Thursday, June 30, 2011

PYN Review of Foresight and Second Sight: The Gods of Fate Series by Sherry Ficklin

Foresight: The Gods of Fate Series (Book I) by Sherry Ficklin
Second Sight: The Gods of Fate Series (Book II) by Sherry Ficklin
Review written by Morgan Wylie
Blurb from Foresight (Book I):
All Grace Archer wanted to do was graduate from high school and get on with her life. But the Gods of Fate had other ideas. Attacked at her graduation by a mysterious woman and a gruesome henchmen, Grace was lucky to escape with her life. Rescued by her Aunt Phoenix and a Fae warrior named Chris, Grace is confronted by a startling truth: her mother was the Greek Goddess Pandora. Now Grace must protect her mother’s box from the crazed demi-goddess Lilith, who is determined to use it to unleash destruction on Earth. As if her blood legacy wasn’t bizarre enough, Grace begins to develop frightening powers that threaten to destroy her from the inside out. In a world where nothing is what she thought, can Grace find the strength to defeat Lilith? Can she learn to control her powers before she loses her mind? [Book I of the Gods of Fate Series]
Wow! What must it feel like to discover that your mom was the Greek Goddess Pandora? This novel is a fantastic YA (young adult) read. It is smart, witty, and snarky. In the midst of great change, turmoil, and adventure Grace is able to be strong, embrace her new heritage, laugh and even find love. 
I think most people have at least a vague knowledge of Greek mythology, but Sherry was able to add relatable personification to many of the Greek gods and goddesses in a fun, memorable way. I definitely recommend this series if you like to read YA fantasy. You can read an excerpt from Foresight here. It’s a fast and fun read, I didn’t want to put it down, but luckily I had the next book in the series ready to go...
**Spoiler Alert if you haven’t read Foresight**
Blurb from Second Sight (Book II):
When the man Grace Archer loves is pulled into the Underworld, she will stop at nothing to get him back. Her quest is complicated by the fallen god Samael, who is on the loose with a dangerous relic that puts all the immortals in jeopardy. 
With her powers on the fritz, Grace must help track down Samael and retrieve the deadly Eye of Hera before any more gods fall victim to his madness. 
Daughter of the Greek Goddess Pandora and the Greek God Prometheus, Grace must dig deep to find the power she needs to infiltrate Hades and convince the God of the Dead to release Chris.  But when you make a bargain with the devil, you pay with your soul. 
Love lost and found, love unrequited; it wouldn’t be right without a little Greek tragedy in the mix. Sherry does a great job entwining your emotions with that of the main character, Grace Archer. There are also great adventures still to be had and as Grace’s powers are on the fritz, she comes to rely more on James, a guardian to the gods. 
After a tragic trip into Hades lair, Grace focuses her pain into her mission of revenge on Samael. It’s hard to know who to trust sometimes, and there is definitely some funny business going on, but Grace also needs to take some time to learn her powers and trust her instincts even if it means making the hard decisions. 
Read an excerpt from Second Sight here. I definitely am looking forward to Hindsight (Book III) in The Gods of Fate Series excerpt coming soon.
You can visit Sherry Fincklin on her website 
Read her interview here and enter to win her books!!

The Gunfighter and the Gear Head Excerpt: A Guest Post by Cassandra Duffy

            By the time she reached Truth or Consequences she was starving, boiling in the saddle, and fairly certain her legs, hips, and ass would never again know full sensation. The city itself, which stood somewhere between Deming and Hatch in condition, contained a few scarecrows of people far more afraid of the sound of the Slark engine in her bike than she was of them. She was clearly human, but none of the people in the decrepit buildings seemed to want to know anything else about her. She slowed briefly, enough to get her bearings, and then pushed the bike, which by that point was bellowing steam and making awful noises, toward the Elephant Butte reservoir. The weather-beaten signs guided her in reasonably short order to the state park landing. Water was harder to find, what with the dam effectively reduced to rubble by who knows what. Gieo brought the bike to a stop beneath a massive picnic table enclosure that had somehow survived the years. The water would be a short walk over open enough ground for her to see back up to her bike if necessary.
            Lowering the bike’s pod legs to hold it in place required manual cranking as not enough water remained in the system to even run the hydraulics. Out of the saddle, everything in her body screamed at the change of position. Her lower back ached, her legs felt like jelly, and her butt was numb beyond anything she could have imagined. She unhooked the two brass reservoirs on the sides of the bike and began her slow trek down to the water. Without much of a dam to hold the reservoir, much of the lake had leaked out, leaving her to walk a fair distance over sun-baked lakebed before finally reaching the water. Along the way she passed the bleached remains of trees, rocks, and even giant skeletons of great catfish two or three feet in length, picked clean by scavengers and left to turn to dust in the desert sun. Gieo peeled off her helmet, scarf, goggles, and boots to stand with her feet in the cool water, leaning down occasionally to splash handfuls of the lake over her head, face, and neck. The afternoon sun caught on the water’s surface, creating shimmering patterns over the bluer than blue lake.
            When she’d brought her internal temperature down enough for comfort, she shielded her eyes from the sun to gaze out over the beauty of the lake, not natural specifically considering it was a man-made reservoir, but natural enough. She felt like a pioneer or explorer, two feelings she’d never considered the value of but suddenly really enjoyed. If she had one wish, it would be that Fiona could share the feelings with her. Of course, she would need two wishes to transport Fiona there and also grant her forgiveness.
            Gieo settled her goggles back over her eyes, slung her helmet and scarf over one shoulder and set to refilling the bike’s water tanks. The great brass canisters were ludicrously heavy by comparison when filled, and Gieo found the hike back up the hill a good deal harder than the one down. To add to the difficulty, the numbness that had gripped her lower body retreated like the waters of the lake, only to leave her with profoundly inflamed muscles not used to the type or vigor of the exercise of riding such a massive motorcycle over such long distances. Nearly to the bike, with most of her cooling-off work entirely undone by the hike back out of the lakebed, she spotted movement under the awning. She dropped the canisters beneath a shade tree without a second thought and slid the Winchester from her back.
Bio: Cassandra Duffy a.k.a. Lizzy Dark is a native Southern Californian, born on a balmy spring day of 1990. She spent most of her childhood being precocious, which stopped being entertaining or impressive when she grew into an adult, at which point she had to start being precious. 

Her first collection of short stories, “Demons of Paradise” was published by Day Moon Press in January 2011 and her second, “Astral Liaisons” followed it in the spring of the same year. 

She writes a free-lance sex advice column found in various lesbian magazines, and has graciously accepted the title of “Sexpert” from her editor in Australia, with whom she has not had sex. She lives and writes in Orange County with her partner and soul mate Nichole and their two cats: Dragon and Josephine. She encourages readers to contact her at or join Day Moon Press on Facebook.

Twitter: SapphicPixie

Monday, June 27, 2011

Interview with Sherry Ficklin, Author of The Gods of Fate Series

Today we are interviewing Sherry Ficklin, author of Foresight and Second Sight, a YA fantasy series. Sherry is giving away two sets of her books, so leave us a comment with your email address to be entered into the giveaway.

How did you come up with the storyline for Foresight and Second Sight?
I’ve always loved mythology, Greek especially. I’m an avid reader and I was getting kind of tired of seeing all these sort of weak female heroes in books, particularly in Young Adult books. I knew I wanted to sort of create this great modern heroes quest with a strong female lead. I re-read some of my favorite classic Greek myths, pulling from here and there, and slowly knitted the story line together. But the heart of the story didn’t pull together for me for several weeks. Then I had my first dream about Grace and Chris. I saw them in my head for the first time and when I woke up, it was like wow. From then on, it all sort of just fell into place.

Tell us a little about Grace.
Grace is a very normal teenage girl. She begins the story at her high school graduation, just before her 18th birthday. She’s sort of walking that fine line between being a teenager and being a woman. She’s young enough to be very headstrong and impulsive, but she has a very definite idea of what’s right and wrong. She makes a lot of mistakes throughout the first book especially, but she’s got this philosophy of, ‘okay. I made that mistake. I won’t make it again, but now this is how I’m going to make things right’. She doesn’t have any real inclination to follow the ‘rules’, but she does manage to accept the responsibility for her actions. She’s a great balance of mature and immature in that way. Everything else aside, the story is her journey from the girl she was to the woman she wants to be.

How does Grace find out that she is the daughter of Pandora?
She’s attacked at her graduation by a Demi-goddess. Grace’s ‘aunt’/protector Phoenix, the woman who raised her, has to spill the beans. Phoenix has tried to respect Pandora’s wish that Grace grow up like a normal human. But when that normal life is no longer possible, Phoenix (and a few others) risk their lives to get Grace to safety. 

Does they Fae warrior, Chris, become Grace’s love interest?
He does. It’s fate. One of those moments when you meet someone, and there’s this instant comfort, that feeling like you’ve known them forever. Only in their case, it’s true. Chris has been looking out for Grace for a very long time. But when they finally connect, it’s like being struck by lightning.

You have Gods, Demi-Gods and Fae in your book. Are there any other mythical beings?
There’s a few. Vrukalakos, for one. They are vampire-like creatures who work for Lilith. There are also Demi-fey. They are mentioned a few times.

When did you get interested in Greek mythology?
The first time I read the Odyssey.  I fell in love with the epicness of it all. 

Which God/Goddess is your favorite?
In the books my favorite is Eros/Cupid. I had a lot of fun with him and his personality. From real mythology my favorite is Athena. Smart, brave, and all around kick ass.

If you had to choose an actor/actress to play your main characters and villain, who would they be?
That’s a tough one. When the first book came out a friend of mine fake-cast the book. It was pretty funny. For Grace I see someone like Spencer Locke. You can see my whole fake cast here:

Which other paranormal/fantasy YA authors do you admire?
I love James Dashner, Jeff Scott Savage, Lisa Mangum, and Rick Riordan on the YA side of things. For adult paranormal I like Judith Graves, Laurell Hamilton, and Kelly Armstrong. Oh, and my all time favorite, Jennifer Rardin, RIP.

Will there be a third book in you’re The God’s of Fate series?
Yes, Hindsight will finish out the trilogy next year. I’m really excited about it. It was hard to end the book, but I always knew where and when the story would finish. Only the how was a mystery to me.

Are you working on any new projects?
Yes, I just finished my first paranormal horror novel Palmetto Moon: Born of Blood. It’s about Sophie D’Angelo, a woman who’s been thrust to the helm of her family’s paranormal detective agency. It’s funny, and sexy, and scary all rolled into one. Someone asked me once how I would describe Sophie and my answer was, “She gets stuffed in car trunks a lot.” 

Where can readers purchase your books?
The Gods of Fate books are available at all online distributers as paperbacks and e-books. The easiest places to pick them up are Barnes& and
Where can readers connect with you online?
They can reach me through my website and they can also sign up for my monthly newsletter and fan club at the website.

Can you share an excerpt of your book?
You can read an excerpt of Second Sight, Book 2 of the Gods of Fate series here:

~ * ~
We'd like to thank Sherry for stopping in and chatting with us about her books. Be sure to listen in to our Blog Talk Radio show Wednesday at 3:30pm PST when we interview her live. Our channel link is here

That wraps things up for us, today. Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win one of the two sets of eBooks! Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Winner Announcement

We'd like to thank everyone who stopped by and commented on our interview with Eliza Gayle. Be sure you check out our reviews on two of Eliza's Black Cougar Novels. A review of Lucas is here. The review on Malcolm is here.

Now, to the fun part. This week's winner on the eBook giveaway is... Tatiana! Congratulations!

We will forward your information to Eliza so that she can get your prize to you.

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by. If you didn't win this week, have no fear. Our next author interview is coming up, as is a chance for you to enter and win the next eBook giveaway. Like Greek mythology. Don't miss this week's author!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

PYN Review of Lucas: A Black Cougar Novel by Eliza Gayle

Lucas: A Black Cougar Novel By Eliza Gayle
Review written by Morgan Wylie

Blurb from the book:

Kira MacDonald is in trouble. Plagued by false visions and erotic dreams of a man she’s never met, she fears losing both her psychic powers and her sanity. The cure? Finding and bonding with her mate. The stubborn red-haired warrior might not want one, but fate has other plans, plans that include her rescuing Lucas Gunn.
As the Guardian of his shape-shifting clan, Lucas Gunn lived a quiet, solitary life. Until he was kidnapped, examined, and tortured. Now imprisoned, his only tie to the outside world is the memory of his dreams and the passionate woman who appears nightly in them. He thought she was nothing more than a vision. Then she came for him. 

An uneasy alliance, a mating call that won’t be denied, rituals that must be honored, and unrelenting enemies who will stop at nothing to get what they want. It all comes together in the first of Eliza Gayle’s sensational Black Cougar Series. Passion and Pride. Duty and Danger. In the end, there’s really only one choice…for Lucas.

Lucas is the first book in this paranormal shifter series by Eliza Gayle.

The rare black cougar shifters of the seclusive area of Dragon Trail have been burdened through heritage with the title of “Death Enforcers”. Lucas Gunn, the Guardian, is bound to his duty, until he unexpectedly meets his mate, but there are rules about mixing among the clans- rules that are not to be broken.

Lucas imprisoned in a cell- his only connection to anyone aside from his torturers is with a fiery red-headed woman who saunters into his dreams nightly and ultimately into his life. Unfortunately for Kira, her timely appearance into Lucas’ life, even if to rescue him from his tormentors, has him doubting her motives. She has enough to deal with being a woman from the MacDonald clan (a community of psychics) just entering into her mating cycle. According to the customs of her clan, if she is not mated before her cycle ends the council will determine her mental state and whether she is fit to live or sentenced to die. And on top of it all, she is marked.

This story kept me turning the pages with it’s fast-paced action scenes and steamy, passionate romps! There’s just something about a powerful, confident, and fiercely protective alpha-male shifter and a strong, feisty female character that keeps me coming back for more. Ms. Gayle has done a great job with these characters and setting the stage for the subsequent stories. I look forward to reading the rest of this series. If you’re in the mood for a little paranormal erotica, you won’t be disappointed! I give Lucas 4 out of 5 fangs.
Lucas is the first of this series. Followed by Kane, and then Malcolm. Visit Eliza Gayle’s website for excerpts from Lucas.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Creepy is the Crack in the Wall, Not the Hammer That Made It: Guest Post by Tim Kane

Most people who attempt horror, hit the narrative with a bag of cliches and heavy handed stage props—swirling fog, glowing eyes, wicked laughs. Don’t get me wrong, I love camp. I’m diehard fan of Hammer films. However, a more subtle approach can work wonders.

Build Up the Details
Use disturbing details or reversals when describing your scenes. Each one, taken by itself, does little, Combined, they imbue the reader with unease. Look at Cold Skin by Albert Sánchez Piñol. Here an unnamed narrator just inhabited a weather station on a deserted island.

Just then, I heard a pleasing sound far off. It was more or less like a heard of goats trotting in the distance. At first, I confused it with the pattering of rain; the sound of heavy and distinct drops. I got up and looked out of the closest window. It wasn’t raining. The full moon stained the ocean’s surface in a violet hue. The light bathed the driftwood lying on the beach. It was easy to imagine them as body parts, dismembered and immobile. The whole thing brought to mind a petrified forest. But it wasn’t raining.

Reversal: The narrator thinks it’s raining, but then there’s no rain. We wonder what’s creating that pattering sound, and the not knowing freaks us out.

Disturbing details: The water is stained violet, an almost bloodlike color. This idea is cemented in the reader’s skull with the driftwood, described as dismembered limbs.

Show Us the Character Freaking Out
Nothing does creepy better service than to see someone freaking out. Ever wonder why there are so many screams in horror movies? As an author, you must find the written equivalent to the scream.

Take Bag of Bones by Stephen King. The protagonist, Mike Noonan, begins to believe that his house is haunted. He’s in the basement and hears the sound of someone striking the insulation, but no one else is home.

...every gut and muscle of my body seemed to come unwound. My hair stood up. My eyesockets seemed to be expanding and my eyeballs contracting, as if  my head were trying to turn into a skull. Every inch of my skin broke out in gooseflesh. Something was in here with me. Very likely something dead.

King lays it on thick here. Instead of one physical reaction, he dumps the whole bucket on us. He doesn’t dazzle us with a etherial decaying corpse. We won’t even see the ghost till the final chapters. No. He tells us how Noonan feels just in the presence of the thing. And it creeps us out.

If you want to make your readers squirm, reading only in daylight hours, shy away from the obvious gore and claptrap. Rather, take the quieter road of tiny disturbing details built up over pages and chapters. Show how your character reacts to what’s happening, and the reader will feel it too.

Bio: Tim Kane researched every major vampire film from the 1931 Dracula to Underworld and Twilight. His study was published in The Changing Vampire of Film and Television, but McFarland Publishers. Visit or read his blog at You can also follow him on Twitter @timkanebooks.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Interview with Eliza Gayle, Author of Malcolm: A Black Cougar Novel

Welcome to our interview with Eliza Gayle, author of Malcolm: A Black Cougar Novel. Eliza is giving a copy of her book to a luck commenter so don't forget to include your email address in your comment.

What inspired the story behind your Black Cougar Series?
There were two things actually. First there is a stretch of dangerous road through the Mountains of North Carolina called Dragon Tail. Reading the website and visiting the area inspired the setting for my shifter.

I decided to write cougars because I wanted something you’d actually find in NC and bobcats are a little too small in my mind for these alpha shifters. When I happened across an old Native American legend that talked about the mysterious (and believed to not exist) Black Cougars that represented death, the lightbulb went off. 

Is each novel interlinked or are they stand alone?
The three books do have an overarcing storyline that is wrapped up in Malcolm’s story. While I think you can read Malcolm and get the idea of the other two, it’s probably a much richer experience to read them all and in order. Lucas then Kane then Malcolm.

You’re hero, Malcom, is a shifter. Can you tell us what makes him tick?
From the start of the series, Malcolm is pretty much consumed by rage and resentment. He’s made some pretty big mistakes in his past and he has to pay dearly for them. With this much pent up frustration it’s really no surprise how much he’s lashed out through the series.

Cheyenne’s hired to find Malcolm. Can you tell us a little more about her?
It’s hard to say too much without giving away spoilers for the book. Suffice it to say she’s had a rough few years and doesn’t want to play anymore. She’s got a singular goal she’s been so focused on that connecting with Malcolm is going to be far more intense than she expects.

Aside from shifters, are there any other supernatural beings in your book?
Yes. There is a psychic and a witch. Both show up in book 1, Lucas, with the witch continuing into Kane’s story. 

Are you more of a plotter or a pantser?
I’m usually somewhere in between a plotter or a pantser. These days I at least outline a story before I start as well as write short character descriptions. Much more than that and I begin to lose interest and get frustrated.

Why did you choose to write paranormal?
I write paranormal because I love to read it. I fell in love with the genre thanks to Sherrilyn Kenyon and her Dark Hunter series. Since then, I’ve read many many series.

What’s your writing routine like?
I try to write most every day and I set a word count goal for each week every Monday morning. I have a full time job in addition to the writing career but I am lucky to work from home. So throughout my day I go back and forth between writing and the day job as necessary. I’ve found that I produce my best writing in the mid morning hours so I try really hard to at least write during those hours. 

How do you choose the names of your characters?
After I have written a characters description, which includes their background, I usually turn to baby name books in search of a name that just “feels” right.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and how do you work your way out of it?
I write every day so that helps a lot. But if I get stuck then it’s usually because I need to figure out something in my story so I’ll stop, pull out the notebook I keep by my side at all times, and start making notes.

If that doesn’t work, I take a very long hot shower. No idea why it works but it does. I keep bath crayons in my shower and frequently take notes on the walls. lol

Are you working on any new projects?
I am currently working on another witch book. It’s one I started a long time ago and I figured it was time to finish it. I’ve also got the beginnings of my next shifter book. It might surprise readers of Malcolm to discover I’ve been inspired to write a story about Kitty.

Where can readers purchase your books?
Most of my ebooks can be found at nearly all of the normal online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble or All Romance eBooks.

I only have a couple of print books available right now and those can be ordered from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The cougar series will be available in print in July.

Where can readers connect with you on the web?
I tend to be all over the place. I try to keep my website updated regularly with all my book info at 

I also use facebook a lot where I love to post pictures about things that are going on like vacations or random things I find at the mall that make me laugh. Lol 

For more frequent and short updates on what’s going on, you can follow me on Twitter at


We’d like to thank Eliza for chatting with us about her book. You can read our review of Malcolm here. We will be interviewing Eliza live today on Blog Talk Radio at 3:30pm PST. The link to the interview is here.

Don’t forget to add a comment with your email address to enter the contest for a copy of Malcolm. Thanks everyone!

Monday, June 20, 2011

PYN Review of Malcolm: A Black Cougar Novel

Malcolm: A Black Cougar Novel by Eliza Gayle
Reviewed by Kelli McCracken

Primal urge isn’t an easy thing. It’s even harder for Malcolm Gunn. A black cougar that had to leave his family and clan behind him. Malcolm is getting used to his new, calm and quiet life. But nothing in his life can remain quiet for long. Especially when his bond mate, a hybrid shifter that he turned his back on, comes back into his life

 When Malcolm comes face to face with the woman that Mother Nature intended for him to have, his life begins to spin out of control.  His attraction to Cheyenne is overwhelming. He tries his best to deny it. His certain she has, after the way he left her four years prior

After their steamy re-acquaintance, Cheyenne explains to Malcolm why she is there. She’s been hired by his brother, Kane, to bring him back to the clan. Malcolm knows this is what Cheyenne and her ‘kind’ do. They’re hired ‘guns’ sent to do the will of those who seek their service. He knows not of her hybrid status, only that she is a half-breed cougar. It’s one of the reasons they couldn’t be together before. The laws of the cougar council forbid mixing. 

Cheyenne goes on to tell Malcolm that his brother insists he return to the clan. Something is amiss and he needs his help. 

Returning to the clan’s land and to his brother is the last thing Malcolm wants to do. He orders Cheyenne to leave. Another steamy confrontation sends both their desires near the edge of insanity. To be this close to a bond mate and not give into the desire is maddening. Malcolm uses this to his advantage and is able to remove Cheyenne from his home. But the hybrid cougar has no plans on walking away from a job she was hired to do. She always gets her man and there is no way she is letting Malcolm gain the upper hand.

Cheyenne leaves the cabin in the woods where she found Malcolm and heads for town. She decides to wait and return for Malcolm later. She goes to a local Waffle House to bide time. While there, she senses another shifter in her presence. When she finds him, she confronts him. He introduces himself as Carl and claims Kane hired him as well, to make sure Cheyenne does her job correctly. 

This ignites rage inside of Cheyenne. No one questions her ability to get a job done. She is about to leave the premises when Carl stops her by grabbing her arm. Before she can react to his advance on her, she hears the growl of her mate. Malcolm is there and is angered at the sight of another man’s hands on his woman. 

His confrontation with Carl is brief. He and Cheyenne go back to his house. After much argument and protest from her end, they end up sharing a passionate moment. But the ecstasy the revel in is short lived when Cheyenne reveals a secret to Malcolm, one that has him ready to kill. 

When he thinks things can’t get any worse, it does. Carl shows up at Malcolm’s doorstep. Dead. This discovery leads to a series of events that neither of them can escape. 

Through suspicion, betrayal, and passion neither can deny, Malcolm and Cheyenne have to learn to trust each other, forget the past, and overcome secrets to find out who is murdering the people they know.

Life is never easy and love is impossible. Will Malcolm and Cheyenee find a way to get the answers they seek and fulfill the desires of their heart, the desires that Mother Nature intended?

This book in the third in the Black Cougar Novels. It is preceded by Lucas and Kane. I highly recommend this book to those who love paranormal erotic romance with shape shifters. You won’t be disappointed.We give it four and half fangs