Book Review: Melissa R Smith’s Touch of Silver

touchofsilverTitle: Touch of Silver
Author: Melissa R Smith
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Yes / Book 3
Rating: 5 out of 5
My Copy: Review Copy via Author

Melissa R. Smith’s Touch of Silver is the eagerly anticipated sequel to Legacy. It can be read as a standalone if you don’t mind not knowing the back story; however, Smith does an excellent job keeping readers up to date without bogging down the reader in history. A new reader can easily read this book without too many spoilers.

Touch of Silver picks up where Legacy left off; months have passed since Roman and Devani last saw each other. She’s a prisoner at work with her all actions being reported to London and the Militia. Devai is surprised when Echo gets in touch and requests for her to change her work shift. Unaware of the reason, she reluctantly agrees and later that evening, she comes face to face with Roman. He explains he hasn’t stopped loving her and wants them to be together, but Devani resists because she knows London is watching and she wants to protect Roman. When an attempt is made on Devani’s life, she goes to Roman seeking his protection. Touch of Silver shows us the lengths a son will go through to keep his father’s legacy pristine and to hide a horrific secret.

I’ve been lucky enough to read Smith’s previous work. Touch of Silver has surprised me because it shows how much she’s grown as a writer and I do believe readers will enjoy her latest piece. The writing is engaging and witty. I loved the moment Roman meets with Devani and when their reunion is interrupted by Bethany knowing Bethany can make her life hell he says, “Say the word and I’ll drain her.” Touch of Silver is also heartbreaking. When Devani and Roman see the evidence Jake Daniels went to protect, you’re filled with heartache. The way Smith sets up the scene, as you read, you can feel it as the scene progresses. Echo’s disbelief at what she sees to Roman’s reaction will leave you emotionally drained. Then there’s London and what he orders the members of the Militia to do. You can feel his desperation at the lengths he’ll go to get what he wants. I don’t know what his fate is with regards to his appearance in a future book, but I hope the Sects get a hold of him.

Most of the characters from Legacy are featured and Smith goes into a more detailed background with regards to characterization. We get to know a little more about Tracy and I was surprised to find she was related to someone Devani knows. I really liked how Smith set up the prejudices people have against Sanguines. She also shows us the differences between the territories and we’re introduced to Phillip Trahan, the Elder in New Orleans. Oh Phillip! What an interesting character and I’m sure most readers will be left wanting more. The writing is engaging and detailed. One of my favorite scenes involves Echo playing Angry Birds:

“I can never get the silly boomerang bird to work right.” Echo was sitting on the count next to me. A magazine was in her lap, but she was playing Angry Birds on iPad instead. “I want to trade him in for that big red bird, now that sucker can break through anything.”

In the end, I loved Touch of Silver. Be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster. Please note: do not begin this book in the evening; otherwise you’ll experience a sleepless night because you won’t be able to put it down.

Advertisements

Cover Reveal: Touch of Silver & Excerpt

Eeek! The wait is almost over! Touch of Silver is the highly anticipated sequel to Legacy and it will be released very soon. In the meantime Melissa has given us an exclusive excerpt and of course a first look at the beautiful cover!

*

*

*

touchofsilver
Synopsis
It was supposed to be so simple for Devani Daniels. Stay away from Sanguines and the Militia would leave her alone. Knowing the inner workings of the fanatical organization, Devani should have realized that London Weinright, the division’s current leader, wouldn’t give up so easily. Now, not only is she being harassed by her Sanguine-hating co-workers, but she’s alone without her one true love, Roman, the Sanguine she pushed away to keep him safe.

Despite releasing Devani from their connection, Roman has discovered the reasons behind her rejection and is determined to defy the Militia, no matter what it takes. When their paths finally cross, will Devani and Roman be able to deny what they truly feel?

Or will their love inevitably put them in Weinright’s line of fire?

Excerpt
With nighttime hours being so busy, most of Friday passed quickly and I didn’t have time to think about why Echo wanted me to change shifts, until my dinner break. Once inside the break room, I tried calling her number, but all I got was voice mail. Surely, she wasn’t going to try to visit me. She knew better than that.

I certainly wasn’t going to invite her, or anyone else to see me at Parker’s Books and Café. Not after being told by my boss, Robert Parker, that every move I made would be closely scrutinized. One little mistake, one more Sanguine in the store, whether I knew them or not, and he would inform London Weinright. It made me afraid to leave work for any reason, even to go somewhere for lunch. That was my routine now – do my job, speak to no one more than necessary and go home alone. A sad, solitary existence.

Emma, a relatively new employee and Bethany Jenner’s rival for Robert’s Protégée of the Year, came into the break room holding an empty fast food bag, “Hey, Devani.” She said, cheerily tossing it in the garbage can. She was pleasant and always greeted me with a smile; no matter how much I saw Jean, my blabber-mouthed co-worker, talking to her about me.

I just finished my microwaved frozen dinner and was cleaning up, “Emma, have you seen Bethany?” I suppose I really didn’t have to ask, I knew The Princess was either in Robert’s office talking his ear off, or in the storeroom, sneaking a chat on her cell phone with one of her boyfriends.

Emma started washing her hands, “She said something about calling her Mom. She’s not feeling good or something.”

I’d heard that before. Bethany’s mother must be the sickliest person on the face of the earth. No, it was just a secret code for, I’m trying to find a date for tonight. “Oh, okay.”

“Did you need her?”

“No, she’s supposed to be helping out in the café, but I can check on her later.” I lazily answered and stood up to throw my trash in the garbage.

I turned to smile at Emma before leaving, but she stopped me, “Oh! On my way in here, Jean told me to give you a message.”

Jean actually wanting to talk to me? My interest was instantly piqued. “A message?”

“She said that some people, uh, came in and were looking around. She thought you would really want to know.”

Some people? Who?” I eyed Emma, which made her turn uncomfortable very fast.

She shrugged her petite shoulders, “Um. Sanguines.”

Immediately, my eyes widened, panic stricken. Oh God no, that was what I was afraid of. Was that why Echo wanted me to work tonight? Was Simeon and Greg out there, asking for me? Granted, I didn’t tell Echo to keep them away. Did I really have to be that specific after all this time?

“Is there a problem?” Emma asked and her expression confirmed my suspicion, Jean had indeed been telling Emma about my past with Sanguines.

Jean. It wasn’t that long ago that she had been so supportive after I’d been attacked outside the store by a glow-crazed customer; she would call me at least once a day to make sure I was okay. On our shifts, she was always the first one to volunteer to walk me to my car. Now, because of someone’s (Bethany, but I couldn’t be sure) big mouth, she had practically turned a one-eighty into a bigoted gossip. They all had. In fact, I hardly recognized some of my co-workers anymore.

“No, not at all, why?” I answered, turning away so she couldn’t see my attempt to remain calm.

“She said to make sure I was out of your way, because you would come running. You seem to like Sanguines.”


n1145721593_312755_246975About Melissa
I’ve been writing for about twelve years now, beginning with fanfiction. I published my first book in 2001, with a revised version in 2004.

My hope is to find a good following of readers who enjoy my work. I try to write stories that feature strong female characters, usually over the age of 25. I also keep my sexual content to a minimum, for those who prefer less erotic and more romantic.

Paranormal is my genre of choice, but I also have written historical romance, which I hope to publish very soon.

Connect with Melissa
Website | Blog
Twitter: @missyisawriter
Facebook: Author Page
Goodreads: Author Page

Interview: Melissa R. Smith

n1145721593_312755_246975I’m really excited for everyone to know a little more about Melissa R. Smith and her Sanguine series. If you’re a fan of the paranormal genre, I recommend her books. If you’re just starting to dip your toes into the genre, I think she’d be a good author to begin with.


Q. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself other than the standard bio on your website?
A. One of my favorite places in the world is at the beach and would spend all my summer there, if I could. I also enjoy learning about European history. Not just reading dates and places, but the culture itself is fascinating, anything to do with clothing, etiquette, the class system.

Q. What drew you to write about the paranormal?
A. I can’t say there was one, particular defining moment which drew me to write paranormal fiction, it just seems that I’ve always had an interest in it, particularly in the area of vampires. I’ve written in different genres before and just found that I’m the most comfortable writing paranormal.

Q. Some authors use the term paranormal, while others use supernatural. Which term do you prefer and why?
A. I prefer the term paranormal, as supernatural tends to make me think more of ghosts and hauntings. Though I do believe that both terms do cross the boundaries sometimes. It’s certainly up to each individual author to decide which word suits them best.

Q. Legacy was turned down by an independent publisher; are you still interested in pursuing the traditional route?
A. I greatly enjoy what I’m doing right now, but being published traditionally is always a possibility. I believe that if it’s meant to happen, it will. So, until then, I will concentrate on writing the best novels I can for those who enjoy reading them.

Q. Tell us about the Sanguine series and what inspired it.
A: I was never into the ultra-violent vampires that you read about in many adult-centered novels; still I wasn’t ready to write about vampires in the young adult genre. When I began writing about them, I simply tried to picture our world with Sanguines in it – the undead in its simplest form. No magical powers or hidden agenda, just a group of beings who have always been in between the living and the dead and how the Unveiling in 1903 forced them to interact with their only means of survival, humans. The Sanguine Series has the romance that most readers enjoy, mixed with elements of our everyday lives. I think it makes the series more believable and an easier read.

Q. Sanguine Historian, Derick Upton, wrote an entry on Sanguine myths. How much is based in tradition, and how much is made up?
A. I think almost all of it is based on some sort of tradition, the typical legends of vampires throughout history. Derick is very thorough and did his research, which is why he hates the term vampire so much. Sanguines get a bad reputation because of these earlier myths that, for centuries, no one ever tried to dispute. Derick felt it was time to set things straight.

Q. In Six Hours to Sunrise (book 1), Laney asks for the Midnight Special. How did you come up with the idea for Sanguine clubs? Do all the clubs have the Midnight Special or does it vary on what it’s called?
A. In the world of Sanguines, I felt clubs were essential because otherwise, how would Sanguines be able to find blood short of advertising on Craig’s list or Ebay? Donations to collection drives that make bagged blood for Sanguines are fine for some, but not nearly enough for those who need certain blood types that are more compatible. For them, clubs were created to bring those Sanguines together with live donors of all blood types, but especially those that too rare to trust to the Depositories. As for the Midnight Special, the Dutch Club in North Carolina is the only club that offers that special treat…at least so far.

Q. Touch of Silver is the eagerly awaited sequel to Legacy and the 3rd book in the Sanguine series. What are you most pleased about with this book?
A. I think that it allows Devani to finally stand up for what she needs without hurting anyone else. She grows a little, in her realization that no matter how well-meaning her intentions were, she couldn’t stay away from Roman. In the end, the risk was well worth the reward.

Q. Do you write your characters’ backgrounds before writing or do you already know it? How far back do you go? How does a character’s past affect the story?
A. When I begin writing, I sit down and list what characters are needed for the book, such as ‘female – 35 years old’, then I take each character, name him/her and begin to give them some life and as much history as possible, even if some of that history doesn’t make it to the finished book. If I get to know them before I start writing, then they find their voice and their words makes it to the screen much easier. I think all of my main characters have a past that affects their present and future. In fact, my favorite theme to write about is the two main characters meeting in the past and becoming separated due to forces beyond their control. Bringing them back together is a great challenge as well as a great joy.

Q. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
A. I love writing those first two or three paragraphs because they are so pivotal to the story and determine if the reader will be interested enough to continue. Actually, those seem to be the easiest for me to do, probably because I know how I want my story to begin before I ever start writing.

Q. What’s next for the Sanguine series? Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
A. There are many areas I could explore with the Sanguines, but I’m getting a great deal of requests for fleshing out Derick Upton’s story. He has a small, but important role in Six Hours to Sunrise and since he is an older Sanguine, he has an extensive history and many stories to tell.

Q. Why do you think vampires remain popular in modern culture?
A. That’s a tricky question to answer. I think it goes back to the original sensuality and allure of vampires. They bit women on the neck, drank their blood and were considered unholy and forbidden. I think deep down inside, we’re all attracted to things that are more than a little taboo.

Q. Who’s your favorite fictional vampire character and why?
A. Frank Langella’s portrayal of Dracula in the 1979 movie was what got me started on my interest in vampires, but it was Mick St. John (played by Alex O’Loughlin) in the TV series, Moonlight, that renewed my love and ambition to write about them. Mick and his friends, while still unknown to the world, were trying to live among humans to the best of their ability. Yet, Mick had fallen for Beth, a girl he knew from his past. He was torn between keeping the secret and revealing his true self, thinking she would find him to be a monster. It was a great series and a shame it was canceled so soon. The great ideas that came from there inspired me.

Q. You also wrote The Color of Night, which features the Panthera, Quinn. Will there be a second book featuring his cousin or any other Panthera?
A. Yes, there will definitely be a second book to Color of Night and it will feature a more in-depth look into the world of the Panthera. Katrine, Quinn’s cousin, has a past that begs to be explored and resolved.

Q. Finally, Touch of Silver comes out in March, any spoilers you want to give us?
A. Those who have read my books know how much I love happy endings. That’s as much as I can say right now.

Epilogue

01. Favorite Old Hollywood Movie?
Singin’ in the Rain.

02. Favorite drink (alcohol counts)?
Raspberry limeade.

03. E-book or print book?
Print book.

04. Shopping weakness?
Easy. Vera Bradley handbags.

05. Favorite season?
Fall or early Spring.

06. Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla!

07. Favorite song?
Before the Rain by Duran Duran is a new favorite of mine. It’s haunting and beautiful, especially the live version.

Book Review: Melissa R Smith’s Legacy

legacyTitle: Legacy
Author: Melissa R. Smith
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Yes / Book 2
Rating: 4 out of 5
My Copy: Review Copy via Author

Melissa R Smith’s Legacy is the second book in the Sanguine series and it is part one of a two part series. It is very much a standalone book and if you haven’t read Six Hours to Sunrise, you won’t be left trying to backtrack since Legacy introduces a new set of characters and takes places in a different location.

Six Hours to Sunrise addresses the issue of Sanguines living among us and what it’s like to grow up unaware of them. Legacy touches on the relationships between the Militia and Sanguine. The Militia are a self governed group of humans who make it their business to make sure Sanguines honor the Lossbridge Treaty. The treaty outlines what Sanguines can and cannot do, which some Sanguines oppose, but only because they feel a treaty wasn’t necessary. What happens when a top ranking militia official befriends a Sanguine? What if said Sanguine finds his mate amongst a descendant of a militia member? That’s what Legacy attempts to answer.

Devani Daniels is just fourteen years old when she begins to form a bond with Tristan, a Sanguine. Tristan quickly recognizes the signs and makes arrangements to leave her life because such a connection cannot happen at such a young age. Her father realizes there is no denying his daughter’s fate and proceeds to sever his family’s ties regarding participation in the Legacy Act. The act itself just means, children of high ranking Militia members automatically are held to the regulations even if they don’t become Militia officials. Unfortunately, Devani and her sister are unaware of this and when Devani is invited to an unknown club, she has no idea her life is about to be turned upside down. When she’s informed of her reason for being invited to the Weeping Orchid, Devani immediately gets ready to leave. She’s aware of what Sanguines are and doesn’t want anything to do with them; however, the club owner and his companion, Simeon and Echo, quickly explain the purpose of the club and she changes her mind. Later she meets Tracy and her boyfriend Greg and spends the evening dancing the night way, but when she learns she’s been reserved for someone named Roman, Devani begins to question if she really wants to be involved with them. Little does she know, two men from her past will renter her life and she has to make the difficult decision of protecting her family or take a chance on love.

Character development is strong and readers will associate with Devani. We have a heroine who is strong and isn’t afraid to fight for what she believes. Readers will enjoy the relationship she has with her sister, Jasmine. Echo is a force to be reckoned with as well as Simeon. Of course we must have a villain and London is a toad of the first order. I can’t wait to see what fate awaits him in part two, Touch of Silver.

The writing is engaging and polished. One note regarding the narrative, Smith uses first person point of view, but it does interchange at times with Roman’s narrative. It’s not bothersome, but might distract readers since you aren’t told when the narrative changes. We do need Roman’s narrative and Smith does a good job placing it where we needed it and it becomes clear as you read. I personally enjoyed Roman’s past and how he and Jake Daniels came to understand one another.

Legacy ends on a cliffhanger and readers will be left dying to know what happens next. Lucky for you the wait isn’t far since Touch of Silver is scheduled for an early March release. In the meantime, you can read Legacy for free at Smashwords using coupon code: WC87W.

Spotlight: Sanguine Series

sixhoursnewSix Hours to Sunrise
After being told by her unconventional preacher father that she has to marry a man she’s never met, Madeline Stevens checks herself into a hotel room, determined to end her suffering. Little did she know, a glance at an ad in the hotel’s phone book would lead her to a mysterious man named Reece and the beginning of six hours she would never forget.

There is one problem.

Reece Summerall is no ordinary man. A Sanguine who’s existed for over a hundred years, he never thought it was possible to find a companion until he became completely blindsided. When Reece is forced to take a drastic step in order to save Madeline’s life, he unwillingly binds the two of them together forever. When she learns the truth about him, will they be able to go their separate ways or will their strong bond bring them back together? Or will her father’s teachings ultimately drive a wedge between them?

legacyLegacy
Things aren’t always what they seem.

Devani Daniels learned that lesson the second a mysterious envelope was placed in her hands at a local blood drive. Little did she know that this seemingly innocent gesture would not only lead her into a whole new world, but to a reunion with Roman, a special friend from her past. However, the discovery that Roman is Sanguine tests Devani’s long standing fears and faith in her own beliefs. For the daughter of a former leader of the extremist group that opposes Sanguines, being with Roman violates the Legacy Act and threatens to separate the two of them forever.

Is love strong enough for Devani to risk the only life she’s ever known, for an uncertain and potentially dangerous future?

n1145721593_312755_246975About Melissa
I’ve been writing for about twelve years now, beginning with fanfiction. I published my first book in 2001, with a revised version in 2004.

My hope is to find a good following of readers who enjoy my work. I try to write stories that feature strong female characters, usually over the age of 25. I also keep my sexual content to a minimum, for those who prefer less erotic and more romantic.

Paranormal is my genre of choice, but I also have written historical romance, which I hope to publish very soon.

Connect with Melissa
Website
Facebook Page
Twitter: missyisawriter
Goodreads: Author Page

Guest Post: Valentine’s Day – Myth, Mystery or Money Making Machine

I’m really excited about today’s very special guest post! It’s written by one of my favorite vampires, Derick Upton. Upton can be found in Melissa R. Smith’s Sanguine series and currently she’s offering Legacy for free at Smashwords using coupon code: WC87W.


Valentine’s Day – Myth, Mystery or Money Making Machine

Greetings, my friends.
Well, it seems I have been called upon to give insight into a topic which has confused and delighted humans for centuries, Valentine’s Day. The one day a year in which the idea of love is celebrated throughout the world. For humans, it can be a day of joy, to express to the one you love your unending devotion. Wedding vows are exchanged or renewed, proposals are made, cards sent, chocolates and roses delivered by the millions. For others, however, it is a day of morose bitterness, full of resentment, anger and loneliness. Bad memories of divorce, widowhood and unrequited love are revisited. Unwillingly, I might add. I dare one to name another holiday that is met with such a contrast of emotion.

The question was posed to me. Do Sanguines celebrate Valentine’s Day? I believe the answer lies solely with the individual. Some Sanguines are young enough to be familiar with many of the more modern traditions, while older Sanguines never participated while still human, therefore feel no need to start the practice as a Sanguine. In talking with many in my own territory in Scotland, the celebration of the day stands at around half, which does go well with the age grouping now registered in the territory.

How would a Sanguine go about celebrating the day (or evening, as it would be more comfortable at night)? American and some European Sanguines are much more traditional in the giving of flowers, candy (if their companion is still fully human) and cards of love. More than a few proposals of companionship and claiming are made during this time.

In other nations, this is not always the case. Scandinavian Sanguines for example, must fast for three weeks prior to the day. Believing that the celebration must be spiritual, not physical, it is forbidden to spill one drop of blood from their companion. Nor must they hunt at any time. (Scandinavian Sanguines do not import bagged blood and have no Sanguine clubs, feeding is 90% live donor/companion, 10% capture-consume)

Despite my interest in the whole concept of commercialism, I personally detest the thought of Valentine’s Day and if I could, I would stay inside, locked up for the full 24 hours of it. I, as many of my fellow Sanguines, have been one who has loved and lost, friends, and I certainly do not wish, nor appreciate a holiday that reminds me of that fact. However, it is not a good decision, business-wise, not to have my club open, as it generates a great amount of revenue. No matter what day of the week Valentine’s Day falls, the club is always open for feeding and claiming. Why, you may ask, would I be so opposed to a day in which love is celebrated?

Make no mistake; I am a fan of love. My dear friends, love is the greatest gift one creature – human or Sanguine – can give to another. For those who have felt true love, in its most basic and wonderful form, know the joy it brings. Should love be celebrated only on one day of the year? Certainly not. Love, in my opinion, isn’t just a one-day-a-year money pit, but something that must be given great reverence and respect. Yes, I take advantage, business-wise and if you wish to subscribe me a hypocrite, so be it. However one might feel, I see no end to the tradition. So, I advise, do what you wish with the holiday, humans and Sanguines alike. Be married, claimed, romanced, wined and dined. I celebrate for you and with you, as long as you spend money in my establishment.

But inside, alone, I will do what so many others do – drown myself in the indulgences of the flesh. And feast on fresh, virgin blood.

Ah yes, that’s much better.

Until we meet again,
Derick Upton
Reigning Elder – Southern Scottish Territory and
Human/Sanguine Relations Specialist for the Worldwide Coalition of Elders