The Immortal is a part of the Breedline series which follows protagonist Jena McCain as she discovers a hidden world full of magic and monsters that puts her in a situation where she must resist dark urges and accept the strange hidden world that becomes uncovered to survive.
Artist Jena McCain is attacked by an ancient creature that has been dormant underground for years. After the attack, she is afflicted by a disease that makes her crave human blood, and she has to resist the urges brought on by the disease for one hundred and one days. If not, she will transform into the monster that attacked her. In desperate need of help, her best friend, Angie, then introduces her to a world that is beyond anything that Jena expected. It is revealed that Angie can transform into a wolf and there are an entire species of supernatural creatures called Breedline.
Author Shana Congrove has created a standout novel in the saturated paranormal romance genre. The Immortal unique possess a unique and compelling lore that serves the plot well and ensures that drama is around ever corner. I enjoyed the alluring relationships between the characters, as it seems that everyone has secrets. Particularly, I loved the idea that friends, even our closest friends, keep these big secrets from us, and the friendship felt very genuine. Additionally, I like the resistance to just buy into all of these crazy circumstances that Jena is witnessing. In too many books, I’ve seen the main character accept the world for what it was and dived right into the journey. Jena’s reaction to it all gives the book feel more authentic and relatable.
The Immortal follows Jena on a race against time that keeps the story relentlessly moving forward ensuring the suspense is high and the desperation is palpable. This is a thrilling shifter romance novel that surprised me with its deep lore and methodical character development. This book will appeal to any fan of paranormal romance that wants to read an urban fantasy story that is grounded but still dramatic.
Pages: 359 | ASIN: B0863G5Z1V
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Calypso’s Heart by M.C. Solaris is a vibrant, romantic novel with lots of action and quick development woven into a brilliant story. Caly works a regular job and enjoys a routine much like everyone else until she encounters a handsome stranger who unexpectedly makes an appearance. There are strange, vivid dreams and strange sensations of feeling connections to a different world or realm of existence. Caly quickly learns that her everyday life is about to change in a significant way, whether she’s prepared to accept it or not.
The story begins with a dream and an intense, page-turning pace. Caly is a perceptive character who takes her life earnestly, visits the local coffee shop, battling the daily traffic jam, and embracing the daily grind every week. The narration quickly shifts into another layer of society, where there are secret missions and law enforcement agencies that patrol and monitor a realm beyond our own. As Caly’s everyday life begins to unravel due to a few misfortunes, her world begins to collide with another, changing the trajectory of her life.
There’s a quick yet comfortable pace in this book, which eagerly takes the reader on an invigorating journey into a captivating paranormal world. Caly’s perspective is narrated in between other developments to paint a bigger picture beyond her small but turbulent working world. Caly is a relatable character who is easily likable and fun to follow. She becomes our involuntary guide into an alluring realm that challenges her, and the reader, beyond the everyday world we know, with lots of compelling discoveries, with sexy shifters and vampires littered throughout he world.
I really enjoyed the vivid world building in this story. The supernatural lore in the story is thoroughly developed, which helped pull me into this magical world. The storyline is filled with impassioned moments where the drama and emotion is high, but handled with deft prose that keeps things engaging if not believable.
With an easy to like protagonist and a fascinating world, I was easily swept away with the story, but I felt like there was a deluge of events and details that sometimes felt overwhelming. But this is the life that Caly lives and it certainly speaks to the emotional-rollercoaster that she goes on.
Calypso’s Heart is a sultry paranormal romance novel with an intriguing story and compelling characters, it’s definitely a book that is hard to put down. Fans of True Blood will find plenty to enjoy in M.C. Solaris’s thrilling supernatural love story.
Pages: 640 | ASIN: B08CX9M5D8
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Jezebel is used to being alone. It might not be ideal, but she has grown accustomed to keeping her thoughts to herself, staying busy when she isn’t working, and distancing herself from others. It’s a life she wouldn’t necessarily choose, but it’s what she knows. And then came August. An innocent meeting on the beach leads to what Jezebel believes is the opportunity to work for a wealthy local. When she can’t help but be mesmerized by the very thought of his attention, she quickly begins to realize there is much more to August than meets the eye and much more to the relationship he desires.
Awakening, by Jennifer Leigh Pezzano, is a supernatural romance novel for the ages. Jezebel, the book’s main character is the perfect mix of an unlikely heroine lacking a certain amount of self-confidence and a woman ready to take on the world. Her encounter with the mysterious but incredibly desirable August is one that takes even the reader by surprise.
From the first chapter, Pezzano’s writing is striking and flows beautifully across the page. Whether it’s her main character’s inner voice or the narrative that fills the space between the unique encounters between Pezzano and August, her words are simply breathtaking. The more intimate moments between the two characters are touching without being overtly sexual and explicit.
There is a profound sadness to August’s story, and I loved the bits of history Pezzano includes in her work. These elements of reality only serve to deepen the reader’s involvement in the plot. Pezzano knows how to engage readers, pull them into her characters’ dilemmas, and feed them just enough reality to make them question whether her story is born of real events–she is just that good–she makes the reader feel like a meeting De Sanguine might be a distinct possibility.
I encourage any fan of vampire romances to give Pezzano’s work a try. It does not fit the mold. It does, however, offer readers a new and fresh take on an old genre. I was thoroughly impressed with the depth Pezzano is able to give her characters and the extent to which she is able to take a story set in recent years and make it feel so refined, so detailed, and so stunningly beautiful.
Pages: 344 | ASIN: B08P5SMG3M
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Awakened follows a warrior who is vampire royalty as he tries to protect a woman from evil as she tries to cope with her new reality and the connection between them. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The books in the series follow members of the Circle of the Red Scorpion. Based on the storyline in Book 4, Returned, it made sense that Awakened was the next book in the series. I don’t want to give too much away but there has been a vampire power struggle brewing since Shattered. Though there is some resolution in Awakened, a future book in the series will end it – at least for a time. Vampires are forever so there will always be someone else who wants to take the power.
I really enjoyed the connection between Dominic and Chantelle. Was their relationship planned or did it develop organically?
I plan the relationships in the series since many of the stories are related and prior storyline planning for the series is necessary. A subplot may begin in one book but ends in another story. The same with growing attractions between two characters. I compare it to putting together a complex puzzle.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I wanted Dominic to accept who he was despite his heritage and realize it was the flaws of others that caused the issues in his life, not him. His calling as a warrior was far greater than those issues.
This is the fifth book in your Circle of the Red Scorpion Series. What can readers expect in book six?
In Book 6, Pursued, Elemental demon, Moses Thorne, is investigating a string of grisly murders in New Orleans when he meets a woman he never thought he would see again. Would he be able to trust her?
As Moses tries to solve the murders, a vengeful demon plots to kill him. He can no longer evade the world of demons he fled over a thousand years ago.
Posted in Interviews
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Awakened (Circle of the Red Scorpion Book Five) by Charlene Johnson is a paranormal romance about a half-vampire half-human warrior who has spent hundreds of years battling an evil vampire bent on torturing and imprisoning humans. Twice throughout the centuries Dominic Rinaldi believed Nicodemus Bartolome was dead, but now he has shown up again, when he attacks a human woman named Chantelle Mallory in San Francisco. But there is something different about Chantelle. As Dominic’s feelings for her grow, will she be able to accept learning the truth about what he is? And will Dominic be able to protect Chantelle from the evil stalking her?
I liked the variety of paranormal beings in this book, and how they worked together to stop magical creatures who harmed humans. I enjoyed reading the sections of the story that focused on the search for the voodoo priestess’s descendants and the romance developing between Dominic and Chantelle. Dominic’s sister, Carmella, was not a likable character when she was first introduced in the story, and I thought the author did a really good job of redeeming her in the end. Some of my favorite characters were the other members of the Circle of the Red Scorpion. I enjoyed the interactions between the team, especially Moses Thorne and Nick Savage, and I liked learning about their different paranormal abilities.
While I enjoyed this story for its emotional connection between characters, I felt that there was an abundance of backstory about various characters at the beginning of the book, along with some flashbacks throughout the story, that slowed the momentum of the book.
With that aside, author Charlene Johnson still tells a dramatic vampire romance story in this riveting fifth entry in her paranormal Circle of the Red Scorpion series. Awakened is a rousing supernatural love story with spellbinding lead characters and a story that will have readers hooked.
Pages: 289 | ASIN: B08H14WPR6
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Rise for Me follows a vampire who is forced into a reunion with his soulmate that abandoned him, and she’s harboring another secret. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The inspiration for Rise for Me actually developed after answering another author’s writing prompt. On social media, he asked his followers to create a fictional story about how we met. That is temptation incarnate for another writer, so I answered with something like this:
We met at the carnival and you were the creepy clown who snuck up behind me. I was so scared, I hit you with my corndog, and got mustard in your hair. You were so angry, we wrestled into the duck-pond booth, and tore it all to pieces. You laughed and I laughed. We both ended up wet, but we’re friends again, and all is good.
Not the best writing, but it was a fun response. That author is a horror writer by the way…lol After that little paragraph, I started thinking what a great vampire story.
Mariah and Roman have a deep emotional connection. What were some driving ideals behind the character’s relationship?
Vampires are almost always fated mate stories, but it’s rare to see a character leave for any extended period of time. Given Mariah’s age at the time the knowledge is revealed to Roman, I felt their separation appropriate although difficult for my hero. As a vampire and gypsy, Roman knows what it’s like to be judged, so he easily empathizes with Mariah’s infirmity. By the same token, Mariah has suffered judgement most of her life, so she knows what it’s like for Roman. This dynamic between them, along with the fact that they’re mates, drives the angst for her return, his forgiveness, and a happily-ever-after ending.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I am disabled from Guillain-Barre syndrome, so I know what it feels like to be different. Because I wear drop-foot braces, I walk a little weird. My mother was born with a hairy birthmark in the center of her forehead that was removed by a cosmetic surgeon later in her life. I’ve seen these things with my own eyes, experienced them, been stared at, and know how devastating they can be, but I also wanted to show the positives. The people of the carnival, including Roman, are accepting and don’t judge anyone. There are people just like Mariah and Roman in the real world, people in my life. Roman never looked on Mariah as anything but beautiful. Different doesn’t mean ugly…it means unique. I think Mariah realized how much more important Roman’s love was versus the healing he bestowed her with maturity and distance. In a world based on beauty, I feel as an author it’s important to put that kind of message in my stories. Mariah suffered real problems. Don’t we all wish for a vampire mate to heal us? Those types of situations draw the romance reader because many can identify. I was a reader, and still am, long before I ever wrote my first book.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Seduction by Blood is another fated mates, vampire book that releases February 22, 2021. It deals with an abusive relationship in the beginning, so again, I’m hitting on a major issue while showing the heroine’s inner strength and growth throughout the story. The vampire is old world and is woke by his mate’s blood traveling through the root system on his property. This book is paranormal erotic, cowritten with another author, and published by The Wild Rose Press.
Hand-Carved Wolf is undergoing a major revision and will be available March 1, 2021, through Kindle Unlimited. This is a fantasy romance that deals with two widowers, and the ghost that bridges the gap between them. It’s unique in that the hero and the ghost are both Native American, my heroine is strong and feisty, and it’s in the current time period. It’s a longer book, 160+ pages, because of the issues that come from losing a spouse. The hero is also a single father and trying to put his and his daughter’s life back together when the heroine barges into his world. The book is loaded with sassy banter and was fun to write. It’s a good story with deep meaning, more of a classic romance about second chances, so I’m hoping romance readers enjoy it.
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Rise For Me is a thrilling paranormal romance novella that surprised me with the amount of emotion that is packed into so few pages. Although the vampire romance genre is dense, Rise for Me is still able to remain unique and bring something new to the genre. The story surrounds a carnival run by Roman, our alluring main character, who is the ringmaster, vampire and warlock. Our female protagonist is Mariah, a character with emotional depth, who becomes Roman’s mate after a spell was performed. Although she has kept away, she has come back into Roman’s life and has a personal secret. The two have multiple forces working against them, including Mariah’s father, but they are inextricably bound to each other nonetheless.
Rise For Me is short, but is manages to take readers on a roller-coaster of emotion. Maybe because the story was short, or maybe because I so enthralled with the story, but I blew through story quickly. I read it all in one sitting! Author Kristal Dawn Harris’ writing is easy and keeps the story on the character and the action. Readers feel the pain that both Roman and Mariah felt by being apart all those years and empathize with Mariah as we learn the real reason why she has come back. This story has a great mix of character development and steamy scenes. I found the vampires in this story to be unique enough to stand out in the vampire genre, and I am impressed with how much background on our characters was given considering this story is around sixty pages. There was is a peculiar angst and passion between Roman and Mariah, I wanted more of their story and the way the novella ends only made me want more on these two characters.
I definitely recommend this if you are into vampire romance stories and are looking for a quick read; a long train or plane ride as this story can easily transport you into another world. I just wish we were there a bit longer. Readers easily get attached to Roman and Mariah and their complicated relationship. This is a suspenseful supernatural love story that will have fans raving, and begging for another installment.
Pages: 61 | ASIN: B08RRYSPHY
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Reign: The Assault of Lucifer Morningstar follows a powerful shifter as he defends the citizens of Florence from a satanic mob. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?
I have written two vampire mystery thrillers previous to Reign: Snow Blood (a 5-book series about the original vampire) and Moon Blood (a sequel to Snow Blood) along with a Prequel entitled, Kane – The First Blood Son. Reign takes characters from those two books as well as introducing new ones (spawned from characters in the first books). Reign Book 1 was a natural progression and is soon to be followed up with Reign – The Rise of The Lich (Book 2 of the Silver Blood Knight Series.)
Honestly, I was inspired because I wanted to create something quite different from the vampire/paranormal stories I grew up with and loved.
Reign is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
All my books are narrated by either dogs or wolves. They symbolize loyalty, persistence, a fierce protective nature, and unconditional love for all who are family and friends. I strive to have people answer this question for themselves: If they can love us in this way, why can’t we do the same for each other?
What were some themes you wanted to explore in this book?
Obviously good vs. evil. But more importantly, as stated above, I wanted to show what unconditional love means… loving a person or creature for who he or she is, and not what we want them to be. I wanted to examine what it means to be loyal and how some things aren’t what we think they are.
This is the first book in the Silver Blood Knight series. What can readers expect in book two?
Our heroes will be given another almost invincible antagonist to battle. I’ll dive deeper into the inner workings of the heroic band, and they will have to contend with numerous surprise attacks from unexpected sources in book 2. Through it all, their love for and loyalty to each other will shine.
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