}

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Review: The Taste of Magick by Riley Shane


Title: The Taste of Magick
Author: Riley Shane
Series: Stand-alone (for now)
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 30 October 2010

Warlock Jason Prescott hates Halloween. His lover, Travis Byrne, is equally in love with it. After two years together this Halloween may just be their most important one. Travis is beginning to become frustrated with Jason's lack of shared emotion, and Jason knows that if he wants to keep Travis - and oh, does he - he's going to have to up the ante, and step outside his comfort zone.

Jason's point-of-view is the one we see this story through, and he's a fantastic character's head to be in. It makes it so much easier to understand him. He's absolutely in love with Travis, but has a horribly difficult time showing it, or even saying it. When he realizes that this could cause him to lose Travis, he knows he has to do more. What I love is that he doesn't just know he has to do more, he takes responsibility for not having done enough, and pushes himself forward to ensure that Travis is getting the love that he gives so freely back. Added to this, Jason has got quite the sarcastic personality, and I loved hearing his musings. Especially when he was disagreeing with himself. There were quite a few times that I was just grinning while reading his thoughts.

Travis is just fun. And sweet. He has no problems showing his love and care, and it hurt me a little bit to see him hurting from not getting the same back from Jason. He throws himself whole-heartedly into things, and doesn't shy away from taking the risk to his heart. I desperately wanted him to get everything he deserved.

Riley Shane has skillfully crafted a magical world filled with wonderful characters. The Taste of Magick gives us a glimpse into the continuation of a relationship, with the fun-filled background of Halloween, while fairly sizzling with heat. Every moment spent with Travis and Jason just makes you want to beg for more.

If you're looking for a quick, fun, hot, Halloween read, you absolutely MUST buy The Taste of Magick by Riley Shane! I very highly recommend it!

Grade: A+

Buy Here
Torquere Press

Also, I'm having a giveaway for this book! Click Here to enter!

Free eBooks 14

Kobo Books free ebooks.

Borders free ebooks

And Barnes and Noble Free ebooks


Amazon Free

Paranormal Romance
Half Past Dead by Zoë Archer and Bianca D'Arc

Not Sure How to Catergorize
Dancing in the Low Country by James Villas
Spinning Forward by Terri DuLong
Quiet as They Come by Angie Chau

Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29 2010 Blog Hop Follow Friday Tag Along

Book Blogger Hop


Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books.

About the Hop: In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!

This weeks question is: What is the one bookish thing you would love to have, no matter the cost?

Well, that would have to be my library. You'd walk in through double pocket doors, dark walnut, into a spacious two story room. It would be completely open in the center. On the first floor would be a fireplace, along with several little reading areas. Comfy chairs, chaises, small tables and direction-able lamps. There would, of course, be a ton of bookshelves filled with books and some of my favorite collected things. There would be one of those sliding ladders so you could reach the books up high. In the corner(s) is one, possibly two (depending on the size of the room), spiral staircases that went up to the second level. Here would be a walkway with the walls filled with more shelves. Carrying more books. One entire wall would be made up of glass to let in the natural light when I wanted. There would be sliding doors, with a patio or porch just outside the room with more comfortable seating.

Yep. I can picture it perfectly in my head. I've wanted it forever.




Follow Friday is hosted at Parajunkee's View.

Her question this week is: If you have, or would have a daughter, what book would you want your daughter to read?

I don't have a daughter, but if I did I think I'd just be happy she was developing a love of reading. It's such a wonderful thing to have that I can't imagine a childhood or life without it. I'm not going to get into the whole age-appropriateness of books because that's a very personal thing between a parent and their child - and my views on it could very well take up the next 3,000 words in this blog.



Photobucket

Calling all 18 and over book bloggers, are you looking for more bloggers like yourself? Well please join in so we can tag along with each other. This is for a specific group and your blog needs to primarily have book reviews and post adult book content. In other words, if you read books like erotic and adult romance and have adult pic, then you can play tag along. Sorry YA readers, but if you read both (I know some of you do) you can tag along also. Just make sure you have both YA and adult romance on your blog.

It doesn't matter what you read if it’s paranormal, suspense, historical, contemporary or mystery, along with erotic with any genre. As long as it is adult then you’re in.


To join in the fun and get details click here. This tag along is hosted by Laurie at Bitten by Paranormal Romance.


If you have an adult book blog, please sign up for this tag along. There are others including myself that are looking for you so please join us.


New This Week
It's been a slow week for me. I've been busy at work, and that hasn't let me be here as much, but the good news is that should change very soon :)
Waiting on Wednesday
What were they thinking??



My Halloween Contest!! Come by and enter to win

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Disgusting! That's right - This article is Disgusting

I'm a couple of days late to this, but after reading about it first on Jennifer Armintrout's blog, and then several other places I just had to post about it.

What I'm talking about is this article from Marie Claire, entitled Should Fatties Get a Room (Even on TV)? Yes, you read that right.

I have to agree with Jennifer here, just on the title alone:
Okay, let's just grapple with that title there. Should fatties get a room? No. No, if I have to watch people of culturally acceptable body sizes pawing over each other in the supermarket check out line because the very sight of broccoli sends their libidos into overdrive, then I am allowed to kiss my husband in public. See, it's the "(Even on TV)?" part that gets me. It's like she's saying, "Of course, we all know it's unacceptable for fat people to touch each other in public. What decent human would even question that. No, no, what we are discussing is the probability of fat sex assaulting you in your very living room!"

That is, in fact, what the article is about. Or supposed to be about

The article is this (by Maura Kelly)
The other day, my editor asked me, "Do you really think people feel uncomfortable when they see overweight people making out on television?"

Because I can be kind of clueless — I'm not much of a TV person — I had no idea what she was talking about, so she steered me to this CNN article, about the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly. As CNN explains, "the show centers around a couple who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous group [and] has drawn complaints for its abundance of fat jokes [as well as] cries from some viewers who aren't comfortable watching intimacy between two plus-sized actors."

My initial response was: Hmm, being overweight is one thing — those people are downright obese! And while I think our country's obsession with physical perfection is unhealthy, I also think it's at least equally crazy, albeit in the other direction, to be implicitly promoting obesity! Yes, anorexia is sick, but at least some slim models are simply naturally skinny. No one who is as fat as Mike and Molly can be healthy. And obesity is costing our country far more in terms of all the related health problems we are paying for, by way of our insurance, than any other health problem, even cancer.

So anyway, yes, I think I'd be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other ... because I'd be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I'd find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.
Now, don't go getting the wrong impression: I have a few friends who could be called plump. I'm not some size-ist jerk. And I also know how tough it can be for truly heavy people to psych themselves up for the long process of slimming down. (For instance, the overweight maintenance guy at my gym has talked to me a little bit about how it seems worthless for him to even try working out, because he's been heavy for as long as he can remember.)

But ... I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over. It's something they can change, if only they put their minds to it.
(I'm happy to give you some nutrition and fitness suggestions if you need them — but long story short, eat more fresh and unprocessed foods, read labels and avoid foods with any kind of processed sweetener in them whether it's cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, increase the amount of fiber you're getting, get some kind of exercise for 30 minutes at least five times a week, and do everything you can to stand up more — even while using your computer — and walk more. I admit that there's plenty that makes slimming down tough, but YOU CAN DO IT! Trust me. It will take some time, but you'll also feel so good, physically and emotionally. A nutritionist or personal trainer will help — and if you can't afford one, visit your local YMCA for some advice.)

Then again, I guess these characters are in Overeaters Anonymous. So ... points for trying?

Then again, I tend to think most television shows are a kind of junk food for the mind and body. The boob tube gives us an excuse to turn off both our brains and our bodies and probably does a helluva lot to contribute to the obesity problem, over all. So ... I don't know.
What do you guys think? Fat people making out on TV — are you cool with it? Do you think I'm being an insensitive jerk?

Wow. First, I'm actually not surprised that someone could write this. Especially considering the history of the author (a recovering anorexic - and first let me say, I'm very glad she's in recovery) who obviously still has body issues. This, I think, has to stem from her own hatred of her body, and history.

However, what really pisses me off, and what really makes me have to post about this is the fact that not only did Marie Claire ASK for this article - they posted it. They published it. A huge, syndicated magazine. And if we allow something like this to go uncontested, we're agreeing to it by default.

How is anything in this article right? From an overweight person being compared to a heroin addict, or drunk, to an obviously unqualified person offering up nutritional and exercise advice? Or is it offering up SUPER MODELS as a good, healthy standard?

Oh wait - she's not sizest, because she has a few "plump" friends. Yes, that makes all your comments better, and I'm absolutely sure they appreciated them too. (/sarcasm if you couldn't read that)

But, Ms. Kelly did 'apologize' in an update:
I would really like to apologize for the insensitive things I've said in this post. Believe it or not, I never wanted anyone to feel bullied or ashamed after reading this, and I sorely regret that it upset people so much. A lot of what I said was unnecessary. It wasn't productive, either.



I know a lot of people truly struggle to lose weight — for medical and psychological reasons — and that many people have an incredibly difficult time getting to a healthy size. I feel for those people and I'm truly sorry I added to the unhappiness and pain they feel with my post.



I would like to reiterate that I think it's great to have people of all shapes and healthy sizes represented in magazines (as, it bears mentioning here, they are in Marie Claire) and on TV shows — and that in my post, I was talking about a TV show that features people who are not simply a little overweight, but appear to be morbidly obese. (Morbid obesity is defined as 100 percent more than their ideal weight.) And for whatever it's worth, I feel just as uncomfortable when I see an anorexic person as I do when I see someone who is morbidly obese, because I assume people suffering from eating disorders on either end of the spectrum are doing damage to their bodies, and that they are unhappy. But perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to judge based on superficial observations.

To that point (and on a more personal level), a few commenters and one of my friends mentioned that my extreme reaction might have grown out of my own body issues, my history as an anorexic, and my life-long obsession with being thin. As I mentioned in the ongoing dialogue we’ve been carrying on in the comments section, I think that's an accurate insight.

People have accused me of being a bully in my post. I never intended to be that — it's actually the very last thing I want to be, as a writer or a person. But I know that I came off that way, and I really cannot apologize enough to the people whom I upset.

OK then. That makes it all better.

I can't say enough how wrong this whole thing is.

Shame on you Ms. Kelly. But even more, Shame on You, Marie Claire.

UPDATE Editor in Chief Joanna Coles Responds to Controversial Blog Post
“Maura Kelly is a very provocative blogger,” Coles told us. “She was an anorexic herself and this is a subject she feels very strongly about.”

Coles said the mag has received over 28,000 email responses to the piece, and that Kelly was “excited and moved by their responses.”

Some other posts about this subject:
Babbling About Books, & More
Hussein's Drama Llama Post
Jennifer Armintrout's Blog

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Contest! The Taste of Magick by Riley Shane



So there's this totally awesome short story coming out in just a few days from my good friend, Riley Shane, called The Taste of Magick from Torquere Press.

I was lucky enough to be a critique partner for this wonderful Halloween story, and can't recommend it enough.


Title: The Taste of Magick
Author: Riley Shane
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 30 October 2010
Publisher: Torquere Press

Here's the blurb from the website:

Warlock Jason Prescott hates Halloween with a passion. His boyfriend, Travis Byrne, loves it with equal fervor. When Halloween time rolls around, the couple’s relationship hits its breaking point. In order to save it, Jason will have to learn to open up, step outside his comfort zone, and show Travis how much he means to him. With the help of a little magick, Jason will deliver a Halloween surprise that turns into a bewitchingly erotic night neither he nor Travis will ever forget.


So in honor of it's release on October 30, 2010 I'm having a contest. I'll be giving away at least one of these (when you win you can let me know what format you'd like) ebooks. Depending on how many entries I have, I may add more.

It's a great Halloween love story, and I'm so very excited for it!



How to enter:

Comment here (+1)
Do a blog post (leave me the link here) (+3)
Tweet (leave me the link here) (+2)

Contest will close next Wednesday, November 3rd.

Waiting on Wednesday: Afterlight



Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!


I admit, I first was drawn to this book because of the cover. But then I read the blurb, and it sounds really interesting. I can't wait to see if it lives up. This is my first WoW that's not by an author I already read



Title: Afterlight
Author: Elle Jasper
Series: Dark Ink Chronicles 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: 02 November 2010

Book Description (from Goodreads, and author's website):

The Dupres have been Savannah's guardians, appointed by a band of root doctors and hoodooists, for nearly two hundred years. They've all grown...complacent. Now, the Arcos brothers, who've long been entombed at Bonaventure, have been inadvertently freed by a group of teenagers horsing around in the cemetery. Determined to take revenge on the city who entombed them, the Arcos' gather strength in the city's youth. Within the moon's full cycle, the gang's quickening will be complete--they'll become vampires. Newlings, out of control and craving human blood will ravage the city. The one thing the Arcos' didn't count on was the powerful love of a sister. Riley Poe will stop at nothing to get her brother back. The one thing Riley didn't count on was the powerful love of a vampire. Eli Dupre will do anything to get her. Follow Riley, Eli, and the vampires of the Dupre House into the shadowy, underside of Savannah.


Blood is thicker than ink.

There is a reason we fear the night…

As Savannah's most unconventional tattoo artist, Riley Poe is quite familiar with the local underground scene. She lives and works on the edge of it every day.

Now, she's about to step over the edge.

When her younger brother is taken by a sinister cult led by centuries-old vampires, Riley discovers a world of shadows and blood--and those who exist there.

Her ally is the hot-tempered vampire Eli Dupre, who is attracted both to Riley's beauty as well as her one-of-a-kind blood type. A blood type he is not alone in craving.

To save her brother from certain un-death, Riley will face dangers she's never dreamed of, ruthless bloodthirsty enemies, and an evil of endless hunger that wants to devour all in its vile grasp.

Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22 2010 Blog Hop Follow Friday Tag Along

Book Blogger Hop
 
 
Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books.
 
About the Hop: In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!
 
This weeks question is: Where is your favorite place to read? Curled up on the sofa, in bed, in the garden?

Favorite place to read, hmm? I'd have to say it's out on my three-season-porch. It's enclosed, with windows all around and my nice comfy reading chair. I can curl up any way I want in there, enjoy the rain in the spring, the breeze during the summer and the changing leaves in the fall. With a nice cup of hot latte or tea by my side it's damn close to heaven.
 

 
Follow Friday is hosted at Parajunkee's View.
 
Her question this week is: What are you currently reading? Basically, what book is that?

I'm currently reading Bayou Moon (The Edge 2) by Ilona Andrews. I really, really enjoyed On the Edge, the first book in the series, and was anxious to start this one. Work, and some back issues, have kept me from reading as much as I want and I'm not very far in it, but I hope to finish it this weekend and have a review up.
 
 
 
 
Photobucket

Calling all 18 and over book bloggers, are you looking for more bloggers like yourself? Well please join in so we can tag along with each other. This is for a specific group and your blog needs to primarily have book reviews and post adult book content. In other words, if you read books like erotic and adult romance and have adult pic, then you can play tag along. Sorry YA readers, but if you read both (I know some of you do) you can tag along also. Just make sure you have both YA and adult romance on your blog.

It doesn't matter what you read if it’s paranormal, suspense, historical, contemporary or mystery, along with erotic with any genre. As long as it is adult then you’re in.


To join in the fun and get details click here. This tag along is hosted by Laurie at Bitten by Paranormal Romance.

If you have an adult book blog, please sign up for this tag along. There are others including myself that are looking for you so please join us.





New this week:
Free eBooks!!
Hodgepodge Tuesday - Where I talk about a bunch of contests going on, and have my Top Ten Fictional Crushes as well as a Teaser Tuesday excerpt from Bayou Moon
Cover Alert! - Kiss of Snow (Hawke's book) by Nalini Singh has a cover!
Waiting on Wednesday - River Marked (Mercy Thompson series) by Patricia Briggs



This time of year, like no other, makes me miss living in the city. I love the peace and quiet of the country, without neighbors to worry about when I'm making noise. With room to run my dog without a leash, and with the simple fresh air. But Halloween's approaching. I miss the trick-or-treaters. I miss dressing up to hand out candy. *sigh* I'm thinking of doing something this year anyways. I've heard of a couple of parties, and I may go to one just to be able to get out and have fun.

Next week I'll be carving apples, something I haven't done in years, to hang in my trees. I'm really looking forward to that and will post pictures (if I remember LOL).

So what are you all doing for Halloween? What's your favorite tradition, or new thing, that you have planned?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: River Marked

 
 
Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!
 
 
I started the Mercy Thompson series on a whim. But I was quickly hooked. I have great admiration for how Patricia Briggs writes the series, and her characters are some of my favorites.


 
Title: River Marked
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson 6
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: 01 March 2011
 
Book Description (from Goodreads):
 

Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She’s never known any others of her kind. Until now.

An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River—one that her father’s people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help…

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cover Alert: Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh


Nalini Singh posted the cover for Hawke's book, Kiss of Snow due out, in hardcover, in June of 2011.

I have been anxiously waiting for this book ever since we first met Hawke in Slave to Sensation, the first book in the Psy/Changeling series.

Hodgepodge Tuesday 1

Forgive the jumping around, a bit, in this post, but I have a lot I've been wanting to touch on and just found the time to actually do this post!

First, a good friend of mine, Nicole Sheldon of The Betrayed Writer, is hosting a giveaway for a great cause - National Breast Cancer Awareness and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month (they share October). It goes until the end of this month, so head over there and check it out!! Click HERE











And while I'm here, a few other giveaways going on around the blog-o-sphere (check my sidebar for these regularly too):

H.P. Mallory, author of Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble and To Kill a Warlock is having a contest for *you* to be a character in her next book Toil and Trouble.  Head over to her blog to see how to enter (it's really easy!) Click HERE











Chazz Hart

Chazz Hart is doing giveaways all this month, and this weeks is to win Evernight, Hourglass and Stargazer all by Claudia Gray - the first three books in her Evernight series! Click HERE to check it out!









Tara at hobbitsies is having a 100 Follower Giveaway of Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen. Click HERE for rules on entering. Ends October 20th.











Karissa at Karissa's Reading Review is having a Fall Giveaway, consisting of Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen, Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen, and Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. Click HERE for the entry form!




Kt at A Book Obsession is having a 200 Follower giveaway! The winner gets to chose from a wonderful assortment of books on her site! Click HERE to see the rules for entering! Open until November 3rd.









Burning.x.Impossibly.x.BrightAmbur at Burning Impossibly Bright is having a giveaway of Firelight by Sophie Jordan and assorted swag! Six winners in all. Click HERE to enter.









Okay! Enough with the giveaways and contests!

I've seen a few Teaser Tuesday posts around, and thought that sounded like fun! It's definitely gotten me interested in a few new-to-me books! So here's mine for this week:


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play, here's how:
1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3. Share a couple 'teaser' sentences from somewhere on that page
4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE ACTUAL SPOILERS!! Make sure what you share doesn't give away too much!
5. Share the title and author too, so that other TT participants know what books to add to their TBR lists!

Bayou Moon (The Edge 2)
Ilona Andrews
Page: 79

That was a hell of a sword strike. A good punch, too. He was dying to see what she looked like under all that grime and mud. "If I put you down, you'll fall, and I don't want to pick you up again after you roll in the muck. I'm muddy enough as is."

"You're a thug, and an ass," she told him, baring small, even teeth.

If she had the energy to snap, she was coming out of it. Good. "You say the sweetest things."





The other thing I found this week that I thought looked fun was "Top Ten Tuesdays" which is a meme hosted by Jen at The Broke and Bookish. They're particularly fond of lists, girls after my own heart!! Check it out here.







This weeks list is (in no particular order, except the first one):

Top Ten Fictional Crushes
I tried to keep it to one per author. Which was extremely difficult!

1. Barrons - From the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. He's an enigma, totally hot, and smart as all hell! If I could figure out how to get him out of the book, I would.

2. Vishous - From the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward. A vampire that is a genius, loyal, and a dom. Loved him since I first saw him in Dark Lover.

3. Kaleb - From the Psy/Changeling Series by Nalini Singh. What can I say - I love a bad boy, and they don't get much badder than Kaleb.

4. Miach - From the Nine Kingdoms Series by Lynn Kurland. He's loyal to a fault, he's committed to his duty, but at the same time willing to do anything for the one he loves. Miach is quite simply wonderful.

5. Roarke - From the In Death Series by J.D. Robb. What's not to love about Roarke.

6. John Pritkin - From the Cassandra Palmer Series by Karen Chance. I don't want to say too much and give anything away, but I absolutely love every time he shows up.

7. Lady Corsair - From the Iron Seas by Meljean Brook. A female pirate with a interesting code of honor, and a kick-ass attitude.

8. Bones - From the Night Huntress Series by Jeanniene Frost

9. Aragorn - From the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

10. Adam - From the Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs


And because I couldn't resist, some of my favorite's from TV and movies.  Not just because of their looks (though that doesn't hurt) but the personalities make them some of my favorites.  Here they are:

1. Dean Winchester - From Supernatural. Witty, take-charge, and kick ass.

2. Jason Bourne - From the Bourne trilogy.

3. Eric - From the True Blood series. The character in the Sookie Stackhouse books has a LOT to do with this.

4. Richard Cypher - From the Legend of the Seeker.

















5. Castiel - From Supernatural

















So. Who are some of your favorites??

Friday, October 15, 2010

Free eBooks 13

Kobo Books free ebooks.

Borders free ebooks

And Barnes & Noble Free ebooks


Amazon Free

Games:
Mine Sweeper


Books:

Paranormal Romance

The Bite Before Christmas by Heidi Betts
The Ghost Shrink, The Accidental Gigolo & The Poltergeist Accountant: A Tickle My Fantasy story by Vivi Andrews (Samhain)
Sin's Daughter (Otherkin prequel) by Eve Silver
An Unwanted Hunger by Ciana Stone

Urban Fantasy

Sandman Slim (with bonus content) by Richard Kadrey

Links to previous Free eBooks Posts: **Disclaimer - not all of these in the posts below are still free, but I know some of them are**
One
Two
Two part Deux
Three
Four
Five
Six
Seven
Eight
Nine
Ten
Eleven
Twelve

October 15 2010 Blog Hop Follow Friday Tag Along

Book Blogger Hop


Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books.

About the Hop: In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!






Follow Friday is hosted at Parajunkee's View.

She asks: What is your reading suggestion this week?

Definitely The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. I was absolutely engrossed in this book all last weekend - whenever I could sneak away to read.



Photobucket

Calling all 18 and over book bloggers, are you looking for more bloggers like yourself? Well please join in so we can tag along with each other. This is for a specific group and your blog needs to primarily have book reviews and post adult book content. In other words, if you read books like erotic and adult romance and have adult pic, then you can play tag along. Sorry YA readers, but if you read both (I know some of you do) you can tag along also. Just make sure you have both YA and adult romance on your blog.

It doesn't matter what you read if it’s paranormal, suspense, historical, contemporary or mystery, along with erotic with any genre. As long as it is adult then you’re in.


To join in the fun and get details click here. This tag along is hosted by Laurie at Bitten by Paranormal Romance.

If you have an adult book blog, please sign up for this tag along. There are others including myself that are looking for you so please join us.


New This Week
Review of The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Review of Proof by Seduction by Courtney Milan
Waiting on Wednesday: Spellweaver by Lynn Kurland
Deserted Island 5
Waiting for Payday: Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews
Review of On the Edge by Ilona Andrews

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review: On the Edge by Ilona Andrews


Title: On the Edge
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge 1
Genre: Fantasy Romance (or 'Rustic Fantasy' per Ilona)
Release Date: 29 September 2009

Imagine a world that's the complete opposite of ours. Where instead of technology there's magic. It has an Air Force - except they fly wyverns instead of planes. This is the Weird. By contrast is our world, called the Broken. Magic doesn't exist here, doesn't work here and if someone with magic comes to the Broken for too long they'll lose their magic.

In between is a place called the Edge. Here exist the people that have magic, though not a lot, and don't wish to live without it in the Broken. They get electricity from the Broken, and use magical wards to protect themselves from the dangerous creatures that live in the wood with them. Most Edgers couldn't survive in the Weird, because they lack the power and can't live in the Broken because of a lack of legal papers.

Rose Drayton is an Edger. She once tried to build a better life for herself by practicing and honing her magic, but it backfired and brought her the kind of attention she didn't need. She's had to constantly protect herself from those that would steal her with the purpose of breeding more magic into their children. Now she raises her brothers, Jack and Georgie, and works in the Broken just to scrape by.

Declan Camarine is a blueblood noble from the Weird that shows up on the edge of her wards and she warns him off like she has every other blueblood that's come calling. He won't have her. Rose intrigues Declan and instead of trying to steal her, he offers the option of a challenge. He'll complete three tasks and then she'll be his. Rose thinks she can easily outsmart him, keeping her family safe in the Edge, and sending him packing back to the Weird.

But then a terrible evil invades the Edge, horrible creatures that hunt magic and Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them and save everything that she holds dear.

The world her that Ilona Andrews created is a fascinating place. Not quite our world, not quite a fantasy world, it's vivd, captivating place filled with captivating characters. I was absolutely immersed in the Edge, and loved every moment that I spent there.

Rose was a fascinating character. She's had the rose-colored glasses, pardon the pun, ripped off her face and expects the worst in everyone but family, whom she's fiercely loyal to. She's very stubborn and almost can't back down from a challenge. I admit I loved this about her. She was not about to let anyone run her life or take over for her. Rose wasn't about to give her trust to anyone that didn't deserve it, and she damn sure wasn't going to let just anyone have her heart.

Declan, I absolutely loved from the first moment that Rose tried to run him over. He was arrogant and brash, and yet at the same time he's honorable, loyal and admirable. His interactions with Rose and her family made my heart tremble. I was rooting for him to find the way past Rose's defenses from the start.

Beyond the utterly wonderful world, and vividness of Rose and Declan, there's a supporting cast of fully three-dimensional cast of secondary characters. Jack and Georgie, in particular, just hit my heart hard. I loved seeing through their point-of-views, feeling the heart-breaking burden of their gifts, the absolutely pure love they had for each other and Rose, and the disarming yearning they had for peace and happiness.

The evil that threatens Rose and all those that live in the edge is cruel and vicious, with complicated connections. I did feel that the resolution of it was a bit rushed, but I was so involved in the character's journeys that it was only after I finished that I really thought about that.

As a first time reader of Ms. Andrews, I was absolutely enchanted with the world-building, the characters, and the emotions in On the Edge. And I can't wait to go back and visit the world again with Bayou Moon which is already out.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone that enjoys Patricia Briggs and Jeaniene Frost. Ms. Andrews has a way of pulling you into the world, to the point where I was up late into the night just having to read 'one more' chapter.

Grade: A-



Book Link | Amazon | Kindle | nook | kobo | Sony | Book Depository | Ace Fantasy

Waiting for Payday 3


Waiting for Payday is a weekly event hosted at The Bookish Snob which spotlights books that may have been out for a while that you're anxious to get your hands on, but that empty wallet is already crying, so Waiting for Payday it is! Head on over to TheBookishSnob and link up!




Bayou Moon (The Edge 2) by Ilona Andrews

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life. William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed ... and survive.



I just finished my first book by Ilona Andrews, On the Edge and greatly enjoyed it (review to come soon), and now I'm anxiously waiting when I can buy the next one!


What're you Waiting for Payday to buy?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Deserted Island



Nicole at The Betrayed Writer decided to desert me on an island LOL. To quote her:
Imagine you're suddenly ripped through a time warp and stranded on a deserted island. A fairy godmother comes to you and offers you 5 books and 5 cd's to have with you on this island until help can arrive- in the form of one lean and cut hulking vampire or 'other' that is mad, bad and out of control until he saves you.. I'll let you imagine the way you could occupy your time on this deserted island once he arrives on your own... (Yes, I said fairy godmother, no one ever said I was actually good at writing!) What would your five and five be? Be sure to tag 5 others!

Wait. First question - and it's important. Do I get to choose my savior?? Because I already have my choice here....

Oh, this is seriously hard! I can barely narrow down to my top ten at any given time. Now I gotta narrow to my top five??

Five Books
1. Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
2. Queen of the Damned - Anne Rice
3. Slave to Sensation - Nalini Singh
4. Lover Eternal - J.R. Ward
5. Fever Series - Karen Marie Moning*


Five CDs
1. Digital Versatile Doom - HIM
2. Screamworks - HIM
3. Absolution - Muse
4. The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance
5. A Beautiful Lie - 30 Seconds to Mars


I'm Deserting
1. Straylights @ A Certain Slant of Light
2. Janna @ E-Romance Reader
3. Heather @ Little Squeed
4. Missie @ The Unread Reader
5. Wicked. Sexy. Books.


*Yes I know I cheated with my last choice, but I seriously couldn't help it. Honestly I wanted to put several books by Nalini Singh, and J.R. Ward and Anne Rice. And I really wanted to have The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook in there too....But I absolutely could NOT just have one of the Fever series. And I would absolutely HAVE to know the ending. So. All of them ;)

Waiting on Wednesday: Spellweaver



Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

I picked up my first Lynn Kurland at a book exchange at my job. I just loved the characters that she created, and immediately went back out looking for the rest of her booklist. She makes me laugh, she makes me tear up and she makes me cheer for the HEA at the end. Luckily I had a lot to keep me busy. Now I eagerly wait for each book she releases.

Her Nine Kingdoms Series are not single title romances. They're trilogies fantasy romances. Each story takes three books to tell, and through the entire first arc - Miach and Morgan's story - I was so engrossed in the world I desperately wanted to visit it again.

I wasn't disappointed when she released A Tapestry of Spells, the start of Ruith and Sarah's story. And now I'm impatiently waiting for the next book in the trilogy.


***Warning - Possible spoilers for first book in the series***



Title: Spellweaver
Author: Lynn Kurland
Series: Nine Kingdoms 4
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: 4 January 2011
 
Book Description (from Goodreads:

Ruith had long managed to ignore the magic in his veins, until aiding Sarah with her ill-fated quest forced him into places where his heritage was impossible to deny. Faced with an ever-increasing number of enemies who covet his power, Ruith
must accept his birthright and gather his father’s spells together so he can destroy them—or turn away and allow his father’s evil to overcome the Nine Kingdoms.

Now, Ruith and Sarah must rely on each other more than ever—for everything they value is at risk: the Nine Kingdoms, their lives...and their hearts.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Review: Proof by Seduction by Courtney Milan



Title: Proof by Seduction
Author: Courtney Milan
Series: Carhart Series 2
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: 1 January 2010

Jenny Keeble, better known for the last 12 years as Madame Esmeralda, has never been one to let life get her down. Ruined, with no references to her name, and no desire to work in a (quite literal) dead-end position, she takes the one option she sees - become a Gypsy fortune teller. Here she meets Ned Carhart, and two years past she gave him hope, brought him back from the brink of self-destruction. And she continues to see him regularly.

But on their scheduled evening to meet, Ned doesn't come alone. He brings his cousin, Gareth, the Marquess of Blakely, with him. Gareth has just learned of the fortune teller that has Ned in her clutches and means to remove the spell she has over him. His scientific mind relies on facts - not the whimsy of a fortune teller.

Meeting in Madame Esmeralda's smoky, atmospheric room, Jenny realizes she may have met her match in Lord Blakely. Meanwhile, their verbal chess has increased Gareth's interest in Jenny - until they suddenly find themselves in the middle of an 'agreement.'

Gareth proposes that Jenny should predict something, with tangible constraints, that will then be tested with scientific resolve to get the proof they desire. Not willing to be swept aside so easily, Jenny decides to predict Gareth's meeting the woman he will marry at a very specific time. But that he will only win her if he completes prescribed tasks of her devising.

Jenny interrupts every facet of Gareth's plan. He, in turn, can't decide whether to ruin her or seduce her. A passionate battle of wits and wills ensues, and Jenny and Gareth must make the ultimate choice. What the know, and the possibilities of an unending love.

Proof by Seduction was the first book I read by Courtney Milan. It won't be the last.

Jenny was an absolute delight to read. I loved her attitude towards like, and it was one I could easily relate to. No matter her past, history, or current circumstances she had a very strong belief of who she was, and what her limits were. There was room for play, but she wasn't going to let herself be treated as less than she deserved. Add to that the undeniable hope that she just flowed out of her, even affecting other people, and I was really wanting her to get her HEA.

Gareth is almost the exact opposite of Jenny. Whereas she didn't allow her past to close her off, he became a solid wall for anything that didn't fit within his realm of ideals to crash up against. He couldn't show emotion, didn't know how to be close to those he cared about, and had little ability, or desire, for anything other than taking the weight of the world - especially those he considered his - on his shoulders. This is definitely a sound trait, but not when it comes at the cost of his relationships with those people.

I loved watching Jenny disrupt Gareth's thoughts and making him remove the mask that he had put on for the world. They went quickly from fighting with each other to passion, but rather than seeing this as too abrupt, I could easily see why Gareth was attracted to Jenny, and could see how Jenny could see something more in Gareth. They were perfectly matched, from wits to passion and everything in between.

There is a sidestory here about Ned that is not to be overlooked. There were scenes with Ned and Gareth, or Jenny (or both) that made me tear up and really feel what he was going through. Luckily I don't have to wait long to see what happens as Trial by Desire is already out and that's Ned's story.

Proof by Seduction is a good entry into the historical romance genre, and I greatly look forward to seeing what Ms. Milan comes up with next!

Grade: B



Book Link | Amazon | Kindle | nook | kobo | Borders eBook | Sony | Book Depository | HQN

Monday, October 11, 2010

Review: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook



Title: The Iron Duke
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas 1
Genre: Steampunk Romance
Release Date: 05 October 2010


When pirate captain Rhys Trahaearn freed England from Horde control he became a national hero, and earned the title of Duke of Anglesy. Since then he's built a massive merchant empire on the authority of his name, gaining him many enemies along the way as well as a reputation that he takes what he wants.

Nine years have passed since the tower was destroyed, freeing Mina and everyone infected with nanoagents from having their emotions and bodies controlled. But they're still reeling from almost two-hundred years of being dominated and the backlash is strong - especially for Mina who has Horde blood running through her veins. Even coming from a titled family, though impoverished, Mina struggles to eke out a living as a Detective Inspector for the Metropolitan Police. And she's damn good at what she does.

Which is why when a dead body is literally dropped on Rhys' doorstep, Mina is sent to the scene. And Rhys quickly decides to make her his next possession. But Mina can't afford his interest and what it will mean for her family and her career. Unfortunately the investigation is firmly tied to the Iron Duke and she can't avoid him or his unwavering attention.

The discovery of the victim's identity leads Rhys and Mina to discover that Rhys' ship was stolen and Mina's brother is aboard it. Working closely together they soon uncover a conspiracy that sends them racing across zombie-infested lands, monster-filled waters and against a group that will stop at nothing to kill every living bugger in England.

If that weren't enough, Mina soon realizes though that the danger isn't only where expected when she's tempted to give up everything for Rhys.

I started reading with very high expectations. After reading the short, "Here There Be Monsters" in the Burning Up anthology, I could not wait to start. And I was not disappointed. From page one I was absolutely riveted with The Iron Duke. It quickly pulled me into the devastatingly, wonderfully-crafted world, and was very reluctant to let go - even for work. I'm quite sure that my review here can't begin to do this book justice, but I'll do the best I can.

To give an idea of the world that this takes place in - it's an alternate Victorian world where nearly everyone in England (and most places but the Americas) was infected with nanoagents. These microscopic little bugs were delivered to them through sugar from the Horde, and increased their bodily strength, but also enabled the Horde to control every thing the people did. The people had no control over their emotions, or their bodies. They could be frozen in place, or whipped into a Frenzy - their sexual needs at a fever pitch to ensure procreation. What's worse was that the people were 'awake' and knew what they were doing...just unable to stop it. Some people had mechanical tools grafted onto their persons to better enable them to do the jobs set for them, others were infected with bad bugs, making them zombies, and a good line of defense for the Horde. It's a gritty, dangerous place filled with advanced technology, and people once again trying to make their own way.

Mina is an absolutely fantastic character. Someone that I'd want to know and be friends with. She's strong, loyal, extremely intelligent and possesses a huge heart. After years of dealing with the racism and derision cast at her for the circumstances of her birth she's developed a hard skin, but that doesn't mean that she doesn't feel the pain of each blow delivered. And while she doesn't dwell on it, she does know what the consequences are of getting involved with pretty much anyone, but most especially someone with the standing of the Iron Duke.

One of the things I really loved seeing was her working. Watching her use her agile brain to figure things out, and actually detect, was so much fun. The integrity that she has at the same time never wavers. I really appreciated the depth that was given to Mina and her job - which she clearly has a lot of love and respect for. Another thing that added depth is the absolute love and devotion between Mina and her family. They all quickly endeared themselves to me with the absolute sincerity of their actions.

Rhys is now one of my favorite heroes. When I first read the blurb for this book I was expecting...almost a knight-in-shining-armor hero. But I was pleasantly surprised and that's not what I got. He's courageous and determined of course, and he has a hurtful past that he's not only overcome, but almost completely conquered. The one thing I could have wished for is a bit more time inside his head, to know him even better. This is not a complaint, merely something I would have really enjoyed.

The chemistry between Rhys and Mina is absolutely palpable. From the first moment they meet neither can deny the desire between them. No matter how unwanted, or how much of a problem it's going to create. Watching Rhys attempts to gain Mina as his is one of the best things I've read - he makes mistakes, he curses himself for not knowing what to do in regards to her, and he continues to try, not only for himself, but for Mina. As they got to know one another and the feelings between them continued to grow, so did the respect. I thought it was really well done that not only was the desire there, but I could clearly see why these two fell in love with each other.

The relationship between Rhys and Mina clearly is the spine of the story, but the investigation into the conspiracy drives it. It pulls you along, not letting go, and continues to build the suspense. Seeing the world, and a good portion of it, in such detail was truly a treat. The world that The Iron Duke is set in is so richly crafted that it literally felt real to me. Everything, from the large kraken to the small nanoagents were so exquisitely described that it's like a engaging painting - every time I look at it a new detail reveals itself, giving more depth, meaning, and feeling. Additionally, Rhys and Mina are supported by a wonderfully deep secondary characters that I can't wait to see more of, including Scarsdale and the Blacksmith, but most especially Lady Corsair who I'm already more than half in love with.

To put it lightly, The Iron Duke not only lived up to my expectations, but absolutely blew them out of the water. It's a heart-filled, thrilling journey through a bold new world that Ms. Brook has created. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series, and until then I will be re-reading The Iron Duke many times...starting right now.

Grade: A


Book Link | Amazon | Kindle | nook | kobo | Borders eBook | Sony | Book Depository | Berkley Trade

Friday, October 8, 2010

October 8 2010 Blog Hop Follow Friday Tag Along

Book Blogger Hop


Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books.

About the Hop: In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!

This weeks question is: What's your favorite beverage while reading or blogging, if any? Is it tea, coffee, water, a glass of wine, or something else?

I almost always have a glass a water, no matter what I'm doing, so I guess that would have to be it. However, one of my favorite things to do on the weekend is sit out on the porch with a nice steaming cup of latte, the sun just rising, and a book in my hands. Especially in the fall.




Follow Friday is hosted at Parajunkee's View.

Her question this week is: How many reviews do you like to do a week?

I don't get to do nearly as many as I'd like. But that's simply a time constraint and not getting to read as much as I'd like. I try to do two a week. Sometimes I only manage one.




Photobucket

Calling all 18 and over book bloggers, are you looking for more bloggers like yourself? Well please join in so we can tag along with each other. This is for a specific group and your blog needs to primarily have book reviews and post adult book content. In other words, if you read books like erotic and adult romance and have adult pic, then you can play tag along. Sorry YA readers, but if you read both (I know some of you do) you can tag along also. Just make sure you have both YA and adult romance on your blog.

It doesn't matter what you read if it’s paranormal, suspense, historical, contemporary or mystery, along with erotic with any genre. As long as it is adult then you’re in.


To join in the fun and get details click here. This tag along is hosted by Laurie at Bitten by Paranormal Romance.

If you have an adult book blog, please sign up for this tag along. There are others including myself that are looking for you so please join us.





So I'm heading out to visit some family this weekend, which means loads of reading time on the way there and the way back! I'm super excited not only about seeing family, but about all that uninterrupted bury-my-nose-in-a-book time! LOL Especially as I'm engrossed in Meljean Brook's The Iron Duke right now.

I hope everyone has a great and fantastic weekend!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Waiting for Payday 2


Waiting for Payday is a weekly event hosted at The Bookish Snob which spotlights books that may have been out for a while that you're anxious to get your hands on, but that empty wallet is already crying, so Waiting for Payday it is! Head on over to TheBookishSnob and link up!




The Hunger Games (Hunger Games 1) by Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before--and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.


I somehow missed this when it first came out, and honestly, even though I usually avoid things that have huge, mass appeal I saw so much about the series when Mockingjay was coming towards release that I got interested. Now it's definitely on my list to buy!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More Free eBooks

Found Borders Free eBooks section - go here

And Barnes and Noble Free eBooks Section

Definitely worth checking out!

Now for the Amazon stuff (yes I know I'm being a bit biased in actually posting the stuff from Amazon, but I have a Kindle, so I look for this stuff already and figured why not share it ;) )

Mystery (Cozy & Humor)
Elvis and the Dearly Departed by Peggy Webb
Dixie Divas by Virginia Brown

Contemporary Romance
Only You by Deborah Grace Staley

Historical Romance
To Conquer a Highlander by Mary Wine

Pride and Prejudice-esque
Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange
Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One by Sharon Lathan

Waiting on Wednesday: Play of Passion



Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

I'm a HUGE fan of Nalini Singh. I continue to be impressed by not only her world-building, but her complex, deep characters that I want to know. A few weeks ago I posted about waiting for her next Guild Hunter book Archangel's Consort, which doesn't come out until the end of January. This week I'm posting about the 9th full length novel in her awesome Psy/Changeling series. This series hooked me from the very first book, Slave to Sensation with it's vivid characters, and awesome plot. I've said it a million times, but Nalini Singh is brilliant. If you haven't read Nalini Singh yet, I highly recommend you start! Check out her reading order here




Title: Play of Passion
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changelings 9
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: 02 November 2010
 
Book Description (from author's website):
 
In his position as tracker for the SnowDancer pack, it’s up to Drew Kincaid to rein in rogue changelings who have lost control of their animal halves—even if it means killing those who have gone too far. But nothing in his life has prepared him for the battle he must now wage to win the heart of a woman who makes his body ignite…and who threatens to enslave his wolf.

Lieutenant Indigo Riviere doesn’t easily allow skin privileges, especially of the sensual kind—and the last person she expects to find herself craving is the most wickedly playful male in the den. Everything she knows tells her to pull back before the flames burn them both to ash…but she hasn’t counted on Drew’s will.

Now, two of SnowDancer’s most stubborn wolves find themselves playing a hot, sexy game even as lethal danger stalks the very place they call home…

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Review: Warrior by Zoë Archer



Title: Warrior
Author: Zoë Archer
Series: Blades of the Rose 1
Genre: Historical Paranormal Adventure Romance (I had a hard time classifying, so I took this straight from her website)
Release Date: 07 September 2010


After nearly fifteen years abroad serving Her Majesty’s Army, Captain Gabriel Huntley once again finds his feet on English soil. He’s resigned his captaincy, and rushed home, with a letter in his pocket promising a position as a textile agent, and the prospect of a good wife and settling down with a family.

But as he steps off the boat, suddenly Gabriel is plagued with doubts. He’s not sure he even remembers how to act in polite company, much less if he wants to settle down yet.

Wandering and mulling over his future, chance – or fate – intervenes. Gabriel happens upon a man being brutally assaulted and vastly outnumbered. Despising an unfair fight he jumps into the fray in an attempt to rescue the man. But his efforts are not enough and the man lies dying in a dark alley with only Gabriel there for him to exact a promise from.

Unable to deny a dying man’s request, Gabriel finds himself swiftly boarding a ship and heading for Outer Mongolia. He’s got an antique compass, a cryptic message he doesn’t understand, and only knows that he must get both to Franklin Burgess as quickly as possible.

Thalia Burgess has grown up away from the strictures of Victorian England for most of her life. More accustomed to wearing a Mongolian del (the native outfit), than a corset and bustle, riding astride than side-saddle, and shooting rather than stitching, Thalia loves her life, and longs to be a Blade, like her father. She eagerly awaits her moment to prove that she’s ready to join the group which protects magical objects from those that would use them to do harm – otherwise known as the Heirs.

When Captain Huntley shows up on her and her father’s doorstep, bringing a dire message from a fellow Blade, and knowing her injured father isn’t up to the task, Thalia is spurred into action to protect Mongolia from utter destruction and stop the Heirs from gaining an object that could greatly affect the reach of the British Empire.

While sworn to secrecy, Thalia quickly realizes that the Captain’s assistance could come in handy. But it’s not so easy keeping the clever, handsome solider in the dark.

Thalia sets out across the steppes of Mongolia to find the object she must protect, while Gabriel stays close to her just as intent on protecting this fierce, beautiful woman. Racing to outwit the Heirs, and decipher clues, Thalia and Gabriel must maneuver over not only the Mongolian steppes, but around enemies who aren’t at all penitent at their use of magic in their pursuit, through tests of their courage and resolve, and into a growing love between them.

I picked up Warrior because of all the buzz going around the blog-o-sphere. An Indiana Jones type adventure story, with magic, love and the beautiful backdrop of Outer Mongolia; I couldn’t wait! Any one of those things would have piqued my interest, but add them all together and I was anxious to get started. Plus, just look at that cover.

I immediately liked Gabriel and Thalia. Gabriel is a strong, straight-forward, blunt man who believes in honor and respect. He’s also noble, genuine and nice without any of it coming off as over-the-top. Not only is he deeply loyal, but he’s fiercely protective. However, not once does he try to get in the way of what Thalia has to do, only demands that he be there to protect her and to help.

Thalia is a wonderfully intelligent, rich-in-character heroine with a desire for adventure and meaning to her life. But she doesn’t fall into to-stupid-to-live behavior. Just because she craves adventure and being admitted to the Blades doesn’t mean that she’s not smart about it. When she realizes that she genuinely needs the help Gabriel offers she accepts it pretty quickly.

I really liked them together. Too often I run into ‘strong’ heroines who rush dumbly into life-threatening situations just so the hero can rescue them. The hero then is basically all knight-in-shining-armor and the heroine can’t seem to accomplish anything by herself again.

Not so here. Thalia is strong, and independent, but she’s also smart enough to know when she needs help. Gabriel does want to protect Thalia, but he quickly begins to see her as an equal. He trusts in her abilities, and her intelligence. They work together as a team, each with valuable input, and each understanding the others strengths. Throughout their journey we’re shown how their desire blossoms into respect and then finally into love.

I have to talk about the setting. I really loved the descriptions of Outer Mongolia. Not only were they richly detailed, but the people native to the area felt real as well – not just cardboard cutouts of characters. Ms. Archer managed to make me feel both at home, and in some place new and magical. Even without the occasional bit of magic that’s mixed into the story.

Warrior is a classic tale of good versus bad, without many twists and turns along the way. Just two people struggling against seemingly insurmountable odds to do the right thing.

Just a few complaints. There was some repetition to descriptions and thoughts. At times I felt like I was being told something too many times, and that it wasn’t needed because I was being shown just as much. So it got a little frustrating. Also, there were occasional odd word choices or sentence structure. These would pull me out of the story while I puzzled over them. Last thing, the pace seemed to drag in places which could be a result of the previously mentioned issues I had.

Overall, I enjoyed Warrior. It’s a fun, adventure through a land I’ve never seen depicted in romance. Gabriel and Thalia grabbed onto me and didn’t let go until we’d crossed the finish line. I am eagerly anticipating picking up Scoundrel which is the second book in the series, due out today actually – October 5th 2010.

If you like adventure stories, with a strong romance, truly likable characters and a beautiful setting then this book is definitely for you.

Grade: B



Book Link | Amazon (print) | Kindle | nook | kobo | Sony | Book Depository | Zebra

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fun Stuff This Week

This is an international game of tag and I've been tagged by Straylights at A Certain Slant of Light! I have to answer questions about myself so you can get to know me better and then I'll tag four other bloggers! Sounds fun right?!






4 Things that are in my handbag
1. Warrior by Zoë Archer - currently reading at work and on the go
2. Borders Savers Card - well of course. I need it to buy the new releases I must have tomorrow.
3. Notebook - to take down any interesting bits of scenes/dialogue/development for my work-in-progress
4. Knife - Never leave home without it



4 Things in/on my desk (Gonna go with my work desk, because I don't really have a home desk...)
1. Lots and Lots of Yellow Folders
2. About 30 different pens
3. 5 different stacks of Post-It notes
4. My iPod stand



4 Favorite things in my bedroom
1. Books - I have 4 bookshelves full of my favorites, and To-Be-Read books
2. My bed - I can't help it. It's new, and comfy, and I love it.
3. My dresser - it's an antique, that I've added custom fleur-de-lis knobs to.
4. My PS3 - I use it mostly for movies, but I do love me some Tomb Raider and Heavenly Sword



4 Things I've always wanted to do but haven't
1. Go to Egypt - I've always had this huge fascination with Egypt. I'll get there eventually
2. Go skydiving - I'm not sure I can explain the reasoning behind me wanting to fly through the air.
3. Get published - that would involve finishing my book though I guess. I'm working on it!
4. Become a marine archaeologist



4 Things I enjoy very much at the moment (I'm just going to leave reading off of here, because it should be obvious)
1. Blogging - Who knew it could be so much fun? Well obviously loads of people did, but I'm just really finding out. And I'm loving meeting all the great people!
2. Watching NCIS with my mom - We're kind of on a catch-up thing, and it's been really fun
3. Playing fetch with my dog in the nice fall-ish weather
4. Working - after being off with a back injury for 2 months, I'm really loving being back.



4 Songs I can't get out of my head
1. Killing Loneliness by H.I.M
2. From Yesterday by 30 Seconds to Mars
3. Don't Cry by Guns n' Roses
4. Snuff by Slipknot



4 Things you don't know about me
1. I'm a Taurus
2. I have a huge store of knowledge about myths and legends
3. I have a minor obsession with photography and potter and would love a darkroom and pottery wheel.
4. I miss doing the Insanity workout and can't wait until I can start again



4 Bloggers I'm Tagging
1. Renee at Renee's Book Addiction
2. Jennifer at Book Noise
3. Chazz at Chazz Hart
4. Nicole at The Betrayed Writer



This is a new award for me so a huge thank you to Book Loving Mommy! I really appreciate the award and am truly honored!

All you have to do for the Cherry on Top award is:
1) answer the question "If I had the chance to go back and change one thing in my life, would I, and what would it be?"
2) Pick up to 6 people and give them this award
3) Thank the person who gave me the award.


Every once in a while I think that I would go back and change things. Do I wish that I'd done some things differently, made a different decision? Sure. But I also think that each choice, or decision, that I made led me to where I am now. And I look at my family, and my friends, and everyone that I love and care about and realize that I have it pretty damn good. Plus I'm just a naturally optimistic, glass-half-full kind of person. I'm gonna see the good in almost everything, so there's no reason to dwell on regrets.

Long answer short: No. I wouldn't.


Six Blogs to Give Award To:
1. Kat at Wit and Sin
2. Missie at The Unread Reader
3. Mad Scientist at Mad Steampunkery
4. Stephanie at Curling Up by the Fire
5. Badass Bookie
6. Karen at For What It's Worth




Tomorrow is release Tuesday! I'll be rushing out to buy:





















What about you?  Anything that you're looking forward to buying tomorrow?
Related Posts with Thumbnails