Colter’s Lady (Colter’s Legacy #2) – Maya Banks

If Colter’s Woman was naive in its execution, Colter’s Lady is a more realistic depiction of polyandry.

  • Colters Lady 72 LGTitle: Colter’s Lady
  • Author: Maya Banks
  • ISBN 1609280245 (ISBN13: 9781609280246)
  • Series: Colter’s Legacy #2
  • Published: June 1st 2010 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd
  • Format: Audio-book
  • Genre/s: Erotic Romance
  • Print Length: 330 pages
  • Source: Library
  • Rating: C

SSWhile I still maintain that Toni of Seducing Simon was one of the stupidest heroines I have ever had the misfortune of reading about, upon concluding Colter’s Lady Maya Banks has managed to convince me that her Colter’s are not living in Home, Pennsylvania the locale and title of the infamous episode of The X-Files. If you watched the series you will vividly remember the notorious inbred Peacock family.

The Peacock family was a family residing in HomePennsylvania that had lived on their own since the American Civil War. Their house had no running water or electricity and they grew their own food. It was also widely held that the family engaged in inbreeding for generations, resulting in horrific disfigurements and birth defects.

Though I must admit I do hear Johnny Mathis singing “Wonderful! Wonderful!” deep in my subconscious as I write this.

Thirty years after the conclusion of the first book in the Colter’s Legacy series Colter’s Woman, Seth Colter, Holly and the three Colter brothers eldest son, is volunteering at the local homeless shelter when he is immediately and powerfully attracted to one of their patrons. Truly, the reasons I listened to the book were twofold, I am still trying to determine the source of Ms Banks’ seemingly inexplicable (to me) popularity and this line that I read in the description on Goodreads in fact I would say mostly because of this line after which I giggle to myself every time I think about it.

When police officer Seth Colter sees the delicate, shabbily dressed beauty in line at the soup kitchen where he’s serving, he’s gut shot over the idea of her being on the streets cold and alone.

Gut shot! Who could resist that? I know I mentioned this in my review of the first instalment in the Colter’s Legacy series but AGAIN on the cover is just one man and one woman which is extremely misleading when the focus of the story is a relationship that develops between three brothers and one woman. It seems that we can only imagine what that cover would be like…

Seth is convinced Lily is his. The problem is, when his brothers lay eyes on her, the same primitive instinct comes roaring to the surface. The Colters’ never imagined they’d follow the unconventional path of their fathers, but they can’t ignore their mutual need to offer Lily their protection and their love. But before Lily and the brothers can forge a future together, they must heal the deep wounds of her past.

If I thought the use of a homeless person as a romantic lead in novel was a unique plot device as evidenced in Poughkeepsie and again in Colter’s Lady. I have since come across similar plot-lines in at least two other stories not including Colter’s Lady. Clearly this trend is original only in my mind and perhaps other readers are not as concerned with the logistics of access to shower facilities as I am. Granted after Seth convinced Lily to accompany him home she immediately showered thus relieving my sensibilities somewhat about the realities of basic hygiene.

Lily and Seth experience not even twelve hours of idyll before Seth’s brother Michael arrives unannounced and upon spying his brother’s guest, he experiences the same powerful attraction to Lily as his older brother. What impressed me was Seth’s reaction, despite being raised with three fathers, rather than embracing the idea of sharing this new and intriguing woman he has met, he is possessive and grudging of the idea of not being the sole focus of her attention. A much more realistic reaction, in my opinion, than the naive seeming acceptance of the brothers in Colter’s Woman that they would just settle down with one woman and everything would be just hunky dory.

After some initial posturing on Seth’s behalf, Larry, Curly and Moe…wait no Seth, Michael and Dylan set themselves the task of convincing Lily to consider a future with all three of them. Lily accepts but only on the condition that they practice safe sex, not in fear of disease, but of pregnancy. Am I the only one who considers this strange, why a woman who is terrified of getting pregnant would choose to have intercourse with not one but three men increasing her chances of conceiving exponentially? Rather significantly I would think as the average healthy male ejaculate contains an astonishing 40 million to 1.4 billion sperm cells! Of course, as Murphy’s Law would have it, the first time Lily and the three brothers have an orgy, no I meant “make love” the condom breaks and she is so distraught that she is rendered almost catatonic by the prospect. I must admit at this point I was rubbing my hands together mentally in glee, believing that we were finally going to get to the good stuff perhaps some post-abortion or Münchausen by proxy syndrome alas I had forgotten for a moment what I was reading.

Colter’s Lady had potential, potential that unfortunately went largely unrecognized, when Lily’s secret from her past was finally disclosed it was strangely anticlimactic. While it is understandable that she would feel responsible for the circumstances that occurred in her past which were truly horrible. The extent of and her unwavering conviction, without any possibility that the fault was not solely hers was unrealistic in my opinion.

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Maya Banks lives in south-east Texas with her husband and three children. When she’s not writing, she loves to hunt and fish, bum on the beach, play poker and travel.

Escaping into the pages of a book is something she’s loved to do since she was a child. Now she crafts her own worlds and characters and enjoys spending as much time with them as possible.

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Detained – Ainslie Paton

You cannot open a book without learning something. – Confucius

I found this to be an extremely difficult story to rate, let alone review adequately. What made it more difficult were the great expectations I had for Detained, the premise was very compelling and I have a great fondness for Australian writers and/or stories set in that region of the world. Coupled with the episodes I have seen and been traumatized by, of Locked Up Abroad and Border Security on the National Geographic channel, before I had even begun the story I was having visions of a tale along the lines of Brokedown Palace meets A Town Like Alice. What I found instead was more along the lines of Fifty Shades of Grey Shanghai edition initially, which was unexpected.

Confined in a cold, dull room in the depths of a Shanghai airport, a journalist chasing a career break and a businessman with a shadowy past play a game of truth or dare — deliberately not exchanging names.

They tell each other their most painful secrets and burning desires. One dare leads to a kiss and a wild night of illicit passion, setting off a dangerous sequence of events, bringing exposure and disgrace.

You know what they say about expectations paving the way to hell…it was actually “intentions” but you get my meaning. Detained starts slowly, I even considered abandoning it around a quarter of the way through, when it appeared that Darcy came precariously close to suffering from a possibly story killing case of “stupid heroine syndrome”. However, Ms Paton’s excellent writing and abruptly twisting plot pulled me back from the precipice. Suddenly, a somewhat pedestrian, predictable exploration of this cub reporter and the businessman’s, she was supposed to interview, game of truth or dare transformed into a labyrinth-like yarn of lust, lies and loyalty.

When Darcy Campbell is detained at the Shanghai airport on the way to her career making interview with reclusive Australian billionaire Will Parker she is concerned but is reassured when immediately after another traveler is sequestered with her. Their idle conversation becomes more and more intimate as the hours pass and before long they are revealing the most private details of their lives with the exception of their respective identities. This sharing gives way to passion and upon their release from detention their idyll carries over to a sumptuous suite at one of Shanghai’s most exclusive hotels. On the morning of her interview Darcy is disappointed but not surprised to wake alone.

Upon arriving at the appointed time Darcy is informed that her quarry is no longer available and the interview has been cancelled. Her suspicions finally roused Darcy realizes that her fellow detainee was none other than Will Parker and not the man identified in what few photographs were available of the reclusive businessman. Faced with the untenable prospect of returning to Australia empty handed Darcy devises a plan to at least obtain photographic evidence of Will’s true identity. It was at this point that the plot literally exploded into unrelenting action worthy of a movie.

Pain exploded in Darcy’s hand and inside her eyes. She spun away from him, tucking her hand into her chest, gasping at the shock of what she’d done. She’d never hit anyone and now she’d hit one of Australia’s richest men.

While I would ultimately state that I enjoyed Detained I found myself questioning the veracity of a true love between these characters with the sheer amount of lies and betrayal between them, not to mention a boat load of emotional baggage on both their parts. The secondary man heavy cast of characters was rather undeveloped and almost unrelentingly antagonistic toward Darcy, making me wonder why she didn’t just chuck the lot of them and relocate to climbs more amenable. That being said once engaged with this story Ainslie Paton served up a gripping, very readable tale that will have many readers clamoring for more.

The book salesman should be honored because he brings to our attention, as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most. –  Confucius

http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9780857990778

Disclaimer: ARC was kindly provided by the publisher for an honest review.

 

Our First Love – Anthony Lamarr

Can brothers who share one life share one love?

  • OFLTitle: Our First Love
  • Author: Anthony Lamarr
  • ISBN: 1593095422 (ISBN13: 9781593095420)
  • Series: Stand Alone
  • Published: December 17th 2013 by Strebor Books
  • Format: eBook
  • Genre/s: Fiction
  • Source: Netgalley
  • Rating: B

Our First Love was a different kind of love story, Caleb is agoraphobic and lives vicariously through Nigel. The situation is strange but seems to engender very little discord between them initially.

Since the tragic accident that changed their lives forever, brothers Nigel and Caleb have been inseparable; until one woman captures both of their hearts. 

There are many secrets layered within this story some by choice and others by circumstance. Caleb was seriously injured in the accident that killed their parents and suffers from psychogenic amnesia as well as severe agoraphobia. Nigel is his only conduit to the outside world beyond what he can see outside his window. It stands to reason that the woman Nigel loves Caleb would too.

Throughout the story most shrouded is the secret that drove politician Barney Aman to take his life. This knowledge weighs heavily enough on Nigel as to make him resign from his post as a journalist which in turn leads him to Karen the woman who will come between the two brothers. Our First Love is an interesting reinvention of the classic love triangle that will appear to many.

Disclaimer: ARC was kindly provided by the author for an honest review.

Bitten – The TV Series, Episodes 5-6

GUEST POST – teachergirl73

bittenBANNER

We finally get to see how Clay and Elena first met and fell in love in Episode 5. The writers stayed fairly close to Kelley Armstrong’s original story, with just a few minor discrepancies.  I thought that they did a good job of setting the scene that shows Clay’s desperate plan to keep Elena. Upon Elena and Clay’s arrival at Stonehaven to meet Clay’s family for the first time, Jeremy makes it very clear to Clay that he can’t possibly continue his relationship with Elena. Jeremy’s directive seems very cold and harsh, but this is how the Pack has survived over the centuries. The Pack rules state women are not allowed to have lasting relationships with any members of the Pack, for fear of revealing the existence of werewolves to the human world. This was just too big of a secret to try to hide from humans on a day-to-day basis, as already demonstrated by Elena’s struggle to live in Toronto with Philip. All male children were taken from their mothers at a very young age so that no one could discover the truth. Prior to Elena being bitten, no female werewolf had ever survived the change, so when Clay makes the reckless and desperate choice to change and appear in Jeremy’s study in his wolf form, Elena just thinks he’s a very large dog. She had no idea that her life was about to change forever.

In the book, Clay is banished from Stonehaven for more than a year, while Elena learned how to deal with her new circumstances. The show deviates from the original story again, instead of having Jeremy nurse Elena through the early days of her transition, Clay is also present. In the episode, Clay continually restated that Elena was a survivor and that she will survive this.

The novel does an excellent job of explaining how difficult this process was for Elena, and how Clay’s actions are never really forgiven. This is part of the back story between the two characters that I think the show is going to have a difficult time communicating. In the first few episodes, it is made very clear that Elena has no time for Clay, but what is unfortunately not really shown yet to viewers is that when Elena returns to Stonehaven, she is very conflicted by her feelings for Clay. As mentioned in my early post, we discover her struggle mostly through her inner monologue which is missing.

One character that was introduced in earlier episode, Daniel Santos, makes an interesting return. We first met Daniel when he paid  a visit to Logan in Toronto, to say that he wanted to reach out to the Pack. Daniel’s family once belonged to the Pack but after a failed attempt to oust Jeremy as alpha years before, they were kicked out of the family. In the book, there is more back story on Daniel which better explains his obsession with defeating Clay and making Elena his “mate”. At this point in the show, Daniel is offering to work with the Pack to help bring an end to the mutt problem in Bear Valley. In exchange, Daniel wants to return to the Pack.

Another new character in this episode is Victor Olsen, who is a convicted pedophile who has been released back into the community. One of the first people he encounters on the outside is Zachary Cain, who we know to be one of the mutts threatening the Pack. He offers Olsen a chance to seek revenge on his victims by going after Elena Michaels. I have to admit when I first saw this scene, I didn’t really understand where they were going with it.  In the novel, the first time the Pack meet the “new” mutts are through the various attacks in Bear Valley.  It isn’t until Episode 6, that it becomes clear that there is another connection between the Pack and Olsen.

Bitten1

In Episode 6, the show deviates completely from the original. For die-hard fans of the novel, this episode might be too much to handle because the show’s storyline has truly become its own. If, however, I hadn’t read the book, this episode would certainly fill in some missing blanks.

Elena has returned to Toronto and her human life. She feels that her commitment to the Pack is complete, and as a result, she asked Jeremy not to call her back to Stonehaven.  All seems to be going swimmingly well, except for the fact that Daniel Santos makes another appearance, this time at the wedding of Philip’s sister. We get to see more clearly in this episode Elena’s distaste for Daniel, and we also get to see a little more of his darker side.  The show did a good job of casting, as I find Daniel to be very creepy, but it’s hard to say how much of that feeling is based on the actor’s performance or because I have prior knowledge of the character.

Another big departure from the original story is the connection between Olsen and Elena. In a conversation with Philip, Elena reveals that she was abused as a child at the hands of Olsen, who was a neighbour of one of her foster families. Elena’s testimony helped to get Olsen convicted. So now, it becomes a little bit clearer as to how Olsen will be a new threat in episodes to come.  In the book, Elena is a survivor of sexual abuse, but not from Olsen, the abuse came from her foster families and was mostly insinuated rather than told explicitly. Eventually, Elena learns to defend herself, and works very hard to leave her experiences in the foster system behind. Elena’s awful childhood is one of the reasons that Clay recognizes her as a fellow survivor.

The most shocking new development in the show is the discovery that Logan’s girlfriend is pregnant. Given that in the book, Logan is long gone by this point, it is going to be very interesting to see where the show goes with this new development. Will Logan be faced with the heartbreaking choice to tear his new-born child from the arms of the woman he loves, never to see her again? Or will he try to live in the human world? What will Jeremy have to say about this new development?

I guess that I’ll have to keep watching to find out!

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Screen (Paris Secrets #2) – Michele Renae

  • screenCover (2)Title: Screen
  • Author: Michele Renae
  • ASIN: B00IB3YJDC
  • Series: Book #2
  • Published: Swell Cat Press, LLC (Feb. 7 2014)
  • Format: eBook
  • Genre/s: Erotica/Romance
  • Source: Author/Publisher
  • Rating: B+

If I liked Window the first installment of this trilogy, I loved Screen. Albeit I have some strong words for the author for leaving me in such distress until THIS FALL when the conclusion to this subtly addictive story is released but that is neither here nor there. regardless this is not a story to be missed.

Words can be more powerful than touch. Stimulate and engage the senses then watch what happens…
They began a daring affair a few weeks ago, baring skin, sensual secrets—their very souls—before their bedroom windows situated across the street from one another.

Now they’ve taken it to the next level. The laptop screen has added sound to their intimate liaisons, and his voice, that delicious French accent, is oh, so sexy. His laughter teases good shivers across her skin and his sensual commands seduces her deeper into a world of erotic play. Fantasies lure them into a new intimacy and a surprising trust that the two strangers who have never touched welcome.

Yet frustrations grow as she pines for his touch. They must meet. Soon. But a secret is revealed that will challenge their desires and the trust both have earned.
Return to the heroine’s Parisian apartment as she continues her relationship with Monsieur Sexy and they explore the delicious intricacies of cyber-sex.

At the conclusion of Window, Monsieur Sexy is leaving for Berlin on business. He wants to Skype while he is away lending a voice to what had been previously only been a very explicit game of “if you show me yours, I’ll show you mine”. Initially our heroine is uneasy with the growing intimacy between them but she is soon completely beguiled by her Parisian lover as are those following this unconventional romance. However, it soon becomes clear that her window lover has secrets that may prevent them from taking their love out from behind glass.

When I first read Window it was difficult to imagine neighbors engaging in voyeurism of this manner, strangers at a club, sure, but right in your own backyard so to speak was perplexing, at least to me. Then as the characters began to evolve and develop their own unique personalities I found myself accepting their strange seeming prediction of stripping in front of the other with only 15 feet and two panes of glass separating them and anxiously awaiting when they would finally meet. Screen posed no such challenges to my ability to suspend disbelief in fact I found myself completely invested in their story and I believe you will be too.

Michele Renae is an author of over 50 stories in the fantasy, action/adventure, historical and paranormal romance genres, now writes erotica as Michele Renae.

Michele is good at daydreaming, kitty wrangling, navigating Paris from memory, and locating parking spots close to the front door.  She is not so good at making bath bombs, being patient in line at the Post Office, and reading only one book at a time.

Disclaimer: ARC was kindly provided by the author for an honest review.

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SPECIAL Window – Michele Renae

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REVIEW

We all have an inner “Peeping Tom”, of that I have no doubt, more pressing is the question, do we all have an inner “exhibitionist“? I am not talking about the creepy raincoat wearing “flasher” type but the one who is buried deep in that place where we hide the things that are not quite as acceptable for everyday consumption. What would it take to coax that carefully concealed part of us to the surface?

Michele Renae‘s Window takes us to Paris where her protagonist is living a fantasy, well mine anyway. A book researcher, who works from home in Paris, in front of an enormous plate glass window where she can watch the various comings and goings, including the man moving into the building across the street.

I moved to Paris for the thrill of it, to utterly defy that inner part of me that whispered “You can’t do this on your own. You don’t even speak French!”

A new handsome neighbour who fences…in the nude? So begins a game of truth or dare with the emphasis on dare.

An erotic romance behind glass

The first time she sees her new neighbour, his sexy smile arouses her curiosity — and her desires. His hard, chiseled muscles and playful invitations are irresistible.

Bared before their windows, framed and displayed above the streets of Paris, they embark upon a provocative affair.

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Michele Renae has written an evocative tale of love with a proper neighbour or not so proper as the case may be. While I can’t see myself playing strip tease in front of my neighbour you won’t want to miss Window. Be warned that it is the first of a series and you will definitely be left wanting more like I was! Now I am anxiously awaiting Screen the second installment in this series in February.

P.S. Having just finished Screen let me tell you it does not disappoint. Get it now! 

AUTHOR: Michele Renae

RATING: 3 1/2 Stars

GENRE: Erotica/Romance

Disclaimer: ARC was kindly provided by the publisher for an honest review. 

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY – Transcendence by Shay Savage

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If you ever wondered if all men truly are Neanderthals…

  • TranscendenceTitle: Transcendence
  • Author: Shay Savage
  • Series: Stand Alone
  • Format: eBook
  • Genre/s: Sci-fi/Romance
  • Source: Author/Publisher
  • Rating: -A

Transcendence was an intriguing and unique read, for me that is saying something. Over the past three decades I have read innumerable tales, mostly about love, amongst time travelers, vampires, werewolves, shifters, aliens, what have you, even prehistoric love but not once between a time traveler and prehistoric man. When I read the description of this story I was immediately intrigued but also wary, I needn’t have worried.

Ehd is alone in the world, he is the only survivor of a fire that killed his family and the rest of his tribe. Lonely and depressed he knows that if he doesn’t prepare for the coming winter he will not survive for much longer. He is counting on a kill from the pit trap he dug the day before to guarantee his survival. When he checks his trap he finds reason to continue living but not in the manner he expected. Naturally when one finds a young fertile appearing woman, one takes her home to be his mate, despite her annoying habit of shrieking and making other incomprehensible noises.

I am starting to get a headache again as she gets a little louder. She taps her chest again.

“Beth!”

The sound is shorter but still very odd.

“Beh-bet.”

“Beth,” she repeats.

I’ve had enough. I reach out and touch her shoulder.

“Beh.”

“Beth.”

I tap her a little harder and growl.

“Beh,” I repeat. I tap her again. “BEH!”

I was beguiled by this story, told primarily from Ehd’s point of view, he is in turn captivated and baffled by the strange behavior of his “mate”. Like all men he is primarily concerned with only two things, food and sex. Beh’s refusal to let him have his way with her is vastly entertaining. Despite the similarity in thought to modern man, in Ehd’s world food and sex mark the difference between survival and extinction. Notwithstanding the fact that Ehd was a prehistoric man I was struck by the plausibility of his character and the development of his relationship with Beh.

Looking at her over my shoulder, I see her stern look and go back to washing. I don’t understand why I’m doing this in the cold, but apparently I will do anything to make my mate happy, even follow her into cold water.

I wish she weren’t so noisy, but I’m willing to endure the noise to have her with me.

Shay Savage’s Transcendence was a wonderful surprise, a comedic romantic romp with poignantly emotional undertones with an unexpectedly appealing protagonist. This was the first of Ms. Savage’s books that I have read but it will not be the last, it’s just a matter of which one to read next.

SYNOPSIS

It’s said that women and men are from two different planets when it comes to communication, but how can they overcome the obstacles of prehistoric times when one of them simply doesn’t have the ability to comprehend language?

Ehd’s a caveman living on his own in a harsh wilderness. He’s strong and intelligent, but completely alone. When he finds a beautiful young woman in his pit trap, it’s obvious to him that she is meant to be his mate. He doesn’t know where she came from; she’s wearing some pretty odd clothing, and she makes a lot of noises with her mouth that give him a headache. Still, he’s determined to fulfill his purpose in life – provide for her, protect her, and put a baby in her.

Elizabeth doesn’t know where she is or exactly how she got there. She’s confused and distressed by her predicament, and there’s a caveman hauling her back to his cave-home. She’s not at all interested in Ehd’s primitive advances, and she just can’t seem to get him to listen. No matter what she tries, getting her point across to this primitive, but beautiful, man is a constant – and often hilarious – struggle.

With only each other for company, they must rely on one another to fight the dangers of the wild and prepare for the winter months. As they struggle to coexist, theirs becomes a love story that transcends language and time.

EXCERPT

Thankfully, my mate does not wake up as I crawl back into the furs beside her. I know she needs to rest. I take a moment to look at her in the flickering firelight. Her eyes are closed, but the blotchy remnants of her sorrow are still evident on her cheeks.

I want to touch her skin, but I don’t want to wake her. Unable to control the urge completely, I touch the skin of her face carefully. I reach down to her strange clothing again, and my fingers brush from her shoulder, over her breast, and down to her waist as I enjoy the feel of the cloth compared to the rough skin of my hand.

She stirs slightly, so I still my movements, deciding to be satisfied with leaving one arm wrapped around her. I stretch out next to her and pull the furs up to make sure she is warm

enough. Her mouth opens slightly, and she makes more strange noises in her sleep. The sounds are very soft and deep in tone. Her face scrunches up a bit, and her breathing becomes more rapid. I hold her closer to me until she relaxes back into deeper sleep.

I know I must be right, and she has recently lost her people. I wonder what happened to them and if I will ever know for sure. It doesn’t matter now, anyway—I will be her mate, and I will take care of her from now on. I just need to figure out a way to stop her from being frightened of me. There are so many things I will need from her as well: she will need to gather food for the winter, cook the meat I bring back for her, and accept me into her body so I can give her children.

The thought of that brings another smile to my face and a tingling feeling between my legs.

However, she seems so frightened of me now, I don’t think she would readily position herself on her hands and knees so I can fill her. Still, I am much stronger, and if I want inside of her, I can just hold her while I enter her body. Joining with her in such a way would still feel very good, I imagine, but I don’t like it when she yells and cries, and I think she would probably do that if I have to hold her down to mate with her.

These thoughts are making my penis lengthen and become stiff. I consider stroking myself, but I am afraid it will wake her. I sigh as I look down on her sleeping face and wonder how long it will be before I can properly mate with her. I touch her cheek softly again, and I know when I decide to lie with her, I want her to enjoy it. So how do I get that to happen?

Finally, after thinking about it a long time, I decide I need to make her like me.

GIVEAWAY

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Prize: 2 Paperback Copies of Transcendence, 5 Ebook Copies of Transcendence, and 2 Ebook Sets of Shay Savage’s Books (Surviving Raine, Otherwise Alone, Otherwise Occupied, Uncockblockable, Otherwise Unharmed, Transcendence.)

AUTHOR BIO

Shay_SavageShay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, two children, and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker, and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies, and loves soccer in any and all forms. During the fall, she coaches her daughter’s soccer team. Though she currently works in the technology field, her school background is in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.

Disclaimer: ARC was kindly provided by the author for an honest review.

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