Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Here's wishing all of you a wonderful 2014 filled with plenty of great books to read and plenty of friends and loved ones to share them with!

I have not had time to do my favorites of 2013 but I will get to that soon...but a few of the titles on my TBR list are (in case you need ideas on what to spend some of that Christmas book budget on, lol):


and ADULT titles


Monday, December 30, 2013

Soul Slam (Soul Force Book 1) (guest post, review, GIVEAWAY, GFT)

I have the wonderful opportunity to have a guest post by the Allie Burton, the author of Soul Slam (Soul Force Book 1), a Young Adult book available January 5, 2014.  She shares her thoughts on character creation.

How are Characters Created?
by Allie Burton

There’s not one answer to that question.

Characters from books are created in a variety of ways. Some authors start with an idea for a plot and pick characters that will provide the most conflict for that plot. Other times, a character comes first and then a story is created around that character. I’ve done it both ways.

For example in Soul Slam I started with the plot. I knew I wanted someone to inherit the soul of King Tut. But who? And how would they inherit this long lost soul? I decided the main character should be a thief and I thought a female thief would be more interesting. Then I had to figure out how she became and thief and why. You have to read the book to learn the rest.

There are three books in my Lost Daughters of Atlantis series. The first book, Atlantis Riptide (Lost Daughters of Atlantis), I started with a character. The old saying about “running away to the circus” came to mind and I twisted it. Who would run away from the circus and why? That’s actually the first line in the book.
When I developed the characters in Atlantis Red Tide and Atlantis Rising Tide , I already knew the plots because of the first book so I had to find archetypes that would fit the story.

One time I saw a girl riding a motorcycle and thought that was different. I wondered what type of a teenage girl would ride a motorcycle and why. Did she like the danger or couldn’t she afford a car? Was a motorcycle easier to park where she lived or worked? I created an entire story around this one image.

I’ve gotten characters from magazine photos, newspaper articles, a hobby or talent, and just things I’ve witnessed or experienced. Plus, I have two teens of my own who are always coming up with interesting things.

Do you have an idea for a character? Where did you get the idea from?

Thanks so much for hosting me!


A sixteen-year-old on her first heist to steal an ancient Egyptian amulet inadvertently receives the soul of King Tut…and the deadly curse that comes with it.

And Olivia is not alone at the museum.

A member of a secret Society, Xander believes it is his place to inherit King Tut’s soul and justly rule. He knows nothing about the society’s evil plan to control the world or the curse. Now, he must deal with the female imposter who stole the amulet.

Xander convinces Olivia they must form a temporary partnership. The two teens develop a connection, and together they must figure out how to end the curse before it turns deadly. On the run, unable to touch because of the curse, and dealing with a male soul inside her female body, Olivia must learn to trust Xander. As the mystery surrounding the amulet unfolds, Olivia and Xander start to fall for each other. But is love enough to save them and the world from destruction?


(from Chapter Twenty-Seven)

My spot of defiance hadn’t stopped him. My elation plummeted like my spit. X now had the final ingredient.

Smoke rose from the cup. Colors swirled, mixing and combining like a wacky rainbow. My gaze followed the motion unwillingly entranced. I couldn’t take my gaze off of this creation. The contents glowed with a strange aura.

A light flashed sending a bolt of lightning through the room. I flinched from the heat.

The goons’ hold loosened. X watched with an awed expression on his face.

A sphere formed in the cup. Colors of red and blue and yellow shaped the orb. The colors flamed and burned into a bright yellow. The shiny ball rose on a layer of smoke like the sun on a cloudy day.

I’d never seen anything so fantastical. I held my breath as the orb rose above the alabaster cup and floated like a balloon.

X stepped toward the globe. “Did you know glass was first developed around the time of King Tut’s reign?” He angled his head examining the glass globe of sun. “The golden glass will act like a controller.”

“You can’t control a king.” Or a pharaoh. Or me.

“While I was promised to host King Tut, the conditions weren’t right the year I turned sixteen.” X’s voice grew bitter. His eyebrows came together in a straight line mourning the loss of his own power. “The Society didn’t even read the chant, already knowing through advances in science that an eclipse would not happen on the summer solstice of that year. I became a regular person, just another man in the Society.”

Having the power had been cool, but not if I couldn’t control it. Not if I couldn’t touch the people I loved. Xander’s name whispered through my chest.

“I was promised the soul and the power but never told about the burn out until later.” X’s voice rose higher, angrier. “The Society betrayed me, betrayed every Xander throughout the centuries.”

“Then why are you doing this to me?”

Buy links:

Soul Slam (Kindle version)
Soul Slam (paperback version)


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Allie Burton

Allie didn’t realize having so many jobs would become great research material for the stories she writes. She has been everything from a fitting room attendant to a bike police officer to a professional mascot escort. She has lived on three continents and in four states and has studied art, fashion design, marine biology, and advertising.

When her kids asked, “when are you going to write a story we can read?” she switched from adult novels to Young Adult and Middle Grade and hasn’t looked back.

Allie is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Romance Writers of America including the Young Adult, Dallas Area Romance Writers and Heart of the Rockies chapters. She is also a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Currently, she lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.

Author links: 



One randomly chosen commenter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.  Please leave a comment with a valid e-mail address and share what talent you would find most intriguing about having the power of the sun (e.g. repel water, shoot flames from your mouth, stun with a touch, affect the tides, etc.) or what scent you would like the most for an essential oil. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please join the tour at other stops:

December 30: Deal Sharing Aunt
December 31: Andi's Young Adult Books
December 31: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
January 1: Kit 'N Kabookle
January 2: Books and Other Spells
January 3: Cabin Fever Book Reviews
January 3: Shooting Stars Reviews
January 6: Theresa M Jones
January 6: Live To Read ~Krystal
January 7: Our Wolves Den
January 7: LizaOConnor
January 8: Dana's YA Bookpile
January 9: My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews
January 10: the bookish owl
January 10: Blood Red Shadows
January 10: Nickie's Views and Interviews
January 13: Hazel West's Character Purgatory
January 13: Book- Marks The Spot
January 14: Long and Short Reviews
January 15: Books in the Hall
January 16: Full Moon Dreaming
January 16: Gin's Book Notes
January 17: Book Briefs
January 20: Margay Leah Justice
January 20: Author Jinni James
January 21: Rogue's Angels
January 22: Sandra's Blog
January 22: Room With Books
January 23: Sun Mountain Reviews
January 23: Emraz The Spark
January 24: Writer Wonderland

My Review:

3 3/4 out of 5 stars

“Soul Slam” by Allie Burton is Book 1 in the ‘Soul Force’ series and tells the story of Olivia, a 16-year-old thief who discovers that her assignment to steal the Mighty Amulet of Aten is more complicated than she ever dreamed.  Inadvertently becoming host to the spirit of King Tut, Olivia must join forces with Xander, the teen who had trained for the honor, and find a way to prevent her newly acquired powers from burning her out even as they seek to prevent the misuse of the powers by several factions.  A treasure hunt all over San Francisco helps them learn more about each other and the implications of the powers but they must each decide who to put their faith in--each other or the authority figures in their respective lives?  And who will survive and to what purpose will the powers be put to?

This fun young adult fantasy story combines intriguing parts of Egyptian history with certain aspects of its mythology.  There are some facets of the power of the sun that give an interesting twist to Olivia’s powers but some of her powers don’t seem to be related to the sun and there are inconsistencies in how her newly acquired powers impact the natural world.  The clues for the hunt that lead the teens around San Francisco provide entertaining puzzles to be solved but the action is a little erratic and there are quite a few events that strain credulity a bit or that could use a bit more explanation and I thought that the romance between the two main characters was a little forced.  Nonetheless, this is an imaginative story and its exciting conclusion definitely provides a framework for future stories involving this intrepid couple.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Bring on the Heat boxed set (Adult titles)--Ten Days and Counting! (plus excerpt from Adriana Kraft)


I am happy to have the opportunity to present the upcoming release of a collection of sizzling stories with a very short excerpt from the team known as Adriana Kraft to whet your appetite.

We’re holding a party and you’re invited!

Hubs and I, who co-write Erotic Romance for Two, Three, or More under the pen name Adriana Kraft, are thrilled to have a novella in the upcoming exciting boxed set Bring on the Heat. Release day is January 6, and the authors are holding a two day release party on Facebook. Click on the link to rsvp and come celebrate with us January 6 and 7 – games, prizes, snippets from the authors.


Bring on the Heat

A collection of erotic tales from today’s hottest authors, featuring BDSM love stories, ménage romps, and everything in between. No matter what your taste in erotic romance, we’ve got you covered and then some! Warning: These stories may require readers to seek out a cold drink and a hot man…

Available for pre-order NOW at special price of just $.99


Barnes & Noble



Eden Bradley - Breaking Skye Contemporary BDSM

Cassandra Carr - Caught Contemporary BDSM

Stephanie Julian - An Indecent Proposition Contemporary ménage

Amber Kallyn - Burned (Dragos, book 1) Paranormal/shifter

Keira Kohl - Laundry Day Contemporary

Adriana Kraft - Cherry Tune-Up Contemporary ménage

Emma Lai - Riding Rodeo Contemporary Western ménage

Anh Leod - Clockwork Captive Paranormal/steampunk

Ann Mayburn - First Kiss Contemporary BDSM FemDom

Cari Quinn - Jingle Ball (More the Merrier book 1) Contemporary ménage


Our story, Cherry Tune-Up, has already received 4.5 Blue Ribbons at Romance Junkies and has a Five Star rating at Amazon! Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt to entice you:

Desperate for a crash course in lovemaking, Bobbi Jo Martin seeks out her childhood best friend. A successful contractor with NASCAR dreams, Jack Day has never forgotten her—but how will he protect his heart?  In a moment of sheer genius he decides to play the role of master…


Explicit sex: m/f, f/f; ménage: f/f/m; light bdsm; anal play; sex toys


"I won't hurt you,” Jack said. “That, I promise. But, you will follow my instructions, or you'll find out how intertwined pain and pleasure can be."

"You're kidding!" Bobbi Jo’s eyes widened with shock.

"Do I look like I'm kidding? What will it be?" Jack chuckled, taunting her. "Are you joining me in the classroom, or are you going to run back to your tight-assed banker?"

Bobbi Jo's hands rose to her reddening neck.

"Just talking about sex has your heart pumping strong, doesn't it?" Her slight shake of the head told him what he already knew.

"Damn, you're going to be an able student. I don't wait well, Bobbi Jo. Are you in or out? Your master is about to ring the bell. And I'll let you know when it’s time for recess." He tilted his head.

Bobbi Jo parted her lips. "I'm in." 



Adriana Kraft is the pen name for a husband/wife team writing Erotic Romance for Two, Three or More. The award-winning pair has published over thirty erotic romance novels and novellas to outstanding reviews. Romantic pairings include straight m/f, lesbian, bisexual, ménage and polyamory. Website  Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

W is for Wasted


It's amazing to me that I have been reading this series since it started in the early 90's.  (so long ago that my reviews are on a different computer, lol)  Time seems to move differently in the small town of Santa Teresa California but life never seems to be boring for its inhabitants.  It bemuses me that the recurring characters have become so familiar that I look forward to finding out what is going on in their individual lives and cringe when things aren't quite working out.

My review:

W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton is another captivating addition to the ‘Kinsey Millhone’ mystery series.  A gradually unfolding tale of synchronicity slowly weaves an intricate tapestry that inexplicably leads Kinsey to contemplate the bonds of family in a way she hadn’t considered.  The unexpected link to a recently deceased homeless man involves her in an unpaid investigation that will reap unforeseen benefits and complications.  A separate case told in flashbacks follows the actions of an ethically-challenged private investigator, Pete Wolinsky, who manages to enmesh Kinsey in his affairs, with or or without her active participation.  Oddly enough, different factions of the homeless population become germane to Kinsey’s case as she doggedly pursues a very tangled thread that winds up changing her life significantly.

This mystery series has a lasting allure which persists through the various letters of the alphabet and this particular tale is no exception. Part of the fascination is due to the way this sleepy California town with its picturesque locations and unique characters are inexorably drawn into a homicide investigation which is gradually solved through a combination of investigative technique and serendipity.  I am always entertained by the way clues are sprinkled through the story even as we observe Kinsey go about her normal routine and her ironic mental commentary strikes a chord with me.  There has been an interesting set of revelations about Kinsey’s own family throughout the series and this story was unexpected in the tangent that resulted in even more details about the past being delineated.  I enjoyed getting to meet ‘Ed’ and reading about his macabre gifts even as it was like revisiting old friends and acquaintances when descriptions about Henry and his family popped up.  I do hope that Kinsey’s romantic prospects improve as we are running out of letters in the alphabet, and I look forward to reading about her next exciting adventure.
© Night Owl Reviews

I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review.

W is for Wasted (Kinsey Millhone Mystery) (Amazon link)