Monday, August 30, 2010

Release Day Review: HellFire

HellFire
The Demonslayer #2
Author: Kate Douglas
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Zebra
Released 8/31/2010
Available in Paperback and Kindle Format

Summary: A new, more dangerous vortex has opened in the besieged Earth and the innocent souls of animals are being invaded by the malevolent strength of a powerful demon. For Ginny Jones, there can be no greater wrong - and to make it right, she joins forces with the Lemurian, Alton, a hard-bodied hero not of her world. Under a black moon, pitched battles for the survival of all that is good will be fought once more. The heat of their sensual passion emboldens the two warriors...but such passion may well betray them...Yet Alton is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice - life itself - for the human woman he loves. But time is fast running out...and time, like fire, devours all...

I won an ARC of HellFire by Kate Douglas during one of her Facebook contests. I'm still amazed I hadn't read any of Kate's books until this one. She's a prolific author of paranormal romance and erotica that has written something for everyone. Don't miss the interview and contest with Kate below the interview.

HellFire is the second book in The Demonslayers series. The first book, DemonFire, introduced us to the Lemurians, who are peaceful and nonviolent, though a tad apathetic towards earth and humans. This paranormal romance series is set in a world where other dimensions exist, including one where demons live and one that is much like Atlantis. The author has created a world accessed by portals in our world, that is fascinating with it's political intrigue, history, and magic.

Ginny Jones, our heroine, unexpectedly decides to visit family and ends up in Phoenix dealing with a group of possessed animals, including her cousins huge, shrieking cat. She can't get her mind off the odd thoughts she's been having of a good-looking guy with a sexy voice she can't forget, though they only met once. Things just keep getting stranger.

Alton is not from our world, and he's oddly attracted to a woman who is nothing like the females where he comes from. I love his awkward way of dealing with Ginny. He means well, but just can't grasp how to handle an independent young woman, who doesn't feel she needs taking care of or rescuing.

HellFire is gritty and a little complex at times, yet it's also sexy and fun. Urban fantasy mixed in with sensual paranormal romance makes for a great read. The ongoing plot of political unrest and intrigue in this series is complex, but never confusing or strung out. The author blends that part of the plot with the romantic elements perfectly. Discoveries are made that impact both characters and make for some kick butt fight scenes and soul searching on both their parts.

Kate Douglas has developed rich characters with depth and substance. The plot is well thought out and fascinating. I think this series will only get better as it continues, and I hope we have many more books to read and enjoy.

Demonslayers Series
DemonFire (2010)
HellFire (August 2010)
Crystal Dreams (in Nocturnal 9/7/10)
StarFire (Spring 2011)

You can find out more about Kate Douglas on her website at http://www.katedouglas.com. The first two books in the Demonslayers series, and the Nocturnal anthology are available in paperback, and also on the Kindle.

CymLowell

Interview & Contest With Kate Douglas

After I read Hellfire, and realized what a talented and prolific author Kate Douglas was, I couldn't resist asking for an interview. I thought everyone would enjoy picking her brain along with me:) P.S. Don't miss the contest at the end of the interview. ~Brenda

You have written an amazing number books including erotic and paranormal romance. Did you start out writing erotic romance or was it something you felt would appeal to readers, so you gave it a shot? Were you nervous the first time you wrote a steamy sex scene?

I actually started out writing contemporary romance and have four books with Hard Shell Word Factory that were published in 1999-2002. They’re still available, and continue to sell—the bestseller of all of them is Cowboy in My Pocket, which is a romantic comedy that sort of makes fun of category romances—it’s got the cowboy hero, marriage of convenience, amnesiac heroine...it’s really fun. My original goal was to write for Harlequin, but I didn’t have any luck with them, which is why I started writing for the early epublishers. I heard about Ellora’s Cave and, since I’d always liked the sexy stories, decided to give it a try. My first erotic romance, Lionheart, was submitted in 2001 and I got an email from the editor about an hour later telling me they wanted the story. I still have a number of stories with EC, including my StarQuest series. Lionheart was the first one in that series.

I’ve always loved the steamy stories and have never been at all nervous writing them. In fact, I was on a panel years ago at a Romantic Times convention up in Reno where we were asked to read some of our erotic writing. I read an extremely graphic, ├╝ber-explicit oral sex scene, first person from the woman’s point of view—you could have heard a pin drop in the room, but I got my point across—if you’re not comfortable with the words, the language or describing the sexual acts themselves, you can’t write it effectively.

Hellfire is a paranormal romance but it's rather gritty like urban fantasy as well. I loved the characters, and your world building. How did you start developing the story at first? Did you take detailed notes, and fill in as you went, or did the entire world "pop" into your head?

I’m a true panster. I don’t plot. I did have a brief synopsis for HellFire, since I’d had to write one to sell the series to my publisher, but once I signed the contract I tossed the synopsis and just wrote what came to me. The original series began with a conversation with my agent:

Agent: Kate, you need a big book if you’re going to move beyond the erotic market.

Me: (to myself: big book? What the HELL does she mean by a big book...big theme?) Okay, how about good vs. evil? (said with a snicker)

Agent: Great! Send me a synopsis!

For some reason, the idea of demons infesting garden gnomes got stuck in my head, and that’s about all I had when I started writing the first book in the series, DemonFire. Oh, and I knew I wanted a dog—LOL! I loved giving away stuffed wolves with my Wolf Tales books, so I wanted a dog so I could give away stuffed dogs, and that’s how I ended up with Bumper, who’s a cross between a pit bull and a poodle. HellFire grew out of the first book—Ginny Jones was merely a secondary character who felt terribly real to me, and once I started writing Alton the Lemurian, I wanted to keep him around for awhile, so they became my hero and heroine for HellFire. That’s how I do a series—when I connect with a character in a book, I generally carry them over to the next story. The hero in StarFire is the veterinarian who appears in HellFire. Dawson Buck was not meant to be a main character, but I really liked him and decided to give him his own book...and the stars of the final book in the series, CrystalFire, are Taron the Lemurian, and Willow, who finally gets her own body so she doesn’t have to continue hitching space with Bumper:)

I once ran across a blogger that was "creeped out" when she found out some authors were her parent's age, because they shouldn't be writing sexy stories. I laughed at that because I was turning 50 at the time. Do you feel there is an age boundary for romance writers? Would it matter if the writer was 20, 50 or even 70?

Good lord—I’m sixty. If that creeps my readers out, that’s their problem! I didn’t even sign with NY until I was 55, and I fully intend to keep writing for a lot longer. Author Anne McCaffrey, who writes absolutely wonderful science fiction, is 84and still writing—and she’s a Wolf Tales fan, which I absolutely love, because I’ve been a serious fan of hers for a long time. If that blogger thinks people her parents’ age aren’t having sex, she’s got her head buried in the sand. You have to remember—those of us in our sixties were young during a pretty unique time in our nation’s history—after The Pill (yes, in all caps!) and before AIDS and herpes. Sex was not scary for us—it was just a lot of fun. Age doesn’t slow you down in the bedroom—attitude might, but luckily I don’t have that problem, and neither does my spouse.

Writing sexy stories isn’t limited by age—only by imagination. I can’t imagine not writing—I love what I’m doing and really enjoy the fact that my readers look forward to my new stories as much as I look forward to writing them. It’s a wonderful life and I’m very lucky to be doing what I do.

Thank you so much for your time. I loved Hellfire, and can't wait to read the rest of the series!

Thank you! And for readers who are enjoying the series, there’s another story coming out September 7 in the NOCTURNAL anthology with Jacquelyn Frank—Crystal Dreams is connected to the DemonSlayers and is about a young woman named Marigold Moonbeam Schwartz who not only discovers she’s a witch, but that the sexy guy who’s just saved her life from demons—which can’t POSSIBLY exist—is from the mythical world of Lemuria. It’s a fun story and one I think readers will enjoy—plus it’s packed in with great stories by Jacquelyn Frank, Jess Haines and Clare Willis.

KATE'S GIVE AWAY
Kate is graciously giving away a book to TWO readers who can choose from Demonfire, book one in the Demonslayers series, Hellfire, book two or Nocturnal, the new anthology she mentions above.

Please leave Kate and I a comment, which book you would like if you win, and IF your email is not associated with a Google profile leave that in the comments. I will randomly choose the winner on September 7th. Thanks everyone!

You can learn more about Kate and her books on her website at http://www.katedouglas.com.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

It's a BIG Week at Wayfaring Writer!

This week we have so many cool things going on that I'm literally giddy to the point of people looking at me like I've snapped. I can't wait!

Tuesday: I have a special interview with author Kate Douglas. It's Release Day for her book, Hellfire and the anthology Nocturnal, which includes her novella, Crystal Dreams. She has graciously agreed to giveaway two books. The winners can choose from DemonFire, Nocturnal or HellFire!

Wednesday: My First Blog Anniversary Giveaway begins today. Four winners will win four books each in four genres. It's very cool.

Thursday: TWO blog tours will be going on today!

Kelly Gay, who was my FIRST interview on this blog, is back with her second kick ass book, and I interviewed her again, reviewed her book, plus I'm giving away a copy of The Darkest Edge of Dawn.

Karen Hawkins, author of Much Ado About Marriage, is also on tour with this fun Elizabethan historical romance. This is a first for me as a reader and reviewer. I'll be giving away a copy of this sexy story as well.

Friday: Today I will share something movie related, possibly involving pictures of heroes, or anti-hero, as the case may be, brought to life from a graphic novel. I've been saving up something I think you will enjoy:)

~Brenda

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blog Tour & Contest: Teresa Medeiros

The Devil Wears Plaid
Author: Teresa Medeiros
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Pocket

Summary: Emmaline Marlow is about to wed the ancient patriarch of the Hepburn clan to save her father from debtor's prison when the Hepburn's sworn enemy Jamie Sinclair bursts into the abbey on a magnificent black horse and whisks her away. Jamie is everything her bridegroom is not--young, handsome, virile...and a perilous temptation for her yearning heart. Jamie expects Emma to be some milksop English miss, not a spirited beauty who will defy him at every turn. All of his plans to use her as a pawn in the centuries old Highland feud begin to go awry when passion flares between the two of them. A man can kidnap a bride, but is it possible for him to steal her innocence without losing his own heart?

If you've been reading my blog for long you know I love dark urban fantasy, and kick ass heroines. Historical romance is a fairly new genre for me, and I discovered something while reading The Devil Wears Plaid. I have a soft, girly side that was reduced to tears by the end of the book. Tears. I was weepy, like a beauty pageant winner fanning her face "Oh my Lord, give me a tissue." *swoon* Who knew?

This is my first Teresa Medeiros book, sent to me by the publisher after I requested to join the blog tour. I was captivated from the first page, and read until 2:30 a.m. because I needed to know what was going to happen next. Emmaline, our heroine, is spunky, stubborn, compassionate, courageous and she can dish out the insults with the best of them. I loved her from the first chapter, and cheered her on throughout the entire book. I dare readers to not love her as much as I do.

Jamie, our Highlander hero, starts off brooding and bitter, seeking revenge for a feud that's been going on for 5 generations. We first meet him as he charges in on his "towering black horse" speaking with a "Scots burr so deep and rich it sent an involuntary shiver down Emma's spine". "Slap me silly" I thought to myself, "I am not getting any work done until I finish this book." Seriously folks, The Devil Wears Plaid, is a fast paced romantic adventure with just enough of a twist, and plenty of action to keep the reader entertained until the wee hours of the morning.

I would be remiss not to mention the steamy scenes in The Devil Wears Plaid. The author makes the reader really want those scenes before she gives them to us. The main characters don't throw down with a lusty vengeance until they both are good and ready. The scenes are steamy, emotional and light hearted. They will evoke sighs aplenty from readers.

Teaser Words:
dirt and rock
pistol
ransom
forest ghosts
wooden tub
bell tower
betrayals
dreams

Teresa Medeiros lives in Kentucky with her husband and her cats Willow and Buffy the Mouse Slayer. Her next novel, Goodnight Tweetheart, the story of a man and woman who meet and fall in love on Twitter, will be released in January of 2011. You can join her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/teresamedeirosfanpage, follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/teresamedeiros and visit her website at www.teresamedeiros.com.

WIN A COPY OF TERESA'S BOOK
The publisher is allowing me to give one copy of The Devil Wears Plaid to a random person who comments on this post by answering the following question:

What is the first romance you remember reading?

The contest will end on September 9th, 2010. Please leave your answer plus your email IF it's not associated with your google profile.

~Brenda

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Teresa's Top 20 WRITE RIGHT Tips

Teresa Medeiros has graciously allowed me to repost these great writing tips. She used a cool vintage graphic on her blog, so I dug up one of my own that I've been dying to use:)

Teresa's WRITE RIGHT Tips

1) Don't give characters unpronounceable names. Unless you're German, umlauts are not your friend.

2) Almost any sentence except "I am born" can be improved with revision.

3) Don't fear adverbs but actions verbs are always better. Not "He walked slowly" but "He trudged..."

4) It's the 1st sentence of your book that sells that book to the editor or reader. It's the last sentence of your book that sells the next book.

5) A creative silence may be your subconscious saying, "Hush, child. I'm working on a better plan."

6) Characters don't have to be perfect from the first page. Character growth is the hallmark of good fiction.

7) Writing is part talent and part craft. The craft part can be improved with practice.

8) You don't learn how to play the piano by reading books about playing the piano. You learn by practicing.

9) If you can stop writing, you probably should.

10) If you're stuck, go for a walk. Moving forward moves the brain forward. (Thanks to the Dog Whisperer for this tip :)).

11) If you're stuck, go back and do a read-thru from Chapter 1 to pick up the thread of the story.
12) The key to a truly successful romance novel is foreplay--not just physical but emotional.

13) There will come a time in every book when you will hate the story, hate the characters, wish they were dead, wish you were dead...just keep writing and you'll love them and yourself again.

14) Expect some resistance when finishing a book. Your subconscious knows it's the end of a great love affair.

15) Don't foreshadow your characters' every action by revealing their every thought through introspection.

16) If you're stuck for a phrase or word, insert [TK] or something else easily searchable and move on. Return later to fill in.

17) To preserve the sanctity of your imaginary world, consider writing on a computer completely cut off from the internet.

18) Dialogue is the hardest thing to write but the easiest thing to fix.

19) Protect your creativity as if it's a small defenseless child entrusted to your care.

20) When the story is over, shut up and write THE END.

Teresa originally shared these tips on Twitter. Be sure to follow her at http://www.twitter.com/teresamedeiros. You can also join her Facebook fan page at

Kindle Review: Under the Magnolia

Under the Magnolia
Author: Moira Rogers
Format: Kindle Edition
Available on Amazon

SUMMARY: Adelaide has a secret: she can see the future. The visions are always unpleasant, until she catches a glimpse of herself engaged in the hottest sex imaginable with hunky police chief Wesley Saxon, a man she's had a crush on for the past year.
Wes has been watching out for Addie for years, even if she did break his heart in high school. But when his attempt to rescue her from an oncoming hurricane leaves them stranded in the basement of an island resort, Wes will face a danger more terrifying than any criminal: falling in love with her again.

Moria Rogers has captured my attention again with this novella. I'm amazed that they continue to come up with new locations, characters and plots that suck the reader in and take them on a roller coaster of emotion. Under the Magnolia has mystery, romance, suspense and witty banter, which many of you know is my favorite element in a good story. Make me cringe, gross me out, scare the crap out of me if you will, but make me chuckle and I'm a fan forever.

I love the characters in Under the Magnolia. Adelaide is quirky, precognitive, caring and she's a magnet for trouble. Wes is the town Chief of Police with a secret or two. I loved him from the beginning of the story. I could just picture him, shaking his head, driving like a bat out of hell to find Addie. Sigh. What a guy.

I also loved all the side characters in Under the Magnolia, especially Addie's grandmother. I want to be her when I grow up.

Under the Magnolia was written as a serial story on the authors' blog, but I bought it for .99 on Amazon for my Kindle and it was money well spent, just so I have it all in one place, and can read it again and again.

~Brenda

Monday, August 23, 2010

Five Reasons I Love The Losers

This weekend I watched The Losers on DVD twice, and I will be buying it because it's so kick ass. Why, you ask?

1. It's based on a graphic novel written by Andy Diggle, who is a British writer. You can follow him on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/andydiggle . A download of the first issue of The Losers is available free from Vertigo here. He has a cool name, and does snark so well, he could be the King of Snark. He's my hero. This is the description of the comic:

The Company thought it had taken care of the Losers. After they saw a little too much at the wrong place and time, their chopper went down in flames with no survivors and plenty of deniability - and the Losers went down in the records as just another team of black ops foot soldiers tragically lost to one of the CIA's shadow wars.

But the Losers were just playing dead - and now that they've seen what the Company is really up to, they're through with games. Now it's time to take the fight back to its source.

Time for some payback...

2. The main artist for the graphic novel is Jock. Yes, you read that correctly. Jock. How cool of a name is that? According to Wikipedia, Jock is actually a pen name for Mark Simpson, a British comics artist. Cool pen name, dude.

3. Jeffrey Dean Morgan: Who says a man has to be 20 to be sexy? J.D. has it covered in spades:


4.Óscar Jaenada's plays Cougar in the movie, and he rocks. He doesn't have a lot of lines, but the man has it going on. He's tough, mysterious, good looking and he needs his own story.


5. Witter Banter and Cool Explosions: There are more witty lines than I could count and enough cool stunts to please hardcore action fans. The movie rocked.

Have you seen The Losers? What did you think?

~Brenda

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Ramblings & Free Stories

This week was a chaotic one, but I finished The Devil Wears Plaid by Teresa Medieros, and emailed back and forth with the author afterwards in preparation for the blog tour and contest on August 26th. All I will say at this point is "Highlander goodness."

I also read the fifth book in the Jaz Parks series, One More Bite, by Jennifer Rardin. I love this series for the action and intrigue, plus the relationship between Jaz and Vayl, which moves forward in this story. If you haven't tried the series, you really should:)

I've also ran across a few free short stories this week. They can be downloaded as PDF files, which you can read on your computer, or convert them to load on a reader, such as the Kindle.

-A Stroke of Dumb Luck by Shiloh walker is a cool urban fantasy short available on Tor here: http://www.tor.com/stories/2010/07/a-stroke-of-dumb-luck

-I just received a newsletter this morning from Keri Arthur, and she has a free Riley and Quinn short story here: http://www.keriarthur.com/bantamshort2.pdf

-On Tor you can read a great short story from Deborah Coates entitled What Makes a River. She is a new author to Tor and we will be hearing more about her books later.
http://www.tor.com/stories/2010/08/what-makes-a-river

-Be sure to check out Moon Daughters, a new web comic from Yasmine Galenorn, and J.L. Anderson. A new comic is posted each Friday. Catch up with the first four comics, and follow weekly for new ones. This blurb was on the website, which is here: http://www.moondaughters.net/?body=archives.htm

Moon Daughters offers you a look into the lighter side of the D'Artigo girls--the homey sides, the goofy quirks, the side fights that I just can't be fit into the books. You won't find their adventures against the demons here--those are for the books--but you will be able to see their day-to-day struggles to make it as one, big, dysfunctional-as-any-human, family.

This week is going to be a busy one, but I'm going to attempt to add a new section to the blog with links to my articles and writing online. September 1st will be the start of my anniversary bash, which should be fun for everyone:)

~Brenda

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Review: Eternal Kiss of Darkness

Eternal Kiss of Darkness
Night Huntress World, #2
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (7/27/10)
Available on Amazon (Paperback or Kindle)

Summary: Chicago private investigator Kira Graceling should have just kept on walking. But her sense of duty refused to let her ignore the moans of pain coming from inside a warehouse just before dawn. Suddenly she finds herself in a world she's only imagined in her worst nightmares.

At the center is Mencheres, a breathtaking Master vampire who thought he'd seen it all. Then Kira appears - this fearless, beautiful....human who braved death to rescue him. Though her burns for her, keeping Kira in his world means risking her life. Yet sending her away is unthinkable.

I have a soft spot for Jeaniene Frost's books. I bought Eternal Kiss of Darkness last week, breaking my self-imposed book buying freeze. (Due to a TBR shelf that's exploding with books.) I have every book Ms. Frost has written, and I've read them so often that I can flip open to a favorite page or chapter if I need a pick me up after a bad day. I often choose the first time Bones and Cat dance from her first book or the infamous Chapter 32 in One Foot in the Grave. There are so many other favorite scenes that I can't possibly name them all here.

Eternal Kiss of Darkness is Mencheres' book. It's the second book in The Night Huntress World, which focus on characters from her Night Huntress series, giving us a more in depth look at them. Right off I want to say that Mencheres had not been one of my favorite characters. I know many of her fans were chanting "Vlad, Vlad, Vlad" over and over. Yes, quietly in my head I joined them, but I thought to myself "Jeaniene has her reasons. She knows things we don't. I can't wait to find out what.". Let me put your scepticism to rest. Mencheres rocks in so many ways I can't count them. Seriously folks, he's THAT awesome. I feel the need to kiss Jeaniene's feet and say "Forgive me for not seeing Mencheres' awesomeness sooner."

Eternal Kiss of Darkness is a compelling tale of a vampire who is over 4,000 years old and the human who challenges him at every turn. Mencheres is powerful beyond anything we can imagine and could have any woman he wants, yet he knows they are attracted to his power, wealth and position, never looking deeper. I loved this book for its depth of emotion. I've read many books with scorching hot love scenes. It's always fascinating to note the spin each author puts on their sexy moments. Jeaniene Frost builds up to that ultimate moment with a combination of sexual tension, humor, and emotion. When Mencheres and Kira finally get their moment, it literally had me holding my breath; it was that emotional.

While the romance and sexiness is abound in Eternal Kiss of Darkness I would be remiss to the action and suspense. Since Mencheres is "older than dirt" we expect him to kick ass with the best of them, but Jeaniene is never one for giving us weak heroines. Kira rocks. She's strong, smart, stubborn, compassionate and has an awesome sense of right and wrong. I love her character, and certainly hope she makes an appearance in more of the author's books.

If you haven't read any of Jeaniene's books you could easily start with Eternal Kiss of Darkness for a taste of the Night Huntress World. After reading it, I can't imagine a reader not going out and picking up every one of her other books. They are every bit as compelling, fast paced and riveting. Eternal Kiss of Darkness takes the reader through a hodge podge of emotions including sadness, fear, surprise, joy, righteous anger and titillation. What more can a reader ask for?

TEASER WORDS
As promised, I'm going to start giving teaser words at the end of each review. These are words from Eternal Kiss of Darkness that give you hints to my favorite parts of the book.

underwater
hospital
exploding doors
bubbles
Big Thunder Mountain
Grand Canyon
akhs
jungle
Symphony Tower

The trailer below is amazing. I love the people portraying the main characters.


~Moonsanity


CymLowell

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pseudo Emo Teen Review: FEED


FEED
Newsflesh, Book 1
Author: Mira Grant
Paperback: 608 pages
Publisher: Orbit(5/1/10)
Available from Amazon

Summary: The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

NOW, twenty years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives-the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.


Let me start out by saying: FEED is one of the best, if not the best, book I have read in long time. After my mom received the book, she asked me if I would like to read it, as her list of books she needed to read was already quite large. I came in fully expecting your standard, run-of-the-mill zombie book. What I got was something so much better.

Georgia and Shaun Mason are now two of my favorite literary characters, plus all of their friends and enemies are up there too. Mira Grant uses the rules of a post-apocalyptic world to build entirely original characters. You don't see your run-of-the-mill ex-military zombie fighters in FEED. Instead, she sets out to show that it takes all people to fill the world, even if most of them happen to be zombies.

I thought that the idea of the main characters as two bloggers in the new world was quite fascinating, as was the new found importance of their trade. Being in a household where both my parents blog may have something to do with that, of course, but I still think the average reader will find the idea refreshing and original. Speaking of which, Grant's storytelling blends horror, suspense, drama, conspiracy and even politics seamlessly into one hybrid tale that defies classification.


Even if zombies aren't your thing, I would still recommend FEED if you like political thrillers or mysteries. Grant uses the rules of her world to form a completely new brand of politics. People now argue for the death of animals to protect them from an outbreak. The death penalty is useless, as it just creates more zombies. Tobacco is now accepted, because the zombie virus cured cancer. The reality the author built is amazing, inventive, and above all, believable. That may sound crazy, but I actually could picture the planet turning into what Grant describes.

The one factor that probably clinches my love of FEED, is the theme of loss shown throughout the book. Though humor is spread throughout, the sadness is still ever present. That is my one warning to the potential reader- do not expect a happy ending to come out of the bleak world of FEED. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a story about the truth- no matter how harsh it may be.

You can visit Mira Grant at her website for some cool desktop wallpaper and other extras: http://miragrant.com/newsflesh.php

The publisher, Orbit, has also set up website just for FEED, including a look at the Internet "After the Rising": http://www.thefeedbook.com

~Pseudo Emo Teen*

*Note: In case you missed the post, Pseudo Emo Teen is a seventeen year old high school Senior with a mathematical, yet creative mind, living in the Midwest United States where he plays guitar, reads dark urban fantasy and horror, tutors his friends and classmates in Spanish, Math and Science, while contemplating the state of the world we live in.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ramblings, New Features & a Snippet

I realized this weekend that it's been such a crazy summer I haven't been writing any non-review blog posts. I think that makes a blog kind of dry, so I'm going to try to ramble more often. Whether this is a good thing or not remains to be seen:)

My 17 old is going to start contributing reviews. Online we call him Pseudo Emo Teen because though he plays the guitar, loves black, alternative music, horror, and dark urban fantasy, he has also had a 4.0 since middle school, was tutoring geometry to seniors when he was a freshman, and has read at a college level for years. He's a senior this year and has been picking books off of my TBR shelf since last year. The first review he wrote will be up this week for FEED by Mira Grant. I think you will all enjoy his thoughts. He's a unique kid with an awesome outlook on life.

I've been thinking a lot about my reviews lately after seeing different cool things other book bloggers have been doing. I think I have come up with a fun "word teaser" to add to my reviews. I will try it out on my Tuesday review, which will be on the epic Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost.

I've been reading steadily all summer, and have reviews to catch up on, but I've also been writing a paranormal romance story that I think will end up as a novella. Here is a tiny snippet:

My knees started to buckle. I saw William reach his hand towards me, but Doyle swept me up into his arms before he could touch me. I turned my face into Doyle’s chest and for the first time since I was a child, I felt safe.

“Please, don’t make me go with him, “ I whispered. “I’ll disappear this time.”

I'm about half done, and the characters are clear in my head. My biggest problem has been finding "quiet time" to write when I don't have kids chanting at me. My daughter wakes up fairly early, and my teens stay up late, which means the house is loud the majority of the time. Still, I find moments, and when I do, the story comes easily. My goal at this point is to finish it and go on from there. It's such a radical change for me writing fiction instead of nonfiction. It feels less like a "chore" and more like a creative outlet. I like it:)

~Moonsanity

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kindle Review: Candy Houses

Candy Houses
Grimm's Circle, #1
Author: Shiloh Walker
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 499 KB
Publisher: Samhain

Summary: Greta didn’t get her happy ending her first time around. And now that she’s a Grimm—special kind of guardian angel and official ass-kicker in the paranormal world—romance is hard to find. Besides, there’s only ever been one man who made her heart race, and the fact that he did scared her right out of his arms. Now Rip is back. And just in time too, because Greta needs his help.

I bought Candy Houses for my Kindle because I've been following the author on Twitter, and love her sense of humor. I decided to start with the Grimm's Circle series and work my way through her other books afterwards.

Greta's life was anything but a fairytale with her stepmother and brother Hans. She lived with fear and sexual abuse for years before meeting a kindly woman named Mary who introduced her to a new life. The author introduces us to a world where fairytales only skim the surface of the fight against good and evil. As we learn about one woman's journey to help others, we also learn about the evil she faces daily. Can she hope to find love? Can she afford the distraction?

Rip is much more than a distraction. He's a warrior, a protector and he's getting sidetracked by a woman who thinks she doesn't need him. I loved his character. He's witty, strong, sexy and passionate. Did I mention he's a warrior, with an awesome weapon?

Greta and Rip team up to fight demons who are stealing souls and trying to corrupt humans. Their story is a fast paced, action filled paranormal romance and urban fantasy that leaves the reader begging for the next installment. The author has given us the action and mystery of an urban fantasy combined with a romantic story of two people who need each other to survive in their gritty world. I was weeping like a baby by time I got to the end of the story. I loved the witty banter between all of the characters, and the twists and turns as we learn of their orgins.

Grimm’s Circle Series
1. Candy Houses
2. No Prince Charming
3. I Thought It Was You (free read)
4. Crazed Hearts

You can read I Thought It Was You here for free. The other titles are available on
Amazon.

If you would like to attend a signing with Shiloh, she will be in Kentucky in November.

KYRW Annual Signing
Saturday 11/20/2010
2-4 p.m.
Lexington Green Mall
Lexington, KY

You can also follow Shiloh on Twitter here, and learn more about her books on her website: http://www.shilohwalker.com/website/

~Moonsanity


CymLowell

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Sexy Mystery for Vampire Fans

Night's Cold Kiss
A Dark Brethren Novel
Author: Tracey O'Hara
Publisher: Eos
Paperback: 352 pages
Available on Amazon

Summary: Since witnessing the murder of her mother, Antoinette Petrescu has burned with fiery hatred for the vampire race—even for Christian Laroque, the noble, dangerously handsome Aeternus who rescued her. Now an elite Venator, Antoinette must reluctantly accept Christian's help to achieve her vengeance—even as he plots to use the beautiful, unsuspecting warrior as bait to draw out the bloodthirsty dreniacs.

I picked up Night's Cold Kiss after I started following the authors that are part of Supernatural Underground. This is the author's debut novel, and she hits a home run with her gritty, sexy urban fantasy. As I started her book, I couldn't help but think of Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series, of which I am a huge fan. As I read on though, I found her characters and the world she created much different, but equally as captivating. Chapter 23, entitled Blood, Sweat and Heat, will be one Ms. O' Hara's fans will be whispering about on Twitter because it's THAT sexy.

I liked how the characters in Night's Cold Kiss snuck up on me, becoming more interesting and complex as I read farther in the book. I don't want to give any spoilers because the unexpected twists in the plot are one of the things I really liked about the book, but I especially loved the character of Oberon as we learned more about him, as well as the other side characters.

The heroine Antoinette is tough and avoids attachments other than her family. She has a chip on her shoulder the size of a boulder, making it hard for anyone to get close to her. Even her family walks on egg shells when they know something will upset her. I loved the banter between her and the two vampires she has to work with. They both surprise her at every turn, and manage to make that chip on her shoulder a bit smaller.

Night's Cold Kiss is a fast paced read with mystery, romance and action. It's the first book in a series that has the reader itching for the second novel. If you enjoy books by Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, or Stacia Kane you'll love Night's Cold Kiss by Tracey O'Hara.

Read a prequel short story from the author:
DANTE RISING - The Birth of a Venator
http://www.traceyohara.com/books/freeReads.html

The second book will be available in January:
Death's Sweet Embrace
Release Date: Jan 25, 2011
Publisher: Eos Books/Harper Collins

~Moonsanity

Friday, August 6, 2010

We Dance With Our Contest Winners


The handy random number generator has chosen the three winners of our blog tour contests. Thank you all so much for entering and sharing your thoughts. Below are the lucky peeps:

Masked
#2 Tyler Felty said...
Perfection is overrated. To have a good story, you need flaws in your character, which is what attracts me to spiderman so much. The writers spent all their time creating flaws in the character to present the best story they could produce on how to fix said flaws.

Captured by Moonlight
#1 Robin K said...
I most definitely love a little romance with my thrill. Pure horror stories do not hold my interest as well. Though I loved them before I started reading paranormal and found out what I was missing. :)

Beyond Exile
#15 Bethie said...
I like my zombies with a little bit of humor. If they are a tad scary too, thats OK.

Enjoy:) ~Moonsanity

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kindle Review: Beyond the Darkening

Beyond the Darkening
Author: Kerry Allen
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 180 KB
Available on Amazon

SUMMARY: Amanda Tessler infiltrated the Society for the Preservation of Humanity to gather information to aid the “monsters” the organization seeks to cleanse from the earth. Her orders are to maintain her cover at any cost, but when the vampire she once loved is delivered to the facility, starved, blinded, and slated for further suffering in her lab, clinical detachment fails her.

I bought Beyond the Darkening on Amazon for my Kindle for less than a dollar. It's a gritty, unique look at a world where humans are aware of vampires, and some, like the Society for the Preservation of Humanity, want to wipe them off the face of the earth. Vampires are captured, experimented on and murdered as if they were lab rats. The main character, Amanda, agrees to go undercover after suffering heartbreak and betrayal. After years of building her cover, the very vampire that broke her heart ends up needing her help.

I loved this fast paced read for its originality, witty banter and romance amidst the gritty action. Beyond the Darkening is the first book in a trilogy that I'm really looking forward to reading in its entirety. The groundwork laid in this book will make for a fascinating trilogy.

Amanda may have been heartbroken when she last saw Nate, but she's not a pushover. She's smart, tough and protective of those she loves, even if they haven't earned it. I love that she's stubborn, and will risk everything to do what she feel is right. Nate is the classic, misunderstood tough guy, who put in a position of trusting someone he thought betrayed him.

Beyond the Darkening is a great read, and I hope the author comes through with the trilogy. You can read an excerpt here, plus I was excited to find a sneak peak of Beyond the Burning Moon, which is the follow up story. You can read that chapter here.

~Moonsanity

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

YA Review: Other by Karen Kincy

Other
An Other Novel, #1
Author: Karen Kincy
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Flux
Available from Amazon

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Gwen hides a dangerous secret: she’s Other. Half-pooka, to be exact, thanks to the father she never met. When a pack of werewolves chooses the national forest behind Gwen’s home as their new territory, the tensions in Klikamuks escalate–into murder. It soon becomes clear a serial killer is methodically slaying Others. The police turn a blind eye, leaving Gwen to find the killer before the killer finds her.

I won a copy of Other from the author on Kaz Mahoney's blog. I loved the writing style of the author, Karen Kincy. It's written from the point of view of the main character Gwen, who is a little bit of a paranormal Nancy Drew trying to find her place in a society that hates what she is. She's been taught to hide her "otherness" from everyone but her family for her own safety and theirs. Can you imagine how difficult this would be for a teenager? To be able to have this awesome ability that makes you feel free and powerful, but yet you can't share it with your friends. Who can you trust?

I loved the thought provoking theme of tolerance and bigotry in Other. Many humans hate Others out of fear and ignorance, but when it comes down to it, many Others have this same bigotry towards their own kind. Those born as Others look down on others who were "made" such as vampires and werewolves. In the midst of so many misconceptions and so much hate Gwen has to piece together the murders in her town before she becomes the next victim.

Other is not a fairy tale romance where the knight rides in to rescue Gwen and make all her dreams come true. Life is never that simple and perfect, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. We make mistakes, especially when we were young and looking for someone to accept us for who we are. There are twists and turns in the plot that surprised me, and kept me guessing right up until the end. Gwen and her friends are flawed but not broken. They deal with things in the only way they've been taught. They learn lessons through the pain of loss, betrayal, friendship, loyalty and doing what is right, even when it hurts.

Mom's View: As with all my YA reviews I give my input as a mom with two teenagers. Others is for more mature teens because there are sexual elements to the story. It's not treated lightly though, and I thought the author did a great job keeping it real, which I always appreciate as a mom. I want to hug the author for giving the heroine normal parents that love her and want to listen to her. Sure, they don't always communicate what they mean, but they TRY. This book is a wonderful read for teens and their parents.

For more information on Others and the author visit her website here.

~Moonsanity

CymLowell