Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm Prolific...and Giddy

Jackie over at Literary Escapism gave me the Prolific Blogger Award. According to the award creators a Prolific Blogger is one who is intellectually productive… keeping up an active blog that is filled with enjoyable content. Since I consider Jackie's blog to be one of the best book blogs I've run across, for her to give it to me is making me giddy. Seriously, how cool is that?

-Every winner of the Prolific Blogger Award has to pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers.

-Each Prolific Blogger must link to the blog from which he/she has received the award.

-Every Prolific Blogger must link back to this post, which explains the origins and
motivation for the award.

-Every Prolific Blogger must visit this post and add his/her name in the
Mr. Linky, so that we all can get to know the other winners. (Click here
for the Mr. Linky page.)

I am giving this to seven other bloggers that are certainly prolific, as well as fantastic:)


A Time Travel Romance Review

Flirting with Forever
Author: Gwyn Cready
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Authors Website
Available at: Indie Bound, Powells, Barnes & Noble

SUMMARY: Art historian Cam Stratford is about to make a name for herself with her sexy tell-all "fictographies" of 17th century painters, but she's more familiar with her subjects than her readers can imagine. Thanks to a time portal she's discovered, she has caused quite a stir in the Great Beyond. To protect their members' reputations, the Guild representing dead artists convinces playboy Sir Peter Lely, portraitist to Charles II and a man with his own dark secrets, to sabotage Cam's project. A few hours posing on Peter's modeling chaise lead to a night of seductive passion--then Cam returns home and discovers his betrayal. But before she can turn her angry pen on her lover, Peter makes a surprise visit, transforming Cam's 21st century life into chaos of classic proportion.

I accepted a copy of Flirting with Forever from the publisher because I wanted to give time travel romance a chance. The paranormal romance books I usually read tend to have killing, and possibly maiming, as part of the plot, so this was a switch for me. During the first part of the book I felt as if I was getting to know the characters and the author's writing at the same time. It was as if I was rolling around the words in my mind, like you would a new wine, swishing and tasting. By the time I was halfway through the book I realized I DID care about the two main characters. I wanted them to be happy, and together. I liked Cam, the main female character from the start because she's smart and witty, but not snobbish or full of herself as some people within the art world tend to be. It took me longer to warm up to Peter, the male lead character. Actually, it wasn't until he time traveled to present day that I really saw what kind of man he was. I loved the way he looked at our modern society as compared to the 1600's.

Flirting with Forever is a fun, romantic read, but at the same time it really has a fascinating look at the differences between modern artists and historic painters, including techniques and attitudes. The author wove these ideas throughout the book so it didn't take away from the plot, but added to it's charm.

There are also lessons in human nature that involve family, love, and seeing the whole truth, not just what is perceived on the surface. There are two very steamy, and erotic scenes in Flirting With Forever that had me holding my breath. Each was very different from the other and the author had my undivided attention both times.

The time travel aspect of the story was fascinating, as well as humorous in many instances. Flirting With Forever is a mix of historic and contemporary romance. I think fans of either genre will enjoy this book.

Win a pair of designer Michael Kors shoes ($165 value*) in the Flirting with Forever launch contest! Ends 4/11/1010 Details of the contest are here:


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Trapped in a Restaurant Meme Game!

I am participating in Carolyn Crane's Trapped in a Restaurant Meme Game to celebrate the release of her cool new book Mind Games. She's given us three questions to consider:

1. In MIND GAMES, hypochondriac heroine Justine Jones can’t figure out why tortured mastermind Sterling Packard never sets foot outside the Mongolian Delites restaurant. What if you were somehow trapped in a restaurant, what sort of restaurant would you prefer?

I'd have to go with a Chinese buffet where I can just pick and choose my food, and they will change it throughout the day and evening. Oh yeah, that would be awesome. We go to one near us every couple of months and have been since my daughter was a baby. They love us, and greet us like old friends. *snicker*

2. What if you won the fancy $100 dinner to a restaurant of your choice, and you could dine with any character from any book, movie, or history. Who would you choose?

Oh man, this is just way too hard of a question. I'm going to go with J.R. Tolkien. Can you imagine the world building tips the man could share?

3. Choose three characters to dine with for a lively dinner party (you can define lively however you want).

-Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel... I think this is an opportunity for a picture of James, who will forever be Spike in my mind

-Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez as played by Sean Connery in The Highlander. (Yes, I know he still had a Scottish accent. dissing Sean.)

-James Dean is my third choice. Is this a great picture or what?

Why these three you ask? Can you imagine them snarking at each other? Plus, I could listen to all three talk for hours, and watch them for longer. *snicker*

To participate in Carolyn's Meme Game simply create your own and send meme game link by 4/8 to to enter. Anyone can play. Details at

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Authors Mini Challenge: April 2010

I'm going to participate in the April New Authors Mini Challenge organized by Jackie at Literary Escapism. You can learn more about the challenge or join here.

The challenge this month is a Battle Royale between the online writer groups Deadline Dames and Fangs, Fur & Fey. Wow, this is a tough call for me because I love the gals at Deadline Dames, but the point is to read new authors and I've gotten some contest wins recently that include books written by authors over at Fangs, Fur & Fey. The rules are as follows:

-The Challenge will run from April 1st through the 30th. All reviews must have an April 2010 date.

-The goal is to read up to 5 different authors from the either list below. Write up a review on your blog and then come back to the official start post and add your link to Mr. Linky.

-The idea is to try a new author (it is a New Author mini-challenge), however, if you’ve already read all of the listed authors, you can still participant, but don’t re-read a novel. Try something new. Not only is this an excuse to try a certain group of authors, but it’s also a great chance to help promote them.

UPDATE: I just finished the last book for the mini challenge today and posted the review. It's April 29th. I read:

1. The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod
Eleventh Grade Burns
by Heather Brewer (Fangs, Fur & Fey)

2. Linger
by Maggie Stiefvater

3. Wicked Lovely
by Melissa Marr

4. Be Mine Tonight
by Kathryn Smith

5. Night Shift
by Lilith Saintcrow

6. Magic on the Storm
by Devon Monk

I was only allowed 6 books officially so I didn't enter Devon's book on the challenge page, but wanted to list it here. I entered all the reviews on Good Reads as well. What a great mini-challenge!


The Accidental Demon Slayer

The Accidental Demon Slayer
Author: Angie Fox
Publisher: Love Spell
Mass Market: 292 pages
Author's Website

Summary: Straight-laced preschool teacher, Lizzie Brown, never lies, never cusses, and doesn’t really care much for surprises. When her long lost Grandma Gertie shows up on her doorstep on a neon pink Harley Davidson wearing a “Kiss My Asphalt” t-shirt and hauling a carpet bag full of Smuckers jars filled with road kill magic, Lizzie doesn’t think her life could get any stranger. That is, until her hyper-active terrier starts talking and an ancient demon decides to kill her from his perch on the back of her toilet.

I won my copy of The Accidental Demon Slayer in a contest Angie Fox gave to win copies of her "signing screw ups". She has a witty, laid back style of writing and has created unique characters that have the reader laughing and thinking "No, no, she wouldn't do that would she?". Don't let her humor fool you though. She can write a love scene that will make your toes curl and action scenes that will keep you from putting down the book until you know what happens.

Lizzie, the main character, teaches at Happy Hands Preschool, and she is like every younger preschool or Kindergarten teacher I have ever met. She's so used to talking to little ones that she uses words like "Ouchie!" instead of swearing. She wears sensible clothing and shoes, is very organized and doesn't like surprises. In a few hours time Lizzy meets her grandma, who is the leader of a witches coven that doubles as a senior citizen's biker gang, and she discovers that she has come into demon slayer powers that were passed down from the mother she never knew. Did I mention that there is a demon gunning for her in the bathroom, and she can now hear her dog speaking to her? Yeah, Lizzy's world is turned on it's side and stomped on a few times for good measure, all in the first chapter.

Amidst the wackiness, we meet Dimitri, a handsome, charming Greek shapeshifter who claims to be Lizzie's protector. I loved the sexual tension, and the building of suspense as the details of who he is and why he is attracted to Lizzy is revealed.

Lizzy's grandma's coven has a host of crazy characters that add magic and mayhem to the plot. I have to say that I love that they are funky senior citizens. Though I will be the first to admit I love kick-butt witches that wear cool clothing, it's refreshing to see characters that age, love to do cranky and don't fit the mold of most paranormal romance book women.

If you like Michelle Rowen and Kim Harrison you will love Angie Fox. There are three books in her slayer series, all of which are currently available:

1. The Accidental Demon Slayer (2008)
2. The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers (2009)
3. A Tale of Two Demon Slayers (2010)



Thursday, March 25, 2010

Review, Interview & Contest With Liane Merciel

The River Kings' Road
A Novel of Ithelas
Author: Liane Merciel
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Pocket (March 9, 2010)
Author's Website

Summary: The River Kings’ Road takes us to a world of bitter enmity between kingdoms, divided loyalties between comrades, and an insidious magic that destroys everything it touches...

The River King's Road is a dark medieval fantasy with complex characters, political intrigue, magic, both good and evil, plus a smidgen of romance. Liane Merciel's writing is rich and descriptive, bringing us into her original world of Ithelas.

I'd like to take a minute and explain my thoughts on reading medieval fantasy. The reader has to have a different mindset when reading traditional fantasy. It isn't as fast paced and "in your face" as urban fantasy or many paranormal romance books. Authors of medieval fantasy create worlds and plots where political and religious factions are often complex. The good guys are not always as easy to define, nor are the bad guys. There are usually many characters acting simultaneously in different parts of the world. Reading fantasy such as The River Kings' Road takes a lot of thought, and sometimes I found myself going back to a paragraph to make sure I understood correctly. (Why do you think Tolkien had so many appendixes?)

I found the characters in this book very interesting, and thought provoking. In our normal lives, loyalty to family is almost a given, but in medieval times power, and control often meant every man for himself, or herself as the case may be. Love, morals and loyalty are often set aside to gain power. This book shows us some of the pitfalls of setting aside one's morals without
considering the complete consequences. You can't play with evil, and come out unscathed.

At the same time we see the plot through the eyes of Odosse, a single peasant girl with a baby she loves dearly, and a companion who only looks out for himself. I loved the character of Odosse. She is strong, loyal, and brave because of her love for her child. She can never think of giving up because it will mean giving up his life as well. I found myself cringing when Odosse was referred to as ugly. A girl with such a loving personality, who is quick thinking, witty and brave could never be ugly in my eyes. Awkward perhaps, but never ugly. I understand the author wanting her to be normal with no advantages, but it still made me inwardly cringe.

Liane Merciel's description of the evil witch, and her created minions had me quaking in my boots. This witch is seriously dark and evil. The author created a unique take on what I
can only call medieval zombie lore. Creepiness and terror comes through in all the scenes with the witch.

The romance aspect of The River Kings' Road comes from the scenes with Bitharn and Kelland, who grew up together as cloister children. Kelland was called to be a Knight of the Sun, but she was not. Bitharn trained on her own, refusing to leave his side. Their part of the story is my favorite because of their love for each other that has to remain unspoken.

If you are a fan of dark urban fantasy or historical romance I think you will enjoy reading The River Kings' Road. The second book is titled Heaven's Needle, and will be released in March 2011. I will be waiting for it's release to learn more of Odosse and Bitharn as they struggle to find love in their lives in a dangerous and complex world.

As a so-called “Army brat,” Liane grew up in Germany, South Korea, and several different parts of the United States. She now lives in Philadelphia, where she practices law. She is an alumnus of Yale University and the College of William & Mary Law School. She is of Korean and European heritage. I emailed her immediately after finishing The River Kings' Road to ask her a few questions that were on my mind.

I loved the character of Odosse and wondered if you had any thoughts on her future? She seems to be destined for loneliness, yet the personality you gave her would make her a wonderful partner for someone. I'm not asking for spoilers, but wondered how you felt about her and the idea of her finding love?

Maybe she does, maybe she doesn't. :)

Unofficially my prediction is that eventually she'll find the person who's right for her. I think she's too generous in spirit to remain alone, and too sensible to fall for someone unsuitable a second time. But it's unlikely that we'll see Odosse again, so the official answer is that it's up to each reader to imagine what becomes of her after the events in RKR. Your answer is as good as mine.

I know the second book in the Ithelas world will be released next year. Will you try to wrap up many of the situations, or will you keep a third book in mind as you write?

I guess it depends on your definition of wrapping things up. Each book is designed to be a more or less self-contained story. The main plot of each one ends within the covers of that book, although there are links to things that happened before and things that will come after.

For the most part I try to leave characters at a comfortable stopping point, but there's never a completely definitive "happily ever after." Real life doesn't work that way, so I'm of the view that fiction shouldn't either. The characters' lives will go on after the story (well, unless they died), whether or not we follow them. So there may be a little ambiguity, but as far as I'm concerned, that's a wrap for them.

HEAVEN'S NEEDLE, the second Ithelas book, takes place in a different part of the world and involves a mostly different cast of characters. Two of them are carried over from RKR, but the rest are new, and their concerns are largely distinct from those that drove the first book. Similarly, the third book is intended to follow some familiar faces from RKR (Brys Tarnell, for one), but others will be new to that story, and again, their concerns will be mostly distinct. There are connections between the books, but it should be possible to read each one as its own separate arc.

That's the goal, at least.

What made you choose medieval fantasy rather than an urban setting for your novel?

It's just where I'm drawn. I started out in medieval fantasy; it's what sparks my imagination most often and most strongly, and I've been working in it long enough that by now it feels like second nature. While I enjoy reading urban fantasy and am a fan of many writers now working in that genre (love Carrie Vaughn's Kitty books and Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson novels), it's not where my inclinations lead as a writer.

Urban fantasy looks like a lot of fun and maybe someday I'll take a shot at it, but for now I'm content to just read the marvelous books being produced by other people... and keep writing about witches and castles and swords!!, oh my.

Sarah at Pocket Books has graciously allowed me to give away one copy of The River Kings' Road. As always, I have a discussion question for you to answer in the comments as your entry.
Have you read medieval fiction? Do you think more books should feature heroines that are normal women vs. warrior women?

The contest will end April 4th, 2010 and I will post the winner on April 5th, 2010. The winner will be chosen using the Random Number Generator. If your email is not linked to your profile please leave it in the comments.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Love of Scottish Immortals & Kresley Cole

Pleasure of a Dark Prince
Immortals After Dark Series
Author: Kresley Cole
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Mass Market, 448 pages

Summary: From the shadows, Garreth has long watched over Lucia. Now, the only way to keep the proud huntress safe from harm is to convince her to accept him as her guardian. To do this, Garreth will ruthlessly exploit Lucia’s greatest weakness—her wanton desire for him. . . .

My Twitter buddy, K.C. at, wrote a review of Pleasure of a Dark Prince, and I ran out to buy it as soon as I finished reading her review. Yes, I have 72 books on my To Be Read Shelf From Hell, but K.C. reminded me that this book featured Garreth MacRieve, of the Scottish Lykae clan. Scottish. Werewolf. It's no secret that I love Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series. I reviewed it in January here.

Pleasure of a Dark Prince, hereafter known as PDP, actually takes place over a fairly long period of time. It's before A Hunger Like No Other, which is Lachlain & Emmaline's story and ends after Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night when Bowen & Mariketa get together. What does this mean? It means there are some very cool cameos in the book.

I loved PDP for a few reasons besides the Garreth and his accent, but let's review that first. Here are just two of my favorite lines:

"Aye, but to marry talent and beauty such as yours as well? Hardly sporting to other lasses." ... "And you could no' be bonnier."

"Doona want me?" His voice dropped to a low rumble. "Ah, lass, do you really want me to make a liar out of you?"

Besides Garreth's accent there is his inability to give up on Lucia, regardless of what she says or does to discourage him. However, he respects her unfailingly and knows that she needs him. He never forces himself on her, but at the same time he never gives up. I love that they are both warriors, different in their approaches, but both just as lethal. It makes for awe inspiring romance, and some very steamy interaction.

Lucia's personality was actually a surprise for me. After reading glimpses of her in the other books, I thought she might be too tough, or unemotional, but instead she is passionate, tortured and loyal to her family. She's also witty when the mood strikes her.

There are the regulars making appearances in PDP: Regin, Lucia's sister with her snarky, sometimes deadly, sense of humor appears and we learn a little more about her. Nix is there of course, causing problems and steering fate. Garreth's brothers, and Lucia's Valkyrie sisters all appear in and out of the story. There are some new characters we meet along the way that are very odd and horrifying at the same time. Others are quirky and mysterious. All of these elements add to the fast paced romance adventure.

PDP is one of my favorite books in the Immortals After Dark series. The humor, romance and the adventure were top notch. I shudder to write this, but even if Garreth didn't have his awesome Scottish accent I would have still loved the book.
(Shhh...don't tell Kresley Cole.)

The next book in the series will be Demon From the Dark and it will be released in September 2010.



Monday, March 22, 2010

Manic Monday: The Week To Come

Today is manic, and I hate chaotic Mondays when I can't catch my breath or take a nap. Naps are important to my well-being:) I'm heading off to the Scholastic Book Fair this morning at 9 a.m. until Noon. I help the kids find what they are looking for, check them out if they are buying, write down titles if they are waiting to buy at conferences and basically drool over all the fresh, smelling brand new books. At the last book fair the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books flew off the shelves. It's like mass hysteria with certain titles.

Last week I received some very cool books from contests:
The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox
Kiss & Hell from Dakota Cassidy
Underground, and Vanished by Kat Richardson

I also bought Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole, which I finished and will be reviewing this week. I also picked up Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz, to read before my Young Adult Week.

Speaking of YA Week here at Wayfaring Writer. So far, I have SEVEN books to giveaway that week! It's shaping up really well and I have been reading and reviewing for that week as well. It will start on April 4th.

This Thursday I will host a Blog Tour for the fantasy book The River Kings' Road, complete with a contest, and my review.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stacia Kane Answers My Pondering Questions

After I finished Demon Possessed by Stacia Kane I had a couple of questions for her. I sent them too late for the Blog Tour, but knew you all would enjoy the answers.

Be sure to enter our contest to win a copy of her latest book: Demon Possessed. You can enter here.

1. About 25 years ago I attended a couple of charismatic church meetings out of curiosity. At one, the minister made people in the front row "laugh in the holy spirit", and at another a man who lost an eye could still "see" with it. (I couldn't make up something that good.) When I was reading Demon Possessed I have to say you captured the essence of those attending Reverend Walther's meetings with humor, but also some serious observations of the people who believed they were possessed. Did you do any research on these type of meetings?

It really depends on what you mean by research! A few years ago I saw a TV special on fundamentalist "exorcists" and found it really fascinating, and actually made some notes during it with an eye toward using it one day. But that was about it, really; because it's a subject that interests me I've watched other programs on it and did a little hunting around online, but I also didn't want to get too terribly close to any "real" events. I didn't want to make fun of people who have serious problems and/or real faith in such things, so I tried to stay respectful while still expressing that I don't think such events are always safe--in fact there have been deaths recorded during them--or necessarily the best way for people to deal with their problems.

2. I couldn't find it on your blog or FAQ so I have to ask, how many books would you like to write in the Megan Chase series? I know it depends on the publisher, but if you had your wish how many do you think you would like to see published?

Well, right now there are three, and I think that's a pretty good number. :-)


I really appreciate that Stacia is honest about her Megan Chase series, though I loved it and hate to see it end, I know she must have some wonderful new books in mind for us next time. Is till need to buy here Downside Series with is dark fantasy, one of my favorite genres. Here are the books she has published to date:

Megan Chase Series
1. Personal Demons (2008)
2. Demon Inside (2009)
3. Demon Possessed (2010)

Downside Series
1. Unholy Ghosts (2010)
2. Unholy Magic (2010)
3. City of Ghosts (2010)

She also has a story in The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2, which I need to pick up as well.

If you are out and about where Stacia will be please stop by and visit her for me, since I won't be able to make it:

Frolicon, April 1-4, Atlanta GA
Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, April 28-May 2, Columbus OH
Dragon*Con, September 6-10, Atlanta GA


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blog Tour & Contest: Demon Possessed

Demon Possessed
Megan Chase Series, Book 3
Author: Stacia Kane
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books
Visit the Author's Website
Available from: Amazon, Indie Bound, Powells, Barnes & Noble

Summary: An FBI agent with an unhealthy interest in less-than-legitimate demon business shows up; the demon community is urging Megan to undergo the rite that will make her a real demon; and a slightly shady minister is holding one of his wildly popular “weekend exorcisms” just down the road. And oh yes, someone with scary magical abilities is attempting to kill her.

I am addicted to Stacia Kane's writing. Is there a support group I can join? I need some serious help before I spend the house payment on all of her books. (That might be a slight exaggeration.) Seriously though, I could not stop reading Demon Possessed and stayed up way too late until I made myself put it down to try and get some sleep. I practically threw the kids down the driveway to wait for the bus before grabbing a cup of coffee and opening the book again. I love when authors amaze me, so all I can do is keep reading, hoping the phone won't ring or God forbid, someone comes to the door.

I was sent Demon Possessed by the publisher for the blog tour today. I knew it was the third book in Ms. Kane's series, but having 72 books on my To Be Read Shelf from Hell, I hadn't gotten to the first and second book yet. I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to connect with the characters starting off with the third book. I could not have been more wrong. Her characters are intelligent, quirky, smart ass and hot....very hot, as in Greyson Dante, fire demon. The demon guards are not so much hot as they are quirky. This scene is one example:

"And what about Spud? He tried that new eyeshadow on 'er last month and it made 'er look like a consumptive! She don't want to go out lookin' like 'er lungs is about ter fall out!"

I swear, I do not know where Ms. Kane comes up with this stuff. I was cackling out loud to myself every time the guards were together. Demon Possessed has the perfect combination of paranormal romance, urban fantasy and mystery. The humor keeps the story from being overly dark, but there are thought provoking moments as well. The action scenes are "edge of the seat" suspenseful, hence my inability to stop reading in the middle of one.

If you enjoy Marjorie M. Liu, Jeaniene Frost, Michelle Rowen or Karen Chance I think you will really enjoy Stacia Kane's Books. There are three books in this series to date.

The Megan Chase Series:
1. Personal Demons (2008)
2. Demon Inside (2009)
3. Demon Possessed (2010)

The publisher has graciously allowed me to give away one copy of Demon Possessed. As always leave a comment answering my discussion question and you will be entered in the giveaway.

QUESTION: If you were a supernatural being would you want minions (No, we aren't talking about children. *snicker*)? Would they be big, strong bodyguard minions, or would you rather have them be a little more on the domestic side?

The contest ends March 31st at Midnight, and I'll use the handy random number generator to choose the winner. The contest is open to the U.S. and Canada. The book will be sent out from the publisher. Leave your email if it's not attached to your profile.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My St. Patrick's Day Tribute

Beannachtam na Femle Padraig!
(Happy St. Patrick's Day)

Today, on St. Patrick's Day, I am paying tribute to Ireland. I thank her for giving us my grandfather and my husband's great grandfather. My grandpa was a merchant seaman, who at 16 fibbed about his age to become a sailor and later came to the United States. I don't know much about my husband's great grandfather except he was a quiet man with a good sense of humor. Neither one of us were able to know them well, since they died when we were very young.

I'd also like to thank Ireland for Baileys Irish Cream, Irish fairies, Irish music and Irish Dance!

Ireland is rich in literature that understands a soul's yearnings, and dancing that understands a happy heart. ~Margaret Jackson

St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time--a day to begin transforming winter's
dreams into summer's magic. ~Adrienne Cook

The shamrock on an older shore Sprang from a rich and sacred soil. Where saint and hero lived of yore, And where their sons in sorrow toil. ~Maurice Francis Egen

May you always have walls for the winds,a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
daughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire. ~Irish Blessing

Lastly, I leave you with my favorite Irish punk rockers The Dropkick Murphys:

'Go n-eirigh an bothar leat'
(May the road rise up to meet you)


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Review: Succubi Like It Hot

Succubi Like It Hot
The Succubus Diaries #2
Author: Jill Myles
Visit her Website
Publisher: Pocket Star
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Available at Indie Bound, Powells, Barnes & Noble, Amazon

Summary: With a hot new figure, her dream job as an archaeologist, and two gorgeous boyfriends to scratch her seductive Itch -- an angel and a vampire -- Jackie Brighton is totally getting the hang of life as a succubus. Then she accidentally knocks the pizza guy unconscious with her touch. Great -- she's cursed. After striking a deal to get the curse lifted by a crafty demon, Jackie and her best friend Remy take a road trip to deliver a cryptic message to the nation's oldest succubus.

I reviewed Jill's first book, Gentlemen Prefer Succubi (Read it here.) The second book is a continuation of Jackie's journey in the land of succubi, vampires and fallen angels. This book is a little darker than Jill's first book, but it still has her snarky sense of humor, plenty of romance, adventure and a road trip from hell. I think it would have been easy for the author to write a story where her main character has sex to calm her "itch" with every Tom, Dick and Harry that she meets, living a casual, carefree life. Instead, she took a different road where her character wants to find a way to lead a fairly normal life, doing what she loves as a member of a university archaeological team. She doesn't want casual, anonymous sex. Life doesn't always cooperate with us though and she finds herself with a curse and two boyfriends who want her to decide between them.

I can't give you many details without giving out spoilers left and right, but I will say that there are twists and turns as Jackie learns who she can trust along the way. Not everyone is what they seem, which makes it hard for her to know who she can rely on. She is also learning that she doesn't always need to wait for someone to rescue her, but has should fend for herself when necessary.

As I mentioned, Succubi Like It Hot, is a little darker than the first book in the series, but I really enjoyed it. Sure, there were times I wanted to smack Jackie and yell "OMG, don't trust him/her!". There is plenty of interaction with Noah and Zane in case you are wondering. Just for the record, I am still Team Zane though Noah gained a few points along the way:)

You could read this book without reading the first one, but I think it would be SO much better to read them in order to really get to know the characters and appreciate what they are going through. I consider Succubi Like It Hot a paranormal romance with erotic steamy sex. If you are a fan of Nicole Peeler, Yasmine Galehorn, or Karen Chance you will love this series.



Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kindle Tips: Oh, I See...That's How It's Done

I posted my previous blog last night, and this morning I figured out something that should have been obvious to me. I can go to Amazon and purchase e-books, which are then sent to my Kindle through the wireless it comes with. It was a "Duh." moment to say the least. (Below I give my "expert" instructions.)

Don't judge me, I truly am an intelligent and Internet savvy person:) I'm just a little slow when it comes to technology. For instance, I still love pencils and fresh new notebooks. No, not computer notebooks. Paper. I also use an organizer that is NOT on my laptop. I've tried using organizing programs throughout the years and they just don't work for me. I need a calendar, and organizer that I can hold in my hand and scribble on. I also use my phone for phone calls only. I know you are shocked. (The horror!) I don't text or have a cool ring tone. My teens just shake their head at me and walk away.

I'm not anti-technology. I love gadgets, which is why I'm so fascinated with steampunk. Well, that and the cool goggles. I'm not good with change and THAT is where the problem lies. I need time to adjust to change. I bought my laptop in January 2009. I was excited but it was different. I wanted to like it so badly, but I was sad to think I'd never feel comfortable using it for writing. It wasn't our PC. Now, I can't imagine using anything else. I love my laptop:) See, I just needed time to learn, to adjust.

I really am learning more each day about e-book readers and I already have found many uses for my Kindle, but I will always love the smell and feel of a new book.

By the way, I found these free e-books on Amazon today:

Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]
Moonstone by Marilee Brothers [Kindle Edition]

I've read the paperback of Dead Witch Walking last year, but this is suppose to be a special edition. I'll review it once I read it. The other book is a Young Adult book and is new to me, and I'll review that too when I finish.

To recap my new found knowledge: When you buy your Kindle, you register it on the Kindle itself with your current log in information. After doing this you can go to Amazon from your laptop or PC and go to the Kindle Store section. First, search by what type of book you like, such as Paranormal Romance, then sort those results from "Price: Low to High". Once you've logged in, and added the first one to your cart, you'll be asked which device you want it sent to. As long as you've registered, your Kindle will be listed and the e-books will be sent to it through the wireless they use.

Psuedo Emo Teen came home today and laughed at me for not knowing I had this option. "I assumed you KNEW you could do this, Mom. It's a given." Yeah, well, we will see how hard he is laughing when I forget to set a place for him at dinner:)


My Kindle, Free E-Books & Resources

I won my Kindle back in December from J.T. over at It was such a busy time of year, plus I have an aversion to learning new things involving technology, so it took me awhile to get into the swing of things on the e-book front. One of the best resources I've found so far is blogger Kindle Vixen. She has a great post here:

She explains in friendly terms about the software Calibre, which can be used to convert files. It's free and it also organizes e-books on your PC and you can move them back and forth from the Kindle to the laptop. I've been using it this week and I've converted quite a few e-books and moved them to my Kindle from my laptop.

I started out downloading free books, mostly short stories, to get a feel for the Kindle. To be truthful, I LOVE reading a physical book. It's something I don't think will ever change for me. This is not to say that I don't love the Internet, my laptop and the Kindle. I do. I look at them more as resources to expand my reading and my research. I've been downloading classic books like:

Edgar Allen Poe's Complete Poetic Works
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

I've not really found a good way to find free books by browsing through Amazon on the Kindle itself. There are so many books that even broken down into the categories it isn't possible to "browse" through that many titles. So far I haven't found a way to search by price while using the Kindle.

Little by little I've been discovering sources for e-books other than Amazon. One of the best is by following my favorite authors on Twitter, and by reading their blogs and visiting their websites. Many authors will have free stories for download. Here are a few I've come across:

Anya Bast has several paranormal romance shorts that you can download for free. They are erotic so you must be at least 40 18. I've read the first one so far and enjoyed the story of a shifter and his reluctant mate.

My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent, the free ebook prequel to her Soul Screamers series is available free. I really enjoyed learning how it all began.

I just found Drollerie Press this week, and have downloaded several free stories that I converted to with the Calibre software to put on my Kindle. They also have free reading guides to download.

As I find more resources I will share them, and I'll review e-books as I finish reading them.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

E-Book Review: My Love Eternal

By Liz Strange
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc.
Digital Publication Date:
March 15, 2010
Print Publication Date:
July 1, 2010
Excerpt Here

Summary: Tall, dark, and sexy, as well as fabulously wealthy, Giovanni is everything a girl could ask for in a lover. There’s only one catch. He’s been undead for more than three hundred years. When Rachel is drawn into Giovanni’s world, she learns that the rules of human existence mean nothing in the world of vampires. This, however, is a fair price to pay for a love that will last forever.

Hunted by the Desmarais family, who carry a centuries-old vendetta, Rachel and Giovanni travel to the ends of the earth in order to stay one step ahead. Can their love survive, or will their eternity together end?

I'd been following Liz Strange on Twitter, when she asked for reviewers for her new book, so I took her up on it. For those who wonder as I did, yes, Liz Strange is her real name. Liz writes about vampires. Her vamps don't sparkle, though they are pretty. Her vampires aren't "vegetarian". They are self-proclaimed monsters, but they do have emotions and they love as passionately as they kill.

Ms. Strange's writing is beautiful in My Love Eternal. She takes us to places that are exotic, romantic, and often dangerous. Through the eyes of Rachel, the main character, we learn how vampires live, how they love, and how they survive. Our journey with Rachel starts before she meets her first vampire. This part of the book was especially fascinating as she figured out what was happening to her. I was reminded of an epic Gothic romance, but in a contemporary setting.

I will admit that this was a very different read for me, and I wasn't sure the author could keep my attention, because I tend to read fast paced urban fantasy and it had been awhile since I read the epic fantasy I've read in the past. I was wrong. I found myself swept away with the character's emotions, and the intensity of their love. I don't want to give away any of the plot which had many surprises, but this is a story with tragedy, hope, need, love, lust, anger, fear and regret. The author shares many details of a vampires life that are often left to our imagination. How do they retain wealth? How do vampires protect themselves? Do they feel emotion as humans do?

I should warn readers that I consider My Love Eternal a dark paranormal romance. There are some very graphic scenes, one involving rape, as well as a few very erotic scenes, but they are done tastefully. The darkness is justified in my opinion because the characters are true vampires in the traditional sense. Though they do have strong emotions, the passion is in the context of their existence as predators, not humans.

You can learn more about Liz Strange and her books at



Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Winner of Shadow Blade

I asked the following question for the Shadow Blade contest:
Authors will often write about a supernatural world of their own making or they will base their world on a mythology like Seressia Glass has done. Do you prefer one over the other, or is it the writing and the plot that matters more to you?

You can read all the comments here.

THE WINNER IS #8 Veronica and she said:
I like them both. It all depends on whether the author captures my attention when I first read their books. Great post! I am looking forward to reading this new series!
~Thanks! V

Visit Veronica at her blog:
Welcome To Strictly Reviews

Monday, March 8, 2010

It's March, My Book Loving Friends!

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

It hit 50 degrees F. today here in Michigan, and I have spring fever. Sure, I know in a couple of days it will be down to 15 or 20 degrees again, and next week we are most likely going to get an ice storm, but TODAY it was 50 degrees! I love Mark Twain's quote on Spring Fever. It describes my feelings perfectly.

Last week was rather unproductive for me on the writing front. I was still getting over a nasty sinus infection and sleeping more than normal. There was also a lot of unrest on Twitter last week which I also found very discouraging in so many ways. I decided to step back, and rethink what I wanted to offer on my blog. I decided to share more quotes, music and other things that inspire me to write or remind me of books that I'm reading. I also want to start sharing reviews of books that I have on my book shelves in various genres. These are the ones I saved to read again because they made that much of an impression on me. I will call these Book Treasures.

Next week I'm going to have my first themed week. It will be Young Adult Week on my blog with reviews, interviews, and a contest. I'm still working on the details but I think a good time will be had by all.

This week I am concentrating on my Kindle, free e-books, what I've learned, plus a few reviews of ebooks. I won my Kindle back in December and I'm finally figuring out the nitty gritty.

Later this month I have two scheduled Book Tours and contests:

March 18: Demon Possessed by Stacia Kane

March 25: The River Kings' Road by Liane Merciel

Head on over to Book Smugglers this week to participate in Steampunk Week! Today they are kicking off the week with ( in their words): an intro post in which we examine the sub-genre, listing some required, essential reading, and provide links to some pretty cool Steampunk-ish sites and events.

I love Steampunk in all it's Goggle Glory and will be hanging out at Book Smugglers this week for the fun.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review: Steamed: A Steampunk Romance

A Steampunk Romance
by Katie MacAlister
Publisher: Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Available at Indie Bound, Powells, Barnes & Noble

Summary: When one of Jack Fletcher's nanoelectromechanical system experiments is jostled in his lab, the resulting explosion sends him into the world of his favorite novel-a seemingly Victorian-era world of steampower, aether guns, corsets, and goggles. A world where the lovely and intrepid Octavia Pye captains her airship straight into his heart...

Steamed is my first Katie MacAlister book, but I've been following her on Twitter and reading her blog, Fiction with Attitude. She has such a great sense of humor that I knew I would love her books. I started with Steamed because I'm fascinated with the entire steampunk movement; books, music, art, and movies. Have you seen the beautiful cover? I saved up my book money and put in an order with Barnes and Noble a couple weeks ago. I've been reading a lot of dark fantasy lately and really needed an upbeat, fun romance to balance out things.

Steamed was a light, witty, romantic, and sexy read. The characters were colorful and unique, as was the plot. There is a combination of steampunk goodness, mystery, adventure and romance. Jack is a typical American guy, asking Octavia (to her horror and confusion) why she doesn't wear the corset on the outside of her clothing because he's sure it would look MUCH better. Octavia is a woman with Victorian manners and attitude but underneath the formality she's passionate, brilliant and independent. They bring out the worst and best in each other, as they work together to solve a mystery, and rescue his sister from execution.

I loved the side characters in Steamed as well. They were all colorful and added mystery and humor to the book. I really hope the author writes a sequel so we can learn more about Octavia's world.

I think fans of paranormal romance and historical romance will enjoy Steamed. You can find out more about Katie MacAlister on her website:



Monday, March 1, 2010

Roadkill Release Week Goodness!

Rob Thurman is one of my favorite authors, and this is release week for the fifth book in her Cal & Niko Leandros series. Here is the awesome cover with Cal and his werewolf with benefits, Delilah.

I'm heading out tomorrow or Wednesday to buy my copy of Roadkill in the store so it helps Rob rack up sale goodness to make sure we continue to get more Cal & Niko. It's extremely important to buy the book from Tuesday, March 2 to Saturday, March 6th to make the biggest impact on her sales. If you haven't read Rob's books check out these cool blogs to learn more. You really don't want to miss these awesome books.

(A note: The give-aways are for Rob's other books, so you can STILL go buy Roadkill this week and not be doubling up. Just saying...)

The awesome Larissa has an interview and give-away for FOUR of Rob's books.
Her give-away ends March 11th. Visit Larissa & Rob HERE!

Rob guest blogs about "not blogging" which gives you some insight into her witty personality PLUS she's giving away her books to four winners to be picked at random on Sunday, March 7, 2010. Rob on Deadline Dames:

This is an interview on Cat and Muse with Cal himself, and Goodfellow, a character in all of the Cal & Niko books. I can't explain his personality or his antics- you have to read the interview.

Cat and Muse Interview:

Twitpic your Roadkill by Rob Thurman receipts (dated 3/2-3/7) for a chance to win original Snark Art!

"The snark art will apparently be a collage of every embarrassing picture I've had taken (which are quite a few) and he's going to MSTK Nightlife. Now THAT will be brutal. But all for the cause!" ~from Mark's blog.

The Sneak Peak Deal
Now, when you buy your copy of Roadkill you can also get a sneak peak at a chapter from the SIXTH Cal & Niko book. Rob has details here:


The Devil Inside by Jenna Black

The Devil Inside
(Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist, Book 1)
Author: Jenna Black
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Dell (November 27, 2007)

Summary: Exorcism isn’t a job, it’s a calling—and a curse. Just ask Morgan Kingsley, a woman who has a stronger aura than any Demon... her life is about to be turned upside down…by the Demon that’s gotten inside her.

Morgan’s Demon is leading a war of succession no human has ever imagined. For a woman trying to live a life, and hold on to the almost-perfect man, being possessed by a gorgeous rebel Demon will mean a wild ride of uninhibited thrills, shocking surprises, and pure, unadulterated terror. . . .

I picked up my copy of The Devil Inside because I had heard such good things about Jenna Black. I'm not sure what I expected, but I have mixed feelings after reading the first book in this series. It's a dark urban fantasy with erotic sexual content, action and intrigue. I like the main character, Morgan, though she often gives new meaning to the word bitch. Then again, she has reasons for her anger, none which I can argue with. I find myself wishing someone would give her a break, and possibly a hug. I also thought her demon, who she shares a body with, was scary but honorable and likable. The other characters were complex; some I actually hated, others confused me.

I found the concept of demons sharing bodies with humans because they exist in a dimension/world where they aren't corporal, fascinating. The political struggle, the attitudes of human hosts who worship the demons vs. those who hate them, and the relationship between cooperating hosts and demons were intriguing and unique.

I found myself uncomfortable while reading The Devil Inside for a couple of reasons. First, the erotic sexual content went from playful between Morgan and her boyfriend to the painful and controlling world of S&M where whippings and violence are common place. I've read books before that included this type of lifestyle and didn't feel quite this uncomfortable. I wonder if it's because I didn't know the characters or their reasons behind this type of sex. Later, we get a little hint into why some demons might prefer it, but never as to why Dominic would choose the lifestyle. We are never given a hint as to why he endures it. I felt that this aspect of the plot was overwhelming, to the point of taking away from the struggle that was going on with the demons and their human hosts.

I'm a very eclectic reader in that I love Happily Ever Afters but I also like thought provoking plots that make me examine human nature, love, sacrifice etc. I also don't judge books on their sexual content, as long as it's a part of the plot but not the entire reason for it.

Even though I remain uncomfortable with much of The Devil Inside, I also find myself wanting to know more about Morgan and the struggle between the demons and the humans in her world. I have to say it takes a talented writer to make a reader want to keep reading even though they are taken way out of their comfort zone.