Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Review...Second Chances by Lauren Dane

For Christmas this year, and to help keep me holly jolly, I picked up a few Happy Holiday offerings for the Kindle. (Still have to name it...I mean, who doesn't name their toys?) And, to keep with the theme, the Favorite Things (I had a music box that played the song when I was younger, and there was something that always felt like Christmas to me. *shrugs*)
Second Chances came my way by the means of Lauren Dane herself (I find it fitting that I won the ARC in a twitter contest since I discovered her through the twitverse. *G*)


Ten years ago, Rori Simon left town shy, unattractive and with zero self-esteem. Now, she's back, older, stronger, and finally loving herself - and it shows. Hot men are soon knocking at her door, including Jude Callahan, the bad boy who starred in her teenage daydreams...and her adult fantasies.
Jude can't believe the sexy, confident woman in front of him is actually Rori! She's gotten under his skin like no other woman has...and she brings out secret desires he can't resist. He wants to dominate Rori with every fiber of his being. Wants to own her and pleasure her. To cherish her as he makes her his.
Rori discovers she likes being controlled. She also knows Jude is not a one-woman man. Everything changes when she meets Zach Helm. Edgy, sensual Zach knows just what she needs, and before long, she's in love. Jude watches them together and wonders if he's lost his chance forever...
Second Chances, previously released in 2005, first came to my attention when I found Believe, a Holiday novella that takes place after the events in Second Chances...but, more of that in just a little bit...
Admittedly, there is something about this author that I just can't seem to get enough of, so I was very excited to get my...ugh, eyes? on this one, especially after getting to know the characters in the holiday novella. And of course, I expected all the hot steaminess mixed in with the heart and soul that permeates previous works I've devoured.
Here's the difference...even though Rori left an ugly duckling, she hasn't quite turned fully into a swan. She's confident and brushed off the uncomfortable fog that hung around her (mostly in the form of her over bearing and somewhat condescending mother) that plagued her as a teenager. Traveled and more experienced, Rori is most definitely a changed woamn. But, we get to take the final part of the journey with her. And what a journey...Jude, the lady's man, yet entirely the sexy object of her teenage dreams, becomes a reality. She decides to play his game against him and turn the tables. Too bad her heart won't get with the program. Or, for that matter, his. Jude doesn't know what he's got until he's too stupid to let it be gone (and, the commitment idea scared him right down to his sexy in command lil toes). Enter Zach...thanks to Jude, Rori knows what she likes, and Zach takes this to an entirely new level for her and she falls head over heels. (Zach is one of my all time faves!) Like any good friend, I wanted to smack Jude upside the head a few times for his, well, stereotypical commitment phobe don't know what you've got til someone else is tying her up-ness. (And, the smoldering is so hot I'm surprised you don't see smoke coming from the screen just thinking about it!) Zach is almost too good to be true for Rori, and the way they challenge one another is fun loving and sexy. Until things go not so happily ever after. Few books make me cry... is one of them. No spoilers here, but woah...and wow
Still want your Happily Ever After? Check out Believe...and my next review...


Holiday Reviews...Assasin's Heart by Monica Burns

HOLY SMOLY! This Saturday is the day...its Christmas! With that terrifying thought (I still can't find a Kindle at Target for the husband who keeps stealing mine!) lodged in my brain threatening my sanity, I decided to take a breather and blog deliciously (and quickly) about a few of my favorite things...er, reads over the past few weeks. Enjoy...
I have major love for this series, having discovered it in my very first ARC tour. There is something beyond sexy about a secret order of the Sicari, assasins (but not in the evil, bad guy, assassin kinda way...think, sexy, Italian, and secretive in that way that somehow just lets you know you want to be held captive.) Okay, maybe I went a tad bit overboard. What can I say?





The half-angel, half-demon face that telepathic Lysander sees in the mirror is a reminder of the monster he must keep hidden to avoid expulsion from an order of assassins. His dreams of ancient Rome hint at a destiny with the woman he loves, but can never have.

When the gifted healer Phaedra travels to Rome in search of a legendary artifact, she works alongside a man who once rejected her love and healing touch. But her dreams of ancient Rome tell of an irreversible and possibly dangerous future. For the distant past and present are about to collide-with the one man she is destined to love.

I've always been intrigued by the legends and tales that surround ancient Rome...even as I walked along the ancient streets when I visited, I would imagine all the people who walked the same steps before me and marvel at the layer upon layer of history evident in each and every stone and building, relic and church. (Even as I cringed at the MacDonald's on the corner. Yuck.) Monica Burns brought back those feelings of wonder and made them even better, from the sexy Sicari men (and women) and the intertwining of past and present, to the use of Latin and Italian peppered in to entice...and the food *groan*! (I felt like I was back in my Nana's kitchen watching my big hunky Uncles cook...nothing cuter than a bunch of men, trying to out do one another with their culinary skills!) Not only a fantastic PNR, but this series has stolen my heart. and imagination...
Lysander may be damaged on the outside, but Phaedra knows there's something more beneath the scars and coldness. In her dreams, the man she knows is there, loving her in every way possible. But in the harsh light of day, she still wants to reconcile what her heart knows with what her eyes and head witness. Will searching for a legendary artifact bring them closer together, or will secrets drive them farther apart? There was something about Phaedra in Assasin's Honor that made her one my favorite female characters. Sassy and strong are two of my favorite characteristics of a smart heroine, and I have to say, I kinda want to borrow her wardrobe. And, silly silly Lysander...some men just need a girl to give them a swift kick in the, well, you'll just have to read more for yourself to find out what happens next...


Sunday, December 19, 2010

In Mailbox #1 (and Happy Holidays Contest #4)

(Hosted by the Story Siren) This is my first In My Mailbox, mostly because Sundays are always insane for me. But I thought I'd do a little twist on the subject...


First, here's what was in my "mailbox"...
  • ARC of Never Have I Ever by Alisha Rai (Won by me!)

  • Lady Mechanika #1 (hunted down by me!)

  • Despicable Me DVD (I still want minions...)
And now, what I am tackling from the TBR pile...

  • Blameless by Gail Carriger (Where's my parasol?)

  • Danger Girl by J. Scott Campbell (graphic novel)
For my wish list for Christmas...

  • Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia

  • Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning (I know, it doesn't come out until after Christmas, but I can hope for a Christmas MIRACLE, right?)

  • Touched By An Alien by Gini Koch (Seriously, it needs to be in my stocking, Santa!)

  • A parasol and a minion, as well, Santa. I've been extra good this year!!!!

What do you want in your stocking this Christmas? (Besides that candy cane....I call dibs!) Just answer below for a chance to win an oldie but goody - The Devil to Pay by Michele Hauf. Contest ends December 26th. (U.S. and Canada only, please...if only due to my inability!) Comment below with your email to be entered!



Steampunk Review...Lady Mechanika #0 by Joe Benitez


Lady Mechanika has no memory of her past. Her arms have been replaced with mechanical devices, found by authorities alive in an abandoned laboratory amidst cadavers and body parts, the only survivor of a serial killer (or, so it has been said). Now, she uses her unique abilities as a private detective in Victorian England, during a time when magic and mystery meets scientific reason.
This has long been one of my most anticipated books of this entire year. The zero issue has had three (yep...three) printings and was so hard to get to my hot lil hands on that it took until the third printing to get one at one of my local comic shops. (But, I did dish out a little to get a sketch variant at a comic con. I know, I have a problem.) The bright spot in all this reprint madness, of course, means more gorgeous covers!
In issue zero, we meet a mysterious creature on the run from a zealous group of hunters...but, then Lady Mechanika steps in, only to realize he isn't dangerous, only hungry and scared. For Lady Mechanika, her past is a shrouded in the dark, unknown...but, this creature recognises her. But, before he can give her the details she so desperately wants, the one of the members of the hunting party cruelly kills him and her chance to finally find out who she is...
The simple set up in this prequel not only made me want more (and thank goodness I have issue number one!!!!!) but set the tone for what I hope is a fabulous contribution to the steampunk genre. And interestingly enough, the creator of the series, Joe Benitez, shares his inspiration for the series (oh, yeah, there are a few comic con trips involved!), plus some steampunk recipes (which made me hungry) in the book. So many times, the inside artwork doesn't live up to the cover or the premise promised. Not so with Lady Mechanika...the attention to detail to bringing the steampunk genre to life not only lives up to itself, but exceeds.

To check out more on Lady Mechanika and its creator/owner, click here. And don't forget to go out and get it for yourself. If you can!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Holidays Giveaway #3


Spreading cheer and hoping your holidays are everything you hope for, no matter what you celebrate! To win a copy of P.C. Cast's Goddess of the Sea, just answer this question in the comments below...


What word did I use to describe the Iron Duke in my review located here...(which, I may add, my spell check didn't recognise as a spellable word, but, hey, what does it know.)?

Happy Holidays!

(Contest ends Dec. 26th...U.S. only)

Book Review Steampunk Style...The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

From the back cover:

Seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas, where nanotech is fused with Victorian sensibilities-and steam.
After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.
Mina can't afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society. Becoming Rhys's lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him...and the Iron Duke's ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.
But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

Admittedly, I am just a few days early for my review. Call it lack of patience, timing, or just plain old I couldn't wait to put my thoughts out there and make you (yes, make you!!!) go out and get this for someone on your Christmas list. Yep, I am that much in love with this book.

From page one, there was something decidedly different about The Iron Duke. So many people seem to be jumping on the steampunk train without truly getting not only the tone but the actual small nuances of their world that the reader starts to feel cheated. (I picked up a supposed steampunk romance this past year and disgustedly had to put it down. The word steampunk was so often rendered that it made me want to make a drinking game up. To help me finish. I'll keep the name to myself, but suffice it to say, it kinda jaded my opinion on steampunk for the rime being.)

At first I felt like I was transported into some alternate universe that felt like a new pair of leather gloves. A tad awkward at first, a little stiff yet snugly comfortable, but the more you wear them, the more it molds to you and makes your more movements that much easier. On world building alone, Meljean Brook dishes out exactly what you would expect and more. The back story and setting give meaning and purpose to each character's reactions more than any other novel I've had the pleasure of reading. No punches pulled here, the author knows her reader can handle any term she throws at them. Which is why The Iron Duke is a book meant to be savored and poured over, and took me a good week (after I found it again, but that's another story along with the crazy schedule that is life) to read each and every single word.
Mina may be a bugger, but her humor and depth of character shine and made me root for her even as she explored the gory details of dead bodies. Ew. Smart, even somewhat, dare I say, cheeky at times and full of character and heart, I loved the Inspector with each and very turn of the page even more. But, any heroine worth her salt has to have a worthy hero. Even if he seems a little rough around the edges.

The Iron Duke reluctantly saved England from the Horde, and his reputation, more often than not, proceeds him. Daring, and just a little dangerous, the Duke does all that he can to get under Mina's carefully controlled exterior...and other things. There was something so manly (sigh) and yet snuggable (what can I say...) about his actions and demeanor that I was hooked from the first.

And even better, the combination of airship travel (goggles, anyone?), intriguing characters (oh, to captain an airship!) with a few zombies and maybe a sea monster thrown in made The Iron Duke steampunk with the hottest amount of steam added to make you want more. Definitely in my top five for 2010, without a doubt!

(Hmm...this review will have its own role in my Happy Holiday Celebration...just sayin.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Preview...Steampunk Style



Being a fan girl at heart, this is one that I couldn't wait to get my hot little hands on. The hard part, though, is the getting hands on part. Because number zero has sold out not once, but twice and is on to its third printing. (Go Aspen Comics!) Which also means, for those of us who have, well, serious problems, more covers with fabulous art by Joe Benitez and J. Scott Campbell (and I'm sure a few others!). An artist owned title with kick booty artwork and storytelling from one of my favorite comic companies equals a win win...and its STEAMPUNK? Bonus!


(This one was a much anticipated contest prize that has had its ups and downs that have nothing to do with the actual book. Ahem, husband misplaced once. And now, I can't wait to share my thoughts with all of you.)

Being bitten in the past by various "steampunk" novels that maybe just didn't fit the bill for me (saying steampunk a dozen times or so a chapter does not a steampunk novel make), I was a tad skeptical at first but decided from the blog buzz to go for it just one more time. And, not that it really matters, but the steampunk episode of Castle made me, well, steam wanting. So, in deference not only to my fan girly-ness but the fun that is goggle-liciouness, onward and upward I read...

I have a feeling I'll be seeing you sooner than later!

Holiday Giveaway #2!!



The Holidays are fast and furiously approaching. Which is why I capitalized it. Because, somehow, they take over and speed toward a finish line that I am so not ready for! I still have a few lights to put up, a few gifts to get together. But, my Holiday cards are in the mail. CHECK!

To mark this monumental occasion (celebrate the little things!), I have a few little presents for someone special! A holiday CD by Joe and little Larissa Ione Swag.

To enter, just leave a comment below with your email so the winner can be notified. As always, two entries if you follow...Contest ends December 20th. (U.S. only please...)

Off to the lights....(I am grumbling, by the way. That's the noise you keep hearing as you read!)




Holiday Musings (or, Tuesday Musings a Day Late)

"There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor."
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

(And, from one fan girl to, I hope, many others, I hope you enjoy this piece by one of my favorite artists, Michael Turner. Posted as a loving remembrance someone who brought much beauty into the world.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Giveaway #1

Happy Holidays! With all the craziness and zany times that the season brings, I have been a busy little bee. (My kitchen is designed, the cabinets are in...and a wall is gone. WHO DOES THIS DURING THE HOLIDAYS? Yep, that would be me.) To help spread the love and the the spirit of giving...it's contest time. I know, it has been a loooooong time. And so, here is the first of just a few surprises to help make the season even more, um, sparkly.

So, on the blog, there are two reviews posted here and here. In my review of Lauren Dane's To Do List, how may variations of the word Holiday are there? And, because I know you looked, what colors are the stripe of the candy cane on my scrumptious review of Sweet Enchantment by Anya Bast?

To enter, simply post your answer below with your email...two entries if you follow.

So, what will you win?



Contest ends December 20th...Happy entering!

Holdiay Review...Sweet Enchantment by Anya Bast

The thought of combining the holidays with paranormal romance may not seem like your perfect pairing. Given the season, I set myself out to find some. Okay, a small white lie. Literally, it stared out at me from the table at the library. In case you don't recall, allow me to refresh your memory...

It's all about the candy cane, don't you think? Or is it the stocking? Roaring fire, perhaps...
In Sweet Enchantment, Bella lives the life of the pampered Seelie court. She has her own quarters, every beautiful dress, drool worthy shoes...pampered in the glittering court. The only problem is, in Piefferburg, everyone has long memory. Especially considering the fact that the walls have been enchanted by the Phaedir to keep everyone snugly inside. Years before, the mage Ronan left the Unseelie court, and Bella fell...hard. The heat that ignited between the tow of them made her burn. Until he publicly humiliated her and walked away. Now, Bella finds herself in a hard position. Ronan has stolen an artifact for the Phaedir, facing the terrible wrath of the Seelie Queen. Hoping to save him from death, she bargains for his life, offering marriage in name only to save the man who once held her heart in the palm of his hand and then crushed it for all to see. Tis Yule, after all. But, can she ever trust the mage, and the darkness she feels?
Anya Bast has created a world that encompasses all that I have ever loved about paranormal romance...from the multi-layered world that somehow exists entirely on its own to characters that somehow seem more than they seem. Multi-dimensional, and, if I do say so, incredibly hot. Smoldering. Having two characters that have a history may seem as if their story is being told in the midst, but having already met them through the first full length novel, it felt right to meet Bella and Ronan where I did. (Drool...plus, you have to love the fact we meet the mage without his shirt, even given his circumstances). Don't expect much holiday cheer, it's more a piece of the background than a major contributing factor. Once Ronan knows that Bella still has feelings for him, no matter how buried she has kept them, he'll stop at nothing to protect her. Sounds like a match made, in well, Piefferburg. Warning...there may be just a little lingering smoldery-ness invading your sense along the way.
But,the journey is well worth the destination.
(P.S. Happy Holidays Celebration hint...keep this page in mind!)

Holiday Review...To Do List by Lauren Dane

Hmm...combine one of my favorite authors with the magic of the holiday season? What could be better? Because, for some odd quirk of the universe, this year, I've decided to take the holiday cheer train by the horns and actually enjoy every single insanely crazy moment of the season. Even if it means the possibility of adding more insanity *G.

Holiday hotness abounds in Lauren Dane's holiday offering, To Do List. Imagine the life you think you've always wanted. The perfect job with the corner office with the firm, the big city condo with a view to die for, all the shoes you could ever want. Then, the reality of it all sets in. The family who brought you up lovingly is part of a distant memory, no doubt due to the numerous little special moments you've missed because your holed up in your office with filing after filing. Those fab shoes? In boxes. Waiting for you to actually have enough time to slip them on. The cell phone that never seems to leave your ear...or fingertips. What you need is a good old fashioned family Christmas...with all the trimmings. Including mistletoe...

When Belle Taylor goes home for the holidays, the first bit of Christmas spirit that greets her is the incredibly sexy frame of Rafe Bettencourt...right smack dab under a sprig of strategically placed mistletoe. And, really, who wants to fore go that holiday tradition? After a kiss that knocks her off her feet (whew!), Belle begins to realize there is more than just a yuletide rest awaiting her at home. But, can she look at her carefully planned out list and read between the lines?

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the sense of family...and, knowing that sometimes, family isn't just who you are born with, but those special people who you actually choose to invade your crazy life. As with every other work by Lauren Dane, To Do List combines the family closeness we all crave and the sexy hotness that makes the holidays (and everyday life) that much more festive. Rafe has the edge of a sexy cowboy (well, its a dairy farm, but I like the farm boy side!), yet he has the sense to know what he wants and to go after it. My only regret is the length of the novella, but, as with all good things, a visit back with old friends in a future story gives us a glimpse into the HEA (or, as I like to call it, the everyday effort filled side of reality). He's sexy, lets Belle be who she actually is (even if she doesn't realize what she wants for herself.). Which, along being, well, Rafe, makes things that much better.
On a side note, if I could carry mistletoe in the hope of finding the hotness that seems to make the holidays merrier...hmmm...
(P.S...there may be a good reason to refer back this review for presents...just sayin!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Preview...Er, Previews

Holidays are here, and what better way to take your mini vacation and dive into your favorite or newly discovered author's holly jolly-ness? (And the crazy malls...baking cookies...putting up the tree...wrapping...sigh)




After you're done fanning yourself (Candy Cane, anyone?)...wha? Oh, sorry. Just the teeniest bit distracted here. Usually I stray from anthologies or novellas because I am just so darn greedy and need more. Yes, I may be high maintenance in my choices but I have found a way around my loophole. Series by two of my favorite authors in lil novellas!


Check off your paranormal romance wish list with Sweet Enchantment (from the above Hot for the Holidays Anthology) by Anya Bast. Seelie court member Bella is desperate to save the mage Ronan, who spurned and stepped all over her heart years before. Defying her Queen, who has decreed his life forfeit for assisting the Phaendir in stealing an artifact, Bella decides to make any sacrifice, no matter the consequences, to save the mage in spite of his ill treatment of her heart and the anguish he has caused her. But can she do so and save her heart once again from Ronan? In this first in the Dark Magic Series, set before the first full length novel Wicked Enchantment (LOVE LOVE LOVE) we get the back story not only of Bella and Ronan but a glimpse into the world of Piefferburg, during the magical season of Yuletide.
For the contemporary lover, ahem, in you...To Do List by Lauren Dane (Thanks to my Twitter pimps for shoving her into my life. Forever grateful!).
He wasn't a part of her balance sheet. But one night in his bed could tip the scales. Since she could pick up a pencil, Belle Taylor has used lists and charts to map out her life. When she achieves a goal she marks it off her to do list. Simple. But now, just steps away from her corner-office, name-on-the-letterhead goal, she realizes that the life that she thought she wanted may come at too high a price. Exhausted, she retreats home for Christmas vacation to rethink her life, complete with all-new lists. What she hadn't expected is Rafe Bettencourt, her brother's best friend, the man who she thought only saw her as a pesky younger sister. But when he kisses her under the mistletoe, Belle finds herself with a whole new set of goals to balance with what she thought she always wanted.
Rafe knows Belle is trying to figure out what to do with her life. He also know he's done loving her from afar, and he's not beneath making it as hard as possible for her to choose to return to San Francisco.
Because Rafe can make to-do lists too--and his plan is to seduce Belle back home where she belongs. At his side. And in his bed.
Warning, this title contains the following: Smokin hot monkey love and naughty wish fulfillment, a few words you wouldn't say in your grandma's presence.
See you soon, lovies...Happy Holidays!





Holiday Celebrations...and Giveaways

There has never been a time when I haven't disgustingly and absolutely adored the holiday season. It always seemed magical...no school (of course, that is one of those I achingly miss), presents, family actually getting along (until they didn't, which I always ignored blissfully), and that special spark that permeated the air. Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, right?

Fast forward to being a big kid (I refuse to use grown-up to describe myself...not exactly Peter Pan but, eh) and I have found a different kind of appreciation to add to the pile of sparkly goodness I envelope myself in for a month and a half. (Sometimes, I include Halloween. I've never given up the whole dress-up thing. Bellydance costuming is a fabulous outlet, by the way!) Corny as it may sound, but giving and helping out others (especially furry little pumpkins who have no voice) has taught me the importance of paying it forward.

Interestingly enough, I've discovered all the different ways people celebrate the holidays (Bellydancers come in all kinds of faiths and are beautiful in so many ways. Sorry, gotta gush a lil for my girls.). Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa or any other celebration of the season, I hope its as magical for you as it is for me!



And with that gushy silliness, I will be posting a few special presents for the next two weeks to celebrate the season. So stop back to visit and enjoy the season...along with a few holiday themed reviews!



Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Guest Post: Author Emily Cale

Today, I giddily give you over to Emily Cale, author of Tamed...enjoy with a nice hot steaming mug of coffee!





In tenth grade, my history teacher used to remind us that Wyoming was God's country. Whether that meant God blessed or God forsaken was up to us. Of course, as a bored teenager who spent her Saturday nights drinking coffee and gossiping at the local twenty-four hour diner, I pretty much always thought the latter. When it came to apply to college, I judged schools based on one factor: how far away they were from Wyoming.

I don't remember when I first noticed, but on one of my many trips home for a holiday, I noticed that you could actually see the mountains on the drive from the airport to my house. The mountains had always been there, but the state of mind that allowed me to see them hadn't. After living in several large cities over the past seven years, my appreciation for the state has grown. Sure, my friends and I still hang out at the same diner, drinking coffee and gossiping when we get together over holidays, but I appreciate more of the little things. The friendly people, dear blue skies, and peaceful nights are among the things I never noticed growing up. I have also never noticed growing up. I have also never once gotten stuck in rush hour traffic.

Of course, if a single one of the cowboys at my high school (yes, we had them) looked like the guy on my cover, I might not have left. The guys in the agriculture program (a special track for students who were going to work on a ranch as a professional) at my school were considered extremely low on the social scale. I'm sure that now that they have grown, we will all be begging for their forgiveness at our next high school reunion.

The fact that Wyoming is blessed is something Lucas know from the start of Tamed. Delia, on the other hand, takes a little convincing. In a lot of ways, she is like me: A city girl who isn't sure Wyoming offers her enough. Fortunately, she has a cowboy who is willing to go the extra mile to make sure she sees just how wonderful it is.




TAMED


Can a hot fling on a Wyoming ranch lead to more than just sex?

Tired of bringing home unsatisfying and nameless men, Delia Hawthorne needs a change of pace. When her Aunt invites her to spend some time at their family's Wyoming ranch, it takes little prodding for her to agree.


When Delia arrives,s he finds what she has come to avoid: a take-charge ranch hand Lucas Dane. Despite her Aunt's warning of Lucas' womanizing reputation, she decides he may be worth the risk. What starts out as just sex quickly turns into more-forcing Delia to choose between the guy she is falling in love with and her responsibilities back home. What's a city girl to do?

Buy link: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tamed-484425-144.html

People can find me on my blog : http://emilycale.blogspot.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EmilyCale




Thanks for stopping by, Emily! On a side note, I am anxious to get my hands on Tamed (due to technological difficulties, I'll need more coffee and I may just dust off the cowboy hat while a certain someone helps me out.). I'll let you know how it all works out...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Guess who's stopping by?

Social networking has its benefits. And I don't mean that in the crazy stalking checking out every move you make kinda way. (You know you've done it a time or two...you know who you are!) Why else would I have such a huge (trust me) TBR box filled to the brim with book upon book upon deliciously fabulous book? Or my new friend, the Kindle (who needs a name *taps chin*) who has introduced me to entirely new universe of possibility and *ahem* fantastic *ahem* new authors? Twitter, how I love you for feeding my addiction. And finding such fabulous new people to chat with! (How's about that for an intro?)

Tomorrow, I am so excited to welcome author Emily Cale on my blog!







Hmm...I wonder if Emily has the same addiction to coffee and cowboys I do? (Pitifully, although the boy I married wore a cowboy hat when we first met, he isn't really a cowboy. But we still adore our coffee.) Eh, he's no werewolf either *sigh*. But he still has that hat...

You'll have to stop by tomorrow and see for yourself. Ooh, and here's a sneak peek:



(I couldn't resist! I mean, seriously...)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Musings...(ah, perchance to dream...)



A little whimsical turn of words, and perhaps a little fanciful wishing on my part...
"The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me: that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again."
from The Tempest by William Shakespeare
(P.S. Love this picture, the photographer is amazing...as is the beautiful bellydancer pictured.)


Monday, November 15, 2010

New ARC Review: Undertow by Moira Rogers

From Amazon.com...

Being needed isn't half as desirable as being wanted.

Building Sanctuary, Book 2

Victor left behind a life of crime to focus on a new vision-helping his alpha build an island sanctuary for werewolves. Harsh experiences prepared him for the hardships involved, except when it comes to dealing with the young female refugees of the brutal Boston pack-especially Simone, who rouses his inner wolf like no other. A woman he must resist, or risk becoming just the latest man to make demands on her.

Born to wealth and privilege, Simone lost everything when she fell for the seductive whispers of the textile heir who turned her. Once adrift, she is now fired with a sense of purpose-the chance to broker peace between werewolves and European wizards. Yet, even as Europe beckons, her instincts-the same ones that led to trouble before-keep drawing her back to Victor.

During a sailing trip to the mainland for supplies, Victor finds it impossible to hold himself aloof from the warm and engaging Simone. And when a winter storm traps them together during a full moon, she breaks through his walls so easily and completely, the question is no longer how he'll stay away, but how he'll let her go.

If you've ever wondered what it would feel like to be stranded on an island in a blizzard...then wondered how in the world you would keep yourself warm, this would be the survival guide for you (wink wink). But, we'll get to that later...

First off, let me sing the praises that is my new toy. My Kindle. You are such a pleasure to read from that I will be going straight back to more Moira Rogers treasure once this review is done.

And now, on with the review!

If there is one world to dip your toes into, its the world of Moira Rogers. These lovely women (and their sneakily and alternatively sassy and saucy minds) have created not only a world but people that build and add to every single enjoyable page. Simone is one of my favorite characters, if only because she seems vulnerable yet strong as she puts others in front of her self. She holds a massive weight of guilt upon her shoulders for the things that have happened in the past but doesn't allow it to taint how she looks at the pack she now belongs to. However, this also makes her interpret how others react to her differently than before. (Ahem...Victor.) And Victor...it seems that the strength and dominant instinct that runs so deeply in some wolves is also what can make them act like absolute moronic men. And I mean this in a way that includes but is not limited to gruffness being the brilliant action of the day instead of say, oh, communicating that they actually have feelings for you and want to protect you. Which, in turn makes the female in question get those familiar hurt emotions that then in turn, walk away.

Miscommunication happens, and the easiest thing to do isn't always what you really want to do. Until, there is no where to walk (or run) away to. Because being stranded on an island during a blizzard in an abandoned tiny cottage and then having to, uh, do things to keep yourselves warm creates the perfect "storm" for some intense...communicating. Those instincts that Victor is so afraid of turning him into just another person who will use Simone unfairly can longer be denied...But what will happen when they have to return to the world and the wizard waiting for them? Will she choose love, or her work for peace between the werwolves and wizards?

I adore Moira Rogers' work and felt very lucky to get this ARC (hangs head in shame at how long it took me to get to it) and am so glad to finally finish and spread the word about this series. (Oddly enough, I have not read the first in the series and really felt like this didn't hinder my feelings at all...Victor and Simone had me so entranced I would have read this no matter what.)

Note: Undertow provided by author for review....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday Musing...(for someone special)

This one is entirely selfish. I admit it.

Today is my wedding anniversary, and like a goober, I forgot *gasp* what day the actual ceremony took place.

Before you judge, let me dish out a few facts to better help your judgement. First off, we had a destination wedding with two dates during our week long stay in mind. In the end, we decided to married longer in the beautiful island paradise rather than our crazy single selves. Hence, we picked the earlier day.

Yet, somehow, this year...my brain turned to mush and I thought the date, in my time warped lil mind, was Thursday. *Hangs head* Yep, I in fact, not the husband, had the date wrong. But I figure we're even. (I'm the grill master...that works, right?)

So, here is my sentimental nod to the best day of my life (that ultimately led to even better ones). Even if I messed up the date, I always remember the day.


"If ever two were one, those two are we...."

Anonymous

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Review....Inside Out by Lauren Dane


From Amazon.com:

In the wake of an attack that left her nearly dead, Ella Tipton has spent each day putting her life back together. She doesn't have any room for romance, but that doesn't mean she has to stop admiring the scenery.
Sexy security professional Andrew Copeland is no stranger to women, but he know Ella is something different. Determined to get her to let him in, Andy does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense-and before long, all that skin on skin contact have them both turning inside out.


There is just something about the characters in Lauren Dane's sexy tattoo covered series...its at times unexplainable, at other times the heart wrenching sweet hot sexiness just oozes. (Or, my case, an occasional squee that elicits an odd look from either someone seated near to me or the puppy.) And the best part isn't the gorgeous covers, or the mind blowing hotness (remember the oozes?)...its the way Lauren Dane presents unconventional situations (that, lets face it, exist in real life. After all, we don't live in an HEA bubble all the time.) and makes them seem, well, right.

I loved Ella. Her strength, her humor, even her misplaced guilt over what had happened to her in the past. And, her daydream that opened things up definitely made her even more...who hasn't had a in the moment fantasy about the hottie across from them? The little things, like remembering that Cope likes cinnamon, make her character multi-dimensional and not just the somewhat geeky victim who longs for the hot hunky womanizer. And let us not forget her bff's the extremely pregnant and glowing Erin and the bride-to-be gorgeous Elise...these woman have conversations that any close nit group of girlfriends would have. Not pulling any punches, gently shoving their friend towards something she is so obviously blind to, and diggin for the nitty gritty details. And what details they were (fans self!)...

And, Cope...the hot security professional who definitely likes the ladies. Things aren't always what they seem, now are they? The outside version of yourself isn't always the person you really are. When everyone has only seen that version they tend to treat you differently. To finally be able to let someone really in, and allow them to see all the layers you keep from the world (even your "family", who only see you as the womanizing type with no real outside interests) takes an enormous leap of faith. Because, once you do that, they can hurt you in ways that no one else can. Andrew (aka Andy/Cope) takes that chance with Ella, despite his issues. Who knew all the delicious details of his life? No one...and whats hotter than a man who reads poetry...in Spanish? (Sorry, had to wipe drool off keyboard.)

Since this is the third book, the relationship has already had a bit of establishment (i.e. the first meeting, first time noticing one another...yadda yadda) which I really enjoyed because it allowed us to see the ups and downs that are at the beginning stages of any relationship. Because not everyone has that, okay, we love each other and everything is just perfect life. It takes work, because we always tend to take out our fears and frustrations on the ones we love. And of course, we get to see all of our friends from the other two books....Erin, Todd, and Ben have their own issues to deal with (oh, Ben, I love ya) and of course, the wedding plans are in full swing for Elise and Brody. Even Raven and Adrian make an appearance or two.

What this all boils down to, and my absolute favorite aspect, is how they form an unconventional yet beautiful family with each other. It may not be the one they were born with, but it's the one that they live, love and laugh with every day. Which is what really matters.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Preview....Inside Out by Lauren Dane

Imagine my unfettered gleeful squealing when, on a whim (and because I needed a little something to make Monday, well, less Monday in its stature) I took my lovely lil phone all tidied up with an offer ready to be used...and saw this...


In the wake of an attack that left her nearly dead, Ella Tipton has spent each day putting her life back together. She doesn't have any room for romance, but that doesn't mean she has to stop admiring the scenery.
Sexy security professional Andrew Copeland is no stranger to women, but he knows Ella is something different. Determined to get her to let him in, Andy does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense-and before long, all that skin on skin contact have them both turning inside out.
(Please excuse any drool or odd squealing noises that may accompany this or future review post. Sometimes, I can't help myself!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Book Review....Stray by Rachel Vincent

From the back book cover:

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.
Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.
I'd been warned about Strays--werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.
This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back...for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever--and whomever--I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays--'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them--

Awkwardly enough, and has happened with most of the new series I've discovered, the only books I could actually see in person with my very own eyes have been the later books in the series, never number one. I've come to accept this as the quirk of my life. At least it makes things interesting, right?

While waiting and wishing for Stray to show its little whiskers to me (because, for once, I was bound and determined to start at the beginning), I stumbled upon Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series. Or, more accurately, the first in the series. A fast read (the good kind, with an easy flow that kept me turning the pages not out of automated motions, but the need to read more....NOW! kind of way) that I found myself truly enjoying the story, and it only made me want Stray even more.

Which, could be a double edged sword.

I like to call it the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good...It's an interesting and fresh take on the shift shaping phenomenon. Don't get me wrong, I loves me some wolf growlin', but kitties are different. And sometimes, different is a good thing, especially when the story doesn't feel like you've read it over...and over...and over. A pride of kitties (not sure if I should use cats here...plus I like kitties) makes dynamics interesting. The senses used by the werecats made the world seem richer. Plus, the back story of the Pride and Faythe's place was told in an easy way, revealed bit by bit through emotions rather than the author flat out telling the reader. And the toms in the Pride...let's just say, meow.

Now for the Bad. (Which, I must start with a disclaimer. For me, Bad isn't necessarily BAD. It's kind of a grumbly thing.) It took me a few times meetings the toms of the Pride to keep them separate from one another. The pace was still there, but in an entirely different way. And it entirely relates to...the Ugly.

The Ugly...I really started out liking Faythe. Independent, strong...and then, she seemed to just kind of deflate in my eyes. I wanted to shake her, make her understand she didn't have to accept the ego inflated macho attitudes of all those toms around her. Yes, I am a little old fashioned. I like the idea of being protected and treasured. But don't treat me like I'm helpless or have no choices. It makes me want to kick you. (But, I'm also a lover, not a fighter.) So, I wanted Faythe to kick...someone, anything. And maybe love on something.

Now, here's the twist. I stuck with it for two reasons. One, I was invested and hoped our heroine wasn't as silly as I hoped, and two, the word on this series is just that good. Confronted with the attitudes of the Pride and how absolutely ludicrous I kept finding the whole thing, I yelled. A bunch. And I'm glad I did. While not entirely satisfied with Faythe's decisions or the attitude of the other kitties around her, I learned a little about the Pride in the same way she did. (I grew up in an over bearing Italian family...and my toms were my uncles, all fierce, over protective and playful. And it wasn't until I entirely understood that I truly had each and every one of them twisted around my little finger that I truly appreciated those big lugs. So, in some ways, I understood the Pride and their treatment of Faythe all too well. But I still wanted to yell at her. She needed a little more twisting around her finger happening.)

The hardest part of all of this, of course, is that the end barely pulled this together for me. What is my final thought? Rachel Vincent makes me want to check out the werecats of Faythe's Pride to make sure they behave themselves. (Or how some of them don't...)

I may still yell at them, however.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Preview: Stray by Rachel Vincent

What's a girl to do when she can't seem to find the first book in a series that's all over the Twitterverse and bragged about on blog after blog? Stalk her favorite bookstores, that's what! Which I did, and finally, here we are...and guess what's up next? (I know, duh, I showed you the cover already...but hey, what can I say?)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Review...The Ghost Hunter by Lori Brighton

There a few things in life that I've always wanted to do. I love old houses...discovering nooks and crannies, those hidden treasures left behind just waiting to be discovered. Old houses/buildings that have a history. (I am also addicted to HGTV...just sayin.) So when I was approached to check out The Ghost Hunter by Lori Brighton, little did I know I would get a small taste of that dream. And of course, one of the best parts of creaky dust covered architecture is the mystery and dark nights filled with spooky sounds that go bump in the night.
For a quick refresher, click here!

And the sexy angel with the drool worthy accent didn't hurt, either.

Usually, I enjoy reading my books solid form in my hands. It's comfortable, totable, and I've often mentioned this fact here. But, things aren't always the way we want (or I'd have all day to play with the wet tennis ball my pup loves so much...while watching commercial free episodes of my favorite eye candy). And this isn't necessarily a bad thing. There are times when working harder for something makes it all worth while. And so, I gladly battled dry eyes, impossible schedules, and a persistent golden retriever who became quite petulant.

Lori Brighton has managed to take a story about ghosts, angels and demons and make it into something I literally didn't want to put down. Or shut my laptop? Anyway...

Ashley is searching for answers, from the mystery of her father's disappearance. to answers about her own life. Denying who she really is and can do for most of her life because everyone thought she was crazy, she had settled for a normal life with her fiance. Until fate offered up the opportunity to escape it all...to Scotland. (At first, I wasn't exactly sure where, but the hints dropped subtly by the author not only allowed me to settle in just as Ashley did but built the world in a believable way.) From the first moment she arrives and meets with the estate agent (ugh, I abhor fake lipstick!) to the first steps into the pub, Ashley senses something different about the place, but pushes it away in attempt to be "normal". Desperate for answers, she holds on to her new home, refusing an offer from a devastatingly dark and handsome stranger, Cristian, who seems undeterred by her refusal to sell. Persistence in its finest smoldering form, if I do say so myself!

This relationship has the perfect amount of heated irritation and subtle denial that builds and battles in the best possible way.

At the pub (which is more of an inn), Ashley has a few unexpected guests...a group of ghosts who reside in her new home. At first she ignores them, but Maggie is a spunky and relentless lil ghost, and eventually they become a part of her oddly formed family. All until Cristian shows up to rent a room...and is suddenly everywhere, especially underneath her skin.

Just as she admits to herself that she (and she alone) can see and communicate with her new friends, they begin to disappear. Could Cristian have anything to do with the sudden absence of her new friends? And what's with the sword (which I've always loved...along with the muscles needed to wield them, of course!)...and the strange tattoo (love!)? And the big question, what does he know about her father's disappearance?

(I hate spoilers, so I won't give away much more...and I hope it leaves you wanting more!!) Needless to say, ghosts, angels, demons...with a few vampires and werewolves thrown in.

Not to say that Lori Brighton is a "new" author, but there are times when you can just tell. This is most definitely not one of those. The perfect amount of smolder (oh, Cristian...and Devon...and Cristian), wit (hello, a Justice League reference...love!), and storytelling. Oh, and the steamy yumminess? Let's just say, humidity is welcome...

I have just one word....FANFREAKINGTASTIC!

You can find out more about Lori and her books here...

(The Ghost Hunter was provided by author for review!)




Winner...A Safe Harbor by Moira Rogers!

So here's a quick little note (which is long overdue, I know, trust me!!)

I would like to congratulate SARAH for winning a copy of A Safe Harbor by Moira Rogers!

I passed on your email...enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday Musings (with a twist)

Sigh...it's Tuesday, and last night was a rough one.

This week is a little hectic, mostly because I have vacation at the end of the week. Which translates to settling any and all problems that will invade work when I'm gone, getting the house ready (i.e. cleaner than ever) for the house sitter/puppy playmate, and (GULP) packing.
Gone to the wayside only slightly is my beautifully hatched idea to keep a schedule around here.

The cause? I blame Not Really Southern VampChick (wink) and Carolyn Crane (wink wink)...

"Most people think happiness is about gaining something, but it's not. It's about getting rid of the darkness you accumulate."
(Justine, Double Cross by Carolyn Crane)
You see, I came home last Monday after a grueling crazy day at work to find a one way ticket on a thrilling roller coaster ride. This little package was one of the most eagerly anticipated book to jump ahead my TBR pile for the year. I knew, without a doubt, that Double Cross would be devoured in less time than it takes me to glue my next bellydance costume together. Settling into my comfy pillows, the devouring began. Then, I realised what my week looked like....I have two ebooks waiting for review, this new sched....(you get the picture). But, the hooks were in.

Double Cross, you and I decided to have a lingering and respectful relationship. Because, while I didn't always like you (in fact, I yelled a few times...an entirely fabulous thing), I always respected, and yes, loved you. Stretching out the experience for almost a week (I worked a ton, in my defense...plus, its hard work to entertain the boy when he has time off with me!), last evening was the pentacle. And yes, my lil friend Collette egged me on to finish. (Thanks for helping me torture myself.)

When my eyes scanned over that quote, I knew I was in trouble. Because nothing could be closer to the truth...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Midnight Musings...October, The Monster Month!

Hmmm, when I set on this adventure, I told myself, like so many do, it would be easy. Who doesn't love to share their favorite new book and feel that rush when someone else feels the same way (especially after you've bugged them incessantly about your newest bookshelf addition--or in my case, book box, desk, another book box, AND bookshelf edition!).
Ahh, then that pesky little thing called life enters the picture. And you realise how insane your schedule really is. (Especially this month---I mean, really, who knew October was such a fun insane raging monster of a month?)

There are so many must reads I've crossed off my list in the past few weeks, that to review each and every one separately would: A.) Take entirely way too much time leaving none for puppy (not an option because she won't allow it), no bellydance (also a non-negotiable), and no fun time with the other half (which he already eyes the Droid as competition). LIGHT BULB!

So, here are my midnight musings encompassing the must-reads I've finally gotten down and dirty with (not really dirty, but you get the gist!) and a quickie review/drooling/ugh. Enjoy!







Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane....All this talk of Terrible Fever?!??!! What's a girl to do? Book pimpers, this one's all one you. My biggest issue? The drugs threw me off (I actually felt sheltered and confused *hangs head for a moment*) and made me leery. A different spin, and one that I found to be imaginative as well as pushing the envelope in the direction not many would go (our heroine is am addict, the dark brooding afore mentioned Terrible is named, well Terrible). And it works. While I don't entirely have Terrible Fever quite yet, here's to joining y'all on the journey. I already have the next one lined up....

Sin Undone by Larissa Ione...Seriously, pure genius to take the two sexiest creatures of paranormal hotness in the form of the darkly sexy vampire/alpha yummy werewolf Con. Seriously...enough said.

Fallen by Lauren Kate...Cover art alone sold me on this book. Unfortunately, it took me quite awhile to actually get it into my hot little hands! There seems to be a trend leaning towards angels in my reading cue of late, and this was the first to jump into the fray. A little slow for me at first, but then I hit a point where I couldn't put it down. There are threads to be unraveled (some of which I'm positively itching to uncover!)...and luckily for me, Torment is now available. (Sigh...the only question is, when? Have you seen my pile?)





Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick...Patch, you evil little bugger (I mean that affectionately, I assure you). Fate stepped in, because I believe if I would have read Hush Hush before Fallen my opinion of Luce and Daniel would have paled in comparison to Patch and Nora. My favorite YA authors have always been the ones who aren't pulling back or dumbing down their work for their audience. The respect them in such a way that it only makes the story telling that much better for it. Perfect example.

And with that, I have to say my words are jumbling and not quite cooperating. Til next time!




Thursday, October 7, 2010

Preview: The Ghost Hunter by Lori Brighton and Undertow: Building Sanctuary by Moira Rogers

From Amazon.com:

When Ashley Hunter inherits the Inn where her father mysteriously vanished years ago, she jumps at the chance to finally uncover the truth about his disappearance. But soon after taking ownership of the decrepit building, Ashley realizes she's in for far more than she bargained for. Not only has she inherited answers to many sought-after questions, she's also inherited spirits, demons and even fallen angels! Then Cristian arrives, a gorgeous man who insists he merely needs a room to rent. She believes him, until one by one her ghosts start disappearing...

As a fallen angel destined for a life of servitude, Cristian Lucius is relegated to protecting earth from unwanted spirits. But he can't accomplish this daunting task alone. He requires assistance from the very woman who frustrates him as much as she intrigues him. Cristian is determined to ignore his intense attraction for Ashley, and focus on his mission. If they don't work together, they won't have a chance in hell of defeating the demon threatening their lives. The problem is getting Ashley to trust him. No easy task, considering Cristian is the very man responsible for her father's disappearance.

Ooh, just a few pages in, and I can't wait to share my review with you!!


And of course, Undertow by Moira Rogers...if I don't dance myself into an early winter's nap!





Victor left behind a life of crime to focus on a new vision--helping his alpha build a sanctuary for werewolves. harsh experiences prepared him for the hardships involved, except when it comes to dealing with the young female refugees of the brutal Boston pack--especially Simone, who rouses his inner wolf like no other. A woman he must resist, or risk becoming just the latest man to make demands on her.
Born to wealth and privilege, Simone lost everything when she fell for the seductive whispers of the textile heir who turned her. Once adrift, now she is fired by a new sense of purpose--the chance to broker peace between werewolves and European wizards. yet even as Europe beckons, her instincts--the same ones that led to trouble before--keep drawing her back to Victor.
During a sailing trip to the mainland for supplies, Victor finds it impossible to hold himself aloof from the warm, engaging Simone. And when a winter storm traps them together during a full moon she breaks through his walls so easily and completely, the question is no longer how he'll stay away, but how he'll let her go.

Plus, you can still enter to win Safe Harbor here.
So, I am now off to practice my shimmy-ing little booty off *grins*, and maybe sneak in a few pages here and there...
(**Both titles provided by authors for honest review**)



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday Musings...

Okay, so a few days or so ago, I told y'all that there were be some changes happening around here.

So, here's the first one...

Every Tuesday, you'll get a little musing from yours truly, in the form of the written word. Or more precisely, a quote. Like those little inspirational calendars but with a twist.

One day, it could be a favorite quote, the next maybe random movie fun, or even a little snippet from my latest reading obsession.

To start off things right, I give you a greatest hits from my ragged little notebook. In fact, its top on my list...


"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined."
-Thoreau


Sounds like good advice, right?



Friday, October 1, 2010

Speculative Romance Fall Frenzy (or sharing the love for some fabulous authors whom I heart!) Blogger Tour

Win a copy of A Safe Harbor by Moira Rogers!

A Safe HarborFind out how it all began...

During the bite of the Great Depression, sole female dominant Joan Fuller struggles against the rise of cruelty among her alpha counterparts. The men tolerate her interference--until she breaks from the pack and allies with a witch and a vampire. Now the Boston alpha intends to bring them all forcibly back into the fold--and teach her a lesson she may not survive.

Seamus Whelan and his werewolf bootleggers intend to retire from smuggling and savor their fortune, but first they must do a favor for an old friend: escort some female wolves to safety. An easy job, if their leader wasn't a prim ex-debutante with enough power to challenge Seamus himself. Chance makes them allies; powerful need makes them lovers.

Together, they have the opportunity to build a sanctuary for their kind, but first they must free themselves from Joan's past, and the powerful man who would see her destroyed.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a digital copy of A Safe Harbor!

This contest is a part of Moira Rogers' & Vivian Arend's Fall Frenzy Event. For your chance to win books, gift certificates, ereaders and more, visit http://www.moirarogers.com/contests/



Winner chosen October 14th!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Midnight Musings...at noon?

Part of the reason I decided to start this little side project (despite the insanity that has always been my life) was to have a little fun and share my obsessive love of books and the world authors create.

Unfortunately, I seem to let some things fall to the wayside. So, in order to help feel less like a crummy parent and more like the awesome bellydancer I am I've decided to do some fun stuff around here. Now, whether or not you think its fun is another question. But I hope you will at least get some amusement out the craziness that pops up!

So, expect some changes around here within the next week. I hope it means we can get together more often!

Plus, I absolutely adore Halloween...I do want to live like Jack and Sally. I mean, my puppy is already cuter than Zero. But not by much.

Here's a few things I am so excited about! My copy of Double Crossed should be here soon (SQUEE! Thanks, Amanda, you fabulous Not Really Southern Vamp Chick!) and I am jittery with anticipation...almost to the point of utter and absolute distraction. Also, my sojourns to my haunting grounds that is the used bookstore has yielded a few books I have had my eye on...Hush Hush, Fallen (which I've just finished and will be reviewing here soon!), Beautiful Creatures, and a few Patricia Brigg novels. (Even though I bought the one with the red covers twice...I say red because its the only way I can remember to not purchase it for the third time!) In comic news, Aspen Comics has some steampunk themed book coming out soon, called Lady Mechanika. Oh, yeah! (Rubs hands together!)

And, of course, the Halflaween show...AFI and Amon Tobin will never be the same!

(And more importantly, the updating of my utterly poorly planned kitchen is in its planning stages. Silly to some, but it's where the coffee is made. And the deserts are created! I heart cooking. I am Italian, after all!)

So, my lovelies, I'm off to shimmy and drill the Halfaween number. And read. And play with the puppy. And maybe a little work. Oh, coffee and chocolate? (mumbling as I hit publish.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Review: Pack of Lies By Vanessa Vaughn

For a synopsis and check out my preview, click here.

Not everyone shares the same love for things that are different. Take my inner struggle with the love for the sensual connectivity I find whenever I pick up a book and hold it in my hands and the inner tech geek who loves the kindle app on my itouch. And the research that ensued. Really, should I get a Kindle? I'm on the fence. Seriously, I've read and touched and carried my books for all my life. Even hidden them under a pillow and snuck out my handy flashlight to get my fill. Yet, still, I'm intrigued and not totally against the idea of checking out the digital epub world. (So many choices, though!)


I only bring this up to give you an idea how I feel about the whole m/m romance. Not something I'm familiar with, but...why not? Especially after a sneak peak I found...

Because I did it. I took the plunge.

Pack of Lies by Vanessa Vaughn...where to start? Paranormal? Check. Romance? Check. M/M? Check. Sexy hotness? Check, check, check.

Underneath it all, though? A tale of finding yourself in a world that you never imagined you would step a foot into, and realizing maybe there is much more than you ever realized.

From the get go, Jack seems sure of his place in the world he has created for himself, playing a role he believes is...well, right for himself. He's a successful business man, wears the right clothes, knows the right people.

Until he meets Marcus.

Marcus rules his pack by a tenuous thread, having to keep a watchful eye on anyone who may betray him. Including himself.

On the night of the full moon, the pack revels in the debauchery and salacious behavior, from appeasing their sexual appetites to the thrill of the hunt.

After a violent encounter with Jack, his car, and Ivy (the sexy model who seems to be Jack's only friend), Marcus finds himself in a unique situation.

Werewolves are born...and turning humans is so rare that it's believed it can't happen. At least, not fully. Which would only make them weak and a threat to the pack. And weakness is not tolerated.

Neither is the attraction Marcus feels towards Jack. Which means, while he must find out if Jack has turned, he also must be incredibly careful not to let anyone see how he truly feels.

Vanessa Vaughn's story telling is smart, sexy, and thrilling with just the right amount of smolder. In the beginning, I was hesitant, yet my trepidation was quickly calmed as I found myself unable to look away. The dynamics of the pack, the intensity of emotions...the smolder (yum)...

My only complaint (other than not being hold the pages in my little hands) was the ending...I felt like it was not enough, I wanted more...that's a good thing right?
Find Vanessa Vaughn at:

Website: VanessaVaughn.com
Twitter: @AuthorVanessaV
Facebook: Vanessa Vaughn
Blog: Erotica Electronica

Note: Pack Of Lies provided by author for review...













Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sneak Peak: Pack of Lies by Vanessa Vaughn

Hmmm...just thought I'd stop by and show you a lil sneak peak of what I'm reading right now (fans self)...







When Jack is attacked by a powerful werewolf one moonlit night, his world is forever changed.

Marcus is that wolf, the strong leader of his pack, who never imagined a mere mortal could ever escape him, much less ever become one of his kind. And yet, as time passes, he can't deny the handsome human is slowly beginning to change.

No longer the civilized architect he used to be, Jack feels a new power coalescing inside of him. He barely even recognizes himself as he becomes more sexual, more impulsive, more wild in every way.

But as the bite transforms him, it also binds he and his attacker together forever. The two share a powerful unbreakable link, no matter how forcefully they may each try to deny it.

Marcus is already hiding secrets from the other wolves, and his position as Alpha is threatened. Could Jack be the new ally Marcus needs to set things right, or will their desire for one another draw them away from all they know and alter the course of their lives forever?

As an added bonus, click here. to view the trailer...

See you soon with my review! (And now, back to to uncharted territory...)

Monday, September 13, 2010

And The Winner Is (4)...

Monday mornings aren't always the prettiest, are they? So, in order to bring a little happiness to our dreariness that is upon us, its time for a winner!

With no further adieu, the winner is....







Tori!!

(Imagine my giddy squee when I found both the girls done by the same artist that kicked it on the cover of the comic?!?!)

Thanks to all who entered and shared the love and geekiness that is Comic Con...I hope you all get a chance to experience the best parts someday. And if not, there is always Halloween!!


Enjoy...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And The Winner Is (3)...

Ooh...thank you to everyone who has made the concept of actually leaving my home for things other than hunting through the used bookstore and my local Border's a mere step away to reality!

And, with no further delay (at least, I hope...you never know with me and technology lately!)..

The winner is...


VIXEN PEARL

Congratulations!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Adventures at Wizard World Chicago...Giveaway!

Is there anything better to a fangirl than Stormtroopers, Slave Princess Leia, Batman, or even Harley Quinn rubbing elbows with you as you search for the first issue of Danger Girl? Yep. When its in Chicago!

Every year, the awesome man I married and I take a road trip to Wizard World Chicago in Rosemont. Crazy as we are, we actually drive to Chicago just for the day (5 1/2 hours there, and the same back) to get our fix on all that is comic greatness. Sometimes, its epic. (Take the year we snuck into a Joss Whedon Panel to hear the most deliciously Joss tale of Buffy, her new shiny boots, and Willow...priceless!) Seeing the entire Top Cow Universe and the amazingingly talented artists who bring it to life (and the first time I saw Michael Turner in person...), making my friend get Amber Benson to sign my Buffy card because I knew it woul dmake him blush.

There is nothing like getting to Chicago, parking in that parking garage (most of garages scare me, but not this one...its a portal to that which awaits!) and walking in to see Marvel, DC, Top Cow, Aspen Comics, Zenescope, Dark Horse....I could go on and on.

Except for this year. Sadly, there seem to be no major companies coming to hype up theirw new releases penned by the hottest artists, all in a row. More like a ghost town than a comic convention. Just a little disappointed in this department.

Instead, this year was an invasion. By the final five cylons (Hey, there, Hot Unccle Cooper), Buffy-ness (SPIKE! Glory! Xander!), the Captains Kirk and Picard, Adam West (da da da da da BATMAN), Terminator royalty, and wrestlers old and new. Although, the Slave Princess Leia was none other than Adrianne Curry. Wow...I only had to wonder how many fan boys had a fab day thanks to her hotness. Go Fangirls!

No Captain Tightpants. Sadness...

Alas, although I begged to take both Sam the Cylon (cough, cough, Michael Trucco) and the bloody awesomeness that is James Marsters home as souveniers to share with y'all, the husband wasn't having any of it. And so, I instead share this with you:







Imagine my supreme fangirl giddiness that transpired in the middle of the convention floor as I squealed and gushed over these lovelies. And let me tell ya why...the covers of both are by one of my favorite artists, J. Scott Campbell. (All the single ladies, if you want to get in to a conversation with a cute tatted up hunky fanboy, get yourself JSC's 2011 Calendar. Picking up will ensue!)




To celebrate all that was this comic con trip, I've decided to give away the first issue seen above (not only to give you some vampy-ness, but to suck you into the world of comics *evil laughter*!) and another goody from Chicago to two lucky winners! To enter, please just leave comment below, include email address (or if you're shy, send me an email with it) and tell me who you would dress up as at comic con. Open to U.S. and Canada...



Contest ends September 10th...

New Review...Night Myst By Yasmine Galenorn





From Amazon.com:


Eons ago, vampires tried to turn the Dark Fae in order to harness their magic, only to create a demonic enemy more powerful than they imagined. Now Myst, the Vampiric Fae Queen of the Indigo Court, has enough power to begin a long prophesied supernatural war. And Cicely Waters, a witch who can control the wind, may be the only one who can stop her-and save her beloved Fae prince from the Queen's enslavement.



Once, when I was a little girl, I dreamed of Fairies. Not the Tinkerbell Disney kind, either. Oh, sure, there may have been one or two flitting about in the background, but most of the fair folk I dreamed off were, well, lets just say my mother would have been a little worried about me. (As in, scary...and I wasn't really scared.) These weren't nightmares...


Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I have a few of Yasmine Galenorn's books that I've gathered (in an attempt to actually read in order...I know, I'm learning!). Serious face here, I actually made a silly kinda squeaking sort of noise when I found a NEW series. Luckily, there were no other people around to witness my moment of silliness (except for you, now!).


A rare event occurred. Ever pick up a book, get so involved...suddenly find yourself a mere chapter or two from the end - then, for some reason, want to stop? Not because you are bored or lost interest in the characters, but because you find yourself not wanting it to end? Yep. That's what happened to me. I almost pouted.

Cisely grew up mostly jumping from place to place with her mother, who ran away from not only who she was, but who her daughter is and would be. A wind witch who taught herself most of what she knows (with just a bit more than a little street smarts) who only knows little more than what a childhood companion, who grew into more, taught her, Cisely now finds herself going back to the home her mother tried to keep her from. And to all the sudden strangeness she has inherited.

People are suddenly disappearing from town, and no one seems to want to do anything about it. Members of the Society and magic-born gone without a trace. Even the vampires of the Crimson Court seem to have no real grasp on the situation. (Which, as Vampires, naturally does not sit well, so scheming ensues.) There are whispers in the air of a new threat, and the woods outside her cousins home may not be the same place she explored when she was young. In fact, there are things out there that do really go bump in the night.

Once, the Fae Grieve and Chatter were childhood playmates to Cisely and her cousin Rhiannon. As they grew up, Grieve became so much more to her. But, now, it seems Grieve may not be the same fey she fell for and left all those years ago. Her prince may have gone through a few changes himself. The court of Rivers and Rush has had a few changes...in the form of the Indigo Court and its Vampiric Fae Queen.

World building is a crucial component in any story. In this case, while there is a bit that the author assumes the reader already has the gist of, the reveals that are crucial aren't dumbed down. Thanks for not treating your readers like they are reading a Fey For Dummies Book, Yasmine Galenorn. (But, just to warn you, there are a few times when some info is repeated...but more in the way you would go over facts in your own mind.) I enjoyed the small details here and there that added a richness and layering to my reading.

Oh, and if you are interested in some smoldering hotness (I mean, HELLO, Vampire and Fairy?) I think this may give you what you're looking for. Tension, smolder (love smolder!), and just enough of all the rest.

The only con, here...I have to wait far too long to see what happens next.