Monthly Archives: November 2015

Book Review: DESERT WOLF by Heather Long

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Synopsis: 

Cassius, Alpha of Sutter Butte, leads the most ruthless and dangerous pack in the United States. A pack comprised of misfits who didn’t fit in their previous packs, cast offs discarded by their packs and forgotten wolves who rose to create a pack more than a century before in utter defiance of the order of the day. Sometimes pitiless and cruel, he wants more for his people than a yearly bloodbath as they fight for a new place, a better spot in the pecking order. To change his pack, means to change himself and he will find rebellion on all sides, not the least of which is his own defiant heart.
Sovvan Stark, Omega of Delta Crescent, lives a cherished, beloved life in the center of her pack, a delicate and hard won balance. Though she is not the only Omega, she is the most experienced with the tremors of pack upset when power shifts from Alpha to Alpha. When her Alpha approaches her about Sutter Butte’s request, Sovvan considers the matter for several long months. While she might hold within her the key to helping the Sutter Butte Alpha, the undertaking could very well kill her.
Accompanied by a single Hound, Sovvan begins a journey to help Cassius rebuild the foundation of his pack, but first she will have to transform him…

Review:

Sutter Butte’s Alpha, Cassius is ready for a change for his pack.  His pack is considered the most vicious pack in the United States. Cassius himself is considered the most brutal of them all.  He wants more for his people. No more yearly blood shed to fight for a better spot in his ranks.   At one time it made sense.  Times are changing but can he change too, it starts with him.  He has called upon Delta Crescents Omega for help.

Sovvan Stark, the Omega of Delta Crescent finally made the decision to help the Sutter Butte pack after several long months of contemplating.  Her own alpha did not force her or stop her. The decision was solely hers.  She knew she could help them but at who’s expense?

Sutter Butte is not ready for a change, both Cassius and Stark are met with resistance, and a lot of it.  Day one, blood shed, she fights off the pack, the very pack she is trying to help is trying to kill her. Cassius is killing any Wolf who is defying his command and trying to kill her.  Day Two……….

It was action packed from the beginning and did not stop to the end.  They story just captivated me, I felt and understood the characters. Could Cassius fight his inner demons and change to help his pack, can he stop all the blood shed?  Could Sovvan Stark help him, find her way, her place and her heart? Also let’s face it the way Ms. Long depicts the sexy alpha, Cassius who can’t resist him, I want more.  The romantic element of the story was just as captivating, it was not just about Cassius and Stark’s journey but the love of his people as well. This is my first time reading anything from Heather Long. I will definitely add her to my author to read list.

5 Stars

Tori

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Read an Excerpt from DESERT WOLF

Heat rolled in waves from the blacktop of the old highway. Around him, the desert sprawled in its painted glory, seemingly melting into the horizon where it kissed the sky. The colors streaked past him as he accelerated, blowing past the old trading posts and bypassing the interstate with its smoother surface and promise of civilization in the distance. If one sought to journey through the decades, the old highway east of Holbrook was the place to start.

Sweat slicked his back beneath the leather jacket and the motorcycle vibrated between his thighs. Clocking over a hundred, he barely noticed the machine’s growl echoing his wolf’s. Cassius Lucera del Alba, Alpha of Sutter Butte squinted to catch sight of the town he sought ahead.

Though town was a generous description for the collection of ramshackle structures—of which a filling station with a decrepit market attached and a lone bar were clearly detailed. Time hadn’t forgotten the town, it had left it in the dust by doing a hundred and sixty and never looked back. If the location had a name, no map detailed it, not even Google. The poor bastards didn’t even have a ghost to call their own.

Though they might when he finished.

He didn’t slow until he reached the main drag, all eighty-five feet of it and parked his bike in front of the bar. A handful of vehicles were scattered amongst the cracked pavement and gravel. Three he recognized, two he didn’t. Like the bar, the cars were in sad shape and far more popular in earlier decades. Killing the engine, he dropped the kickstand and slid off his baby. Road dust coated her paint and chrome. With a stroke of his gloved hand over the seat, he promised her a bath later.

Leaving the bike, he strode toward the building. No one moved outside, but one wolf stood inside the filling station. He was a smart wolf, he’d spotted Cassius, yet didn’t reach for a phone or make any move other than retrieving his newspaper and flipping it open.

Inside, the cool air rushed over his sweaty face like a sweet kiss. The scents of stale beer, body odor, remnants of the blood spilled throughout the years, and fear stained the experience. The population of the bar—easily a dozen wolves though Cassius scented at least four more in the back—glanced up from their places scattered around the room. Three played pool, four others huddled around a card game while the rest sat in various spots including two at the bar drinking. A couple in the corner paused with her hand down his pants. The bartender—a tall, broad wolf with a balding pate and a world-weary expression raised his eyebrows in silent inquiry.

“Beer. Cold.” Cassius said, and the bartender nodded. A moment later, he set a tall bottle of Corona on the weathered bar top. The sides frosted and a hint of vapor escaped the top. Condensation formed almost immediately on the sides, slicking along the glass in rivulets.

Stripping off his fingerless gloves first. Cassius set them on the bar. Next, he peeled off his jacket. The old leather moulded him perfectly after the many years he spent wearing it. Only after setting it on the bar next to his gloves did he peel off three one hundred dollar bills and lay them next to the bottle. The bartender didn’t say a word as he took the bills, tucked them into his pocket then locked his register and exited through the double doors behind the bar.

Leaning against the aged wood, Cassius swept the room with his gaze. “If any of you are still sitting on your asses, disobeying the direct orders I sent out when I finish this beer, I’ll kill you.” He didn’t raise his voice. Shouting accomplished nothing. Yelling indicated the battle was lost before it began.

Chair legs scraping across the floor splintered the silence. The couple in the corner disengaged. The she-wolf grabbed her purse as she stood. Boots striking the floor punctuated her exodus. No sooner did the door slam shut behind her than the four wolves playing cards toss them down, abandoning their game. The men muttered, but they divvied the pot, then bowed their heads to him one at a time before hurrying out.

Tipping the bottle up, he took a long pull of the cold drink. It soothed his parched throat. One of the pool players threw down his stick. One of the wolves tried to stop him with a hand on his arm, but he shook it off. Then like the other wolves before him, he hurried out the door.

From nearly twenty to only ten—behind feet stomped on the stairs followed by another door slamming. Make that eight. One of the upstairs wolves strode into the bar, and stood in the center of it. Surprise filled his scent at the emptiness in the room. The others waited, their attention divided between Cassius and Finch.

Stupid fucking name for a wolf. Another long pull from his beer, and Cassius was three quarters finished. One by one he met the gazes of the wolves around the room. The smarter ones lowered their eyes immediately, the dumbasses fought to hold his gaze—even Finch.

Focusing on him last, Cassius studied him. Fresh beads of sweat began to trickle along Finch’s cheeks. The wolf swore, then stomped out and slammed the door with enough force, one of the hinges cracked.

Then there were seven.

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About Heather Long:

National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.

Connect with Heather: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon 

 

Follow the tour on November 24th! Two grand prize winners will receive a $10 digital gift card for Starbucks (Open Internationally) and three grand prize winners will receive a digital copy of a Heather Long backlist of their choosing (Open Internationally).

 

Spotlight: A Family Affair by Mary Campisi

 

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A Family Affair: Truth in Lies Book 1

When Christine Blacksworth’s larger-than-life father is killed on an icy road in Magdalena, New York, a hundred miles from the ‘getaway’ cabin he visited every month, she discovers a secret that threatens everything she’s always held to be true. Her father has another family which includes a mistress and a daughter. Determined to uncover the truth behind her father’s secret life, Christine heads to Magdalena, prepared to hate the people who have caused her to question everything she thought she knew about her father. But what she finds is a woman who understands her, a half sister who cherishes her, and a man who could love her if she’ll let him. The longer she’s around them, the more she questions which family is the real one.

One-Click Truth In Lies Book 1 for FREE

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Mary Campisi is one of a select group of authors to have one of her independently published books appear on the shelves at Walmart!

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A Family Affair: Spring Book 2

A Family Affair: Spring is a story of betrayal, forgiveness, and redemption, all wrapped up in the lives of the people we love to love, and even a few we love to hate.

Harry Blacksworth is rich, handsome, the ultimate playboy with a killer smile and a clever wit. He’s fought it, denied it, ignored it, but the damn truth won’t go away: he’s fallen in love. And just when he’s accepted that fact, Greta Severenson, the only woman he’s ever trusted, breaks his heart.

Christine Blacksworth and Nate Desantro beat the odds when they fell in love and married. But staying married is threatened when the foundation behind every good relationship—trust—is challenged.

Gloria Blacksworth descends upon Magdalena in all of her designer-clad arrogance, determined to make Christine change her course and return to Chicago and her old life. It may take two trips to that godforsaken town or ten, but Gloria doesn’t plan to fail. When she finally confronts Miriam Desantro, the “other woman”, Gloria discovers more than she ever wanted to know… or admit.

Angelo ‘Pop’ Benito is the Godfather of Magdalena. Nothing happens in that town without his knowledge or approval. And Pop doesn’t do anything without a long sit down with his dead wife, Lucy, and a half dozen pizzelles by his side. He’ll need a lot of lung power and a tray of his favorite treat to help Nate and Christine out of a real mess. And he may need the help of his checkers buddy and Magdalena’s shining star, Lily Desantro.

Links to Buy:

Amazon http://amzn.to/1P3cHW3
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Google Play http://bit.ly/1KN5l1o

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A Family Affair: Summer Book 3

Heartache. Betrayal. Forgiveness. Redemption…
It’s time to head back to Magdalena, New York and spend a little time with the people we love to love and even a few we love to hate.

Eight years ago, tragedy struck the town’s perfect couple, Daniel “Cash” Casherdon and Tess Carrick, days before their wedding. That tragedy shred their dreams of a life together and sent them fleeing Magdalena. Now, destiny has brought them back and the town is determined to see this couple mend their differences.

Angelo “Pop” Benito will lead the crusade to march Cash and Tess down the aisle with the help of The Bleeding Hearts Society, a garden group more interested in healing people’s hearts than helping a sick basil plant. But they’re not the only ones cheering for this couple’s second chance.

Who would have thought Nate Desantro would be giving advice on relationships, love, and marriage? But when a man finds the right woman, anything is possible. Add a baby to the mix; well that’s pure “hero” material. Christine will offer her share of support and wisdom to Tess and stand up to an old troublemaker in the name of family and friendship.

From the fifty-something widow who is afraid to open her heart again to the pregnant friend who believes everyone has a soul mate, to Lily Desantro, the shining light who makes others believe anything is possible, Magdalena’s finest will rally to give Tess and Cash that second chance. But all the prayers and contrivances in the world won’t help until Tess reveals the secret she’s carried for too many years, a secret that could destroy her chance with Cash forever…

And if you’re wondering about Harry Blacksworth and his brood, you’ll glimpse a snippet of what he’s up to, but he’ll be back in full force in A Family Affair: Fall. Not only that—he’s moving to Magdalena with Greta and the kids! Can you imagine Harry maneuvering a lawnmower or carrying out the trash? Oh, but his past is going to catch up with him and then…Sorry, Harry has to wait for A Family Affair: Fall to share his misery and his story.

For now, enjoy the journey as you catch up on the lives of the residents of Magdalena. They’re waiting for you!

Links to Buy:

Amazon http://amzn.to/1HiZ1P0
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A Family Affair: Fall Book 4

 

Gina Servetti was raised to believe she wasn’t enough—not thin enough, not pretty enough, not clever enough. She’s more comfortable with a spreadsheet than a conversation and doesn’t trust easily, especially where men are concerned, most notably the good-looking, smooth-talking ones like Ben Reed.

When city boy Ben Reed arrives in Magdalena, he’s not planning a long-term stay in a town filled with too many busybodies and too little excitement. He just needs things to settle down in Philly for a few months before he returns to his old life and his plan to win back his ex-wife. But once he gets to know the people in this town, he starts to care about them; one in particular—Gina Servetti. The longer he’s around her, the more he realizes she’s so much more than a woman with a scowl and a sharp tongue. She’s real and honest, and as afraid of trusting as he is.

But can Ben and Gina open up and take a risk for a chance at real love? Well, if the rest of the town has anything to say about it, and they always do, this couple will take the big leap and end with an “I do”!

And would the story be complete without checking in on Harry Blacksworth’s latest debacle…ahem…adventure? Harry’s moved his brood to Magdalena and is taking advice but thankfully not fashion lessons from Pop Benito. That spells trouble on so many levels. Oh, but it’s going to be interesting…

Join me as we peek into the lives of some of our favorites: Pop Benito, Lily, Nate and Christine Desantro, Harry and Greta Blacksworth, Mimi Pendergrass, Bree Kinkaid…and many more.

Links to Buy:

Amazon http://amzn.to/1kiGKvO
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A Family Affair: Christmas Book 5

The town is preparing to celebrate the holidays when a snowstorm hits and threatens to ruin the festivities. But that’s not the only threat blowing into town…Pop’s son is here from California to enjoy Christmas with his father, but when he leaves, he’s taking Pop with him…or is he? Will the town give up the Godfather of Magdalena, or will they show Pop’s son that when we open our hearts, anything is possible…even second chances?

NEW FEATURE: Magdalena’s growing! People are getting married, having babies, and moving back to town, so I’ve decided to include a list of characters and their backgrounds–some new faces, some from previous books. You’ll find Who’s Who in A Family Affair: Christmas located right after the dedication.

Links to Buy:

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A Family Affair: Winter Book 6

They should have been married and working on their “happily ever after” but fate intervened and stole their chance. Can the residents of Magdalena help them get it back?

On the day Michael Androvich stands at the altar before family, friends, and most of the town of Restalline, Pennsylvania, he’s prepared to pledge his life, love, and fidelity to the woman who owns his heart. There’s only one thing missing—the bride.
Elise Pentani loves Michael Androvich truly and completely, but there’s a tiny piece of her that believes he’ll fall back into his “bad boy” ways. When a threat from his past visits her the night before she and Michael are to be married, Elise lets doubt rule and skips her own wedding.
Nursing a broken heart and determined to forget the woman he can’t forget, Michael heads to Magdalena, New York to secure a business deal for his family’s lumber company. He’s not prepared for the endless questions and inquisitive nature of the residents who remind him an awful lot of his hometown.
Just when Michael has gotten the town to accept the fact that he’s not talking about his past or the reason for his surly disposition, his ex-fiancée shows up with an apology he doesn’t want to hear and certainly doesn’t want to believe. So much for the town leaving him alone; everybody has an opinion and they’re all more than anxious to share it.
There’s no way the residents of Magdalena can ignore these two broken-hearted souls. Michael and Elise have “need help” and “belong together” stamped all over their sad faces. Add that to Pop Benito’s determined matchmaking skills and Lily Desantro’s clever curiosity, and this couple might just get that second chance…

Note: Michael Androvich and Elise Pentani are secondary characters in Simple Riches, Book Three of That Second Chance Series. The books in this series are standalone works that are tied together by the belief in the beauty of that second chance. Michael and Elise won’t be the only ones visiting A Family Affair’s Magdalena from That Second Chance Series.

Here are a few more, though not necessarily in the order listed:

  • Grant Richot from Pulling Home, Book One
  • Angie Sorrento from The Way They Were, Book Two
  • Adam Brandon from Paradise Found, Book Four

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A Family Affair: The Promise Book 7

A lot has happened since readers left town in A Family Affair: Winter!

Bree Kinkaid is dealing with heartache and betrayal the only way she can—denial. Her friends can’t help her, she won’t listen to her parents, and she rejects offerings of support and sympathy from the town as she attempts to hold onto that magical life she wanted. But when a stranger shows up at Bree’s doorstep with information about her husband, she can’t pretend any longer.

And in case you were wondering what happened to Gloria Blacksworth’s notebook, it’s still resting in Nate Desantro’s desk drawer…but not for long. Gloria might be dead, but the notebook continues to leak distrust and ill will into the community, and someone’s got to stop it! There might be only one person in town equipped for the job—any guesses?

We’ve also got a new man in Magdalena, one badly in need of a second chance…

Grant Richot sprinted through life, a boy wonder with talent, intelligence, confidence, and charm. He never doubted the world awaited him, just as he never doubted the right woman would come into his life—but only when he was ready for her. Anyone before that was simply preparation for the one.

How wrong he was.

Years and a tragedy later, Grant arrives in Maggie Finnegan’s hometown of Magdalena, New York—broken, uncertain, and searching for that second chance with the woman he cast aside. But Maggie’s no longer naïve and impressionable; she’s a confident, competent widow with a child, who has more at risk than another broken heart…

Note: For a richer “A Family Affair” reading experience, make sure to read Pulling Home, Book One of That Second Chance series. It is the prequel to A Family Affair: The Promise, where you’ll learn Grant Richot’s story. Big, dark secrets about his family are revealed in this book, but that doesn’t mean he knows about them…but it also doesn’t mean the reader can’t know, right?!

Links to Buy:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1HqwlZd
iBooks: http://apple.co/1GGwC3F
Nook: http://bit.ly/1M7W5tP
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1WpZMfX

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A Family Affair: The Secret Book 8 (coming 1/5/2016)

Roman Ventori isn’t looking for a wife. He’s had one of those and it ended badly. He’s come back to Magdalena out of duty, not love for the town that drove him away with rumors and judgments.

Angie Sorrento is in Magdalena to do a job, not find a husband. She almost had one of those, until he dumped her days before the wedding.

Roman’s father has health problems and his last wish is to see his son settled with a wife, a child, a second chance at a life that doesn’t include city life and flashy women. There’s only one person in town who can make the impossible happen. Angelo “Pop” Benito, the Godfather of Magdalena, is the wiliest matchmaker in the Catskills and if he sets his mind to it, an old man might see his wish come true.

Oh, and remember Gloria Blacksworth’s notebook, the one filled with enough destruction to bring down Magdalena? Well, it’s causing trouble again, and this time the target is Miriam Desantro… Pop’s going to try to intervene, but he might be too late…

Links to Buy:

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Excerpt

If Salvatore Ventori hadn’t been recovering from a heart attack, Angie would have shut down the man’s idea that his son would be the perfect choice to escort her through the Sal’s Market after hours. Roman Ventori belonged in Chicago, or staring back at her from the insides of a magazine cover, not standing outside his father’s grocery store, arms crossed over his broad chest, waiting. And not too happy about the waiting either. The pacing gave it away, back and forth like a trapped lion. He didn’t see her coming from the side parking lot as he began another round of pacing.

Angie made her way toward him, sucked in a deep breath and willed her voice to remain even. “Roman Ventori?” The man turned and stared, six-foot plus of muscle and annoyance zeroing in on her with eyes darker than ink. Those eyes widened when he recognized her, the mouth flattened, the brackets on either side, a deep slash.

“You.” He ran a hand through his hair, blew out a sigh. “I should have known.”

She matched his sigh, tilted her head to look up at him. Damn, but he was a tall one. “Should have known what?”

“That my old man would pull this. How much did he pay you?”

“What are you talking about?” The tabloids should get this charmer on tape. It would mark the end of Mr. Beautiful’s lovely persona. Angie guessed the man hadn’t wanted to come tonight. Too bad. She needed photos so she could do her job, and if the only way to get them was after closing time in the company of Sal’s son, then that’s what she’d do. “Why would your dad pay me?” she asked, determined to get an answer. But the man said nothing, merely unlocked the door and flicked on the lights, leaving Angie to follow, camera slung over her shoulder.

When they reached the customer service area, Roman Ventori turned to her, his massiveness dwarfing her breathing space and said, “My father paid you to get in my line of vision, didn’t he?”

“Line of vision?” Angie scrunched up her nose. “For what?”

He scowled, narrowed his gaze on her. “You know damn well for what. He had a heart attack and now he’s gotten it into his head that he wants to see me settled before he dies.”

“Settled.” Settled? As in married, with a family? No. No.

“Yeah, that’s what he said, and then he started dropping hints about this nice little Italian girl he’d met who’d come to town to make a miniature rendition of his store, said I should escort you around and see what I could see. Whatever that means.” He flipped on more lights, let out another sigh that sounded like pure disgust and continued, “Ignore whatever he told you. I am not looking for a girlfriend and I’m sure as hell not looking for a wife.”

“What?” Had he just said wife? Angie moved toward him, hands on hips, scowl on her face to show her equal disgust and said, “Mister, I am not looking for a boyfriend or a husband. I don’t even want a dog. You got that?” The nerve of some people. “I’ve come to this town to do a job, so I can get paid, period. Whatever issues you and your father have, are not my issues and you better damn well not make them mine. You got that?”

Those eyes narrowed, the jaw twitched, and damn if the mouth didn’t flip into a smile seconds before he said, “Got it.”

Angie crossed her arms over her chest, tipped her chin up to see his face and held her ground. “Do not confuse me with a groupie gold digger again.”

The smile spread. “Groupie gold digger?”

“Right.” She hid a smile. Now was not the time to let him see he could barrel through her anger and make her smile.

“I’ll keep that in mind.” He thrust out his hand. “Roman Ventori, collector of groupie gold diggers.”

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