Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway: Black Atonement by Sasha Hibbs





The burden of Dave’s girlfriend’s death pushes Brandi, the Seraph of Love, to abduct David Howels in hopes of protecting Dave from his murderous father. Will Brandi be able to show Dave that all in life is not lost in death? Twists and turns abound as Brandi discovers her own shocking revelation—that Dave has been her soul mate all along.

Separating Dave and herself from their allies on the threshold of the apocalypse, Brandi turns to an old friend for help—a witch—to aid her in her quest to prepare Dave to face his worst fears and her own. Filled with curses, and secrets that threaten to destroy everything, Brandi must find forgiveness from within before she can find love. In the past, healing a broken heart would’ve been easy, but now faced with the task of healing Dave’s broken heart while not exposing her own, Brandi learns why love is truly the greatest gift of all. 



Staying on Task: Advice for Authors and Writers

Being a writer and author can be rewarding, fun and most definitely challenging. The biggest obstacle I’ve encountered is staying focused. Distraction can be a big problem. Solution: Finding a way to juggle it all.

I’m the Director of Nursing for a company that provides services to MR/DD individuals. I provide those services within 4 counties and oversee a good size nursing department. This job also comes with the responsibility of being on-call. I am the mother of two beautiful girls and wife to an amazing husband. And somewhere in all of that I’ve managed to write three books and working on the fourth as we speak. 

Being an author and writer isn’t just about writing the books and putting them out there in the world. They are like our children. We guide them through marketing, promotion, blogging, tweeting, Facebook, Goodreads, etc. However, if you’re not carful to manage all those social areas, your own work can kind of get lost in the shuffle.

Hours can pass by spending time on FB, GR, blogging, obsessing over how your book is doing on Amazon. I get it. I know. I’ve been there.

After I wrote my first novel, I can remember finding myself saying, “It’s been two whole months since the release and I’ve written nothing on the sequel!”

And I remember my husband giving me some good advice, “Sasha, if you need to do all these other things in addition to writing, then you need to make a schedule.”

The long and short of it is that while social media is crucial to reaching readers, you can’t let yourself get caught up or overwhelmed by it to the point where you’ve quit writing. Make a schedule for yourself. Think about the topics you want to blog about and if you have the time write all your posts out for the week and then schedule them so you don’t find yourself spending an hour or so each day writing the blog posts as you go. Twitter and Facebook: I’ve tried to get my time spent on there down to a ½ hour each day. I already know the pages I’m going to look up and promote. That way you don’t find yourself hours later scrolling or trolling down pages. Twitter: the same. I try not to spend more than 15 minutes to ½ each night on Twitter.

Social media is wonderful! Don’t misunderstand me. I love it like the rest of the publishing world, but if you’re spending hours a day on there then that means you’re not writing. Find a way to balance it out so you don’t lose focus on what brought you there in the beginning: your writing.


Author bio:


By age 5, Sasha Hibbs' favorite movie was Gone With the Wind. By age 12, she completed her 7th grade book report on the sequel, Scarlett. By 18, she met and married her very own Mr. Rhett Butler and as it turns out, she never had to worry about going back to Tara to win the love of her life back. Fortunately, he stuck with her.

With a love of all things paranormal, the ambiance of the South with its gigantic antebellum mansions and canopies of Spanish moss, and a love for her husband’s rich storytelling of blacksmiths and the mythology surrounding their origins, it wasn’t long until the world of her debut novel, Black Amaranth, was born.

When not working her day job as a nurse, you can find Sasha dreaming of her next beach trip, reading the latest YA novel, and drinking more white chocolate mocha than she should.

Sasha lives in mountainous West Virginia with her husband, Tim, and their two daughters, Aeliza and Ava. She is currently hard at work on book four in The Vulcan Legacies series.



Giveaway
Sasha is giving away a $25 Evernight GC

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book Blitz: Being Grateful, Being Thankful by Sarah Butland



Blurb:
Gratitude is all around us and being verbally thankful and aware changes our lives tremendously for the better. Too often people complain about the little things or are silent when those little things don't cause problems.

Be Grateful: Appreciate Everything to Be Happy is an easy to read collection of aspects of your life important for you to consider and think about in a new light. With the Law of Attraction being so evident in the world and people continuously reading all the motivational books, it's easy to forget the true essence of this law and our own lives.

Be Grateful: Appreciate Everything to Be Happy brings that back, shifting your perspective so more good will appear in your life as you deserve.


                                                    Excerpt of Being Grateful:

Wherever you are in life, wherever you are right at this moment you have much to be thankful.

You likely hear the words “Thank you” as much as you say and hear the words “I'm sorry” in a day, but it's important to listen to it and say it with meaning. To truly be grateful is to appreciate where you are and where you've been, so that you can know where you will be going and as well as how to get there.

With the Law of Attraction being on everyone's mind, it seems the world still finds it challenging to think in the positive and be appreciative of where they are and what they have. If you struggle with this, or if you don't really, this book is for you.

Not every chapter may be relevant to you at the time you read it, I encourage you to read it. You may read the chapters in any order you choose; I do encourage you to read them all for greatest effect.

Why? Let's say, for instance, you don't currently have your drivers license, so at first you think it silly to be thankful for that. Take a moment and wonder if you would ever like to have your license. To have that independence and freedom to grab the keys and go when you're ready and not when you can afford a cab or at the whim of another driver. Reading this chapter now will send your intention to your future so it understands how wonderful you will feel when you have your license.

Life is about feeling- something science nor religion can ever truly explain. When you experience gratitude, even in just a small dose, your vibrations are on alert and you smile a little. Standing a little bit taller, you suddenly feel proud and good, no matter who you are, and in doing so reflect this genuine feeling back to others around you.

What would happen if everyone appreciated everything for their experience and what it had to teach them? Quite literally, the world is already filled with energy, so this would work to amplify that magnificence to eventually heal the world.

We all think we want more time in our day. Envy the younger generation for their ability to wake up playing and continue to play all day, if we'd let them. Many of us say we'd be able to play if only we didn't have to drain ourselves to pay the bills

This attitude stops now.

Author Bio:              

Sarah Butland was born in Ontario, the year was 1982. She was moved to New Brunswick for over 15 years and now resides at home in Nova Scotia, Canada. Butland has been married to her high school sweetheart and has a superstar son named William, and a cat named Russ who all make her house a home.
Butland started creating while still learning to walk and in years to follow was able to put a writing utensil to paper to document her creations before they were completely lost. Of course, her first manuscripts were in dire need of editing but she didn’t seem to mind nor did her readers.

The first “big break” for Butland came when she was still a teenager feeling like she was unlike every other teenager she knew. She heard from a poetry contest that her poem “Wrong Shell” would be published in their anthology; would she kindly send them thousands of dollars to continue on in the finals. Butland’s parents refused. So began the struggle of discovering which awards were actually earned not bought.
Limiting herself to contest submissions from then on, Sarah Butland realized her career of writing would be a difficult struggle no matter the talent she held inside or was forced out. Many stories, attempts at novels and thousands of ideas later, Butland created BananaBoy and the Adventures of Sammy was born with Sending You Sammyhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=monezine-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0978123808, her first published children’s book. Then came Brain Tales – Volume Onehttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=monezine-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0981159206, a collection of short stories and finally Arm Farmhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=monezine-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0981159214, her current literary pride and joy.

Butland’s next accomplishment planned to be winning the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award which would then be mentioned among her most joyous literary accomplishments. Unfortunately she didn’t win the 2011 award but is now working on new and greater things like Blood Day – The Novel (tentative title) to be released as soon as possible. Completing it through JANO – January Novel Writing Month is a challenge she accepted!

Social Links:
http://www.SarahButland.com

Buy Links:






Monday, September 29, 2014

Dead over Heels and Storm Release Day Blast: Check Them Out!!!

October is almost here which means the haunting season is upon us. Why not dig into these two new paranormal reads from Entangled Teen to get into the mood.
 
A new companion novel to Alison Kemper's Donna of the Dead

(Both titles can be read as standalones and involve completely separate characters)
About the book
The end of the world just might be their perfect beginning… 
 
Glenview, North Carolina. Also known—at least to sixteen-year-old Ava Pegg—as the Land of Incredibly Boring Vacations. What exactly were her parents thinking when they bought a summer home here? Then the cute-but-really-annoying boy next door shows up at her place in a panic…hollering something about flesh-eating zombies attacking the town.

At first, Ava’s certain that Cole spent a little too much time with his head in the moonshine barrel. But when someone—or something—rotted and terrifying emerges from behind the woodpile, Ava realizes this is no hooch hallucination. The undead are walking in Glenview, and they are hungry. Panicked, Ava and Cole flee into the national forest. No supplies, no weapons. Just two teenagers who don’t even like each other fighting for their lives. But that’s the funny thing about the Zombpocalypse. You never know when you’ll meet your undead end. Or when you’ll fall dead over heels for a boy…

Pick up your copy:

Amazon | B&NiTunes 

Follow the blog tour to win!

 
The exciting conclusion to the Salt duology!

About the book:
A little salt. And a whole lot of magic…

Up until recently, Penelope was a witch with no magic. After having it stolen by a demon when she was just a child, Penelope had been forced to rely on sharing others’ powers as she went through the grueling training required to become an elite demon hunter. Now Penelope has more magic than she’s ever known. And when you’re this powerful, who needs salt to keep the demons away?
But power has a dark side.

Carter Prescott just wants to hunt demons and be with Penelope. But suddenly, witches who formerly had no magic are developing out-of-control powers. Now the world Carter swore to protect isn’t just endangered by malicious demons—it’s threatened by the same witches who once defended it. And Carter is horrified to see his girlfriend starting to change. Stronger. More powerful. Unrecognizable. It’s just a matter of time before Penelope transforms into something far beyond his worst fears…

 Get your copy:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes

 Follow the blog tour!



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Prisoner of the Queen by E. Knight



Prisoner of the Queen (Tales from the Tudor Court, Book #2)
By E. Knight
Release Date: July 30th 2014
2014 Knight Publishing, LLC
Ebook Edition; 335 Pages
ISBN: 978-0990324522
ASIN: B00LZ3B2N0
Genre: Fiction / Historical
Source: Review copy from HF Virtual Book Tours

4 / 5 Stars

Summary
I have served three queens in my life. One was my sister, one was my savior, and one my bitterest enemy.

Knowing she was seen as a threat to the Queen she served, Lady Katherine Grey, legitimate heir to the throne, longs only for the comfort of a loving marriage and a quiet life far from the intrigue of the Tudor court. After seeing her sister become the pawn of their parents and others seeking royal power and then lose their lives for it, she is determined to avoid the vicious struggles over power and religion that dominate Queen Elizabeth’s court. Until she finds love—then Kat is willing to risk it all, even life in prison.


My Thoughts 
Prisoner of the Queen is the second book in the Tales of the Tudor Series and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  There is so much literature about Jane Grey and her unsuccessful attempt at gaining the throne while the tales of her sisters and her family often takes a backseat to that story line, so it was a pleasure to have a plot feature Katherine Grey as the main character.  With so many different interpretations about the lives of the Grey sisters, and the political machinations that existed during this time period, something that is often described as a "viper's nest" today, it was interesting to view everything from Katherine's perspective.

Personally, I really enjoyed Katherine and her personality.  I thought she was sweet, kind, resourceful, and very much aware of her situation, often playing the silly woman in order to find out information that would be useful to her and her plight.  Being cousin to both Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth put her in a very perilous position at court, with many people claiming that she was the rightful heir, causing problems between herself and Elizabeth, who could not trust her no matter what.  Despite all of this, Katherine tried over and over again to win Elizabeth's trust, only to be thrown over and over again into situations beyond her control, all due to the blood that coursed through her veins.  I can't imagine what it would be like to live day in and out in a situation such as this, wondering if you would wake up every morning with soldiers pounding on your door to take you to the Tower because of your heritage.  It must have been extremely stressful, yet Katherine handles things with maturity and grace.  Of course she gets angry from time to time as she was separated from her betrothed for many years, and also frustrated, but through it all, she kept hoping that Elizabeth would grant her clemency and allow her to be a woman for a change and be married.   Katherine definitely shows a lot of steel beneath those vapid looks, and could be quite determined when she wanted to be.  Even though I was familiar with her story, I still rooted for her every step of the way.  

I found the viewpoint on Elizabeth to be quite interesting as she was cold and calculating, a portrayal that is oftentimes different from how she is perceived, and I liked it.  Bitter and resentful from her years before being crowned, she has difficulty seeing past that bitterness and often took it out on her courtiers by expecting certain things from them, such as not succumbing to men and their affectations.  Women who did fall in love were subject to ridicule and wrath, and although there may have been a touch or two of compassion, it was quickly overlooked by her contempt.  She was a woman damaged and determined to be difficult to anyone who stood in her way or who went against her wishes and desires, a woman who could be selfish and self-absorbed.  I thought the author did a great job portraying Elizabeth as I don't think she was ever someone soft or she would never have been able to survive being queen in a climate such as the one fostered in England during this time period.  Her courtiers definitely walked a fine line between acceptance and accusation, and it didn't take much to fall out of favour.

Verdict
Prisoner of the Queen was a good historical fiction read, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  This is definitely one of those reads where I rooted for Katherine every step of the way despite knowing what would happen, through all the scandals and the heartbreak, through the worry and the fears, through the joy and the tears.  Katherine is a woman who is portrayed as being passionate and loyal, yet is at the mercy of her royal connection to the throne.  The writing was good and so was the meticulous research into the time period; if I had one complaint, it would be the glossing over of certain events I thought were important in Katherine's life, plus I would have liked to understand more about the relationship between her and her mother, especially as Lady Frances was considered to be quite formidable.  

About the Author

Eliza KnightE. Knight is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America and several RWA affiliate writing chapters: Hearts Through History, Celtic Hearts, Maryland Romance Writers and Washington Romance Writers. Growing up playing in castle ruins and traipsing the halls of Versailles when visiting her grandparents during the summer, instilled in a love of history and royals at an early age. Feeding her love of history, she created the popular historical blog, History Undressed (www.historyundressed.com). Under the pseudonym Eliza Knight, she is a bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author of historical and erotic romance. For more information please visit E. Knight's website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd

An Unwilling Accomplice (Bess Crawford, Book #6)
by Charles Todd
Release Date: August 12th 2014
2014 William Morrow
Hardcover Edition; 352 Pages
ISBN: 978-0062237194
ASIN: B00G28CIY8
Genre: Fiction / Historical / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars

Summary

Home on leave, Bess Crawford is asked to accompany a wounded soldier confined to a wheelchair to Buckingham Palace, where he’s to be decorated by the King. The next morning when Bess goes to collect Wilkins, he has vanished. Both the Army and the nursing service hold Bess negligent for losing the war hero, and there will be an inquiry.

Then comes disturbing word from the Shropshire police, complicating the already difficult situation: Wilkins has been spotted, and he’s killed a man. If Bess is to save her own reputation, she must find Wilkins and uncover the truth. But the elusive soldier has disappeared again and even the Shropshire police have lost him. Suddenly, the moral implications of what has happened—that a patient in her charge has committed murder—become more important to Bess than her own future. She’s going to solve this mysterious puzzle, but righting an injustice and saving her honor may just cost Bess her life.


My Thoughts
An Unwilling Accomplice is the sixth novel in the Bess Crawford series, and while not exactly my favourite of the series thus far, it was still a fun and interesting entry in a series I enjoy for its descriptions of life on the Western Front as well as the life of a gentlewoman who decided to do her part and become a nurse.  Unfortunately, the events in this novel occurred far more often in England than in France, and I couldn't help but be somewhat disappointed by that.

The plot, I thought, was more mundane than usual, although the conclusion definitely made up for it and caught me somewhat by surprise.  There was a moment when the possible solution that actually occurred did cross my mind, but the plot line did throw me off somewhat and I began to question my own logic somewhat.  Having read every single Todd novel out there, you develop an understanding and expectation for the unexpected, and I did think the solution was too plausible for the author.  But I got caught, thinking the plot was more convoluted than it actually was, and I do have to commend the author for that, as it was her wonderful writing style that did do that.  Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to make up for the banality of some of the book, and I did find myself bored on occasion, wondering when things were going to get going. Too much driving around, and too much annoying people and interfering in what should be a police officer's job.  It was fascinating to read about England during the war, and to learn about how people fought to survive during this time period, but there should have been more of a balance between that and the actual plot.  

As always, I enjoyed Bess and Simon enormously, but what I wanted to happen didn't, and I am extremely disappointed by that.  I would love to see the two of them get together, and while I am not a fan of "insta-love", I am also not a fan of dragging things into a "million" books just to keep a reader on the hook.  I did enjoy the banter between Bess and Simon, and I like how he is protective of her.  It is definitely interesting to see how the world was changing during this time period, and how Bess is slowly throwing off the shackles that bound her as a Victorian woman into one that is becoming far more independent and capable.  As a history teacher, I am fascinated by this time period, and the transformation of women into independent, free thinkers, who challenged the boundaries set for them, and forged paths that would allow us to have the independence and freedom we have today.  Quite an amazing time period!! And Todd captures it quite well in this novel, despite the issues I have with the plot.  Bess still has quite a few strictures placed on her while at home, but is expected to behave as a professional while on the field, and I find the dichotomy of this quite fascinating.  No wonder women were so confused as to what was really expected of them, and why so many began rebelling.  The restrictions placed upon her as a nurse to keep her reputation spotless at all times must have been extremely stressful.

Verdict
An Unwilling Accomplice is one of those novels I pushed myself to get through because I enjoyed the writing style and the research was quite good.  I wasn't as crazy about the plot in this one, and thought it was the weakest of the entries in what has been a solid series so far.  I did enjoy the characters and there were some new, interesting ones in the villages Bess and Simon drove through, and it definitely captured the close-mouthed times, when people would protect each other at all costs. I would like to see more depth to both Simon and Bess's characters though, as at times it is difficult to feel real empathy for either of them, something that is more evident in Todd's Ian Rutledge series.  Despite all of this, I will still read the next book in the series as I am curious as to how things will develop now that we are close to the end of the war. 
 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Spotlight and Giveaway: Shatter Point by Jeff Altabef

3D-ShatterPointAbout the book: Maggie met Cooper at a young age, but even then she sensed something was wrong with him. His charm, good looks, and wealth could not hide the danger that burned in his sapphire eyes. Some nightmares don’t go away. He’d been haunting her from a distance for as long as she could remember. Now things have changed. When her sons Jack and Tom discover she’s been taken, they set out to rescue her and uncover nefarious family secrets, explosive government conspiracies, and a series of horrific murders along the way. Only their colorful great aunt and a covert resistance group can help them navigate the dark underworld full of political subterfuge and class warfare. All the while, Maggie struggles to outwit her tormentor in a life and death psychological battle of tense desperation. Will Jack and Tom arrive before Cooper reaches his shatter point?
Midwest Book Review has described Jeff Altabef as an “articulate and engaging story teller” and “a contemporary novelist of considerable merit and imagination.”
Amazon.comBarnes & NobleiTunes
Readers' Favorite 5-Star Review 

 About the prizes: Who doesn't love prizes? You could win a $15.00 gift cards to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or an autographed copy of Shatter Point!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
About the author
Jeff Altabef lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of "telling stories," he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres. Fourteenth Colony, a political thriller, is his debut novel. Jeff has a blog designed to encourage writing by those that like telling stories. You can find his blog, The Accidental Writers Workshop, on The Patch. Connect with Jeff on his website, Facebook, Twitter, or GoodReads.

Read an Excerpt!
I’m a killer. No better than a common murderer, and worse, really. More like a serial killer who can’t help himself as he takes life after life, unable to stop even if he wished he could.

Darian frowned at the corpse on the stainless steel autopsy table. “Damn it, Zeus, I thought you were going to make it.” His frown deepened until long lines etched into his face. Remorse wasn’t good enough. It was useless. Pointless, really. Remorse would not bring Zeus or any of the others back.

He glanced at the video projections of Zeus’s brain development. His original brain on the left screen appeared normally formed and perfectly functional. The one on the right showed Zeus’s brain after he had injected him. Misshapen and grotesque, it was so overdeveloped it strained against the skull.

Darian shook his head. “Not again. I can’t lose another batch of test subjects.”

“We’re making progress, Doctor Beck. This time, the brain enlargement slowed at the end. With some adjustments, next time it might stop before....” George attempted to smile, but only the tips of his lips responded. Twice Darian’s age, he was so optimistic he could see the silver lining in a hurricane, but this lethal turn of events left even him speechless.

“We’re missing something critical. We need to stop the brain development before it overwhelms the subject.” Darian peered through the glass wall that separated the autopsy room from the rest of the laboratory. The remaining five subjects sat perfectly straight and stared mournfully at the glass as if Darian and Zeus and the table with death hovering above it drew their gaze.

An icy chill tickled its way up his spine. The others had no idea Zeus had died. They were often separated. To them, the glass wall was a simple mirror. They had no idea—could have no idea—a laboratory sat beyond the glass, yet he suspected they knew the truth: that Zeus was dead and he the killer.

Darian nodded toward the remaining subjects. “It’s odd that they haven’t eaten their breakfast. It’s already past noon. They must be hungry.”

Color drained from George’s face. “It’s unnatural for them to stare at the mirror like that.”

Darian pressed a button on a keypad and the one-way glass window turned gray, blocking the other subjects from view. Led Zeppelin started playing. “It’s just our imagination. Hand me the circular saw. Let’s hope we can learn enough from Zeus to save his friends.”

George handed him the shiny autopsy tool, but before he switched it on, the lab door swung open and Brenda Callaghan darted into the room. The normally composed, rather attractive young researcher appeared ashen, her jaw clenched tight.

 “What’s wrong, Brenda?”
Amazon.comBarnes & Noble


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: The Cursed by Heather Graham

The Cursed (Krewe of Hunters, Book #12)
by Heather Graham
Release Date: May 27th 2014
2014 Harlequin MIRA
Paperback Edition; 368 Pages
ISBN: 978-0778316268
ASIN: B00HAZ6BF6
Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Paranormal
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars

Summary
Hannah O'Brien, who grew up in the house and now runs it as a B and B, has always had a special ability to see a pair of resident ghosts. But when a man is murdered in the alley behind her place, she's dismayed when his spirit appears, too, asking for help.

FBI agent Dallas Samson has a passionate interest in the murder, since the victim's a colleague whose death is connected to the smuggling ring known as Los Lobos—the wolves. Now Dallas is even more committed to chasing them down….

Unaware that Dallas has certain abilities of his own, Hannah calls her cousin Kelsey O'Brien, a member of the FBI's Krewe of Hunters, an elite unit of paranormal investigators. The present-day case is linked to a historical mystery involving salvagers, a curse and a sunken ship. Danger and desire bring Hannah and Dallas together, but to survive, they have to solve the mysteries of the past—and stay alive long enough to solve the crimes of the present!


My Thoughts
The Cursed is the twelfth book in the Krewe of Hunters series, and to be honest, it's rather like slipping on an old pair of slippers and a worn housecoat, as the formula always tends to be the same: beautiful girl or beautiful man discovers a dead body, then has to deal with beautiful girl/man who happens to be a police officer and who, oh yes!!, also happens to have paranormal abilities most of the time, and the two of them now have to hunt down the killer/killers.  I tend to turn to a Heather Graham novel when I want a rather light read, knowing the formula will be fun and predictable, but one that I will still enjoy tremendously, and this one is no exception.

First of all, one of things I like about these novels is the description about the various settings: New Orleans, Key West, Savannah, Charleston, and so on.  Even though the research is not always accurate (I do remember something about sharks or salt water in the Great Lakes once and laughing over it), but it is still meticulous and I enjoy learning about the local culture and history.  I have been to most of these cities and I love checking out the local lore that Ms. Graham had mentioned in one of her novels.  There is an emphasis on teaching readers and sharing information about these locales and it is evident that Ms. Graham is very proud of the areas she selects for her novels and wants to share that enthusiasm with her readers.  I really like that and it shows in her novels.

Hannah and Dallas were both typical characters in a Heather Graham novel: he is the dashing police officer who is very protective and strong while Hannah is the strong female protagonist who doesn't want protection but finds she needs it anyways.  I liked both of these characters and thought Hannah held her own quite well in a household full of FBI agents; I can imagine it would be quite difficult to get one's say in such a situation but she managed quite well, without doing anything silly or typically rebellious.  As always, the romance came on rather quickly, and this has always been one aspect where I have had issues with these novels as I have never bought into the "love at first sight" scenario and don't really appreciate it.  Making a difficult choice, such as the one Hannah has to make at the end, I can see, but to give up everything for someone you just met?  No way.  

Verdict
The Cursed was rather formulaic in nature with regards to the plot line, but this is nothing new and I expected it so I didn't enter this novel with any grand expectations.  I just enjoyed the ride with the ghosts and hoped to see a lot of them, which I did, and that made me happy.  I also like it when previous Krewe members visit in these novels and we gets to catch up with their doings.  Ms. Graham definitely has developed a good formula for her novels, but you don't get anything deep in these, just fun, interesting reads, with few layers and little food for thought.  I think that is why the epilogue didn't quite work as it didn't really fit the formula and threw off the rest of the book, and allowed the 'love story' to overshadow the 'mystery'.