Friday, July 11, 2014

Blog Tour Stop & Giveaway ~ The Wolf Who Played with Fire by Sarah Mäkelä

The Wolf Who Played With Fire (Cry Wolf #2)
by: Sarah Mäkelä
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publish Date: June 22, 2014
Publisher: Kissa Press LLC
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.

~Synopsis ~

Some magic can't be unspun…
Meddling in magic…
If Mia Brooks could turn back time, it would be to when she used her fledgling magic to craft a potion for an injured werewolf. It nearly killed the Pack Alpha, and now the lives of her witch mentor, Jessa, and her soldier boyfriend, Ethan Parker, have been changed forever. Jessa is in hospital after a vicious werewolf attack. And, Ethan, having being bitten, is becoming a werewolf himself.

A wolf at the door…
Mia can't turn back time, but she can try to make things right with the two people she cares about most. She's keeping Jessa's shop, Eternally Magick, open, and she's there for Ethan as his inner wolf grows. But, by the next full moon, his transformation will be complete. Can she really be the mate of a half-man-half-wolf, living within the law of the Pack?

Under his spell…
Struggling to contain his new lupine senses, Ethan goes missing on active duty. When Mia realizes her werewolf lover has been abducted, she knows must harness every magic power she possesses to get him safely back…

Strength drained from my body. I had no idea they would've killed him. “God, Ethan.” I braced myself against the tiled wall, uncertain if my legs would hold under the weight of that revelation. “You should've talked to me. H-how could I have helped to stop them if they'd tried to... kill you?” Nausea bubbled within my stomach and I wrapped an arm under my breasts, cradling my belly. An urge to puke lingered at the back of my throat.
The shower curtain jerked open, and Ethan leveled his gaze at me.
My heart skipped a beat and my foot slid on the wet tub. I tumbled forward, the fall happening in eerily slow motion.
Ethan caught me and pulled me against his solid chest. “Careful.” He kept a steady grip on me as I regained my shaky balance. “There are dozens of werewolves in the Pack. How do you expect to cause much damage?”
His words stung. Even though I wanted to be defensive and lash out, he was right.
While I tried to convince myself I was some badass witch capable of raining down chaos on the werewolves, that wasn't me. They would squish me like a bug under their feet, especially since wolves worked together.
I pushed past Ethan and grabbed a towel. Standing naked before him had lost its appeal. Maybe if I hadn't tried telekinesis and gotten so emotional, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Come on, babe. Don't pull away.” He grabbed my hips, turning me around to face him. “I don't want you to get hurt, okay? Not after the close call in the parking garage. Plus, your friend is in the hospital because of a werewolf. I don't trust the Pack, and they don't trust you after you nearly killed their Alpha.”
A shiver chased across my spine that was only partly due to the air's coolness. “I don't want you hurt either,” I said, forcing myself to meet his gaze. “I'm willing to risk my safety for yours.”
The gentle touch of his warm hands shifted, and his fingers bit into my skin. “Mia, I can take care of myself. It's you I'm worried about.”
Through the heat of his words, a sting of power and desire set me alight. The sensation dimly reminded me of what I'd felt when Mr.…Jared...had touched me in Jessa's shop.
Planting my palms on Ethan's chest, I refused to let those memories take hold of me, except the feel of my palms on his hard chest melted my insides and made me pliant and willing. My body wanted Ethan more than it wanted its next breath.
Ethan stared into my eyes transfixed. He bent for a kiss, and any desire I had to keep my distance evaporated as our lips met. Lust crashed through me, and my only need was to be intimate with him. Within seconds, he propped me on the bathroom counter. His hands slid down to my knees before he made his way back toward my naked thighs.
Passion warmed me, taking away any chill I'd felt, and I parted my legs, anxious to be one with him. “Ethan, I want you inside me.”
Whatever negativity from the argument vanished like waking from a bad dream. The only importance now was getting his boxers down and rolling a condom on him. Did he have any in here? Because I didn't know if I could wait until we reached his room.
He parted my towel and tugged me closer. My backside dangled rather precariously over the counter's edge, but he wouldn't let me fall. Despite, or maybe because of, all we'd been through, I trusted him. He looked out for both our relationship and for me.
Wetness formed between my legs at the fierce hunger in the way he claimed my mouth. His tongue speared me, brushing along mine with a need to possess. He slid his hand between my legs, teasingly trailing it over my lips.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and he gripped my hips, lifting me into his arms. Apparently, we were headed to the bedroom. The press of his hot erection between my thighs as he adjusted my position sent heat through me like a wildfire.
For a moment, I didn't care we had responsibilities outside of these four walls. If he asked me to spend the day with him in bed, I would do it.
Ethan strode toward the door with the towel forgotten on the bathroom counter. As we approached the exit, he sucked in a breath and froze.
Loud banging on the bathroom door nearly made me scream, but I slapped a hand over my mouth. If it wasn't for Ethan's warning, I might have blown it.

****4 ½ -Angst & Danger Overload- Stars****
~this review may contain minor spoilers~

~secret relationships, full moon approaching, missing werewolves, uncertainty and danger around every corner; the action continues in this next installment of the 'Cry Wolf' series~

Both Ethan's and Jessa's lives were changed forever, because I couldn't protect either of them from the werewolf's attacks. The ramifications of my failure were incomprehensible, especially for Ethan.

~Mia has hit a low point in her life, even as she has everything she has ever wanted. Because of her involvement with the werewolves and the potion mishap- Her best friend/mentor, Jessa is recovering from a brutal attack and her boyfriend is facing the approaching full moon with the knowledge that he will transform into a werewolf for the very first time. After years of crushing on Ethan, they are finally together. She loves him with all that she has, but it may not be enough. She's scared of what will happen when his transformation is complete-she already feels him pulling away from her, keeping things from her, and she fears he will choose the pack over her in the end. But there's no going back, the past cannot be changed and she has so many other things to contend with. Like keeping her relationship a secret from her brother and family at Ethan's request, not to mention a mysterious witch with unknown intentions and keeping Jessa's magic shop running til she's back on her feet.

~Ethan has never been more unsure of anything in his life as he is about his future. The changes he is going through have him on edge and the wolf seems to be taking more control of him by the day. He hates keeping things from his best friend Nolan, he doesn't want his relationship with Mia out in the open yet but the secrets are causing a strain on his friendship. He has also been keeping things from Mia, his future as a werewolf is precarious at best and he doesn't want to worry her or bring more stress into their relationship. Problem is, his silence is causing even more problems than he wants to deal with. And now the pack wants his help finding a missing werewolf, he knows he will need their help once his transformation is complete and wants to prove he could be an asset to them-but nothing could prepare them for what they will find in their search.

I don't know how to handle you as a werewolf. I'm scared. I know the werewolves don't like me, and I'm afraid when you become one of them you'll feel the same way. I don't want them to take you away from me.”

The angst gets jacked up a notch in this book as Mia struggles with so many things-guilt over Ethan & Jessa's situations, frustration over her lack of magical control, sadness over the slump in her relationship, and genuine fear of the future. I have to admit, I was glad to see that she finally developed a backbone by the end of this book. The girl is so desperate to be accepted by anyone she really does allow herself to be a total doormat. The lengths she went to to keep her relationship with Ethan secret at his request and the fact that he just allowed it, like say-jumping out a friggin window, kinda pissed me off-I won't lie. This girl just really needs at least one person in her life that she can always turn to when she needs it-she is so damn lonely it breaks my heart. I was thrilled to see more into the lives of Jacob & Kelly but I'm ready for more, their story is far from over. I am also developing quite an obsession with the Alpha's son, Chad, and would love to see a whole lot more from him. While this book did not end with a cliffhanger, there are still so many questions and story lines left open that I am anxiously awaiting more from this series.

Our sex life was on fire. The beast connected to her as if she was our mate. My heart knew that was true, but I clung to who I thought I was. Relationships weren't part of my big picture... at least they hadn't been. Being with Mia changed all of that.

~The Cry Wolf Series~
The Witch Who Cried Wolf (Cry Wolf #1)
by: Sarah Mäkelä
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publish Date: December 2, 2013
Publisher: Kissa Press LLC
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.


Be careful what you wish for…
A potion gone wrong: Mia Brooks is a reluctant witch, with powers that she tries to hold in check. But when her magic gets mixed up, supernatural forces are unleashed and suddenly she's being pursued by werewolves—that she didn't even realize existed… 

Hidden emotions: Ethan Parker, Mia's brother's best friend, is home from deployment for the holidays. Mia's not only hiding from werewolves, she's trying to keep her feelings for Ethan secret; it would be a disaster if he knew she's been nursing a long-time crush… 

The power of love: Things take a terrifying turn when Mia and Ethan are attacked by a werewolf. Ethan is amazed when Mia reveals her paranormal prowess as she tries to shield them from danger. But can she really protect them from the darkness that lurks? And how can he tell her that, for ages, he's been denying what he really wants? Mia...

Jessa’s New Age shop—Eternally Magick—was empty. Usually, Jessa was around. But, right now, she wasn’t. I leaned against the front counter, resting my forehead against the cool glass. Athames, crystals, jewelry and really cute dragon statues were locked in the case beneath my fingertips. While I enjoyed hanging out at the shop and seeing what new potions were available, I wished Jessa had given me some kind of clue as to why she wanted me here. But she was my best friend and mentor; the reason had to be important, if for nothing else to spend much needed time together.
I glanced over my shoulder at the wall of ingredients lining the shelves, ripe for the picking. It had been a while since I’d made a new potion. Maybe if I could stock up on a few things...
Not what you’re here for,” I whispered to myself. The urge to see what she had nearly drove me away from the counter, but I held myself in check.
Making potions was one of my hobbies. I loved the creativity and excitement that went into building something from nothing, and the brief connection with my power.
Tapping my fingers on the counter, I stared at the curtained-off backroom. Worry crept into my chest. Why wasn’t Jessa here? She never stood me up. This wasn’t like her.
Jessa?” Usually she came right out when the bells on the door chimed. Biting my lower lip, I considered going into the back. Someone could steal things without her keeping an eye on the store.
Coming,” Jessa called. The black-haired and blue-eyed beauty swept into the front of the store like a hurricane of flowing skirts. She always looked like she’d just come from a Renaissance faire.
I loved the way she dressed, but I knew that style would never be my thing. My parents would think I’d flipped my lid, and my older brother.... Shudder. Nolan would laugh at me, probably joking with his best friend—and my crush since forever—Ethan Parker.
Where have you been? I was getting concerned.” Stepping around the counter, I wrapped my arms around her and she embraced me in a hug smelling of lavender and honey.
Just in the back. I had to wrap up a call and I guess I didn’t hear you come in.” Jessa smiled, but something was up. She appeared a bit too eager to pretend everything was fine.
What’s going on? Are you okay?” I placed my hand on her shoulder, trying to be comforting.
The door chimed, and we turned in unison toward the shop’s new arrival.
I blinked in surprise.
The man towered in the doorway, over six feet of pure muscle. If his shirt were a little tighter, I probably would’ve been able to see six-pack abs through it. What was he doing here?
He strode in as if he owned the place. There could be no doubt: ladies would drop their panties at his command. If I didn’t have a boyfriend.... Stop it, Mia!
I’m looking for the owner,” the man said, his deep voice as smooth and sinful as his looks. Yet beneath his delicious exterior, something about him put me on edge. The hint of arrogance in his eyes and the sharp flare of power as he walked in the room were instant triggers. This guy wasn’t a mere mortal. He was something else, but I couldn’t put my finger on what. Aside from Jessa, I’d never met anyone else with this level of power.
Maybe I needed to get out more.
Jessa cleared her throat, as captivated by him as I was by the sound of it. “I’m the owner.” Her voice hit all the sultry tones and she swayed her shoulders. “Can I help you?” I wished I could pull her aside and tell her my feelings, but that would look way too awkward.
We spoke over the phone. I’m interested in the potion.” He leaned his hip against the counter, standing only a couple feet away. Too close for comfort.
Since Jessa had business to take care of, I sidestepped toward the wall of ingredients, but Jessa grabbed my wrist, keeping me beside her. I cast her a dirty look, but she didn’t pay me any attention, focusing her gaze instead on Mr. Way-Too-Sexy.
Right, I don’t have any of that in right now, but this woman makes some of the best healing salves I’ve seen.” Jessa nudged me forward, nearly throwing me into Mr. Sexy’s arms.
Glancing up his body to his eyes from so close strained my neck. My five-foot-six frame probably looked tiny beside him. An overwhelming sense of lust and intimidation washed over me.
Hi.” I fought against a shiver.

****4- Fab Paranormal Adventure -Stars****
~this review may contain minor spoilers~

~a potion gone wrong, long hidden crushes, and Werewolves on the prowl; this has all the makings of a wicked paranormal adventure~

I had always been the outsider, had always felt like I didn't belong. Maybe it was coming full circle, that Ethan was forgetting my existence.

~Mia Brooks is a witch, just don't tell her family. She's not exactly new to the craft, but she is reluctant to use her powers, something she is trying to get over with the help of her best friend/mentor-Jessa. When a healing potion made with the wrong ingredient ends up almost killing the one it was made for, she has a pack of pissed off Werewolves on her tail-and they are out for blood. To make matters worse, her brothers best friend, and her long time crush-Ethan, is home from the military on leave for Christmas. He has no idea of her feelings for him or the fact that she's a witch, so imagine his surprise when he is attacked by Werewolves when with Mia and she is forced to use her powers in front of him to save their lives.

Mia was in some kind of trouble. She was very careful not to explain to me about anything that had gone on. Besides, where had the fire come from? How did she do that?

~Ethan Parker is home for the holidays and all he wants to do is spent some time relaxing with his best friend and the family who's always been there for him. Avoiding Mia is something he has gotten used to, even if he doesn't necessarily want to. He has always harbored feelings for Mia, but holds back from acting on them out of respect for his best friend, Nolan. What he wasn't prepared for was being thrust into a world of paranormal creatures he never knew existed, and finding out what Mia really is. All he wants to do is protect her, but he has no idea what he is up against.

He couldn't be drawn into all of this. If I got him back to my home, I might be able to put the healing salve on his wound and maybe stop him from going down the path fate had pushed him towards. If he became a werewolf, his future would irrevocably be changed. He'd be lost to me. I couldn't allow that, because while he didn't share my feelings, he was almost family.

This was a novella, which typically run on the shorter side and unfortunately that didn't work in this story's favor at times. On the plus side; the action was non-stop, there was so much going on you had zero time to get bored. On the other hand; parts of it seemed a bit rushed. Unknown situations were figured out in the matter of a sentence and your left wondering “How the hell did he figure that out already & all on his own?” However- I did still enjoy it. It moved along at a good pace, the characters were fascinating, and there is room for so much more in the future. 

Cold Moon Rising (Cry Wolf, #1.5)
by: Sarah Mäkelä
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publish Date: February 17th, 2014
Publisher: Kissa Press LLC
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.


Passions flare when the cold moon rises…

Kelly: a normal college girl, who knows what she wants—to survive her final exams, and find someone to share her life with. Studying with Jacob is becoming too hot to handle; she's falling for him, but he's going too fast…

Jacob: a not-so-typical frat guy, who hides a secret—he's a werewolf. Whenever the moon is high, he's driven to shed his human form and satisfy his powerful desires. He craves Kelly, but she's pushing him away…

Fallout: Jacob can smell Kelly's arousal, but she insists she doesn't want sex. A wolf can only take so much before his natural instincts win out. When the tension between them explodes, Jacob has no choice but to walk…

Kidnapped! Kelly is abducted by evil scientists who've mistaken her for a female werecat and, despite their differences, Jacob has to try and find her. But it's a race against time and the lunar tides. The scientists have taken Kelly to their lab and turned her into a shapeshifter for real. The full moon is rising, and soon neither Kelly nor Jacob will be able to control their inner beasts. Who knows what the consequences will be when they are consumed by unquenchable animal lust…

Fuck me. Please.” The ache between my legs was almost physically painful. If he didn't give me release, I would wither and die from the overbearing torment. It was almost as if I was an animal in heat.
He pressed a fingertip against my lips. “No, it'll be different from that. I'll make love to you. However, I need to get you to safety first.”
I wanted to scream in frustration at him for denying my request. An animalistic growl rumbled in my throat. “Now.” My voice was gravelly and alien from how I normally sounded.
Jacob jerked away from me. Horror widened his eyes, and it smelled like a fine perfume. However, unlike the scientist, his pulse didn't accelerate much. “What did they do to you?” He shook his head. “Never mind that. We need to figure out how to get out of here. Do you understand?”
Emotions welled in my chest, and tears rolled down my cheeks. I didn't want it to be this way, but I nodded. “Even if we escape, they know where I live.” I looked him in the eye, despair wrecking my insides. “They did something to me. I'm different.”
It's going to be okay, Kelly. I'll make sure they never find you again, and I'm different too.”
My mouth dropped open, and I stared up at him. “What are you?”
We'll talk about it later, okay?”
Promise me?” I tugged my lower lip between my teeth, surprised to find that my lip no longer hurt from biting into it so hard earlier. My body was healing at amazing rates.
Shedding his shirt, he handed it to me. I marveled at his sculpted chest, wanting to run my hands all over that muscular expanse. The burning desire inside me didn't need more fuel to fan the flames.
I promise. Put that on. It might not cover a lot, but I don't want them seeing you naked.” When I was clothed, he pulled me into his arms, resting his chin on the top of my head. Anger vibrated in his strong grip, but somehow I knew he would never do anything to hurt me. He lowered his voice so that I could barely hear him. “There are others like me. Others that will look for me.”
How do you know they'd think to look for you here?” I pushed back from him just enough to look into his eyes.
The muscle in his jaw ticked, and he glanced out over my head again. “I know because I... I just have to believe we won't die here. Or worse. If we could get to my car, I could get my phone and call my brother.”
He had family. Someone who cared about him. Yes! We might actually survive this. No one would care if I made it out, alive or not, except for Jacob, and he was right here with me. The fact he had someone who cared for him meant we might actually be rescued, especially if that someone was a shapeshifter. Hope wasn't pointless.
I just don't know how we'll manage that.” Jacob pulled away from me and inspected the bars. He grabbed them and the muscles in his back and arms flexed with the strain as he tried bending them. “These bars are not prison quality.” He glanced back at me, grimacing. “Please don't ask.” He closed the distance between us and then leaned against the concrete wall next to me. “Even with both of us trying, I can't see how we'd be able to break out of here unless the scientist gets close again.”
The last time he got that close I attacked him. I doubt he'll do that again.”
Maybe, maybe not. I guess it depends on if we give him a reason to or not.” He ran a hand through his blond hair, and I wanted to do the same to him. I wanted him to fulfill my needs, so we could forget about what was going on around us. Besides, it didn't look like either of us would be getting out of here anytime soon.
His nostrils twitched, and he shot a look my way. Hunger flashed through his eyes, and I knew he wanted me as badly as I wanted him, if not more. “We can't, Kelly. What if someone—” He trembled with effort, and his jaw clenched and unclenched, then he closed the distance between us. His mouth descended on mine, and we toppled to flat mattress, my hands racing to memorize every inch of his body.

****4 ½ -the plot thickens- Stars****
~this review may contain minor spoilers~

~dyslexic kidnappers, evil scientists, and Werewolves in heat; the action takes an unexpected and brutal turn in this installment~

If this kept up, we'd hit the point of no return. The simple kiss had gone far beyond what I'd anticipated. While I really enjoyed making out with Jacob, I wasn't ready for sex with him. Intimacy shouldn't be rushed. I wanted to wait for the right one, for a committed relationship. One-night stands weren't in my vocabulary. Besides, why give something away too fast? Most guys moved on after sex, right?

~Kelly is a typical college girl trying to survive exams when studying with a close friend she's crushed on for ages gets a little too hott to handle. She has never been attracted to anyone like she is with Jacob, kissing him is like nothing she has ever felt before-but she is just not ready to have sex with him yet and he seems unable to control himself. When he takes things a little too far, a fight ensues leaving Kelly with no choice but to send him away. Little did she know doing so would leave her vulnerable to kidnappers lurking around the corner...

~Jacob is not your typical college guy, he is a werewolf on edge. With the full moon rising, he is struggling to keep his wolf at bay and the smell of Kelly's arousal tests his control like no other. When things get out of hand and he's forced to walk away, he feels terrible about the way he reacts and desperately wants to make it up to her. For the first time, he really likes a girl and even though she's human, leaving very little hope for a future with her, he's not ready to let her go yet. Little did he know walking away would leave he vulnerable to kidnappers lurking in the wings...

Her scent still lingered in the air, driving me into making my decision. Before I realized what I was doing, my wolf howled within me determined to hunt down the men responsible. Three scents, two of which were targets for the beast now. If we caught them, they'd pay for what they did.

~It's a race against time as Jacob goes in search of Kelly before his wolf takes over. Nothing could have prepared him for what he would find-she has been mistaken for a shapeshifter and taken to a lab testing others like him. When it is discovered she is not what they thought she was, a decision is made that will change Kelly's life forever when they have her turned into a werewolf to accommodate their plans. What happens when he finally finds her and they are both now battling their inner beasts and fighting against the pull of the full moon? Will they be able to get out before giving in to baser urges?

This novella is shorter than the last, so the action picks up right out of the gate. There is no slowing down once it gets started and the entire book is spent in nervous anticipation. The humans are the villains this time around and all you can do is hope they will find a way out of the mess they landed in in one piece, though it will be far from easy. I fell in love with these characters, and they may not be directly involved with the characters from the previous book but it does still take place in the same world, so I'm hopeful I will get to hear more about them in the future. Especially considering that ending-it was a cliffhanger sure, but mostly it seemed like the story just stopped. The end. DONE mid-scene. Yeah, I'll admit it-it pissed me off and I screamed just a bit. But I'm over it now and fully ready to move on to the next book-I just hope we find out what happens to these two before I lose my head ;)

Incoherent thoughts filled my mind about the earlier part of the evening, the studying, and our argument. If I hadn't been such a jerk earlier, none of this would have happened. She was in this mess partly because of me. Her life had been changed, and there was no going back. If I failed now, we'd both be locked up again.

 Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author, but she's written all over the romance spectrum with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy... even a sweet contemporary romance!

A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies and Ghost Adventures, and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.