Paranormal / Supernatural

The Blood Talisman Book Tour Kick-Off!

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Paranormal / Supernatural, Pen and Muse news | 2 comments

The Blood Talisman Book Tour Kick-Off!

We met author Kim Culpepper on the wonderful world of Twitter, but shortly after we started reading her writing and she even contributed to some of our writing showcases, like the Dark Carnival! We love Kim and think she’s amazing, which is why Pen & Muse was super thrilled when Kim hired us to run a blog tour for The Blood Talisman, an urban fantasy that came out this year. We’re kicking off the tour today with a sweet exclusive excerpt, a little about the book, and where you can find it. Check it out!   The Blood Talisman by Kim Culpepper   Book Genre: Urban Fantasy Book release date: 05/21/2014  The Blood Talisman book blurb: Alex Jacobs gets bitten by a werewolf, and that’s only the beginning of his problems. When his wife is kidnapped and turned into someone he doesn’t recognize anymore, he not only struggles with letting her go but, also with saving her life. Selene is a powerful witch that not only teaches Alex the ways of the wolf but, also teaches him about restraint and purpose. Her shy innocence quickly attracts him to her and he struggles with being torn between two women. Their feelings for each other are constantly put to the test as a battle for the blood talisman, the key to immortality, is fought for power to some and a way to live forever for others. It is quickly learned that immortality comes at a price to all of humanity.   The Blood Talisman Exclusive Excerpt  Ember grabbed Alex by the neck, lifting him off his feet. The bones within him started to break and his blood scorched angrily through him. She threw him down just as he finished changing into the wolf. He could smell the blood from the man lying on the floor, hear his heart slowly beating. He was very near death. Ember stood back and watched in enjoyment as he devoured the attendant.   About Kim Culpepper Kim Culpepper is a horror lover! She is the author of The Blood Talisman, several short stories, and also runs Dark Child Create, a company the designs custom book covers. Her work has been published in Sanitarium Magazine, The Opening Line Literary Zine, and more. Kim is a native of Colombus, Mississippi where she lives with her wonderful husband, two beautiful kids, and two mischievous cats.  Most of her writing is based in the south because she enjoys writing characters with accents and the South has plenty of people to inspire that. Kim on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kculpepper1 Kim’s Blog: http://www.kjculpepper.net/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kim.culpepper.3 Kim on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7957042.Kim_Culpepper   Join the book buzz using hashtag #BloodTalisman Giveaway Win a copy of The Blood Talisman! There are three super easy ways to enter! Check them out! a Rafflecopter...

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The Healing Power of Queer YA by Chelsea Pitcher (Plus a Giveaway!)

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Paranormal / Supernatural, Reading, Writing, Young Adult | 1 comment

The Healing Power of Queer YA by Chelsea Pitcher (Plus a Giveaway!)

Today’s post begins with two statements: 1. You want to read this book. 2. You should enter this giveaway pronto.   Alright – I’ll give you a third. If you haven’t read Chelsea Pitcher, you are truly missing out. You may recall we reviewed her debut novel THE S-WORD last year. If you’re not much of a contemporary fan, today will rock your socks off.   The Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher   Series: Faerie Revolutions #1 Release date: November 8th 2014 Publisher: Flux Purchase: Amazon    Synopsis via Goodreads: A Kingdom at War . . .   Elora, the young princess of the Dark Faeries, plans to overthrow her tyrannical mother, the Dark Queen, and bring equality to faeriekind. All she has to do is convince her mother’s loathed enemy, the Bright Queen, to join her cause. But the Bright Queen demands an offering first: a human boy who is a “young leader of men.”   A Dark Princess In Disguise . . .   To steal a mortal, Elora must become a mortal—at least, by all appearances. And infiltrating a high school is surprisingly easy. When Elora meets Taylor, the seventeen-year-old who’s plotting to overthrow a ruthless bully, she thinks she’s found her offering . . . until she starts to fall in love. Muse KJ’s Thoughts Ever read a book and know, just know, you can’t write a review to properly praise it? This is one of those books. The tale is told in both the voices of Elora, a young Faerie princess, and Taylor, a mere mortal boy. The two meet by chance. Is he the sacrifice she’s been asked to find? Is she what can finally pull him from his guilt and grief? The voice is authentic, honest, and elegant. I couldn’t help but do what I would have deemed impossible previously – comparing her gift of words to Margaret Atwood’s. It takes great talent to be able to weave more than just plot into a well crafted story, but this something Chelsea Pitcher pulls off as smoothly as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Perhaps even more so, when you realize this isn’t done is the easier format of a dystopia, but instead an urban fantasy. This is a story with the ability to truly affect you, in addition to it being an entertaining and enjoyable read. Equality doesn’t work if it’s only for some people. I know I’ll be back later to write a more thorough review, because (at least for me) this is one of those rare gems that you can think about for ages and still come up with new ideas. This is easily one of my favorite books of 2014 – and will be one of my most gifted books this holiday season. The Healing Power of Queer YA When I was sixteen, I fell in love with a girl. Four and a half years later, it ended. And for some time after, I didn’t even want to look at a book about two girls falling in love, let alone read one. It wasn’t that I was swearing off girls forever (how would one even do such a thing? And why?) I was just heartbroken, and I didn’t want to return to where I’d been. Not yet. Then time went by. First weeks, then months, then years. And during this time, I still read books. I read lots of books! I just didn’t read books about two girls in love. I didn’t even read books about two boys in love. I didn’t want to read about the hardships surrounding coming out, the searching for a sense of identity,...

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The Muses Read: STORM by Danielle Ellison + Giveaway

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Paranormal / Supernatural, Reading, Thriller | 0 comments

The Muses Read: STORM by Danielle Ellison + Giveaway

October’s the perfect time for a paranormal read, right? I certainly think so – October’s the time of the year that I rearrange my reads to include as much paranormal, thriller, and horror as possible. Luckily for me, STORM counts for two out of those three! Storm (Salt #2) by Danielle Ellison Release Date: 09/29/14 Entangled Teen Blurb: Up until recently, Penelope was a witch with no magic. After having it stolen by a demon when she was just a child, Penelope had been forced to rely on sharing others’ powers as she went through the grueling training required to become an elite demon hunter. Now Penelope has more magic than she’s ever known. And when you’re this powerful, who needs salt to keep the demons away? But power has a dark side. Carter Prescott just wants to hunt demons and be with Penelope. But suddenly, witches who formerly had no magic are developing terrible, out-of-control powers. Now the world Carter swore to protect isn’t just endangered by malicious demons―it’s threatened by the same witches who once defended it. And Carter is horrified to see his girlfriend starting to change. Stronger. More powerful. Unrecognizable. It’s just a matter of time before Penelope changes into something far beyond his worst fears…     Find it at: Amazon│Barnes & Noble│Kobo Books Links to Salt (Book One): Goodreads│Amazon│Barnes & Noble│Kobo Books Muse Kristen’s Thoughts STORM is a fun paranormal read for YA fans. It opens with a kick – “Three days ago, I went to hell.” The action doesn’t slow from there. The story is told in both the POVs of Carter and Penelope (something that is different from SALT, and threw me for a moment or two).  I ended up liking the dual-POV, as there were key points where being in Carter’s head told a different story. Penelope is the witch with no powers – before Carter showed up. She’s out for revenge, and now that she has her stripes nothing will be getting in her way – except for the little detail like Static witches everywhere are getting powers, and the world is going crazy. Carter is used to avoiding his family name – except for when it benefits his friends. What happens when a witch with no powers suddenly has major power? If the truth may have been kept from you? Penelope’s supposed to be protecting the world from demons – but who’s going to protect the world from her? The tone of this book is very conversational – it’s as if you’re a bystander watching everything unfold. It’s very easy to get in the head of Carter and Penelope, which pushes the story along pleasantly. I’d highly recommend reading SALT before reading STORM – I’m not as certain that some of the world building details will make sense. STORM picks up right where SALT ends, throwing you into the action immediately.   If you’ve enjoyed SALT, you should definitely continue on to the sequel. About the Author: Danielle Ellison Danielle Ellison is from a small town in West Virginia. She spent her childhood pretending to fly, talking to imaginary friends, and telling stories. She hasn’t changed much since then. You can still find her pretending to work, talking to imaginary characters, and writing stories. When she’s not writing, Danielle is probably drinking coffee, fighting her nomadic urges, watching too much TV, or dreaming of the day when she can be British. She is the author of five upcoming novels and you can find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites. Author Links: Website│Goodreads│Twitter│Facebook   Giveaway a Rafflecopter...

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The Muses Read: Prophecy of the Most Beautiful by Diantha Jones

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in Paranormal / Supernatural, Romance, Science Fiction / Fantasy, Young Adult | 0 comments

The Muses Read: Prophecy of the Most Beautiful by Diantha Jones

Greek mythology. It’s kinda my thing. In fact, I know more about Greek mythology than the average reader would – which always makes me simultaneously excited to read takes on the old myths, and incredibly nervous to. You know what’s also my thing? Gorgeous covers. They’re basically the tall, dark, and handsome of KJland. Cannot refuse them.   Prophecy of the Most Beautiful by Diantha Jones Blurb: She has a destiny so great that even the gods fear her. Constant hallucinations and the frequent conversations with the voices in her head, have earned eighteen-year-old Chloe Clever the not-so-coveted title of “Whack Job” in her home town of Adel, Georgia. Fed up with prescription meds and therapists, she wishes for a life where she is destined to be more than the butt of everyone’s jokes and mockery. Be careful what you wish for has never rung more true. After a vicious attack and learning that her favorite rockstar is an Olympian god, she is thrust into her new life as the Oracle of Delphi, the prophesier of the future. Setting out to fulfill the prophecy she has been given, Chloe learns of how great she is to become, all the while fighting mythical monsters and trying to outwit the ever-cunning Greek gods who harbor secrets of their own. While on a mission to discover the Most Beautiful, she strives to uncover the mysteries of the demigod Prince who has sworn to protect her with his life…and threatens to win her heart in the process. Find it at: Amazon | Barnes and Noble Muse KJ’s Thoughts Prophecy of the Most Beautiful was an easy read for me. Light, easy – exactly what one wants in the summer. Chloe already knows she’s different than most other girls. She just doesn’t know how. She thought maybe she was losing her mind…when really fate had so much more in store for her. The book starts with action – and doesn’t leave you wanting. You’re swept into adventure quickly, traveling along with Chloe from each confusing (to her) new twist and turn, meeting characters from the old myths…who have often adapted to the modern times in interesting ways. The characters are creative and entertaining. How would a god or demigod act if they were trying to be a part of today’s society? You just might get that answered. It’s pretty obvious immediately who the Swooner McSwoonster is. And that’s okay, especially because he’s Irish. WE MAKE EXCEPTIONS FOR THE ACCENTS, OKAY? I did wish Chloe was a little younger – I felt as if her personality would have been better matched if she was maybe sixteen, than an eighteen year old about to graduate high school. Did I solve the prophecy? Errr..no. Not even with all my mythology background. Do I want to know what happens next? Yes. Do I want to go hang out with Dio? Maybe. Probably. Yes. Don’t tell my mother. All that said, diehard mythology buffs may have issues with some of the creative licensing taken with a few of the deities. It all makes sense with the plot – but deities have been modernized, and in some cases their stories are altered to fit the story. I will note that I read an early ARC so I can’t comment on editing and formatting of the final novel. Giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway About The Author : Diantha Jones Diantha Jones was born the day thousands of turkeys sacrificed their lives to fill millions of American bellies on November 22 which also happened to be Thanksgiving Day (Her mother says she owes...

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Review: Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Paranormal / Supernatural, Reading | 0 comments

Review: Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

Hey! Before I get into this review, I thought I should warn you: this is going to be a profanity-laced review of a profanity-laced book, so if swearing isn’t your thing, you might wanna skip this one. You were warned. Without further ado…   If this cover doesn’t immediately compel you to buy this book, you’re probably dead. One: it’s fucking gorgeous, down to every last detail. Two: it’s basically the only blurb you need. Three: I’ve never seen a better depiction of a main character, ever. She’s sassy, aloof, and completely unapologetic. And you want to know who she is. It’s been a while since I was immediately sucked into a book, but Miriam Black is one hard-hitting, badass bitch. Her slick one-liners and devil-may-care attitude caught me up and I willingly went along for the ride. You see, Miriam is “gifted” with the ability to see your death. One little touch, skin on skin, and she knows every last detail, down the moment you drown in your own blood or scrape your face off on the pavement. And if your death happens to be convenient, she’ll watch you choke, and then steal your wallet. Not a bad living, if you call it living. Miriam would call it surviving. She should be entirely unlikable, but fuck it all if there’s not a sliver of redeeming empathy in her. When she meets a man whose death is caused by him meeting her, Miriam struggles against her urge to save him. Saving people only leads to a shitstorm of death in her experience. But she just can’t let this one go. Chuck Wendig does an impressive job channeling the voice of a twenty-something vagrant road chick. The narrative is seamless, and the present-tense perspective grabs you by the back of the neck and shoves you down the back alley of Miriam’s world. In “Interlude” chapters, you learn more about Miriam’s past and what makes her tick. Though it breaks up the narrative, these slices of “before” fit flawlessly into the story. The whole damn book is sharp as a switchblade. I’ve never been more in love. I may have immediately purchased Mockingbird and The Cormorant. I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews on this one, from readers as enthralled as I am to readers who thought the book was gratuitously vulgar. I won’t lie: there’s a fuckton of swearing (which I don’t give a shit about) and some nitty-gritty nasty details, like a roach disappearing up a dead guy’s nose and people gettin’ stabbed in the eye. Oh, and the death. Did I mention there’s death in this book? The best thing about Blackbirds is how unapologetic it is. Wendig gives zero fucks (and thus Miriam does as well) about what you think of her (Miriam), and tells a damn good story. It doesn’t pretend to be a romance, or a salvation novel, or a better understanding the mysteries of the universe book. It’s just Miriam, dealing with the shit in her life and trying to do something right, even though she’s convinced she’ll fail. And I fucking love that. I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book. If you enjoy fast-paced, gritty urban fantasy with a dash of the supernatural that steal hours from your life because you can’t stop reading, get Blackbirds immediately. Here, I’ll make it easy for you: Amazon: Blackbirds by Chuck WendigBarnes and Noble: Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig And if Chuck weren’t badass enough, he also dishes out profanity-laced writing advice over on TerribleMinds.com. I, for one, am looking forward to...

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Double Birthday: Night Moves + Kristen Strassel

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014 in New Adult, Paranormal / Supernatural, Reading, Romance, Writing | 1 comment

Double Birthday: Night Moves + Kristen Strassel

Today’s a very special day here at Pen and Muse. Why? It’s a double birthday. You heard us. A double birthday. Not only is it the birthday of our lovely Publicity Muse Kristen Strassel, but it’s also the birthday of NIGHT MOVES, the follow up to her sex, blood and rock n’roll debut.     Happy Birthday Night Moves! About Night Moves (if you know, vampire rock gods aren’t enough info for you):   We bonded in darkness, over darkness. Melanie Vaughn’s job ruined everything. Her social life, nonexistent. Her relationship with her boyfriend, a hostile roommate situation. She resolves to fix everything one snowy afternoon, but instead comes home to discover her boyfriend is already exploring other options. Blonder, bustier options. Rage drives Melanie to do the unthinkable. When Soul Divider was on the top of the world, so was Ryder Maddox. When the band faded into obscurity, Ryder’s luck plummeted with it. In a last ditch effort to rekindle the band’s heyday, Soul Divider teams up with powerful vampire clan leader, Talis de Rancourt. In return for her services, the band pays the ultimate price for never ending fame. Now on the run, Melanie meets Ryder in a middle of nowhere hotel. She never expected her teenage rock star crush to be as lost and as in need of a companion as she is. Their connection is all consuming, even before they find they share another kinship: murder. The newly turned vampires in Soul Divider still have a lot to learn. The police and public begin to connect the girls that go missing or die in sync with the band’s tour schedule. Back at home, clues are also adding up against Melanie as well. Between constant media coverage and unrelenting attention from the authorities, Melanie and Ryder find themselves in uncharted territory. Find it at: Amazon and Goodreads. Happy Birthday K-Strass! We think the world of you. Your dedication to your craft, your positive energy, and your mischief makes us love the crap out of you. When you take over the world, can we be your respective in-house Bacon Chef (Kristen) and Puppy Expert (Jolene)? We can discuss those details later, but one thing is certain. It. Is. Your. Day. May there be cake. May there be champagne. May there be dancing. May be there be leopard print. And may there be rockstars. It’s up to you whether they’re vampires or not....

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