Promo: Dead Heat by Lisa Nowak

October 24th is a one-day PROMO bonanza for Dead Heat, the latest novel by YA author Lisa Nowak.  The characters might be familiar to fans of her previous books, but Dead Heat is described as a “gritty” and a “modern day ghost story” according to reviewers on Amazon…and way more edgy than her previous books.  The excerpt from here and on Amazon definitely seems interesting.  Dark enough for my liking.  😉  Check it out!  This one day tour was organized by Reading Addiction Blog Tours.

Dead Heat by Lisa Nowak

Genre:  YA Paranormal

Publisher:  Webfoot Publishing

You can purchase Dead Heat on ebook from Amazon, Smashwords, or Barnes & Noble.  More reviews available on Goodreads.

Book Description:

Alex is a machine whisperer. He can tell what’s wrong with a broken-down car with a touch. But his gift can’t save him from the brutality of his meth-addict father. For two years, Alex experienced kindness through Cole, his mentor. Now Cole’s dead, and the violence in Alex’s life is escalating.

When Cole reappears as a ghost, Alex clings to the tenuous link. Then he learns Cole might’ve sacrificed his chance to cross over. Jade, the first girl to look beyond Alex’s past, assures him Cole can reach the Other Side—if Alex escapes from his dad. But a previous terrifying attempt has convinced Alex it’s impossible. Unless he can find the courage to try, his friend may be earthbound forever.

Excerpt:

After Alex’s mentor Cole dies in a wreck at the speedway, Alex takes his truck and trailer to his wife, then goes back to the track, where his grief overcomes him and he collapses.

Chapter 2

For a long time, I lay on that wet asphalt, wishing I was dead. It’s like I’m not even here, like the hurt’s so big I disappear in it. Something soft brushes my shoulder, near the base of my neck. Pain knifes through me, and I choke on a sob. Then I feel that touch again. I lurch up off the track to look around. Nothing.

I’m soaked, numb clear through, but the chill don’t do a thing to dull the fire of losing Cole. That wells up so big and powerful, I can’t hold it back. I scream as loud as I can, till I’m still yelling, but no sound comes out.

I can’t do this. No way can I go back to how things were. Didn’t I do all I could to make sure nothing like this would happen? All them lies I told, why couldn’t they keep him safe?

I shove the wet hair from my eyes and go get my bike. I rip out of the parking lot hard and fast, daring the cops to come after me, hoping I skid under the wheels of some car.

I got no idea where I’m going, but I wind up at Ivan’s Automotive, the shop where I work. Soon as I pull into the lot, the answer comes. My bike might not’ve done me in, but I know something that will.

I find a piston in the scrap bin outside and use it to bust the glass in the back door. When I get in, I turn on the office light, but leave the rest of the place dark. Don’t want nobody calling the cops before I finish this.

I pick the ’89 Taurus ’cause emission standards aren’t so strict for a car that old. Once I got the keys, I grab one of the hoses we use to vent exhaust from the shop. I stick one end on the tail pipe and put the key in the ignition so I can roll the window down a little. I snake the other end through till it’s resting on the passenger side floorboards. There’s a big gap, so I find some towels and cram ’em in to stop it up.

When I crank the engine, I have one thought of Momma, but the pain’s so big and deep it chases even that away. I close my eyes. For a second, I wonder if I’ll see Cole, or if it’ll just be over, but either way it don’t matter.

There’s this whir, and all four windows start going down. What the hell? I jab the master control to raise ’em. The second I take my finger off, they head south again. Are you kidding me? Real quick, I roll ’em up, kill the engine, and get out of the car to pull the fuse. Whatever’s going on, them windows can’t work if they don’t have no juice.

I get back in and crank the starter. The engine revs for just a second before it dies. I try again. The car sputters and stalls. One more shot, and this time it won’t run for nothing. Pissed, I twist the key and don’t let go until the starter sucks every bit of life out of the battery.

“Son of a bitch!” I slam my fist against the wheel, beating it again and again. Finally, I got nothing left. A sob grabs my throat and I slump forward, pain crashing down in waves that want to drown me.

Then something touches my shoulder. I jump and swing around. This time I see him, right beside me.

Cole. Only not Cole—he’s sorta sunk down into the seat a little, and the fabric shows right through him.

The shock stops my breath. I stare at him and he stares back, sadder than I ever seen him. That look is so damn Cole it rips a hole in me. I got no doubt that if he could, he’d take every bit of my pain and carry it himself.

When he puts his hand out, I feel that feather touch again.

“I’m sorry, Ace,” he says, “but I can’t let you do this.”

About the Author:

In addition to being a YA author, Lisa Nowak is a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. She writes coming-of-age books about kids in hard luck situations who learn to appreciate their own value after finding mentors who love them for who they are. She enjoys dark chocolate and stout beer and constantly works toward employing wei wu wei in her life, all the while realizing that the struggle itself is an oxymoron. Lisa has no spare time, but if she did she’d use it to tend to her expansive perennial garden, watch medical dramas, take long walks after dark, and teach her cats to play poker. For those of you who might be wondering, she is not, and has never been, a diaper-wearing astronaut. She lives in Milwaukie, Oregon, with her husband, four feline companions, and two giant sequoias.

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Book Review/Giveaway: Halo of the Damned by Dina Rae

Halo of the Damned by Dina Rae

Publisher:  Eternal Press

Genre:  Dark Paranormal

You can purchase Halo of the Damned on ebook or paperback from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  More reviews available on Goodreads.  There is a separate giveaway for a paperback version of this book on Goodreads that you can enter from Oct 1-31st.  You can read my reviews of other books by Dina Rae:  Be Paranoid Be Prepared and Bad Juju.

Giveaway:

Click HERE to enter the giveaway for an ebook version of Halo of the Damned as well as a $10 gift card to Amazon.com.  Giveaway is opened internationally.  There will be one winner.

Review:

Overview:  Halo of the Damned is the third book I’ve read from Dina Rae and she sure does have a very signature way to her writing.  It’s raw, extremely unpredictable, and compelling from the first page to the last.  The dialogue and writing feel over-dramatic at times, and the way her books are written feels like Dan Brown or Tim LaHaye.  I like how each of her books tackle a different genre – this one is a dark thriller.  I like how this book is about a devil religion unique to this book – which means Catholics are spared from the corrupt priest stereotypes.  It’s dirty, but not gory.  A great Halloween read for those who like their “evil” without too much scare.

Characters:  Like in her other novels, there is a huge cast of characters with distinct personalities.  With such a large amount, there isn’t much character development for many of the characters, but they will leave you guessing from scene to scene.  Joanne is the star of the novel and she is both a recovering drug addict and an ex-con.  I like how her view of the world was more jaded than the typical heroine and how she didn’t fall madly in love instantly with the first male who showed interest in her.  There is a little bit of a love triangle, but honestly, one of the men was way out of his league in trying to get her.  The romance is very underplayed and the plot definitely hog most of the spotlight.  One person I couldn’t stand was Marie – as she in no way resembled a 6-year-old in her mannerisms  behaviors, or vocals.  I think her character would have been more convincing if she was at least 12 or 13.

Plot:  It could be viewed as a good or bad thing, but many of the scenes are revisited by different characters.  Scene A might be told in Joanne’s POV and end in a cliffhanger.  A chapter or two later, Marcus will pick up the same scene either explaining the events leading up to Scene A or the events that happened because of Scene A.  Halo of the Damned is definitely a non-linear story, but surprisingly the pacing of the novel is strong even when the information in the book is familiar to the reader.

Ending:  Thankfully this was not a cliffhanger.  I could see the potential for a series involving many of the characters, but even as a stand alone this book has a satisfying ending.  There’s a few twists that happen during the path of the book and I had a general idea of what would happen at the end – but there was no predictability to the actions of most of the characters.  Overall though, it was a good read.  A “light” read for those who like “dark” books.

Grade:  B+

This is great book for those who wants something different in the paranormal genre.

Book Description:

A chain of advertising agencies, a new breed of humans, and a fallen angel to worship… Andel Talistokov is known for his slick advertising agencies across the globe. He is a fallen angel that uses advertising as a weapon for Satan’s work. His growing power emboldens him to break several of Hell’s Commandments. Furious with his arrogance, Satan commands him to return to Hell after finding his own replacement. Yezidism, an ancient angel worshiping religion, quietly expands throughout the West. Armaros appears as a guest of honor during their ceremonies. He mates with young women to produce nephilim, a mixed race of humans and angels. They are alone and unprepared for their supernatural power. Joanna Easterhouse, a recovering drug addict, steps out of prison shortly after her mother’s fatal accident. She and her sister, Kim, unravel their mother’s secretive past. Intrigued, they learn their bloodline is part of a celestial legacy. Both worlds collide. Halo of the Damned is a horrifying tale that weaves research together with suspenseful twists and turns.

About the Author:

Dina Rae is a new author here to stay.  As a former teacher, she brings an academic element to her work.  Her three novels, Halo of the Damned, The Last Degree, and Bad Juju weave research and suspense throughout the plots.  Her short story, Be Paranoid Be Prepared, is a prequel of sorts to The Last Degree, focusing on the James Martin character.  Dina also freelances for various entertainment blogs.

Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago.  She is a Christian, an avid tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on several conspiracy theories.  She has been interviewed numerous times in e-zines, websites, blogs, newspapers, and radio programs.  When she is not writing she is reading novels from her favorite authors Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Brad Thor, George R.R. Martin, and Preston & Childs.

Website | Blog | Twitter: @haloofthedamned Halo of the Damned |

Spooktacular Giveaway: Halo of the Damned by Dina Rae

Check out this guest Post by author Dina Rae and then enter the giveaway to win a copy of Halo of the Damned and a $10 giftcard to Amazon.com.  The Spooktacular Giveaway Hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer & The Diary of a Bookworm.  You can check out a full list of the participating blogs (OVER 400!!!)  by clicking HERE.  Giveaway is open internationally and winner has 48 hours to respond by email or a new one will be chosen.  You can read my full review of Halo of the Damned, which I rated a B+, or scroll down to the bottom of this post to read a mini review.

Click to enter the giveaway

ebook + giftcard = ONE LUCKY PERSON!


Halo of the Damned

Guest Post by Dina Rae

In my recent novel, Halo of the Damned, I used research about the ancient Yezidi religion (spellings vary).  The Yezidis originated from northern Iraq.  The religion spread throughout the Kurdish community, eventually making its way into Europe.

Yezidis worship angels, especially Malak Tawas (spellings vary).  The peacock symbolizes this angel who many believe to be Satan.  Malak’s story in the Koran matches the same stories in the Bible and Old Testament about a rebellious angel who wages war with a third of all of God’s angels against God and the remainder of angels in Heaven.  Once defeated, God sends all of them to Hell.  Yezidis believe God created Malak first, before all other angels, in His image, therefore he is also God.  They also believe the world was first created as a pearl.  Their holy books are Black Book and Book of Revelation.  Their afterlife ideas are vague, but lean towards reincarnation.  I found the religion fascinating and used it as part of the plot.

Book Description:  A chain of advertising agencies, a new breed of humans, and a fallen angel to worship… Andel Talistokov is known for his slick advertising agencies across the globe. He is a fallen angel that uses advertising as a weapon for Satan’s work. His growing power emboldens him to break several of Hell’s Commandments. Furious with his arrogance, Satan commands him to return to Hell after finding his own replacement. Yezidism, an ancient angel worshiping religion, quietly expands throughout the West. Armaros appears as a guest of honor during their ceremonies. He mates with young women to produce nephilim, a mixed race of humans and angels. They are alone and unprepared for their supernatural power. Joanna Easterhouse, a recovering drug addict, steps out of prison shortly after her mother’s fatal accident. She and her sister, Kim, unravel their mother’s secretive past. Intrigued, they learn their bloodline is part of a celestial legacy. Both worlds collide. Halo of the Damned is a horrifying tale that weaves research together with suspenseful twists and turns.

Quick Review:  Halo of the Damned is the third book I’ve read from Dina Rae and she sure does have a very signature way to her writing.  It’s raw, extremely unpredictable, and compelling from the first page to the last.  The dialogue and writing feels over-dramatic at times, and the way her books are written feels like Dan Brown or Tim LaHaye.  I like how each of her books tackle a different genre – this one is a dark thriller.  I like how this book is about a devil religion unique to this book – which means Catholics are spared from the corrupt priest stereotypes.  It’s dirty, but not gory.  A great Halloween read for those who like their “evil” without too much scare.  (B+ rating)

Website | Blog | Twitter: @haloofthedamned Halo of the Damned |