Promo: Palehua by A. J. Llewellyn

asian boy with long hair

Lio Paikai, reincarnated warrior of the lost Hawaiian kingdom, finds trouble in paradise. The old island gods demand Pālehua from his family: blood sacrifice.

Lio Paikai is adjusting to both his new, extremely passionate relationship with his lover, Kord Ashley, and his status as ‘Ailani, the reincarnated, loyal warrior who fought for the last king of the Hawaiian islands Oahu and Maui. Having severed his ties with his mother, Kalani, Lio grows closer to his father and his new family, but Kalani won’t leave them alone.

Violating a restraining order of protection, she is arrested. Hours later, when Lio accompanies his stepmother to a birthing class, a strange woman falls from the sky landing on the hood of his SUV. Old wounds, old curses, and the demand for retribution threaten to destroy his entire family. Lio must uncover the identity of the fallen woman and soon learns her heartbreaking connection to his mother and the damage it has caused Kalani her entire life. Lio must right an ancient wrong and appease the old island gods that demand an immediate Pālehua: blood sacrifice.

 

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Excerpt

One hour and five minutes later, we walked out of the house. Marcella kept assuring me I’d done very well as she held my arm. My back, neck, and shoulders ached. I’d had to act out giving birth to a baby-doll while Marcella pretended to be my birthing partner.

I felt sorry for my dad. The way she’d screamed at me gave me every indication that she would be a real Nazi in the delivery room.

I was in total panic. I’d had to pretend to give birth to the fake baby so that I empathized with Marcella’s process, but found the experience so traumatic I didn’t think I’d ever get over it. I kept trying to imagine her vagina opening to a huge, cavernous space as my father massaged the baby’s emerging head with olive oil.

Had he done this for me and Louie? What about Marcella? Wouldn’t the pain be horrendous?

“You did great, sweetie,” she said. “You’re a champion.”

“No, I’m not. I’m a wuss. I couldn’t handle the belly.”

“You were fabulous.”

“Who was better, me or Kord?”

“Oh, sweetie. Don’t do this to yourself.”

“Kord, right?”

She flashed me a guilty look. “Well, he sang show tunes as he delivered.” She frowned suddenly. “I should have realized then that he was gay.”

As we got to the SUV, she peered inside. “Sweetie, do we have any apples in there?”

No, we didn’t, but a quick stop over at Foodland would fix that.

As I let her into the passenger side, I stared across the road at a newish house right on the corner. I had no idea why it held my interest, but I caught a sudden glimpse of ghostly children running across the street to it.

I blinked, and nostalgia filled my soul. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The streets were all gone, and I stared at miles and miles of sugar crops. I was standing on the site of an old plantation.

I saw a flash of a different building right on this corner. It was the kind of old Hawaiian-style building that marked a different era. Painted white and with a red roof, it had a lanai in front. I swear I smelled ice cream and chocolate. I heard laughter.

Across the top I saw in faded lettering the name Goo.

And just like that, the image faded.

When I got into the driver’s side, Marcella said, “What are you seeing, sweetie?”

Shaking my head, I threw off the sudden emotion I felt. “I know it sounds weird, but I got a glimpse of what used to be there.”

“What did you see?”

I hesitated. “A huge sugar plantation. And right where the house is, I saw a shop. A lot of kids went to it. I think it was a kind of soda fountain.”

She reached her hand over to mine. “It was. It was the old Plantation Store, but people called it Charlie Goo’s Store after the owner. It closed about twenty years ago.”

I nodded. A strange, unsettled feeling came over me.

“You think maybe the spirits are getting you ready for a new case?” she asked.

“I’m thinking, maybe.”

We weren’t wrong.

Twenty seconds later, something fell on the hood of the car, making us both scream. It wasn’t a coconut. It wasn’t a bowling bowl. It wasn’t a vagina or even an empathy belly. What fell on my hood and scared the heck out of both of us was a woman. At least, I thought she was.

And she’d fallen out of the clear blue sky.

 

About the Author

A.J. Llewellyn is an author whose obsession with myth, magic, love, and romance might have led to serious stalking charges had it not been for the ability to write. Thanks to the existence of some very patient publishers, A.J.’s days are spent writing, reading, and dreaming up new worlds. AJ has definitely stopped Google searching former boyfriends and given up all ambition to taste-test every cupcake in the universe to produce over 150 published gay erotic romance novels.

A.J. wants you to read them all.

You can find this author lurking on Facebook and Twitter—part-time class clown being another occupation. When not writing or reading, A.J.’s other passions include juggling, kite-boarding, and spending a fortune buying upgrade apps for Diner Dash.

 

A.J.’s links:

http://www.ajllewellyn.com

http://www.twitter.com/ajllewellyn.com

http://www.facebook.com

 

Review for Shifting Selves by Mia Marshall

shifting selves

My Rating: 4.5/5

Author:  Mia Marshall
Title:  Shifting Selves (Elements, Book 2)

Genre:  Paranormal mystery

Background:

Amazon Description:
Aidan Brook’s world was shattered when the actions of a brutal murderer revealed long-buried secrets about her past–secrets even she didn’t know. A powerful elemental, Aidan discovered she possesses the wrong kind of magic. It’s a secret that could cost her sanity-or even her life. What she needs is some peace and quiet. What she gets is a phone call from a division of the FBI so secret it doesn’t even have a name, asking her help with a series of shifter disappearances. Before Aidan can settle into a new routine of pancakes and evenings by the fire, the case develops claws. She quickly finds herself caught between uptight bears, deadly mountain lions, overprotective parents, and unhappy federal agents. Throw in a stalled romance with an enigmatic shifter and the slow dissolution of her chosen family, and it’s hard to say which will drive her mad first: her magic, or her chaotic life.

Opinions:
Shifting Selves is the second book in the Element series. You will probably need to read book 1, Broken Elements, to stay up to speed with everything. [Review for the first book can be found here.]The author does provide small recaps at the beginning of the novel if you do want to dive straight into this one, but I would recommend reading the first book prior to this one. Please note that the rest of this review may contain spoilers for the first book. The story focuses on shifter disappearances around Lake Tahoe, and yet again, it becomes personal with Aidan and her band of friends. They must join forces to solve kidnappings and strange magical inhibitions. Aidan is coming to grips with what she has discovered from the last book – but balance is not always so easy to achieve. It’s another rocky ride for Aidan and her pals.

Characters:
As with the first book, this one follows Aidan in first person narrative. At the beginning of the book, the reader sees how Aidan is trying to find balance with her two elements/mental state. She has support from friends, but as with most novels there is some tension between them during certain points. Despite the tensions, they continue to support one another. Still not into exercise, Aidan tries to find ways to calm herself – obviously the yoga is not working for her. (If I was there I would have suggested swimming laps in a pool as her exercise attempt.) The FBI agents are also back. They hire Sera and Aidan to work on a “magical” secret case that involves the disappearance of a shifter. The reader learns more about shifters – especially those outside the bear and cat species. This begins another crime solving adventure, which not everyone is too eager about. Aidan’s parents are also back and more involved than in the prior books, wanting to protect their daughter from other people finding out what she is.

Plot:
The plot moves along nicely – similar flow to the first book. Crimes that involve magical beings are the theme once again, and Aidan with her friends jumps into action to help. Shifters and elementals do not always see eye-to-eye, which brings more interest to the story when elementals are asked to help shifters retrieve their loved ones. The plot takes a few twists along the way with a surprise at the end. The book leaves room for another – which I believe is in the making as I write this.

The Bottom Line:
Overall I enjoyed this book and will look forward to the third one. If you like paranormal mysteries, you should give this series a chance.