Monday, April 30, 2012

Author Interview #6 London Saint James

This week's edition of Interview Monday welcomes London Saint James, erotic writer, to the blog.

Hi London and welcome to Booked Up.
*Waves* Thanks so much for having me!

Like many successful writers, the pull to writing hit you early. I'm glad you chose to pursue it rather than let societal "sensibilities", as you referred to them on your own site, dissuade you. A good love story seems to have been of interest to you from the time you were in grade school. After years of writing, what made you try to publish your work?
I had written a short story with a BDSM twist, so when I saw a submission call for a BDSM anthology called Master of Mine from Evernight Publishing, I decided to submit it. I figured what’s the worst thing that could happen? I pondered it and imagined being told, “You suck as a writer.” I prepared for the worst, but thankfully that didn’t happen. Evernight liked my submission and offered me a place in the anthology.

What character that you've written do you most identify with? What is your favorite story from the ones you written and can you tell us a little about it?
I suppose I identify with parts of several characters that I’ve written about, but the one heroine that really holds a place in my own heart is, Winter Shae Perri from The Heart Of Winter Series. One of my favorite stories comes from that series. Requiem, book 2 in The Heart Of Winter series was a challenge to write, but it is my favorite.
In book 1, Enchanted, Winter Shae Perri is a small town girl from a rural farming community in Colorado, who takes a huge step by leaving home and going to college in the Big Apple. She has to face her fears and insecurities, and allow the perfect man (Austin) to love her. As the series moves on, book 2 Requiem, she faces the ultimate loss the night before her wedding to Austin. Her fairy tale has been shattered in a car crash which takes Austin from her. Years later the recluse romance writer, Winter Wells (her pen name) finds the re-emergence of a love that she thought was long gone. But when her long lost love makes a startling appearance in the form of a Hollywood mega star named Cayden Cain, she can’t deny the pull nor the fact he’s a carbon copy of Austin. From here, she faces more conflicts than you can shake a stick at.

Where do you find the ideas for your paranormal books?
*Smiles* Truly, I’m not real sure how the ideas come. For instance. I think I was actually doing the dishes (I know. Not very inspiring) when the thought came about Winter. I wanted to tell the story of a girl who fell in love despite her disbelief in love. From there the characters took the lead, and the story told itself. My main inspiration was the idea of true love, soul mates, and can two people love each other so much that nothing can keep them apart. Not even death. I thought over the idea of soul transfer and I sat down and wrote a huge book, which turned into the 4-book continuing series that I mentioned above. The Heart Of Winter.

You have an extensive music listening list on your website. I'm curious—do you attach a piece of music to each book you write and does its lyrics or perhaps its rhythm serve as a muse for your work?
Yes. I love music, and often I write while listening to music. I sort of put together a soundtrack that reflects the storyline, and yes this serves as a muse for my work.

What writers do you read the works of? What have been your influences to pursue a writing career in this genre?
Like music, I love to read. Sadly it seems my reading time gets shorter and shorter, but I read many different authors and genres, however, romance and its many sub-genres would be at the top of my lists. As far as what writer I read, and influences there are many. Sarah McCarty (I love the Hell’s Eight series). Sherrilyn Kenyon and her Dark Hunter series. Lynsay Sands, Rhyannon Byrd, Megan Hart, Victoria Dahl, Gena Showalter, Charlaine Harris... and on and on.

Was it hard say goodbye to your characters in The Heart of Winter?
Book 4, Eternal, is being released March 21st. This will be the end to the series, and yes to answer your question. Once you have been with your characters for such a long time, it is a bit hard to say goodbye.

What’s next for your readers?
Currently I do have a finished erotic novel. The working title: La Bonne Soeur (The Good Sister) I need the time to go over it, polish it, edit it, etc… I’m also working on a BDSM story for the naughty fairy tale line through Evernight. And I’m in collaboration with another author, working on a sci-fi series.

Would you share with us your writing environment? Do you write at home? Do you write longhand or only on a computer? Do you have a dedicated office workspace for yourself?
Sure. My writing environment would be at home, on my laptop, sitting on my couch. I do have a office, but I very rarely write using the desktop computer. I like to be able to move around, so the laptop is what I use the most.

How do you structure your day to allow you to write? Do you get out of bed and get on your machine and write for a specific number of hours or do you write as the mood suits you?
I love the word, structure. I wish I could say I have achieved structure in my writing habits. LOL. I seem to write more often than not, late at night. It would be great to write over the weekends, but other obligations always pop up. I sort of find the time to write. In fact. If I don’t write for a few days, I get a sort of an anxiety about it.

What advice would you give a person wanting to pursue a career writing?
Read. Read. And read some more. Find your voice and writing style, and write about what you love, what you find inspiring. Regardless of being published, write because you enjoy it. Allow your passion to show in your work. Never give up or allow others to discourage you.

Coffee, Tea or Me by Mae Powers & Megan Hussey

Tea & Hart by Mae Powers
Lavera Tallys wants Zareth Hart, but he's part of a spoilt alien princess' endowment. Now if only she can barter for his freedom, so she could lay claim to his heart and body.

Coffee, Tea Or He? by Megan Hussey
A seductive alien masquerades as an airline steward to seduce a straight-laced female pilot. Will she take coffee, tea, or he?

Cosmic Coffee Café by Mae Powers
Security officer Terryc Valcon goes into the Cosmic Café and finds both the owner Chalea Jackson and her Earth beverages quite refreshing and stimulating. When trouble follows her, so does Terryc, ready to rescue and love her.

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
Tea & Hart by Mae Powers
Zareth Hart was exchanged by his father for grains and other priceless products his planet considered necessary to Orla, a spoiled princess. But he is rescued by an Earther woman, the boss of his sister, Natia; and they fall in love.

I tried to like the story, but I couldn’t. There was too much descriptions and that made it a little boring to me and although Zareth is supposed to be mute and deaf but in some scenes he seems to talk and hear. 2.5 stars

Coffee, Tea Or He? by Megan Hussey
Violet Steed is a pilot. She was overjoyed that her longtime employer, Valentine Airlines, was partnering with Eternian officials to explore some common ground. And she likes Valaria Jinga, the president of the planet Eternia.

She doesn’t know that Valaria set Varian, the ultimate pleasure ambassador, to seduce her. She finally gets rid of her husband, who's been cheating on for some years. Violet and Varian soon are falling in love but what will happen when she will find out the truth about him?

I liked this story. Varian is much younger than Violet, but he falls in love with her. And he decides to leave his work as an ambassador just to have her. 3.5 stars.

Cosmic Coffee Café by Mae Powers
Terryc Valcon had to do one more assignment for Galactic Trades Commission: to catch Nezzbum. He already has a job, as 2nd in command for the Station’s security team but he also went undercover as a regular mall cop just to make it easier to get some evidence on him and finally leave his old work. He falls for Chalea Jackson, the proprietor of Cosmic Coffee Café and Chalea for him.

The story was a little confusing. Terryc was searching for some secret of Chalea to help him with Nezzbum who wanted her Café… and he got rid of Nezzbum when some of his men threaten Chalea and were trying to steal her supplies. All that made me feel like something is missing. 3 stars.

Overall the anthology wasn't bad, although the stories have their boring moments. I give it 3 stars.

Publisher: Melange Books
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Rose & Thorn by Maia Strong

Eamon Quinn, a newly minted actor from a small university town, is auditioning for a position with Rose & Thorn Theatrics. He's up to the acting challenge; he's not so sure he's up to life in the big city. That is, until he finds a friend in Jasper Davison. Jasper is intrigued by Eamon, certain that he, like Jasper, is a mountain-born, Druid-touched soul.

When both men are hired as journeymen by Rose & Thorn, the kindred spirits soon become lovers, and catch the eye of the company's head apprentice, HJ Greenhills. Their flirtations are lighthearted, but bad luck plagues the theater. Accidents, injuries, and a sudden death have given rise to rumors of a curse. The power of three is a mighty force in Druid magic – is it powerful enough to stop the destruction of Rose & Thorn?

Reviewer: Fashionta
It's nice to read a ménage where the author has taken the time to explore the relationships between the characters and how they formed. This was more of sweet romance with the relationships then the usual all sex ones and I enjoyed this a lot as there was more depth to the characters then usual.

I have to give this book five stars, the author's writing style made this book excellent and I look forward to reading more of her books. This book is perfect for those searching for more than the typical ménage story, this is one of these rare finds.

Publisher: Torquere Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Rake's Honour by Beverley Oakley

No debutante was ever more desperate to escape the clutches of a detestable suitor than Fanny Brightwell.

With just weeks before the end of the Season, London’s most daring debutante Miss Fanny Brightwell must contract a brilliant match or face the consequences—marriage to the pestilential Lord Slyther.

When Fanny unexpectedly participates in a night of stupendous passion with the delectable but notorious rake, Viscount Fenton, his offer of a carte blanche instead of holy matrimony ignites more than just a polite refusal. The time has come for Fanny to take the reins.

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
I usually don’t like to read too many historical books because I find them boring, unreal, or full of errors. But this one was wonderful!

Miss Fanny Brightwell has to marry a rich man because her father lost everything before he died. When Alverley, the man Miss Fanny hoped to marry tells her that he wants her just as his mistress, she is devastated; that means that she'll have to marry the pestilential Lord Slyther, but that night she meets Viscount Fenton.

At first, Lord Fenton wants to marry her… however, after some lies by a jealous man and some misunderstandings he believes that Miss Fanny was a consummate lover and he offers carte blanche instead.

What a splendid book! I loved every moment of it. Ms. Beverley Oakley created an original and amazing plot. She keeps our attention through the whole book. And the characters… what can I say? Outstanding! I loved Mis Fanny and adore Lord Fenton. I enjoyed with their misunderstanding and I was delighted by their torrid and passionate meetings. And the end… made me burst out laughing. It rocks!

5 stars for her and I can hardly wait to read her new release… Ms. Beverley Oakley, I’m not above begging for more! I expect I won’t have to wait too much longer for it, you are now one of my favorite writers.

Publisher: Total E-Bound
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Taking Control by Sam Crescent

Melissa and Bruce have been married for five years and had the perfect loving marriage. However one night Bruce felt his wife fake her orgasm, shock and outraged Bruce plans to finally break down her reserve and awaken her sexual desires.

Years of verbal abuse from her mother has left Melissa repressed, scared to explore her sexuality. The night she faked her orgasm, she knows she needs something more but she has no idea what her body is craving.

Bruce thrusts Melissa into a world of passion, fantasy and desire. His only demand that she gives her body and heart into his care and to trust him absolutely.

Together they will steam up the sheets, but will Melissa be able to give her absolute trust in the man she loves and accept his final demand being with another man, for the ultimate pleasure?

Reviewer: avidscribe
An aside to the publisher ... while I know you are concerned about piracy, the watermark was so outrageous and in my face, it made for a VERY uncomfortable read. It was as if I were constantly being told DO NOT STEAL - DO NOT STEAL. It took away from the entire reading experience for me. Surely a watermark need not be that dark and take up half the page to get your point across. Please I am begging you reconsider the size and placement of it for future reviewers.

On to the story ...
I am sad to say, I give this a strong pass. Melissa, married 5 years to her devoted husband Bruce is unresponsive to his efforts to sexually satisfy her. That's the key—five years. Her husband catches her faking an orgasm and is both alarmed and desperate. No woman has ever faked an orgasm on him, he takes pride in the pleasure he's given his women. This is his wife he loves beyond all measure and he's sick at heart to think she would do such a thing. He believes the behavior is based on a guilt-fed upbringing by her icy mother.

Melissa is non orgasmic. She needs something he isn't giving her and is unable to tell him what that is. She finds their sex life a chore. She's gone to her marital bed a virgin, her mother's skewed belief that sex is dirty and bad tainting her.

Bruce decides to try something different. The next morning he is the antithesis of who she's been married to for the past five years. He's rough and demanding, coming up behind her in the kitchen telling her what they're going to do. His crude words awaken something inside her. The slight pain of the submission he's demanding makes her body respond in ways she didn't think possible.

He takes control of her desires and she has the best sex of her life. The temptress Bruce believes is inside Melissa emerges and she's on her knees giving Bruce one of the best blow-jobs of his life. A deep male voice interrupts to rate the experience and Melissa, embarrassed, flies out of the room in embarrassment. The visitor is Chris, Bruce's best friend and co-worker. It is immediately obvious Bruce has been filling Chris in on the sexual issues he's been having with his wife. Together they devise a scenario to give Melissa a night to remember.

Later that same morning, Bruce calls his wife on the phone to describe in detail how much he wants to fuck her and instructs her to come to his office prepared for a carnal lunchdate. Seems she's on the menu. She is rewarded when she comes in in a coat with nothing underneath. Things heat up sexually between them from there.

BTW, Chapter 3, page 20 typo 'accept' should be 'except'

This is a short story with an accelerated storyline that is implausible to a degree of fantasy and because of that it didn't engage me. With the kind of childhood Melissa has, she's come to the marriage bed unknowing and filled with bad mental images. FIVE YEARS go by in this marriage with this woman not orgasming. Five years? The husband is saying he always satisfies his women but he hasn't reached his own wife for five years? That's the first implausibility. The characters don't match what little we know of them. Five years have gone by and he finally realizes he can't live like this anymore. And overnight, he tries a hard, aggressive approach and she is instantly aroused, instantly orgasmic, instantly the woman he always believed her to be.

Oh come on! Give the readers an ounce of intelligence. Try perhaps five WEEKS of marriage for this scenario to work. That would be believable from the standpoint of the lying and frustration and the husband's efforts to attempt something new. It doesn't work for me that he's waited five long years to address the problem.

We get a menage with Chris that I saw coming early on. It's hackneyed. Chris is ready and eager and can't believe how gorgeous Melissa is though he's seen her on and off for five years—maybe she was wearing tarp? She's all for a three-way, this woman raised by a mother who has implanted some heavy negativity on her. I'm sorry, it just doesn't work for me.

I probably don't stand a chance of having the publisher/author rethink the timeline here but I seriously would impress upon both to at least consider it. It would make this story far more believable. I'd give this two and a half stars.

Publisher: Rebel Ink Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Broken Hearts & Candy Kisses by SammyJo Hunt

Left alone and desolate the day before Valentine's Day, Kevin's bad luck at love has just struck again. Deserted at the boarding gate by the man he thought was his lifetime partner, his struggling self-esteem takes a low blow for the worst. Overcome by grief in the unlikeliest of places, his moment of tears and sadness is interrupted by “Mr. Tall, Dark & Handsome.”

Consumed by sudden passion born of desperation and desire, his chance meeting with the intriguing man breathes hope into his shattered dreams. Seared inside and out by the heat of his lover’s haunting blue eyes, their hot one-night stand could be the true love he’s searched a lifetime for. Or he may be destined to live an empty life without the one thing his heart desires. Only time will tell, in Broken Hearts & Candy Kisses.

Reviewer: RedDragonfly
Kevin was just dumped by his partner of two years, while seeing him off at the airport he meets Brett. The two have a drink together at the bar which soon turns into them going back to Brett's house.

If you are looking for a sappy sweet Valentine's day read that also includes one very hot sex scene this is the short story for you. The characters weren't very developed because of the length of this story but you could see that their lust for each other could easily turn into love. Also for being only 25 pages long, I really liked all the descriptions of both what was going on around them and the two characters. I'm giving this story 4 stars.

Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Civilizing Frances (Mad Hatterlys 3) by Marguerite Butler

From the moment he first meets uncivilized Frances Hatterly, the Duke of Ainsley's life becomes one scandal after another. Falling in love with her may cause the biggest scandal of all.

Frances Hatterly is thrilled to finally make her London debut. She means to indulge her passion for fashion and frivolity. But before she can even make her curtsey, she finds herself accidentally compromised by the most arrogant man she has ever met. Desperate to avoid being forced into marriage, she resolves to make herself as obnoxious as possible to drive him away.

The Duke of Ainsley knew he should never have agreed to help launch his friend's uncivilized sister Frances into society. After he is found alone with Frances, he must either marry the brat or find someone else to do so. But what sort of man would be willing to take the hoyden off his hands?

Ainsley must civilize Frances quickly, or risk losing more than his bachelorhood--he just might lose his heart.

Reviewer: PurpleRose
I have to be frank, I didn't enjoy the book very much, this kind of humorous tale was too much for me. However, I have to admit that it isn't a bad book at all.

The thing that was pleasant was the constant fencing with words of the two main characters. Frances Hatterly was raised around numerous brothers and it definitely shows! She is outspoken and has nothing that is required in a young lady who is about to make her coming out. In a word she is utterly uncivilized. For the Duke of Ainsley, who is quiet the gentleman, she is simply insufferable. They developed an instant dislike for each other. But unfortunately for them, they are discovered alone in the most ridiculous situation and for the most ridiculous reason! The only solution is marriage of course but each of them is determined to find another way out ...

Despite my reservation, I have to say that this story is well written and very witty. Marguerite Butler is not lacking in imagination, but for me it didn't work. I give a 3.5 stars.

Publisher: Musa Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Hearts Forged In Fire by Cassandre Dayne

For rancher Zeke Parker, every day was difficult. Not only was Rattlesnake Ranch falling on hard times but he couldn’t get over the horrible grief plaguing him for over a year. The death of his lover, David, had nearly stripped away his soul. As Valentine’s Day drew near his sister Sandi was determined to drag him out of his private hell. Agreeing to be a part of a charity auction for the humane society, Zeke figured one date with a wealthy woman wasn’t going to kill him. But during dinner at Sandi’s house, Zeke meets movie producer Drake Wilson, who's scouting locations for an upcoming movie, and sparks fly.

After an impetuous moment of heat, both men are skittish and each have their reasons for pulling back. But Cupid has other ideas in mind. When a rouse brings the two men together, passion roars between them but damning secrets are too much for either to deal with. Just as Zeke is determined to give up on love forever, Cupid intervenes again and this time, the arrow goes straight through Zeke's heart.

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
A truly beautiful book cover.

Sandi Parer had had enough, she wanted to see Zeke, her younger brother, happy. But Zeke was grieving for his dead lover David, who died in an terrible accident. As his big sister, Sandi made a plan, her cupid plan. To achieve her goal Sandi manipulated Zeke to meet a stranger at a dinner party. And a few days later Zeke has to join a charity event for Valentine's day with a title "Forged in Fire." To make his sister happy, Zeke agreed to both events.

Zeke came to Sandi's house with a nervous stomach. He knew his destructive behavior had to end. Zeke needed to get out of his depression and find new reason for living. As soon as Zeke arrived, he was greeted by a man who introduced himself as Drake Wilson. Zeke was drawn toward Drake as soon as their eyes met, they both felt an electric jolts as they touched. Those words where written a lot of times through the story and at a point it was annoying to read about "electric jolts" between them.

Sandi thought Drake was the perfect person for Zeke and that Zeke's farm would be the perfect location for the movie Drake was scouting for. Sandi invited him to meet Zeke at the dinner party. Drake and Zeke felt an instant energetic pull when they were together. We could describe it as an instant attraction between them. Because they both wanted to see each other again, they made a date for the next day. Drake found some information about Rattlesnake Ranch on the Internet and what he saw was perfect for his movie.

Hm, the plot was written with good style, but I have to admit, all the emotions between Zeke and Drake weren't expressed well and I couldn't feel them as a reader. The plot was developed too fast and the story would have been better with more a developed detailed plan. The way it was created didn't feel real, it was too mushy. I'm giving only 3 stars.

Publisher: Rebel Ink Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Friday, April 27, 2012

Giveaway and Author Interview #5 Hailey Edwards

Today I would like to welcome fantasy author Hailey Edwards to the blog.

Hailey, your blog banner says 'author of winged fantasy' which begs the question, why did you choose to write in this genre and classify it as winged fantasy?
The “winged fantasy” bit started out as a joke among my friends when they noticed each book I’d written up to that point had a winged hero. But the more I thought about it, the more I decided yeah, I do write winged fantasy. I currently have three series, and two of those have winged heroes throughout the series. The third, well, that’s a surprise.

Your new book A Hint of Frost is the first in the series you are calling Araneae Nation. Tell us in your own words what this book about and why did you feel compelled to write it.
Frost is a marriage of convenience story set against the backdrop of an almost medieval world populated by Araneaeans, people with spiderlike traits. They have fangs, some are venomous, and most spin silk. There are mercenaries, herbologists, and spirit walkers. Riding bears and lizards are how the locals get around, and, word to the wise, avoid the Mimetidae clan at all costs.

I wrote Frost because the characters—the world—they were so vivid. I couldn’t walk away from them.

Who are authors you read and why? Who would you say influenced you to become a writer yourself?
I read Kresley Cole for her humor and sizzling romance. I read Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld for the same reasons. I love Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files for his dry sense of humor and—I’m seeing a pattern here.

The author who has most influenced my writing is Karen Moning. It’s not a comparison of my work to hers, but more that I loved her books so much they inspired me to sit down and write my own.

Tell us a little about your writing environment. Do you write in a specific room of your house that you've set aside for that purpose? Do you write freehand or on a computer? How do you lay out the structure of your book so you keep characters and their motivations straight in your head?
Yes. I have an office, and I can only work in there. Everything I need is right there, and I like having my work separate from the rest of the house (and my family).

I don’t freehand anything other than sticky notes. I usually go through a stack per book making notes as I write to remember what I need to tweak come editing time.

Since I’m a pantser, I don’t plot. I go into each book with a general idea of what needs to happen and I let my characters get me there.

Here's an odd question but I am often delighted with the response it gets. Does a character of yours ever surprise you? Meaning, do you follow a set plan of action for your story or does the character take wing (pardon the pun) and you find yourself writing a scene or dialog you hadn't planned that suddenly takes your thinking in a different direction?
Yes! Being a pantser means you never know what’s going to come out of your character’s mouth until they say it. Sometimes you’re left staring at the page, thinking “what just happened”. I have stopped books pages away from being completed because a character said or did something that made me see them differently. I thought it was in their best interest to rewrite the book with that information in mind than to force them into a story that didn’t fit.

Do you have specific people in mind when you create your characters? Meaning, does it help you to imagine a character as a real person you may know or have seen?
No. I’m not a very visual person in terms of characters and their appearances. I “see” them as their voice and the sum of their actions.

How many books are planned for Araneae Nation series? I know that you are working on the second which you have shared excerpts in Six Sentence Sunday.
I actually submitted the second novel in the series at the first of April. It’s Vaughn’s book. As for the rest of the series, only time and the characters will tell how many books there will be.

Thanks for stopping by Hailey.

Hailey has kindly offered to giveaway to one commenter their choice from her backlist titles (any digital format).

Tricked by Mysty McPartland

Riddled with guilt, Greyson has only one option to save his clan from his despicable relatives and that is to trick his cousins betrothed into marriage. He swears an oath that he would keep his hands of her and set her free when the fight is over. What he never plans on was to share his bed with her each night and fight the hunger to have her in his arms.

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
Laird Greyson McBain tricks Freel McCoy, his cousin's betrothed, into marriage. It's the only way of saving his clan from his cousin and uncle. He promises he will let her go after he gets rid of them, but they fall in love.

This book should be a wonderful story to read, but it wasn’t. I finished it so I could write a fair review but it was painful.

There was little historical details… vague clothes description and nothing more.

The writer tried to give action and vibrancy to the dialogue but she failed, instead creating a boring and absurd story. The story line is deceptive, simulated, and artificial, Ms. Mysty McPartland’s style is non-existent, and she sets the story from the point of view of almost every character; which left me dizzy, confused, and with a headache. The characters are marionettes with no coherence, consistency, or depth so that none of them are believable. And as if that wasn't enough, we have incoherent situations, like this one:
When a large group rode into the clearing, his eyes searched for the woman he was about to trick, and take as his wife… Perhaps a few well-chosen words would calm everyone down, and her escort would leave peacefully. “I am the McBain and have come to escort my betrothed the rest of the journey. Your men can return home.”
“Mistress, ye betrothed is waiting for ye in the clearing just up ahead.” … Finally, entering the clearing, with her heart pounding, she quickly scanned the immediate area.
Maybe the writer should think more in creating a believable story than writing a dozen scenes with no substance. Don’t waste your money or your time on it. Stay away, 2 stars.

Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Lily by Xavier Axelson

When Pryor's daughter Lily is taken by a wolf, Pryor is convinced she has turned into the creature he sees lurking in his woods. He swears she promises to return to him. But is it his despair and desperation making him see things or is there something more lurking in the shadows of the forest? When he meets Ned, a silversmith who helps him with a plan to bring his daughter back into his life, he begins to live again. But can his newfound love help ease the horror that may be waiting? What if the ultimate horror isn’t when Lily was taken but it’s when Lily returns and he realizes his nightmare has only just begun...

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
The start of this story was a bit unusual. The plot starts with Pryor, Lily's father, thinking about his lost daughter and his mind wanders into the past, to all those painful memories of his daughter's disappearance. He explained how he went mad with his tragic lost, that he couldn't stand the idea of never seeing his daughter again. Pryor lost touch with daily life, he lived only for his wish to see his girl again.

Lily disappeared one year ago and Pryor still couldn't fill the empty whole her disappearance left behind. Lily was dragged into the woods by a wolf. Only once did Lily appear in the darkness of the woods, but with a strange voice she promised him, that she would come back for next Father's day, for one day only.

In this year of grieving for Lily, Pryor met Ned. Ned is a silversmith and he made a necklace for Pryor. The attraction between both men was instant and pulling. I really admired Ned for his patience around Pryor's mad obsession for his daughter. He showed how deeply he loved Pryor. Admirable in my eyes. Maybe Pryor lost Lily but he gained a lover, Ned which filled his empty heart again. Ned filtered out some of the pain Pryor felt from loosing his daughter. The whole concept of this story is built around Pryor's lost, his tragic pain, and the understanding, he has to let Lily go.

I noticed some errors in editing while reading this story, but in general I liked how the story ended. I'm giving this story 3.5 stars.

Publisher: Silver Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

A Demon Made Me Do It (Demonblood 1) by Penelope King

Some girls share clothes, a bathroom, or a bedroom. Seventeen-year-old Liora Greyson has to share, too. Only she shares her body--with a demon.

Liora just wants to survive her final year of high school unscathed, her dark secret intact. But the walls she’s carefully constructed to keep people away crack wide open once she meets the sexy and mysterious Kieron, and he lights her world on fire. She can’t let him know she transforms into a demon named "Lucky" at nightfall—a demon with an entirely separate personality who passes out Torment, Justice, and Revenge like Halloween candy.

Turns out Kieron is the one who should be afraid once Lucky discovers his true identity and motivations. Liora wants to love him, but Lucky thinks he’s public enemy number one. And having a demon with a vendetta show up during a romantic date puts a serious crimp in any relationship.

Fighting your demons is one thing. Having one that fights back, messes with your guy, and leaves you with nasty hangovers is quite another.

Being bad has never been so good...

Reviewer: Fashionta
A Demon Made Me Do It is a darker paranormal than Witchy, Witchy but it has lighter moments too. Liora is a seventeen old human known in this world as Sapie. She’s a demion, a demi-demon who’s half human and half demon. Oh and she's been cursed by another demon race which has caused her two halves to be split and exist separately. So meet Lucky her demon half, who with Liora tell their story in alterative chapters as we explore the magical world the author has created.

I fell in love with this book. The author has talent for writing strong female characters and Liora and Lucky are like day and night literally. Liora exists until sunset and then Lucky comes out to play. They barely co-exist but that's all about to change when Liora meets Kieron. Kieron is another demi-demon but he moved to town for one reason. A reason that both Liora and Lucky aren’t going to like.

So the girls could be basically twins in one sense and it’s amazing how they act towards each because of the shared body. Even though this book is dark, it does have it's brightwe moments that balances the book out. I have to give this book four stars and say it's an interesting YA book.

Publisher: Ascendence Press

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kindred Hearts by Rowan Speedwell

Charming rascal Tristan Northwood seems to have it all: an ancient name, a noble inheritance, a lovely wife, and a son he adores. Women love him, men admire him, and it seems there is nothing he can’t do, whether it’s seducing a society wife or winning a carriage race. Little does Society suspect that the name means nothing to him, the fortune is in his father’s controlling hands, and he has no interest in his wife except a very distant friendship. Society bores him, and he takes dares because he only feels alive when he’s dancing on the edge... until his wife’s brother comes home from the wars.

Decorated war hero Major Charles Mountjoy jerks Tris out of his despair by inspiring feelings of passion Tris had never suspected himself capable of. Almost as terrifying as those feelings for Charles are the signs Charles might return his affection—or, even worse, that Charles sees the man Tristan has been trying so valiantly to hide from the world.

Reviewer: BlackTulip
Well, I will simply say that this is how every m/m Historical romance should be ... what a treat!

How many times have I thought or said in my reviews that there was definitely a lack of background, well in this book there is no such thing!

The wealth of details, the observation of the human mind, and its reaction when faced with very specific situations give much depth to the story and seem utterly genuine. Page after page you are given a piece of the puzzle of life and all you have to do is go with the flow. And at the end, you have a story where nothing is missing.

The three main characters are wonderful, strong, and flawed enough to make them completely likable. The beauty of this book is that we get to know the main protagonist, Tristan, when he is very young. We are sharing all the suffering and the unhappiness of the boy and then all the frustration, the boredom, and the despair of the young man!

Against all odds, the marriage of convenience arranged by his father is a success. There is a real friendship that develops between his wife and himself. Lottie is a good woman who has not a romantic bone in her body. Charles, her twin brother who is a soldier, has inherited all of it! At one time Tristan thought that his marriage could maybe bring him something else, something more but even friendship and a son, whom he loves dearly, are not enough. He is still miserable and depressed and each night he drinks until oblivion to forget this frightening void.

He seems so lost and powerless. There is a sentence in the book that says it all :
He's walking through life, not living it.
It is beautifully said, so true but also so sad.

Charles enters Tristan's life when he is on the edge of despair. But as soon as he sees Charles he knows he is lost. Charles is the trigger for something even worse ... But you often have to go through the worst to achieve the better. And when you have found your other half everything is possible...

The description of Waterloo's aftermaths is gripping and so terribly vivid and gruesome, I still shudder thinking back!

This is a wonderful story about love and passion between two kindred souls. It is such an exceptionable and inspiring novel, I highly recommend it and give 5/5.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Shepherd's Moon (The Shepherds 1) by Stacy Mantle

It’s taken twelve years to earn the official title of Shepherd but she’s now mostly trained, fairly effective, and the first female in over two centuries to hold the position as protector of animals. All animals...

The Territorial Council isn’t thrilled with her new title of Shepherd, but they don’t have any more control over the appointment than they have over her. All they can really do is wait for her to screw something up – which Alex is determined not to do. Everything changes when a chance encounter with a genetically modified Shifter leaves Alex shaken and initiates a quest to locate its maker.

In a desperate bid to save her pack, Alex must infiltrate the Parallax Corporation – an international organization with their hands in everything from biomedical engineering to publishing. They have now expanded their efforts to include terrorism and are attempting to breed the perfect weapon.

Despite years of training and enough money from her live-in pack of misfits to finance a small country, Alex finds herself woefully unprepared to tackle the new threat. To make matters worse, Alex must work with a mysterious man who’s been trying to kill her since the day they met. Together with her pack, Alex must learn how to stop the biological cloning and find those responsible for the plan before it really does become a global threat.

Reviewer: Fashionta
Shepherd's Moon is one of those old fashioned paranormal novels where the focus is on the story rather than the romance. There are hints of romance but the main focus is on the characters. Alex is the first female shepherd in 2000 years and controls the south western area of the USA along with four other male shepherds. Their aim is to watch and protect the weres of America and handle any problems that arise, which there seems to be a lot of lately. Alex and her pack works for Richard as a specialist unit for Phoneix Metro and there seems to be a rash of problems popping up with weres who don’t seem to be what they are. Then Tristian arrives and creates new problems as Alex can’t use her powers and he's an immortal Nephilim half human, half angel.

Now it's true that I love my romance and I have pretty much read everything except FF. But it was nice change to be captivated by a book where the story was more focused on other things rather than romance. The characters each have stories to tell and we got to see some of them and will hopefully learn more as this is hopefully the first in a long series. It's something different since we more see paranormal heroines as hunters or guardians never both and I love this unique take. However, the ending was a disappointment, I would have liked to see it gradually coming closer to the cliffhanger and maybe adding a few extra scenes instead of the climax then cliffhanger. So I have to give this book 4 stars, because overall it’s an interesting and fantastic book.

Publisher: Self Published

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lessons After Dark (Englefield 2) by Isabel Cooper

For years, Gareth St. John put his supernatural talent for healing in service to the British Army. Now he’s the doctor at a very unusual new school that helps people with special “talents” learn how to hone their abilities. Olivia Brightmore became a fake medium to support herself after her husband died, but she never expected to discover real magic as the school’s newest teacher. Olivia tries to keep the handsome doctor at arm’s length, but she can’t resist the urge to get under his skin.

He’s no proper gentleman, but she’s no honest woman.For years, Gareth St. John put his supernatural talent for healing in service to the British Army. Now he’s the doctor at a very unusual new school that helps people with special “talents” learn how to hone their abilities. Olivia Brightmore became a fake medium to support herself after her husband died, but she never expected to discover real magic as the school’s newest teacher. Olivia tries to keep the handsome doctor at arm’s length, but she can’t resist the urge to get under his skin.

He’s no proper gentleman, but she’s no honest woman.

Reviewer: Fashionta
Set in Victorian times, Olivia Brightmore is the new teacher at small school in country England but it's no ordinary school. After the death of her husband, Olivia has come to teach at a magic school, where the students have special abilities. She hopes to have a fresh start at the school, but she hits a hurdle with Gareth St. John , the resident doctor who knows her past is as fake as a fortune teller. Because he's never been in the presence of magic, he thinks that she's out to scam his friends Simon and Joan Grenville. She soon is proving to herself and Gareth that she has talents but Garth remains aloof with her.

The book has an interesting concept that made me draw a comparisons to X-men. Most of the children have interesting abilities and the adults in house discounting the servants have abilities or study magic. The concept is something different and I must give points for that; however it seemed to be lacking in the plot, in terms of the paranormal side, there are scenes in there but they don’t highlight the paranormal angle in the book. I have to give this book 3.5 stars.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

Were Seduction (Were Legends 2) by Lia Slater

After living over a century without the touch of a man, Ambria Nogle is surprised that seducing Count Kollens isn’t all that difficult. Unfortunately, falling in love with the Were is just as easy. As an empath, she can see right through Kaige’s brooding façade and into his heart. Now if only she can convince him that her heart is just as genuine.

Kaige isn’t sure what to think of the wicked little witch who’s stolen his nights and captured his thoughts. Their sizzling chemistry dulls his usually sharp senses when they’re together, making him uncertain of her intentions. But soon he finds trusting Ambria isn’t the problem. Falling in love with her is.

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
In the Paqualette’s kingdom, ruled by king Mace and queen Nayla, the Erans started to live among the humans and witches. Ambria Nogle, a witch, is having an affair with Count Kollens, an Eran, so she can help her coven. But she started to fall in love with him.

Kaige Kollens was kept as a blood slave a long time ago, but he never forgot the pain and torture he felt then. Now, although he has a home to call his, he has decided to keep his heart safe. Yet, he never counted on Ambria, a witch and an empath. And before he can reveal his true feelings, the vampires attack them and he could lose Ambria, this time for good.

Second in the Were Legends series, it's a wonderful sequel to WereSlave. It has Ms. Lia Slater's marvelous style and great characters. I loved Kaige and Ambria, and the story was outstanding. Hot, paranormal, with plenty of feelings, how can I want for more? 4.5 stars, it's one of the best book I've ever read.

Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Hot Hands (College Fun and Gays 1) by Erica Pike

For weeks, college student Casper has been the victim of sail-by goosing and groping. The problem is that Casper would very much like to get more than groped by those wonderful, big, hot hands. With a journal full of clues, he sets out to discover who his mystery groper is. However, he may be in serious trouble once he discovers the ominous identity, trouble that has nothing to do with the light bondage involved.

Hot Hands is the first of five in a series of short stories, called ‘College Fun and Gays’. Each story is independent of the others and each covers a deep issue. Hot Hands focuses on the effects of high school bullying for being gay.

Reviewer: PurpleRose
Casper is a freshman in collage and since the beginning of school someone has been groping him again and again, but he hasn't been able to figure out who it was, either due to it being too dark or the person running off when he turns around. When "hot hands" as he likes to call him finally approaches him, he makes Casper wear a blindfold so he can't find out who he is. So he starts to collect clues about who it could be and comes up with that it might be either Jaime or Mike, two boys from his old high school who tormented him countless times.

I loved this novella, the writing was good and the author dealt with a tough subject in a very believable way that made you feel for not only Casper but his bully also. I would have liked to learn more about Casper's love interest, I didn't think there was enough but it was a pretty fast read so there was enough for the length. The sex scene in the middle of the story was really hot and I loved the last scene of the book when Casper's love interest walked into class in just his boxers to prove a point to him. I'm giving this story 5 stars and would love to read more about these two because they still have lots to work out in their relationship.

Publisher: No Boundaries Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dirk's Love (Roxie's Protectors 6) by Marisa Chenery

Dirk has worked tirelessly on creating an online dating service to help male werewolves find their mortal mates. Having hired a mortal female to assist him, when he meets her face-to-face for the very first time, Dirk is smitten by her beauty and finds himself breathless as he realizes the very thing he’s spent a lifetime looking for is finally within his reach…setting his mating urge off in an instant.

Ryann, completely absorbed with raising her precious son for the last two years, has been without a man in her life for far too long. But when she sees Dirk in person for the very first time, and he reawakens the sexual cravings of her neglected body, Ryann hungers not only for his touch, but also yearns for the day her new boss will think of her as more than just his employee.

Reviewer: RedDragonfly
I've followed the Roxie’s Protectors series from the start and was pleased to find another book had been added to the series. In this book you find that Dirk is the last of the Protector's to find a mate and I am now curious to find where this series is going to go now?

Dirk's Love while a sweet read didn't have a strong bad guy in it for my liking for a wolf shifter book. The idea of a dating service seems to be a way of either adding in new shifters for future books or of setting Miles up for a future mate?

Due to the fact I found the ending quite a letdown I rate this book 3.5 stars.

Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Far from the Usual by Avril Ashton

He’s her ex’s brother, yet Arden Windham aches to be in Cam Mercer’s arms. The man is rude and obnoxious, his blue eyes cold and unfeeling, but he makes her body melt. Being with ex-con Cam is nowhere in her plans, not if she wants the affection she’s worked so hard to gain from her overbearing father. Still, Cam’s touch is unlike anything she’s ever felt and Arden finds herself having to choose between her wants and her needs.

Cameron Mercer is his family’s black sheep, a man apart. For six months he watched Arden waste her time with his twin and now she’s free, he’s not waiting another minute. He’s on a campaign to get her off the tight rope she’s been walking. There’s a rebel behind that smooth façade and he’s on a mission to set Arden free. Too bad she insists on putting up a fight.

Reviewer: Fashionta
Far from the Usual is the first book I've read from this author and found it to be one of the most intense sexual books that I've ever read. In most romance books we see two character having feeling for each other but don’t make a big deal out of it. This is the total opposite, the hero makes a big point of it to be the heroine at first but it soon becomes a more dangerous game as he reveals his feelings to her ex-boyfriend, his brother.

It’s explosive sex as two characters who are from two opposite worlds, they both are from money but now at different points in their lives. She's the rich good girl and he's the bad sheep of the family. In addition, the sexual tension that steams between them makes me wish more authors would add the element to their novellas. Four stars for this book and I look forward to reading more of her mf books

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tanar's Forbidden Love (Chornicles of The Vampire Society 2) by Topaz Jordyn

A twist of fate brought them together. Tanar is injured and in desperate need of Sloane’s assistance. Sloane becomes intrigued and enamored with this tall, dark, handsome stranger. She yearns for his touch, and cannot get him out of her mind. Will Sloane finally find love in Tanar’s arms?

Tanar is torn between his loyalty to the Vampire Society and the love of a human female. He battles to hold onto both. Tanar must battle an old enemy, and try to discover the identity of a new threat to his people—a traitor among them.

The discovery of a new vamp drug, “Black Magic”, has hit the streets and was spreading faster than crack among humans and vamps alike. Is Black Magic the advantage the Shadow Dwellers need to finally become day walkers? Or will the Omega warriors put a stop to this growing threat before they accomplish their goal?

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
This book had incredible potential, if only it was narrated in a different way. In theory, it has passion, action, and romance. But the way it is written, it is just a boring book. And how it starts is just awful. It is the second book of Chronicles of the Vampire Society's series and it is not a stand alone book.

The Shadow Dwellers and the Omega Warriors are vampires. The Shadow Dwellers drink human blood while the Omega Warriors take a pills that has all they need. Tanar, an Omega Warrior, is hurt while fighting against some Shadow Dwellers and he is saved by a human, Sloane Ryan Truhart. But he leaves a week after, without telling his name.

The first scene between the characters is deplorable. He can't stop thinking about her, but he doesn’t remember the exact time that passed from the first moment he saw her: “It had only been a month or so.” Then he breaks into her house, watches her sleeping. We read first that the sheet is “the only barrier between him and her luscious form”, and then moments later she's suddenly wearing a T-shirt and panties. And when she awakes and realizes that he is real and he is the stranger she helped a month ago, she doesn’t scream; just kisses him back. When he stops, she begs him to stay and make her his.

This is not the end, they have sex, unprotected sex, she is a virgin, and Sloane doesn’t even know his name, and then only moments later he tells her that he is a vampire! Can a book be more absurd than that? Oh, wait, he bit her, starting her conversion to a vampire and she could be pregnant. And all this happens in the first 12 pages.

After that, the story slows down, becoming a very boring and large book. Sloane finally discovers what happened with her grandmother, who disappeared when she was little, that Tanar had a fiancée when he was with her the first weeks and what could happen if she gets kidnapped by the Shadow Dwellers.

Like I said, the start is horrible. The rest is not good, but not soooo bad. The characters are all caricatures, no depth. None are believable, the closest to reality is Sloane. But Tanar is the worst character I’ve ever read about. Ms. Topaz Jordyn has no idea of how a man should act in some situations, other than the stereotypical chauvinist male.

I recommend you stay away and save yourself the trouble, it's not worth it. 2 stars.

Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

A Journey of the Heart by Rick R. Reed

Take a journey back to that magical moment in time when two lovers first meet. In this case, it's on board a train bound for England's seaside community, Brighton. There, our narrator and his soon-to-be-true-love meet for the first time and what follows is an encounter so erotic and romantic that it has to be destined for a lifetime. They may have been strangers on a train when they boarded, but that all changes with just a meeting of the eyes, igniting a spark leading to a lifelong connection.

Reviewer: RedDragonfly
A Journey of the Heart tells the story of how our unnamed narrator met his partner 10 years before on the same train trip that he is taking now. While he sits on the train waiting to meet his partner's parents, he whispers the story to Jim (his lover) of how he fell in love with him.

This story was really pretty and I liked the writing style but I just can't give it a high rating. I thought it was going to be a happily ever after from the description of how they were each others true love. Well, they might have been but the fact that the narrator is making the trip to bring Jim's body back to his parents makes it not such a happy story. I also would have liked to find out how Jim died, I don't think that should have been left out or the fact that he was dead wasn't mentioned until the last page. Although, it was pretty clear from the start that there was some kind of problem so it wasn't hard to figure that out. I'm giving this story 2 stars.

Publisher: MLR Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Witchy, Witchy (Spellbound Trilogy 1) by Penelope King

When Calista McCoy moves from the slums of the Louisiana Bayou to an illustrious beach community in California, she knows her life is going to take a drastic turn. But once she arrives at the beautiful mansion by the sea, dark secrets are revealed...secrets that become even more complicated when she meets the gorgeous neighbor boy, Nicholas, and she feels an unexplainable--and undeniable--attraction. He's everything she's ever dreamed of. Literally.

Her new life seems almost too good to be true. But as everyone knows, when something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

...And in Calista's case, it could be deadly.

Reviewer: Fashionta
I was delighted by this book, because it's something different to the usual paranormals I read. It was more on the edge of a cute teenager love stories then the usual dark and twisted books that is associated with paranormal.

Calista is a powerful witch that doesn’t know she's a witch, but that's all about to change when she and her father move into her grandmother’s house. Now Grandmother is a powerful witch but she's been searching for her granddaughter for a number of years. When she found her she got a number of conditions to protect Calista. The most important one is that her dad doesn’t know who her grandmother is and what Calista is.

This is the first book I've read from the author and it won't be the last. I will be posting my review A Demon Made Me Do It, soon which is darker than this book but Witchy, Witchy is one teenagers can relate to as it focuses on the daily lives of Calista and her new friends. It reminds me of Sabrina, expect the boys in this novel are totally different. One is a warlock and another is a witch hunter and they will both play important parts in this novel.

I have to give this book 4 stars it's an enchanting book and I enjoyed it. It was a perfect introduction to this series, I love the author's build up the characters, so we get a real insight into them before getting to the climax and the interesting twists and turns.

Indie Giveaway Hop

It's finally here. Today is the first day of the Indie Hop, a week long event hosted by Faye from A Daydreamer's Thoughts and Us and supported by three wonderful Goodreads Groups, Shut Up and read, Making Connections, and Blogger Loving.
Thanks to the lovely authors who have contributed to the ebooks that are up for grabs
Emily Guido
Michael Myers
Melissa Hanson
A.M Sawyer
Michael Cargill
John Hennessy
There are two separate giveaways hosted by Booked Up so make sure to enter both.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rainbow's End by Valerie Comer, Annalisa Daughety, Nicole O'Dell, Cara Putman

Unexpected Treasure in the Missouri Ozarks
It’s always an interesting group of strangers who show up for the Rainbow’s End geocache hunt each summer, and the spectacular scenery along the bluffs of the Lake of the Ozarks is just one reason. . .
Lyssa, fired up for the ministry and anxious to talk about Jesus, is startled to find her former college professor among the group. Will he upset her mission?
City girl Madison is annoyed that her sister signed her up and then bailed—but now she’s been paired with a complete stranger! Worse, he’s one of those outdoorsy types.
Reagan has always played it safe, doing everything by the book. And then she meets her brother’s frat brother, a guy who’s got his life mapped out, too.
After winning her life-long battle to get fit, Hadley can’t wait to meet men who didn’t know her “before.” But Brad is that species of guy she has no experience with: a player.
God only knows if this adventure in the woods will lead to heartache. . .or love.

Reviewer: Fashionta
It's been a while since I read an anthology where the stories were related by a event set in a small town rather than family ties. They do link the stories though the characters in one small way or another but they all feature the geocaching hunt.

Topaz Treasure
The first book follows one of the organisers and her college professor. Let me say finally a college professor that is around the same age as his students. Most of the books where there is such a relationship there's a ten year plus gap. Nothing wrong with that but there are professors that are only a couple years older then his students and they never seem to be feature until now. Kirk is falling in love with Lyssa but he can’t figure out why she show dislike to him. It’s a cute story about forgiveness and finding love. I won’t say too much but there's more to the forgiveness then the blurb gives us and it's a touching story.

Beneath the Surface
in the previous novel, we get a scene where Kirk is helping two sisters with a GPS unit they bought from his brother’s shop. This story features the two sisters Madison and Brook. Madison is only here in her home area because she lost her job and Brook invited her to stay the summer. She's rather being doing something else and after a series of events, sees it as an opportunity to get out of the competition. But their neighbour has other ideas as he drops outs and tells her why don’t you join Grant his teammate and his grandson. Well sparks will fly as these to try to work together. Each of them have secrets and misconceptions about each other and it's cute as they discover their true selves and each other.

Welcome Home, Love
This story follows Noah, one of the other organisers and the Youth pastor. He was mentioned in the first novel. Noah has a childhood sweetheart, Hadley who he fell in love with and she's back in town. Hadley was mentioned in the previous story by Madison as a possible replacement for Brook so they could continue to work as a team to get Brook off her back. Hadley is back with a slimmed down body but she's not interested in Noah. She's more interested in the hunt and winning it but she getting sidetracked by Brad whose's secrets may bring them together or apart.

Love’s Prize
This one is less focused on the event in the sense there's less hunting of clues and more descriptions of the locations of the places as Colton and Garrett protect Regan, Garrett’s sister, from a stalker that was stalking her in their home town. This story has a bit of a mystery element as we unravel the mystery as new information comes to light and the answer finally comes out. This one is perfect for the fans of romantic suspense, it's toned down as the main mystery part is toward the latter half of the book. They are interested in winning the hunt though as Colton regularly checks the website to check the leaderboard and Hadley is mentioned because she was leading.

I have to give this book 4.5 stars and say this is one of the best anthologies I have read from this publisher.

Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

Worth Fighting For (Alpine Woods Shifters 4) by Sondrae Bennett

All’s fair in love and war.

As leader of a fox skulk, Cody is used to feeling protective. But when his best friend, Misty, gets attacked, his panic has nothing to do with duty. Suddenly, he’s noticing Misty as a woman instead of the girl he grew up with. But pursuing those feelings would risk their friendship, something he's unwilling to do.

Misty's tried everything, without success, to convince Cody she's not "one of the guys". Yet now that he's looking at her like she always dreamed, he pulls away every time she gets close.

Danger lurks in the background, waiting to pounce. Someone plots against the foxes, leaving them all in jeopardy…especially Misty. Will Cody overcome his fears in time to save the woman he loves?

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
Love is worth fighting for…

Since Misty became a young woman, she fell in love with her best friend Cody; but he always saw her as his little sister. But she's had enough… and tries to seduce him, unsuccessfully.

However, the moment she is in danger, Cody starts to see her as a woman; his woman. And slowly discovers he was blinded by their friendship and that he had all along the love he wanted.

I thought that the first book was the best of the series, but I was wrong. In my opinion, this book, the forth book of Alpine Woods Shifters’s series, is the best one.

I laughed when I read the trick Misty tried… to get Cody drunk and then to seduce him. And loved the tension and jokes Ms. Sondrae Bennett knew so well to add to the story. Because she created a strong, deep, and lovely main characters and she knew how to incorporate them into the story. Yet, they are a perfect match to the rest of the characters, giving the story a feeling of reality.

It was easy for me to imagine the whole book, to see it thru the eyes of Cory and Misty. A wonderful and touchable book, it deserves 5 stars.

Publisher: Lyrical Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Under a Vampire Moon (Argeneau 16) by Lynsay Sands

After a bad relationship and an even worse divorce, Carolyn decides to go on a long overdue and much needed vacation with the 'girls'. Only the rest of the vacationers didn't get the memo. Around every corner there seems to be another couple celebrating their honeymoon or anniversary and the few single men she does see are far too young to even consider, including an irresistibly attractive rock violinist she meets. It's really too bad he's so young but in the end it doesn't matter because according to his cousin, Giacinta, women in general aren't Christian's type.

But there's a catch, Christian needs Carolyn's help. He needs her to be his beard (to play the part of his fake girlfriend) for the week to appease his 'machismo' family. Carolyn just can't seem to say No and decides to help Gia's cousin. The only problem is that being around Christian and acting like they are a loving couple is wreaking havoc on her emotions. Carolyn's thoughts keep drifting back to places they shouldn't, like kissing his full lips or feeling his broad shoulders under her fingertips... good lord, she's in trouble.

Reviewer: Fashionta
When Carolyn Connor escapes from her ten year marriage, her best friend Bethany persuades her to go with her to St. Lucia, to visit one of their best friends. There she meets Marguerite Argeneau, who was on her honeymoon and Marguerite finds her perfect for her son. So she calls him to come there with his band, his own cousins.

When Carolyn fights her attraction for Marguerite’s son Christian, his cousin, Gia, declares him gay and asks her to be Christian’s pretended girlfriend so he could spend time with his life mate; and touch her; and kiss her. Pretended kisses, of course.
Every scrape of his teeth, and every lave of his tongue along her ear had sent pleasure cascading through his own body as if she were actually doing it to him. It was something Christian had never experienced before, so he hadn’t realized how powerful a punch it would carry.
Christian had only stopped when he had because he’d been a heartbeat away from bearing her down onto the sand and completely blowing his cover story of being gay.
Just when everything finally was all right and Christian confesses that he wasn’t gay and he loves Carolyn, she sees one of his cousins feeding.

Wow!!! This book has a wonderful humor. It’s hilarious how Christian tries to assure Carolyn that he is gay so she wouldn’t run from him. So if you are searching a paranormal romance with tons of humor, this is the perfect book for you. It won’t let you down. 5 stars

Publisher: HarperCollins

Bitter Black Kiss by Michelle Clay

Former event planner Nicole Riley lost not only her job, but part of her humanity when a concert in L.A., fails catastrophically and the band attacks a rival werewolf pack. Now Nicky keeps her "inner beast" subdued by taking wolfs bane and refuses to become a monster. She's trying to rebuild her reputation and manages the Bitter Black nightclub where Brody Dunn is the dee-jay.

Brody Dunn, a former special crimes detective turned private investigator, plays on Nicole's sympathy by claiming to have just suffered a wolf bite. He keeps his past, careers, agenda and just about everything else from Nicole - except for his attraction.

They have bigger problems than Brody's lies. Nicole's boss is a ruthless druglord, determined to have Nicole for himself. The danger increases for everyone when he challenges the local Alpha. If they survive, and she can forgive Brody's betrayal, will she accept what they've become?

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
Former event planner Nicole Riley was living in a world where the lycan virus struck twice. The second outbreak rocked the nation a few years after the first one and the government couldn’t contain it. It was almost impossible to tell how many died or how many were carriers.

The virus was blood borne, transferable via saliva, blood, or semen. If it didn’t kill the unfortunate, it altered them. Sometimes it was unnoticeable to normal people, like increased sight or hearing. Others who were more affected by the virus would be transformed entirely. They grew fur and became animalistic. Nicole knew what could happen from a bite; her boyfriend, Aaron, terrorized her for two years and gave her the virus. And she was taking Wolfsbane trying to control the beast.

She started to work six months ago for Sean Stone, running one of his nightclubs named The Wolf’s Den; he was a Lycan and he wanted her. However, Nicole wanted the newest DJ, Brody Dunn.

He was the best cop on the force, in only a year he became detective. The jealousy and rumors had hurt his reputation and when they discovered that he was a lycan, they did all they could to ruin his career. And they succeeded; he was kicked off the force.

And now he was trying to find proof that Stone killed several people and was dealing Beast, BST, a drug that drives normal people crazy while it’s in their system, it makes them believe they’re a wolf. It’s also suppose to enable Lycans to shift faster, with less difficulty or pain, but it doesn't always work and it’s illegal.

It was a wonderful read and I really enjoyed it. It has suspense, action, passion, and love. All the scenes were written in such a way that we feel connected with the characters at every step. The story unwraps bit by bit and doesn’t give us a chance to rest. And it's a large book so the story isn't rushed; letting us enjoy it all until the end. I've added Ms. Michelle Clay to my growing list of favorite writers and I rate the book 5 stars.

Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Friday, April 20, 2012

Author Interview #4 Sharon E. Mamolo Giveaway Winner

for comment i'm curious about the DeDe Series..thanks for the giveaway :)

Will the winner please send an email to or use the contact us form.

Blood Mage Rising (The Dream-Walker War 2) by Tory Michaels

Blood Rage was just the beginning. Blood-Mage Rising runs contemporaneously with Rage.

In the eighty years since the Great Awakening, humans and non-humans have lived side by side, relatively at peace. In an attack that leaves his wife dead, Jordan MacNaught is caught up in the start of a war meant to turn the other races against the vampires. He knows beyond a doubt the vampires of yesteryear are not involved in the attacks. They're all dead, except for him.

Jordan asks for Chris Javert's help in hunting those who murdered his wife. She's no stranger to hunting vampires. After all, she nearly destroyed Jordan when she ended the reign of his Aristocrats in Europe two hundred years ago.

Barely convinced of his innocence, but determined not to let the interspecies peace she helped foster die, Chris joins forces with the man who once tried to kill her to stop the Aristocrats before it's too late.

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
To say that Chris has a complicated relationship with Jordan would be a huge understatement. He buried her and she almost killed him for that. Still, they couldn’t go more than ten years without tangling the sheets.
Yeah, she found her addiction to the sociopath fantastic. One of these days, he’d snap and try to bury her again.
Jordan offers her a deal that could guaranty the safeness of Chris’ friend; he will bind in a binding curse in exchange of her help in finding the ones who recently killed his wife. All they knew was that it was the Aristocrats who did it. And that they was killing humans and non-humans all over the world.
If a condition of the curse is breached, body boils and eyes leaking blood will be the least of the breaching party’s problems.
“I’m willing to bind myself in such a curse with you. If you help me track down the ones who killed my wife, I will never go near Athdara again. She will be safe from me and my agents.”
Still, hours after their bind, Chris is attacked and she almost dies; Jordan saves her because her death will mean his death, since they are bonded together as the two of them are blood-mage (vamps and mages). Also, Jordan promises Chris he will teach her to use her magic, although he used to hunt mage-born for the Circle.

They soon discover that someone by the name of Ares, a dream-walker, is the one who leads the Aristocrats, but they don’t know that he is closer than they think to his ultimate task.

This is the second book of The Dream-Walker War’s series and I have to say I liked the first one more. The main characters disappointed me. I like my heroes to be redeemed. Not to read about a killing machine who never feel remorse or pity but loves the smell of the fear, and enjoys the torture from time to time. As for Chris, I felt like she's half done… that there was a part of her that's missing.

Although I liked the storyline, I can only rate it 3.5 stars.

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

The Seduction of Sebastian St. James (House of Renwick 2) by Rachel Van Dyken

When the angelic Duke of Tempest, Sebastian St. James, appeared unexpectedly at his boyhood friend’s home, he had but one goal: Find a suitable wife as soon as possible. However, his impeccable reputation made him a prime target for ambitious mothers of debutante daughters. He needed a plan.

Help came in the form of an unlikely alliance with Lady Emma Gates, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy viscount, who has deemed herself on the shelf, and only wants to marry in order to appease her parents. Together they could sort through the mire of would-be mates to find their perfect matches. That is, if they could keep their hands off each other long enough to pursue likely candidates.

When a man from Emma’s past makes a play for her hand, the truth about her life threatens to destroy Sebastian’s reputation, a reputation he has carefully guarded since his youth. In the end, the Angel Duke has to make a choice that will end up changing his reputation forever.

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
Duke of Tempest, Sebastian St. James was searching for a wife. Although he wanted the happiness his best friend, Nicholas, found with his wife, he decided that any debutante would do. He forms an alliance with Miss Emma Gates, the cousin of Sara, Nicholas’s wife.

But when someone from Emma’s past wants to hurt her, will be Sebastian there for her?

I didn’t understand why, if Sebastian and Emma wanted to marry and they were attracted each other, they didn’t just marry? And it’s not the only thing I didn’t comprehend. From the historical books I’ve read, there are a lot of scenes from the book that shouldn’t have existed. I guess Ms. Rachel Van Dyken didn’t fully research before starting to write this genre.

I have to admit that this book disappointed me. After reading the blurb, I was expecting something better. Large parts of the book were boring, the story was a little bit confusing and there were things that didn’t match with the time period. The characters are under developed and their behavior is absurd. Sorry, but I can’t give it more than 2 stars.

Publisher: Astraea Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Reviewer: Fashionta
When at the start of the book I read the letter to readers, I realised that this was a take on an Edger Poe classic The Masque of the Red Death in which a prince hosts a party for 1000 citizens while behind the gate they are dying from a disease. I picked this book as it seems it was going to be a different YA book from what I usually read and I haven’t had a chance to read a YA steam punk yet.

Although I made note of the similar title, and the story revolving around a disease and prince, the author has truly written a totally different book. Griffin has focused on her character Araby and is told in first person to guide us through this steam punk novel. Araby was one of the lower class who by chance has become part of the upper-class due to her father’s work which lead to the creation of the masks.

I’m falling in loving with steam punk stories. It's seems a natural progression after reading sci-fi romance for so long. This novel truly something different. There's a little bit of romance but the novel focuses on events that are happening and doesn’t hold back with the twists, turns, and discoveries as we are taken on a journey. And the array of characters we will meet, will soon become favorites as we delve in this alternative world.

One thing I must say that drove me crazy was the lack of historical dates, which lead me to giving this book four stars. But it's still a magical book with a great cliff hanger and I can’t wait for the next book which looks like to be out in 2013..

Publisher: Harper Collins

Gwenan Haines Giveaway Winner

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

M. S. Spencer Interview

Today I'd like to welcome M. S. Spencer to the blog. She's a best-selling romantic suspense author and is published with Red Rose and Secret Cravings.

You've led a very rich life with very different occupations throughout it. What called you to writing fiction? Evidently you've been writing in one capacity or another for a long time but it appears fiction's call came late for you.
Yes, I’ve written all my life in all kinds of genres, from poetry to stories to speeches to academic papers. I escaped the non-fiction realm only to be faced with Life in the form of adulthood, babies, domestic management, volunteer work (who said women who run households don’t work their buns off?). All of which went to fill my mental database with ideas and experiences. Once the heavy duties slacked off I could turn to fiction and rearrange all the bits and pieces into stories.

What genre do you feel most comfortable writing? Will you be exploring new genres in the future? Can you tell us what you have in development or perhaps coming out next?
My books are gradually moving from pure romantic suspense to elements of mystery, and a lot more humor. Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders, coming out this month, has all those elements. I have two books in progress: one, another romantic suspense murder mystery, is set in Sarasota, Florida and involves sea turtles, Russian gangsters, exotic birds, murder and money. Oh, and romance. The second is a story of two separate romances intertwined, a mother’s and her daughter’s.

I see you've put some of your own background into your books what with a political setting in Washington D.C. What kind of research do you need to do for your books? What's the most difficult thing you've had to research to get the right feel for?
Like most writers, I want the setting and characters’ professions to be familiar enough to me to ensure authenticity. But every story still requires a lot of research (thank God for Google). Strangely, the hardest thing to find (and I’ve had to do this for several books) is a map naming smaller bodies of water. For Lost and Found, set in Maine, for Losers Keepers, set in Chincoteague, and for a current WIP set in Sarasota, Florida, I needed names of the small bays and inlets that abound in those areas. Perhaps only old salts and fishermen know their names. I’m still looking for the maps.

Can you share with us a typical work day for you? Do you have a set place for writing? Do you use a computer or write longhand? Do you start your writing process with notes, an outline or just an idea? Do you have a beginning and end in mind when you sit down to write or does the book enfold as you write it?
I’m lucky enough to be able to write full time, which means I waste a LOT of time thinking up ways to avoid writing. I usually sit down after breakfast determined to start immediately on my WIP, only to find it’s lunchtime and I haven’t finished checking emails (or brushed my teeth). My first book I wrote long hand, but now I write directly on the computer—it helps to have great typing skills. As to writing process, I usually have a general story line, mise en scène, and the dynamite conclusion in my head. Then I back and fill.

It's always interesting to ask a writer who they read. What books stay on your 'keeper' shelf for rereading?
I don’t get to read as much as I used to, partly for lack of time, partly because my tiny brain can’t process both my own story and someone else’s simultaneously, and partly because now that I’m getting old I find reading before bed keeps me awake. I love humorists like Calvin Trillin, Douglas Adams and Christopher Buckley, or Jane Austen, or English country house murder mysteries.

Here's an odd question but based on your political experiences, if you could spend a day with anyone from U.S. history, dead or alive, who would that be and what would you talk with them about?
Thomas Jefferson, because he was brilliant and so eclectic in his tastes. We’d talk government, politics, inventions, wine, and gardening. Oh, and the pursuit of knowledge. The best part would be that the debate, while lively, would remain amicable.

Is there anything you'd like your readers to know about you that perhaps an interviewer has not had the smarts to ask before this?
Golly there’s so much no one should EVER know about me. However, since writers and readers tend to love food, I’ll tell you this: I’ll try anything. Been that way since childhood. Food is fascinating. My first school lunch in France consisted of a large platter of langoustines (tiny crayfish). I’ve had foie gras (ethereal) and Russian Beluga caviar (even more so). I’d even try a deep-fried Twinkie given the chance.

I see you're a birdwatcher. Five continents would give you an amazing wealth of birds to spot. I'm so envious! Can you tell us about a special moment you might have had viewing birds in the wild? Are you keeping count of what species you've seen? Are you pursuing raptors? Aquatics? Songbirds? Others? Do you own any birds of your own and if so, can you tell us about them?

No home-birds—I like ‘em wild . Of course I have a life list! Every first sighting is exciting, isn’t it? But so is the first sight of the fully *golden Goldfinch each spring, or the Cedar Waxwing migration. In Chincoteague—site of my romance Losers Keepers—I had a family of bald eagles buzz me. The most exotic bird? Maybe the wild blue and yellow parrots in the Peruvian Amazon, or the Great Kiskadee in Bermuda, or the Swallow-Tailed Kite in the Everglades, or the Bananaquit in Puerto Rico, or...

Thank you so much for giving us some of your time and sharing your thoughts.

You can follow M.S. Spencer via her blogspot at where you can also find links for her Twitter and Facebook accounts and be kept up to date on her pursuits.


Waiting out the rain, Milo Everhart takes stock of her widowhood and the handsome man standing in the door to the bar. Little does she know she will meet that man again and again under both passionate and terrifying circumstances.

Tristram Brody waits for his date, too conscious of the beautiful woman sitting by the door. Little does he know that she will hate him for trying to destroy her beloved art center, and even suspect him of murder. Nor that she will be drawn inevitably into his arms.

Little does either of them suspect they will be embroiled in not one, but two murders, in which the fate of the Torpedo Factory, an art center housed in an old munitions factory on the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria, will be decided.

M. S. Spencer’s latest release takes place in Old Town Alexandria, an historic cobblestoned city on the Potomac River in Virginia. It follows the adventures of several artists at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. An old munitions factory on the waterfront, the Center lay abandoned after World War II until the 1970s, when an intrepid band of local ladies convinced the city to lease it to them. Today it houses 82 studios, the Art League, the Friends of the Torpedo Factory, and an Archaeology center.

Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders
To be released April 24, 2012 by Secret Cravings Publishing
65,000 words; M/F; 3 flames
Romantic Suspense/Murder Mystery

Buy Link:

M. S. Spencer has published five best-selling contemporary romantic suspense novels, Lost in His Arms and Lost and Found (, Losers Keepers and Triptych (Secret Cravings Publishing,, and Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders, to released April 24, 2012 by Secret Cravings.
Ms. Spencer would love to be contacted at any of these links:
Facebook Author Page: