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.


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...."


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.