Tuesday, 3 November 2015

NBtM Tour: Savage Magic by Judy Teel

Today I'm honoured to introduce you to Judy Teel, author of Savage Magic (Shifty Magic, #3).  She has a guest post for us on the lessons she learned from the bad guy, as well as an excerpt.  Judy will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC - a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Lessons I Learned From a Bad Guy

Lord Bellmonte, or as Addison disrespectfully calls him, Bellmonte, is not someone you’d invite home to meet the family. Not just because he’s a vampire. Above and beyond that hazardous fact, Bellmonte is someone you really don’t want noticing you. He’s that dangerous.

He’s also been the big surprise as I’ve created the Shifty Magic series.

I originally cast Bellmonte as the quintessential bad guy—pushy, unpleasant and threatening, more the gangster or mob boss type than a brilliant puppet master kind of guy. Until he turned out to have his own ideas about how things should go, which is typical of him.

As I wrote Shifty Magic (Book 1) and worked with this intriguing character, his unexpected and sophisticated snark emerged and evolved into the perfect foil for Addison’s take-no-prisoners style. I was thrilled. I began to look forward to scenes with her and Bellmonte, even while struggling to keep him under control. No star likes a secondary character upstaging her, even in novels. (Which is why I had to temporarily bench him for Savage Magic, Book 3.)

And then a strange thing happened.

Despite all his manipulative and plotting ways, I began to admire this ruthless, ambitious vampire exec. I was shocked. Bellmonte’s the kind of guy who’d snap your neck as soon as look at you, or order everyone you care about slaughtered if it suited his bigger picture. How could I like someone like that?

But as I wrote Undercover Magic (Book 2), something unexpected happened. His character deepened, becoming more layered, and I realized that maybe some of his attitude wasn’t completely without merit. Even if the direction he prefers isn’t the one I’d choose for myself (or anyone I know).

Maybe, there were things we could all learn from the self-serving, charming Lord Bellmonte.

10 Rules to Live By (According to Lord Bellmonte)

Never tolerate having a delicious meal interrupted.

Always look your best, you never know who might show up at your door.

Never do anything for only one reason.

Always have two backup plans, three if you’re less than 100 years old.

If you’re obsessively intrigued by a difficult person, keep it to yourself.

Never pass up the opportunity to give a Were a hard time.

Being fabulously rich is delightful. Never let anyone tell you any differently.

Where your age is concerned, always keep them guessing.

Keep your enemies close, and your relatives closer. The latter is more likely to stab you in the back.

Above all, always keep your sense of humor. It will irritate your enemies in the most delicious manner.

Judy will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  I would like to Encourage you to follow the tour and comment because the more you comment the better your chances of winning! The tour dates can be found at the bottom of this post.
Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC - a Rafflecopter giveaway


Title: Savage Magic
Author: Judy Teel

Blurb:  A deadly disease from an unknown origin… 
Addison Kittner and ex-FBI agent Cooper Daine arrive at Bone Clan expecting a warm welcome. Instead they’re imprisoned and placed under quarantine, where they discover that the werewolf mountain Clans are being decimated by a deadly plague which can’t be cured. 
An old obligation that changes everything… With only a few days to live, Cooper’s brother, Alpha of Bone Clan, asks Cooper to fulfill his promise, one that’s crucial to their Clan’s survival. But if he does, Cooper risks loosing Addison. Forever. 
An ancient creature bred for genocide… Determined to stop the plague and cure Cooper’s brother, Addison defies Clan law and sneaks away to an ancient ruin which might hold the key. There she discovers an unexpected link to her past and inadvertently calls forth an immortal monster that will destroy the paranormal races protecting humanity if it can’t be stopped. But as Cooper and Addison battle to stop the annihilation of the Clans and the forces trying to tear their bond apart, something even more powerful and deadly gathers just out of sight… And prepares to strike. 

Read the first two in the series:


The scent of blood got stronger, pulling my thoughts back and making my heart pound a little harder against my chest. Slipping a knife from the sheath inside my right boot, I watched the flutter of shadows on the path below where it turned and disappeared behind a thick wall of laurels. Slow breath in…Silent breath out…

Deeper shadows emerged and took shape — a man and a woman, both dressed for living outdoors and blending in. And there was Cooper, complacently allowing them to roughly pull him along between them, his nose and a cut on his cheek seeping blood. Weird. Cooper was built like an early twenty-first century Olympic gymnast and I’d seen him take out opponents in less than ten seconds without a single blow landing on him. How had they managed to subdue him?

I watched them come closer and pass below me. The woman on one side of Cooper was medium height with light skin and dark red hair that she’d pulled back into a short ponytail with a strip of leather. The man on the other side was tall and muscular with tanned skin, his bright red hair in a military cut.

I adjusted the soles of my logger boots against the branch under me to give myself a more solid launch, judged the distance — and jumped.

About the Author

Judy Teel was born in Virginia and moved to North Carolina just before middle school. She's a fiction author and novelist writing in the dystopian urban fantasy genre. Her stories deliver mystery with some thriller elements, a kick-butt heroine with a large dash of snark in her, a bit more than a touch of romance with a guy that makes readers' hearts beat a little faster, and a wild ride full of action and emotion from start to finish.

Shifty Magic is permanently free on all platforms and Undercover Magic is free as a thank you gift for anyone who signs up on my readers list:  http://judyteel.com/my-free-book/

Twitter: @JudyTeelBooks / https://twitter.com/JudyTeelBooks

Amazon Author’s Page: http://goo.gl/a7oKub

Tumblr: http://judyteel.tumblr.com

Links to books

Shifty Magic (Book 1): http://amzn.com/B00CXQ7EOE

Undercover Magic (Book 2): http://amzn.com/B00H7M48KM

Savage Magic (Book 3): http://www.amazon.com/Savage-Magic-Shifty-Book-ebook/dp/B00Z3NTSFC/

Shifty Magic (Book 1): http://goo.gl/6hU5bQ

Undercover Magic (Book 2): http://goo.gl/0qjldj

Savage Magic (Book 3): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/savage-magic-judy-teel/1122078118

Follow the tour!
August 11: Megan Morgan

August 18: Kit 'N Kabookle

August 25: BooksChatter
September 1: The Reading Addict
September 8: Two Ends of the Pen
September 15: Unabridged Andra's
September 22: We Love Kink
September 29: Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock - review only
September 29: CBY Book Club
October 13: Natural Bri - Pursuits of Life - review
October 20: Booklover Sue
October 27: Musings and Ramblings
November 3: Independent Authors
November 3: The Book Breakup
November 10: Aly's Miscellany 
November 17: Writers and Authors
November 24: Books and Other Spells

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Weekly Recap for October 10, 2015

I'm finally back into reading, and it feels like coming home.  It's depressing to look at someone and say "I love to read" when you aren't reading.  It feels wrong, even if the statement is true.  I do love to read, I always have, I just sort of...stopped.  Thankfully, that haunting hiatus is over and I have some catching up to do on my TBR list :)

This week I read/listened to...


Since I'm going to have plenty more books for review, I'm working on a schedule to have some consistency.  Not quite sure what it will be like, but it'll most likely have two reviews a week, along with a couple of memes :)  I'll add a page once I actually nail something down!

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Review: Defy by Sara B. Larson


*Just a warning if you're thinking of picking up this book; it has a lot of mention of sexual assault.  While the assaults are not actually depicted, there is a scene when Alexa travels through the house, and you see the aftermath, which was a little too much for me.*

Title: Defy
Author: Sara B. Larson
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre:YA, Fantasy
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Blurb: Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?


Defy was one of those books that the cover always drew me in, but the synopsis was never enough to make me buy it.  I've never been a fan of the "girl disguised as a boy" thing, or a fan of love triangles, which the synopsis states very clearly.  But as a fantasy lover, I decided to give it a shot.

I'm glad I did!  While there were quite a few moments I had to stop my eyes from rolling, Defy was still a good book.  The story is interesting the entire way through, and Alexa was one of those heroines that always got back up, even if she didn't want to, and she always took action in the face of danger (which is the true definition of bravery if you ask me!).  As predictably as the love triangle went, and the development of romance between the characters, in the end Defy really did focus on the main issue at hand: overthrowing a kingdom.

The world that was built could have been stronger.  While many descriptions were given, they tended to focus on the same few descriptors (like the heat of the jungle, the sunshine vs. shadows).  It got a little tiring hearing about how sweaty everyone was.  However the descriptions given for characters was plentiful, and they came to life right off the page!

Fans of The Hunger Games should definitely check out this book.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Review: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

After being away from books for a while, I finally got back into one, although I didn't have my nose stuck in it.  No, due to work obligations I can't sit and read for as long as I like anymore...but I can listen.  Normally I avoid audio books simply because most are more expensive, but since my new job is sitting at a desk all day inputting numbers I was losing my mind listening to just music.  SO, I reactivated my audible account and started off with Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen, and I was not disappointed!

Title: Stolen Songbird
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Publisher: Strang Chemisty
Genre:YA, Fantasy
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Blurb: For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…

But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for...


While I found the narration started out weirdly monotone, after the first chapter it got much better. The voices  were easily distinguishable and there was never any question between what was dialogue and what the characters were thinking.  I liked that there were two narrators to separate when the POV switched between male and female, as well.
The main character, Cecile, was pretty good, too.  She was strong and didn't take everything lying down after being kidnapped, but I found she did fall in love pretty quickly (and while there were a few weeks that passed, that's not much when the guy is being a jerk!).  Still, I liked her, and I found that she was a smart, relatively level-headed lady put through much hardship.  
What I loved most about this book was the world-building.  It didn't seem like anything was forgotten, and I found I could image everything very clearly.  Nothing was left out, even from the places you didn't actually go to!  There was a rich history built within inner and outer dialogue, and before I knew it I was engulfed in Trollus and the surrounding world.
On the negative aspects, I can't really say what the major thing that bothered me was, because it's really just a matter of me not liking the main characters choices.  Some of the moves she makes I was sitting in my chair thinking, "Really?  THAT'S what you do?"...so I can't complain about it.  

Overall I enjoyed this story beginning to end, and look forward to finding out what happens next!  There was so much mystery set up in the first one!  Also, if you're in the US or Canada, there's a giveaway open on Goodreads for a copy of this book!