Thursday, August 9, 2012

Soooz's Book Pick Of The Week..."Saving Alexandria" Mary Beth Engle

Allow me to introduce Author, Mary Beth Engle. I have had the privilege of reading her 3 published works in the ‘Alpha Men Series’ of Paranormal Romance Novels.

I have been aware of Mary Beth’s work for quite a while now. I assumed that she had been scooped up by a clever publisher and was working full time on her writing.

However like so many wonderful writers that is not what happened; and she decided to self publish her marvelous books. They are unlike any Paranormal Romance I have ever read…with characters that are intensely believable, the books are fast-paced and beautifully written …book one is short but deliberately so, intended as a powerful lead in novella to books two and three in the ‘Alpha Men Series.’

Mary Beth Engle lives in Fairborn, Ohio, USA with her 4 sons, 1 daughter, 7 grandchildren and various pets.  She is expecting 2 new grandchildren, 0 new children and pets.  She is currently hard at work, or some days hardly working, on the next three books in the Alpha Men series; a vampire novel still taking form; and a series of tongue-in-cheek private detective novels to be titled The Adventures of Plosbo

In January of 2011, after immersing herself in the brilliant minds that make up the Western Ohio Writer’s Association writer’s group for a full year, courage won out and she self-published print and e-book versions of Saving Alexandria, and Guardian of Dreams; the first two books in her Alpha Men Series of Paranormal Romances.  Mind Shadows, the third book in the series was published in March 2012.

 Saving Alexandria...An Introduction to the Alpha Men Series.

A traumatized young girl defies her brother and puts herself in the care of a mysterious Sheik.

This novella is the starting point for a series of paranormal romances centered around a secret organization of extraordinary men and women searching for a powerful psychic terrorist.
My 5 star Review of Saving Alexandria (Alpha Men)
Mary Beth Engle has written a work that crosses genres and does it beautifully. It's a paranormal romance and ... chicklit, perhaps, action definitely, adventure... most assuredly.

Rosalie Alexandria Sherwood was kidnapped from her parents home aged 11. She was sold to white slavers for the sex market and for the next eight years was used and abused and treated like a whore,

She shares rare paranormal abilities with her brother Connor, and when she is rescued, she barely resembles the innocent child that was taken.

Her gifts are enormous, she can communicate with the dead, openly enter any other mind and read the hidden thought therein, move objects by telekinesis, is a Telepath and has Extra Sensory Perception to boot.

She is shattered and afraid when she is saved. Refusing to accompany her brother home, she is offered a solution from an unexpected source. A wealthy young sheik, Erik Abadaan, enters her life, and from the outset, she begins to trust him.

He takes her to his magnificent home on the tiny island kingdom of Pacur and delights in sharing his wealthy toys with her...he also delights in being able to share his paranormal gifts with a women/ girl that understands the power and it's many uses.

The relationship grows, evolving into love on her part. The sex scenes are extremely well done, intensely erotic and sensual without crossing that line into the pornographic.
Rosalie {Alexandria} discovers to her delight that Erik has been in love with her since he first set eyes on her. Naming her Houbie, which she thought meant small one... but in actual fact meant, my love.

A fast-paced beautifully written piece, the narrative, and the dialogue are very well done. The author's descriptive abilities lead you into the hidden fortresses of two very powerful minds.

I recommend this as an interesting and very different reading experience and look forward to reading much more from Ms. Engle's talented pen.
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This spectacular novella is hard to put into any certain category. It's part fantasy, part romance, part adventure and all exciting. The lead character is interesting right from the start but becomes more interesting as her layers are peeled away slowly during the story. The journey through her past and the movement into her future are gripping and will have you on the edge of your seat. I couldn't stop reading and read it a second time just in case I missed something (and will probably read it a couple more times while I wait for more)!

It's definite must read! I can't wait for the future installments!

1st chapter of Saving Alexandria  (Note this book is a riveting lead in to book two and as such is quite short)
Chapter One
            “Don’t come any closer Connor!  I love you, but I will shoot you if I have to.”  The young woman stood her ground, the Sig P225 looking absurdly large and deadly in her small hands.  Steady as a rock and aiming with alarming accuracy at the heart of the American soldier standing less than three feet away, she showed no signs of being intimidated by either its size or its capacity to kill.  Christmas music played in the background on a fuzzy FM radio, and Rosalie gave brief thought to the fact that the whole scenario reminded her of an old episode of M*A*S*H*.
            Connor Sherwood glanced over his shoulder at the three men flanking him and gave a shake of his head to stop the soldiers on either end from moving toward their weapons.   With his mind he reached toward the young woman, shutting out all connection with the men.  Rosalie honey, please listen to me.  I know it’s been nearly a year, but you aren’t well yet; I can’t let you just go off alone somewhere to lick your wounds.
            A grimace twisted the beautiful young face as the words floated through her mind.  What the fuck do you want me to do Connor?  Go back to Ohio and sit across the table from Mama and Daddy every night listening to them talk about the weather and the Buckeyes while they pretend I haven’t been a strung out whore for the last eight years?!  I AM NOT GOING!
            A calm, husky voice sounded from behind Connor, causing both he and the woman to look up in surprise.  “I may have an acceptable solution to Ms. Sherwood’s problem if I might be permitted to speak to the two of you.”
            The girl’s green eyes spewed venom across the room.  “Get out of my fucking mind, towel head.”
            The man grimaced, but his voice remained low and calm.  “I assure you Ms. Sherwood your shields are more than adequate to keep me out of your thoughts, but in your state of upset you are projecting your fear and anger.”
            A flush of embarrassment colored her cheeks, and she gave a nod of acceptance.  “I apologize, Sheik Abadaan, for both my accusation and the unforgivable slur.  I truly hold no grudge against your people, but I dislike being treated like a mentally unstable child.”
            Connor looked distrustfully at the other man.  “What solution, Abadaan?”
            “I would like to extend an invitation to your sister to come and stay at my home on the island of Pacur.  There is a full staff to fill her every need, including a very modern clinic with a medical doctor and a psychiatrist; both trained by one of your finest American medical schools.  Ms. Sherwood would be welcome to stay there for as long as she needed.”
            Rosalie looked at him suspiciously.  “Why?  Why would you make such an offer?”
            The Sheik gave a small shrug and a quick check of his shields then lied.  “I’m a human being, Ms. Sherwood, and it’s obvious that you have need of a private place to recuperate.  I have such a place at my convenience and I wish only to make it available to you.”
            Without even a hint of apology Rosalie wormed into his mind, looking around suspiciously for any sign that he had some sort of hidden agenda.  He was strong, much stronger than even her brother knew; almost a match for her own psychic gifts.  She could sense the power rolling in waves through his mind, but he gave her complete access to his thoughts.  Only one door in his mind held a sign denying her admittance and as she pressed her hand to the warm wood she felt only the beating of his heart.  This room held his most personal thoughts; his intimate feelings and the safe places of those he loved, but there was no feeling of true deception lurking behind it.  Satisfied, she backed out of his mind and found herself once again standing in the middle of the tacky Christmas visitation room at the rehab center with the big Sig still aimed at her brother’s heart.  She tore her gaze from the melted chocolate and honey eyes of the Sheik to look at Connor.  “I’m willing to accept his offer, Connor.”
She cut him off, allowing the use of her middle name without correction.  It was her brother’s sign to her that he didn’t fully trust the Sheik.  He would have access to her first name only if she chose to give it to him or allowed him to lift it from her mind.   “It’s this or I go on my own, Connor.    Your leave time is up and I’m well aware that Alpha Squad has new assignments now that Rosewood House has been shutdown.  I will not go back to Dayton, not now, and maybe not ever.”
Connor knew he had no choice; his sister was no longer the eleven year old girl taken from their family nine years ago.  Her body had kicked the drug addiction forced on her by the psychopath who had kept her and fourteen other girls as sex slaves in his small Middle Eastern country, but the scars in her mind and heart would take years to heal.  If they could ever be healed at all; that fear continued to grow in his heart with each passing day. 
He didn’t trust Sheik Abadaan, despite the man having given him no reason for doubt.    The tiny country of Mitaare had long been an ally to the United States, and it had been Erik Abadaan himself who had used his powerful psychic abilities to locate Rosewood House.  Without his assistance they would never have been able to set up the sting that had allowed Alpha Squad to shut down the slave trade going on there and rescue the girls.  No, Connor’s mistrust of the Sheik had more to do with the way the man’s strangely colored eyes followed his sister’s every move.  There was nothing threatening or blatantly aggressive in his gaze, but there was a light there that brought out the worst of Connor’s older brother instincts.
He sighed, knowing there would be no changing his sister’s mind.  “Fine, Alexandria, I will notify the team that we’re pulling out without you.  What am I supposed to tell Mama and Daddy?  They left here expecting you to be home with them by New Year’s Eve.”
Rosalie looked from her brother to the Sheik and back again.  A strange smile lit her face and she shrugged.  “Tell them I ran off to French Polynesia with a desert Sheik.”

Links To Purchase Saving Alexandria:  Smashwords.

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