Monday, December 17, 2012

COMING SOON: Serpentine Tongue

Title: Serpentine Tongue
Author: Kayden McLeod
Genre: Fantasy Menage (Dragon shifters, fae)
Publisher: New Dawning
Release: January 2013 in the second annual Threesomed Anthology, and later released as a single title

Summary:
Life is full of choices. Siobhan thought she’d never see another Sidhe. Until a blue dragon the size of a small mountain falls into her life, wounded and ailing. When the beast turns into a man, Siobhan has a choice: heal him at the cost of exposing her greatest secret, or let him die. Fallon and Dearg thought they’d spend their lives as Seelie Knights, but treachery of the heart brings a reviled fate crashing upon them. They’ve become the first dragon shifters in fae existence, and they have to trust Siobhan in order to survive. Now, she has to choose: Fallon, Dearg…or both?

Excerpt:
Fallon pumped his legs, racing across the meadow under a halo of arrows poised for his back. The Seelie Queen’s archers claimed to be the strongest, fastest, the best.
He was stronger, faster.
The Queen had no one to blame but herself. She cursed him for his “serpentine tongue,” or so she’d once referred to the organ dominating his mouth. Once, she’d used the term as an endearment.  Now, she cursed him. Once upon a time, when they’d met in what he’d mistaken for love, turned out to be lust. Lust for power, greed and good, hard sex. No more.
Her loss, his gain. The truth had come out. For the better, anyway. Next time they’d meet, he’d kill her. He possessed no other choice. His serpentine tongue had spoken the words proclaiming her impending death. Failure to keep his promise was to be foresworn from court, if not killed for being an oathbreaker by powers much greater than he.
The first mattered little to him. The second, well, he wasn’t so sure.
The Queen’s Knights, his brothers in arms, wove through the archers on their winged steeds, some of them attempting to ensure the latter option.
“Fallon, halt!” Garbhan, Captain of the Queen’s Knights, barreled ahead of the others. He cried his plea over the thunderous legion of hooves. “If you stop this flight, I could speak to Druantia about a pardon.”
Fallon tossed his blue-black hair over one bare shoulder. He sneered. “Do not make promises you cannot keep. You might be fucking her royal highness, but she will not forgive this.”
Garbhan growled something lost to the wind. No matter. Fallon was disinterested in empty promises.
His lungs burned, his thighs screamed, tossing the shredded material of his breeches that hung precariously over his hips. He’d never cross the meadow, into the lush undergrowth of the forest. They’d catch him on their magickal steeds long before.
One way out for the likes of him.
He swallowed the bile that rose in his throat. He hated his enforced ability, but he’d have to use his other form. He jackknifed in mid-leap, snarling at the horses. Garbhan’s reared, kicking out his front legs. Fallon dodged the sharp slashes aimed for his chest.
“Where is Dearg?” Garbhan spat on the ground, as if to rid himself of the distaste of Fallon’s best friend. Nervously, he glanced at archers, who fell back while their Captain conversed. “At least let us bring him back, and I will allow you a full day’s head start.”
Fallon struggled to calm himself. The shift tearing through his body took far longer than it had last time, wasting precious seconds. “I do not know where he went after we left the castle. We went our separate ways.” Too close to a lie. The truth, they’d been forced apart.
Maghnus, always an overzealous guard, dropped from his Pegasus. “Silver tongued beast, tell the Captain of the Queen’s Knights where your friend ran with his tail between his legs.”
“I cannot tell you what I do not know,” Fallon wheezed through the burning fury inside his belly that knew no end. Oh, for Goddess’ sake! Why would the change not come upon him?
Maghnus swung his sword, slicing through Fallon’s ribs. His flesh split, a ripe melon under the blistering sun. He threw his head back and roared, the noise gaining volume and momentum, bleeding into a bellow that shook the trees ringing the meadow.
His eyes burned as his face elongated. His back arched, cracked. Size tripled, then that quadrupled.  He towered above them, half man, half beast as the minute changes reformed his body. At last, it was done.
His snout billowed steam. The Knights fell back, not knowing the secret of his form. Let them think he could blow fire.
“A dragon!” An archer squealed.
The Queen’s secret, for good or bad, had come to light. Fallon startled that the rumors had not yet filled every ear at the Seelie court. For he had been cursed in front of all the nobility. Gossipers and liars, the lot of them.
Garbhan cut the air with his sword, toward Maghnus. He showed not a care. Unlike the others, the Captain knew Fallon kept his wits, even as a dragon. “Have not a fear! This cretin had angered him.”
Fallon hesitated to kill his fellow Knights. They’d grown and trained together, fought for one another. The archers mattered not to him.
“That is a Sidhe no longer!” Maghnus stumbled back, as Fallon rose on his muscled hind legs. “This is what the Queen has done to him?”
“You were there, Maghnus.”
“He did not do this at court!”
Fallon spread his wings across the meadow. His long, thick neck curled over Maghnus, cutting him off from his peers. One crystalline triple iris complete with slit pupil caught the Knight’s.
He didn’t bother to perform a communication charm. His face said it all.
Cut me again, dullard. I shall bite your head clean from your shoulders.
The Knight shuddered, his sword falling to the ground. He’d wet himself, the reek pungent to his oversensitive sense of smell. Inside, Fallon wondered how he’d ever stomached the wretch. His death would be a mercy to his brothers. A true Knight hath no fear of any man or beast.
Blood gushed between them, running down Fallon’s metallic green chest. The shift had ripped open the wound, enlarged the serrated edges. Not the first time he’d been wounded in battle. Not the last either. He’d see this to be true.
Fallon whipped his barbed tail, colliding with Maghnus’ side, tearing through his armor. Maghnus tumbled through the air into three horses, including his own. Fallon uttered a shattering roar, a gust of steam. The warriors scrambled, screaming “fire.”
How little they knew. Not even the Captain understood. Fallon was a water dragon. Ice, to the fire that was Dearg.
He leapt, and damned near fell back to the ground. Perhaps, his wounds surpassed his previous assessment. His limbs deadened, the bone structure of his wings threatened not to keep him airborne for longer than a minute or two. That’s all he needed.
The knights made no move to follow him, as they calmed their steeds.
Arrows flew, tiny sticks to a beast such as him. The beast barely felt them enter his hide.
The man was altogether a different story.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Review: Iced, Karen Marie Moning

Title: Iced
Series: Dani O'Malley, Book One
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Genre: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy/Adult
Buy-Link
Rating: Five Stars
Review:

I’ve read and heard several reviews about Iced, but as I had it in my hands less than four days after its release (signed by the author, YES!). Most of them were assumptions made, because Dani, the lead of Iced, is only fourteen years old.

I wondered. Trust me, I wondered. I also know KMM breaks literary and social laws/barriers left and right. Because of this, she had me hooked halfway through Darkfever. I will readily admit, I read the Fever series three consecutive times in a row. Being an author in predominate romance, the mainstream, overdone romantic arc gets a little old.

True to form, Karen Marie Moning broke molds, smashed through misconceptions, still possessing grace to curve around and through the delicate issues. Dani O’Malley is barely out of her pre-teens in an adult world. This isn’t YA, and shouldn’t be treated as such. From the carefully laid background and foreground of the surrounding characters, I see the brilliance behind the words, and cannot wait for Burned, coming out later next year.

Dani grew up hard and alone, even amoung a crowd. She’s young, temperamental and on the brink of self-discovery that will reform her into maturity. Some hints of her past are peppered through Iced, but it’s looking at her demeanor and behavior that’s key. Growing up fast sucks. Growing up “after the wall fell” is ten times as harder. I loved her character, how she deals with issues of the fae overriding her world. In her position, with her personality and age, I’d expect her to act exactly as she does.

Ryodan is everything Jericho Barrons is and we loved, with a subtle factor added in. Practiced social charm and poise, a polished quality that allows him to walk through society with any path he chooses. Quietly, or loudly, with niceties or rage, he wields those around him by any means that fits his mood.  

The rundown on the secondary characters. Jo. I hated her in the Fever series, and I hate her more now. Dependent, rose-colored glassed women always have that effect on me. The plot twist that encircled Jo and Ryodan’s escalated relationship had me sardonically laughing and railing at the same time. The only aspect I can see coming from that, Ryodan is using Jo yet again to manipulate Dani. Simple as that. Christian. Just ick. I understand the whole “becoming an Unseelie Prince” has to be a shock to him, but still. He has become psychotic, schizophrenic, ever-changing sociopath. But strangely, his heart, a tiny part of it anyway, just might be in the right place, in a very twisted sort of way. Kat—awesome insight into her introvert, unwillingness to lead, but does whatever it takes to succeed personality. Dancer. The perfect balance for a best friend. Intelligent, resourceful, and levelheaded, he is the grounding point for such a large character as Dani O’Malley. Lor—I’d said it during Fever, and I will say it now, more Lor! Something about his throw-back-to-cavemen-mentality, mixed with dark humor is highly entertaining. As for Mac and Jericho, they didn’t have much screen time, certainly not enough to see any progression in their characters or relationship. We shall see in Burned, the second Dani O’Malley book. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

First Chapter of Serpentine Tongue

Coming Soon....

Title: Serpentine Tongue
Author: Kayden McLeod
Genre: Fantasy
Sub-Genre: Ménage
Summary:
Life is full of choices. Siobhan thought she’d never see another Sidhe. Until a blue dragon the size of a small mountain falls into her life, wounded and ailing. When the beast turns into a man, Siobhan has a choice: heal him at the cost of exposing of her greatest secret, or let him die. Fallon and Dearg thought they’d spend their lives as Seelie Knights, but treachery of the heart brings a reviled fate crashing upon them. They’ve become the first dragon shifters in fae existence, and they have to trust Siobhan in order to survive. Now, she has to choose: Fallon, Dearg…or both?

Chapter One

Fallon pumped his legs, racing across the meadow under a halo of arrows poised for his back. The Seelie Queen’s archers claimed to be the strongest, faster, the best.
He was stronger, faster.
The Queen had no one to blame, but herself. She cursed him for his “serpentine tongue,” or so she’d once referred to the organ dominating his mouth. Once, she’d used the term as an endearment.  Now, she cursed him. Once upon a time, when they’d met in what he’d mistaken for love, turned out to be lust. Lust for power, greed and good, hard sex. No more.
Her loss, his gain. The truth had come out. For the better, anyway. Next time they’d met, he’d kill her. He possessed no other choice. His serpentine tongue had spoken the words proclaiming her impending death. Failure to keep his promise was to be foresworn from court, if not killed for being an oathbreaker by powers much greater than he.
The first mattered little to him. The second, well, he wasn’t so sure.
The Queen’s Knights, his brothers in arms, wove through the archers on their winged steeds, some of them attempting to ensure latter option.
“Fallon, halt!” Garbhan, Captain of the Queen’s Knights, barreled ahead of the others. He cried his plea over the thunderous legion of hooves. “If you stop this flight, I could speak to Druantia about a pardon.”
Fallon tossed his blue-black hair over one bare shoulder. He sneered. “Do not make promises you cannot keep. You might be fucking her royal highness, but she will not forgive this.”
Garbhan growled something lost to the wind. No matter. Fallon was disinterested in empty promises.
His lungs burned, his thighs screamed, tossing the shredded material of his breeches that hung precariously over his hips. He’d never cross the meadow, into the lush undergrowth of the forest. They’d catch him on their magickial steeds long before.
One way out for the likes of him.
He swallowed the bile that rose in his throat. He hated his enforced ability, but he’d have to use his other form. He jackknifed in mid-leap, snarling at the horses. Garbhan’s reared, kicking out his front legs. Fallon dodged the sharp slashes aimed for his chest.
“Where is Dearg?” Garbhan spat on the ground, as if to rid himself of the distaste of Fallon’s best friend. Nervously, he glanced at archers, who fell back while their Captain conversed. “At least let us bring him back, and I will allow you a full day’s head start.”
Fallon struggled to calm himself. The shift tearing through his body took far longer than it had last time, wasting precious seconds. “I do not know where he went after we left the castle. We went our separate ways.” Too close to a lie. The truth, they’d been forced apart.
Maghnus, always an overzealous guard, dropped from his Pegasus. “Silver tongued beast, tell the Captain of the Queen’s Knights where your fiend ran with his tail between his legs.”
“I cannot tell you, what I do not know,” Fallon wheezed through the burning fury inside his belly that knew no end. Oh, for Goddess’s sake! Why would the change not come upon him?
Maghnus swung his sword, slicing through Fallon’s ribs. His flesh split, a ripe melon under the blistering sun. He threw his head back and roared, the noise gaining volume and momentum, bleeding into a bellow that shook the trees ringing the meadow.
His eyes burned as his face elongated. His back arched, cracked. Size tripled, then that quadrupled.  He towered above them, half man, half beast as the minute changes reformed his body. At last, it was done.
His snout billowed steam. The Knights fell back, not knowing the secret of his form. Let them think he could blow fire.
“A dragon!” An archer squealed.
The Queen’s secret, for good or bad, had come to light. Fallon startled that the rumors had not yet filled every ear at the Seelie court. For he had been cursed in front of all the nobility. Gossipers and liars, the lot of them.
Garbhan cut the air with his sword, toward Maghnus. He showed not a care. Unlike the others, the Captain knew Fallon kept his wits, even as a dragon. “Have not a fear! This cretin had angered him.”
Fallon hesitated to kill his fellow Knights. They’d grown and trained together, fought for one another. The archers mattered not to him.
“That is a Sidhe no longer!” Maghnus stumbled back, as Fallon rose on his muscled hind legs. “This is what the Queen has done to him?”
“You were there, Maghnus.”
“He did not do this at court!”
Fallon spread his wings across the meadow. His long, thick neck curled over Maghnus, cutting him off from his peers. One crystalline triple iries complete with slit pupil caught the Knight’s.
He didn’t bother to perform a communication charm. His face said it all.
Cut me again, dullard. I shall bite your head clean from your shoulders.
The Knight shuddered, his sword falling to the ground. He’d wet himself, the reek pungent to his oversensitive sense of smell. Inside, Fallon wondered how he’d ever stomached the wretch. His death would be a mercy to his brothers. A true Knight hath no fear of any man or beast.
Blood gushed between them, running down Fallon’s metallic green chest. The shift had ripped open the wound, enlarged the serrated edges. Not the first time he’d been wounded in battle. Not the last either. He’s see this to be true.
Fallon whipped his barbed tail, colliding with Maghnus’ side, tearing through his armor. He tumbled through the air into three horses, including his own. He uttered a shattering roar, a gust of steam. The warriors scrambled, screaming “fire.”
How little they knew. Not even the Captain understood. Fallon was a water dragon. Ice, to the fire that was Dearg.
He leapt, and damned near fell back to the ground. Perhaps, his wounds surpassed his previous assessment. His limbs deadened, the bone structure of his wings threatened not to keep him airborne for longer than a minute or two. That’s all he needed.
Arrows flew, tiny sticks to a beast such as him. The beast barely felt them enter his hide.
The man was altogether a different story.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Meanderings Of An Author


Dear Reader,

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. The last month or so has been insane! As many of you know, I recently became an American, and moved to the states to be with my husband. We drove from Vancouver, British Columbia, to New Orleans, Louisiana in about four days.

The drive took us through some states I never would’ve visited otherwise. We started out in Washington, then through Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and then through Louisiana. Though, I will admit, I slept through most of the places I’d really wanted to see. Though we did a tour of the Walmarts of America—no, not kidding. We went to quite a few through the drive. My dog can now “say” she has peed in more states than most other dogs could ever claim.

My dog and cat have basically adjusted, though the pup is unsure of the weather. The humidity change is hard on her, and it’s not even close to summer. The other three cats had no idea what to make of this strange animal that barks at them. They’ve set boundaries, and rarely cross them. Every day, they get better.

The move jostled me in many ways. Though I threw myself into the new routine, not having a day-time job is disconcerting. I feel guilty for sleeping in until nine. Or have the need to do something, and never feel like I’m doing enough. There are many things I miss from home. As the chameleon I have become, my colors change, I adapt. Over the past three weeks, the words have been returning to me, the drive to write, and draw. I even started painting again. Real, pencil and paint to canvas! Not graphic arts. I haven’t painted in years, and remembering techniques I’d thought I’d forgotten gives me a little bit of the “child with new toy” syndrome.

Since I arrived, and settled in, I’ve been writing a lot. The words just keep coming. I started out almost finishing the second draft of Jaguar, which right now is at 65K, much more than I thought the novel would be. I only had twenty pages to rewrite, to bring to light the ideas and depth of character development that had come to me. But my YA fantasy series written under Kinsey Knight has been plaguing me for months now. With only so little to go, I’d started rereading the Merry Gentry series, by Laurell K Hamilton last week. That was that. The final straw, so to speak. I had to go back to the Elemental books.

I started where I’d left off in book three, Elemental Air, and plugged out 10K in less than two days. The worst problem with doing this was, book two, Elemental Water was only about 20% completed. Granted, I knew the big events that happened, there was so much I didn’t know. So, yesterday, I started writing book two to hammer out some big details. Regardless, I’ve been flipping back and forth between the two, making dozens of pages of notes as I go.

Unfortunately, returning to this multi-book project (4-6 books in the Elemental, 2 in the Turbulent Angels, and 2 in Maeryn) I’m having second thoughts.

In the beginning of Elemental, I’d decided to write these books in first person, present tense. Now I’m wondering if that was the best choice. Yes, I love trying new techniques. However, how badly will this decision hurt me when it comes time to submit? I’ve experienced the downfalls of “thinking outside of the box” more than once in my career. And yes, after a lot of perseverance and stubbornness, this has paid off in spades. But being different in my writing style, resulting in the downfalls becomes trying after a while. On the other hand, I’ve never been one to adhere to mainstream ideals, just because it’s easier. Maybe this is just a phase of insecurities and dread for the rejections I will without a doubt receive, before I hit the golden ticket. Doesn’t really matter how thick an author’s skin grows. A constant string of “no’s” can be hard to stomach. I have to keep reminding myself of the bigger picture.

Eventually, one side of the argument will win out. Three years ago, I would’ve taken the harder path, without question. But, I’ve grown so much, as my writing and goals. I’ve done many things. Opened two companies, worked in different parts of the publishing industry. Now, my world has become focused on one goal, one that shines above the rest. I’ve trimmed the fat, seeing what I really want. To be an author. Funny, through the last year and a half, I’ve come full circle.

Happy Reading…

Kayden McLeod

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Demon Queen Blog Tour

Hey Readers!

My Demon Queen Blog Tour starts on September 11th 2012, and runs straight to Halloween. To celebrate, I've prepared a six part story line of a girl named Sarah who has demon blood, and wants to know more about her heritage, and Liwet accompanies her through hell.

Be sure to follow along! As they post, I will provide exact links to the posts, and there will be many prizes to win. 
Kayden


September 11
Sarah’s Journey Into Hell
Interview With Liwet
Read 2 Review

September 13
Sarah’s Journey Into Hell
Interview With Caderyn, a Hellhound

September 14
Sarah’s Journey Into Hell
Interview With Gaap, Prince of Hell
Just Another Rabid Reader  

 September 22 Guest Post
Sarah’s Journey Into Hell
Interview With Lilith, Seven Sisters of Hell
Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess
http://wowfromthescarfprincess.blogspot.com/


September 27
Interview
Juniper Grove

October 1 Interview and Review
Mimmi's Musings

October 2 Guest Post
Sarah’s Journey Into Hell
Interview With Mastema, Liwet’s Brother
Fangs, Wands & Fairydust and Winged Effigy

October 9
Interview
Kay Dee Royal


October 17
Interview
Sultry Storyteller

October 31 Interview
Sarah’s Journey Into Hell
Interview With Liwet and Oriax
Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Coming Soon From Scarlett Black!


Scarlett Black's The Librarian is one of four tantalizing tales of Girls Gone Wild in college. Naughty bits from all of us to get you thinking about the naughty things you may have done or wished you had done in college. What better way to "go to the head of the class?"

The Librarian 

Genre: Erotica
Publisher: Naughty Nights Press 
Release Date: September 1st 2012

Blurb:
Miss Selena Barnes is the University campus librarian. If a student is falling behind or if a Professor needs research assistance, she will gladly lend her expertise.  She likes giving personalized attention to anyone that needs her. Wearing stiletto boots and short skirts, Miss Barnes will fulfill your every fantasy and more. Don’t be shy, step right up and ask her for help. She’s more than happy to hold a specially tailored study session with you.

Excerpt:
The leather couch is in my office for the nights I have had to work late and it provides a very comfortable relaxing, space when the need arises. Knowing it is positioned so Seth can see me, I stretch on my tiptoes for a book on the top shelf of the bookcase. The movement caused my skirt to inch up and my sweater to tighten even more. I knew he was appreciating the view.

Just as I had a hold on the book, I lost my grip and it fell to the floor. Bending over to give him an ample view of my backside and a glimpse of my soaked, black panties, I picked up the book. Turning around, I saw Seth adjusting himself in his very snug jeans.
“Oh Seth, it looks like we have found another problem. Would you like my help with that, also?”
With understanding in his eyes, “Yes, Miss Barnes,” he replied in a whisper.

****

More About Scarlett Black
Scarlett Black is a full time wife and mom.  She developed a love affair with books at a very young age when she worked in a library with her aunt.  From there, books became her best friends.Her favorite place on Earth is in the Great Smoky Mountains where she hopes to one day reside. Until then, you will find her in her office  reading or writing and rewriting her own works, hoping readers will enjoy the ride.

Where To Find Her:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tarnished Halo Is Now Released!



Series: Demon Queen 
Title: Tarnished Halo
Genre: Fantasy (Angels & Demons)
Publisher: XOXO Publishing
Novella

Buy Now

Publisher              Kindle               ARe                  Bookstrand

Liwet is a less-than-lily-white angel, who has a chip on her shoulder just begging for someone to knock it off. She refuses to come to heel, yet the time for Liwet to play by her own rules has come to an end. Oriax comes back to his old flame, with a proposition he doesn’t want to pursue, and has no choice but to make. Dark, chilling forces beyond Liwet and Oriax’s control drag them back together and down into a rabbit hole so deep, escape is futile. The prince of the underworld wants them in his court; a request never to be taken lightly. Can the couple overcome their pasts, and find each other once more, before it’s too late to save either of them?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tarnished Halo Update!


The release date for the first installment of the Demon Queen, Tarnished Halo (Fantasy) has been set for August 15th, from XOXO Publishing!


Liwet is a less-than-lily-white angel, who has a chip on her shoulder just begging for someone to knock it off. She refuses to come to heel, yet the time for Liwet to play by her own rules has come to an end. Oriax comes back to his old flame, with a proposition he doesn’t want to pursue, and has no choice but to make. Dark, chilling forces beyond Liwet and Oriax’s control drag them back together and down into a rabbit hole so deep, escape is futile. The prince of the underworld wants them in his court; a request never to be taken lightly. Can the couple overcome their pasts, and find each other once more, before it’s too late to save either of them?

Brand new excerpt, from Tarnished Halo! 


Warning: Obscene Language


Oriax’s control snapped, his feral war-like-cry shook the room. Two of the closet demons reeled away from Oriax.
“You really think you are a match for me?” Gaap pressed.
“I always have been and there is no time in the future that will be different,” Oriax replied.
Gaap leapt up on the table, landing in a stiff crouch, long dagger-like claws poised on the surface. Oriax laughed at him, resulting in Gaap’s wordless shriek of rage.
“Must you do this?” Asmoday sighed, leaning back in his chair and making a steeple with his fingers. Once again, Asmoday was ignored.
“I am tired of your attitude, Oriax,” Gaap snapped. “Even now you are nothing and never have been.”
Gaap stepped off the table, coming to the floor with thunderous stomp, making the ground beneath us tremble. He crouched once more.
“Do you dare?” Oriax asked in the quietest voice yet, but none missed the words.
Gaap rose from his stoop. “You are all dead.” He pivoted to face us as his jury, and possible executioners. “Dewch oddi wrth eich ynysu gorfodi, ac yn cymryd y bywydau y werin trallod. Ladd nhw, a dewiswch eich dannedd gyda eu hesgyrn. Lleihau hwy at y sothach y maent.”
“That so doesn’t sound good! What the fuck did he just say?” Aythna cried as the agitation of the demons burst, yet they did not move. They waited for something...well, several something.
“It’s Welsh and it’s a summoning spell,” I responded, tugging her back further from the demons when Oriax whirled. I hadn’t been thinking at all, even though I knew exactly what was about to happen...and moving us toward the threat.
“No!” Oriax screamed, his hand shooting out toward us. He barreled forward. Gaap stood there watching with his peers. As frozen as I was.
“He didn’t call the demons,” Oriax confirmed my thoughts, fast closing the distance between us, wings wrapping around Aythna and I, as he murmured under his breath.
“Then what did he summon...” Aythna asked, and then trailed off. “Look!” She parted the edge of the leathery wing, to reveal shapes moving in the walls again.
The Keres emerged from their cage, all focused on Oriax.
His much larger body easily shielded the both of us, even with my wings. Still, I closed my eyes to will them away. The moment I did, Oriax’s arm circled my waist and dragged me to his chest to feel the fiery heat of his flesh.
“We’re screwed, aren’t we?”
His tortured black gaze met mine, yet cold with determination. “This isn’t over yet.”

*****

One more week! I'm so excited. To kick off the newest release, we also overhauled my website, redid the resign, and added new features, with more to come :)


If you like, join the fan-club to keep up-to-date on what's happening, and exclusive contests.

Cheers,

Kayden McLeod

Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: Jenna Black's Shadowspell


Title: Shadowspell
Series: Faeriewalker Trilogy Book 2
Author: Jenna Black
Rating: 5/5
Genre: Fantasy Young Adult
Key-words: Fairies, Wild Hunt, Avalon
Length:  Novel 
ISBN: 978-0312575946
Price:  (Print) $9.99
Publisher:  St. Martin's
Reviewer:  Kayden McLeod

Summary:
On top of spending most of her time in a bunker like safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm. A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the one thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana’s in trouble, since it’s common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her – and her rare Faeriewalker powers – dead. The smoldering, sexy Erlking’s got his sights set on Dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?

Review:
Shadowspell is a titillating tale, bound to draw you into the new world with an exciting cast of characters.

I found Shadowspell on sale, and though I hadn’t read the first book nor did the bookstore carry it, I picked it up, because Jenna Black rang a bell with me, I just didn’t remember why. When I got home, I found her Watchers in the Night on my shelves, which is an adult geared novel. I just hadn’t associated YA with her.

And am I glad I brought this book home! I’ve been reading a lot of fae related fiction lately, but Shadowspell stood out from the crowd along with Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series, with its daring edge, unexpected twists and a keen sense of originality that strayed from the tried and true. Even without having read Glimmerglass, the author wrote the story that just because I hadn’t read the back story leading up to this book, I wasn’t left feeling clueless and lost in the references to prior events in the Faeriewalker Trilogy.

Though the lead character from which the story is voiced, Dana, has realistic flaws, she had a backbone, the determination to see her decisions through, and the sense to accept the consequences of her calculated risks. One of my biggest complaints about YA heroines as of late, is their overall weak personas: the co-dependence, and nearly constant foolhardy mistakes that suggest their brains have became defective upon meeting the hero. Dana impressed me from the first page, until the last, regardless of her occasional misstep in the name of what is right.

Suffice to say, the moment I leave work this evening, I will heading back to the bookstore to pick up the third installment of the Faeriewalker Trilogy, Siren Song.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Recipe: Summer Strawberry Crème Cake

Dear Reader

As promised! The recipe to the cake I posted on Facebook last week.

I came up with this cake, because I felt like strawberry cake, but didn’t care for any of the recipes I’d found. Long ago, I stopped using sugar based icings that are too sweet, and too heavy, specifically for fruit based desserts. A few years ago, I debated using a little bit of Jello pudding, to keep my whipped cream from thinning during transport, then started adding different ingredients to the mixture. Eventually the recipe became my base of cake making for anything that wasn’t going to be staying outside for more than forty-five minutes. This method creates an airy icing and/or filling with a hint of sweetness, which I also use for fruit salad, decorating and more. You can use any combination of flavors, and add more Jello for a firmer icing. Just make sure to whip the cream before adding anything to it. The end result doesn’t come close if you don’t. 


Ingredients:
One box of French vanilla cake mix (prepared as instructed, minus two teaspoons liquid: water/milk)
Four cups heavy (whipping) cream
Three cups strawberries, stems removed
½ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
Four tablespoons vanilla Jello Pudding
Three tablespoons chocolate Jello Pudding
Two Teaspoons cocoa
1 cup icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions
Mince one cup of the strawberries, and put into the prepared cake batter (The water from the strawberries will make up for the two teaspoons of liquid from the batter) With electric beater, mix enough to further mash. Pour into two prepared 10inch spring form pans. Bake as directed, cool.

Whip two cups of heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Immediately add four tablespoons vanilla Jello pudding and ½ cup icing sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix until firm. Chop two cups strawberries, and add to mixture, folding in with spatula. Refrigerate to set.

Whip two cups heavy cream and ½ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream until stiff peaks form. Immediately add four tablespoons chocolate Jello Pudding, ½ cup icing sugar, two teaspoons cocoa, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until firm. (You don’t have to refrigerate yet)

I don’t level the cakes, because of the thick layer of filling will form to/fix any uneven surfaces. On a plate, place one of the cake layers. Evenly pile all of the strawberry crème mixture (expect 1-3 inches high) Turn the second cake upside down and place on the filling, gently pressing down until even, and the filling is slightly bulging out of the sides.

With a long icing spatula, smoothing out the sides, filling any unevenness of the two layers. Ice cake with the chocolate Bailey’s mixture, taking care to use huge globs, to cover the filling without pulling too much of white filling, which will show through the chocolate. (If some does, just add more icing and smooth)

To get a smooth finish, apply all of the icing to the cake. Get a large bowl of hot water and a towel. Keep working the icing smooth, starting on the on top, pulling excess to the outer edges, then around the sides, periodically dipping the icing spatula in hot water, and wiping off with the towel (extra icing on the metal, will pull on the surface)

Refrigerate for three hours (preferably overnight to set)

Review: The Hunt, Andrew Fukuda


Title: The Hunt
Author: Andrew Fukuda
Rating: Siren's Best Book Stone
Awarded: Siren's Best Book Stone
Link To Original Review: http://sirenbookreviews.blogspot.ca/2012/06/hunt-andrew-fukuda.html
Genre: Paranormal Science Fiction/Horror
Key-words: Vampires, Post Apocalyptic, Extinct  
Length:  Novel 
ISBN: 978-1250005144
Price:  (Print) $17.99
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin 
Reviewer:  Kayden McLeod

Summary:
Don’t Sweat.  Don’t Laugh.  Don’t draw attention to yourself.  And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different from everyone else around him.  He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood.  Gene is a human, and he knows the rules.  Keep the truth a secret.  It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.

When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him.  He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

Review:
The Hunt will creep under your skin and stay there.

When I saw The Hunt on pre-order a little over a month ago, completely by accident, I read the excerpt. I wanted it, and though I never pre-order books, I almost did with this one. However, I went out on the weekend, and snatched it up at my nearest bookstore.  

Gene is immersed in the world of another race: a predatory and primal driven vampire-like set of beings. Though they fear the light, and have fangs, they appear to have a humanoid lifespan. They have children, and grow old.

For his entire life, Gene pretends to be like them, going to extremes to stay under the radar at all times, procuring items to cover his “heper” (human) odor, shaving his body and beyond.

The psychological layering in how Gene thinks and acts is a flawless, brilliant affair. Not only does he pretend to be something he’s not, but in many ways, he thinks like them. When something abhorrent to his basic nature happens around him, he refers to the activity and his association as we, not them. On the occasion, it’s skillfully disconcerting to read him mentally including himself on one hand, feeling his disgust and terror on another. The depth of his character makes you wonder what a lifetime of pretending for fear of his life, has done to his psyche as the book progresses, and he grows into new understanding.

While some of the content gets violent, the prose isn’t as graphic as it could be, though written with enough detail that you can visualize the desperate struggle between victim and predator.

The choice of first person narrative drives his emotions home to the reader with startling clarity. It’s so rare to find a book like this. I do not award Best Book easily, in fact, I never have before. But Andrew Fukuda deserves it for his second novel, The Hunt (available also in the UK under another cover).