Monday, July 26, 2010

Book Review....Heir to Darkisle by Cassandra Pierce


Sebastian and Ruby Morgan arrived in the small seaside town of Darkisle, claiming to be the grandchildren of the reclusive Edgar Morgan, who recently died at the age of 108. From the beginning, Briana Dempsey has her doubts the Morgans are who and what they claim to be. She is, however, certain of one thing. Sebastian Morgan unnerves her in ways she's never experienced before. His skin is cold, his eyes are hypnotic, and he seems to have no heartbeat. Yet all she can feel when she's with him is an all-consuming fire that fills her with desire. When a local woman is murdered and Briana is implicated because of her involvement with the Morgans, she must confront the truth about the mysterious man she has fallen in love with. Is he the lover of her dreams, or the architect of her nightmares? ** A Siren Erotic Romance

Usually when I start a new read, I can tell right away away how fast and how interested I will be in the world I am about to enter. With Heir to Darkisle, the first few paragraphs pulled me in. So I became intrigued.

Then, reality set in. This is not necessarily a bad just makes the entire experience a entirely different one.

Encountering Todd and Ami on the Isle felt a little rushed, not unlike Todd himself, whose extreme behavior is fueled by foolishness and alcohol. We quickly find out that Todd is being carriedthrough his life by his older sister, Brianna, who always seems to have to clean up one mess after another all the while never really solving any problems. (I believe its called enabling...I think we all have had someone we do these kind of things for, unfortunately!)

While having their little moment together (drunkenly and sloppily) they come face to face with the Isle's new owner, Sebastian Morgan. And surprise, surprise...he's mysterious, dark, tortured, and in a struggle to be something better than he is, at least in his own eyes. Which, in this case is a vampire. Unknown to the the sleepy tourist towns inhabitants.

Instead of pressing charges, Sebastian agrees to allow Todd to work to help him restore his "grandfather's" estate. Having no license (drunk driving issues here), Brianna agrees to drop him off at the manor at dusk and pick him up again at midnight.

I struggled with the characters at this point, mostly because I felt Brianna changed herself on a dime when Sebastian (in his wonderfully elegant words) points out that she's not doing herself or her brother any favors by allowing him to keep up the way he has been. Sebastian is described as tall, dark, aristocratic...yet felt static until he was with (and I love love love her) Ruby. She pokes and prods at him making him seem less like a stereotype and more like...well, your typical vamp.

Oh Ruby. The bright spot and the character I wanted more of. Sassy, incredibly comfortable with herself and who she is, Ruby is the girl you want to protect, hang out with, and live vicariously through. I found myself wanting more of her...

The romance had its place, but once again, felt a little rushed (I guess I'm a build up the tension and make me smolder kinda girl). Not to say it was bad, I just wanted more smolder...that I have to have you, I itch and burn to touch you feeling. The sentiment was there...but I'm not sure I felt it enough to want it to happen between the two of them. Until later...

Here comes the oops....Ruby (who sees no need to deny herself needlessly) decides she wants to sink her teeth (literally) into Todd's all to willing neck. And who walks in on them? Yep, Brianna. After trying to make her forget, Sebastian can't seem to stay away. Enter an attempted robbery, which forces the two together and then a confession of mutual longing. Which inevitably leads to other things (and hints at all too cold skin on her own warmth *grin*).

In all honesty, I found myself enjoying most of the scenes when the two were apart, and most of them involved Ruby. I mean, the girl has a Maserati. I like it! (Of course, it's her brother's, ugh, grandfather's, but hey, I liked it.)

And then, tragedy (of a sort strikes)...the fling Todd washed up on the shore with shows up, literally washed up on the shore, once again...only dead. On the beach by Morgan Manor.

Of course, Brianna and Sebastian become suspects...and things get worse from there for Brianna.

Not going to mince words here...I really had to make myself keep going at first. I felt a little bit of a disconnect with Sebastian and Brianna, but then Ruby caught my eye. Then, it fell into place. There were parts of the plot line that made some of the earlier situations make more sense to me. And the pay off was worth it...I really didn't see it coming. When a book does this for me, as in make me work for it and enjoy the pay off, I find that I appreciate it that much more.

And as for Ruby? Still love her, and I can't wait to see what Cassandra Pierce does next...

(Note: Heir to Darkisle was provided to me to review...)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

And The Winner is (2)...

First off, thank you all for was a little dicey there and I thought maybe I'd have to randomly pull someone off the street and say "Hey!! won!"

I may have ended up behind bars.

And now, without any further delay, the winner is:

Sara M.!!!

Congratulations, Sara! And to everyone, I would like to thank you for making me feel like I'm not the only one to feel a little behind...and now, I am off to add to my mountainous TBR pile.

Don't forget to enter my other contest...because there will not be just ONE winner, but TWO!!!

Just click here to enter!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Midnight Musings...On A Paranormal Path

A bit of fun...

There is a large pile (it's actually mountainous, to be completely honest. Or monstrous) of books lurking in my office. Some cleverly hidden in a rather sturdy box that is just behind my desk. Others added almost daily in what began as a leader space to eventually the box but has now grown to a tower of paranormal yumminess.

I can link this obsession to four specific books in my life. The first may surprise you. Don't laugh. Well, not too hard, anyways!

Yeppers, that's a vampire bunny. My first vampire. (Ironic that my husband's nickname is Bunny, right? But don't tell him I told you.) Oh, the mystery of carrots and celery drained of their juices (eww...but I think the celery deserved it. Yuck. And don't tell me to try peanut butter, it's still celery underneath it all!) after the family adopts their newest member. And werewolf daschunds (LURVE THEM!)? Oh, yeah, I said it...errr, typed it.

Then, there was...The Vampire Diaries. Don't even get me started on Damon. (Sorry, wiping drool here. Wouldn't you?) Who can resist a dark misunderstood...brooding, sexy vampire? (Raises hand. You can, too. You know you want to. Don't even try to deny it. Not me! Hence, Angel.) Even, right then and there, I was hooked. Before sparkles and the abs (I like that, too!). And that is the original cover. (Hangs head...I had it once...)

And now (rubbing hands together), for the romance. It was at a used bookstore, and unfortunately, I can't even show you the cover. Its that...out of print. Awaken My Fire by Jennifer Horsman. Oh, if only I could weave the story together of Lady Rochelle and her Vincent. Talk about steamy...and, really, I literally read it my room because I was so certain everyone would know what I was thinking. Or reading, as it were. Or, was it the one with my name that my mom and I hid from my dad? Hmmmm.....

Finally...the well documented (I've probably mentioned it once or twice on here *wink*) stiletto cover of Laurell K. Hamilton. Also a sucker for shoes, that's me! This sealed my fate.

I'm curious...what was your first paranormal toe dipping into the waters that have led you to where you are?

I say it's a great place to be.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Guest Post: Author of Heirs to Darkisle, Cassandra Pierce

Keeping with the theme from the last few days, I am so excited to have Cassandra Pierce as my guest (it's getting pretty busy around here!), author of Heirs to Darkisle.

Welcome, Cassandra...thank you, and I hope everyone enjoys a little vampire insight! (Sigh, who wouldn't, really?)


By Cassandra Pierce

The early descriptions of vampires that have come down to us through folklore, provide a stark contrast to today’s hunky, bare-chested bloodsuckers who no longer necessarily suck blood. It’s true that some of the old, scary vamps sometimes ran around shirtless (they might, for example, have escaped from their tombs clad only in a winding sheet), but in those cases they tended to show off discolored, cadaver-like rib cages rather than sculpted pecs and perfect six-pack abs. They also had terrible breath, bad skin, a hollow gaze, and a complete disregard for their human prey. Not exactly the stuff of sexy dreams.

Nowadays, in addition to having excellent hygiene, many vamps are also loathe to drink human blood, and those who aren’t rich (though most vampires are, probably thanks to earning centuries of compound interest) may work in life-saving professions like law enforcement or medicine. These new, sexy vamps move among humans (especially the heroine) almost the way the Greek gods were once thought to interact with their toga-clad subjects. Both alternately protect and seduce, throwing in a few punishments for the vain and wicked along the way.

As an ardent vampire fan and an avid reader and writer of vampire fiction, I couldn’t be happier with the current explosion of principled vamps. One thing does worry me, though. Now that the rehabilitation of the vampire from fearsome monster to ideal mate is complete, where do we go with the genre? I suspect that romance readers are already starting to get a little bored with detectives who use supersensory powers to solve crimes and avenging angels with archaic vocabularies. This might be why werewolf tales are starting to take up the shelf space formerly occupied by our favorite immortals.

One possibility might be a return to a traditional Gothic format, with tormented guys pacing the towers of possibly haunted manor houses. Another might be an even more extreme version of urban fantasy or steampunk, with futuristic settings and high-tech methods for the hero to slake his need for blood. There have been some rumblings about a line or two of Christian-centered vampire romances.

I doubt the vampire hero will ever devolve—Count Orlock, with his oversized bald pate and frighteningly long nails and teeth, just wouldn’t fit the bill in a romance novel. On the other hand, teen vamp dreamboats with pouty red lips and a passing resemblance to Elvis in the 1950s have already become the objects of parody (and cell phone commercials). The publishing industry will soon try to convince us that vampires are last year’s hot ticket, pushed out by shapeshifters and even zombies, but the truth is that they’ll be back on top—as soon as writers can find a new angle to sink our fanged friends’ lovely teeth into. That’s what immortality is all about.

Cassandra Pierce’s vampire e-romance, HEIRS TO DARKISLE, is currently available from Siren-Bookstrand:
Readers can also visit her website at and check her out on Facebook!

Thanks, was wonderful to have you!!

And here it is, in case you were wondering *wink wink*

Be sure to check out my review of Heirs to Darkisle coming up in just one won't regret it!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Midnight Musings and Pleasant Surprises (Prizes?)

Isn't sit funny when you sit down to read a good book that you've heard an absurd amount of buzz (from either your blogging buddies or the girls at work)? The hard part of the whole situation is two fold. Either you get so excited to get going or you worry about being let down.
Where do you set your expectations?
Once in a while, you get the whole enchilada...
(Great, now I'm hungry.)

Take the Black Dagger Brotherhood. The first time I encountered the Brothers, I am ashamed to admit, I wasn't impressed at first. Vampires have taken on so many different characteristics in the last few years, from the dark, brooding yet entirely misunderstood battered soul to the bloody, vicious demons. Did I really want to dive into yet another person's version of the Count ?

Back on the shelf went the unwilling King. Until a friend bothered me to borrow from her now personal library (my fines aren't as high *wink*). The following day, I swear she was drooling and shaking her head at me like I was crazy to not have read this steamy masterpiece.

Still, I resisted. Until I gave in at the library one day. Lover Avenged (and my not so little mohawked Rehv....sigh) joined a few other choice pieces in my go green library bag. Feel free to pause here and enjoy the view.

And I was lost. (No thanks, in part to the Twitter conspiracy that refused to let me forget! You know who you are, my dears!) The reading frenzy and frantic searches for all the Brothers' at every bookstore (new and used) began, all the while getting crazy looks not so cleverly hidden from my husband. And I read the rest in order. (Kinda proud of myself!)

Vampires who were hot, hunky, and knew how to dress? Swoon! Oh, yeah, the ink and such didn't hurt the fan yourself factor, either.

I even spread the insanity to the girls at work. Yep, I'm officially a book pimp, as well. Sometimes I worry I may be corrupting them all too well. Then I laugh evilly.

And, my favorite Brother...sigh...that's between me, and him! Mostly because I can't always choose just one.

So, really, there are two final thoughts I'd like to impart with you.

The first, maybe its not always the right time for us to meet our favorite vampire (or Barrons, but that's another story *grin*). The stars need to sometimes align and then, it just works,

And the final (which is a two parter) is it is okay to not always start at the beginning. Because, as you may or may not know, it can be sometimes a tad trying to get the correct reading order. (Insert pout here.)

Did someone say prize?! (Looks around) Wait. That was me!

To win some yummy series goodness, just leave a witty comment below featuring your favorite buzzed about series that you fell under the spell of and why. Please be sure to leave your email (or send it privately, if you prefer). Winner gets the choice of either Dark Challenge by Christine Feehan or Lover Revealed (Oh, Butch!). You get an extra entry for following, as well! Contest ends July 30th.

And if I reach 50 followers, double your pleasure...two winners. Thanks for stopping by and joining me! I can't wait to read your thoughts and maybe find myself a new addiction...

Now I must be off to play with the puppy and her (whispers) B-A-L-L while shimmy drills ensue!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Guest Post By Author of The Amoveo Legacy, Sara Taney Humphreys

Recently I had the pleasure to review The Amoveo Legacy, the first in the Amoveo series, by first time author, Sara Taney Humphreys.


Sara Taney Humphreys Sara secured TV roles in such shows as A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me. She then became a Drama Teacher at her al ma mater, Convent of the Sacred Heart, and quickly launched her own after school theatre workshop studio for kids called Ensemble Productions. Bound by reality, Sara lives in New York with her husband, who is very considerate of her double life, four amazing boys, two dopey dogs and an extremely loud bird. Life is always busy, but never dull

You can read the review of The Amoveo Legacy here...

Today, I would like to welcome Sara (my first guest post *waves*)...I hope you enjoy as much I did!

Thank you Sara...its all yours!

Musical Marketing Muse

Soundtracks for movies and television shows are standard. In fact, a
really great movie or show is often instantly associated with kick ass
music. Well thanks to my old college buddy and DJ John Campbell...I
found the soundtrack for Book 2 in my shifter series.
Actually, I had been in a major writing rut. Completely blocked. Book 2,
Amoveo Heart was not coming to me as easily as the first book did. At
any rate, John wanted to interview me on his weekly radio show and had
gotten some musicians who were willing to let me use their music as an
intro for the interview. He sent me the links and the second song I
listened to stopped me dead in my tracks. I couldn't believe it. It was as
though this song was written just for the heroine in Book 2. Amazing!
The combination of the lyrics and her hauntingly beautiful voice were
absolute perfection. I immediately contacted the artist and asked if I
could use her song for Amoveo Heart's book trailer. Gratefully both she
and her record label said yes!
Then I had an idea to take it a step further. Luckily, she is located not far
from me and as a new musician is looking for new opportunities for
exposure. Why not have her play at my book launch/signing? Gratefully
she agreed. Amy played at a couple of my book signing events and it
really brought a great bit of texture to the signings.
The song that sparked my creative juices and woke up my muse is
called "Honey on the Skin". You can find Amy Petty and her spectacular
music on her website
John connected me with another awesome musical muse. The Strike
Nineteens. TSN are a band of adorable guys from Scotland.
Ladies...think William Wallace/Braveheart accent....yummy. Their music
is gritty and intense. These darlings actually wrote me two songs! One of
which will be on their new album "Screams for Denver" which will be
released this Spring. I look forward to checking them out LIVE when they
come to the USA later this year.
You can check out their music at
Cross marketing with music is fun and a little outside the box...just the
way I like it.
Sara Taney Humphreys

Thanks again, Sara! Can't wait for Amoveo Heart! And my muse likes the right kinda music, too!

And as an extra bonus, here's a little something Sara did (I hope you don't mind) over at Not-Really-Southern Vamp Chick's blog (a good cause...check it out!)

Also, feel free to find Sara at:
Link to buy:

And now, I am off to do a little musical research...hmm, I wonder if I have an extra itunes card. I have a feeling I'll be adding to my playlist...

Review: Moon Called...Or Starting At The Beginning


Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself.

Having just finished Moon Called, which by the way, I hate the fact I waited this long to pick it up. Especially when I recall, distinctly, picking up subsequent books in the series and biting my lip, contemplating and yet never indulging. I loved the covers, and each one seemed to call to attention the series, they belonged to one another. But I never did. Mostly because I have this really annoying habit of finding series in the middle, and while so far (knock on wood) its been pretty easy on me, the reviews and tweet of mouth, err, fingers? made me not want to do the tried and true method.

And while my TBR pile is really a mountain (or a mountain range as it were), I finally caved. Border's gifted me (as it does on a weekly basis) with a fabulous offer. Home Moon Called came (say that three times fast!)...

Let me tell you, a little vitamin d time and some Mercy make for an enjoyable afternoon...with no where to go save the cooler.

As I read, I felt a little biased. I checked out my fellow bloggers reviews (mostly on goodreads) and saw that a few thought it started a little slow. Perhaps a little long in explanation about Mercy? But, I found I liked that. It wasn't slow to me, more like an introduction. Of course, it was just enough in my eyes to allow the rest of the tale to fill in the spaces in between.

As a heroine, Mercy isn't your typical female, at least not at first glance. A tomboy mechanic who specializes in foreign (read mostly German) autos, she's independent and not afraid to get dirty. And she knows more than a walker (read, coyote) should about werewolves given that she's not. Especially since the area alpha lives right behind her trailer in his rather nice (hmm) abode. (It tickled me how she loved to push his buttons...three wheels, a little graffiti perhaps?) She had strong character but, unlike how some stories tend to make their female character either entirely strong willed and loud mouthed or simpering and obedient, Mercy knows how to handle a situation both politically and to her advantage. Its kinda refreshing.

The fabric of her world is woven in such a way that the story, like previously mentioned, fills in the details, at times with Mercy herself or just the situation she faces. Subtle and yet at times, kind of a here ya go. The distinction between the preternaturals was presented in such a way that really, it wasn't like you need an extra in the back of the book to keep everything straight.

The werewolves alpha in town gets attacked (and a lone wolf that Mercy took in gets killed), all in a tangled web of mysterious druggings, changings, and downright messiness. Oh, yeah, and his human daughter gets kidnapped. Mercy somehow gets herself wrapped up in this (but lets face it, the girl has great extincts combined with fierce loyalty and protectiveness so its not a surprise).

***Possible Spoiler in next paragraph***

Adam is badly hurt, possibly by a member of his own pack, that Mercy takes him to the only other alpha she knows that is more dominant to control the wolf (who wants to be dinner when you're trying to help?). Her old pack, whose alpha is the Marrock, Bran. The leader of all packs on this side of the ocean. With all the old baggage that comes with going back home (read sexy dominant first crush, and all that extended family fun). All the while, knowing someone deliberately attacked the area alpha...and there may be more beneath the surface.

Okay, you're good to go now.

As I read and finished my first Mercy Thompson Novel, I recalled how I felt when I read Guilty Pleasures for the first time by Laurell K. Hamilton. (But in that case I had in fact, my in tradition, started at Cerulean Sins...I'm a sucker for a stiletto.) Anita became a strong character who likewise didn't mind getting dirty. The beginning of series can do one of two things, I believe. It either makes you like it, care enough for the characters to want to see more and hope the next one is better. Or it begins the series in such a way that just itch to get the rest. Right then and there. And Guilty Pleasures was the latter for me. Eagerly, Moon Called also fits into that category.

If I had any complaint, its that for a late comer like me (in this and any series), I need a reading order folks. Sometimes you can't rely on the info on the first few pages. So I've taken to previously logging on Amazon or the authors site to get a reading order and making myself a nifty little list. Now, I have it at my fingertips (love you, my smart phone.)

Here's a link to help with this little annoyance!

And now, I can proudly say I am now on the Mercy Thompson Express. Or something not so cheesy sounding!


Post a comment below to enter to win a copy of Red Fire by Deidre Knight...The first in the Gods of Midnight Novels, so you can start out right!


1.) In your comment, tell me what series you've discovered and loved, yet you seemed the last to be in the know! (It's okay, there are like three I've found and about two more that I have to get a move on!)

2.) Please leave your email address or click on the link to send it to me if you'd prefer!

3.) This isn't a requirement, but you get an extra entry for being a follower (I love finding new blogs).

Good Luck! Contest ends Friday July 23rd....Good Luck!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Review...Coming Undone


A new novel of "toe-curling" erotic romance from the national bestselling author of Laid Bare.

After his parents' death, Brody gave up a promising career to care for his family. Now, with his siblings grown, Brody owns his own business, and for the first time in years he's alone. Elise has come to Seattle with her daughter to find peace. After years as a world-famous ballerina-and trapped in a marriage gone bad-she's looking for neither love nor attention. But she finds both in the handsome, honest man who befriends her with no strings attached. Brody and Elise discover in each other the wild, physical passion they need. But it'll take a shadow from Elise's past to make them look beyond what they need-to what they truly desire.

The second book in this series (and I hope not the last), Coming Undone makes me love Lauren Dane's writing abilities even more than I already do after reading Laid Bare.

Normally I review more paranormal and urban fantasy/romance. Coming Undone is definitely not even close to being either one of those. In fact, if I hadn't read the first book in the series, I'm not entirely sure I would have picked this one up on its own (even if I think the cover is drool worthy). The different elements (um, please don't hate me) that I like in my mini vacations (insert book title) normally don't include too much everyday family Because I loves me some hotness and not sure if certain themes fit. But, Lauren Dane makes it not only work, but these things become such an integral part of the story that you couldn't pull any part out or it would feel like something is missing. Like its heart and soul.

Brody is Erin's sexy tattoo artist brother, over protective and incredibly loyal. Did I mention sexy? Ugh...gah (wipes drool). With tattoos...and piercings...gulp. The perfect image of the dark brooding bad boy.

Elise is a former prima ballerina who moves to town to start over with her lil munchkin (hey, my mom used to call me that) and start her own dance school. Start over her life for the both of them. Without any attachments of the romantic kind. Including the sexy bad boy across the street...She's one of my favorite characters, not only for her ability to accept people as they are, but to stand up for not only herself, but those she loves. You go, girl!
Brody? All his life, he's sacrificed for the ones he loves, watching their dreams while allowing his own to take a different path. When they need him, he's always their, the big brother and father figure. The best tattooist not only in the area, but good enough so people come for his incredible inkings specifically, Brody owns his shop, has a rockstar for a brother, and a zany sometime rockstar/cafe owner for a sister whom he loves deeply. Always the rock of his family, our Brody. He's not into entanglements of the serious kind. Even with the stunningly beautiful ballerina who moved in and stirs him like no one before. Even if your protective overbearing ways are meant well...

Which always means things are going to heat up. Be careful what you throw out to the universe, because it gives right back. And in all the right ways (who doesn't adore a bad boy!).

What starts out as a no strings attached (and incredibly hot) arrangement soon evolves into something that both Elise and Brody are unable to openly define. Especially when they factor in their prospective pasts (read: baggage). Its easy to fall into one another (as well as other...places) but its how we handle the baggage that gets thrown at us that makes us be in love, to know that what we feel is real. And there is plenty of it here, on both sides.

Who doesn't like to catch up with old friends Erin, Todd, and Ben? This trio, while not conventional, makes their life work. It shows. The acceptance and love that surround every member of this entire extended family is one that I truly hope exists somewhere in the real world. A beautiful thing, opening your eyes as well as your mind.

Family is a strong theme in both books, and she manages to make it extremely sexy (Brody is def the alpha male) while Elise and her daughter show a side to him we only get glimpses of in Laid Bare. It works on so many different levels, from the actual family aspect to the HAWTNESS that ensues.

So with great pleasure (and a little sad that I've finished both books) I recommend...but, warning not for the faint of heart...with a little rock and roll.

(P.S. You may also want a little ink or piercing after reading. I did! *wink*)
You can pruchase Coming Undone from Amazon here...

Or check Lauren Dane's website!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Review...The Amoveo Legacy by Sara Taney Humphreys


What if everything you knew turned out to be a lie? You find out that you aren't even human--at least not entirely. What if, one day, you realize your world will never be the same again? These are the questions that Samantha Logan must face in "The Amoveo Legacy". A dream on her thirtieth birthday compels her to leave her artists loft in New York City and move back to the beach with her Grandmother, Nonie. However, the instant Samantha steps foot on the salty shores of her childhood home, she realizes the landscape has changed.

The moment she encounters the mysterious, arrogant neighbor Malcolm Drew, her life is never the same. Through a seductive courtship, he introduces her to the magical mystical world of the Amoveo. The dream walking, telepathic, shape shifters that he claims are her true heritage. However, Malcolm holds back a secret that could destroy them both. Will he be able to protect Samantha and convince her of the secret legacy buried deep inside of her?

Recently, I had the pleasure of being contacted (yay, another first...what can I say? I'm giddy!!) by someone who said she may have a little something (or two) I might enjoy. Of course, my interested was piqued. Hmmm...I wonder...shape shifters, eh?

And so I sat down at my trusty (love you, my friend) laptop and began to read the digital edition. Now, here's the thing, though. I love reading (duh) but, I also like to multi-task at times. Such as exercise bike while I peruse, or a little vitamin D exposure at the same time. And sometimes a page flip gives me a certain amount of satisfaction.

Would I be up to the challenge? And so I sat with my favorite mug steaming full (well, not so steamy...its hot in July!) of a caffeinated beverage and open the file.

To find, well let's just say...drool, okay?

And so I began...

From the opening, I felt a kinship with Samantha, who makes the decision to do what makes her happy, to stop waiting around. LOVE THIS IDEA. More often than not, I believe we all place ourselves in this position. We tell ourselves we just have to wait a little longer, pay our dues, wait for Mr. Right, wait for the right opportunity. We wait...and wait...and really, we shouldn't.

Oh yeah, did I mention the dream? The one with the beach (sigh) and the wolf happily running along it? This is all prompts her to go back home, to the home she grew up in and the woman her raised her, Nonie. (And there are few more...very...nice dreams to come, lets just say!)

And so Sam, whose parents died when she was only six months old, moves back, to a home complete with her loving Nonie, a fabulous art studio (who wouldn't want to move back to live your dreams?), and the mysterious house next door (that comes complete with an equally mysterious and handsome neighbor Malcolm and his cheeky elderly butler).

And can you imagine that handsome mysterious neighbor is a shape shifter (and a sexy one at that)...and maybe, maybe just maybe Sam is the mate not only he, but his people need to survive? Not only that, but, horror of horrors, Malcolm must try to court her as a (gulp) human? With only two really good seafood restaurants in town?!

The Amoveo Legacy was a pretty easy this, I mean that the points of view, while switching between Malcolm and Sam, told tid bits about the shape shifters and Sam's own self awareness to keep your interest. (There are times when I feel overwhelmed with info, being shoved at me too fast to enjoy takes away...not so here.) In fact, if I had any complaint, it was that I wanted more. We do get glimpses through different members of the Amoveo (kind of confusing at first, because there are several different clans...eagles, foxes, bears oh my!) and the inside workings. In this case, it does make for more books (please!!) to fully develop this world more than these teasing glimpses.

As far the characters, at first, I really respected Sam for making the choice to be happy now, and felt a little put off by her reaction to Malcolm. Mostly because I knew so little about him. But then, we do get more insight into our shape shifting eagle, and so does Sam (but not the shapeshifting part, at least right away). And as she gets to know him, the mysterious pull she has towards him becomes stronger. And more undeniable.

Oh, and there is a family of humans who know about the Amoveo, the Cadeo, whose main focus in life is to see the abomination (their thought, not mine) of the Amoveo extinct. Hatred and the fear of the unknown combined with years of a deadly legacy. The easiest way to kill Amoveo is to kill their mate...and now, they have a mysterious helping hand contributing to their cause.

And their target is now Sam. Who may or may not be an Amoveo, due to her father only being a shape shifter of the wolf clan.

If I had any complaints, which are minor, is that the chapters felt short in the beginning and I had to scroll faster! Just as I felt a rhythm...scroll time.

Other than that, I have to say I am very interested to see where the next book takes us. Who will we meet? Dante...William? Hmmm...

You can check out Sara Taney Humphreys site here....

(Note: The Amoveo Legacy was provided for review by me through Heetr Promotions and Publicity)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Book Review...or I Really Want My Own Parasol


Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs.

Then he disappears - leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria. But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can.

She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.

After reading the first book in the series (to which you can find the story behind my discovery of Alexia and her parasol inclinations as well as a little Steampunk fun when I guest posted over at Not-Really-Southern Vamp Chick here), I have to say I had been eagerly awaiting the next in the series with baited and gas lit breath...

Of course, the day arrived, and I eagerly made my purchase. From whence it sat, in my ginormous (that's a word, right?) pile of TBR tomes. And sat.

And, then, I had to read it. Sorely, I missed Alexia. Little bit prejudiced (ack, that just sounds odd) being of the Italian persuasion myself.

As with the first book, I very much enjoyed a few key things that seem to define this particular sect of the Steampunk genre. Gail Carriger delightfully mixes the paranormal with a touch of Victorian Steampunk in way that seems to be almost seamless. Word after word, complex and full of color that painted the picture of this world...that I strangely would have skimmed quickly over in some novels, but not so here. The fact that our heroine is in fact happily (we think!) married to her Alpha werewolf, muhjah to the Queen, and best friend to the flamboyant Lord Akeldama, you would think at first look all is well in London. I mean, even Ivy, with her hideous hats is engaged!

But, all is in fact, not well.

It seems there is a strange affliction affecting the ghosts, vampires, and werewolves at strange intervals....they become mortal and all that implies. The only one not to be influenced by the phenomena is Alexia herself. Then there is the matter of her Alpha husband. Lord Maccon doesn't always share every tid bit of information, either about his work at the BUR, his pack (hello, darling husband, go ahead and let the entire regiment pack camp out on the front lawn!), or his own past (there are a few things you should share, really). Then he off and disappears to Scotland and his former pack without so much as a word to her directly. Which means his practical Alpha preternatural wife must contend with the Queen and her advisors, her best friend and her horrible hats, her sister (tgif that I am on only child *g), the pack and Major Channing Channing, and the strangely beautiful yet altogether unsettling Madame Lefoux.

And deal she does...

If Alexia had any downfall (except her soulless state), I would say its her personality. In the best way possible. She is blunt, able to look at situations clearly, handle the oddest of situations, and accept anyone even if they have more than a few faults. Those who surround her hold up a mirror for the reader so that we see her qualities through them and their interactions. (Who knew an Italian could have such a big heart under all that? Oh, yeah, I did! P.S. Total tongue in cheek here I hope you know. I just find it so amusing. Being Italian.)

The Steampunk element is alive and well, too, but I will say the dirigible trip (and, in case you were wondering, I don't think I'd be a good floater. I hate heights.) seemed more about helium and the blandly steamed food (yuck!)...and a common form of transportation. Madame Lefoux and her inventions layer in the amount of technicality that is needed without being too much. (I loved how Alexia processes this character...after the fact. Really, I wanted to bop her with her parasol. We all have this friend who never quite gets this particular...situation. Sigh.)

Did I enjoy? Yep. Such a nice change of pace from most the books and authors I enjoy. If I had any complaints, it would have to be the brevity of which the romance element is played out...but, hey a married couple who still have the urge to be romantic? I'll take it!

Sadly (slight spoiler), the ending made me want a parasol of my own. To soundly beat a certain werewolf over the head. Men.

And now, once again I must wait. For who knows how long for Blameless...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Assasin's Honor or I finally got an ARC!!!

A sexy new adventure-packed romance with a paranormal twist-from the award-winning author. Archeologist Emma Zale sees the past when she touches relics. It's how she uncovered evidence of an ancient order of assassins-the Sicari. When a sinfully dark stranger shows up on her Chicago doorstep demanding an artifact she doesn't have, he drags her into a world where telekinesis and empaths-someone who can sense the emotions of others- are the norm. Now someone wants her dead, and her only hope of survival is an assassin who's every bit as dangerous to her body as he is to her heart.
(Note: Review material provided through Arc Tours and Amanda at Dark Faerie Tales, thanks Amanda!)
It's a Friday, I've just arrived home from a long day at work. You know the kind...just want to go home and put on anything else, get a cold bev, and sit in my gorgeously landscaped (if I do say so myself!) backyard. Then, my husband gets the mail.
And it all changes.
Silly, I know, but this is my first ARC and I REALLY wanted to read this one. Not knowing I had actually picked it up and had it in my hot little hands the night before, but had judiciously put down as to not leave the TBR piled neglected with yet another friend/competitor of my attention.
As you may or may not know, I love a good cover. And I usually start a series in the middle or pretty close to the end. So, to get an ARC with a bland ol' yellow cover...that starts at the BEGINNING?
I do in fact, get myself somewhat afore mentioned situation...but, I add Assassin's Honor and I begin...
As I began, two things stand out. Immediately, the reader is immersed into Emma's world...the textures, the sand, the discovery...and then, the murder. Her colleague/family friend is murdered in the same horrific manner as her parents. All on their search for the mysterious Sicari, and order of assassins from the days of ancient Rome. An obsession Emma's tried to avoid as much as she can...
But, there's'll change that. In so many ways...
Inner dialogue can go either way for me. At times, I feel I can be disconnected from the character, like she's shutting me out. Not the case was as if I were inside experiencing Emma's thoughts and feelings (I even had a little whiskey with her...kinda...). Emma has a talent, if you will, for artifacts and even more mundane everyday objects. When she touches them, she experiences things that have either happened around the object or to its owner. She becomes immersed in the moments. So did I. It worked for me.
Oh, Ares...the head of the Sicari guild in Chicago, he finds and protects Emma from a fate similar to her parents. And himself. (Warning, steamy sexy powers here...just saying.)
The Sicari aren't what they seem. In more ways than one. (Tiny note, but one I really enjoyed...the use of swords versus this. It added elegance and grace....and just a spot or two *evil grin* of sexiness. Loved it.) A secret society full of mysterious people with so many talents and a rich history of ceremony. I found myself feeling as if I was there, experiencing every moment. It didn't feel contrived or "made up" which sometimes can happen when detail is overwhelming and out of control.
I'm definitely one of those readers who doesn't believe in spoilers, so you definitely won't get any here...but, suffice it to say, steaminess does ensue. All while on the hunt for the Tyset of Isis, a mysterious object (actually, there is so little known about it, no one really knows what it is) that the Sicari must find before their enemies do...
Do you think my first ARC experience was a success??? I do. This will definitely be in my library...and I can't wait for more....

Where have I been?

Here's to hoping this lovely lil update doesn't mysteriously disappear (which, my dear friends, has happened twice since my life has slowed down enough for me to actually to sit my booty down and get to typing!!). One of which I really liked....sigh...

And, now, we're off!!

So, as you may or may not know, my little belly friends and I had a marvelous time at the coffee shop (which has turned into a semi-regular shindig). We have a benefit for autism coming up, which is a wonderful opportunity to give something back (so cliche, yet true). Plus, I am now teaching beginner's tribal fusion. Which also means more practice time for me (LOL if I only knew!) And that's just the beginning...

(Here's a little peak for you...right before my hip scarf shimmied its way to the floor!)

The good little 63 pound baby girl (err, golden retriever bundle of playfulness) had a few weeks of health issues. She's all good now, but a puppy with a sprained "wrist" is a ton (well, maybe not that big, but I did have to carry her everywhere, including outside for her get the picture) to care for. Which wore me out...

Work...I can't even tell you. Grrr. But, we all have that problem, in one way or another, don't we?

But, I missed you so much....promise!!

So, now what?

Well, getting ready to post my first ARC review...even though it's out already (I think I was low on the totem pole, but...well, you'll have to read to find out!!!) This may sound silly, but I was incredibly excited to finally get my grubby hands on an ARC. What can I say? It's the little things sometimes. So, thanks to Monica Burns and Angela.

I am now off to review...see you soon!!