Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Wolf Who Loved Me

The Wolf Who Loved Me by Lydia Dare (the writing team of Tammy Falkner and Jodie Pearson) features Lady Madeline Hayburn whose loving father has decided to gather suitors in order for her to choose a husband.  The problem is that she’s less than impressed with all of the fortune hunters who have flocked to her father’s estate.  Neighbor Weston Hadley has admired Madeline since meeting her three years ago.  He knows that his status as an impoverished and untitled gentleman eliminates him from aspiring to her hand and his scar probably repulses her as well but he can’t help his attraction to her.  The Hadley family is close-knit as any pack should be but alpha male Dash Hadley is frustrated trying to keep his siblings from getting into too much trouble even as they seem to constantly find ways to try his patience.  Weston seeks to redress his lack of funds one evening by gambling in partnership with Madeline’s brother but neglects to remember the full moon’s effects on his wolf nature in time to avoid changing without witnesses.  Madeline wanted answers from Weston but never would have imagined the questions that his transformation would elicit nor the solution that Weston would resort to in order to prevent her from exposing him and potentially the rest of his pack.  Meddling by Weston’s sister-in-law facilitates a hurried trip to Gretna Green but unfortunately does not result in a happy ever after ending for Weston.  There are plenty of problems, including Weston’s lack of income and Madeline’s ignorance of were traditions, to overcome before the two can find true happiness.

A lighthearted romp featuring scapegrace brothers, twins, unrepentant rakes and a woefully naive heroine.  There are a few things that are not quite to my liking (including a nose-blind person who can’t identify horse poop, Madeline’s passivity/extreme naivete and the blithe propositioning of Madeline’s friend that all seem to accept) but there are entertaining scenarios that provide glimpses of regency society.  An interesting solution to the Hadley money problems and several intriguing secondary characters will provide fodder for subsequent books in the series.

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sins of the Angels and Sins of the Son

Sins of the Angels
by Linda Poitevin is book one in the Grigori Legacy series which is set (primarily) in Canada and introduces the beleaguered detective Alexandra Jarvis that the struggle between angels and their fallen brethren centers around.  My Amazon review is at link

Sins of the Son is the recently released second book in the series.  Alexandra continues to be at the center of a struggle that will determine the fate of mankind.  This gritty read provides insight into the pressures that can cause even angelic beings to start on the slippery slope of sinning in order to a achieve a greater good.  My Amazon review is at this link

I struggle with this series because although it is an inventive twist on the traditional good versus evil theme but I really prefer a 'happy ever after' or at least a 'happy for now' ending to my stories.  These tale have a darker tone and I was really dismayed by the events in the second book even more than I was by the ending of the first...which I complained about for days after reading it!  The author is very adept at creating tortured characters faced with crises of conscience and virtually impossible choices and I find myself cringing at the experiences that they are suffering through even though I want to know what is going to happen.  I do like strength in my female characters but I am not sure that these are going to survive the crucible that they are subjected to...but I guess that is what keeps me reading the series, right?  A curiosity about what more can happen and how will these people cope?

I received copies of these works in return for an honest review

A Perfect Storm is out... and don't forget monthly contests!

I can't believe I forgot to mention that A Perfect Storm by Lori Foster is out!  I really enjoyed this read and almost forgot to post on Amazon...but my review is up at this link.  I'd appreciate a positive vote for ELF2060 if you have a chance (-:

Those of you who enter into the monthly contests, don't forget about Writerspace (link) and Fresh Fiction (link) and of course there are the ongoing giveaways at Goodreads (link) and of course those great blogs such as SOS Aloha (link), The Reading Reviewer (link), Seductive Musings (link) and the list goes on and on....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Titles that are about to be released, a free fantasy short story and a couple of cozy mysteries

Just a reminder that Shiloh Walker's "Hunter's Rise" will be released on April 3 (announcement) and that Dee Davis' Deadly Dance blog post will be available on April 1 (no fooling, lol).

I was fortunate enough to win Michael J. Sullivan's Heir of Novron on Goodreads and the author graciously contacted me and offered the prequels so that I wouldn't be lost...which is amazing that someone would know how obsessive I am about trying to provide a decent review...I usually do try to read the prior books in a series but sometimes I just can't get it done in the time I have before the review itself is due.  This read, unfortunately, is going to take a bit of time because I have a few to get read before these...and I keep getting distracted by new releases, lol.  However, for those of you who are fantasy readers, there is a free short story, The Viscount and the Witch, set in the same world that will introduce the characters.  The flavor reminds me of Violette Malan's works (which I adore) and the short story is indeed that, short, but there is also an excerpt from the first book in the series...Theft of Swords.  The Amazon link

I am also working my way through some cozy mystery titles that I am reviewing for a web publication called Kings River Life Magazine.  Once I figure out all of the intricacies of publishing a review with them, I will post but so far Casey Daniels' Wild Wild Death was an entertaining addition to the Pepper Martin series and I have been introduced to a new-to-me author, Heather Blake, whose It Takes a Witch was a very whimsical murder mystery that displayed a lot of creativity. many books, so little time!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Deceiver and Betrayer

is number 11 and Betrayer is number 12 of C.J. Cherryh's 'Foreigner' series.  Both are very complex tales that center around the ongoing interactions between a human and an alien race known as the atevi.  A very ritualized society, honorifics, correct gestures and control of facial expressions are essential and not necessarily easy for a human to grasp.  Bren's progression over the books of the series has demonstrated the sharp learning curve but he is impressively adept at juggling the duties of his position which has continued to become more complex as he gains the trust of those he deals with.  Although it would be helpful to have read the series from the beginning, it is not absolutely necessary provided one is patient with the learning curve necessary to adjust to the myriad of characters.  Cherryh has an awesome ability to build intricate worlds with their attendant societies peopled by fascinating characters (I am particularly fond of young Cajeiri who will soon be felicitous nine) where courage is sometimes displayed through quiet determination rather than showy actions.   My Amazon review for Betrayer is at this link.  I always appreciate positive votes on the Amazon listing for ELF2060 (although I certainly would welcome knowing the reasons behind a negative one as well!).   My Goodreads review for Deceiver is here.

I received a copy of Deceiver in return for an honest review (and was fortunate to find Betrayer at my local library)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hunter's Rise to be released!

For those of you who are Shiloh Walker fans...great news! For those of you who haven't read any of her works...what are you waiting for???

Good news/bad news...the next in 'The Hunters' series is being released on April 2, 2012.  The bad news...the publisher needs to be informed that fans want another title after this one so that the series doesn't end here!

 Snippet (warning... Toronto is something of a smart-ass)
Not the ideal place for a fight. He'd done it before and managed to avoid human casualties, but he suspected that Sylvia James was a different breed from what he was used to. Ferals fought to live, so they could kill—by nature, most of them weren't always clearheaded. Sylvia, like him, was a trained killer. Shewould be clearheaded. It would make a difference.
He hunted the ferals.
She hunted for money.
In the end, he'd win, because he was stronger.
But he didn't want to have to fight her. He wanted to have sex with her—down and dirty sex, maybe up against a wall, in the light so he could watch her. Then on a bed, her body under his, or over . . . his hands tangled in that dark, silken hair.
"You know, most men would at least bother to introduce themselves before the guy starts picturing the woman naked," she drawled, coming to a stop eighteen inches away.
Toronto smirked. "That's bullshit. We see a woman, we frequently picture them naked. We mess with the names when we want to actually think about getting them in bed. Some of us, at least." He skimmed a look over her body, taking in the sleek muscles, the powerhouse curves. Then he focused on her face again, smiled slowly. "So. What's your name?"
Due out 4/3/2012

Lenobia's Vow

Lenobia's Vow
by P.C. and Kristin Cast is a novella set in their popular 'House of Night' world.  This talented mother-daughter team has an intriguing young-adult series that follows a group of vampyre fledglings as they learn to cope with their destinies, their education and the expectations of their society.  Lenobia is one of the beloved mentors at their school but has always had a sad and self-contained aura and this tale describes her tragic beginnings.  Familiarity with the series that begins with Marked will give one a frame of reference but this story can stand alone for the most part (although the ending will be a bit confusing to novices to the series).  My Amazon review is at this link.  My Goodreads review for Marked is here.

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


We have a great radio station called The Wave (KTWV) in Southern California that plays smooth jazz and R&B music.  They also periodically sponsor concerts at the Morongo Casino in Cabazon and their most recent offering was a free concert by Brian McKnight.  Those of you familiar with his smooth and sexy voice probably also know that he is fairly tall and apparently loves to play basketball.  Unfortunately, he had a pretty significant injury recently and has torn his Achilles tendon (my husband tells me that Chauncey Billups of the L.A. Clippers also had this injury).  That's the tendon that connects your heel to your calf muscles so it is used when you walk, tiptoe and jump and I imagine it is a pretty painful injury, not to mention how it impacts on your ability to walk and move around.  The lights lowered in the club and Mr. McKnight limped onto the stage with crutches and seated himself at a piano and proceeded to inform the audience that he was due for surgery in the morning but had refrained from cancelling the free concert so that he wouldn't disappoint his fans.  He proceeded to give a wonderful concert that combined a few of his well known songs, encouraged the audience to sing along (some members were a little more tuneful than others!), sang snippets in the stylings of some of his idols including the great Nat King Cole, played a couple of different of which was used in a delightful flamenco style song, chatted and even brought one of his Twitter fans onstage to sing to.  He was playful, a little naughty, flirtatious and in fine voice.  Now I admit that I don't know all of the words to some of his songs but I enjoy his music and although it was a little disconcerting to have him stop in the middle of songs to let the audience sing the next verse or the chorus, people seemed to be enjoying themselves.  This is why I was really confused to hear people complaining about the concert afterwards.  He performed solo and I don't know if people expected him to have a full band or what?  He was obviously in pain so naturally couldn't be expected to move around the stage much although he did change seats so that he could play the electronic keyboard as well as the guitars.  I don't understand what there was to complain about.  I am grateful that he performed and think it was a testament to his character and grit that he did so.  My feeling is that he gave a great gift to his fans and I certainly hope that his procedure went well and that he will have a smooth recovery.  Those who were complaining?  Maybe they should stop and think about what they received versus what they 'paid' and spend more time being grateful and less time dwelling on what they didn't get...but that's just my perception! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Inhale is the entertaining fantasy novel that introduces the talents of Kendall Grey to the world.  It is my impression that she has written shorter works but this is the first full-length book which amazingly is part of a trilogy!  Despite the somewhat familiar use of beings called Elementals (Fyre, Waeter, Aer and Erthe), the author creatively melds an alternate reality called Dreaming with experiences in the real world (Realis).  The Elementals are "ancient creatures ... that thrive on hybrid elements created by humans...who are always hungry."

Engaging characters ensnare the reader on a breathless ride to free a trapped whale (I loved the repartee about inheritances while Zoe and Adriene struggle on the water) then drag one into the morass of emotions of Gavin and his daily fight to regain equilibrium both in his role as a musician and as a Sentinel.  The enigmatic aboriginal Sentinel known as Yileen provides clues and his own brand of assistance but the ongoing struggle will require the efforts of many to try to protect humans from the depredations of the Elementals.  Sizzling love scenes are intermingled with those that vividly conjure up the vast ocean and the fascinating cetaceans that travel through that medium.  A mysterious nemesis lurks in the background of the real world even as an overt attack is being orchestrated in Dreaming and Zoe will have to learn how to cope against both even as she strives to determine who her allies and enemies truly are.   A great start to the series introducing a talented author who is unselfishly donating her profits for Whale education.

The book is to be released in early May but you can read an excerpt to whet your appetite until then at this link.

My Amazon review is at this  link.   A 'yes, this was helpful' vote is always appreciated.

A copy of this title was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Undone By Her Tender Touch

Undone By Her Tender Touch
is the final story in Maya Banks’ ‘Pregnancy and Passion’ quartet and gives Cameron (Cam) Hollingsworth’s story.  Pippa Laingley is one of the close-knit circle that includes Ashley, Sylvia and Carly who have paired up with the strong males who are in business together.  Each male had to learn a hard lesson before he is able to win his happy ever after and  Cam is definitely no exception.  A mutually acceptable one night stand with Pippa quickly morphs into a waking nightmare when a failure in one of the condoms results in an unexpected and undesirable tie.  Cam has a painful past and is unwilling to allow anyone into his heart but is unable to explain his shortcomings to Pippa although he is strongly attracted to her.  The constant swing between attraction and rejection is confusing to Pippa who is struggling with her own issues, including the start up of a new business that is fraught with roadblocks.  The bond between Pippa and her female friends will be required to help her weather the emotional seesawing that she is undergoing while both she and Cam work out their issues.

Another poignant romance in the series.  The author deftly depicts the possible consequences of depending on only one form of birth control and the impact on lives and future plans when an unexpected pregnancy occurs.  Cam is the final member of his close-knit group to succumb to the reproductive curse or blessing (depending on your perspective) that they all seem to be fated to emulate.  His suffering and mental anguish from past events have caused him to wall himself off but he must learn to cope with his undeniable bond with Pippa and their child.  Again, this was a tamer version of Ms Banks’ writing but still an enjoyable read.  Release is scheduled for early May.

A copy of this was loaned by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Not enough hours in the day....

Happy St. Patrick's Day (a bit late!).  Today is also my hubby's's an interesting combination, an 'ELF' and a leprechaun, lol.  We have been spending the weekend on the wonderful Los Angeles freeways because we are attending a seminar this weekend...and not only is there the hassle of leaving the house at least 90 minutes before we need to get there but my goodness, it was POURING this morning and believe me, Southern Californians think the weather should always be moderate and sunny so they tend to get positively kooky when driving in the rain and then it was lightly snowing on our way home tonight!  Those of you who get 'real' snow would laugh at us but we tend to get really nervous seeing those little flakes flying at us...particularly when there are plenty of nutty people who think that lack of clear and dry weather conditions means to speed up and drive even more recklessly...especially the big rigs!  Fortunately, we made it home safely...just missed being involved in an accident this morning...and will have to pray that our journey tomorrow will be uneventful as well.  It tends to be frustrating because it seems that the reckless drivers blithely sow mayhem in their wake and are long gone before they can be punished for their actions.

Sorry, just had to vent!  On the positive side, just finished Lenobia's Vow (by the mother/daughter P.C and Kristin Cast team).  Once I get my review posted for Night Owl I will go into more detail.  It was a great addition to the 'House Of Night' series.  I am also still working on my reviews for Diane Mott Davidson's Crunch Time and Casey Daniels' Wild Wild Death.  The former is for Night Owl but the latter is going to be for 'Kings River Magazine', a new venue for me.  I made the mistake of volunteering for a couple of they sent me 5 or 6!  Fortunately, they are all cozy mystery type reads so that once I find the time to read them, they should go pretty quickly.  I just have to figure out the requirements for their reviews (-:

I have been flattered to have had my opinion solicited by two different authors (about different issues) but it has taken me a little bit of time and contemplation to generate my answers.  The little household chores, dinner, answering e-mails...oops, where did the time go?  Gotta get up really early again tomorrow...guess I won't get around to writing those reviews tonight after all!  Maybe I'll find some time tomorrow...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another contest site

The Romance Reviews is having its anniversary party and boy, it's a lot of fun but one surely can lose a lot of time wandering through the site.  There are lots of prizes given away and if all else fails, you can add to your TBR pile because game entries are obtained by reading through various blurbs submitted by the multitudinous authors.  I realize that I am just adding to my competition by mentioning this but I think it is such a great way of attracting attention to new works that I just had to share (-:

I have been fortunate enough to win several titles over the past few months and most recently have won Whisper Cape by Regan Walsh!  There are a few print books given away but primarily e-books are the individual prizes and there are gift cards as the big prizes so what are you waiting for?  The site is at this link.

One caveat....I enjoy playing the 'flip the card and match the title' game (which you have to in order to be eligible for the grand prize drawing) but remember that the site operates on East Coast time so make sure you're all done before 9:00 PST otherwise (grrr) you lose your additional clicks and have to start all over (double grrr).  Also, for some arcane reason, the week changes over on your weekly chance entries start over then but your grand prize entries carry over.  Enjoy the hunt!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Deadly Dance: Forever's Romantic Suspense Blog Tour Part 1

Deadly Dance by Dee Davis is one of her A-Tac novels which features a group of dedicated operatives who alternate between their sometimes life-threatening missions and their cover positions at the campus of Sunderland College which houses the headquarters for the organization.  A-Tac (American Tactical Intelligence Command) is an organization founded by the CIA and it has undergone some upheaval due to the tragic loss of several of its members but those who remain are dedicated to their jobs.  Harrison Blake is a recent addition to the team but his background as a former FBI agent and member of the Last Chance organization combined with his computer skills make him an invaluable resource.  The tragic loss of his twin has made him reluctant to get close to anyone although he is sorely tempted by fellow operative Hannah Marshall who has her own demons from the past to haunt her.  A horrific video and subsequent clues lead the A-Tac team to realize that an insidiously evil individual is stalking the campus and may be targeting individuals close to Hannah herself.  The gradual blossoming of a relationship between Hannah and Harrison is complicated by the tragedies in their backgrounds as well as the strain of finding a killer before he kills again.  The escalating violence may end any chance of a romance before it is even begun unless a killer is brought to justice.

A gritty suspenseful tale that juxtaposes horrific scenes of violence with a unwilling attraction blossoming between two emotionally damaged individuals who must overcome their fears while attempting to remain effective investigators.  The search gradually uncovers clues that may relate to a case from Harrison’s past but the escalation of violence and the increasing number of victims from A-Tac’s home campus make it even more essential that the case be resolved quickly.  An intense and mesmerizing read.

An interview and giveaway is available at the SOS Aloha blog at this link.

An ARC of this title was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Run From Fear: Forever's Romantic Suspense Blog Tour Part 2

Run From Fear by Jami Alden is a thrilling and chilling read about Talia Vega as she continues to try to rebuild her life after the nightmarish experiences that she has had  that left her scarred in body and mind.  Jack Brooks has watched her from afar, fearing to reveal to her the strength of his attraction to her even as he strives to keep her protected.  Talia’s actions have revolved around protecting her sister Rosie and trying to overcome the nightmares from her past but she has no idea that Jack has been in the background for the past two years, waiting for her to heal.  Eerie occurrences that rekindle the horrors from her past cause Talia to discover that her feelings of security may have been built on a fragile web of deception and someone is out to terrorize her yet again.  She has to decide whether to trust and open up her heart to Jack who has his own wounded past to deal with even as she fights against the evil that threatens all she has worked so hard to overcome.

A suspenseful and gripping tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat even as you root for Jack to find a way to reach Talia’s heart.  The horrors experienced by Talia have scarred her but not yet destroyed her but one wonders how much any one person can overcome.  Some of the secondary characters are somewhat two-dimensional and there seem to be some inconsistencies in the villain’s behavior at the end which is a bit rushed and more condensed than I would have liked but overall this was a very entertaining read.  The touching and passion-filled love scenes are nicely contrasted with frightening and creepy descriptions that seesaw the reader’s emotions as the tension gets wound tighter and tighter.  A mesmerizing read that will garner more fans for a talented author.

Please see the SOS Aloha blog for a giveaway of this enjoyable title at this link.

I was provided an ARC of the work in return for an honest review.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Play Nice

Play Nice by Gemma Halliday was an entertaining action-filled tale that follows a former assassin who fled the upheavals in her country and sought refuge in a commonplace life in San Francisco.  Unfortunately, her past associations are not ready to release her from service, no matter how much time has elapsed.  The former hunter becomes the hunted but complications abound when it turns out there are two different factions seeking to destroy her and the 'enemy of my enemy is temporarily my friend' rule snaps into effect.  An intriguing tale filled with action and adventure that hopefully is the beginning of a series.  There are a few inconsistencies for me (like having bullets in a magazine clip vs. chambered in the gun and that "Jack Bauer" recuperative power displayed by the hero) but it was still a very entertaining read.  My Goodreads review is at this link.

Thank you to the author/publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing and SOS Aloha

A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing by Terry Spears is featured today at the SOS Aloha blog with an intriguing interview at this link.  Terry Spear is a prolific author with a wonderful series of urban fantasy tales about wolf-shifters as well as Scottish Medieval Romances and modern tales such as Deadly Fortunes.  Check out those beautiful covers and be on the lookout for her greatly anticipated jaguar shifters series.  Her website is here and her blog (great picture of wolves!) is at this link.  Happy reading!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

If You Know Her

“If You Know Her” by Shiloh Walker is a great finish to an intriguing series.  I tend to prefer reading print works over e-books but I just had to know who the killer was so this one got moved up to top of the pile of my review books!  I was not disappointed.  Ms Walker is wonderful at creating complex multi-dimensional characters who make me invested in their happiness even as I groan at the stupid mistakes or stubborn behavior they display.  The women in this series are so different from each other (and I am still pondering the difficulties of being a blind chef since I can't seem to cook very well even with the ability to see!) but they each find a way to overcome their handicaps and find very unique men to complete their worlds.  The evil displayed by the killer (I will never look at pottery the same way) is creepy and disturbing and makes one really anxious that the clues are understood correctly and that the good guys win.  Kudos to Ms Walker for creating such an entertaining series and for not making us wait years for a resolution.  My Amazon review is at this link under ELF2060.

As always, I would appreciated a "yes" this was helpful if you are willing.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing a temporary copy for review.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Adult readers only please

Please only continue reading this if you are over 18.

For those who like a little spice in their reads and don't mind short tales in digital form...Delilah Devlin's short menage story Two Hot is free on Amazon until Monday.  My Amazon review (under ELF2060) is at this link.  She also has a slightly longer erotica tale Lone Heart:  A Red Hot Weekend that was a great read.  My Amazon review is at this link.

Other spicy and sometimes kinky tales that I have read recently include Beth Kery's Take A Stranger No More link
Kate Pearce's Captive Mail (third in a trilogy) link
Desiree Holt's Lust Becomes You.  My Night Owl Review is at this link.

All of these were very quick reads but if you are a little squeamish and don't appreciate multiple partner stories or a bit of BDSM they are definitely not for you.

Ok...back to If You Know Her by Shiloh Walker...a terrific read so far, just as the others have been.  Sigh, can't sit and vegetate and finish it because we are traveling but I think I will be going to sleep pretty late tonight!

All titles were provided to me in return for an honest review.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Lord of Illusion

The Lord of Illusion by Kathryne Kennedy is the third (and final?) book in her 'Elven Lords' trilogy.  It has all of the requisite elements of a fantasy story, the hero who is misunderstood, the damaged and oppressed heroine that he needs to rescue, a quest that will change the world as they know it, elves, dragons, fantastical castles, magic, evil villains, etc.  but somehow it isn't quite as gripping as Beneath the Thirteen Moons was for me.  I think that is is possible that there should have been as many books as there are scepters (7) and for some reason this just wasn't to be so a lot of facts and action is summarily squished into this volume so that the series became a trilogy for some reason.  Nonetheless, it is an entertaining and creative story and most of the major issues are resolved although personally, I would have liked to have gotten to know the dragons better, lol.  My Goodreads review is at this link.

I was fortunate to win a copy of this from the SOS Aloha blog (thank you!) and downloaded a copy from Netgalley (provided temporarily) in order to review it in a timely manner.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pocket After Dark and musings about Amazon

For those of you who are willing to read e-books (sorry, Mary)...and I have been surprised to discover that there are quite a few who prefer this format...I suggest that you join the Pocket After Dark site.  Unfortunately, I tend to keep a lot of titles on my TBR plate so I forget to return to the site as often as I should but there are usually one or two titles that they offer for a limited time to be read in their entirety plus snippets from other books.  Right now they have Karen Robards' Justice and J.F. Lewis' Crossed available for a limited time.  I have a preference for the printed book so e-books tend to go to the end of my queue but this is a great way to get to know new authors.  Fortunately, my local libraries are very good about adding a wide variety of genres to their collections so it is very rare that I lack for new titles to read.

This leads me to the discovery that Patricia Briggs' new title Fair Game got released yesterday and my displeasure with Amazon!  I very rarely buy hardcover books.  It is not cost effective for me and as I said, the local libraries are pretty good about getting new titles in a timely manner and my TBR pile is so enormous that it is pretty hard to keep up with all of the series that I read and keep up with the review books that I peruse.  That being said, Patty Briggs is one of a handful of authors that I purchase in hardback.  Those who have read much of my blog know that I am frugal so it is rare that I buy things without a coupon or other discount but I was fortunate to receive several credits on Amazon and I pre-ordered Fair Game in OCTOBER!!!!  I was a bit annoyed to read someone's post about receiving their Kindle version yesterday and to look at my account and realize that my copy hasn't even shipped yet!  Now, I understand that sometimes copies aren't available but this is on the heels of having to wait to receive my copy of Tamora Pierce's Mastiff about THREE WEEKS after it was released.  Another copy that I had pre-ordered.  I am not pleased.  I realize that I am falling into the whine of those who like instant gratification but I think that given that I have 'gotten in line' months before the release and I know that copies are often released to booksellers early (after all, how could they have them stocked on the shelves on the pertinent days otherwise)...why aren't they shipped so that they arrive on or just after the release date?

What is the point of buying through Amazon?  I can't look at the book and make sure it is pristine (and yes, I am one of those obsessive people who like my bookcovers to be nice and unwrinkled, the corners of the book undamaged, etc.) and now it seems I can't even get the book when it is first released.  I am going to have to ponder and decide whether to trade my allegiance to Barnes and Noble (I was an ardent supporter of Waldenbooks/Borders).  Ok, will climb down off of my soapbox now...but I reserve the right to grumble....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Release day for several great titles

For those of you who have been anxiously awaiting the following, it is release day for Doubletake by Rob Thurman (who is trying to deal with the devastation in her hometown, please keep her in your prayers and good thoughts), Oracle's Moon by Thea Harrison, A Seal in Wolf's Clothing by Terry Spear, and Dying Wish by Shannon Butcher.

The links to my Amazon reviews (as ELF2060) and my blog posts for the aforementioned are below.

Doubletake blog   Amazon review

Oracle's Moon  blog  Amazon review

A Seal In Wolf's Clothing  blog
and stay tuned for a delightful interview with author Terry Spear on the SOS Aloha Blog here!

Dying Wish Amazon review

As always, I would appreciate a 'yes this was helpful' vote on Amazon if you are willing.  Thanks and happy reading!

Monday, March 5, 2012


by Jonathan Kellerman is the latest in his series that features Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware.  I have read many of the books in the series but somehow was less enamored of it in recent years so I haven't kept up with them.  I tend to be entertained by the descriptions of the town written by a fellow Angeleno even though Mr. Kellerman is one of those beings that a staunch Trojan is conditioned to dislike.  (For those of you who are confused, he was affiliated with UCLA)  I think that I became frustrated with the horror that Mr. Kellerman is so adept at describing even though he certainly writes a very tightly escalating psychological thriller and this book reminded me of the reason that I needed a break.  The graphic descriptions of the murder victims are a bit disturbing and there are some details that I think were a bit fuzzy but I realize that the author relied heavily on a reader who was familiar with his major characters.  I had no problem understanding that MIlo was comfortable enough with Alex that he ribbed him frequently and had no qualms about rummaging through his freezer, making himself a meal and washing his own dishes but I guess that might be a little disconcerting to someone new to the series.  I did miss the hunky Rick and I hope that he is still part of Milo's life but was glad to get a glimpse of Detective Petra Connor.  The story was well-written but gut clenching.  My Amazon review is at this link.

Thank you to Goodreads for the giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, March 2, 2012

If You See Her

If You See Her by Shiloh Walker is the sequel to If You Hear Her.  Great read but it's a good thing the final in the trilogy (If You Know Her) is already out.  Now I just have to get my hands on a copy!  I enjoyed revisiting the beleaguered citizens of the town of Ash, Kentucky as they continue to search for the deranged killer that has terrorized some of them.  There are nice clues sprinkled throughout the story but there are a few occurrences that I was less than pleased with involving Law as well as Sheriff Nielson.  The action picks up immediately after the events depicted in If You Hear Her as Remy Jennings (the lawyer) wrestles with the conundrum of whether to act on the apparent crime against Law.  The conflict between his head and his heart is an overall theme and his careful assault on the emotionally fragile Hope is a delicate dance that is beautifully described.  An enjoyable story that does a great job of hooking the reader into the series and whets one's appetite for the next book.

 My Amazon review is at this link under Elf2060.  I would appreciate a 'yes, this was helpful' vote if you feel it is appropriate.

Now, I know that most of you will not realize that I put a very truncated post about this up earlier today but the problem was that I visited Ms Walker's blog earlier and posted a comment.  It wasn't until I posted it that I realized that it would append the title of the last post from my blog...which, if you look at the post below, is an advertisement for Gemma Halliday's newest book (which starts with a bang, literally!  More when I finish reading it...) and I didn't realize it until it posted in the comment section.  Well, I thought that was pretty crass...advertising someone else's book on an author's I tried to delete it...oops...couldn't find a way to do that.  So then I started panicking that she would think I was some awful my next comment was to tell her to delete my comments but I didn't want to compound my sins by having the same link so I came to this blog and posted something about If You See Her which I had read but hadn't written the review for yet....anyway, if you have read this far...Ms Walker replied to my frantic e-mail...she wasn't bothered at all (-:   You just never know how somebody will react.  Fortunately she is a very gracious person as well a fantastic author!

My thanks to Netgalley for loaning me an e-copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kiss of the Vampire: Forever's Paranormal Blog Tour, Part 1

 Kiss of the Vampire by Cynthia Garner is the first of her 'Warriors of the Rift' series about the preternaturals (pejoratively known as Extra-dimensionals/EDs) who have come to Earth from another dimension through a rift which usually opens every 73 years.  Beings such as vampires, fairies, werewolves, shapeshifters and demons take possession of human bodies and confer their various powers upon the shell whose owner is dispossessed.  Nix de la Fuente has the distinction of being a demon/human hybrid whose mother is a specialized demon known as a succubus.  She works as a liaison with the regional Council of Preternaturals and investigates various crimes by working with Detective Dante MacMillan, one of the few humans who knows that she isn’t completely human.  An investigation into the horrific murder of a vampire who she knew personally brings her into contact with the vampire who broke her heart 5 years prior.  Tobias Caine is a vampire who has been tracking the assassin who killed his people’s leader for many years.  His decision to break off the relationship with Nix 5 years ago was one of the hardest things he has done in his long life and he is not sure whether he will have the strength to resist her when they are forced into close proximity while investigating the series of crimes on behalf of the council.  There are many factors impeding the investigation but undermining by their own support system is not anticipated and may cause the final irreversible end to their relationship if they don’t learn to trust each other.

This was an interesting new twist on the origin of paranormal beings, the difficulties they could face when dealing with humans and the distrust and discrimination that being different engenders.  The apparent strength and other benefits that come with paranormal powers can also cause handicaps and Nix has an interesting solution for controlling excess emotion with the use of tai chi.  The sizzling carnal relationship between Nix and Tobias is contrasted with the rare bonds that Nix has formed with  the human Dante and her friend Rufus and all is set against an intriguing murder investigation.  A good start to an imaginative series that will continue with the tale of another colleague, Council Liaison Tori Joseph, in Scent of the Wolf.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review