Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kathryne Kennedy titles being re-released

Enchanting the Lady   

by Kathryne Kennedy is the first in her intriguing 'Merlin's Relics' series and is being re-released in August.  The sequels, Double Enchantment and Enchanting the Beast will be re-released after that. Even better, there is a fourth book in the magical series (Everlasting Enchantment) that will be ready some time next year!  This is a fun series that combines Victorian England and its requisite strictures and aristocratic divisions with a world that has alluring shape-changers and magic users.  The series is tied together by various artifacts that each have aspects of magic imbued in them by the great wizard, Merlin himself.  A lot of imaginative elements are combined with sensual characters to provide an entertaining read.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chase Me

Chase Me  

by Tamara Hogan continues the story of the paranormal beings introduced in Taste Me.  A coalition of non-humans including werewolves, valkyries, sirens and incubi are involved in excavating an archaeolgical dig that is searching for the origin of their species on Earth.  The main character, Gabe Lupinsky is a werewolf who is losing his eyesight and he is constantly challenged by the Valkyrie second, Lorin Schlessinger who is reluctant to accept his authority.  Several mysteries are being explored but ultimately their off-world origins may be closer to being exposed than ever before.

I liked the idea of explaining the presence of vampires and otherworldly creatures as survivors of a spaceship having crashed and the archaeological exploration is interesting.  The attraction between the handicapped werewolf and the valkyrie heir is incandescent as they each struggle against the expectations conferred upon them because of their race and their position.  The valkyrie tendency to solve stress through eating, sex or fighting makes it a little difficult for Gabe to accept that their attraction is mutual but they are constantly drawn to one another even though they have trouble expressing their true feelings to one another.  There are a few rather kinky sex and somewhat cliched sex scenes depicted that seem a little gratuitous but there may be future revelations which put this into perspective.  I actually read this book before the first in the series so my recommendation would be for the books to be read in order.  My Amazon review is at this link under ELF2060.  A 'yes, this was helpful' vote is always appreciated if appropriate.

My Goodreads review for Taste Me is at this link

Monday, May 28, 2012

Wild, Wild Death plus It Takes a Witch and other cozy Mystery titles and ponderings


A few months ago, I responded to a request for reviewers for the Kings River Life Magazine and quite a few weeks later I was sent a couple of titles that I had requested as well as some bonus books that I was asked to either review or pass on to someone else to review.  I am happy to say that thus far, all of them have been interesting reads.  I have a few cozy mystery series that I tend to follow (although I have been so inundated with review books that I haven't had as much time to keep up with them as I would like)...including the Nancy Atherton 'Aunt Dimity' series, Earlene Fowler's 'Benni Harper' series, Blaize Clement's 'Dixie Hemingway' series, and Ann Ross' 'Miss Julia' series to name just a few. 

The title that attracted my attention from this person's offerings was by Casey Daniels and is part of her 'Pepper Martin' series.  If you are not familiar with these stories, Pepper is a very fashionably dressed but somewhat down-on-her-luck woman who inadvertently attained the ability to see and talk to ghosts when she fell and bumped her head in a cemetery.  She has very expensive tastes but minimal income and is reluctantly working as a cemetery tour guide when she gets involved in investigating a very old murder.  I love the wicked sense of humor displayed by the author's titles and although I am definitely NOT a fashionista, I am vaguely entertained by reading about the exploits of someone who cares about her designer threads being sullied even as she is running for her life.  There is a definite maturation of the character over the course of the series and I like her much more than I did when it started since she doesn't seem quite so superficial any longer.  I still skip over the descriptions of the designer clothes and accessories but that's just my personal bias.  The mysteries themselves are entertaining and these make great quick reads.  My review of Wild Wild Death is at this link (along with a review of the cozy mystery It Takes a Witch by Heather Blake).

The first in the Pepper Martin series is the tongue in cheek Don of the Dead

Which leads me to my ponderings....
I had to sign an agreement which precludes my putting the reviews for Wild Wild Death and It Takes a Witch on Amazon for a few months so, unless I take the time to write entirely new ones, I guess I will have to remember to mark the calendar so that I can post them.  I could just write entirely new reviews and I just might if I have the time over the next few weeks but I was a little surprised by the stringent requirements being imposed since I would be fine ascribing ownership of the review just as I do for the Night Owl Reviews that I transfer to Amazon.  I have also run into sticky areas recently because I had one author indicate that I could NOT write a review (which I really wanted to because I thought it was a fantastic read) since I had been provided with a copy of the book from the author in exchange for helping publicize the work.  I also have had the great fortune to have been hired to proofread another author's work and enjoyed the story so much that I offered to write a review for that one as well.  That author also has some concerns about conflict of interest.  So, I am curious...would people really think one's review can be bought for such relatively paltry sums? (no offense to either author intended)  What's the point of compromising oneself and pimping out a good review?  I've already received a copy of the work so would it be in hopes of getting future titles?  I consider it as wearing a different hat...reviewer's vs. copyeditor vs. ?   It is always understood that copies of the titles are provided in exchange for honest reviews.  I try not to be insulting when I don't like a particular work but definitely rate those I didn't like accordingly, even if I like the author as a person.  And, in the long run, these are MY, even if I get paid for pointing out typos or editing...I think I am still entitled to them.  So, for the purpose of truth in advertising....most of the books that I review on my blog have either been provided to me for a review, have been checked out of the library, have been purchased or traded for or in a very small percentage of cases, I have had the great thrill and fortune to help edit in some small way.  I will try to remember to point the appropriate category but if anyone is ever curious...please ask!  Ok, clambering down from my soapbox now....

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

For those of you who celebrate this holiday...have a great holiday weekend.  Please take the time to remember those brave souls who have served and are serving to help keep us safe.  If you are looking for a way to reach out, there are always soldiers who are looking for a pen-pal or goodies from home so that they know they are being thought of.  Keep in mind the heroes who have returned home as well, the local veteran's organizations are always in need of volunteers.  There are many lovely groups that can use helpful hands and there are plenty of people who can give you some direction.

Author Caridad Pineiro is working with the Wounded Warriors, please visit her blog at this link.

Kim at the SOS Aloha blog did a nice post about Caridad's efforts at this link.  You can also contact Kim about adopting a soldier (or three).  (And join me in thanking Kim and her family for their service) provides sometimes heart-tugging requests from our soldiers who are often in need of just basic toiletries.  Make sure you read the FAQs and then click on the Where to Send tab to choose your recipient.

I personally have not had the best of experiences with Operation Paperback but they are a worthy organization that tries to ensure that soldiers receive the reading material that they are requesting.

Soldier's Angels has a wonderful organization that also links those of us at home with the brave soldiers who are serving around the world.  There is a minimal fee and a 'vetting' process but they offer many ways to serve, including providing hand-worked blankets, hats and scarves to those in need.

Also...this was just sent:
Hi again Volunteers!

Our own Andrea has just heard from her husband's unit ... they are
deployed to Afghanistan and desperately need twin-sized sheets.  They

"Our guys downrange are in dire need of twin sized sheets! We are
looking for new or gently-used sheet sets (any pattern is fine.) We
can also accept donations of twin sized mattress protectors, or
pillow protectors. Anything you can donate will be appreciated."

If you want to help, please email me for the address.

If anyone wants more information about any of the aforementioned, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail at

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

For Adults Only

Please only read if you are 18 or over.

I have read several enjoyably spicy books recently.  A few have rather edgy erotic scenes so make sure you read the blurbs before you decide whether to purchase if you tend to shy away from kinky sex.
Jaymie Holland (the spicier alter-ego of Cheyenne McCray) has a series of novellas called 'The Auction'.  Thus far I have enjoyed Sold and Claimed

Shiloh Walker has Bound Temptations.  Both were written with her usual flair for combining intense emotion and searing intimate encounters.

Tamara Hogan has a new title Chase Me being released so I have also recently read Taste Me which started the seriesI actually enjoyed Taste Me  a great deal and probably will have to go back and re-read Chase Me since I read it without the background that will undoubtedly enhance my enjoyment.

Marissa Day will soon be releasing another of her erotic paranormal Regency titles, Fascinated. Yum!  (Update:  It released on June 5 and my post is at this link)

Opal Carew has a new title that released on May 30... 
Debt of Honor

And...Shiloh Walker is writing under a new pseudonym as J.C. Daniels and has a new release, Sexy Little Surprises


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Perfect Blood

A Perfect Blood        
by Kim Harrison is the tenth novel in 'The Hollows' series.   Those familiar with these books already know about Rachel Morgan, the witch who has a vampire roommate named Ivy, a salty-tongued pixie colleague named Jenks and a plethora of other intriguing beings who are sometimes allies, sometimes enemies and occasionally both.  This fascinating series addresses sometimes uncomfortable themes but is never boring as the reader watches Rachel work through her angst about the choices she has made in her life.  This novel follows Rachel as she searches for a way to handle life without being able to access most of her powers even as she continues her stubborn refusal to comply with the expectations of those around her.  A series of horrific murders seem to imply that someone is conducting terrible experiments searching for a particular genetic component and Rachel and her colleagues become involved in the investigation which may become much more personal than they would like.  My Goodreads review is at this link.

If you are indeed new to the series, the first title is Dead Witch Walking and introduces Rachel just as she is meeting Ivy.  It's a great series and you are in for a treat but I warn you that there are definitely highs and lows and occasionally I have wanted to shake some sense into Rachel.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What Doesn't Kill You (sometimes makes you stronger and sometimes just injures you!)

What Doesn't Kill You    

by Iris Johansen features many of the characters that we have been introduced to in the multi-volume series that detailed Eve Duncan's extensive search for the daughter who was snatched from her so many years ago.  Ms Johansen has a deft hand at creating memorable characters and chilling situations and she is finally giving a glimpse at some of their backgrounds.  Eve Duncan won Catherine Ling's undying loyalty a few books back by helping her rescue her son Luke from the madman who had kidnapped the young boy and spent the subsequent years brainwashing him.  Catherine repaid the favor by aiding Eve in her own search during which time she became involved in a cat and mouse hunt with John Gallo, a tortured individual with long-standing ties to Eve.  This book spotlights Catherine, John, Luke and several others in a suspenseful tale that naturally involves an earthshaking secret that requires the efforts and remarkable skills that have been honed through unspeakable trials.  The deep emotions that tie many of these damaged individuals together are explored while they race against time to prevent an insidious crime from being perpetrated.  I was not quite as enthralled with this work as I have been with others in the series but it is nevertheless an intriguing addition to the series.  My Amazon review is at this link under ELF2060.  If appropriate, a 'yes, this was helpful' vote is always appreciated.

On a personal note, I had the wonderful opportunity to listen to some of the top smooth jazz musicians in the field this weekend.  I recommend these live concerts to anyone who likes this type of music as one can sit outside and enjoy the fresh air, sip on a libation of your choice (yum, pineapple juice!), and soak up the wonderful music.  I also can highly recommend the Neutrogena sunblock spray SPF 70 since it did a fantastic job of keeping my very fair skin from becoming sunburned...pretty amazing since I was seated in the sun for about 12 hours over two days.  I wasn't sure how effective something that is a spray on would work but it was great everywhere except a small area on my foot that I must have inadvertently wiped off.  It does have a pretty strong smell when it is first applied and by all means, spray it away from others since even a slight breeze will make it travel to the neighbors.  I tended to spray it into my hand and apply the liquid so that I could put it on my face and ears without blinding myself!  I was very pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness so it is something those of you who need such a thing should consider when you are going to be in the sun for long periods of time.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Rise of Empire

Rise of Empire        

by Michael J. Sullivan is the second part of his Riyria Revelations series.  This wonderfully inventive fantasy ostensibly is centered around Hadrian and Royce but their twelve year partnership is being threatened by Hadrian's dissatisfaction with his life and its purpose.  The fantastical talents that the duo share between the two of them are about to be, hmm, wasted...given Hadrian's threat to retire and Royce's plans to settle down and marry his Gwen.  The problem is, the Church is misusing the power acquired through the premise that they have indeed found the heir of Novron who is unwilling or unable to prevent the abuses being perpetrated in her name.  Hadrian's discovery of the story behind the medallion he wears prompts him to embark on a perilous journey and naturally Royce is compelled to accompany his partner, particularly after Gwen has her say in the matter.  The constant adventures, remarkable lands that are described and the intriguing secondary characters who are introduced make this another excellent quest adventure but be forewarned, there are two separate novels in this particular book and then you will want to have the sequel, Heir of Novron, immediately available.  I was disappointed by some of the developments but definitely admit that the story is compelling and a very enjoyable read.  My Amazon review is at this link under ELF2060.  A 'yes, this was helpful' vote is always greatly appreciated.