Friday 4 December 2015


Woodland Creek Series.
30 Authors. 30 Shifter Stories.
One Epic Release Day.

The Woodland Creek Series is an innovative and collaborative collection of 
Shifter stories set in one town, each with a guaranteed Happily Ever After.

Sibilance by Aria Kane 
This sexy trickster won't let Sophia Samson slither out of his life so easily. 

Crow's Caw at Nightmoon Creek by Calinda B 
All she can think about is his naked body in the woods last night..
.and how he murdered her best friend. 

Running Free by K Webster  
Can Frankie prove her innocence with a sexy detective hot on her trail? 

Broken Wings by Mindy Larson 
 Love, secrets and lies make for a thrilling ride in Broken Wings. 

Mina’s Revenge by J.M. Witt 
Her powers are changing and they're more than the bloodline inheritance from her mother. 

Gargoyle by Scarlett Dawn 
 Being stone-hard has never been this sexy and wicked before. 

Zenko by J. Rose Alexander 
 Blaze Riordan must find Melody Hastings before Halloween-
-and only a little red fox can help him do it. 

The Scarlett Legacy by K.N. Lee 
 All Evie wanted was to escape her family's secret...
and then Avalon walked into town. 

The Beast Within by Rachel M. Raithby 
Passion ignites, and pasts collide, when the Beast comes out to play. 

Sinful Instincts by J.D. Hollyfield 
She was his temptation, and he was her ultimate Sin. 

Moonlit Feathers by Sarah Makela 
After faced with crippling loss, a heartbroken raven must find her wings again…

Hounded by Tasha Black 
 This dog is about to have his day.
. Amazon

Dearborn by Jenni Moen 
 I craved normalcy, to fall in love with someone untouched by the magic of Woodland Creek, 
but not as much as I craved him.

The Good Girl’s Guide to Being a Demon by April Aasheim 
What's a good girl to do when she starts developing horns, and a hunger?

Blind Trust by Raci Ames 
When Pia goes blind she must learn to trust what her heart can see, 
even if it means falling in love with two different shifters.

Dragon's Web by Lia Davis 
 One sexy dragon, two strong-willed females, a family scandal, murder, 
and a love that requires plenty of ice. 

Wicked Jackal by Cherie Marks 
The freedom to choose her fate is all she wants, 
but can she resist the draw of one wicked jackal? 

One Insatiable by Tia Louise 
 One wounded panther, one restless lynx, one insatiable hunger. 

Dream Catcher by M.C. Cerny 
 Happenstance brought Kerri Harper to Woodland Creek, 
but will she stay for the wolf intent on mending her broken heart? 

The Viking’s Curse by Xandra James 
 He was supposed to keep me alive after I was marked for death, 
but hiring the meanest Viking shifter in town might just kill me.

When I was asked if I was interested in reading and reviewing this Anthology, I really wanted to give it a go. I was thinking this Anthology would be a great way to discover some new Shifter genre books, as well as discovering some authors that were new to me too. I do like a good romance and though I do not enjoy reading erotica I don't mind a little steam! so this anthology sounds perfect.

So When signing up for this Anthology review I only signed up to guarantee to read and review one of the novella's. After reading and totally loving the first novella I received the blurb for and then the e-copy for Wicked Jackal, and going on to read the blurb for The Beast Within another one of the novella/shorts I had been sent I knew I would be reading more than one! I'm not totally sure if I will read all the novella/shorts as some I have not seen blurbs for at this stage. 

So now to my review of the first novella I read. . . . . 

Title: Wicked Jackal
Series. Woodland Creek Anthology
Author: Cherie Marks

BLURB from Goodreads
Anastasiya Petrov ran from her fate. The youngest of seven sisters and promised to one of the Princes of a rival pack, she refuses to be a bargaining chip. Instead, she flees to a remote area in the United States, changes her name to Tasia Connor, and settles into her new life. 

Alex Chilikov might be an Estonian prince, but he was raised in the United States and loves it here, especially Woodland Creek, Indiana, where he's followed close behind his bride-to-be. She might be able to hide who she is from the others, but he'd recognize her scent anywhere, and he plans to use his trickster abilities to help him obtain what he wants. He wants out from under his own father's heavy thumb.

However, he's not the only one searching for her. Her father has made some dangerous enemies, and though she continues to attempt to escape Alex's protection, he'll fight to keep her safe. Tasia will risk almost anything to keep her freedom, but only if she can resist a Wicked Jackal.

The individual cover of this book features a rather muscly male as well as an image of a Golden Jackal both of which you realise are the same being, Alexandr Chilikov once you have read the novella. The other main character of the book is a female Golden Jackal shifter, an Estonian Princess called Anastasyia Petrov. As a Princess, high in the hierarchy of a well off pack, Anastasyia is used to getting her own way and it's safe to say is not so used to roughing it as some shifters may be. At the very beginning of the novella we realise Anastasyia or Ana as her family call her is annoyed and planning to run away from home as she is due to marry a Prince from the Kostas pack which would create a great union between the packs. The problem is the Prince and Princess have not had a normal courtship, it is their fathers that have bargained over, discussed and arranged their marriage. Ana is packing a bag talking to her sister Dasha. As the two youngest of the Petrov siblings they have always been close and kept each others secrets from their father since their mother died a few years earlier. Ana has tried reasoning with her father, tried losing her temper and has even begged him to let her out of this arranged marriage but he continues to insist she marry the Prince, that she will be safer and settled once she is married. Ana is under constant guard on the compound her pack lives on so she needs a little help from her sister she plots and plans her escape. Dasha has contacts in a small place called Woodland Creek, Indiana, America, so Ana does have some help resettling someplace new but before she can think about her new life she has to escape the two guards her father insist follow her everywhere, even on her morning run. Ana quickly shifts into her animal form of the Golden Jackal as she finds it freeing, and it's an escape from her human self and problems. Ana is certainly resourceful and manages to escape her guards and make her way to Woodland Creek. Her father Olev Petrov hasn't told her the more serious reason for wanting her married and safely tucked away and settled with a husband and Ana, or Tasia Connor as she now call's herself creates herself anew life whilst being totally oblivious to her fathers problems and her impending danger. Her father hires a "bounty hunter" who finds missing or run away shifter's for a living, his name is Alex Chilikov. For Alex finding Anastasyia Petrov is a little more personal than a normal job as he is the Prince she is to marry. Alex is not all that interested in marrying a stuck up spoilt Princess, which is his immediate opinion of Ana. Alex will gladly find Ana and return her to her fathers care, should the marriage not go ahead, Alex doesn't care.
Ana is working at a Bakery/Cafe working under the name Tasia Connor, with fellow employee, and shifter Beatrice. The two young women have become firm friends and have been taking in the newest eye candy that has arrived in Woodland Creek who has been frequenting the Bakery/Cafe. It is this handsome stranger that ends up rescuing Tasia when some rough looking Russian men appear asking too many questions about her. The handsome stranger talks her into getting in his car and allowing him to take her to his private cabin in the woods. Naturally Tasia is unsure of the stranger and initially makes a bolt for freedom, leaving the handsome stranger to fight off the Russians chasing them. However when she see's the stranger is out numbered and in imminent danger she returns and helps after having  weighed up the options between the handsome stranger and the rough looking Russian men.  For the moment Tasia feels the handsome stranger is the better and safer option of the two. It is whilst the couple are couped up in the cabin that their mutual attraction  grows and the air in the cabin crackles with tension. Tasia enjoys what starts at flirting and humour about her lack of clothes. Although the lack of clothes does end up irritating Tasia so much the handsome rescuer has his almost equally handsome brother Andrei, bring some clothes along with the latest information on the Russian men who it seems were trying to kidnap her. Though Tasia is attracted to her rescuer Alex, she has an uneasy feeling he is purposely not telling her something. No matter how many times he assures her he is not lying to her she feels there is something not quite right. Alex has grown more and more attracted to Tasia and genuinely likes to see her happy so organise's a nightie run, that is supposed to be in a safe controlled enviroment, which is where everything goes wrong and she ends up in the hands of the Russians. 
This was a captivating, fast paced novella/short story that had mystery, suspense and of course a nice big chunk of romance too. I thoroughly enjoyed Cherie Mark's writing stlye and her characters. Though this is a short story, the way Cherie presented the characters made you really care about them. As well as becoming emotionally attached to the main characters of Ana/Tasia and Alex, I also became fond of Beatrice (a type of shifter I had never previously read about) and Andrei, maybe if this story had been a little longer we could have had a little romance between those two characters too.

So did I enjoy the novella/short story? As I'm sure you can tell from the review I loved it! I could have gone on and on about it but decided to leave a few surprises left unsaid for you to discover yourselves too. Would I recommend the novella/short story? Yes! This is a short that is definitely worth reading. In fact I would love to read more about these characters and their extended families and packsWould I want to read another novella/short story from this Anthology? Yes, I already have the next novella/short story ready to read! Would I want to read more by Cherie Marks? As soon as I finished this one I was straight on Goodreads to check out other titles by this author, as well as adding some of them as Want To Read Wishlist.

and the review for the second novella I read. . . . . 

Title: The Beast Within
Series: Woodland Creek Anthology
Author: Rachel Raithby

BLURB from Goodreads
Passion ignites and pasts collide, when the beast comes out to play" 
Trapped in an abusive relationship for two years, leaving could prove deadly for Becca Kian. But when she’s pushed a step too far, Becca has no choice but to flee. After an accident that leaves her unconscious, Becca wakes to find herself in the cabin of a man who’s as entrancing as he is dangerous. Because this man makes her want to dream — dream of a world where Alex Scar doesn’t exist. 
Both Minotaur and human, Aster Tavros is a shifter in hiding. Living in Woodland Creek, he’s made no effort to form relationships, too afraid to allow others to see his true nature. Because when they do, they run. Yet when Becca comes crashing into his life, he ignores every one of his rules. Passion ignites between them, but when secrets and pasts collide, Aster has a choice. He can hide his identity, or reveal his true self to save Becca, all the while, risking losing her forever…

This cover features another hunky, muscly body on show, this time it belongs to one of the main characters, a Minotaur shifter called Aster. Aster did use to live a fairly normal life, and even dated quite a lot of different women. Both his human side and his Minotaur side are feeling restless as one they want to find a suitable mate to love and cherish. Aster has never revealed his shifter side to a woman, he hasn't found one he has felt he could trust enough yet. Besides shifters find a soul mate, one woman forever, one that they stay with forever and he hasn't met that woman yet. Then one night in a bar on a second date with a woman called Julia that both he and his Minotaur are interested in getting to know better though already know she isn't the ONE. The ONE will have to be strong willed, sassy, able to stand up to him and his stubborn Minotaur side too! Aster and his date are just talking and joking with each other when a gunman enters demanding money from the till, shots are fired and obviously mayhem ensues. Aster stands up, naturally his beast beginning to appear, Julia panics and screams . . . .and well Julia is shot . . . and Aster really loses himself to his beast.
Later upset with his lack of control and the fact his date was so visibly afraid of him, prhaps more than she was the gunman that shot are, Aster decides to move to a different place and start anew. Which is how he ends up in Woodland Creek, a place that houses many different types of shifter who manage to live side by side with humans. 
Aster has isolated himself from people, especially women and spends most of his time in his isolated cabin alone. 
The female lead character in this book is Becca, trapped in an increasingly violent and abusive relationship with a man named Alex Scar. When she first met Alex, Becca had thought that he was a turning in her life that was going to be for the better. Alex turned out to be a master of many faces from being handsome and charming whilst being the head of a rather large and busy drug cartel. Of course in the beginning of the relationship Alex was charming and caring, giving Becca a home and job, asking for nothing at all in return. This nice Alex lasted for around six months and by the time Becca realised Alex's true nature it was too late to escape. The longer she stayed the more she learnt about him and his business which made her think her only possible escape could be death! Alex wanted Becca as a trophy looking good on his arm to show off, but liked to show her how cruel he could be interrogating people who he thought had crossed him etc. More recently he had also begun to enjoy hitting her if, in his opinion she was stepping out of line at all! Becca knows herself she cannot take being told what to do, say, wear and how to act much longer. Things come to breaking point when Alex actually offers her to one of his side kicks to enjoy and do what he wishes with!
Becca seizes a chance and in desperation and in fear for her life she escapes, only to be quite literally knocked out by Aster!
The two end up spending time together at his isolated cabin as Aster nurses Becca back to health. When Aster and Becca literally collided they both felt an almost immediate chemistry, initially they both attempt to fight this growing attraction Even Aster's Minotaur side feels a strong attraction, an almost instant feeling of possessiveness and need to protect Becca. His Minotaur side continually prompts Aster to make Becca theirs forever! Becca initially fights her attraction to Aster as she knows Alex scar will come after her, firstly for his precious bike that she escaped on and secondly for revenge. 
Alex does eventually catch up with Becca. . . . she does try to handle things herself but can Aster get to her in time to save her life? . . . . to stop Alex exacting his revenge and killing his former trophy girlfriend?
So did I enjoy the novella? Yes, it was a brilliant, slightly steamy read. Would I recommend the novella? Yes, it definitely gave me my "shifter fix" and ut me in the mood for more shifters and paranormal romance. Would I want to read another novella in this Anthology? I have already read one and definitely intend to read some more of this anthology. Some of the other authors have kindly sent me their novella's so I am certainly intending on reading all those at some point in the future.
Would I want to read other titles by this Author? I intend to look up other titles by Rachel M. Raithby as soon as I get chance.

So I ended up reading two of the novella's out of this, so far, great collection! I certainly intend on reading more of the novella's that some of the authors from this collection kindly sent to me by the authors taking part in this blog tour. 
So Did I enjoy what I read of the Anthology? Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed both novella's that I read. I intend reading more of the Anthology when I have the time, so there will be more reviews to come from this Anthology. I think this is a great collection and that it showcases quite a few different shifter types that I had not read before. The anthology has already managed to introduce me to two Authors that were new to me and I expect it to present me with more new authors to read more of too.
Would I recommend the Anthology? Certainly! From the two novella's I read I would highly recommend the Anthology.

There are three amazing prizes for this blog tour!
  Always Loyal, a Michael Stokes photography book
        Exhibition, a Michael Stokes photography book
     $20 Giftcard to your choice of Amazon, B&N, or Starbucks

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