Wednesday, October 31, 2012


by Violette Malan continues where Mirror Prince left off.  It is much better to read that one first because this is a very intricate fantasy world.  This author has such a wonderful ability to create intricate worlds and complex characters that it is always a delight to read but one has to pay pretty close attention to what is going on.  I liked the twists in this book and, although it took me awhile to remember the events from the first book, once I was in the proper 'world', I enjoyed the tale. 

My Amazon review for Shadowlands is at this link and for Mirror Prince is at this link.

I am very fond of this author's other series that features the characters of Dhulyn and Parno.  These are fun fantasy books with swordfights and plenty of quirky characters.  Start with The Sleeping God and continue from there.  All of them were a lot of fun and excellent sword and magic adventures.  My Night Owl Reviews are at this link.



For all of you who are reading this on October 31, 2012---Happy Halloween!  Be safe and don't overdose on the candy and treats!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spicy adult titles

Adults only titles

Roping Your Heart  

by Cheyenne McCray is a continuation of her 'Riding Tall' series and returns the reader to the Arizona town described in Branded For You.  A tear-jerker but great combination of spice and romance and the hamster, Sam, reminds me of my beloved hamster Rose who was an amazing escape artist but so fun to watch as she 'unpacked' her jaws and displayed all of the treasures she found during her travels around our house (although only a hamster would fill up on cotton balls!).  My Amazon review is at this link.

Boots and Promises (Ugly Stick Saloon)   

by Myla Jackson
This was a great and spicy short story that combines reminders that we need to follow our dreams but have to remember that it is often that special someone who makes it all worthwhile.  The author does a wonderful job of presenting a very realistic scenario very succinctly and I look forward to reading more of her tales in the future.  My Amazon review is at this link.


by Robin L. Rotham.  Warning:  This is a tale filled with very edgy sexual practices, not suitable for everyone's tastes.  I thought it was well-done with an intriguing story that brings science and imagination together but admit that I was a little startled by some of the 'scenes' being described.   A very talented erotica author who manages to combine carnality and romance in a fascinating tale.  My Amazon review is at this link.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Yummy titles out now or coming soon plus the TBR list

Among the delightful titles that I am working on reviewing in the very near future are two wonderful historical romances, Sabrina Jeffries' Twas the Night After Christmas (sigh, what a lovely story)

Emma Wildes' Ruined by Moonlight (yum, what a fun read)


A noir mystery:
Carole Nelson Douglas' Cat in a White Tie and Tails  (yes, it has been out a couple of months but I am just getting to it)

 also on the to be done pile:

Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love's The Curse (part of the Belador series)

and a couple of spicy adult tales:

A contemporary romance:
 Cheyenne McCray's Roping Your Heart (can't help loving this author's romantic and erotic tales and this one definitely showcases her talents)

Three Way:  Erotic Adventures edited by Alison Tyler

and don't forget that Shiloh Walker's new romantic suspense title, Stolen, is being released on October 30, 2012!  Available at Amazon (click on cover for link), Barnes & Noble at this link or Powells at this link or Books a Million at this link

There's a blog tour with fantastic prizes at this link.

We won't discuss the 30 titles on the TBR pile yet, lol!  Reviews to follow...eventually.

A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis plus making oatmeal

A Dangerous Liaison With Detective Lewis   
by Jillian Stone is part of her delightful 'The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard' series and returns the reader to the fascinating Industrial Age of England.
This author does a wonderful job of conjuring up the awe and excitement of the inventors of the era even as she pens an occasionally very gory murder mystery.  I love strong heroines who are independent yet open-minded enough to accept help when it is needed and of course I enjoy romances so I found this a delightful additional to an imaginative series which explores a side of the British Isles that I don't normally glimpse in my beloved Regency Romances.  There is an sobering reminder of the trial and error which risked life and limb before inventions became safe for general usage but this is nonetheless a intriguing look at a very significant period of history.  Characters from the very entertaining first book in the series, An Affair With Mr. Kennedy are briefly seen and I think the covers are a nice change from those which seem to be so popular (and yes, the people have heads!).  My Amazon review for A Dangerous Liaison With Detective Lewis is at this link and for An Affair With Mr. Kennedy is at this link.

So, thus far, everyone who has tasted my hubby's oatmeal cookies agrees that they are very tasty (and no, I didn't share my version...I only made 5 cookies and all of those were eaten that night, lol).  We actually eat oatmeal for breakfast pretty often but we tend to use the instant packages that we add our own ingredients to.  As usual, I am relatively oblivious of the true instructions and I have managed to indoctrinate my by-the-book hubby into my method.  I add milk and zap in the microwave for a minute while I gather my additions, which usually include pecans or walnuts and dried cherries or cranberries (I also tend to throw these in my cold cereal as well).  If we have cooked bacon in the fridge, a strip or two of that is added as well and everything is crumbled into the bowl with a good stir and another minute in the microwave results in a nice steaming bowl.  I personally, like my oatmeal very creamy whereas my hubby is a more soupy cereal consumer so butter and/or additional milk (or half and half) may be added before one more minute of cooking (don't forget to stir).  Yum, a filling breakfast which doesn't require the addition of sugar since the fruit serves as a sweetener. 

I will mention that we experiment with the nuts...occasionally I bake them (although I am usually reading so occasionally they bake a tad longer than they should), particularly the walnuts, which enhances their flavor.  We tend to buy the large packages from our local Costco and keep them in the freezer, removing only a week's supply to keep at room temperature.  A single sheet in a pie pan or on a baking sheet, 350 degrees Farenheit, 5 minutes then a shake of the pan followed by another 3-5 minutes...and, lovely, a great snack as well as a healthy addition to oatmeal or granola.  I alternate between adding salt, if you like your roasted nuts salty, add just a little olive oil before shaking salt over the nuts then stir before baking. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Contests! Don't miss out

Sorry, have had my head down working on a few things...a couple of proofreading jobs as well as personal things going (and yes, the oatmeal cookies were delicious) but I wanted to make sure that I mentioned that there is a big Halloween contest going on at Writerspace at this link.  You have to register TODAY (Saturday, Oct. 27!).

Romance Books 4 Us has a contest at this link.

There is a Howloween blog hop at this link.

There is a Spookapalooza party at The Romance Studio at this link.
Night Owl Reviews has a scavenger hunt at this link

Coffee Time Romance has a collection of contests at this link
(and don't forget their live chat on October 30, 2012)

There are plenty more but I have to wander off and read some of my review books since I have 5 (!) reviews due on Monday and still have 2 1/2 books to read, let alone the proofread I am working on.  Enjoy entering all of the contests, maybe I will eventually get an entry into some of them, lol!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Calling Lisa Renee Jones' adult fans!

Adults only, please!

Please join Lisa Renee Jones at the Writerspace chat tomorrow at 5:00 PST (8:00 EST) at this link!
She is the author of the entertaining romantic suspense tale, If I Were You which has a beautiful new cover.

She has a special guest for the chat, Dr. Kat (wife, mother, sexologist).  Her website is at this link.

Come join the fun, a wide variety of topics will probably be covered, including Lisa's history with buying storage units, experience that figures prominently in If I Were You.  Usually there is a jar of virtual Nutella, a virtual libation of your choice and lots of fun.  IF the room is on protocol, please remember to just type a question mark ('?') and wait for the moderator to call on you before asking your question.  Usually, I type ? and hit return and then type my question AND WAIT TO HIT return until I am called on.  That way, you have time to type and check what you are trying to say while you are waiting.  If you have any questions, you can always 'whisper' to me during the chat and I will be happy to help!

This prolific author also has the boxed set of her vampire wardens and werewolf society books on sale for a limited time for only $1.99.

Forbidden and...the search for the perfect oatmeal cookie

by Jacquelyn Frank is part of her 'Nightwalker' series and will be released at the end of October.  I wasn't quite as enthralled with this particular installment as I usually am but the requisite elements were in place and I did enjoy the references to important players from the history of Egypt.  I am not quite sure what I found jarring, perhaps it was a bit too formulaic and the villain(s) seem two-dimensional and almost caricaturic.  My Goodread review is at this link.

My apologies for this post going live before it was quite finished.  I wrote it more than a month ago to remind me to post it when my Night Owl review went live but unfortunately, my wires got crossed and it isn't quite ready on the NOR site yet so I have updated the aforementioned link.  I will update it when possible but I am smack in the middle of a couple of proofreading jobs as well as starting a new class so I am a little scatterbrained right now, lol. 

So, in my house, my husband is the one who collects cookbooks and studies recipes (mmm, I am NOT complaining, mind you) and he has been on a quest to find a recipe for oatmeal cookies similar to the ones he had in his childhood.  He LOVES the America's Test Kitchen cookbooks and tried out the Cook's Illustrated Cookbook's oatmeal cookie recipe recently.  I got to help by putting the dough onto the cookie sheets so I diverted the last of the dough and cut up dried cherries and pecans to add to it.  The look of incredulity on his face sent me into gales of laughter.  In a parody of Tom Hanks' line, I was told...."there are NO cherries and pecans in oatmeal cookies"....whereupon my answer was, "there are in mine".  Suffice it to say, both versions were delicious and I don't usually eat oatmeal cookies!  And yes, I did share, lol. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Lady Risks All and Royal Bridesmaids and my fangirl moment

The Lady Risks All  
by Stephanie Laurens is another of her delightfully romantic reads.  This particular book was a little different from the usual fare and I enjoyed the mystery that accompanied the author's traditional Regency romance.  My Amazon review is at this link.

Royal Bridesmaids  

is an anthology of tales written by Stephanie Laurens, Gaelen Foley and Loretta Chase.  There are three short Regency Romance stories that showcase the talents of three very different authors who demonstrate their ability to pen a cohesive romance that, although short, are very satisfying.  The deft characterizations establish the stage for longer tales even as they are presented in a cohesive romantic vignette.  My Amazon review is at this link.  Fair warning, there are multiple excerpts from the authors' other works so the book isn't quite as long as one would think.

I have been a fan of Stephanie Laurens ever since I happened upon one of her earliest Cynster novels (I think it was A Rake's Vow) and started with my obsession with her books.  I have tried to read almost all of her titles, assiduously searching for the earlier titles such as Tangled Reins and Four in Hand and I believe that I have only inadvertently missed some of the very early titles that I couldn't get my hands on.  She has several series such as the 'Lester Family', the 'Bastion Club' and the 'Black Cobra' as well as several anthologies but of course I am most fond of the extended Cynster family.


I was fascinated to read that Ms Laurens was born in exotic Ceylon and currently lives in Australia and I am always delighted to introduce new readers to her books.  I was most gratified to introduce one of my professional mentors to the joys of reading these great books after almost despairing of convincing her to read lighter fiction.  An academic librarian, my friend and former boss was much more likely to read Germanic literature so I was gratified to finally find an author that piqued her interest, especially since my friend is now homebound.

 Ms Laurens is my absolute favorite Regency Romance author and I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that she was going to attend the RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference this year in Anaheim.  Thus began my quest to attend!  Even better, she was going to participate in the Literacy Signing event!  If all else failed, I would be able to actually meet her in person at that worthwhile session.  I was so excited that she was coming so far to attend and I was so tongue-tied when I finally met her that I was too flustered to remember that I intended to have her autograph a book for my friend.  I had to get back in line and felt like an idiot, lol.   Fortunately, she is a very gracious person and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to see her several times during the conference.

I also had the very good fortune to hear the keynote speech (thanks to a very generous person who gave me her ticket) that this very discerning author presented wherein she delineated the shifting relationship between authors and their readers, pointing out that the traditional route from author to publisher to distributor to retailer to reader has been expanded to pathways that include both self-publishing and the power of the internet and therefore requires adaptation by authors, publishers, distributors and readers.  It was very enlightening and an interesting look at the business side of the industry.

Ms Laurens' website is at this link.  If you are new to her books and you are a fan of historical romance that has spice, alpha males, determined females, strong family relationships and plenty of lovely romance...I invite you to try one of this prolific author's books.  If you have already read any of her works, you are probably already a fan!