Philosophy is defined as a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought. Well, my theory is if I can add at least 10 new books to my Wishlist and move at least 5 older Wishlist selections to my TBR list every month, then life is a ice cream sundae. And if I can find those 10 books from at least 5 new blogs each month then that's the cherry on top.


Well, I've made it almost 5 years now, so for better or worse, I continue on. I tend to blog in spurts as the urge to be creative erupts. As I don't have an artistic bone in my body, you will see very few changes in the layouts. Hey, I'm a reader not an artist like so many of the awesome bloggers I follow. I know you don't always have the time but if you stopped and looked, take a half a minute and say your piece. Recommend a book that you have enjoyed or hated for that matter. Thank you to all who visit.
Oh, and I moved my Google Friend Connect info and share this buttons to the top, as without our friends, who are we?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Drowning Girls by Paula Treick DeBoard-4*

Title: The Drowning Girls
Author: Paula Treick DeBoard
Genre: Suspense
Rating: * * * *
Publishers: Mira
(Apr 26, 2016)
Paperback: 400  pages
ISBN: 978-0778318378

FTC Disclosure: ARC provided by the 
publisher via Netgalley

Critically acclaimed author of The Mourning Hours and The Fragile World, Paula Treick DeBoard returns with a tale of dark secrets, shocking lies and a dangerous obsession that will change one neighborhood forever 
Liz McGinnis never imagined herself living in a luxurious gated community like The Palms. Ever since she and her family moved in, she's felt like an outsider amongst the Stepford-like wives and their obnoxiously spoiled children. Still, she's determined to make it work—if not for herself, then for her husband, Phil, who landed them this lavish home in the first place, and for her daughter, Danielle, who's about to enter high school. 
Yet underneath the glossy veneer of The Palms, life is far from idyllic. In a place where reputation is everything, Liz soon discovers that even the friendliest residents can't be trusted. So when the gorgeous girl next door befriends Danielle, Liz can't help but find sophisticated Kelsey's interest in her shy and slightly nerdy daughter a bit suspicious. 
But while Kelsey quickly becomes a fixture in the McGinnis home, Liz's relationships with both Danielle and Phil grow strained. Now even her own family seems to be hiding things, and it's not long before their dream of living the high life quickly spirals out of control…

A great suspense that I enjoyed that makes me glad that I live in a middle class world and not in the uber rich communities of the rich and crazy. I can't imagine working or living amongst people that seem so entitled, kids and adults who have never learned the meaning of the word NO! Got to admit that the ending totally surprised the heck out of me. Never saw it coming for a minute and can't say anything else without spoiling it. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Blog Barrage/Giveaway & Review--Possessed by a Dark Warrior by Felicity Heaton-5*

Title: Possessed by a Dark Warrior
Series: Eternal Mates #9
Author: Felicity Heaton 
Paranormal Romance 
Rating: * * * * *
Apr 9, 2016
Print Length: 440 pages
ISBN: 978-1909306684
FTC Disclosure: ARC provided by the author

A powerful warrior and commander of the dark elf legions, Bleu is a loyal and devoted male, and one who has never failed in anything—except one thing. Love. When an elusive female dragon shifter surfaces in Hell again, giving him a mission to hurl himself into, he gladly returns to his hunt for her and the deadly blade she stole from his prince seven centuries ago, but as he closes in on his prey, fate reveals she is far more than his enemy.

Having escaped from the black market arena and her life as a slave, Taryn sets her sights back on the task she began seven hundred years ago when her brother stole a precious sword, but in the three centuries she’s been a captive, everything has changed. Corrupted by a craving for power, her brother has become dangerously obsessed with finding the blade and using it to claim the ultimate treasure—the position of King of Hell.

Faced with having to end her beloved twin brother to stop him from bringing all of Hell to its knees before him, will Taryn be strong enough to use the very blade he seeks against him? And when Bleu finally catches his elusive prey, will he listen to his head as it demands he complete his mission or his heart as it demands he claim his eternal mate?

Felicity has done it again! Another fabulous sexy story about my fav paranormal-Dragons! The only con I had was that the wait has been so looong for this story. I loved the visit of other characters from earlier stories, one of the main reasons I adore this ongoing series.

We get the action, the sexy romance, and the dragons! Need I say more!

Enter the Possessed by a Dark Warrior international giveaway (ends April 24th) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate by using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post or at her website, where you can also download a 4 chapter sample of the novel:

Here’s more about Possessed by a Dark Warrior, including an excerpt from this paranormal romance novel.
Possessed by a Dark Warrior is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer at:


Taryn skirted the border of the village, remaining as far from it as possible as she hurried across the hilly terrain. She kept her head down, a tattered swath of black cloth she had picked up gods only knew where or how long ago covering it to conceal her hair and her face. Her heart drummed a sickening rhythm behind her breast and the thick roll of cloth she carried on her back, the leather strap attached to it tight across her left shoulder and breasts and around her right ribs, felt heavy today.

Heavier than yesterday, which had felt heavier than the day before.

The closer she drew to the edge of the dragon realm, the heavier her burden grew.

She tensed as a dragon flew overhead, going still and hoping her black leather trousers, boots and top, and the cloth over her head would camouflage her against the obsidian land. The drumming of her heart grew fiercer and she struggled to breathe as she waited for the dragon to move on, reaching the edge of her senses.

Her gaze flicked in that direction and she watched the great green beast land in the village in the distance.

Gods, she needed to fly.

That need surged through her and she was close to shifting when she caught herself, and the cold reminder of what would happen if she took on her dragon form slithered through her.

The dragons would see her, her cover would be blown and she would probably come under attack from her own kin.

Not only that, but this close to the edge of the realm, near the mountains that bordered it, there was a chance that he would sense her from where he waited beyond the cragged peaks. On the other side of the treacherous black range was a valley, a realm that few dragons dared to cross into and that many whispered dark and gruesome tales about.

The Valley of the Dark Edge.

Her final destination.

He waited there.

For her.

For her cargo.

Taryn trudged onwards, her feet sore from walking and heart aching with a need to shift and take flight, to shed the tethers of her mortal form and fly free.

She needed to fly.

Instead of surrendering to that powerful urge, she wrapped her arms around herself and marched forwards, her eyes locked on the peaks that stood between her and her destination.

Between her and her twin brother.

Tenak was waiting for her.

She had kept him waiting long enough.

The road was little more than a winding narrow path that soon gave way to only rock as it led her upwards, into the foothills of the mountains. She moved her focus to her feet, picking a route over the treacherous and steep terrain. Rocks shifted underfoot, bouncing down the side of the mountain, tumbling into the valley. She lost track of time as she walked, weary and sore, the ache to fly growing stronger as her instincts roared that she could reach the other side of the mountain range in no more than a few beats of her wings if she shifted.

The temptation was great, but the instinct that warned Tenak would sense her if she shifted kept it tempered, stopping her from giving in to it. She removed the cloth from her head when the nearest village was nothing more than a speck on the horizon and the dragons remained at a distance.

Afraid of the mountains because of the male who lurked beyond them.

She blew out her breath and combed her fingers through her shoulder-length hair, untangling it from the violet roots to its white tips. They were dirty, dull with grit from the journey, and she couldn’t remember the last time she had bathed. The fantasy of a warm bath kept her mind occupied as she soldiered onwards, clambering over boulders and edging around rocks that blocked her path.

She pressed her back to one as she shuffled around it, her eyes on her feet on the narrow ledge and the several hundred foot drop below. If she fell, she would have to shift to save herself. Her pulse pounded at the thought and she breathed deep to steady it, reassuring herself that she wouldn’t fall. She reached the edge of the ledge and safety, and scrambled up over another rock.

As she hit the top of it, she paused, the black rock biting into her knees through her trousers and her palms, and looked back in the direction she had come. The whole world stretched before her, endless peaks that were home to her kin, harbouring almost a hundred clan villages within their valleys.


It had been her home once, centuries ago, before her brother had stolen it from her.

She turned her head in the other direction, seeing down into the valley beyond the mountain she climbed and to the ones that surrounded it, larger and more formidable than any range in the dragon realm. A red haze clung to the bases of many of the mountains in the distance, as if flames filled their valleys, and fiery veins streaked the ones off to her right, ominous cracks and booms echoing from them.

The Devil’s domain.

Taryn lowered her violet-to-white gaze to the valley below her. Nestled between the Devil’s domain and the dragon realm, it belonged to neither, a no man’s land that had once been the realm of the Hell beasts and other fell creatures.

It was now Tenak’s kingdom.

He had claimed it through blood and fire, slaughtering all who dared to stray into it.

Her blood chilled and she shifted onto her backside, shimmied to the edge of the rock and carefully started down the other side of the mountain, ignoring the instinct that whispered at her to turn back.

She couldn’t.

She knew what she was doing might be the end of her, but she would accept that, as long as it was the end of her brother too. She had neglected her duty for too long and she had to finish it now, before Tenak turned his wicked gaze back on the dragon realm and the other kingdoms of Hell, bent on bringing them all to their knees so he might rule them.

The rock was sharp underfoot, slicing into the soles of her boots, as if the valley had teeth and wanted to take a bite out of her.

She lifted her right foot to rub it and give it some relief, and her left one slipped. She bit down on her tongue to stop herself from shrieking as she skidded down the side of the mountain, afraid that she would draw attention to herself. The scent of blood surrounded her, the hot stab of each rock burning in her palms as she groped for a hold, and her teeth cut into her tongue when her fingers caught on a crack in the mountain and she jerked to a halt.

She lay there for some time, breathing hard, struggling to steady her heart. Her entire body shook, teeth clattering as adrenaline and fear refused to ebb away, combining to strip her strength.

When she finally calmed, she pulled herself up onto her knees, found a small ledge where she could rest and scanned the mountainside. She had pushed herself too hard, had walked too far and had almost paid the price. If she had shifted to save herself, or cried out, there was every chance her brother would have sensed her presence and come to her, and she wasn’t ready to face him yet.

The quiet voice at the back of her mind asked whether she would ever be ready?

She had been putting this off for two lunar cycles already, coming up with excuses to avoid making the journey to the valley and facing her brother.

Her gaze stopped on a ledge with a dark recess just a hundred feet below to her left. She would rest there, gather her strength, and then she would continue her journey. She wouldn’t turn back. She wouldn’t give up. She would keep marching forwards and stick to her plan.

Taryn edged down the steep slope on her backside, slipping at times, slowly making her way towards the ledge. She breathed a sigh as she crawled onto it and saw that the recess was larger than she had expected, forming a small cave. The rock wrapped around her as she entered it, comforting her as it spoke to her dragon instincts. Many of her kind lived in caves, preferring their ancient habitat to the newer ideal of living in villages.

She was old enough to appreciate a cave, to feel soothed by cool rock surrounding her.

She stopped near the entrance and looked down into the valley, scanning it for any signs of life. Nothing. She scoured the mountains that surrounded the valley and frowned at the far end of it, squinting as she tried to make out the range there. She swore there was a structure built against the mountain, rising out of it. A castle?

Was her brother there?

She moved to the wall of the cave, sat on her backside with her legs crossed, and unfastened the leather strap that cut diagonally across her chest. She removed the thick roll of black cloth from her back and settled it beside her, placing her hand on it and feeling the power vibrating through her palm.

Her cargo resembled nothing more than a rolled blanket for sleeping on, fastened with two leather straps at either end, but it was something precious.

Extremely precious to Tenak.

To others too.

She lifted her hand and touched the thick leather straps that circled her wrists too, feeling the power in those, the same as was in the straps on her cargo. She rubbed her thumb over the Hell beast hide, feeling the symbols carved into the dark brown leather.


It concealed the contents of the blanket, and her presence too.

If she removed either the straps on the blanket or the cuffs around her wrist, her brother would sense their presence and come, wild with a need to reclaim what he viewed as his property—both the sword and her.

Taryn closed her eyes and leaned back into the wall, seeking the peace of sleep. It refused to come, her mind throwing images of her journey at her, of battling Hell beasts and avoiding her dragon kin. She had wanted to speak with them so many times, but fear they would blame her for her brother’s crimes had forced her to keep her distance.

Perhaps she should have remained with Loke, a dragon male who was like another brother to her, but she had feared she would bring their kin’s wrath down upon him too and she loved him too dearly to place him in such danger.


She shuddered, a sudden cold sweeping through her when she thought about the danger she might be in. Was in. Loke had witnessed a vision of her, a gift born of his more powerful dragon blood, and it had been on her mind since she had collected the sword from him and had left his cave.

She couldn’t help feeling that she was marching towards her death, just as he had seen.

It was part of the reason she had taken so long to finally set out on her journey to face her brother.

She was afraid.

Bone-deep afraid.

She had been through hell the past three centuries, passed between owners as if she was nothing more than a beast, a piece of meat they could attempt to break and drag down into a depraved world where she would think only of pleasing her master. Even though she had endured a life that would have caused many to take their own, she didn’t want to die.

Taryn lowered her gaze to the wrapped sword beside her and rested her hand on the blanket that covered it again, feeling its power resonate through her palm. The sword was all her brother thought about. It was all he desired.

She was risking her life by bringing it here, and by returning to Tenak. If he didn’t kill her on the spot when she revealed herself to him, he might only be luring her into a trap to kill later.

And what if she failed?

What if he took the sword and she couldn’t stop him?

She would have delivered the whole of Hell into his hands.

Possessed by a Dark Warrior is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.

Find all the links, a fantastic 4 chapter downloadable sample of the book, and also enter the giveaway and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website:

Books in the Eternal Mates paranormal romance series:

Author Bio
Felicity Heaton

Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:


Follow The Tour

April 09
Book Loving Pixies
Daria's Views on Books
Warrior Woman Winmill
I Smell Sheep
Calling All Bookaholics
Mythical Books

April 10
Book Reviews by Lynn
Eskimo Princess Book Reviews
Ashleyz Wonderland
Literary Treasure Chest

April 11
Sizzling Hot Books
Cover Reveals
Nellie C. Lind
Booked & Loaded

April 12
Fantasy is More Fun
Taking It One Book at a Time

April 13
The Jeep Diva
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Reading Between the Wines Book Club
The Pen and Muse Book Reviews

April 14
Ever After Book Reviews
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Rabid Reads

April 15
Angel's Guilty Pleasures
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
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The Romance Cover

April 16
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April 17
Lisa's Loves(Books of Course)
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April 18
KT Book Reviews
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April 19
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April 20
Valerie Twombly
T&L Book Reviews

April 21
Sportochick's Musings
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Erzabet's Enchantments
Book Lovers 4Ever

April 22
Totally Addicted to Reading
Diaries of 2 Thick Chicks
Smexy & Fabulous

April 23
Books That Hook
Fantatical Paranormal Romantical
Extreme Bookaholics

April 24
Making it Happen
Book Nook Nuts 
Ali - The Dragon Slayer

Friday, April 15, 2016

BLOG TOUR/GIVEAWAY & REVIEW--The Requiem Red by Brynn Chapman-4 *

The Requiem Red
by Brynn Chapman
Publisher: Month9Books
Release Date: April 5th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg


Patient Twenty-nine.

A monster roams the halls of Soothing Hills Asylum. Three girls dead. 29 is endowed with the curse…or gift of perception. She hears messages in music, sees lyrics in paintings. And the corn. A lifetime asylum resident, the orchestral corn music is the only constant in her life.

Mason, a new, kind orderly, sees 29 as a woman, not a lunatic. And as his belief in her grows, so does her self- confidence. That perhaps she might escape, might see the outside world. 

But the monster has other plans. The missing girls share one common thread...each was twenty-nine's cell mate. Will she be next?

This was as much a mystery/suspense as it was a fantasy. It keeps you guessing as to whether 29 is actually crazy or not. I figured out about 90% of it before it was explained but still enjoyed it. Having read another book about the ill treatment of women in asylums during the 1800-1900's, it is horrifying that humans could treat other humans so sadistically. My biggest dislike of this book was it was told from several different POVs and I got lost as I tried to figure out WHO was telling the story. 

Cover Reveal + Giveaway of INTO THE LIGHT by Caroline T. Patti

Today Caroline T. Patti and Month9Books

are revealing the cover and first chapter for INTO THE LIGHT, book 2 in the
INTO THE DARK Series! Which releases July 26, 2016! Check out the gorgeous
cover and enter to be one of the first readers to receive an eGalley!!

Here’s a message from the author.

Into the Light is the continuation of Mercy's

journey with Nathaniel's backstory mixed in. Readers will learn the history of

breaching while Mercy engages in the fight of her life. What draws me to the cover
are the colors. The palette is appealing and I love how it all swirls together
because it perfectly captures how Mercy's two lives, one as a human and one as
a Breacher, are intertwined.

On to the reveal! 
Author: Caroline T. Patti
Pub. Date: July 26, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback & eBook
Find it: Amazon| B&N| TBD|Goodreads

Mercy’s family is back together and the
threat of danger appears to have passed. But any relief she feels is short
lived as she is ripped from her body and thrown in jail. Gage and Nathaniel’s
plans to break Mercy out won’t exactly be easy. Stuffed full of a chemical
binding agent, Mercy is trapped inside the body of a convict without the
ability to breach and set herself free. Unfortunately for Mercy, being trapped
in jail becomes the least of her problems when she meets her evil twin,

Caroline T Patti is the author of The
World Spins Madly On and Too Late To Apologize. When she’s not writing, she’s a
school librarian, mother of two, wife, avid reader and Green Bay Packer fan.
You can chat with her on Twitter: @carepatti or find her on Facebook.

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive an eBook of INTO
THE LIGHT & an eGalley of INTO THE DARK. International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 11, 2016

Cover Reveal: Spindle by Shonna Slayton presented by Entangled Teen with Giveaway


YA Historical Fantasy?  Retelling of Sleeping Beauty?
Welcome to the Cover Reveal for the
Spindle by Shonna Slayton
presented by Entanged Teen!
Fans of fairy-tale retellings, this one's for you!

SPINDLE 1600x2400

From the author of Cinderella’s Dress, a brand-new standalone novel that retells the story of Sleeping Beauty, this time set during the Industrial Revolution.
Sleeping Beauty's happily ever after isn't the end of the story...
The evil fairy's magic is still trapped in her unfulfilled curse, and the only way to release it is to see a girl to the death. But the spindle has been hidden away for centuries, until a peddler offers it to an unsuspecting mill girl during the Industrial Revolution.
Briar Jenny had planned to escape her life of poverty and hardship with Wheeler, an ambitious young man who plans to leave the valley and start his own business. Trouble is, he no longer cares for her, fancying the new girl who just moved into town to work at the cotton mill. When Briar tries to use the spindle to win back Wheeler's heart and secure her future, she has no idea the power she has unleashed.
After pricking her finger on the magic spindle, she falls under a sleeping sickness that slowly claims her body bit by bit. It will take all her strength, to not only survive, but also break the curse and defeat the evil fairy for good.
add to goodreads
Book Title: Spindle
Author: Shonna Slayton
Release Date: Oct. 4, 2016
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Available for Pre-Order:
Amazon | B&N | iBooksKobo | 

Shonna Slayton

SHONNA SLAYTON writes historical fairy tales for Entangled TEEN. Cinderella's Dress and Cinderella's Shoes, set in the 1940s are out now. Spindle, a Sleeping Beauty inspired tale set in the late 1800s, will be out October 2016.
She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.
The best way to keep in touch is by signing up for her monthly newsletter. She sends out behind-the-scenes info you can't read anywhere else. Sign up is on the sidebar of her website Shonna Slayton.

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Review- Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts- 3 1/2 *

Title: Stars of Fortune
Series: Guardians Trilogy
Author: Nora Roberts
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Rating: * * * 1/2
Publishers: Berkley
(Nov 3, 2015)
Paperback: 336  pages
ISBN: 978-0425280102
FTC Disclosure: Bought from Amazon

First in the all-new Guardians Trilogy
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a trilogy about three couples who join together to create their own family and solve an ancient mystery through the powers of timeless love…
Sasha Riggs is a reclusive artist, haunted by dreams and nightmares that she turns into extraordinary paintings. Her visions lead her to the Greek island of Corfu, where five others have been lured to seek the legendary fire star, part of an ancient prophecy. Sasha recognizes them, because she has drawn them: a magician, an archaeologist, a wanderer, a fighter, a loner. All on a quest. All with secrets.
Sasha is the one who holds them together—the seer. And in the magician, Bran Killian, she sees a man of immense power and compassion. As Sasha struggles with her rare ability, Bran is there to support her, challenge her, and believe in her.
When a dark threat looms, the six must use their combined powers—including trust, unity, and love—to find the fire star and keep the world on course.

The best thing I can say about this book was that it was predictable. The worst thing I can say about this book is that it was predictable. Where's the twists and turns that NR is so famous for? I miss the old NR where she could keep me guessing till the end. Either she's slipping badly or I've read too many of her books. Thankfully her "In Death" series still keeps me entertained as I'd hate to think I'd read the last of her books. I've never been as fond of books that are Fantasy. I'm more of a paranormal, mystery, suspense lover so that could be some of my disappointment. I do however, have the second book in this series as an ARC to review (which was the main reason I read book one) so we'll see how it goes.

Guardians Trilogy 
1. Stars of Fortune (2015)
2. Bay of Sighs (June 14, 2016)
3. Island of Glass (Dec 16, 2016)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Cover Reveal + Giveaway of HAIR IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES by Andrew Buckley

Today Andrew Buckley and Month9Books are
revealing the cover and first chapter for HAIR IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES! Which
releases June 7, 2016! Check out the awesome cover and enter to be one of the
first readers to receive an eGalley!!

Author: Andrew Buckley
Pub. Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback & eBook

Here’s a message from the author.

Hair in All the Wrong Places is the result of a
misspent childhood watching late night movies about werewolves and other
creatures that go bump in the night. The story follows Colin Strauss; an
outsider in the small town of Elkwood who, in addition to dealing with the
struggles of puberty, also finds himself being turned into a werewolf. As if
dealing with homework, bullies, and an unrealistic crush on the hot goth girl
wasn’t enough! I love this cover because it perfectly captures Colin’s
character and his discovery that he might indeed be growing hair in all the
wrong places.

What has he done? 
What's happening to

And what on Earth is that smell?
For Colin Strauss, puberty stinks.

Blackouts, hallucinations, and lapses in memory are the perils of growing up
Worse than that, Colin worries he might

have had something to do with the recent attacks on townspeople. He may have
eaten a person. It doesn’t matter that it’s someone he doesn’t particularly
like. What kind of boy goes around eating people?
Foolishly, all Colin can think about is

how Becca Emerson finally kissed him for the first time. Yep. Hormones are
afoot. Or at hand. Yikes.
But girls will have to wait. Collin

better get himself under control before someone else ends up hurt . . . or


First, a word of warning …

I don’t want to get too scientific here, but there are a few things you should know before you sink your teeth into this book. I’ve tried to keep it simple enough that anyone twelve and up could read and understand it. Werewolves were everywhere in Europe in the late sixteenth century. Go to a party, there would be a werewolf. Go to work, you’re probably working next to a werewolf. Bump into a stranger on the street—werewolf!

They were slowly killed off in Europe as the true nature of a werewolf is a terribly hard thing to control. Eventually you get that urge to eat someone. And let’s face it; eating people is just rude.

Now here’s the scary bit, the bit that concerns you. While werewolves ceased to be a part of the world, they didn’t necessarily leave it. On the contrary, humans evolved to repress the werewolf gene out of the fear they would be decapitated, shot with a silver bullet, burned alive, or a terrifying combination of all three. What this means is that every single human being is still carrying the werewolf gene. You, right now, sitting right where you are, has the werewolf gene swimming around somewhere inside of you.

Genes are strings of DNA. DNA makes you who you are. You have that werewolf gene inside you. It’s just not active. Not yet.

To fully activate that werewolf gene, you’d have to be bitten by another werewolf, someone who turns into a giant wolf-like creature when there’s a full moon. So fear not! As long as no one has bitten you recently, you’re likely okay.

So why this warning? You’re probably thinking there’s no chance I’ll turn into a werewolf because I haven’t been bitten. That is absolutely true. However, while it’s impossible to turn into a werewolf unless you’re bitten, it is very possible to awaken that sleeping werewolf gene by learning too much about them. This book will teach you a lot about those hairy creatures of the night, so I want you to be extra careful while reading it.

If you notice any of the following things, stop reading immediately:

- You find yourself looking at other humans and thinking lunch.

- You start to notice smells you never smelled before.

- You growl at people instead of talking to them.

- Your nails begin to grow at an alarming rate.

- You scratch your head in public using your leg.

- You greet your friends at the bus stop by sniffing their butts.

- You begin to grow hair in all the wrong places.

You’ve been warned.

Chapter One

Colin looked directly into the reflection staring back at him from the bathroom mirror and with absolute conviction said, “You are a loser.”

His reflection agreed.

Much as he had done almost every day for the last year, Colin evaluated his body. He was tall for a thirteen year old, with lanky limbs and broad pointy shoulders that bordered on skeletal. His face looked to be at odds with the rest of his body with its gaunt features and perpetually dark circles beneath the eyes. Pale skin stood in stark opposition to his unruly dark and stringy hair. Trying to sharpen his vision, he squinted before fumbling with his glasses.

His reflection didn’t look any better with them on.

After drying off, Colin got dressed and headed downstairs.

“Why are you dressed like that?” snapped his grandmother from her usual place in front of the TV. She hadn’t even looked at him yet, not that it mattered. Colin didn’t know what was more disturbing: that despite his grandmother being completely blind, she still watched TV religiously and commented on his clothes every day, or that he still felt the need to defend his choice of clothing to her. He was wearing jeans and an oversized hoody.

“It’s school today, Grandmother. I’m dressed for school,” he murmured.

“I know that!” she spat.

Nothing wrong with her hearing, though.

“Do you need anything?” he asked.

His grandmother sipped tea from a china cup. “I can take care of myself, you little ingrate. Get to school. You’re going to be late. If you don’t get an education, I’ll never get your lazy butt out of here.”

There was no point in arguing.

“And comb your hair before leaving the house. I don’t want people thinking I’m raising a hobo!” she said.

As Colin walked past the living room, his grandmother turned around in her chair and stared in his general direction with gray eyes damaged irreparably by cataracts. Blind eyes followed him as he walked to the door as quickly as he was able. It wasn’t until he was outside with the door firmly closed behind him that he allowed himself to breathe again.

Colin’s grandmother had always terrified him. He couldn’t remember a time when she wasn’t blind or cruel. Colin’s parents lived in Seattle and over the past thirteen years had managed to have as little to do with their only son as humanly possible. They were young when his mother had discovered she was pregnant, and the following nine months had put a severe dent in their career plans. They were both up-and-coming lawyers at large firms, and as soon as they could be rid of Colin, they’d passed him off from one distant relative to another. Beyond that, they had no parental aspirations whatsoever.

Just over a year ago, after a short stint living with an uncle and aunt in Ohio, Colin had been sent to the small town of Elkwood to live with his only living close relative—his grandmother, Beatrice Strauss.

She hadn’t welcomed him, there were no hugs, no loving relationship, just a bitter old woman who spent most of her days parked in front of the TV and commenting on what a disappointment Colin was. He’d tried to help her, but she never wanted it. Despite being blind, she was more than able to get around and take care of herself. The only time she left the house was to attend the monthly town hall meetings to which he was never invited.

Colin was twenty feet from the bus stop when the school bus flew by. The mocking grins of students plastered the bus’s back window as it disappeared over the hill. Thankfully, the school was centrally located, which meant he’d be only slightly late.

On his way to school, Colin passed Mrs. Flipple, a kind old lady who walked her tiny, yappy dog, Jinx, each morning, rain or shine. As per usual, Jinx went straight for Colin, yapping in that high-pitched bark that only small, irritating dogs can make. Colin nodded politely to the old lady and held on to a secret hatred for that little dog.

The town was always overcast, and it rained almost every day of the year, which suited Colin’s depressed personality. He was thankful he didn’t live in a warmer climate as he’d have a much harder time being pale and awkward.

He’d survived the seventh grade at Elkwood School with above-average grades and a below-average number of friends. He was still considered a stranger here. His lack of personality, athleticism, and sense of humor didn’t help in the slightest. He wasn’t handsome enough to be popular or ugly enough to be ignored. He was just weird enough that students could be heard wondering aloud about him as he walked by. Now in the second week of his eighth grade year, Colin had one sort of friend, one unrealistic crush, and was the constant focus of several bullies who were determined to make his life miserable.


He reached Elkwood School just as the second bell rang to indicate the start of classes. On average, each grade at the school contained only twenty to thirty students, and because of a limited number of teachers, some classes taught more than one grade or subject.

As Colin ran up the steps to the main entrance, a dark, looming shape confronted him. He looked up into the face of Principal Hebert.

“You’re late again, Mr. Strauss.” His voice sounded like rumbling thunder.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Hebert. I missed the bus.”

“While I admire your use of a classical excuse, I’d prefer if you’d made an attempt at originality. Had you been more creative, I would not feel the need to place you in detention.”

“I’m really sor—”

“But as you’re still trying to apologize rather than give me something interesting to work with, I’ll be seeing you after school.”

Colin studied his feet carefully. “Yes, sir.”

“Run along.” Mr. Hebert gestured, pushing his hand ahead of him in a forward motion.

Colin made his way into the building and chanced a glance back to see Principal Hebert slowly shaking his head. Hebert was a former marine and rumored war hero who had retired to Elkwood almost ten years ago and although he had absolutely no qualifications had been appointed as the school principal. He was a massive hulk of a man with the sort of physique that suggested he could bend large metal things with his bare hands. Principal Hebert was a firm believer in detention and hard work and often liked to combine the two. Most detentions involved cleaning something. Colin made a mental note that his day was not off to a rip-roaring start.

Can’t get any worse.

Colin’s day quickly got worse.

He moved down an empty corridor, his sneakers squeaking loudly on the clean laminate flooring before entering the last classroom on the right.

The entire class turned to look at him. Some groaned, others laughed, a few smirked. Mrs. Davenport was the substitute teacher again today for Biology, and she greeted him with a warm smile.

“Good morning, Colin. Please take a seat. We were just getting started.”

Colin shuffled over to his seat next to Jeremy Rodson, the only person in Elkwood Colin could refer to as a friend. Everyone liked Jeremy even though he had never really joined one particular group. He played on the basketball team, so the jocks liked him. He was smart and maintained decent grades, so he was accepted by the smart kids. He was a good actor, so the creative types liked him. Colin had met him on his first day, and Jeremy had introduced him to the school. With so many commitments, Jeremy wasn’t always around, so Colin was still forced to maintain his unhappy, loner lifestyle.

“No Mr. Winter again?” Colin asked quietly.

“Apparently he’s sick,” said Jeremy and grinned. “Why are you so late?”

“Missed the bus.”

“Detention again?”


“Pay attention, boys,” said Mrs. Davenport with a smile. She was flipping through a PowerPoint presentation about pheromones.

As the only substitute teacher in the small Elkwood School, Mrs. Davenport was never short of work. She was also the kindest teacher that Colin had ever encountered. Her presence had a calming effect on the students that Mr. Winter could never manage.

Mr. Winter was a jerk. It wasn’t just Colin’s opinion but more of a collective agreement throughout the entire school, including the teachers. An uptight individual in his late thirties, he had a particular hatred for students, teaching, other teachers, and did I mention, students? A few years ago, Mr. Winter’s entire family—wife, parents, grandparents—had been killed in a car accident, and rumor had it that the insurance settlement had been sizeable. The rumor quickly proved true when Mr. Winter started travelling the better part of the school year.

“Pheromones indicate the availability of a female for breeding.” Mrs. Davenport was met with a round of sniggers. “Well, it’s true,” she said calmly. “All animals excrete pheromones, and they can indicate a variety of things. Anything from sex to marking territory, and it can even act as a defense mechanism.”

“Colin, you should get yourself some pheromones,” said Gareth Dugan from behind a textbook. His cronies laughed in honor of their leader’s display of wit.

Gareth was a bully with scraggly hair and a troubled complexion. Having been raised on a farm on the outskirts of Elkwood, Gareth had always struck Colin as being quite large for his age. Gareth didn’t like Colin, but then, the feeling was mutual.

“Why would I need pheromones?” shot back Colin. “Your smell already overpowers everything in the room.”

That probably wasn’t smart.’

The entire room agreed with him by sitting in absolute silence.

“That’s enough,” said Mrs. Davenport and cheerfully continued to describe other chemical factors that trigger social responses.

Colin dared a glance back to see Gareth glaring at him like a lion eyeing an injured antelope.

Gareth would inevitably seek revenge. Colin didn’t need a chemical factor to trigger a social response. All he had to do was open his mouth.

He tried his best to concentrate on his textbook, opened at random, but his thoughts remained fixed on how to save himself a beating Jeremy, who remained happily oblivious and completely free of any such dealings, leaned over enthusiastically.

“Did you take a look at Tori yet? Classic Tori outfit.” He grinned and subtly tilted his head backward. Having developed earlier than any other girl in school, Tori was the blond bombshell of Elkwood. Okay, she was more like a small nuclear explosion. To aid the raging hormones of teenage boys, she made a habit of wearing low-cut shirts complimented by extremely short skirts.

Mrs. Davenport turned to the whiteboard, and Colin glanced back three rows on the right to see Tori conveniently perched on the edge of her stool wearing a short powder-blue skirt and knee-high boots.

Colin’s eyes followed the curves of her body upward until he realized she was looking directly at him with a wry smile. He blushed instantly, but the awkward moment was suddenly interrupted as a textbook smashed into the side of his head, sending his glasses skittering across the desk and onto the floor.

The class laughed as Colin slipped from his stool and crawled around in front of the desk, searching for his glasses.

Mrs. Davenport whirled around, spied Colin on the floor, and asked, “What was that? Colin, what are you doing?”

“Sorry, Mrs. Davenport. Just looking for my glasses.”

The bell rang before any further interrogation could be made, and the class headed for the exit. Colin still couldn’t find his glasses.

Ironic. If I was wearing my glasses, I’d have no trouble finding them.

The side of his head was throbbing from where the textbook had struck him. No doubt Gareth or one of his minions to thank for that.

Colin stood and came face-to-face with Becca Emerson, his heartbeat doubling in speed.

“I found your glasses,” she said, handing them over.

“Uh, thanks, B-Becca.”

The rest of the class had cleared out. He put on his glasses, and she came into focus. Around his height with fiery red hair and pale skin, Becca displayed a standoffishness that made most people avoid her. She wasn’t developed like Tori, but neither were most cover models. Becca was a little like Jeremy in that she didn’t associate with any one group, but where he belonged to everyone, she tended to avoid all people. Her dad was some sort of government worker, which translated to “spy” to most middle schoolers.

Becca always wore dark makeup and dark clothes making her look paler than she actually was. She maintained high grades, avoided large groups, and Colin had loved her since he first saw her. It was, of course, a secret love because there was no way he could ever work up the nerve to do anything about it.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

Oh, that voice.

“Uh, yeah. Just another head wound. Probably won’t be the last.” He attempted a half-hearted grin.

They awkwardly stared at each other as Colin’s mind raced for something smart to say.

What do I say? You’re gorgeous? Want to share a slushee? Marry me?

“Okay, well have a good day,” said Becca, and left.

Smooth, Strauss. Very smooth.

Not the most suave guy at the best of times, Colin managed to be even less so around Becca. How would he ever be able to ask her out, let alone have an entire conversation with her if he didn’t even manage to open his mouth?


Having made it to last period unscathed, Colin was busy staring at Becca as the minutes on the clock clicked by while he planned his escape. He would have to move fast, get out of the school, and off the grounds. He’d skip the bus altogether—

“Wonder what Hebert’s going to have you do for detention today? My money is on cleaning the gym floor,” said Jeremy.


“I’m so screwed.”

“It’s not that bad, just cleaning.”

“Not that,” groaned Colin. “Gareth got detention in third period.”

“Well at least you’ll have company,” said Jeremy unhelpfully.

The bell rang, and Colin’s heart skipped a beat.

“Just once Jer, just once I’d love to be as oblivious as you are.”

“You got detention today, Colin?” asked Becca.

Colin almost dropped his books. He hadn’t noticed her approach. “Uh, yeah. I was late today.”

“I know. I was there.”


“I was wondering if I could talk to you. Alone. I can walk you to your detention.”

“I’ve got to run anyway. Catch ya later.” And with that, Jeremy bounced off.

“Y-yeah, of course,” said Colin. This was new territory. Other than the occasional passing pleasantry, Colin had never had a full conversation with Becca. They walked down the south corridor toward the detention room at the back of the school.

“I know it hasn’t been easy for you,” said Becca without looking at him. “It must be strange to move here. Most people are born here these days.”

“Uh, yeah, I’ve heard that. No one ever moves to Elkwood.”

“The people here aren’t open-minded. They only know what they know. And who they know. This probably isn’t making any sense.”

“No. I mean, yeah. Well. No, no it’s not.”

Becca turned to him. Her eyes were a deep hazel color, he’d never noticed before. She put a hand on his shoulder, and suddenly his insides were on fire. It was only a moment, but Colin felt as if she was looking through him.

Colin was way beyond his comfort zone and didn’t know what to do. Was he supposed to say something? Did she want him to kiss her? Or was he misunderstanding her? When it came to reading girls, he was dyslexic. On the flipside, Becca Emerson was actually touching him! With her actual hand! But then she took her hand away and for a moment looked sad.

“I’m sorry, Colin. I thought maybe … but no.” She sighed. “I don’t know if you’ll ever be able to see things clearly here.”

Colin had no idea what she was talking about; he was still reeling from her touch and for once actually managed to say something. “Maybe you could help me?”

Did I just say that?

What was he thinking?

“I have to go. My dad will wonder where I am. Good luck in detention.”

And just like that, she was gone.

The ominous voice of Principal Hebert floated down the hallway. “Nice of you to join us, Mr. Strauss. Are you going to just stand there, or do I need to drag you into detention?”

Colin entered the room, noting the other attendees. Two students, Micah and Nathaniel Cross, otherwise known as the goth twins. They were pale with black tattoos, long black coats, tight black clothing, and permanent frowns plastered across their faces. Gareth sat with his feet up, smirking at Colin.

“Listen up,” began Principal Hebert. “You’re here because you did something or you didn’t do something. All I care about is what you do from here on out. Gareth and Colin, you’re on garbage cleanup. Nathaniel and Micah, you’ll be sweeping the gym floor. One hour, people, and then I expect you back for dismissal.”

Colin’s heart sank in his chest, down his legs, and through the floor. He was a dead man.

Gareth clapped his hands with false cheer. “All right, Colin, buddy. Let’s get to it!”

They grabbed a couple of garbage bags and headed outside. Without saying a word, Gareth just started picking up garbage. Colin, braced for an attack and watched him for a moment before hesitantly bending to the task too. ’It was getting dark, and the rain made the job all the more miserable.

After half an hour, Gareth had vanished around the other side of the building, and Colin began to think that maybe he had been worrying needlessly.

As he rounded a corner toward the back of the school, he saw his mistake. Sam Bale and Kevin Hadfield were sitting on one of the permanent picnic benches. They both looked menacing, as usual. Backtracking quickly, Colin turned and bumped into Gareth who shoved him.

“Where you going, buddy?” He spat that last word.

Colin dropped his garbage bag and backed right into Sam and Kevin, who were standing behind him.

“We don’t have to do this,” pleaded Colin.

“You don’t belong here, Colin,” said Gareth.

“I know. You’ve told me before.”

Gareth stabbed a finger to his chest. “And that smart mouth of yours really doesn’t belong here.”

“It’s attached to the rest of my body; I really don’t have a choice in the matter.”

Gareth faked a punch, and Colin flinched.

“Please, just tell me what to do,” begged Colin, fighting to keep the tears at bay. He’d been here before; he knew what was coming.

Kevin and Sam grabbed one of Colin’s arms while Gareth stood inches from his face. His breath stank. “I want you to go away. That’s all. You don’t belong here. Sooner or later you’ll get the message.”

Gareth punched him hard twice in the stomach and then once in the kidneys. Colin dropped to the ground and curled into a ball. Sam and Kevin began kicking him and then stripped him down to his underwear until finally, they left. Colin lay sobbing on the cold ground, half-naked and in pain.

This had been Colin’s life for over a year. Feeling like he’d failed at life in general, Colin had been reduced to living in a state of constant fear and humiliation. He had suffered bullying and his grandmother’s hatred.

Colin knew he was a loser, but he hated that everyone else knew it too.

The only positive he could think of was Becca and the strange, brief conversation they had shared. He picked himself up, feeling his bruised ribs, wincing as he walked barefoot across the parking lot away from the school. Hebert would be angry that he didn’t return for the end of detention, but he didn’t care. He didn’t intend to come back. He had to do something or he was going to end up dying here in Elkwood.

Colin decided he had to go to Seattle to see his parents.


Andrew Buckley attended the Vancouver
Film School’s Writing for Film and Television program. After pitching and
developing several screenplay projects for film and television, he worked in
marketing and public relations, before becoming a professional copy and content
writer. During this time Andrew began writing his first adult novel, DEATH, THE
DEVIL AND THE GOLDFISH, followed closely by his second novel, STILTSKIN. He
works as an editor for Curiosity Quills Press.
Andrew also co-hosts a geek movie
podcast, is working on his next novel, and has a stunning amount of other
ideas. He now lives happily in the Okanagan Valley, BC with three kids, one
cat, one needy dog, one beautiful wife, and a multitude of characters that live
comfortably inside of his mind.
Andrew is represented by Mark Gottlieb
at the Trident Media Group.

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