Blog Tour: See You In Hell by Demelza Carton Excerpt +Giveaway

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See You In Hell Ebook CoverTitle: See You In Hell
Series: Mel Goes To Hell # 1
Author: Demelza Carlton
Genre: Paranormal
Source: CBB Production
Published: 2014
Buy Links: AMZ
* I recieved a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review which will be posted soon.

AMZ Blurb:A devilishly hot CEO. The angelic new office temp. A match made in Heaven or Hell?

Melody Angel takes a job as a temp at the HELL Corporation. Surrounded by eternal bureaucracy gone mad, demons who love making life miserable, and dying for a decent coffee, it may take a miracle for Mel’s mission to succeed. She must find out what evil plans Lucifer and his minions have in store and stop them, using any means necessary.

Adding trouble and temptation to Mel’s job is Luce Iblis, the damnably hot CEO, who has set his smouldering eyes on the new office angel and he’s determined to claim her, body and soul.

Can ultimate evil and angelic perfection escape a limbo of desire and find a paradise of their own?

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Here’s a lovely excerpt of the book:

“Yep, that looks fine,” Lili said, pushing the piece of paper across the table to Mel. “Just change it to the font in the style guide and you can take it up to Luce yourself.”

“I…what? I thought you said I just had to write it and send it up to him,” Mel protested.

Lili’s eyes glowed red as if she sensed Mel’s discomfort and enjoyed it immensely. “Oh, no. He came down here personally and placed the offending report on your desk. He waited a while, too, determined to make sure you understood his message. He insisted that I send you to report to him as soon as you received it.”

Mel felt her jaw drop. “But…that was hours ago!” She felt her stomach and the sandwich inside it start to sink.

Lili grinned fiercely. “Then I suggest you change the font quickly and leg it up those stairs to Luce’s office before you’re any later.”

Struggling not to swear, Mel marched back to her desk to make the letter and offending memo as perfect as she could. Fifteen minutes later, she pulled the pages from the printer and set off for the executive suite upstairs.

She kept a serene smile on her face as she strode through the maze of cubicles, nodding slightly every time she caught the eye of another demon. She’d never recognise them all, but it still seemed a good idea to stay on good terms with them. If her job survived the day and the belated dressing-down from Luce.

She shrugged. If her first job lasted less than a fortnight, so be it. She didn’t much like the work, anyway, and there were plenty of demons to do it. It’s not as if the HELL Corporation would miss her. She’d tell Raphael that the CEO definitely was Lucifer and let him sort it out while she went to Korea. She could taste the bulgogi already…

The cubicles were bigger now – spacious enough to take several visitors and a large meeting table between them. Mel knew she was nearing executive territory.

“Can I help you?” an imperious voice asked. Mel heard the words, along with the implied message that the owner of the voice would not help her. Mel was perfectly happy helping herself.

Mel’s smile lit up her whole face. “Lili sent me to see Luce regarding a report.” She proffered the papers.

The older woman’s lips pursed as her deep, dark eyes narrowed. She had to be one of Luce’s more senior demons. Her demeanour spoke of indescribable age and experience – all of it decidedly dark.

“I’m Mephi, Mr Iblis’ personal assistant,” the woman said, emphasising the demon’s name. “All of his appointments go through me. Do you have an appointment?”

The woman’s subtext was amazing, Mel decided. She radiated an aura that said Mel hadn’t a hope of getting through her and she’d never be important enough for an appointment. Despite herself, she was impressed. She wondered how many demons balked at this formidable gatekeeper.

“I’m delighted to meet you, Mephi. I wish I’d known to call you first – but Luce left this on my desk and insisted I speak to him about it immediately. Given the urgency, I didn’t dare delay.” Mel let the slightest look of concern cross her face. “I haven’t missed him, have I? I’ll wait as long as I have to, if he’s with someone. I’d hate to be the one responsible for this getting to him later than he’d like.” She slipped on a sympathetic smile that suggested she wouldn’t want Mephi to bear the brunt of her boss’s wrath.

Mephi held Mel’s gaze for a few seconds before she conceded her point and picked up the phone. “Mr Iblis, I have an angel here to see you.” She managed to make it sound like something she’d found floating in the staff toilets.

“If you’re talking about the girl standing at your desk with the papers in her hand, send her right in, Mephi,” came a voice from behind Mel.

Mephi shrugged. “If you say so,” she sniffed, clicking the phone handset back into place.

Mel nodded her thanks to Mephi with an unwavering smile, before turning to brave Luce in his lair. His office, she corrected herself, as she entered the airy space. She couldn’t imagine a lair containing…

“Are those Pro Hart landscapes?” Mel asked eagerly. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen the originals in oil before – just prints of them. It’s the colours. They’re always so vibrant, so real…”

“They are,” Luce replied, “but you’re not here to discuss my art collection. You’ve kept me waiting and I am far from happy.” His eyes seemed to catch the light in odd ways, as if each was a singularity drinking the photons in, with no intention of releasing them.

Mel stepped forward and laid her papers on his desk. “The corrections you requested, along with a letter.”

Luce gave the papers a cursory glance before turning the full pull of those dark eyes on Mel. “Do you know how long you’ve made me wait?” He lifted his chin. “Close the door.”

For the first time, Mel felt a premonition of danger. The demon reclined in his desk chair with his hands in his lap, a picture of relaxed repose. Only his eyes seemed to belie the image – like a crocodile lurking beneath still, muddy waters. Did the crocodile know how much danger he was in?

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Author Bio:

Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish. She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below.

Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world. The Ocean’s Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by her suspense thriller Nightmares trilogy. She swears the Mel Goes to Hell series ambushed her on a crowded train and wouldn’t leave her alone.

Connect with the author:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | YouTube | Amazon | Pinterest | Google +

Giveaway:

$20 Gift Card (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Short Hiatus

Hi!

I will be taking a short hiatus from the blog. I really have to do this because I’m stressing out over a 20 page paper that is due in the next few weeks (and let’s not forget the multiple 6-8 pages, smaller essays, due as well). It’s not the smartest idea to start a blog in your last year of college or when taking a research seminar that requires hours and hours pouring over a topic that is not even remotely related to science fiction or horror. It’s the Cold War.

I will be back to actively blogging (a minimum of one post per week) in June, possibly the second week of June. Let’s say that on June 9, I will be returning. I will try to be more active on Twitter so I’m not completely shutting down the blog. Just the review section. Anyways, I hope all of you are doing well and hopefully, come back in June. Good luck with finals to all college students out there.

Comic Review: Gambit #2 by James Asmus

gambit1Title:  Gambit # 2
Series:  Gambit Series
Writer: James Asmus
Illustrator: Clay Mann
Genre: Superheroes
Source: Friend
Published:  Aug 2012
Format: Paperback
Buy Links: Marvel/ AMZ & BN*

Marvel Blurb: The Ragin’ Cajun Gambit has his set size on a major prize. But is this thief’s eye bigger than his stomach?

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Case File: Great Opening Scenes/ Flirting Fights/ Story moves forward
Rating: 5 out 5 Hearts

Gambit # 2 is a much more exciting than the previous book. There is a museum robbery, a couple of fights, and new information. The star protects itself from any attempts to force it to leave Gambit’s body but they do find information on it that lead him to a museum. It turns out, he is not the only one breaking into the museum because Rockabilly Woman is there as well. Cue a flirtation fight between Gambit and her before she has the upper hand in the fight and tries to knife the relic out of him. No luck though. Gambit ends up stealing a map from her which she bargains a trade for it because the map is in a dead language that only she can read and he wants the relic out of him so they agree to work together. They need to head down to Guatemala to obtain another piece of the puzzle.

The opening scenes are fantastic because it is not what you expect; reading the surface only makes seem dramatic but upon re-reading them, they are hilarious. Asmus and Mann play with your emotions so well because the scene goes from being frighten for Gambit to laughing at or with Gambit. Gambit # 2  is loaded with some comedic elements and romantic tension between Rockabilly Woman and Gambit.  New information about the relic reveals it is part of a two-piece artifact, not much else but it is clear Rockabilly Woman knows more (she won’t say what though).

Overall, it was a fast-paced comic that had great actions scene and it moved the plot forward cause Gambit is leaving New York City for Guatemala.

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5 hearts

Amazon/Barnes & Nobles are Volume 1 editions so they contain Gambit # 1-7.

Review: Magnificent Things by Michael McNichols

magnificenthingsTitle: Magnificent Things
Series: None
Author: Michael McNichols
Genre: Superheroes
Source: Zharmae Publishing
Published: 2014
Buy Links: AMZ/ Zharmae
I receive a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Amz Blurb: Will Nihgate has run into several scrapes during his short career as the masked vigilante Dusk, but none have been so potentially fatal…returning to consciousness at the splashing of cold water against his face, totally encased and seemingly powerless to free himself from the trappings of John Skeleton, Dusk is in deep trouble.

Outside of his prison box, dark forces are threatening New Danko, and if Dusk and his companions can’t defeat Skeleton in time, all will be lost.

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Case File: Superheroes/Women in Refrigerators/John Skeleton
Rating: 4 out of 5

Magnificent Things is an interesting novel, full of plot twists and fast-paced action scenes. In a world where superheroes are a daily occurrence, it is interesting to see how they interact with each other and the massive amount of villains running around. Seriously, there is an over-abundance of villains. The novel tries to deal with the question of what does it mean to be a superhero in a world that is shades of grey and people are not whom they seem to be.

Dusk or Will Nihgate is the main character who operates in New Danko and is apparently, the villains favorite target to target. He is in love with Dani Clovenson, his roommate that he keeps at a distance because of his superhero lifestyle. We have the Odyssey which is McNichols version of the Avengers or Justice League and they have diversity because there is a a Puerto Rican woman (Zombie) and an Asian-African man  (Savior) included as superheroes. There is an ensemble of villains like John Skeleton, Black Wind, Danny Plague (I just keep thinking of Danny Phantom when I read his name), Red Rabbit, and Jack of Terrors . The most interesting is John Skeleton because we find out he has a family and he doesn’t have an underground lair but has something so much better. He creates the problematic dehumanizer gun which strips people of their emotions and those guns are crucial to how the story plays out. The first and third part of the novel are fast paced story lines about the heroes saving the city and dealing with villains. The second part, the bridge, slows down the story to deal with  Dusk’s trauma and on John Skeleton’s world (I want an origin story for him and his lair). It is slower and different from the other parts because it is less focus on action and more on revealing the past and how everything is not black and white. Even villains like John Skeleton have a sense of honor.

The world building of the novel is interesting because this is a world where superheroes, The Odyssey, patrol New Danko alongside the police. It reminded me of Watchmen. I hope McNichols writes a prequel and gives an origin story for the acceptance of superheroes as licensed and legally working with law officials, it’s a rare sight seeing superheroes working alongside the law. It does suffer from having too much of a cast so most of the cast are minor characters who are rapidly given explanations as to why they are heroes or villains and the main cast like Dani who is just there as a romantic interest to Dusk (I didn’t really connect to her) is just there. Even though the majority of the characters are minor characters, they do grow as characters and become more than their original roles because they become corrupted or resist corruption when faced with it. The main relationship in the novel is between Dusk and John Skeleton and how they transgress the roles of hero and villain (a central them to the novel that plays out as well with Savior and Phantom). They have a mentor-mentee relationship but John Skeleton also plays the Creepy Uncle who knows too much about Dusk’s family, and acts like a caregiver but is still creepy. John Skeleton is a fascinating character.

One of the problematic aspects of Magnificent is that it suffers from the women in refrigerator syndrome. Basically, women die to further a man’s pain in life; to make men miserable in life is the purpose of the women’s death and it drives men to better themselves or to insanity. Three women are killed to cause men pain (and the fourth woman dies in the line of duty, I’m okay with her death). I don’t like this trope because it devalues women and make it seem like women only have value when they can cause men pain. The first woman is a woman in refrigerator because her death is a plot point that drives Dusk from Point A to Point B. It ends the first half of the book. The second dead female did not even know Dusk yet she die to cause him pain. The third female death distracts the villain but she did have more autonomy in her death; she was aware of it. On the flipside, there are the men’s death that are not “on-screen” meaning they are not happening in the present, they are mentioned in passing by Dusk. As readers, we do not read the death of men as they are dying but we are witnesses to the majority of the women’s death and it has to do with the men’s death not being as emotionally damaging to the main characters as the women’s death are. Overall, how people die in the novel is problematic because it is reinforcing comic book tropes that negatively affect women because it gives the impression that women are only in novels to die (and the men are not even worthy of an “on-screen” death because they are useless to the main characters emotional development).  Furthering complicating the matter, is that diverse characters, at least the ones whose race was mentioned, tended to die or be villains (I don’t think Dusk’s race was mentioned). It is good to see a diverse cast of a Hispanic woman, an Asian-African man, a Saudi Arabian man but not if they are going to die or be villains because again it reinforces the idea that only white people survived in the end and non-whites like females are written to die in novels. 

In the end, Magnificent Things is well written. It has the word fetch in it which is awesome. It is fast paced story. John Skeleton and his lair make the slow part of the novel interesting because he is the most complex character, more so than Dusk who is the good guy. The second part, while slow, was my favorite part of the novel because it didn’t allow the villains to just be villains bur rather humanize them and it was interesting to see how Dusk dealt with different levels of villainy. Danny Plague as a villain is  just a villain who wanted to destroy Dusk, he is a villain because he is a villain while John Skeleton and his people are villain for reasons.  It is not magnificent that the death of women are used as events to show emotions in men nor that in the end, the book is not as diverse as it started. Overall, Magnificent Things is slightly problematic with how it deals with gender and race but the relationship that develops between John Skeleton and Dusk is intriguing plus John Skeleton’s lair is fascinating. The characters do grow into themselves so they do change as the story progresses and adjust to the situations around them. They are quite realistic in that manner. It is an exciting action novel that just needed to not kill off the majority of the women in order to be a fantastic novel.

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4 Hearts-Pretty Good

4 Hearts-Pretty Good