Friday, September 30, 2011

Book Review: Her Dear And Loving Husband

Author: Meredith Allard
Title: Her Dear And Loving Husband
Publisher: Copperfield Press
Publish Date: May 5, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Bewitching Book Tours and the author
Book Blurb: James Wentworth has a secret. He lives quietly in Salem, Massachusetts, making few ties anywhere. One night his private world is turned upside down when he meets Sarah Alexander, a dead ringer for his wife, Elizabeth. Though it is years since Elizabeth's death, James cannot move on. Sarah also has a secret. She is haunted by nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials, and every night she is awakened by visions of hangings, being arrested, and dying in jail. Despite the obstacles of their secrets, James and Sarah fall in love. As James comes to terms with his feelings for Sarah, he must dodge accusations from a reporter desperate to prove that James is not who, or what, he seems to be. Soon James and Sarah piece their stories together and discover a mystery that may bind them in ways they never imagined. Will James make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Sarah and prevent a new hunt from bringing hysteria to Salem again?

Review: If you like a bit of history, some paranormal goodness and a downright good story, look no further than Her Dear and Loving Husband for your next read. This is definitely a good, get ready for Halloween, read.

Sarah's past life is really what makes the story. I love the way Meredith brings her former life to us through the dreams/nightmares she has. She really brings her former life to life well.

I also love the modern day witches in the story. Jennifer and Olivia really help Sarah to find her true self.

Then there's James. What can you say about James? He is the perfect hero. I only wish he weren't a vampire, because the story didn't really need the extra paranormal creature, but there is no way not to love James. He is so unbelievably sweet. You love him, as you learn about his life in Salem in the 1600s and you love him as a vampire in the present. How can you not love a man that has mourned for his dead wife for hundreds of years.

There's no mystery for the reader when it comes to discovering who Sarah was in a previous life and the dreams she has. Mostly you wonder why James doesn't figure it out before Sarah has the past life regression done. So many parts of the story point to it long before Sarah and James learn the truth. Its a bit too in your face, but the love story and the story itself are too good for anyone to be bothered by this.

Meredith also brings a touch of 1600s with a bit of a witch hunt, vampire style.

There's a lot going on in this book, but everything is tied together nicely and the story is super enjoyable. There are so many books with vampires out there now, this is definitely one that is well worth reading. It is the first book in the "Her Loving Husband" series and once you read it you will want the next book immediately.

Rating: 5 flowers

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bestseller For A Day Book Review: Nearly Departed In Deadwood

Author: Ann Charles
Title: Nearly Departed In Deadwood
Publisher: Corvallis Press
Publish Date: February 1, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The author
Book Blurb: Irony is having a big ol' fiesta and Violet Parker is the piñata.  Little girls are vanishing from Deadwood, South Dakota, and Violet's daughter could be next.  Short on time and long on worry, she's desperate to find the monster behind the abductions.  But with her jerkoff co-worker trying to get her fired, a secret admirer sending creepy love poems, and a sexy-as-hell stranger hiding skeletons in his closet, Violet just might end up as one of Deadwood's dearly departed.

Review: There's something to be said about a book whose opening line is "The first time I came to Deadwood, I got shot in the ass.--Violet Parker" I knew from that line on, that this was going to be a great read.  Ann Charles is already being compared to Evanovich, and with good reason. Violet Parker is a more grownup Stephanie Plum.  That's why it is so easy to love her. She stinks at her job, she has twins that are quirky as the dickens and there's someone out there kidnapping girls, her daughter Addy's age.

Somehow in the course of trying to sell a house, to keep her realty job, she ends up trying to solve the kidnapping case, because she doesn't want her daughter to be next.

There are so many parallels to the Stephanie Plum series here, but the two series are really very different. After all, Violet isn't really out to catch bad guys, or is she? Oh and Violet has some male admirers, from the super hot, Doc Nyce, Jeff, the father of her daughter's bff, and ole Harvey!

The cast of character's is really amusing. Toss in a really chauvinistic co-worker and the story is complete.  Plus the mystery really keeps you guessing. I have to admit, I didn't guess who the real bad guy was, and I can usually do that.

Nearly Departed In Deadwood is a super fun read that can easily be devoured in an afternoon.  It's part mystery, part romance and part chick-lit.  It also has a little bit of some paranormal stuff going on, but that's something you'll have to discover while reading the book.

If you are looking for a great read and you like a little mystery and mayhem...pick up this book NOW! It is full of awesomesauce!

Rating:5 flowers

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Spooky Reading October

I have set a goal for myself in October. I'm going to read as many of the paranormal books that have been sitting on my TBR pile as I possibly can.

I'm contemplating starting the Sookie books too. Would you believe I own them all but haven't cracked a single one yet?

I know, I'm sad.

I only have a few book tour commitments so I figure I can get in quite a few. I'm really behind on my vampire challenge...or at least in updating my challenges.

I'm going to do something similar from November through New Years' Day, for my holiday romances.

Do any of you do any special reading for the holidays too?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Book Review: Shades Of Gray

Author: L.M. Pruitt
Title: Shades Of Gray
Publisher: Red Hot Publishing
Publish Date: August 13, 2011
Review Copy Provided By: The Bookish Snob Promotions and the author
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Orphaned at birth, raised by nuns, a teenage runaway living on the streets… she now earns a living at odd jobs, including one as a fake tarot card reader. Very little about Jude’s life appears normal, by any scale. When she accepts a gig to do a private reading, unconventional takes on an entirely new meaning. 

Life as she knows it ends when she’s thrust into a world she never knew existed—one filled with magic, vampires, and her beloved New Orleans on the verge of an underground war. To make matters worse, she's got two men in her life vying for attention, Williams and Theo. Both call to a different part of her, but one scares her just a little bit. Can she step up to the challenges set before her and make the right choices for the greater, which may or not be the greater good?

Review:This type of book isn't usually my thing, but the book blurb called to me and I had to read it. I really wasn't disappointed. Jude is the type of heroine that most women are totally excited to see. She's a no nonsense, kick ass kind of girl. She's really a refreshing character, plus she's not super rich, which is another thing that scores points with me.

When I started reading this the setting and the vampires and the witches reminded me a bit of True Blood. The characters all share that same "we take no shit" attitude. I really liked that, even though this isn't the usual type of story I reach for.

Pruitt combines magic, paranormal with an interesting family and weaves a killer story. Getting to know Jude's family history as the book goes on really pulled me in. I felt more inclined to care about Jude once we discovered more about her ancestry. (I don't want to give anything away with the plot).

I also liked the toned down relationship between Jude and Williams and Theo.  The feelings and relationships between these characters could have become really hot and heavy, but sex took a back burner in this story, and as much as I love me some smokin' sex in my books, it wouldn't have worked well in this story. Shades of Gray is too action packed with other things to have the sex take center stage.

This book was a definite challenge for me to read. Not because of the writing, but because urban fantasy is out of my comfort zone, but I'm really glad I read this one, and I hope to be able to read the next Jude Magdalyn book.

Rating: 4 flowers

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Book Review: The Promise Of An Angel

Author: Ruth Reid
Title: The Promise Of An Angel
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publish Date: May 31, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Interrupting the ordered routine of the Mecosta County Amish settlement, an angelic visitor awakens Judith to a new faith.

All Judith Fischer ever wanted is to marry within her community and raise a family. She longs for the day when her parents will allow Levi Plank to officially court her.

But on the day Judith suspects Levi will ask her parent's permission, her younger brother Samuel has an accident under her charge. Rushing to Samuel's aid, Judith spies a strange man helping him; a man she later believes was an angel.

When she shares her conviction with her family and close friends, she is shocked to find that no one believes her, including Levi. In the days following the accident, the angel visits Judith with information that may guide her down the path of faith, should she choose to follow.

As her community slowly distances themselves, only one person is willing to stand up for her―the bishop's son, Andrew Lapp. But can he convince the settlement to listen to her? With a show of faith that flies in the face of her conservative upbringing, can Judith hold strong to the promise that there are even greater things in store for those who believe in God's miracles?

Review: This is a different twist to the typical Amish novel.  Angels aren't usually part of Amish novels and it gave the story a different focus.

There are some things that are predictable. A jealous sister, religious strife, two suitors....and the Amish woman torn apart by all of it. The angel really adds some spice, even though this story would have been just as powerful if it had been written as typical Amish fiction.

The issues surrounding Samuel's injury are enough to tug at the hardest heart.

Tobias, the angel, helped steer Judith and Andrew down their chosen path, allowing them to find it in their hearts to forgive and love, though in Judith's case, the forgiveness had to be a hard thing. She suffered much betrayal from her sister, Martha. It couldn't be easy for her to give forgiveness.

That's where the book is a bit farfetched. If someone had done the things that Martha and Levi had done, I can't imagine anyone forgiving them so easily, and that includes parents. These two, were definitely not nice.

Most Amish novels read like Harlequins. If you've read one, you've read them all, but they are addictive and they are good for an afternoon of light reading. This one is no different, and it was an easy fun book to spend the day with.

The Promise Of An Angel is part of a new series called "Heaven On Earth." The next book is out in 2012, and I look forward to reading it.

Rating: 3 flowers

Friday, September 23, 2011

TGIF @ GReads

A Friday meme from G Reads

Reading Challenges: Did you sign up for any this year? 
How has your progression been?
I signed up for several challenges this year. 
The Historical Romance Challenge
The Historical Fiction Challenge
The Vampire Challenge
The Ebook Challenge
The Outdo Yourself Challenge
The 2011 Reading Challenge @ Goodreads
2011 YA Reading Challenge
2011 Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge
Show Me The Free
That's a lot of challenges. I have completed the Ebook Reading challenge. I need to spend some quality time updating my challenge posts because I really don't know where I am overall, except that I've read about 107 books this year...with a goal of 180!! I need to get reading!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review: One Night, Two Heirs

Author: Maureen Child
Title: One Night, Two Heirs
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Publish Date: July 5, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By:  Net Galley
Book Blurb: Duty is his world. And upon seeing Sadie Price with twin girls, marine Rick Pruitt realizes he has some proposing to do. He never would have left Royal, Texas, if he'd known Sadie was carrying his babies.

Yet the feisty single mom has no intention of agreeing to a loveless marriage. True, she and Rick share a bond, as well as undeniable passion. But Sadie believes vows should last a lifetime, not be declared out of obligation. Making it Rick's new mission to change her mind….    

Review: Maureen Child is one of my favorite author's for the Desire line. I love her Kings of California series. So when I saw her latest book, I was excited and had to read it. It was a great quick read, but it didn't pack the punch that most of Ms. Child's other offerings have.

The plot is a bit old hat...A one night stand results in a pregnancy and the mother hides it from the father who is a marine on active duty. Really? I always wonder about the women who hide things like this from men who are otherwise honorable. Rick is definitely a guy that do the right thing or at least play an active part in his children's lives. He proves this almost instantly in the story.

Rick is a good guy and Maureen lets us know that. It is a shame Sadie's character isn't as developed or her twins, they felt like props to the story something I'm not used to in Maureen's stories.

The story moves along at a good pace and isn't quite as steamy as some Desire's I've read. It felt more like a Harlequin Romance with some added spice. Still, it was a quick fun afternoon read. Not one of Maureen's best offerings, but still an enjoyable read for someone looking for a romance fix.

Rating: 3 flowers

Book Review: In The Shadows

Author: Julieanne Lynch
Title: In The Shadows
Publisher: Strict Publishing International
Publish Date: July 20, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Bewitching Book Tours and the author
Book Blurb: “In The Shadows”, the first of The Shadows trilogy, is an urban fantasy of vampires and the supernatural, and much, much more. In the shadows you will find lust and passion, battles for power and for blood, and death and fear around every corner. In the shadows you are carried away to an unknown future. Your destiny awaits, and you are no longer who you thought you were. You have a thirst, for blood perhaps, but a thirst for very much more than that.

Giselle was a normal girl with an attitude common to most girls of her age. Her family might not have been perfect (whose is?) but she loved them, and her future looked bright. She had an awesome best friend and a steady boyfriend, but how could she possibly have been so wrong about someone she loved? And how could she have been prepared for the darkness and for what she was to become?

Review: The first book in the Shadows trilogy by Julieanne Lynch and it will leave its readers wanting more immediately upon completion.

Giselle is not your typical heroine. She's unique, just like her name, but boy does she get into some trouble. That trouble all revolves around her bff Alex, who we learn is not what he seems and her boyfriend Marc. There's a lot of betrayal here, from both guys and when one turns out to be a vampire...and a not so nice one, things really get tricky.

This book is geared to the YA market and it has some minor sex scenes, but nothing overly erotic, in my opinion. The pacing is a bit fast, and sometimes it feels a bit disjointed, but it isn't difficult to follow. 

The spin Julieanne gives to the vampire legend is really interesting, as her vampires aren't necessarily immortal, and the new breed of vampire that occurs with Giselle is even more interesting. A vamp that isn't dead or undead and still eats food. Definitely a new spin on an old paranormal creature.

The other thing that makes In The Shadows such a great book, are the secondary characters, especially Alex's father, who later becomes Giselle's lover.

Yes, there's some interesting stuff going on in this book.

Readers of YA Paranormal fiction will gobble this one up, I know I did, and I can't wait for book two.

Rating: 4 flowers

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Revisited Book, Book Review: Tales From Frewyn

Author: Michelle Franklin
Title: Tales Of Frewyn
Publisher: Red Willow Publishing
Publish Date: May 24, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours and the author
Book Blurb: The Haanta Series is the longest, ongoing, online romantic fantasy series. Thousands of readers visit the world of the Two Continents to enjoy the daily short stories featuring all their favorite characters from the Haanta Series novels. In between the business of the books, the commander, Rautu, Otenohi, Unghaahi, Leraa, Kai Linaa and Alasdair enjoy some time together in Diras Castle, but as the stories portray, mischief lies in every corner of the keep where spiders, chocolate pies, petulant giants and grouchy cooks abound.

Review: The first time I read this I wasn't in a great frame of mind. My father had been in the hospital, and I really gave this book a quick read. I enjoyed it then, but I wanted to come back and revisit it when things were a bit calmer on the homefront.

That's not the case now, but I did get to re-read this collection and I have to say, for fans of fantasy, this is really a fun bunch of short stories, many of which revolve around food....erm chocolate. The five second rule is one of the first stories and it really sets the mood for the fun that's to come. There are definitely parts of this book that will have you laughing out loud!

Again, I found that Frewyn reminded me a bit of Discworld because of the super quirky cast of characters that wouldn't be found in your usual novel. If you are a lover of the fantasy genre and are looking for something a bit different, this collection of short stories is definitely a fun read.

Rating: 4 flowers

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Review: A Life That Fits

Author: Heather Wardell
Title: A Life That Fits
Publisher: Createspace
Publish Date: June 1, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The author
Book Blurb: Twenty-eight-year-old Andrea returns home from a business trip to find Alex, her boyfriend of fourteen years, nervously waiting for her. Assuming he's finally going to propose, Andrea's instead horrified to learn he's been cheating on her and is leaving to be with the other woman, who he calls Andrea's opposite.
At first Andrea's paralyzed by shock and sadness, but the business analyst soon forms a plan: change every last detail of her life and become her opposite so Alex will come back to her.

It's a challenge at first, but soon Andrea's loving the changes she's making, the new activities she's doing, and the new people in her life. But will she change enough to get Alex back? And if she does, will he fit into the wonderful new life she's creating for herself?

Review: If you haven't read a book by Heather Wardell yet, you need to. I absolutely adored A Life That Fits, and that's not only because the main character has the same name as I do.

Heather's characters are remarkably real, with normal problems and normal existences. When  you read one of Heather's books you feel like the characters are your friends, and Andrea is no different in A Life That Fits.

Everything is falling apart for for her, when her boyfriend of 14 years decides he wants out. I think Andrea behaves the way most people who are dumped but still feel that they are in love with the ex act. She does what she thinks would get her ex back with her. In the process she discovers herself, as well as interests that help her grow as a person.

She makes a lot of changes but things don't completely go swimmingly for her. She has co-worker that is a backstabber...her ex comes back..just as she might be having feelings for someone else.

I have to say the whole time Alex re-entered the picture I screamed at Andrea to ditch his sorry butt. As we learned about his cheating and the numerous women he went through after the breakup, I couldn't like him at all, and I couldn't believe Andrea would want him back in her life, especially with her growing feelings for Loren.  Now he was a guy I could really love.

If you are up for a read about "real people" check out A Life That Fits or any of Heather's other books!

Rating:  5 flowers

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Question For Historical Fiction Buffs

I've been reading quite a bit about English royalty and I would love to read a good novel or biography about Wallis Simpson.

There looks to be a good one coming out next year, called That Woman, I'm just not sure I want to wait that long to read about the Duchess Of Windsor.

So if any of you have any recommendations on books about the Duchess I'd love to hear them!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Book Review: Boyfriend From Hell

Author: E. Van Lowe
Title: Boyfriend From Hell
Publisher: White Whisker Books
Publish Date: August 30, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By:  The Bewitching Book Tours and the author
Book Blurb: Fifteen year-old Megan Barnett and her single mom, Suze, have a special relationship—they are friends, close friends, who do almost everything together. “But come on, guys, she’s my mother… Can I really tell her that while we’re snuggled up on the sofa watching Spider Man Three, I’m secretly undressing James Franco with my eyes? Of course not…” The special bond takes a turn for the worse when Suze decides to start dating again. She hasn’t had a man in her life since Megan’s father left ten years ago. Enter two mysterious young men, Megan’s new classmate, sinfully attractive bad boy, Guy Matson, and the dangerously handsome art dealer, Armando. Before long Megan and Suze both wind up in steamy relationships. But neither of the handsome pair is quite what he seems. In fact, one of them is Satan, with his sights set on a new bride. Megan has precious little time to figure out how to stop him. If she doesn’t, either Megan or Suze are quite literally going to HELL. "Boyfriend From Hell" is the first book in the Falling Angels Saga from the author of the gruesomely hilarious, "Never Slow Dance With A Zombie."

Review:This is a really unique YA story. E. Van Lowe has given readers a great twist on the paranormal. No vampires, mummies or holy ghosts here. Nope. Just the devil and he's looking for a bride!

Megan is not the most endearing heroine's.  She's a bit spoiled and selfish when it comes to her mom, Suze getting back in the dating game. There are times when you really want to hit her, but her obnoxiousness and jealousy is real.  Devil or not, I think most teenage girls would feel the same way she did if their mother started dating after about 15 years, especially when she hasn't had a boyfriend.

When the object of Suze's affection turns out to be not what he seems that's when things get interesting. There are loads of plot twists surrounding the Devil and Megan and Suze. To say that the ending surprised me, is perhaps a bit too little. I was flabbergasted. Totally not what I expected. The only thing that disappointed me was Erin not forgiving Megan.

This is the first book in a new series, and I can't wait to read the next book. E. Van Lowe is definitely an author for my must read shelf from now on.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Life Interrupts

There are things going on in my life right now that are keeping me from reading. So right now I'm not accepting any review requests. I have loads to read, and my mind is having a hard time focusing on books. Not to worry, I hope to be back to normal posting soon. At least I hope so. I'm still taking part in many book tours, so there will be some fabulous guest posts by authors and excerpts and such.

I'm just going to be a little scarce ...but hopefully not too scarce.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bewitching Book Tours Book Review: Take Me Down

Author: Lauren Hawkeye
Title: Take Me Down (Erotic Me series)
Publisher: Spice Brief
Publish Date: Sept 1, 2011
Review Copy Provided By: Bewitching Book Tours and the author
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Evie may feel like she doesn't measure up to her prettier, younger sister, but she still knows what she wants—Lucas, her cousin's sexy roommate. She's dreamed about being with him for a long time, and on the sweltering night of her sister's wedding, it's clear he shares her lust. Now Evie is determined to take what she desires—even if it's just for one night….

Review: If you have a few minutes and you want a really spicy erotic story, Lauren Hawkeye delivers with the super short, Take Me Down. The story is only about 20ish pages long, but it is packed full of heat.

I would have liked it to be a bit longer, so you could get to know Lucas a bit more and really understand his attraction to Evie, but I'm not complaining.

I'm definitely looking forward to the next three stories in this series.

Rating: 4 flowers

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bewitching Book Tours Interview: E. Van Lowe

Boyfriend From Hell
Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours, I have E. Van Lowe here to do a little Q & A about his new YA book, Boyfriend From Hell.

Tell us a little bit about Boyfriend From Hell.

Boyfriend From Hell is the story of fifteen year-old Megan Barnett and her single mom, Suze, both who date mysterious, handsome young men, one of whom turns out to be the devil, with his sights set on a new bride.

This is the first book in series. How do go about developing a series…do you have several ideas going in?

Boyfriend From Hell became a series quite by accident. After the publication of Never Slow Dance With A Zombie, I became aware that series sold better than one-offs. I started looking around for a series idea. I had developed many series for TV. I liked the idea of writing a series because you get to spend more time developing characters and storylines. I was talking to a friend about Boyfriend From Hell and she quite accidentally gave me the idea that took it form a one-off to a series. I have another series I am currently working on called Hollyweird. It’s being shopped to publishers right now.

Tell us 5 things you love about writing.

Hmm. Lets see: I love making up stories; I love entertaining others; I love that in this internet era I get to interact with my fans; I love meeting new people; I love being my own boss. That’s 5. Wow. I feel like I just passed the final. LOL.

What made you choose the devil as the subject of Boyfriend From Hell?

When I finished Never Slow Dance With A Zombie (my first YA Paranormal), I was looking for something other than zombies or vampires to get into. I saw a YouTube video for animated series Lucy Daughter of The Devil. It was funny and irreverent. A bell went off in my head—write about the devil.

What does the devil look for in a bride?

If I told you what he was looking for in my book it would spoil it for you. You’ll have to read the book to find out.

You used to write for TV, would you ever like to see one of your books adapted for TV?

Yes, of course. It would be awesome of I could share my work with viewers as well as readers. Currently I am in talks about turning Never Slow Dance With A Zombie into a movie musical. I will keep you posted.

More adults seem to be reading YA novels these days, why do you think that is?

I don’t know. Before I started writing YA I had been reading it for several years. I thought it was just me, but then I found out there were lots of adults reading it. I am lucky to have such a diverse audience. I am meeting readers of every age. It’s awesome.

What do you like the most about writing for the YA crowd?

I love writing stores where my protagonist isn’t yet an adult. Young people are way more emotional than adults and because of this make lots more mistakes. It makes them more interesting.

Thanks for interviewing me. I’d like to add that the first four chapters (pdf) of Boyfriend From Hell are available for free right now on my website. Readers can go to and click on the Boyfriend From Hell Sample link to get them. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Peace.

More About Boyfriend From Hell

Aww, Hell No!
Fifteen year-old Megan Barnett and her single mom, Suze, have a special relationship—they are friends, close friends, who do almost everything together.
“But come on, guys, she’s my mother… Can I really tell her that while we’re snuggled up on the sofa watching Spider Man Three, I’m secretly undressing James Franco with my eyes?  Of course not…”
The special bond takes a turn for the worse when Suze decides to start dating again.  She hasn’t had a man in her life since Megan’s father left ten years ago. 
Enter two mysterious young men, Megan’s new classmate, sinfully attractive bad boy, Guy Matson, and the dangerously handsome art dealer, Armando.  Before long Megan and Suze both wind up in steamy relationships.  But neither of the handsome guys is quite what he seems.  In fact, one of them is Satan, with his sights set on a new bride.  Megan has precious little time to figure out how to stop him.  If she doesn’t, either Megan or Suze are quite literally going to HELL.
Boyfriend From Hell is the first book in the Falling Angels Saga from the author of the gruesomely hilarious, Never Slow Dance With A Zombie

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Goddess Fish Book Tours Book Review: Grey's Lady

Author: Natasha Blackthorne
Title: Grey's Lady
Publisher: Total E Bound
Publish Date: August 8, 2011
Buy: Total E-Bound
Review Copy Provided By: The Goddess Fish Book Tours and the author
Book Blurb: Seeking sexual excitement and conquest, poor but beautiful Beth seduces wealthy merchant prince Grey Sexton, only to find herself the pursued as he seeks to own her body and soul.

Flouting the moral standards of Jeffersonian America, temptress Beth McConnell lets no man touch her heart. Her motto is love them once and leave them burning.
But when she boldly seduces Grey Sexton, a self-controlled merchant prince from New York, she finds herself too fascinated by his ice-over-fire nature to stay away. His possessive determination to own her, body and soul, threatens to expose her secret erotic life to public shame.
But Beth will only surrender her love to a man she can trust. And Grey's materialistic approach to relationships leaves her little reason to believe he can ever give her what she truly needs.

For these two cynical yet lonely people, can deep sexual intimacy work a miracle and lead to the opening of their hearts?

Review: There is nothing more wonderful than a good erotic historical and Natasha Blackthorne's Grey's Lady really delivers, almost from the first page. Hey, they have to say hello, right!

This is a novella that clocks in at about 65 pages. It was great fun to watch these characters come together.  And the sex...well...steamy. I really enjoyed getting to know Beth and Grey. Both were really intriguing characters that you really want to get to know.

It is hard to get good character development in such a short book, but Natasha does a great job of making these characters real and enjoyable. I also like that it had a happy ending for the two, but not one that you'd traditionally expect. I'd tell you more, but you really should read the novella. It's worth the time it takes to devour the 65 pages!

I can't wait to read the next book in this new series.

Rating: 5 flowers

Book Trailer:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bewitching Book Tours Guest Post: Julianne Lynch

Today Julianne Lynch author of In the Shadows is here posting at A Chick Who Reads. Let's give Julianne a big welcome as I turn the blog over to her.

Guest Post:
I’ve always loved the supernatural elements of literature. There is something so exciting about opening a book and being catapulted into a world full of fantastical creatures. That was one of the driving forces behind my creating the shadow creatures and the classical and inheritor vampires in my book

When a topic is deepened by a mystery, it automatically grasps the attention of the reader, as our minds always need closure. Yet, when you add to that deeper mysteries that involve life, death, fate, the nature of things, and other general questions we consistently pose to ourselves as parts of our existence, the supernatural elements comes to life.

Supernatural elements satisfy that paradigm: They instil wonder, respect, fear, suspicion, and they are impossible to prove and to explain. Whether you are a sceptic or not, the influence of the supernatural is worth the argument because there is no proof of whether it exists or not. That is the magic of it: It is one of those very few things that we cannot explain and allows our imagination to run wild.

With the creation of Giselle’s new existence, I researched the different kinds of supernatural elements that would help her transition from average human to a psi vampire. I knew that for her to wholly accept her new found fate, that she would have to be thrown in at the deep end and embrace the very thing she didn’t want to be; thus the shadow creatures came along.

“Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.”

I wanted my shadows to tap in on the growing darkness surrounding Giselle, and I wanted them to have a different motive to her existence than that of the Baranski’s. It almost becomes a bitter sweet love triangle - minus the love.

Throughout the story, I used images of rain, wind and cold, often appearing in association with barren landscapes or seascapes (The Kerguelen Islands), symbolize emotional desolation, loneliness, or even death.

The cell where Giselle is trapped by the shadow creatures can be viewed as a symbol of what she must overcome in her struggles to find freedom, happiness, and a sense of belonging - however slim that reality is. Her destitute condition upon her departure from the shadow world threatens her emotional and intellectual imprisonment. And on her return to The Utmish Ato-tem, she again finds the same oppression as before.

I don’t know about you, but symbolism is an important part of the writing process and honing in on these elements helps to create a world that is not only remarkable, but spine tingling - or something to that effect.

About the Author:

Fiery Librian Julieanne Lynch is an author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Northern Ireland, Julieanne now lives in Ireland, where she works on her Shadows Trilogy and other series full-time. Before becoming a writer, she considered a few different career paths, a rock star being one of them. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at The Open University, and considered journalism as a career path. However, she decided writing was the way for her and believes all of her education and reading prepared her for it.

An avid reader, Julieanne has always had an encompassing fascination with folklore. When not writing, she enjoys crime series such as Criminal Minds, CSI, NCIS and Cold Case, and loves anything with Vampires, listening to metal, meeting new people, drinking lots of green tea, and sharing her dreams with her children. She is a self-professed goth wanna-be,and is happy when left to write into the early hours of the morning.

Find Julieanne online:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Author Interview: Clark Hayes and Kathleen McFall authors of The Cowboy and The Vampire

1) What is like collaborating on a novel? What’s your writing process?

Writing can be a lonely process, so writing together is enticing, but like any relationship it’s not to be entered into lightly. Whether two (or more) writers are already a couple, relatives or just writing pals, the resulting relationship after you are done — if you make it through — is intense. You learn each other’s secrets, innermost thoughts, hopes and motivations, you suffer through mood swings and jealousy, you learn how to fight constructively and accept criticism. You share extraordinary (imaginary) journeys together and spend hours, days, even years connected about as closely as two people can be as you create a shared reality that’s the best of both partners. It’s the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s kind of sexy, so it’s no surprise that it worked well for a couple romantically entwined.

And while collaborating might be sexy, the daily process is not. It’s just hard and often demoralizing work. To help us, we have a loose but mandatory process framework. We start with a rough chapter outline, or roadmap, so each of us are moving in the same direction even when we’re working on different chapters. We also switch off chapters, even if they’re not in sequence. One of us writes the first draft and then the other ruthlessly edits it.

When we wrote The Cowboy and the Vampire, Clark wrote the cowboy, Kathleen wrote the vampire. Since we were using individual voices in Part 1, it was a relatively easy technique for partnership writing. But even when we moved into the parts of the book where the voices merge into the third person, we kept up the process of switching chapters. It allows each of us to maintain an individual writing schedule and we are able to move more quickly through the entire first draft.

For each chapter, our roadmap provides us with:
·       a specific action at the beginning of the chapter or crucial piece of dialogue.
·       a general sense of what is going to happen and what each character is going to do in the chapter.
·       a very clear ending point, again, a piece of dialogue or an event.

Creatively, switching chapters allows us to focus in and make the initial footprint for the areas of the plot that interest us most. Kathleen likes writing for Elita and enjoys the philosophical underpinnings of the world we have created. Clark writes the cowboy voice, including Tucker’s killer (literally) sense of humor, so it works for him to focus in on those chapters where Tucker is the main character.

2) What made you decide to work on this novel together?

Survival. Of our relationship. We had been broken up for nearly two years, and both wanted to reconcile, but we were wary. We knew we needed some way to channel our romantic energies so we could focus the passion and creative chaos. We decided to try writing a novel together to harness some of the insanity and it seems to have worked.

3) Cowboys and Vampires are popular characters in many novels why do you think that’s the case?

Sex and symbolism.

First, both cowboys and vampires are sexy, but for different reasons. Cowboys are rugged and tough with big hearts — the kind of person you can envision a future with, even though it may involve lonesome spaces and sagebrush. Vampires are sensual and sexual and push way beyond all the accepted boundaries, existing for pleasure — the kind of person you can envision of a night of debauchery with even though you know you’ll regret it.

Second, the symbolism. Cowboys and vampires symbolically represent various aspects of our inner selves – the good and the evil. They are shorthand ways of talking about human nature in a story form. Cowboys stand for all that’s good and right in the world — strength, reliability, honesty, hard work, courage. They are a particularly American phenomenon which means readers from around the world invest all kinds of meaning to cowboy.

Vampires allow us all to examine the evil in ourselves. They prey on the innocent, live for pleasure and are obsessed with death. They are sensual creatures with fluid morals and tend to take on the fears of the ages that bring them to life, or rather keep them undead. For example, current manifestations of Vampires seem to be a stand in for the soul-crushing sense of existential angst peculiar to the modern era.

4) Who do you consider the quintessential cowboy and vampire?

Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The character is striking and original, all others are measured against him. He wasn’t the first, but he was probably the best. He was played well by Gary Oldman in the movie from the 1990s. We also liked Willem Dafoe in the Shadow of a Vampire.

As for the best cowboy, Tom Selleck in Quigley Down Under because he was such a good guy with a well-defined sense of right and wrong and romantic streak. But the antihero cowboys are great too. Clint Eastwood in the Outlaw Josey Wales kept his good-guy cowboy nature pretty well-hidden under a deadly gruff exterior, but when the chips were down, he put his life on the line for the people he cared about and what he thought was right. Jack Nicolson in the ultra creepy The Missouri Breaks also had us cheering for a really bad person.

5) What was the inspiration for the story?

The Cowboy and the Vampire is love story about what happens when two people from opposite worlds come together and then face huge challenges — Vampires bent on world domination. Our own relationship — sans Vampires — influenced the love story because we were from such different worlds when we met. Clark grew up in the middle of Montana on a cattle ranch, surrounded by open spaces and riding in the mountains and shooting. Kathleen grew up in the middle of Washington DC, surrounded by history and people, marching in protests, and wandering around in the Supreme Court on Sundays. An unlikely match, the odds were against us from the start.

We shared a few important things though — setting aside the deep and instant attraction for each other — such as a love of reading, creative tendencies and minds that enjoyed grappling with big questions about good and evil, near death experiences, spirituality and the occult. Put that all together, add in Clark’s love of the West, and the result was almost inescapable.

6) The cover for The Cowboy and The Vampire is gorgeous. How much input did you have on that?

The credit for the awesome cover goes mostly to our publisher, Midnight Ink. While they did solicit our input, and we provided basic guidelines — close up of a woman, dark hair, a little cleavage, a little blood, a tattoo — they did all the creative work. The 1999 edition had a very different cover — a boot embossed with a crucifix and drops of blood against a white background — but it didn’t “pop” quite as much as a scantily clad vampire vixen with a come hither look and fresh blood on her lips. 

7) What is the hardest part of getting a book ready for publication?

The hardest part is editing. Editing is tiring and laborious … and utterly critical. One typo can immediately turn off readers. It’s a painstaking process of reading and rereading and discussing every little detail to make sure it’s tight with no redundant or superfluous words, the actions and dialogue flow from clear motivations, the sequences are correctly timed, and any story elements make it through in the right arc. There’s no such thing as a blooper reel for books so the run-through before publishing is vital.

8) The Cowboy and the Vampire was first published in 1999 what happened that brought it back from the dead, so to speak?

One word: Twilight! There was so much interest in Vampires once Twilight took the world by storm. And also True Blood, and the Vampire Diaries. We were a little bit too far ahead of the curve in 1999. There wasn’t really paranormal romance genre when we first started out, or it was in its infancy, but certainly nothing like The Cowboy and the Vampire that mixed in action and comedy. We’re very happy to be back now and glad to know Vampires seem to remain firmly fixed in the popular consciousness.

9) You are working on a sequel to The Cowboy and the Vampire, is there anything you can tell us about it?

We are hard at on the first edit of Blood and Whiskey — it is the first book in a new trilogy that picks up where The Cowboy and the Vampire left off. Tucker and Lizzie have no sooner caught their breath from the threat of Julius and his evil minions than a new problem arises. There’s a schism in the Vampire world between the two great undead shadow nations and Lizzie is caught in the middle. The Reptile line wants her dead, the Messianic line wants to know if she can turn humans with the Vampiric gene; Lizzie just wants to settle down with Tucker in their new doublewide trailer and think about raising a family and enjoying the peace and quiet of undead life in Wyoming. That’s unlikely. From blood farms that drain humans to anarchistic Vampire governments, from Vampire cowboys to doomsday survivalists, the fate of the human race — and the Vampire race — will be in the hands of Tucker and Lizzie … and Rex, the long-suffering cow dog. 

About the book:
The Cowboy and the Vampire brings together two iconic characters — cowboys and vampires — and crashes them together in a story about love, the clash of cultures and evil plans to take over the world. There’s also a healthy dose of laugh-out-loud humor, a rich portrayal of life in the modern West and a fresh new take on the Vampire myth (religion meets evolutionary biology).

Twitter: @cowboyvamp

And check out the novella Red Winter, by Clark, edited by Kathleen, released exclusively as an e-book in August.

About Red Winter:
Sheriff Early Hardiman has seen a lot of bad things in his life, but nothing could have prepared him for the first Vampire to visit the Old West. It’s 1890 and winter is closing like a noose around tiny LonePine, Wyoming. Fans of The Cowboy and the Vampire know LonePine will see its share of Vampires in another 120 years, but in 1890 no one had yet imagined the terror of Jericho Whistler.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Book Review: A Night Of Scandal

A Night of Scandal (Harlequin Presents)
Author: Sarah Morgan
Title: A Night Of Scandal
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Publish Date: June 2, 2011
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Nathaniel…Icon. Celebrity. Heartthrob.

But underneath his movie-star good looks, heâ € ™ s battling with the demons of his past. No one knows the real Nathaniel, they only see the pinup, the illusion he pretends to be.
Then one night he is forced to rely on Katie Field, an ordinary young woman from a very different world. She may be starstruck but she isn't blinded by the bright lights of fame. Can Nathaniel trust her enough to reveal the real man behind the mask?

Let the seduction begin….

Review: Sarah Morgan is my absolute favorite author when it comes to the Presents line. She creates characters that you really come to feel for and A Night Of Scandal is no different. Seriously, Sarah has written many books and I think there might have only been one that I wasn't over the moon about. This one is a definite must read for lovers of quick romances.

Katie is a wonderful heroine. She's not a stereotypical beauty, in fact she's kinda chubby, which is why I love her. I'm sick of all the heroines in romance novels being slim and fabulous. Katie is a real woman, with real problems. The only thing different about her is her supermodel sister.

Then there's Nathaniel. He's one of my favorite Presents heros. You have to love him. He's got family issues. BIG family issues! But deep down he has a heart of gold. Shut up! I know that's to be expected, but when you read this...the heart of gold part is a little bit unexpected.

Though both are from different worlds..they really come together well. I particularly loved Nathaniel dubbing Katie's world "Katieland." A bit sarcastic, is our boy Nathaniel.

I really loved how Sarah brought Hollywood into the story...especially the papa-papa-paparazzi. (Sorry...every time I think of that word, that song sticks in my head).  This book is part of a min-series about the Wolfe clan. I can only hope the rest of the books are as good as this one.

Rating: 5 flowers

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