Saturday, 30 April 2011

Royal Birthday

No review today because:

Today me and my owner (and almost all of the Netherlands) are celebrating the birthday of Queen Beatrix.

(Her actual birthday is in January I think, but the queen always celebrates her birthday on April 30th.)

Friday, 29 April 2011

Sex and the Single Vampire - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Sex and the Single Vampire (Dark Ones #2) by Katie MacAlister

What is it about:
If Allie doesn't find a ghost soon, her short career as a "Summoner" with United Psychical Research Association will be a thing of the past, so naturally she is delighted to find what she thinks is the tortured spirit of a gorgeous, naked, wounded man. But the cranky spirit, who looks exactly like the dishy man who has been haunting Allie's dreams, doesn't need her help since he isn't a ghost, but rather Christian Dante, best-selling author of vampire romances and Moravian Dark One. Of course, Allie wants some answers from the arrogant and domineering Christian, but he is more interested in working out the exact nature of their relationship, since fate has chosen Allie as his "Beloved."

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This second book in MacAlister's Dark Ones series is just as fun as the first. It's romantic, funny, full of snark and hot. Christian is a returning character from book one and I was worried wether I'd like this book as I didn't really warm up to him in the first book. But those worries were soon laid to rest: Christian is one hunky Dark One and I was soon rooting for him to win Allie over. A delicious, light, romantic read.

Why should you read it:
It's got a hunky book writing vampire!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Triangle - Movie Review


What is it about:
When Jess sets sail on a yacht with a group of friends, she cannot shake the feeling that there is something wrong. Her suspicions are realized when the yacht hits a storm and the group is forced to board a passing ocean liner to get to safety, a ship Jess is convinced she's been on before. The ship appears deserted, the clock on board has stopped, but they are not alone... Someone is intent on hunting them down, one by one. And Jess unknowingly holds the key to end the terror.

What did I think of it:
I bought this movie expecting a B-movie that would be entertaining at best. I must say I was more than pleasantly surprised! The plot is actually very well thought out and really suspenseful. The acting is pretty decent as are the special effects (apart from some really fake seagulls). All in all a really good psychological thriller well worth its money.

Why should you watch it:
It's a really suspenseful thriller

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Blood Cross

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I tugged him away, to the table with human food, as in food for humans, not a table full of humans to feed vamps. Having vamps around tended to make such distinctions tricky.
(page 97, Blood Cross (Jane Yellowrock #2) by Faith Hunter)

Monday, 25 April 2011

Unholy Ghosts - Book Review

Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts #1) by Stacia Kane

What is it about:
The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it.

What did I think of it:
A gritty, disturbing, but also amazing Urban Fantasy story. Chess is no ordinary heroine, she's more of an anti-heroine with her drug addiction and ties to the underworld. Still she's very likeable and I rooted for her throughout the story. The worldbuilding, writing and characterisation were all very well done and intriguing and I even didn't mind the love triangle bit included in the story. The story itself was really cool, with lots of action, nasty magic and creepy ghost stuff. There are two small negative points: The street talk that is used by some of the characters grated on my nerves from time to time and there were some plot twists that were a bit too obvious in my opinion. But there were enough positive things in this story that those two points won't stop me from continuing this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a well written, gritty Urban Fantasy story with ghosts.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Blood Lite II: Overbite - Book Review

Blood Lite II: Overbite edited by Kevin J. Anderson

What is it about:
A collection of humorous horror from Kelley Armstrong, L.A. Banks, Allison Brennan, Heather Graham and many more outstanding stars of dark fiction.

What did I think of it:
A very enjoyable anthology. There are about 31 stories in this book and I liked most of them. There were some stories that just didn't go anywhere or were trying to be too clever, but most were fun and enjoyable.

I will give my thoughts about the stories by the 4 big names on the cover and about some of my favourites:

Death and Taxes by Heather Graham - One of the stories that tries too hard to be clever. Wasn't fooled or impressed by this one.

Dog Tired (of the Drama) by L.A. Banks - I really enjoyed this one and might pick up more books by Banks if I come across them.

Her Lucky Day by Allison Brennan - Has potential, but doesn't manage to deliver.

Lucifer's Daughter by Kelley Armstrong - I really enjoyed this story, but wonder if people unfamiliar with Hope and Karl (the lead characters who also feature in other books by Armstrong) will enjoy this story as well.

Dark Carbuncle by Kevin J. Anderson and Janis Ian - The perfect example of how you should set up and deliver a short humorous horror story.

The Halloween War by Brian J. Hatcher - Even though this story lacked in a well rounded plot it delivers with great characters and a cool story idea.

A Wing and a Prayer by Sharyn McCrumb - My absolute favourite story of this anthology. Well rounded and intriguing story and great writing. I will be investigating what other books McCrumb has written.

Why should you read it:
It's got tons of fun horror stories!

Friday, 22 April 2011

In Sullivan's Mailbox

There was a bookish package for me today from Linda Robertson!

Inside were lots of cool bookmarks and cards.

And a signed copy of Arcane Circle!

Thanks Linda!
You're awesome.

I won this book at Sara's Urban Fantasy Blog, a blog that has really cool reviews. Be sure to check it out and while you're at it also check out Word-Whores as that's the blog where you can find Linda Robertson and 6 other really cool authors.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Magic Tails - Book Review

Magic Tails edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Janet Pack

What is it about:
Fourteen original tales from fantastic authors that perfectly blend cats and fantasy in popular fables with a magically feline twist. From a cat genie who has a problem fulfilling human wishes, to the quest which only Sleeping Beauty's cat can complete, to a feline desperately seeking to best the devil, these fables are sure to please lovers of cats and fantasy.

What did I think of it:
This anthology is a must read for everyone who loves cats. I really enjoyed the stories in this book, especially the retellings of fairytales. The added felines made those stories new and original again.

My favourites:
Ali Babette by Alan Dean Foster - An original take on the genie in a bottle.

Cat Among The Pigeons - Based on one of my favourite fairytales about princesses who sneak out to dance all night with otherworldly suitors.

The Devil's Bridge by Edward Carmien - About a cat that tries to best the devil.

Why should you read it:
It's got cats AND fables.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Unholy Ghosts

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I couldn't get into Poison Kissed so put it aside and started another book.

It was all black in there, and so cold, so cold her bones felt brittle, so cold she could barely remember what heat had felt like. Voices echoed around her like shouts down a wind tunnel, they were saying terrible things, they were laughing about death and horror and something in front of her had giant black eyes like hunks of obsidian set in its bony face and teeth dripping with reddish saliva...
(page 34, Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane)

Monday, 18 April 2011

My Frankenstein - Book Review

My Frankenstein by Michael Lee

What is it about:
In a small village in early 19th Century young Eva is enthralled by the new young baron, Viktor Frankenstein. Viktor promises to transform the traditional little town into a beacon of science and gives the book loving Eva access to his fantastic library. Eva becomes his student and assists him in a secret experiment, though she is kept in the dark about its ultimate aim. Soon after that Viktor introduces Eva to his “cousin” Adam. Adam is horribly disfigured with stitches running across his face. Viktor claims he is mute and simpleminded, but Eva takes pity on him and sets out to teach him to speak.…

What follows is a combination of tragic romance and classic horror as Eva is pulled between Viktor, who grows jealous and takes murderous steps to ensure his secret, and Adam, who possess tremendous strength and rage yet deep inside is innocent and vulnerable.

What did I think of it:
An original take on Frankenstein that didn't work for me sadly enough. The story idea is quite good and intriguing and the setting is dark and gritty. The writing however didn't appeal to me. It's rather wonky and it keeps on the surface: you don't really get to feel the emotions of the characters. The short diary fragments at the start of some chapters were the best in my opinion and I felt disappointed Lee hadn't used this viewpoint for the whole story. As for the story itself: it felt just as wonky as the writing. I got the feeling Lee wasn't sure if he wanted to write a Young Adult or an Adult story and ended up with something that hangs in between these two. Chances of me reading other books by Lee: His ideas and world building are good, so I might give other books a try depending on the story.

Why should you read it:
It's an original retelling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Want to know more about this book?
Bewitching Book Tours is having a My Frankenstein book tour at the moment.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Author Love - Anne Bishop

Years ago a friend of mine with a similar taste in fantasy books told me to try the Black Jewels Trilogy as she was sure I'd love it. Not being able to find it at my local bookstore and not yet buying online at that time I forgot about it though.

Then one day I came across an anthology called Imaginary Friends and in this anthology was the story 'Stands a God Within the Shadows' by Anne Bishop.

I fell in love with this story. The writing, the story itself, the emotion in it: everything about it was brilliant. So I just had to read more by this author.

I started out my search for more books by Anne Bishop at the local bookstore again. And what did I find: Anne Bishop was the author of the Black Jewels books my friend had mentioned to me years before.

As is usually the case my bookstore still didn't have the trilogy, but they did have one other Black Jewels book: Tangled Webs.

I took a chance and bought the book even though it wasn't the first book in the series.

And I'm very glad I did! Tangled Webs was just as beautiful a read as the short story in Imaginary Friends. There was one negative thing though: the characters were so cool, so intriguing that they overshadowed the story. All the while I kept getting sidetracked as I wanted to know more about them and their history. One thing was certain when I finished the book: I had to read more of this series!

My next read was The Shadow Queen, also a book further along in the series and I loved it, but my curiosity about the characters and their past kept on growing. So my search for the original trilogy was on and finally I found them combined in one large volume.

Absolutely brilliant!

The Black Jewels Trilogy was fantasy at its best: gritty, dark, but also filled with hope, love and friendship. An epic story with the most amazing characters I've come across in fantasy. And just as every other book I've read by Bishop it's written so beautifully it's a joy in itself to just lose yourself in the flow of the text.

When I finished the trilogy I got hold of all the other books in the Black Jewels series and devoured them so to speak. And since then I've been rereading them all on a regular basis.

But it seems my love for Bishop's writing is in danger!

There's a new Black Jewels book 'Twilight's Dawn' with short stories and it has fans of this series divided. Some love it, some hate it. I've been reading reviews that make me think it still could go either way for me, but I'm afraid to read the book I'll confess. The book only being available as hardcover at the moment is helping in me not yet picking it up as well.

So I think I'll wait for a while and first pick up one of Bishop's other books, like Sebastian or maybe I'll start the Tir Alainn Trilogy.

Whatever I will think of Twilight's Dawn though I will keep treasuring the book I've already read and keep rereading them again and again.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Midnight's Daughter - Book Review

Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab #1) by Karen Chance

What is it about:
Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Unlike most dhampirs, though, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity. Now Dory’s vampire father has come to her for help— again. Her Uncle Dracula (yes, the Dracula), cruelest among vampires, has escaped his prison. And her father wants Dory to work with gorgeous master vampire Louis-Cesare to put him back there.

Although Dory prefers to work alone, Dracula is the only thing that truly scares her—and when she has to face him, she’ll take all the help she can get...

What did I think of it:
A very cool, actionpacked story. I love almost everything about it: world building, characters, storytelling and writing. Dorina is one hard boiled, bitchy heroine, but she's just flawed and vulnerable enough to understand and forgive most of her hardness. Which leaves me with the only negative thing in this story: the interaction between her and Louis-Cesare which was just a bit too strained and unfriendly in my opinion. And as much as I loved this story overall it is this which keeps me from picking up the next book in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a well written, kick-ass story with vampires.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Undead and Unwed - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Undead and Unwed (Undead #1) by MaryJanice Davidson

What is it about:
Waking up in a tacky coffin, and wearing off-brand shoes, Betsy Taylor can't believe the horrible turn her life has taken–then she discovers she's a vampire. Soon, Betsy becomes a participant in a power struggle between the forces of darkness. With only her friend Jessica and the hunky vampire Sinclair to help her, this new "Queen of Vampires" will have a tough time getting her afterlife straight.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
A very enjoyable vampire chick-lit. Betsy is a fun, snarky character who I could identify with from the start. There are times when she's too snarky in my opinion, but those moments were so few I could overlook them. The world building and other characters were of the kind that is done to death, but combined with the pink, snarky world view of Betsy it somehow became fresh again. And then there's Sinclair! I could read this series just because of him alone I must confess. Talk about a cool, sexy and droolworthy hero! Without Sinclair I would probably have just read this first book, but he tipped the scales in favour of continuing this series.

Why should you read it:
It's got a cool, sexy vampire hero!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Angels' Blood - Book Review

Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1) by Nalini Singh

What is it about:
Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux is hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael. But this time, it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad.

The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other—and pull her to the razor's edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn't destroy her, succumbing to Raphael's seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break.

What did I think of it:
Even though this book was marked Urban Fantasy Romance I was surprised to find the romance overshadowing the action storyline. Not that this is a bad thing in this case. The romantic tension between Elena and Raphael is very well written and I found myself completely drawn into the story. Next to an intense romance and a cool (although small) action storyline, this book has very solid and intriguing world building, great characters and enough storyhooks to keep this series going a long time. A totally different read from what I expected, but a very enjoyable read at that. I will certainly continue to read this series.

Why should you read it:
It's got angels and vampires!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Teaser Tuesdays on a Monday - Poison Kissed

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Feeling lazy today, so that's why I'm teasing a day early.
Not sure if I will finish this book, as I'm having some trouble with the viewpoints.

Angelo Valenti is here, vampire lord of the family, surrounded by sycophants and wannabes vying for his attention. Just like his opposite number, Joey, holding his rustified little court like it glittered with gold and jewels and wasn't about to explode around him in a hail of hellflame.
(page 70, Poison Kissed by Erica Hayes)

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Skinwalker - Book Review

Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock #1) by Faith Hunter

What is it about:
Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind—a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. Back from hiatus, she’s hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katies’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps.

Amidst a bordello full of real “ladies of the night,” and a hot Cajun biker with a panther tattoo who stirs her carnal desire, Jane must stay focused and complete her mission—or else the next skin she’ll need to save just may be her own…

What did I think of it:
A very promising start of a series. Jane is a cool, intriguing character who knows how to kick ass. Her Cherokee skinwalker ability is really cool and used to the fullest for the story in my opinion. I also love the setting and the over all world building. Talk about scheming, creepy vampires! There's two points of view in this book and I must confess it took me some time to get used to the voice of the second character, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story. The story is intense and full of action and there's lots of cool, interesting characters, I'm already looking forward to learning more about some of them in future books.

Why should you read it:
It's got a kick-ass skinwalker and scheming vampires.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Once Bitten, Twice Shy - Book Review

Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Jaz Parks #1) by Jennifer Rardin

What is it about:
I'm Jaz Parks. My boss is Vayl, born in Romania in 1744. Died there too, at the hand of his vampire wife, Liliana. But that's ancient history. For the moment Vayl works for the C.I.A. doing what he does best--assassination. And I help. You could say I'm an Assistant Assassin. But then I'd have to kick your ass.

Our current assignment seemed easy. Get close to a Miami plastic surgeon named Assan, a charmer with ties to terrorism that run deeper than a buried body. Find out what he's meeting with that can help him and his comrades bring America to her knees. And then close his beady little eyes forever. Why is it that nothing's ever as easy as it seems?

What did I think of it:
I heard many good things about this series before starting this book and was thinking I would certainly like it.

I really liked Jaz and Vayl and the chemistry between them, I'll give the book that. Otherwise it felt very chaotic, both storywise and how it was written. I had difficulty keeping my attention on the story because of that. I'm still not quite sure what the bad guys wanted and why, I will confess.

Chances of me continuing this series are slim, but I will be fair enough to say I would give book two a try if I came across it in a sale to see if the chaos in this book is because of inexperience or if it's just Rardin's style.

Why should you read it:
Jaz and Vayl are really cool characters.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Sucker Punch - Movie Review

Sucker Punch

What is it about:
A young girl is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the mental facility.

What did I think of it:
If you want a well thought out story do not go see this movie. If on the other hand you want a movie with stunningly beautiful visuals (including the scantily clad ladies who act in this movie), great special effects and lots of cool action this is your movie. Really: this movie is a feast for the eyes and on top of that it has World War One Steampunk Zombies as well! I must admit I had expected more from the story, but in the end I wasn't disappointed as the visuals and kick-ass action more than enough made up for the lack of strong plot.

Why should you see it:
World War One Steampunk Zombies!!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Echoes and Illusions - Guestpost by Mila Ramos

Today's post is by Mila Ramos, author of the short story collection Echoes and Illusions (among others). In this post you get to meet the characters from the story The Seventh Legend.

Mila, welcome to Pearls Cast Before a McPig


Hello everyone!
Thank you all so much for having a great time on this tour! I sure am! Well seeing as I don’t want to keep you from the two people of the spotlight, I’ll just turn things over to Alana and Drew.

Thank you to this wonderful Pearls Cast Before a McPig for being my host today. So without further adu I give you Alana and Drew!

The Seventh Legend
Part of the Echoes and Illusions Anthology.

Duty and honor before everything.

Hi, I’m Alana Legend and I have a couple questions for you. What would you do if you knew the hero never finished his tale and the evil was real? What if the curse attached meant an eternity trapped in another world? What if because of that curse, the woman you were meant the man you loved, the man you thought you loved would never safe?

These are the questions all the time running through my mind. I know whatever is in my head is suppose to unlock an ancient story, and kill that evil. What that exact thing is I don’t know but I do know it has to do with a man that I just…I can’t even describe him, but I do know that I don’t know what the hell I was thinking getting involved with him long ago. Who knows maybe I’ll finally learn my lesson.

But if Drew Becket is involved I’ll kill him first and ask questions later. Why did my sister ever think I needed his help?

Not everything is about duty and honor.

Drew Beckett here and there is a few things I know; Alana is harder on herself than what she lets you in on and the woman has got it all wrong about what’s going on. Now I know you’re thinking “Drew, she just said…” yeah, yeah, yeah, but let me tell you this, nothing is what it seems. As much as the infamous Legend up there wants to make you think one thing, I’ve unfortunately found out a different side to the story.
While she has those questions running through her mind, I only have one problem running through mine. How can one woman with so much power be so damn blind?
You’re probably thinking I’m an ass and you’re right but if you knew just how much Alana actually needed me, you’d rethink those thoughts my dear friend. And need me she does…stubborn woman. Besides, I have a promise to her sister to uphold, whether she likes it or not.

What is real and what is rumored. Discover the truth in Echoes and Illusions.

Meet Alana Legend
Age: Late 20’s
Body Type: I have the traits of a Legend, dark brown hair, caramel tone complexion, dark almond shaped eyes or as Drew says “soulful” *rolls eyes* I’m athletically toned and possess a particular poise and elegance. With the things I do, I need it.
Personality: Dedicated and focused. Life hasn’t always given to me on a plate. I can’t lose my focus or else…yeah let’s just not go there. It doesn’t mean I don’t know how to have fun just right now I can’t focus on that, I have work to do.
Background: In the community, simply a Legend. I’m a Psi-ter, pretty much I’m the glorious gift of generations. Oh yip-ee.
Special Talent: Enhanced special abilities; paranormal enhancements of sight, speed, etc. It sounds so simple. Do you have an hour?
Best Trait: My best trait is living up to my destiny.
What would she die for: I’d die for my sister Maggie.

Meet Andrew Beckett
Nickname: Drew or Pain in the ass, as Alana likes to say.
Age: Early 30’s
Body Type: I’m 6’5” as far as height, but as to body type I’m on the same level of strength as Alana. Even though that woman might think she doesn’t need a man by her side, she does…more than she cares to admit.
Hair Color/ Eye Color: Jet black hair and green eyes. I’ve been told they change depending on my mood but seeing as I can’t see that myself I’ll take people’s word on it.
Background: Alana’s family and mine are somewhat the same but really do you want to know all those details? Just know that I can hold my own, especially when that little spitfire is involved.
Current Occupation: Lately it seems as the voice of rationale.
What does He want: Catch the bad guy, get the girl. You know the usual superhero stuff.


About Echoes and Illusions:

Echoes & Illusions:
Ebook and Print

A curious invitation mystifies acclaimed movie critic Moira Castle. In an industry where word of mouth is reality, Moira comes back home to the unexpected. Memories surge as an old movie reel and theater owner Toren McCann hold answers that have lain quiet for far too long.

The Seventh Legend
Some stories are based on legend, some on rumor. Some stories are real. For a young woman her childhood book has something more than imagined. The book contains the story of a real hero facing an unimaginable evil that’s been after since she was a child.

The Watchers
In a world where duty and honor are binding and crucial Selene, a Coven Enforcer, has to choose between the life she knows and the life she yearns. On a dark and stormy night Selene learns that some rules are meant to be broken, even immortal ones.

Smoke & Mirrors
Dr. Ana Fiore has earned her reputation “Dr. Ice” by her solid work and rigid personality. Sent to a conference for determination of Chief of Staff, she is snowed in with rival and colleague Dr. Dakota Hastings. Face-to-face with Dakota, she learns she isn’t the only expert at illusion.

About Mila:

Mila was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At an early age she learned the valuable secrets books contained. It all started with the Lois Duncan book, “A Gift of Magic.” Mysterious worlds, far away places helped nourish different ideas and concepts of the real world. It was through this that she discovered a whole new realm of depth.

The books ranged, and as they did so did her love for different types. Starting with William Shakespeare, Mila went through all the literary bests; William Blake, Joseph Conrad, Anais Nin, Leo Tolstoy, Ayn Rand, Maya Angelou, Victor Hugo. Until one day she read a book that changed her life, her first true romance book where characters were real, came to life, and could be the person next door. From there the world expanded from Nora Roberts, Karen Marie Moning, JR Ward, and beyond. With these authors, her writing took a new turn to role group playing and writing in the paranormal scene. Through this, the stories had more vivid ideas and better yet were actually getting heard.

She currently working on her doctorate in Organic Chemistry and resides in Texas, with her husband, family, friends. Her favorite genres are: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Erotica and anything her mind concocts. Crazy and silly as the ideas she sometimes has, her heart is as true as gold and hopes her readers enjoy the stories she writes as much as she loves to write them.

This post is part of the Echoes and Illusions Book Tour by Bewitching Book Tours

Monday, 4 April 2011

Awakened by a Kiss - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Awakened by a Kiss (Fiery Tales #1) by Lila DiPasqua

What is it about:
Three classic fairytales—“Sleeping Beauty,” “Puss in Boots,” and “Little Red Riding Hood”—cleverly retold with enough sensual twists to prove wickedly ever after does exist….

Sleeping Beau: Five years ago, the notorious rake, Adrien d’Aspe, Marquis de Beaulain, was awakened by a sensuous kiss—and experienced a night of raw ecstasy that was branded into his memory. Years later, he spots his mysterious seductress—and this time, he has no intention of letting her go…

Little Red Writing: Nicolas de Savignac, Comte de Lambelle, has been assigned by the King to uncover the secret identity of the author writing scandalous stories about powerful courtiers. He never expected his investigation would lead to his grandmother's house, or to a ravishing woman who would stir his deepest hunger…

Bewitching in Boots: Elisabeth de Roussel, daughter of the King, is accustomed to getting what she wants—and she wants Tristan de Tiersonnier, Comte de Saint-Marcel, an ex-commander of the King’s private Guard. A recent injury has forced Tristan to leave his distinguished position, but Elisabeth is determined to make him see he's every bit the man he once was—and more than man enough for her...

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
In one word: Wow!
I knew these stories were loosely based on fairytales and reading the series title Fiery Tales I expected a lot of romance. I didn't expect them to be as hot, steamy and delightfully smutty as they turned out to be. As for the fairytale element: the stories contain some elements of the original fairytale, but they're more historical romances than fairytales. I can't say I minded though. These stories are hot, romantic and have droolworthy Alpha males and strong heroines who know how to stand up for themselves. Although I enjoyed all three of the stories, Bewitching in Boots is my favourite as the whole concept of the story spoke to me the most. That being said: I'm so going to read the next book in this series, The Princess in His Bed, if I can get my hands on it.

Why should you read it:
Steamy romances, Alpha males, what more could you want?

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Guestpost and Character Interview by Ami Blackwelder

Eloquent Enraptures and author Ami Blackwelder proudly presents the six part science fiction/paranormal romance saga! Like nothing you have ever experienced!

Shifters of 2040:

“I’m pregnant. Her eyes peered over the edge of the cloth and confronted her mirrored reflection with that truth. I’m pregnant…by a SHIFTER. Oh, god!”

In “The Shifters of 2040,” Scientist Melissa Marn finds her world swirling on its axis with that one revelation. Shifters — a sentient alien species of light — look to Earth for refuge. In doing so, both shifters and humans are forced to confront prejudice, betrayal, adversity and oppression.

Methodical scientist, Melissa Marn, and her coworker, Dr. Bruce Wilder, conduct experiments on the shifters. Through her pregnancy, she becomes more compassionate and humane and finds herself defending the very species she’s supposed to eradicate.

One of the hybrids, Diamond, falls in love with Keenan, a soldier trained to kill her. Between the four, the reader is led from conflict to resolution, from despair to hope, from loneliness to love.

Much of the book’s originality lies in the shifters, common characters in science fiction, but whose origins are rarely explained. In this series, their alien DNA allows them to metamorphose into not just wolves, but a variety of animals. As the plot unfolds, the shifters discover they can have children with humans — hybrids.

Strengths of the novel include the complex characters, its writing style of poetic prose and rich description, and the well developed, thought-provoking, yet highly entertaining plot. This fast paced book will appeal to the young adult and adult market. It fits nicely into the paranormal romance and science fiction romance genres and would make a great movie, a captivating TV series and an intriguing video game.

Readers will enjoy the fresh approach and original concept of the world thirty years from now, and will find the characters come to life in their minds long after they read “The End.”

Shifter Evolutions video and purchase options at her website.

The Shifters of 2040 Character Interview:
This interview will be conducted for the characters of the Shifters of 2040. Scientist Melissa Marn and the hybrid Diamond.

Do you always love what you can’t have?
Melissa Marn: The Smithsonian, Bruce Wilder. I guess I do. But my life is controlled by the SCM now, by my father and General Raul. They decided this fate for me. If I had my way, I’d run off with Bruce somewhere far away...
Diamond: I fell in love with the enemy on accident. I didn’t plan to love Keenan, the military soldier sworn to kill me and my kind. He didn’t plan to love me. We just happened.

If you were a quality?
Melissa Marn: The River. I am methodical like waves. I do the job needed to be done, whatever the cost of erosion, and flow continually. Close to the Earth, but I am cold, because the SCM coaxed me since fifteen, and trained me since twenty-five.
Diamond: The Hawk. This is my other half, the beast inside of me, that the humans fear. I fly above the world and watch. Silent, and steady, but strong.

If you were a flaw?
Melissa Marn: Ice. I am cold, and hard. And too easily I melt and conform to the shape I am enclosed in, that prisoner the SCM has built around my life.
Diamond: The Heart. I feel too much. Emotions explode inside of me, and I sense my heart will be the end of me one day. If I could only feel less...

Do you always walk on the moral slippery slope?
Melissa Marn: It’s my job! It’s all I know. And if I didn’t do it, someone else would. What then? I know the shifters are more than the SCM tells us they are. They must feel something. But what? My curiosity and scientific training drives me. I have to find answers to my questions. I have to perform my duty!
Diamond: But I love him! I know being with him draws danger to my kind, to my family. My sister. But he would never betray me, willingly. I know he loves me too. And though I am sworn to stay away from him, from all SCM, my heart dominates my head.

Favorite food?
Melissa Marn: The Italian restaurant Little Milan. Bruce and I have shared many discussions, heated arguments, and romantic memories there.
Diamond: Mice...I am half hawk.

Amazon Prints Kindle Nook

This post is part of Bewitching Book Tours

Friday, 1 April 2011

Rot and Ruin - Book Review

Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura #1) by Jonathan Maberry

What is it about:
In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

What did I think of it:
Can I just say: Awesome!!
Seriously, this book is amazing. Part of the story I already knew as this book expands on the novella 'Family Business' that was published in The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology, but I totally didn't mind as Maberry's writing, world building and characterisation are wonderful and because this book gives so much more. I admire how Maberry manages to write a kick-ass zombie story that at the same time tackles issues like family, coming of age and human nature and does so in a totally natural way. I also really like how Maberry sets the story in a time frame where zombies have become a fact of life instead of during the first outbreak. As I already mentioned the world building is amazing: Maberry creates a very believable post-apocalyptic society filled with people who feel so real and familiar you have an instant connection with them. Although Benny Imura is the lead character I will confess that his brother Tom was my favourite character from the start: Tom rocks! That being said, Benny certainly is a cool character as well and I will keep an eye out for the next book as I want more!

Why should you read it:
It's got zombies and zombie hunters!

Yet Another Winner

Winnie, the winner of the Oracle giveaway told me she won Rogue Oracle at another giveaway, so she only claims the signed copy of Dark Oracle.

This means I got to draw a second winner who'll get the signed copy of Rogue Oracle!

And the lucky winner is:
Katie Dalton

Congrats to Katie and thanks to Winnie!

Stay tuned for a review of my latest zombie read later today