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The Creative Muses blog site is a collaboration of writers. The Creative Muses brings you the best in the Fantasy, Sci-fi, Horror, Romance and Erotica.

Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Reblogged from Rabid Reads:

Clean Sweep
Clean Sweep
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Author: Ilona Andrews
Publisher: Indie
Published on: December 2 2013
Genre: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Format: 235 pages, eBook
Provided by: Purchased
five-starsfive-starsfive-starsfive-starsfive-stars
Amazon | Book Depo | Chapters Indigo | Kobo | GoodReads

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

Out-of-this-WorlduniquekickassAlphaMale

 

I’m just gonna say upfront—Ilona Andrews is my absolute F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E.

 

I always get uncomfortable when writing about her/them because as some of you (MOST of you?) fellow Ilona fans already know, “Ilona Andrews” is a husband/wife writing team. So if I’m talking about her<—–see there it is right there, I either look like a noob who doesn’t know that they are, in fact, a “they,” or, if you aren’t quite as big a fan as the rest of us, I look like an idiot for referring to what on the surface appears to be a singular individual, as a plural. So. For the purposes of this review, “Ilona Andrews” will be a her/she.

 

But I’m not a noob. Fyi. *facepalms self* (b/c dorkness).

 

Anyway, like I said—my favorite. SO imagine my surprise and delight when Andrews announces on her blog a little over a year ago that she would be posting a FREE WEEKLY SERIAL on her website.

 

For realz?!

 

If I was not an internet stalker before that announcement (and that’s debatable), I most definitely was afterwards. Her blog took up residence in my coveted bookmarks bar space, and I began to ritualistically check the site. Anytime I did anything on the internet: email, facebook, pinterest, goodreads, etc., I checked for a new Clean Sweep installment. It was borderline ridiculous, but that’s just how I do things—ALL in.

 

And it was. So. Worth. It.

 

Then, back in December, the story became available in its entirety, PLUS an all-new epilogue, PLUS artistic renderings of the main characters, in paperback and ebook form. And here we are.

 

Dina Demille is an Innkeeper. An Innkeeper? you ask. Yes, but not-your-ordinary Innkeeper. Dina runs a sentient Bed & Breakfast (a B&B that can connect with it’s Innkeeper, and rearrange itself to better serve her wishes) whose guests are exclusively A-L-I-E-N-S and creatures from parallel dimensions. Dina can wave her magical(?) broom and open Stargate-like portals to other worlds.

 

It’s kind of cool<—–I misspelled friggin’ awesome.

 

But unfortunately for Dina, one of Earth’s WAY-out-of-towners, who is not a guest at her Inn, appears to be viciously killing neighborhood dogs. Initially, Dina suspects Sean Evans, the new, local (A-L-I-E-N) werewolf, but after observing his shock and disgust at the canine murders, she decides that he’s not responsible, and that the attacks are to provoke him.

 

Dina tells Sean to clean up his mess.

 

Sean plays dumb.

 

Dina says, “Fine, I’ll take care of it myself.”

 

Sean says, “Like HELL.”

 

Basically that’s what happens anyway, and off they go find and stop whatever is killing animals before it escalates to killing humans. Together.

 

*winks*

 

Have you picked up on the fact that I have a thing for aliens? B/c I totally do. And there is something, to me at least, that is SO cool about SciFi explanations for supernatural creatures.

 

Got a man who can turn into a wolf and/or a man-wolf hybrid? He’s an alien from a planet whose government genetically modified its people with nanotechnology in order to survive a war. Oh, and the reason his shifts don’t hurt is b/c the nanites suppress his pain sensors.

 

Totally legit.

 

Clean Sweep is the first installment of Ilona Andrews’ Innkeeper Chronicles. It’s part Science Fiction, part Urban Fantasy, and you will love both parts equally. Keep an eye on her blog for information about the next serial installment which is due to start any time now. Any. Time. Now.

 

Jessica Signature

Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2014/03/review-clean-sweep-by-ilona-andrews.html

Sneak Peek at a Work In Progress...

Reblogged from The Creative Muses on Booklikes:

My current WIP, well one of them anyway is coming along nicely. Meet Legion...

 

 

 

 

WIP Excerpt:  Soulmate's Kiss (unedited) Book 2 in The Gargoyle Soulmate's Series  By Emma Paul.

 

 

Deep within the Carpathian mountains and miles beneath the Transylvanian plateau, gargoyles, newly assigned protectors of the human race live, hidden from prying human eyes. Four thousand years ago, they were cursed by a powerful mortal wizard and turned to stone. The spell was altered by the Vampire Princess Nephra, daughter of the Sky God Upir.

 

Every night under the cover of darkness they emerge from their stone prisons and leave the Gargoyle lair to defend the mortal realm from evil monsters that live just outside the susceptibility of human existence. Humans have no idea that a war for their souls is currently waging all around them. Their ignorance is bliss.

 

Each night the gargoyles gather together and ready themselves to take flight and hunt the beasts. Tonight was no different...

 

Legion sat in the conference room, which Romiel, the Gargoyle leader had constructed with all the modern conveniences that twenty-first century Earth could offer. Like the rest of the habitat, the room was hollowed out and carved from the stone which encased them all within the Carpathians. The Lair itself extended the entire length of the Transelvania Alps.

 

At first glance, there was not anything truly remarkable about the caves that the gargoyles had made home. However, once you descended seven thousand feet into the main communal living area where the gargoyles often gathered to socialize, it took on a more majestic appeal. Personal living quarters lined the several tiers that were carved into the sides of the interior mountain walls in a perfect spiral. Most of those domiciles were empty. Only Romiel and twenty Gargoyle warriors had set up homes now.

 

Throughout the lair, rock walls had been smoothed flat. They were plated over with a layer of gold and silver trimming. Depictions of Carpathia and the seven realms were carved into the gold surfaces. Several battle scenes of the Vampire and Demon wars had been painted on large collums carved from the rock at the entrance of each tunnel that connected other living spaces of the habitat.

 

There was a lot of room for the gargoyles to spread their wings and fly around. High above at seven thousand plus feet strategically placed openings had been punched through the mountain to let in air and sunlight. However, most of the lighting came from fluorescent tubing running along the walls in place of molding. Most of the torch sconces had been removed, with the availability of electricity. Romiel and his gargoyles adapted very quickly to technology.

 

The current room they were in sported flat screened computers and three dimensional projections that encircled the entire area from floor to ceiling. Printers constantly poured out readouts and transmissions from every corner of the globe. Maps floated above their heads as Romiel pointed out the several locations that had reported lycan-beast activity.

 

As usual, the gargoyles were given their assignments and then paired up with each other to begin their patrols. None of them gave Legion a second glance as they teamed up and left. As usual, he was assigned to prowl the night on his own. So what if these pussies, didn’t want to pair up with him. 

 

He tightened his jaw and snatched his assignment instructions from Romiel. It didn’t bother him at all that no one wanted to be his partner. He told himself that every night, and every night it pissed him off. Ahh Fuck it!

 

Legion’s reputation was marred by the fact that he didn’t take orders well and that he was more of a rogue warrior, preferring to do things on his own terms without any consideration for the consequences. Growing up as an orphan in Hell tended to make one rather ornery.

 

Romiel was forever reigning him in. At least that’s what everyone else believed. Yeah he was a bit of a knucklehead when it came to following the rules, however, he still got the job done and he did it alone.

 

Standing just outside the hidden entrance of the lair, located in Negoi the highest peak of the Alps, he shook his head to clear his mind and raised his arms in front of him with his palms up. Legion closed his eyes and imagined the city of Newark New Jersey.

 

Once the tingling started in his fingertips, he opened his eyes and focused on the tiny pin prick of light that began to widen before him. Once it swelled to about six feet in circumference, he unfurled his large bat-like wings and pushed himself off the rock ledge into the newly opened portal. In an instant, he was flying over the city.

 

Sneak Peek at a Work In Progress...

My current WIP, well one of them anyway is coming along nicely. Meet Legion...

 

 

 

 

WIP Excerpt:  Soulmate's Kiss (unedited) Book 2 in The Gargoyle Soulmate's Series  By Emma Paul.

 

 

Deep within the Carpathian mountains and miles beneath the Transylvanian plateau, gargoyles, newly assigned protectors of the human race live, hidden from prying human eyes. Four thousand years ago, they were cursed by a powerful mortal wizard and turned to stone. The spell was altered by the Vampire Princess Nephra, daughter of the Sky God Upir.

 

Every night under the cover of darkness they emerge from their stone prisons and leave the Gargoyle lair to defend the mortal realm from evil monsters that live just outside the susceptibility of human existence. Humans have no idea that a war for their souls is currently waging all around them. Their ignorance is bliss.

 

Each night the gargoyles gather together and ready themselves to take flight and hunt the beasts. Tonight was no different...

 

Legion sat in the conference room, which Romiel, the Gargoyle leader had constructed with all the modern conveniences that twenty-first century Earth could offer. Like the rest of the habitat, the room was hollowed out and carved from the stone which encased them all within the Carpathians. The Lair itself extended the entire length of the Transelvania Alps.

 

At first glance, there was not anything truly remarkable about the caves that the gargoyles had made home. However, once you descended seven thousand feet into the main communal living area where the gargoyles often gathered to socialize, it took on a more majestic appeal. Personal living quarters lined the several tiers that were carved into the sides of the interior mountain walls in a perfect spiral. Most of those domiciles were empty. Only Romiel and twenty Gargoyle warriors had set up homes now.

 

Throughout the lair, rock walls had been smoothed flat. They were plated over with a layer of gold and silver trimming. Depictions of Carpathia and the seven realms were carved into the gold surfaces. Several battle scenes of the Vampire and Demon wars had been painted on large collums carved from the rock at the entrance of each tunnel that connected other living spaces of the habitat.

 

There was a lot of room for the gargoyles to spread their wings and fly around. High above at seven thousand plus feet strategically placed openings had been punched through the mountain to let in air and sunlight. However, most of the lighting came from fluorescent tubing running along the walls in place of molding. Most of the torch sconces had been removed, with the availability of electricity. Romiel and his gargoyles adapted very quickly to technology.

 

The current room they were in sported flat screened computers and three dimensional projections that encircled the entire area from floor to ceiling. Printers constantly poured out readouts and transmissions from every corner of the globe. Maps floated above their heads as Romiel pointed out the several locations that had reported lycan-beast activity.

 

As usual, the gargoyles were given their assignments and then paired up with each other to begin their patrols. None of them gave Legion a second glance as they teamed up and left. As usual, he was assigned to prowl the night on his own. So what if these pussies, didn’t want to pair up with him. 

 

He tightened his jaw and snatched his assignment instructions from Romiel. It didn’t bother him at all that no one wanted to be his partner. He told himself that every night, and every night it pissed him off. Ahh Fuck it!

 

Legion’s reputation was marred by the fact that he didn’t take orders well and that he was more of a rogue warrior, preferring to do things on his own terms without any consideration for the consequences. Growing up as an orphan in Hell tended to make one rather ornery.

 

Romiel was forever reigning him in. At least that’s what everyone else believed. Yeah he was a bit of a knucklehead when it came to following the rules, however, he still got the job done and he did it alone.

 

Standing just outside the hidden entrance of the lair, located in Negoi the highest peak of the Alps, he shook his head to clear his mind and raised his arms in front of him with his palms up. Legion closed his eyes and imagined the city of Newark New Jersey.

 

Once the tingling started in his fingertips, he opened his eyes and focused on the tiny pin prick of light that began to widen before him. Once it swelled to about six feet in circumference, he unfurled his large bat-like wings and pushed himself off the rock ledge into the newly opened portal. In an instant, he was flying over the city.

 

Wednesday's Author The One and Only Jaq Hawkins!

 

 Our awesome Author today on The Creative Muses is the Multi-Talented Jaq Hawkins...

 

 

 

Hello Jaq, tells us what going on in your part of the universe...

 

 

TCM: What inspired you to become a writer? Why do you write your particular genre?

 

JH:  I started writing at age six. It was something that I just felt the need to do. I wrote my first few books in an area of non-fiction in which I was knowledgeable because I was asked to, but I write Fantasy and Science Fiction because they are the genres I most like to read.

 

TCM: What’s your strongest point as a writer?

 
JH: Being completely objective about that would be difficult, but from a practical point of view, I would say patience. I finish projects or keep at the ones that get done more slowly and will put the time into proper editing. From a creative point of view, I seem to have a natural sense of pace and timing. I also have a tendency to think about what would be the obvious thing to happen next, then do something different. Unpredictability can keep a story interesting.

 

TCM: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?

 

 That varies from one story to another. In my first novel, I really struggled to find an ending. I would say that is most often the part I have to work for, yet there are exceptions. I'm working on a Science Fiction story at present that had the ending decided on the first creative session. I had a premise with a perfect ending and had to decide how to do the beginning, which is usually the part that rolls out of my brain at the outset of starting a new story.

 

TCM: As an Author, what do you consider your most difficult obstacle?

 

JH: Real life and filmmaking. There are never enough hours to sit and write as much as I feel the need to do. Eventually the filmmaking will reach a point where I've done what I set out to do and can retire from it to write more.

 

TCM: What advice would you give new authors that have been newly published?

 

JH: Don't be in a hurry. Take the time to get it right before releasing. Ideally, put any manuscript you finish aside for six months and read it again with fresh eyes, after any editing process. You'll see things, including editing mistakes you missed that you just can't believe.

 

 

TCM: What new projects can we look forward to from you and where, when will they be available?

 

JH: I plan to release some new Mind, Body, Spirit books during 2014 as well as hopefully the SciFi I've got simmering. Updates and news will happen periodically on my blog at http://indiewritenet.com/jaqdhawkins/

 

Information about all my books can be found on my main website at http://jaqdhawkins.co.uk/

 

All new books will be released on Amazon, Smashwords (which distributes to all major online outlets) and Lulu, which distributes to Ingram. Paperback and ebook versions will be available for all titles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

from Echoes of Ganesha:

 

"What many people don't realise when they set up a decorative image of Ganesha and begin to surround it with flowers and coin offerings, is that Ganesha is a trickster god. In his own benevolent way, he can be as devious as Loki in the Norse pantheon. Ganesha is commonly petitioned in his guise as Remover ofObstacles and rightly so, but a good sense of humour is advised. When you think about it, removing obstacles is a disruptive activity. The most resilient obstacles will result in the most chaos if they are suddenly shattered. You can almost see the Ganesha images smirk as you get just what you wished for."

 
 
 

 

Source: http://thecreativemuses.blogspot.com