Monday 28 February 2011

Review: To Defy A King - Elizabeth Chadwick

Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 560
To be Published: March 1st 2011 Sourcebooks Landmark (2010 first pub)

A story of huge emotional power set against the road to Magna Carta and the fight to bring a tyrant king to heel.The privileged daughter of one of the most powerful men in England, Mahelt Marshal's life changes dramatically when her father is suspected by King John. Her brothers become hostages and Mahelt is married to Hugh Bigod, heir to the earldom of Norfolk. Adapting to her new life is hard, but Mahelt comes to love Hugh deeply; however, defying her father-in-law brings disgrace and heartbreak. When King John sets out to subdue the Bigods, Mahelt faces a heartbreaking battle, fearing neither she, nor her marriage, is likely to survive the outcome .

My thoughts:
Another great book by Chadwick. It's a fascinating era with a cruel king, and the daily struggle to survive the political turmoil.

This is the story of Mahelt Marshal and Hugh Bigod, who married because of an alliance. Her father is not always King John's favorite person, and her brothers are taken to become his hostages, while the rest of the family goes to Ireland. King John tries to keep his country together, but he takes out more taxes, and tries to seduce his noble's wives. All while The Bigod's try to keep their heads down.

I did like Mahelt, but she was also a bit of a, oh I do not know, but she could be irritating. She did one truly foolish thing, and then she complained. She also talked back and sure she wanted to do what is right so that was sort of good. But during that time you could not just do the right thing. That would get you killed. Sometimes one has to follow and wait for a better opportunity. Also like Hugh mentions in the book, his family did the same thing the Marshal's did, but she never found in fault in her family. I just felt like she was lucky to have a husband like Hugh, cos someone else would have surely slapped her around. I was also a bit sad to see how Roger's and Ida's marriage had turned out (The King's Favor.)

Ok, a long passage about poor Mahelt. Do not get me wrong, this was amazing historical fiction because of the setting. King John is a total creep, Hugh's half-brother Longspee is an ass. It's the time of the Magna Charta, wars with France, trouble with Scotland and Wales. The political intrigues are great, and the Bigod's were a family in the midst of it all.

And again Chadwick has taken people that has lived a long time ago and given them life. Sure some things might be wrong since much has been lost, and there is always artistic freedom. But I like the tale told. This was truly a time I had to stop myself from going online to see what truly happened. Instead I waited it out so not to spoil this book.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
A big yes for historical fans. There is love, war, politics, a wicked king and the daily life of a noble family in 13th century England. I could not put it down.

Reason for reading:
The time, the author.

A bit pretty but not really for me, and I do not get the crown.

Sunday 27 February 2011

Review. The Sweet Scent of Blood - Suzanne McLeod

Spellcrackers 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 363
Published: 2008
Genevieve Taylor is a sidhe - one of the noble fae - and she's unusual even in a London where celebrity vampires, eccentric goblins and scheming lesser fae mix freely with humanity...

Genny is a rising star at, where she finds the "M" in magic - which can mean anything from mischief to malice to murder. The spellcrackers are run by the Witch Council, whose ancient tenets prohibit any contact with vampires. And that's just fine with Genny, who wants as little to do with the bloodsuckers as possible.

But when a sinfully sexy vamp is accused of killing his lover, an old debt forces Genny to help prove his innocence, risking her job, her safety - and the exposure of her own dark secrets. Genny soon realizes that she and her client are both unwitting pawns in a centuries-old power struggle. And it's not just her own neck at stake but the lives of all of London's supernatural beings.

My thoughts:
I do love Urban Fantasy and this book was also refreshing because of the simple fact that it was set in London. I feel that I can't give justice to how good the book was. The good ones are always the hardest to write about. But I will try. But honestly I would just like to say...It was great! Read it.

To the story then. Genny is a Fae in a world where supernaturals walk among us. The vampires have gone for fame and "groupies", but Fae like her have it a bit harder. They never were human at all. There are also trolls, brownies, goblins, witches, and lots more. And they all bring something extra to the book.

Genny was a wonderful character. She was also clouded in mystery and I was dying to find out mor about her. Why she was not happy mixing with vampires, or why she did not let passion take over when Finn, her boss was around. She was an enigma but little by little details came out.

The story was great. She was investigating a vampire that was said to have killed his lover. This brought her to many more vampires, and they all wanted something. On top of that something sinister was in the air.

The enigma, the mystery, loved it. I kept reading and reading, wanting to find out more. Not only about the story but about her too. The end left me wanting to read book 2 at once.

This is a book I would recommend to fans of UF. Great new world, nice setting, heroine with secrets, vampires with secrets, a bit of sexual tension all wrapped into one.

Reason for reading:
I have wanted to start it for some time, and then i read a review and knew I had to buy the book.

Not a fan, but it is somewhat ok.

Friday 25 February 2011

Review: Dragon Blues - Edie Ramer

Genre: Paranormal romance (with a hint of suspense)
Pages: 274
Published: February 15th 2011

Once a dragon
Saxophone player Noah Long shifted from dragon to human 2500 years ago, but the dragon blood still coursing through his veins has kept him healthy and virile. Now his secret is out, and the man who discovered it will do anything to make Noah's blood his own. Noah's only ally is martial arts expert Lila Fox, who heats up the fire in his belly and his heart.

Twice a killer
Lila Fox's first kill was at age sixteen after her stepfather put her mother in a wheelchair. Fourteen years later, she kills another abuser to save a woman's life. When her sister is in trouble and ends up at Noah's place, Lily comes to help. She teams up with the strangely compelling Noah, and discovers he's not all man and has a few tricks of his own.

My thoughts:
I have read reviews of her books and now I finally got a chance to read one of Edie's books, and it did live up to the good things I have heard.

In this book we meet Noah who once was a dragon but then turned human to pursue a woman, but he never shifted back to dragon after that. He has lived alone for long, and he only lives for his music and his treasures (cos he is a dragon and he lives the bling). He is strong, but also vulnerable, he is lonely, and saddened by the all the years on his own. But he is also protective and sweet, and I liked him (of course it did help that he had a cat he loved too).
Then there is Lila, she is also a broken by things from the past. An abusive stepfather used to hit her mum and Lila was left on her own raising her little sister. She also did something she can't forget to protect her mother. She is very protective, strong, can kick ass, but she also finds it hard to trust people and let go. And when these two meet there is that passion simmering beneath the surface wanting to break out. Together they could be so great.

Which brings me to the rest of the book. First there is Lila's sister who Noah calls Beauty and this is because of a certain beauty and the beast fairytale, an aspect to the story I truly liked. But this Beauty is a drug-addict, beaten down and with a scumbag boyfriend. She only causes trouble. The other aspect is the suspense part. Someone thinks that Noah's blood will make him live forever and the hunt is on and that person does not care who he kills to get Noah. Blood will flow.

I am coming to the end then. Edie is a great writer and pens a wonderful story.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
It's a good paranormal romance, and it does feel original. There is this sadness to Noah that I really enjoyed, and it made me wonder if there are any other dragons left in the world. A good suspense part and some nice passion. Plus, the story about him in Wales was good ( I will say no more.)

Reason for reading:
Lis had reviewed one Edie book and I sure wanted to do the same :)

Ok so not the best, but do not let the cover fool you. There is a great story beneath it.

Thursday 24 February 2011

Early Review: Highland Heat - Mary Wine

Highlander 3
Genre: Historical romance
Pages: 348
To be published: March 1st 2011 Sourcebooks Casablanca

Ruined, betrayed, and banished…
As brave as she is impulsive, Deidre Chattan’s tendency to follow her heart and not her head has finally tarnished her reputation beyond repair. But when powerful Highland Laird Quinton Cameron finds her, he could care less about her past—it’s her future he’s about to change forever…
From the moment Quinton sets eyes on Deidre Chattan, rational thought vanishes, for in her eyes he sees a fiery spirit that matches his own and he’ll be damned if he’ll let such a wild Scottish rose wither under the weight of a nun’s habit. With nothing left to lose, Deidre and Quinton band together to protect king and crown. But what they can accomplish alone is nothing compared to what they can build with their passion for each other.

Deirdre Chattan went to live in a convent to repent after her affair that left her in ruin. She had no idea what she will do after that, but she knows that she wants to bring honour to her clan again. Then Quinton Cameron shows up looking for the queen, and he has not forgotten Deirdre's hellion ways. When fate brings them together again sparks fly.

My thoughts:
The blurb does say some things that don't happen. They never truly protect king and crown. There is some politics in the background but it's more about their passion, and how a marriage to her could bring clans together, so who should have her?

This is book 3 in a series, but they are all standalone so even if I had read none of the others I could just have jumped in and missed nothing. Deidre slept with a man who promised her marriage but he just used her. That is why she is at a convent to calm down a bit, but not to become a nun. She knows Quinton from before since his friend married her sister in book 2, and in that book they shared one passionate kiss. But now she has no dowry any more and a bad reputation. But of course these two are thrown together again and there is passion. They can't keep their hands of each other, but she does give it a valiant try.

I did like Deidre, sure she was an idiot in the past for falling for lies, but he must have been good at it. Now she wants to be stronger, and she wants to do what is right. Quinton is all man, and alpha. He also has a broken heart just like her. They were both betrayed in the past.

Other than that there is the woman who betrayed him to marry someone else and she wants to cause more mischief, oh she was one wicked evil woman. Then there is also the bigger politics. Because if Deidre married Quinton then that would form a bigger alliance that stands against another alliance, and there is someone who does not want that. Dangers ahead.

One thing though, I was not too happy about how he kept telling her to lose herself to her passion, I felt he was being an ass in a way. He can sleep with whoever he wants to, if she does it she is ruined, double ruined. A woman has no choices like that. He just wanted to get in under her skirts. But ok I forgive him cos she did really want him, even if it meant never marrying him.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
A nice historical romance with lots of passion, and some intrigue too. A brave highlander and one fiery lass. But there is also a lot of Scottish accent in the book, and that makes it a bit harder to understand when some of them talk.

Reason for reading:
I read book 1 and 2 and I wanted to see what these two did together.


Wednesday 23 February 2011

Guest Review: My Soul to Keep - Rachel Vincent

Soul Screamers 3
Genre: YA paranormal
Pages: PB 207
Published: 2010
Review by Lis

Kaylee has one addiction: her very hot, very popular boyfriend, Nash. A banshee like Kaylee, Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them.Until something does.

Demon breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The Netherworld kind. The kind that really can kill you. Somehow the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends—one of whom is already hooked. And so is someone else…

**Warning this review contains spoilers if you haven’t read the previous instalments of the Soul Screamers series**

Are you sitting comfortable? You sure? Yes? Well then it’s time for the third round in the Soul Screamers series. This time it’s even darker, more gruesome, grueling and heartbreaking than before. Get ready for My Soul to Keep!

Kaylee is back after she was grounded for a month by her overprotective father. Things are up to a rocky start when a jock and a good friend of Nash starts behaving weird at a party. It isn’t long before Kaylee and Nash finds out he is addicted to Demon’s Breath. Yes, that would be the actual breath of a hellion/demon. Highly addictive and hallucinating for humans and someone is selling it in balloons. If you read the second book your spidy sense should start tingling. Kaylee and a reluctant Nash start investigating and the digger Kaylee digs the more she starts digging her own grave…erh…the more she won’t like what she finds.

This third book continues along the dark path it started in the first book. Only this book has a surprising, but also heartbreaking twist. Even heroes fall. No, don’t get your panties in a twist, no one dies. Not yet anyway. But you get to read about how far people would go to keep what they have and what they would do for love.

There is a lot of character development in My Soul to Keep. We also see the first rays of change. There isn’t much more I can say without giving some big spoilers away. Let me just say: get your tissues ready and be ready to be surprised!

There is something that started itching me in this installment though. Rachel Vincent won’t let us forget what happened in the previous books. The more this series progresses, the more she’s about repetition of past events. In some points of the story it is even becoming circular narrative. Though in light of the whole story it didn’t bother me as much, but it is becoming more and more noticeable!

Out of all the books, I liked this one least. This because of out of the four it is the darkest. In a way this makes it also the best book. What Rachel Vincent does is show us that the world isn’t perfect and that there is no such thing as the perfect hero, everyone makes mistakes. However, this also puts the story on a slippery slope. Remember I mentioned Supernatural in the previous review? Well in the series there is the theme of the darker the better. The things Sam & Dean are put through the ringer with one evil dead after another. This is what is it starting to look like for the Soul Screamers series. Though there are more silver linings than in Supernatural!

Every time I reach the end of a Soul Screamers book, I want more. It wasn’t any different with this one. Here’s for hoping you enjoy the series as much as I did!

PS. The winners of A night of Secrets by Lori Brighton were Ing and Maija

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Review: Crux - Moira Rogers

Southern Arcana 1
Genre: PNR/UF
Pages: 230, ebook
Published: 2009

Jackson Holt makes a decent living as a private investigator in New Orleans, home of one of the largest underground supernatural populations in the United States. He and his partners have never met a case they couldn't crack...until a local bar owner asks him to do a little digging on her newest hire.

New Orleans is the fourth destination in as many months for Mackenzie Brooks, a woman on the run from a deranged stalker. After all, any man who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her destined lover has more than a few screws loose. But crazy doesn't explain why he always finds her no matter how far she runs.

When her well-meaning boss puts a PI on her case, Mackenzie comes face to face with the incredible truth: magic is real, and whatever spell has kept her hidden and separate from the paranormal world is rapidly deteriorating.

With time running out, she has no choice but to trust Jackson as he struggles to uncover the truth of her past-and her destiny.

My thoughts:
I have heard good things about these books so I wanted to give them a go. As for the genre, I am a bit unsure again because it felt like a mix.

Mackenize was a nice heroine, she is running from a crazy stalker who talks about magic and shapeshifting. She is strong, and resourceful. The hero of the book is Jackson Holt, a private investigator who helps her out. And Jack is all nice and sweet. Him I certainly liked. There is a nice romance building up between them too, and some hot passion.

The world is interesting and at once there is a bunch of characters to meet, and I do want to meet them all again. I want HEAs for all them. Nick from the bar, someone I shall not mention, Nick's sister. Many things to look forward to.

It was a good story about crazy stalker guy and more things that I shall not mention that either, but there is a plan behind it all. Danger and excitement.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
A good novel, and it's biggest strength were its characters because I wanted more about them. Passion, romance and danger is always a nice combo.

Reason for reading:
I had heard good things, and there was the GC I won from Lea, so yay ebook


Monday 21 February 2011

Review: Lily of the Nile - Stephanie Dray

Cleopatra's Daughter 1
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 368
Published: January 2011

Heiress of one empire and prisoner of another, it is up to the daughter of Cleopatra to save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers...

To Isis worshippers, Princess Selene and her twin brother Helios embody the divine celestial pair who will bring about a Golden Age. But when Selene's parents are vanquished by Rome, her auspicious birth becomes a curse. Trapped in an empire that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, the young messianic princess struggles for survival in a Roman court of intrigue. She can't hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her hands, nor can she stop the emperor from using her powers for his own ends. But faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to resurrect her mother's dreams. Can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win-or die?

My thoughts:
This is book one about Princess Selene, but it is a novel that easily can stand on its own. One aspect of her life ends when the book ends, and it's a good solid ending. But she has more to experience, and that will come later.

This is then the story of Selene, daughter of Cleopatra and Marc Anthony. A girl who managed to stay more in the shadows of time than her famous mother. She, her twin Helios, and their younger brother was brought to Rome as prisoners and were taken in by Octavia, sister of Octavian. This time in Rome is what this book is about.

Again I must say that I am pretty appalled by the Romans. A woman had no real worth or say in things. Her only duty was to marry a man, and bear him a son. That's it. She should not speak or have ideas, and if the man said she was unfaithful she suffered while he could marry someone else. It was a man's world. And this is one of the things the novel does well, Selene is from another culture, one where woman has opinions, and it's a clash of cultures.

One thing about the book that makes it less historical fiction is the magic. There truly is magic and Selene is getting messages from the Goddess Isis, carved into her arms. At first I was not sure, about magic but I just had to adjust and think that who knows, maybe there was magic then. That way I could still feel it was historical fiction, and not something else.

And I just have to mention one thing about Octavian, Ceasar, what a self-righteous ass he was.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
It's a shame that Selene is not more known. She is getting her story told now, and that is good. Because it is fascinating and she lived at a thrilling time. The book is an interesting mix of facts, fiction, and fantasy.

Reason for reading:
I wondered about the magic and such.


Sunday 20 February 2011

Guest Review: My Soul to Save - Rachel Vincent + a good e-book deal!

Soul Screamers, book 2
Genre. YA Paranormal
Pages: 279
Published: 2009
Review by Lis

When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies. So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can't cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad's ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend's loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can't possibly understand. Kaylee can't let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk.

**Warning: this review might contain spoilers if you haven’t read the first installment**

My Soul to Save is the second installment in the Soul Screams series and it is much much darker than the first book. In a way also much better, because now we know who the characters are the all the awkwardness is out of the way. When I started reading the book, I expected it to follow the set pattern of romance between two characters, but instead there is more of a focus on the mystery and the development of characters than there is on the romance. My Soul to Save is both a character-driven and an action-driven story.

After all the troubles in the first book, Kaylee and Nash expect some quiet time and go to rock at the concert of mega popstar Eden. The tickets were oh-so-thoughtfully provided by *grin* Tod. And he has no ulterior motives at.all!! Kaylee and Nash expect a quiet, nice night out. Instead they get a dead popstar and a not so typical Reaper. As it turns out, Eden sold her soul (sounds familiar, Supernatural fans?) to a hellion/demon for fame and fortune. Now that her time is up, her soul belongs to the hellion. The trouble only starts there. When the Reaper mentions to Kaylee, Nash and Tod that she will be back for the soul of the girl who sings the support program, a friend of Tod, the chase is on. What ensue is a dark story of soul selling, friendship, death and betrayal.

As I mentioned this installment is much darker and the end is a prelude to something that will play a big, huge, enormous role in the third installment. While much darker, I loved the second book better than the first. It continues with the theme “you can be the hero but you can’t save everyone.”

There is also much character development. Kaylee comes more into herself. Not more powerful, but she learns to stand on her own and deal. In a way, she becomes more independent, something that will niggle Nash and his hero complex. She is witty and caring to a fault. “Soulless popstar contemplating suicide. Focus Kaylee.”

Tod, did I mention I loved him, also plays an important role in this book and it’s a set up for the third book. Only you only find that out after you read the third installment. I very much liked that isn’t just a side character, but has a full role. He, like a few other characters aren’t just support cast that are there to play a role. Their characters are interwoven in the story.

What I didn’t like so much was the Supernatural soul-selling rip-off. While selling your soul for something big is a theme that goes back to the time of Shakespeare and Goethe, it was a bit too much like Supernatural. I mean people…are you just that stupid? What part of eternal torture don’t you get? Though unlike Supernatural there is an interesting out and something different when they sold their soul.

All in all this book was better than the first book and that was an already spectacular book. So don’t hesitate to get it!! 

Now a message from me, meant to post this yesterday but my memory is very very bad.

You can now get Lori Brighton's The Mind Readers for only 99 cents! :)

Friday 18 February 2011

Review: Spellwright - Blake Charlton

Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 352
Published: 2010, book 1

Nicodemus is a young, gifted wizard with a problem. Magic in his world requires the caster to create spells by writing out the text . . . but he has always been dyslexic, and thus has trouble casting even the simplest of spells. And his misspells could prove dangerous, even deadly, should he make a mistake in an important incantation.

Yet he has always felt that he is destined to be something more than a failed wizard. When a powerful, ancient evil begins a campaign of murder and disruption, Nicodemus starts to have disturbing dreams that lead him to believe that his misspelling could be the result of a curse. But before he can discover the truth about himself, he is attacked by an evil which has already claimed the lives of fellow wizards and has cast suspicion on his mentor. He must flee for his own life if he’s to find the true villain.

But more is at stake than his abilities. For the evil that has awakened is a power so dread and vast that if unleashed it will destroy Nicodemus... and the world.

My Thoughts:
What was great about this book was that Nicodemus was "dyslectic". When he tried to write his magic he misspelled and the spells often become something else. This is called cacography and those who are afflicted are thought as broken and also dangerous since their magic can be out of control. The author used own experiences as he is dyslectic and created a wonderful tale about a wizard who can't write spells. It certainly brings that something extra to this book, the hero has flaws, and it's something we do know about. It is great to see a hero with a disability, and a hero who tries to work through it.

The other great thing is the magic in this world. They use spells and write them on their arms and let them take form. Magic in this world is made up from words, prose, sentences, and in the end it's words that can harm you. There are linguist and grammarians, and all in all, a believable magical system that leaves in impression on you.

The characters are well rounded. There is Nicodemus who most of all wants to spell, and not cause chaos. Then there is his master Shannon who is the old clever magician of the story. Another character that is memorable is Simple John, a cacographer who can say only 3 words. His handicap is a lot bigger, but Nicodemus still feel they are the same. That is always a good quality in a hero.

The story becomes something more too. Evil demons wants to cross the sea and a final battle is to come. There is talk about a saviour who will wield powerful magic to save humans. There are fights between countries and different magical schools do not trust each other. And there is the enigma of the ones that walked the continent before them. The ones that Nicodemus people killed. The theme of the conqueror that gets rid of those that already live there. An interesting world, and a story that promises more.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
New and refreshing systems of magic are always fun to come across and Charlton manages with this. He also creates a hero that is different from other ones out there. I enjoyed this book, and I am looking forward to book 2 and finding out what will happen.

Reason for reading:
Sounded good


 This review has also been posted here. Go visit and vote for best fantasy book of the year and more

Thursday 17 February 2011

Guest review: My soul to take - Rachel Vincent

Soul Screamers 1
Genre: YA paranormal
Pages: 279 paperback
Published: 2009
Review by Lis

She doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.


Some of you may have heard me about my perpetual temp jobs that boring doesn’t even begin to describe in the least. Well if the jobs allows, that is to say I don’t have to talk to whiny people and I don’t have to answer a phone, I listen to audiobooks. It’s something that has kept me sane through many a temp job. Well, at my latest job, reading about whiny people and train delays, Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series came to my attention. Since Rachel Vincent is one of my favorite authors, I took a chance on the series and I haven’t been disappointed at all. Of course, to share the glee I asked B. for a review of the series. So get ready to be awed by the first installment: My Soul to Take.

To start, the series is a Young Adult book and it’s told from Kaylee Kavanagh’s point of view. She’s a High School student who doesn’t know about her heritage, about who she really is and what she can do. As a result she spent a week in the Psych Ward of the local hospital. Poor her. Now let me tell you, in the paranormal world there are some freaky cool abilities to have, but the ability to “scream” for the about-to-be-deceased isn’t one of them. Yup, that’s right. Kaylee is a Bean Sidhe. That would be a Banshee. Yes, the women who scream when someone is about to die.

Only she doesn’t know about it. She only knows that she sometimes sees “shadows” around someone and then gets a panic attack.

That is until one night, when you with her best friend Emma, she meets the uber cutey Nash. When she sees a shadow around a fellow dancer while dancing with the cutey, she starts to panic. Only Nash calms her down and it turns out he has a secret of her own.

The ball gets rolling fast and furious from there on out and you’re on a rollercoaster. The story is not all about Kaylee discovering who she really is. There is also something not quite right with female students dropping like flies.

Kaylee and Nash get help from Tod. Now Tod, he be mine. MINE I tell you! So stay away! He’s a Reaper. Yes, that would be a Grim Reaper, one who harvests souls. But like everyone in this story, Tod also has a secret.

The story is fascinating and well thought through. It’s not just your average teenage romance with a lot of angst. It has depth and a great cast of characters. The characters are not perfect, the have their flaws and they make their mistakes and I found that refreshing. While most stories have a tendency for a happy ending, this ending is happy with a flaw. It’s realistic in that the story shows that not everything always ends with the hero and heroine on top. No worries. No one dies, well no one who isn’t already dead or important!

The only real flaw I found in the story is the theme of predestine or pre-destiny. It’s actually a religious/Protestant term that says everything is preordained. When you’re born, when you die, what you do. It comes back in this story with the “list of the dead” Tod has. He gets a list with names of who dies and when. It’s probably there for the story and the existence of Reapers, but I’m a firm believer of making your own destiny. I don’t think all is ever so easy. Especially not a list of the dead.

Despite this My Soul to Take is a book that is most definitely recommended! It’s quirky, witty and has you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end! My Soul to Take sure made my job a whole lot less boring and caused some funny scenes! (If you ask, I might just tell you!)

Btw, the covers are also very beautiful!

Go get it! 

Thank you Lis!

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Review: Madame Tussaud - Michelle Moran

Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 464
Published: February 15th 2011 Crown Publishing

In this deft historical novel, Madame Tussaud (1761-1850) escapes the pages of trivia quizzes to become a real person far more arresting than even her waxwork sculptures. Who among us knew, for instance, that she moved freely through the royal court of Louis XVI, only to become a prisoner of the Reign of Terror? Her head was shaven for guillotining, but she escaped execution, though she was forced to make death masks for prominent victims.

My thoughts: 
Michelle Moran does not disappoint, because once more she brings history to life in an amazing novel.

Where to start, so much is going on here. Marie Grosholtz works with her Uncle making wax sculptures and she is good at it. The year is 1788 and Paris is growing restless. In her uncles Salon men like Robespierre, The Duc d' Orleans and other revolutionaries meet and discuss the state, and the need for a new government. Revolution is in the air and is just gets worse and worse, until the Reign of Terror. But Marie is always on that line in between. She is a tutor to Princess Elizabeth, the king's sister, and at the same time she knows the leaders of the revolution. Her family is good at staying alive. She even makes masks of people she dislike, just to stay alive. She lives through those horrible years and when it end the book ends. So for the most of this book she is not Madame Tussaud at all, but she is working towards that fame she has now.

The book is amazing. The horror is so real, and I can say that France during that time is not a place I would have wanted to visit. At one time an angry mob goes crazy killing prisoners, women, and children, 14000 people dead just like that. And at this time the guillotine has not even started taking its victims, that comes later. In the afterwords Moran also explains that up to 80% that died by the guillotine were in fact commoners, and not nobles at all. Everyone got accused, innocent commoner s and nobles alike.

I am there with Marie when she tries to find fame and fortune, when she grows closer with her neighbour and when she watches the Terror at hand. The book does make it easier to understand that time, all the changes, but also about the King and Queen. They were so clueless because no one told them anything, and they could not do anything either because it would either make the people or the nobility angry. Moran works her magic well there with this horrible and confusing time.

A great book about a woman we all have heard about, but who most know nothing about.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
A big yes to all who like historical fiction, or those who just want to read a great book. Moran becomes with this one my favourite historical writer, I have read 3 wonderful novels by her. And with each she captures her audience better and better. I can't wait to see what she does next, because I will read it.

A 4,5 to this book. Everything is flawless, the writing, the story, the building.

Reason for reading:
Like I said, she is the best.


Tuesday 15 February 2011

Review. Aztec Gold - Caridad Pineiro

Genre: Romantic adventure paranormal
Pages: Ebook, 108
Published: January 2011 Carina press

Six months ago, Cynthia Guerrera's lover and fellow archaeologist Rafael Santiago trekked into the Mexican jungle in search of one of the fabled Cities of Gold-and never emerged. Guilty over their parting, Cynthia won't rest until she knows what happened. When the discovery of a conquistador's journal corroborates Rafe's intended path, Cynthia is determined to finally leave the safety of the museum to rescue him, despite the conquistador's dire warnings, and her own traumatic past.

Arriving at a remote village deep in the jungle, Cynthia is both elated and angered to find Rafe alive. But he is far from well, having watched his team be decimated by a bloodthirsty demon-goddess. When Rafe reveals he has been gifted with supernatural powers-powers he plans to use to kill the beast and save his brother, still held captive in the temple-Cynthia must face her own inner demons to fight alongside the man she loves.

My thoughts:
This one is a mix of genres, I can't put it in just one. There is adventure and suspense, then there is the romance and the paranormal aspects, so all in all a nice little mix.

It a short story, but plenty of action still. Cynthia, the heroine, is an archaeologist, but she stays at the museum cos of something that happened in the past. But she is still strong, and of course smart. Rafe, her lover, has been missing for six months, and he is more the Indiana Jones guy that looks for treasures in the jungle.

The journey there is enough time to make me wonder what is going on, and when they get to where they are headed, that is when the action comes in. Oh yes this temple has a real Goddess who likes to eat people, yummy. Suspense and action.

And don't forget the romance, there are some hot moments earlier on where she remembers Rafe, and more passion are promised when they meet again.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
Like I said, there is something for everyone. Just think Indiana Jones with powers, and all the weird things that happened in those movies, plus smexing. A fun short read.


Reason for reading:
It was short, and I like her books. Thank you netgalley.

Monday 14 February 2011

Review and giveaway: A Night of Secrets - Lori Brighton

Genre: Historical paranormal romance
Pages: ebook 189
Published: February 2011

Grayson Bellamont has spent years on the Continent, fighting a war he cares nothing for. It is only while in the chaos of battle that he can hide what he truly is, a Vampire. Returning to England, he finds his sister murdered and his seven-year-old niece missing. All over the country Vampires are mysteriously dying. Grayson sets out to uncover the truth and locate his niece before it's too late. All leads point to Meg James, a Vicar's daughter. Instinct tells him Meg is innocent, but the clues he uncovers warn she's guilty. One thing is clear, Meg awakens a warmth inside of him he thought long dead and Grayson is torn between a sense of duty and his desires.

Vowing to honor a promise, Meg concocts a lie to keep a stranger's child safe. She had no idea that protecting the child would mean putting her own life in danger. When Grayson arrives asking questions, Meg's unease flares. Who is this mysterious man who seems to appear and disappear as quickly as a spirit? A man with strength like no other? As he pushes ever closer, taking over her senses with his touch, his kiss and his unexpected honor, she realizes she has even more to lose. Meg is falling in love with Grayson, but will he believe her when the truth will condemn the one person he trusts the most?

It's the story of Meg, a nice Vicar's daughter, who is more than tempted than a mysterious stranger moves in next door. A hot neighbour. Grayson is a vampire who is hunting for clues about his missing niece and that leads him to Meg, but can she be a killer?  

My thoughts: 
Meg was nice and sweet, Grayson was very tempting, but a bit of an idiot sometimes too. But who can blame him, everything does point to Meg being a killer, and having killed more than once.

This is not only the story about him wanting answers, because soon there is a body and a murder mystery. Which introduces a man I loathed, did he have nothing better to do than accuse innocent women? A bit of a semi-bad guy and a total ass.

There is also the romance, because Grayson lusts after her, even if she is only a human, and he believes she might have killed. And she, well who could say no to him. Passion promised too.

A negative thing would be that Grayson could be a bit hasty in his conclusions sometimes, but then again even though he let her know that he thought she might have done something, he still protected her too. Poor guy, he was very conflicted. So he redeemed himself in wanting to save her.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
A nice historical paranormal romance. Murder, mystery, romance and vampires. When I finished the book I also had a wish, Meg has a certain friend, and I would love for that friend to get a HEA.

Reason for reading:
I got to borrow an e-reader and what better book to try it with.

Oh hot!

 Let's make this one super easy.

Open to ALL
2 winners get an e-copy of A night of Secrets
Ends February 21st

Yes that is it! Just tell me if you wanna enter.

And the winner of the contest last week is:


Congrats :D

+ a new winner

Carol T (buddy...)

Saturday 12 February 2011

Review: The Iron Duke - Meljean Brook

Iron Seas 1
Genre: Steampunk romance
Pages: 378
Published 2010

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

How to even start explaining this book? Ok the Horde showed up and lay waste to Europe, people fled across the seas. Those left behind were infected with nanoagents and it went terribly wrong and they became zombies. In England it worked better and the Horde had complete control over their emotions. Then The Iron Duke came and destroyed their hold on the people and the Horde left. Europe is zombie infested, England tries to move on, and the Horde still control big parts of the world.

Our heroine is Mina, daughter of an Earl, and she works as an inspector. Her mother become pregnant with her during a frenzy, that is when the Horde wanted the people to breed. She looks like them, and people do not forget easily. Rhys is a Welshman turned pirate, and become a Duke because of his service to the country. Everyone loves him, just as no one likes Mina.

My thoughts:
 I liked Mina, she was brave and smart. Yes people spat on her and called her jadewhore, but she went on with her job. I respected her. Rhys, he was an enigma, I did like him too, because come on, he was a pirate. But there was so much more to him. He wanted her, but she held back because she knew what she was, and what she could not have. Doomed romance, I loved it.

But truthfully the best part is the world. Rich and just awesome. Zombies, nanos in the blood that control you and make you stronger, people with drills for arms, flying ships, seas that have krakens and other monsters. A world turned upside down and a world so great that I need to know more about it. I guess that is also the only negative part, I wanted more info about the Horde.

The plot was good too. A body left at his estate, why, and a bigger plot in it all.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
Yes, yes and one more yes. What are you waiting for? Read this book. It has something for everyone, romance, steampunk, zombies, action, mystery, great characters and wonderful worldbuilding. I closed the book and I needed more.

Reason for reading:
Peer pressure ;)

Meh, I mean the things around it are great, but him with his shirt open and a nipple showing, not so much.

Steampunk is an alternative version of history, most often the Victorian era is used and to make a long story short, they got more technology

Thursday 10 February 2011

Review: Moonstruck Madness - Laurie McBain

Genre: Historical romance
Pages: 384
Published: February 1st 2011 Sourcebooks Casablanca
She's one thing by day, something else altogether by night...
After escaping the slaughter of her clan at a young age, Scottish noblewoman Sabrina Verrick provides for her siblings by living a double life, until the night she encounters the Duke, and her secret and all she holds dear is threatened...

He's so disillusioned, he's completely vulnerable...
With his inheritance at stake, Lucien, Duke of Camareigh, sets a trap for the Scottish beauty with the piercing violet eyes, never imagining what will happen when the trap is sprung...

As their lives become irreversibly entangled, Lucien and Sabrina become each other's biggest threat, as well as their only salvation...

My thoughts:
This book was first published in the 70s and it shows, it was a different time for romance.

I will go back to the beginning first. Sabrina is living in England and to support her family she is a highwayman. She is a hellcat with claws. One night she steals from Lucien, the Duke of Camareigh and he wants "him, the highwayman" dead. Well we all know that is not gonna happen.

I do wonder what it is about old romance and all the drama. Oh these people hate each other, and say so too, and then the passion takes over. They just can't decide. One time she slaps him, and he slaps her back. Now I winched but decided to blame it on the old school romance thing, still, so uncool, you do not hit a woman.

The other thing is that she is 17, and he is in his 30s. Truth be told I do not have a problem with that, the book takes place 250 years ago and there was nothing strange about it then. 

But the thing I did not like was the drama. These two should just have sat down and talked, instead of yelling, running away, doing stupid things and being so angry all the time *looking at you Sabrina*.

Still it was an amusing tale, she had guts being a highwayman, and then there was the sidestory that stole my attention. The Colonel sent to find the wicked highwayman, and her sister Mary who has the sight.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
The story is sure not like they write them now, it's fun to see how things have changed. And the title does fit, they go mad, that's for sure.

Reason for reading:
Sounded good


Wednesday 9 February 2011

Review: First impressions - Alexa Adams

A tale of less Pride and Prejudice
Genre: Historical/Fiction/Pride and Prejudice Variation
Pages: 190
Published: 2010

In Pride and Prejudice Fitzwilliam Darcy begins his relationship with Elizabeth Bennet with the words: "She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present togive consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men." What would have happened if Mr. Darcy had never spoken so disdainfully? First Impressions explores how the events of Jane Austen's beloved novel would have transpired if Darcy and Elizabeth had danced together at the Meryton Assembly. Jane and Bingley's relationship blossoms unimpeded, Mary makes a most fortunate match, and Lydia never sets a foot in Brighton. Austen's witty style is authentically invoked in this playful romp from Longbourn to Pemberley.

My thoughts:
Now this was a fun one. I think this is how PP was supposed to be, but then Austen decided to bring in some drama and Pride and Prejudice.

This one changes right at the start. Darcy holds his tongue and dances with Lizzy, and finds her rather witty. So he never tells Bingley to walk away from Jane, and he tells Mr Bennet that his younger daughters are making fools of themselves. I like this Mr Darcy with less pride because it all makes sense. It begins with little things and then the rest falls into place.

How about the rest then. Oh more fun, I promise you. There is a match I always wanted, a match that made me laugh, and we hear about all the rest too. I liked that.

She is also writing in a style very similar to Austen, it feels old, and that does make it feel real. It turns out to be a good variation with less drama, and the characters are on their best behaviour..well most of them. What could you really expect from Wickham? ;)

Recommendation and final thoughts:
This was a short variation, but I enjoyed it. She kept it authentic, and it truly felt like a way the story could have played out. 

Reason for reading:
I like Austen variations, that is hardly a surprise any more

Hm, but I guess it fits.

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Review: Nightshade - Michelle Rowen

Nightshade, 1
Genre: paranormal romance / urban fantasy
Pages: 352
Published: February 1st 2011 Berkley

Jillian Conrad never believed in vampires-until she was unwillingly injected with a serum that was supposed to act as a deadly poison to them. Now, tormented half-vampire Declan Reese wants her blood to destroy the undead kingdom. Unfortunately, the serum has also made her blood irresistible to all vampires-including Declan, whose desire for Jillian is more than mere hunger.

My thoughts:
This book just got better and better. First it was ok, then good, and that the end I did not want to let go of the people and the world.

Jillian lives a normal life in a normal world, until the day a freaky professor injects her with poison and then she gets kidnaps by one scary looking guy. She is scared, but she is also tough, and I liked that about her. She had to adjust quickly as she learnt that there are evil vampires out there and she now cos of the serum is poison to them. The government has plans for her.

Then there is Declan, the love interest of course. But he is one cold man, a half-vampire who does what he is told. But even in his bad moods I liked him. And then I liked him some more.

The book kept surprising me too, things are not what they seem to be. And even the Good Guys can do bad things.

The book has a romance building up, ok more lust and friendship at the beginning, but it's changing. There is some action, scary laboratories, and some crazy dhampyrs that would rip your throat off if they could. The book keeps building up this intense feeling and then, oh then it gets good. That is all I can say.

PS. I liked the vampire king, lol. Lips sealed.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
I am getting my genres mixed again, but anyway this is not straight PNR, it's very UF too so let's call it a mix. There is some ass-kicking, and some romance, and it's a book I would recommend. I really wish I had book 2 next to me. I need more. It's a nice new world that will surprise you.

Reason for reading.
Sounded good


Monday 7 February 2011

Review: Icebreaker - Deirdre Martin

New York Blades 9
Genre: Contemporary romance
Pages: 368
Published: February 1st 2011 Berkley

Attorney Sinead O'Brien's new client is Adam Perry, the star of the New York Blades. It's a good thing she doesn't date clients, especially jocks. Charged with assault on another player, the private, no-nonsense Adam knows this is his last shot at Stanley Cup glory. Sinead quickly discovers that there's a wounded man under that helmet, and she's falling for him-hard. Can they play on their feelings without penalties?

My thoughts:
I shall begin with a little speech. I have only read book 1 so far, and I had no trouble at all jumping to book 9. It's a series about the players finding love, their relatives finding love and so on.

Sinead was uptight, and a workaholic. Adam was quiet and did not talk any more than he had too. One would think that these too would not work together but they did. They both worked hard at their jobs so there they were similar. And Sinead did want to let loose, and Adam was hiding a real sweetie inside. They were good for each other.

The ice-hockey theme, I like that. Sports and romance work well, and here there are other things too. Since Adam plays old school hard hockey and the bosses want a cleaner sport. I like rough hockey, anyway, he feels the pressure.

A nice couple who had some things to go through, the hunt for winning the Stanley Cup, the lawsuit, and a good cast of different characters. I felt right at home in this world, as I had been there many times before.

But what I liked the most, lol, there was a Finnish player in the book. The young star who had to be put in his place. Wohoo, Finland, they even drank some Finlandia vodka. Thumbs up for that.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
A cute romance with a great setting. Who can say no ice-hockey players. And since I feel so at home, I would read more.

Reason for reading:
Sounded good.

I like it, hot.

Sunday 6 February 2011

Review: Halfway to the Grave - Jeaniene Frost

Night Huntress 1

Genre: paranormal romance
Pages: 358
Published: 2007

Flirting with the grave...
Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father--the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner--are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her new found status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

1.) Reasons you chose this book
I have heard a lot about this series..ok mostly I have heard how hot Bones is and about the mysterious chapter 32 on book 2. That I am very curious about. So I decided to give this book a go.

2.) Reasons you liked or disliked this book
- Bones, I liked him ;)
- I liked the sexual tension between Cat and Bones. And I did like how he fell for her and how sweet he was.
- The scene were he is talking dirty to her so that she can go and pick up vampires and kill them was so amusing
- Nice action and passion.

This one goes in the middle: It was an ok book, I liked some things, I disliked some other things. I never fall hard for pnr. I think they are ok, and the same with this one. Will I read more? We will see, I will not rush out to get it, perhaps if it lands on my lap.
- I was not that happy about the end. I felt like the story changed into something else and then when it ended I was not sure any more that I wanted to read more in this new setting.

3.) Reasons for recommending:
If you like paranormal romance then you will surely like this one too.
Anyway, is it really PNR? I got these UF vibes, ugh, confusing!

Saturday 5 February 2011

Guest Review: In the company of Vampires - Katie MacAlister + 'Gator Battle Award'

Dark Ones, 8
Genre: Paranormal romance
Pages: 343
Published: 2010
Review by Lis

When Francesca arrives at GothFaire to save her mother from the trickster god, Loki, things go from bad to worse. Her immortal ex, Benedikt, is there, full of secrets-and with a new girlfriend. Now Fran must battle a power-hungry group who wishes to dominate both the immortal and mortal worlds-and the woman who claimed Ben's heart. It's a good thing Fran's no ordinary mortal...

Before I start this review…
I must tell you that Katie MacAlister is among my all time favorite authors. Her books perfected my English and introduced me to Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. There is really hard not to like any of the books Katie MacAlister writes. In the Company of Vampires is the very very long awaited continuation of Ben and Fran(cesca)’s story that started over five years ago in the Goth Faire series. Can you say SQUEE? That is why I asked B. for this review (yes, seriously. I asked her!) so I can share the SQUEE that is In the Company of Vampires with you!

So In the Company of Vampires ey?
Yes, ja and da! The story most definitely did not disappoint and started of with a bang when Fran’s roommate is kidnapped and that is just the start. Trouble starts brewing with a capital B. Make that furiously boiling. Fran soon discovers her mum is missing and sets out to find her, but not before the return of everyone’s favorite Viking trio. Did I mention Vikings? Yes I did. I really shouldn’t mention what they do with the ‘weasel’ Gold/card (i.e. visa card) they got from the Goddess Freya to blend in. If you want to know what clothes they buy, you have to pick this book up, but let me tell you, it’s Viking approved and it’s outrageous.

Fran left the Goth Faire five years ago to go to college and also got a job. In all that time she didn’t see Ben, her Dark One (that would be soul mate). Fran fights the whole system. She wants her and Ben to be together because they belong together and can make it work together, not because of some destiny. In effect they are practically broken up. So it shouldn’t hurt to find out Ben has a girlfriend….right?

So with romance trouble, mystery mayhem, pillaging and rutting (their own words) Vikings, a bitchy friend, liches, demons and carnivals, Fran has enough to deal with right? Well there is also the little problem of her arch enemy…Loki.

That makes that is book is full of plot and then some. It makes for a highly entertaining story that moves at a fast pace. The Vikings are constantly entertaining us with their comic relief and annoying Fran to no end. At points I thought it was a little too much, but they were too cute to be a bother.

What I liked
The above is not enough? Well, yes, but here’s an in depth view of the book. With Katie MacAlister, no character is alike. Well except that the Dark One’s have the overprotective macho man thing going on. The same goes for Ben. But Fran is no woman to mess with. She is not so accepting of the whole Beloved thing. She wants Ben to love her because of love’s sake, not because she’s his Beloved. That cause some bumps in the road and Fran to overlook some vital issue.

Ben for his part is very accepting. Of course he doesn’t really have a choice. MacAlister made him a perfect blend of caring, seductive, romantic, protective and accepting. Ben let’s Fran work out her issues on her own, though he does wait awfully long.

Katie knows how to spin a story and to use the right words so they make not only a unique story, but also unique characters.

So was there anything I didn’t like?
Actually yes. I mentioned that his story is action packed and fast moving. There are several plots coming up in the story and while the book is awesome (yes, you’re going to hear that several more times) I did think that she wanted too much for the book and should have toned it down a bit in order to work the other sides out. In the end something happens that isn’t quite resolved. While minor, I didn’t like it. Though I have a funny feeling that this will be resolved in another book.

There is also quite a lot of comic relief. While funny and appropriate, it could have been a little less so that there would be more focus on the plot.

All in all…
In the Company of Vampires is an amazing book and it was well worth the five year wait. I do hope to see more of Fran and Ben, be in a sequel or as a subplot in another Dark One novel. To me it was quite a fulfilling story and I hope you like it too. It can be picked up as a stand alone book, but it is recommended that you read Confessions of a Vampire’s Girlfriend that combines the Goth Faire stories. 

Thank you Lis for this :)

And here is where I take over with some info from Sourcebooks about free e-books this weekend :D

The following three eBooks will be free from today until Sunday:

Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe
Her new release Mr. Darcy’s Secret just came out on February 1st

Love at First Flight by Marie Force
            Her new release Everyone Loves a Hero just came out on February 1st

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
            Her highly anticipated release, To Defy a King will be released March 1st

Click here to get all the information.

You can also sign up for our eBook Deal Newsletter so you can know about all of our promotions going on (to sign up, fill out your name and email on the upper right hand corner of that web page). 



And one more, oh hang in there, I know the post is long, and since I am stealing Lis' spotlight she will be honoured too :)

Thanks VVb32 !

Congratulations, you’ve won the honor of being Worth Your Weight in a ‘Gator Battle!

The award was created in honor of (at least according to them) the real stars from “Alien Tango”. No, not Katherine “Kitty” Katt or Jeff Martini. Alliflash and Gigantagator, Alligators Extraordinaire!

The “Worth Your Weight in a ‘Gator Battle Award” is only given to the wily, the brave, and the cheeky, so get down with your bad self, you’re deemed worthy to run with the A-C’s!

Now you get to spread the awesome by nominating other bloggers who would also be worth their weight in a ‘gator battle. Battling ‘gators is not for sissies or wimps -- only the strong survive -- so choose wisely!

Your mission details:

1. Slap the graphic on your blog post.

2. Give link props to the person who gave you the award (don’t rile a ‘gator fighter -- it’s dangerous).

3. Spread the awesome and nominate five (5) other bloggers who you think will be worth their weight in a ‘gator battle.

4. Let the recipients know they’ve won this honor on their blogs.

5. Last but not least, shoot Gini Koch an email at and let her know you’re worthy of running with the A-C’s (put “Worth My Weight” in the subject line!) by sharing that you’ve been nominated and telling her which other bloggers you nominated, and she’ll enter you into the “Worth Your Weight” Contest. Keep reading to find out more details and what the loot is below.

Of course, you can choose to ignore your awesomeness, but then you’ll never have a chance to nab your own A-C or win the loot. And you know you want both.

Contest runs from Wednesday, February 1, 2011 through Monday, February 28, 2011.

Contest prize and details here.

1 Lis -. Lis on Books (yes she has created a new blog)
2. Melissa - Books and things
3. Lea - Closetreader
4. Michelle - Michelle's Book Blog

I would love to nominate the lot of you, cos I'd fight gators with you all any day

Friday 4 February 2011

Review: The werewolf upstairs - Ashlyn Chase

Strange Neighbors, 2

Genre: Paranormal romance
Pages: 352
Published: Feb 2011 Sourcebooks Casablanca

Desperate for change, public defender Roz Wells decides moving into a new apartment is just what she needs to shake things up. But she'll get more than she bargained for when she starts dating the drop dead gorgeous boy next door, who just happens to be a shape-shifter...and quite possibly a criminal. Security salesman Konrad Wolfensen has made a living staging break-ins to spook people into buying his security system, but when he's accused of a much more serious crime, he'll have to enlist the help of his sexy new neighbor/girlfriend to keep his cute, slightly wild rear end out of jail.

Roz has moved into a new flat, and she immediately comes in contact with the sexy hunk next door. Sparks fly at once, but all is not what it seems to be.

My thoughts:
Yes this is book 2, but all the characters are introduced again so one can jump right in.

Roz is not sure what to believe since her friend Merry said she married a shape shifter. But when Roz does get that this is a not a normal house she takes it with ease. She was a nice woman, but insecure since she was not model thin. Konrad is one sweet wolf, and he tells her that she is perfect like she is. Gotta love that.

This was romance and lust from the first moment. Yes they fell fast, and knew it fast too. They were really comfortable around each other too. So lots of romance and passion.

The drama comes from him being caught for burglary, and then when one of the witches upstairs tries to solve this big case. The funnier parts are when they are dating. They are not happy with the jobs they have so they try new things, not with much success.

I think I preferred book 1, I can't say, I would have to re-read it. But sometimes I just felt something lacking, I think it was in the way they talked, some of those lines could have been better. Something was missing.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
The house is amusing, I will give you that. A bunch of quirky characters, and I found myself wondering about the shifter Nathan, I think he could have a good book. If you enjoyed book 1 then you will surely like this one too. It's very light paranormal.

Reason for reading:
The cover ;)

Thursday 3 February 2011

Interview and contest: Marie Force - Everyone Loves a Hero

Today I welcome Marie Force to my blog. She is the author of Everyone Loves a Hero. And at the bottom of this post is a giveaway of 2 copies.

Welcome to Mur-y-Castell!

Tell me something about yourself, so we get a better understanding about the woman behind the author.

MF: Thanks so much for having me today! The most important thing to know about me is I’m Mom to two wonderful kids, a daughter who is 15 going on 30 and a son who is 12 going on 6. LOL—what is it about girls maturing faster than boys?? They are very busy and active in sports and theater (my daughter is quite the actress), so I spend a lot of time at games, meets and shows. I’m really enjoying the ages they’re at now. They’re a lot of fun to be around. I also work full-time as the communications director for a national membership organization, I’ve been married for 18 years and I live in Rhode Island. I also have a darling 14-month-old dog who is as naughty as naughty gets. She’s lucky she is so cute…

Your newest book is called Everyone Loves a Hero; can you tell us a little bit about it?
MF: When his copilot suffers a heart attack in flight, First Officer Cole Langston lands the jetliner in a blizzard and revives the stricken captain. Catapulted to national hero status, Cole has more women vying for his attention than he knows what to do with. They all have one thing in common: they try without success to bring this happy-go-lucky pilot down to earth. Then comes an airport altercation, a punch to the face, and the lovely Olivia—a shy, timid artist who does what no other woman has ever managed to do: steal Cole's well-protected heart. With women coming on to him everywhere they go, Olivia struggles to believe that Cole is ready for a committed relationship. His biggest problem is getting rid of all his extra ladies before the only one he wants figures out that she's one of many.

Could you tell my readers why they will love Cole?
MF: Cole was so fun to write. We meet him just as he reaches the point in his life where he’s ready for more than transient relationships. It’s a year after his national hero moment, and he’s had enough of the limelight and all the craziness that goes with it. So he’s in the perfect place mentally to meet the love of his life. He’s charming and adorable and totally smitten with Olivia.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
MF: Absolutely! I’ve written about love at first sight several times in my books, and I find it to be an intriguing concept because of the way it changes lives so dramatically. Without warning, bam, there he/she is, and nothing is ever the same again. I love that. 
You have also written a lot of other books. Could you tell me about those?
MF: Sure…. Here we go!

Fatal Affair (Book 1, Fatal Series): On the morning of the most important vote of Senator John O’Connor’s career he is late—again. His best friend and chief of staff, Nick Cappuano sets off to O'Connor’s apartment expecting to roust him from bed and hoping he is alone. But what Nick finds is that O’Connor, the handsome, amiable Senator from Virginia, has been brutally murdered, and Nick’s world comes crashing down around him. Complicating the disaster, the detective assigned to the case is none other than Sam Holland, Nick’s one-night stand from six years earlier, the woman who broke his heart and haunts his dreams. With six years worth of unfinished business hanging between them and more than a few scores to settle personally and professionally, Nick and Sam set out to find the senator's killer while trying—and failing—to resist the overwhelming attraction between them that seems to have only grown over the years.

Fatal Justice (Book 2, Fatal Series): Supreme Court nominee Julian Sinclair comes to Washington expecting to be confirmed to the high court. Instead, he’s found shot execution-style in a city park. Detective Lt. Sam Holland’s list of suspects is long, but does it include her significant other, Senator Nick Cappuano, one of the last to see Sinclair alive? While tracking down Sinclair's killer, Sam is also confronted with a new lead into her father's unsolved shooting that leads to unexpected danger for her. In the meantime, Sam's partner, Detective Freddie Cruz, returns to the "scene of the crime" when he looks up Elin Svendson, one of the late Senator John O'Connor's sexy ex-girlfriends. After a lifetime of virtue, will Freddie be led down the road to ruin by a temptress who wants only one thing from him?

The Fall: Dr. Ted Duffy has finally met a woman who makes him ache with desire. Too bad she’s dating his best friend of twenty years. This simple premise has momentous consequences for Ted in “The Fall,” a story that explores the bonds of friendship, the expectations of family, and the power of love to unite and divide. Ted is a third-generation pediatric oncologist in Boston. He is thirty-seven years old, married to his work, and considers his patients to be “his kids.” He and his friends spend summer weekends in Newport, Rhode Island, which is the only break Ted allows himself from the grind of his job. After a devastating loss at work, he leaves for Newport where he meets his friend’s new girlfriend, Caroline. Over that first weekend, Ted and Caroline fall in love. When they later act on their feelings, shock and disbelief ricochet through his tight-knit group of friends and family. A highly respected doctor, a beloved son and grandson, a loyal friend, Ted is stunned by his sudden free fall from grace.

True North: The first time Travis North lays eyes on Liana McDermott, she’s wearing the most hideous bridesmaid dress he’s ever seen. He doesn't immediately recognize the world-famous super model who is attending her cousin Enid's wedding at the country club he owns. Thanks to Enid's shameless matchmaking, Travis and Liana become acquainted and later embark on a two-week fling intended to be free of emotion and entanglement. As Liana's return to work gets closer, however, Travis wonders how he'll ever let her go when the time comes while Liana considers whether he might be her true north. Two high-powered careers, two amazing weeks and a love that comes along just once in a lifetime. Is she ready to give up her career for a different kind of life? Does he want the same things she does? After insisting on an emotionless affair, she can't very well ask him. Or can she?

Love at First Flight: A Baltimore prosecutor set to begin the murder trial of his career and a hair stylist with a dysfunctional family meet in the airport on their way to visit their significant others in Florida. After they each endure a disastrous weekend, they meet up again on the flight home, striking up an unlikely friendship that leads to love.

Line of Scrimmage: In the Hail Mary play of a lifetime, a sexy NFL quarterback has just ten days to convince his wife to give him a second chance before their divorce is final—and he has to act fast because she’s already engaged to her high school boyfriend. Line of Scrimmage is a story of reunion, redemption, rejuvenation, and renewal. Readers will laugh and cry and hope—that at the end of the day, these two lovers, who clearly belong together, will somehow find their way back to one another.

Are you working on something new and exciting right now?
MF: I have Fatal book 3, Fatal Consequences, coming July 18, and the Fatal Wedding novella, Fatal Destiny, which I’m writing now, out on September 5, 2011. Fatal Book 4, Fatal Flaw, is coming next February.  I recently sold my contemporary, Georgia on My Mind, to Carina Press. I’m not sure yet when that will be out. I’m also working on a new contemporary.
Now for something else; Which three things would you take to a desert island and why?
MF:  My family, my iPod Touch, which I use as an e-reader, and a wifi connection.

Any advice for aspiring writers?
MF: The most important tip I always give to unpublished writers is to never give up. The only way you fail as a writer is to stop writing. Because there are so many ups and downs in this business, it’s important to be extremely protective of your writing and to not let the low points turn you off on the thing you most love to do.


Now to the CONTEST: 2 copies of Everyone Loves a Hero

1. US and Canada
2. Ends Feb 8th
3. If you want you can just write enter me, but to make it more fun; Ask Marie a question, comment on the interview, the book, or tell me if you believe in love at first sight.




Fame has its perks…
Reluctantly famous, First Officer Cole Langston finds being in the spotlight has its advantages—until he meets Olivia. Having women throw themselves at him everywhere he goes becomes a serious problem when he's trying to convince her she's the one…

And its price…
Olivia has trouble trusting a guy like Cole, and everywhere she turns she sees reasons to run. But he's the only man who's ever seemed to understand her as an artist and as a woman…

Cole is working overtime to prove to Olivia that he's serious, but her deep seated mistrust and his entourage of unwelcomed fans may be more than they can overcome…

ABOUT THE AUTHORMarie Force is the author of Line of Scrimmage, Love at First Flight, Fatal Affair and Fatal Justice, as well as True North and The Fall (available as eBooks through She is a member of RWA’s New England, From the Heart and Published Authors Special Interest Chapters. Marie lives in Rhode Island with her family and their feisty dog named Brandy. To find out more information about Marie’s upcoming releases, please visit


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