Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sia - debut novel

Summary from Goodreads:
When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

Review by Elyah
Josh Grayson has managed to put together a breathtaking story that I myself have never heard of anything similar. Never has a story that is only one hundred and thirty-three pages moved me so much. I can tell by reading that Grayson put a good amount of time and effort into making Sia, and I wish I was the first to say how much it paid off.

This novel has too many great parts to put down so here is the best: “True friendship is when two friends can walk in opposite directions, yet remain side by side.”
I am looking forward to reading more of his books, and sharing them with friends and family.

Meet the Author
Josh Grayson was born in Mexico, raised in Massachusetts, and now lives in Martinsville, Virginia. It was his move to the South that stirred his imagination and gave him the courage to start writing. During his free time, Josh enjoys reading, jogging, swimming, and watching YouTube videos.

Josh currently works as a medical driver, shuttling people all over Virginia and North Carolina. He has also worked as a machinist, film sales rep, administrative assistant, and telemarketer (he apologizes if he called you).

Sia is his debut YA novel.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Unholy

The author will randomly chose one commenter to win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.  So, follow the tour and comment; the more they comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found at Goddess Fish Promotions.  
Don't forget the Rafflecopter below.

About the Book

A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, the Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.

“Help me? Help yourself! Face what is yours to face,” Elizabeth hissed. She yanked the door open then forced it to slam behind her.

Claire stood still for a moment, feeling as if a tornado had swept through the room. Elizabeth’s demand had left her shaken. She drew a deep breath, then went to her desk and picked up her tea, noticing her trembling hands.

Turning toward the window, Claire saw a muscular orderly accompanying Elizabeth to the locked ward at the far end of the hospital compound. A flock of crows circled high overhead, seeming to follow the two receding figures. As they arrived at the outer doors of the locked unit, the orderly reached for his keys. The crows circled while the two crossed the threshold of the unit, Elizabeth suddenly pausing, turning, and looking outside, her gaze riveted on the flock of birds.

All but two flew off, disappearing into the piñon-covered hills. The two that remained came to rest on the red brick wall adjacent to the locked unit, their black eyes boring into Elizabeth. She looked panicked then enraged and, shaking a finger at the creatures, yelled something. Her frantic gestures told Claire that she was screeching curses to ward off evil.

Claire took a step back from the window, from the impact of Elizabeth’s rage.

The orderly grabbed Elizabeth roughly by the arm and pulled her inside.

The crows waited, watched, then flew away.

This is an interesting read.  Dr. DeBlassie III has an interesting and captivating way of applying the psychological elements into his writing.  I love the mental games played and the depth of characters he is able to create.  This is one story that will keep you reading and guessing what will happen next.  There are some amazing "creep" factors to this story and I'll be sure to recommend it to my friends.

I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that I absolutely love how the crows are used in this story.  This is one you must read for yourselves and I don't think you will be disappointed... at least not in the quality of the story.

Meet the Author
Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes fiction with a healing emphasis. He has been deeply influenced by the mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic.  He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. 

Author Links

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Child of Denys

Title: The Child of Denys
By Nicole Gillette
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade Fantasy Fiction
Publication Date: 10/31/2012

When Katie finds a cat hiding in her mother's garden, she has no idea the kinds of adventure that await her.

A new kid appears in school at the same time Katie's friends and family begin having nightmares, and she begins to have amazingly vivid dreams. In her dreams this new cat speaks to her, telling of darkness that has invaded the Dream Realm and encouraging her to begin a journey to help save not only the Dream Realm but the real world as well.

Max, the new kid in school, has a dog that seemed to adopt him. Just as the cat had claimed Katie. Max's mom recently died in a car accident and his father had a very difficult time dealing with her death. That left Max alone and without any friends other than his new dog.

Katie, her family and her friends learn that a simple, caring gesture is sometimes all it takes to change the course of the world. Join Katie and Max as they learn the true power of our dreams and the importance of our friendships.


I found The Child of Denys to have a very interesting story line.  I liked the twists and imagination.  It is a short read.  However, I feel it could use some strengthening and another round of edits.  It wasn't my favorite story, but it does have some very interesting and creative points in it.

I think it would fall under a younger category.  Perhaps middle grades at the higher end instead of MG/YA.  It had a younger feel to me (ages 6-8 maybe) and I think it would be better suited marketed to a younger crowd.

Meet the Author
Nicole Gillette (or Nikki to her friends and family) describes herself as a wife, mother, crafter, gardener, chef and whatever else is needed. She stays busy following her two children around to sporting events, creating amazing art pieces, writing, and running her online business "Creating Amidst Chaos."

Growing up in Northern Michigan Nikki learned to appreciate spending time outdoors. She enjoys camping, hiking and fishing and collects memories and mementos on her trips to use in scrapbooks, crafts, art projects and writing. Nothing is off limits to use!

As she began to explore different art techniques her friends and family encouraged her to teach lessons on scrapbooking and mixed media art. As a result she developed a series of written tutorials that are now available in e-book format.

In addition to the crafting tutorials she has written children's books that are engaging and entertaining for children and adults as well. Most of the inspiration for her writing come from the wonder she sees in the eyes of her children as they explore our world.

Nikki ensures us that as a 'Jack-of-all-Trades' you can be sure of only one thing. As time goes by she will develop and change so you can expect her projects and writings to do the same.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Into the Fire

The authors will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE!


The Virus changed them, but that was only the beginning…
…all that remains is hope.

In the wake of destruction left behind by the Virus, it took Dani and Zoe months to find each other. But their reunion was short-lived. Dani has been taken, and though little distance separates them, they might as well be worlds apart.

From the moment she hears Dani’s scream, Zoe’s only goal is to save her best friend. She and her companions scramble to come up with a rescue plan, but when a ghost from Jake’s past reappears, lines are blurred, decisions become harder, and secrets are revealed…and some secrets are best left buried. To keep heartache and fear from consuming her, Zoe must cling to her determination. She will see Dani again.

Dani awakens inside the final hold-out of civilization: the Colony. Remnants of the former world surround her—electricity, safety, social order—but all is not what it seems. As she faces her most manipulative adversary yet, she loses sight of who she is and who she can trust. Friends become enemies, enemies become allies, and allies will betray her.  Dani will have to decide what she’s willing to do and whose lives she’s willing to risk if she is to have any chance of breaking free.




“Tell me! Who was I with?”

“Zoe…and Jason.”

“What?” I screeched and scurried away from him to huddle on the edge of the bed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Zoe was in Massachusetts and was probably dead, and Jason…Jason was…I didn’t know. Why would I have been with Jason? Nothing was making sense. Scrunching my eyes closed, I tried to remember, but the harder I tried, the more my head hurt. Panic churned within me, making me feel sick. My heart beat heavily, like my blood was too thick, and my lungs felt constricted.

“Dani,” Gabe said, and I felt the bed shift behind me. He scooted closer, joining me on the edge of the bed and draping his arm over my bare shoulders. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.”

Only when I looked up at him did I realize tears were streaking down my cheeks. “I don’t want to think about them…about any of it,” I told him. “If they’re gone…I just want to forget. I just want to be here, with you.”

“Dani, I think we should…”

I tilted my face up, leaning in closer to the safety and comfort of his body. “What?”

“Probably not be…”

“What?” I asked, raising my hand to his face. I brushed my thumb over his chin, feeling the rough stubble covering it, and angled his face lower.

“In here, doing this.” He breathed in jerkily when my thumb brushed across his full lower lip. It was soft and dry and begging to be kissed.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I whispered, closing the distance between us.


Meet the Authors

Lindsey Fairleigh lives her life with one foot in a book—as long as that book transports her to a magical world or bends the rules of science. Her novels, from post-apocalyptic to time travel and historical fantasy, always offer up a hearty dose of unreality, along with plenty of adventure and romance. When she's not working on her next novel, Lindsey spends her time reading and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She lives in the Napa Valley with her loving husband and confused cats.

Lindsey Pogue has always been a little creative. As a child she established a bug hospital on her elementary school soccer field, compiled books of collages as a teenager, and as an adult, expresses herself through writing. Her novels are inspired by her observations of the world around her--whether she's traveling, people watching, or hiking. When not plotting her next story line or dreaming up new, brooding characters, Lindsey's wrapped in blankets watching her favorite action flicks or going on road trips with her own leading man.


Buy links:
Into The Fire (The Ending, #2) - not available yet
After The Ending (The Ending, #1) -

Barnes & Noble:
Into The Fire (The Ending, #2) - not available yet

Into The Fire (The Ending, #2) - not available yet  
After The Ending (The Ending, #1) – not available yet

Into The Fire (The Ending, #2) - not available yet  
After The Ending (The Ending, #1) – not available yet

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Wanderers Blog Tour {Amish Fiction}

Book Synopsis:

An Amish Love Story About Hope and Finding Home

Everything in God’s nature, Johnny observed, did what it was created to do. Everything, that is, except the human race. Johnny was born into an Amish family, into a long line of farmers and good businessmen. He is expected to follow the traditions of family and church as he grows to adulthood. But even as a boy, he questions whether he can be satisfied with this lifestyle. He wants “more” — more education, more travel, more opportunity.

His restlessness leads him down a dangerous road where too much partying and drinking result in heartbreaking consequences. He’s adrift, and no one seems to be able to help him find his direction.

Then he meets spunky Annie, who seems pure and lovely and devoted to her God. Her past, though, holds sin and heartbreak. She was a worm, she explains, but God has transformed her into a butterfly. Johnny falls hopelessly in love; and eventually he, too, finds the power of God to transform lives.
Settling down on the family farm, he forgets about the questions and the restlessness, thinking that he is happy and at home, at last.

But in a few short hours, tragedy changes his life forever, and he is again wondering… and wandering on a very long journey.

Entwined with Johnny and Annie’s story is the allegory of two Monarch butterflies, worms who have been transformed into amazing creatures specially chosen to carry out the miracle of the fourth generation. They, too, must undertake a long journey before they finally find home.


I was ten when I had my first taste of beer. A late start, to be sure, but I was never bothered much by peer pressure. My friends had all sampled the stuff two or three years before, but I had felt no desire or need. There was only one reason I drank on that hot August day. I was thirsty.

Finished with my morning chores, I started across the hayfield with an armful of boards ripped from the old washhouse. Previous generations had scrubbed and soaked and steamed in the one-room shack in front of our farmhouse; my parents, though, had upgraded to a new kerosene washer, and now the women worked in the coolness under the long front porch. An old kettle still hung above the brick fire pit, but the washhouse sagged like a tired old work horse.

My dad had assigned me the task of dismantling the washhouse. That was fine with me; I had plans for that scrap lumber. I wanted to enlarge the deer stand at the edge of the distant woods. The stand was my hideout, where I spent countless hours contemplating life. It was a haven for my wondering mind, and I called it my institution of higher learning.

Eight years of school at Milford Elementary, in the little village several miles east of our farm, were not enough for me. While most Amish children were happy to be finished with formal education, I wept when I could not attend the local high school.

The English students sometimes mocked us Amish as backwards farmers, but I enjoyed school, excelled in sports, and had the gift of gab. Although I was known as something of a "charmer," I never liked the word. It's true, I could talk myself into or out of anything. You do have to make the most of whatever talents God's given you.

The school of higher education that I did attend was built in a stately oak that stood sentinel at the edge of our woods. Two gnarled branches cradled my hideout, ten feet off the ground, overlooking the fields that my family had owned for generations. Years ago, my grandfather had secured several boards across the limbs and nailed short slabs up the oak's trunk, a ladder ascending to the platform. Over time, the trunk swallowed up most of the rungs, but edges still protruded far enough for deer hunters to clamber up and lie in wait for the quarry.

My first hunt with my dad and my brother was also my last. Finally, I was deemed old enough to go hunting with the men. I climbed the ladder and settled into waiting, tense with excitement. Very soon, a doe came through the woods, paused at the spring to drink, then walked slowly down the side of the ravine. One shot echoed through the quiet morning. We scampered down the ladder rungs and approached the deer, lying bleeding on the hillside. It struggled to its feet, took another tumble, and lay still.

My excitement vanished. I felt only sadness and pangs of remorse. The doe's brown eye was open, staring at me, asking, "Why? What did I do to deserve this?"

Dad had a knife in his hands; I knew what must come next. Backtracking, I was violently sick behind a bush. I was not meant to be a hunter, and no one would ever shoot another deer from that stand if I had any say at all.

I did have my say. Well, my mom did. Although Dad was the authority and power in our house, Mom often held the reins. With tears streaming down my face, I unloaded my sad description of the dying deer. "We can't shoot them anymore. We just can't."

Soon the NO HUNTING signs were posted, and the woods, deer stand, and all of God's nature on our 120 acres were mine.

Well, perhaps not quite everything fell under my protection. Every year, we butchered a pig, a horrible sacrifice for the betterment of our family. My dad and brother would select the offering. I always wondered how the selection was made, but I never asked. They'd grab the unlucky swine by the hind legs, lift it over the fence, and carry it away as it squealed in terror. As the surviving porkers looked on in great relief, I'd run to the house, up the stairs, and cover my head with my pillow. I'd hear the shot anyway.

While my family processed the departed, I'd venture to the pig pen. I knew each hog by distinguishing marks; and, in dread, I checked to see who was missing. Spotty had survived. Curly was still here. Snort made the cut. We would be eating Limpy. A wild dog or coyote had wriggled through the board fence one night and taken a bite out of Limpy. Our German shepherd, Biff, had heard the commotion and chased the intruder away before he could get a second bite. On the day of Limpy’s demise, I reminded myself that I must take caution; I must never injure myself in any way that might cause my own lameness.

My usual route from the washhouse to the deer stand followed the cow path leading from the barn to the pasture field and traveled twice a day by our herd. On this day, the hay field between the house and the woods had been mowed and I took advantage of this shorter route. I might have chosen the hay field even if the route were longer; as a ten-year-old, I drank in the sensory gifts of summer: the aroma of new mown hay, the sweetness of warm strawberries, the smell of an August rain on dusty ground.

"Johnny, go get us some Stroh's!" my older brother Jonas called. He and his friend Jacob were in the field, making hay. Jacob had been recruited to help my brother today because Dad was on a lumber buying trip, and the clouds warned there would be rain by tomorrow. I dropped my boards reluctantly and retraced my steps back to the farmhouse.

My great-grandparents had built this house over a spring, and the cool waters flowed through the basement, filling a concrete trough where my mom stored crocks of butter, fresh milk and cream, eggs, watermelon, and any kind of dish she was preparing for the next meal. Those amber bottles of Stroh's were chilling in a corner of the trough just inside the door. I grabbed two by the necks and rushed back outside, leaving a wet trail of spring water.

The Stroh’s stash belonged to Jonas. Dad was bishop of our Amish church, and I had never seen him drink beer. As a church leader, he was very much aware that anything misused, misread, or mistaken could affect his reputation and influence in the community.

Jonas, on the other hand, had no such reputation to protect. Sixteen, he had recently concluded his formal education and he knew exactly where his future lay. He was not yet a member of the church, but he would join in a few years, get married, and settle down right here in our valley. He had big plans to take over the sawmill that my dad ran as a part-time operation. I was the younger of Dad's sons; my father's hope was that I would be farming the Miller family land someday.

"You thirsty?" Jonas handed his half-empty bottle to me. I was thirsty. But that first taste was not good.

Still, that swallow in the hay field meant that now I was one of the men. I may have been a Miller boy, but now I was a Stroh's man.

Yes, I admit, many bottles of Stroh's beer would find their way to the deer stand in the years to come. For a while, it was not only my thinking stand, it was my drinking stand. More of a beer stand than a deer stand. Stroh's beer would get me into so much trouble; but it would also lead to meeting Annie. And then, for a short time, I had it all. I was an Amish man living the dream.

Until it was all taken from me.

Meet the Author

Paul Stutzman was born in Holmes County, Ohio in an Amish family. His family left the Amish lifestyle soon after Paul was born. They joined a strict Conservative Mennonite Church where Paul was raised to fear God and obey all the rules the church demanded. Paul continued to live among and mingle with his Amish friends and relatives his entire life. Paul married a Mennonite girl and remained in the Amish community working and raising a family. After Paul lost his wife to cancer, he sensed a tug on his heart- the call to a challenge, the call to pursue a dream. With a mixture of dread and determination, Paul left his job, traveled to Georgia, and took his first steps on the 2,176 mile Appalachian Trail. What he learned during the next four and a half months changed his life-and can change yours too. After completing his trek Stutzman wrote Hiking Through—a book about this life changing journey.

In the summer of 2010 Stutzman again heeded the call for adventure and pedaled his bicycle 5,000 miles across America. He began his ride at the Northwest corner of Washington State and pedaled to Key West, Florida. On his journey across America he encounters people in all circumstances, from homelessness to rich abundance. The people he meets touch his life profoundly. Stutzman writes about these encounters in his bookBiking Across America.

Recently Stutzman released his first novel entitled The Wanderers. The Wanderers is a story about Johnny, a young Amish boy growing up in a culture he is not sure he wants to embrace. A young Amish girl named Annie wins his heart and life is great for a time. Entwined with Johnny and Annie’s story is the allegory of two Monarch butterflies, worms who have been transformed into amazing creatures specially chosen to carry out the miracle of the fourth generation. They, too, must undertake a long journey before they finally find home.

In addition to writing, he speaks to groups about his hiking and biking experiences and the lessons learned during these adventures. Stutzman resides in Berlin, Ohio and can be contacted through his website at or

Stutzman resides in Berlin, Ohio and can be contacted through his website or

More information can be found at

Pump Up Your Book

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lila: The Sign of the Elven Queen

Lila ( is a polite six-year-old girl who lives with her mama and papa in New York City. She has two cats, and would now like to have a dog–except dogs are not allowed in her apartment building. After thinking about it for awhile, Lila asks her parents if she can have an invisible dog. Her parents agree, and together they decide to name the dog Fluffy. On their way to the pet store to buy invisible supplies for the invisible dog, a black and white Aussie appears from around the corner and introduces himself to Lila, saying, “My name is Fluffy.”
In a series of fun adventures that follow, Fluffy introduces Lila and her family to the invisible people of Iceland, who live inside the boulders of Central Park and the cornerstones of New York City buildings. One day, the invisible people discover that the birthmark on Lila’s left forearm is the sign of their Elven Queen, and just as she turns seven, Lila is made a princess. Can anything be better than that?

Lila: The Sign of the Elven Queen is a brilliantly written story.  Grant's style reminds me of the beloved Winnie the Pooh stories by A. A. Milne.  I can imagine reading it over and over to my grandchildren and even without them.  There is a steady pace with adorable anecdotes that are completely age accurate and a joy to read.

This is bound to be a classic and I'm certain it will be a favorite for any little girl who has the privilege to experience it.  I'm completely thrilled with it!!!

Introducing Lila:

Introducing Fluffy:

Meet the Author

Author Mark J. Grant is better known in financial circles than in children’s literature. A fixture on CNBC and Bloomberg networks, for thirty-seven years he has held senior management positions on Wall Street, has run capital markets for four investment banks, and been on the boards of directors of four investment banks. He writes “Out of the Box,” a commentary on the financial markets that is distributed daily to approximately 5,000 large money management institutions in forty-eight countries.
So what made him write a children’s novel?
“There was a dinner party at my house where any number of parents were complaining that there were no decent books for children,” Grant explains. “Every book at the book stores, I was told, was full of ‘he who could not be named’ or giant spiders, or monsters, or vampires, or skulls and crossbones. I found this hard to believe, but these parents kept assuring me it was true. So I smiled and promised to personally write a wonderful story for children. Those who did not know me so well hesitated, but those who knew me better waited for the book to be written.”
In six months, Grant wrote LILA: THE SIGN OF THE ELVEN QUEEN, which was inspired by both a real-life Lila–the young daughter of his friends–and some folklore he learned in a lecture he attended on a cruise in Iceland. “In Icelandic tradition, if there’s a new building or road project, there is a federal agency that must first investigate to see if there are boulders that invisible people might be living inside. If so, a detour must be made. Lila was excited when I shared this fact with her. So, I put them together!”
Grant expects the readership to be ages three and up, with younger children having it read to them by their parents. “I would like to think that some smiles will brighten the faces of a child as Lila heads towards being seven and, along the way, not only grows older but learns to become a young lady. And perhaps some parents, as they read the story to their young children, will recall the days of their own youth and the wonder of each new day.” He intends LILA to be the first in a series.
He emphasizes with pride that, “There is not one scary thing in this book. It’s just a fairy tale, and I wrote it that way on purpose. There’s nothing in this book that will prevent a kid from going to sleep.”
Mark J. Grant, a graduate of Occidental College, has been on Wall Street for thirty-seven years in various senior management positions. He has run capital markets for four investment banks and been on the boards of directors of four investment banks. Grant also writes “Out of the Box,” a commentary on the financial markets that is distributed daily to approximately 5,000 large money management institutions in forty-eight countries. He is the author of Out of the Box and onto Wall Street: Unorthodox Insights on Investments and the Economy (Wiley, 2011). LILA: THE SIGN OF THE ELVEN QUEEN is his first novel.
Interview on Youtube

Lila: The Sign of the Elven Queen
230 page hardcover, $14.95 US / $17.00 CAN; ISBN: 978-1-62086-357-2
Published by Mascot Books (August, 2013)
Available wherever books are sold

Pump Up Your Book and Mark J. Grant are giving a Kindle Fire HD!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one Kindle Fire HD.
  • This giveaway begins September 2 and ends November 29.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 2, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
  • Only U.S. citizens can win the Kindle Fire.

Good luck everyone!


Pump Up Your Book

Monday, November 18, 2013


Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

Still grieving the loss of Joslyn and the Sphinx Sabine, and craving revenge upon Beltran, his Vampire nemesis, Amedeo the Cruxim is destined to learn more about his past in the sequel to Karin Cox's critically acclaimed gothic paranormal romance Cruxim.

When he meets a female of his own kind, Skylar, who takes him to the hidden stronghold of Silvenhall Creche to learn Cruxim lore, the secrets revealed in the holy book of the Cruximus, and the lies told to him by his own kind, force Ame to question who he is really is, where his loyalties lie, and whether there is anything he desires more than vengeance.

Praise for Cruxim…

“I highly recommend Cruxim to lovers of true gothic horror and paranormal genres. This story provides a fresh spin on old-world vampire lore. I will be stalking this author for the rest of this series and beyond!” Toni Lesatz, My Book Addiction

“I absolutely can't wait to read the next installment in this series, Creche. This, to me, is like the next Anne Rice series. There's a love story alongside some pretty gruesome and evil stuff. I like the contrast and the fact that both can live in harmony in a very well-written, character-driven novel. Bravo to the author, Ms. Karin Cox!” Kathy from Literary R&R

“I loved how the author was able to bring what was usually mortal enemies and have them work together to resolve the conflicts the characters encounter.” Rachel at The Jeep Diva

“Cruxim is filled with passion, revenge, action, and love all mixed together to form this story that is unlike any I've ever read. The ending had me in near in tears, but now I have to find out what fate lies ahead for Amedeo in the next book!” Sarah Jones, Give it to Cupcake Blog.

“I fell in love with the Cruxim. Amedeo is like no other paranormal hero. He's not infallible. He bleeds, he grieves, he suffers in affairs of the heart and personal conscience. He must make choices that no man, or angel, should ever have to make. I recommend this debut novel by Karin Cox.” Bestselling Author Carol Davis Luce

“I thought the blend of paranormal and mythology brilliant. The grammar flawless. The prose, poetic. If I could give this book a higher rating, I would. It is simply the most intriguing, creative and original paranormal I've ever read.” Tara West from the Book Eclective

"A wonderfully new, and fresh novel of vampire lore. A dark world of a wide range of oddities. It’s a story that you must read to understand the complex array of characters, and the remarkable way that Ms Cox has woven this phenomenal world in which they exist in. Karin Cox is most definitely an author that I will and look forward to reading more of in the future.” Anne from Angel Anne’s Reviews

Meet the Author
Karin Cox is an Australian editor and Whitley-Award-winning author. Since her first book was published in 2004, she has had more than 30 titles published across a range of genres, from children’s fiction and non-fiction, to novels, to non-fiction social history, natural history guides, and educational and coffee-table books. She is the author of Cruxim (a gothic paranormal romance novel) and its sequel Creche, Cage Life and Crows & Other Beasts (both dark, literary short stories), Hey, Little Sister and Pancakes on Sunday (illustrated picture books), and Growth (an anthology of poetry). Karin lives in Australia with her long-suffering fiancé, her daughter, her two dogs, and a cat with the improbable name of “Ping Pong.” You can follow her on Twitter (@Authorandeditor), or on Facebook at or Sign up for her mailing list to be alerted to new releases

Links  -  Facebook  -  Twitter  -  Pinterest  -  Blog  -  Goodreads

Check out this Huge Excerpt!!!

“Come.” The female Cruxim put out her hand to me, but I made no move to take it. I shrank away, as if her touch might scar me, even as some force greater than myself seemed to tug me toward her.

“Why should I follow you?”

She shrugged. “Why would you not?”

I passed my hand over my face, the sand scratching at the makings of a beard. That I felt it at all—that I felt anything—hurt me. I wanted nothingness, to be as blank and empty and ephemeral as a wave that might turn and roll far back out to sea, where the tortured statue of my Sphinx love, Sabine, had yesterday plummeted to the ocean’s depths. I half wished that instead of diving for her, I had flown at my enemy Beltran, the Vampire orchestrator of all of my sorrows, and had plunged my fangs into his neck. That I had ended it, and him, for good. Instead, once more Beltran had beaten me. Once more, he had escaped me. Once more, he had destroyed me.

“I don’t know you.” I vomited saltwater into the sand, but when I looked up, she was still standing, watching, her face a beautiful but indifferent mask.

“Leave me!” I flung one arm toward the sea. “I do not wish to know you.” But the eyes I turned on her were as curious as her own.

Her mouth quirked up a little at one corner, and then she answered. “You may … one day. I already know you.”

“Stalking is not knowing. Being Cruxim is not knowing.” I snorted. “You know nothing of me. You think you know me from seeing me once, in a circus—on a cross and in a cage. Why did you not come to poke and wonder at me then, like all of the others?”

“Very well.” The grace of her stride, as she turned away, highlighted the litheness of her body. Her hair swung like silver silk over her shoulders, catching the sparkle off the ocean.

My grief craved her departure, longed for loneliness, but the thought of having nothing and no one—not Sabine nor Joslyn, nor this mysterious female with eyes that shone like a mirror—terrified me.

Almost as much, it terrified me that she might know me.

She was the only one of my own kind I had ever seen, outside of my dead mother, my infant sister and her sullen father, and Monsieur LeRay: the mortician I had watched from afar in Paris. When I had approached him, brimming with questions, LeRay had simply hissed at me, drawing his black cloak in tighter around his wings, and vanished. I had followed, but he was quick and he did not wish to be found. We were solitary creatures, so it seemed. But if so, why was she here?

I shook my head again. Was everything I thought I knew about Cruxim a lie? Could she tell me why, after the exultation of the boy’s blood, I was still here, alive, on a beach with human blood still coursing through me.

“How?” I raised myself to a crouch and shouted, “How do you know me?”

“Come,” she answered, turning back to me and holding out one hand again, “and find out.”

Standing, I shook the sand and shellgrit from my clothes and swiped at my face again with one salt-specked hand. My hair was crusted stiff, my body sore from the long night on the beach. My senses felt taut, crackling with exhaustion and loss. I wondered what I was doing. Then again, what did I have to lose?

They were both gone: Joslyn and Sabine. The two women I had loved, each differently, each equally, or at least I thought, were lost to me. Beltran had left me nothing to live for but revenge. A sharp, hopeless pain shot through me, far worse than the hunched cramp of my shoulders.

I took a tentative, lurching step toward the Cruxim on the beach.

She extended her hand further and assessed me with a squint.

“You have been following me.” I accused. “Haven’t you?”

“Yes.” The answer came too simply, dismissing my accusation.

“Yet you did nothing!” Salt and sand and sea foam spat out with each syllable. “You could have helped, could have stopped them. You could have helped me save Joslyn … but you did nothing.”

“For what?” It was just a question matter-of-factly stated, but its coldness formed a fist.

“For love.” I set my jaw, biting back angrier words.

Your love.” She blinked and then turned her eyes away from me. “She was a Vampire.”

“She was a human being ... once.”

“Yes. But you never were. And nor was I.” Her gleaming gray eyes held a question. “Why does it matter to you so that she was human?”

“She had her soul.” I sank to my knees again and retched into the sand. “In a soulless world.”

Silence passed between us, but thoughts swarmed thick in my head. Since my sister’s birth, all those centuries ago, never had I met another Cruxim. So why now?

I shook my head to clear the hammering of a headache. “You did nothing to help me—to help them, either of them.”

“I am helping you now.”

“You call this helping? You did nothing!” My fist, pounding the sand again, sent missiles of tiny shells into the air.

“She was a Vampire,” she said, softer this time. “They will all die, Amedeo … eventually. It is our mission. Have you forgotten that?” She put her hand on my shoulder and I looked up at her.

Her face was still free of emotion, her brow unwrinkled, her pillowed lips full. Neither frown nor smile tugged at her noble features. She was blank, as unmoved as the ocean had been at dawn when its stillness had mocked the tumult of my anguish.

I stumbled to my feet. “You think I can forget? You think I can just put aside what he did to them? Or what I mean to do to him?” The bite of my nails puncturing my clenched palms was nothing compared to the pain of knowing Beltran still lived. I turned away from her again, sick with the knowledge that perhaps no one could have helped them. The only help for Joslyn and Sabine would have been never to have met me. I was the cause of their damnation! Part of me wished neither had ever known me—not the blue-eyed child who had believed me her guardian angel until the Vampire Beltran had his way with her, nor the brave, golden-haired Sphinx who had loved me yet thought herself my pet. Yet the thought of never having known either of them drew bile up from my stomach.

What point is there in following this Cruxim, or even in going on? I thought.

Nausea overtook me again and I fell to the sand, curled like a shell, my back to her.

“There is Sabine.”

It seemed she had read my thoughts.

I felt the growl forming before it even left my lips. “What do you care?”

“She fought valiantly. I had hoped she might free herself from Beltran.”

“You hoped.” I raised myself again and glowered at her.


I passed my hands over my face, swiping away tears. “And Joslyn? What did you hope for her?”

“Must we argue again?” She sighed, as if she had hoped my love for the woman who had given her life for mine might have already faded. Then she kneeled beside me. Her pale skin gleamed argent up close.

“I mean you no harm, Amedeo. Nor her. I did not save Joslyn or Sabine, because…” Her eyes reflected the luminescent strip of the horizon. “Because…”

“I know.” My thoughts were as dull as my words. “They were not Cruxim.”

“No, they were not. But … there are many things you do not know. Many things I might teach you about yourself if you come with me.”

My eyes were dry, but my heart still cried for them both. “Now? Now, you wish to teach me these things. Why not before? Why not then, when such knowledge might have helped me save them.”

“It was not the time. It was never the time before.”

“Before!” I let out a bitter laugh that my throat was too hoarse to give life to. “How long have you known of me?”

Her silence was heavy with secrets I knew she would not divulge.

“Since I was a child.” She stood and put a hand down to help me up. “But I did not know where you were, not until the rumors began. All of France had heard: a winged being in a circus and with him a Sphinx, half female, half lion. All of Europe questioned what monsters Gandler was parading, and whether they were real. Did you think such things would not reach the ears of another Cruxim, or of Vampires?”

I nodded, considering it, my eyes on her still outstretched hand.

“Come with me. It is not safe here.” She glanced around. “It is too open, too exposed for us to hide ourselves and our wings from humans easily. And look at you.” For the first time, I saw warmth in her silvery eyes. “You are exhausted.”

What harm could there be in it? She was right: I was exhausted, weak, and stricken with grief. What harm could she do me, a Cruxim like myself? And if she could, would I care? If she possessed the honor of our kind, she might protect me until my strength returned. 

“Follow me,” she pleaded, “and we shall talk.”

“I have had enough of talk.” I shrugged off her hand. “All I need is vengeance.”

“Where did revenge get you? There will be time enough to make the undead pay for their sins. First, you must atone for your own, as all of our kind must.” She glided over the sand towards the water’s edge.

“Come.” Her gentle wing flaps became a flurry as she rose up over the water.

I felt sure I would be too weak to fly, but as I watched the air currents stroke her feathers, I knew all I wanted to do was flee far from here, feeling the weightlessness, the lightness, the clarity of nothing but air.

I rose into the air after her, catching the wind’s breath in my wings. Then, with a last look at the mercurial gleam of the only Cruxim I had met in hundreds of years, I spun and flew as fast as I could away from her.

I would find Sabine, even if it meant kissing every stone on earth.

 * * *

Hours passed in a whirr of tired wingbeats. I traveled far and fast, a willing Icarus shooting up towards a reluctant sun, craving the heat that might plummet me down into the ocean, where Sabine waited for me. She had not deserved the fate that found her. A Sphinx, with the head and breast of a woman and the lithe, winged body of a great cat, her only vulnerability had been the anchorstone her spirit returned to by day. With the stone safe, like me, she was otherwise immortal. We had found allies in each other, companions, and kindred souls, and lovers, too, had not the impracticality of our love stalled my passion. She had waited for me, searched for me, the forty years I had spent imprisoned in a tower in France, considered some kind of superhuman devil by the townsfolk. Unable to find the anchorstone, Beltran had cast her body, encased in molten metal, deep into the sea, but still she would be waiting for me.

“She is loyal, just like a lioness.” The thought came too easily into my head, and it was some seconds before I realized it was not mine.

“Why are you following me?” I snapped, thinking I should have asked instead how it was that she had come to know my thoughts. Perhaps it was a thing between Cruxim, although I could not read hers when I tried.

“Yes, it is.” She answered my second question aloud as soon as I had thought it. “You cannot read my thoughts if I do not wish you to. At least not yet.” 

“And yet you would read mine uninvited.”

I felt the wind of her wings as she shrugged in mid-flight. “I imagined you might be less prickly, Amedeo.” Her expression hardly changed; I could not tell if she was hurt or angry.

“I told you—you did not know me.”

They were words to wound, but the serene face betrayed no hint of a frown.

We flew on in silence for some time. Then a voice, softer than the wind in the Cypress pines, entered my head again. “She is not dead, remember, only sleeping.”

“Sleeping!” I swooped away from her, Beltran’s mocking words ringing in my head: Think of her as just asleep, Cruxim. A very long, very cold sleep. Such a shame cats just hate water.

“A sorry euphemism. Sleeping on the ocean’s floor,” I spat.

“But living. Still living. Just like you.” With a great flap, she shot forward to face me, and this time her expression was of pity. “Do you know where her anchorstone is? Is it safe?”

I tried to keep any surprise from my features. She knows of anchorstones. What else does she know? I wondered.

“Would I be here if I did?” I answered her, above the wind. “But I will find it, and I will wake her. Alone. What can you offer me now that I have lost everything while you stood by and watched it slip away?”

“That, I can’t tell you. Perhaps I can offer you only fate, if that is what draws me to you.”

“Fate!” I spat. “What is fate?” Get out of my head, I screamed internally.

She smiled. “You can hear me now, as I hear you. You are a fast learner. Perhaps you should have more faith in fate.”

It was not the time for novelties. The pounding of my wings and muscles had become a dull throb that matched the numbness of my heart and mind. “Enough of fate, and of flight. I need rest. Leave me!”

She fell back a little. “Don’t you want to know who I am?”

“Leave me!” I screamed. “Leave me! I care nothing for fate, or for you, or for life.”

“Skylar,” she said softly.

I thought I detected a brief smile before the sharpness of the wind tugged it away.

“My name is Skylar Emmanuel.”

She spun in the air like a sparrow, rising on a draft before plummeting headfirst down towards the earth, her wings creating a magnificent silver V as she dove.