This is the blog of Samie Sands, author of Lockdown. There will be many great books and projects reviewed here. For more, check out thelockdown.co.uk.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Wild Thing by Kim Cormack

After many years lost in places void of humanity, Grey found her. He introduced her to a partially immortal family. She’d been saved in so many ways by the Ankh. They were the family that she had always been destined to find. They would teach her to embrace the dragon that resided within her. She would learn that both the dark side of her spirit and light were equally important. Lexy of Ankh was a weapon, unmatched by any member of the other clans. She would fight for all that is good even though most of time her heart remained lost in the darkness. Greydon tried to be her handler, but Lexy of Ankh was meant to be a WILD THING.
Review: loved this book! It's a paranormal romance like no other - one with comedy, horror, gore and a main character with so much depth that she's actually relatable, despite her crazy situation. Once I'd finished reading, I was desperate for more, so I'm glad to learn that Lexy is actually a spin off from another series!

The Father by Anton Svensson

How does a child become a criminal? How does a father lose a son?

An epic crime novel with the excitement of Jo Nesbo's Headhunters and the narrative depth of We Need to Talk About KevinThe Father is inspired by the extraordinary true story of three brothers who committed ten audacious bank robberies in Sweden over the course of just two years.

None had committed a crime before. All were under twenty-four years old. When their incredible spree had come to an end amid the glare of the international media, all of them would be changed forever as individuals and as a family.

This intoxicating, heartbreaking thriller tells the story of how three boys are transformed over the course of their lives from innocent children to the most wanted criminals in Sweden. And of the man who made them that way: their father.
Review: This true account of the development of a bunch of criminals, and the knock on effects that this has is truly a gripping read. Alternating between the past and present, this novel has a much more in depth view of all of the characters than usually found, which makes it a fascinating read. This is by no means a light read, but it's certainly interesting enough to keep you hooked until the very last page - especially when you remember that all of it actually happened! Part 2 promises to be another great book!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Sometimes you find love in the most unexpected of places...
This is not one of those times.
Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers. The two families have been neighbors for centuries, and as a child the tomboyish Billie ran wild with Edward and Andrew. Either one would make a perfect husband... someday.
Sometimes you fall in love with exactly the person you think you should...
Or not.
There is only one Rokesby Billie absolutely cannot tolerate, and that is George. He may be the eldest and heir to the earldom, but he's arrogant, annoying, and she's absolutely certain he detests her. Which is perfectly convenient, as she can't stand the sight of him, either.
But sometimes fate has a wicked sense of humor...
Because when Billie and George are quite literally thrown together, a whole new sort of sparks begins to fly. And when these lifelong adversaries finally kiss, they just might discover that the one person they can't abide is the one person they can't live without...
Review: Rokesby and George's surprising romance is a steamy, well written story that had me laughing an crying during this emotional rollercoaster. This author knows how to write a historical romance that stands out from the crowd, and I'd recommend all of her books, not just this one!

Monday, 28 March 2016

COMPETING WITH THE STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager

 
 
COMPETING WITH THE STAR 
by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
– SYNOPSIS – 
Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect…
 
Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams—Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.
 
A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated…
 
After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.
 
The past is the past—or so they say…
 
Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it’s hard to believe—especially when she’s blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school.
 
Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs soap opera drama when you’re busy competing with a star?

 
– PURCHASE  
AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON PAPERBACK | B&N PAPERBACK 



– NEXT DOOR TO A STAR, Book 1 

AMAZON US | AMAZON PAPERBACK 
 
- EXCERPT -
Two days passed and Nick hadn’t called again. I couldn’t blame him. After all, I had pushed for him to be honest and then had bailed on him. I’m sure he was mad at me for telling him he could tell me the truth and then I punished him for it—and he would be right. I couldn’t handle the icky feelings, and instead of being a big girl and dealing with them, I came home from school and retreated into the world of books. A world where people were kidnapped, jewels were stolen, but nobody’s heart ever got broken because in my favorite series, The Raven Chronicles, Raven’s boyfriend, Fernando, was ever faithful and loyal and would never even look at another girl. He was the perfect book boyfriend. In other words, he was fictional and didn’t exist.
I saw I had a text from Simone. Oh great, maybe she was asking for my blessing to go out with Nick, or if I was still planning to go to Watson High School next year so she could make out with him in a different hallway from my locker.
Simone: Are you mad at me? Nick said you’re upset because you found out he used to like me.
Oh fabulous. He told her the whole gross story. Well, of course he did, seeing as how he was always over with her clique and he could tell the love of his life anything.
 
– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –
Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.
 
 

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Beneath the Lake by Christopher Ransom

Thirty Years Ago
On a camping trip by a remote lake, the Mercer family enjoyed the vacation of a lifetime - until a violent tragedy forced them to make a decision that would haunt them for ever.

This Summer
When the younger Mercers learn their father is dying, the family reunites at the lake, seeking a second chance to put their lives back together. But something is waiting . . .

Four Days of Hell
Also arriving at the lake are estranged son Raymond Mercer and an alluring stranger, Megan, both ignorant of the family's secrets. Within hours, they are all trapped in a relentless nightmare and fighting for their lives.
Some places are better left. Some secrets are better forgotten. Some people are better dead.
Review: I love Christopher Ransom books, so I was extremely excited to read Beneath the Lake, and it didn't disappoint! Raymond and the rest of the Mercer family are screwed up by a past that comes back to haunt them at the mysterious lake where their lives changed forever. The author managed to create an eerie, gripping atmosphere that had me hooked until the very last page. 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Bad Analysis by Colin Knight

In London, a delusional racist aristocrat, invisible, privileged, and well-protected by his station, ruthlessly coordinates a diabolical attack, a slaughter disguised as a domestic terror assault.

Deep in the core of MI5, a traitor, misuses, redirects and controls official resources.
Manipulating a group of cowards, rapists, murderers, and virulent racists culled from the ranks of the English Defense League, the aristocrat and the traitor aim to throw England into a state of xenophobic frenzy.

Only two men stand a chance of stopping their fanatical plot.

One is a victim of state-sponsored madness twice over, a humble Egyptian cab driver who brought his family to England in search of a better life. Aalim is meant to be a scapegoat for the actions of his captors, a “rag-head” who can be made to take the blame for their actions lest his innocent wife and son, taken hostage, suffer a terrible fate. The other, Wilson, is a crotchety intelligence analyst. An iconoclastic workaholic, rapidly losing patience with his superiors’ political gamesmanship, Wilson relies on his own brand of intelligence analysis when one of the plotters makes the attack personal and when one of his closest friends at MI5 pays the ultimate price for discovering too much.

Can Aalim’s faith and humanity overcome his fear of the monsters keeping his family captive? And can Wilson overcome the Bad Analysis that infests a system that, from the very beginning, was set against him?
Review: This book is a well written, exciting story line that grips you in an icy terror until the very last page. Terrorism is a difficult subject to tackle, but this author has done an extremely good job of doing so. I cannot wait to read more from Colin Knight. 

Maid of Oaklands Manor by Terri Nixon

England, 1912 is a place of rigid rules. A chance meeting between scullery maid Lizzy Parker and heiress Evie Creswell is about to break them all . . . 

Their meeting leads to more than an enduring friendship and a new job for Lizzy - it draws her into a world of privilege and intrigue and delivers her into the loving arms of a killer.

Meeting the handsome but mysterious Jack Carlisle, Lizzy begins to fall for him despite rumours he had been involved in the death of Evie's father. As she becomes further embroiled in the dangerous life that Carlisle lives, she must decide if he can be trusted with the life of a close friend, and, ultimately, if he is worth the risk to her own . . .
Review: This book is unlike any other historical romance, and it had my gripped until the very last page. The mysterious plot is filled with murder, excitement and intrigue, plus Lizzy and Evie are well written characters that had me rooting for them until the bitter end. 

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

COMPETING WITH THE STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager

 
COMPETING WITH THE STAR 
by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
– SYNOPSIS – 
Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect…
 
Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams—Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.
 
A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated…
 
After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.
 
The past is the past—or so they say…
 
Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it’s hard to believe—especially when she’s blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school.
 
Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs soap opera drama when you’re busy competing with a star?

 
– PURCHASE  
AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON PAPERBACK | B&N PAPERBACK 



– NEXT DOOR TO A STAR, Book 1 

AMAZON US | AMAZON PAPERBACK 
 
 
– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –
Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.
 
 

Monday, 21 March 2016

#Editing www.kscearce.com

Hi, Kristin Scearce here! I am twenty-seven years old, hold a Master’s in Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and I have always had a knack for editing’s others’ work. I was the person whose “eagle eyes” were sought after by my peers while in school, from middle school through college. Proofreading essays, term papers, technical writing, and so on for my friends and fellow students was a passion of mine, and I never turned down the opportunity to help someone learn how to write not only correctly but also effectively.

In my current position as a freelance editor, I provide not only standard line/copy editing for grammar, spelling, etc., but also content editing for those who are unsure as to the effectiveness and continuity of their work from start to finish. I have been performing these duties since November 2013, and I could not ask for a better job. I am an avid reader, and I see my work as a way of helping others achieve their dreams of becoming published authors while honing their craft to improve their writing skills with each successive project.

For more information about my services and pricing, please check out my website: www.kscearce.com

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Emma's Blaze by Marie Piper

Bill McKenzie’s yearly cattle drive brings more than the normal challenges…

The oldest and most responsible of the rowdy McKenzie brothers, Bill is in charge of their biggest task of the season. But while wrangling cattle, he crosses paths with a beautiful red-haired woman in a tattered dress in desperate need of help.

Is she as harmless as she is beautiful?

Suspicions arise when the red-haired beauty—who calls herself Sparrow—withholds the story of how she came to be in the woods. All Bill knows is she’s headed for Cricket Bend, where his brother was murdered a year earlier. Though he vowed to steer clear of that dusty town, he can’t let her run straight into bandit country with no protection. First, they have to make it through the cattle drive—and the mysterious woman is going with them.

Women are bad luck on the trail…

Though they’re strangers, the magic of the Wild West brings the pair together with a passion they can’t fight. But when her journal is stolen by Bill’s brother, Andrew, he discovers her true identity—and two scandalous secrets.

One thing Bill learns is the open range is full of possibilities. Neither of them imagined their paths would cross, but once they had, there was no turning back.

Is her tainted past enough to tear them apart? And if not, what will come of their blazing romance when that same past threatens their future?
 
 
Amazon ~ FREE on Kindle Unlimited
“This life—the drives—it ain’t the future. Folks are buying land. Soon there won’t be open land, maybe there won’t even be cattlemen. If I’m being honest, this is likely the last drive we’ll ever do.”
“Is it?”
“Cattle travels by trains now, mostly. And folks are switching over to stockier breeds of cows that are easier to raise than longhorns. Things are changing. My mama says it’s progress. There’ll always be ranches, and folks’ll always eat beef, but life sure won’t be like this much longer.”
A hawk swooped overhead, and Bill pointed at it. Sparrow watched the bird fly off into the open sky that stretched on for miles and miles, a blanket of blue as far as the eye could see. He watched her as she took in everything around her, even the stomping cows trailing behind them. Finally, she spoke. “That’ll be a sad day, I suppose. The end of something simple and beautiful.”
“A man’s gotta keep moving.”
“Amen.”
“Speaking of moving,” he began. “Where will you go once you’ve caught up to the man you’re seeking? I’m guessing it’s a man. Correct me if I’m wrong.”
“He is.”
“He hurt you?”
“No,” she said. “He stole from from me.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to get it back.”
“How?”
“I haven’t quite figured that out yet.”
“What will you do after you get it back?”
“After? I…don’t know, honestly.”
“Between not knowing how you’re going to get back your money, and what you’re going to do after, I have to say your plan might not be too well laid-out.”
“My plan also didn’t involve cattlemen.”

Watching Andrew’s cocky smirk as he dealt a hand, she knew he wasn’t expecting much of her abilities. But she could also tell the moment he cheated. With what he thought was skill, he slipped a card up into the sleeve of his shirt. It was a basic cheat. Emma had pulled it herself and seen it done a hundred times.
Over her shoulder, she knew Appie watched as he cooked. Maybe Andrew needed to be brought down a notch, faced head-on and left in the dust. She intended to do just that, and was happy when Pete arrived to witness the action.
She would take Andrew down, and it would be a show.
The cards she held weren’t bad, though Andrew had obviously cheated with the intention of giving himself better cards. Had she been a less skilled player, he’d have been able to win instantly. It was a good trick. Whoever had taught him how to cheat had been pretty good.
Emma, however, had been taught to cheat by the very best.
Poker face, Emma.
That voice came to her mind once again, spurring her to sit up tall. It was time to be The Sparrow. She adjusted the cards in her hand as she spoke. “You ever planning to play that queen?”
“Pardon me?”
“The queen.”
“Which queen?”
“The one in your sleeve.”
She lay down a pair of jacks and waved a finger absent-mindedly toward his arm. “Saw you tuck it. The left sleeve. Queen of diamonds, I’d wager.”
“What would you wager?”
Emma looked across the table with a flat expression. “More than you’ve got, cowboy.”
Pete whistled, and Andrew glared at him. Emma kept her face unreadable, though she felt like giggling and clapping. Nothing was as much fun as busting a bad cheater. “The card.”
“You’re crazy.”
Emma set down her cards. “Am I? Show me what’s in your left sleeve.”
“Show her,” Pete said. “You wouldn’t cheat a lady, would you?”
Andrew reached into his sleeve and pulled out a card. It was, indeed, a queen of diamonds.
“Woo!” Pete exclaimed in triumph. “She schooled you.”
“Shut up,” Andrew grumbled, grabbing his cards back.
“The big shot got called out by a woman. No offense, ma’am.”
“I take no offense at being called a woman. After all, I am one.” Emma watched Andrew try to hide his fury. It didn’t work, and he damn near exploded as he leapt to his feet.
“Will you dance with me?” Hope shone in her lovely eyes.
“Here?”
“Right here.”
Accompanied by the soft music, Bill reached out a hand and set it on Emma’s waist. Gently, half afraid she’d startle and run off, he stepped closer. She lay one hand in his waiting palm, the other on his shoulder. They began to move.
They danced simply but well, two people who fit together. For a large cowboy, Bill knew how to lead, and she allowed him to do just that. Thinking of her foot, he lifted her a little, which allowed her to lean her weight on him so as to keep it off her injury. The dance turned into two bodies swaying together. He became vividly aware of how she pressed her whole body to his.
“You dance quite well,” she whispered. “I’ll admit I’m surprised.”
“My mama insisted we boys all learn,” he replied. “Said it was a good way to woo the ladies.”
“And was she right?”
“Why don’t you tell me?”
“Consider me thoroughly wooed.”
Bill took his hand from her waist and let it slide lower to rest on the curve of her hip. Once it was there, he dragged his fingers over the bare skin just below the hem of the shirt. Emma pressed herself tighter against him. Knowing that only a little fabric separated them charged Bill with desire he could barely restrain. He wanted to know her in whatever way he could. Emma brought her arms up and draped them around his neck, urging him closer to her. Bill moved his hands to her waist and took a hard grip of the fabric of the shirt. “Your lips are a little blue,” he said.
“I’m soaked through,” she replied. “I am a bit cold.”
“Someone should warm you up.”
“Someone should. If only there were someone near who was up for the chore.”
“It’d hardly be a chore.” Even if kissing her was a stupid thing to do, it was the only thing in the world that seemed right at that moment, and he was going to do it, and he wasn’t going to stop there unless she told him to. He knew she wouldn’t. Wanting each other wasn’t a crime. The lean majesty of her body trembled against him when he pressed his face into her hair. With his fingers splayed against her lower back, he brought their bodies tighter together.
Lord, what had she done to him in just a few days?
Marie Piper lives in Chicago, but writes Romance and Erotica usually set in the old west. Her short pieces are available in anthologies from LoveSlave, House of Erotica, Coming Together, and Torquere Press, as well as via NineStar Press. The full-length steamy Western trilogy, FIRES OF CRICKET BEND, is being released by Limitless Publishing. (HAVEN'S FLAME, Book #1, is out now. EMMA'S BLAZE, Book #2, comes out on March 15th!) When Marie isn't writing, she's likely out exploring the Windy City, gathering more books for her hoard, or happily drinking coffee and reading. There's also a strong possibility she's wasting time on Twitter.


Twitter: @mariepiperbooks
Haven's Flame (Fire of Cricket's Bend: Book One)
Amazon ~ FREE on Kindle Unlimited