Friday, July 31, 2015

Shaytan: A Journey Into Evil

Title: Shaytan: A Journey Into Evil
Author: David S. Arthur
Publisher: Brighton Publishing LLC
Pages: 395
Genre: Adventure/Thriller
India – 1947. In the heart of the jungle, death stalks the night. The authorities claim it is a man-eating leopard. The natives believe it is something far more terrifying—a creature that by day wears the skin of a man, but when craving human flesh becomes the demon…SHAYTAN! While on expedition to India, historical sleuth Richard Quizzenbury and his wife, Emily, suddenly find themselves on the hunt for a killer.
For his action-packed new thriller, SHAYTAN–A JOURNEY INTO EVIL, Santa Fe novelist David S. Arthur combines adventure, mysticism, and history to transport his readers into a world in which time marches to the pulse of the cosmos; where the spiritual and the supernatural merge and reality shares equal footing with illusion. 
Fans of SHAYTAN–A JOURNEY INTO EVIL are already expressing excitement and fascination for the new book, among them Tom Wright, prominent American film and television director (NCIS, Supernatural, Castle). “Man you really get into it! The cobra scene scared the @#$% out of me. This is Spielberg on steroids.”   
Seeking relief from the devastation of post-war Britain, Richard and Emily Quizzenbury embark on a tour of India.  They plan to initially spend a week in Bombay with Richard’s old Oxford chum, Victor Bloodworth, after which they will satisfy their appetite for adventure by exploring historical sites throughout the Indian subcontinent.
On their first night in Bombay, Victor informs the Quizzenburys that he has been asked to undertake the hunt for a man-eating leopard that has been terrorizing the inhabitants in a remote
area of the Indian Central Provinces. Victor is the illegitimate son of a wealthy Englishman, now deceased, who was by trade a legendary big game hunter. While Victor has long since rejected his father’s brutal profession, he is himself a skilled hunter and reveals his intent to help the people who are being threatened by the leopard. Although the villagers of the region believe the man-eater is a demon that they call Shaytan, Victor is convinced the leopard is actually being forced to prey on humans due to injury or old age. He wants to capture the animal alive and relocate it to a zoo for scientific study.
Quite unexpectedly, Victor invites the Quizzenburys to accompany him on the hunt, explaining that his uncle and spiritual mentor, Ashok Kahn of the Forest Guard, will join them as an expert Shikari guide. The Quizzenburys reluctantly agree, hoping Victor will be able to capture the beast as quickly as he anticipates, so they can be free to pursue their travels. However, the hunt for the leopard soon escalates into a terrifying struggle for survival during which many innocent lives are lost, as the hunters – and the Quizzenburys – become the hunted.

Shaytan is far more than just a jungle adventure,” Arthur insists. “It is about the ageless conflict between good and evil, the ruthless march of empires, the rise of the world’s great religions, the discovery of the New World, the laying of this century’s geo-political foundations, and the establishment of hostilities that are today’s headlines. And India was the epicenter of it all.”

According to Arthur, for Richard Quizzenbury – who is never without his books – the expedition becomes a quest for truth, which is his passion – the truth about history and religion and science – the truth behind our darkest nature as a species and our most primal fears and beliefs.

“For Victor it is far more personal,” Arthur explains. “Victor is half English, half Indian – with a Hindu background. He is haunted by the memory of his mother’s murder when he was a child, his father’s apathy toward him growing up, his bi-racial heritage and his uncertainty about his faith. His Uncle Ashok’s presence brings these conflicts to the fore.  Through their daily prayers and rituals invoking the ancient gods to guide and assist them, Victor’s search for personal redemption transcends the hunt; plunging him into the arcane realm of Vedic (Hindu) mysticism, in which the Hindu deities play a deciding hand in his life or death battle  against the beast.
As a writer, Arthur enjoys peeling back the layers of history, digging up the past, searching for answers to ancient riddles. “My intention is to entertain by taking my readers to exotic places they may never go and revealing things they might never know. In short, I write for the thrill of discovery, and I want my readers to share that experience.”

For More Information

  • Shaytan: A Journey Into Evil is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

My Review:

This book was fun and very interesting! I loved the way that David S. Arthur writes! The descriptions and the history are just incredibly vivid that you are basically IN the scene with the characters! I love it when a book can tug you in and  almost instantly makes you forget you're a reader and not really in the story (if that makes sense?) 

There are thrills and chills in this book that will definitely get your heart rate up, and some quirky conversations that will lighten the tension (but only for a little bit!) I also really enjoyed the themes that are on display in the book. (Good vs. Evil. Hunter becoming the prey.) These elements really made this book stand out.

This is a complex and well written story that will capture your imagination. You won't want to put it down until you have gobbled up every single word.


About the Author

David S. Arthur is an American novelist with a taste for international adventure and ancient history. THE KINGDOM OF KEFTIU: A MYSTERY OF THE ANCIENT WORLD was David’s first book to feature English historical sleuth, Richard Quizzenbury and his feisty wife, Emily. It is an archaeological adventure set in the Greek islands. His new novel, SHAYTAN–A JOURNEY INTO EVIL, continues the Quizzenbury Adventure series. Before focusing on fiction writing, David enjoyed a long and rewarding career as a writer, producer, and director of hundreds of film and digital video presentations, theatrical performances, concerts, and large scale audience events. David currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
For More Information

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

High Summer Read-a-Thon ( #HSreadathon ) UPDATES AND ENDING UPDATE


I plan on getting a LOT of reading done this week thanks to the High Summer Read-a-thon and Michelle!  I'm gonna forgo the usual list as I seem to be suffering from book ADD at the moment, so I'll just update my reading progress here or maybe make a separate post per book, not sure yet.

I do work this week, but I can squeeze in some good reading time in between shifts. So stay tuned!

First up, my current read The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time Series book 1)

Day 1 Progress: 
Starting on page: 59
Ending on page: 116

Notes: I read this book a LONG time ago, and had nearly forgotten everything. I am falling in love with these characters all over again!

Check out this cover art!

Day 2 Progress: 
The Eye of the World
Starting Page: 116
ending Page:209

Notes: I stayed up a bit later than I wanted trying to  read more after work and fell asleep. I am loving my revisit to this world though and can't wait to crack into the next book!

soooo pretty!
(not mine)

Day 2 Progress:
The Eye of the World
Starting Page: 210
Ending Page:

Day 4 Progress? 

I had a couple of late night shifts that killed my energy and reading mojo. I'm off today, but have a few errands. 

So far I'm on page 226 of The Eye of the World. I'm planning to get much more reading done today, so I'll check in later or tomorrow morning! 


I did not complete the Eye of the World, but I did read til page 360!!

I had a few rough shifts at work, so my brain was not in the mood to read any after I got home. :( I DID have a crap ton of fun though! Thanks Michelle!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

'89 Walls by Katie Pierson

Title: ’89 Walls
Author: Katie Pierson
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Pages: 240
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Paperback

College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity. 
Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite.
Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.

For More Information

My Review:

To be quite honest, I'm not a very political person. I have a hard time getting into politics, and well, that may have been the reason I didn't absolutely love this book. I DID enjoy the writing style and the "other stuff" in this book though. The characters seem like the typical mixed up kids that want to pave their own ways, but have lots of differing opinions coming at them from the adults. I can totally relate to that feeling! I remember being a teenager and trying to figure out the world around me and what to believe in. It's a tough time!

I enjoyed the alternating viewpoints from both Seth and Quinn. The glimpses into each character's minds and how their worlds differed was a great way to understand them as they, at first, only orbited each other and then later as they came together in a very sweet yet realistic young relationship. This was my favorite aspect of the book. The relationship isn't perfect, goes through some rather grown up events, and changes both of their lives.

This book is full of intense subjects and interesting conversations between the main characters. Katie Pierson knows how to write "young adults." Her writing is solid, her characters are fleshed out and interesting, and the story itself is pretty good. I knew there would be politics involved in this book, I just wasn't expecting THAT much of the book to surround the subject. My lack of love isn't the book or the writer's fault, but my own. I totally respect what the writer is doing with '89 Walls, and would recommend it to people that DO enjoy a good political chat mixed in with their YA.

Katie Pierson freelances for local non-profits, using her background in public policy and grassroots organizing to overthrow the patriarchy one introverted step at a time. When she’s not writing fiction, she returns library books, makes soup, and tries to be cooler than she really is by hip-hopping at the YMCA. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in American History from the University of Pennsylvania (where she dabbled briefly in being a College Republican) and a Master’s in American History from the University of Minnesota. She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and now lives with her family in a suburb of Minneapolis. ’89 Walls is her first novel.
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Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekly Reading Plans

So this week my work schedule is a little bit wonky, but in a good way. I don't have a lot of late nights this week!! So I'm going to get a good chunk of reading done and also some reviews written up for this huge stack of books I have to review! *Lazy Melissa is very lazy!*

When I am at home I'll be reading this giant hunk of a book! I'm wanting to get at least halfway through by the end of the week!

Also, Etiquette & Espionage will be in my purse in case I am away from home and find myself some reading time!

What are you planning on reading this week? 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Jacob (Kings of Guardian Book 1) by Kris Michaels

Genre:  Military Suspense/Erotic/Contemporary Romance

Release Date: July 2, 2015

Victoria Marshall didn't cooperate by dying in the Afghani hell-hole like the CIA expected. Defying all probability, a privately-funded black ops group led by a handsome, sexy-as-sin southerner pulled her out of the warlord's prison cell and brought her home. Even half out of her mind with pain Tori knew this man was special. She made a date with the commander to meet one year later at a restaurant of his choice. Keeping that date was the best thing she ever did.

Jacob King found little physically attractive about the woman he saved from the warlord’s camp, though it was hard to see what lay under the filth and suppurating wounds she suffered from countless beatings. He admired her brave humor in the face of her agonizing injuries. This kind of tough-minded woman was someone he'd like to know as a friend. He never expected the leggy, blond bomb-shell in the red dress who showed up for their date.

But then he never expected she would save his life, either. In a world of shadows, deceit, and dangerous covert missions, where people routinely vanish and living one more day was never a given, Tori and Jacob fight to build their happily ever after.


Jacob glanced down at his watch for the fifth time in as many minutes as a line of limousines pulled up in front of the restaurant. He disregarded the town cars and cast his eyes down the street to find any woman who might be Tori. She would be tall. His eyes searched between several different women, all with escorts. Most of the people waiting for tables stood close to the huge outdoor heaters that warmed the beautiful front courtyard of the restaurant. His gaze skimmed the women standing in the area. No, nada, zip, zilch. Fuck.

He blew out a huff of frustration and disappointment. Damn it…he wanted to talk with her again. No, check that—he needed to talk to her again. The woman’s spirit had captured his attention. His leg bounced in agitation and impatience. Another long glance down the street. Nothing. Damn it…he didn’t care if she showed up covered in filth or dripping in diamonds. He just needed to see her, to talk with her, to make sure she had made it through the aftermath of the torture and the pain. He’d thought of her almost every day since he’d left her in Germany.

A slight shrug of his shoulder eased the ache. He adjusted the damn sling for what seemed like the tenth time. He wanted to go without it, but his arm wasn’t quite strong enough…yet. A weakness he couldn’t hide. His departure from the hospital against medical orders would land him in a world of shit. A mental shrug threw that concern away. He would deal with the repercussions. Screw it. If there was a chance to see her again, he was going to take it. Shit, the worst Gabriel could do is fire him again, right? Worth the price if she showed. At least he’d know she was alright.


Victoria tried to stop her nervous drumming of her fingers against the car door, but the alternative was to check her make-up…again. Her hand lifted to her hair to smooth it back. Damn, she just couldn’t sit still. Once again, she wondered if she had gone overboard on the dress and shoes. The flame-red angora wool dress hugged her body like a second skin and molded to her toned thighs. The combed angora gave the illusion of softness that almost forced a person to touch the fabric. Her breasts mounded tantalizingly above an ultra-low scoop of the neckline and the now nicely toned muscles of her long arms peeked from the shoulder to cuff slits in the sleeves. Her classic, four-inch black Louboutin pumps with the red soles that matched her dress made her six-foot, two-inches tall, but the man she remembered from the plane would still be taller. A simple, black leather rope necklace with her favorite diamond solitaire drop and diamond stud earrings completed her ensemble. She checked her lip stain and added some gloss.

For the first time in a long time, she worried about what someone thought of her appearance. The sensation sent a small tremble of fear that she tried to squelch. She wanted Jacob to see her for who she was now, not what she had been. A larger wave of anxiety washed over her at the thought he might not show hit her once again. Her fears had mocked her all year, but tonight they screamed for attention. He only kept you company. The talk of the date provided nothing more than a distraction to keep your thoughts from your injuries. Tori’s eyes misted as she fought the disappointment that threatened to overtake her.

Two years ago, these types of emotions wouldn’t have run rampant. What happened to that fearless woman? Life happened. Her time at the ranch in South Dakota had healed her body and therapy had helped her learn mechanisms to cope, but from time to time, the PTSD still kicked her butt. She blinked several times and tried to talk the fears away. She repeated reaffirmations almost as a mantra. I can do this. What’s the worst that could happen? Okay, so he doesn’t show. If he doesn’t, I’ll have a glass of wine while I wait for the car and go back to South Dakota. This date doesn’t impact who I am. Still…he would show. He had to.

The streetlights passed and she recalled the steel blue eyes of the mercenary who’d saved her life. She saw his massive muscled shoulders and chest, the way he towered over his men and the way his uniform accentuated his wonderful physique. Tori blushed at the desire she felt. For weeks after the rescue, she had meticulously recreated every memory, every glimpse she’d had of Jacob. When she recalled his sense of humor and his smile, the tenderness in his eyes and the gentleness of his hands, it brought her a warm sense of comfort. Lord knew she would recognize his voice at once if she heard it again. That deep southern accent with its rich timber surrounded her every recollection of him and visited her in dreams at night. Every detail of the man seared a profound and permanent brand in her memory.

The car slowed as it pulled near the front of O’Malley’s. The driver lowered the privacy glass and explained he needed to wait for the limo in front of them to unload its passengers. Victoria looked at her watch and noted the time. Ten minutes late. She worried her bottom lip nervously. God, she hoped the grace period he granted still applied. The young chauffeur pulled up, parked, exited the car and jogged around to her door. The driver opened the door with a flourish and held his hand out for Tori as she exited. At least thirty people milled around the immaculately landscaped courtyard, preventing Tori from seeing if Jacob waited for her.


Jacob looked back towards the front of the building, his impatience growing in exact proportion to his pain. A long sexy leg adorned with come-fuck-me-now stilettos appeared from the vehicle at the curb. He and every man in front of the establishment turned and admired, as a smoking hot blond emerged. Her mass of dark honey-blond hair veiled her face when she unfolded from the car. The fire engine red dress she wore should’ve been illegal. It molded every curve of an exceptional, toned body. Whoever that woman’s date was tonight had better have a gun. Damn, that woman was combustible. Discouragement started to set in. Where the hell was Tori?

The phenomenal beauty in the killer red dress finished her conversation with her driver and moved with graceful ease onto the sidewalk, her eyes focused on the front door. Well…fuck me. He couldn’t prevent the Cheshire cat smile that spread across his face as he recognized her. My God. He’d hoped she might be an acceptable looking woman under the filth and bruises, but damned if she didn’t surpass acceptable by miles. You are one lucky son-of-a-bitch, King… I think someone up there likes you after all. Tori scanned the crowd, and he stepped forward.


She recognized his towering stature the instant she saw him and her face lit up with an unadulterated smile of delight. With a self-discipline she didn’t know she had, she took her time walking up to him. Her eyes lingered on his dark grey Armani suit, black shirt, tie, and matching sling that held his left arm. The man was far, far sexier than she recalled. His broad shoulders stretched the suit jacket and he stood several inches taller than her heel-enhanced stature. Her body shivered with anticipation as she stopped directly in front of him and looked up into his eyes.

On a desire-filled impulse she leaned forward, careful not to touch his injured arm, and kissed him softly on the lips. “Thank you for not forgetting our date.”

Jacob’s eyebrows rose and his voice rumbled in a low whisper as his good arm circled her waist and held her in a light embrace. “If that kiss is for not standing you up, what do I get for rescuing you?”


Kris Michaels is the alter ego of a happily married wife and mother who loves to write erotic romance with a twist of military flavor.

A chance meeting and immediate friendship with an established author propelled Kris into a world where her lifelong fantasy of publishing romance novels came true! Her vivid imagination and erotic fantasies evolved into the Kings of Guardian Series.

Kris believes in meeting life head long as there is an ample supply of coffee, whiskey and wine! She believes love makes this crazy life worthwhile. When she isn't writing Kris enjoys a busy life with her husband, the cop, and her two wonderful sons.

AUTHOR LINKS: Website | Twitter | Pinterest


The author is giving away ecopies of Jacob to 2 winners of the below Rafflecopter.

Let's Talk About Tickling by Veronica Frances

Title: Let’s Talk About Tickling
Author: Veronica Frances
Publisher: Blue Note Books
Pages: 240
Genre: Non-fiction/Erotic Literature/Self Improvement
Format: Kindle

Let’s Talk About Tickling is an honest, straightforward discussion about tickling. Discover the many different aspects of tickling—the fantasies, the realities, the many paradoxes of the tickling fetish and how to come to terms with ones own sensuality.

A refreshing and very welcome find, Let’s Talk About Tickling is for anyone who wishes to expand their awareness of tickling and other related fetishes. This book will be of great interest to anyone who wants to get in touch with their sensual self, whether they have a tickling fetish or not.

Author Veronica Frances offers her readers the chance to improve their relationships in and out of the bedroom by shining a light on the powerful significance of tickling. She reminds us that tickling is not merely the whisper of a feather on the flesh. It is an echo that calls us from deep within, beckoning us to listen and respond.

For More Information

My Review:

Personally, I'm not a fan of tickling. I don't know what it is about it that makes me tense, but it does. HOWEVER, I do enjoy learning about all the different fetishes there are. This one was on the top of my list to learn about, because it's so foreign to me personally.

Veronica Frances writes in a way that feels like a conversation and not just reading a book. Her writing is clear and definitely well informed. She knows her stuff and knows how to make it relate-able to everyone.

While this book didn't make me get over my weirdness over tickling, I do understand now why people enjoy it. I understand how it relates to sensuality and can be romantic.

Veronica Frances is the author of the gutsy, no-holds-barred novel, Tickling Daphne H. Her new non-fiction book Let’s Talk About Tickling sheds a refreshing new light on the subject. She is known as the TickleWriter in some circles.

Veronica also writes under her real name, Stacey Handler. Stacey is the author of The Body Burden; Living In The Shadow Of Barbie. Her book was featured in Jump Magazine, Australian Women’s Weekly, The National Enquirer, and several other publications, radio shows and cable TV shows.

Stacey excels at public speaking, singing, composing, and writing. She is a singer-songwriter, poet, and has written in many different styles. She has an album and several singles available, including her two popular anthems, Ain’t No Skinny Little Thing and Soap Opera Diva.

She lives in New York City, where she continues to write erotica, fiction, poetry and non-fiction.
For More Information

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Double Review: Obsidian and Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

 So this series has been on my radar for a bit now. I never really got too motivated to read them though, and I admit it was because of the covers. The dude on the cover has some seriously creepy rape eyes, and that kind of wonder if everyone was smoking crack or was just going through some Damon Salvatore withdrawals or something.


Dear sweet Jesus, this series is so addictive! I saw that my local library had these available and figured, WHY NOT? It won't cost me anything and if it sucked I'd have something to make fun of. I started reading and kind of forgot where I was for a bit. I did think that Daemon (come on're not making this easy are you Jennifer?!) came across as a lurky, cranky bastard at first, but eventually grew on me. 

Katy was quite a refreshing character. I was afraid she'd be all Bella and I'd have to dislike her, but she is a pretty unique character. She's feisty and smart and a bookworm (okay I felt like that was a bit fan service-y, but I still liked it!) and she's just...normal. 

The auxiliary characters are all pretty fun, and I definitely love Dee. I hope we get more bitchiness from Ash in future books (right now I've only just finished don't spoilerize me!) 

The plot was pretty riveting. I read the first one in almost a day (I had to work! Dangit!) and that is saying a lot, since as I age I'm reading slower. Onyx took a wee bit longer as my Nook didn't like the Overdrive app (I borrowed it from the library as an ebook) and the font was funky, no matter what I did. I still read that sucker though! 

Now, I will read the rest of the series and probably do quickie reviews like this. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Wool by Hugh Howey

In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo's rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

His fateful decision unleashes a drastic series of events. An unlikely candidate is appointed to replace him: Juliette, a mechanic with no training in law, whose special knack is fixing machines. Now Juliette is about to be entrusted with fixing her silo, and she will soon learn just how badly her world is broken. The silo is about to confront what its history has only hinted about and its inhabitants have never dared to whisper. Uprising.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


I know it's been a while since you've heard from me. I've posted some reviews and promos, but otherwise I've been quiet. I had a LOT going on in the background. Unfortunately, it wasn't all going swimmingly, so things had to be sorted out.

I work at the store now about 34 hours a week, hopefully a few more when Trent goes back to school, and with my various assisting and PR jobs, I was burning the candle at both ends. For someone that needs to relax and sleep at least 7 hours every night that is not a pretty picture. So I had to make a tough decision, and that decision was to step away from PR and assisting for now.

So what does that mean for this blog? Well, I plan on using some of that freed up time to read more, blog more, and just relax!

SO you can look forward to hearing from me more, seeing more personal reviews, and maybe a few more fun things!

I'm participating in this challenge for July:
I'm starting with The Count of Monte Cristo. I'll probably "live blog" this one as it's HUGE and I want to keep good notes.

I also have a stack of reads I want to plow through as well. I'm not sure about weekly memes, but I may try a few.  I'm cutting back on blog tours and reading from my own TBR stack. I am accepting review requests, but those will be accepted on a very limited basis. (Use the form on the sidebar)