Book Excerpt & Giveaway: Into the Ashes (Taine McKenna Adventures #3) by Lee Murray

Last month I posted a spoiler-free review of the latest installment of Lee Murray’s thriller series, the Taine McKenna Adventures. In Into the Ashes, Taine faces his biggest foe yet: the active volcanic isles of New Zealand itself. Check out an excerpt from the book below, then follow the link to enter a giveaway for an Amazon gift card!


Into the AshesABOUT THE BOOK

No longer content to rumble in anger, the great mountain warriors of New Zealand’s central plateau, the Kāhui Tupua, are preparing again for battle. At least, that’s how the Māori elders tell it. The nation’s leaders scoff at the danger. That is; until the ground opens and all hell breaks loose. The armed forces are hastily deployed; NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna and his section tasked with evacuating civilians and tourists from Tongariro National Park. It is too little, too late. With earthquakes coming thick and fast and the mountains spewing rock and ash, McKenna and his men are cut off. Their only hope of rescuing the stranded civilians is to find another route out, but a busload of prison evacuees has other ideas. And, deep beneath the earth’s crust, other forces are stirring.

Goodreads | Amazon


BOOK EXCERPT

A deadly wash of lava and rocks, as wide as the Waikato River, surged around the house, taking the line of least resistance. The side of the house exploded in flames. Taine had no time to take it in because the front wheels of the Unimog were lifting in the swell, the air blackening with the smoke and stench of immolating tyres.

Continue reading

March Wrap-Up & April Goals

backpack pins March 2019I’m feeling pretty positive about how this month turned out, even if (as usual, these days) I did not accomplish all my goals. I did get to spend lots of time with awesome people and read cool books, which also have to be priorities in life. A person cannot always “exhale” productivity; sometimes you have to breath in life to replenish the reservoir.

March Wrap-Up

  • The final copy-edit of Steel Shadows was completed and returned to my editor for layout! I’m so excited about this book. I say this about every project, but this one is completely different from anything I’ve written before.
  • I only wrote about 10k words for Steel Justice rather than 20k, but I did get to the scenes for the grand finale and figured out that I need to seriously beef up a subplot.
  • I had a great time at Cleveland Concoction at the beginning of the month! You can check out my full con report here.
  • I also had a fabulous weekend at Bethany Beach with a bunch of romance writer friends and a successful day job trip to Providence, Rhode Island, for an editing conference. I love how my network of writer friends is so expansive that I got to spend quality time with lovely ladies during each trip: Cara McKinnon and K. Parr.

March Book Reviews

March Speculative Chic Contributions

April Goals

  1. Write the back cover blurb for Steel Shadows.
  2. Make progress on Steel Justice. What does that mean? I don’t even know anymore. We can all be surprised.
  3. Catch up on book reviews! I’m currently almost 10 reviews behind, because I’ve been reading faster than I spend time at my computer.
  4. My travel this month includes a quick weekend trip to Atlanta, Georgia, for a good friend’s wedding.
  5. I’ll also be spending a few days in Washington DC for a very cool healthcare conference on behalf of the day job.

What are you up to this month? I’m definitely excited for warmer weather. I have too many adorable geeky t-shirts to hide them under sweaters.

Review: “And Now For Something Completely Different” (Chronicles of St. Mary’s Short Story) by Jodi Taylor

and now for something completely differentI love when stories are exactly what they say on the tin, but when the St. Mary’s crew is involved, you know it’s still going to outrageous. The Christmas story for 2018 features very little Christmas and a lot of planetary-hopping shenanigans. As someone who follows the current research into getting the first human to Mars, this story made for an excellent holiday gift to myself. Continue reading

Review: “A Questionable Client” (Kate Daniels #0.5) by Ilona Andrews

questionable clientThis short story takes place prior to any of the novels in the Kate Daniels urban fantasy series. However, reading this story after reading at least the first novel, Magic Bites, works best.

“A Questionable Client” tells the story of how Kate first meets one of her informational contacts, a shape-shifter called Saiman. He’s kind of a dick, but he’s a loveable dick. It also shows the very unglamorous side of her mercenary career.

One of my favorite aspects of this entire series is the use of unfamiliar monsters from mythology. This is used to excellent effect here, especially in regards to the plot’s climax. Continue reading