Friday, November 19, 2021

#GIVEAWAY Review Visceral Reaction by Donna Augustine book 2 in the Torn Worlds series

Today is a treat for me because I'm sharing my review of Visceral Reaction by an author who's a definite auto read for me and become my favorite in the genre, Donna Augustine. She's also very generously sponsoring a #Giveaway, details below.

Publisher: Strong Hold Publishing
Release Date: 09-26-2021
Length: 270pp
Source: Author for review
Torn Worlds book #2
Buy It: Amazon



I’m the dying leader of the human resistance. He’s the Alpha of the D.C. pack. He’s as rough and cold as they come and destined to be my enemy. But he needs me for something only a human can achieve. If I can pull off his mission, he’s got something no human can give me: a chance at living beyond the next few months.

When I agreed, I knew I might lose my life, but danger has never scared me. I didn’t know I might also lose my heart…
This romance novel can be read alone, but it's set in a common world with book one.

Giveaway is winner's choice of 
Book 1 or 2 in the Torn Worlds Series
Open Internationally
Please Use Rafflecopter form to enter
Good Luck

Read an excerpt:

Excerpt from Chapter 1
Donovan hadn't been gone for more than ten minutes or so when something large leapt over the back wall a few hundred feet away. I jerked back into the shadows, my hand going for the knife tucked into my boot. My reflexes were only a split second slower than they were a few chugs of bourbon ago, but much slower than they were before the night started. 
The man strolling across the lawn had too much confidence and brazenness to be an intruder. Looked like the wayward alpha, Donovan's soon-to-be replacement, had finally decided to arrive. He'd been here for a week already but had barely been at the house. I'd yet to meet him, and I ducked farther into the shadows, along the path to the side door, hoping to prolong my winning streak.
"Hey, you." Cole's voice was deep, carrying easily across the sprawling lawn. 
I kept walking. He might think he was going to be in charge of the D.C. district, but I wasn't going to be one of his charges, no matter where I lived.
"Stop," he said.
Stop? Not "Excuse me, miss?" or even "Hello." Oh yes, this werewolf reeked of alpha, even more so than my brother-in-law.
"I told you to stop," he said. There was a breeze of motion, and then he was blocking my way to the door. "Did you not hear me?"
His shoulders filled the side door I'd been about to enter, his body all hard, coiled muscles underneath his t-shirt, just ready to strike. Messy, dark locks, nearly black, contrasted with eyes so grey, as to nearly appear silver, and added a chill to his sun-warmed skin.
Donovan had said he needed someone tough, cold—raw, even—to step into the alpha position. He hadn't been kidding. The man that stood in front of me sucked up all the air around him the way a bomb did right before it leveled a city. The glint in his steel eyes left no doubt he'd walk away from the destruction without a shred of regret as he stepped over the bodies on his way out.
The aroma of bourbon drifted off him. That I could smell it after what I'd put down didn't bode well for his intake—or mine. I definitely needed to drink some more.
He ran his eyes over the length of me, taking in the ripped jeans and snug sweater with a snag on the hem. The rough quality of my clothing didn't seem to deter his appreciation of my form.
"You off work for the night?" he asked, leaning a shoulder on the doorjamb as he gave me a lazy smile. 
He thought I was a servant. Or maybe even a whore. He didn't know my sister would've ripped Donovan apart if he touched another woman, but then, she was a human. Most shifters had the lowest opinions of us. 
Part of me wanted to punch him in the face. A larger part of me wanted to take him up on the offer he was presenting.
He was dark, dangerous, and disposable. He was everything a dying girl needed to feel alive without remorse when I walked away after the fun was over. In other words, the perfect ending to my evening.
I edged in closer, leaning on the opposite side of the door. 
"My evening might be free, depending." My words might've been biting, but the smile made it clear I wasn't opposed to his invitation.
His eyes ran the length of me, stopping on my breasts and then my hips before nodding. "If I'd known you were going to be here, I might've come sooner."
He leaned closer, raising a finger to trail over my lower lip before moving his hand down to graze the skin of my neck. 
Oh yes, he'd be perfect for the evening. My good nights were running in short supply. Everyone had a finite amount of time, but the urgency in grabbing all the joy out of life you could rose as that clock started ticking down. I was watching the final sands run out and needed to make the most of the time I had left. I was down to counting good nights, and I planned on having as many as possible.
Why not sleep with him? What did I have left to hold on to? There would never be a mister right in my life.
There was only one little catch. Did I warn him now or let him find out at a later date? I didn't particularly like surprises.
"Just an FYI, I'm Sassy, Penelope's sister—Donovan's sister-in-law." Even if I did decide to sleep with him, it was best to get that out of the way. Didn't need any awkward shocks after the fact when I ran into him at the family dinner or something.
"Does that matter for some reason?" he asked, a smirk appearing because clearly he didn't think it mattered. 
"Not to me," I said, arching slightly.
"Then we agree." He reached around to the base of my skull, pulling me closer.
He pressed me into the door as his lips grazed mine, then he weaved his fingers into my thick platinum locks. If the way he kissed was any indication, and it usually was, this was going to be a good night.
This man would know exactly what he was doing and wouldn't be shy in doing it. Why shouldn't I spend the night with him? 
He pulled back, his mouth hovering near mine. We stood there frozen for a moment as he breathed in my scent, examining my face as if he hadn't quite seen me the first time. If I hadn't been confident in my appeal, I might've pulled back first from the read I was getting off him.
The heat from his eyes cooled and they shuttered, becoming void of emotion. He dropped his fingers from my hair, taking a strand with them in his eagerness to untangle from me. 
"Maybe another time," he said, putting a few more steps in between us and giving me a smile like he'd just handed me a wilted bunch of flowers in a beauty pageant I'd taken second place in. "Donovan wouldn't like me messing around with his little sister."
I knew bullshit when I heard it. Not even seconds ago, it hadn't mattered one bit. This man was an alpha to his core. They did as they pleased, always.
"I'm sure I'll see you around."
He turned, walking away, leaving me staring at his back, trying to piece the situation together. 
My breath might've smelled of booze, but so did his. He could hardly fault me for that. 
Stupid, stupid, Sassy. He was an alpha
"It's because I'm sick."
He froze and then turned back toward me. His eyes flickered for a second with...pity? Remorse? I couldn't tell; it had been too fleeting, only there long enough to add to the insult.
"Some things aren't meant to be." He shrugged and continued on. 
My shoulder crashed into the wall as I leaned against it, feeling all of two inches tall. He smelled the Sucking Sickness on me. He didn't want to sleep with the sick girl. 
I stayed glued to the wall for some time with only my bottle of bourbon to warm me.

My Review:

Visceral Reaction
Torn Worlds #2
Donna Augustine


Series set up: Three years ago after years of being considered “less than human” Vampire and Werewolves have successfully infiltrated all levels of government and taken over the U.S. putting themselves at the top of the pecking order and making humans second class citizens where even owning a smartphone or laptop could get them executed. But the pact between the Vamps and Weres is anything but secure and there is trouble on the horizon.

#2 in Donna Augustine’s Torn Worlds series, Visceral Reaction, is fantastic, full of action, suspense, romance and a bombshell ending. Sassy her female star is this kick-assed human super-hero head of the resistance who even when dying is more alive than most people, then we have Cole who is an Alpha Werewolf with a capitol A, domineering, hard-headed but has a huge soft spot for Sassy. The romance is that of forbidden inter-species love during a time when the world is literally being torn apart, when the pact between the Vampires and the Shifters is crumbling and humans are still the lowest in the food chain. Set in an unrecognizable, falling apart D.C Donna gives readers some unforgettable characters, a narrative that’s edgy and in-your-face plus a fabulous non-stop, twisty-turny plot which makes this read a win-win. Fans of this author, this series and the genre will have everything their heart desires. This tale closely follows that of Sassy’s sister Penelope and Donovan’s story in Gut Deep so they should be read in order.

Sassy is dying from the bite from a Vampire, the only good thing about it is that now her blood is fatal to the undead so with the time she has left she wants to kill as many Vamps as she can. Being the head of the resistance puts her in a good position to do just that. She knows that shifters are also enemies to humans but ever since her sister went and married the Werewolf pack leader she’s definitely gone soft on wanting them dead. And now that her sister and brother-in-law took off for greener pastures she’s got to make nice with Cole, the new alpha of the D.C. pack. Trouble is when she doesn’t want to ring his stubborn-dominating alpha neck she wants to jump his big beautiful shifter bones.

When the old alpha for the D.C. shifter pack left the country he had one condition for Cole, the new alpha. His mate’s little sister needed to be protected at all costs, Cole was totally fine with that until he met her, desired her, learned she was dying and oh and that she was Ghost, the infamous head of the resistance that’s killing all the Vampires. That should make her shifter public enemy #1, but that could also make her useful to him. He just has to keep telling himself she’s off limits.

My Interview with Donna:


Donna Hi welcome back my friend to the blog.

I loved Sassy’s story and I love Sassy, I think even better than her big sister Penelope who we met in Gut Deep Book 1. While Pen is a strong female character she’s I guess softer than Sassy who’s this larger than life personality in such a small package, she reminds me of some of the female spies from WWII.
Was it on purpose that you made Pen and Sassy so different?

Thanks for having me back! My characters form pretty organically. There isn’t a lot of planning involved. I actually try and avoid planning too much because I feel I get a better result when the characters grow with the story.

Sassy’s got something called Sucking Sickness which is caused from a Vampire bite.
What a fab disease.
How did you come up with it?

I introduced the Sucking Sickness back in 2019, with Gut Deep, so it wasn’t Covid inspired, even if some of the symptoms seem familiar. If I’d written it after Covid, I would’ve purposefully tweaked it to not have a resemblance at all. As to where it came from? This is such a boring answer but I really don’t know. I wish I did because I’d have more creative control, nail the ideas down better and call them on command.

I noticed at the end of the book you tell us that Dante’s story will be next.
We haven’t met Dante yet so will you be bringing in more new characters?

New species?

Yes and yes! You’re going to be meeting a lot of new characters in Dante’s story. In Visceral Reaction, it was more about the clash of two different races. Dante’s story is more about a newcomer being thrust into a pack situation. You’ll be meeting a new species as well that will be featured in at least one more book. 

Do you have an estimated number of novels set for the series or will that depend on where your fickle muse leads you?

The muse is very fickle but seems to want to really run with the standalone happy endings right now. I personally don’t have the patience to wait for a few books to get my couple’s happy ending. As to how many, I’m working on Dante’s story right now and the next character is already waiting for book four. My guess is at least five or six but who knows what idea will take hold next. 

This series is set relatively close after the fall of civilization not like for example The Wilds where the wilderness has retaken the once urban landscapes.
Do you know all this when the story/series idea first comes to you or does it evolve?

I usually have a general idea of the setting before I start but I’ve had to toss a lot of words in the past because it evolved into something completely different. Sometimes I have to write half a book to realize it needs to be tweaked, which leads to some really ugly cutting.

So far you’ve set the series in the US, however you have your characters from book 1 heading to Europe.
Will the series stay in the US?

I’ve thought of venturing into other countries but it won’t happen until at least book five at the soonest. Book four’s story is already taking shape too strongly to mess with at this point. 

You’ve also sort of set the stage where Werewolves are not as much of an enemy for humans as Vampires.
Will this change, is there maybe a Vamp in the future that you’ll bring into the light?

There might be some unexpected leads in future books but again, it definitely won’t happen until at least book five. I really do love my shifters though so the idea is going to have to really be good for me to switch. 

Thanks Donna for letting me once again pick your brain.
When can we expect Dante’s story?

February is a very safe bet. Thanks again for having me. I really appreciate it!

 About the author:
Donna Augustine is the USA Today Bestselling author of The Wilds, Karma and Ollie Wit.
Sign up here to be notified of her new releases.
Donna Augustine was an odd child, had a brief moment of conformity in early adulthood and then decided to embrace her craziness as the years rolled by. It's her inner crazy that she credits with coming up with the ideas for her books. One part hypochondriac, a few dashes of paranoia, topped with a sliver of uptight and delivered with a relaxed flair, she kicked the proverbial box down the yellow brick road a couple years ago to embrace her true self.
She can be reached by a carrier pigeon, set free in a south by north direction, where she resides in Neverland with her two Siberian cats. Cats who, by the way, aren't as hypoallergenic as she believed they'd be.
For the conventional minded, and those of you without a pigeon on hand, she can be reached at She responds to most emails within three dusk periods.

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  1. Somehow I missed when the first in this series released. It sounds fab, Debbie. I enjoyed the insightful interview, too.

    1. Thanks Sophia Rose I love picking authors' brains :)

  2. This sounds like my kind of book for sure! Definitely adding this to my wish list.

  3. Sounds like a really fun book. Wonderful review and interview.

    Melanie @ Books of My Heart

  4. I love every one of Donna Augustine's books! They are automatic buys w/out even reading the synopsis. I haven't been disappointed yet!

  5. Oh, this one sounds like something that I would really like.