Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt & Giveaway of J. K. Hogan's Fire on the Island



(Vigilati Series #1)
by J. K. Hogan

“She who wields the mark is the barrier between man and monster.

She is the daughter of gods, the mother of man, protector of all.

Vigilati Usque Ad Mortem”

All Isla Macallen wanted was a simple existence on her little Scottish island, free from her mother's insanity and the prying eyes of neighbors. What she got was embroiled in a war for the souls of mankind. A war of good versus evil, of witches versus demons, and Isla learns that she alone can end it.

Dr. Jeremiah Rousseau was a self-proclaimed nomad, traveling the world researching paranormal phenomena. He doesn't expect his research to lead him to Scotland, and to the woman who will turn his world upside down.

Together with a facetious shape-shifting animal spirit guide, Jeremiah and Isla discover that she is
part of an ancient bloodline bred to protect the gateways between the human world and the spirit
world, to keep evil demons from destroying them. They must find the key to defeating Alastore,
the demon king, and closing the gate before Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is lifted.
Alastore does everything in his power to eliminate them but, unbeknownst to all of them, Isla is
the only one with the ability to stop him for good.

Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher Type:  Small Press (Sapphire Star Publishing)
My Rating:  *  *  *  *

My Review:
This, my friends, is a great read.  It's unique and creative, full of heart-stopping action and sizzling romance.  I love witch and magic books because you never know what to expect from them, more-so than books of other paranormal creatures.  I love the history that is built for the Bruixi witches and how it unfolds throughout the story.  I found all the hiking, rock climbing and other outdoorsy activities to be a fun addition to the story line.  The island sounds like a place I'd love to visit and the author did a great job of making me feel as if I were there.

There's so many great characters in this book.  Isla is strong and independent; you really hurt for her as you learn her back story and feel all that rejection.  Then there's Jeremiah who is driven and tenacious and is such a rock for Isla.  There's definitely some insta-love going on between the two, but as you begin to understand the story premise, it makes sense.  Their romance is beautifully written.  I do have to say that the prolific amount of sex scenes is probably overkill (and did slow the plot a tad) but these scenes were written in a way you felt the love the characters had for one another.  The friends surrounding Isla and Jeremiah are also well written with ample back stories of their own.  I can see these characters taking lead in future installments.  I enjoyed getting to know these characters, worrying about them throughout the suspenseful scenes and cheering them on in their budding romances.

There were a couple things that kept this from being a five star book for me.  The pace got a bit bogged down at times.  As much as I loved all the outdoorsy references I fear they may have slowed the book some.  Then there's the aforementioned prolific sex and some details that were redundantly recounted which also contributed to the slowdown.  The other thing that bothered me was the police questioning scene.  I know the justice system may be different on our island than here in the States, but I had a hard time buying the threatening to lock up our protagonist just because of some rumors and a lack of an alibi.

Despite these issues, this was a fabulous read and one you should be sure to check out!

Cover Art:
It's just so very pretty!!!  I wanted to read the book even before I got to the blurb it's so gorgeous!  There is the unfortunate disconnect of Isla never dressing like that, but I love a good dress especially when it's juxaposed with the natural setting.


*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*
* * * * * * * * * * * *

Got you drooling yet?  Want some more?  Here's an excerpt to whet your whistle:

Isla had stopped at the edge of the porch and stood, frozen, staring out into the rainy darkness. Beyond her, Jeremiah could see the silhouette of a man. His face was in shadow, but from the luminescent eyes swirling with shadows, he knew it was Alastore.

When the man stepped forward into the dim light cast through the open door of the house, it became clear that he had a victim. Mhairi Mackay stood in front of the demon, and he had a strong arm locked around her neck.

Jeremiah surged forward, determined to protect Isla's only remaining family, but Marduk stopped him with a hand on his shoulder. With a silent shake of his head, Marduk encouraged Jeremiah to think first and act with care.

Trust nothing, question everything, because things will most definitely not be as they seem. Marduk's earlier words came back to him, and Jeremiah gave the man a quick nod to let him know he understood.

Isla lifted a foot to step down off the porch. "Think, Isla. Breathe. That's not really Mhairi. She's at Sacred Hearts, guarded by doctors and nurses that didn't even want to let us in at first, remember?" he said in a low tone.

He saw a shudder rack her slender body but, much to his relief, she stayed put. Three pairs of eyes fixed on the pale, glowing arm that had the projection of Mhairi in a headlock.

Alastore threw his head back and cackled, before pinning each of them with a hard glare. "You think you can defeat me? I will lead you to your graves like lambs to the slaughter." His voice was demonic, and they could hear the echo of pure evil behind it. It sounded like a dozen demons living inside one body, speaking in unison.

Without warning, he wrapped his free hand around Mhairi's head and twisted in opposite directions. They heard a gruesome snap before the image of Mhairi crumpled to the ground.

A strangled cry ripped from Isla's throat as the three of them bounded off the porch. They ground to a halt as Alastore threw his hands up toward the sky, and the pelting raindrops burst into incandescent flames.

The pellets of flame singed their skin, forcing them back to the shelter of the porch. Isla wailed as the spectre of Mhairi seemed to dissolve under the onslaught of fire and rain combined. Alastore’s head swiveled back to face them, his eyes gleaming with madness and hatred, pierced through to Isla’s soul.

“The little witch thinks she can defeat me! I, who can make the sky rain fire?” He took a step forward and Isla stood her ground. He glared at her with his mouth turned up in a gruesome sneer. “I will burn your life!” he spat at her.

“You’ll watch everything you care for turn to ash if you fight me!” He turned his cutting glare to the two men standing shoulder to shoulder on her right and absently gestured toward them. “These will die. Everyone will die.”

Facing Isla again, he gave her a sickeningly sweet smile. “And you, my dear…You will watch things fall apart. And then, you shall be mine.” She shuddered when he licked his lips and leered at her.

Isla would never be able to explain what came over her in that moment. As she focused on the images the demon pushed into her head—the pain and suffering, the dead and dying—it was the thought of Alastore turning his wrath upon Jeremiah that sparked the bone-deep anger inside her.

Storming off the porch into the maelstrom of fire and rain, she felt the breeze on the nape of her neck, when Jeremiah reached for her and missed. Storming toward Alastore, she stopped a few feet in front of him.

The balls of fire raining from the sky seemed to roll off an invisible shield around her and fury radiated from her body. "The hell I will!" she growled at him, gathering her energy low in her chest, preparing for a strike.

Marduk's deceptively calm whisper drifted over to Jeremiah. "He's goading her for a reason. Pushing her buttons. He may be trying to funnel her energy into himself, leaving her vulnerable for him to take her. Alastore does nothing without reason. Stop her."

Jeremiah palmed the shotgun and whispered back to Marduk. "If I shoot him, it's not going to stop him, right?" He waited for the other man to nod before continuing. "But it'll hurt."

Giving him a devious grin, Marduk nodded again. "It sure will. When he's in corporeal form, he'll feel the same pain a human would, he just won't die. It will send him back to the locus to recharge."

"Good enough for me." Jeremiah pumped the forestock of the shotgun, drawing Alastore's attention. The demon snarled at him but didn't seem overly worried. That didn't bode well.

Bracing the buttstock of the twelve gauge on his shoulder, he took aim and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. Cursing, he expelled the dead round and pumped again. Trigger pull, nothing.

Howling with laughter, Alastore returned his attention to the 110 pounds of livid woman that stood in front of him. He cocked his head, like an animal hearing a strange sound. "So pretty, and yet so easy," he began, "just like your mother."

"Christ," Jeremiah hissed as he saw flames spike out from Isla's fingertips. She was playing right into Alastore's hands, but she just couldn't see it. Shoving the shotgun into Marduk's hands, he turned toward the house.

"I think he's somehow jamming the gun. Maybe if I find something with no mechanics, he won't be able to stop it." 


"Hurry."
********************

Here's your chance to get to know the author:

J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them.

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives on a farm with her husband and their three horses, one miniature donkey, one cat, and two champion agility dogs.


In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! Please feel free to visit J.K.’s contact page—she’d love to hear from you!

Get to know her better on her Author's PageTwitter and Facebook.

Want to read Fire on the Island? 
 Find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.
And don't  forget to add it to your Goodread's TBR!

And here's your chance to win it....

3 comments:

  1. Hi Ty for the opportunity! Wendi Watson !

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had a nice long comment and it erased itself. Gah!
    The book sounds wonderful though and I agree, the cover is gorgeous. I don't know if I'd read it though - I don't like sex scenes, I like my books completely clean :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds interesting and great review! Great giveaway, thanks :)

    ReplyDelete