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Monday, September 17, 2012

Review/Giveaway: Erin by Miranda Stork

Title: Erin
Series: Yes, second after Conner
Author: Miranda Stork
Published: September 2012
Format: Ebook provided by Dark Mind Book Tours for review

Erin is the werewolf Queen of Athol Castle. She has no memories of the events of a few months ago, where she believed herself to be a psychologist, and met the enigmatic and charming Conner... 

Filtiarn has taken over Conner’s body once more, and is relishing being in control. Cruel and sensual, he decides to work on a take over humanity. He begins a war...of werewolves against humans. But unknown to him, Conner is fighting against him within his own body, to set things right, and to bring Erin back from her own darkness. He tries to undo a great mistake from long ago, using Erin’s famed sword, Sioctine, as remnants of his own memory come back to him, opening up the present he now lives in. 

At the same time, another enemy is using the situation to their advantage, following the werewolves at every turn, threatening to undo everything that Conner is struggling to obtain... 

But will he be able to bring Erin back from Filtiarn’s grasp, or is it too late? And will he be able to stop the war against the humans progressing? 

And who is threatening to take over not only the humans, but the werewolves as well?

If I had to sum up this book in one word, that word would be treachery.  There is treachery everywhere in this book!  This story picks up where Conner left off.  Conner is out, Filtiarn is in.  Sweet and kind Erin is out, and a much more evil Erin is in. And Filtiarn and Erin have plans to dominate the world.

In the beginning of this story I was really digging evil Erin.  She was tough and bad, and no one dared cross her and her trusty sword, Sioctine.  Man, if you ever thought a weapon couldn’t carry a role as a character, then you’d better think again and read Erin  - because Sioctine does just that.  That sword is crazy.  It’s good, its evil, its enchanted and its badass.  I pretty much need one for myself…unenchanted, of course!  Anyhow, back to Erin.  Like I said, in the beginning I really was digging this whole dark side to her persona.  But then it started to wear on me.  I didn’t like her as much as good Erin.  I was finding it hard to root for the bad guy when there were so few “good” qualities.  But if there is one thing I have learned about Miranda Stork’s stories, expect things to change.  And they do.  Erin becomes good Erin again, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

But Conner, he still battles with his split personality.  I still find this all fascinating, but I still like seeing Conner himself more than Filtiarn.  The love and devotion that Conner has for Erin and for his people just keeps drawing me in, and I like to see him on my page.

This story also introduces a few new characters, which are all very exciting.  We get Jenny and Taraghlan.  Right away I like both of them, despite them being on different sides.  But as things often go in the paranormal world, opposites attract.  We also get to learn a bit more history and learn more about the families of Erin and Conner.

I must say, I loved this story.  I did like Conner a wee bit more, but only because it focused more intently on the couple, while Erin was set on a grander scale.  There is a lot of flashbacks and jumping from viewpoint to viewpoint, but its not really difficult to figure out where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing.  This is definitely a series for any werewolf lover.  There are wolves, vampyres, magic and a heck of a lot more.  It’s been a great honor to host reviews for Conner and Erin, both times through Dark Mind Book Tours.

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Sighing heavily, Erin plonked herself down on the bed she had been laid on just a few hours before, swinging her legs out in front her. Conner smiled, and came to sit next to her, winding his arm across her shoulders.

“What’s wrong?”

Erin leaned into his warm body, closing her eyes for a second, and wrapping her arms around him. “I’m just…tired. It’s a lot to take in, you know? One minute I have this normal life…and then you find out that that was all a lie, and your real life is so incredibly complicated. I just wish I had something to hang on to that wasn’t complicated.”

Putting his hand under her chin, Conner lifted her face to his. “You have me. I’ll always love you, even as Filtiarn, I loved you. That will never be complicated, and that will never change.” Erin’s lips curved into a smile as he gently planted a kiss on them. “Do you remember the first time I gave in to you when you were at Forest Hall? I couldn’t keep up the pretense the whole time; it was killing me seeing you and not being able to touch you.”

Erin blushed, lowering her gaze. “You mean in the shower?”

Conner grinned broadly, making his face look even more sexy. “Yes, in the shower. You smelled so amazing…”

Swallowing, Erin lowered her head, pulling her chin away from his hand, so that he couldn’t see her grinning shyly in return.

Conner looked at her soft hair for a few minutes, teasing himself with the memory of burying his face in that soft, sweet-smelling hair, the touch of her smooth skin next to his, her eyes melting in pleasure…

He gently but firmly lifted her head up again, so that he could see into those stunning blue eyes. Erin was smiling, but a deep rosy blush had covered her cheeks, making her look even more beautiful to Conner. He leant down, pressing his lips against hers. She didn’t resist, and put her hand on his shoulder, to get closer to him. Reading her signals, he placed his other hand behind her head, pulling her deeper into their kiss, threading his fingers through her silky hair. His body began to stir, but he forced himself to be slow and careful, easing her into this. He growled low in his throat, a primal, raw sound, thrusting his tongue into her mouth, licking her lip gently.

The sound made her moan a little, as she let her tongue meet his. The sound made his groin ache, and his breathing began to go faster. His instincts were taking over, telling him to pin her down and rip her clothes off, but he held back, instead gently tracing her collarbone with the pad of his thumb. She shivered a little at the touch, placing her hands on his chest, clawing slightly, as if she too, wanted him stripped off.

Conner pulled his mouth away, gasping slightly. He leaned his head, and began to slowly lay butterfly kisses along her neck, moving his lips along the top of her collarbone, remembering how she had reacted to that in the shower, all that time ago. She cried out, making him instantly go rock hard against her, his hips moving of their own accord, as if he were losing control of them. Erin pushed him off for a moment; making him furrow his brows in disappointment-perhaps he had done too much?

“Erin, I’m sorry, I-“

“What are you sorry for?” When Erin spoke, her voice was husky and soft. She grinned at him, her eyes looking drowsy with lust. Leaning back, she pulled her sweater off, revealing her creamy lace bra. Unhooking it quickly, she pulled that off as well, letting it fall to the floor. She looked back up at Conner. “Is this okay?”

I was born in Guisborough, North Yorkshire in 1987 and have lived in various places around Britain, including Newcastle and Glasgow.
My writing is inspired by various writers, including the vivid characters of Charles Dickens, the imagination of Stephen King, and the gothic imagery of Anne Rice.

My love of horror began at an early age, when I was only three or four. I could read proficiently at the age of three, and devoured fairy-stories, but I always had a bent towards the darker stories, such as the Brother's Grimm's tales...Red Riding Hood was always a firm favourite, although I always felt sorry for the wolf, despite him having tried to eat everyone!

I also had an incredibly vivid imagination, leading me to believe that the noises that the radiator in my room made, were in fact the noises of monsters hiding behind it. This led to me having terrible nightmares, in which I believed I woke up and would see them sat in my room, doing nothing more extraordinary than playing cards or reading a book.

As I got older, my love of tales about unknown creatures persisted, always wanting to devour tales about ghosts or other beings. Being born in Guisborough was also a coincidence, as it is a town rich in folklore and ghosts in various places, such as the Black Monk of Guisborough Priory...whether or not any of these stories were true, I still don't know, but I love the tingle of imagining whether or not they might be.

As I began school, I began to read more books, and became enraptured with the tales of ancient Greece and Rome, loving the explanations for simple things around us turned into figures and gods. To this day, I still have an avid love of ancient customs, and I have especially fallen in love with Celtic symbolism and myths, winding them into my novels whenever possible.
As I got older, about ten or eleven, I had moved, to a small village, with only about 80 children or so. I quickly became the main story-teller of my friends, my favourite one being a story about a girl who buys a porcelain doll, only to hate it after a few days and lock it away in her family's garage. The doll of course, is haunted, and breaks back into the house, calling, 'I'm coming, I'm coming...!' until she reaches the little girl, who is hiding under her cover, where she whispers, 'I'm here, I'm here...!' The poor mother of course comes into her daughter's room in the morning and finds her daughter dead, with the doll sat on top of her. I have a vague memory of telling a wide-eyed group of peers one morning, and one of them running off crying...I think I got told off for telling stories that were too scary at school.

At the age of seven or so, I was given two books by a relative; one of them was a large collection of Lewis Carroll, and to this day my favourite poem is 'Phantasmorgoria'. The other book was a collection of weird tales, all involving fair maids and witches, devils and wicked spirits in some form or another, a lot of them derived from eastern story-telling, where children and evil witches constantly collide-usually with awful consequences. This persisted with a series of magazines and music called 'The Magical Music Box'.

At this point I began to really get into more horror books, watching all and any horrors on television, even ones that were far too cheesy to watch without laughing. Point Horror stories became a favourite on my shelf as I went into my teens, alongside my classic favourites such as Dorian Grey and Great Expectations (still my favourite book to this day). I got hooked onto Anne Rice novels as well, loving the combination of a typically monstrous creature who had redeeming qualities akin to human ones.

The most terrifying book that ever made an impression on me has to be The Exorcist. The film is nothing compared to the book-I don't believe I slept the night after finishing it, waking up at every noise in my room, imagining it to be a voice or whispered giggle.

(If you want to cut my bio down a little, please feel free, it's simply the author bio I use everywhere else, so I thought it would be best to send you the whole piece.)

Previously Reviewed Books by Miranda Stork

Now for the super awesome giveaway!! Miranda is kindly offering an e-copy of Erin and a fantastic swag (containing:A set of signed posters of Conner and Erin, a set of signed bookmarks of Conner and Erin, and two crystals which were supposed to represent the stones from Sicotine, Erin's sword) to one lucky winner!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below, and good luck!  Giveaway is open internationally until September 20,2012!

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