about Danny – A detective doing his job and doing it well, who witnesses’ something unbelievable. And of course no one believes him; he is pushed out of the CPD, labelled as crazy and unfit for work. Danny is barely surviving, living on bottle after bottle of booze when along comes Angelica Cross and the PID (The secret paranormal investigation department of the FBI). A Vamplet, Angelica is the daughter of a human male and a vampire female. Angelica is sexy, strong and determined to catch the bad guys. Though the whole book Danny struggles, he’s had so much thrown at him and never really recovers. I hope that in the next or third book his life can come together for him. At the very end of the epilogue, I felt like there was hope of that, as he’d realised his mistakes.

Even though it was easy to guess Angelica Cross’s big secret early on, I loved that Danny didn’t. There are all sorts’ twists and turns along the way, some expected, some not. The story was fast paced, action packed, entertaining and emotional. I was swept up in Danny and Angelica’s world.

In this the first book, we meet two villains, but only one of them dealt with, leaving what could be an epic show down between Angelica and the powerful and malicious witch Fiona Gullifoyle.

I am really looking forward to the next installment. Bring It On.

My favourite parts:

The flash backs to Danny’s previous life, I loved the whole epilogue (even read it twice).

The vampiric history lesson Angelica gives Danny – Fascinating.

All the little snippets of song lyrics that accompany each chapter break – It is a really lovely, quirky touch. The emotion in the song lyrics matched the chapters perfectly each time.

Aesomenessbio linkdLily Luchesi is a young author/poet born in Chicago, Illinois, now residing in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle by the time she was twelve, and, as her family has always been what they now call “Gothic”, she doesn’t believe she shall ever change. She is also a hopeless romantic and avid music-lover, and will always associate vampires with love, blood and rock and roll. Her interest in poetry came around the same time as when she was given a book of Edgar Allan Poe’s complete work. She then realized that she had been writing her own poetry since she could hold a pen, and just had not known the correct terms. She finished her first manuscript at the age of fourteen, and now, at twenty-one, has two contributing credits in anthologies and the debut novel, Stake-Out.

Twitter – www.twitter.com/LilyLuchesi

Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/LilyLuchesi

Facebook Profile – www.facebook.com/lilyluchesibooks

Instagram – www.instagram.com/lilyluchesi

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7369101.Lily_Luchesi

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Prev post with Lily discussing the writing off Stake-Out http://wp.me/p431Gp-my

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Fast and Loose by Nicholas J. Johnson

25374404Fast and Loose by Nicholas J. Johnson

Published: 1st July 2015

Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis mk3Joel Fitch used to be a con artist.

That is, until his scam paid off but his life went belly up. Now, two years later, at the ripe old age of 22, Joel has a mattress full of cash and no idea what comes next. The movies never tell you what to do after you’ve walked into the sunset.

Besides, Joel’s past is catching up with him. One of the victims from his con artist days has hunted him down. Far from exacting revenge, though, he wants Joel’s help. Danny Hemming is a TV journalist on television’s trashiest current-affairs program and he’s looking for someone to give him the inside scoop on the latest scams. And he’s not taking no for an answer.

Once again, Joel finds himself in over his head as he enters the murky world of tabloid television. Blackmailed into helping Hemming uncover and expose the country’s biggest swindlers, Joel is making more enemies than ever.

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I liked this book and the fact that I enjoyed it even though it wasn’t filled with forbidden or unrequited love, fantastical creatures or other worlds, like the books I normally read, for me shows how good a story teller Mr Johnson is.

The main characters; Joel Fitch a 22 year old millionaire ex-con-man and Danny Hemming TV “Journalist” with his eyes on the top producers’ job – Neither character is really all that like-able, but they don’t need to be. This book is fast paced, easy to read and flows well. It is set in Sydney, so it’s just down the road from me (kinda). I found it interesting taking a peek into a criminal world that goes on every day under all our noses. Now I’m not stupid, I know this stuff goes on, but obviously not everyone does as the Con-men out there are still thriving.

I mainly read stories that let me escape the world we live in – this story is the world we live in!! Even though I wasn’t glued to the pages, it was well worth the read and I’m looking forward to reading more from Mr Johnston.Three Stars

Author’s Links mk3

Nicholas J. Johnson knows scams.

After decades of rubbing shoulders with fraudsters and liars, he now works as a performer, writer and consultant, educating the public about the tricks of the con artist’s trade.

His live shows have featured at corporate events, schools and private events simultaneously entertaining and educating audiences about con artists and scams.

As an expert on fraud and deception he has appeared on A Current Affair, The Project, Sunrise, Kid’s WB, Today, Radio National, Triple J and more. He has consulted with everyone from magician David Blaine to Circus Oz.

A critically acclaimed comedian, Nicholas has performed at Edinburgh Fringe, Adelaide Fringe and the Melbourne Comedy Festival where he was nominated for the Golden Gibbo award for best independent comedy.

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/NicholasJJohnson

Website – http://www.conman.com.au/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/countlustig

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/TrickyNick79

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/honestconman

Stake-Out by Lily Luchesi

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Stake-Out (Paranormal Detectives Book One) by Lily Luchesi

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I always, ALWAYS, made up stories in my head. Ever since I could remember. It started with Sailor Moon fanfiction, believe it or not. But when I was in second grade, I had an amazing teacher who encouraged my writing, even when I cried as my hand cramped. She refused to let me quit, and here I am now, thirteen years later. A published author.

My books never start out with outlines, like most authors. In fact, I never write outlines. If I can’t remember it, then it wasn’t worth putting into my story. Stake-Out, in particular, started with an idea. I was watching a crime show last summer, and thought, “What would happen if a cop’s perp turned out to be a vampire?” (Because I love vampires; they’re a lifelong obsession of mine.) So I wrote the prologue, where my protagonist, Danny Mancini, was facing off against Vincent, a murderous vampire who was wanted for rape and murder. I wrote the book between July and August of 2014, adding in characters and scenes as they came to me. Eventually, as I neared the end, I got more and more ideas that couldn’t possibly fit into a single book. So I decided to make Stake-Out part one of the Paranormal Detectives Trilogy.

Vampires are romantic creatures to me, but they’re also dangerous predators you don’t want to cross. I wanted to write a paranormal story where the romance was in the background. It’s there, but it takes a backseat to the violence and criminal psychology of evil witches and renegade werewolves. So while you have Danny and Angelica dancing around their feelings and their shared past, you also have them slicing throats and stabbing hearts.

My two favorite authors are Stephen King and Charlotte Bronte, so you can imagine how I decided to write the story in this manner. My sincerest hope is to receive a note from a reader thanking me for giving them a story that made them forget reality for a few hours. Books are my escape, and I am grateful and blessed to be able to contribute to literature.

young ghost hunter in a haunted forest

sysnopDetective Danny Mancini is on a case, following a murder suspect. When he catches him, he finds out that the perp isn’t even human: he’s a 200 year old rogue vampire!

The department doesn’t believe him, and puts him on early retirement, despite his many years of service to the Chicago Police Department, which sends him into a downward spiral.

Two years later, Danny gets an invitation from the beautiful, young and very attractive Detective Angelica Cross to join a secret branch of the FBI to help her track down Vincent, the wayward vamp.

But renegade werewolves, meddling immortal witches and Danny’s strange visions of a life lived a century ago with Angelica make things more difficult than it should be.

bio linkd

Lily Luchesi is a young author/poet born in Chicago, Illinois, now residing in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle by the time she was twelve, and, as her family has always been what they now call “Gothic”, she doesn’t believe she shall ever change. She is also a hopeless romantic and avid music-lover, and will always associate vampires with love, blood and rock and roll. Her interest in poetry came around the same time as when she was given a book of Edgar Allan Poe’s complete work. She then realized that she had been writing her own poetry since she could hold a pen, and just had not known the correct terms. She finished her first manuscript at the age of fourteen, and now, at twenty-one, has two contributing credits in anthologies and a debut novel, Stake-Out, is soon to be published by Vamptasy Publishing on May 19th, 2015.

Purchase the Wishful Thinking anthology, featuring Lily’s short horror/sci-fi story, “Kill ‘Em With Kindness”: http://www.amazon.com/Wishful-Thinking-Wishes-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00P0L0JCI/ref=asap_B00GBFAE0E_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417128797&sr=1-1

Lily is a published poet in the anthology The Struggle with my poem “Aftermath”: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G95Y0A6

Read her FREE debut short story “The Ghost’s Guitar” on: http://peoplewritethings.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/the-ghosts-guitar/

Twitter – www.twitter.com/LilyLuchesi

Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/LilyLuchesi

Facebook Profile – www.facebook.com/lilyluchesibooks

Instagram – www.instagram.com/lilyluchesi

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7369101.Lily_Luchesi

coming soon

   Keep your eyes open for my review of Stake-Out coming soon.

Petrol Fumes: Friday Fictioneers 100 Word Story Challenge

‘‘RUN’’ came a voice from the next room.

I was dizzy from the petrol fumes and didn’t react in time.

Within what felt like seconds the whole room I was standing in was alight.

I hadn’t let on to the local boys that I thought it was wrong.

I wanted to be one of them.

I wanted to fit in.

It was stupid and I will probably always have scars from the third degree burns I suffered.

I’m just glad I’m alive, some of the boys weren’t so lucky.

I’ve never felt the need to fit in ever again.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Fields where writers around the world create 100 word stories inspired by the one image.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

This week’s PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

For more information see Rochelle’s website >>

https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/17-april-2015/

Or to view the other Friday Fictioneers stories from this week >>

http://new.inlinkz.com/luwpview.php?id=515239

COVER REVEAL **The Last King** by Millicent Nankivell

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Series: Anastasia Avignon #1

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Title: The Last King

Author: Millicent Nankivell

Genre: Fantasy

Cover Design: Jemina Venter at #BookNerdFanGirl

Release Date: Late 2015

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Synopsis mk3

Anastasia Avignon has always known she was a witch.

It’s only now that mysterious shadows have begun chasing her that things have started getting weird. Yes, weird even for a witch.

For the sake of her safety, Anastasia has been taken to the Blackthorne Estate, run by Lady Mirabelle Brackens, a friend of her mother’s who she’s never heard of before. There, she meets Warren Brackens and Dara Robbins.

But there’s something curious about them. They seem to have access to more power than is normal for any witch…and she’s burning to find out why.

When Anastasia begins displaying unnatural powers of her own, it only fuels her desire to find out more. As a long forgotten curse is revealed, Anastasia finds herself in a tangled web of whispers from the past.

Like many other events in history, fear and shame have concealed the truth behind the fate of the last royal family. So why is it that now, centuries after their defeat, Anastasia is seeing their history everywhere? Why has she suddenly become the target of the one who destroyed them all those years ago?

Anastasia is convinced that Warren and Dara have the answers to her questions, but is the price of their knowledge worth paying?

Now she is being hunted, Anastasia must learn to trust in her own abilities and follow her instincts. But is Anastasia on a path predestined for her, or does she have the power to shape her own?

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The-Last-King-Full-SpreadThe-Last-King-Teaser-2Author Bio

Most days, Millicent Nankivell believes she is a unicorn. Please don’t ever shatter her illusion.

As far back as she can remember, she has been creating stories that usually involved magic, mythical beasts, and creatures of her own invention. Not much has changed over the years. Well, except for also becoming a hopeless romantic as she got older.

If Millicent isn’t curled up in a dark corner with her laptop, sketch book, or reading a novel, you’ll probably find her out roaming local parks and gardens with her camera. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, and will argue that it is the best Australian city until she’s blue in the face!

Author’s Links mk3

Blog http://www.millicentnankivell.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/millicentnankivelldotcom

Twitter https://twitter.com/millienankivell

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+MillicentNankivelldotcom/posts

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13766624.Millicent_Nankivell

Newsletter http://eepurl.com/bf5npn

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Paradise City by CJ Duggan

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Paradise City (Paradise #1) by CJ Duggan

Pub Date 28th April 2015 (Hachette Australia)

I received an eBook ARC from Net Galley in return for an honest review – So Thank You CJ Duggan and Hachette Australia.

Synopsis mk3

From the author of the bestselling Summer series, comes the first book in a seriously sexy New Adult series you won’t want to miss. For fans of Abbi Glines, Sarah Dessen and Colleen Hoover.

There’s bound to be trouble in Paradise . . .

When her parents decide a change will be good for her, seventeen-year-old Lexie Atkinson never expected they’d send her all the way to Paradise City. Coming from a predictable life of home-schooling on a rural Australian property, she just knows that Paradise will be amazing. But when she’s thrust into a public school without a friendly face in sight, and forced to share a room with her insipid, hateful cousin Amanda, Lexie’s not so sure.

Hanging out with the self-proclaimed beach bums of the city, sneaking out, late-night parties and parking with boys are all things Lexie’s never experienced, but all that’s about to change. It’s new, terrifying . . . and exciting.

And when Lexie meets Luke Ballantine, the swoon-worthy, bad-boy leader of the group, the chemistry between them is electric. Trouble with a capital T, Luke is impulsive, charming and answers to no one, and he’s sexier than any guy Lexie has ever known. Lexie begins to wonder if Luke is going to be good for her . . . or very, very bad?

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My Thoughts mk3

Raise your left hand if you ever made an ass of yourself in high school. Now raise your right hand if you ever tortured yourself over a boy (or girl). Now give yourself a high five because you survived, maybe not unscathed, but you survived.

Oh how this book took me back. Duggan perfectly captures the – he likes me, he likes me not – torture teenage girls put themselves thought. Perfectly captures the hormone induced hysteria that growing up causes.

I loved how real Lexie felt. I wanted to be her friend, I wanted her to flourish and succeed. At some points it was if I was reading my own but better written teenage diary. I wanted to jump into the pages; slap Amanda, kick Ballantine up the bum and hug Lexie while offering her a big bowl of cookies and cream ice cream.

I love bad boys with soft and cuddly centers, love seeing their masks slip, love seeing them let their guards down. Every teenage girls dream is a bad boy that’ll be good just for her. A naughty, cheeky, hot mess. A bad boy who’s really not a bad guy – Boom! it’s Ballantine.

A likable, relatable sheltered country girl. A grade A student who’s been cooped up and restricted – and now, damn the consequences, she’s going to find out what it’s like to live – Boom! it’s Lexie.

There are twist and turns and lessons to be learned. Family tensions, school detentions and late night rendezvous. A boy named Luke Ballantine and girl named Lexie Atkinson – Boom! an exciting, endearing and entertaining story.

Duggan’s writing is beautiful; fresh, humorous, full of heartache and yet full of hope – A damn nice surprise in what can be a rather unbelievable, excessive and skanky genre.

I am internally chucking a full blown teenage tantrum that I have to wait until September to find out what happens next in the world of Lexie. Five Stars.

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Author’s Links mk3

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/CJDuggan

Website – http://www.cjdugganbooks.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/CJ_Duggan

The Worrier’s Guide to Life by Gemma Correll

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The Worrier’s Guide to Life by Gemma Correll.

Pub Date: 26th May 2015 (Andrews McMeel Publishing).

I received a free ARC from Net Gallery in exchange for an honest review – Thank You.

Synopsis mk3

If you’re floundering in life, striking out in love, struggling to pay the rent, and worried about it all — you’re in luck! World Champion Worrier and Expert Insomniac Gemma Correll is here to assure you that it could be much, much worse.

In her hugely popular comic drawings, Gemma Correll dispenses dubious advice and unreliable information on life as she sees it, including The Dystopian Zodiac, Reward Stickers for Grown-Ups, Palm Reading for Millennials, and a Map of the Introvert’s Heart. For all you fellow agonizers, fretters, and nervous wrecks, this book is for you. Read it and weep…with laughter.

My Thoughts mk3 Worriers of the world unite and go read this book.

I had a smile on my face the entire time I was reading this. The whole book is written and drawn in a delightfully humours way. The art work is adorable, bright and eye catching. I enjoyed the whole book but my favourite drawings were the Wheel of Insomnia, A map of the Introvert’s Heart, Mediocre Housekeeping, Real Life Horror Movies and Dating: The Ride.
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At times it felt like Gemma has seen inside my head. I sat down and read this in about an hour,  it’s the type of book you’d want on your coffee table to flip through time and time again (and a few of the comics could be good ice breakers for those who struggle with house visitors :-P). All in all it’s a quick fun read about modern westernised women’s problems, dealing with over thinking, social anxiety and the big bad world.

Four Stars

Author’s Links mk3

Gemma is a cartoonist, writer and illustrator with illustration clients including Hallmark, The New York Times, Oxford University Press, Knock Knock, Chronicle Books and The Observer.

She’s the author of – among others – “A Cat’s Life” (Te Neues, 2012),  “A Pug’s Guide to Etiquette” (Dog N Bone, 2013) and “The Worrier’s Guide to Life” (Andrews McMeel, 2015). You can find out more about her books and comics here.

She publishes her “Four Eyes” cartoon at GoComics.com and at The Nib on Medium.com She also draws a monthly Skycats cartoon for the Emirates Airlines Open Skies magazine.

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4633735.Gemma_Correll 

Website – http://www.gemmacorrell.com/ 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/gemmacorrell 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/gemmacorrell

Tumblr – http://gemmacorrell.tumblr.com/

Push Bikes + Men = Evil

 Yesterday (Easter Monday) my husband Shane decided we’d go for a lovely family bike ride as the rain had finally let up and the sun was out.

Today I am really regretting it. I feared I’d wake up with sore knees as they were aching as I rode, but no they’ve held up alright. My back is burning and biting, although it’s like that 80% of the time so I doubt much of that is the bikes fault – what is the bike fault however is how painful I’m finding it to sit down.

Because of the shape of the frame Riley’s child capsule doesn’t fit on Shane’s ridiculously-expensive-fancy-pants push bike. The capsule however fits on my fitted-with-a-wide-padded-seat push bike. I won’t ride with Riley attached to the bike. I’m too uncoordinated and the entire time I’m freaking out that I’m going crash and hurt him. So Shane rode my bike. I’ve tried to ride Shane’s, but the frame is too long and too tall. So I went and nicked my dad’s pushy, his is nice and short, just like him.

We took off and shortly we had to stop so I could raise the seat as my legs were all squashed up. I then continued with on the bike with it in too high a gear and near killed myself going up a SMALL hill, more my lack of fitness to blame than the gearing through. I pumped my fat little legs as hard and fast as I could. The last time I’d ridden from home to Fassifern I was about twenty kilos lighter and going to the gym three times a week. Oops. I had to stop when it felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I pulled up and tried to hop off the bike. My legs were jelly. There was a ball of pain in my chest. My vision started to dull and spot with the light coming at me in intense waves – did I mention I hadn’t eaten breakfast, dumb ass I am. So I sat down for a while, had some water and decided I needed to take it a bit easier if I was going to make it to Fassifern and back.

I survived, obviously as I’m here having a whinge. I didn’t get any of those happy energy buzzing hormones you’re supposed to get after excising. 😦 No I spent the rest of the day trying to stay awake, lying on the couch watching movies while Riley destroyed the lounge room with crayons.

Today it hurts to sit. Damn male bike seats. Damn push bikes altogether. My butt barely touched the seat on the return trip as I was standing on the pedals so I could straighten my knees. Bikes are evil.

My son enjoyed the trip. Each time Shane would stop to let me catch up, Riley would be calling out “More, More, More”. Men are evil :-P.

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Ready Riley (Edited & Original): Riley inspecting the bikes while we get ready to go for a ride.