Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole

Bowen McRieve and Mariketa the Awaited's book

Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night 
(Immortals After Dark book 4)

By Kresley Cole

Book Blurb:Her breathless kiss haunts him... Bowen MacRieve of the Lykae clan was nearly destroyed when he lost the one woman meant for him. The ruthless warrior grew even colder, never taking another to his bed--until a smoldering encounter with his enemy, Mariketa the Awaited, reawakens his darkest desires. When sinister forces unite against her, the Highlander finds himself using all his strength and skill to keep her alive. 

His slow, hot touch is irresistible... Temporarily stripped of her powers, Mari is forced to take refuge with her sworn adversary. It's rumored that no one can tempt Bowen's hardened heart, but soon passion burns between them. Though a future together is impossible, she fears he has no intention of letting her go. 

No deed is too wicked for her seduction... If they defeat the evil that surrounds them, can Mari deny Bowen when he demands her body and soul--or will she risk everything for her fierce protector?

I think that Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night is my favourite so far. I got totally into the story and was disappointed when it was all done. I love that feeling. 

Bowen was introduced to the readers in the second book, A Hunger Like No Other. I liked that we learned a bit about his back story early on. It helped understand where his mindset was from book 3, No Rest for the Wicked (which is based around a Lore type of Amazing Race, the Talisman Hie). I totally loved that this book started off Bowen's storyline set back in that previous book and then carryed on from there. I am such a fan of continuity in stories. This Immortals After Dark series is just full of it. 

In No Rest for the Wicked, Bowen is as close to desperate as he can get with his obsession to win the time travelling grand prize, Thrane's Key. Reading the books in order, you know the poor physical shape Bowen was left in at the end when the race finished so when Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night takes the reader back to a bit earlier in the race, I was so excited. I wanted to read how Bowen arrived in the shape he ultimately ended up when that book was finished. I tell you, these series is taking me on such an adventurous ride. 

Mariketa is a delight. I loved that she was supposed to be an all powerful being but she was so clutsy that she wasn't even sure if she could pull off a minor spell without blowing up something. On top of all that, she knew this deficiency about herself and really didn't try to hide it. When Bowen accused Mari of placing a type  of mating charm on him, she couldn't really deny it because she wasn't sure if she did do it or not. 

I could also see in Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night that the various Lore groups seem to almost forming alliances due to some of the recent couple pairing offs. Lykae with Valkyrie, Lykae with witches, Forebearing Vamps with Valkyrie and even the friendships that seem to build between demons and fey during the race. Kresley Cole seems to be slowly building up for an amazing Accession showdown where alliances are built and the Vampires are going to be hit hard. I'm loving it. 

Bowen and Mari had a great romance story build up and the reader really didn't know what to base it on. Was it really the beginning of love? Was it just a spell? Was he just using her? So many puzzling questions that just played out in a perfect pace that was finished with a spectacular finish. What a great battling finish! 

Teasers: Trapped!, bloodbath guerrilla warfare, mirrors and apples, deception sorceress, spell overload

Monday, August 27, 2012

Super Deal 8 Award-Winning Books

Readers! Eight award winners in the 2012 eFestival of Words "Best of the Independent eBook Awards" have grouped together to offer you an amazing opportunity. They've reduced the prices of their award-winning novels to 99 cents for August 27 and 28th!

Whether you like to read mysteries, romance, horror, young adult, women's fiction, or fantasy, this group has it. Are you a writer yourself? Do you want to learn all about digitally publishing your next masterpiece? They've got you covered there too.

Get all eight award-winning ebooks for the price of one single paperback!

Award Winners

Best Mystery/Suspense: Dead is the New Black by Christine DeMaio-Rice
Best Non-Fiction: DIY/Self-Help: Let's Get Digital by David Gaughran
Best Horror: 61 A.D. by David McAfee
Best Romance: Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne
Best Young Adult: The Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto
Best Fantasy/Urban Fantasy and Best NovelThe Black God's War by Moses Siregar III
Best Chick Lit/Women's LitCarpe Bead'em by Tonya Kappes
Award for Best Twist ("I've Been Shyamalaned"): The Survival of Thomas Ford by John A.A. Logan

Here's a one-stop shopping link for your convenience:

Book Blurbs
Laura Carnegie gave up on the man of her dreams a long time ago. He's fashion designer Jeremy St. James, and not only is he her boss, everyone knows he's gay.

When the woman who holds the company purse strings is found dead in the office, and Jeremy's arrested for the murder, everything changes. If Laura can just solve this crime, keep the cops off her tail, break up a counterfeiting ring, and get the show on the runway by Friday, she might stop being Seventh Avenue's perpetual loser.

If you love Project Runway, or enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada, try Dead Is the New Black.

This guide contains over 60,000 words of essays, articles, and how-to guides, as well as contributions from 33 bestselling indie authors including J Carson Black, Bob Mayer, Victorine Lieske, Mark Edwards, and many more.

It covers everything from how the disruptive power of the internet has changed the publishing business forever to the opportunities this has created for writers. It gives you practical advice on editing, cover design, formatting, and pricing. And it reveals marketing tips from blogging and social networking right through to competitions, discounts, reviews, and giveaways.

If you are considering self-publishing, if you need to breathe life into your flagging sales, or if you want to understand why it's a great time to be a writer, Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should will explain it all.

61 A.D. For ten years, Taras has lived in the young city of Londinium, feeding off the city’s underbelly. But now Theron, his old enemy, has come looking for revenge, and Taras’ nights of living in relative peace are about to end.

Yet not even Theron can slip into town unnoticed, and the Council of Thirteen sends Ramah to deal with the two renegades once and for all. But unknown to the Council, a much older enemy is also in Londinium, and this time even the great Ramah might not be safe.

Set against the backdrop of the Iceni uprising in Roman-era Britannia, 61 A.D. continues the story of Taras, Theron, and Ramah, as they fight their way through history.

Nic Lamoureux's perfect movie star life is shattered by a stalker who threatens any woman close to him. When he meets photographer Lauren James, the attraction is instant--and mutual. She's exactly the sort of woman he craves, but the stalker makes deadly clear Lauren is the competition.
And the competition must be eliminated.

"Stock up on ice cubes because this is definitely one sizzling debut. Readers will be hooked from the first sentence- on the book and on Nic! As rich as a white chocolate cheesecake, Cayne's entrance into the suspense genre is invigorating, explosive and simply intoxicating." ~ RT Book Reviews Top Pick

When teen witch Ivy MacTavish changes a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, everything turns to chaos. And when no one is powerful enough to transform him back except Ivy, it sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Worse, someone has used an evil spell book to bring back two of history's most nefarious killers.

Ivy's got a simple plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. No problem! But first, she’ll have to deal with something more dangerous than murderous spirits: the school’s hotter-than-brimstone demon bad boy, Nick Marcelli. Demons are about as hard to handle as black magic, and Ivy soon discovers it’s going to take more than a lot of luck and a little charm if she wants to clear her status as a dark witch, get a warm-blooded boyfriend, and have her former date back to eating meal worms before the week’s end

Against the backdrop of epic warfare and the powers of ten mysterious gods, Lucia struggles to understand The Black One.

Her father-king wants war.
Her messianic brother wants peace.
The black god wants his due.
She suffers all the consequences.

"Moses is a fine writer deserving of success, and I think that it will follow ... I really enjoyed Moses's work." - David Farland, NYT Bestselling Author of The Runelords

Hallie Mediate was raised by her (slightly) crazy Great Aunt Grace on the wrong side of the tracks in Cincinnati. Hallie escapes her hometown and never looks back.

That is, until she’s transferred back to the hometown. Not wanting her past to cross paths with her future, Hallie puts her life on hold.

Aunt Grace is still up to her old tricks, but Hallie finds some sanity at a local jewelry-making class where she uncovers a hidden talent for beading.

Will she keep searching for the happiness she may already have found?

Thomas Ford is the only survivor of the car crash which killed his wife. He is also the only witness who would be willing to identify the young, reckless driver who caused the crash. But the driver would sooner see Thomas Ford dead than ever let that happen. 

Happy Reading!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Winners for Sizzling Summer Blog Hop

Congratulations to Lacey T who was the winner of the $15 Amazon Gift Card. She has confirmed and now has the gift card to spend as she fits. Happy shopping Lacey T

The 5 randomly selected winners of the short sexy story, 

Carolyn Byles
Crystal Broyles
Ann Craven
Bookcase Laura

I hope you enjoy this sexy little read by debut author Evelyn Jules as much as I did and thank you for participating on the Blog Hop. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole

Kaderin "the Cold Hearted" & Sebastian Wroth's book

No Rest for the Wicked (Immortals After Dark 3)

By Kresley Cole
Book Blurb:A soldier weary of life . . . Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire – a nightmare in his mind – against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead. 
A Valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him . . .
 When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow – accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings – particularly lust – emerge multiplied. For the first time, she's unable to complete a kill. 
Become competitors in a legendary hunt.
The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity – as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world – to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she's falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?

No Rest for the Wicked could basically described as a mythology legend meets the Amazing Race with a touch of Indian Jones adventure added in for good measure.  All in all, it was fabulous, exciting and very sexy. I liked it a lot. 

Kaderin suffered a heavy personal loss and carried around a mountain of guilt for hundreds of years. She had allowed one particular vampire to live during a battle only to have that same vampire turn around and behead her own two sisters (they were triplets).She felt that burden on her shoulders alone. Kaderin had so much hate, anger and disgrace in her soul that it turned her into a cold but very effective warrior. It was almost cruel that fate somehow matched her up with Sebastian, who is a vampire. 

I should add, that Sebastian is a self loathing vampire. He was turned by his own brother who just happens to be Nikolai Wroth from book 1, A Warlord Wants Forever.  Sebastian never wanted the vampire life and as his own brother declined his dying wish to be left to die as a human. Even after three hundred years, he still had not embraced the vampire life. He purposely alienated himself from living creatures (both human and Lore) and lead a solitary life in a castle far away in Russia. 

Kaderin's hate for vampires mixed in with Sebastian's desire to be a "blooded" couple turned out to be quite the ride. I think if a vampire's need and compulsion to be with his Bride wasn't derived with such determination, I'd have to give Sebastian major props for the amount of rejection he took from Kaderin. He was relentless and not willing to back down yet he was such a gentleman. It's easily identifiable that his mannerisms were stuck in a time hundreds of years earlier when men had to be the protector of women. And what a protector he is!

The Hie (Amazing Race for non humans) was exhilarating. From climbing sharp mountains, battling basilisks, trudging through minefields, swimming with blood thirsty sharks and the list goes on. All this adventure while competitors freely maimed each other to get ahead. It was brutal. I liked how sneaky Sebastian was at entering the contest along side Kaderin and how he was able to eventually get her to work together with him. Even if he had to strike out sexy deals every now and then. 

Great action. Great suspense and super characters with steamy sexy scenes. I can't wait to jump into the next book, Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night

Teasers: bewitching handcuffs, time travel key, return of Dasha & Rika, 13 points away

Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas

Aline & McKenna's book

Again the Magic (Wallflowers 0.5)

by Lisa Kleypas
Book Blurb:She gave him her innocence...
Lady Aline Marsden was brought up for one reason: to make an advantageous marriage to a member of her own class. Instead, she willingly gave her innocence to John McKenna, a servant on her father's estate. Their passionate transgression was unforgivable—John was sent away, and Aline was left to live in the exile from London society.
...and he took her love.

Now McKenna has made his fortune, and he has returned—more boldly handsome and more mesmerizing than before. His ruthless plan is to take revenge on the woman who shattered his dreams of love. But the magic between them burns as bright as ever. And now he must decide whether to let vengeance take its toll...or risk everything for his first, and only, love.

I actually read Again the Magic January 2011. For some reason I just never posted on my blog. So this review is carry over repost from my Goodreads account. 

Again the Magic takes place in Stoney Creek which is near the Hathaway's setting from that Lisa Kleypas series. This story occurs before both of the fabulous Hathaways and Wallflowers series. 

I think I'd rather give this book a 3.5 stars but not a 4. I liked it but didn't love it. 

I loved the beginning of the book alot. I felt the connection between Aline and McKenna and I truly felt the despair of them not being  together. The way they ended their relationship was heartbreaking. Follow that particular scenario up with Aline's accident; the whole situation had me turning the pages so fast I couldn't seem to get enough. 

For me Again the Magic slowed down at the "Twelve Years Later" part. The reasons that Aline couldn't admit to how and why they parted twelve years earlier just didn't sit well with me. I just wasn't buying it. Her dad had passed on and she still loved McKenna and he still loved her so what was the problem? I suppose if Aline had told McKenna her reasons from the beginning there would have been no book or story. I would rather have read a story where she shares with him all of those heartbreaking reasons from twelve years ago, they move past it and then an awesome story to tell the journey of them coming together again. It was almost the last page of the book before the "happily ever after" happened and I just would have preferred it sooner. It would still interest me to read about her adapting to life in New York and how deeply they fall back in love with each other. 

One thing I did really like was that she wasn't pregnant at the end of the book. That drives me nuts how so many stories end with a baby.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole

Myst & Nikolai Wroth's book

The Warlord Wants Forever

By Kresely Cole

Book Blurb:Nikolai Wroth, once a ruthless human warlord in the 1700s and now a general in the rebel vampire army, needs to find his Bride, the one woman who can render him truly alive. As a turned human, he doesn’t enjoy a heartbeat or breaths and is consequently weaker than fully blooded vampires. He wants his Bride for the power she will bring him and can hardly believe it when his heart beats for Myst the Coveted, a mad, fey, mythological creature.

Myst is known throughout the world as the most beautiful Valkyrie, part chillingly fierce warrior, part beguiling seductress who can “make you want her even as she’s killing you.” She has devoted her life to protecting an ancient, powerful jewel and to fighting the vampires, and she now sees a way to torment one—for with Wroth’s heartbeat comes consuming sexual desire that can only be slaked by her.

She eludes him for five years, but he has finally chased her to ground and stolen the jewel which commands her, giving him absolute power over her. While he possesses it, he can make her do anything, and he plans to in order for her to experience first hand the agonizing, unending lust she’d purposely subjected him to for half a decade. Yet when Wroth realizes he wants more from her and frees her, will she come back to him?

Ok I guess I was way off base with how I pictured the Valkyrie from A Hunger Like No OtherApparently they don't look anything like how I pictured them in that book. 
Instead they are sexy bad ass warrior type of women (but not as tall since Myst is only 5ft tall). Ok I admit it, I'm not up on my mythos and I based everything I learned about the Valkyrie from A Hunger Like No Other. 

I quickly figured out in The Warlord Wants Forever that since the sexy masculine General Wroth was all hot and heavy for the Valkyrie, Myst the  Coveted , that there was no way she was an aged wee pixie type of fairy. I get it now. She is a Xena type of badass warrior women who'll destroy you. 

I think it would have been better to rear  The Warlord Wants Forever  before  A Hunger Like No Other . I think I would have rated  A Hunger Like No Other  higher if I had more understanding of this story. Now that I have my bearings ready and adjusted, I could move forward in the story. I liked The Warlord Wants Forever but I continued with a bit of head scratching. Things like; how could Wroth who had been around for centuries not know what a Valkyrie is and why did he not know more about the Lore? He is in this vampire type of war but not clear on the creatures within his world??? It puzzled me. 

I did really like Myst and Wroth together. I loved the idea about the magical belt that Myst wore around her waist. The entire "commanding" charm that held Myst in check was a really cool idea. I liked that Wroth was so desperate to be with Myst he used the power against her yet never made her do anything she wouldn't actually want to do. It was a great wielding power tool and Wroth really didn't take that much advantage. Well okay he did take advantage but it could have been much worst. 
I was almost wondering if maybe the charm had worn off years ago but Myst kept agreeing to his commands only because she thought she had to not really knowing the charm had ceased. Now that would have been super cool. 

The Warlord Wants Forever is really just a novella in length. I'm warning you of that now so that you won't be disappointed when you load it on your Kindle and it is done at 69%. (yeah sucked)

It was a great introduction to the story Lore and I wished I did actually read this book before I read A Hunger Like No Other. I think the descriptions and background was better set in The Warlord Wants Forever. Oh well. It wasn't drastic enough to make me disappointed. 

Teasers: 5 LONG years, "Can I have it? Can I. Can I. Can I.", sexy lingerie, Sunlight sacrifice

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole

Emmaline Troy & Lachlain MacRieve

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2)

by Kresley Cole

Book Blurb:
 A mythic warrior who'll stop at nothing to possess her . . .
After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.
A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy . . .
Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents -- until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae -- and their notorious dark desires -- ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings. 
An all-consuming desire . . .
Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

A Hunger Like No Other is book 2 in the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole. A friend on Goodreads recommended that I actually read this book first and then read the book 1, The Warlord Wants Forever. I am quite anal about reading books in order but I do have a lot of trust in my Goodreads blogging buddies so I did read this one first. 

Right off let me tell you that A Hunger Like No Other reads as if it was the first book in the series. I was not lost at all nor do I think I missed out at all. I am going to read The Warlord Wants Forever next so I will share in my next review if I am still really positive that that I was okay to read this book first. 

So let me get what I didn't like off my chest first and then allow me to sing the praises of A Hunger Like No Other

One of the things that I do not like (and one of the reasons I avoid Paranormal or UF books) is that authors seem to think they have to create worlds and that are freakishly spelled and hard to pronounce. I hate trying to sound out words the entire time I am reading. Well I have to admit there was a touch of that in A Hunger Like No Other. Lykae and a few other character names did annoy me but I just learned to look passed them (even though I refer to Lykae as Lycra now). I guess there is just no such thing as a bad ass vampire named, Pete eh? 

The one other thing that kept me a bit frustrated was the lack of description about what the characters look like. I get that Lachlain turns into a werewolf (uhm kinda) but I don't get what he looks like. It is made clear that he doesn't look anything like what you and I traditionally think a werewolf looks like but I'll be damned if I have any clue of what he does look like. I am almost tempted to see if I can dig up some fan art. 

Here are some descriptions as it was explained in the story about what he looks like when he turns wolfy:
Yes to fangs. No to fur and there are frequent mentions of paws and claws. His eyes turn blue. His body gets bigger, while the shape of his face changes to lupine. (he turns purple???) Then when Emma asks if he gets a snout he replies, "No. Not like you are thinking." (So what does that mean?) And that my friends is a description of a his werewolf self. (did that even sound wolfish?)

As for the Valkyrie, (that is what is Emma is partially) I also don't have a clue what they look like other than they have pointed ears and that they are female. I have a pretty good idea of what Emma looks like but as for her full fledge Valkyrie aunts, I'm lost. I was thinking that they are short fairy creatures similar to what Disney created for Sleeping Beauty's guardians but later in the book Emma does say how beautiful all her aunts are so then it had me re-think. Anyone have any clue here what they look like?

Now for the good stuff. The story was really good and it kept my eyes glued to the pages. It was a joy to read how weak and timid Emma was at the beginning and then how she grew into a bad-ass warrior woman. She made me proud. 

I also liked how the author kept the readers in check. I admit to getting increasingly frustrated with Emma not giving into Lachlain's desires until Kresley Cole reminded me (via Emma's POV) just how devious he had been with her. Then I wanted to high five Emma. 

There was a lot of future stories to build on from A Hunger Like No Other but the readers are not left on cliffhangers. I really liked that. I am always willing to invest into a series while it is still being written if the author leaves nice breadcrumbs to return but not have me cursing waiting for the next book to arrive. Kresley Cole got me on this first book and I am eager to continue. 

There are lots of steamy scenes but it does take until almost the end of the story for them to do "it". The build up and teasing is really amped up. So much so that I think this rating would the first time I granted a heat rating of four when the actual act itself was so late into the book. 

Teasers: self amputation, electric love, grabbing the headboard spindle so hard they disintegrate into dust,  an odd way to make a father proud

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Somewhere I'll Find You by Lisa Kleypas

Julia Wentworth & Lord Damon Savage's book 

Somewhere I'll Find You (Capital Theatre #1)

by Lisa Kleypas

Book Blurb:
The toast of the town...

All London is at Julia Wentworth's feet—and anything she desires is hers for the asking. But the glamorous leading lady guards a shocking secret: a mystery husband whom she does not know, dares not mention ... and cannot love.

For years Damon Savage has been searching for the stranger his parents wed him to without his consent, hoping to legally free himself from matrimony's invisible chains. And he is astonished to discover his "bride" is none other than the exquisite lady he'd hoped to make his mistress! But though his wife by law, Julia will never truly be Damon's—until he conquers her fears, his formidable rivals ... and her proud, passionate, and independent heart.

Originally Published 1996
Well I must say that this is a first for me. There actually exists a Lisa Kleypas book that I am not crazy for. Somewhere I'll Find You just fell flat for me. It took me a few days to read it because I just piddled through it without much gusto. First time ever that has happened with one of her books.
The idea of the story was captivating enough but the characters, Julia and Damon were an utter bore. The secondary cast did nothing to enhance the story either. Damon came across as a clingy desperate man that held little appeal to me and Julia with her naive decisions just made me roll my eyes. 
With a theater as the back drop for the storyline, I thought I would be immersed into the story as I really hadn't read much in the way of historical theater stories. It intrigued me. I liked the idea of an actress being the lead of a story in a historical setting and I liked the idea of a hidden marriage. However the two just didn't mix. It struck me as odd that these two were forced to be married as very young children by their parents but then never saw each other afterwards. 
First it was just basically creepy about the marriage to begin with but then how the story itself was all carried out afterwards just didn't sink or become believable. Years later when they finally found each other and confronted the situation, their behaviour towards each other contradicted everything they said to each other. Damon ultimately fell madly in love rather quickly and almost immediately thrust forward with the "I love yous" and "come away and be my real wife" and oh by the way, drop everything you have worked for to hold this coveted theater position to be my wife. All this without even giving Julia a chance to weigh her options. 
I guess for me it simply came down to characters and the silly plotline. Unfortunately Somewhere I'll Find You just didn't work for me like other books  Lisa Kleypas  has wrote.  Fortunately there are dozens of Lisa Kleypas books I am utterly in love with.
Teasers: Child marriage, fake pregnancy by lover, theater fire, secret visits with mother